Keeping my blogger burnout burning brightly!

There are some people who relentlessly believe that the opinions at sites like WorldNetDaily constitute facts, and RedState's Bob Frazier seems to be one of them:

Is this country going mad?

""Mom and Dad" as well as "husband and wife" have been banned from California schools under a bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who with his signature also ordered public schools to allow boys to use girls restrooms and locker rooms, and vice versa, if they choose."

So reports World Net Daily. Funny, it does not seem to be getting a lot of "airplay" in the Main Street Media. This is a group of state bills signed by Arnold the terminator. For those of you who supported Arnold over McClintock because "he was electable" the chickens are now coming home to roost. (Is there a lesson here?)

The bills include SB777, which bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as "negative" toward homosexuality, bisexuality and other "alternative lifestyle choices." There are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs, however.

The text of the bill is here. "Mom," "dad," "husband," and "wife" are not mentioned, nor banned. Nothing about restrooms. Nor are the words "negative" or "alternative lifestyle choices" mentioned.

These are WorldNetDaily's opinions about how the bill might be interpreted.

Here are the relevant passages which seem to have especially irritated religious conservatives:

SECTION 1. Section 200 of the Education Code is amended to read:
200. It is the policy of the State of California to afford all persons in public schools, regardless of their sex, ethnic group identification, race, national origin, religion, mental or physical disability, or regardless of any actual or perceived disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code, equal rights and opportunities in the educational institutions of the state. The purpose of this chapter is to prohibit acts which are contrary to that policy and to provide
remedies therefor.

[...]

51500. No teacher shall give instruction nor shall a school district sponsor any activity which that reflects adversely upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry a characteristic listed in Section 220 .
SEC. 16. Section 51501 of the Education Code is amended to read:
51501. No textbook, or other instructional materials shall be adopted by the state board State Board or by any governing board for use in the public schools which that contains any matter reflecting adversely upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry a
characteristic listed in Section 220
.
SEC. 17. Section 60044 of the Education Code is amended to read:
60044. No instructional materials shall be adopted by any governing board for use in the schools which that , in its determination, contains:

(a) Any matter reflecting adversely upon persons because of their race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, handicap, or occupation a characteristic listed in Section 220 .
(b) Any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda
contrary to law.

Sigh.

SB 777 appears to be a rehash of SB 1437 (vetoed by Schwarzenegger last year), which basically adds "sexual orientation" and "gender" to the list of protected categories. The same arguments were made over that incarnation of the bill, and I addressed them then, so rather than recreate them, I'll just repeat myself:

I don't think government should be dictating the content of textbooks, because that opens the door for various identity politics activist crackpots to complain that something "reflects adversely" on their group.

However, notice that religion and sexual orientation are treated equally. That means angry fundamentalist activists would have just as much right to maintain that school activities or statements in the textbooks reflect adversely upon them as would angry gay activists.

[...]

I am not clear on how forbidding the adoption of material that reflects adversely on a sexual lifestyle requires promotion of it -- any more than forbidding the adoption of material reflecting adversely on a religion mandates promotion of that religion.

In logic, possible interpretations of a law are not the same thing as what the text of the law says, and these two things should be distinguished. WorldNetDaily is making a huge stretch in reporting what might happen as what would happen.

Of course, we can argue whether it's important to differentiate between opinion and fact. I think it is important -- even in blogging. But in news reporting, I think it is more important, and WorldNetDaily describes itself as a newssite. As such, I think it is fair to at least try to hold them to the same standard to which I hold the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Why hold any "news" organization to any standard, though? Maybe people should just vent freely, and engage in whatever sort of demagoguery turns them on.

I can't help notice that in last year's post I was complaining that the whole things was giving me blogger burnout. (Even the title was "An inside look at blogger burnout.")

Well my blogger burnout is back!

And this time, I'm so burned out that I'm just about ready to climb to the top of Brokeback Burnout Mountain and proudly proclaim my perpetual burnout to the world.

(A good thing really, because with an election just around the corner only a year from now, I probably ought to keep the fires of my blogger burnout burning on the back burner.)

posted by Eric on 10.15.07 at 01:41 PM










Comments

Let me ask. Was WND trying to sell a book in conjunction with this "report"?

I used to correspond with Joe Farrah a lot. He hates the drug war and hates gays. I agree with him on one of those positions.

Since the war our correspondence has gone to zero.

M. Simon   ·  October 15, 2007 2:50 PM

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