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« on: June 28, 2009, 11:03:25 AM »

Religious Citizens Targeted in Alameda for 'Intolerable' Views

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif., May 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- The intolerance against those with religious or traditional moral views is reaching new lows and no where is that clearer than Alameda.

On Tuesday evening the school board in the Bay Area city voted 3-2 to approve curriculum promoting homosexuality to kindergartners, despite vehement and overwhelming opposition from the community. Promoters of the curriculum are so bent on indoctrinating students that they refused a parental op-out provision, even though parents plead for the board to respect their right to protect their children.

"Polling CRI conducted in the city found that over half of city residents opposed the curriculum," stated Karen England, executive director of CRI. "Even many of those who did support the curriculum still favored a parental opt-out."

England was present at the last three meetings of the school board after parents contacted CRI's office and asked for help in stopping the curriculum's adoption. A veteran of advocating for parental rights at the school board level, England testified on behalf of parents at two of the meetings.

"At this week's meeting, I heard one of the most outrageous and alarming things I've ever heard at any meeting," commented England. "Alameda school board vice president Ron Mooney actually told parents that the school board will provide no protections for one of the state-mandated protected classes: the religious."

During the meeting Mooney responded to a question about whether religious students would be respected for disagreeing with the curriculum, he responded that they may disagree, but only at home; they may not carry those views into the classroom.

Placing himself as the arbiter of what is acceptable morality for all people in his district, Mooney asserted that he saw nothing wrong with homosexuality.  The general tenor of Mooney and his peers' remarks reveals that they are themselves intolerant of those with religious beliefs.  They knowingly voted for a biased curriculum that specifically excludes religion, turning a deaf ear to the parents who presented cases of religious intolerance in the school district.

Many supporters of the curriculum called opponents bigots and homophobes, engaging in the very name-calling they claim to want to end in their schools. Some even cited religion as the greatest hindrance to stopping bullying and fostering tolerance.

"There is clearly religious bigotry in this district, but it's not coming from the parents opposing this curriculum-it's coming directly from the intolerant members of the school board," explained England. "The board is targeting people of faith, as evidenced by the vice president's bigoted remarks. Mr. Mooney's unprofessional behavior gives license to those who engage in the name-calling and bullying parents experienced at these meetings."

Alameda parents outraged by the complete disregard for the input are discussing how to move forward and hold their elected officials accountable.

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