A Controversial Truth

Just curious, but how tolerant should one be of alternative points of view when such views would seem to clearly emanate from those who have their heads jammed to the shoulders up their behinds (and who encourage others to assume this position)? In other words, at what point is it acceptable to call a reactionary wingnut a reactionary wingnut and then cover one’s ears and sing showtunes?

From the Washington Post:

Gore Film Sparks Parents’ Anger

FEDERAL WAY, Wash., Jan. 24 — Frosty E. Hardison is neither impressed nor surprised that “An Inconvenient Truth,” the global-warming movie narrated by former vice president Al Gore, received an Oscar nomination this week for best documentary.

“Liberal left is all over Hollywood,” he grumbled a few hours after the nomination was announced.

Hardison, a parent of seven here in the southern suburbs of Seattle, has himself roiled the global-warming waters. It happened early this month when he learned that one of his daughters would be watching “An Inconvenient Truth” in her seventh-grade science class.

“No you will not teach or show that propagandist Al Gore video to my child, blaming our nation — the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet — for global warming,” Hardison wrote in an e-mail to the Federal Way School Board. The 43-year-old computer consultant is an evangelical Christian who says he believes that a warming planet is “one of the signs” of Jesus Christ’s imminent return for Judgment Day.

His angry e-mail (along with complaints from a few other parents) stopped the film from being shown to Hardison’s daughter.

The teacher in that science class, Kay Walls, says that after Hardison’s e-mail she was told by her principal that she would receive a disciplinary letter for not following school board rules that require her to seek written permission to present “controversial” materials in class.

The e-mail also pressured the school board to impose a ban on screenings of the film for the district’s 22,500 students.

The ban, which the school board says was merely a “moratorium,” was lifted Tuesday night, subject to rigorous conditions. Still, the action has appalled the film’s producers and triggered a ferocious national backlash. [full text]