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Gender Pronouns v God, lawsuit on religious freedom - Admin Warning in the OP

  • 03-06-2021 6:29pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 65,380 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal


    https://lawandcrime.com/first-amendment/teacher-who-believes-using-preferred-pronouns-will-defile-the-holy-image-of-god-sues-school-district-that-threatened-to-fire-him/



    This school teacher submitted comments before a public school board meeting precisely as shown above:

    My name is Tanner Cross. And I am speaking out of love for those who suffer with gender dysphoria. 60 Minutes, this past Sunday, interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned. But they felt led astray because lack of pushback, or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies in just 3 months. They are now de-transitioning. It is not my intention to hurt anyone. But there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies like 8040 and 8035 because it will damage children, defile the holy image of God. I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. I’m a teacher but I serve God first. And I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it is against my religion. It’s lying to a child. It’s abuse to a child. And it’s sinning against our God.

    (60 Mins spot: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-transgender-health-care-issues-2021-05-23/)

    according to the teacher's lawsuit he was suspended 2 days after this public statement for “conduct that has had a disruptive impact on the operations” of the school.

    One of the policies he was condemning, 8035, which instructs "School staff shall, at the request of a student or parent/legal guardian, when using a name or pronoun to address the student, use the name and pronoun that correspond to their gender identity." The policy also states that "staff shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s permanent educational record."

    I'm more than thrilled to let other people split the fine hairs of gender pronouns but when it comes to the court room and intersects freedom of religion in such a bombastic way how can you not be interested, really - like the gay wedding cake or the marriage license clerk before this. I think I would disagree with the plaintiff on what God would really think about the subject, but maybe he means Republican Jesus, and you know, he has religious freedom to worship Republican Jesus, even if part of that religion is to keep referring to Republican Jesus simply as 'God.'

    This is a tougher case legally than say, just having the teacher who is religiously adamant that God intelligently designed blobfish just go teach something else for the lecture on evolution: gender pronouns are conversationally something that affects every member of staff, but especially a teacher and a coach, as in this case he is both. Even if you could just stick him on some admin job to avoid a lawsuit, that would not change the fact that they will refuse to refer to students or coworkers by preferred pronouns, meaning you have employees deliberately flouting policy. So, what does that mean, the policy gets scrapped and if so what happens with students and their gender identity?

    Mod Note:

    We are going to let this thread run but people would do well to heed the Admin warning in a similar thread previously on this forum
    Tokyo wrote: »
    Admin:

    Enough is enough. There has been more than enough discussion in this forum and in feedback with respect to misgendering members of the trans community, and the site has made its position on this matter abundantly clear. Yet the usual dog whistles and baiting is already prevailing in this thread.

    There is plenty of scope for discussion here, but any continued efforts to equate trans with mental illness or paedophelia, or deliberate misgendering of individuals to nail home a point of view will be met with an immediate and permanent siteban. Consider this the one and only warning on this matter.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,280 ✭✭✭✭ Gatling


    Sooner or later there has to be a line drawn in the sand ,this utter nonsense around the idea that being pushed on children that gender is a broad-spectrum and they can change just by saying they are and they want their pronoun's ,


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,380 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal


    Gatling wrote: »
    Sooner or later there has to be a line drawn in the sand ,this utter nonsense around the idea that being pushed on children that gender is a broad-spectrum and they can change just by saying they are and they want their pronoun's ,

    I mean that's why I'm glad it's going to come to this kind of head in a lawsuit, because you have several parties 'in the right' ie. religious freedom, speech freedom, life and liberty, etc. all intersect on this and there's so much controversy over it in discussion still that at a certain point you want it to be sorted out one way or another in a civic institution.

    I do think if he had said something along the lines of 'I will do my job but under protest of the policy' he wouldn't be suspended, but by saying I condemn this and won't abide by it, that's much more disruptive grounds for dismissal. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have a religious freedom to argue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,502 ✭✭✭ Abominable Dr. Phibes


    Not sure what this court case, Republican Jesus, or the precedent it might set have to do with Ireland. It’s Yankee stuff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,888 ✭✭✭ lawrencesummers


    I try and be open minded and I gave it a go.

    I got as far as “I serve god first”


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,380 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal


    Not sure what this court case, Republican Jesus, or the precedent it might set have to do with Ireland. It’s Yankee stuff.

    That's why I made a new thread rather than drag the "Gender Identity in Modern Ireland" thread off-topic.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,673 ✭✭✭ jam_mac_jam


    This is difficult. He does have a right to free speech and his beliefs but the people he is interacting with have a right to be respected in their beliefs.

    I think if you are in work you just have to suck it up and obey the rules. He has the right to object to the rules but once its brought in he has to abide by them.

    I am not sure what religion has to do with it one way or the other. My guess is that he will be sacked. Rather than them not compel him to use the pronoun.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,280 ✭✭✭✭ Gatling


    I think if you are in work you just have to suck it up and obey the rules. He has the right to object to the rules but once its brought in he has to abide by them.

    But what happens when you don't agree with someone's else's believefs should you be sacked and labelled as a homophobic bigot for not promoting something you know isn't true or real ,
    Teens go though phases faster than our seasons in a day I wouldn't be bowing to a child based on a whim or a fad or attention seeking


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,673 ✭✭✭ jam_mac_jam


    Gatling wrote: »
    But what happens when you don't agree with someone's else's believefs should you be sacked and labelled as a homophobic bigot for not promoting something you know isn't true or real ,
    Teens go though phases faster than our seasons in a day I wouldn't be bowing to a child based on a whim or a fad or attention seeking

    I'm not saying it's right. I'm saying that's probably what is going to happen

    I don't think you should be sacked for your beliefs but at the same time you have to follow the rules of the organisation you work for.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Whatever about respecting pronouns as a courtesy to those with gender dysphoria-
    there has to be ethical, factual and moral considerations for science and religion teachers, having to teach something they believe and in some cases know to be false.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,357 ✭✭✭✭ Hello 2D Person Below


    I try and be open minded and I gave it a go.

    I got as far as “I serve god first”

    Yup. His whole spiel summed up in four syllables.

    This fella is about as concerned for those youngsters as I am about the demise of capitalism.


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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 48,800 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Necro


    We are going to let this thread run but people would do well to heed the Admin warning in a similar thread previously on this forum
    Tokyo wrote: »
    Admin:

    Enough is enough. There has been more than enough discussion in this forum and in feedback with respect to misgendering members of the trans community, and the site has made its position on this matter abundantly clear. Yet the usual dog whistles and baiting is already prevailing in this thread.

    There is plenty of scope for discussion here, but any continued efforts to equate trans with mental illness or paedophelia, or deliberate misgendering of individuals to nail home a point of view will be met with an immediate and permanent siteban. Consider this the one and only warning on this matter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,937 ✭✭✭✭ osarusan


    Overheal wrote: »
    I’m a teacher but I serve God first.
    That is as worrying to me as anything else in the article. Where else does he serve god first when it clashes with other aspects of the school policy/curriculum.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,280 ✭✭✭✭ Gatling


    osarusan wrote: »
    That is as worrying to me as anything else in the article. Where else does he serve god first when it clashes with other aspects of the school policy/curriculum.

    For many Christian especially American they tends to always say god before everything else ,they still teach god create the world over science , despite the internet and the rest of the world who are non believers of any religion ,
    It's the same for Jewish and Muslim religious beliefs it's there way or no way


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,380 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal


    Necro wrote: »
    We are going to let this thread run but people would do well to heed the Admin warning in a similar thread previously on this forum
    but any continued efforts to equate trans with mental illness [...] to nail home a point of view will be met with an immediate and permanent siteban.

    Thank you.

    For sake of clarity: where does that leave any discussion regarding Gender Dysphoria, as it's central to the controversy? "My name is Tanner Cross. And I am speaking out of love for those who suffer with gender dysphoria." Latter points seem abundantly clear (ie. Trans != Pedo, not a logical deduction) but the constraint above feels more fuzzy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,380 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal


    osarusan wrote: »
    That is as worrying to me as anything else in the article. Where else does he serve god first when it clashes with other aspects of the school policy/curriculum.

    I mean yeah, but that's a whole other philosophical debate on what our prime drivers are. For him I guess that is his religion. As an educator though under US constitutional law, anyway, I don't necessarily think he has the protected right to establish for his classroom that gender is something that will "defile the holy image of God."

    It's a good point, though. Maybe we should make our educators swear some kind of oath or creed, the same way doctors and lawyers and other civic professions do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,985 ✭✭✭ AbusesToilets


    First and foremost, one should treat others with compassion and dignity. There's a difference in respecting someone's personal wishes by using a chosen name, versus being made to accept belief over biology.

    Society is in a dangerous position currently, where looking to study root causes of issues like dysphoria can be looked at as evidence of bigotry or hateful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,380 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal


    First and foremost, one should treat others with compassion and dignity. There's a difference in respecting someone's personal wishes by using a chosen name, versus being made to accept belief over biology.

    Society is in a dangerous position currently, where looking to study root causes of issues like dysphoria can be looked at as evidence of bigotry or hateful.

    Mostly that seems to be because it is viewed as a dysphoria, it's being approached as a problem that needs to be analyzed and treated. It's a common criticism of the DSM-V approach in general, people looking for PhDs off galivanting to classify the next thing that isn't 'normal' etc. and in this case it's marred by a ton of 'othering' and dehumanizing people who are trans because of ingrained societal hangups.

    I will say if the teacher wants to approach it as an illness, my response in kind would be since he's not a psychiatrist, or even the guidance counselor, is he qualified to go against their consensus of how to regard children whom have been labeled with the dysphoria/wish to be called by non-conventional pronouns?

    My aunt has gone through some serious bouts of pure dementia over the years, she's been detained under Florida's Baker Act a couple times - it temporarily arrests persons who are mentally ill and a danger to themselves or others. If I doctor came to us and said, hey don't try and argue with her that ghosts can't time travel, I would say yes sir/ma'am, definitely not going to confront her fringe theory about time traveling ghosts. Similarly: If a policy comes down and says listen, its been decided by more qualified people than I that we need to staff to please just try and respect the kids for who they want to be, I would say yes sir/ma'am, I won't rock this child's boat, they are here to learn algebra and calisthenics, etc. I don't need to send them into a debate over their gender identity every time I see them, that's not why they are in school. Also, if you feel very strongly about it, you can make reasonable effort, I think, using English and semantics to avoid addressing someone by a pronoun at all, just call them by their name more often, right? That way you don't have to use the pronoun, and they don't have to be addressed with a pronoun they've respectfully stated they prefer. Win win win?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,440 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    osarusan wrote: »
    That is as worrying to me as anything else in the article. Where else does he serve god first when it clashes with other aspects of the school policy/curriculum.
    yeah, for me if that's his stance i won't even bother concerning myself with what else he has to say.
    his job is to serve the kids, not god. if he doesn't understand that, he's in the wrong job and his opinions should be discarded as trash.


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,380 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal


    yeah, for me if that's his stance i won't even bother concerning myself with what else he has to say.
    his job is to serve the kids, not god. if he doesn't understand that, he's in the wrong job and his opinions should be discarded as trash.

    He would argue he is serving the kids by serving God, and by extension his religious belief about God's image for humans etc. - not that I agree with that position, just presenting it here for robust talk. That position is why I think having teachers swear some type of civic/legal oath would be helpful to avoid conflicts like this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,280 ✭✭✭✭ Gatling


    But Should one belief trump another or placed on a pedistool and can never be challenged ,
    It's far from balanced and if anything weaponises the discussion ,agree with me or your getting sacked and shamed based off a unsubstantiated claim ,
    Kids and teens change from one day to another ,why not allow this to be challenged


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,985 ✭✭✭ AbusesToilets


    Gatling wrote: »
    But Should one belief trump another or placed on a pedistool and can never be challenged ,
    It's far from balanced and if anything weaponises the discussion ,agree with me or your getting sacked and shamed based off a unsubstantiated claim ,
    Kids and teens change from one day to another ,why not allow this to be challenged

    I would be in the camp of challenging ideas, but not perhaps in the manner this teacher did. Engaging in a debate grounded in facts and proper research, rather than one framed by religious conviction.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,440 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    Gatling wrote: »
    But Should one belief trump another or placed on a pedistool and can never be challenged ,
    but that seems to be what this chap wants; he has explicitly stated that his religious beliefs come first.

    i will reveal my age to a certain extent here and defer to this way of explaning my position (should you choose to watch it, and i suspect you won't, nor would i probably):



    or, TL;DW - if there's a debate to be had, that gobdaw teacher's opinions are not the basis on which to have the debate.


  • Registered Users Posts: 65,380 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal


    but that seems to be what this chap wants; he has explicitly stated that his religious beliefs come first.

    i will reveal my age to a certain extent here and defer to this way of explaning my position (should you choose to watch it, and i suspect you won't, nor would i probably):


    I watched it and am now very confused about what your position is :D


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,440 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    forgive me, for i am a little bit drunk.
    i shall try to summarise: i am not going to waste any time responding to or trying to deconstruct an argument based on a false premise (as i believe the teacher cited is doing). i know i have painted myself into a corner of hypocrisy in a sense, as i have found myself repeatedly responding in the thread anyway, but sure isn't that what the internet is for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,673 ✭✭✭ jam_mac_jam


    Overheal wrote: »
    I watched it and am now very confused about what your position is :D

    Me too but it was very funny. As Bill Hicks always is


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,280 ✭✭✭✭ Gatling


    He's right it's a **** movie .........


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,384 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack


    Overheal wrote: »
    I mean that's why I'm glad it's going to come to this kind of head in a lawsuit, because you have several parties 'in the right' ie. religious freedom, speech freedom, life and liberty, etc. all intersect on this and there's so much controversy over it in discussion still that at a certain point you want it to be sorted out one way or another in a civic institution.

    I do think if he had said something along the lines of 'I will do my job but under protest of the policy' he wouldn't be suspended, but by saying I condemn this and won't abide by it, that's much more disruptive grounds for dismissal. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have a religious freedom to argue.


    He could argue religious freedom all he wants, but it doesn’t count for a whole lot in terms of maintaining his position in a public school in the US. He doesn’t have much ground to argue freedom of speech either, but I don’t think the point of the lawsuit is to win his case, but rather to draw attention to the education system and fuel the controversy that’s been raging for decades in the public education system of religious vs secular education in the US -


    Religion in Schools in the United States


    The school were acting within their rights to place the teacher on paid administrative leave, for the reason they gave.

    The irony of this statement coming from his wife -


    However, the teacher’s wife, Angela Cross, confirmed in a Facebook post Friday that he was put on leave “as a result of his speaking out.”

    “As Americans, we believe that every American has the right to their beliefs, but NO AMERICAN HAS THE RIGHT TO IMPOSE THEIR BELIEFS ON OTHERS,” she wrote.

    “We spoke out first and foremost to protect the children and also to defend the first amendment rights of teachers and staff,” she said.



    Gym teacher put on leave after refusing to use preferred pronouns for transgender students


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,985 ✭✭✭ AbusesToilets


    Far too much encroachment of religion into supposedly secular institutions at the moment. One of the best aspects of the US system, in principle anyways, is the enforced separation of state and church. Evangelicals have been successful in eroding that over the last 4 decades.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,802 ✭✭✭✭ suicide_circus


    In both cases respect is being demanded for provably untrue ideologies.

    It used to be the case that failing to profess belief in one of these ideologies could be very bad for your career. Now, failing to profess the tenets of the other ideology can be very bad for your career.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,745 ✭✭✭ Chinese whospers


    The thought of children making such life changing decisions at a young age doesn't sit well with me, but the teacher's religious reason is the least (to the point of irrelevance) plausible argument against.

    I’m in love with him and I feel fine.



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