Saturday, February 28, 2009

Good bye James Dobson, may you fade away into the sunset never to be heard from again

Ok, disclaimer first: I dislike James Dobson with the intensity of a thousand suns rolled into one. There. I said it. So it should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time that this Seething Mom will lose no sleep, cry no tears, or feel anything but sheer unbridled joy about James Dobson stepping down from his throne at Focus on the Family.

I am a wife - happily married for 27 years. I am a mother of 3 children whom I love very much. I am an ardent advocate of anything that is good for my marriage and my family. So you would think that James Dobson would be my hero, but you would be sadly mistaken. James Dobson is no advocate for my marriage or my family. James Dobson is poison. In fact, I would go so far as to say that James Dobson is one of my family's worst enemies. So I can only hope with all my heart that James Dobson quickly disappears into oblivion never to be heard from again (but I certainly won't hold my breath on that one).

James Dobson spent years setting himself up as an expert on everything even remotely related to parenting and family issues. And when he finally worked himself up to a position of great power, he chose to use it in ways that deeply hurt families that didn't meet his narrow standards for normal. And my family fell into his cross-hairs. Why? Because my husband and I have a gay son. And we not only love him unconditionally, but we accept him just as he is.

Apparently (according to Dobson) our son was just "fine" when God delivered him to us, but because of our terrible parenting, we made him gay. Never mind that our terrible parenting skills had no effect on our other 2 children. But in Dobson's eyes, having a gay child is a huge disgrace and a horrible tragedy, not to mention, one of the greatest threats this country faces. And as Dobson tells it, both my husband and I are to blame. My husband was not around enough, he was not man enough, he didn't knock our son around enough, he didn't wrestle with him enough or play manly-enough games with him, he didn't shower with him or wave his private parts in our son's face enough, etc. etc. And I was around our son too much, I was too overbearing, and I had too close a relationship with him. So for those fatal missteps, we got what we deserved, an abomination.

James Dobson has spent his career spouting lofty and quite noble goals, but his actions have been anything but. Not only is he an enormous fraud when it comes to family advocacy, but he used the power he spent years building to single out, hurt, and stigmatize people. And his victims are many.

James Dobson used his family advocacy organization, Focus on the Family, as a smokescreen to hide his hatred for gays and lesbians and his agenda to advance hateful legislation that would guarantee second-class status for millions of Americans. He spent years pouring his money, power, and precious resources into making life as miserable as he could for the glbt community. And he did it all under the guise of Family and Christian Values.

No, I'm not going to miss James Dobson. When he could have made a positive impact on the sorry state of marriage and family in this country, he chose instead to single out and hurt those for whom he held contempt and hatred. He made no positive impact whatsoever on marriage and family and his actions may have even had quite negative repercussions (Ted Haggard's family may have an opinion on this). The institution of marriage is still in dire condition and families are still falling apart, but at a faster pace. James Dobson squandered a precious opportunity to make a positive difference, but that was never his intent. His legacy will not be pretty. The only thing he championed was mean-spirited homophobia and exclusion. He leaves as a sorry old man completely bereft of the very values he claimed to be defending.

Good bye James Dobson. My family will breathe a little easier knowing you are gone. Share

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Traditional Values Coalition presents this year's Hate Menu


And as you can see, making sure my son is never allowed the same rights as everyone else is one of the main courses on the menu.

No question about it, this menu should satisfy the appetites of even the biggest Hate Mongers.

And as Joe points out:

The Southern Poverty Law Center rates the Tradition Values Coalition as a hate group.

Hat tip: Good As You

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I never ever thought I'd say this

But I wish Michael Moore good luck and god-speed with this:

Friends,

I am in the middle of shooting my next movie and I am looking for a few brave people who work on Wall Street or in the financial industry to come forward and share with me what they know. Based on those who have already contacted me, I believe there are a number of you who know "the real deal" about the abuses that have been happening. You have information that the American people need to hear. I am humbly asking you for a moment of courage, to be a hero and help me expose the biggest swindle in American history.


If you can help him out with this project, please follow the link above for the email address and more information.

And yes, I know I am wandering way out of the scope of this blog's stated purpose, but I'd like a good look under the hood of an industry that has succeeded in crashing the economies of pretty much the whole world. And if Michael Moore can do that, then more power to him. Share

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lifting the burden of a secret, one person at a time

Last night we had dinner with a very dear friend who was actually a witness at my husband's and my ski trip turned elopement. Our friendship with this man dates back decades and is thankfully strong enough to weather the long periods of time that manage to slip in between visits as life intervenes with both the expected and unexpected. And as we would find out during the course of a shared evening meal, life did indeed present us all with many expected and unexpected events. There was cancer, a serious head injury, major moves, grandkids arriving, kids coming out, kids heading off to Ukraine, kids going off to college, kids graduating from college, kids working to save their marriages, parents moving back in, and parents passing away. And sadly, durable friendships like the one we have with this friend can end up being sidelined in the chaos of it all - as this one had been - we had not seen him for 2 1/2 years.

So as is always the case when so much time passes between visits, there was a lot of catching up to do. We spent the first hour and a half sharing beers and talking about the latest news pertaining to our respective families. And as we sat at the table enjoying each other's company, I couldn't help remembering the fear and dread I was feeling 2 1/2 years ago when we'd last gotten together. We had a secret I felt I had to protect at all costs and not even this good friend who had known our kids since they were born could be trusted with it.

Damn, secrets are awful. And keeping them from being discovered is exhausting. And the more desperately you want that secret to remain secret, the higher the stakes become and the more exhausting the task of protecting that secret gets. And let me tell you, backing yourself into that kind of corner can make an evening of casual conversation with a dear friend feel more like an eternity on the battlefield avoiding landmines. There are just so many subjects that can potentially lead to forbidden territory, which in turn leads to spending the entire evening completely on edge while trying to anticipate and steer clear of anything that could lead to questions we were not ready to answer truthfully. It was all about keeping the chatter in a safe zone without anyone noticing. And that's a lot of work. Needless to say, by the end of that evening 2 1/2 years ago, I was completely drained and relieved when we finally said good bye to our friend. I had kept our secret safe, but at too high a cost. I felt deceitful, ashamed, and completely unworthy to be my beautiful son's mother. I was so miserable.

Thinking back on it all now, I have to laugh at all the things I put myself through just to avoid telling people our son was gay. It really was crazy. But we simply were not ready to tell people about our son yet and to have done otherwise would have evoked a response (pity, sadness, embarassment) that would have made things worse. We had to be completely comfortable with it ourselves, and being comfortable with it for me meant it had to be a complete non-issue. And it just wasn't a non-issue with us at that point 2 1/2 years ago.

Well fast forward 2 1/2 years. And boy oh boy, what a difference a couple of years make. Gone are the heart palpitations, sweaty palms, and feelings of deceit and guilt after an evening out with friends. Gone is my crazy need to control the direction of even the most benign conversations. And best of all? Gone is the worry that people might accidentally learn our son is gay. It is simply not something we even think about anymore.

So last night when our friend started asking about each one of our kids, we welcomed the opportunity to talk proudly about each one of them and what they had accomplished in the time since we had last talked. And when the conversation started heading towards that used-to-be forbidden territory, I didn't give it a second thought. And when our friend finally asked if our middle son was still a ladies' man (really, I'm not joking), my husband and I very calmly and very matter-of-factly answered in unison: No, our son is gay. And my God! What a wonderfully freeing experience that was. We had lifted the burden of our secret with yet another person. And it felt so good.

Now I would be remiss if I stopped babbling right here. We had years to get comfortable with having a gay son. But we can never forget that when we tell someone about our son, especially someone who care about our kids, we will always need to be sensitive to the fact that the news will be new to them and could be shocking to them. And as I had expected might happen, our friend was quite shocked, in fact I'd have to say he was momentarily stunned into silence. But the beauty of it all was that my husband and I could not have been more at ease or casual about it and that made the whole situation so much easier for him. And best of all, there was no sadness, no pity, no embarrassment. We had simply stated a fact about our son.

So in the course of the evening last night our friend learned our son had graduated from college last June with honors, still has a zillion girls he calls friends, just not girlfriends, still isn't sure what he wants to do with his life, still has a desire to travel the world, still has blond hair and green eyes, and is still the great kid he was 2 1/2 years ago, except now we know he is gay.

And it was at that point we all decided we were ready for another round of beers, some dinner, and a whole lot more catching up. It was truly a relaxing and wonderful evening. Share

Please don't divorce us

Well Ken Starr is at it again -- man that guy needs some kind of serious counseling. He really has some serious hang-ups.

But I digress.

Here is the latest news about Mr. Ken Starr (of Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinski fame): Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund -- filed legal briefs defending the constitutionality of Prop 8 and is now attempting to forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in California last year. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on March 5, 2009, with a decision expected within the next 90 days.

The Courage Campaign has created a video called "Fidelity," with the permission of musician Regina Spektor, that puts a face to those 18,000 couples and all loving, committed couples seeking full equality under the law.

Watch and weep:


"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Here is Andrew's thoughts on this:

In the end, the marriage debate is about whether it is in the interest of society as a whole to attack and demean couples who are constructing loving, committed strong relationships, with the help of their friends, families and government. Whatever else it is, the attempt to break up these relationships, to deny and invalidate the hopes and dreams they aspire to, is both cruel and deeply hostile to any conservatism that seeks to bring people together around the shared values of family, fidelity and responsibility. Maybe this video will help bring that home. I'm lucky to be married in Massachusetts, but Aaron and I feel a part of this too. Marriage is a wonderful, surprising, humanizing, maturing thing. Don't take it away from us.
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