No one in their right mind would go before the school board and claim that, contrary to what students are taught in class, the ovens at Auschwitz never existed, the Armenian and Cambodian genocides were inventions, slaves loved their slave-masters and women were not treated like mules without rights for much of America’s past. Deniers still exist of course. But they generally spew their nonsense in the gutters of the anonymous internet, technology’s equivalent of Klannish white sheets.
So it was unusual when the Rev. Charlene Cothran of Palm Coast’s Zion Baptist Church, and a Realtor in town, appeared before the school board Tuesday to spew that nonsense denialism about gays, lesbians and transgender people. Or maybe it wasn’t unusual. LGBTQ bigotry seems to still be fair game. The U.S. Supreme Court this very term is deciding whether employers should have the right to fire gay and transgender people. Employers still have that right in most states, including Florida. As astounding as it seems that this is still a debatable issue (the question is no less preposterous than asking whether an employer should have the right to fire a Presbyterian, a Democrat or a redhead), it’s even more astounding that the outcome is uncertain, and based on oral arguments in October, likely to favor employers.
With the Pulse massacre in Orlando as an obvious backyard example, it’s no mystery why LGBTQ people are now more often the targets of hate crimes than Jews, Muslims or blacks in the United States. The Rev. Charlene Cothran added her bit of hatred to that end Tuesday.
Randall Bertrand, the parent of a transgender boy who objected to the disrespectful way his son was treated at Matanzas High School (the boy is transferring), had just addressed the board when Cothran spoke. She described herself as a former lesbian advocate and board member of many gay and lesbian organizations. She said she had a “radical change of heart” and “finally humbled” herself to the teachings of Jesus Christ. I don’t know what one thing has to do with the other. Christ taught the golden rule without exceptions. But bigotry has this in its favor: it is not accountable to logic, fact or compassion. It thrives on its own closed-circuited delusions, under that all-indemnifying cloak of “faith.” Cothran showed how.
Her right to express her beliefs, however perverted, is not in dispute. But she attacked Bertrand personally, repeatedly calling him “confused,” ridiculed his parenting and presumed to tell him how he should be raising his son. She insulted Bertrand’s son, refusing to refer to him as a boy, calling him “this young beautiful lady,” which is no less offensive than slurring anyone’s sexual identity, and calling him “mentally ill” twice as he sat a few rows behind her.
Neither the school board attorney nor the school board chair intervened. Maybe they didn’t realize how offensive Cothran was being. The board has procedure rules, which it enforces, that forbid public speakers from making directly disparaging attacks on school staff. How is a student, a minor, different? Cothran wasn’t discussing potential policy. She was talking about a student in a derogatory, degrading way, and attacking his father publicly. The gavel has sounded for far less. That goes to show the very disconnect in question here, the remaining lack of sensitivity from a board and a district that nevertheless have, on the whole, been making the right strides in this regard. But clearly not enough. Some of the officials, including the superintendent, apologized to Bertrand after the meeting. It’s too easy. Public bullying must be confronted and condemned publicly.
The 15 year old finally got up and left the board room. He shouldn’t have had to. Just as he shouldn’t have had to transfer schools to resume his passion for his chosen academic field.
Then Cothran made recklessly false claims, citing discredited numbers and organizations that deny the severity of LGBTQ suicides or the facts of gender identity. So I don’t hesitate to call her out in turn, both for her personal offenses and her intellectual dishonesty.
“There is no evidence genuinely supporting gender identity. There is none,” she said. That may be true in official policy in Iran, in Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan and in Saudi Arabia, and apparently in certain American congregations in sympathy with Islam’s most regressive fringes. It’s not true anywhere that abides by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ position on transgender and “gender-diverse children,” the American Medical Association’s advocacy for “gender-affirming care,” the American Psychological Association’s recognition and advocacy for “gender identity and gender variance,” the American Psychiatric Association’s elimination of the term “disorder” from its literature on gender dysphoria, and non-medical organizations’ recognition of gender identity as a human right, whether it’s the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, or the gender identity equality laws in 22 European Union countries. I’ll take all that as evidence of “gender identity” over Cothran’s baseless claim.
Bigots love their cloaks, especially when they parade in academic-sounding garb. Cothran pulled that trick on the school board, too. To support her points, she could not cite a single peer-reviewed piece of literature or respectable media, but she cited the official sounding “Gender Resource Guide” produced by the American College of Pediatrics.
“By and large homosexuals are not interested in evidence or statements by the American College of Pediatrics,” Cothran told the board, “who say that exposing gender identity, ideology as a normalized lifestyle to children is extremely unhealthy, and downright dangerous to children’s mental, physical and social development.” It’s not just homosexuals who are not interested. For all its respectable sounding name, the American College of Pediatricians was flagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a fringe anti-LGBT hate group that masquerades as the premier U.S. association of pediatricians to push anti-LGBT junk science, primarily via far-right conservative media and filing amicus briefs in cases related to gay adoption and marriage equality.”
Cothran in her three minutes had time for yet another falsehood, that one a reverse blood libel that denies LGBTQ people are killing themselves in far larger proportions than the general population. “Obviously this means that teen suicide does not have much to do with whether they’re gay or not. It has to do with improper or no treatment of mental illness,” she claimed. In fact, a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control found that the “prevalence of having seriously considered attempting suicide was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students (42.8%) than heterosexual students (14.8%) and not sure students (31.9%).”
Audio: Colleen Conklin’s Statement
School Board member Colleen Conklin, the only board member to pay more than lip service support for Bertrand and his son, at least publicly, strongly and unequivocally refuted Cothran by citing GLSEN’s 2017 National School Climate Survey, which found that “71 percent of LGBTQ students had reported having problems within the previous year with bullying based on their own sexual orientation. Sixty percent said they felt unsafe at school due to sexual orientation, and 45 percent felt unsafe at school due to gender identification. Thirty-five percent did not go to school for at least one day because of feeling unsafe.” Conklin said LGBTQ people who come from families that reject them “are over eight times more likely to attempt suicide than those families who accept them.” (You can listen to Conklin’s full statement to the right.)
When Cothran’s time was up, she told the board she’d submitted the rest of her statement in the form of a letter–a three-page, single-spaced letter under the double-plus doublethink banner of “The Evidence Ministry”–rich in links to more bogus evidence and references to “so-called transgenders.” (Here’s an idea Ms. Cothran: Perhaps you could abstain from referring to human beings as so-called transgender and we’ll refrain from calling you a so-called pastor.)
Cothran then took her seat. The chamber was almost empty. She could have chosen to sit anywhere. But graceless to the end she chose to be in Randall Bertrand’s face. It reminded me of those Baptist picketers who brandish their “Fag troops” signs at military funerals, heedless of mourners’ grief. Maybe Cothran is a guest pastor there. School Board Chairman Janet McDonald offered her the same gushing thanks as she would, say, a student who’d just showcased a wonderful school project, adding a “thank you very much, we appreciate your attendance and your information,” without so much as a balancing word of warmth or support to the family Cothran had just harassed publicly for three minutes.
At the end of the meeting Bertrand spoke again to assure the board that he was not confused, and to ask whether board members really thought that a policy or procedure on protecting LGBTQ students was not necessary.
Cothran had left. But she’d been no less abusive than anyone getting in a student’s face and demeaning the student’s identity, whatever it may be–sexual, ethnic, religious, physical, racial. She would never have expressed her aggression about any of those identities, with that one exception. Attacks on sexual orientation are still somehow a permissible slur, even in a setting as public as a school board meeting. It’s how LGBTQ people continue to be dehumanized. It’s how the Pulse massacre in 2016 was no more of a aberration than the lynching of Matthew Shepard 18 years earlier. It’s how the nation’s highest court and most state’s laws can still be divided over the basic human rights of millions of people whose identity injures no one, whose differences only honor and enrich our diversity.
Cothran was one person, one bigot. But the numbers Conklin spoke point to the depth of the discrimination and the toll it’s taking, and will continue to take. The answer is not silence, as was inexcusably the case from most board members. It’s not just thanking fanatics for their attendance and information–to which they’re entitled as long as it doesn’t turn to insults. It’s letting the community in words, deeds and procedures know that this is not what we stand for. It is not what we’ll accept.
Unless our board and community do find it acceptable.
Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him @PierreTristam.
Jan Wheaton says
I am dumbfounded by the attack on the young person by Ms Cothran. I will be generous and say she us misguided in her belief. I do not know the rules regarding free speech at board meetings but I would have been hard pressed not to let her know how demeaning she was to that young person as well as offensive.
Please join us in support of the Bertrand family, and all other LGBTQ+ students, at the Flagler County School Board meeting on January 21st starting at 6:00 PM at 1769 E Moody Blvd #2, Bunnell, FL 32110.
I just moved if PC, I was wondering what do you think about Moms For Liberty group?
What does science say?
Contrary to popular belief, an employer can fire you, for any reason, at any time, without notice, and without giving you a reason. He/she may not like the color of your hair, the colors of the bumper sticker on your car, your nose ring, your tattoos, your attire, your parents, your parents friends etc.etc. If you are not needed, or wanted, you can be fired, period. Florida is an at will employment state. Its the law.
Ben Hogarth says
Oh boy Ken, are you in for a shocker..
While Florida may consider itself “at-will,” there are exceptions to this rule thanks to what we call the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution) which provides that Federal law is supreme to State Law. So in circumstances where an employer is firing someone for the color of their skin, religious affiliation, or ethnic background (even via indirect means by attacking hair color), there will be legal consequences thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (among other laws).
And all of this stated, is still omitting policies and laws dictating public employment practices and principles – which do not always follow the same guidelines as the private sector. In the case of Florida, there are far fewer protections for public employees compared to 42 other States, but that does not mean it is identical to private sector practices and policies.
They do not have to tell you why they are letting you go. Never said there may not be consequences. I have fired people. Never been challenged yet, not saying I wont be.
CB from PC says
Just try to find an Attorney to take your case based on percentage of compensation damageawarded. Doesn’t Federal Law also prohibit firing based on Age? Odd this is not mentioned.
Diane Patterson says
If we all were blind…we would only have our words and spoken feelings to be judged.
So, if I was blind…I could clearly see…how awful and hateful this woman is and I would choose not to want anything to do with her, or her business, I would gage my decision on her actions as a living human being and her words in action. Nothing else. She appears to have “bullied” and “judged” another human being on nothing more than a perception about his sexuality. Did she even know him as a human being.
Did he hurt her? Did anyone hurt her? Maybe a long time ago or everyday, or she feels a little guilty for something in her own world, that she must come out and condemn others for her own inner conflicts.
To the victim of this woman’s insults, bad form and general unkindness: You are special, You are important, You are loved. You will do great things. I am on your side.
Please join us in support of the Bertrand family, and all other LGBTQ+ students, at the Flagler County School Board meeting on January 21st starting at 6:00 PM at 1769 E Moody Blvd #2, Bunnell, FL 32110.
Wow Thanks for exposing the hypocrite that hides behind the Clothe of her Religion to spew the hate for an already confused, to say the least, minor at a public venue. Still shocked that Society is still in the closet on this. We have a long way to go. This place may be hopeless. Good luck to the kid and nice job on the article Pierre. SMH Can anyone say Lawsuit…
Unreal. I’m not going to say that I understand what trans men and women experience on a daily basis or that I understand how they feel. What I can do is offer support and a safe area for them to be as they are and who they are. Who am I to judge? Who am I to chastise them and say they are wrong? Who am I to belittle them or condescend what they feel inside? I’m no one, just a person, a human being, like they are. I’ll never understand why people must attack others for their differences. How is it hurting you personally? Are you afraid? Insecure? Ashamed? What is it about someone else’s life, the key being someone else’s life that gets people so up in arms? No one is forcing any agenda on anyone. How is wanting equal and fair treatment offensive or agenda wielding? It’s simply about not being treated as a second or third class citizen because you are not a straight white man.
Women had to fight for and are still fighting for equality. African-American’s too. The LGBTQ community is no different. In a country where a majority of people have ancestors that originated from another country, have history that isn’t entirely kosher, we as a nation are sure quick to judge others using the bible as our weapon. If those people passing judgment read the bible, it specifically states not to judge others because you will be more harshly judged in the end. Why cherry pick verses that fit the narrative you want supported but then ignore others when they go against your own personal freedoms? You can’t have it both ways. People throw around religion and the word of God as tools of hate and exclusion when they are missing the point. The bible is a parable, full of stories and outcomes from choices and decisions made, and the common theme is don’t pass judgment, love others like you love yourself, and be kind. Satan said he would disguise himself and convince others to do his bidding. Well, what is more apropos than people hating people for something as insignificant as who they are and who they love?
Bob Mack says
Spot on, Syd. Bottom line is “judge not, lest YOU be judged”. I am a Christian and try to adhere to God’s word. Am I perfect ? Hell no ! Who is ? Am I tempted ? Yes, of course. And, sadly I fail many times. But this mortal, temporary life in which we all dwell is a training ground. We are all “under construction” !
I don’t pretend to understand the human mind even though I aced a Psychology course of study. Reasons for human behavior are varied and complex.
My hope is that all of humankind can, at least try to embrace this existence and practice patience, tolerance and perseverance.
Do I agree with behavior that is outside the realm of the definition of “normalcy” ? No, I don’t. But I would not publicly, and in this case, personally attack a person’s life choice with regard to who or what they want their life to be. There is a time and a place for everything under the sun and this school board assembly was the wrong place for this pastor’s judgemental comments. She would be well-advised to promulgate her message from the pulpit.
I'm Opinionated But I Don't Judge says
I took phytology as well. I do not dictrimonate any from their sex orientation but I don’t like it when education system is trying to force it into our children’s throat! I think this should be parents choice, and NOT schools choice. Just how it was with our children where the parents had to sign a consent for the child if you want them to learn sex class! I think our children need to learn how to read, write, and so on….
Bradley Hauff says
Thank you for this article, Pierre. I agree completely with your views and analysis of this appalling and unacceptable behavior demonstrated during the school board meeting. There should have been more vocal disagreement demonstrated in response to the statements of ignorance and intolerance expressed by the pastor regarding transgender individuals. I was a pastor in Palm Coast for several years before moving to another part of the country, and I was shocked at the ill-informed and hateful attitudes many in the region have about LGBTQ people, particularly within churches. Your understanding of Christianity as you stated in your article is right on – it’s about LOVE. I’m sad that more people won’t see that.
Thomas Fris says
Playing along with the delusions of people confused about whether they are boys or girls is no less cruel than offering liposuction to an anorexic girl and pretending she’s obese. FlaglerLIve should be ashamed of itself for publishing this drivel. Kudos to Cothran.
Eva Mowry says
YOU should be ashamed of yourself. Playing along with your ignorance makes my head hurt.
Edith Campins says
You are the one that should be ashamed. Nothing excuses her hurtful, ignorant comments. Who is she to judge anyone? How dare she call herself a Christian.
Percy's mother says
Why are you then judging and asking how she can call herself a Christian, Edith.
Hmm, I wonder if the “Rainbow Coalition” fueled by Jesse Jackson will cry foul on this one?
Where’s Al Sharpton and the “National Action Network”?
Come on, the tables are turned now. We have a black female pastor calling out a white transgender student. Whatcha going to do Al & Jesse? Hypocrites.
I knew some clown would invoke race into the discussion. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have nothing to do with the subject at hand. The pastor, white, black or otherwise said heinous things and was wrong. Period. Full stop. Injecting your displeasure with anyone not involved in this issue tells me you will seek any forum to spout your views be they related or not. How are you different from the Pastor who chose to display her ignorance by drifting way off topic to let us know her inner prejudices?
You lost me at Southern Poverty Law Center…. (George Soros funded)
Why do liberals seem to be forcibly trying to change people that don’t agree with them? It’s a free country. Free to believe one thing or another.
They really aren’t trying to modify anyone’s acceptance or behavior beyond the one’s that won’t ever respect others anyway. That’s a parenting issue and how one was raised anyway when it was manageable. The outliers are the racist & LGBTQ bigots. When SPLC gets involved, a bigot has generally overstepped socially acceptable behavior. The world would be a better place without the bigots & bullies. Nobody wants a bigot around, even more so than the bigots want LGBTQ around. I mean without the bigotry & bullying, would there even be a need for SPLC ? Trans gender is a genetic thing. Bigotry is a form of retardation just the same, the inability to learn right from wrong, the inability to get along with another that probably didn’t even seek out the bigot in the 1st place ? I think damages should be limited to punishing the bigot(s) rather than the community as a whole, but that happens when the bigot is an employee of a government. I still think though the bigot should be forced and bear the entire burden of any lawsuit’s financial implications. In 2019/2020, this is unacceptable anymore.
I love this Pastor!
Wow, another one injecting politics into a subject that is non-related. Wow, and another Soros conspiracy theory to boot? No one is forcing you to change. All you are being asked to do is accept the fact that other people exist on and they have the right to live free just like you do.
CAROL BYCEL says
Thank Heavens we have at least one brave and compassionate School Board Member, Colleen Conklin. It is absolutely incredible that no one else had the nerve to call out Charlene Cothran for her bigoted, misinformed, and demeaning comments. She truly does not know the meaning of Christianity or human decency.
Pierre Tristam says
I should specify that Andy Dance did address the issue briefly in his comment period, namely to say he was glad Bertrand’s son’s transfer to FPC was going well, and that the principal there had taken decisive action on his behalf. But while that’s fine in itself, Dance was entirely silent on the pastor’s offensiveness. I see this often from public officials: placating the aggrieved but doing nothing to confront the source of the aggression. Dance isn’t without public courage: he showed it when he called out McDonald over the other recent rogue pastor issue (the prayer before the board meeting). I don’t know why he wasn’t as sharp Tuesday evening. Maybe his coming county commission race is making him nervous, in which case he’d be undermining the very qualities he burnished on the school board, and giving his admirers pause. As for Trevor Tucker, Maria Barbosa, Janet McDonald and Jim Tager: silence. They must not be familiar with Martin Niemöller’s poem, or at least chose not to hear him whisper it to their conscience.
Pierre Tristam says
Those comments by Thomas, Doug and B, and others to come I’m sure: like clockwork (orange, that is).
A Realist says
And you ask people to support your venom pen? Good luck with that!
An ignorant, bigoted, Pastor. Shocking. This lays at the feet of the School Board. No Board members or the attorney present, had the intelligence to put a stop to this ?
Vote all of them out !
It is a sensitive subject …
Although it is a sensitive matter, I know Pastor Cothran personally. She is neither evil or abusive. I know that she has led the march for LGBTQ and lived the lifestyle for a great many of years. She has counseled countless people who were suicidal. Her message has been her own truth. I was not present and cannot comment on the presentation made. My comments are in regards to her character as a person and the commitment she has made towards this particular topic. May the God who heals, comfort all who are hurting.
Why was this in front of the school board to begin with??? Just asking as this piece does not say. IMO she was wrong to say things against this girl and her family. They are dealing with enough without this public display of hers. Also IMO the writer of this is FAR FAR worse then this Pastor in the way he attacks those with differing onions.
Land of no blinkers says
This just makes mesisk! In a school district that claims to be anti bullying, the school board allowed an adult to bully a child! Shame on all of you!
Linda Hoffman says
You know the real victim in all this mess!!! It’s that 11 year old girl setting in a locker room watching a boy change that’s who the victims really are!!! No one never address that!!!
Biker Chick and Former Bulldog says
Due to my social circle, I am around kids the same age as the child in question. The kids spoke a few years ago about their girlfriend who felt like she was a boy inside. So they knew they had to all call her a different name and now switch to saying “him.” They adapted pretty quickly, and it was a non-issue in the world of 12-13 year old girls who are not always known for their acceptance of those who are different than they are. I don’t know if it’s the same child in question here, as I don’t know the child’s last name.
I know some people choose not to believe the science that is coming out on the trans issue. That’s fine. You can choose to not believe things. If you are right, in 10 or 50 or 100 years new science will come out and say, “What we thought was wrong.” You can do your happy dance then; however, nobody will look back and say, “Look at those people that were right all along and bullied the trans kids and made their lives miserable and didn’t care that they considered and attempted suicide more often because of how we treated them. ” Nobody will say, “They were right so their cruelty was justified.”
So just STFU and leave the kid and his family alone. Let people be who they want to be.
Kudos to this kid’s Dad for being his champion.
Bravo biker chick and former bulldog!!! I couldn’t have said it better.
Margaret Russell says
I am appalled and ashamed that no matter how Christian and nice a person may be that they had no more rein on their remarks as to hurt and malign a young person and their family. It is unacceptable and cruel. May we all forgive them! But they make it difficult’
PLEASE tell me this “Reverend” is not in a position to be providing counseling of any kind to people. She is obviously not fit to do so!
Stephen Smith says
This so called Christian pastor is the reason our founding fathers decided on the separation of church and state. This woman to me is a perversion of the life and teachings of Jesus. Makes me glsad to not be a member of her church.
It looks like the slogan “Be Best” does not apply to all children and certainly not in Flagler County.
Shame on McDonald, Barbosa, Tucker and Tager their silence let them stand with a bully against a minor. Thank you to Conklin and Dance for doing their job. Only these two cared about a student in their charge.
These board members need to go….NOW! Obviously this person is no representative of our God. She is the one with mental problems. Shame, shame, shame to those people for allowing her to speak that way about the child and the family in a public forum. They need to give the family and student a public apology.
I for one day that transgender people have a mental illness. A man can never be a woman and a woman, never a man. It’s mental illness that exists here. Read the Bible, God created Adam snd Eve, a man and a woman. Call me whatever, but this is the teaching of
God and Jesus Christ.
Pierre Tristam says
Dennis, I love my bibles in all their translations but I wouldn’t want them used in biology or psychology class (parts of Job excepted) or physiology and anatomy (though the Song of Songs comes in handy in some regards here). To paraphrase Christ in his psychedelic phase, “Render unto Kinsey the things that are Kinsey’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”
I use turn signals says
I don’t know why I read this paper of yours. To those of us who accept that Saviour is Jesus Christ – it’s not about judgement or hate. It’s about sin. And choosing to follow Christ. His will. Not ours. Meek and humble of heart. We are all created in the image and likeness of God. All worthy all loved.
Pierre Tristam says
Sometimes I don’t know why I write this paper of mine, so you’re in good company. But to explain a couple of things (and none of this is to disagree with you exactly but just to clarify where I’m coming from, and why your words, without further explanation from you, could easily be misinterpreted.) You say “those of us who accept that Savior is Jesus Christ…” as if it places you in one camp graced by virtue and the rest of us, whoever we are, in another, presumably lesser camp (one without that DirecTV link to the deity maybe). But It’s a distinction of your own rather too convenient invention. It’s certainly not Christ’s. It’s not even that of most churches I know, except for those fringe exclusionary ones where sermons seethe more than soothe, of which I’m sure you’re not a member. I may be a fallen Catholic, at least in the church’s eyes (not the most far-seeing or credible eyes these days, we must admit: someone hand me the disinfectant), but what makes you think I’m any less a follower of Christ than I am of, say, Ghandi, MLK, Rumi, Miró, Rabbi Shapiro or Thomas Mann in his sanatorium phase? No one owns Christ’s teachings, not any church, certainly not you or me, and no one but the most doctrinaire scholastics and mullah (who abound, I admit) presume to tell us the what is what of Christ. Have you heard the pope lately? It’s like he’s working out of an office on Abbey Road. I grant you that you can pick and choose from any pages of Deuteronomy to justify in Deuteronomy’s perverse system of justice the stoning of transgenders to death. But we’re not talking Deuteronomy, we’re talking Christ, thank god. So to bring this home to the issue at hand: by what interpretation of any of Christ’s teachings can you possibly contrive his will to somehow equate a taransgender person with sin? I mean seriously, and pardon my Aramaic but what the fuck? It’s the same pulpit perversion of conflating homosexual with pedophile—still the sort of conflation that gets many an allegedly Christian congregant aroused to no end unfortunately, but no less of a perversion. So: if Christ’s teachings had been anywhere within a mile of Rev. Cothran’s crown of thorns there’s no doubt we would not have had to endure her sermon from the muck Tuesday. This is not a Christ or no Christ issue, except for those banking on our ignorance who think they can coopt the Christ aura just by dropping his name, and except in so far as the notion of dignity and Christ having a lot in common—-and nothing in common with that evening. As for us all being created in god’s image, well, no dispute there: we’ve certainly shown him, haven’t we—or her, or at whatever euphorically dysphoric stage we may freely choose to imagine god being: we’re in his image, after all). Your last line is lovely with truth and beauty, the more so for dispensing with a divisive comma: “All worthy all loved.”
I hope you’ll continue to read and I’ll continue to write and we’ll continue to be perplexed together.
signals turn use usIeII useI use I says
It’s not that complicated. The sin belongs to the parent. I suggest you start with Word on Fire – Bishop Barron. I see very clearly. We are all beloved children of God whether we accept the Truth or deny it.
This is simply a ploy by a Real Estate Agent fishing for clients so she can make the Million Dollar Sales Club. She will probably see every Trump supporter in Flagler County calling for appointments to list or buy property?
Unfortunately looks like we live in bully and tyranny times from the executive and down. Stay away from private lives and styles do not criticize, vilify, censure, mock or patronize anyone. Thank you Mrs Conklin you would be the only board member I will vote for.
Mike Cocchiola says
Kudos to Colleen Conklin for speaking up and Andy Dance pushed back. Where were the other three board members?
I feel that everyone should worry about themselves. Let that student be who they want, what is it to you? Why are you so bothered with being open minded? Why are people judging something they are not educated on? Why are people using religion as an excuse to be hurtful and judge one another? This is what is wrong with society. I will not stand for this, it’s not 1950 anymore it’s about to be 2020. Stop being hateful.
Mondexian Mama says
Merrill Shapiro says
Not quite the same thing, but…..
Iowa man sentenced to 16 years for setting LGBTQ flag on fire
Des Moines Register Staff ReportsPublished 9:53 a.m. CT Dec. 19, 2019 | Updated 9:42 p.m. CT Dec. 19, 2019
An Ames man was sentenced Wednesday to about 16 years in prison after he set fire to a church’s LGBTQ flag in June.
Adolfo Martinez, 30, of Ames, was found guilty last month of third-degree arson in violation of individual rights — hate crime, third-degree harassment, and reckless use of fire as a habitual offender.
He was arrested after stealing a pride banner hanging at Ames United Church of Christ, 217 6th St., and burning it early June 11 outside Dangerous Curves Gentleman’s Club, 111 5th St., police said.
Lynnette Perry says
…And things such as these occurring in schools today are why my family chooses to homeschool. Bullying does not always come from other kids. Sometimes it is enabled by other adults and/or comes directly from adults. There is no need for it. This child is fine as is.
This kind of stuff didn’t really seem to happen here in Palm Coast just a few years ago… it seemed to be a much more tolerant community from all outward appearances.
So now, not only do we have to deal with all the political improprieties and increasing living costs (due in part to those improprieties… my opinion here) we have to put up with this kind of stuff as well.
My how times have changed… I guess… or perhaps it’s just a case of the more things change, the more they remain the same.
When I was a trans kid in 2005 at FPC, I was bullied by students. I was told by teachers if I just conformed to my assigned gender and behaved “more like a girl” then other people would stop treating me badly, and I was recommended to go for mental health counseling. I’m absolutely unsurprised by this.
This pastor ,the congregation, and the entire church its self should be shunned from this community.
Let them know we do not accept nor tolerance their hateful, bullying ways
Percy's mother says
Very tolerant, Dave.
Brianna Krug says
As a member of this community, i am absolutely appalled to see that the school board that I was once a student under, hardly did a thing to put this woman in her place.
How incredibly disgraceful. As an LGBTQ+ member, I am DISAPPOINTED in the board members who did nothing but sit in silence as this BULLY spewed her bullshit, and insulted one of the boards students! I really hope they apologize to that student! How sad. It’s nearly 2020, people, pull your heads from your arses and get a GRIP!
Down with the Pastor says
You guys hinge on science for climate change but not biology? Then to lump people with a choice (alphabet group) with people who don’t have a choice to their identity blacks and jews is insulting to the latter. When can we go transracial? I would like to identify as a white woman.
Willy Boy says
Unless one is born with a physical abnormality, it is not that difficult to ascertain Male or Female. Sexual feelings become muddled in the brain housing group.
It sounds like this woman is a person who used to practice a Gay lifestyle and has now done a 180 degree turn towards being an “Anti-Gay activist. I object to this woman using a vulnerable young person as a target of opportunity to promote her own personal agenda. She may see herself as someone who is on “a mission from God” but “chrisitian” is that last adjective I would use to describe either that “mission” or her way of going about serving it.
Robert Ferenz says
This would be the same school board that was up in arms when someone said an invocation at a school board meeting? Let a Rev. stand there and speak of Jesus and the Bible while spewing bigotry toward the LGBT community? Sure ! And directly in front of a transgender student and his family? Was this on the agenda ? I didn’t realize school board meetings were an open forum for people to express their personal feelings. Congratulations school board ! You gave this family a wonderful holiday gift.
VOTE THEM ALL OUT ! ! !
David Gillon says
Thank you to editor Pierre Tristam for this enlightening article. I took a deep breath before I started reading the comments section, expecting the worst. Instead, I want to thank my generous neighbors for sticking up for this 15-year-old and his family. Those comments give me hope for the future.
I stopped reading the vile comments above about a kid who literally doesn’t choose to feel this way. They can’t help it. So why persecute someone whose wiring chooses a different gender. Would they really bring this on themselves? Do you think they enjoy the ridicule?
The answer is NO.
Leave these kids alone and let them be. Why do people care about someone else’s gender, religion, sexual preference, ethnicity etc.
Not to sound like a Pollyanna but I don’t care what religion you are as long as you’re kind. I don’t care what your sexual preference or sexual orientation is as long as you’re respectful of mine. I don’t care what color your skin is as long as you’re a decent human being. Be [email protected]&$ KIND.
The hatred has to STOP. The opinions, judgements etc are cruel. Mind your own business. Stay out of others. Keep your negative opinions to yourself. Stop shoving your opinions down others throats.
Bless this kid. I hope he’s at peace now at his new school. Remember, the teenage years are over pretty quick. Live your best life! Look to the future…