Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Not a new idea, but...

NPR's Morning Edition reported this morning that a group of Catholic-school parents have objected to the enrollment of a pair of twins, because their parents are gay. The group is concerned that the children will be used as "pawns" to obtain greater acceptance from the Church for homosexuality. Never mind that they are children, or that they aren't necessarily gay themselves-- (why do those people so easily forget that there are innocent children involved in these stupid power struggles? How do they convince themselves it's ok to reject children on the grounds of these trumped-up "concerns?") I grumped around my bedroom about it, but didn't have time to write anything before work.

Then I read Laura Miller's article on Salon:Books about Witch Hunts in early Europe and America. Yes, I know that linking these two stories is a huge cliché. But the article cites local records of trials from the Witch craze on both continents, in which there is evidence to support the idea that the accusations weren't driven by weird happenings, or even by a Church trying to eradicate pagan practices or to subjugate women. The new scholarly work Miller cites illuminates a different motivation: The discomfort created among the neighbors when someone refuses to conform, and the need to blame.

I don't know any of the parents from that California school. But I've been around enough PTA meetings to know how easily "Can you imagine having to put one of Them on a committee?" becomes "This is a plot to undermine our values!"

Clichés happen for a reason, after all.

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