Sad state of affairs

I didn't have much to say lately until I responded to something posted by The Retropolitan. it concerned yet another example of a journalist getting paid by the Bush administration to promote the administrtions policies, this time the drive to strengthen marriages. More on that subject in just a minute.

What struck me is the level of stupidity the American public must be coming to. I mean, the President of the United States, supposedly a powerful, influential leader, proposes policy. Instead, it seems that columnists/political pundits are supposedly so influential that we need their blessing before we can decide for ourselves whether it's good or bad policy? Since when did Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, or for that matter Maureen Dowd and Molly Ivans become our voices? Granted, having a columnist comment on these issues can be thought provoking. However, I think there are too many people that take the word of some pundit as gospel. Thing about this for a minute, Rush Limbaugh's people are called dittoheads. Is this really a moniker to be proud of? I can't come up with a thought of my own so I'll let Rush tell me what to think and just go Ditto, what he said. Forget which side of the fence you're on for second. Political discourse should be an exchange of ideas and arguements for and against those postions, with facts and/or convictions to back them up. Our political discourse has boiled down to just shouting at each other and trying to show how bad the other side is. Ann Coulter is the queen of this. Never mind debating ideas, liberals are just evil. She blames liberals on the fall of civilization since World War II (I'll stop now as I really can't stand that woman).

On this issue of strengthening marriage, I originally thought it just another silly slogan. You know, Married Good, Not Married Bad. However, I read an article a while back that kind of cohesively put together lots of different things I had going around in my head. This is the link if you care to read it. It's an article against gay marriage. Now, before you get all over me on it, I truthfully and neither for or against gay marriage. My personal opinion is that there is a difference between civil marriage and christian marriage. In other words, I don't think that the Church should marry gay couples. Christian teaching is clear on the issue of homosexual lifestyle. I won't be drawn into the debate of whether being homosexual is a choice or determined at birth or whether being homosexual means you'll go to hell or whatever. As far as I'm concerned people are people and all deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect, period.

Anyway, back to what I was really saying. The article points to several studies concerning raising children, which has more meaning to me. I would need to verify the data, but it seems to bear out what I have seen on the news, in print, etc. That is that children, for the most part, do better in a family with 2 parents, a mother and a father. Sure, you can point to exceptions since people are people and not machines that produce repeatable results all the time. I think a lot of the issues with troubled kids in the inner cities, crime, murder, etc boil down to a breakdown in the family. Without extended families with the support structure in place, it is really difficult to raise well adjusted kids. Chilren need parents that will be good role models for them, teach them good values, to stay involved in their schoolwork and interests, and generally be there for them. Being the father of 2 boys, I can't imagine trying to raise them on my own. It's hard enough for my wife and I. I can't imagine the challenges for single parents.

Children learn by example. They watch their parents and the other adults around them and discover what is socially acceptable from what they see. If we're showing our children that the most important thing in life is our own personal satisfaction, whether it be sex, money, possessions, personal freedom, whatever, what are we really teaching them? Sure, there's nothing wrong about these things, but how do we teach our children to care about others if we don't set the example? It's one of the reasons I'm trying to pass my faith on to my boys. Hopefully they will learn the value of caring for others because it was important to my wife and I.

Hopefully I'm being a little coherent here. I think what I'm trying to say is that, in my humble opinion, that the best way to raise children is in a stable, two parent home, where a couple who truly care for each other instill these values in their children. Being as I think it is important that children have both a father figure and a mother figure to teach the things that the other can't, the best situation for children is to be in a home with a heterosexual couple. Children need the sorts of nurturning, feminine things they can only learn from a mother, and the kind of strong, masculine things they can only learn from a father.

As I stated previously, this is not to say that gay couples cannot raise great kids. But when we talk about Christian marriage, the bonding of two people into one, with the purpose of sharing their lives together in celebration of God including the raising of children, then traditional marriage is the institution that affords them this.


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