Our Family is Just Fine, thank you.
Article ID: 2185
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 6,828
Times Read: 13,600
Posted: August 16th. 1998
Times Viewed: 13,600
What is a "family"? According to Webster's, it is simply a "household" or "a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head". Or if you search further down the list of definitions, it is defined as "the basic unit in society having as its nucleus two or more adults living together and cooperating in the care and raising of their own or adopted children."
That seems to leave quite a bit of leeway when it comes to saying what a family may be, doesn't it? But some people have a somewhat narrower definition in mind when they talk about "the family."
You have heard that definition, I am sure. Every time a conservative Christian spokesperson talks about the family, they are not necessarily talking about YOUR family. They are more likely talking about THE family-as they insist it must be.
To which I have just have to comment: "How DARE they?"
- How dare they tell us that if we do not have a one woman-one-man and two point five children grouping, that we do not belong to a family?
- How dare they tell us that we have no right to form the kinds of relationships that constitute a meaningful "family" for ourselves?
- How dare they insist that we remain in relationships that are not working-or that can never work-just because this is the only venue that is "acceptable"?
- How dare they call anyone "immoral" who does not conform to their definition of "family"?
How DARE they?
Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D: (sociologist with special expertise in gender and human sexuality) states-
- "Both heterosexual and homosexual couples want to get married. "They want companionship, they want love, they want trust, they want someone who will be with them through thick and thin. They're looking for a live and a love partner."
- The primary quality of parenting is not the parenting structure, or biology, but is the nurturing relationship between parent and child.
Charlotte Patterson, Ph.D (psychologist with expertise in lesbian and gay parenting and the child development) states:
- The quality of parenting which a child receives is more important than a biological connection or the gender of a parent.
- Same-sex couples can, and do, have successful, loving and committed relationships.
David Brodzinsky Ph.D (psychologist with expertise in the development of children raised by non biological parents.) states:
- The important factors which determine good child development are whether the child is provided warmth, consistency of care, a stimulated environment, and support.
- Sexual orientation of parents is not an indicator of parental fitness."
Robert Bidwell, M.D. (Pediatrician with specialized expertise in adolescent medicine.) testified that:
"The best environment for a child is one with "love and nurturance and guidance, protection, safety." -(All above quotations are from The Hawaii Same-Sex Marriage Trial available at: OCRT-Same Sex Testimonies)
How dare they?
They dare because the right wing Christian conservative knows that if they can control personal sexual conduct, access to contraception, family perimeters and the schooling of the next generation, then they are well on their way to indeed developing the United States into a "Christian Nation."
Gary Bauer writes in his February Letter To Families that:
David Gelernter, author of 'Drawing Life, Surviving the Unabomber', "laments not just the loss of so many traditional values, but the destruction of these values by radical creeds from out-of-control environmentalism to extreme feminism" when he writes about the role of women in the home:
"Back in 1940 you could never tell why housewives did what they did, whether it was devotion or just momentum. But today you know exactly why housewives do it: out of love. Some of their families can easily forgo the second income, some cannot; but every one of them could improve her standing in society by taking a job. So today you can see these stubborn women for what they are, the moral backbone of the country."
So, women who choose to work for the sheer satisfaction of it do not love their families? And those who choose to sacrifice their lives to this concept of a family are somehow more "moral" than those who choose other family alternatives?
These definitions of "morality" and "family roles" are like judgments pronounced upon anyone who does not agree with their definition. And again, I ask, "How dare they make these judgments on my family, on your family, on anyone's family?"
The family of today may be made up of single parents, gay couples, unmarried couples, multiple partners, couples who choose not to have children, singles who have extended networks of friendships, people with pets and those who take in people who are not otherwise related to them in any way. They are all families.
A family is held together by friendship, by love, by caring and by compassion. Families rely upon one another, help each other and share resources for the common good. Families share good times and bad, grow and develop, nurture and encourage all within its embrace.
Families are those people who are together because they want to be together. They love each other and because they learn love at home, they have love to give to others.
Rather than keep that love sealed up behind the closed doors of the "traditional family", these new families are open to the entire world and the interconnectiveness of all humanity.
The family is not such a fragile thing after all. It will not buckle in changing times. It will not collapse under new concepts and new ideas. It is not threatened by contact with diverse cultures or beliefs. There is nothing that can break the family bonds of love and mutual respect.
The family-the family of choice- is still very strong indeed.
And this is a family that is big enough, strong enough, open-minded enough and loving enough to embrace the entire Earth and say, "Welcome Home."
Walk in Light and Love,
August 15th, 1998
The Witches' Voice
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