Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 5.13

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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19 Comments

  1. On the viral video thing: I have never been more embarrassed for my hometown news.

    And the “Topper” they mention in the video, by the way, is the Chief Meteorologist. So that, to me, makes it funnier – the sports-reporter thinks it’s real, the on-staff scientist is skeptical!

  2. @David_R:

    It might be the best school in the area. They may offer programs their child can’t get in public schools. The public schools in the area may be terrible. Maybe they prefer a smaller private school to a public school. It may be the only private school in the area, or at least the one most worth considering. They may be Catholic, of the typical American take-what-you-want-from-it school of thought, and wanted their child to attend a Catholic school…. maybe never experienced discrimination in their parish before.

    My husband and I had considered moving into Chicago… as in within the city limits. If we did this, we’d pretty much have to send Moose to a Catholic school. Secular private schools are hard to come by and if we saved up every penny we made for our entire lives we still probably wouldn’t be able to afford to live in a neighborhood with good public schools.

  3. @LtStorm: Yes, actually, I have known a fat tweaker!

    It boggled my mind a bit too at first, but she was/is a long-time, “functioning” tweaker (as functioning as a meth head can be, anyway) and likely sort of immune to the no-appetite thing, plus she loves to bake. I imagine she just eats even when she’s not hungry. Thus, a fat tweaker.

    (I’m from Arizona. There are a lot of tweakers here. Heh.)

  4. @marilove: Definitely a rarity. I do volunteer work with street dwelling addicts, and none of them are fat, not even the alkies. I guess the secret to drug-addicted weight loss is homelessness. Once you’ve got that down pat, any drug addiction seems to work.

  5. The bit with the Catholic school makes me wonder: where does freedom of speech stop? It’s basically the old, “Is it okay to yell, ‘Fire!’ in a movie house?” (Conversely, is it okay to yell, “Movie!” in a fire house?) If an institution does not receive public funds, should the government step in and decide who it admits? Just as there are no laws which bar Fred Phelps from holding up signs saying, “GOD HATES FAGS!” shouldn’t our freedom of speech allow us to create exclusionary organizations? I have no doubt that the Catholic church is a reprehensible organization, but at what point do we get to say who they can admit or not?

    On another note, I do think that it’s rather ironic that this lady wants her child to learn compassion and empathy from an organization that does not punish child abusers. FWIW, I learned both traits without going to church.

  6. I went to a Catholic high school. They didn’t seem to care if a student’s parents were atheist (me), divorced (about 1/3 of the student body) or even Muslim (at least two kids in the school). As long as the tuition was paid on time, and you showed up and at least tried to learn, the Jesuits were happy.

    They also didn’t care if they didn’t have good answers to theological questions.

    However reasonable the argument of, “We won’t know how to answer your child’s questions about the Church’s position the parents’ relationship” sounds, it is just cover for prejudice.

    Please! they pretend to know what happens to folks after death, and why the 3-in-1 god would kill himself for the sins of his own creations. I think they can come up with similar BS to tell this kid about his lesbian parents.

  7. I’m not defending the Catholic school – it’s a dick move, for sure – but I want to point out that sometimes they are under pressure from the parents and church members.

    My Dad was an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown for a bit, so they got invited to all sorts of events there. About 6 or 7 years ago, they got something where for the RSVP, you had to fill in a line with the name of the “Spouse/Parnter”.

    Both my parents – who are really not very pro-gay, much to my constant irritation – politely railed at the department that sent them the invite. They pointed out that Georgetown is a Catholic University, and they were offended by that. (Me? I was trying not to tell my mother to take a chill pill when she told me this story, otherwise I’d be subjected to two days of lecture on the topic. For the nth time.)

    Trust me – sometimes the Church itself at the ground level could give a shit, as long as those tuition checks clear (as @jrpowell noted above). The parents, however, can deeply retreat into their faith and freak out. It sucks all around.

  8. @vbalbert: The other issue here is freedom of association. It seems reasonable to me that a private school that does not take any tax money can be as selective as they want with regard to who attends. The Catholic church is a group defined by what they believe, so you and I may not like their decision but it is a freedom afforded us that we can associate with the people of our choice.

    @jrpowell: Agreed, I have friends who are either atheists or Jewish who send their kids to a catholic school. I wonder why it matters so much here or if the principal at this school is just more of a bigot.

  9. The peer pressure article makes me think that it’s another argument against “clustering” style gifted classes, which is what is done here in Austin for grades K-5. Basically, they stick gifted kids on one side of an otherwise regular classroom with the theory that teachers will give them more challenging stuff to do, but in reality teachers end up spending all their time with the underachievers just to get them up to the middle.

    So if those studies are right, I would imagine that the gifted kids would do worse from the social pressure even if they were getting proper gifted-level instruction.

  10. @James Fox: I don’t know if I’m legally right, but I feel that freedom of association is part of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech has been expanded to mean freedom of expression. I think choosing those who you associate with is the same as expressing yourself. IOW, I was pretty much saying what you said.

  11. @vbalbert: That got me thinking and you appear to be correct. From wiki, “While the United States Constitution’s First Amendment identifies the rights to assemble and to petition the government, the text of the First Amendment does not make specific mention of a right to association. Nevertheless, the United States Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Alabama that the freedom of association is an essential part of the Freedom of Speech because, in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others.”

  12. Hey, I never said I thought it was a good idea. It’s a dickwad move. But it’s a private school run by asshats who ostensibly view homosexuality as a sin. Why would you want to send your kid to a school that makes idiotic decisions based on a few mystery cults?

    The kid is better off without the school.

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