Untitled, For Now

by Marinka on October 8, 2010

This morning I read a guest post, Is Gay OK With You? on Scary Mommy‘s blog and I seethed.

Seethed.

You’ll have to hop over there to read it, but basically the woman posting is a conservative Christian, her kid’s teacher is an open lesbian (so much better than those The Children’s Hour lesbians!) and the concern is that the teacher will expose the child to values other than the ones that the family embraces.

Huh.

In a way, I can relate. I’ve been working on a post about how my nine year old is being taught multiplication in a way that smacks of pure Satanism, if Satan were an asshole to boot. Like instead of doing the algorithm that has served modern civilization so well, they are now doing things like: 24 x 13= 3×4 + 3×20 +10×4 + 10×20.

Yes, that’s a lot easier.

So, I know that sending your child into the world where you give up control is scary.

But I can’t believe that in 2010 America we are still discussing our levels of comfort with homosexuality. This is where I get to play my age card and say, I’m 43 years old, I’ve had this discussion so many times and I’ve basically concluded that if you’re uncomfortable with your child’s teacher being gay, then you’re out of your fucking mind and I have no interest in continuing the conversation. Because to me it has the same value as arguing about whether trees should be given social security numbers. Insane and irrelevant.

Now, I love Scary Mommy. Jill (er..Scary Mommy) is a friend and we’ve talked a lot and she is smarter than most of us and also funnier. I know for a fact that she does not embrace the views that the guest poster expressed. I know that she vehemently opposes them. I know that I should be happy that she allowed the guest post, because discussion is always good, and how can we progress if there is no dialogue?

Fair enough.
I can’t do it personally, but I’m certainly not going to call for censorship.

But please don’t ask me to be respectful. Because I can’t respect devaluing someone’s life because it’s not in keeping with your religious tenets.

Unless they reject multiplication algorithms, of course.

One year ago ...

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October 8, 2010 at 10:27 am

{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

Brooke October 8, 2010 at 10:13 am

This made my day: “…if you’re uncomfortable with your child’s teacher being gay, then you’re out of your fucking mind and I have no interest in continuing the conversation.”

Reply

Kristine
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:13 am

Yeah, I have a hard time saying “good point” to any of these type of responses. Because the bottom line is one of discrimination, and there’s nothing good to say about that. I find it all to be incredibly sad and depressing.

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Maria October 8, 2010 at 10:18 am

*clapclap*

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Sara Plays House
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:22 am

Bravo.

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marymac October 8, 2010 at 10:27 am

“I’m 43 years old, I’ve had this discussion so many times and I’ve basically concluded that if you’re uncomfortable with your child’s teacher being gay, then you’re out of your fucking mind and I have no interest in continuing the conversation. Because to me it has the same value as arguing about whether trees should be given social security numbers. Insane and irrelevant.”

BRILLIANT.

LOVE IT. Ditto every thought. Am writing a response to that post for Monday because I need the weekend for it to ‘marinate.’

BRAVO to you for putting it right out there.

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TheBetsy
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:27 am

Love when good Christian values incorporate elitism and phobic behaviors. I think Jesus would have applauded her choice to segregate her child from the real world.

Oh good lord lady!

Good moral foundation is built, in my oh-so-humble opinion, when you guide a child through the world, not when they are shielded. Compassion and understanding is developed by seeing the world for what it is- not how you want it to be.

You can disagree with a lifestyle, but you shouldn’t pretend it doesn’t exist.

Of course, that being said, I have to applaud her ( and Madam Scary’s) cajones for posting it. That’s courage and conviction.

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Wendy October 8, 2010 at 11:50 am

“You can disagree with a lifestyle, but you shouldn’t pretend it doesn’t exist.”

This exactly. I’ll be honest and admit I don’t know where I stand on the “gay issue”. I don’t know that I can “disagree with a lifestyle”, but I am trying to reconcile it with my beliefs and I have some wonderful friends who just happen to be gay, Jewish, black, and of course my daughter who on some days chooses to be a dinosaur.

That said, I would not and could not in good conscious shield my children from people I don’t “agree” with (I keep using quotes because the words don’t seem right, but they are the words we use). Shielding your children from those who are different or believe differently can and does lead to bullying.

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Pop
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:28 am

I saw Scary Mommy’s post and while I wasn’t seething, it’s still upsetting to see those view points.

And as far as your math problem, I actually thought the answer would be 666, you know, satanic and all.

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Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:30 am

Because of my own belief system, I can’t get think about reasoning with anyone who doesn’t think that Gay is OK. I left my own incendiary post over there. Now my brain is fried.

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Scary Mommy
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:35 am

Next time someone presents me with such a post I think I will respond with “you’re out of your fucking mind and I have no interest in continuing the conversation.” I thought posting such an opposing view to mine could make for good dialogue and maybe even a change for the better. Silly fucking me.

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TheBetsy
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:42 am

Oh shut the fuck up sister. It was a good, brave decision. Scary mommies come in all shapes and sizes.

Being a lightening rod is good, but no one ever asks the rod if it was having fun.

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Jenny October 8, 2010 at 10:48 am

Silly Jilly!

I still think it’s a good idea. Maybe she’ll read the comments and start to wake up. And I think it’s good for us to know that there are people like that still in our world.

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Scary Mommy
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:51 am

It’s the thought that anyone could think I am endorsing the post that’s killing me. I think I need to step away from the computer.

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By Word of Mouth
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 11:38 am

I want to write a guest post just so I can write the word FUCK in a blog post for one – the downside of having your 12 yr old read your blog!

http://bywordofmouthmusingsandmemoirs.blogspot.com/2010/10/banned-books-stock-up-on-your-library.html

Reply

Marinka October 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm

No one who knows you, or knows how to read for that matter, thinks that you endorsed that post.

Wait, are you still away from the computer?

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Pauline
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:53 am

Jill – I agreed with your comment on the blog where you admitted that including dialogue from people that do not agree 100% with you is good. I think it is very good. You aren’t fucking silly. (Look I said fucking. Ha! Fucking!!! This feels good. Fuck.)

I love people. People just fascinate me in both good and bad ways but always interest me. That’s the best part of reading blogs IMO because they open your eyes to different views. Although I am a conservative Christian, I do not agree with your guest poster. But I commend you for posting it because people who might think along the same lines as your poster will read the comments and maybe re-thinking things.

That is awesome.

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ABCfibi October 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I think it took balls of steel to let her post on your site, knowing you were going to get flack for it. I hope that through the comments, maybe one person was reached and decides that they were wrong and there really is nothing wrong with being gay. If one person wakes up, it would be totally worth it.

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Scary Mommy
Twitter:
October 10, 2010 at 8:33 am

That’s the hope…

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kadield October 8, 2010 at 10:41 am

You just made this gay man fall in love with you. Smooch!

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Sandi October 8, 2010 at 10:45 am

I am extremely proud of @scarymommy for being open to letting her guest poster rant. That took all kinds of courage. And I am truly grateful that you wrote this response, I personally, want to “bitch-slap” that narrow-minded homophobe! I keep telling myself that if I deny her her views, that it makes me just as bad as she is. But it’s not helping. People like her made me jump at the chance to become active in my son’s school.

Thank you again, for doing what I wanted to do, but couldn’t find the “right” words to describe what I am feeling!

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Jenny October 8, 2010 at 10:46 am

I’m 43 years old too, and soon to turn 44, and I still marvel when I encounter someone whose opinions are so myopic. It doesn’t even make me mad–it just makes me sad. We are all unique. We all have different points of view. We have different sexuality. We like different colors. We are different colors. And yet, some people are too narrow-minded to appreciate the beauty in that.

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Brittany at Mommy Words
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:49 am

Thank You! So much quicker than me in responding and so totally right.

And I was crying after reading that post on Scary Mommy but your trees with social security numbers got me giggling and I wiped my nose and maybe have stopped the running.

I commented there and will here – I think this is a discussion that almost should be closed. Why would it be okay to be respectful in tearing someone down, calling them a non role model, asking them to cover who they really are. We would no longer respectfully discuss being racist – people would tear that blogger apart. Just because the post is written without anger does not mean it cannot hurt someone very deeply.

I hope it starts to change opinions but really I am left here, sad and almost speechless.

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Ester Jean December 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Thank you so much for saying “We would no longer respectfully discuss being racist – people would tear that blogger apart.”

I have a brother who is studying to be a preacher and have had to block him from my Facebook because he compared homosexuals to pedophiles and people who practice bestiality. I was totally ashamed and kind of wanted to shake the hell out of him for thinking that way – and thinking he is the only person who knows what is The Truth. YUCK!

There is no difference between homophobia and the bigots who perpetuate it and those who hate people whose skin is a different color. This issue continues to distress me. I hope to god my children have amazing homosexual teachers who will be yet another example of caring adults. The homogenized, heterosexual, close-minded world the writer idealized would be my worst nightmare.

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Pauline
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:56 am

You are 43? You don’t look a day older then 42!

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Grace October 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

I love it when religious fucktards think they are better than everyone else, as if God would aprove. Holier than thou fucktards!

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Wendi
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

I could live to be 100 and still have no fucking idea how someone can think they’re “right” and others are “wrong” when it comes to basic human rights. The “good” people who think that way are a lethal combination of narcissism and insecurity—otherwise why would they be so scared and so intent on trying to control the lives of others?

Live and let fucking live.
End of story.

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kakaty
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 11:15 am

A-fucking-men!

I just cannot imagine living a life like that. A life thinking that it’s ok to teach your child that it is shameful to be gay and it’s ok to discriminate against those who are.

But, I thank Jill for posting be because it just shows how much work there is left to do and how much ignorance and disrespect is still out there to fight.

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Lisa Rae @ smacksy October 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

Marinka, I love you.
And ditto on everything that you’ve said here.
And I can say “ditto” because I am 46.

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Zee October 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

If I could chose, I wouldn’t have a conservative, homophobic dipwad teaching my kids math. I am not comfortable with the idea that they would somehow leak some of their idiotic, neanderthal “values” to my child. But then I remember that that person is going to be teaching MATH, not life lessons.

Shouldn’t we be more concerned with the curriculum, the homework, the test results, grades, relevancy of the material and passing the class, and less on who someone does the pinch and tickle with?

Good lord. I think you showed incredible restraint. That kind of thing sends me off the rails.

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Finn
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 11:33 am

Well said.

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Jane October 8, 2010 at 11:37 am

With all the news right now of kids committing suicide because they are gay……

This to me is like trying to imagine that the night sky goes on and on and on……..the fact that people think that being gay is wrong or bad is something I can not wrap my head around.

My heart hurts

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mr lady October 8, 2010 at 11:40 am

I was, not kidding, going to equate this to my kids math lessons. Wonderbraintwins, unite!

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By Word of Mouth
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

Want to share a conversation from this morning with my 12 yr old after me reading ScaryMommy’s blog and her and I discussing some of it together.
Why doesn’t she like the teacher?
Because the teacher is a lesbian.
Is the teacher telling the kids she is a lesbian? No I don’t believe so, think it was the gossipmill.
Is she talking to the kids about being gay? No, she is a science teacher.
Is she a good teacher? I guess so, they are not questioning her teaching.
Well, I had a 4th grade science teacher who was really mean and she was married to a man, and it didn’t make her a better person…

She is such a smart child! (and she has a blog)
http://wisewordsbywiki.blogspot.com/
her last post is all about attitude – check it out!

and we homeschool to travel the world and teach our kids diversity, not to keep them in a box!

http://bywordofmouthmusingsandmemoirs.blogspot.com/2010/10/banned-books-stock-up-on-your-library.html

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christy October 8, 2010 at 11:49 am

Amen. (not in a conservative bigoted christian way, of course – as in you rock girlfriend kind of way!)

That post pissed me off too. I said so in the comments, and on facebook, but you really nailed it here. I simply can’t believe people care who other people have sex with. SO FREAKING WHAT!!!!!!!

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Jenn October 8, 2010 at 11:52 am

“Love when good Christian values incorporate elitism and phobic behaviors. I think Jesus would have applauded her choice to segregate her child from the real world.”

Excellent point Becky! I love that comment. It’s sad to me that people sometimes use their religion to hide from the things they don’t understand. This is a fantastic post. Well done!

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Erin Margolin
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I am thrilled to see this response and am giving you a standing ovation. I’ve been torn up ever since I read the original guest post this morning. My dad is gay and silly me, I thought that things were bad in 1991 when he came out…but here were are almost 20 years later and still so many people are so fucking stupid, bigoted, and clueless. We can’t keep our kids in a bubble. Real people, REALITY is everywhere—and reality is that we are all different. God, wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same? And like someone else said up there—who cares who someone is having sex with? Sheesh. There are more important things on my plate.

Thank you for this. You rock.

erin @ the mother load
http://abbyandizzysmom.blogspot.com

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Jill
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm

My daughter’s 1st grade teacher is also homosexual. And you know what every single person told me when they found out who her teacher was… that he is THE best teacher at the school. Nothing about him being gay. Nothing about how flamboyant he is (and man, does he know how to dress!). But except that he’s a great teacher.

The scary part for me in all of this is that when these kids grow up, they’re not going to have their mom/dad shielding them in the real world. And the real world is made up of a lot of people who clearly aren’t like them….

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Neil
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm

The teachers I learned the most from, including values, was a crazy 60’s ex-radical, a English teacher who later had a nervous breakdown, and a math teacher who we think was having an affair with the principal. But then again, they were all straight.

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By Word of Mouth
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I think I may have a crush on Neil …
actually the best History teacher I ever had, walked up to the board one day, drew two big circles, put one hand in each of them and then beat his head …. they came and took him away … but I do love history !

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grammaoffive October 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm

And liberals accuse of conservative christians of intolerance? Why is intolerantance of a conservative christian mother’s wish to keep her children innocent of the sins in the world for as long as possible, unacceptable?
I have a gay brother. I am confronted with the dilema, what would you do if …fill in blank… were gay (or liberal). My eldest daughter (34) is a far left liberal, and we still love her and enjoy the friendly debates. Several of my childrens friends/my “adopted kids” are gay. I still love them!!! And accept their lifestyle. I do not condone it, but I love them.

I raised my children with the knowledge of our beliefs, and the acknowledgement of other beliefs. They are much more tolerant of others belief’s than any of posters here are. And I am their mother, a conservative christian who chose which pond my baby fishies were going to swim in as they were growing up.

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Marinka October 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Do you expect me to answer your question even though you discuss homosexuality in terms of “sins”?

Because we may have different definitions for other terms as well. Such as “tolerance” and “acceptance”.

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Vicki
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Thanks for pointing me to this post. I think things like this post and Jill’s method of moderation and framing the debate need to exist because, while I 100% don’t agree with the poster, she explained her opinion eloquently and the comment thread has been one of the most civilized I’ve seen in the history of blogging.
People are talking about religion and homosexuality with respect and concern and a minimum of name calling. If I talk to someone who doesn’t share my views on something, I find that a discussion rather than a “fuck you” is much more fruitful, even if it doesn’t work the first time. If all we did was say “fuck you” instead of engage in discussions that challenge each others’ ways of thinking, the world would be one huge Jersey Shore.

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Marinka October 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm

And that is exactly my problem. Because I can’t engage in a debate with people who see homosexuality as “not ok” and I feel like discussion isn’t fruitful and sadly, ultimately a waste of time.

I’d rather save my strength for the revolution.

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Lady AshEfield October 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Rock on sister Marinka!!
i am blown away that people in this day- still think it’s okay to discriminate against the LGBT community- AND people who also think and see this is as a worthy discussion- with room for debate. fuck that!!
if this blog person were railing against the teacher because they were a different race- or a different religion- or as fucktard Sen.Jim DeMint (can u believe this ass is a SENATOR!?) says- unmarried women, pregnant women, (yes!! all you pregnant mommies out there!) and homosexuals ALL are not worthy of teaching– would we say it’s okay? would we say- let us discuss this?
NO WE WOULDN’T– not openly anyway. it is not acceptable.
so why then- is it acceptable to carry on this ridiculous conversation- while people like old granny above question tolerance toward her-? priceless granny- just priceless.
all u bible thumpers out there- once was a time it was your right- and considered moral to hold slaves– great foundation you’re working off of.
you can believe whatever the fuck you want- but once your idiotic beliefs start to trample on MY rights as a fellow human being- watch the fuck out!
signed- the Queer Lady AshEfield

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Loralee
Twitter:
October 11, 2010 at 1:36 am

Love you for speaking your mind and drawing a line. You have a spine and unflinching honesty that is pretty awe worthy.

As for the issue of debate and engagement. Ironically, you have the same stance as the most hard-core of my right wing associates: It’s an immoral argument and so why should I engage in the breath to discuss it with a liberal when I know it is fundamentally flawed and a waste of time.

Seems like less and less people are willing to talk anymore. Which is your right to do or not.

Wish I had the same ability. But when 97% of the people surrounding me in my real life feel the same way (to various degrees) about homosexuals?

No. I am not just going to sit there. I would feel horrible sitting there saying nothing.

I can’t give up that debate can help someone, somewhere. I have changed many of my views (for the better, imo. INCLUDING that about gay marriage. Hi, I told you most people here oppose my views. How I was raised.) because of it. Because of respectful debate. People flying at me and attacking would have only hurt the message and I probably wouldn’t have listened to it.

You’re right, most won’t change their minds, but dammit…

I was not a waste of time.

So, maybe taking on debate and discussion makes me a pussy or whatever, but it’s my way. Because if I hadn’t had people on the left engaging me and forcing me to THINK and question I might still be where I was in 1996.

Speaking out and having these debates comes at a huge personal cost to me. Huge.

And, yes.

I am fucking tired.

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Marinka October 11, 2010 at 9:30 am

I’m glad that there are others who are willing to engage in a debate. I absolutely defer to them.

The fact that I’m unwilling to says more about me than about the people that I won’t sit down with (which, by the way, includes those that think that there is any justification for slavery or who think that Jews have horns and drink the blood of Christian babies. Although check back with me if that is the only alternative to Manischewitz).

As for this:
“As for the issue of debate and engagement. Ironically, you have the same stance as the most hard-core of my right wing associates: It’s an immoral argument and so why should I engage in the breath to discuss it with a liberal when I know it is fundamentally flawed and a waste of time.”

My problem with the people who harbor views that reject “equality for all” isn’t that they won’t engage in discussion. In fact, I’d welcome their silence. My problem with those people is that they seek to legislate their bigotry.

I’m truly glad that respectful debate helped shape your opinion on some issues. But you may be the exception. Because you’re exceptional.

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Helena
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm

This part makes sense to me:

“On the flip side of that, if you were a parent who raised a child to believe that there is no God, and your child’s teacher were a devout Christian, would you automatically hate her just because your belief systems are different? No. Neither do I hate my son’s teacher. Would you be concerned that her belief system, one that guides her own daily thoughts and decisions, might consciously or subconsciously slant her teaching and her daily interactions with children, especially your child?”

I can see how a parent who does not believe in religion would be upset if the topic was brought up inappropriately in a public school. In fact, there was just an entire Glee episode devoted to that. But as long as the math class, or the history class, or the whatever class is staying within the bounds of the subject, then I do not think someones lifestyle or beliefs should matter.

I think that if as she “prefer(s) she be a Christian heterosexual”, then she should send her kids to a private Christian school. Or homeschool them.

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MarathonMom October 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Don’t know who to be more sorry for. Her or her kid.

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Renee October 8, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Gosh, people commenting on this blog are mighty rude and small-minded. Yes, the guest poster was also small-minded (though not overtly rude, I guess). But why can’t we just engage in civilized dialogue? Personally, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if my kids’ teacher were gay (and they go to private, Jewish day schools) as long as they could handle my son’s ADHD and my daughter’s obsession with Barbie dolls. But, I really don’t think saying “fuck that” or other variations constitutes meaningful or insightful dialogue. And I’m sorry, Marinka, but this is the first blog post of yours that I have read which I really did not enjoy…

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Lady AshEfield October 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Renee- i am sorry if the word FUCK offends your sensibilities- and i am not here to start a personal fight with you-
but listen to what you are saying– “civilised dialogue”– over the matter of suppression of human rights? there is nothing to be discussed- FULL STOP.
you did not enjoy this post? well- try imagine life a member of the LGBT community- and being bullied, not given full rights- and having what rights you do have up for public debate- with mob mentality rules.
you mention your children go to Hebrew schools- i should think you would be a bit more enlightened and sensitive to this issue- then taking up the “civilised dialogue” line.
nothing civilised about oppression Renee- NOTHING!
signed- the Queer Lady AshEfield

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Marinka October 8, 2010 at 7:01 pm

I’m really okay with people not enjoying this post and I absolutely knew that some people would be offended by my declaring that debating with people who think that gay people are “the other” and “not quite equal” (quotes are my own!) is a huge waste of time.

But I own my words, and I stand by every single one in this post.

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Jackie October 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Agree. Like. Etc… etc… etc…..

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Peajaye
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm

hi, i just posted this on SM’s blog, now i’ll bore you with it as well:

Hi. I came here from Marinka’s blog, so I’d like to apologize in advance if I come off as sounding rude or sarcastic. Blame Marinka.

I am not Christian, but I dated one many years ago. And he pointed out that there’s nothing in the Gospels about queers, but plenty about love and passing judgment on all that God created. (hint: it’s not good news for queer-haters, uh, I mean, queer-not-liking-them-around-my-children-types.)

I mean, look, while I appreciate the effort of everyone here “respecting” all views, I think there is a certain amount of self-deception going on. Sure, I totally get it why you think what I do in the bedroom is disgusting. We gays feel that same way about what you heterosexuals do. (and yes, I speak for all gays)

But who blogged about this to begin with? Not the dyke. She’s just trying to get your kid to learn the periodic table. It’s you, Texas Moma. And just like the roommate of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi – pretending to be friendly, then posting about someone else’s sex life – you now seem to be looking for absolution.

Now this is where being a Catholic Christian woulda come in handy – you just go to confession, ask forgiveness – then you go off feeling better and the priest goes off feeling an altar boy.

Which IS what you’re all really talking about, no matter how fancy you dress it up. You think queers are perverts, despite your protestations.

Everything you wrote supports that view. Why else don’t you want the queers around your kids? You couldn’t possibly think there is even one case in human history where a boy looked at his gay science teacher and thought, Hmm, when I grow up, I think I’ll force my penis to get hard when I look at another man, even though it disgusts me.

I mean, really.

But what is really bothersome is that all the “defenses” you put forth in your post are sadly reminiscent of the protests against having black teachers in white schools: you don’t object to them, you just don’t want them around your kids.

And I think many of the readers of this blog who are expressing outrage somehow sense that. I’m just older and gayer, so I can say it more easily.

The Good News is that you are questioning your hate and ignorance. To me that indicates that you do have love of God in your heart. That you’re seeing that some of your spiritual leaders might not have it right. That some people who say they want to fill your soul are more interested in filling their wallets. And that disparaging gays is not What Jesus Would Do. And for that I applaud you.

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Texan Mama October 8, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Hi Marinka
I am all in favor of multiplication tables. They are great.
I wish you had not read my post as being one of hatred or disdain. If anything, it was respectful. And I will hold steady to my belief that I want to surround my child with people who reflect my values. I’m sure there are things that do not fall in line with your value system, for example maybe ME, and I’m guessing that you would not want to expose your child to those things. I think you have every right to be a judge for your child, when they’re very young, who or what is a good role-model. That’s what responsible parenting is.
I know you didn’t ask, but this teacher is a good teacher, very intelligent, and kind. I was simply expressing my concerns about how her own value system may slant her teaching, which would be wrong. It would be just as wrong as my coming to your child and teaching my value system, and then expecting it to be accepted without question.
I really don’t agree with you. But, I do recognize that this is your blog and you are great at expressing your opinion and more power to you! I had hoped that some people would read my post over on Scary Mommy and think about their views, and how if they immediately reject mine as wrong then how it that different from me immediately rejecting thiers as wrong? But I think many people did not see that. And, thus, I am being shat upon all day.

Which I kinda knew was coming. But I appreciate Jill for allowing my voice to be heard.

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Jen October 8, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I’m just curious how you think this woman’s sexuality could slant her teaching. “All right children, now if you have one hot lady and you add another hot lady what do you get? That’s right children! You get a totally legitimate lifestyle choice and if your parents tell you otherwise just ignore them!”

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Heather, Queen of Shake Shake October 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I don’t immediately reject your view as wrong. But I’m do wonder if you would object to a heterosexual Buddhist teaching your child. Or a Jew? Because their views don’t line up with yours.

And if adult sexuality is an issue being discussed openly in your ELEMENTARY school, hetero or otherwise, you got SERIOUS problems at your school that go beyond sexual preferences.

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Marinka October 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm

You definitely write well and I can see why people praise you for having a level-headed discussion. And yet, I can’t join in the praise.

If I were to ask how your values differ from the teacher’s, what would you tell me? What are you concerned that she will impart on your child that you are uncomfortable with?

I know that what I’m saying is unpopular–we live in a culture of “talking it out” and “learning from each other” and “moving forward”. So I know that my rejecting discussion and saying that it’s a waste of time is practically unAmerican.

But, see, I’ve had this discussion before and I’m tired. And can’t you see how it’s going to play itself out?

We’d have a back and forth on the issue, cloaked in euphemisms and good manners, but what we would never be able to overcome is the fact that you consider the teacher not to share your values because she is a lesbian.

And I reject that judgment as wrong.

Yes, of course I’m being judgmental in the process, and I’ll definitely cop to that.

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Tami October 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I read your blog daily and absolutely love it. It is the break I need from my otherwise mundane life, it makes me laugh and wish I lived in NY instead of MO and that I could be sitting in Starbucks listening to you instead of an office reading your words. But I have to agree with Renee. Sadly, the first time I decide to comment I have to disagree with your post. Although I might not agree with the guest poster, she was in no way overtly rude. It wasn’t like she was a commenter that attacked a post, she was asked to write something and she did so in a civilized, thought-provoking way that opened up some interesting discussion. On top of that, she continued to discuss it with people who chose to attack her. Why is it that she doesn’t deserve an opinion but every one else does? It just doesn’t seem quite fair…especially when she was asked to write the guest post. She obviously knew her opinion would not be popular but it was well stated. I have just always enjoyed a good debate – and you simply can’t have one when people are all of the same opinion or when they are attacking each other.

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Lady AshEfield October 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I am going to say this again-
if this Texas mom were upset because the teacher is of another race or religion- would we be all doing the kumbaya my lord- and being praising ourselves for this open dialogue- this discussion of basic human rights?
human rights should not be up for debate or open to majority rules- it’s that simple.
signed- the Queer Lady AssEfield

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Joie October 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm

While I completely disagree with Texan Mama’s post and it makes me cringe, I still understand what she is saying. I HATE that I understand it, but I do.

She is respectful and honest. And I respect her for that.

I think that the reason people, well at least myself, get so wrapped around the axel about people being anti-gay is that it’s FRUSTRATING! I have never understood somebody being against someone else’s relationship. If it is a consensual relationship, I don’t care. This includes gay, transgender, polygamist, hell even that dude that has a fetish for dolls and considers the one his wife – odd like hell, but it’s HIS choice. I don’t care. Do your thing! Seeing anyone with a little too much PDA on the streets is uncomfortable for me – man and woman, woman and woman, man and man, woman with a shoe fetish…

I know that for me personally, reading the guest post immidiately started to make my blood boil. I get all up in arms and defensive. I want to picket Texas Mama.

But that’s my opinion. And I will be as respectful as the person I am talking to. And so I will also agree to disagree with her.

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Ann's Rants
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Don’t forget, what she’d REALLY prefer is not just a heterosexual but Christian heterosexual.

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Issa
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I read it and I’m still too livid to comment, hours later.

Unless the woman walks in and has sex with her partner in front of the kids? There’s not a problem.

Sigh. I can’t handle that topic. If she is so uncomfortable with other human beings not fitting in her perfect little box of the world, than she really just needs to homeschool her kids. On an island. With no other people.

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Deb Rox
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I love you Marinka. Platonically. But only because you demure.

I wish Jill had not shared her sizable platform in this way. It is insane the way the word “values” is used like a weapon.

My heart goes out to the teacher tonigh bravely living out inTexas,, who wakes early and buys stickers with her own small salary for a school district that likely doesn’t allow her partner access to her health plan or retirement or give her family leave or or or just to have to deal with bigoted parents who question her values or her right to employment.

I’m getting worked up Again.

Anyway. Someday this will be another embarrassing period in human evolution. Someday soon.

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Allison Zapata October 8, 2010 at 6:39 pm

YES! It will be so embarrassing!! SOMEDAY VERY SOON!!

I am getting worked up, too. HATE HATE HATE THIS!

My son even knows whats up…. http://twitpic.com/11wcml

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Allison Zapata October 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I am tired of people using the stupid bible as an excuse to judge people that are different than them. OVER. IT.

Great post!!!!!

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Miss Britt
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I still can’t believe this conversation is happening about a teacher in a public school.

The most ridiculous part of this whole discussion is “shouldn’t I have a choice?”

Yes. You can CHOOSE not to send your kid to government funded public school.

Access to education is a right in this country. Access to free education by people who are exactly like you is not.

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Molly
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 7:52 pm

…and then my head exploded.

I AM SO SICK OF THIS DEBATE!

The least of the problems with the public school systems is that we have gay teachers. Um hi, lets focus on the real issues here?

Look at the drop out rates. Look at the illiteracy rates.

If your biggest concern is that your child’s teacher is a lesbian then I’d say you’re pretty lucky.

The values system of your teacher consists of a lot more than who she goes home to. She might be Christian. Is she?

A straight teacher might not be a Christian. They might be the one to mention freedom of religion. They might bring up that not everyone believes in God.

A straight teacher might be Muslim. Would you be more or less concerned? I don’t know what the hierarchy is. Does Muslim trump lesbian?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function……to be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”

( F. Scott Fitzgerald).

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Denese October 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Thank you Marinka. I think your choice to reject discussion is the most respectful idea I’ve read throughout all the comments on this issue. Although I feel compelled to contribute to the alleged disrespect: Texan Mama seems a little confused about what “respect” means…I wonder if she was ever a student of any schoolteacher who regularly injected their personal beliefs into their curriculum, aside from their belief in the public school system.

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Alex@LateEnough
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I think that in 50 years the guest post on SM will seem so awful. Like when people wrote to uphold segregation. Of course, in fifty years no one will know what the heck a BLOG is anyway… Haha. {sigh}

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Jenn @ Juggling Life October 8, 2010 at 10:15 pm

I do appreciate the reasoned tone of her post. That said, I reject not only her viewpoint on gays, but also on surrounding her children, as much as possible, only with people who share her values.

From a parenting perspective I think you get a lot more out of exposing your child to a wide range of people and then discussing things you disagree with or differ with people on. I am an atheist who has many religious friends. I don’t consider my role as a parent to indoctrinate my children in my belief system. Of course they understand what I think and believe, but they are free to pursue and question as they wish. Since the youngest of my children is now almost 16, I am fairly sure that none of them will turn out to be a conservative Christian–though they’ve all been to church many times with friends. I have never been threatened by their exploration of belief systems that differ with mine.

I can’t imagine feeling that I was a successful parent because my children followed my belief system simply because it was the only one I let them know.

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becca October 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm

honestly I completely agree with your outlook. I do not think people have any right to dictate who others love, who they worship and what constitutes as their religion or orientation.
And I find it hard to believe this teacher is giving lessons of “lesbian lovemaking” which would be frowned upon, but so would heterosexual sex be frowned upon if described to a young child.
I want to keep my child innocent as long as I can, this means teaching him that anyone can love anyone else, but not giving him details, at least while he still watches barney..

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Keyona
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 10:27 pm

The only thing worse would be if the teacher were black! Gasp! Stupid. I know it’s her opinion and I respect that but still, fucking stupid.

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alexandra
Twitter:
October 8, 2010 at 11:09 pm

People can love whomever they choose.

That’s what our children need to see and know.

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Nicole
Twitter:
October 9, 2010 at 1:24 am

Wonderful…I see no reason to debate human rights. I don’t understand how being lesbian is a “value” – did not get that at all. I believe she says something about how raising her kids how she wants is her right, but unless she keeps them surrounded my like-minded people forever, they will grow up and probably perpetuate the prejudice and hurtful views. And that will affect our kids. I once told a friend in college what a great teacher we had, and their response “too bad he’s gay”…WTF? this was like a gut response, and when questioned realized it didn’t matter. But that response, from an MIT student , was scary. I’d hoped we come a lot farther in 20 years.

I am often accused of wanting to be accepted for my liberal views but not accepting of others…and they are right. I don’t accept people who tell me my kids and I are going to hell cuz we’re jewish, even if I don’t believe it 🙂 or that being gay means you have fewer rights than others. Sorry.

I’m also going to bet it’s a lot easier for a teacher to abstain from talking about their sex lives than a conservative christian from talking about their religion.

I could not bring myself to comment over there, and I really appreciate this post.

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The Kid October 9, 2010 at 3:01 am

I’m sorry, but I respectfully disagree with you and most of the commenters. not about the gay issue, i have several very good friends who are gay and loving and completely wonderful friends that I love very much. but about the fact that just because Texan Mama is a conservative christian it means that she is “devaluing someone’s life because it’s not in keeping with your religious tenets”.

I am a strong christian and frankly I resent the fact that because someone doesn’t share my beliefs they can shout me down, that if I so much as mention christianity I can be accused of ‘bible-bashing’ or ‘preaching’ or told that something i believe in is complete trash and I must be stupider than a camel with it’s head stuck up it’s bum.

I resent the fact that at least a quarter of the commenters have belittled and jeered at Texan mama’s post, calling her on her discrimination of her kid’s teacher and yet ending or beginning or sprinkling throughout their comment their derision of christianity and her personal faith.

In Australia the public school system has fought hard to replace biblical studies or whatever you might call it with ‘ethics class’. How is it that a public school, for the public-including gay and straight, christian and non-christian, normal everyday people- is allowed to remove christianity? Allowed to tell all the kids with a note from their parents that their is no God, absolutely, end of story, no matter how old they are or what their own belief is. Doesn’t that mean that Atheist parents are sheltering their kids as well? in fact, doesn’t that mean they are taking away their kid’s right to choose for themselves? as you said, in 2010 there shouldn’t be bigotry, racism, discrimination but there also shouldn’t be religous persecution.

Maybe Texan Mama should put her kids in private school or homeschool them. maybe if she wants to ‘shelter them’ she could do this. As a christian I’m geting tired of people telling me with a condescending smile that I’m too sheltered. why? just because I don’t want to have sex untill I’m married, or drink until i’m dangerously blind drunk and think i can fly when i step of a cliff, like a friend of mine did last year? or because I choose to occasionally surround myself with people who believe the same as me to help me through life and strengthen my faith? cos life is hard people. everyone knows that, that’s why we have friends, parents, partners and spouses.

I thought Texan mama was very honest, sincere and open. I also thought that, unlike alot of commenters she acknowledged that people have the right to their own beliefs. she didn’t foist her beliefs on you. she didn’t bible bash or preach . many of you said how come we couldn’t have a decent conversation about this, without being preached at. well I agree. I am a strong Christian. I love God and that’s my choice. They are MY words and I own them all. So stop Atheist-Bashing me.

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Marinka October 9, 2010 at 9:17 am

Thanks for your comment. I don’t share your beliefs, and I’m not interested in shouting them down.

But if you say that you don’t want your child exposed to a gay teacher because her values, her lifestyle, who she is, may seep into the classroom, please don’t tell me that view deserves respect.
I wouldn’t respect it if you said that about a Jewish teacher, a Muslim teacher, a black teacher or a teacher in a wheelchair.

I don’t respect it. And I absolutely think that it devalues a gay person’s life.

It’s not up to me to judge who’s sheltered or who’s not sheltered; I’m truly not interested in that.

What I am interested in is homophobia and frankly I can’t believe that we’re still dealing with it in the 21st century. It’s embarrassing, really. And it makes me not want to engage with people who toy with it, no matter how eloquently and respectfully.

I know that I’m not going to change anyone’s mind. That’s a given.

But I will not stand back and listen to people who claim that the gays are somehow “other”, and “lesser” and well, you know, sinful, turn right back around and claim that they are being discriminated against by people who call them on their crap. It’s a little like murdering your parents and then asking for the court’s mercy because you’re an orphan. It doesn’t work.
We all need to stand by our words and our beliefs, and if someone’s beliefs devalue the lives of other people, they shouldn’t be surprised at the strongly worded responses that they get.

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trudy October 11, 2010 at 7:45 am

last time I checked my kids were doing catholic scripture in an australian public school and the ethics class being taught to the athiest/agnostic kiddies

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Tess Jones
Twitter:
October 9, 2010 at 3:02 am

Great post, Marinka! (Although I prefer the ones that make me laugh.) I won’t go nuts and rant about Texas Mama’s post (I suppose I should go over to Scary Mommy to do that) and I agree that there really isn’t anything to debate or discuss. I, too, am too old and tired of it all.

To put it simply, Texas Mama created a shell of niceties and honesty and filled it with intolerance and, at the risk of sounding dramatic, hate. There’s nothing respectful about that.

My second grader has a friend who has two moms. My preschooler has a friend with two dads. (If you haven’t already guessed, I live in L.A.). It’s really sad that in some circles it would be wrong to “expose” kids to these families based on the fact that the parents are gay.

Lastly, no matter what side you’re on, I can’t take another mention of the word “lifestyle”. It’s like I’m eavesdropping on a conversation between Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

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The Kid October 9, 2010 at 3:02 am

p.s. sorry it’s so long. this little comment box is bigger than it looks- very Doctor who of it 🙂

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peajaye
Twitter:
October 9, 2010 at 8:36 am

You know, after reading the comments here and on Scary Mommy’s site, I’m thinking we should get together and petition the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to nominate Marinka & Scary Mommy for next year’s award – have it go to a couple of gals who are actually doing something to deserve it for a change. I mean, really, I’m totally heartened by the level of insight, honesty, and serious thought here. Thank you, ladies, for facilitating the discussion (even if it’s one Marinka objects to)!

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ABCfibi October 9, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Well said. It is 2010 for crying out loud. NoH8!!!!

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PsychMamma October 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

What truly blows my mind is the number of people who said things like:

“While I don’t agree with you, I respect how eloquently you articulated your opinion & that you had the guts to make it public”

Seriously???
Head. EXPLODING.

NO ONE would be saying that if we replace the words “gay” and lesbian” in her post with “black” or “Jewish” (or whatever group/label you want to put in). If she eloquently articulated: “My son’s teacher is sweet and intelligent and incredibly nice, BUT she’s black, and because black people have a different lifestyle than ours, I’m concerned about that influence seeping into the classroom.” WE WOULD ALL BE APPALLED AND OFFENDED. We would NOT applaud her for presenting her narrow-minded prejudice so calmly and intelligently.

No matter how eloquently and calmly you articulate your intolerance and judgy disapproval, it is STILL hateful and hurtful and does NOT deserve to be commended.

And, ridiculously, the whole issue is based on who another person chooses to love. How is love EVER wrong???

GAH!!

Head. Exploding.

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subwow
Twitter:
October 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I did not really go whole hog at Jill’s because I kind of over-commented when that whole “Be a good wife for your husband” thing happened. So thank you so much for writing this post. I think the whole “dialogue” is a chimera because we are not changing each other’s mind over there, and as I obsessively scroll through the almost-500 comments I was mentally taking down names/blogs that I should stay away from. Yes, I’ll admit with a minimum amount of embarrassment: that’s what I did. It’s like when I heard about some kids walking by the casket of a suicide victim while making fun of the deceased? I want to hack into some database somewhere to find their names because I want them to be put on a FBI/whatever watch list for future serial killers because they’ve got to be psychopaths. You know what hurts me the most in her post? “I have no problem with _____.” It’s like when people told me that they have no problem with Chinese. Or no problem with immigrants. Or even better, “I have no problem with people like you because you are the good ones.” I wish at that time I had not been so shocked that I remembered to say, “Thank you very much. I have no problem with bigots like you either. I just don’t want to have anything to do with you. Now disappear. Please.”

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
October 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm

The scariest people are the ones that are bigots and anti-semites and haters and they don’t even know it. That post made me ill. I, too, like Jill very much but I would never put that kind of hatred on my site.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
October 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm

P.S. I look forward to when the next generation comes of age and this is no longer even an issue.

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Loukia October 10, 2010 at 12:28 am

“…if you’re uncomfortable with your child’s teacher being gay, then you’re out of your fucking mind and I have no interest in continuing the conversation.” This is one of the many reasons I love and adore you, Marinka.
Great post. Since becoming a mother, my views on people who are ‘against’ or ‘anti’ gay people has reached another level altogether. As a mother, I cannot imagine not loving and supporting my child if they were gay and just being happy for them. Happiness for them is ALL I want, and health. Also, I don’t understand how anyone can simply not like someone who is gay. Like… what? I don’t get it. At all.

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tz October 10, 2010 at 1:15 am

wow –i have no words (well none that haven’t already been expressed) I’d like to get back to the real subject –math..OMG, I am so with you, what is with the new math? I finally just had to tell the kids,
‘ I have no idea what you guys are doing, but here’s the real way to do it’

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Scary Mommy
Twitter:
October 10, 2010 at 9:16 am

I left this comment on my own blog, but wanted to leave it here too:

Now that I have read through each and every response multiple times, I’d like to say one last thing: My intent for allowing this to be posted on my site was a hope that somehow, someone reading the comments might gain a new perspective. Obviously, Gay is more than OK. In a teacher, in a friend, in a child… whatever.

Bigotry exists. Racism exists. Anti-semitism exists. It does and it sucks. I think the only way that we can hope to move forward is by having discussions like these. Yes, we shouldn’t *have* to be having them in 2010, but the fact that someone wrote the post, thought the thoughts, shows how much we DO.

The fact that I have offended some of my gay friends saddens me and I apologize for that. That was the last thing I wanted to do. Having a post like this published on a site belonging to a conservative Christian woman would have gained little attention and would have been met with support. Here, it could actually make a difference.

At least I can hope.

{XOXO, Marinka. I love your readers.}

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Nicole
Twitter:
October 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Scary Mommy – You are so right this would not have gotten as big a response on a conservative blog nor on a blog hardly anyone read, so if it does change some people’s minds perhaps it was worth it. As someone who loves most of your posts, but doesn’t really know you, I in no way believed you support this view so just wanted you to know that. I’ve given up on changing adult minds, let’s work on the kids. Just today we were teaching our children that when someone on the playground uses “gay” as an insult, tell them not to. Don’t get into a fight, just slowly, every day, be an “upstander” (in the words of the school’s anti-bullying vocabulary), and tell those kids to find a new word.

Now candy-flavored vodka, that I am jumping on .

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anymommy October 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Wait, why are you discriminating against trees? I mean, social security numbers aren’t that special.

I jest. Poorly. I’m also incredibly late to the party, but I agree with you, discomfort with gay teachers doesn’t make sense to me. All teachers have sexual preferences of one type or another. Should we be uncomfortable with having any human being teach children? May I suggest trees as an alternative? But, they’d need those pesky SS#s.

Also, that math is fucked up. I had to look at it for several minutes and I get it, but WTF??? Memorization still works right? I mean, we do all still have brains.

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Alicia
Twitter:
October 10, 2010 at 9:01 pm

I read your post Friday, but I had to wait to read the guest post until now. I knew I’d be too upset.

I know exactly what you mean. TIRED. T-I-R-E-D of this discussion, among others.

I am an atheist mother of four (also in Texas). I sent my oldest kid to a private Christian school from pre-K to 1st. Why? Because it was the best fucking school for my kid at the time. Was I “worried” that they didn’t share my “belief system”? Not really. We TALKED about what we believed at home and what other people believe and why we believe what we do and how it’s absolutely okay for the kids to believe whatever they believe, as long as they arrive at these decisions THOUGHTFULLY. Because this is the one requirement in our family, the one thing they MUST do. Think.

Do I give a flying rat’s ass if I raise a Christian? Absolutely not. My oldest (9.5 years) considers himself Christian right now. We’ll see what happens with the other three.

“I wonder if people who reject organized religion are also being told that their children will grow up to be sheltered and naive? I mean, aren’t they keeping their children from the world too?” I can say, at least in my case (and in the cases of most other atheist/agnostic parents), HELL NO. And this accusation is what pisses me off. We are NOT the same. Trying to draw a connection from your bigotry to my judgments about you: inappropriate and misguided.

It pisses me off that all I try to teach my kids in this world is to love people and do good, kind things – and to THINK – and this bigotry and ignorance (veiled as a “belief system”) is what they’re met with. From people who purport to be “Christian.” As in CHRIST.

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Catootes
Twitter:
October 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Well, just about every other comment summed up my feelings exactly.

Hoorah for Scary Mommy opening up an important dialogue.

Super Hoorah to you for this: “I’ve had this discussion so many times and I’ve basically concluded that if you’re uncomfortable with your child’s teacher being gay, then you’re out of your fucking mind and I have no interest in continuing the conversation. Because to me it has the same value as arguing about whether trees should be given social security numbers. Insane and irrelevant.”

Extreme Boo-Hiss to the ignorant narrow minded religious wingnut who can’t see past their own prejudices.

There is no room in today’s world for bigotry of any kind.
Except for middle school algebra. That shit just sucks monster moose balls.

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Payton October 11, 2010 at 7:05 pm

The post was in poor taste, given recent events in the LGBT community (the suicides, the NY assaults, the negative rhetoric of the elections).

It is not the responsibility of the religious to judge; that’s their god’s weight to bear. But it is the responsibility of human beings to show kindness and compassion toward those less fortunate than themselves. And as someone who was able to marry the man she loves without trials, elections, or public discussions of morality, I’d say gay people are less fortunate than I am. And I’ll fulfill my obligation every way I can.

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Glamamom
Twitter:
October 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I’ve been angry for days and ultimately decided that I wouldn’t comment here or at Scary Mommy bc I refuse to expand this bigot’s platform. How does having a “discussion” help? From Texan Mama’s responses, it’s clear she doesn’t even understand what her words convey.

Then tonight, I was participating in a forum over at SITS Girls and found out that who but Texan Mama is my group’s “leader.” Can you fucking believe it? I too have ZERO tolerance.

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magpie October 12, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I’m gonna memorize this line: “you’re out of your fucking mind and I have no interest in continuing the conversation” – because I can think of lots of times it would come in handy.

Is part of it that life in NYC forces us to be more open than people in other parts of the country? Because I think they’re objecting to gay people from a purely hypothetical point of view, and being small minded and fearing of the unknown.

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