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Washington Post And Readers Seize Opportunity to Show Their Colors

A Washington Post headline, on March 3, 2011, read “Frederick official’s comment that a woman’s place is in the home creates uproar.” I read the article, and some of the hundreds of comments on the article. What I found, and what I did not find, was very interesting. What I found was a lot of name calling (“hate speech” as the left likes to call it) directed towards Frederick County Commissioners Paul Smith and Kirby Delauter. But what I did not find was the quote from the Frederick officials where they said a woman’s place is in the home, nor exactly what Smith and Delauter said to set off the so-called controversy.

According to the Post, Mr. Smith “told a TV station and intimated at a public hearing before voting to slash half the funding for the county’s Head Start program, [that] a woman’s place is in the home” (emphasis added). So in stead of relying what what a Washington Post reporter thinks Mr. Smith implied, I decided to see what he told the TV station and I also dug up the transcript from the public hearing on Head Start to read exactly what Smith and Delauter said that started this uproar. I hope you find this as enlightening as I did.

Public Hearing on Head Start

According to the Frederick News Post, this is what Paul Smith said in a February 8, 2011 Commissioner’s meeting:

“I am very sensitive to the importance of the 3- and 4-year-old age for children … and there’s no question that our community needs to continue to be committed in this area and watch out for and help the families. I think it’s … very significant that we did make this … marriage week announcement today because that is the best long-term … way to help our children, as marriage is strengthened in our community … because, I mean, I know — as many of you know — I had a lot of kids … and my wife stayed home — a significant sacrifice — during those early years, because she knew she had to be with those kids at that critical age, and I know everybody isn’t able to survive doing that, but clearly … as we can strengthen marriage we can decrease the children that we [the governement] have to reach, and I think the best approach … ultimately, will be through the private sector, churches.”

Mr. Smith went on to talk about the electoral mandate from the fall of 2010 to get spending under control and to not raise taxes. He further talked about the need for the public to wean themselves from entitlement programs like Head Start and the need for families, churches, and the private sector to step up in their place. Read the full transcript from Feb. 8 Commissioner’s meeting on the Frederick News Post website. Mr. Delauter  agreed with Mr. Smith and added:

“I do think the private sector’s got to take up some of the slack. We … ran on the platform like Commissioner Smith said: no new taxes, no tax increases. That was a mandate. … We’ve been very clear that we take that seriously. Again, my wife, college-educated, could go out and get a very good job. She gave that up for 18 years so she could stay home with our kids. We gave up a lot to do that. … I agree again with Commissioner Smith: The marriage thing is very important. I mean, the education of your kids starts at home, OK. I never relied on anyone else to guarantee the education of my kids. … So, again, the (Head Start) program’s not going away. Will it be affected? That’s possible. Will the quality be affected? That’s possible, but with the budget that we’ve been dealt — and we knew that coming in; that’s what we ran on; that’s what we talked about all through the campaign — but the cards we’ve been dealt — we have to deal with that, and raising taxes on people that don’t have work is not an option. So we’ve got to start living more within our means.”

Nothing from Smith and Delauter’s seems as incendiary as The Washington Post makes it out to seem. And in fact, the bulk of Smith and Delauter’s comments were regarding fiscal responsibility, rather than women’s, mother’s, and family responsibilities. One thing is clear though, contrary to the Post’s assertion, Mr. Smith never said a woman’s place is in the home. According to ABC 7 News in the Washington D.C. area, Mr. Smith did say that a mother’s primary responsibility is the care and nurture of her children (see ABC 7’s video: Comments spark vigil in Frederick.) But, perhaps this distinction between a woman’s role and a mother’s role will do little to appease Mr. Smith’s detractors.

More Common Ground Than You Think

Few people would disagree that stronger marriages and families is one of the best thing we can do for children. Few people would disagree that a mother of small children has as her first and primary responsibility to care for those kids and provide the best home life possible. And I hope there would not be many people that would argue with the premise that a child’s mother, without discounting the role of the father, is the ideal person to provide that love, nurture, and education early in life. Of course that ideal will not always be achieved, due to various circumstances in life, but just because the ideal cannot always be achieved doesn’t change the fact that it is ideal.

Washington Post and Readers Show Their True Colors

Of course, rather than focusing on this common ground, the Washington Post and ABC 7, for the sake of sensational news and perhaps due to other motives, have portrayed the comments of Mr. Smith and Mr. Delauter as incendiary and provocative. Instead of quoting Mr. Smith and giving the story proper context, the Washington Post intimates and implies things that aren’t true in order to satisfy their own agenda, which appears to be to portray Republicans and Christians as backwards and evil.

Well, based on the comments of the Washington Post readership (below), to a large extent, they have succeeded. But in the process, the Post and their friends on the liberal left, have shown their true colors. They are deceptive, mean-spirited, and intolerant of other people’s views. Here is a sampling of the things Washington Post readers are saying about Smith and Delauter. They…

  • Want women to be “household slaves”
  • Want “Sharia Law in the USA”
  • Are “like the Taliban”
  • “Should be put into a home”
  • “Pretend to be pro-family”
  • Are “anti-education”
  • Want a “theocracy like Iran”
  • Are “un-Christian”
  • “Never had to struggle for anything”
  • Should “leave the religion at home”
  • “Don’t belong holding public office”
  • Are “trashy”, “stupid”, “Rednecks”, “idiots”, “Crackpots”, “schmucks”, “morons”, “religious nutcakes”, “fools”, “religious extremists”, and “ignorant.”

All this comes from the kind-hearted, always tolerant left-wing liberals in this country. Perhaps with this additional light shed on subject, those people will reach out and apologize to Mr. Smith and Mr. Delauter. But I’m not holding my breath.

Protect The Divine Institution of Marriage: Yes on CA Prop 8

You will notice in the right hand column of my blog is a “Yes on California Proposition 8” widget. My reasons for supporting this constitutional amendment are both religious and political in nature. From a political perspective, please see my blog post from March 2007 entitled Why I Oppose Gay Marriage: Politically. From a religious perspective, which encompasses the current, future and eternal happiness of men, women and children, I’m sure I could not articulate the position better than in the LDS Church’s official statement on The Divine Institution of Marriage. This is a lengthy document, though, and I would like to highlight some of the more salient parts:

“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.”

“Strong families serve as the fundamental institution for transmitting to future generations the moral strengths, traditions, and values that sustain civilization.”

“A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people…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.”

“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.”

“The complementarity of male and female parenting styles is striking and of enormous importance to a child’s overall development.”

“Gender differences increasingly are dismissed as trivial, irrelevant, or transient, thus undermining God’s purpose in creating both men and women.”

If Proposition 8 is passed, “The institution of marriage will be weakened, resulting in negative consequences for both adults and children. ”

The Church wishes to sustain and defend “the crucial role that traditional marriage has played and must continue to play in American society if children and families are to be protected and moral values propagated.”

“Because this question strikes at the very heart of the family, because it is one of the great moral issues of our time, and because it has the potential for great impact upon the family, the Church is speaking out on this issue, and asking members to get involved.”

“Tolerance as a gospel principle means love and forgiveness of one another, not ‘tolerating’ transgression.”

“Jesus taught that we love and care for one another without condoning transgression.”

“Jesus loved the sinner even while decrying the sin, as evidenced in the case of the woman taken in adultery: treating her kindly, but exhorting her to ‘sin no more.'”

“We can express genuine love and friendship for the homosexual family member or friend without accepting the practice of homosexuality or any re-definition of marriage.”

“Certain states already are challenging the long-held right of religious adoption agencies to follow their religious beliefs and only place children in homes with both a mother and a father. As a result, Catholic Charities in Boston has stopped offering adoption services.”

“Accrediting organizations in some instances are asserting pressure on religious schools and universities to provide married housing for same-sex couples.”

“If same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, there will be substantial conflicts with religious freedom. And in some important areas, religious freedom may be diminished.”

“The experience of the few European countries that already have legalized same-sex marriage suggests that any dilution of the traditional definition of marriage will further erode the already weakened stability of marriages and family generally.”

“Marriage is fundamentally an unselfish act: legally protected because only a male and female together can create new life, and because the rearing of children requires a life-long commitment, which marriage is intended to provide.”

“Societal recognition of same-sex marriage cannot be justified simply on the grounds that it provides self-fulfillment to its partners, for it is not the purpose of government to provide legal protection to every possible way in which individuals may pursue fulfillment.”

“When the state says that same-sex unions are equivalent to heterosexual marriages, the curriculum of public schools will have to support this claim…These developments will create serious clashes between the agenda of the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children traditional standards of morality.”

“The walls of a home provide a defense against detrimental social influences and the
sometimes overreaching powers of government…The consequences of crossing this line are many and unpredictable, but likely would include an increase in the power and reach of the state toward whatever ends it seeks to pursue.”

“We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” from The Family:A Proclamation to the World