Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Something quizzical

So, the Church of Latter Day Saints and the Knights of Columbus together with groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council dumped literally millions of dollars into California, most of it from outside the state—so much for any idea of states' rights and the self-determination of states—because there was a very important ballot initiative this year, one that goes to the very center of the family and deals directly with what some Catholic Bishops and other religious conservatives have called America's "culture of death".
That's right, there was a ballot initiative to require minor girls to either inform a parent or, in cases where parents are abusive, another designated relative or, in cases where there are no good family relationships, a judge before they could procure an abortion. It is hard to imagine something more central to family life than the protection—in most cases—of the rights of parents over an overzealous interpretation of the right of privacy of minor children. After all, in almost no other cases do we think that minor children have a right to privacy against their parents. Their school records are open to their parents, their medical records are open to their parents, they cannot get a flu shot without the permission of their parents, they cannot buy cough syrup, and so on. In fact, we think that parents have very strong rights over their children—to deny this is either truly radical individualism or totalitarianism, either of which is inimical to the family and to religion.
And certainly, a group like the Knights of Columbus that has fought so hard against abortion would want to do all it could to prevent these abortions by at least interposing this important bit of familial dialogue before the decision is made.
But, you see, religious conservatives who care so deeply about the family spent very little on this initiative, which failed. Instead, they poured over $30 million dollars into making sure that gays and lesbians could not enter into civil marriages in California. They bought ads that claimed that Churches would lose their tax-exempt status—granted by the Federal Government, not California—when they refused to recognize such marriages—ignoring the fact that any Church currently can deny marriage to anyone they choose. They used the images of children without their parents' permission and over their parents' objections. They spent and lied and used people because gays and lesbians are the greatest threat to the family.
So, the next time I am told by anyone involved with Yes on 8 just how much they care about babies and families, I'm going to explain just what they ought to go do to themselves. What they care about is icky gays, aborted fetuses and familial relationships be damned.


Anonymous said...

BINGO! You cannot try to rationalize fundmanetalism (i.e. their chosen fights) and zeal in the name of religion.

But you are right on! Not one mention of this Prop that I heard from Dobson et al.

You understand my hope last night (and my incessant urging via email to you) when I saw the numbers completely turn against parental notification that I thought this was our opportunity too on Prop 8 when liberal numbers seem to be coming in.

In the final analysis, it was the straight latino population that doomed us, whose basis was in homophobia more so then their religion or the Mormons.

John said...

To play devil's advocate, those people could probably respond in the same they do when people ask them why, if the protection of marriage is of such importance, there was no proposed amendment to ban divorce: they know which battles they can win.

Which is why I am writing the California Tourism Board to propose a new state motto. "California: Only Most Of Us Are Biggots."

Tyler Hower said...

But, they could have won the Prop 4 battle if they had been willing to put any money in it. The only money spent on Prop 4 was against it and it was close. They simply didn't care about it, because it's gays they really fear. And, they won't go after divorce, because evangelicals have higher divorce rates than the average population. But, Tom, do you have some reason to know or think that it was the straight Latino population that doomed us, or is this a surmise?

Anonymous said...

exit polls showed non-evangelical voters who came out for Prop 8 were lationos 65-35. The catholic vote?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Tyler--the mismatch between Prop 8 and Prop 4 makes no sense.