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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Never forget

It was one of those defining moments.  Like millions of other people, I will always remember where I was when I heard that the first plane had hit the World Trade Center.  I was at work and had my radio on when I heard.  Then the second plane hit and there was no doubt that this was no accident.  I worked for a law firm at the time; on the 14th floor of a high-rise in downtown Orlando.  Our law firm took up several floors of the building, but ours was the only floor with a conference room with a TV and cable.  Suddenly we had 50+ people crammed into this conference room watching the events unfold on TV.  We watched as another plane hit the Pentagon and again as heroes took over the last of the hi-jacked planes and went down in Pennsylvania.   We watched in horror as people trapped in the World Trade Centers jumped to their death in desperation.  We watched in stunned silence as one tower fell and then the other.

Not knowing what might happen next, they sent us all home for the day.  I didn’t have cable at the time so on my way home I stopped and bought an antenna for my TV.  I watched every second of coverage I could.  Every year there are countless TV documentaries and 9/11 specials. Every year I watch as many as I can.  I do this because I think it’s important that we remember what happened that day.  It’s not easy footage to watch, but that’s also what makes it so important.

The world as we knew it changed that day.  My son has never known a world in which the World Trade Centers stood tall and proud.  His world is not defined by before 9/11 and after 9/11.  It’s imperative that we watch the footage and that our children watch the footage.  We must teach them why this day is so important in our history.  However, we must also teach them compassion, not hate.  It’s so easy to speak hatefully of the men that did this and for those specific people who propagated these attacks, hate them if you want to.  Don’t, however, hate an entire religion based on the actions of a few.  Don’t teach your children to hate an entire religion or group of people because of the actions of a few.  The events  on 9/11 were horrific and should never be forgotten.  They forever changed the way we view our world.  If we let hate and fear take over, we’ve accomplished nothing and given those who murdered just under 3000 people all the power.  Don’t give them that power.  They don’t deserve it.

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I try not to talk about politics on this blog too much. However, sometimes I’ll come across an article that just makes my blood boil and I can’t help myself. Today is one of those days. I read this article about Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum saying that he doesn’t think gay people should be allowed to foster or adopt children.  Shouldn’t the most important thing in selecting foster and adoptive parents be a loving and stable environment? 

“I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children,” McCollum said.

He’s saying that merely being gay somehow precludes someone from being a good parent.  I say bullshit.  If you’re going to purport that the only environment in which children should be raised is a heterosexual one, then why stop with gays?  Why not ban foster care and adoptions by single people, gay or straight? 

The 2000 U.S. Census also showed that there are approximately 600,000 gay and lesbian families, and that they live in 99.3% of all U.S. counties.  These families are like their straight family counterparts.  They drive their children to school, they carpool to after school activities.  They help them with their homework.  They have play dates and birthday parties.  They love their children.  Love knows no race, gender, or sexual orientation. 

Florida has the distinction of being the only state in the country that has an outright ban on adopting to homosexual parents.  The few brave couples in Florida who have challenged this ban and tried to adopt their foster children have had their families threatened to be torn apart by the state.  Again, isn’t this supposed to be about the children?  How can ripping them away from loving parents and siblings be a good thing?  It’s better to bounce around from foster home to foster home rather than be adopted by loving gay parents?  How many of those children were taken away from straight “traditional” family homes in the first place? 

McCollum is right about one thing.  He says it’s inconsistent that the foster care law reads one way and the adoption law reads a different way.  He’s right, it is incosistent.  A gay couple can foster a child for years, but then not be allowed to adopt that same child.  I contend that the correct thing to do is not change the foster policies, but lift the ban on gay adoption.  It is, after all, supposed to be about the children, not the politics.

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