« NM01: Michelle Lujan Grisham Changes Two Young Women's Lives; Guest Blog | Main | 8/12: Georgene Louis Hosts Meet and Greet, plus Tools for Schools Drive »

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Respect – We Are ALL Made in God's Image the Central Message of Christianity

Guest Blog by Nick Rimmer, Esq.

Respect –this is a central message of Christianity. We are all made in God’s image, and we must treat our neighbors with the respect that each of us deserves. Whether you’re a Christian or not, this seems to be a pretty good message.

This is what makes Hope Christian School’s decision to deny admission to a 3-year-old boy because he comes from a same-sex family all the more disappointing. The fact that the school also receives tax-payer dollars makes the decision really troubling.

Like many private schools, Hope Christian’s application form reflects an understanding of changing family dynamics in the modern age. For instance, the application includes a section that allows four different parents and guardians at different addresses, recognizing that the definition of family in modern America is evolving.

Our children face so many more challenges, including coming from homes where both parents may have to work two-or-three jobs just to make ends meet, than the generations before them.

We know that those fortunate enough to have a family are far more likely to overcome those challenges. After reviewing decades of study, psychologist C.J. Patterson concluded “not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.” [1]

New Mexico already has enough challenges when it comes to raising our children. More than 30% of our children live in poverty, the second highest rate in the nation [2]. And more than six out of 10, like the boy denied admission to Hope Christian, who are eligible for preschool are not enrolled. Our abysmal graduation rates are well documented and often discussed.

By all accounts, the child at the center of this recent discussion is on track to avoid becoming one of those statistics. From outward appearances, his parents have given him all of the advantages—a loving home and a commitment to education. Sadly, the school is imposing an unnecessary punishment on this child, and we – as New Mexicans – can’t look the other way.

The 2010 Kids Count report estimates that 11% of children in New Mexico – a full one in 10 – are living with two moms or two dads. That is the same percentage of those living only with one dad. Combined with children living only with mom, a full 40% of our children live in family types virtually unheard of just 50 years ago.

Children today will encounter peers from a wide range of backgrounds and families, and we must teach them the principles of treating other with respect. Like the school’s own application recognizes, the family dynamic is changing. We will do well to remember that each family matters in the life of a child.

Footnotes for above article:
[1] Patterson, C.J., 2005. Lesbian and gay parents
and their children: summary of research findings. In: Lesbian and Gay Parenting.
American Psychological Association, Washington, DC. 
[2] Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2010, Kids Count Report, http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/acrossstates/Rankings.aspx?loct=2&by=v&order=d&ind=43&dtm=322&tf=133

 

August 7, 2012 at 05:49 PM in Children and Families, Civil Liberties, Faith Community, GLBT Rights, Guest Blogger | Permalink

Comments

No, that's a arrogant, ignorant, narrow minded and bigoted message:

"We are all made in God’s image, ... . Whether you’re a Christian or not, this seems to be a pretty good message."

Certainly it's not a message that will be greeted with enthusiasm by atheists, nor by animists or others who don't believe in a Christian sort of god. Frankly, I don't see myself as being created in the image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

To assume that everyone is a monotheist of the Christian sort is deeply un-American and insulting.

"The fact that the school also receives tax-payer dollars makes the decision really troubling."

No, the fact that my taxes are going to promote Christiantiy means that the US Constitution has failed and we are living in a theocracy. I don't care what Christians believe - whatever they believe, I don't want my tax dollars used for promoting their beliefs.

Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Aug 8, 2012 2:53:08 PM

Sexual orientation of parents is none of the school's business. The school's tax exempt status should be taken away. The school is teaching hate.

Posted by: qofdisks | Aug 8, 2012 5:01:49 PM

Obviously, some of God's children are more "made in God's image" than others, therefore bigotry is justified while fears and hatreds are both propagated and protected under "religious liberties" and "freedom of speech". If schools can openly discreminate, spread their elitist, cult-like ideologies of antiestablishment, anti-government, and anti-multiculturalism, then they also should forfeit their tax-exempt status and all government subsidies. Let the congregations of these cults support their own schools.

One suggestion might be for these loving parents to look for a good, reputable Montessori school for their son which teaches from the sciences, not from myths and fairy-tales. The Montessori goal is education and development of emissaries for world peace through harmony with one's environment, self-identification, and self-actualization. The environment fosters diversity and acceptance/tolerance of all.

A well researched and reputable Montessori would prove to be a much healthier choice.

Posted by: J Coop | Aug 10, 2012 8:47:20 AM

Separation of church and state is written into the US Constitution. I have always been troubled by property tax exemptions given to religious intuitions.

Giving tax payer funds to religious intuitions under the guise, "It benefits the children!". I'm sorry .... but that is blatant government support of religious schooling by transferring US tax money for the benefit of religion.

These Constitutional violations must stop.

As long as religions take public monies, the public cannot be excluded on religious grounds. Sounds like a job for the ACLU.

Posted by: John Criswell | Aug 10, 2012 4:37:53 PM