Prayer, flag belong in the classroomOver 20 years ago, I...

the Forum

February 24, 1993

Prayer, flag belong in the classroom

Over 20 years ago, I spoke before the Baltimore school board against the teaching of sex education in our schools. I said it would not teach moral values, just the mechanics. I was laughed at and insulted by several of the school board members.

Well, my esteemed educators (so- called), our country is reaping what was sowed those many years ago.

We have many young people who may know all there is to know about sex, except abstinence, but very little about reading, writing and arithmetic, and nothing about the moral values that make people and nations great.

There was a time when parents felt very comfortable in sending their children to school, because the school was an extension of the things that were taught at home, such as love of God, family and country.

I lay at the door of our school system the charge of depriving our young of their innocence and their carefree happy days of youth and the comfort of knowing there is a God they can turn to.

The Bible and prayer were taken out of our schools and replaced by the motto, "If it feels good, do it," not caring about consequences.

I am sick and tired of people who are in charge of educating our children teaching them very little about how to make it in the world by hard work and honesty.

They do not teach love and respect of country, family and pride in accomplishment.

Why aren't they taught that America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth?

Americans feed, clothe and share their blessings with other people of the world more than any of the other nations do. We are always there first and with the most.

Our gallant fighting men lay down their lives in foreign countries so that the starving people of the land receive the food we give, and it will go to the people and not their repressive war lords.

Wake up, America, and clean out our schools of these under-educated, America-bashing educators. Return the standard of excellence for teachers and students alike.

Bring God and prayer and allegiance to our flag back in the school room.

Grace Ibex

Baltimore

Gays lose battles for human rights

A battle is taking place nationwide. Not that it did not exist before, but increasingly the eye of the nation is being focused on a human rights movement.

The gay and lesbian community is fast becoming a political force, many voices speaking as one in defense of our civil rights.

Anti-human-rights legislation in the form of discriminatory laws focusing on gays and lesbians is increasing. Laws such as Amendment 2 in Colorado are infringements on human rights no different from those imposed on people for their race, sex, or religious beliefs.

A single aspect of a person to the neglect of all others is isolated and used to identify that person. Diversity is condemned, made to seem a threat to the status quo. In reality, the condemnation is the actual threat.

We, the gay and lesbian community, are not a fringe element. Our sexual orientation is not a means by which to identify us, but rather an aspect of our humanity.

As consenting adults, we ask for no more than the preservation of our right to pursue happiness. Our sexual orientation does not affect our ability to function in the work place, the family or any other area of society.

There are those that would say that we are seeking special privileges. All that we ask is that we are not isolated and condemned for our sexual orientation. This unnatural condition of discriminatory practices prevents us as members of society from contributing to our fullest potential.

I speak as one who has suffered injustice. Until two years ago, I was a teacher. When the administration discovered that I was gay, they dismissed me on that basis alone.

I was told that these two aspects of myself, as educator and as gay man, were paradoxical at best, though they were quite separate and distinct aspects of my life.

This is but one isolated case of injustice drawn from my own personal experiences. But one is too many in a country that claims liberty and justice for all.

I write this letter as an appeal for social tolerance. One need not agree with my choice of sexual partners to agree that as a human being, I deserve equal protection under the law.

The freedom to pursue the career and family status that will result in my happiness and the realization of my fullest potential both as an individual and as a member of society is my inalienable right.

And until such time as ignorance and prejudice no longer deny me my equal rights, laws must be passed to protect the gay and lesbian community against such draconian attitudes.

We ask you to stand with us in our appeal for the preservation of our human rights. Judge us not by our sexuality, but rather by our humanity. Oppose publicly and vocally those who would isolate and condemn us on the basis of sex, religion, race and sexual orientation.

We ask you for your support not in seeking special privileges, just equal protection under the law.

Christopher Tegeler

Baltimore

Ease up on Michael

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