Saturday, May 27, 2017     Volume: 31, Issue: 44
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New Times / Shredder

The following article was posted on May 17th, 2017, in the New Times - Volume 31, Issue 43 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 31, Issue 43

The mighty pen!

Social Justice Warriors descended like a thunderbolt on SLO High School special education teacher Michael Stack last week after the devout Christian teacher wrote a negative letter to Expressions, the school’s student-run newspaper, in response to an issue highlighting LGBTQ+ issues. After student, parent, and community outcry, Stack—a probationary teacher who’d already been informed he wouldn’t be retained—quit his position, effective immediately. Also, some moron phoned in a death threat against him.

Stack, who was apparently well regarded by his students and allegedly didn’t push his views in class (though that may still be under investigation), began his letter by claiming the Bible is infallible!

“Without divine intervention it would be mathematically impossible to write a book filled with hundreds of predictions over thousands of years with 100 percent accuracy regarding their fulfillment, yet the Bible has done exactly that, with just a few prophecies yet to be fulfilled,” Stack claimed, apparently oblivious to the Bible’s many contradictions as well as untrue prophecies such as that Nebuchadnezzar would destroyed Tyre (he didn’t), that Egypt would become barren (it isn’t), or that the Nile River would dry up (it hasn’t).

The main criticism of Stack’s letter was his quotation of Romans 1:16-32, which in part reads that people who engage in homosexual behavior “deserve to die.” Because the LGBTQ+ community—especially emotionally struggling adolescents—are already predisposed to suicide, many took Stack’s letter as tone deaf. Others decried the forum—a student newspaper—as inappropriate.

Hey, those are fair criticisms and completely justified exercises of free speech, which Mr. Stack should also be allowed to exercise. Neither students nor teachers abandon their First Amendment rights in public schools (See Tinker v. Des Moines, 1969). Hence those calling for Stack’s firing need to pull their heads out of their asses. Also, since he was responding to an issue of Expressions, where else would he direct his letter than to that very publication?

Look, I’ve seen Mr. Stack in person, who had cut the hair from his temples and was wearing nice poly-blend slacks at the time, meaning he picks and chooses which Bible verses to follow like pretty much every “Christian.” He’s also chosen to concentrate on the “judgy” verses rather than the “judge not” ones such as Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:37-42, John 8:1-8 … I could go on. There are a lot more “don’t judge” verses than “don’t doink your same gender.”

Frankly, Expressions’ LGBTQ+ issue and Mr. Stack’s letter have opened an important dialogue, created a “teaching moment,” and have reminded LGBTQ+ students that they have allies. Mr. Stack cares about his students and loves his God, and though I think he’s missed Jesus’ message of love for all, inclusion, and acceptance, I stand by Stack’s right to express his views. You should too, even if you disagree with him.

Meanwhile over in local politics, the dumpster fire continues! The SLO City Council has been discussing how to limit public comment for non-agendized items because, you know, the public is long-winded and cray-cray! Guess who went nutzo? Yeah, the public! Discussion shelved!

Remember how the SLO County Board of Supervisors squelched the Santa Margarita rock quarry because residents were worried about traffic and dust and all that? Well, now that there’s a business-friendly conservative majority, owners of the proposed Las Pilitas quarry have resubmitted their plans to the county with minor adjustments. Hmm? I wonder if it’ll pass now?

Oh, and remember last week when I admonished Morro Bay City Manager David Buckingham for applying for other city manager jobs when Morro Bay’s sewer is a mess under his watch? Yeah, he just quit. Clap, clap, clap.

In more distressing news, I’m sad to report I’ll be boycotting Firestone 805 as well as all other Firestone beer products. I’m super bummed because I love 805, but now that I know Firestone Walker Brewing Company founder and reality TV personality Adam Firestone, who appeared on the third season of ABC series The Bachelor, donated a quarter of a million dollars to Donald J. Trump’s inauguration committee, I can no longer support Firestone beer. Expect Firestone Walker to declare bankruptcy momentarily!

Firestone—who on The Bachelor ultimately selected Ms. Jen Schefft, who accepted his invitation to move to California though they never married and eventually split a few months later—is now married to Katherine Firestone. Both sit on the board of directors of the Rock Hollow 2013 Trust, which wrote the $250,000 check on Jan. 10.

Firestone Walker spokesman Sean C. Weir assured left-wing beer drinkers that the family trust and the beer company are separate entities … even though they share the same address of 620 McMurray Road in Buellton. Hey, I get that Adam is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t come out and either endorse or disavow the donation—after all, he’s not the only Firestone on the family trust board—but I’d rather drink expired Hamms in a sun-warmed can than risk any of my hardly earned money going into the coffers of anything associated with, endorsing of, or connected to Dicknald Jerkface tRump.

The Shredder is a free speech warrior. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.