May 30, 2020

California dreaming

Growing up in Bangor in the 1950s, California was frequently used as the example to personify trouble, evil, wild living and loose women – truly the permanent residence of Satan and lost Christians and Jews. It was not the place for a nice Maine girl. However, my husband, who worked for WLBZ, thought moving west was the place to go if we wanted a future with a livable wage. So we moved with our children and ended up in California, where I began a lengthy career in the justice system. That career taught me many things, including to check my facts before using them to shore up an argument.

Pastor Lee Witting should have done some checking before he attempted to use California to shore up his arguments in his article, “Scrutinizing recent attacks on theology” (BDN, March 1-2). Mr. Witting stated there has been “recent legislation in … California forbidding children from saying Mom and Dad in school so as not to hurt the feelings with same-sex parents.” Since I have three granddaughters in the San Diego public schools, I found this statement most startling.

I called the administrative office of Mission Bay High School in San Diego and the San Juan Unified District administrative office in Sacramento and asked if such legislation or rule did apply. It doesn’t, I was told.

Now I don’t know if something might be a local policy in Berkeley. That place does some strange things, it’s true. Legislation would require the state Legislature’s vote and I assure you, members of that elected body would find themselves out of work very quickly if they tried such foolery.

Rusty Gagnon


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