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Don't teach my children

So, another one of the main arguments I've heard in opposition of gay marriage/homosexuality in general is "I don't want you to teach my children that that's ok." or something along those lines.  I've had many people in my own family express this sentiment to me, and others that have expressed it, but not to me personally.  I honestly have no problem complying with that request.  It is your responsibility to teach your own children.  But, that having been said, I have a request for you: please don't teach my children (or other people's children--especially children of gay couples) that homosexuality is wrong.

Is this an unfair request?  I ask no more of you than what you ask of me.  You don't want me to teach in your public schools that it's ok, so don't teach in my public schools that it's wrong.  Teach it in your church, that's a private organization and I don't need to send my children there.

I've had people tell me that it's inappropriate for me to teach that homosexuality is ok in public settings, such as here on my blog and on my Facebook account.  If you want to enforce that standard on me, then I see no unreasonableness in asking you to do the same with your views on homosexuality.  If you don't want me to put my views somewhere public, like my wall, where your children may have access to it, then don't teach your views--that homosexuality is immoral--on those same forums.  This, I do not believe is reasonable.  In public settings, all people should have a voice.  Everyone should be able to voice their own opinion.  If you want your children to know what yours is, and you're worried about what they may have found on the Internet or elsewhere, then you should talk to them personally about it and let them know how you feel.

What's the difference?  In the privacy of your own home, you are king and queen, you decide what you want to invite in and what is unacceptable.  Therefore, I feel no qualms in respecting your wishes by not indoctrinating your children in things contrary to what you yourself would teach them.  In the public sphere, I feel no qualms in speaking my mind and letting my opinion be available to all who wish to read it.  I do not believe I am being unreasonable in asking you to play by the same rules that you wish to impose on me.

At any rate, you can't possibly hope to control all of the things that people will ever say in public, so hoping that the world will only teach the things that you personally believe is a bit unrealistic.  If you want your children to believe something--eg, something you believe in strongly--then you should teach it to them.  They'll understand that other people have different views.  They'll figure out that not everyone agrees with you, so trying to shield them from every possible argument that is contrary to the ones you teach them is a rather unwieldy task.  Personally, I think one of the best things parents can do for their children is to teach them what they know/believe and then let the children learn for themselves by experiencing life, making their own choices, and feeling the consequences of those choices.  I have seen parents who tried to shelter their children with their over-protectiveness and it has rarely done good in the child's life.

The last point I want to make is that "I don't want my children learning that" is a very poor reason to outlaw something.  You may not want your children to get a tattoo, but that doesn't mean you have to put all tattoo artists out of business.  You may not want your children to wear short shorts or sleeveless tops, but that doesn't mean you have to put a national ban on such articles of clothing.  I don't want my children to grow up learning that discrimination is okay, but I'm not going to try to change the law to make it so you can't teach whatever you believe in your churches.

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