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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.

Let's talk Marriage Protection Week, (MPW) a movement that has been endorsed by our president.

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.


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Comments

"Marriage is the union of the only type of couple capable of natural reproduction of the human race—a man and a woman."

Oh, and Joe Millionaire.

D

Well I, for one, am sick and tired of the gays getting away without having to have a mother-in-law come visit for weeks on end and not go away*. I say make 'em get married! It's time they suffered with the rest of us!

*Just kidding, mom, we love to have you visit

I've been saying let it go for AGES. But no one on the Right listens. You're so right about the whole web-o-connections with the Religious Right, who's just as bad for conservatives as Hillary and her ilk are for the liberals.

LET IT GO. PLEASE.

I'm really trying to figure out how Marriage Protection Week is not just an anti-gay agenda.

Really? Why would you waste your time on something so futile?

I'm with you on most of this. However, your interpretation of the CWFA statement was off, IMO. What (I believe) the author meant was that in a marriage between a man and woman, the man can go out and earn money whilst the woman, through an obligation of "duty and love", can stay home full time and raise their chitlins.

So the author wasn't saying that only married couples love their biological children. They were saying that you womenfolk should stay home and not worry your pretty little heads about things like "income" and "jobs" and "bad marriage" and "book-learnin'".

Ironicly, the group espousing this belief is called Concerned Women For America. scratches head

BRING BACK TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE!

Pre-teens being married off to strangers as a means of securing property was good enough for our great great great grandfathers and it's good enough for me!

Their ideology is against divorced people, too. How odd that so many in these movements seem to be on their second marriages, with no death certificate in sight.

I would have thought Marriage Protection Week was about something like, maybe, making individual marriages stronger and more likely to succeed. Like emphasizing communication or why it's important for couples to get time alone away from the kids or improving sex. But then, I'm a grownup, and I figure my marriage failed because of me and my husband, not the gay couple down the street. Or maybe it was my poisonous gargoyle of a mother in law. Yeah, that's it.

In the same way that the phrase 'strong, independent woman' now appears most often in the media as a synonym for 'brain-dead, mostly naked woman who defines herself through sex', I predict that in just a few more years, the phrase 'Family Organization' will mean 'wacko religious fanatics who are rather fond of pointed white hats'. If you change the meanings of the words, you take away the weapons of the intelligentsia who would argue against you…

I always thought that Marriage Protection Week would involve public flogging of Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, and Mickey Rooney-- but perhaps that's wishful thinking on my part.

I gotta agree - the way they talk about MPW turns me off completely.
I do think, however, that there should be more of an emphasis on marriage... or maybe not so much marriage, but taking responsibility for your offspring. I'm a firm believer in multi-parent households (wether they be all male, all female, or a crazy mix of multiples), simply because taking care of a child and putting food on the table is really damn hard for one person to do well.

I worry a lot more about how easily some folks abandon or neglect their own kids, than I do about wether or not two guys want to tie the knot.

What there is is three definitions of "marriage":

1) A religious sacrament. Various religions have their own views on what constitutes marriage. Catholics require a church provided "annulment" to end a marriage, divorce is not good enough. Same with the Jewish religion and the "get". Some churches won't allow divorced people to remarry in their church.

2) A legal state of being between two people. Once you are married, you gain certain legal rights and responsibilities. Inheritance. Taxation status. And many more.

3) A societial view on what constitutes a "couple". And that varies from society to society. Where I came from, in Australia, the majority societal view is that two people sharig a life together - whether legally married or not - constitute a couple.

Let the conservative types focus on part 1, and get the government out of part 2.

Saw a good quote the other day - most religion is like a public swimming pool - all of the noise comes from the shallow end.

Whatever they say, marriage isn't a "sacred institution" to these people, it's a legal one. If it were really a sacred institution they wouldn't be clamoring to legislate it - seperation of church and state, y'know? Bush's support for them is tacit admission that when it comes to marriage, there is no division between Church and state in this country. The popular religions get to define what constitutes marriage, and the state enforces their definition as law.

What puzzles me is that the only visible group fighting our unconstitutional marriage laws are gays and lesbians. There are enough religions represented in the US that allow or even condone polygamy that there is a legitimate case to be made for our marriage laws being religious discrimination. Where are, for example, the Muslim-Americans on this?

I crossposted a column by a former Republican party chairman. Interesting reading.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! If they want to keep marriage in line with biblical principles, then let's make sure that marriage is EXACTLY in line with biblical principles!

Heh. Heh.

"Protect" marriage from WHAT???

How does it possibly HARM traditional marriage by letting gays marry also?? Won't snuggyface and hunnybun feel SPECIAL anymore??

Personally, I think the Christian Right is shooting themselves in the foot with this. They should be "endorsing" gay marriage as a way to encourage monogamy. Promiscuity spreads HIV in either orientation, so monogamy is a GOOD thing. Let's reward that monogamy with legal benefits. Screw the churches- lots of people have "just" civil ceremonies.

The "traditional" marriage argument is also BS.If you look at the Old Testament, there weren't much in the way of wedding ceremonies- no temple, no rabbi, and a nomadic people. To make a woman your wife was a biblical euphemism for boning her.If you screwed her, ipso facto she was now your wife. And boinking your wife's slavegirls or maidservants was also perfectly acceptable. Think Jerry Falwell's wife lets him play hide the pickle with the housekeeper? I doubt it. So much for "Biblical" marriage.

personally, i think the gays are screwing themselves on this one. they need to stop thinking "marriage" and start thinking "legal partnership" or something. let's be honest here, marriage started in the church not the court. the court is where the gays have been taking their case. i don't see them sitting down with the pope and trying to convince him of the merits of their case. they're taking it court and the court is where they should be looking for answers.

i also think marriage HAS become a joke and it's is hard to try and defend the sanctity of it with everything going on. but bottom line i think the church has a right to defend it's turf. somewhere along the line the court just tossed the legal partnership portion of marriage into the pot with the religious portion and we had out stew. i think the homo community should be looking for middleground elsewhere. frankly i don't think they've been very compromising in this issue. they figure they shouldn't have to compromise. news flash, you do.

Let your voice be heard. The "right" WILL succeed because the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Our country was built on "by the people, for the people". But we have become complacent and allowed our voices to be drowned out by the "noise". Special interest groups run this country.

It's time to let our leaders know what the common man and woman want for their families, for their country.

BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE!

US Senate
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

House of Representatives
http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Congresional Email Directory
http://www.webslingerz.com/jhoffman/congress-email.html

State Officials
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/?lvl=L

Local Officials
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/?command=local

CapWiz Capitol Advantage
http://capitoladvantage.com/h2/

Here is another resource for making your voice be heard.

Electronic Frontier Foundation
http://www.eff.org/congress.html

I am child-free by choice. I had a tubal ligation before I was married. We have no desire to adopt children, either (but would adopt our nephews were something to happen to their parents).

So, is my marriage not a "real" marriage? Is it not a "sacred institution"?

Oh, I forgot to mention - it's a 2nd marriage for me & a 3rd for my husband. We're non-monogamous, too.

sigh 3 strikes, eh?

The strawman is the most easy to beat and burn. None of you have engaged any of the real issues "marriage traditionalists" raise. I hope someday, our broken civil discourse will be mended by some people from both sides who can agree to engage what each is really talking about.

the point id this governemnt should legislate love the country was fiounded on gettinf away from all that religion that made europe mid-evil for hundreds of the years theres no doubt that religion and state work very well together Ronman-catholoc dynasty to supress the masses but today we have a police force that are even better at accomplishing this obective. Oh and religion has been against almost any social societal advancement or progession from new technology to race relations conservatives have been more obstructionist that conservative.Mayor says we dont address the right. Well here goes Whats the real fear that everyones gonna go gay and stop having children. I think even many gay men have a strong impetus to reproduce and carry along their bloodline and that impetus is going to live on forever. Only closeted homosexuals need the impetus of government and society to keep them strait and married. Eventuallly people will be allowed to "sow their oats" so to speak and then settle down with whomever they choose.
More Ghettoe Philosophy here at www.xplicitman.com/politics.htm