Friday, April 25, 2008

Ahhh...the Good Ol' Days!

Alright...alright. From the man who has brought us the prestigious website Teens 4 Christ comes a blog of epic proportions! And by that, I mean, a relatively mediocre site filled with the ranting and raving of a fundamentalist two steps out of touch with anything resembling reality.

Of particular interest is this little number: "SCHOOL -- 1957 vs. 2007"

"Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1957 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2007 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counsellors called in for traumatized students and teachers."

The only thing that I get out of this is that general high regard for firearms is a good thing, and that paranoia over them is bad. I couldn't agree more...unfortunately, it is more common that paranoia and high regard for weaponry go hand in hand nowadays (and probably to a smaller extent in previous time periods). Besides, on the occasion where a gun was brought on to school property with such fashion, teachers did nothing, and someone died as a result...well...I am sure that if it affected you, you'd be just as pissed as anyone else.

Scenario : Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2007 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Swiggety schwa? So...playing with the idea that fistfights have no potential problems, at all, huh? A kid who lived in my hometown died in a fight in which the losing party decided to elevate the challenge in his desperation, and beat the superior fist-fighter to death with a baseball bat. But, yeah...if it weren't for that, I'm sure they would have become friends...

Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.
1957 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Paddling? Homoerotic, much? Besides, how is it that you think that physically coercing a child into silence out of fear is less harmful than Ritalin (which is not supposed to be taken in large doses, is administered by parents, not as a disciplinary technique, and only calms them down, doesn't make them catatonic). Also, ADD is not a disability that I am aware of.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

Wow. Just wow. He would only be arrested for child abuse if he were particularly brutal (hell, we barely get to nab the people who put their children through absolute hell in their abusiveness, so I think John Q. Paddling should be fine when it comes to litigation). Corporal punishment is not a surefire means to make children successful, and how the hell does foster care correlate with gang activity?

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1957 - Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2007 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

W. T. F. Yes, some prescriptions are a little too strong to have in school, because for all the faculty knows, you are hocking oxycontin to freshmen in order to pay for gas money. But, aspirin is far from that, and would be allowed for the most part (though, in some schools, the school nurse is a little reluctant to dish aspirin out, but that's a different issue).

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

This has never happened, ever, and most likely will never happen as long as there are white men in Congress. And probably will not happen, ever, since, as long as English is the predominant language in the country, they cannot allow people to graduate and enter the workforce unless they have a sufficient grasp of it (whether they are white or not), which your schadenfreude drenched conclusion has its underlying premise.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
1957 - Ants die.
2007 - BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Again, a jab at excessive paranoia regarding our security (this time, in reference to terrorism rather than school shootings). happen to take a good look at who it is that actually afraid of terrorist attacks occuring within the confines of their everyday lives. Because...well...they are people with yours!

Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy .

I don't think anyone has been accused of being a sexual predator for a hug (though they may get filed with sexual harassment if it was unwanted...more common for males hugging females than the reverse, presumably). The teachers who are actually arrested for being sexual predators ARE actually sexual predators, and, in reality, many of the teachers that are actually guilty of having sex with their students are not caught, to say nothing of other authority figures (especially parents). And...people who are actually sexually abused in a fashion outside of your baseless scenario, do often require therapy, whether or not they actually receive it. Others do not need it, but, hey, some people are just stoics.

Anyway, that is all the contrived and ill-informed parody that Brother Randy could muster, so I assume that I do not speak much more on this little gem. I'll admit that he makes a few good points in his deliberate exaggerations, but in many of his other ones, he is mocking and downplaying legitimate concerns that we have for our society and ones that need to be addressed. Paddling your son is not child abuse, in of itself, and hugging a student is not sexual misconduct, but to suggest that accuastions of these crimes are almost entirely limited to an overestimation of harm done to the children is to dismiss the issue entirely.

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he brings up the intentionally weak cases of child abuse and sexual predation to make a critique about jumping to conclusions and rushing into litigation, rather than taking it as a tacit dismissal of a majority of these claims as "not that bad", effectively. But, really...this guy holds his romanticized view of violence in the 1950's in a little too high esteem. rather telling, actually.

No comments: