Purpose-Filled Mothers & The Modern Feminist

May 19, 2012

Last Sunday was our fist Mother’s day since we found out we would shortly become parents (Click here to see our YouTube announcement). So understandably, as I contemplate the many ways our lives will change due to the birth of our first child as well as the current changes to my wife’s body, I am humbled and honored to be married to such an amazing and selfless woman. For nearly a decade Julie has worked in the Veterinary field. Working with animals is something she not only loves, but something she if very good at. She will shortly trade her career with animals to become a full-time stay-at-home-mom. It is a trade she decided long ago she would make and one she looks forward to and welcomes.

When Julie was 15, she had an appointment with her academic counselor to discuss her academic goals and how they could be aligned with her career goals. Based on Julie’s description, this counselor perfectly encapsulated a liberal’s ideal blend of academics and modern feminism. A woman who heroically escaped the traditional and limiting roles of marriage and children so she could dedicate herself to molding the minds of the future and likewise save women from such burdens and misfortune. The counselor asked her the typical questions you would expect in such a situation.

“So, Julie, what interests you? What do you want to be when you grow up?”

While young Julie understood the value of having goals as well as back-up plans she succumbed to her teenage desire to be bold and a bit rebellious.

“I want to have kids and be a mom.”

“But what to you want to do to make money? For your career?”

“I want to be a stay-at-home mom. My husband can work and make money.”

I almost get giddy as I imagine the horror Julie’s response produced within her counselor. Try as she might, teenagers are a stubborn breed, and the counselor was not able to save my future wife from a life looked down upon with disdain by the modern feminist and their session ended in mutual frustration.

While I find this confrontation amusing, I am concerned that modern feminists like Julie’s high school counselor have become more vocal and socially accepted than ever. Women like Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen who last month criticized stay-at-home mother of 5 Ann Romney for expressing concern and opinions on economic issues because she had “never worked a day in her life”. While Hilary Rosen’s comments were publicly denounced by Obama and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, looking deeper reveals that such disdain for traditional family values and stay-at-home moms is a sentiment deeply rooted amongst liberals and that apologies and denouncements were nothing more than political and strategic damage control. Hilary Rosen isn’t someone who snuck her way in front of a camera who’s lack of experience drove her to make such a tactless statement. Quite the opposite. Rosen is a PR expert hired as a communications consultant by the DNC to coach Chairwoman Wasserman (who remember condemned Rosen’s comments) on media appearances. Since Obama has been in office Rosen has visited the White House 35 times, 5 of which she met personally with Obama. Michelle Malkin did a great job detailing the history of stay-at-home-mom vitriol by liberal woman including Hilary Clinton and Teresa Heinz-Kerry showing us that Rosen’s perspective on stay-at-home moms and traditional roles are as welcome and accepted amongst the inner circles of liberal politics as she is.

Modern feminists often disguise their efforts to diminish and devalue the role, significance, and worthiness of motherhood by masking their campaign as an effort to empower women or as concern for their well-being. A recent article, for example, cited a study that shows “stay-at-home moms are more likely to have felt depression, sadness, anger and worry.” My immediate thought is that if the goal is to avoid an increase of those feelings at all costs, why have kids to begin with? That is the increasingly adopted attitude promoted by these enlightened “me”-based studies. I found it telling that this article about motherhood & women seeking purpose mentions nothing of the purpose or fulfillment of motherhood itself.

The article advices stay-at-home-moms who clearly don’t have enough purpose or value in their current role to find a job outside of the home and that “if, for a period of time it’s not in the cards to have a job, find a purpose.” I image a stay-at-home mom holding an infant in her arms with a toddler playing on the floor looking around the room thinking, “where can I find purpose”. Really?! Obviously balance is healthy, but again, the article mentions nothing of the purpose and fulfillment of motherhood itself.

In a truly enlightened article, Julie B. Beck instead focuses on the priceless and irreplaceable (day care, or otherwise) role of mothers who “do not abandon their plan by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting.” Instead of belittling stay-at-home-moms by suggesting they must seek for a real (or more fulfilling) purpose, Beck praises mothers who “are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most.”

Obviously circumstances differ and adjustments and exceptions are sometimes unavoidable. However I share Thomas Sowell’s sentiment (below) that the need for both parents to work is often manufactured for the sake of economics wants and are a reflection of priorities.

One of the biggest excuses for lax parenting is that both parents “have to” work, in order to “make ends meet.” Yet, within living memory, it was common in working-class families – black and white – for the husband to work and the wife to stay home to raise the children. Why didn’t both parents have to work then, in order to make ends meet? Were people so much richer then? On the contrary, they were much poorer. Today’s families living in poverty have things that average Americans could not afford then.

If people in those days had lived the way we live today, of course it would have taken both parents to make ends meet. They would probably have had to put the children to work too. People make choices and have their own priorities – and adults take responsibilities for their choices and priorities. It is a cop-out to say that they are “forced” to have two-income families just “to make ends meet.”

I am eternally grateful for mothers who do their very best to be stay-at-home moms and understand that the role a mother plays in the life of their child cannot be effectively delegated. I pray that moms never forget that their selflessness and sacrifice in motherhood, and the added emotional strain that comes with it, is infinitely more valuable and thus holds greater purpose than any paycheck with a set dollar amount.


Fighting Against Same-Sex Legal Rights will Harm “Traditional Marriage”

November 4, 2009

Recently, I was made aware of Washington state’s Referendum 71 which upholds offering domestic partnerships the same legal rights as marriage. Protect Marriage Washington launched a campaign in opposition to Referendum 71. Some may be surprised to learn that I strongly oppose Protect Marriage Washington and any effort to withhold legal rights to domestic partnerships. As a California resident and someone who was intimately and passionately involved in the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, I feel California best illustrates why I feel this way.

California domestic partners enjoy the same legal rights and obligations as do married spouses through CA Family Code 297.5. This fact was a powerful tool in exposing the lies spread by the gays about “civil rights” and was cited in Yes on 8 commercials.

Following Prop 8’s passage, it was challenged before the same CA Supreme Court that had recently established same-sex marriage. Fortunately, because gay’s had the same legal rights, the arguments made in court had to do with nomenclature and the people’s right to amend their constitution, and not about civil rights for gays…and thus, Prop 8 was upheld by the court. Surely, had the opposition been able to argue that real legal rights were being withheld based on sexual orientation, Prop 8 would’ve lost, and gay “marriage” would’ve been forced upon California. In other words, offering domestic partners the same legal rights ended up saving traditional “marriage”. Should other states face a similar battle over “same-sex marriage” without offering the same legal rights to gay couples, the courts will likely force gay “marriage” as a means to secure those legal rights…so that in the end, gays will successfully redefine “marriage” on top of securing the legal rights.

Due to the fundamental differences between men and women, the balanced environment created by a man and woman committed in marriage, all things being equal, provide the ideal situation in which a child can be raised. However, the reality is that gays do and will always be able to adopt and raise children. Many of the legal rights given in “marriage” are for the benefit and protection of children. Withholding those rights puts children at risk and punishes them for the sexual orientation of their legal guardians.

It must be understood that fighting against giving gays the same legal rights will be viewed by the majority of the public as hateful discrimination. The technique the gays will use will be to give countless examples of the complications and horrors that gays AND THE CHILDREN INVOLVED can and will face without the same legal rights.

Ultimately, judges will have to decide if legal rights can constitutionally (state & federal) be withheld from someone due to their sexual orientation. It doesn’t take a genius or a prophet to foresee that such denial of legal rights will be determined to be discrimination against sexual orientation.

As an American, I’m proud of the fact that we do not tolerate discrimination in extending legal rights and protections. As a defender of traditional marriage and democracy, I am also proud that we are able to decide as a society what values and ideals we recognize and promote, including the definition of “marriage”.

Gay’s ‘Divorce’ Argument May be Damaging to Cause

October 30, 2009

The GLBT community has recently addressed high divorce rates in their continued effort to win over public opinion in favor of same-sex marriage. Their argument is best illustrated through the “2010 California Marriage Protection Act”.

It is apparent that the GLBT community neglected to see how easily their attack on those defending traditional marriage, can actually be quite damaging to their own argument.

When high divorces rates are mentioned by the GLBT community, they do not claim that divorce rates or marriage as an institution would improve with same-sex marriage, but are rather arguing the following:

“Marriage as an institution is already suffering and failing…you might as well just give up on it all together. It’s already so bad, just stop trying to salvage any ‘sanctity’ and abandon any ‘traditional’ ideology that has apparently not worked in preserving marriage.”

It is important to realize that no reasonable person is really trying to outlaw marriage, and no one in their right mind actually believes either side of the debate wants to outlaw divorce. The GLBT community has created the “2010 California Marriage Protection Act” as a satirical means of making the aforementioned argument.

As society has moved away from traditional family values through premarital sex, co-habitation, and no-fault divorce, etc. an increase in divorce rates has followed. This understanding immediately flips the GLBT argument against them. It appears that divorce rates have skyrocketed as a result of moving away from traditional family values.

Another point damaging to the GLBT community’s acknowledgment of high divorce rates is that the vast majority of people recognize that homosexual relationships are less stable and more promiscuous than heterosexual relationships. This fact has been verified with studies and statistics. In Sweden, where the entire nation has had same-sex “registered partnerships” since 1995, a 7-year study shows that lesbian women without children are 3 times (200%) more likely to “divorce” than heterosexual couples. statistics therefore suggest that same-sex marriage would cause a significant increase in divorce rates…and no one would argue that higher divorce rates are a good thing for society.

Some homosexuals suggest the reason for increased “divorce” rates among same-sex couples is because of the stress and hardships gay couples face in society. This argument will likely fail with most heterosexuals who feel that feeling uncomfortable (or at worst not being invited) at the family holiday gatherings pales in comparison with other marital stresses such as a miscarriage (something gays can’t understand 1st-hand), financial challenges, or serious health complications. Rather, the gay community has established a sub-culture that seems to contradict the ideal of monogamy.

As CA’s Prop 8 continues to be challanged and same-sex marriage is being pushed in other states such as Maine, time will tell if the gay’s use of high divorce rates will help, or in fact harm their agenda.


The Gag Room

July 31, 2009

Often I find myself reflecting upon the content of this blog and wishing it was more positive and inspiring. While some may see this website as my own person political soap-box, “Looking Deeper” offers me the opportunity to share my perspective and analysis of significant issues, and to hopefully learn and grown from the responses I get from others with different perspectives and experiences.

Unfortunately, while I find politics and debate significant and interesting…it doesn’t adequately reflect how much beauty and joy I’ve found in this thing we call life. For example, I’ve recently found myself head-over-heals in love for the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met. I may have a sharp tongue and seem aggressive when I get into “debate mode”, but when it comes to the topics of family, marriage, and love…I’m a total softy.

What started as a “Puke / Fan Club” for close friends and family of ours who found themselves nauseous after watching us give each other googly-eyes and call one another Poodle-Pie and Pumpkin-Noodle, eventually led to the establishment of The Gag Room.

The Gag Room is what I am calling my “happy blog” and is a celebration of the blissful and occasionally gag-inducing love found within marriage and family.

I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you all to visit http://www.TheGagRoom.com and to join the Facebook group to see what I feel I feel is even more important than ousting Obama or voting republican over democrat…something a bit less divisive and a bit more inspiring…that is, family and marriage.


“Marewage…wuv, twue wuv.”

November 21, 2008

While trying to keep myself entertained while riding the bus home, I had the random thought of identifying some of the primary reasons I am excited to find that special woman to marry and spend the rest of eternity with. I make it no secret that when it comes to marriage and starting my own family, the idea makes me twitterpated, so it is without reservation I share them.

I originally attempted to put them in “top 10” format, but the last 5 were all so good, I couldn’t possibly put them in ascending order… so don’t read too much into the order in which they are listed.

  • Someon to put my arm around (and on occasion, recieve a back scratch) at church.
  • Neck massages and hot chocolate from a thermos after surfing.
  • Someone to sing to Jack Johnson with in the car (as well as other songs in other places).
  • Dinner… anything is better than cold cereal and mac & cheese.
  • Someone who will always be there for me.
  • Sex is awesome… so I’m told.
  • 4-5 little Garrett Jr.’s.
  • Someone to spoil with love and adoration, and to receive the same in return.
  • Someone to inspire me and help me become a better person.
  • A best friend to talk to and laugh with.

I’d love to hear either what you look forward to, or currently enjoy, in marriage.


A New Kind of Family?

August 25, 2008

While watching some TV, I couldn’t help but contemplate about ABC Family’s tag line, “A New Kind of Family”. What kind of changes are we seeing among American families and what are the implications of this “new” family upon the future of our nation and society?

A new ABC Family sitcom entitled “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” (while I have only seen the previews) seems to glorify the experience of an impregnated high school girl. By “glorify” I mean, using empathy to lead viewers to view such a situation as an acceptable norm, or at lease turn a serious and alarming issue into an entertaining one. But the issue is much larger than this one TV show. To me, the apparent shift to “a new kind of family”…one that abandons and mocks traditional family values…is of much greater concern.

Currently, the battle over homosexual marriage is the most obvious representation of this “shift”, attracting the attention and voices of the media and citizens across the nation. While similar legislative movements exist in Arizona and Florida, as a citizen of California, I will focus on Proposition 8…which proposes to overturn the decision of 4 of 7 California Supreme Court State Justices to make homosexual marriage legal…completely ignoring the voices of 61% of California voters who passed Proposition 22 in 2000.

Before I start, may I be completely clear…this is not a religious issue. No on 8 advocates, along with many in the media, pigeon-hole all those in favor of prop 8 as right-winged religious fanatics…playing on the image of an angry looking and hateful bible-basher holding a large sign that says “God hates fags”. Not many know that the majority opinion author Chief Justice Ronald M. George is a republican family man, while one of the 3 dissenting judges was lesbian Chief Justice Coral Corrigan. I have personally criticised supporters of prop 8 who can’t seem to get out of their little christian bubble where the bible is the end-all authority on the issue…instead of recognizing the many valid secular reasons all concerned citizens, christian or not, can rally behind. While people often vote their conscious and their morals, which may be tied to a religious belief, the words “bible” or “God” need not be included in the debate.

That said, the best secular and cultural reasons in favor of keeping marriage between a man and a woman were clearly articulated in an article issued by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Yes, its a church…get over it. It is possible for valid secular arguments to be raised by a religious organization. So as some of my readers may need to be reminded, while biases always exist, address the argument and not the source.

The article reads:

“Strong families serve as the fundamental institution for transmitting to future generations the moral strengths, traditions, and values that sustain civilization….Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself. Hence, regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared. A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people who may share a residence or social tie, but rather in order to preserve, protect, and defend the all-important institutions of marriage and family.”

This highlights a fundamental difference between the arguments being offered by either side of the debate. Those in favor of homo-sexual marriage argue its an issue of rights and being viewed as equals in the form of having their love “legally sanctioned” as it is for hetero-sexual couples. But who ever suggested the government was in the business of legally sanctioning love? As if the benefits and tax-rights offered to married couples (most, if not all, are provided for through civil unions) are the government’s way of celebrating and rewarding those who are in love. Those fighting to protect traditional marriage choose to focus on what is best for the up-bringing of children, and thus the future of our nation and society, than on adult desires. Indeed, its not about being mean and discriminating against those with different lifestyles of our own, but about what the government should do to respect and recognize what is best for the up-bringing of children. Just because a group of people shouts “we want” or “we deserve” doesn’t mean we should overlook or ignore the silent voices of children and what they deserve. I have yet to hear the pro-homosexual marriage side argue that having two mommies or two daddies are better than or even equivalent to hetero-sexual parents in regards to child development. This is likely because they know this is an argument they can’t win…standing against the majority of sociologists, psychologists, and other child development experts and professionals.

As the LDS articles states:

“Extensive studies have shown that in general a husband and wife united in a loving, committed marriage provide the optimal environment for children to be protected, nurtured, and raised. [6] This is not only because of the substantial personal resources that two parents can bring to bear on raising a child, but because of the differing strengths that a father and a mother, by virtue of their gender, bring to the task. As the prominent sociologist David Popenoe has said:

The burden of social science evidence supports the idea that gender differentiated parenting is important for human development and that the contribution of fathers to childrearing is unique and irreplaceable. [7]

Popenoe explained that:

. . . The complementarity of male and female parenting styles is striking and of enormous importance to a child’s overall development. It is sometimes said that fathers express more concern for the child’s longer-term development, while mothers focus on the child’s immediate well-being (which, of course, in its own way has everything to do with a child’s long-term well-being). What is clear is that children have dual needs that must be met: one for independence and the other for relatedness, one for challenge and the other for support.”

Obviously we cannot completely eliminate non-ideal situations. Divorce and other unfortunate scenarios will always arise. And yes, I recognize that not all hetero-sexual married couples will raise children…or that if they do, that they will all be good parents. However, this does not change the fact that the purpose of the government recognizing marriage is to provide for what we, the people, feel is best for children and society.

Opponents to proposition 8 have also used “separation from church and state” to suggest that legally recognizing homo-sexual marriage won’t negatively effect any religious organization and how they practice marriage and live their own morals. This is an outright lie, as made obvious by existing case studies.

As reported in the Boston Globe, the catholic church was forced out of providing adoption services because adopting children to homo-sexual couples disagrees with their religious views.

This conflict also reaches individuals who wish to follow their personal moral compass in how they run their business. As reported by the LA Times, Dr. Christine Brody was successfully sued by a lesbian woman for refusing to artificially inseminate her. Due to the California supreme courts decision, what used to be exercising your right to live what you believe and what you feel is morally correct, now legally condemns individuals, businesses, and churches as being discriminatory…and thus, illegal. While I do not claim to be a legal expert, it seems obvious to me that churches will be forced to either perform homosexual marriages or loose their tax-exempt status…or even worse…further down the line, be denied to right of have their marriages recognized by the government.

Another easy answer to opponent’s “how would this affect you?” question is that public school teachers, legally obligated (Education Code §51890) to teach about marriage, would be forced to teach that there is no difference between hetero-sexual and bi-sexual marriage. Prop 8 supporters feel that parents should have the right to teach (one way or another) this issue to their children without having the government indoctrinating their children.

In short…No on 8 is about what adults want and feel is their right and about the government legally sanctioning love, and Yes on 8 is about what is best for children and the future of society….backed by numerous studies and experts, regardless of the fact they are painted to look mean and heartless and against what’s politically correct. If that is what it takes to protect children and traditional family values…than so be it. I would personally feel more embarrassed to selfishly turn a blind eye to what is best for children…but that’s just me.

Those who agree with my comments can visit the campaign website or my “Protect California Marriage” Facebook group.