[Disclosure: I am a Christian, and I oppose Proposition 8. I support education, tolerance, and inclusion. See Mark 12:31]
The other day, my daughter told me that one of her friends wasn’t in school because she was joining her parents at a Yes on 8 rally. I was amazed. And outraged. As the mom of three kids (one in college, one veteran), I know how important it is for my kids to be in school, learning. For the past week, I have watched the Yes on 8 folks tell the public outright lies about our education system and civil rights, and now I’m seeing them using their kids as attention pawns in the middle of a school day.
I can’t remain silent, and I can’t remain objective. What they are doing is wrong, it’s unChristian, and it’s downright hateful. Over the past week, I’ve heard stories of young children, sometimes not even school age, standing on street corners with their parents, and even their pastors!.
What are their parents telling them? Based on their literature, I can only imagine. “Honey, you need to stand here and hold this sign so you won’t have to learn about ladies loving ladies, men loving men, and the perverted things they do to each other.” Seriously? “The evil liberals want to take away your right to marry a man (or a woman)?” “The gay folks want to end the human race?”
When a parent teaches their child to be afraid of people that are different from them, they plant the seeds of hate. When a parent enlists those same children as pawns in a political cause of exclusion, they teach them that it’s okay to speak that intolerance in public without regard for the feeling of true human beings on the other side of the issue, they teach them to live a life of division and intolerance.
When they teach their children lies, they teach their children to lie.
When they teach their children to be afraid of others who are different, they undermine their own cause. Christianity is a religion of inclusion, not exclusion. It is a religion based upon caring for others, not condemnation. Above all, there is nowhere in biblical foundations for Christians to be involved in an effort to promote discrimination, fear and hate.
Right now, there is no provision in the California state constitution that addresses marriage. When the Yes on 8 folks claim that it forces schools to teach young children about gay marriage, they lie. Second graders are not taught these things in public schools today and nothing will be different on November 5th. Unless it passes. Then some children will be taught that there are groups in our society we should regard as lower than others. That is what the Yes on 8 people are trying to shove down Californians throats, and they’re willing to sacrifice their children’s education to do it. What hypocrisy!
Here’s an irony: By using their children as pawns in the Proposition 8 propaganda campaign, they are teaching their children more about gay marriage than they’d ever learn in public school. Unfortunately, they’re also teaching them to fear, hate and be intolerant of gays. Now for perspective, know that the Mormons are the ones spearheading much of the effort. The same church that spawned people who think it’s okay to waterboard employees as a training exercise. While there are some Mormons who are more tolerant than others, the official position of the church is hard-line and militant with respect to gays and gay marriage.
I ask this question directly to them: Are you willing to accept the responsibility for 14-year old Brandon McInerney’s cold-blooded murder of Lawrence King last year? McInerney’s attitudes came from fear, intolerance, and what he’d learned from his parents. Are you willing to accept your hypocrisy for claiming to be teaching biblical principles while denying outright the acts of love that Christ modeled?
Directly to those undecided about Proposition 8, I ask you this: What credibility should you give to people who pimp their kids for the sake of a cause founded on fear, lies and hate? Are these the children you want looking after you when you can’t work, are disabled, sick or in need? If so, you’d better be sure you fall into the category of those who are acceptable in their eyes, because they have been schooled in the business of judgment and exclusion.
As for me and my house, two of my children are now registered voters and will be voting No on Proposition 8. The third isn’t old enough to vote, but she’s old enough to understand that voting for Proposition 8 is voting for hate, exclusion and intolerance. She is the same age as Larry King. His school was two miles from hers. She cried at the news of his shooting as though she had known him. For the first time in her young life, she felt and understood the price of intolerance: one too high to pay.
This is the message she speaks to those who use their children to promote exclusion:
Leave it alone. Don’t teach your kids to be afraid. Kids have enough to deal with. They don’t need to worry about stuff that is mean.
Photo Credit (Top Right): Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times