Consider the following two books:
One book is a compilation of stories, some of which are deeply disturbing – such as one depicting a sexual mistreatment that ends in murder, as well as the mutilation of a corpse.
The second book is about a girl who - when she goes off to school for the very first time, she thinks that there might be something wrong with her family because she has two mothers and no father. In the course of the story, the girl learns that every family is special, and that the most important thing is that all the people in the family love each other.
The question is: Which book is more likely to be banned in the school library because of its sexual content. The correct answer is book number two – Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman – because the other book is the Bible (the story is from Judges, Chapter 19). At least, that was the case back in December when the Pennridge School District decided to pull the children’s book from its library shelves.
The Bible and Heather Has Two Mommies is illustrative of the irrationality in rationalizing decisions to keep LGBTQ themed literature off of school library shelves. That, however, has not stopped the Republican dominated state’s senate from passing SB 1277, which ostensibly was written to provide parents with the opportunity to review school materials with “sexually explicit content”, and allow their children to opt out of classes using them, while providing alternative curricula for those students.
The problem with the bill is that the definition of “sexually explicit content” is vague, and it would create new mandates for already overburdened school districts to observe.
A companion bill that the Pennsylvania senate passed is SB 1278, Pennsylvania’s version of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Under the guise of taking a neutral stance toward gender orientation and identity, the bill would compel educators to turn a blind eye to a school’s culture where bullying and anti-LGBTQ sentiments would be allowed to flourish.
While SB 1277 and SB 1278 certainly belie the Republican Party’s claim of being anti-regulatory, they also call into question the party’s positions on free speech. Doug Mastriano has epitomized such hypocrisy in his praise of Gab CEO Andrew Torba for “giving us a platform for free speech,” while Torba has ranted that “We don’t want people who are atheists. We don’t want people who are Jewish. We don’t want people who are, you know, nonbelievers, agnostic, whatever. This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country.”
Yes, Mastriano, along with Oz, is a buffoon, but he is a dangerous buffoon, and recent history has taught us that in America, we cannot take buffoonery lightly. An analysis by the Washington Post shows, that in addition to Oz and Mastriano, eight of the 17 Republican Congressional nominees from Pennsylvania have questioned the results of the 2020 election. We cannot take this election for granted. Please consider one of the activities below this week, to get our people to vote this November.
THINGS TO DO
If you would like to carpool from High Point Allen Lane, please also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, September 11 from anywhere (virtual phone bank) for Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman. SIGN UP HERE
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 6 – 8 PM from anywhere (virtual phone bank) for Bucks County candidates. SIGN UP HERE
Tuesdays, and Thursdays from anywhere (virtual phone bank), 5:30 – 9 PM for Chester County candidates. SIGN UP HERE
Fridays from anywhere (virtual phone bank), 4 – 6 PM for Western Montco candidates. SIGN UP HERE
Thursday (September 1), Friday (September 2), Tuesday (September 2), at the USCIS Office, 30 North 41st Street, Philadelphia, PA
The New Pennsylvania Project (NPP) continues to register new American citizens at naturalization ceremonies at the USCIS Philadelphia office. Three volunteers per shift each date are requested. Shifts begin at 9am, 11am, and 2pm. Shifts last an hour. Volunteers are urged to arrive 15 minutes before the start of a shift. A NPP staff person will be there to welcome you and to give you the materials you will need to register folks to vote. If you arrive and nobody is outside, make sure you go inside to attend the ceremony and register voters after they finish. Please be aware that you have to go through security to enter the building and you must bring a photo ID with you. SIGN UP HERE.
Help to send voter registration info to unregistered voters in PA. through texting. Field Team 6 is holding weekly voter registration boot camps. The next one is this Thursday September 1 and once you register, they will send you an email with instructions for getting your computer setup to run their system. Please see the SIGN UP HERE.
We now have blank postcards for Paul Takac, a great PA House candidate from central Pennsylvania. We will also supply you with the postcards, messages and an address list. If you are interested, please reply to this email.
Too busy to volunteer. Here is a short list of candidates looking to change the color of their districts from red to blue. A good investment of your hard-earned money. Just click on the name to donate:
7035 Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA 19119-3440