The Tom Leykis Show
March 31, 1998
transcribed by Cliff Walker
Second Hour, First Segment
Tom: Seven minutes after the hour, thank you for tuning in to The Tom Leykis Show. This is where America gets together to talk about the issues you really care about. It's a different kind of radio talk program. We're the radio talk show that is not hosted by a right-wing wacko or a convicted felon. No! I am your host.
Joining us from the studios of our affiliate in Portland, Oregon, Nancy Powell is at the studios of Hot Talk 1080 KOTK. Nancy is here because she has been fighting the Portland (Oregon) Public Schools System. She does not want the Boy Scouts of America coming in and recruiting kids. Why? Because they discriminate against certain groups: atheists, agnostics, homosexuals, what have you. So, she's opposed to them coming in.
Now, Nancy is an atheist, and she says her family, they are atheists, and she doesn't want the Boy Scouts coming in and recruiting, since they discriminate against people like her kid. That's it.
Vince: I heard your show last time when this lady, Nancy, was on, and the one thing that comes to mind is the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, etc., mentions God in numerous --
Tom (interrupting): Where?
Vince: "In God We Trust."
Tom: That is not in the Constitution, Vince. In which amendment, in which part of the Constitution is that? What page? what paragraph? what line? Where is it?
Vince: Well, I've read the Con--
Tom (interrupting): Vince, I have it right here! Where is it?
Vince: I don't know the specific --
Tom: Vince, it's not in there. You're wrong. You're just simply wrong.
Vince: Huh. Well, I've read it and I've seen it, but --
Tom: No you haven't, Vince, you haven't seen that, because it doesn't exist. The word "God" has never been in the Constitution of the United States. Never. It isn't, and it never was.
Vince: Alright. Well, then, obviously I'm either wrong or you're wrong.
Tom: No, no, no. You are wrong. And unless you can prove otherwise, you stand corrected.
Margaret: Well, incidentally, "In God We Trust" is printed money that I'm sure that Nancy Powell puts in her pocket, and puts in her children's pockets.
Nancy: Ma'am, what choice do I have? We don't have an alternative currency.
Margaret: And because you don't have a choice is because majority rules, right? Majority is what made the money say, "In God" -- is what made the United States Mint print money with "In God We Trust."
Nancy: You know, ma'am, if majority ruled, we'd still have slavery!
Margaret: I haven't taken a breath, which means I haven't finished my sentence!
Tom: Sounds like you never take a breath.
Margaret: Probably not. Probably not. But, at any rate --
Tom: So, we're supposed to wait until you do? Hardly!
Margaret: -- at any rate, if the whole basis of --
Tom (interrupting): (She took a breath there, I think that means you can get in, Nancy!)
Margaret (still speaking): -- majority rules, and so, the majority of the people want to have the Boy Scouts there, what is so wrong --
Tom: The majority of people think O.J. Simpson is guilty, what prison is he staying at?
Margaret (still speaking): -- now the majority of people in that --
Tom: Margaret? The majority of people think O.J. Simpson is guilty, what prison is he in?
Margaret (still speaking): -- majority of people did not --
Tom (still speaking): The majority does not rule.
Margaret (still speaking): -- judicial system --
Tom: Well, first of all, the judicial --
Margaret (still speaking): [unintelligible]
Tom: (shouting): First of all, the judicial -- I love -- You know, we really got to start teaching history in school again. The judicial system did not put "In God We Trust" on money.
Margaret: I didn't say the judicial system put "In God We Trust" on money.
Tom: Well, you just did! Don't make me play it back!
Margaret: I didn't say the judicial --
Tom: What did you say?
Margaret: I said to you, that -- our United States Mint prints "In God We Trust" on our money.
Tom: What does that prove?
Margaret: Well, it proves that the government of the Unites States believes, obviously, that "In God We Trust" is good enough to put on our money.
Tom: No, it proves that the majority of 435 people voted that way in the 1950s with one particular session of Congress. That's all it proves.
Margaret: Is or is it not the basis of everything in this country that majority rules?
Tom: No. No!
Tom: No it's not.
Margaret: Well, I think you're wrong.
Tom: Well, prove it!
Margaret: I think you're a hundred percent wrong.
Tom: Prove it!
Nancy: So, you think it would be okay if there was some suburban school that the uppity-up white people there said, "We don't want black children attending our school, and we're the majority." So, they shouldn't have black kids in their school? Is that what you're saying, ma'am?
Margaret: There have been laws that have been made that have said that you can't discriminate against people.
Nancy: You know what, ma'am? There's rules in the Portland Public Schools District that say you can't discriminate against kids either.
Margaret: Discrimination is a hurtful thing. The Boy Scouts are not a hurtful organization!
Tom: Oh, you --
Nancy: Take your blinders off, ma'am, and see them for what they are. They do discriminate and they do hurt kids.
Margaret: I feel so sorry for your children that they have a mother like you to raise them, because you're raising -- you're forcing -- you're forcing your beliefs on your children. You want to talk about forcing things on people, you have young children that are looking to their mother to raise them up the right way, and you're forcing them to believe that there is no such thing as a god. You want to talk about forcing opinions on people, you ought to look at what you're doing in your own household, and stop trying to criticize everybody --
Tom: Oh, you're not forcing you're religious beliefs down your kid's throat, huh?
Margaret (still speaking): [unintelligible]
Tom: Ma'am, you're not forcing you're religious beliefs down your kid's throat, huh?
Margaret: No, I'm not!
Tom: Really? So what religion are your kids?
Margaret: My children are not -- I have not selected a religion for my children.
Tom: What is yours?
Margaret: My religion --
Nancy (interrupting): Oh, I think that was a key word, though. She has not selected a religion for her children, as if that's your decision, huh?
Margaret (still speaking): -- you have selected atheism for your children --
Tom (interrupting): What is your religion, Margaret?
Margaret: I said I'm a Christian.
Tom: What kind of Christian?
Margaret: [pause, then begins to speak]
Tom (interrupting): What are you, a Lutheran? a Catholic? a Presbyterian?
Margaret (still speaking): -- just a Christian --
Tom: Oh, so your a generic, slap-a-bar-code-on-you Christian!
Margaret (still speaking): -- Nancy, for doing what you're doing to your children --
Tom: You're one of those generic, right-wing-Christian-talk-
Margaret (still speaking): -- no I'm not, you are wrong. You are not --
Tom: Are you a Catholic?
Margaret (still speaking): -- wrong, but --
Tom: Are you a Presbyterian?
Margaret: I'm a Christian!
Tom: Are you a Lutheran?
Margaret: I believe in the Bible, that's it!
Tom: So, you do not subscribe to any sect of Christianity.
Margaret: I subscribe to my sect of Christianity --
Tom: I see. And your children don't believe in a god, then. Your children don't believe in God, then.
Margaret: At this point, they don't have -- they're very young, so they don't have their beliefs.
Tom: Ah! And you won't tell them. You won't take them to church and tell them, "This is what we believe."
Margaret: No I don't.
Margaret: No I don't say this is --
Tom: Well, what are they, 3 years old? How old are they?
Margaret: They're 5.
Tom: They're 5. Okay, so, you're not planning on -- have they been baptized, or anything like that?
Margaret: When they get ready to, because you can't be baptized as a baby, you have to -- in my --
Tom: Sure you can! If you're Catholic, you can.
Margaret (still speaking): -- you have to select what religion you want to, and you have to be -- you have to believe, --
Tom: And what if your kids say, "I don't believe in God"?
Margaret: That's their belief system. I didn't --
Tom (skeptically): Really!?
Margaret (still speaking): -- down their throat like Nancy's trying to do --
Tom (skeptically): Ah!
Margaret (still speaking): -- she's trying to force her children, and she's holding her children up as public spectacles, and making them believe -- making them be her voice, because she doesn't have a voice of her own she has to use her poor children to try to force this issue. What business does she have bringing them up in front of the public eye to say that these children are being discriminated against, or that they are atheist? Why does she force atheism on them?
Nancy: That's right, ma'am. I should just let my kids be treated like crap, and I shouldn't say a word about it, should I? I should just say, let the majority stomp all over me, and let the Christian bigots just tell us how to run our lives.
Margaret (still speaking): [unintelligible]
Tom: By the way, by the way, let me point something out, Margaret. You live in California (you probably live right around the corner from my studio). Did you, do you vote?
Margaret: No, I don't.
Tom: Why not?
Margaret: Because I don't want to.
Tom: I thought you said, "Majority rules."
Margaret: It does, doesn't it?
Tom: But, how can it, if you don't vote?
Margaret: I choose not to be a part of that majority.
Tom: What did the majority choose -- we have something here in California called Prop --
Margaret (interrupting): Wait a second, --
Tom: Wait a minute! Wait! Don't you interrupt me, Margaret! I'm going to interrupt you! I want you to tell me if you've ever heard of Proposition 187.
Margaret (still speaking): -- a little bit too hard for you --
Tom: Have you ever heard of Proposition 187?
Margaret: You're changing the subject!
Tom: Do you know what it is?
Margaret: You're changing the subject!
Tom: So, you don't know what it is.
Margaret (still speaking): -- I'm not going to --
Tom: So, you've never heard of it.
Margaret: No, I know --
Tom: Okay, fine. I'll move on to somebody who will talk to me.
Margaret (still speaking): [unintelligible]
Tom: Thanks a lot!
It's Heather on a car phone, you're on The Tom Leykis Show, hello.
Heather: What is it with these morons who are calling!? This is a cut-and-dried situation. It's separation of church and state. This is a religious organization trying to come in and force a religion on children.
I believe in God, but I don't believe in making anybody else do that, or discriminating against somebody else who doesn't believe that.
This is just so absurd. I don't even know why it's an issue.
Nancy: You know, aside from some of the wackos that have called in today, there has not been a single person, religious or non-religious, that after having the opportunity of speaking to them for a few minutes, don't agree wholeheartedly, and say, "The schools are not a place to divide our children. They're a place for the community to come together."
Heather: Exactly! I agree exactly! This is just such a non-issue. I do not understand. If you want to go to church, then you go to church on your time, but don't bring an organization that's going to discriminate, against anybody, into the schools!
And I don't know what this other lady is talking about, you forcing your opinion on your children. Hello! They are your children! That's why you have them, to have other people in the world that have and share your values.
Tom: Thank you for the call. Appreciate it!
This is Pam on The Tom Leykis Show, hello.
Pam: I wanted to disappoint you, but I think I'll make a little more sense than the other people who've been calling.
Tom: Well, I hope so.
Pam: First of all, you mentioned the Constitution, that it wasn't involved. That's true. But, the Pledge of Allegiance, which I know, as an elementary student I said every single morning. I think you should be tackling things that are a little more glaringly obvious, instead of going after an institution where the values state you should help people. They're doing good work.
Tom: Yeah, except for discriminating against people who don't believe what they believe.
Pam: They're -- they're just --
Tom: They're engaging in discrimination.
Pam: They're discriminating, and you don't think that the Pledge of Allegiance is discriminating.
Tom: Oh, I do. I disagree with having the word "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, and as a result, I do not say the Pledge of Allegiance, and when I was in school I did not say the Pledge of Allegiance.
Pam: Well, ask this lady if she lets her son or her daughter, or whatever, say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning like most schools do, most public schools. I go --
Tom: Alright. Let's ask that question. Nancy?
Nancy: I'll tell you, our public school does not say the Pledge of Allegiance every day. Just last week, my son came bounding home, and he says, "We had an assembly today, Mom, and we said the Pledge of Allegiance, and I didn't say the 'God' part." And I said, "That's great, whatever you want to do, there." And I said, "But, did anybody notice you didn't say 'God'?" (because, of course, they're kind of on pins and needles on the religious issue with me). And he says, "Yeah, somebody notice, and they said that 'We just say "God" out of respect for the religious people.'" And the character and fortitude my 7-year-old had, said back to this teacher, "Yeah? Well, what about a little respect of the atheists?" What a kid!
Pam: First of all, I need to ask some questions about you and the 7-year-old. I don't know why you're spending so much time -- you're one of those parents who is a little too interested in their kids' education (if there is such a thing). You get a little too involved --
Tom (mocking): Too interested! You're too concerned! Confess! You're too concerned about your kids!
Nancy (muttering): I'm an evil person.
Tom (mocking): You need to ease off, and stop being interested in this stuff!
Nancy (muttering): Ba-a-ad Mommy!
Pam: Don't twist the words, Tom, because you have a way of doing that.
Tom: Well, you just said that, Pam!
Pam: The only thing I'm saying is that there is a certain healthy amount of attention you give to your child and their education, and then there's the parents who don't have lives, like this woman, and they spend too much time on what their kids are thinking.
The Boys -- I was a Brownie when I was younger, and I'm Jewish, so I am not Christian, I'm not a white, I don't look like everyone else, and I'm not this Aryan view you have of these people (first of all, I am sure that 99 percent of the people are accepting of all people, besides being in this club or this group or whatever), and I had, not once (and everyone knew I was Jewish; maybe I lived in LA and, whatever), but there was not one ounce of anything said bad against me. There was no weird looks.
And I think that this emotional distress that your son is going through is a little bit of BS. Because I do not imagine any 7-year-old coming home feeling as though his religion has been, you know, I don't see that, and I think you're one of the people who, who claims emotional distress after a car accident, because they don't have any, like, proof or evidence to back them up.
Nancy: Ma'am, I would like to remind you that for one and one half years I have been fighting this battle. I have never taken it into the court, --
Pam (interrupting): Do you have a job?
Nancy (still speaking): I have never, I have never talked about a penny of compensation. All I have done is said, "Discrimination, by the Portland Public School District's own rules, is a violation." I didn't make those rules, ma'am. I am just asking them to be enforced. And if you don't think that my son is suffering emotional harm, then maybe you should have been at my house yesterday, when he faked being sick because he won't go to school. Or how about --
Pam (interrupting): Is that because of what you did to him? --
Nancy (still speaking): Now, let me finish my point, madam! How about the fact that every single day at 11:45, I have to stop what I'm doing and go attend the lunch period with him, because he doesn't know what kind of religious discrimination is going to be forced on him during school hours.
Pam: Well, you know what? That's just your sickness, because I've never heard -- first of all, he's going to be messed up because you're coming to school with him every day. I don't -- if my mother came to school with me every day, I would be a recluse, I wouldn't even be a member of the community, of school community. You've got to let go of him, get your tentacles off of him. I don't know what -- the stronghold you have on him -- it's really unhealthy, and --
Nancy: Okay. Okay. So, let me ask you a hypothetical, here. Let me ask you a hypothetical. So you think, as a parent, it would be much more healthy if I were to say, to my son (who, let me remind you, is not old enough to cross the street by himself, alright?), If I were to say to my son, "I don't give a rat what those people down there say. They can discriminate against you, they can be mean to you, they can isolate you, make you feel bad, and no matter what they do, I'm not going to be there for you, because I don't want to raise any GD pansy." Is that what you think I should say to my son?
Pam: Excuse me, what's going to happen to him when he gets to college? He's going to see religious groups, he's going to see the fact that the world, the world is not perfect! He's going to go, he's going to see going, you know, "The Jews are bad, it's the reason for this, and the Chri--" He's got, you know --
Nancy (interrupting): And you think he should learn that lesson from the school administration?
Pam (still speaking): -- hope that he can be as good as a person as you are! And that's why --
Nancy (interrupting): Wait a minute! You just told me I'm a terrible person!
Pam (still speaking): -- a person, let him be -- let him be his own person. Right now, he is your little white puppet! He is doing -- you are telling him what to do, and he is, you know, --
Nancy: What have I told him to do, ma'am? What have I told him to do?
Pam (still speaking): -- and you know what? The only reason he's coming home --
Nancy: No, no, no! You said, -- No! Wait a minute! Stop!
Pam (still speaking): -- any normal person --
Nancy: You said, I told him to do things. What have I told him to do?
Pam (still speaking): -- you don't understand, you don't go to school. You don't --
Nancy: What have I told him to do?
Pam (still speaking): -- public schools --
Nancy: What have I told him to do?
Pam (still speaking): -- since five --
Tom: She doesn't want to answer that question.
Pam: I'm sorry, what --
Nancy: Because there isn't -- I've never told my son to do a single thing!
Pam (still speaking): -- you think you're --
Nancy: I said at the top of this show, my son is not an atheist. He's not anything. He's 7 years old.
Get a grip!
Pam: Okay, you get a grip.
Tom: Ah, there you go. Pam, thank you so much!
More of our guest Nancy Powell is coming up!
Second Hour; Second Segment
Tom: Twenty-six minutes after the hour, this is The Tom Leykis Show. Our guest, Nancy Powell, joining us from the studios of Hot Talk 1080 KOTK in Portland.
We continue with your telephone calls, it's Samuel on a car phone on The Tom Leykis Show, hello.
Samuel: Hey, you know what?
Samuel: Discrimination is all about excluding other people. It's not about including them. And personally, I see Nancy, here, excluding the God-people as much as the God-people have been excluding her. It just seems to be a full set of hypocrisy, if you ask me.
Tom: So you believe, you believe, then, that Satanists should be allowed to come into school and recruit kids?
Samuel: We're talking about including --
Tom: That's all? Well, that's it? At least you're consistent!
Samuel: No. We're talking about including other people.
Tom: See, here's what I want to do in the Portland Public Schools (and I'm sure there is a Satanic organization in the Portland area). I want to find a legitimate Satanic organization, and I want them to start getting themselves set up to enter the Portland Public Schools System, and recruit children.
Samuel: If you want to stop being part of the minority, and be a majority, then you have to get your voice heard.
Tom: Alright! Good! Then, that's what -- that's what I want!
So, you believe, then (you're in Seattle), you believe, then, that Satanists should be coming into schools and recruiting kids.
Samuel: If that's what they want to do, and that's part of our culture, then they need to be included too.
Tom: What do you mean, "if that's part of our culture"? If that's part of whose culture? If that's part of whose culture?
Samuel: It's part of what's here! These people are here. If they're here and they have kids in school, they have as much rights as anybody else in the school, and that they need to exercise those rights and come into the school.
Tom: How you feel about that, Nancy?
Samuel (still speaking): -- all organizations should be allowed to --
Tom: Satanists recruiting kids in school! How do you feel about that?
Nancy: Oh, don't be ridiculous! I mean, the whole idea --
Samuel (interrupting): I'm not being ridiculous! --
Nancy: The whole idea is the need to protect our children.
Samuel (still speaking): -- and you're excluding them, and your teaching your son to exclude them.
Nancy: No. Let me tell you a good example of when it would be appropriate for groups that require a religious test to be in the school. Let's say they came in during Parents Night, when adults were there, and we didn't have to go over to the Boy Scout table, we didn't have to go to the Satan table, we didn't have to go to the Presbyterian we're-gonna-have-a-p ancake-breakfast table (okay?), when parents are there, and they can regulate what exposure their children are going to have to bigoted groups. But when these groups come in, during school hours, when the parents are not there, --
Samuel (interrupting): You're as bigoted as they are!
Nancy: I guess, then, I shouldn't have the right to come in the lunch room and say, "Join the Nancy Powell Club!"
Samuel: You shouldn't have the right to exclude them any more than they have the right to exclude you.
Nancy: Thank you for your opinion.
Tom: There you go.
Jim, you're on The Tom Leykis Show. Thirty seconds. Go!
Jim: Hey, Tom, love the show! However, I find that you get a little carried away, a little emotional, when religion and God enters the subject.
Tom: I don't need any critiquing, here. What is your point?
Jim: Okay, I'm just making an observation.
Tom: Well, --
Jim: You had a couple callers, one with the Constitution, one with the money, --
Tom: Ten seconds! You're going to take forever to get to the point! You're going to get cut off!
Jim: Why is our social structure based on the religious concept of having off on Sunday?
Tom: Well, I'm also off on Saturday, Jim. What's that all about?
Jim: That's a good deal!
Tom: You know it doesn't have anything to do with religion, does it?
Jim: Sure it does!
Tom: Alright, what religion, then, makes me take off on Saturday?
Second Hour; Third Segment
Tom: Twenty-five minutes before the hour, this is The Tom Leykis Show, with our guest Nancy Powell. She joins us from the studios of Hot Talk 1080 KOTK, in Portland, Oregon. We are talking about her attempts to keep the Boy Scouts of America out of the Portland Public Schools.
Let's say hello, here, to Matthew on a car phone. You're on The Tom Leykis Show with Nancy Powell, hello.
Matthew: Hello, this is the first time I have ever listened, and I am appalled at this.
Tom: At what?
Matthew: At how y'all sit on the air -- and she was talking about how that they're discriminating against her child. She's discriminating against us, the Christian community and the Boy Scouts.
My word! It's the Boy Scouts!
I mean, it's like, you're just discriminating against us! Y'all should just shut up!
And for her to get on there and say, "GD," just to mouth or say the letters "GD," that appalls me too.
I will never listen to this program again because of this. It's very --
Tom: So, in other words, you don't want people have their right to speak, unless they agree with you.
Matthew: No, I'm not saying that. You're twisting my words.
Tom: That is what you're saying. You said you won't listen because people are saying things you don't happen to like.
Matthew: Well, if I said something you didn't like, would you listen to it?
Tom: It would depend. If the show was entertaining, -- There's a lot of radio programs I happen to disagree with, but I also listen to them because they're entertaining to listen to.
I don't really care what people's opinions are, I only care if the show is interesting.
Matthew: Well, --
Tom: Why do you care if the guest disagrees with you? Why do you care if the show is interesting to listen to? Is it an interesting conversation?
Matthew: Well, it must be for me to call in!
Tom: Must be! So, why would you not listen?
Matthew: Whenever I get off the phone, I'm going into my house because this is just very disgusting.
Tom: But, wait a minute! You haven't answered my question! If you don't like it, why did you call in? and why did you hold on? and how long have you been listening, Matthew?
Matthew: Five minutes. That is all it has taken for me to get --
Tom: And, you don't listen to anything unless people agree with you.
Matthew: No, --
Tom: You don't ever want to hear an opposite point of view.
Matthew: No. But I --
Tom: So, then, why would you not want to listen merely because you tuned in for five minutes and heard somebody you disagree with?
Matthew (still speaking): -- I listened to you, I want you to listen to me! I was sitting here, and I heard her talking about, we are discriminating against her child. But what is she doing, sitting on the air, and --
Tom (interrupting): So, because you disagree with that opinion, because you disagree with that opinion, because you disagree with one particular opinion you heard in five minutes of listening, you've decided you will never listen again, only because you disagree with one opinion of one person who appeared on the show.
Matthew: Well, apparently you disagree with what I've said, because you're arguing back with me.
Tom: All I'm saying is I can't believe that you would decide to listen or not to listen based on five minutes at hearing someone who disagrees with you.
Matthew (still talking): -- ain't that --
Tom: In other words, all you want to hear are opinions you agree with.
Matthew: Anyway, all --
Tom: Isn't that right, Matthew?
Tom: No!? Well, then, you obviously want to continue listening to this program, because it's interesting to listen to, isn't it?
Matthew: No, it's not.
Tom: It's not interesting.
Tom: And, how would you define interesting? What would make the show more interesting?
Matthew: What would make the show more interesting? Um, let me think.
Tom: Uh huh.
Matthew: Probably nothing on this show would be interesting.
Tom: How do you know?
Tom: How do you know?
Matthew: How do I know?
Matthew: How would you know?
Tom: We have a couple of million listeners, Matthew. They certainly think it's interesting. Why don't you tell me what we could do to make the show interesting.
Matthew: Put something on the air that people would like.
Tom: Such as what?
Matthew: Such as what? Uh, --
Tom: People who agree with you?
Matthew: No, I don't care if people agree with me or not.
Tom: The, what would you like to hear?
Matthew: Uh, I don't care. As long as it's not this.
Tom: Alright. I've had enough.
Sound Effect: [Explosion.]
Tony, you're on The Tom Leykis Show, hello.
Tony: Hey, thanks for making my ride hone interesting.
Tom: I'm here to help.
Tony: Hey! I think that last guy was proof as to why most Pulitzer Prize winners don't come from the Deep South.
Tony: I wanted to commend both yourself and Nancy for finally giving people, that are sick and tired of being persecuted because they're not Christian, the opportunity to speak out.
My question is this: The Boy Scouts state that they believe in "God." Which god? Does that exclude Allah? Does that exclude Abraham? Does that exclude Buddha? If you have an Asian child, a Moslem child, a Jewish child, are they not allowed to join the Boy Scouts? Or, should they break into sects?
Nancy: According to the Boy Scout rules, any old god will do.
Tony: Okay. So it's any old god except the one that you don't believe in.
Nancy: And they seem to be able to grasp the concept that they don't believe in the 4,999 gods out of the 5,000 that mankind has endorsed, but they don't understand why I don't believe in one more.
Tony: Yeah? Well, like I said, I give you credit for at least standing up for what you do believe in, and not bowing down to the pressures that be.
Nancy: Thank you, sir.
Tom: Alright, thank you for the call, we appreciate it. More of your calls coming up, don't go anywhere!
Second Hour; Fourth Segment
Tom: It's Susan on The Tom Leykis Show, hello.
Susan: Hi, Nancy! Nancy, I totally agree with your point, but I have a problem because your main function as a mother is to protect your children emotionally and physically (physically, primarily), and even though you are completely right (I'm an atheist, I totally agree with you; my kids were also recruited by the Boy Scouts with their slick brochures), you are still compelled to protect them from being social outcasts. And so, I would suggest you pick your battles.
Children are -- uh, recruited, like -- 100 percent of the kids, maybe -- that's obscene, certainly, but 90 percent of the are interested in the Scouts, and yet, like, four percent graduate as eagles. It just fades away.
Reality has to be your touchstone when you're an atheist. The plain fact is that the Boy Scouts don't stand up. Kids get bored. We got out of it because, as my boy said, "Too much obeying." That got us out of it. But I stayed a Scoutmaster, even though I was an atheist, purely because my kids were interested in it. I let them draw their own conclusions, and I didn't want a whole lot of militaristic wackos being their scout leaders.
Nancy: Did you sign the "Declaration of Religious Principles" that said you believed atheists couldn't grow up to be the best kind of citizens?
Susan: Oh, absolutely! I signed everything it took.
Nancy: So, you don't have a problem with not being true to who you are! I do!
Susan: I'm sorry, but I do have a problem with having my kids overseen by a lot of militaristic wackos, when I know I'm going to do a better job.
Nancy: Oh, I agree that you'd do a better job. There's no question about it. You probably did a better job than anybody else that was there.
But I will tell you, one of the scout laws, also, is to be truthful. And you know what? One way or the --
Susan (interrupting): Wait, wait! What am I going to do, ma'am?
Nancy: One way or the other, we are not going to be true to ourselves, either by lying about who we are, or by signing forms that say our kind aren't good. I'm not going to buy into that! I'm sorry!
Susan: Well, you're not going to buy into it, but your kids will buy it along with you. Did you ever see "South Park," Do you know about Carl's mom?
Nancy: I'm sorry, I've never seen "South Park."
Susan: Well, you ought to watch it. The thing is, your kids are going to be socially hampered by your activities, when actually, the actual damage done by the Scouts is going to be minimal if you minimize their contact. It's not really going to hurt them. It's going to fade away.
Nancy: In the state of Oregon, one out of every six citizens, in the 1990 Census, signed that they had no religion. We have the highest percentage of atheists in the United States right here in Oregon. We have the only Atheist Community Center in the whole U.S. I don't see that my kids are going to be ostracized, there's plenty of other atheists and freethinking people out there whom my kids can play with.
Tom: Susan, thank you for the call.
Brian, you're on The Tom Leykis Show with Nancy Powell, hello.
Brian: I just -- this Boy Scout and religious -- all this good stuff. I'm an Eagle Scout, and I'm also an atheist.
Nancy: Don't tell them!
Brian: Heh, heh! Actually, I didn't!
Tom: Wait a minute, so you lied!
Brian: Basically, yeah!
Tom: So, wait a minute, you're supposed to be trustworthy.
Brian: I am.
Tom: Honest! And you lied!
Brian: Well! You got to do what you got --
Tom: You lied -- Wait a minute! You lied about being honest.
Tom: In order to get in.
Nancy: When you became an Eagle Scout, did they ask you in your Eagle Scout review, "Do you believe in God?"
Brian: Yes they did.
Nancy: And you lied about that, too.
Brian: I sure did.
Nancy: You know, I, personally, am really uncomfortable with that.
Nancy: If that's how you do things, that's between you and whoever. But, I have (and I don't mean to sound higher than thou) I have a higher standard of ethics than that.
Brian: Well, that's your preference, but I mean, as far as the things that they do (going out camping; having a good old time), it's fun, if you like that kind of stuff.
Nancy: Of course it is, and that's how children get enticed into it.
One of the interesting points (and the Portland Public Schools District used this as their defense), was the information that they sent home didn't say anything about a religious test. I say, that doesn't excuse the fact that it's there, and that it's hidden on the initial contact. I think what happens is a lot of parents get to sign-up night and they just kind of look the other way because they're there, they're psyched, they're hyped up, they're ready to go -- it doesn't make it right. It doesn't make discrimination in our schools right.
Tom: Thank you, Brian!
Frank, you're on The Tom Leykis Show with Nancy Powell, hello.
Frank: The way I understand it (and my understanding is only good for me), there is no -- I don't -- I'm not saying I'd agree with Nancy's position, as far as the Boy Scouts are concerned. However, do you think that the people in the Ku Klux Klan (and there are still a lot of people in the Ku Klux Klan), do you think they are involved in the KKK thinking that what they're doing is wrong?
Tom: Wait a minute, is the KKK recruiting at public schools?
Frank: It's simply a --
Tom: Are they?
Frank (still speaking): -- what they believe is -- what they --
Tom: Are they recruiting at public schools, Frank?
Frank: I'm sorry.
Tom: Are the Ku Klux Klan recruiting at public schools?
Tom: That is what we are talking about.
Frank: Exactly! Now --
Tom: We're talking about groups that recruit at the public schools. We're not talking about the Ku Klux Klan! We're talking about groups that recruit at public schools!
Frank: All I'm saying is this, what if they did? What if we -- what if we --
Tom: Do you think they should? Do you think they should?
Frank: No! No, I don't think that they should --
Frank (still speaking): -- and I don't think that the Boy Scouts should. I think that Nancy's position as far as Boy Scouts recruiting in school is a hundred percent accurate. I'm not an atheist, though, and I don't necessarily --
Tom: I don't think you have to be an atheist to agree with this.
Frank: No, and that's all that I'm saying, and I think there's a big mix up with a lot of the people that are calling. You don't have to be an atheist. All I think that Nancy is trying to say is that public schools are not a place to provide our children this way. You can't go into a public school and offer things to children simply based on religious preference, or color, for that matter, or heritage, or financial background, you know, economic background. And that's the position and I agree with her a hundred percent.
And I'll be on the watch for it myself, now, as a matter of fact, just for that reason alone. Because if the KKK were to come in (and that's extreme, and I understand that), but if they were to come in and do this, now, I don't thing anybody in their right mind would say, "Well, well we have to allow this."
Tom: I think you're right about that, Frank, and I thank you for the call.
Don't go anywhere!
Second Hour; Fifth Segment
Tom: Six minutes before the hour on The Tom Leykis Show. From the studios of our affiliate in Portland, Oregon, Hot Talk 1080 KOTK, Nancy Powell is here. She's been fighting the Portland Public Schools because they let the Boy Scouts of America in, and the Boy Scouts of America, now (it's been revealed through all these court battles) is a discriminatory religious organization. Do we want that kind of an organization in the public schools?
It's Kevin on The Tom Leykis Show, hello.
Kevin: Obviously this lady has got lots of time on her hands, because after I get home from work and take care of the kids, I have hardly any energy left for anything. Do you work? or is this your mission in life?
Nancy: You know, whether I was really tired at the end of the day or not, I wouldn't quit looking after my children. Would you?
Kevin: I would not.
Nancy: So, that was the premise of your statement, that when you get home, you're too tired to be invested in their education, --
Kevin (interrupting): I didn't say that!
Nancy (still speaking): -- to worry about what people are doing to them when you have entrusted them to the public school system. When my children leave every morning, it is with the assumption that while I have surrendered my custody to the school, that their best interests are being looked after.
I now find that that is not the case.
Kevin: Put them in a private school, then.
Nancy: You just want me to go to sleep and forget the whole thing?
Kevin: If you don't want -- If you -- Obviously, you don't want to let them in the public schools, so find a private school and put them in there. My kids are in a private school.
Nancy: So, if I don't like what's going on, I should just leave. I should never battle, I should never stand up for my rights, I should never say, "What the other person is doing is wrong." I should just quietly put my tail between my legs and go other places?
Kevin: I just think you can spend your time doing other things.
Nancy: I think advocating for kids is probably one of the best ways to spend your time.
Tom: Thank you!
Cathy, you're on The Tom Leykis Show, hello.
Cathy: Nancy, I think the best thing you could do is to teach your son that he's going to be left out of things for one reason or another. I'll give you an example, my son has an illness that makes him very uncoordinated. And yet, through the schools, he brings home flyers from Little League, and football, and he'd like to play. But there's no way he can make the team. And I, instead of fighting --
Tom: But it's not for religious reasons, is it?
Cathy: No, but it would be an Americans With Disabilities reason.
Nancy: Actually, I don't know how it is in your area, but in our area, there is no test to join Little League. There is no test to even join the YMCA Basketball Camp (even though it's a Christian association). There are no tests --
Cathy (interrupting): Oh, no! You have to try out for Little League. And because everybody in his grade would be on the majors team, he would never make it. And so, I can't just say, "Oh, my poor little Pooky Bear." I'd rather teach him, "You know what? You're a little different, and this what's going to happen in life, and everybody has their problems." Some people can't play Little League because they can't afford it. So it's just best to teach your kid, I think, that he's a little different because of this, so he's not in the majority, and that he's going to miss out on some things.
Nancy: And that because we're different, that the truth quits being the truth? that the discrimination is still there? that the religious test is still there? and that the rules and the laws and the civil rights laws say that those things shouldn't take place? But even though that goes on, I should just explain to him that that's okay?
Cathy: So, if your kid was in a wheelchair, you'd be taking the school district to court over football? That's my question. I don't understand you can't just teach him, "Well, you know what? That's life. Life isn't always fair."
Nancy: Oh, believe me! We have lots of "life isn't fair" lessons around my family, and we understand what discrimination is, and we avoid it whenever possible. But this is the public schools, and this is a group that requires a religious test to join. Now, I don't know how it is. My kids are little, and I know in Little League now, at the ages they are, there are no requirements for joining. But I'd look into the football camp and the basketball camp and see if they don't make alternative arrangements for children who are physically handicapped. But I do not believe that in my area there are any tests that you must pass in order to belong. And it certainly isn't that way in the elementary schools.
Tom: We are running out of time for this hour. Cathy, thank you for the call. Nancy Powell, can people to get in touch with you, or do you want people to do anything to assist you?
Nancy: Of course I do. I first want them to do things locally in their own area. If I can sway one person tonight to think the way I do, then I'm twice as effective as I was when I started. Go to your schools, talk to your representatives, see if this kind of injustice is happening where you are. And just keep the fight going. Just keep the fight going.
And thank you, Tom, so much. This is such an important issue.
Tom: Out of time! Thank you, Nancy!