Friday, March 18, 2005

How dare he?

I just returned from reading Cecily's blog, and found a link to this article from one of the gals commenting. You need to read it- go on, I'll wait.

Ok- so let me just say that I am not going to touch the gay marriage issue. If you need to know- I support gay marriage. However- I also know that there are those who will disagree with me. That's fine. Disagreement in a civil way leads to great discussion.

But that's not the hot topic right now. Right now the issue at hand is the ignorance displayed by this man in the face of adopted children. I ask very loudly- how dare he?

I was moved- no, compelled, to write to him and let him know how unacceptable his words really are. So as not to beat a horse twice- here is the letter I wrote. If you feel as strongly as I do, please feel free to use portions of my letter in your own response to him. I do ask, though, that you keep it "clean." I'm no prude, but I have found that strong words with the absence of vulgarity go much farther toward achieving a goal.

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John,

You are welcome to have your opinion on the gay marriage issue. Even though I support the idea of gay marriage, I recognize that it is a highly controversial topic--and it has nothing to do with why I am writing to you today.

Your recent article "The Basic Idea of Marriage is to Raise Kids" was brought to my attention by a friend who was highly alarmed by one of the undertones of this article. And so I ask you--how DARE you say that adopted children are products of the "abandoned kids store?" This is offensive in so many ways that I have trouble knowing where to begin.

First, as an adopted individual, I am personally offended that you approach adoption so lightly and with such ignorance that you say that these children have been abandoned. Abandoned implies that they were left on the roadside, doorstep, or in a dumpster. Unfortunately, these things happen, but do you really think that is the norm? These women who have found themselves pregnant and unable to manage parenthood either financially, mentally, or emotionally, have made a gut-wrenching decision to place their child in the hands of someone who CAN give them what they need. It was not taken lightly- it is not to be trivialized.

And if you refer specifically to children in the foster care system--these children need our compassion, not a verbal slap in the face. They have been through more pain in their lives than most adults. Why is it so terrible if an individual, straight or gay, wants to take that child into their home? Why must an insult be aimed at the child?

And I must know your views on those heterosexual, married couples who, for one reason or another, choose to adopt their children. Are they to be told that they are not really "married" because the child was not born of them? And of those who use artificial means for a biological child- insemination, IVF, and even sperm and egg donation. These individuals are "married" in the legal sense- must they now renounce their status because they have accepted assistance in their reproduction? What do you say to this, John?

And of those couples who choose a childfree life--should they, too, be banned from marriage? Is the government now planning to require that couples sign a contract promising to raise children in order to marry? Last time I checked, we do not live in the Vatican. Marriage is not all about raising children, it is about sharing a life with another individual. If part of that experience involves raising children- wonderful. If it does not, there should be no shame or remorse involved. And it most certainly should not involve the government. And again, I am not even touching the gay marriage issue because so much else in your candor must be addressed first.

The repetition of family values in government doctrines implies that we should always do what is best for the children. How can your comments possibly fill that need?

2 comments:

Pazel said...

Great letter!

If marriage was only for having children, then that would mean that no one could get married who was infertile, post-menopausal, had tubal, or had a vasectomy. And would using something like Norplant which makes one infertile for 5 years mean that they couldn't get married until it wore off? So what are all the unmarried then supposed to do because I'm sure he's against premarital sex too.

I can't even comprehend his statement on the unwanted kids store. What a heartless, cold statement.

Lola said...

I agree, that article so repulsive and inflammatory I could hardly even finish reading it. Sadly, it's pretty standard crap for Fox these days. I can only conclude that its author fully intended to be as intensely offensive as he could be about this issue (while also speaking indirectly to his negative views about ART as well) as a means to get his point across.

I thought about responding to the author as well, but I don't think I could have contained my outrage as well as you did.

Thanks for the interesting and insightful post, and for calling that man on being the big jerk that he truly is.