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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American Family Association picking on 10-year-old and his family and other Thursday midday news briefs

Arkansas: American Family Association's Tim Wildmon stoops to an Action Alert against a 10 year old - So having a mother and father in the home is the best thing for a child, the religious right tells us. Unless the family is lgbt-supportive and participates in lgbt events. THAT is tantamount to child abuse, they tell us. Can you say horse @!%, boys and girls? I knew you could.

Court refuses to keep petitioner IDs private - The religious right loses BIG TIME and all is good in the world.

You can’t even buy a right - Great analysis of a nasty juxtaposition. In Philadelpha, the Boy Scouts can use a building paid for by tax dollars even though they discriminate against lgbt taxpayers. Meanwhile in Minneapolis, a gay pride paid the city a tidy sum for the use of a park for its festival, but city is trying to prevent them from keeping an anti-gay evangelist from coming in and causing confusion.

Focus on the Family to America: Listen to Price or pay the $ame! - So according to some folks, celebrating June as Gay Pride Month will cause God to turn His back on America. Listen, if God hasn't turned His back on us after that awful Jersey Shore reality tv show and the Donald Trump/Omarosa hot mess reality tv show on cable, I think it's safe to assume that America is somewhat home free.

Liberty Counsel's Odd Definition of "Fit Parent" - Meanwhile, the Liberty Counsel is still arguing on behalf on bad parent Lisa Miller even AFTER she kidnapped her and Janet Jenkins's daughter.

Wis. court: Gay parents do not have equal rights - Excuse the hell out of me! Hopefully this decision will be appealed again.

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False study proves Family Research Council's anti-gay animus

I was looking over a "study" published by the Family Research Council which supposedly proves that there is a "significant problem of homosexual misconduct in the military."

 FRC announced the study in May and no one really paid attention to it because the organization's bias against the lgbt community is commonly known.

But the study does need to be observed, not because it's credible but because it demonstrates how low FRC will stoop to malign the lgbt community.

The main point of the study is the following:

Homosexual activist groups themselves have admitted that less than three percent of Americans are homosexual or bisexual.

FRC has reviewed the "case synopses" of all 1,643 reports of sexual assault reported by the four branches of the military for Fiscal Year 2009 (October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009). Our startling finding was that over eight percent (8.2%) of all military sexual assault cases were homosexual in nature. This suggests that homosexuals in the military are about three times more likely to commit sexual assaults than heterosexuals are, relative to their numbers.

Or as it is put in a footnote on pg. 16:

134 of 1,643 reported assault synopses involved homosexual assault, or 8.2%. There were 124 male-on-male cases and 10 female-on-female cases.

By the way, the rest of the study is nothing more than details of the alleged sexual assaults written in a way that is so salacious, I'm sure  Peter LaBarbera has a published copy under the guise of "research."

Let's ignore the time consuming discussion of how many lgbts there actually are - no doubt FRC wouldn't mind to have the issue sidetracked by such discussion - and focus on how the group is manipulating via percentages.

The organization has chosen to play a silly game of percentages not unlike the one played by white racists when informed that the majority of people on welfare are not African-Americans.

"Well percentage-wise, black people do utilize welfare more," they say.

Or more to the point, FRC's phrase - homosexuals in the military are about three times more likely to commit sexual assaults than heterosexuals are, relative to their numbers - seems to be carefully worded parlor trick meant to push the claim that a high number of military gay men are committing sexual assaults in spite of the fact that the actual numbers don't back it up.

FRC's tactic reminds me of a passage in a situation comedy between a man and his date:
Man: Some folks say I look like Denzel Washington . . .

(His date looks at him in disbelief)

Man: . . . when I squint my eyes . . .

(The man's date still looks with more disbelief)

Man: . . . when there aren't that many lights on . . .

The man's date: I'm starting to see the resemblance!

FRC's study is not going to look credible no matter what the group does because all the lights are on for a change.

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