Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Kathleen Parker, Ignoramus

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker is one of my least favorite people. Her columns are ignorant, bigoted and mean-spirited, and yet she ladels out this tripe as if it were just plain common sense.
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Just among her recent columns are: A column warning that same-sex marriage is a step towards fascism, many columns demonizing and/or ridiculing Hilary Clinton (here, here, here and here), a column suggesting that maybe Islam is just an evil religion, a column in which she wonders aloud what is controversial about teaching intelligent design in schools. Kathleen isn't as famous as Rush Limbaugh or Michelle Malkin, but in my opinion, she deserves to be. I wouldn't pay her much attention, except for the fact that her column is published in the Ithaca Journal, which is such a skimpy paper that I feel like I have to read every article to get my money's worth.

Her most recent column is another polemic against gay marriage. It's quite bizarre. She argues that gay marriage (and in particular, gay parenthood) is a step on the slippery slope towards "the elimination of any biological/procreative connection to parenthood". Well, I'm not gay, but I have four adopted children. For me, there is no biological/procreative connection to parenthood. For all practical purposes, parents are the people who raise you. I don't see how gay couples are any more of a threat to the traditional biological notion of parenthood than adoptive parents are.

She goes on to say the following
As long as children are viewed as mere extensions of our selves, put here to satisfy some narcissistic need for self-actualization, it is easy to suppose that our needs and their needs are complementary.
Narcissistic? How is a gay couple wanting to have a child any more narcissistic than a heterosexual couple wanting to have a child?

Whether you are gay or straight, you may be completely unselfish about taking care of your child, but whatever steps you took to get a child were motivated by your desire for children. How could it be otherwise?

Her other so-called point was about birth certificates: The current birth certificates have slots for mother and father. Allowing gay parents changes this to "Parent" and "Second Parent". So blankety-blank what?

It does bring up a strange thing that I have discovered about birth certificates. In the case of adoptive parents, in many communities in the US it is possible to get official fake birth certificates that make it appear that the child is not adopted. It might be that it is nobody's business whether a kid is adopted or not, but I don't like the idea of lying on official forms.


Anonymous Rich said...

In my view of things, life's too short and already full of sorrow to read things so repellent to one's own native sensibilities.


Arguments strongly linking procreation and parenting to marriage are cringe-producing for some of us who are simultaneously married and without children.

I don't remember now what blog it was where I read about the idea of open-sourcing all the perquisites which come along with the marriage relacement, legally. That is, an enterprising lawyer could package up all the insurance/medical/real estate/inheritance/whatever else arrangements which accrue to the married state, produce a standalone legal agreement that any two parties could enter into for whatever reasons they might have, in order to separate that whole part of the controversy from the part labelled "marriage." Repeat for all 50 states.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Kyle McCullough said...

I thought the 'narcissistic' was especially cynical of her. Don't most people agree that adoption is a bit less narcissistic than conception, and that normal conception is a bit less narcissistic than (hypothetically) cloning?

12:23 AM  

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