Joe & Linda SkinnerBEHAVIORISMSGrand Junction Free Press Columnists

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February 14, 2013
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SKINNERS: Time to show equal 'love' to all

SHE SAID: I wish warm feelings left over from Valentine's Day could be sent to various groups who are definitely not feeling any love for certain people. I am dismayed that the Catholic Church officials in Colorado have declared they will no longer facilitate adoptions if they have to allow gay couples to apply in response to a bill before the Colorado Legislature giving legality to same-sex unions.That threat on the part of the Catholic Church is an intolerant slap in the face to the children in need of a home. Too bad the church leaders haven't been as discriminating against child molesters and abusers who have shown up in their positions of leadership. But, maybe there is hope. Republicans have radically changed their ideas about the children of illegal immigrants. The past few years, the GOP has shot down legislation dubbed "The Dream Act," which would allow children who are not legal citizens, but have been raised and educated here, to continue their education funded by in-state tuition rates. Apparently, their trouncing at the polls in the last election has caused some to rethink their intractable stands on immigration reform in an effort to become more appealing to minority voters. HE SAID: What you are pointing out is one of the mind-boggles that goes on in this country. A basic belief is that we treat people equally: We don't use status, color or sexual preference to classify people into groups so we can hate them. Unfortunately, this basic belief is contrary to how many people want to behave. For example, as you point out, some religions enjoy classifying others as "non-believers" or "sinners" and then treat those people as less deserving or as enemies. Many have died to protect the religious freedom of those who hold such beliefs and the concept that we can punish unlawful behavior, not the status of people. But that doesn't mean that we have to mold the law to allow their point of view to control the civil behavior of us all.If they choose not to help people adopt helpless, homeless children, then that is their choice. The children will then probably be raised in another religion, one with greater tolerance. They can apply these limiting beliefs to helpless children, but I would certainly be inclined to send my charitable donations to an adoption organization that doesn't have such beliefs.SHE SAID: It is good to recognize we are evolving. A few Constitutional amendments over the last 400 years have rectified many past mistakes. We don't have to like those who are different, but we are deciding to treat everyone the same in the application of the law. Finally, children are being given consideration in their own right and we now recognize that they are not responsible for their parent's actions and beliefs.HE SAID: The miraculous flip-flop of the Republican party on immigration is an example of that. It was instructive to watch one of the local conservative columnists along with national GOP figures, state how willing they are now to abandon their "principals" regarding immigration reform in light of a defeat at the polls.Politics are unique because such a radical turnaround in "core beliefs" doesn't bring instant nausea to the proponents who yesterday called upon exportation for all, even those who are here through no fault of their own. Now they are trying to figure out how to get elected by supporting the children's right to stay here and get an education they have earned by their actions. I'm amazed they weren't needing barf bags as the result of such a fast turnaround.Of course the Democrats are no better. They want to spend without having to trim some unneeded expenditures in the budget. They get barf bags also. In both of these cases the word "hypocrisy" seems to be unknown to the "true believers," especially since compromise has been missing from their vocabulary.SHE SAID: The world is changing whether these or any other intractable groups care to acknowledge it. I believe life can be so much richer if we embrace the change. What is wrong with nurturing the children, no matter who their parents are or how they came to be here? What a world that might create.-----------------The Skinners hope you all know the embrace of someone who loves you and cares for you. They can be reached at

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The Post Independent Updated Feb 14, 2013 01:46PM Published Feb 14, 2013 01:46PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.