Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The War on Family

So I’m taking a Sociology course online.  It’s leftover from prerequisites during my brief desire to be a Dental Hygienist.  That ship has sailed, but I haven’t finished the class yet and I have to finish it before the middle of August when I lose access to the course content.
I’ve always liked Sociology, even before I knew what it was.  Moving around so much really gave me an amazing perspective on how different American culture can be.  We’ve lived in extremely conservative states, and extremely liberal ones.  We’ve lived in the north, and the south, the east, and the far east.  I’ve seen and understood things that probably few people see or understand in their whole lives—much less by the time they’re 16.  Not that I’m bragging.  I have a lot to learn in an infinite amount of other categories.  All I’m saying is that I have particular interest in this topic and so am enjoying the course I am taking.
Since it’s online, it mainly consists of a lot of reading and a few assignments and tests.  The last few chapters have covered a wide variety of topics, from economic circumstances to age and gender to deviance. All this reading has really opened up my eyes to the importance of me.  My thoughts, my feelings, my beliefs about everything that is going on in this world.  That being said, I have discovered a lot about myself in recent months and have found my voice—and would like to share some of the things that have been on my mind as I have been reading all these studies, statistics, and references in Sociology.
            Conservatives talk about ‘The War on Terror.’ Liberals talk about ‘The War on Poverty.’ And devout Christians—for my purposes, mostly the Mormons—talk about ‘The War on Family.’
            Come on, who hasn’t heard about this?  The war on family? DOMA? Prop 8? How the ‘fundamental unit of society’ is crumbling right at our fingertips because of gay rights? I have never been comfortable with that notion.  And, as a Libertarian, I believe that people have the right to live their lives as they wish—within reason (i.e. theft, murder, abuse, etc are not nor ever shall be tolerable in my book).  I’ve met Mormons who are offended by the show “Modern Family” for portraying a happy gay couple with an adopted child.  I’ve heard the lectures, the warnings, the proclamations that gays are out to ruin Families. And you know what—I really don’t believe that’s true.
            As I was reading today, I found a study that shook me to the soul.  And this small segment has disturbed me greatly.
                        “With the exception of the police and the military, the family is the most violent organization in the United States.”

The gays aren’t ruining families.
We are.

You want to talk about the war on family?  This is how Satan is going to destroy families.  By making them undesirable.  By training men to objectify women.  By teaching women that families are ‘domestic slavery.’ By having millions and millions of women and children in abusive and violent relationships that oftentimes they are too afraid or too poor to escape.  All of it. 
            I am very open about my desire to adopt.  I have had several friends that have been adopted—one of which was adopted from Russia when she was a child.  Her future in the US with a family that loves her and cherishes her is so much better than the life she would have had if she had remained in that Russian orphanage.  I would love to adopt one—perhaps several—children.  (But this is a personal choice and a topic for another blog entry)  However, doing the research, the process of adoption is truly daunting.  It takes so much time, effort, and money that I can understand how many couples might give up.
            Mormons talk a lot about how gays cannot be allowed to adopt children.  That children ‘deserve’ to grow up in a house with both a mother and a father.  But this is an absolute. ( And we all know that only Sith deal in absolutes.) what, then, about mothers who die in childbirth?  Or fathers who die as soldiers and never know their children beyond an ultrasound?  What then about children who grow up being bounced around the foster system?  Yes, I understand how important it is to have both a mother and a father figure in your life.  My parents are amazing and I’d never ask for anything else.  But it just doesn’t sit right with me—saying that gays shouldn’t or cannot adopt or the wrath of God with rain down upon us. 
I think what a child deserves—most of all—is love.  Love.  A child deserves that first and foremost of everything.  And isn’t it better—couldn’t even staunch conservatives agree that it is ‘the lesser of two evils’—to allow a child to be adopted into a gay family that loves them dearly than remaining in the care of those that are assigned to them?  With no real interest in who they are or what their needs are? 
‘The War on Family’ isn’t about gay rights.  It’s about Families.  As the fundamental unit of society.  Families aren’t the 1950’s stereotype anymore.  We have single working moms, single working dads, stay at home moms, stay at home dads, aunts, uncles, and grandparents taking responsibility for children; adopted children and friends.  Family is more than the people in it.  Family is love.  It is devotion.  It is commitment beyond simple biology.  It’s beautiful, important, powerful…
And it’s also falling apart.

Families aren’t traps, but neither are they easy.  It sickens me to think of domestic violence and child abuse.  It literally makes me shake.  Such a thing—such impurity and corruption of such a beautiful thing—is far more deterrent to me than any ‘lifestyle’ choice of a couple that wishes to love and care for a child that has no one in the world to look out for them.