Pseudo family issues are destructive
Fundamentalist religious protagonists like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson (head of Focus on the Family) are constantly pounding their pulpits, proclaiming their moral and family values. But just what are these so-called moral and family values? The ones they are most vociferous about are things they are against, such as civil rights for homosexuals, embryonic stem cell research, separation of church and state, and the morning-after pill.These are areas in which they would like to impose their religious precepts on those who don’t share them, by making them the law of the land. This is just the antithesis of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which the founding fathers put into the Bill of Rights, because they were convinced that it was needed to protect the people from intrusion by the government into their personal lives. The First Amendment was intended to prevent any group from imposing its religious tenets on those who do not share their beliefs, a right equally as important in the eyes of the founders as freedom of speech and of the press, and the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances, which are also included in the First Amendment.It is easier to stir people up by looking for scapegoats, and using fear and prejudice to promote simple “hot button issues,” than it is to address the deeper seated and more difficult problems that are really threats to family stability. Those issues are far more important than gay-bashing, school prayer, flag-burning, or the morning-after pill. What about the issues of poverty and malnutrition – children who come to school too hungry for their brains to function properly, and children without health care? What about broken families with financially struggling single mothers, and fathers who refuse to make child support payments; or even worse, households with abusive parents?Aren’t these the real needs of families, which organizations like Focus on the Family should be bringing to public attention and working to overcome, if they really take the essential needs of families to heart. Religious organizations and leaders should be constructive and address real family needs, instead of being destructive by promoting divisive pseudo “family issues.” All who believe in the teaching of Christ should question those who are perverting those teachings to serve their own ambitions instead of following them to improve the lot of families and children.Those supporting real family values should be pressing their government to expand funding for school lunch programs to include breakfast, instead of cutting funding. A recent news report told of a teacher who saw marked improvement in the performance of her students when, at her own expense, she made sure they started the day off properly fed. Anyone who is opposed to abortions should support the morning-after pill because its availability would result in a major reduction in the number of abortions.We all need to open our eyes to the real world and focus on the problems which are seriously undermining too many American families. That should include, first and foremost, those who are ranting and raving about their narrow-minded family values.Glenwood Springs resident Hal Sundin’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent.
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