Cathy Ruse

Cathy Ruse is in her second stint at Family Research Council. This time around she bears the pretentious academic title; “Senior Fellow — Legal Studies.” I confess that I haven’t a clue what a Senior Fellow — Legal Studies does but from time to time it includes writing polemics for FRC’s blog. Monday she writes: “Fairfax Public Schools: Christians and Muslims Need Not Enroll.” Not exactly.

Last year the Fairfax County School Board began to promote
transgenderism in children. The so-called “non-discrimination policy,”
passed by a 10-1 vote without public hearing or citizen input, allows
transgenderism in schools without parental knowledge or consent,
including allowing males to use female bathrooms and showers.
Transgenderism is now taught as a healthy alternative in student sex-ed

Substitute homosexuality for transgenderism and we are magically transported back to 1996. Precisely how one “promotes” a nonconforming gender identity is incomprehensible. I have not seen the curriculum but I suspect that children are taught that transgender people actually exist. Would Ruse prefer ignorance. And suppose she had a gender nonconforming child. Wouldn’t she want his or her peers to have some basic understanding? Or would she prefer that ignorant students abuse and relentlessly ridicule her child? Ruse would benefit from some empathy.

Moreover, some perspective is in order. I guess that the average school in Fairfax County, VA might
have one or two kids who are gender nonconforming. But one is too many
for the ultra-conservative Catholic Ms. Ruse at least in part because
the pope has been on an anti-trans tear since he assumed the papacy.
However, acknowledging that a couple of kids are trans is not going to cause the planet to spin out of orbit.

Christian families in Fairfax County are outraged, and many moms and
dads are showing up regularly at the school board meetings to fight

So a few noisy ignoramuses should dictate policy based on their religion? Pew Research provides us with some important context. While 77% of Hindus have college degrees in America, only 26% of Catholics and 19% of Evangelical Christians (Southern Baptist Convention) possess a baccalaureate. That goes down to 12% with members of American Baptist Church and 17% don’t finish high school.

I give these Christian parents credit for good faith in seeking what is best for their children. However, they may be no more qualified to critique curricula than they might be to properly diagnose disease (absent a medical degree) or design a school structure (without being a licensed architect).

I am certainly unqualified to design curricula, make medical diagnoses and create blue prints. Knowing that makes me a realist. If I vehemently assert my opinion regarding the design of a load-bearing column in a public school, I am not just an ignoramus. I am dangerous.

Children are more than progeny. They determine what kind of country
we will have in the future. They are our future CEOs, workers, justices
of the Supreme Court and presidents. With that in mind, who do we want making decisions about their public school years?

Getting back to Ms. Ruse:

At the last meeting they were joined by a Syrian-American man who moved to Fairfax County because of its reputation for excellent public schools. Now he has had to put his daughters in private school, a tremendous financial burden for a man who is also supporting family members in three war-torn countries.

He broke down when relating that he can’t afford a third private school tuition, so his 5-year-old son remains in a school that violates his religion. “Public schools should be for everyone,” he said, but the Fairfax County School Board has made them a hostile environment for Muslim children.

That man is correct: “Public schools should be for everyone.” That includes gender nonconforming students. He acknowledges that the experts in charge of educating his kids have a reputation for doing a very good job. Why does that not extend to the complexities of social science within the school system? I am sorry but a public school is not a madrassa. If the school violates his religion by acknowledging a medical fact about trans kids then the problem exists with his choices as a religious adherent. Kids from families that keep kosher bring a home prepared lunch. They are not offended by a school cafeteria serving ham. Nor should they be. No one is forcing this guys kids to be transgender. But suppose one of his kids was trans? Should he or she have to be home schooled?

Should we satisfy Catholics who believe in evolution or Baptists who do not? How about the Muslim who thinks that girls should not even be in school? Who should run those cafeterias? Dietitians or some rabbi (kosher food can be extremely unhealthy)? Public schools cannot succeed unless they are secular. Ruse concludes:

This school district and others are playing gender politics with
children, and it’s not a fair fight. Christians, Muslims, and all
concerned citizens should visit Concerned Parents and Educators for ways to fight back.

What the fuck is “gender politics?” It’s not a fair fight? It should not be a fight at all. I left that link intact. The domain is privacy protected. It could be one parent (Meg Kilgannon who seems to have written every blog post). It could be the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It could be Family Research Council or some other hate group. The basic information package is anti-trans, anti-gay, anti-abortion, abstinence only and Kilgannon suggests that homosexuality and transgenderism reflect an absence of self-control. From where could she possibly get such ideas? Ultimately, some religious crackpot wants to impose her ideology on everyone else.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.