Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Family Values

Every time I hear someone on the Right claim that their political party is all about “Family Values,” I want to scream, “Whose Family?” Certainly not mine. Family Values is “Christian” code for “Exclusion.” Like “Pro-Life” is code for “Anti-Choice.” Embedded in the code of “Family Values” is the idea that there is only one “right” kind of family.

Since the 1950’s the family has undergone radical change. We are mobile and very often live far from extended families. There are now blended families, which have evolved over the past fifty some years, and now children may have more than one “mother” or “father.” Children today may have more than two sets of grandparents. They may have aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews from marriages that ended in divorce and began anew with new marriages to people who already had children from their past marriages. It is a little like the polygamist marriages so common in Mormonism. After awhile it becomes difficult to sort out who is a cousin or an aunt or a niece to whom. And so it seems to me that “Family Values” is a meaningless term, merely code for “no marriage benefits for gay couples.” I don’t know a single family today, with it’s multiple marriages, and all the children raised in these temporary marriages, that does not have at least one gay child within it. This fact implies that we don’t love all our children equally. That some of our children do not deserve the legal rights and privileges that our other children deserve. And this is a Christian value? If it is, then Christianity has undergone the same kind of radical shift in “values” that is apparent in all families.

Fundamentalist Christians believe the word of God, as set down in the Bible, is absolutely the “Truth.” If this line of thinking is taken to it’s logical conclusion, we would be stoning adulterers, we would be literally taking an eye for an eye. I would be able to say to any “Christian” who complains about the content of our mass media, “If thine eyes offend thee, pluck them out,” and would have a reasonable expectation that there would be a lot of one eyed “Christians” walking around out there. Women are exhorted from almost every pulpit in the land to “obey” their husbands, who are the moral authority, the rulers of their families. They seem to believe that it is their right (these old white men) to take away my rights as well a the legal rights of every female and gay person. They are about to strip our reproductive rights in the guise of Healthcare Reform. The Stupak Amendment and the Nelson Amendment are designed to make it impossible for women to make the choice to terminate a pregnancy. This has been a legal right since Roe versus Wade. If they succeed in taking away my rights as a woman, then they can take away your rights as an African American, and your rights as a Latin American, and your rights as a………. Where will this end? It will end in fascism. We will have no rights at all.

Al Frankin Schools Senator Thune on Healthcare Reform