Friday, July 20, 2007

More on O'Reilly/fixed links i hope!

The clip has been posted at UTUBE:

I've been inundated with calls, emails, and blog comments. If I didn't allow your email comment, it's because it was too hateful or vicious. Sorry, you don't get to attack my character or use foul language on my space. (Actually, I don't think you should do it elsewhere either!) I do want you to know though that I'm archiving all of them, and any that look dangerous will be turned over to authorities.

The comments on the blog below will give you a pretty good idea of what I am receiving. I let "Paul" speak for all of those of you who found me, shall I say, unlikeable. There are also lots of very positive comments.

For example, see this review on News Hounds --

Thanks to all of you who have written me supportive comments. To others, I am remembering what the Bible teaches about loving your enemies.


Niobium said...

Neither link worked =(

judyppinetr said...

Hi Debra,
So sorry I missed the interview. I tried the youtube link but was unsuccessful. I hope the glitch gets worked out. I want to spread the message far and wide by forwarding the link.

Thank you so much for futhering awareness that there truly can and should be a connection between religion and spirituality.

Judy in Ft Wayne

Lilylou said...

Deb, the YouTube segment is wonderful! I was so proud of you! But I couldn't get the second link to work.

Niobium said...

Great interview.

I like how it's ok to talk about the heart and lungs, elbows, etc, but "uterus" and other appropriate words is a "biology lesson".

Kudos to you girlfriend. You are a brave womyn.

Anonymous said...

I think O'Reilly's worry about using the word uterus - or even vulva - is just silly. Any kid whose mother has had a baby in his life has heard the word uterus. Vulva is less common, of course, but those of us "conservative" Catholics who use NFP use it all the time. I know I myself never knew what it was called until I learned NFP at the age of 29, so my young children already know what to call it, and their morals have by no means gone to hell as a result (they're even BOYS).

I think one of the biggest problems (other than the death threats and insults you are receiving, of course, which is by no means pro-life or Christian, of course...) is the demonization of people whose views we don't understand or vehemently disagree with. I think any time there is even a smidgeon of dialogue between folks like you and folks like Bill O'Reilly, some good is done. You were pleasantly surprised he didn't yell at you (thus humanizing him and perhaps those who watch him ever so slightly in your mind, or those of your followers and colleagues) and he learned more about your positions and realized that there is some role for faith institutions in teaching about healthy sexuality. It may not have greatly changed anything, but it's a bit more understanding in the world, and that can only help. Good job!

I think the other reason you are getting such intense responses is just the general fear that people, especially the parents of young children, have to deal with in today's hyper-sexualized and dangerous culture. I think when we start talking about what kids should learn outside the home in public schools, for instance, a place where most kids attend on a compulsory basis, it reminds a lot of people how scary the world is, how innocent their kids are and how little they can do to protect their kids in today's world. I think with the threat of terrorism, environmental devastation, extreme materialism, as well as family breakdown and sexual exploitation of all kinds, parents just feel like they and their kids are on a runaway freight train and there's not a darn thing they can do about it. When you already have that feeling about so much in your child's life, "little" things like whether or not a government-paid teacher should teach your kid the word uterus or vulva can seem like a huge deal. And of course, it is a big deal. Kids whose parents are doing a great job teaching and forming their kids to a healthy and moral sexuality are very lucky, and parents should have the greatest possible leeway in that case.

In the other cases, where parents don't or can't, society has to do something. Exactly what society SHOULD do is just what's so hard to say.

Anyway, I think we all need to remember that all those "OTHERS" in this debate - whatever side you may personally be on - are also human beings, many with children - and if they are reacting strongly, are probably acting out of the sense of fear and vulnerability we all feel when we start touching on these issues that are so extremely connected with our basic human dignity.

Debra W. Haffner said...

Thank you to all of you for 5 p.m. today, the vicious ones seemed to have stopped.

And Pam, I really appreciate your thoughtful response here, and hope you'll post on your own blog to your readers. I actually think OUR dialogs over the past months (your's and mine) have also engendered greater understanding of differing points of view and I thank you for being a regular reader.

And to all of you, I think I've got the links working now...

Tom Richie said...

I just watched the video, and thank you for posting it.

What struck me is the comparative substance between you and Mr. O'Reilly. Clearly you have considered, and probably researched, the effects of language on teaching children about sexuality. On the other hand Mr. O'Reilly is only trying to create hysteria, and obviously has no concern for substance, hence, no real concern for truly informing the public. Fortunately, for real Christians around the world, this sort of terribly misguided, superficial treatment of serious issues in our community is more and more recognizable. Thanks to your, and others, calm focus and sincere desire to represent Jesus love during these difficult times, people may be encouraged to speak out as you have, calmly with courage and conviction.

Bravo, Debra. I, for one, will keep you in my prayers.

Tom in California

Aunty Em Ericann said...

I saw the interview and commend you for trying to get your message thru' Mr. Falafel's talking over you.

FAIR DISCLOSURE #1: I am not religious at all.

FAIR DISCLOSURE #2: I have raised 3 children.

Whenever they had a question (about anything, including sex education) they received an age appropriate AND totally honest answer.

When a child asks, "Where do babies come from?" they are not asking for an anatomy lesson. A simple, honest answer will suffice. As they get older a parent adds more information to buttress what they've already absorbed.

The worst thing a parent can do is shriek "UTERUS?!?! Where did you learn such an ugly word?"

I wonder if this is why Billoofah has had to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit, the details of which would clearly rule him out as a sex education teacher for anyone, especially children.

With all my love,
Aunty Em

Anonymous said...

Dear Debra,

I think your performance on the O'Reilly show was brilliant! It was really good to see someone actually talking about such an important subject with a person who so obviously disagrees.

For the record, I was raised UU and went to all the sex education classes, plus my mother was a doctor and always gave me straight and honest answers to my questions. I grew up leagues ahead of my peers in this arena, and was equipped to make smart, independent, and mature decisions about what to do with my body. I also found that it was easier to hold out for a great partner because I didn't have any anxiety about this part of my life! The best part is that I had the great experience that talking about sex can be a safe, happy, wholesome experience where you get all your questions answered, concerns addressed, and you find out that this area of your life really can be a source of peace. Talk about a wonderful preparation for marriage and long term relationships!

I really think that if anyone got a chance to experience this kind of safe, well considered education then they would be happy to have it in schools. It can only promote confidence and responsible decision making. And so many young people just don't get the chance.

It just seems like such a no brainer to me to teach kids the correct names for their body parts. Otherwise, you just reinforce the idea that sexuality is taboo! When sexuality is taboo, people stop asking questions, stay misinformed, aren't equipped to make responsible decisions, and can live under the illusion that these decisions aren't important. They also don't speak up when something goes wrong! There is so much potential for damage. Sadly, that's exactly the kind of environment that was in place in my schools growing up. This needs to be changed!

Good, solid, age appropriate sex education will make for more well rounded children and young people.

Thanks for all your great work!

Jenny in the UK (originally from the US)