91 responses

  1. Priya Lynn
    October 20, 2009

    So, tell us David, which takes precedence, religiously devout students’ desire to tell gays they are going to hell or gay students’ desire to be free from torment? Tell us who suffers more from not having their desires fulfilled.

  2. David Blakeslee
    October 20, 2009

    More on Treaty of Tripoli,

    “The translation of the Treaty of Tripoli by Barlow has been found faulty, and there is doubt whether Article 11 in the version of the treaty ratified by Congress corresponds to anything of the same purport in the Arabic version.[18]

    In 1931 Hunter Miller completed a commission by the United States government to analyze United States’s treaties and to explain how they function and what they mean to the United States’s legal position in relationship with the rest of the world.[19] According to Hunter Miller’s notes, “the Barlow translation is at best a poor attempt at a paraphrase or summary of the sense of the Arabic” and “Article 11… does not exist at all.”[15]”

    From Wiki.

  3. David Blakeslee
    October 20, 2009

    @ Emily K and Prya Lynn,

    I think your concerns are similar…and reasonably voiced.

    As a vocal Christian adolescent in a public high school in the 70′s I don’t recall sharing my faith by talking about fellow students sins…I don’t recall any of my friends doing so either.

    I recall being sought out by other students who were suffering for a variety of reasons, tough families, adolescent drama, confusion about life. I encouraged them to come to church and read the Bible.

    Some did.

    I didn’t call girls or boys who were sexually active fornicators.

    So, I don’t recognize the Christians you have seen and experienced. When I have run into them, at the periphery of my fellowship, I am eager to confront them.

    My prayer is that this ethic will be encouraged in Christian adolescents who see gay and lesbian adolescents ridiculed and bullied.

  4. David Blakeslee
    October 20, 2009

    I think Christians have the greater responsibility to bear the brunt of any injustice, in service of protecting the weak the and vulnerable…

    Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for a friend.

  5. Priya Lynn
    October 20, 2009

    David, you didn’t answer my question, not that I’m surprised. What you believe can be gleaned from your previous comment:

    “To protect GBLT adolescents he runs the risk of demonizing religiously devout adolescents.”

    You think religious students should be free to speak against gay relationships, that it’d be a tragedy to criticize or discourage them from doing so. You think gay students’ need to be free from torment is subordinate to religious student’s desire to torment them. If that wasn’t the case you wouldn’t think there was any risk of the protection of LGBT students resulting in the demonization of religious students. You know no one’s going to criticize religous students for being religious they’re only going to criticize them for expressing negative ideas about gays.

  6. Priya Lynn
    October 20, 2009

    And David, I don’t appreciate your disingenous claims about protecting the weak. When it comes right down to it you’re against protecting gay students from torment by religous students who are “merely sharing the bible”.

  7. Cole
    October 20, 2009

    Right on Emily K and Priya Lynn.

  8. werdna
    October 21, 2009

    @Blakeslee-
    You might want to read all the way to the end of the Wikipedia article on the Treaty of Tripoli where you’ll find this:

    It is important to note, though, that as Miller said:

    “It is to be remembered that the Barlow translation is that which was submitted to the Senate (American State Papers, Foreign Relations, II, 18-19) and which is printed in the Statutes at Large and in treaty collections generally; it is that English text which in the United States has always been deemed the text of the treaty.”

    However the Arabic and English texts differ, the Barlow translation (Article 11 included) was the text presented to, read aloud in, and ratified unanimously by the U.S. Senate.

    Thus, despite your attempts to obfuscate, Burr’s point still stands: whatever the religious beliefs of the founders, the US is not and has never been a Christian nation. If you’re going to credit every positive act of a Christian throughout history as an example of “value[s] in the Christian community” then you’ll also have to accept responsibility for every negative act as well…

    As for the rest of your concern troll routine: *yawn*.

  9. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    @ Pryla Lynn,

    “You know no one’s going to criticize religous students for being religious they’re only going to criticize them for expressing negative ideas about gays.”

    Actually, it is quite common, I certainly experienced it a number of times during my adolescent years.

    A civil society encourages sharing different view points…even when it creates tension, uncertainty, confusion and anxiety about our personal identity and strongly held beliefs.

  10. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    @ Pryla Lynn,

    “When it comes right down to it you’re against protecting gay students from torment by religous students who are “merely sharing the bible”.”

    That doesn’t sound like me or my rhetoric…I think you have me confused with someone else.

    Using the Bible in a manipulative, degrading manner…well, in my tradition, that is something that the devil does. Encouraging Christians to use it to TORMENT gays and lesbians, in my opinion, would be the devil’s work.

  11. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    @ wereda,

    Yes, the whole Wiki article is important. I wanted to draw attention to the emphasis in Article 11 that the treaty sought to create a solid secular identity about the US to allay fears in Muslim countries that we were driven by a religious system to overthrow or oppose them…we were not and are not.

    I don’t think “obfuscate” is a fair description, as I included broader selections and a place for readers to do further research.

    The word “obfuscate” is probably better applied to Burr, who provided a tiny quote and no reference.

  12. Duncan
    October 21, 2009

    In all this discussion, one thing has not come up: What Jennings actually thinks of religiously devout students.
    Blakeslee, the onus is on you to show that he does indeed have a view that is not nuanced and realistic. Please give some references, something that he authored and still stands by.
    On another note: atheists should remember that every ethical system is “made up” by humans. Humanism is religious faith without the fancy trappings.
    I do myself believe that that makes all the difference, but it’s something to keep in mind.

  13. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    Duncan,

    This is a very fair challenge.

    Jennings original contribution to the Montgomery county sex education curriculum (through GLSEN) made numerous references to religion.

    I believe all the references to religion were of the demonizing type (against inter-racial marriage; in support of slavery).

    The judge through out the curriculum as advocating for a particular view of religion (I believe).

    Jennings’ view of religion in this curriculum simplified it to the point of a characature (sp)…

    Something that has often been done to GLBT folks, wrongly.

    Regarding myths, religion and atheism. Your assessment is deeply appreciated.

    I was surprised to learn that early humanism was not Secular, but deeply rooted in religious practice and thought. I’ll see if I can find the reference to support this assertion (early 14th century Italy, I think).

  14. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    the judge “threw”

  15. Priya Lynn
    October 21, 2009

    David said “That doesn’t sound like me or my rhetoric…I think you have me confused with someone else.”.

    Right, you don’t tell gays they’re going to hell and deserve eternal torture, you encourage them to read the bible which says they are worthy of death, must be killed and eternally tortured. You’re a real sweet guy all right.

    David said “Using the Bible in a manipulative, degrading manner…well, in my tradition, that is something that the devil does. Encouraging Christians to use it to TORMENT gays and lesbians, in my opinion, would be the devil’s work.”.

    B.S. You encourage people to read the bible and accept it as it is. It makes it clear people will be eternally tortured for the mere thought crime of not believing properly, for breaking confusing and contradictory rules. By your own logic, encouraging people to read the bible as you’ve admitted you do is the devil’s work. You can’t encourage people to read the bible and also claim you aren’t tormenting gays and those who believe differently.

    I said “You know no one’s going to criticize religous students for being religious they’re only going to criticize them for expressing negative ideas about gays.”

    David replied “Actually, it is quite common, I certainly experienced it a number of times during my adolescent years.”

    Your original point was that in protecting LGBTs Jennings runs the risk of demonizing religious students. The protection of LGBTs in no way requires criticizing religious students unless those students are tormenting gay students with their dogma saying that its wrong to be gay and gays are going to hell. So unless you’re defending such actions by religious students its quite simply a lie to say protecting LGBTs runs the risk of demonizing religious students.

  16. Christopher Waldrop
    October 21, 2009

    The protection of LGBTs in no way requires criticizing religious students unless those students are tormenting gay students with their dogma saying that its wrong to be gay and gays are going to hell.

    Therein lies the problem. While it’s not true of all religious students, or all religious people for that matter, but I’ve known several who reserve the right to demonize others. When asked not to demonize others, when asked to be respectful and tolerant of those who don’t share their beliefs, they claim they are victims.

  17. Priya Lynn
    October 21, 2009

    Right Christopher. That’s exactly what’s at the heart of David’s statement that in protecting LGBTs Jennings runs the risk of demonizing religious students.

  18. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    @ Priya Lynn,

    I don’t think you know me…your judgments may fit precisely a real group of Christians you wish to identify but your clouding our conversation by making many assumptions about me.

    My original point was the way Jennings wants to protect LGBT adolescents:

    “You are wrong about me here, I think Jennings has done exactly what you say and should be commended and honored.

    If he can strongly demonstrate a more nuanced and realistic view of the religiously devout, he is worthy of a public policy position…I think he has been weak in this area.

    To protect GLBT adolescents he runs the risk of demonizing religiously devout adolescents.”

    The assessment is address to Jennings, in reaction to his judicially recommended curriculum (based upon his injection of a perception of religion in that curriculum).

    The criticism is “the way Jennings seeks to protect GBLT students runs the risk….”

    It is hard to communicate when people don’t read your actual words or context.

  19. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    excuse me “judicially rejected curriculum”

  20. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    @ Prayla,

    So called practicing Christians have much more to fear from God’s judgment than any ‘sinner…’

    Matthew 13:24…

    The beam and the speck also comes to mind.

    There are many ways to confront Christians in the public arena about their unChristian behavior without derogating their faith.

    Using religion to devalue others and elevate yourself is a core, repetitive criticism that Christ makes of the religiously devout.

  21. Priya Lynn
    October 21, 2009

    David said “The criticism is “the way Jennings seeks to protect GBLT students runs the risk….” It is hard to communicate when people don’t read your actual words or context.”

    That’s not what you said, go back and read your original comment – you can’t weasle your way out of it now. You said “To protect GBLT adolescents he runs the risk of demonizing religiously devout adolescents.”.

    Its hard to communicate when people lie about their actual words or context. You stated that the protection of LGBT students was in direct conflict with the acceptance of religious students. That’s not the case unless you support religious students telling gay students its wrong to be gay and gays are going to hell. You’ve attempted to shy away from admitting that but you acknowledge you advise gays students to read the bible which itself says this.

    I say you’re attempting to hide your true motives and that will be proven if you decline to answer these questions in a straightforward manner:

    Do you support anti-bullying programs that specifically say its wrong to bully people for being gay – yes or no?

    If a gay child asks you what happens after they die if they were married to a same sex partner, what do you tell them?

    Which takes precedence, religiously devout students’ right to tell gays what the bible says about them or gay students’ right to be free from such condemnation? Who suffers more from not having their desires fulfilled?

  22. William
    October 21, 2009

    David Blakeslee,

    I think that it would be helpful for the purposes of this discussion if you could give some examples of ways in which religiously devout adolescents might share their faith with GLBT students which you would NOT regard as harassment, and some examples of ways of sharing their faith which you WOULD regard as harassment.

    I should also like to know this: do you think that it’s permissible for religiously devout adolescents to concern themselves with the sexuality of their GLBT peers when their concern hasn’t been requested and clearly isn’t wanted?

  23. Priya Lynn
    October 21, 2009

    David, its Priya, not Pryra, not Prayla, PRIYA.

  24. Priya Lynn
    October 21, 2009

    David said “There are many ways to confront Christians in the public arena about their unChristian behavior without derogating their faith.”.

    But sharing the bible is Christian behavior, and the bible does say gays deserve death, must be put to death, and will be eternally tortured. If you don’t believe this, why do you tell people to read the bible with no cautions saying “this part of it is wrong”?

  25. Chris McCoy
    October 21, 2009

    David Blakeslee said:

    I don’t think you know me…your judgments may fit precisely a real group of Christians you wish to identify but your clouding our conversation by making many assumptions about me.

    You are making a Fallacy of Composition by insinuating that because a) you profess to be Christian, and b) you hold a particular belief, that c) all Christians hold the same belief; while at the same time, accusing Priya Lynn of committing the opposite, a Fallacy of Division, namely that you are not the same as all other Christians.

    David Blakeslee said:

    If he can strongly demonstrate a more nuanced and realistic view of the religiously devout, he is worthy of a public policy position…I think he has been weak in this area.

    I think the Freedom of Religion clause of the 1st Amendment suggests that Jennings does not need to make any statements to cajole any specific Religious group about how a Government Body should kowtow to their special interests.

    I support an Educational system that is blind to any and all religious demands. If parents want their religion to be taught to their children, they should take their children out of public school and place them any of the thousands of privately funded schools that were established for that reason.

  26. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    @ Priya Lynn,

    I did not state this:

    “You stated that the protection of LGBT students was in direct conflict with the acceptance of religious students.”

    You have repeatedly misrepresented me…you are battling other enemies here.

    I cannot engage in a conversation when you can’t read what I actually wrote…or if you only attend to a quote without it’s context…I don’t think we can move on if you are not able to do this.

    To address your questions:

    Do you support anti-bullying programs that specifically say its wrong to bully people for being gay – yes or no?

    Yes.

    If a gay child asks you what happens after they die if they were married to a same sex partner, what do you tell them?

    I would tell them that there are many viewpoints on this matter. If they were asking me what I believe…that is a different matter. I would make certain that they understood it was my belief; and one they may or may not share and that there were other views and some Christians who disagree with my view.

    Which takes precedence, religiously devout students’ right to tell gays what the bible says about them or gay students’ right to be free from such condemnation?

    What takes precedence is to love you neighbor as yourself, behaviorally. After that, as a Christian, you are called to put the rights of others ahead of your own. After that…

    Who suffers more from not having their desires fulfilled?

    All humans suffer, it is the nature of things.

    Prya…I think you have Christians confused with Fred Phelps.

  27. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    I did it again! Very sorry Priya

  28. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    @ William

    “do you think that it’s permissible for religiously devout adolescents to concern themselves with the sexuality of their GLBT peers when their concern hasn’t been requested and clearly isn’t wanted?”

    No…

    As part of course curriculum (if it is a topic in a class, for example) then I don’t think we can control speech on this topic and still have liberal education. The Christian must listen respectfully to those who disagree with him, even though he may disagree…and visa versa.

    “I think that it would be helpful for the purposes of this discussion if you could give some examples of ways in which religiously devout adolescents might share their faith with GLBT students which you would NOT regard as harassment, and some examples of ways of sharing their faith which you WOULD regard as harassment.”

    Not Harrassment: God Loves You. He calls us to Love Him and Love eachother. These are the highest commandments. Christ Showed us what love looks like.

    Harrassment: You (unlike me, implied) are going to hell because you love your same sex. I have a right to publicly judge you because I can visibly identify what I believe your sins are (mine are not as easily visible). This is hateful. Unwanted…unasked for…unnecessary. Unchristian.

    It might be protected free speech…and if that is what the Courts ultimately decide, I will work with the GLBT community to help turn such spiritual attacks against their attacker.

  29. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    I really believe that what you see as a religious attack is a narcissistic attack.

  30. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    @ Emily K,

    “If Christians students kept telling Jewish students they were going to hell, you can bet anti-bullying measures would be taken.

    So in essence, the same anti-bullying policies that protect Jews from being turned into pariahs by “devout Bible-believing Christians” are meant to also protect kids who are sexual minorities.”

    I think this is a good idea…a very useful framework.

  31. Priya Lynn
    October 21, 2009

    David said “I did not state this:

    “You stated that the protection of LGBT students was in direct conflict with the acceptance of religious students.””

    That was a paraphrase. What you said was “To protect GBLT adolescents he runs the risk of demonizing religiously devout adolescents.”.
    The former was a fair characterization of your latter comment. You tried to weasle out of the implications of what you said by falsely claiming you had said “the way jennings seeksto protect LGBT…”. There’s a world of difference between those two statmenets, the first says there is a conflict between protecting LGBT students and acceptance of religious students, the second claims the problem is not protecting LGBT students per se, but the way it might be done. You said the first and not the second and I have little doubt that it betrays your true beliefs on this matter – you don’t want LGBT students protected from religious students “just sharing the bible”.

    Now to my questions. You answered the first in a straightforward manner. You support anti-bullying programs that specifically say its wrong to be gay -good.

    The next question was:
    “If a gay child asks you what happens after they die if they were married to a same sex partner, what do you tell them?”

    You said “I would tell them that there are many viewpoints on this matter. If they were asking me what I believe…that is a different matter. I would make certain that they understood it was my belief; and one they may or may not share and that there were other views and some Christians who disagree with my view.”.

    Just like I suspected, you dodged the question and didn’t answer at all. Obviously the child would be asking you what you believe, not asking for the tripe you typed out. We both know why you don’t want to answer this, because if you were honest you’d admit you’d have told that child its a sin to be gay and they would be eternally tortured after death. Oh, you’d have dressed it up in euphemisms like “seperation from god” and the like but in the end you’d be tormenting that gay child just like you claimed you would not do, just like you claimed good Christians shouldn’t.

    Next question:
    “Which takes precedence, religiously devout students’ right to tell gays what the bible says about them or gay students’ right to be free from such condemnation?”

    You answered “What takes precedence is to love you neighbor as yourself, behaviorally. After that, as a Christian, you are called to put the rights of others ahead of your own. After that…”.

    Once again, you dodged the question and failed to answer and its pretty clear why. If you thought gay students should be free from such condemnation you would have said so instead of changing the subject. You don’t want to admit the truth – when a decision has to be made you’d support the religious student’s right to “share what the bible says” over the gay student’s right to be free from such condemnation.

    Next question “Who suffers more from not having their desires fulfilled?”

    You answered. “All humans suffer, it is the nature of things.”.

    I never asked you that, I asked you who, in this specific situation suffers more from not having their desires met, the relgious student “sharing the bible”, or the gay student who wants to live without condemnation? Once again, your attempt to change the subject instead of providing a straightforward answer is a kind of answer in itself. Its pretty clear that its going to hurt a gay kid more to be condemned by someone “sharing the bible” than the religious kid would be hurt by keeping his beliefs to himself. You don’t want to be honest and forthcoming about this because to admit the truth would suggest that a gay students right to be free from condemnation should come before a religious student’s right to “share the bible” – you would be against that but are too dishonest to say so directly.

    You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing David. You put forth all this talk about love and protecting the weak, but that’s not who you really are. You’d talk a good show to a gay child, you’d ingratiate your self to them, talk about love and friendship, and then after they think you are their friend you’d ease them into a euphemistic talk about how its wrong to be gay and they are going to hell if they enter a loving same sex relationship. You won’t admit it, but your dancing around the questions I asked demonstrates the truth of the matter.

  32. Priya Lynn
    October 21, 2009

    Let’s try it again David. A gay child asks you what YOU believe happens after they die if they were married to a same sex partner, what do you tell them? This isn’t a “different matter” now, give a straightforward and honest answer this time.

  33. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    @ Priya,

    All value systems make demands on us. Religion is no different. It is impossible to enter any value system and know all the costs at the outset.

    Eventually, some value systems cost too much and we have to abandon them to preserve our own health and well-being.

    I have loved people through this process as they have been hurt by what they discovered the Church required…I have supported their decision to seek an identity and support system elsewhere. I wish them well, and trust that God continues to work in their lives.

    I have loved people through a process where they have discovered that their gay or lesbian identity did not fit who they were and supported their decision to live in a new faith they had chosen that excluded them being able to have same sex relationships.

    The highest commandment is to love the person first.

    You do not know who I am.

  34. Priya Lynn
    October 21, 2009

    David, I know you’re afraid to give a straightforward honest answer to simple questions. The only logical reason for that is that you know the answers would paint you in a negative light. Its clear you aren’t to be trusted and your talk of love and protecting the weak and so forth are merely camoflage for your true beliefs and desires.

    Oh, I know who you are alright, I’ve met your kind many, many times.

  35. Ken in Riverside
    October 21, 2009

    David Blakeslee: Do you suppose that gay people aren’t created gay by God?

  36. David Blakeslee
    October 21, 2009

    @ Ken,

    Same sex attractions appear intrinsic, they may be part of God’s original design for a portion of humanity.

    I don’t know precisely what God intended in all his acts of creation and which manifestations in creation are different from His original intent. Many Christians presume to know such things.

  37. Ken in Riverside
    October 21, 2009

    In your opinion, is normalization of homosexuality incompatible with Christianity?

  38. Ken in Riverside
    October 21, 2009

    I don’t mean a process of normalization, i mean the state. Sorry for any ambiguity and thanks for answering.

  39. Chris McCoy
    October 22, 2009

    Please stop feeding the Troll.

  40. David Blakeslee
    December 14, 2009

    More Kevin Jennings,

    http://www.breitbart.tv/fistgate-massachusetts-teacher-speaks-out-about-infamous-glsen-conference/

    Apparently a teacher who attended is asserting that Jennings knew the content of the presentations and publications at the workshop.

  41. Timothy Kincaid
    December 14, 2009

    David Blakeslee,

    You lose credibility when you link to “anonymous” vague claims that on the face of them appear to be false.

    See the rebuttal here

    At some point it ceases to appear that you have any credible concern and begins to appear that you are so motivated by your negative emotional position on the appointment of Kevin Jennings that you will believe and repeat anything negative said about him.

    For the sake of your own reputation, you may wish to cease linking your name to nutjob attacks on Jennings.

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