It’s astound­ing some­times how utterly duplic­i­tous the right-​​wingers are. They can be com­pletely shame­less in their antics. Right now over on Pharyngula, PZ’s cri­tique of a hyp­o­crit­i­cal loony has fomented a minor war in the com­ments, much of which over­looks the point of Myers’s orig­i­nal post: That any­one who’s white, Christian, male, mak­ing a lot of money and invited to speak at uni­ver­sity sem­i­nars is hardly enti­tled to call him­self oppressed.

Of course much of this is lost on the trolls; but then, I think many of them would be stunned to real­ize Earth is more than 6,000 years old.

On other parochial fronts is yet more man­i­fes­ta­tion of stu­pid­ity, though it seems the fanat­ics are los­ing out in Arizona. 56% of those polled recently oppose the con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment that would ban same-​​sex mar­riage; 14% are unde­cided. This means a solid 30% are pro-​​bigotry, whch is a sur­pris­ingly small num­ber given the very red nature of the state.

But still, there’s duplic­ity to be found. On the one side you have rightie whin­ing about same-​​sex mar­riage; they insist, for absolutely no ratio­nal rea­son what­so­ever, that mar­riage (1) needs to be defended; and (2) is to be between one man and one woman.

As to point 1, I agree, but I actu­ally hap­pen to have a ratio­nal reason.

When idiots like Spears and Federline can get together, you bet your ass mar­riage is in trouble.

But if the right­ies really wanted to pro­tect mar­riage, you’d think they’d be a lot more inter­ested in, first, mak­ing divorce ille­gal; and sec­ond, shut­ting down one-​​hour wed­ding chapels. It seems to me those are much greater threats to the sacred insti­tu­tion of mar­riage than Adam and Steve tying the knot.

The point of point 2, of course, is dual: To keep mar­riage straight and there­fore palat­able to big­ots; and to make sure you can’t get any of those polyandry or polygamy groups band­wag­o­ning along. This par­tic­u­lar jug­ger­naut is for the Einsatzgruppen–ÜberKris­t­ian fanat­ics only.

And then there’s the other side. Bush’s Fed recently endorsed same-​​sex school­ing for kids. (They call it single-​​sex, but I pre­fer the other term. It’s more poten­tially alarm­ing to the righties.)

New fed­eral reg­u­la­tions announced [on October 24, 2006] give school sys­tems around the nation more flex­i­bil­ity in offer­ing single-​​sex pub­lic edu­ca­tion, even though the Department of Education con­cluded a year ago that there was not enough evi­dence to defin­i­tively eval­u­ate single-​​sex classes.

The “even though” part is telling; in other words, despite there being absolutely no evi­dence what­so­ever to sup­port the via­bil­ity of this pro­posal, we’re gonna go ahead and do it anyway.

Shades of “no child left behind” and, in par­tic­u­lar, national test­ing that doesn’t work, huh?

The prob­lem with same-​​sex school­ing, of course, is that it makes it impos­si­ble to avoid dis­crim­i­na­tion based on gen­der, which schools are not per­mit­ted to do. It’s also silly and pos­si­bly dan­ger­ous to stu­dents; ask any English board­ing school stu­dent, for instance, if an all-​​boys set­ting is desirable.

Did no one in the Bush camp ever read Lord of the Flies? Hell, Cheney’s on a first-​​name basis with him!

I’ll bet the right­ies come out in favor of it, though — to the extent that they favor pub­lic edu­ca­tion at all — for the sim­ple rea­son that keep­ing boys away from girls … keeps boys away from girls. And in a world such as the one they want, one wherein sex is a Dirty Secret that remains unspo­ken of, one wherein con­tra­cep­tion is a myth, one wherein women by God never have the right to just say no to their own­ers hus­bands, that kind of absolute sep­a­ra­tion is best.

They’d be con­ced­ing defeat, but in a really spine­less way. The idea that teenagers will be “absti­nent” — or that they won’t dis­cover fuck­ing on their own even though you’ve never told them about it — is asi­nine, but it’s the kind of fantasy-​​based bull­shit the fanat­ics have tried to pawn off as truth for a decade now.

And what of stu­dents’ social needs? Separation of schools by gen­der sure won’t make hand-​​holding in the back of class less dis­rup­tive, will it? And how will boys ever learn to talk to girls?

(Who says they need to? Can’t a Manly Man just pick up a girl phys­i­cally, tote her off and — after paus­ing briefly at an altar to mur­mur a terse “I do, and so does she” — have his way with her, remain­ing ever the strong, silent type?)

There’s some­thing else afoot here, you can be sure of it. There’s no sci­ence to sup­port same-​​sex school­ing and there’s no rea­son to let it move for­ward. When unrea­son and non-​​science come together, par­tic­u­larly under the Bush admin, you can bet there’s a fanat­i­cal cause.

Well, one thing we can all be sure of: Prom night will never be the same again.

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