Some days, living seems a little harder. Some days, I get tired of believing in inherent good in people. I read this morning that Washington State Supreme Court has upheld the ban on same sex marriage. So when we board the ferry to Port Angeles, Linda and I are a legally married couple. But an hour later, when we arrive, we are not. Yesterday, when talking to a man about our relationship I referred to it as a “covenant” between us. “That’s a particularly strong word” the person said in surprise. Covenant: “A binding agreement”; “A promise across time.” To some our relationship is a surprise, to others, now including Washington state, it is something which must never be acknowledged.
Earlier this week Dr. Stephen Baskerville President of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children and advisor to Men’s Health Network wrote a piece for the religious “non-profit” organization, The Howard Center entitled: The Real Danger of Same-Sex Marriage. His attacks on same sex marriage are nothing particularly new, however it is his attack of women “allowed” to be independent human beings which made me reach for my axe, or epee. His concern is always with men and in particular the idea that women shouldn’t be allowed to divorce a man, simply because they choose to. The rules for men are simple, other than adultery, the wife and children are a father’s property: “because as long as he remained faithful, the man in return derived from marriage that vital protection we examined at the beginning: the right to have children recognized as his.” The villain, as in most religious conservative woes, are feminists (To the religious right, females who accept and obey the men over them are “righteous women”, all others are “feminists"): “it was really feminists who created the divorce revolution.” He gives as an example of the upside down nature of the world: “Turkey was forced to withdraw a proposal to criminalize adultery by the European Union, but liberal divorce counted in their favor.” What, women are able to leave men but not imprisoned for consensual choices...it truely is a world gone mad!
In a jaw dropping rationalization, Stephen Baskerville claims that domestic abuse and child abuse don’t really happen, they are just part of the feminist plot to deprive fathers of their rights. Eh? First he questions how non-physically violent abuse can be considered abuse at all, “Governments throughout the United States treat it not as a form of violent assault, but as a conflict, again, within an “intimate relationship.” It therefore blurs the distinction between crime and disagreement and need not be either violent or criminal.”
Restraining orders and stalking restraints are tools of oppression to a father’s natural right to possession of his child, his right to BE with his child, regardless of his actions. As for safety orders, the too are part of the plot. The arguement goes, since beating a wife is already illegal, so why the need for safety orders? The real answer: a feminist conspiracy of allowing women to make a free will choice of divorce and thus split families; and thus whatever violence occurs becomes the fault of the woman: “It is also likely that forcing parents to stay away from their children provokes precisely the violence it ostensibly aims to prevent.” The worst offence? A state program which requires domestic abusers to state “I am responsible for the violence I used” which is compared to both the governments of Hitler AND Stalin. Though it is unclear whether such a program exists (I wish it would) as the citation is from 1965. A Canadian “expert” lawyer Walter Scott tells us that Canadian courts are “pre-facist”; this would be the same Walter Scott who told parliament that feminism is a replay of Nazism, or who while thousands of dollars in arrears of child support he rufused to pay, sued his children and ex-wife for the money they received from his father’s estate?
Hold on to your sick bag, because it turns out that child abuse is also just a ploy to remove fathers and dissolve marriage: “The heart of the child abuse and foster care crises, therefore, is marital dissolution or non-formation.” Stephen feels that unless the abuse can be substantiated with evidence then it is just “not fair” to father's rights (he doesn’t seem to think much about what might be fair to the children). So, listen up you 9 and 11 and 13 year olds. Remember to hire someone to take pictures of your stepfather raping you. Or sneak out of the house and walk all the way to the hospital in your PJ’s. Stephen believes that this is part of a grand conspiracy to coach children into hating fathers. Much of his references rely on the work of Ralph Underwager, a Christian Psychologist (and Pastor) heading the Institution of Psychological Therapies who used be on the board of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and is also an “expert witness” called in to verify that in child sexual abuse cases, the child is lying. This testimony is often excluded by the court for being without scientific basis. While seeing homosexuality and pedophilia as virtually interchangeable condition, Underwager goes further to state that pedophilia is a responsible relationship choice.
“PAIDIKA (interviewer): Is choosing paedophilia for you a responsible choice for the individuals?
RALPH UNDERWAGER: Certainly it is responsible.. Paedophiles spend a lot of time and energy defending their choice. I don't think that a paedophile needs to do that. Paedophiles can boldly and courageously affirm what they choose.”
So the “expert witness” is a person saying that adults who have sex with children are making good choices and that children who say they were sexually abused are lying? Oh, wait, I forgot the punch line: the whole reason for child abuse? So gay couples can get their hands on your children! “Few have questioned where gay parents obtain their children. Granting gay couples the right to raise children by definition means giving at least one of the partners the right to have someone else’s children”
Yup, there is nothing worse in the world than women and gays; sucks that I am both, and now responsible for a fair share of America’s woes. Look, I’m still breathing, that’s why your marriage is breaking up, why men are beating, berating and emotionally crippling women and why children are being abused…sorry I meant LYING about being abused, those that aren’t in “loving” relationships with adults that is. Oh yeah, and I’m stealing your children. It’s a joke right? Except the article has already been picked up and passed along as “truth” by the various religious right organs, including the World Net Daily and Christian News Wire.
Be nice if I once started reading about Christians owning up to creating environments in which sexual and physical abuse can flourish. Let’s see: three years ago the Catholic church faces tens of thousands of cases of sexual abuse. It’s solution: blame the gays.
Screw it, I’m going back to bed.
1 hour ago