Thursday, April 13, 2006

Valuing family

by Claire Miller, DI editorial writer


I usually get my news from CNN, or the New York Times. But occasionally, when I'm feeling like getting my blood pumping, I enjoy checking out the news website of my favorite right-wing, evangelical Christian organization: Focus on the Family. It gives me a sort of guilty, livid thrill.

According to this week's stories on its Citizen Link News archive ("Helping You Defend the Family"), it is "anti-family" that a French airline is raising money to help the United Nations buy condoms for children in Third World countries. Oh, of course! Responsible family planning is obviously very bad for families. And the fact that the Episcopal Church USA is considering three gay bishop candidates in California seems to be harmful to American families as well.

What is up with this "family" word, exactly? I just don't understand why the term "family values" is synonymous with "conservative." I can think of tons of liberal policies that do just as much for families as right-wing ones.

Such as raising the minimum wage, which would allow, perhaps, a single mother to quit her second job, giving her time to put her child to bed each night. How would that do anything but further family values? Or the new, bipartisan movement in Congress to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants. That would certainly help families, who might not have to worry about a parent being deported.

So why does Focus on the Family, a group that so closely clings to contemporary conservative philosophy that it somehow uses the Bible to attack things like environmental laws and multiculturalism, get to claim the domain name family.org? If the Republican Party, and groups such as Focus on the Family, are so concerned about promoting family values, then they should go full circle, and consider all policies that do so, not just ones that adhere to a particular political agenda. Otherwise, it's pretty clear that they're hijacking words like "family" and "values" in order to defend an agenda that really does nothing constructive to protect these things at all.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Miss Claire, oh where to start with this convoluted rant.

you wrote>...to help the United Nations buy condoms for children in Third World countries. Oh, of course! Responsible family planning is obviously very bad for families.

REALLY NOW, giving condoms to children is now called family planning? Surely you jest.

you wrote>...And the fact that the Episcopal Church USA is considering three gay bishop candidates in California seems to be harmful to American families as well.

I guess they are using the same logic that would be applied to adulterers, murderers, thieves, etc. These things are all considered sins; you can't pick and choose which sins are OK and which ones are not OK as leaders in a CHRISTIAN church. That doesn't mean they should be shunned as members of the church, they just shouldn't be leaders in one.


you wrote>...What is up with this "family" word, exactly? I just don't understand why the term "family values" is synonymous with "conservative." I can think of tons of liberal policies that do just as much for families as right-wing ones.

you doth protest too much and provide no examples, though I have no doubt you are right on some accounts. On balance though, conservatives support the institution of family far more than liberals (left-wingers) do. As evidence, see abortion, which is solely designed to allow for the god of self to dominate the debate. Except in extreme cases, abortion is about selfishness and lack of personal responsibility. Other times, its about a fundamental way for women to be on equal footing with men. Its now the new birth control, but you already knew that.

you wrote>...Such as raising the minimum wage, which would allow, perhaps, a single mother to quit her second job, giving her time to put her child to bed each night. How would that do anything but further family values?

Artificial rewards for being a single mother is not a promotion of family values. As with all the other issues you have raised thus far, your distillation of the issue to such a simplistic end is untenable. So now, an employer has to subsidize bad decisions or bad personal circumstances on the part of its employees.


you wrote>...Or the new, bipartisan movement in Congress to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants. That would certainly help families, who might not have to worry about a parent being deported.

..and reward illegal behavior? Great family value, lets violate the law. They wouldn' have to worry about being deported if they weren't here illegally.

you wrote>...So why does Focus on the Family, a group that so closely clings to contemporary conservative philosophy that it somehow uses the Bible to attack things like environmental laws and multiculturalism, get to claim the domain name family.org?

a) 'cause they paid for it, b)are you just vomiting liberal talking points on the screen or is this not supposed to be logical?

-on the environment, did you know the banning of DDT has caused roughly half a million deaths or more due to malaria in third world countries? A liberal did that. All he would have had to do is adjust how it was utilized, which was the real problem. The problem with environmental regulations is that they end up hurting the poor and incidentally, minorities economically, far more than they improve the environmental conditions they purport to solve.

on multi-culturalism- this is liberal speak to say that all cultures are equal (except caucasions, who are the devil). Except, on its face, that is impossible. Cultures that behead, stone, shred, hand chop, and genitally mutilate their respective populace are not equal with my culture, period.

you wrote>...If the Republican Party, and groups such as Focus on the Family, are so concerned about promoting family values, then they should go full circle, and consider all policies that do so, not just ones that adhere to a particular political agenda.

-Pot, Kettle is on the phone for you.

-Glass house, Stone is on the phone for you.

Need I continue?


you wrote>...Otherwise, it's pretty clear that they're hijacking words like "family" and "values" in order to defend an agenda that really does nothing constructive to protect these things at all.

-Ahem, evidence?