(Listen for the Dog Whistle!) Christian Civic League’s Carroll Conley Asks: “Are Maine Public Schools Safe For Christian Students?”

Posted on September 4, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Oh please. Yet again, we are seeing the fear-mongering coming out in full force, as the Christian Civic League plays their self-drawn “victim card” again in a pathetic, passive-aggressive email to their list.

It was just last year that they themselves successfully managed to stall Rep. Terry Morrison’s LD 1237, “An Act To Prohibit Bullying in Schools”, which was signed into law back in May and went into effect a few weeks ago. And if they ever bothered to look at it, they would see that within the language of the law is a provision providing protection for ALL Maine students, reradless of religion, right on the first page.


Anyways, here is the email questionnaire (see image):

Question: “Has you child ever been criticized at a Maine public school for expressing or defending Christian values regarding marriage and sexuality? If so, how?”

Strange timing, as it is just being learned that the Bangor Baptist Church is looking to expand to build a 8000 ft “youth center”. That the Christian Civic League, long a supporter of home schooling, also supports taxpayers paying for charter schools and vouchers cannot be overlooked. Not too hard to imagine that if they were have their way, Bangor taxpayers would be paying for what is now private tuition to Bangor Christian Schools.

What Conley is really questioning is not the “safety” of Maine’s schoolkids, regardless of religious beliefs, but indirectly Maine’s anti-discrimination laws pertaining to the protection of lgbtq students and more importantly, the current referendum Question One, pertaining to marriage equality in Maine.

This is an attack on Mainers United for Marriage and all fair-minded Mainers, who want to see all of our neighbors and own families valued and protected equally.

Let’s be very clear here. While the email is supposedly asking about discrimination against Christian children enrolled in Maine’s public schools, it’s a dog whistle, same as we have seen time and time again with other anti-lgbt groups across the country.

Simply put, the Christian Civic League doesn’t give a damn about protecting marriage (despite their claims to the contrary)- they want to be able to continue the status quo in this state and indeed across the country of keeping lgbt families as second-class citizens.

Not once has their work included addressing MARRIAGE. Were that the case, they would be looking into why there is such a high divorce rate in the state and working with public agencies to help strengthen families at risk. Their false argument of “protecting marriage” is a red herring- it’s not that they want to protect the institution, but rather they want to limit access to it.

Simple as that.

Their own leader, Bob Emrich, is divorced– yet that fact has not been enough to either disqualify him from leading the “Protect Maine Marriage” efforts. But it did force them to find a married couple from away to act as campaign spokespeople.

Bob failed to mention how divorce affects families in his recent Bangor Daily News screed– other than to inexplicably state:

“Were it not for the interests of children, society (read, government) would have no interest in marriage at all.”

To me, that reads as Emrich is admitting that gay couples and straight couples should have the same legal standing in our country- so long as the gay couple are not parents.

This is odd:

“The debate is not whether same-sex couples should be able to live as they wish or love whom they choose. But marriage is about far more than what adults want for themselves. It’s about what children need.

Marriage provides in large part a mechanism to provide for the next generation. It is society’s bond with children. It says to children that we as a community have recognized a structure, the institution of marriage, that is uniquely focused on connecting children to the people responsible for bringing them into the world — their parents. Indeed, marriage is our only institution that is focused on children in this way.”

So! I have a few questions:

  • Does this mean that couples without children should not legally be considered married?
  • What happens when straight parents divorce; should both parents immediately lose all parental rights with the children placed into foster care?
  • Should children conceived out-of-wedlock also go to foster care; should we criminalize their very conception?
  • Should a widowed parent lose custody of his or her children?

    He also failed in his attacks upon Maine’s lgbt families to mention atheist families.

    Let’s look at that a bit.

    Time and again, we have heard that “marriage is a religious institution”, but nothing could be father from the truth. Have they once decried the marriages of atheists such as myself or tried to put forth a notion that my marriage should not be considered legal? No, of course not- I am a heterosexual woman and as such, not on their list of targets. The legality and validity of my marriage has never once been questioned, either by individuals or by groups claiming to “protect marriage”.

    My family’s validity and standing in American society has never been questioned. My children have never faced concerns as to how we are viewed; whether or not others think we are not a “real” family. I benefit from the financial privilege as a married heterosexual woman and have done so for 20 years next month.

    We will never see the legality of atheists’ marriages and childless marriages, nor will there will ever be cries from the anti-lgbt factions in America to take children from single parents. They might WANT to criminalize children being born out of wedlock, but the reality is that we will never see that, either.

    Don’t be fooled. Don’t listen to the dog whistle.

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