Sen. Obama is a man of principles. I heard his call today to 'back off' the story about Sarah Palin's 17-year old unmarried daughter being pregnant. Now, I think from his viewpoint, he is consistent, and I join with countless Americans in wishing Bristol health, happiness, and the full enjoyment of the miracle of birth that she is about to experience. I stand in awe of the miracle of life and the bond between an expecting parent and her soon-to-be-born child, I wish her and her baby the best.
The issue is not Bristol Palin. The issue is Sarah Palin and the party that is about to hand her its vice presidential nomination. We are talking about a political party and a candidate that backs unscientific, unrealistic, and unworkable abstinence-only policies instead of teaching comprehensive sex education. We are talking about a party that considers two loving people of the same sex unfit parents.
First, Sarah Palin is an advocate of abstinence-only programs, and opposed to comprehensive sex-ed. MSNBC reports:
Palin backed abstinence-only education during her 2006 gubernatorial race. In an Eagle Forum Alaska questionnaire, Palin gave this response to the following question:
Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?
Palin: Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.
I think it is a legitimate political and policy question: Governor, how do you expect abstinence only education to work for millions of children across this nation when it wouldn't even work for your own daughter?
People to aspire to lead on the basis of conservative ideas of the imposition of their set of moral codes on the rest of our families must answer for their personal family failures, for the people must know how they are able to campaign on those values when the same have failed their own families so horribly?
Oh, by the way, McCain is pro-abstinence-only as well:
NBC's Abby Livingston adds that a McCain spokesperson in May 2007 said the Arizona Republican supported abstinence-only education, too. "Sen. McCain believes the correct policy for educating young children on this subject is to promote abstinence as the only safe and responsible alternative. To do otherwise is to send a mixed signal to children that, on the one hand they should not be sexually active, but on the other here is the way to go about it.
We renew our call for replacing "family planning" programs for teens with increased funding for abstinence education, which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and expected standard of behavior. Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS when transmitted sexually. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception.
Obviously, not only do these programs the GOP advocates not work for the general public, it doesn't even work for the loudest and proudest of those that preach it. I say this again: the party and the ticket that seek to define, regulate and impose upon the personal and family lives of Americans based on their own moral codes must answer for their own personal and family failures when pitted against those same values. Not because we want to see them personally hurt, but because this makes them hypocrites.
Now, these are also the same people that would deny a child a loving home with parents, should those parents happen to be of the same sex. We are told how same sex households are bad environments to raise kids - meaning, of course, in transmitting those narrowly defined conservative, strict (im)moral code. John McCain is against adoption by gay parents, as he said in an interview with the New York times:
Q: President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?
Mr. McCain: I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption.
So, presumably, does Sarah Palin - although no specific statements are available, she is virulently conservative and anti-gay, and you cannot be a darling of the social right wing without having that quality.
And the 2008 Republican Platform? It rails against Massachusetts' policy of ensuring adoption providers using state funds do not discriminate based on the gender makeup of a couple:
we call upon the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reverse its policy of blacklisting religious groups which decline to arrange adoptions by same-sex couples.
Republicans recognize the importance of having in the home a father and a mother who are married. The two-parent family still provides the best environment of stability, discipline, responsibility, and character.
Expressly defining a "two-parent" family to also be an opposite-gender one.
I do not believe it is off limits to the political discourse of this nation to ask the political party that aspires these values supposedly to protect families and children from becoming socially corrupt and build the characters they believe in, why their own methods so often fail to produce their own desired characters in the families of their most revered? I think that's a legitimate question. I think that's a mandatory question when social repression is the motto of an entire political party.
So while we all can feel the joys and pains of Bristol Palin and sympathize and celebrate with her, we do not have to let these regressive conservative imposition of their values on rest of society go unchallenged.
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