Monday, March 04, 2013

Waging War on Truth

I saw this on Facebook today:

It's an... errr... interesting rhetorical device, but it's not exactly what the DOJ said. Prop 8 dealt with gay marriage. The DOJ stated that gays are not inherently inferior parents. But let's set aside for a moment the issue of gay marriage entirely, and deal directly with what this graphic says, and only that.

Let's look at the idea that a child has a "right" to a mother. Remember the TV show "My Three Sons"? Do you think it would be advisable for Mike, Robbie, and Chip to sue their dad, Steven Douglas (Fred MacMurray)? After all, we're talking about a household with two "dads" here. You think not? Don't you remember when Mike left and Ernie was adopted...? The court wouldn't allow it until Uncle Charlie stepped up and was declared "housemother".

That was in the 1960s. In 1960, two men could raise a houseful of children and audiences didn't think twice about it. They watched every week and enjoyed themselves. In the 1960s we insisted that those kids have full-time care, but the courts didn't hold some imagined "right" to ensure that it was one of each sex. Now, fifty years later, have children suddenly gained a right now that they didn't have then? Did fathers somehow lose a right to self-determination that they formerly had, and are now somehow obligated to remarry? Or maybe you think the preceding generation wasn't as decent? These are rhetorical questions: of course children don't have a "right" to a mother... God Himself deprives children of mothers every day.

What about all the other widowers and divorced dads with custody out there? Should we expect a barrage of lawsuits against them? If so, I narrowly dodged a bullet, in that I did re-marry. I do somehow resent the idea that I wasn't a loving, capable parent when it was just me and Will, though. As the parent who got custody, and did so because I was declared by a trained psychiatrist and marriage specialist to be the more capable parent, I'm so very glad that the court in my state did not subscribe to the notion that my ex had a "right" to the child she couldn't properly raise. I find that concept more than a little bit sexist... and so did the court. Children aren't property. It's good for my son that we had a judge that knew that.

Once you know what the DOJ actually said, it takes no imagination to invert the claim in the graphic and say the DOJ is waging a War on Men. That would be every bit as accurate, you know. But I wouldn't apply it to a widow who is doing her best to raise children without a father, as one of my childhood neighbors did. I wouldn't say it to a divorced woman raising children on her own as was my own mother before she re-married. And why was my mother divorced? I was there, and I can tell you that sometimes one parent is better than two, even if the two are man and wife. If you don't believe it I can put you into a room with a bunch of folks who can tell you stories of traditional marriages that will make you cry.

This infographic is just wrong. And if we think about it for five seconds or more, it becomes obvious that it's just so very wrong.

One small thing to add... I know what the author was trying to do, and I'm sure he thought he was being terribly clever. But as those of you readers who are responsible parents already know, when little Billy lies to you, you do not respond with, "Here! Have a cookie! What a clever lie you just told!"

That's because lies aren't clever.

I don't see eye-to-eye with this administration. But I have a very particular fondness for common sense, decency, and fairness; as well as a smattering of respect for the truth. Taking a statement out of context, twisting it to claim that it says something that wasn't said is un-Christian. It isn't fair, decent, or truthful; and it flies in the face of common sense. The fact that it's nonsensical is why I looked up the DOJ's argument. Please... there are enough offensive statements that this government actually makes that we do not have to go making stuff up. And if you want to target the gay marriage issue, fine, do that out in the open, but not with some garbage argument that implies that just because somebody's a man that he can't raise a child. I don't like bigotry, period. I don't like it when they do it, and I don't like it when you do it, even by accident. And I don't even know who you are.


By the way, bigot is an under-used word these days. That's a shame because it's incredibly useful. These days we use words like racist, sexist, homophobic, class-ist, age-ist, weight-ist, etc. There's an "-ism" for everybody, as if the target of a person's unreasoning hatred makes one bit of difference.

Keep it simple. It's BIGOTRY.

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