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Old 05-20-2012, 04:28 PM
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"Reckless, irresponsible": Kansas teacher's "gay is same as murder" Facebook rant

Teacher's online remarks on homosexuality draw fire (Hutchinson News)
Quote:
A Buhler USD 313 teacher/coach has caused a stir by writing on his Facebook page last week that homosexuality is a sin and ranks in God's eyes the same as the sin of murder.

The Kansas Equality Coalition criticized what Prairie Hills Middle School social studies teacher/Buhler High School assistant freshman women's basketball coach Jack Conkling wrote. It also urged USD 313 to review its policy on social media and bullying, whether by students or teachers.

Jon Powell, chairman of the Hutchinson chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition, said Conkling's "inflammatory statements" could make students think it's OK to bully fellow students.

Powell termed the posting "reckless," "dangerous" and "irresponsible."
---
It was a former seasonal employee at Hutchinson's Salt City Splash, where Conkling works in the summer, who alerted the Kansas Equality Coalition to the Facebook statement. USD 313 Superintendent Dan Stiffler learned about it from a teacher.

Conkling wrote: "Gay marriage is wrong because homosexuality is wrong. The Bible clearly states it is sin."

He also wrote: "It ranks in God's eyes the same as murder, lying stealing, or cheating."
---
the rest at link above
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:33 PM
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God may differ but if I had to walk in a dark alley I would much rather meet a person whose sin is homosexuality, or lying, or cheating, or all of the above, than someone whose sin is murder.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:55 PM
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While I don't agree with this teacher's postings, I do feel that he should be allowed to do so - as long as there is a clear policy that teachers keep their social media non-public & don't friend etc students (my wife's college has the latter policy, it helps to prevent questions of propriety etc).

This school, like many others, is now in a pickle because it didn't establish such simple, clear cut SM rules - you just can't punish a teacher for violating non-existent policies without incurring the wrath of the Teacher's Union, which is as it should be.

In addition, after reading his posting in its entirety (it's at the bottom of the article), I don't really find it inflammatory at all. I don't particularly like the 'one path to heaven' viewpoint, but it's not like he's calling for any action, just expressing his feelings - and he even goes so far as to say that everyone is guilty of sin etc, basically doing a roundabouts 'he who is without sin' type thing.

IMO, this is manufactured outrage, which is the true 'dangerous' 'reckless' 'irresponsible' action here.

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Old 05-20-2012, 05:43 PM
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He was expressing his opinion, as we all do whenever we post ANYTHING on the web.

As far as it being "reckless and irresponsible", meh, it's only a big deal if they make it a big deal, e.g. "manufactured outrage" as stated above. I'm sure it's been deleted by now. Personally, I do not agree with his statements, and I've read way worse on SM sites. Should educators be held to a different standard? Maybe. But if that's the case, there had better be a clear and concise policy and procedure in place outlining exactly what is acceptable regarding their use of SM sites.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:49 PM
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A fool and his job are soon parted.

His equation of homosexuality and murder actively indicates that he would not be able to teach gay or lesbian students in a non-discriminatory manner. He has no place in public education.

Yes, we're free to state our opinion; but we're also liable for the beliefs we hold - especially those we express in public forums like Facebook.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:05 PM
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facebook, even though it may be set to "private," is broadcasting. If you wouldn't stand up in front of a public audience and say it (due to manners, for instance, or job preservation ), perhaps it's better left unpublished on your facebook page? Uhhh, yeah.

I don't ascribe to facebook, won't do it until I know what they're going to do with all the minutia they're compiling-- but this case, like others, is a big hint, folks. A HUGE hint... heck, it'll probably become as powerful a screening tool as credit reports. They'll certainly use what they gather to "deny" you one thing or another... government and insurance companies will lead the pack, then employers, then...?

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Old 05-20-2012, 06:40 PM
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Comparing homosexuality to murder is not a benign comparison in a country where murder merits the death penalty. That comparison is practically an invitation to others to commit hate crimes.

But to be perfectly accurate, according to the Bible, God equates homosexuality with eating shellfish and wearing clothing made from two kinds of cloth. There are far more biblical passages condemning divorce.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:03 PM
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Um, am I the only one who read his whole post in context? He equates homosexuality with all other sins, not just murder. Things like cheating on your taxes or other small stuff would be included in his premise. I'm sorry, while I don't agree that sexual orientation should be considered a sin, and I'm in fact not too big on the idea of basing ones notions of right & wrong on the writings of some self-serving males of ancient times, I have to say that his post is pretty benign.

Taking just two words from the whole to twist the meaning of his statement is no different from those who quote Leviticus to call homosexuality an unforgivable sin but neglect to go protesting down at the local Red Lobster.

All JMO, and sorry if this ticks anyone off, but I calls it like I sees it.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SkewedView View Post
Um, am I the only one who read his whole post in context? He equates homosexuality with all other sins, not just murder. Things like cheating on your taxes or other small stuff would be included in his premise. I'm sorry, while I don't agree that sexual orientation should be considered a sin, and I'm in fact not too big on the idea of basing ones notions of right & wrong on the writings of some self-serving males of ancient times, I have to say that his post is pretty benign.

Taking just two words from the whole to twist the meaning of his statement is no different from those who quote Leviticus to call homosexuality an unforgivable sin but neglect to go protesting down at the local Red Lobster.

All JMO, and sorry if this ticks anyone off, but I calls it like I sees it.
In the first place, to designate homosexuality as "a sin," and to publish that opinion in a public forum when one's job consists of teaching in a public institution, is, in my opinion, grounds for dismissal.

Here's what he wrote: "It ranks in God's eyes the same as murder, lying stealing, or cheating."

Evidently he also is deluded enough to think himself able to view the world through the eyes of a deity.

He really should have stuck to giving multiple choice tests about material covered by his textbook.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkewedView View Post
Um, am I the only one who read his whole post in context? He equates homosexuality with all other sins, not just murder. Things like cheating on your taxes or other small stuff would be included in his premise.....but I calls it like I sees it.
I read the whole thing too, hence my initial post in this thread. As I said, I do not agree with his statements. He does lump it all together. The SM sites give everyone plenty of rope - and I think he hung himself as far as his teaching career.

I do not think he would be able to objectively teach a student who was openly gay.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
In the first place, to designate homosexuality as "a sin," and to publish that opinion in a public forum when one's job consists of teaching in a public institution, is, in my opinion, grounds for dismissal.

Here's what he wrote: "It ranks in God's eyes the same as murder, lying stealing, or cheating."

Evidently he also is deluded enough to think himself able to view the world through the eyes of a deity.

He really should have stuck to giving multiple choice tests about material covered by his textbook.
No - here's what he wrote:

Quote:
"All this talk in the news about gay marriage recently has finally driven me to write. Gay marriage is wrong because homosexuality is wrong. The Bible clearly states it is sin. Now I do not claim it to be a sin any worse than other sins. It ranks in God's eyes the same as murder, lying, stealing, or cheating. His standards are perfect and ALL have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Sin is sin and we all deserve hell. Only those who accept Christ as Lord and daily with the help of the Spirit do their best to turn from sin will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There aren't multiple ways to get to Heaven. There is one. To many this may seem close minded and antagonistic, but it doesn't make it any less true. Folks I am willing to admit that my depravity is just as great as anyone else's, and without Christ I'd be destined for hell, if not for the undeserved grace of God. I'm not condemning gay marriage because I hate gay people. I am doing it because those who embrace it will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And I desire that for no one."

Facebook posting by Buhler USD 313 teacher/coach Jack Conkling

Taking just a piece of it to make it look like hate-speech is just as bad as picking and choosing only the Biblical passages that appeal to you, IMO.

As I said, I don't like what he has to say, but none of it is advocating anything, just stating what he's been taught as far as the Bible's take on an issue. He then goes on about how it's no better or worse than anything that he's done, and then some stuff about forgiveness. Taking it all in context, it's just not what it's being made out to be.

In addition - it would be reprehensible (and illegal) for this school system to punish this teacher for SM content when they have no policy in place regarding such. You just can't go around punishing employees for violating non-existent rules.

All JMO
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by sharkeyes View Post
I read the whole thing too, hence my initial post in this thread. As I said, I do not agree with his statements. He does lump it all together. The SM sites give everyone plenty of rope - and I think he hung himself as far as his teaching career.

I do not think he would be able to objectively teach a student who was openly gay.
You're probably right on the latter - in which case he can be punished for his performance in the classroom.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:42 PM
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I thought this was an interesting article on CNN's page the other day, worth a look; it's by an ordained Catholic priest and theologian:

My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
I thought this was an interesting article on CNN's page the other day, worth a look; it's by an ordained Catholic priest and theologian:

My Take: What the Bible really says about homosexuality
I saw that one, and liked it so much that I shared it on Facebook (something I do only very, very rarely).
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:26 PM
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I think it kind of reads like he was expressing freedom of religion on his personal facebook. JMO.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:57 PM
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With all due respect, I think SkewedView and Soulmagent are ignoring the historical context of homophobia in this country. It is NOT a benign statement of opinion that homosexuality is akin to murder. We punish murderers with death in this country; we have laws that allow others to kill to prevent a murder.

Do the math! What is one saying when one compares consensual sex between adults to murder in that historical, legal and social context?

As for freedom of religion, we also have freedom of speech. But that doesn't mean we can yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater; the Supreme Court has made that clear. Comparing what my husband and I do in private to murder is very much the equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in the crowded "theater" that is American society.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
A fool and his job are soon parted.

His equation of homosexuality and murder actively indicates that he would not be able to teach gay or lesbian students in a non-discriminatory manner. He has no place in public education.


Yes, we're free to state our opinion; but we're also liable for the beliefs we hold - especially those we express in public forums like Facebook.
He didn't equate the two
He said they are both sins
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Nova View Post
With all due respect, I think SkewedView and Soulmagent are ignoring the historical context of homophobia in this country. It is NOT a benign statement of opinion that homosexuality is akin to murder. We punish murderers with death in this country; we have laws that allow others to kill to prevent a murder.

Do the math! What is one saying when one compares consensual sex between adults to murder in that historical, legal and social context?

As for freedom of religion, we also have freedom of speech. But that doesn't mean we can yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater; the Supreme Court has made that clear. Comparing what my husband and I do in private to murder is very much the equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in the crowded "theater" that is American society.
He didn't yell Fire in a crowded theatre nor did he threaten anyone - he simply stated an opinion from the Bible.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:27 AM
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Actually, the original meaning in the original bible languages is vague about homosexuality. The interpretation of it being a sin is based on later translations and reflects that morality rather than the original meaning.

There is a lot of stuff of a sexual nature in the Bible that would be regarded as dubious or immoral in today's society, but you can bet that this guy won't be going on a rant defending those practices. The truth is this guy is just a homophobe, a rabid dangerous one at that, and it has nothing to do with religion.

One could say that intolerance is a sin as well, and that is certainly something that is taught as such in the new testiment. Presumably this teacher is not a Christian, or he would not be holding those views.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:32 AM
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Actually, the original meaning in the original bible languages is vague about homosexuality. The interpretation of it being a sin is based on later translations and reflects that morality rather than the original meaning.

There is a lot of stuff of a sexual nature in the Bible that would be regarded as dubious or immoral in today's society, but you can bet that this guy won't be going on a rant defending those practices. The truth is this guy is just a homophobe, a rabid dangerous one at that, and it has nothing to do with religion.

One could say that intolerance is a sin as well, and that is certainly something that is taught as such in the new testiment. Presumably this teacher is not a Christian, or he would not be holding those views.
a rabid homophobe, because he doesn't embrace gay marriage?
That's a rather intolerant viewpoint -
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:57 AM
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With all due respect, I think SkewedView and Soulmagent are ignoring the historical context of homophobia in this country. It is NOT a benign statement of opinion that homosexuality is akin to murder. We punish murderers with death in this country; we have laws that allow others to kill to prevent a murder.

Do the math! What is one saying when one compares consensual sex between adults to murder in that historical, legal and social context?

As for freedom of religion, we also have freedom of speech. But that doesn't mean we can yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater; the Supreme Court has made that clear. Comparing what my husband and I do in private to murder is very much the equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in the crowded "theater" that is American society.

He yelled "Fire!" in his own house. On his own social media page.


I think people have different views about social media. Personally, I think social media is an extension of one's privacy.... that at the same time, can kinda be public. Like, flying a flag, for instance. I am allowed to fly a flag, that can be viewed by the public, from the privacy of my own home. People who are offended by it don't have the right to tell me to take it down.

Even if a Facebook page is set to "public," it cannot be viewed unless someone makes the DELIBERATE choice to visit said person's FB page and read it. It's not like this person's views are being broadcast all over the nation. I mean.... look at some blogs out there. There are some people with some pretty whack opinions, but I choose to stay away and not read them, whether they are publicly displayed or not.

IMHO, this man should no more be punished for his views that he posts on Facebook than he should for things he decorates his home with. Would it be acceptable for someone from his place of employment, view his home from the public right-of-way, and then declare that he must be terminated from his horticulture position because all his shrubs were dead? No, it's none of their business, it's his private property, and just because his shrubs are dead doesn't mean he can't effectively teach others how to care for them. For that matter, there are numerous overweight doctors and psychotherapists in dysfunctional relationships. Are we now going to monitor THEIR Facebook pages and take away their credentials? They obviously aren't able to do their jobs correctly if they can't fix what's in their own house, right?

It's interesting to me, that someone really thinks that they have the right to tell another they have no right to make judgements on what goes on in their bedroom when they are trying to make the same judgements about what goes on in another's computer room. Why does one person have the right and the other doesn't? We just keep arguing over who has the "right-of-way" and who has the "Yield," when we all just really need to "Stop." (bickering... that is. )


You know, I wear pants. (I'm a girl, btw.) I saw three Mennonite women yesterday in town, and they graciously smiled at me and my four children. It is their belief that women wear dresses and cover their hair in public. No makeup. I had on a strapless swimsuit coverup with my bikini top string tied around my neck. I know my choice of dress was less than desirable to them. I know their beliefs. They didn't say anything, but I'm sure if I had asked them, they would have stated that they believe women should dress much more modestly than I was dressed at the time. (Sorry... we had just been to the pool. ) Had I been at their church, or at their home, I would have expected much more scrutiny. My point is, even though I knew of their disapproval, they didn't scream at me to put on a dress and a head covering, and I didn't berate them for their obviously different clothing choice. Our paths crossed.... and we coexisted. I don't feel convicted the same way they do, but I do believe I am a child of God. So, maybe your beliefs aren't the same as mine, but it's not my belief that matters, it's yours. So why even worry about what someone else believes? Let them believe it, and leave it alone. Why not just coexist and let's quit screaming at each other to accept and change, but rather respect each others differences?

(using the words "you" and "I" figuratively, not literally. )
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:59 AM
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In the end, I find it disturbing that so many are willing to abdicate their own right to be free from free-speech related reprisals. Seriously, do you really want to set a precedent that it's okay to be punished by your employer because they don't agree with the opinions you express on your own time and in a pseudo-private setting? This doesn't just affect SM, as you have the same reasonable expectation of freedom from job-related scrutiny on SM sites as you do at, say, a busy restaurant - sure, it's a public place, but if your boss decided to bug your table or hired a PI to spy on your conversations & then fired you for what you said, would you not expect to be able to fight that?

Seriously, if the guy was advocating violence/reprisals etc, I could see the need to take action...but that's just not the case here, unless you want to really twist & edit his statement...or if you want to start firing teachers that post comments about how anti-gay marriage people are ignorant bigots no different from Hitler etc...

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Old 05-21-2012, 04:28 PM
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He didn't equate the two
He said they are both sins
And the choir sings.

Equating consensual sex with murder is not an accident. He could have said the Bible views homosexuality as the same as divorce. That would have been a fairer equation, but it would have required a lot more courage to take such a stand.

Comparing gays to murderers is not benign, no matter how many of your pals show up to pretend otherwise.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:30 PM
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a rabid homophobe, because he doesn't embrace gay marriage?
That's a rather intolerant viewpoint -
That post is deliberately misleading. What the OP said is that comparing gays to murderers is homophobic.

And it is.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by T4Tide View Post
He yelled "Fire!" in his own house. On his own social media page....
Then how come we all know about it? Somehow I doubt anyone would know if I yelled "Fire!" in my house.

Quote:
It's interesting to me, that someone really thinks that they have the right to tell another they have no right to make judgements on what goes on in their bedroom when they are trying to make the same judgements about what goes on in another's computer room. Why does one person have the right and the other doesn't?....
The two rights are not the same just because you've decided to equate them. What my partner and I do in the bedroom affects no one else. Equating us with murderers is dangerous speech that in the past has proven to inspire others to violence.

Comparing gays to murderers is also lousy logic and that is something we should always deplore.
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