My daughter, the peacemaker

So yesterday my husband and I were having one of those “intense discussions” that married couples must have from time ot time, and my daughter happened to still be awake despite the lateness of the hour.  She hates for either my husband or I to be upset and she almost always chooses to try to cheer us up.  So she puts ribbons in my hair, she dances and sings for me, she does a million little things that distract me from the topic at hand and frankly started to annoy me after a while.

At some point in the conversation I turned to her and said, “mommy and daddy really need to talk about this, please stop talking to me.”

What does she do?  She mimes by pointing at my lips and pointing at my husbands lips and then making “kissing face” and emphatically waves her arms around.  I said, “mommy really doesn’t feel like kissing daddy right now” and her face just deflated.  Very quietly she says, “please?”

So I take her in my lap and hold her, and eventually she wanders off to play in her bedroom.  And there’s this part of me that just felt awful.  I felt awful because I hadn’t wanted her to have to see us upset with each other, because she sincerely tried everything she knew how to try to lighten the situation, because she is little and still thinks that everything can be made better with a kiss like in the movies, because there’s a lot she has yet to learn about how a marriage operates and my husband and I made the decision long ago that we would let our children see us fight but we would always fight fair, so that when they got married they would have a good example to work from.

But… part of me maybe felt like lately we’re not setting the best example.

Yet even so, I look at my daughter and the kind of person she is, and I know that despite every area of my life in which I fall short, in one area I have done really well.  Well, I can’t take full credit for her.  My husband has done really well, and God himself did spectacularly when he mixed her DNA.

You may think you know everything there is to know about life.  Then you have kids.  And every single day is a lesson about life, love, patience, tolerance, discovery, anxiety, anger…  Every thing you could possibly feel, good and bad, they will teach you to deal with.  And the real miracle?  When you tuck them in to bed you will kiss them and cry and be grateful that they forced you to feel.  You will hate the fact that they will ever grow up and leave you.

It’s just…  awe inspiring.  Yes.  Those are the words.

Cereal and Deception

My daughter, whom we shall here on in refer to as “Spanky”, is starting to learn deception.  This morning she came into the kitchen where I was prepping a bottle for her brother, and she walked right by me to dump the remains of her cereal into a bucket and hide the bucket.  (Why not just use the trash?)

She then holds the empty bowl up and says, “I’m still hungry.”

“You want more cereal?”  I ask her.

“Yes.”

“What about that cereal?”  I point at the bucket.

“It doesn’t have marshmellows any more,” Spanky replies.

I let out a big sigh and ask her if maybe she’d rather have an orange than a bowl of cereal she’ll only eat a fifth of.

Spanky replies, “Oooh!  Oranges!” and our kitchen drama ends.

But it made me think.  My little girl is learning deception.  Sure, it’s not great deception, but she figured out that an empty bowl is more convincing, and she artificially emptied it.  It really doesn’t take long for the shine to wear off of innocence.  And it’s not because we are cruel, or devious, or innately evil- it’s simply selfishness.  We prize our own desires more than truth or sincerity, so we lie.

Through my children I have learned that everything is learned.  They come out knowing nothing, not even knowing how to purposefully get a hand to their mouth.  A great deal they learn through trial and error, they learn a bit from observation, but mostly they are taught.  And now I embark on another teaching adventure.  I teach my daughter that sincerity and truth are prized more in this household than her desires are.  It’s not a lesson I really want to give, as I know it will hurt her, but it’s one I have to give, so I will.

And in that way, she is also teaching me about God.

Life is so…  like life.  There’s nothing else like it.

please, DO think of the children

Every time gay marriage is mentioned, someone eventually says something along the lines of:

“But think about the children!”

The nuclear family is eroding, family values are plummeting, one can only imagine how the next generation will turn out…

My inevitable response is, “yes, DO think of the children.”

Given the state of affairs in America, shouldn’t every single child that could have a loving family be placed with one? Shouldn’t gay people who want to be parents have that chance? What is better: that a child have no home, or two fathers? Personally, I believe that every family is flawed. Every parent has problems, every relationship has strain. It is impossible to raise a child in an environment where they will be exposed to no pain, no criticism by peers, no sin. There are going to be straight parents who fight and divorce, kids with two sets of parents, kids raised by people who are “less than seemly” to say it simply. Given that fact, I personally would say that anyone who loves a child and wants to raise it should be given the chance, assuming that there is no abuse or potential for deep harm.

I just don’t think that someone being gay is enough harm. What if the parent was straight, but a serial cheater? What if the parent was straight and left the mother of the child for a younger, sluttier model? Is modeling that behavior somehow WORSE than homosexuality?

So I say, please, DO think of the children. And ask yourself if the worst thing a parent does is love another person of the same gender, does that somehow disqualify them from parenthood? What if they love their kids, hold them when they can’t sleep at night, make them homecooked meals, send brownies to the teachers, do their homework with them, hem their pants, and also hold hands with another man? Does the last item make all of the others mean less?

I don’t think it does.

Gay Marriage

There are times I feel like I’ve written all I can on the subject of Christianity and Homosexuality. And then there are times, like today, when I feel like I haven’t. I’m not sure how my mind wandered to this particular topic, but I was laying awake with my son and all the sudden I thought, “I really don’t get this whole thing.” I understand why gays want to get married- I don’t understand why Christians don’t want to allow it. Well, I do understand the reasoning (don’t cheapen something sacred) I just don’t understand how that equates to gay marriage being wrong.

Allow me to explain myself. Right now, anyone can get married as long as they are heterosexual, not cousins, and not married to someone else. That means that it’s not just Christians who understand the “sacredness” of what they are engaging in who are getting married. Not all people get married in God’s house, either. I myself was married in a courthouse, by a judge, about ten minutes after receiving the marriage certificate. The service, the attire and the atmosphere were all far less than sacred and holy, right down to the stuffed crab in my back pocket and the fact I had a horrible case of the giggles and could barely say my vows. What makes my marriage holy is not the laws or the way in which it was made- it is the two people in it, their heart and their attitude. My marriage is not made less holy by the high divorce rate or the people who enter into it for the wrong reasons. The only marriage that effects the holiness of my marriage is MY marriage.

Gay marriage is not about whether or not heterosexual marriage is holy- it is about protection. It is about the protections afforded by a piece of paper that says “these two people are legally united.” It is about the way in which a couple is percieved who can provide that paper when legality is necessary. It is about little rules like hospital visiting hours in which two people with their names on that paper are afforded different rights than those who do not have it. It is about tax breaks, ownership, joint checking accounts, discounts and retirement communities. It’s about equality. It’s about the fact that any time two people decide to share a life, they are terrified. They don’t know what the future holds. They never can fully understand what signing their names beside each other really means. It’s about that sense trust and devotion that comes with the decision to share all things, including toothbrush holders and a carton of milk. It’s about the fact that I am not more privileged, more protected, in making this journey than anyone else should be.

If I have a piece of paper that says that I can sleep at my husbands side every night, even if he’s in the hospital and breathing his last, everyone else who wants that piece of paper should be able to get it. That doesn’t mean that pastors and priests will now be FORCED to wed gays, any more than they now are forced to wed every snot-nosed heterosexual kid who says he’s ready. Every individual always has and hopefully always will have the right to use their own judgment and say no. But just as I had the right to have my own marriage papers undersigned by my county judge, gay people should at the very least be afforded the right to that paper. That’s all I have to say for now.

Life lessons

When my daughter was an infant I used to be terrified.  Terrified that she would be hurt somehow, that there may be a second I was away from her that she needed me, that she would have a life full of pain and there was nothing I could do.  I would hold her constantly, look at her paler-than-cream skin and her clear blue eyes, and I would be terrified.  Just terrified.

All I wanted in the world was for her to be happy.  I felt so woefully insufficient.  So many girls I knew had been abused, I wondered if my daughter would be.  If there were any way for me to protect her, always.  I knew there wasn’t.

As I’ve already said: I was terrified.

One day, I had a revelation.  I was talking with a friend, and she said, “all you can do is try every day to prepare them for the moments they are on their own, and then trust them.”

The best protection I could give my daughter was not my constant presence, but the preparation to be without me.  The most I could do for her was not to guard her but to teach her to guard herself.  Sure, she’s still a little thing, and too young to ever be without supervision, but already I find myself teaching her the life lessons that will get her through.  When she says she is hungry I don’t jump up and run for food.  I help her into the kitchen and help her pick out the food herself.  When she can’t find a toy, I don’t tear apart the house for her, we do it together.  And every day we come closer to the moment where I will realize that I am no longer so constantly needed.  Soon the day will come where she looks on her own without asking me first, where she refills her own cup of water and doesn’t need me to take her into the bathroom to do her business.

Soon, my role will change, and I await it eagerly.  Soon her lessons will be less about managing in daily life and more about how to treat other people, how to tell when someone is cruel and not a good friend, how to behave when out in public.  And one day I will no longer be needed for those lessons, and instead I will be teaching her how to take care of younger kids and then babies, how to plan and cook meals, how to care for a house.

God help me, one of these days the lessons will start to be about sex and how to choose a life partner.

And all of these things, all of these lessons, these are how I protect her.  I am not a pit bull or a black bear or a gun-toting mercenary, I am her mother.  I protect her not with my strength but with my knowledge.

I look at her, at her supple spirit and tenacity, and I think that maybe I’m not even the one teaching her.  Maybe by her accepting these lessons, she’s actually the one teaching me.  Teaching me to trust, to let go of worry, to have faith, to wait for the seeds to sprout and the blossoms to show.

I have a lot to learn.

No safety- just trust.

Do you know that more people die every year as a result of injuries sustained from falling coconuts than die from shark attacks? (see here)

Life is like that. We stay out of the water because we’re afraid- but there’s danger on the beach as well. We head inland to be very safe and forget about the earthquakes and volcanoes. We bunker up in our houses just to die when the roof collapses. I’m not trying to scare you (well, maybe a little) but I do want you to think about the reality of life. Life, so many times, equals risk. Especially when it comes to our children. We warn them about shark attacks, we brace and terrify them, so they don’t want to go to the beach. We try to prepare them for the dangers we envision, but in doing so we only trigger fear of some things. So often the dangers we ourselves see may seem bigger and scarier than the dangers they are encountering-

But just remember. It’s not the sharks we have to worry about, it’s those damn coconuts.

Take, for example, homosexuality. A lot of Christians see homosexuals as sharks in the water. So they train their kids to mock effeminate boys- thus planting foul seeds in their hearts. Maybe a good Evangelical man discovers his own son is a little effeminate, so he tries to get rid of the danger by teaching the son to be gruff and macho, engaging him in sports and teaching him about the masculine art of heterosexual conquest. Perhaps the father things he is bracing the son against danger. But what about the frail flower of potential in that child? Not ever man is born to be a beer-drinking fart-letting gruff woman conquerer. Some men are shy and withdrawn, sensitive and sweet, and there is nothing wrong with that. So what happens when, in the process of bracing our children against sharks, we ourselves are lobbing coconuts?

Then, there’s the fact that sometimes we are so distracted by the potential for danger that we ignore the fires already burning. We may warn our children away from people we see as dangerous just to lump them in with ones that are worse. I can’t count the times that parents have forced their kids away from non-Christian friends just to send them to youth groups where all the kids were sexually active and spurned mentorship by their elders. This world is a dangerous place- one can never assume safety.

Sin is out there. Coconuts are dangerous.

So what do we do? We ought to teach our kids critical thinking. We should teach them to evaluate, in every situation, the potential for good as well as harm. We should teach them not about the life we DON’T want them to live, but the life we DO want them to live. Teach them not to swim with sharks but to enjoy the ocean, teach them to live with hope, light and love. We shouldn’t bathe them in the negativity of warning signs and derision for those we deem unworthy, but instead teach them that in everyone there is potential for great good and not a single soul should live without being passionately loved.

There is no safety in this world, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be love and trust. The beach may be fraught with danger, but it is still beautiful. So we teach our children to see the beauty but to be sensible about danger. It’s my personal opinion that the beauty is more important. Imagine if, one day, no one went to any beaches. They didn’t paint the sunsets over the water, they didn’t eat fruit out of their hands and lick the juice from their fingers, if one day everyone stopped hearing the sound of the surf against the pier and seeing the crabs scuttle by.

Imagine we all just stayed home, watching the television, as a single gull cry died on the air, unheard.

There’d probably be an earthquake.

Thoughts on Women and Power.

Women are simply better suited to homemaking.

That is a line I’ve heard often.  I don’t necessarily disagree.  Most of the women I know are champion multi-taskers.  They have a tremendous capacity for empathy, and are able to project possible outcomes and predict scenarios with dizzying accuracy.  This makes the women in my acquaintance particularly suited to caring for babies and young children, because they are capable of washing the laundry and cleaning the kitchen and carrying on a phone conversation WHILE carrying their child.  They treat their children with sympathy despite their own needs often going unmet, and they can plan their days well.  They project all of the various outcomes that could come from any number of their children’s behaviors, and they modify discipline accordingly.

Yes, they are well suited to homemaking.

Yet, that is not the only use for these talents.  It also means that these women could also be tremendous doctors, financial planners, personal assistants, board presidents, or even the President of this country.

That’s right, I said it.  A woman’s capacity for imaginative thinking means that a woman would make a tremendous president.  I’ve heard the last seven years described as a “failure of imagination”, simply because the consequences of actions were never adequately projected.   I’m not saying that men don’t also have this capacity, simply that women are giving endless opportunities to groom their skills.  Women learn to plan out a weeks menus and shop accordingly.  Women tend to think of things like, “I could buy these pants or three shirts” or, “if I spend this money and my brakes go out…”

Again, not that many men don’t- it’s just I’ve observed this skill in almost every woman I know, and not in every man.  Not to mention that women’s propensity towards emotion isn’t necessarily a hindrance in a corporate or political position.  While men might ignore the importance of the egos and comforts of their fellows, women often wouldn’t.  A President who carefully tends the egos and comforts of her peers would be a boon.

Then there is this concern that women’s tendencies make them naturally more manipulative, or that women who seek careers tend to be bitchy.

To which I respond, “and this is a bad thing?”

I could go on, and on, and on, but my own homemaking calls.  I don’t mind the fact that I’m suited for it.

Maybe one day I’ll make a great therapist.

Or politician.

Parenthood is not Cute.

I heard someone comment earlier today that teenage girls seem to think babies are an accessory. I found that statement jarring.

Babies are NOT an accessory, nor are they a pet. They are human beings. Parenting is more than an extended game of dress-up. When you choose to have a baby, you are accepting the responsibility for the life, safety, well-being and mental health of a human being. You are ceding your personal choices and your right to live uninterrupted in favor of giving a good home and loving environment to another person. If you want something cute and cuddly to show off to your girlfriends, get a puppy. Don’t have a baby!

Babies are helpless. Babies have no ability to communicate, they cannot even move. If your baby is too hot or too cold, you have to know that. You have to know the difference between a cry that means hungry and a cry that means wet. You have to know if your baby is bored or gassy or frustrated. Babies are born with no knowledge or ability, the part of behavior that is taught YOU must teach and the part that comes from experience will be absorbed through mimicking YOUR experience.

You, and only you, will be held to account for the kind of person your child grows up to be. Before having a baby you must ask yourself if you are prepared to not only hold and coo at a child, but to sacrifice your sleep to care for a child, to make yourself last in all things and your child first. It is not merely a question of priorities- your child’s well-being and perhaps even their life will depend on your ability to be constantly aware of him or her.

You also need to realize that your child may not be what you expect or desire. You may be dreaming about pink lace and ribbons only to have a boy, or a girl who hates pink. You may be fantasizing about long quiet afternoons only to have an energetic talkative ball of nerves. You may be fantasizing about afternoons running in the park only to have a child that prefers the comfort of home and repetition. You may not like to read out loud, and your child may beg and cry and cajole you into 50 readings of Brown Bear every day. You may love reading out loud, only to have your baby wander off in boredom every time you crack open the cover.

You will be expected to remember everything. The names of favorite characters, colors and foods that are loved and loathed, where every toy is dropped or hidden.

The first year of your child’s life will be a passionate journey of loving discovery- that much is true- but the discovery won’t always be magical. There will be many sleepless nights figuring out what position relieves the pain of gas and what kind of bounce and rub and jiggle brings on sleep. There will be long days of deciphering cries and coos and trying to find the hidden meanings in every gesture. There will be times where you can do nothing but give up in frustration and hand your screaming child to someone else. Do not tell yourself, “no, not me, not my child…” because every parent faces this. There will be moments of pure joy, ecstasy, emphatic love, but they will be thrown into stark relief by the many times you collapse in tearful exhaustion only to hear your child’s voice on the baby monitor, calling for your return.

Sleep will be a distant thought, caffeine necessary.

And all of this comes only after nine months of your body belonging to the child within, nine months that are often less of a pregnant glow and more the sheen of sweat and tears. It is not easy, hauling around the extra weight, feeling the baby roll and kick as you try to find that one elusive comfortable position so that you can drift into sleep only to wake up to a full bladder three hours later.

All that being said: if you want a child, if you want to raise one, if you want to be a teacher and confidant and to know the joy that can only come from a child’s kisses, it is worth it. It is definitely worth it.

It’s just not always cute.

Indoctrination = Child Abuse?

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion of whether or not it is child abuse to indoctrinate your children into your beliefs.  This poses a fascinating and difficult question.

in·doc·tri·nate

1. To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.

2. To imbue with a partisan or ideological point of view.

For the first definition; if a parent had any set of beliefs it would be nearly impossible to not simply teach their child about it.  Children are curious, doubly so about anything that interests their parents.  I made a decision to not inundate my daughter with discussion of my beliefs before she was ever even born.  I have never sat her down and said, “mommy believes in Jesus and this is why”.  Yet, if she sees me reading my Bible she asks me what I’m doing, and then follows up with questions about whatever I tell her.  She wants to know.  I find it hard to believe that I could be seen as guilty of abusing her simply by being willing to involve her in my world.

The second definition seems more negative- to imbue with a partisan point of view.  That I think is inherently wrong.  One should never teach their child in a way that poisons them against other people.  I find it wrong when parents teach their five year old that all of their friends are going to hell.  A child that young has a hard enough time dealing with the concept of death.  To add in to that equation the idea that their friends may die, and when they do they might be in eternal torment is unreasonably cruel.  I believe that there are some teachings that should wait until the child is old enough to reason.  I also believe it’s wrong to inundate a young child with teachings of sin.  Yes, we should teach our children good behaviors, but that stands outside the need for reasoning about retribution (especially eternal!).  You can teach your child not to lie or not to hurt someone without adding God into the equation.

The simple truth is that while it’s not wrong to say, “this is what I believe” when asked, some parents go overboard to the extreme.  I’ve seen five year old kids go up front to say the “sinner’s prayer”.  Why would a child that young do it?  A five year old is far too young to make an educated decision about the path the rest of their life should take.  They are far too young to understand religion beyond rhetoric.  To put things simply: they are simply doing what they believe their parents want of them, which means that they are not acting out of their own best interest.  I find it highly embarrassing when parents applaud very young children who are parroting what they’ve heard.  I’ve had a young child tell me that by having a tattoo I was sinning, to her mother’s smile.  I felt embarrassed for them both.  The little girl obviously couldn’t have read the verses in question or understood their nuances even if she could, so she must have been told by her mother.  She was acting to please the mother and the mother was obviously pleased.

We need to be wary.  A lot of Christian doctrine is heavy colored by shame, guilt and repentance.  Those emotions could twist a little mind in very bad ways if not dealt with delicately.  If you don’t want your child to spend their entire life in fear then you need to be careful what you expose them to and why.  Do NOT let your child feel like all of their friends are going to hell and it is their fault.  Don’t let them feel like if they do not pray the “sinner’s prayer” they themselves are going to hell.  Don’t make them think that they are somehow failing you if they do not parrot every ideological argument that comes out of your mouth.  Do not use their love for you as a tool to force them into religion.

As parents we need to be aware that for the first part of our children’s lives, a lot of their drive comes from their desire to be loved and accepted, by peers and parents.  If all of a child’s friends are Christian and their parents constantly indoctrinate them, they will emulate NOT because they believe but because they want to be like everyone else.  If you want your child to have a real and personal faith, you need to let them come to it on their own.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with explaining your faith and answering your child’s questions.  If you act ashamed or embarrassed, your child will think that faith is something to be ashamed of.  But if you constantly drill your very young child on the finer points of faith, right down to who is sinning and who is going to burn in hell, you’re doing something wrong.  By the time your kid is ten to thirteen, they will be old enough to understand nuance and research things themselves.  Let them find their own faith.

It will be stronger that way.

The war on Self-Righteous Bigotry.

Focus on the Family explains to us that there is a war on masculinity. (this is a link to an editorial based off of a chapter from Bringing up Boys)

My frustration with these articles knows no bounds. First, there is the fact that this all works off of the assumption that there is a widespread effort to undermine masculinity as an ideal, and we as consumers are all unwitting pawns. The concept of wars in which we are all pawns is old, and often true. In this case I think that masculinity as an ideal is it’s own enemy- because there is a war. There is a war against the assumption of power, strength and dominance. If masculinity as an ideal assumes all of those things, there are a lot of women (and men!) who resent that.

I wish there could be a fair discussion about our assumptions of masculinity and femininity, the ideals that both traits carry inherently and what we should do with that. This article, unfortunately, is not like that in the least. It starts out simply enough:

It is impossible to understand what is happening to our kids today, both male and female, without considering the influence of feminist ideology.

I wonder, for a second, if that means that they are going to talk about how feminist ideology has been a wake-up call to the old ways of patriarchal society, about how the world in which we live is changing and thus are basic assumptions about God’s intended order are being challenged, and perhaps proven wrong. Just in case you all were wondering the same thing, and the title of this post didn’t clue you in- Dobson’s views are as unchanging as they come. If they are challenged, the assumption must therefore be that the other party is wrong.

The article carries on, talking about how men who open doors for women are called “Male Chauvinist Pigs” and subjected to ridicule. Perhaps there is an era that I missed. I’m young. Most of the women I know talk about the death of chivalry, and how it’s hard to find a man these days who will deign to be a gentleman. That seems at odds with Dobson’s point. Perhaps he simply doesn’t know enough women.

Dobson writes:

A centerpiece of this hostility is seen in an ongoing effort to convince us that “Men are fools.” It claims that the majority of males are immature, impulsive, selfish, weak and not very bright.

I fail to know how to respond to this accusation. In the article that Dobson was referring to, he himself quoted the author as saying that several masculine attributes such as dominance and stoicism can be harmful. How saying that stoicism when carried to an extreme is harmful equates to an accusation of masculinity equaling idiocy is beyond me. Not in the least to point out that Dobson is being unsympathetic in his evaluation of a woman who wrote said article as a response to the harm that these ideals did to her own son.

Dobson carries on to chide the entertainment industry for it’s unfair depiction of men. He says:

So what is going on here? Is it possible that men, especially male beer drinkers and sports-car enthusiasts, actually like being depicted as dumb, horny, fat, nerdy and ugly?

Actually, it is my experience that men laugh at these commercials and clap each other on the back, often with words like, “what an asshole. Glad I’m not him!” It is not meant as realism so much as humor, and humor is so often found in the exaggeration of accepted form. Most men are not as big of buffoons as the men in beer commercials, but most men have either seen or felt some small bit of that longing for the unattainable and the feeling of it being out of reach. I fail to see how men in beer commercials being drunken assholes (because, honestly…) is somehow emasculating all men as a whole. The moral of the story? Don’t want to be an asshole? Don’t drink beer!

Dobson continues:

Not in a million years would you see a corpulent, unattractive woman lusting after a good-looking man who shows disdain for her as she does something ridiculous.

Of course not! Because the role truly can’t be reversed. Our society prizes beauty as the greatest of feminine attributes. It’s not just women who would find that kind of portrayal distasteful- men would as well. And there is also a very simple point in all of this. By men being portrayed as subjected to the mind-numbing powers of female beauty, men feel lust and women feel power. Both of those things SELL PRODUCTS. By showing a women being subjugated by male dominance, women feel anger and men feel guilt. What does that serve? There are thousands of years of patriarchal societies in which women were little better than breeders and servants that we are growing past. Does anyone truly think that advertising executives would want to take a step backwards?

Perhaps Dobson has a small point. Perhaps in our society’s zealousness to grant women power and take men down a notch it has all gone overboard. Men themselves have often played a willing role in it. Some men take it as a relief that the male part of our population is no longer solely responsible for keeping the economy going. They are just as relieved to be sharing the power as women are to be sharing the household duties. In most families it is a celebration of joint effort, of unity, of singleness of purpose. I don’t believe it is in every instance greeted as an unwelcome advancement.

Dobson continues:

There is not a single example, as I write, of a healthy family depicted on network programming that includes a masculine guy who loves his kids and is respected by his wife!

And what, Dr. Dobson, is funny about a well-adjusted family?

Dobson continues:

Invariably, sitcoms today feature at least one gay or lesbian character, who is cast in a sympathetic role.

I don’t watch many sitcoms, so I cannot say that he speaks absolute truth. All I can do is turn up the eerie background music and remind everyone that the gays and lesbians apparently have an agenda, and they are going to enact it! I just hope that their agenda includes giving our house a nice makeover and helping me buy some nice clothes.

Seriously, Christians, stop beating a dead horse. The gays are not out to “convert” your children. Not everyone proselytizes their personal preferences the way that evangelicals proselytize their faith.

Dobson continues to talk about a bias in the American Educational system. This is the one place in the entire article that I find myself agreeing with him. Numerous studies have shown that our system of education is slanted in favor of females. That is an issue not with “feminism”, but our lack of understanding about the way that boys learn and a lack of funding in order to make the necessary changes.

Dobson eventually gets around to saying:

Please understand that I have nothing but respect and admiration for girls and women.

Well, gee, sir, thanks!

In conclusion I’d just like to reiterate that the problem isn’t with Masculinity itself- not as I see it- the problem is with the inherent bigotry that masculinity has traditionally bred.

Some are masculine, some are feminine, it doesn’t particularly matter if they are boys or girls. We should all learn to appreciate and love the myriad of attributes humanity has, and embrace each other. *

*Now, boys, get your heads out of the gutter.