Monday, April 21, 2014

Evangelical Christianity's Idol: The Family

Billy Graham: If you turn away from your <insert random sin or whatever>, then God will love you. 

Excuse me Pastor, but according to the Bible, God's love is unconditional. Furthermore, what right do you have to blanket all of gay parents calling them unsuitable. Your views are based in large part due to your ignorance and close-mindedness. You worship "the family" like an idol and repeatedly try to elevate it above that of the person. "If it serves the family, who cares who else it hurts, they're not people, right? Evangelicals constantly uphold the family as a force that is greater than everything else in society. 

The so-called nuclear family is one that has been given it's own special status by virtue of it being someone's idea of what is ideal. On and on and on we see that evidence claiming to vindicate that point of view is not only wrong, but harmful, and disingenuous to all other family units in this country. The typical "mom, dad, 2.5 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat" stereotype is a product of the 50s and 60s, where marketing pushed the perfect family image as the urban sprawl created the suburbs. It was a way of marketing that living outside the city promised this perfect life. Hollywood perpetuated this image further with shows like Lassie, Leave it to Beaver, and other such shows which gave us the quintessential perfect family ideal to the extreme. 

There's no question in my mind that some of their facts are not in dispute. Two men and two women cannot "naturally" reproduce without a female sex cell to join with. That's a biological fact for our Genus/species, Homo Sapiens. But why is "natural" reproduction the only acceptable form of reproduction? If two lesbians want to get sperm from a is that any less valid as reproduction than a man and woman having sex? Or if two men want to have a child by surrogacy...again why or how is that less valid than natural reproduction? Because it's not any less valid. The family unit is most definitely important. It truly is the foundation of society upon which we stand. But what is not the foundation of society is the nuclear family. The idolized family. The artificially perfect family. ALL families, regardless of their form are valid families. 

The perfect marketed family does not exist. It's an idealized dream in a fantasy land. In real-land where we live, a family is what you decide a family is. If me and my (would be) boyfriend decide to get married, adopt, and raise children...then this is our family. He is my husband, and my children are my children. We are a cohesive unit under a roof. We support each other, protect each other, love each other, and enrich the lives of each other with our love and devotion. We are no less a family than the straight family across the street, or the single-parent family to the west of me, or the blended family from two different marriages to the right of me, or the mixed-race family to the left-corner of me. Or even the foster-family at the end of the block or the couple with no children at all. A family, is a family, is a family. To determine otherwise is passing judgment on others, to condemn them for the qualities that makes them them. It's unacceptable and it's intolerable to do. The sooner we embrace all families, the sooner our society can focus on what's actually important: the future.

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