Monday, March 27, 2006

Let's Just Have a Big Book Burning And Get It All Over With

During the late 1990's, in the New York Central Park Zoo, two male penguins who were a "little bit different"--meaning they built a nest and tried to hatch a rock together--were given an abandoned egg to nurture.

Adoption isn't an unusual occurrence in the animal world, and male penguins incubating eggs and taking care of offspring certainly isn't a strange phenomenon either.

Adelie penguin pairs take turns incubating, and take turns feeding and guarding for predators. Gentoo and Pinstrap penguins have similar breeding habits.

The male Emperor Penguin, on the other hand, takes over all incubating duties and warms the single egg between his feet and his belly for around 2 months. Now THAT'S a daddy!

Authors Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson wrote a book about the New York city penguin adoption called And Tango Makes Three.

Predictably, two libraries (both in
Missouri) pulled the book from the children's section and put it in the "non-fiction" section, because some parents were "concerned" that the book "has homosexual undertones" and as an obvious correlation, promotes "homosexual adoption".

Before I go on, I need to put something out here first and foremost.

In my opinion, there is so much soul-eating malignant hate in this world---cultural, racial, religious, etc---that I sure as hell don't have the time or inclination to get my panties in a twist over who people love.

It's my belief, and the belief of many, that we are all God's children, and He has plans for each and every one of us.

That said--the uber-religious-right believes that homosexuality is a human choice, and not a biological trait some are born with or something that God planned.

So I wonder...if that's true, why worry about gay penguins? If homosexuality is a conscious choice, do we really believe that same-sex animals are checking each other out and saying "hmmm...I want to get me some of this!"?

Why not reasonably surmise that this instinctual nesting and adoption behavior in penguins is hard-wired into them for the survival of their species?

Ok, yes, once when I was a kid, we had an aggressive Lhasa Apso that we thought was gay, because he tried to hump every dog he came in contact with and once climbed up and humped my brother's head while he was taking a nap on the couch. We later learned that it was an alpha dog thing, kind of a dog version of a Napoleon Complex. The goal wasn't sex, it was domination.

This whole mess also makes me wonder how many of these "concerned" parents park their kids in front of Sesame Street each day.

I mean seriously. Bert and Ernie are 3 years shy of their 40th anniversary together--
which is longer than most marriages have lasted nowadays.

Anyone who hasn't considered that maybe the Rubber Duckie has "two daddies" needs to pull their head out of their butts.

As far as the worry about "gay adoption" goes, as an adoptee, these are my sincere thoughts:

According to the Evan B.Donaldson Institute, which is widely considered to be the leader in adoption statistics and information, in 1999 (the latest year stats were available), there were about 127,000 kids in the foster system free for adoption.

In some states, like Florida, they don't care if gays are foster parents, but God Forbid! they should be allowed to adopt the kids they are raising.

The uber-religious-right talks a good talk. I even grant that they are sincere in their beliefs.

But if they are so intent on banning gays from adopting (ala the recent Catholic Charities decision to end their adoption services rather than place a child who has special needs in a loving home with parents who might be--gasp--queer!), then they better be willing to open their homes and provide loving and safe "forever families" for every single one of those available kids who are languishing in foster care.

Because it's all about the children. Right?

Why am I not convinced?


debbiecakes said...

Major head nodding over here along with a "Whoop-whoop!" and an "Amen to THAT!"

Thanks for the dog story, too. The "humped my brother's head while he was taking a nap" was totally unexpected and kicked me in the ass. I never laughed so hard this early in the morning.

I have a feeling I'm going to be at market today full of giggles. I've got the above mentioned bit and I know I'm going bust my gut trying to hold it in down the frozen food aisle for fear of near-food-farting-bandits!

Charlie said...

Mom, Mom, Mom. You should know better than to upset me before I've finished my breakfast of Lucky Charms and frozen Pop-Tarts.

You failed to mention that Rev. Dr. Dobson said SpongeBob and Patrick are gay because they hold hands. I believe that some on the ultra-right have dirty minds: what normal person would ever thunk a thing?

Gay men are often equated to be child molesters. No hard proof, of course, but just another nail in the gay-bashing coffin.

Our veterinarians are a lesbian couple--two of the kindest women ever. They truly love animals, and the children who come in with their sick pets.

And banning books. Each year, the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver does a big display of banned books in schools. It's quite sickening. Huckleberry Finn for one, because of the word "nigger". I could go on . . .

Finally, I am POSITIVE that all children placed in hetero families are perfectly parented because the parents are hetero. Right? Am I correct?

Attila The Mom said...

"Mom, Mom, Mom. You should know better than to upset me before I've finished my breakfast of Lucky Charms and frozen Pop-Tarts."

Holy crap! Are you hiding upstairs in my kitchen?

Weirdo verification word for the day: futgk

Attila The Mom said...

"I've got the above mentioned bit and I know I'm going bust my gut trying to hold it in down the frozen food aisle for fear of near-food-farting-bandits!"

Aww Debbie, now you got me started. We've got a big shopping day ahead of us and now I'm going to be paranoid!

Meg said...

Very thought-provoking essay. Uber religious people really irk me sometimes. And my mother wonders why I am so reluctant to go to church sometimes. It's just bashing after bashing after bashing.
As for the banned books thing I think that's absolutely retarded. Our local library makes a display every year of banned books: How to Eat Fried Worms, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, A Wrinkle in Time, Carrie.
Isn't that included in the free speech ammendment?

Rhonda said...

Predictably, two libraries (both in
Missouri) pulled the book from the children's section and put it in the "non-fiction" section

And yet another thing to add to my Top Fifty Reasons I Hate Missouri.

Fabulous article.

Mystery Word: ezbtt

Kippa Herring said...

"Adoption isn't an unusual occurance in the animal world". Indeed. See here, from Darwin's "Descent of Man" :

"One female baboon has so capacious a heart that she not only adopted young monkeys from other species, but stole young dogs and cats, which she continually carried about . . . An adopted kitten scratched this affectionate baboon, who certainly had a fine intellect, for she was much astonished at being scratched, and immediately examined the
kitten's feet, and without more ado bit off the claws." (Oh dear! Those adoptive mothers!!!)

"Why am I not convinced?"
How 'bout because the argument, especially coming from these prurient-minded hypocritical fuck-ups, is just so totally unconvincing?
I know a guy raised by lesbian parents in the 70's. He's just fine, thank you very much. I also know gay couples who are raising children, and I can't imagine many better homes to grow up in than theirs.

Sven said...

Too much to say in a comment so let me be brief:

Penguins = Good

Adoption = Good

Gay Rights = Good

Book Burning = Not good

Humping Dogs = Funny, but ultimately, not good

Assholes hijacking my faith for their own self-serving purpose = Not good

This post = Very good!

St Jude said...

As the patron saint of lost causes, what can I say. And man created God in who's image?

Special K said...

I love how these people always seem to miss the common-sense point that all homosexuals are the product of perfectly regular heterosexual unions. Who's responsible for 'turning' them gay?

And don't even get me started on how none of them seem to realize pedophilia is almost strictly the prerogative of heterosexual men.

Dr Dobson can suck a fattie. Fairy's choice, of course.

Mia said...

I'm surprised good ole' Pat Robertson hasn't joined his buddy Dobson on the Penguin bashing bandwagon! Or has he? It's not like I caught the 700 Club this morning or anything.
How these people have ANY credibility with otherwise bright human beings is beyond me. If I didn't know better I would think they pulled their audience from the freaking zoo. NOT the gay penguin zoo of course. That would be wrong.

OneEar said...


You asked me to post a comment if there are any problems.

In fact, there are many problems, so I hereby post my comment.

Attila The Mom said...

Ha! Is it Sunday again already? LOL

OneEar said...

I forgot to mention that I am anti-child molestation. The other stuff is ok by me. I think book burning develops a healthy hunger for literature. My son only eats his vegetables when we insist that he not.

Attila The Mom said...

Would that still work if you asked him not to eat his underpants?

OneEar said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll let you know if it works.

mommy on the verge said...

*HEAVY SIGH*, now, I am going to make sure our local library or school does no such thing. People need to just get a life.

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?