Columns » Bob Lancaster

Textbook wedlock


The Arkansas Legislature’s Committee on Keeping the Preachers Happy by Further Harassing Gays has approved mandatory textbook revision legislation. It is expected to move on to easy enactment. Gubernatorial approval should be no problem as the bill contains certain small courtesy inducements, baubles, clothing, canoes, pizzeria gift certificates and the like, all strictly within the applicable ethics limitations, of course. The legislation is only a small first step in bringing out-of-control textbook publishers more in line with prevailing Arkansas attitudes. All it does, at least for the moment, is put some limitations — the lawmakers call these “parameters”— on how the textbooks can define marriage. If you want your textbook to be used in Arkansas classrooms, then it’s going to have to define marriage only as a union between one man and one woman. If it doesn’t, you can either ship it off to one of those shamefully permissive states like Massachusetts or California, or it’s going to wind up helping to fuel a real big bonfire. The word “union” in this definition of marriage has nothing to do with the side that unfortunately won the Civil War. It also has nothing to do with Union County, so named because it is there, at the town of Junction City, that Arkansas and Louisiana are joined together, but only geographically speaking, not matrimonially, which would also be too embarrassing to allow in the classroom. The word “union” in this definition has to do with something else. It has to do with something nasty — an immoral activity that one man and one woman sometimes get involved in during sinful times and then blame it on hormones. The committee declined to be more specific for fear of inadvertently violating the abstinence-only law, which forbids any classroom discussion of this nasty topic except to tell young people that they shouldn’t do it, whatever it is. And if against all reason and against all textbook and classroom evasion they do wind up doing whatever it is, the textbook hereafter may not recommend abortion as an outcome-based option. The less said in textbooks about abortions, the better. Not mentioning it at all should go a long way toward getting your textbook on the approved list. The shock and surprise when they find out the hard way is good enough for the little sinners. They shouldn’t be allowed to get off so easy. So mum’s the textbook word on Roe v. Wade, unless it’s roe like the caviar or Wade like the baseball player named Boggs or the football coach named Phillips or what you do in the shallow end of the swimming pool. Only by analogy may a textbook approved for use in an Arkansas classroom discuss the concept of “union” as it occurs in the marriage of one man and one woman. For instance, it may say that marriage is like an electrical connection in which one plug is united with one outlet. This analogy may be elaborated — in fact such elaboration is encouraged — to show the inappropriateness of trying to make an electric current by rubbing two plugs together or allowing two outlets to mess around with each other. A “union” involving two plugs or two outlets is an abomination, as the Old Testament explains and the committee agrees. No way they can be wired up to make for a healthy marriage, or a marriage decent enough for inclusion in an Arkansas public school classroom textbook. Much less should they be allowed to adopt or give foster care to impressionable extension cords. Now a legal marriage may occur between a plug and an outlet even when the plug has a preference for other plugs and the outlet prefers other outlets — as long as they don’t tell anybody. And as long as they don’t do the unnatural variation on that thing mentioned earlier that can’t really be gone into more detail about. But it can’t be a marriage allowable of acknowledgement in our textbooks if it has squeaky-voiced plugs out hitting on other plugs in these plug bars, or bull dyke outlets out trolling, to use some of Rep. Adams’ sensitive and sensible terminology. In defining marriage, textbooks approved for use in Arkansas classrooms hereafter will also aver, attest and make clear that the “one man” and “one woman” being united are descendants of Adam and Eve and not of apes. And it becomes the responsibility of the textbook to convey that the one man and the one woman must be legal residents and not wetbacks. It should go without saying that the Arkansas legislature will never countenance the classroom presence of a textbook that even hints of recognizing the legitimacy of “marriages” between plugs, outlets, illegals, advocates of choice, or Darwin apologists. For the time being, textbooks need not condemn mixed marriages — in either the racial or the religious sense of the word — in order to be allowed admittance into Arkansas classrooms. That’s not to say however that the Arkansas legislature wouldn’t appreciate such condemnations, or wouldn’t consider them a nice concession to the Arkansas zeitgeist, and yet another step in the right direction.

Add a comment