Thursday, June 24, 2010

Focus on the Family's Daly gets 'schooled' on the concept of family

In a piece today in The Washington Post, Focus on the Family's Jim Daly became the latest member of the religious right to criticize Obama's Father's Day proclamation for - you guessed it - acknowledging same-sex households:

In elevating and equating the influence of a two-father family to that of all other traditional forms, the administration is, perhaps unknowingly, depriving children of the opportunity to have the very thing the president has so strongly and eloquently suggested they need most: A mom and a dad.

As the product of a fatherless home myself, I am keenly aware and extremely sensitive to the harsh realities of a life that is less than ideal. In fact, the president and I share this common background, and so I immediately identify with his compassion and his desire to use the bully pulpit to ease suffering and meet the needs of the neediest among us.

But the fatherhood "effect" is not cumulative - two daddies are not better than one -- nor is a mother dispensable or replaceable. Instead of expending precious (and finite) energy and resources on selling the merits of two- father or two-mother families, the administration would be wise to invest and encourage the loving presence of both a mom and a dad.

However, Daly is being seriously schooled by many of the folks who left comments under his piece. The following are just a few:

Of all the things I disagree with on Obama, this is one thing I do agree with. Christianity imported homophobia into the America's with the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500's. Before then, many American Indian tribes supported the idea of a 3rd gender, and families that loved them. It wasn't until Christians used this to determine Indians "savages" and then subsequently killed them all off, that Indians were reprogramed in Christian "Indian Schools". Christians are murderers who stole Judiac ideals to meet their own ends. Jesus himself was a gay man, who never once married, but lived his entire life with other men. Until Christians accept this little fact of life, then well, they should stay out of deciding what is right in God's eyes.

As long as people consider themselves "conservatives" and "liberals" and NOT AMERICANS FIRST, they are nothing more than the original stuff they use to fertlize lawns. How abjectly INHUMANE of you to criticize some poor kid who lives in a same-sex household, or the same-sex couple that devote their lives toward bringing that same child up into the world. "Societal norms?" Gimme a break. It was a societal norm for black people to be in slavery. It was a societal norm for people to stone Jewish people and deprive them of their homes and property. It used to be a "societal norm" for men to steal women and forcibly take them to marry. What an unbelievably heartless Philistine you are. I fervently hope in your next life you are born gay so that you can experience first hand the bigotry you seek to uphold in the name of beliefs generated by the nomads of the Levant more than 2,000 years ago. I hope your doctors use their medical beliefs to treat you! These "Christians" are such shining examples of humanity!

Lots of GLBT parents seem to do a better job than straight parents. Many time they actually plan for and have to work hard at having children rather than the all to often hetero:"Whoops,honey guess what we're pregnant... what are we gonna do now we aren't so sure we really wanna have (another ) kid."

. . .Daly's argument implies that parents who are gay should enter into straight marriages for the sake of their children, or remain in such marriages. One could make a case that children raised by unhappy, miserable parents in loveless marriages are generally worse off than if their parents had gotten divorced. In any case, the burden of proof is on Daly to show how children under the care of opposite-sex parents would lose this care if same-sex-parent families were not treated as abnormal.

Mr. Daly, you had me at "The Obama administration is actively changing the cultural norms of our country." More power to him. The days of your bigotry are numbered.

I don't think "The Obama administration is actively changing the cultural norms of our country." What is normal in our country's culture today is two people, of the same sex and in a loving relationship, raising children together in happy, heathy homes. I find it offensive that the Post is providing a national forum for Mr. Daly to promote discrimination and incite hatred. If others want to read this outdated and hurtful nonsense they are free to go to the FOTF website--but the Post shouldn't be complicit in promoting Mr. Daly's incendiary diatribe.

My same sex partner and I have raised a son that is the envy of our straight friends. He is extremely successful, compassionate and a contributor to his community. I find it ironic if not somewhat sad that many of our opposite sex couple friends are constantly battling with their children to at least try to finish school, call them once and a while and quite living off the their parents and the government. Maybe we need more same sex parents.

One good thing about the so-called controversy involving Obama mentioning same-sex parenting in his Father's Day proclamation is how it is bringing the issue of lgbts raising children to the forefront.

It's an issue which needs to be discussed thoroughly. And as much as members of the religious right try to control this issue, their singular talking point of "a child needs a mother and a father" can't overcome the fact that too many people know that raising a child takes more than the "Ozzie and Harriet" concept of family.

Raising a child takes love, support, and sacrifice and many folks are providing this, whether they be heterosexual single parents, or lgbt parents.

My advice to Daly and other members of the religious right who continue to fight Obama on this is to give it up. You are only digging yourself deeper in a hole. 

Your talking points are incredibly polished but even talking points sometimes fall to reality. And the words that come out of your mouth, no matter how pretty they sound, can't stand up to the successful lgbt families that people see every day.

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Jon said...

It makes me wonder if Daly and his ilk believe that if Obama hadn't mentioned same sex parents in his comments, that somehow they'd just magically disappear and little Johnny and Susie wouldn't be "deprived" anymore of not having a mommy or daddy?

Seriously, these people need to get out of Fantasyland and realize that their vision of the "perfect" family keeps fading faster and faster all the time!

Anonymous said...

God trying to punish Jim for his comments?