Everyone hears the constant caterwaul of fundamentalist Christian ministers, Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage, the absolute loony-tune Bryan Fisher of the American Family Association, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council—well, just too many off-the-wall lunatics to name who rant and rave about the inherit evils of homosexuals and how their God condemns us and want to destroy us.
At the center of each of their attacks is the constant battle cry, “They will destroy Family Values and the core values on which America was built!”
It’s nothing new to say that arguing “Family Values” and “core values on which America was built” is like arguing to bring back the tyrannosaurus rex. Those same people who are arguing to preserve those values are the same people who made it easy to dispose of them in our society long before gay rights became an issue.
When households long ago became dependent on two incomes instead of just one, children lost the steady guidance of a stay-at-home parent and women became less demure and more independent. Meanwhile, men began to accept this role in the 1970s and 1980s and then by the late 1980s they began heading in the wrong direction and acting like misogynistic idiots again and telling women to bring home the bacon and make sure they cook it, too.
This attitude’s chief architect was the fundamentalist Christian and Catholic Church who began to try to push women back into “God’s plan” of being mothers and “obedient” wives.
After three decades of women’s liberation, the majority of women not only told men where to shove this attitude, they were happy to draw them a roadmap and usually in divorce court.
Fast forward to 2012 and now when we look at the family construct we see young men who were raised by single mothers and fathers they either never saw at all or saw very little and if they did spend any time with them once they approached manhood, their fathers told them horror stories of how they lived in a small apartment after the break-up of their marriage with their mother because they spent all their money paying for a house and car for a woman they hated and never lived in the house or drove the new car. So now the young man is terrified to get married figuring that he will most likely wind up like his father so he meets a girl and has a child and winds up in a self-fulfilling prophecy when the relationship ends because he never felt obligated and “strays” in his monogamy so he just gets to pay child support and winds up as a non-entity in his child’s life anyway.
Meanwhile, the girls raised by single mothers were told by their mothers the horror stories about how their father treated them and left her to raise the children all on her own and the daughter winds up never knowing her father. Of course this didn’t stop the daughter wanting children of her own—just not the man attached to it. So she has a relationship and gets pregnant, has the child but expects the relationship to cave-in and sure enough it does.
The current estimate, according to the 2010 Census Bureau count, is that 47% of young people under the age of 45 are unmarried and cohabitate. That is a rise of 26% since the 2000 Census.
That isn’t minor damage to the American family values. That’s a mid-air plane crash over an elementary school.
So looking at the complaints and bitching objectively, it seems that we’re observing the fall of the Roman Empire and the new Christians are toppling the Pagan statues and demanding a new order for old world.
This isn’t a problem that simply affects the lower class. This problem spans the children of all income levels from the Royal Family of Britain to the multiple marriages of Newt Gingrich.
When I was in junior high and high school, if I had a friend whose parents were divorced, it was a reason to offer the platitude, “I’m so sorry”. I did in fact have one close friend whose parents were divorced when I was in high school.
Nowadays, every young person I meet almost without exception comes from a broken home. They’re bitter about life, bitter about love but still marginally hopeful. The young women still walk around with their heads in the clouds thinking that a baby can make a man stay with them while the men have had their fathers tell them so many horror stories about what their mothers did to them that the men think women are scum and treat them as such. As far they’re concerned, women are good to sleep with but poison in life to live with.
It’s no wonder that two generations of hearts turned so cold that they seized the ideals of the Republican Party, aligned with the hateful ideals of the fundamentalist Christians and looked for scape-goats like the LGBT community because making other people feel worse than you do is another way of trying to make yourself feel better.
Just ask Joseph Goebbels…Oh, wait! I forgot! You can’t because he’s dead. He, his six children and wife committed suicide in the same bunker with Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun on May 1, 1945.
This onion, however, appears to have peeled back to reveal a third generation that finds a bitter distaste for the hate, greed and lack of compassion in the generations between the 1960s and present day.
The election of 2008 began to show a “changing of the guard”, or perhaps it represented more of the beginning of a revolution in the minds of the younger generation that began to resemble an almost hippiesque flashback that slowly rolled into the Occupy movement and then a sudden shift towards 51% of America being in favor of LGBT equality—not just marriage equality but full equality, which even caught President Obama by surprise.
The Republican campaign for President seemed like the last hoorah of the white majority just before they realized they were no longer sitting in the driver’s seat. It wasn’t as much about it being Mitt Romney as much as it was about who and what Mitt Romney represented.
The entire deck was stacked against the Democrats during this election with the Citizens United decision, the barrage of malevolent laws designed to keep minorities and liberal voters from voting in early voting sessions nationwide under the false flag of “voter fraud” laws passed by Republican state legislators. Even Mitt Romney’s son owned the company that controlled the voting machines in Ohio and yet with all these attacks on democracy, the Republicans still lost and the Tea-Party has all but disbanded. Republicans are running for moderate centrism much as the Democrats did during the Reagan years. After 32 years, the Republicans are now in the unique position of eating crow just like the Democrats did during the end of the first term of Reagan.
I would expect that in the coming two years before the next major election that we will no doubt begin to see “line jumpers” or Republicans who see that the “power” days of their party are over and they will change to the Democratic Party. Charlie Crist of Florida was perhaps the first of many of these line jumpers. In the 1980s-1990s, many Democrats changed parties to Republican for the same reason.
The question becomes clear, however, that the LGBT community is asking for all the rights that most people are taking for granted and this new “third generation” is now willing to say we deserve it.
Well, not just the new third generation. There are people my age and bit older who are heterosexual who never left the ideal of their hippie days behind. I admit that we seem to be a dying breed and many my age are just downright traitors who jumped on the far-right banana boat years ago because they raised up a pirate flag and waved a roll of money under their nose. This wouldn’t be the first editorial where I’ve lamented the stupidity and lack of compassion that my peers have shown through the years. Perhaps, now that they’ve lost most of their retirement money due to the idiocy and greed of the financial institutions and Wall Street, they might reconsider the values of their younger years and see that compassion was a better idea after all.
The real point here is that the LGBT community has, since as far back as historical memory goes, been the one community that everyone loves to hate. Even the African-American community, which has absolutely no room to be prejudiced toward any minority group has cemented itself up to now with the fundamentalist Christian groups who seek to destroy and fragment our community by destroying legal advancements such as their backing of Proposition 8 in California.
So while the modern heterosexual community has completely faltered on taking marriage seriously anymore, while they allow family values to self-destruct on their watch because of their greed and desire to over-control the institution of marriage, the LGBT community has become more stable in their values because they don't have any legal claim to them. Between the fact that heterosexuals have done a very good job of destroying their own "family values" and the LGBT community strengthening their own family values, the tipping of the scales has become so apparent that it's scaring the Republicans and the Christians to death. I'm sure it keeps Pope Benedict up nights thinking that we're more socially proper than his own "followers" are!
But the real issue is not just marriage even if many think it is. Marriage is merely a rallying point for a much bigger issue and the real social issues are that the LGBT community is asking not for the LGBT community to change and be more like the heterosexual community but what we’re really asking for is that society change and become more like the values embraced by our community.
With the denigration of the heterosexual communities values, family structures and lack of parental guidance for their children, it appears that instead of the religious right and the Republicans trying to fight this change that they should be embracing it with open arms because with more people like Zachary Wahls giving their passionate testimony about the superior parenting skills of gay and lesbian parents, it seems that heterosexual people could stand to learn quite a lot from us for a change.
Zack Wahls appears on Ellen to speak his case after appearing before the Iowa legislature when they tried to change the gay marriage law there and partially because of his speech, they failed and marriage equality triumphed.
Eventually, I believe history will thank the LGBT community for restoring their family values instead of destroying them and that day is rapidly approaching.
By Stephanie Donald
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