Friday, May 11, 2012

Low-Hanging Fruit #2: Bristol Palin on Marriage and Parenting

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist 

President Obama predictably stirred a firestorm of opinion when he announced earlier this week that he now supports the notion of gay marriage.  Liberals were enthusiastic about his new-found advocacy on the topic, conservatives and religious fundamentalists were less than enthusiastic, and Log Cabin (gay) Republicans were incensed that Dick Cheney didn't get credit for being the first President to support gay marriage.  Mitt Romney's opinion was, as usual, dependent upon his audience.

One of the more interesting takes on the President's announcement came from former Alaska First Daughter, Bristol Palin.   Ms. Palin seemed to be particularly distressed regarding President Obama's admission that the feelings of his daughters, Malia and Sasha, played a role in his decision.  The President noted that they have friends growing up with parents who are same-sex couples, and that "it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently."

Ms. Palin, herself the daughter of a politician, was having none of that.  She posted her opinion (on Facebook) of the Obama girls being interjected into the national discourse:

"While its great to listen to your kids' ideas, there's also a time when dads simply need to be dads.  In this case, it would've been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends' parents are no doubt lovely people, that's not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage.  Or that - as great as  their friends may be - we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother / father home.  Ideally, fathers help shape their kids' worldview."

That fruit is hanging so low that it almost seems immoral to pick it.

So far all we know from research is that kids do better when they grow up in a home where the parents love, respect, and interact with them in a healthy and positive manner.  Love is not dependent upon gender.   The one man-one woman concept is in itself evolving.  (Consider, for instance, the Mormon Church's fairly recent history of practicing polygamy - or the fact that marriage had to be along racial lines in this country until just a few decades ago.)  Moses didn't carry anything down from the mountain that spelled out who could marry whom, yet some contemporary ministers feel that not only do they have God's ear, but they have his (or her) voice as well.  Do we really need or want people like Jimmy Swaggart or Ted Haggard setting our moral compasses?

Warren Jeffs considers himself to be a man of God.  Do we want him setting the rules for marriage?

Just because some flaming evangelist says it's so - does not make it so.

Some people grow up in lovely households with a lovely mother and a lovely father and still manage to do drugs, break laws, or get pregnant out of wedlock.  And because those things happen does not mean that there was a lack of loving or parenting.  Kids are constantly bombarded by forces outside of the family - radio, television, the Internet, Facebook, and peers - and sometimes they make bad choices.  Parenting is damned hard, 24/7!

Bristol, raise your son carefully and raise him well.  Make him the first person in your life, and be the first person in his.  When it comes to shaping his worldview, try to guide him into making good choices through both word and deed.  Give him love, show him compassion, provide him with a good education, teach him to care for others, and empower him with a strong work ethic.

And if you find someone with whom you want to share your life, make sure that person has the same level of commitment to children as you do before you bring him into your household.  

Parenting is an exercise of the heart, not the pulpit.

And it is completely gender neutral.

1 comment:

Don said...

Well said, Rock