Friday, Sep 30, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


Knowledge, tolerance beat the alternative

Some items while thinking we'll need only about half of our usual trick-or-treat candy stockpile this year:

TWO OF A KIND?: For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why the Republican Party is not a major player in Lucas County politics. I mean, it couldn't even come up with a formidable candidate in the Toledo mayoral race.

Then, I read an article about Toledo board of educaiton candidate Becky Berry and her views on homosexuality. The article said that she is endorsed by the Lucas County Republican Party.

Lemmon Drops feedback

response to last week's column

Ah-h-h-h (I said as a light bulb went off in my head) ... now it all makes sense.

Apparently, local Republicans didn't get the memo about “compassionate conservatism.” Instead, they must have received memos from Republican hate-mongers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Buchanan.

Mrs. Berry certainly has the right to her opinion, and given the amount of publicity she has received (including this column), she probably will benefit from name recognition at the polls Nov. 6.

If she is elected to the Toledo board of education, I predict Terry Glazer no longer will be the only lightning rod on the five-member panel. I view Mr. Glazer, who bangs the drum for accountability, as a “positive” lightning rod. Mrs. Berry, who seems intent on passing moral judgments, strikes me as a “negative” force.

Mrs. Berry claims that there is a “hidden agenda” to promote homosexuality to children in public schools. If you ask me, she has an “open agenda” to promote bigotry.

Mrs. Berry wants to replace the sex-education curriculum - which includes discussions about homosexuality - with an abstinence approach. She said schools should teach only sexual abstinence, and leave any other sexual information for families to teach.

That would be great -- assuming every family did that. I don't know about you, but my parents never taught me about the birds and the bees.

I'm of the belief that you do not “choose” your sexual preference -- you are born with it. Therefore, if sex education is a part of a school's curriculum, a discussion about homosexuality should be a part of it. I've heard too many stories of homosexual teens who attempted suicide because they were guilt-laden.

If the topic of homosexuality would have been brought up in my eighth-grade health class (it wasn't), I can say with 100-percent certainty that I wouldn't have become a homosexual. I would have, however, become better informed about the world around me.

I'm neither condoning nor condemning homosexuality. But I do know that we are who we are.

I'm neither condoning nor condemning sex education in schools. But I do know that knowledge leads to understanding, and understanding leads to tolerance. And that's better than the alternative - which is, in one form or another, bigotry.

BREVITY: I'm thinking Toledo's mayoral race is a contender for a record, assuming there is one, for the shortest names by the two main candidates - a combined 15 letters. Together, “Ray Kest” (seven letters) and “Jack Ford” (eight letters) can only match “Carty Finkbeiner.”

HALF A SIX PACK: Three slant-free questions this week. You'll receive 100 points just for participating. (Note: Log on to and check out reader response to last week's questions.)

1) Who do you think is going to win the Toledo mayoral race? (Please explain.)

2) If you were a terrorist observing from afar, how would you rate our handling of the anthrax scare?

3) Are you for or against a national ID card? (Please explain.)

Russ Lemmon's column appears Sundays. Readers may contact him at 1-419-724-6122, or e-mail

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