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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:06 pm 
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Ian wrote:

Would you characterize lesbians stoned to death or adulterers executed or men at a gay function rounded up for hard labor after a sham trial in the middle east as victims? I sure do. That's because I have a greater respect for my own moral compass than the laws in those countries; those are not just consequences or a reflection of local statute.

See the following

Red herring

If this private U.S. school didn't break any laws and the student violated the agreement made before attending, then that's the end of the story.

I find the nature of the original article offensive. This "red herring" argument that appears to be a natural consequence of reading it is a big reason why.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:26 am 
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You misunderstand my purpose; I was NOT implying that my cases of injustice against same sexers overseas had anything to do with the case that began the thread. I've been saying from the outset and until I'm blue in the face that this is a contract dispute and that's all. If I were using this point as ammunition it would only make sense if I were promoting the idea that SHE was a victim.

I was trying to see if you apply your statement (quoted in my response) wherever someone knowingly risked punishment by engaging in consensual sex, including in countries that have a lot more restrictive views on sexuality (or times: the USA in the recent past, for that matter). Whether or not you apply your "break the rules face the consequences" maxim where the rules are clearly unfair and harsh would be instructive. It will tell us whether you favor rule of law or rule of conscience. Neither is wrong nor do I expect 100% consistency from anyone including myself.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:45 pm 
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You need to understand something about me that escapes a few here, Ian.

First, I have libertarian tendencies. That generally means I don't like being told what to do - especially by the government. That means that as long as you and your friends engage in activity that doesn't endanger the lives or welfare of others, I'm cool with it.

It also means I have a tendency to ignore the law on occasion. I can't tell you how many tickets I got for doing 65 in a 55 back when they had that stretch of road between Richmond and Charlottesville down to a 55 mph speed limit. After getting so many tickets that it affected my insurance rates and got me close to losing my license, I bought a radar detector - which is illegal in the state of Virginia. So they'd catch me jamming my brakes on when "pulsing" me from an Interestate entrance ramp, and pull me over. Since I was faster at slowing my car down than they were at locking in on me, all they could do was ask for my license and radar detector. And when I complied and they ticketed me, they'd ask me if I was going to continue to use it. And I told them "I can't lie. I will use it in the future." They appreciated my polite honesty, and sent me on my way.

Nothing personal, mind you. I am the kind of guy who will ignore a law I find unjust. And I don't take it personally when I get nailed, and I go to court and plead my case in a most respectful manner. I rarely get a harsh sentence because I am both honest and polite. In fact many times they just gave me traffic school. And let me tell you - I am a VERY educated driver! 8)

This also means, Ian, that I'm the kind of guy who will defend the right of some white supremacist to spew his hate. I may abhor the message, but I'd rather these people be out in public where we know whom they are and what they think. I believe everyone has the right to make an ass of themselves, and believe it's best when all these thoughts and thinkers can get out into the disinfecting light of day. Let the extremists scream at the extremists. It keeps them out of our lives! 8)

Remember, being libertarian or (in my case) having libertarian tendencies does NOT mean that you don't have a point of view. I don't particularly care for people who smoke near me :evil: , but I'll tolerate Philip Morris being located here in Virginia because I believe they have a legitimate right to exist.

However....

Kids and adolescents are different. As a libertarian, I also don't appreciate the government telling me how to raise my own kids. And I don't appreciate anyone telling any PRIVATE group how to run their schools or raise their kids. I may not agree with how some group is teaching the kids in their schools but... If it's private school and they aren't hurting anyone, it's fine by me. And why do I think that? Because, damnit, I pay a lot of money to send MY OWN kids to a private school. And I do so because I don't like the public school system and believe that the schools I have chosen and pay A LOT of money to send my kids to do a better job. And the last thing I want to see from others is them telling me what my private school should be teaching my kids when I have to pay taxes to support the lame public schools PLUS pay the private school tuition.

Basically, IT'S NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS - no matter how nonsensical it may appear to them!

And the fact that it involves sexual activity amongst minors and/or kids under a parent's roof... and these minors don't pay their own mortgages or pay for their own meals or their own school tuition or their own health care or wouldn't have the ability to raise their own kid (should they have one) without external help makes me believe doubly that it's none of their business! I can't for the life of me see how someone could be getting on the bandwagon of encouraging SOMEONE ELSE'S kids living under SOMEONE ELSE'S roof to have sex - no matter what the flavor du jour.

Know what I mean?

So if you want to start a new thread and ask me what I think about stoning adult lesbians, well go for it. But I see it as a distraction here. Not only that, but I get a little bummed that someone would label me with a position or point of view that I absolutely don't subscribe to.

And those who (propose to) know me should know better.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:16 am 
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Bill, we just seem to be about 20 hertz off from one another.

"I see it as a distraction here. Not only that, but I get a little bummed that someone would label me with a position or point of view that I absolutely don't subscribe to."

You've been far from labeled as someone who supports harsh sentances for adult lesbians, etc, if that's what you mean. I know very well that you're a guy with "libertarian tendencies" and a guy who has a "tendency to ignore the law on occasion," and I was not implying you supported stoning anyone. I was rather hoping and expecting you'd voice your support for your own moral compass over the vagaries of legal mandates, and that's exactly what you did. On the other hand, I've felt like I've been digging myself out of a mis-casting as the guy who views this student as a victim and advocates sex for minors from my first post.

Our disagreements are limited to the black and whiteness of the legal distinction between adult and child. A kid in one state / the present is or was an adult from another state or the past. An adult as far as signing up for the military (see recent NYT article about a marine brain injured by an IED after signing papers at 17) and consenting to life-risking surgery is a child when it comes to choosing to have protected sex. A kid who can't pay for a kid he or she might create is also the fully licensed adult piloting an SUV which can kill a car full of kids headed to soccer practice but he sure can't pay for that. And so on.

I'm not saying they "should" have sex, I'm just saying many of them have the facts to do so as safely as adults and are as prepared and that I can't get super worked up about it if they chose to have responsible sex (I get VERY worried about stupid sexuality choices but I don't limit myself to minors in that dept). From my experience, I knew more about HIV at 17 than my supposed sex ed teacher and some doctors did at the time (and plenty about the biology of pregnancy) and I knew darned well how not to get it affected by either. And like you decided when you were speeding, I also figured during my 8 years in the great state of virginia that no legislator had any business whatsoever regulating my private life--THOSE laws were declared unconstitutional. You CAN get worked up about it, but like you said, you've got skin in the game.

Let's leave that issue alone as one we'll never agree on, or need to agree on. Common areas:

1) This tussle with the school is a contract issue and the family and the student have to obey whatever they agreed to.
2) Young people (and adults) ought to know abstinence is their safest option
3) Private organizations get to set their rules and regulations no matter how stupid everyone else thinks they are (but we do need to make a wider cultural decision about which freedoms we're going to wipe out: the freedom to bar... blacks? women? lesbians? Who decides?)
4) Sometimes, the law's not the best guide of what we should do or at least we think we know better than the legislators when we're driving, etc.

And I encourage you to breed puppies without the PETA sponsored license should that law come to pass in VA. My spaniel mix is going to kick it soon and the bichon will be lonely.

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--Ian


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:33 am 
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I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way...

Yes, clarity comes forth.

Ian wrote:

but we do need to make a wider cultural decision about which freedoms we're going to wipe out: the freedom to bar... blacks? women? lesbians? Who decides?

This is where it gets tricky.

* Yes to barring women. Just as almost all the single-sex schools have just about gone away, now the evidence is coming forth that boys and girls have unique learning needs. And if you don't address those needs, the individual suffers. See the cover story in this week's Newsweek.

The Trouble with Boys

Hence number 1 son now goes to an all-male school, affiliated with an all-female school just down the block. It's like the best of both worlds.

* The race thing pretty much is universally thought of as a bad idea. Good...

* Barring people because of sexual preference? Ahhh... but it isn't an issue here, although the reporter wanted to make it an issue. As I stated, in my view it's an issue of the ACTIONS of minors.

I may not be happy that a Christian group thinks gay and lesbian adults are going to go to hell for coupling up and doing what they do in the privacy of their own homes. But I personally have to spot them on this one. My opinion of course, but I feel like I have skin in this game. As I see it, they have a legitimate right to penalize minors for engaging in sexual activity.

It may be harsh, but so are many of the consequences of bad choices in the whole sexual acts arena.

But we've gone over that...

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:47 pm 
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That's a rather narrow ruling, if you catch my drift... we agree that the school, if they so advised this family before enrollment, CAN penalize... that's the "narrow" topic of this thread. Can't we also discuss whether they SHOULD and how we would define which "prejudices and distinctions" private organizations can make?

For example: if this school CAN expell a student for personal behavior or law breaking, and DOES, I would venture they ought to do the same for sexually active heterosexual students and any underage drinking or smoking or vandalism or whatever... or write a coherent policy on breaking the law. As nearly anyone will admit, we speed, but while that's technically a violation its one few would expect a school to get distressed over unless its egregious, and its hard to find a cop who will ticket for 78 in a 65 much less 66.

(Heck, they're usually passing me... I keep to the limit to support my gas milegage, which has been 34 combined in my '04 accord :))

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:06 pm 
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Ian wrote:


... we agree that the school, if they so advised this family before enrollment, CAN penalize... that's the "narrow" topic of this thread. Can't we also discuss whether they SHOULD ...

They should. Otherwise, a good number of parents would ask what's the point of sending your kid to a private school - at a premium price?
Ian wrote:

... and how we would define which "prejudices and distinctions" private organizations can make?

To some extent I think it's permissible. But whenever possible, I say we butt out.

Private means private. Particularly for a private religious school, you're treading on shakey ground telling them how to conduct their business. Religious organizations were persecuted enough in The Old World, and established this nation partially to get away from government telling them what to teach and how to treat their members.

Just ask Mr. Jefferson. ;)
Ian wrote:

For example: if this school CAN expell a student for personal behavior or law breaking, and DOES, I would venture they ought to do the same for sexually active heterosexual students and any underage drinking or smoking or vandalism or whatever

Pecisely! I guarantee that this and most private schools have and would remove students for such behavior.

All private schools should - and generally do - have well-defind policies for removing a student due to inappropriate conduct. It's absolutely necessary as parents pay money to have said students educated. Whenever money is involved, you'd better have your act together.

On the flip side, most parents send their kids to such schools BECAUSE they have strict conduct codes. They often wish to get their kids out of environments where "misbehaving" students cannot easily be removed. It's a parent's prerogative and in fact duty to control the environments that their kids are exposed to. School is no exception. But there is a quid pro quo here. If you want your kid to be part of an "ethical" community, then your kid absolutely must live by the rules of that community. Otherwise there are consequences that include dismissal in some cases.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:16 am 
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"Otherwise, a good number of parents would ask what's the point of sending your kid to a private school - at a premium price?"

I wouldn't want my kid going to school with thugs, but I wouldn't care if my kid went to school with nonvirgins. It's almost mandatory given the mean age of first encounters these days. Maybe what private school parents want is the right to send their kids where the other kids are too smart to get caught? But to directly answer your question: "better education and I can discipline my kid on my own thank you very much" would be a fair reply. That is of course the attitude for students 1 year older than HS seniors afterall--college. You pay huge money for that but severe conduct codes are generally absent. Takes a special effort to get kicked out of most colleges. Perhaps you'll be pleased to hear I'd like to see those rules tightened... I was particularly irritated at how many physically violent UVa students were welcomed back year after year, and would have liked to have seen an organized, equal response to the mass essay fraud uncovered there some years ago and to the BS that went down in some of my classes....

Case in point: premed students would commonly falsify their percent yield for organic chemistry reactions. Everyone knew it was happening and everyone knew their med school dreams might be dashed if they were honest--and for what? A high yield making aspirin or nutrasweet in o-chem has NOTHING to do with MD success.... well, the prof miswrote the stoichiomtry for a reaction and guess what? All the students but one in my section had physically impossible yields--about 85% of 3 times possible, to be precise. Idiotic rules generating idiotic behavior--I would have at least liked to see them get docked for shoddy chemistry.

"Particularly for a private religious school, you're treading on shaky ground telling them how to conduct their business."

Yes and no. I don't want them to have any powers a secular school would not. Otherwise they're favored--shall we say, "established." And the opposite holds true. Thank god I wasn't born a girl and sent to a Mormon institution that liked to marry off their children in their teens :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:26 pm 
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I hear you on the college shennanigans, Ian.

You know what? Premed (non-major) organic chemistry was so infested with that bullschit (cheating and vandalism of your neighbor's experiment) that I petitioned to take majors chemistry. I wasn't supposed to be able to do that because I wasn't a chemistry major, and allegedly woundn't survive. Ha! :P I took majors organic and the majors lab, thanks to a really savy advisor who actually started a brand new engineering school here at VCU. Boy was I glad! I learned a lot more, and I didn't once even THINK to falsify any of my results. And I did real well to boot. Truth be told, a majors version of chemistry suited my research-oriented mind more than the non-majors course that had much more rote memorization.

Back to subject... OF COURSE we agree there are limits to what defines a church and what practices a church may or may not teach and conduct. We don't go for poligamy, and we make Christian Scientist parents bring their very sick (and helpless) kids to the doctor.

Yes, I hear you on the ethical vs. being smart enough not to get caught thing. But you know what? An outcome is an outcome. One way or another, you want to raise a kid who won't end up in jail or on the front page of the newspaper (in a negative fashion). It does remind me of an episode of that mindless show Gilligan's Isle. Thurston Howell the third was on trial for some kind of misdeed. When asked if he was sorry, he said "Yes, I'm sorry I was caught!" :P

We parents hold our collective breaths a lot, Ian. You teach your kids what the right thing to do is, and try your best to model good behavior. (We aren't always good about that...) A parent like me isn't going to flip out if son loses his virginity at age 17, but you'd like to have him delay that a bit. There's just too much at stake, and life already has too many distractions. There's a right time for all this stuff, and that time is actually different depending upon the person and their stage and maturity in life.

And it's easy to preach about this as a doctor, Ian. It's a lot different when it's your own.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:10 am 
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We parents hold our collective breaths a lot, Ian. You teach your kids what the right thing to do is, and try your best to model good behavior.


Amen to that!

Rich

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 Post subject: Very similiar
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:39 pm 
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Calif. Court OKs Teens' Suit Vs. School

The Associated Press
Friday, June 30, 2006; 8:38 PM



SAN FRANCISCO -- Two teens expelled from a Lutheran high school because of an alleged lesbian relationship can sue the school even though it is a private religious institution, the California Supreme Court ruled.

The court refused to consider California Lutheran High School's appeal of a lower court's ruling that the 16-year-old girls' civil rights may have been violated when they were kicked out in September.

In declining Wednesday to take up the case, justices cleared the students' lawsuit to go to trial. The suit filed in Riverside County Superior Court seeks readmission for the students, unspecified damages and an injunction barring the Wildomar school from excluding gays and lesbians.

California Lutheran, which has 142 students, argued that as a religious organization it had a First Amendment right to exclude gay students and that it was not subject to a state law prohibiting businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which owns the school, considers homosexuality a sin.

The names of the girls, both juniors, were withheld in court documents. Their attorneys would not say whether they are lesbians.

The lawsuit alleges that principal Gregory Bork acted on thirdhand information when he questioned the girls about their relationship. Bork then wrote the students' parents, saying the teens' behavior violated school rules against conduct that is "contrary to Christian decency."

John McKay, a lawyer for California Lutheran, said he would gather more facts to bolster the high school's arguments before again attempting to have the lawsuit dismissed.

"The question here is whether the (state's) discrimination provisions trump the First Amendment of the Constitution, and I don't think they can," he said. "Our country was formed on religious freedom."

McKay said the girls were not expelled because they were suspected of being lesbians, but because "they engaged in conduct that was observed and reported."


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:53 pm 
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"California Lutheran, which has 142 students, argued that as a religious organization it had a First Amendment right to exclude gay students and that it was not subject to a state law prohibiting businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which owns the school, considers homosexuality a sin."

Here's my problem: perhaps this is imprecise language, but now we're talking about excluding people on the basis of inherent characteristics and not behavior. Would we keep the jewish, hispanic, handicapped, or whatever else out?

I guess the question is, if you have a, say, racist religion, do you get to bar black students?

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