I’m about to get a little political on you. I don’t get political around here very often because politics are personal and totally opinion based. I have my opinions and you have yours and that’s ok. I may think you’re an idiot for believing what you do, but hey, just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean you’re wrong.
So, yesterday I posted about parents that were keeping their kids out of school to make a point to the California Teachers Union. The California Teachers Union gave $1 million to the No on Prop 8 campaign.
For those of you who aren’t from California, because if you are from California you would have to be living in a cave to not know that Prop 8 was, it is a proposition to amend the state constitution to make marriage legal only between a man and a woman.
My church has taken a very strong stance on Prop 8 and has asked member to vote for it and campaign for it and to do everything in their power to get this Proposition passed. I get that. It goes against what my church teaches and believes, but this proposition is an issue that I have struggled with a great deal. I had a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when they read the letter in church asking for people to vote for this measure. My church has never specifically asked me to vote for one thing or another and I like it that way. I personally don’t care if gay people get married or not. I have gay friends that are in significant long term relationships and I don’t see how what they do in the privacy of their own home affects me. I also truly question whether homosexuality is a choice verses something that people are born with, and if it is something they are born with then why shouldn’t they have the right to marry the person that they love. Yes, the Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong, but it also teaches that we shouldn’t judge other people. That’s where I sit on the issue. I try to love everyone no matter what and if it is wrong then Heavenly Father will deal with it, not me. I didn’t want to be put in the middle. During the multiple times when this has been discussed in church I hated the fact that I live in California at this time because I didn’t want to have to make that choice. My church and the Prophet have asked me to do one thing, but I feel for gay couples and their desire to be able to get married, so I was initially just not going to vote on the issue so I didn’t have to choose between my head and my heart. Now I’m back to being undecided.
As I said before, I don’t care what people do in the privacy of their own homes, but when it starts to affect me, like telling me what my children have to learn in school or by churches tax exempt status or the ability of religious adoption agencies to exclude gay couples because of the religion’s beliefs, that’s when I start to have a problem with it. And by the way, Ari already has read books in school about gay couples. When we first moved here and she was in 2nd grade we picked her up from school and she started telling us about some story they were reading. DH and I looked at each other and used it as a wonderful teaching opportunity that our religion doesn’t believe that Heavenly Father meant for men to marry men or women to marry women, but that we do need to treat everyone nicely and not judge them. So again, I don’t have a problem with her hearing things like that at school because it opens up teaching opportunities at home, but I would like the option to opt her out if I see fit, and a warning before hand so I know what I should be discussing with her.
The No on 8 campaign says that it won’t change churches tax status or what is taught in schools or anything like that, and of course the way it is written it doesn’t. But in Massachusetts where gay marriage is legal it has opened the door for things such as this father who got arrested for trying to opt his first grader out of learning about gay marriage in class. Parents have the right to teach their children what they want or to opt them out of lessons that they don’t agree with, plain and simple and I don’t like the fact that legalizing same sex marriage could make that happen. I also have an issue with the fact that Catholic Charities of Boston had to either place children in same sex households or close their doors, so they closed their doors. If first parents choose to place their children with same sex couples, that is their choice, but a religious agency shouldn’t be forced to do so just because gay couples are allowed to marry. It is because of reasons like this that I’m now leaning toward voting for Prop 8.
My point in sharing all of this relates back to my question of yesterday and the California Teachers Union. So we saw on the news Monday night that there was a state-wide call for parents who were for Prop 8 to keep their kids out of school to oppose the $1million donation. As I said, I’m not totally for or against Prop 8, but I’m really annoyed that the Teachers Union is donating money to a cause that has nothing to do with education. So DH and I talked about it and decided it might be the right thing to do to take a stand. We talked to Ari about all of it and let her make the choice as to whether or not she wanted to stay home from school yesterday and the reason for it. She initially wanted to go to school because she said she would be “bored” at home so she headed off. A couple minutes later she called DH and said she had thought about it and decided she felt like it was the right decision to stay home. I was proud of her for making that hard decision. DH even ended up having a good conversation about it with the principle of her school. I got a call 7 minutes into the school day asking about Ari’s absence (talk about being on top of things) because we hadn’t called yet, and I explained the reason for the absence. Well, she didn’t understand so the Principal called back to find out exactly why Ari wasn’t going to be in school that day and DH told him why we were doing what we did. He hadn’t heard of the donation or the protest (we live in a VERY liberal community) but was supportive of our decision as parents.
All this rambling to say, we live in interesting times and I think it’s good for Ari to learn to stand for what she believes while she is still young.