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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Doing my part to irritate Republicans, fundamentalists, bigots and other lower life forms.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

'Whose side were you on in the culture war, Mommy?'

It was news that shook Washington, D.C. Not the release of the Iraq Study Group report, but the announcement that Vice President Dick ("I'm NOT a war criminal") Cheney and his wife, Lynn, who has dabbled in girl-on-girl action in the pages of a novel she penned, are about to become grandparents.

Actually, the Cheneys already have five grand children. But the sixth one will be a wee bit unique. It will be born to lesbian daughter Mary and her partner Heather.

All along the far right the tongues are wagging. Though in deference to Grampa Dick being a part of the religious right's beloved BushCo administration, much of the "official" comment from the far right has been subdued. At least compared to comments on the ultra-conservative web site, Free Republic, where comments have been posted referring to Mary and Heather's baby as "Satan spawn" and "turkey-baster baby."

Here's a little sampling of the "official" comment from the religious right, the group who put Mary's daddy and his cronies in power:

Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America described the pregnancy is "unconscionable."

"It's very disappointing that a celebrity couple like this would deliberately bring into the world a child that will never have a father," said Crouse, a senior fellow at the group's think tank. "They are encouraging people who don't have the advantages they have."

Crouse said there was no doubt that the news would, in conservatives' eyes, be damaging to the Bush administration, which already has been chided by some leaders on the right for what they felt was halfhearted commitment to anti-abortion and anti-gay-rights causes in this year's general election.

Carrie Gordon Earll, a policy analyst for the conservative Christian ministry Focus on the Family, expressed empathy for the Cheney family but depicted the pregnancy as unwise.

"Just because you can conceive a child outside a one-woman, one-man marriage doesn't mean it's a good idea," Earll said. "Love can't replace a mother and a father." (From The Associated Press)

Or there's this tidbit from ABC News:

Similar sentiments were expressed by Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Media Institute of the Media Research Center.

"I think it's tragic that a child has been conceived with the express purpose of denying it a father," Knight said.

"Fatherhood is important and always will be, so if Mary and her partner indicate that that is a trivial matter, they're shortchanging this child from the start."

"Mary and Heather can believe what they want," Knight said, "but what they're seeking is to force others to bless their nonmarital relationship as marriage" and to "create a culture that is based on sexual anarchy instead of marriage and family values."

Heck, even the man Grampa Dick works for is on record as not exactly supporting the type of family living arrangement the new Cheney grandchild will be born into. It's only been a few weeks ago that Dubya sobered up enough to tell an Iowa crowd of inbred yokels shortly after the New Jersey Supreme Court instructed the state legislature to provide the same legal rights to same-sex couples as to straight couples, "I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. ... And I believe it's a sacred institution that is critical to the health of our society and the well-being of families, and it must be defended."

And these folks are friends of the Cheney family?

Surveys have indicated how younger people have less of an issue with gay rights, samesex marriage and the idea that the most important element of a family is love and not the genders of parents. Those young people will be voters some day and when some ignorant fun-D'uh-Mental-ist tries to put a law on the books that discriminates against LGBT folks, these young voters will think of their best friend from high school, or the uncle or their cousin or maybe even a brother or sister who's gay or lesbian. They won't just vote "no;" they'll vote "Hell, NO!"

In the breadth of a generation, the landscape will change and those who fought against recognition for families like Mary and Heather's will be looked at with the same sort of shame my generation looks upon the segregationists who screamed about "niggers" and taught that God meant for the races to be separate because the white race was superior to those other people.

Twenty years from now Mary and Heather's child will probably be starting college. When he or she isn't being a typical teenager and thinking that parents can't possibly know anything, perhaps the young person will come to Mary and Heather and ask question.

"What was it like before you could get married, Mom?"

"Did Grampa really work for a man who tried to keep people like you and my other mom from getting together and raising families like it says in my American history textbook?"

"How could you live in such a world, Mom? Wasn't it hard?"

"Did Gramma really let that awful Alan Keyes guy call you a 'self-hedonist' and a 'sinner' and not chew him up and spit him out?"

"If Grampa was the vice president, how come he didn't just tell all those people that hated families like our's just to shut up and be nice to everyone?"

"Mom, my history teacher says the years around the time I was born are called 'the culture wars.' What side of the culture wars were you on, Mommy?"

That last question may be the hardest one Mary and Heather will ever have to answer.