Scotties Toy Box

June 13, 2012

Orrin Hatch, 9 GOP Senators File Brief in 9th Circuit DOMA Case| News | Towleroad

Filed under: News — Scottie @ 19:22

Orrin Hatch, 9 GOP Senators File Brief in 9th Circuit DOMA Case| News | Towleroad.

Orrin Hatch, 9 GOP Senators File Brief in 9th Circuit DOMA Case

Orrin Hatch and nine other GOP senators filed an amicus brief in the 9th Circuit DOMA case this week objecting to Judge Jeffrey White’s statements regarding “animus” in his ruling striking down the law, Law.com reports:

J_whiteIn striking down DOMA in February, White had observed that “the legislative history is replete with expressed animus toward gay men and lesbians.” Specifically, White noted that some congressmen during floor debate had called homosexuality “immoral,” “depraved,” “unnatural,” “based on perversion” and “an attack on god’s principles.” Quoting Justice Anthony Kennedy, White said prejudice may be caused by “simple want of careful, rational reflection,” among other things.

White’s judgment of ‘animus’ is wholly subjective they argue:

Nothing in Supreme Court jurisprudence, the senators contend, “authorizes a court to strike down an otherwise constitutional law based on the belief that legislators individually, or the Congress as a whole, were motivated by ‘animus,’” states the brief, which is signed by Michael Stern of Fairfax, Va.

“Judicial ‘psychoanalysis’ of legislative motives, to use Justice Cardozo’s phrase, is a highly subjective exercise, which threatens needless friction between the branches,” the brief continues. “Scouring the congressional record for ‘sound-bites’ to divine and disparage the motives of individual legislators also chills the freedom of legislative speech that is the hallmark of robust democratic debate.”

Law.com adds:

Along with Hatch the senators joining as amici were Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Dan Coats of Indiana, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Richard Shelby of Alabama. A handful of current GOP senators who voted for DOMA did not sign onto the filing, including Jon Kyl and John McCain of Arizona, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Olympia Snowe of New Hampshire, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas.

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2012/06/orrin-hatch-9-gop-senators-file-brief-in-9th-circuit-doma-case.html#ixzz1xic0SsVI

They call it practice for a reason.

Filed under: My Life and Rants — Scottie @ 13:14

Four Doctors, four different idea’s of what is wrong and how to fix it!   Oh hello to all, draw a a chair and sit a while.  I am going to try to reassure you that A) I am not totally off my rocker…yet.  B) I love Ron enough to have a procedure done I don,t need and don’t want, just to reassure him.  C) my health is slowly improving from my hospital stay.

Ya a lot to try to get into one post…maybe we will skip A.  Takes a whole lot of writing for that one.  LOL

Well the week before I was hospital Ron and the nurses I worked with were sure, positive I was having heart attacks.   Ron knows that the younger you are when you have one the more likely you are to die.  He was panicking, he was so afraid I was going to have a huge heart attack and die, leaving him alone.  The nurses did not help as with their training they knew the symptoms, and they kept listening to my heart, chest, and lungs.  They were pushing Ron to get me into the hospital….they did not try with me because they know how stubborn I can be and I just don’t listen.

So the upstart is I have hyperthyroidism and there is a small possibility I may have had an internal bleed.   The funny thing is the Heart doctor was sure I had a heart problem, and put me through test after test after test trying to prove it.   I even took the nuclear imaging of my heart after the echo and the other scans did not show any problems.

The internal Doctor is sure I have an internal bleed.  He bases that on the H&H labs that say my red blood cells decrease…even though there was no sign of the blood exiting.

My primary Doctors P.A. saw the same labs and agreed with the other doctors that the thyroid labs are way off.  But she says that the decrease in red blood cells is a symptom of the Hyperthyroid.

However…I have Ron.  He looked up all the signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism.   He is sure I have both.  And that means I had to make an appointment with a G.I. doctor and one with an endocrinologist.

Of course every nurse Ron spoke to and every doctor he has told has told him the many things that are going to change about me when I start treatment.   All of which makes me really not want to be treated.   Right now my red blood cells are coming back up and so I am starting to have more energy.  I think I should just leave well enough alone.   But I have been with Ron 22 years, so I know better than that.

Hugs

mzAJL.jpg (640×1173)

Filed under: Animals, Pictures — Scottie @ 12:38

mzAJL.jpg (640×1173).

Wish I had a furry friend.

tumblr_m0u73inZUM1qghfy5o1_1280.png (794×372)

Filed under: Questions — Scottie @ 12:23

tumblr_m0u73inZUM1qghfy5o1_1280.png (794×372).

South Korea surrenders to creationist demands : Nature News & Comment

Filed under: News, opinion — Scottie @ 12:04

South Korea surrenders to creationist demands : Nature News & Comment.

South Korea surrenders to creationist demands

Publishers set to remove examples of evolution from high-school textbooks.

05 June 2012

The evolution of Archaeopteryx will be excluded from some South Korean high-school textbooks after a creationist campaign.

KLAUS HONAL/NATURFOTO HONAL/CORBIS

Mention creationism, and many scientists think of the United States, where efforts to limit the teaching of evolution have made headway in a couple of states1. But the successes are modest compared with those in South Korea, where the anti-evolution sentiment seems to be winning its battle with mainstream science.

A petition to remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks claimed victory last month after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) revealed that many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx. The move has alarmed biologists, who say that they were not consulted. “The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge,” says Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University.

The campaign was led by the Society for Textbook Revise (STR), which aims to delete the “error” of evolution from textbooks to “correct” students’ views of the world, according to the society’s website. The society says that its members include professors of biology and high-school science teachers.

The STR is also campaigning to remove content about “the evolution of humans” and “the adaptation of finch beaks based on habitat and mode of sustenance”, a reference to one of the most famous observations in Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. To back its campaign, the group highlights recent discoveries that Archaeopteryx is one of many feathered dinosaurs, and not necessarily an ancestor of all birds2. Exploiting such debates over the lineage of species “is a typical strategy of creation scientists to attack the teaching of evolution itself”, says Joonghwan Jeon, an evolutionary psychologist at Kyung Hee University in Yongin.


Even the nation’s leading science institute — the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology — has a creation science display on campus. “The exhibition was set up by scientists who believed in creation science back in 1993,” says Gab-duk Jang, a pastor of the campus church. The institute also has a thriving Research Association for Creation Science, run by professors and students, he adds.
The STR is an independent offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research (KACR), according to KACR spokesman Jungyeol Han. Thanks in part to the KACR’s efforts, creation science — which seeks to provide evidence in support of the creation myth described in the Book of Genesis — has had a growing influence in South Korea, although the STR itself has distanced itself from such doctrines. In early 2008, the KACR scored a hit with a successful exhibition at Seoul Land, one of the country’s leading amusement parks. According to the group, the exhibition attracted more than 116,000 visitors in three months, and the park is now in talks to create a year-long exhibition.

Antipathy to evolution

In a 2009 survey conducted for the South Korean documentary The Era of God and Darwin, almost one-third of the respondents didn’t believe in evolution. Of those, 41% said that there was insufficient scientific evidence to support it; 39% said that it contradicted their religious beliefs; and 17% did not understand the theory. The numbers approach those in the United States, where a survey by the research firm Gallup has shown that around 40% of Americans do not believe that humans evolved from less advanced forms of life.

“The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge.”

The roots of the South Korean antipathy to evolution are unclear, although Jeon suggests that they are partly “due to strong Christianity in the country”. About half of South Korea’s citizens practice a religion, mostly split between Christianity and Buddhism.

However, a survey of trainee teachers in the country concluded that religious belief was not a strong determinant of their acceptance of evolution3. It also found that 40% of biology teachers agreed with the statement that “much of the scientific community doubts if evolution occurs”; and half disagreed that “modern humans are the product of evolutionary processes”.

Until now, says Dayk Jang, the scientific community has done little to combat the anti-evolution sentiment. “The biggest problem is that there are only 5–10 evolutionary scientists in the country who teach the theory of evolution in undergraduate and graduate schools,” he says. Having seen the fierce debates over evolution in the United States, he adds, some scientists also worry that engaging with creationists might give creationist views more credibility among the public.

Silence is not the answer, says Dayk Jang. He is now organizing a group of experts, including evolutionary scientists and theologians who believe in evolution, to counter the STR’s campaign by working to improve the teaching of evolution in the classroom, and in broader public life

How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren | Katherine Stewart | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Filed under: News, opinion — Scottie @ 11:58

How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren | Katherine Stewart | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren

Good News Clubs’ evangelism in schools is already subverting church-state separation. Now they justify murdering nonbelievers

Child reading Bible

The story of Saul and the Amalekites has been used to justify genocide throughout the ages. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

The Bible has thousands of passages that may serve as the basis for instruction and inspiration. Not all of them are appropriate in all circumstances.

The story of Saul and the Amalekites is a case in point. It’s not a pretty story, and it is often used by people who don’t intend to do pretty things. In the book of 1 Samuel (15:3), God said to Saul:

“Now go, attack the Amalekites, and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.”

Saul dutifully exterminated the women, the children, the babies and all of the men – but then he spared the king. He also saved some of the tastier looking calves and lambs. God was furious with him for his failure to finish the job.

The story of the Amalekites has been used to justify genocide throughout the ages. According to Pennsylvania State UniversityProfessor Philip Jenkins, a contributing editor for the American Conservative, the Puritans used this passage when they wanted to get rid of the Native American tribes. Catholics used it against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics. “In Rwanda in 1994, Hutu preachers invoked King Saul’s memory to justify the total slaughter of their Tutsi neighbors,” writes Jenkins in his 2011 book, Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses (HarperCollins).

This fall, more than 100,000 American public school children, ranging in age from four to 12, are scheduled to receive instruction in the lessons of Saul and the Amalekites in the comfort of their own public school classrooms. The instruction, which features in the second week of a weekly “Bible study” course, will come from the Good News Club, an after-school program sponsored by a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). The aim of the CEF is to convert young children to a fundamentalist form of the Christian faith and recruit their peers to the club.

There are now over 3,200 clubs in public elementary schools, up more than sevenfold since the 2001 supreme court decision, Good News Club v Milford Central School, effectively required schools to include such clubs in their after-school programing.

The CEF has been teaching the story of the Amalekites at least since 1973. In its earlier curriculum materials, CEF was euphemistic about the bloodshed, saying simply that “the Amalekites were completely defeated.” In the most recent version of the curriculum, however, the group is quite eager to drive the message home to its elementary school students. The first thing the curriculum makes clear is that if God gives instructions to kill a group of people, you must kill every last one:

“You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left.”

“That was pretty clear, wasn’t it?” the manual tells the teachers to say to the kids.

Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads:

“The Amalekites had heard about Israel’s true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment.”

The instruction manual goes on to champion obedience in all things. In fact, pretty much every lesson that the Good News Club gives involves reminding children that they must, at all costs, obey. If God tells you to kill nonbelievers, he really wants you to kill them all. No questions asked, no exceptions allowed.

Asking if Saul would “pass the test” of obedience, the text points to Saul’s failure to annihilate every last Amalekite, posing the rhetorical question:

“If you are asked to do something, how much of it do you need to do before you can say, ‘I did it!’?”

“If only Saul had been willing to seek God for strength to obey!” the lesson concludes.

A review question in the textbook seeks to drive the point home further:

“How did King Saul only partly obey God when he attacked the Amalekites? (He did not completely destroy as God had commanded, he kept the king and some of the animals alive.)”

The CEF and the legal advocacy groups that have been responsible for its tremendous success over the past ten years are determined to “Knock down all doors, all the barriers, to all 65,000 public elementary schools in America and take the Gospel to this open mission field now! Not later, now!” in the words of a keynote speaker at the CEF’s national convention in 2010. The CEF wants to operate in the public schools, rather than in churches, because they know that young children associate the public schools with authority and are unable to distinguish between activities that take place in a school and those that are sponsored by the school.

In the majority opinion that opened the door to Good News Clubs, supreme court Justice Clarence Thomas reasoned that the activities of the CEF were not really religious, after all. He said that they could be characterized, for legal purposes, “as the teaching of morals and character development from a particular viewpoint”.

As Justices Souter and Stevens pointed out in their dissents, however, the claim is preposterous: the CEF plainly aims to teach religious doctrines and conduct services of worship. Thomas’s claim is particularly ironic in view of the fact that the CEF makes quite clear its intent to teach that no amount of moral or ethical behavior (pdf) can spare a nonbeliever from an eternity in hell.

Good News Clubs should not be in America’s public elementary schools. As I explain in my book, The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, the club exists mainly to give small children the false impression that their public school supports a particular creed. The clubs’ presence has produced a paradoxical entanglement of church and state that has ripped apart communities, degraded public education, and undermined religious freedom.

The CEF’s new emphasis on the genocide of nonbelievers makes a bad situation worse. Exterminist rhetoric has been on the rise among some segments of the far right, including some religious groups. At what point do we start taking talk of genocide seriously? How would we feel about a nonreligious group that instructs its students that if they should ever receive an order to commit genocide, they should fulfill it to the letter?

And finally, when does a religious group qualify as a “hate group”?

• On 11 June, the online edition of Guardian Letters published the following response from the Child Evangelism Fellowship:

The story of Saul and the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:3) is found in any version or edition of the Bibles of the Jewish, Catholic and Protestant faiths since the first manuscripts were inscribed. Only a misinterpretation of the cited passage could be used to buttress genocide (How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren, 30 May).

The goal of Child Evangelism Fellowship is the proper teaching of this passage, which is not an instruction in genocide. Though truly many brutal acts appear in both the Old and New Testaments, including the torture and crucifixion of Jesus by the Romans, nothing could be more un-Christian than the promotion of genocide of any group of human beings under the New Covenant introduced to the world by Jesus Christ.

CEF and the Good News Clubs would never teach children that God would instruct them, or anyone today, to commit genocide.

Reese R Kauffman
President, Child Evangelism Fellowship

Katherine Stewart replies:

Though I welcome Mr Kauffman’s comments, I regret to note that he seems to be unfamiliar with his group’s teaching materials. Nowhere in the lesson plan on the Amalekites does the CEF mention the “New Covenant” and its prohibition on genocide. Mr Kauffman claims the CEF “would never teach children that God would instruct them, or anyone today, to commit genocide”. And yet the CEF’s lesson plan on the Amalekites tells children that God wanted Saul “to go and completely destroy the Amalekites – people, animals, every living thing”. It also repeatedly tells children that the Amalekites deserved punishment for their “sinful unbelief”.

To be precise, the thrust of the CEF’s lesson is to teach obedience – that if God tells you to kill unbelievers, or do anything else for that matter, you must do exactly as he says. “King Saul should have been willing to seek God for strength to obey completely,” the lesson plan on the Amalekites reads, and in three separate places it instructs teachers, “Have children shout ‘God will help you obey!’”

There are many ways to teach the Christian faith to young children, many of which do not involve teaching obedience through the tale of the genocide of the Amalekites. Readers of the Guardian and parents of American school children are entitled to know which variety of the Christian religion the CEF is promoting in its public school clubs.

NC Considers Making Sea Level Rise Illegal | Plugged In, Scientific American Blog Network

Filed under: News, opinion — Scottie @ 11:36

NC Considers Making Sea Level Rise Illegal | Plugged In, Scientific American Blog Network.

NC Considers Making Sea Level Rise Illegal


 

According to North Carolina law, I am a billionaire. I have a full-time nanny for my children, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and I get to spend the entire year taking guitar lessons from Mark Knopfler. Oh, my avatar? I haven’t got around to changing it, but by law, I now look like George Clooney. There’s also a supermodel clause, but discussing the details would be boasting.

You think I’m kidding, but listen to me: I’m from North Carolina, and that’s how we roll. We take what we want to be reality, and we just make it law. So I’m having my state senator introduce legislation writing into law all the stuff I mentioned above. This is North Carolina, state motto: “Because that’s how I WANT it to be.”

You know, of course, about our passing May 8 of Amendment One, which has now written into our constitution anti-marriage discrimination against anyone who doesn’t fit one group’s image of marriage. It’s just as ugly as it sounds – just as ugly as the last time we wrote such marriage discrimination into our constitution, in 1875, when instead of protecting us against the idea of same-sex couples marrying, it was protecting us against racial miscegenation – down to the third generation, mind you. Good times!

Okay, though. These are hard days, people are crazyish, and you just have to soldier on, right? But then it turns out that North Carolina legislators are now tossing around bills that not only protect themselves from concepts that make them uncomfortable, they’re DETERMINING HOW WE MEASURE REALITY.

In a story first discussed by the NC Coastal Federation and given more play May 29 by the News & Observer of Raleigh and its sister paper the Charlotte Observer, a group of legislators from 20 coastal NC counties whose economies will be most affected by rising seas have legislated the words “Nuh-unh!” into the NC Constitution.

Okay, cheap shot alert. Actually all they did was say science is crazy. There is virtually universal agreement among scientists that the sea will probably rise a good meter or more before the end of the century, wreaking havoc in low-lying coastal counties. So the members of the developers’  lobbying group NC-20 say the sea will rise only 8 inches, because … because … well, SHUT UP, that’s because why.

That is, the meter or so of sea level rise predicted for the NC Coastal Resources Commission by a state-appointed board of scientists is extremely inconvenient for counties along the coast. So the NC-20 types have decided that we can escape sea level rise – in North Carolina, anyhow – by making it against the law. Or making MEASURING it against the law, anyhow.

Here’s a link to the circulated Replacement House Bill 819. The key language is in section 2, paragraph e, talking about rates of sea level rise: “These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of seas-level rise may be extrapolated linearly. …” It goes on, but there’s the core: North Carolina legislators have decided that the way to make exponential increases in sea level rise – caused by those inconvenient feedback loops we keep hearing about from scientists – go away is to make it against the law to extrapolate exponential; we can only extrapolate along a line predicted by previous sea level rises.

Which, yes, is exactly like saying, do not predict tomorrow’s weather based on radar images of a hurricane swirling offshore, moving west towards us with 60-mph winds and ten inches of rain. Predict the weather based on the last two weeks of fair weather with gentle breezes towards the east. Don’t use radar and barometers; use the Farmer’s Almanac and what grandpa remembers.

Things like marriage rules involve changing social mores and those who feel that certain types of marriage are wrong can be understood and even forgiven. They’re certainly on the wrong side of history, but it’s a social issue where emotion understandably holds sway over things like evidence.

But while the rising sea may engender emotion, it exists in a world of fact, of measurable evidence and predictable results, where scientists using their best methods have agreed on a reasonable – and conservative – estimate of a meter or more of rising seas in the coming century. In 2007 theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gave ahesitant estimate of up to 59 centimeters of rise —but even two years later that estimate already appeared low and scientists began to expect a rise of a meter or more.

No matter in North Carolina. We’ve got resorts to build and we don’t care what the rest of the ocean does – our sea isn’t going to rise by more than 15.6 inches. Because otherwise it’s against the law.

No information on whether the scientists on the panel, like Galileo, have stamped their feet and muttered “And yet it rises!” But there’s no doubt that NC’s legislative inquisitors will be classified along with Galileo’s papal persecutors and their own forebears who outlawed interracial marriage, as on the wrong side of history.

But these folks will also be wet.

I’d love to write more, but I have chores to do and kids to manage. Man — all this housework after a full day of work at my desk just doesn’t seem right. There oughtta be a law. Hey, wait a minute ….

Virginia Lawmaker Says ‘Sea Level Rise’ Is Liberal Propaganda

Filed under: News — Scottie @ 11:05

Virginia Lawmaker Says ‘Sea Level Rise’ Is Liberal Propaganda.

Virginia Lawmaker Says ‘Sea Level Rise’ Is A ‘Left Wing Term,’ Excises It From State Report On Coastal Flooding

Virginia’s legislature commissioned a $50,000 study to determine the impacts of climate change on the state’s shores. To greenlight the project, they omitted words like “climate change” and “sea level rise” from the study’s description itself. According to the House of Delegates sponsor of the study, these are “liberal code words,” even though they are noncontroversial in the climate science community.

Instead of using climate change, sea level rise, and global warming, the study uses terms like “coastal resiliency” and “recurrent flooding.” Republican State Delegate Chris Stolle, who steered the legislation, cut “sea level rise” from the draft. Stolle has also said the “jury’s still out” on humans’ impact on global warming:

State Del. Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, who insisted on changing the “sea level rise” study in the General Assembly to one on “recurrent flooding,” said he wants to get political speech out of the mix altogether.

He said “sea level rise” is a “left-wing term” that conjures up animosities on the right. So why bring it into the equation?

“What people care about is the floodwater coming through their door,” Stolle said. “Let’s focus on that. Let’s study that. So that’s what I wanted us to call it.”

There is a resistance to calling science what it is, even in the studies commissioned to investigate the impact of climate change. The reality is that coastal cities are spending millions to respond to rising sea levels, like Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk spends $6 million a year to elevate roads, improve drainage, and help homeowners raise their houses, according to BBC. Already, 5 percent to 10 percent of the city’s lowest-lying neighborhoods have heavy flooding. The world’s largest naval base, based in Norfolk, is spending hundreds of millions to replace piers to withstand rising water. Yet they manage to make no mention of climate change or sea level rise in their response strategy.

Focus on the Family Blames Gay Teens and Activists for Unhappiness | GLAAD

Filed under: News, opinion — Scottie @ 11:03

Focus on the Family Blames Gay Teens and Activists for Unhappiness | GLAAD.

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY BLAMES GAY TEENS AND ACTIVISTS FOR UNHAPPINESS

Focus on the Family affiliate CitizenLink said in a radio segment this morning that teens “who identify as homosexual and transgender” are unhappy and engage in risky behavior not because they face discrimination, but rather because of how they self-identify. This claim is in response to a recently released report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), called Growing Up LGBT in America.

According to the report, which is the largest known survey of self-identified LGBT youth, when compared to non-LGBT peers, LGBT teens are half as likely to report being happy, and are twice as likely to be physically and verbally abused, be socially excluded, and to experiment with alcohol and drugs.

In the radio report, CitizenLink’s Jeff Johnston says, “there’s [sic] lots of kids who are confused about their sexuality and identity, and for years, groups like HRC and other activist groups have encouraged them to self-identify as gay or transgender. That’s just not good or healthy for these kids.”

The not-so-subtle implication here is that if LGBT youth, which CitizenLink simplified to “homosexual and transgender” youth, did notidentify as such, they would be happier. Embedded in numbers of relentless abuse and pervasive discrimination, CitizenLink also seems to be implying that if these teens were not open about who they are, the people around them wouldn’t have to bully them all the time.

A group that defines “forging a better future for our children” as part of its mission, CitizenLink is not hesitating to blame the young victims.

“They’re confused about their sexuality and identity,” Johnston continues, “and Jesus came to seek and save the lost, including kids like these.”

The radio segment would have listeners believe that the struggles faced by LGBT youth come from within, that they are solely responsible for their own unhappiness and thus solely responsible for improving their situation. Calling these teens “confused” and “lost,” and encouraging them to be “saved” writes off their identity as nothing more than a reactionary response to pressure from “HRC and other activist groups.”

Along with seeking to invalidate LGBT teens’ orientation, CitizenLink overlooks the many social and environmental factors contributing to the lower rates of happiness, as outlined in the report.

 Asked to describe the most important problem in their lives, the LGBT teens identified non-accepting families, bullying problems in school, and fear of being out or open as the most common answers. Nevertheless, a strong majority, around 80%, report believing they will be happy eventually and things will get better. More than half believe they will have to move to a different city or town in order to achieve happiness.

“I live in such a narrow-minded community. It’s really hard on me,” says an unidentified youth in the HRC report. “I face so much ignorance on a daily basis.”

“This is me, this is how I was born and I’m happy with it,” says another teen.

It is clear from the HRC report that for LGBT teens, simply being an LGBT teen is not inherently discouraging; rather, the negative messages they hear in their communities, from institutions, and from the media–such as this degrading and evasive report from Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink—is what yields unhappiness. The young folks being targeted here should be applauded for maintaining their optimism and looking towards building a bright future in which they are open about and proud of themselves. If the people at CitizenLink and Focus on the Family are truly dedicated to improving the lives of youth in America, they should stop acting like (read: stop being) the very forces by which such youth feel targeted and hurt.

For more information on how to build inclusive and supportive environments for LGBT students, check out the links from this morning’s related post from Think Progress.

Have faith…wish I could

Filed under: Cartoons — Scottie @ 08:43

 

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