Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Matt Staver, truly one of the most ridiculous legal minds in the country (what else would you expect from the dean of Falwell’s law school?), is now borrowing idiotic arguments from one of the few men who matches his incompetence and incoherence, David Gibbs. Gibbs, you may remember, is the Florida lawyer who tried to argue on behalf of Okeechobee schools that it can ban GSA clubs because the school has to teach abstinence and GSA clubs are all about the sex. Staver, in an article at the American Family Association’s news outlet, borrows this ridiculous argument:

Staver contends that schools across the country may be breaking the law by allowing students to participate in the pro-homosexual event. He notes that roughly half of the states require that if “sexuality is taught or discussed, it has to be done from an abstinence-based perspective.” And he points out that “schools would be, literally, violating the law, if these [homosexual] clubs on campus discuss [any type of] sexual activity ….”

Bzzt. Thank you for playing; your lovely parting gift is a book on basic logic. First of all, GSA clubs are not sex clubs. They exist to combat discrimination; the meetings don’t include orgies. But far more importantly, student clubs are not part of the curriculum and do not have to meet curriculum standards. Can you imagine how Staver’s head would explode if someone argued that because the school curriculum required evolution to be taught, a Bible club at a school could not discuss creationism? The notion that if the school can’t teach X then no student group can discuss X is simply moronic. And this guy runs a law school.

And the attorney argues that schools cannot legally threaten or punish students who do not want to participate in the celebration of homosexuality. “Clearly they can stay home from school,” he continues. “They don’t have to go to school and they can’t be punished [for doing that].”

The hell they can’t. There is no “celebration of homosexuality” there are only other students exercising their right to protest against bullying and discrimination. No student is forced to participate, it is purely voluntary. If you skip school because you don’t like other students expressing their opinion, you will justifiably have to accept the consequences for skipping school.

The student advocate says those same students can “also come to school with pro-traditional family messages on their T-shirts, or even pass out pro-family information.”

Bravo, Matt. You finally managed to say something true. Give yourself a cookie. Yes, students can, in fact, come to school with such messages on their t-shirts and they can, in fact, pass out such information to other students. That would be exercising their own rights, as opposed to throwing a hissy fit when others do the same.

Staver notes that for more information on creative ways students can respond to the Day of Silence, they should visit DayOfPurity.org.

Now here’s the punchline: the Day or Purity, which Staver’s group is pushing, is scheduled on Valentine’s Day. Virtually everything about it is copied directly from the Day of Silence planning guide, right down to the list of participating schools. Imagine Staver’s reaction if other students who don’t want to participate in the Day of Purity demanded the right to skip school that day because they don’t like what other students are expressing.