Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thing 1 and Thing 2, How Does That Work For You?

“Wow the comments on here are just making me laugh, the level of ignorant bigotry is unreal. Enjoy your sheltered lives, I hope none of your kids grows up to realize they are gay, with parents like you.”

- Firefaery

I lost a reader last week. I noticed that my “followers” count dropped from 73 to 72 people right after Firefaery told me that I am an ignorant bigot. This may be coincidence, but I doubt it. This was in response to my post concerning the State Department’s decision to drop “Mother” and “Father” from passport applications in favor of “Parent 1” and “Parent 2,” which I erroneously described as “Parent A” and “Parent B.” The change to the application is clearly intended to meet the desires of the homosexual community. Homosexual activists have been working towards this end for years.

The fact that I lost a reader isn’t a big deal, but the reason why is a reflection of one of the biggest problems this country faces. As a nation, we have lost the ability to respectfully disagree with one another. We have become a nation full of people who participate in society with an attitude of “I’m going to take my ball and go home if I don’t get my way.” I have been guilty of that in the past. I try very hard to not live that way now. I know that the United States will never solve our problems if we continue to hurl insults at one another rather than discuss similarities and differences. The homosexual and heterosexual communities have more in common than either side will admit. We’ll never acknowledge those differences if one side accuses the other of being ignorant bigots and then walks away from the conversation.

The words “mother” and “father” are more than just titles. They carry with them an identity that is inseparably emotionally and physically intertwined with a parenting responsibility, as well as with a relationship between a parent and a child. Each gender brings to the parenting table traits that the other cannot provide. A man cannot be a mother and a woman cannot be a father, no matter how much some people may wish otherwise. There are homosexual couples who raise children, but those children do not have a mother and a father. They have two fathers or two mothers, or in the case of one biological parent being gay, two fathers and a mother or two mothers and a father. That is simply not the same as having a mother and a father in a traditional family. To suggest otherwise is folly.

I did not pass judgment on gay parenting in my post. I did not comment on the pros or cons of gay parenting. I did poke fun at the idea that mothers and fathers should be expected to change the words they use to classify themselves, words that reflect a very real and important part of their identity, because gay parents have a difficult time accurately identifying themselves. If gay parents think that I am wrong, please start to openly refer to your parents as “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.” Call the woman formerly known as “mother” on the phone and ask, “Hey, Parent 1, how are you?” Call the person formerly known as “Father” and say, “You know, Parent 2, I love you.” Please have your children call you “parent 1” and “parent 2.”

Let me know how that works for you.


jugglingpaynes said...

Wow. I did not read that last article the same way as firefaery at all. I thought you were poking fun at all that is Politically Correct in our society, similar to the Murphy Brown episode which I really need to find. And really, I would rather the form listed mother and father twice with check off boxes or "relation" with a line than the sterile Parent A and Parent B. Why would any parent want to be referred to in that way?

Peace and Laughter,

Marlis said...

I read your article the same way. It was clearly intended to poke fun at our increasingly ludicrous attempts to be politically correct.

Parent A (I mean't Mom) to two awesome kids.

Kathleen said...

I love how "others" can dish it out but can't take any type of scrutiny or criticism. Do you remember my Liberal vs. Conservative Christmas wishes on FB? Did you know I lost 2 "friends" (friends from high school) over that? It's a crazy world out there!!

Michelle said...

I agree. I totally did not get that out of your post. I read it as our ridiculous effort to be politically correct with everything.

Why is it that we have to be politically correct all the time? Why do we feel the need to try to not offend people all the time? Well, it offends me!

Firefaery, I'm sorry that you feel upset over this matter. I'll pray for you!

Pippi said...

Wow, you only have 72 followers? I don't know if I can keep reading you after hearing that..... LOL!

Oklahoma Granny said...

I missed the original post so I went back and read it along with all the comments. As far as I'm concerned, whoever you lost as a follower is the one who has ultimately lost. But then, that's just my opinion.

Becky said...

I loved the previous post and I love this one, Arby. Both are well written and you should be proud! :)

Brownie said...

I haven't been keeping up on my blog reading and had to go back and read that.

Parent 1, Parent 2 - that's nuts.

I absolutely agree with your opinion on mothers and fathers and the different gender traits. I had read an article about a widow who raised her kids alone and someone commented that she had to be "mother and father" to them. She answered "no" she could only try to be the best mother she could - she could not be a father.

We were filling out an application and you had to check the box next to your gender. Only there were three choices! Male__ Female __ other___

Blondie really puzzled over that one.

Crazy world.

Linda said...

I almost quit your blog after that post too. But only because Jim and I had a huge fight over who got to be parent 1. If my marriage fails it's your fault.

The_Kid said...

Arby, I agree.

GingerB said...

Hey Arby, I only didn't comment because I've hardly commented anywhere as I got overwhelmed. I may be your most liberal reader (left) and you did not offend me. My mother worked for the Census Bureau for years, and an unmarried partner or roommate was a POSOLQ - person of the opposite sex occupying living quarters. We've been enjoying that title for years now . . . anyway . . .

It is true that we have much learning to do about those who live differently. Very little good will come from name calling and leaving the dialogue. I would guess I am happier about the movement towards allowing gay marriage than you might be, and I feel my own marriage is threatened only by whatever idiocy my husband or I might be up to, and not at all by who gets to do what we get to do, but I don't mind your defending the distinct identities of mother and father. I personally know of a young girl with two Daddies who is far better cared for, more cherished, more valued, and more accepting of others than the kids of many "traditional" families, but that doesn't make all gay parents great or all straight parents bad. As a young lawyer (a few) years ago I would have male lawyers thinking I was a paralegal come up and pat my knee and ask when the prosecutor would be coming in and I'd say she'll get to you when she has a chance and then I'd push them to the back of the calendar. Helpful? Maybe, maybe not. However, I was a good lawyer which is why I am now a judge, and those guys now have to wait for me again. Heh! But my point is, I was a feminist in so far as I felt absolutely the equal of any man who might have been given my job, and still do, especially because lower level cases need multi-tasking skills more than they need deep analysis, and women are often great multi-taskers while many man are not. True for everyone? NO. Am I as much a feminist as I was? Yes and no. I don't really want to give up some of the role identities given to women just because I also want a job that used to be mostly filled by men. I do recognize that each gender has traits and skills of value in parenting and yet I feel we should not marginalize any individual in how we recognize groups. The dialogue and educating must go on. Thanks!