Correct. I had never heard of GLSEN. I am in favour of pro LGBT groups in theory, but it doesn't then translate to I automatically approve of the activities of every single group that identifies as such. Take Samaritan's Purse. I am in favour of charity groups, but it doesn't mean I am automatically in favour of what Samaritan's Purse does (pack christian literature in with the donations).
As for GLSEN going against MassResistance...from what I read of the links you provided to me, it was MassResistance speaking out against GLSEN. A very distinct difference.
As for the literature being promoted by GLSEN, did I not say in the opening paragraph up above that it did raise an eyebrow? That I did question it? Without access to the books (and no I'm not going to bother hunting them down) I'm going to withhold full judgement on the matter. Are the excerpts provided by MassResistance explicit? Yes. But without context, I don't know enough to make an informed judgement. I played devil's advocate to try and reason why they would promote such literature. After all, in the example I provided, the Garda were not producing a video promoting the usage of hard drugs - quite the opposite in fact. Are these books trying to do the same - impart a message that says basically "Don't do promiscuous under-age sex, it f*cks you up"? I withhold judgement until or unless I read the books in question.
Since the NSA programs have been shown to have been operational for several years, but now apparently the threat of terrorist attacks is higher than ever...wouldn't that point to the NSA programs being completely ineffective?
You don't scream and shout that you must continue your highly controversial program by saying it's actually failed in it's stated mission goal.
" Where in the constitution is the government given control over schools?"
When you have a school and it is funded by the state...then wouldn't that, ya know, make the school a part of the government? It's not a constitutional thing, it's the fact of who controls the money going into the school. The school would have to follow the dictates of the government in order to continue to receive funding.
As for Israel...I suppose the argument could be made that the separation of church and state in the US constitution applies only to the US, and not any foreign nations. What foreign nations do internally is their own affair, and if they are predominantly (insert religion here) that has no bearing on the US government being forbidden from promoting a religion within its own borders. Other than that, I've got nothing, as I've never really looked into Israel and how it was formed (a quick scan of its Wikipedia article and it's Declaration of Independence page doesn't really mention the US, only the UN) As for Obamacare...you're asking the wrong person dude. I'm not a USian. I was born in and live in Ireland, and thus, I'm more or less uninterested in Obamacare, since it has virtually zero impact on me. Topics like US copyright law do interest me, because they do have an impact on me. You might as well be asking me what do I think about the budget for the nation of Venezuela for the coming year - I don't know or care about it.
Actually...I do. I've read that link, and what was quoted from the books in question certainly did raise an eyebrow. However...I don't automatically jump to the conclusion "THEY IZ TEACHING PEDOPHILIA!" What is the context of the passages and the books? Are these books actively saying "Go out and have as much under-age sex as possible?" From the way the books are described and reviewed (I looked up Queer 13's reviews on Amazon and no-one there actually gave it less than 3 stars or had a problem with the content), they are collections of stories of what kids went through, and I can't see anything wrong with that. To put it in context, I remember at around the same age, I was shown a (fictionalised but very realistic) video in class about a typical working-class Irish family produced by the Garda (Ireland's police force). I remember the family had two daughters, with the older one turning to drugs such as heroin. The video did get graphic, showing realistically exactly how the girl took drugs, her measures to get money to fund the habit (theft) and of course, the damage such drugs typically do to your body. That video and the books you mention showed similar content: the story of a child who turned to an illegal activity (consumption of illegal drugs, and promiscuous under-age sex), but...as far as I could from the quotes your link above provided, didn't exactly go out of its way to glorify or promote said acts, merely saying "This person did A, here are the results" at its most basic.
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Did the Crusaders just beat back the Muslims and act all sweet and nice? Have a read of this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades#First_Crusade_.281095.E2.80.931099.29_and_immediate_after math And you will hear of such nice happenings as a massacre against Jews, an attack against Orthodox Christians etc. I remember learning that the Crusaders also conquered Constantinople at one point (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades#Fourth_Crusade_.281202.E2.80.931204.29 Yeah, the phrase "looting of churches" caught my eye. Looting of churches...by Christians...and you ignore this? Trying to pain the Crusaders as being pious defenders of truth, justice and the American way (/sarcmarc)?
Death toll for the Spanish Inquisition alone was between 3 and 5,000 people, and that link says that "(For comparative purposes, the number of people executed for "witchcraft" in Europe during about the same time span as the Inquisition is estimated to total 60,000.)"
Also...are you seriously trying to make the point that the Catholic Church should be excused because they killed "only" 6,000 people? Are you trying to make this some sort of measuring contest, where the party with the greater death toll is demonised, while the other party who just happens to be lower isn't?
Doesn't really matter exactly why they run them, but there have been Communist run charitie or humanitarian aid groups. Same with the Catholic Church.
As for B). both Communist regimes and the Catholic Church have done so. Stalin killed millions of people in his capacity as leader of a Communist government. The Catholic Church had the infamous Inquisition and also famously repressed free speech (they put Galileo under house arrest for positing that not all heavenly bodies orbit the Earth).
It's not a laughing matter. It's a matter of historical fact.
There's protesting...and there's outright lying such as MassResistance also asserted that groups such as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which support school anti-bullying programs, actually want to "lure children into homosexuality and, very possibly, sadomasochism".
or "MassResistance has also insisted that gays were "trying to get legislation passed to allow sex with animals""
"MassResistance has made claims that no homosexuals died in the The Holocaust of World War II"
I'd call that a hate group. Especially when on their site they have this "Second graders at the same school were read a book, “King and King”, about two men who have a romance and marry each other, with a picture of them kissing." http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/effects_of_ssm.html What? Two people kissing is now something that kids should not be forced to witness?
If they teach about religion, as a part of a religious studies class, I don't see any problem. The Catholic secondary school (high school to you Yanks) that I went to (run by the Society of Mary) has a religious studies class that taught about Islam and Buddhism, in a factual based way (e.g. Muslims believe in the Five Pillars of Islam, here they are in list form) not just Catholicism alone. It didn't promote one over the other in that class. If US schools have classes like that, I wouldn't have a problem with them. As for promoting Kwanza and Hanukkah? Can you give me some links? If these public schools are indeed doing so, then they are violating the separation between church and state. Doesn't matter what the religion is.
"The Constitution wasn't written to grant rights to the people; rather, it was written to prevent government from intruding upon them." I agree, which is why I said "guarantees the freedom" "government cannot interfere". Nowhere did I say it grants rights. Also, why are you now bringing up the private business owners? Are you now retreating from the discussion about a public school operating a religious-affiliated charity drive? The business owner slant is an entirely different discussion and bears little, if any, relevance, to the school discussion.
"but only when and where government decides you can." No. The US government is forbidden from promoting or proselytizing a religion. This includes all US government employees, while they are on the clock, acting as representatives of the US government If IRS office manager Random Jane goes to church on Sunday, that's her business. However, if she decorates the office with religious iconography and starts handing out bibles to employees...that's violating the separation between religion and state.
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"which might be explained by the idea that it's rather hard to motivate someone to do something due to a lack of a belief in something, in this case a deity)."
Exactly. You hear stories all the time of people saying "I'm going to go over there and kill those other people in the name of my god"...but when was the last time you heard someone saying "I don't believe in a god therefore I'm going to go over there and kill those god-believers...in the name of...shoot, what was I doing again?"
As for communist regimes who did attack religion, that was done because the communist leaders were in a power struggle with religion. Not quite the same thing as a religious member saying it's moral to follow the teachings of a god who according to his holy book ordered genocide and mass rapes.
As for your "freedom of religion, not freedom from religion", the First Amendment is actually both. It guarantees the freedom of US citizens to practice whatever religion they want in their private lives, or not to practice one at all, and says neither state nor federal government can interfere in any way. At the same time, when an employee of either state or federal government is acting in their capacity as a representative of that government (in this case, school staff members of a publicly funded school, not a private school) they are not allowed to promote a religion. This basically does boil down to "freedom from religion". If a teacher wants to pray on her own, she is free to do so, BUT she cannot compel her class to do the same. This is meant to prevent those who do not want to practise a religion or a certain religion from being forced to (such as prayers before a school assembly. I went through those myself and I hated it). There is nothing stopping those school teachers who were involved with that toy drive from doing so in a private capacity. They just can't do so using public school property, or at the school while acting as school teachers.