Wednesday, November 5, 2008

morning in america (updated)

We stayed up late, attention split between our laptops and (in an attempt to get a different perspective) the election analysis on the French language station. It's strange and a little humbling to think that the world seems to have so much interest in our elections.

Anyway, I'm off to the appointment (31 weeks? 32 weeks? I've lost count). I'll update when I get back.


Update: So, the appointment went well. But that's not really what I want to talk about.

I knew that Kyrie's son, Caden, had started kindergarten this fall, so, while we were waiting for the doctor, I asked how it was going. "Well," said Kyrie, "not all that well, actually."

Starting in September, Kyrie and Arianna had enrolled Caden in a private Christian school. "I liked the idea that Caden was going to learn the kind of values that we want him to have," said Kyrie. A few weeks ago, Caden's teacher noticed how often Arianna came to pick up Caden.

"The teacher asked me if I was, you know, together with Arianna," said Kyrie. "Well, I wasn't going to lie to them."

The school's director had called Kyrie in for a meeting and told her that the school was going to have to change some of its policies, including the one about birthday parties. The old rule had been that, if a child had a birthday party, everyone in the kindergarten class had to be invited. The school was going to change that rule, the director told Kyrie, because some people might not feel comfortable having Caden in their homes.

Kyrie stopped talking and looked down at her hands. "I guess I was just living in my own dream world," she said. "I guess I should have expected something like this would happen."

71 comments:

Antigone said...

I think the whole country has a hangover.

Tash said...

I know I do.

Elizabeth said...

Good luck this morning at the appointment! We were checking the BBC while watching MSNBC. I'm always amazed (though I guess I shouldn't be) at how much attention US affairs receive from the world. Hopefully this is one time when it's a positive.

ewe are here said...

"The school was going to change that rule, the director told Kyrie, because some people might not feel comfortable having Caden in their homes."

Please please please tell me that your friend asked the director if s/he was advocating treating children differently (read: badly) because of their parents choices. Because that doesn't sound very 'Christian' to me.

I hope they reconsider her place there. If these are the 'values' they're teaching her, she doesn't need them.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

I'm glad to hear that the appointment went well!

On the other note...it is sad to me that the values we teach children don't include acceptance of others.
Especially when their choices have no impact on your life or the life of others.

((HUGS))

Wordgirl said...

The story about Caden breaks my heart -- it could easily be the story of my nephew -- and I felt such bittersweet sadness this morning that Obama's victory was shadowed by the passing of Proposition 8 -- and laws -- such as the one in Arkansas that makes it illegal for unmarried people to adopt children.

I read part of the Twitter stream this morning -- a sarcastic aside "Obama wins, Proposition 8 passes Gay is the new Black"... one barrier may have fallen but we have far to go.

My heart is with Caden and his moms...

And I'm so happy your appointment went well!!

Mad said...

Might Christian of them, isn't it?

Freakin' hell.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should do home visits to make sure all kids have 'appropriate' parents. Make sure there are no wife beaters, people who don't keep clean houses, pro-choice believers, smokers, drug users, alcoholics, pedaphiles, etc. What would Jesus do? Embrace Caden and his moms for doing a great job raising him. I am so insensed that I leapt out of lurkdom for this.

E

niobe said...

Ewe are Hear & Road Blocks and Rollar Coasters: At that meeting, Kyrie told the director, "I was always taught that Jesus loves everyone."

I was horrified by the school's response. I guess I've been living in my own dream world.

Ya Chun said...

OMG!
I'd stop giving my money to that private school.
I'd rather my kids be friends with kids of a gay couple than an overly friendly dad or brother.

Two Hands said...

Oh! I wish I could hug Kyrie. I can't imagine how awful it is to have the prejudices people have against you transferred to your children as well. That is NOT a Christian school whatever they choose to call themselves. Jesus didn't tell anyone to take a hike.
I'm so so sorry.

Furrow said...

I don't know. This illustrates why I'm feeling a bit low this morning, despite O's inspiring win. I think we're going to be continuously jolted by how far we still have to go. The contrast between what we can do and what we still won't will be all the more stark.

loribeth said...

One set of prejudices & barriers overcome, but more still to go. :(

Sober Briquette said...

Holy Crap! My kids go to a Catholic school and there are very active open gay couples with children enrolled at the school. I assure you (and Kyrie) that if it were any other way, I would not send my kids there either. I would pull them out. I know it is hard to have to fight all the time, but I seriously hope she doesn't take this lying down.

I visited with a friend I don't see too often this weekend, and I was just bowled over by the love that she and her partner have for their little son. When my mother heard that they had a boy instead of a girl, she made a comment that it was too bad because boys need male role models. I was surprised she believes that, and honestly, when I see how those two women care for that child, I think he is the luckiest boy in the world.

I want to cry now.

The Nanny said...

Happy about Obama and the appointment.

But all the crap about making gay marriage constitutionally illegal in certain states, though, really did put a damper on my evening.

Poor Kyrie. Poor Arianna. Poor Caden. Poor so many people whose lives are hurt against like this.

When will people realize that not allowing two people of the same gender to marry, and have FULL RIGHTS, is pretty much the same as not letting black people or women vote? It's discrimination, plain and simple.

k@lakly said...

Nothing like the hypocrisy of the "christians" to reinforce my decision to vacate their world...love your brother as you would yourself (but only if he's just like you.) Blah.

Magpie said...

Bastards.

Amy said...

For lack of a better word for these so called people, I've come up with my own! EFFtards, a mix of Eff and bas! Of course, they probably wouldn't allow a bas child to play with the others either!

People like this just chap my hide! Some people have no clue and yes, they slipped through the gene pool. It's sad. Tell Kyrie, I'm sad for her and she needs to cry discrimination!

Heather said...

This is unreal. I can't believe people would do this to an innocent child.

It breaks my heart. Really does.

LawMommy said...

What the f**k (and excuse me for swearing) kind of "values" is this "Christian" school teaching when they say it is okay to discrimate against a CHILD because they have some kind of f**ked up problem with the child's parents?

I mean, it's disgusting that they have a problem with it in the first place, but, it's doubling disgusting that they would sanction extending their bigotry onto a child?

I am totally disgusted.

LM

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that the appointment went well.
Not glad to hear about Kyrie's experience with the school.

JP

Rory said...

How Christian of them! Wow, I'm sure their G*d will give them extra points for that.
My heart hurts for her and Caden. I agree with others, I'd be finding another school for him as fast as I was able.

Caro said...

That's awful about the school.

Glad the appointment went well though.

Christa said...

Contrarian that I am, I have to take a different tack. I am not a Christian, but its pretty clear that some acts and behaviors are okay with their world view and some are not. They get to draw the line and if you don't like how they do it then leave the club so to speak. Shouldn't they get to call the shots? No one forces you to be a member of a church of attend a certain private school. Find one that is truly consistent with your world view. The fact that they would act in a way that would hurt a child's feelings is terrible, but not unforseeable.

niobe said...

Christa: I think that in this case it really was unforeseeable -- or at least was unforeseen by Kyrie. She and Arianna are active members of their church and their relationship has never been an issue. In fact, I think this school was recommended to them by their pastor.

Lori said...

Well, one age-old barrier has been knocked down, but another is right behind it. I am sorry that Kyrie and her family are facing this.

Maggie said...

I'm glad that things went well at the appointment. But I am so sorry to hear about Kyrie and Arianna's school issues -- that's just awful...

thordora said...

oh niobe....that is horrible.

calliope said...

oh man. That is just horrible and it makes me this weird combination of angry and sad. Since when did acceptance and love become so UN-Christian?
sigh...

Elizabeth said...

the school changing their rule *in order to be able to exclude a child* is absolutely appalling.

Am I doing okay? said...

Ok, fine. Some people MIGHT feel uncomfortable. But why does the SCHOOL have to get involved? Ugh! That's horrible. Tell me where to write a letter.

And I feel uncomfortable in other peoples homes usually. Too big. Too neat. Too small. Too messy. But never too gay. I like a nice gay house.

wheelsonthebus said...

Are you f-ing kidding?!

Well, at least they get to skip some of the endless birthday parties.

Lisa b said...

oh Niobe I am just heartbroken for that poor boy.
how Christian values translate into bigotry I never understand.

Christa said...

Niobe,
Then that is truly terrible. To think that you and your child are in a safe, welcoming place and then to have the rug pulled out from underneath you is awful. I hope Kyrie and Arianna (and Caden) can find a school that embodies the best of Christian ideals. Surely there is one somewhere?

Somewhat off topic...my boss' daughter was applying to private high schools. One was a christian school and it required both the student and the parents to sign a mission statement. Part of a mission statement was something to the effect, we believe in Jesus and anyone who doesn't is going to hell. Sufficed to say they did not file an application for that school.

Bon said...

the school changing their policies without even any complaints from parents baffles me. the fact that they framed it so that the new policy would allow a CHILD to be excluded when that exclusion had not previously been possible disgusts me. sound like they were looking for an excuse to marginalize Kyrie, Arianna, and Caden...whatever their beliefs, enabling the exclusion of a child is not a particularly Christian thing to do, as others have said.

mind you, i'm not a fan of "everyone must be invited" policies in the first place, only b/c for some parents the expense or the size is simply too big a burden, and i hate big circus parties to start with...but that's my misanthropy talking...

Kathy McC said...

That is so very sad. My jaw literally dropped when I read about Kyrie and her family being excluded.

I didn't let my son sign up for Cub Scouts because of the same issue...they have policies against allowing gay or Athiest members. Yet they tout themselves as "morally straight and Christian".

Sounds like a load of crap to me. And in response to Christa's comment, I was always taught (in the Catholic church) that all human beings are sinners and that God loves us no matter what. (I don't agree that gay people are sinners, but that is what most churches teach according to the bible). So what makes one persons "sin" more acceptable than another? And what gives this school the right to exclude a child because his parents might make another person "uncomfortable".

It's a bunch of bull-shit and I feel very sad that there are still so many haters that feel this way...

Karen said...

that's really just too awful - and consistent with the very worst (though sadly often loudest) representatives of my christian faith tradition. I hope they find a new school home for Caden.
glad week 31/2 uneventful in other ways.

Angela said...

That's so shitty. It makes me angry; Christians can be some of the meanest people out there.

Kymberli said...

Appointment and Obama - hooray.

The school - *sigh* - I just don't even know how to frame a decent response to that.

janis said...

I cannot believe the school did that. How petty, mean and cruel.
Why would some people not feel comfortable with Caden in their house? There is NOTHING wrong with him. But something very wrong with the school and what they are teaching the children.
Total crap.

Anonymous said...

Is that a joke? Clearly, Caden is unlucky in that he's growing up with two loving parents who are in a healthy, stable relationship. Also, where does the school director get off speaking for all the parents of the other students? Perhaps they aren't as backwards as s/he.

theresa said...

I was stunned when you wrote about the school...how awful. Both my daughters went to Christian school(Methodist)and it was wonderful, and a completely different experience.
My older daughter had two classmates from kindergarten whose parents were same sex. When the kids had questions, they were answered honestly, and the environment was just warm and loving and accepting.
I am saddened to hear that people like that would call themselves Christian.

jodie38 said...

Way to single the poor kid out. That's just lovely. And this "Christian" school is teaching this type of intolerance early. Perfect. I don't understand why the school had to get involved, and I'd be interested to know what other policies were being changed. Bunch of chickens.....

thailandchani said...

Oh. God! That's disgusting! I'm speechless.


~*

Betty M said...

Oh blame the kid for the "sins" of the parents - very Christian. I would be leaving the school pronto I think.

Glad the appt went well.

Wall to wall coverage of the election here - BBC, ITV and Sky all night if you wanted.

thirtysomething said...

I could say a whole lot, but I will keep my mouth shut. Except for one thing. I once saw a bumper sticker that I SO agree with. it read: I love your Christ. I hate your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.
'Nuf said.
Poor fella and even more so, it must be hard for Kyrie and Arianna.

And, to you, yay for the appointment! All is well...

Hannah said...

Glad about the appointment, obviously. Getting closer now.

But so sad for Caden, and Kyrie and Arianna. When I hear stories like this, it's hard for me to argue with hubby when he flaps Dawkins or Hitchens at me and insists that Christianity hurts more people than it helps.

It's the age-old argument, isn't it? This director insists on sticking to "homosexuality is a sin" because it's in the Bible, but I'll bet she doesn't go to a menstruating women's hut for two weeks a month.

Grrr. Slightly incoherent now, getting madder by the minute.

Cara said...

Wow - REALLY close now!

And - don't even get me started on the whole Catholic approach to values...seriously I can't go there.

AnnaMarie said...

How horrible! What a cruel thing to say. And this from a place that is supposed to teach love.

I hope Kyrie and Arianna can find a solution soon (my idea of a solution is to remove Caden from that school and demand reimbursement for all tuition paid and supplies, with the help from a lawyer).

Monica H said...

And that is why Christians are my favorite people!

They're just so Godly and hypocritical are they?

Alex said...

So glad about Obama and the appointment.

Terribly sorry for Kyrie, Arianna, and Caden, but I have to admit I'd be hard-pressed to enroll my child in a school that imagined it to be appropriate to dictate whom I would invite to social events in my home. From there, dictating how (else) people should live their lives doesn't seem to me to be much of a stretch.

Karin said...

Glad about the appointment!

But bloody hell about the school! I'm stunned in so many ways.

Aurelia said...

This is making me cry, honestly, I just want to fly to your city and SLAP that school director.

Tell Kyrie that at minimum, she should make sure her pastor knows what happened. That way he won't be recommending that school to anymore people. Truly, there are many many schools that would willingly take Caden instead.

Anonymous said...

My friend was just saying yesterday that she hopes one day people will look back and be appalled at how gays and lesbians were treated. Indded, we have so far to go. But we've got someone in office with whom to start.
Looks like there will be a new little light shining at the beginning of next year. Wow!
allypally

Little Miss Hopeful said...

Oh my...I am struck dumb by this. It really hit me in a sore spot especially since the little man's name is Caden (my son's name)
I am just speechless...that the director would feel the need to change policies?

I guess I feel like if they were saying that people might not feel comfortable going to Kyrie and Arianna's house I would understand...Im sure that there would be people at the school who wouldn't want their kids at *shock horror* a GAY person's house...
But to say they wouldn't feel comfortable with Caden in their home? WTF kind of crap is that!?!?! WHo feels threatened by a 4 year old? Disgraceful.

I have to say though, as outraged as I was...the comment from Am I doing okay? cracked me up. I like a nice gay house too ;)

Elizabeth said...

I'm stunned. I am appalled and angry for Kyrie, Arianna and Caden.

Lori said...

I'm really glad to hear the appointment went well.

Part of me wants to offer some sort of apology on behalf of all Christians. I do feel frustrated and sad when I hear of very un-Christ-like behavior coming out of the Christian community. But, then again, I am sure there have been more than a few times someone else has felt ashamed of my own un-Christ-like behavior. Maybe not to this extent (I hope not), but I am always aware of the log in my own eye.

docgrumbles said...

I could go on a long rant..or I could just sum it up with:

APALLING!!!

megan said...

horrifying.
i never get used to hearing stories like this. every single time i'm horrified anew. i just don't GET IT. why is it even an ISSUE? people love each other. people love their babies. it's as simple as that, yet people insist on being ass backwards.

missedconceptions said...

It is things like this fuel my misanthropic tendencies and my general mistrust of organized religion. Where's a good WWJD bracelet when you need one?

I am glad the baby-part of the appointment went well.

h2o girl said...

Speaking of bumper stickers, my brother used to have one that said "Jesus, save me from your followers."

I am so sorry about Caden's school. Crikey - the intolerance is stunning.

Cate said...

I wouldn't continue giving my money to a school like that.

painted maypole said...

wow. They are going to allow the other parents to ostracize the son. how horrid.

Caden AND his mommies would be welcome in this Christian home any day.

girlh said...

32 weeks. Yay!
Obama. Yay!

A"christian" school changing a policy so Caden being excluded from BIRTHDAY PARTIES? I feel sick to my stomach.

Amelie said...

I'm sorry for Kyrie and her family. Very christian really. I just had a discussion with a gay colleague who is unhappy that he could not get married in his own country or have a registered partnership, but here [in Spain] he can.

Good to hear about your scan, and Obama.

Yankee, Transferred said...

This is hideous. I worry about this world, although slightly less since Tuesday. I cannot even IMAGINE this going on. I have lived in the most liberal (MA) and among the most conservative (TN states and my children have never experienced this, although I will say they have gone to public schools.
And people want the government to fund VOUCHERS for this type of "education"?

I am appalled.

Rach said...

Pleased the the appointment went well.

Sad that the school director made that statement. Dear oh me, couldn't get away with saying that in Australia. Well, someone may say it but it would be on the 7.00pm news!

red pen mama said...

my jaw is still hanging open. I'm not sure I understand why a parent would be uncomfortable with a child in his/her home... because of his/her parents. I don't want to understand. And the fact that the school would change its policy because of parents' lifestyle choices?? holy cats. I don't even know what to say, I'm so outraged.

If the Catholic pre-school I send my daughter to had a policy that it changed for a reason like this, I'd yank her out of there. Because it's about loving one another, and that's it.

ciao,
rpm

Motel Manager said...

That story about Caden's school just breaks my heart. Such bullsh*t!

excavator said...

I would like to ask this school principal what Jesus would do. This is such a perfect example of straining the gnat and swallowing the camel.

Yes, as someone said above, these people are changing a policy that was made to be sure ALL children are included to one where it's POSSIBLE to exclude Caden?

This is just so wrong. I'd like to send a message to the school (honestly, restrained, something on the lines of above.) Is there any way I could get their email?

Julia said...

I can't remember if I told you this before, but if I did, I am just going to repeat myself here. I don't think the admission to heaven works the way classical Christian theology has it. But there are times, this being one of them, when I really wish it did. Cause then people like this director would be in for a surprise of their lives (or deaths?-- ha! I slay me!) upon having their G-d ask them whether they really thought G-d would approve, whether they really did THAT for their G-d. Yup, I am vindictive enough to want to see that. Clearly not exactly heaven material myself...