Professor Volokh has a good lengthy post — (Not so good at the very end. We don’t agree with his personal views on homosexuality, except for the bit about not bullying gays. But it’s easy enough to teach kids “don’t bully anyone” rather than “don’t bully gays.” There’s no need for teachers to take a side on the morality of homosexuality itself in order to stop bullying) — about the recent federal court decision in which the Montgomery County, Maryland Public Schools were restrained from distributing materials for their sex education curriculum. The court found the curriculum made theological judgments and thus violated the 1st Amendment establishment clause.
Volokh provides many excerpts from the curriculum; the entire post can be viewed here.
The first excerpt says: “Myth: Homosexuality is a sin.”
Let’s examine just that one small excerpt. Can you imagine if a public school in America started a curriculum that said “Fact: Homosexuality is a sin”? Can you imagine the outcry changing that single word would cause?
All the usual suspects – the ACLU, PFAW, etc. – would be having a collective stroke. They’re already screaming “THEOCRACY!” every time someone with views informed by traditional religious doctrine merely speaks publicly about any political issue. They’d be demanding the courts throw out that curriculum immediately. (They’d be right. Public schools do not need to be teaching that homosexuality is a sin.) They’d be denouncing the school district administrators as a bunch of bigoted, Bible-thumping rednecks.
But this is just more evidence in the left’s double standard on the Establishment clause. For them, publicly funded attacks on those views are fine; any positive mention of religion is verboten. As of this writing, we couldn’t find any mention of the Montgomery County case on the ACLU or PFAW websites. Maybe they’re at lunch.
Update: Bryan Preston of JunkyardBlog notes the judge had no problem with the frank sexual material being offered to children, only the religious content:
The judge didn’t rule on that, or even on the frankness of the lessons themselves. He ruled on the sectarianism contained in the lessons (and why the authors felt the need to slap that stuff in there is curious, to say the least). Which means, naturally, that once the Montgomery County schools take the anti-Baptist rhetoric out, the frank promotion of all things sexual can go right back into the classroom. These days schools consistently fail to teach reading, science or math–but they’ve got the frank discussions of sex down pat.