for the children(tm): bush's support of the right's marriage movement is wrong
This one goes out to all of you who say I am never in opposition to Bush.
The sacred institution of marriage is under attack. There are those who want to redefine marriage to include two men, or two women, or a group of any size or mix of sexes: One man and four women, one woman and two men, etc. If they fail to secure legal protection classifying these arrangements as 'marriage,' they want to include all these mixtures under the definition of 'civil union,' giving them identical standing with the marriage of one man and one woman.
At first glance, one might think something named Marriage Protection Week would be about more than keeping gays from being married. Perhaps they should have just called it No Gay Marriage Week, that would have been more honest.
Sure, there are some other issues at stake here, according to the website. Does our president understand what he is endorsing? The site links to some talking points for MPW (Oh, how prescient of me. The talking points page is called No Gay Marriage):
Marriage is the union of the only type of couple capable of natural reproduction of the human race—a man and a woman. Children need both mothers and fathers, and marriage is society’s way of obtaining them.
And that's the main sticking point here. They believe that marriage is not about love; it's not about two people committing to each other to love, honor and treasure. No, it's about procreating.
But even childless marriages are a social anchor for children, who observe adults as role models. Besides, childless couples can be “surprised” by an unexpected pregnancy, and they can adopt, giving a child a mother-and-father-based family. Single parents can eventually marry. And marriage is a stabilizing force for all. Even when a couple is past the age of reproduction, the marital commitment may keep an older man from fathering a child with a younger woman outside wedlock.
In other words, even if you are infertile, even if you have medical problems that keep you from reproducing, don't worry. There's still hope for you, hope that you may not be rendered meaningless in the eyes of these people after all. And guys, if you get to be that age where you are thinking about hooking up with a younger chick, just marry someone your age. Sort of makes a marriage borne of that like a condom blessed by a priest.
Another link on the MPW website brings us to the Weekly Standard:
"Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes. . . . There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents."
As someone whose children are being raised in a "stepfamily," I can say without prejudice that they actually have a better chance of a good outcome than they would have had I stayed in my Bush-approved traditional family. What about strong, stable marriages between one biological parent and one step-parent? What about strong, stable relationships between two biological parents who are cohabiting? What about two people of the same sex who have a strong, stable relationship?
I'm really trying to figure out how Marriage Protection Week is not just an anti-gay agenda. Every article about this movement will throw in a few keywords about divorce or single parents but, to a great extent, they are all about keeping marriage from gays.
Why not be honest about it? Why doesn't Bush stand up and say "I am now endorsing something that is specifically geared towards excluding gays from marriage and the people with whom I have aligned myself on this matter are clearly those who think that gay people all have a hidden agenda to turn your children into sexual deviants and they must be destroyed."
Yet everywhere, in isolated mountain valleys, parched deserts, jungle thickets, and broad plains, people have come up with some version of this thing called marriage. Why?...Because sex between men and women makes babies, that's why.
So, what of couples who are childless by choice? Are they villified as much as gay couples who want children? What about couples who make babies that are neglected or abused? Are they still better people somehow than the couple who turns nature on its head by not having children?
I still find it astonishing that Bush has committed himself to this organization that is so blatant with its propaganda it puts the Moral Majority to shame.
But Bush knows what he is doing. He has simply stated that he is endorsing National Marriage Protection Week, which sounds so family oriented and downright cuddly when taken at face value. How many people are going to search beyond that face value to discover what this movement is really all about? It's not just an anti-gay movement. They are anti anything that doesn't adhere to their strict, religious sense of being. No single parents, no divorcees, no childless couples are welcome in this coalition.
If you look at the fine print on the bottom of the MPW website, it says the site is copyright American Family Association. They, in turn, are in a tight coalition with Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, and The Family Research Council.
These are all "faith based" groups, if your idea of faith is demeaning and pointing fingers at those who aren't march-step with your ideology.
At CWFA, I found this telling statement:
Children need both a mother and a father; and they need them to be married and in a stable, committed, loving relationship. The absence of marriage in a child’s life is a gaping wound. That wound is gaping because no one is obligated –– by duty and love –– to care for the child. You can’t delegate love through a program. You can’t ensure vigilance through a program. A child knows when he is no one’s treasure –– no one’s special joy!
If I am reading this correctly, I think what the author is saying is that only married parents have a duty and obligation to love their children. Single parents, divorced parents, gay parents; just give up now. Turn your kids in. Obviously, you don't love your children because...well, I can't figure that part out. I do think that they are saying - let me see if I can read between the lines here - that when I got divorced, I lost my dutiful and loving obligation to care for my children. Spare me.
Marriage is a sacred institution –– a covenant between a man and a woman and God –– that is honored by people across the faith traditions.
News flash: Atheists and agnostics get married, too. My [second] marriage is a covenant between my husband and I. There was no god involved. Does that make it any less of a marriage? In the eyes of the church, I suppose it does. In the eyes of my family, my children and my husband and myself - no. In fact, this marriage is more stable, more committed, more loving than my first marriage - to the biological father of my children - was.
But that's not what the proponents of Marriage Protection Week - Bush included - want to hear. They want disaster stories. They want tales of homesexual abuse by parents, tales of step-children turning to drugs and crime, they want moral depravity and shoddy parenting. They don't want the success stories because that would just prove their points as fallacies.
I'm disappointed in President Bush for supporting all of the mentioined organizations and all of the lies and propganda put forth by them, which he does by promoting Marriage Protection Week.