Yesterday on Facebook I posted a ‘confusion of the day’ note and went on to refer to the Rhode Island school that cancelled a father/daughter dance as one little girl did not have a father.  The thread went on for over 50 comments.

Before I go any further please let me state to any who might think I am a Scrooge that I feel terribly sorry for any child that does not have a parent.  I was one of those for a time in my life and it is not easy.  Even when another parental figure comes in it is different.  I believe children are special gifts and deserve love and all good things.

This was a post about one SPECIFIC incident in Rhode Island where a mother allowed the ACLU to fight the school on a gender discrimination law.  The CranstonRhode IslandSchool gave in and a dance opportunity for many other fathers/daughters was ended.  From what I read it really sounded like the school caved as the year before the ACLU had fought them as well.  From the CBS website:

(Superintendent)Lundsten says school attorneys found while federal Title IX legislation banning gender discrimination exempts such events, Rhode Island law does not.

 CBS Affiliate WPRI reports the decision comes just seven months after Cranston school officials removed a prayer banner from an auditorium in Cranston High School West after a federal judge ruled on behalf of a lawsuit filed by an atheist student.

 The city received a $173,000 bill for legal fees in that case.

 It would be my guess that they did not want to incur any further costs.  The question was is this fair? I do not believe it is fair for the many young girls in that school who have looked forward to the father/daughter dance to be disappointed.  

The further point I believe is that we as a society have moved well beyond common sense.  How is it fair for one child to be the winner over the many?  Have we not gone overboard?  Are we teaching our children about life?  Is this child’s employer going to change his way of doing things in his office if she does not like it?  Are there not winners and losers in life?  There certainly were in Rhode Island.  This little girl was the winner and her classmates the losers as through the ACLU’s actions all events of this sort were stopped including the mother/son sports events.  How is this right that the decision for one rules the many?  Perhaps this should be a post about the ACLU and their power!

What it is going to be is a short journey into where we have come as a country.   This country was established by people who thrived on individualism and their competition.  Think of the competing ideas these men had that forged the basis of our Republic.  Were there not two plans for the way to set up our government?  There was the Virginia/large state plan and the New Jersey/small state plan that was boiled down into the Connecticut/Great Compromise plan of bicameral legislature. 

In speaking with a trusted mentor and seasonal experienced winner (he told me to add the last), I shared ideas of competition.  He said, ‘our whole country is based on competition. We are where we are today through free uninhibited, without government interference, competition on many levels.  That is what will spur us forward.’  How does competition fit into the Rhode Island decision?  The ACLU decision had no hint of individuals working with competing ideas to forge a compromise.  There was no compromise in the Rhode Island case.  There was one winner and many sad people.  The question then leads to what we are teaching our children? 

Are we teaching them right from wrong? Good or bad? Acceptance or toleration? Boundaries?  To strive to be the best?  Or are we teaching them to compete or that we have to do whatever we have to do to get along so that no one is better than anyone else?  So that no one is richer than anyone else?  Isn’t that what share the wealth is all about – redistribution?  On a comment I found about the Rhode Island case that I thought was a very clever tagline was ‘redistribution of happiness’ made by a ‘Dmiller313’.  Why can’t we have gender specific activities?  Aren’t we supposed to teach our children how to live in the whole of society?  Win, lose, compete, compromise, girls only, boys only, men and women? 

When you play a game there is a winner and there is a loser.  Why do we watch the NFL/NHL/NBA?  If it did not matter who wins why bother with the Super Bowl/World Series etc. The larger point might be are we not creating a perverse sense of acceptance when every child on a team gets a trophy? That kind of acceptance is not the reality of the world.  How do you explain winning and losing?  How do you tell a child it is okay to be really upset when your team does not win when they do not experience winning in their own games?  It takes more than one person to be a team or a community. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to analyze the situation (win/loss) and discover what was good in your expectations and perhaps find ways to do better the next time?   

Please do not misunderstand; I believe every child must be the star of their own family and that in raising them they know they are the best.  That is helping them create a sense of self for them. It is our responsibility to create a desire in them to do their very best. It is also a parent’s responsibility to let them know that there are consequences and that there are others that do things differently.  One child does not normally rule the outside world like they may do in a family unit.

Did not the ACLU hold this school hostage by this action?  Did the mother consider this a selfish act?  Was this a case of political correctness over common sense?  All little girls must be treated with love and compassion not just one. 

What about the political correctness in other areas?  When did it become wrong to sing the National Anthem and yet a teacher had kids sing a Justin Beiber song instead.  Little girls on the play grounds cannot hug their BFFs?  Can kids play kissing tag anymore – probably not?  I’m not sure we were supposed to do it either actually though we were not punished if we were caught!

There is more.  I do not like our President and when I say so I am attacked as being a racist.  It has nothing to do with his black skin color. I do not believe the man has the experience to run this country.  Black gangsters can call themselves ‘nigger’ yet anyone else now has to use the term n-word.  How insane.  It is a word and any person on this earth who respects their fellow man would not use a term that is to them distasteful. 

I am fat and that does not give anyone the right to call me that and most people do not.  It is not out of politically correctness I believe.  It is being kind and tactful.  I disagree with many people’s views on abortion and same sex marriage.  I am not a bigot.  I simply have a differing opinion and in America that still is okay.

The Boy Scouts of America do not allow gay males in their ranks.  They are not bigoted or narrow minded.  They have a charter that calls them to a different standard.  If a boy wants to join he has to agree and meet that standard.  It is not wrong it is different and okay.  The Girl Scouts do not allow boys to join their ranks as the Boy Scouts allow girls in the Explorer program. It is not wrong and it is okay.  It is perfectly okay to have rules and regulations for organizations.  They do not have to be inclusive of all.  If I have a book club that reads only romance novels and you want to read science fiction it is perfectly okay for me to say you cannot join my club.  It is not discrimiation, it is acceptance of the guidelines of my organization.  If you do not meet them you cannot join.  We have gone so far in an effort to legislate inclusiveness that we are breaking our own standards.

The Christian Church has a standard.  The Catholics have some differing views within the Christian Faith and that is okay. The Jewish Faith has a standard.  The Muslim Faith has a standard.  The Mormons have their standard.  None of these are wrong they are simply different.  In this country we used to practice acceptance of all faiths.  Now in this politically correct world we are hard pressed to observe tolerance.  There is a difference. 

Briefly let me go a little further.  Acceptance is allowing all to ‘receive with approval’.  Toleration is to ‘endure without complaint’.  Acceptance means it does not matter to whom I say Merry Christmas as they will understand it as a greeting of the season from my particular heritage.  If a person says Happy Hanukah to me I understand it is from theirs and accept it as a greeting of the season.  Tolerance leads ALL to say Happy Holidays as we do not want to offend.  At that point might I ask if it would not be better to just say nothing?

Try this example: Acceptance is sitting in a room with a cat and patting it and enjoying the contact.  Toleration is knowing the animal is there and sitting far away so as to not have to interact with the cat.  Acceptance is a warm welcoming hug and toleration is acknowledgment and distance.  Acceptance is working in a food kitchen for the homeless and experiencing the whole of this sad situation including the smell and noise.  Toleration is sending money to help. I see acceptance as common sense and toleration is political correctness.

By the ACLU bringing this case did they not set this child further apart from her peers?   She is now the child that got these events banned from their school.  Is this competition leading to compromise or winning to control, acceptance or toleration, common sense or political correctness?   





  1. Great Blog today!! I agree with you whole heartedly. (Bet you never heard
    me say that before!! I also received something the other day that you may or
    may or enjoy: Americans ends in CANS, Republicans ends in CANS,
    Democrats ends in RATS. The upcoming election is our chance to get the
    RATS out of the White House.

    I, myself, wish someone else was in the running. However, I do not believe
    we should reelect the current president.

    Heard you were coming back to Maine in October. Suppose we could get
    together (just you and I) for an hour or so to rehash old times or just get to talk to one another on a face to face basis.

    Love to Kathy from someone who cares about you.

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