A Setback for Rockville's Sexperts
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Montgomery County Public Schools won't be able to force a controversial, one-sided sex-education curriculum on area students, at least not this school year. A federal judge, Alexander Williams, Jr., a Clinton appointee, has issued a temporary restraining order against the curriculum, saying it imperils parents' and childrens' First Amendment and Establishment Clause rights. It's heartening that a Clinton appointee in one of the country's most liberal counties can see a constitutionally suspect program of indoctrination for what it is, and move to make Montgomery County take its responsibilities to parents and students more seriously.
If any doubt remained that the sex-ed curriculum was in fact indoctrination, Judge Williams demolished it. As he shows, the curriculum violates the very heart and soul of the Constitution's protections of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
For one, it ventures into sectarian theological disputes over homosexuality where government simply doesn't belong. "Theological and Biblical scholars continue to differ on many Biblical interpretations," the curriculum asserts. "They agree on one thing, however. Jesus said absolutely nothing at all about homosexuality." Why government should be weighing in on what Jesus did or did not say was unclear to Judge Williams, as it is to us.
The problem was widespread throughout the curriculum, even going so far as to endorse certain churches over others. In some sections, the curriculum attempts to portray some churches' views as theologically sound and others as unsound. "Fortunately," it reads in one passage, "many within organized religions are beginning to address the homophobia of the church. The Nation [sic] Council of Churches of Christ, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Society of Friends (Quakers), and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches support full civil rights for gay men and lesbians, as they do for everyone else."
Elsewhere, it endorses the position of the Anglican Church of Canada and singles out Baptists for scorn. "Religion has often been misused to justify hatred and oppression. Less than half a century ago, Baptist churches (among others) in this country defended racial segregation on the basis that it was condoned by the Bible," it asserts.
"The Revised Curriculum plainly portrays Baptist churches as wrongly expressing the same intolerance [sic] attitude toward homosexuals today as they did toward African Americans during segregation," Judge Williams writes. "The strength [of] Defendants' substantive theological arguments are irrelevant - it is their exclusive nature that the Court finds troubling. …