My thoughts on a pair of related conversations I’ve witnessed lately.
#1: Liberal friend, offended by Barilla’s opposition to using gay couples in their advertising, declares that corporations have no conscience rights.
–> The precedent she’s proposing: If the religious right gains power, she’s volunteering to carry out in her business and public life whatever religious or moral requirements those tea party extremists manage to pass.
(Hint to subversive types: Consider hunting down the openly and adamantly pro-choice owners of a local printing company, and commissioning a pile of anti-abortion literature from them. Consider hiring the local pagan to print your anti-Wiccan Christian tracts. They haven’t the right to discriminate against you, we’re being told.)
#2: Conservative but sophisticated friend dismisses the concerns of those who don’t like certain literature choices mentioned in the common core standards. She argues that kids are going to be exposed to such things eventually, etc., etc..
–> Here’s the reality for the vast majority of young people: Whatever the public schools put on their reading the list, the student is now required by law to read. Failure to comply means failure to be admitted to nearly every job opening that offers a living wage.
Private schools? Home schools? The refuge of a privileged few. Most parents have no option but to send their child to the local public school. And if they fail to do so, their child will be seized by the state and put into the care of the foster system.
Yes, that’s the reality. Your child is literally forced by law to read whatever is on the list, or forgo every economic advantage that high school graduation confers.
That’s not me being reactionary. That’s me summarizing life in the US today.
So, precedent #2: Be careful what you say is an acceptable choice for that high school literature curriculum.