I write in response to the Feb. 15 article, "New flash point in sex ed: gay issues." The article states, "The school said the book ['Who's in a Family?'], which portrays contemporary family structures including those headed by same-sex parents, was part of a broader array of materials intended to promote diversity in the Lexington, Mass., school district."
Contrary to the feelings of David Parker and his supporters, who are opponents of the book's content, I fail to see how a school board's desire to instill respect between a pupil and his or her fellow students is a harm to anyone.
Students who have same-sex parents are often made to feel ashamed by fellow students who are not taught tolerance, and I think this is one of the largest disruptions to education in our public school systems.
I believe that a person's sexual orientation is a private matter and is not something to be discussed with such a delicate age group. But families, not sexuality, are discussed in the above instance.
Opponents such as Mr. Parker might be surprised by how many families consist of two mommies or two daddies in this "heterosexist" society, which assumes everyone is heterosexual.
It is wrong to teach that families consisting of one mommy and one daddy are the only ones that exist because that is simply untrue.
There is no homosexual agenda except one which simply asks that everyone be treated fairly.
What good is teaching your child about religion - whether it is Christianity, Judaism, or Islam - if the school system tells you that your child must accept a different lifestyle?
I think children will buck the values that the parent wants to instill in them if the school tells the kids that there is nothing wrong with being gay. As Christians we teach that sex is for marriage with one mate and that it is for perpetuating the lineage.
We teach that we should love all our neighbors - that we deplore the sin, but not the sinner. So I feel that the Lexington, Mass., school system is acting against religion of all kinds.
The Feb. 23 article, "Roots of violence found in disrespect," is right on the mark, but the analysis is focused only on how the West can respect Islam and Muslims.
Now, when the Taliban dynamites the ancient temples and statues in Afghanistan; when Muslim immigrants in France refuse to send their children to school, and they do not work, and they burn thousands of cars and businesses; when Al Qaeda kills captured infidels; do these acts show respect?
I think the key question here is: How can we cause the Muslims to respect the customs of the West, such as freedom of religion, free speech, and tolerance of other cultures? And why should we respect them in spite of their violence?
Respect is a two-way street, and I think the anti-Muslim feelings in the Western world pale compared to the criminal actions taken on a daily basis in the world of Islam.
I am afraid that all of the article's kind statements and wishes to accommodate Islam and reach for the goal of respecting Muslims will only be realized when women in the West put on the hijab and we all convert to Islam.
I don't like this answer.
Arthur E. Lemay
Boulder Creek, Calif.
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