Monday, April 17, 2006

Love, compassion, and politics

Although this was started as a diary of our preganancy for ourselves, strangers, and Baby Boy Bradstein (3B), it has sprawled, digressed, and developed over time, much as 3B will as he grows up.

I've found that people are most often compelled to discuss the more controversial issues that I write about, even if they don't disagree with me. Not that all four readers don't read the other pieces, but there are more comments and emails about the contentious issue posts than the others--except Mama's sweet email post about 3B moving around, which everyone loves.

(People always think that I'm using an old cliche when I say that Mama is the better half, but she really is. People don't believe it until they meet her. Then they pull me aside, as a coworker did this morning, after meeting Mama at Easter dinner last night, and say, "Mama's awesome. She's just so cool. I love her. I love hanging out with her and talking with her." All I can say is, "Yes," although I often want to tack on an "I told you so." Her post is just additional proof of Mama's innate and overwhelming goodness.)

I write about these issues not because they're controversial--they're not controversial to me, since I'm clear in my own mind about my position on these issues--but because they reflect the world that we're handing 3B as his inheritance, and because they reflect my view of that world.

Sometimes the news about these issues is heartening and encourages me that the society we bequeath to 3B will reflect the values that Mama and I hold as a family--such as the high value we place on the bonds of loving families, regardless or color, culture, religion, or gender. Sometimes the same day's newspaper brings less encouraging news; for example, it's still possible for an ignorant hate monger to be elected--and reelected--to high office in this country.

While I find it hard to believe that there are teachers who would vote for a man who wrote

"It's amazing that so many kids turn out to be fairly normal, considering the weird socialization they get in public schools."
. . . or that there are women--working or not--who would vote for someone who wrote

"For some parents, the purported need to provide things for their children simply provides a convenient rationalization for pursuing a gratifying career outside the home. Many women . . . find it easier, more 'professionally' gratifying, and certainly more socially affirming, to work outside the home. . . . Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism."

. . .the news tells me that both have happened, and will likely happen again. And that's part of the message to 3B too--most days bring both good and bad news; how you define which items are good or bad depends on your beliefs; and how you respond defines who you are.

As part of this diary that I'm creating for 3B, I want him to know, no matter what he chooses to believe, what our beliefs are. One of our beliefs is in love and compassion, even for hate mongers, whose names have such a foul meaning.

Of course, we also believe in the political process, which we hope will lead to the defeat of the haters who hold beliefs that are antithetical to ours, such as the hate monger's statment that
"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. All of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family. And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution."
Yeah, never mind the Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The political process is not easy or clear, and it's often too slow for our liking, but that makes it like much of the rest of life. It's still better than making these determinations by lining up on the opposite sides of a beautiful field and blasting muskets at one another until someone cries "Uncle."

As we discuss love, compassion, and politics in the sprawling, digressive, development of this blog, I'm glad that 3B will be able to see that he lives in a community that shares his parents' values. I'm certainly glad to see that Mama and I live in that community. It helps me get through the newspaper without gnashing my teeth, some days.


  1. Anonymous4:54 AM

    Dont take my guns dont raise my taxes, and the king is a happy fat man.

    TCB to Baby2B

  2. Should we send lawyers, guns, and money? Is your sh!t f@cked up?

  3. Anonymous5:14 AM

    This line is not secure!!!! AHHH 2 am in vegas when do we get to bring 3B to Sin City?