Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Culture Wars

We all know that the religious right has promoted the malarkey that there exists a vast left wing and progressive conspiracy to erode the "values and traditions" of American families and of the nation as a whole. The bogus "War on Christmas", "War on the Bible", and their upcoming "War on Easter" are just 3 examples of their fervor and paranoia. Numerous conservative talking heads would have us believe that the United States is going to hell in a handbasket.

The extreme "values" of one parent with a fifth grade student in a North Dallas school are beyond absurd. According to the January 2007 edition of the NEA Today, a monthly publication of the National Education Association, a parent complaint following a field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art may have cost the school's art teacher her job. Although the school's principal authorized the field trip and the teacher:

"was joined on the outing by four other teachers, a dozen parents, and a museum docent, her principal responded to a parent’s complaint about the nude statuary by suspending [the teacher] and immediately interviewing for her replacement."

A legal team from the Texas State Teacher's Association:

"sprang into action on [her] behalf and won a rare buyout for [the teacher] in November, requiring the district to pay her through May 2007."

Is it safe to take anyone to an art museum that has a Van Gogh exhibit and a small number of nude statues from various cultures and time periods?

Yes, we may have a "Culture War" but it is difficult to determine just who is the "enemy".

(The photo above is of a 2,300-year-old Greek funerary relief that is on exhibit in the Dallas Museum of Art.)


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