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Bauman on "Heather Has Two Mommies."

Michael Bauman's comments under my previous blog entry reminded me of the excellent piece he wrote several years ago about the children's book, Heather Has Two Mommies. You can find his essay here. With his permission (which he gave to me several weeks ago), I republish it below:

Heather has Two Mommies by Michael Bauman

I just finished reading Heather Has Two Mommies, approved for grade school use by New York City public schools and by Joe Fernandez, their Chancellor. The plot is simple: Two lesbian lovers decide to have a child by artificial insemination. That child is Heather. Complications result.

You know, of course, that it's a lie.

Heather doesn't really have two mommies; she's got only one. The other lady is just the woman mommy has sex with. Having sex with mommy doesn't make you a mommy. Otherwise, what would daddy be?

But daddy is the one person missing from this book. And not daddy only. No adult male appears in its pages. Not one adult male is even named. The closest this book gets to identifying any adult male is in passing references like those to Stacy's two daddies. (Yes, two.) Heather, you see, lives in a man-free zone, a gender-cleansed ghetto built and patrolled by feminazis.

This book is proof that Jim Crow has come back to school. But whereas the signs over doors, water fountains and restrooms used to read "whites only," they now say "women only." Men need not apply, especially daddy.

Even that's not quite accurate. The signs in Heather's world don't say "women only." They say "lesbian, peacenik, women only." One of Heather's female caretakers wears a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "No Nukes." I wonder what the mindless secularists of the radical left would say if Joe Fernandez and his New York schools approved a book about Henry, a midwestern boy of 8, whose churchgoing parents displayed full color, autographed pictures of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater on their walls and who wore T-shirts that said "Peace through Strength" or "Impeach Clinton," two ideas whose time has come?

It never occurs to Joe Fernandez and his publicly-funded leftist indoctrinators that they work at odds with their own principles. They approve such books because they value tolerance. But tolerance is the one ingredient missing from New York schools. While New York teachers may read Heather Has Two Mommies to their young students, they may not read the Sermon on the Mount or the Gospel of John.

School board policies like this are fascist decrees that impose upon their young victims the fallacious and destructive notion of moral equivalence. They enforce the idea that, regardless of their makeup and conduct, all families are created equal, which is cultural heresy. If you disagree with such decrees, you will not be tolerated. Only the tolerant -- only those who capitulate to the prevailing moral relativism of the educational establishment -- are tolerated.

But to tolerate only the tolerant is to tolerate only those who are like you, which is bigotry. Did you think I was joking about Jim Crow?

Orthodox Christians and other cultural conservatives, it seems to me, ought to fight back, and I do mean fight. If we do not, we squander the patrimony of freedom, of redemption and of hope left us by the towering figures of the past, those amazing men and women who created the world of liberating and enduring ideas into which we were fortunate enough to be born. We no longer have the luxury of standing at the edge of culture, trying to fine tune it on the margins. We must face the hard and demanding fact that to be an innocent bystander is impossible. In the face of impending disaster, if you are a bystander, you are not innocent.

Everyone who believes that our culture itself hangs in the balance ought to make it a personal quest or crusade to become expert on at least one issue of moral or social significance, whether abortion, education, racism, euthanasia, reverse discrimination, welfarism, relativism or what not. Whatever the issue, whenever it arises in print, in conversation, or in broadcast, you must make it your aim to expose error whenever you find it and to push back the frontiers of evil wherever they are. You must give no quarter to depravity or illusion. You must speak plainly and accurately. In the letters you write to editors and to congressmen, in the calls you make to radio and television talk shows, in the discussions you have with family, friends and neighbors, you must learn to call things by their real names. You must remember that truthful, well reasoned, withering critique is to public discourse what justice is to law -- a way of giving things what they deserve.

We have dragons to slay. We must do to ignorance and moral corruption what the radical left dishonestly says we are doing to the rain forests -- slash and burn. Like Isaiah of old, we must stand in the public square and proclaim with a clear voice and irrefutable reason the prophetic message that, as long as we have strength and breath to combat them, ignorance and vice shall never stand unopposed. We must do so even if we stand alone, for if we announce the truth long enough, loud enough, well enough and courageously enough, we shall not remain solitary voices crying in the wilderness.

The enemies of traditional values want you to be quiet. They want you to be nice, to sit quietly in the corner of the room, hands folded and mouth shut. They want the friends of beauty, truth and goodness to speak only when spoken to and to speak only those things that offend no one. That they have offended you does not matter. They want you to stick to the script. They want you to keep your views to yourself and to act as if your views were not true, indeed as if there were no truth.

Nice has its proper place. But nice out of its proper place is not nice. It's evil.

Resist.

Mary Cummins, a 70-year-old Roman Catholic grandmother from Queens resisted. That's why Joe Fernandez is out of a job.

And if you think Heather Has Two Mommies is bad, wait until you read another book approved by the New York Schools: Daddy's Roommate.

Comments (16)

So, Dr. Bauman, Dr. Beckwith:

Everyone who believes that our culture itself hangs in the balance ought to make it a personal quest or crusade to become expert on at least one issue of moral or social significance, whether abortion, education, racism, euthanasia, reverse discrimination, welfarism, relativism or what not.

The question is how? I do not have a master's or a doctorate (I'm working on a JD) and I very much doubt there are institutions out there willing to arm me for the crusade. You both teach at Christian colleges/universities, but do they offer Abortion as degrees? (Not mentioning the fact that my wife probably wouldn't let me).

I'm not trying to be facetious. I read this blog regularly to learn and sharpen my arguments. The most recent post on SSM has been amazingly beneficial -- but I can't claim the status of "expert" from reading WWtW.

Can you suggest reading lists? Can we say, after having read and understood the arguments of the best and the brightest, "Now I am an expert?" I'm all for jousting in the public square, but I don't know how to fashion a lance (or a shield, for that matter).

I've recently been arguing with a very dear friend of mine; the topic: lesser of two evils, abortion v. unjust war. I'm worried that she's falling into the heresy of pacifism, where reason is abandoned for peace, but I don't feel like I'm giving a firm enough defense. I don't expect to argue her to my way of thinking, but I don't feel as though what I'm presenting is good enough. I want to feel secure that I have done my part, irrespective of the outcome I see.

Sorry, that's a lot of questions and my prose is marred by frustration. But there you have it.

Steve, it's my own opinion (Frank and Michael may have different ideas) that on these issues being well-informed is far more important than having a credential. For example, you do not need a higher degree to know that Heather does not have two mommies (as Michael well puts it), that her having "two mommies" is a social fiction. These things are evident by ordinary reasoning. For example, presumably one of the adult women in Heather's life is her biological mother. She may have been conceived by artificial insemination or by IVF, or perhaps one of these women used to be married and then left her husband with her child upon deciding that she had a sexual preference for other women. So Heather has one mommy. The other woman is not related to her biologically, and usually in such situations there is not even a legal adoption by the second woman.

You can also research the situation involving Vermont and Virginia (I have the links somewhere, and they can be dug up again) where even a "mere" civil union in Vermont gave rise to a custody case. Two lesbians had a Vermont civil union, and one of them had biologically borne a daughter while they had this legally recognized relationship. (I forget if it was a case of AI or of IVF.) The child's mother converted to Christianity and decided that lesbianism was wrong, so she broke off her relationship with her lesbian partner. She broke it off legally as well as interpersonally, which amounted under Vermont law to a divorce-like state. Because the child had been born while they were in a civil union, the judge in the Vermont case felt obligated to treat the custody issue as he would in the case of a heterosexual marriage and to treat both women as legally the girl's mothers. He ordered joint custody. The Christian woman who was the child's only actual mother (the other woman having no objective relationship to the little girl at all) ran away to Virginia, which refused to order joint custody, since Virginia had no civil union statute nor so-called homosexual "marriage." A court order was put out in Vermont declaring the mother in contempt of court. When I last looked up the case, the mother had been legally advised that she had to give in and allow her child to spend part (half?) of her time living in Vermont with the lesbian woman, and the lesbian woman was gleefully preparing the girl's bedroom in her house. I don't know if the fear was of extradition or what, and the capitulation surprised me, because the Virginia courts had backed her up. As long as she stayed out of Vermont, it seemed to me she should have been fine.

Now, that's the kind of thing you can be informed about, so that when people imply that the homosexual rights movement is just about people's private behavior and has no other implications, you will have a concrete answer.

"Expertise" in such areas is much over-rated. Higher degrees are as likely to involve concerted attempts to subvert ethical insight as to impart added helpful knowledge.

Steve,
I think Lydia is exactly right. Expertise and mastery are not the same as formal credentials. Mary Cummins was proof. She prevailed, and the guy with the PhD got beat.

For those interested in recently produced gender-cleansed ghettos, try the movie The Women, in which no man actually appears, not even in busy New York City street scenes. For as far as the eye can see, not a man is in sight.

That's why I used the term "feminazis." They have done to males what Hitler and his wicked cronies tried to do to the Jews.

Can you sit quietly in the face of such outrages?

Steve,
I think Lydia is exactly right. Expertise and mastery are not the same as formal credentials. Folks like Mary Cummins are proof. She prevailed, and the guy with the PhD got beat.

For those interested in recently produced gender-cleansed ghettos, try the movie The Women, in which no man actually appears, not even in busy New York City street scenes. For as far as the eye can see, not a man is in sight.

That's why I used the term "feminazis." They have done to males what Hitler and his wicked cronies tried to do to the Jews.

Can you sit quietly in the face of such outrages?

It's as simple as this:

The correct title of the book would be Heather's Mommy Has a Girlfriend. I find it interesting that at no time over the last forty years, as the children of divorce stocked up on step-parents, did the educational mandarins decide that these children had acquired "two mommies" or "two daddies." The fact that their biological parents were involved with someone other than each other did not suddenly convert those other people into parents, deserving of the titles mother and father.

The reason is that the people writing this sort of subversive literature would never, under any circumstances, concede that their children had two mommies or two daddies. No, that special abundance of parentage belongs to other people's children only. As for their own, well...you'd better believe my little Katie will always have One Mommy.

I hear that there is a publisher in El Dorado, Texas who is thinking about publishing children's books with these titles: "Orin Has Seven Mommies," "Seven Wives for One Daddy," "Mommy 3 is Going Through Puberty," "One Wife, Two Wife, Red Wife, New Wife," "Third Wife of Sam I Am," "Daddy's Wombmate," and "Cop on Pop."

For those interested in recently produced gender-cleansed ghettos, try the movie The Women, in which no man actually appears, not even in busy New York City street scenes. For as far as the eye can see, not a man is in sight.
The 1939 original, which hasn't a shred of feminist content, was the same way. The movie is all about relationships with husbands, fathers, and boyfriends who are never seen. Supposedly even the animals in the movie were all female. Now, the 2008 remake, which I haven't seen and don't intend to see, is probably larded with fashionable feminist goodthink, but in the respect you name, is merely being true to the source material.
I find it interesting that at no time over the last forty years, as the children of divorce stocked up on step-parents, did the educational mandarins decide that these children had acquired "two mommies" or "two daddies." The fact that their biological parents were involved with someone other than each other did not suddenly convert those other people into parents, deserving of the titles mother and father.

That's a very interesting point, Sage, and one I'd never thought of.

"I hear that there is a publisher in El Dorado, Texas who is thinking about publishing children's books with these titles: "Orin Has Seven Mommies," "Seven Wives for One Daddy," "Mommy 3 is Going Through Puberty," "One Wife, Two Wife, Red Wife, New Wife," "Third Wife of Sam I Am," "Daddy's Wombmate," and "Cop on Pop."

This gets my vote for funniest post of the year.

It's as simple as this:

Funny how whenever anyone says "It's as simple as this," you can be entirely sure it isn't.

The correct title of the book would be Heather's Mommy Has a Girlfriend. I find it interesting that at no time over the last forty years, as the children of divorce stocked up on step-parents, did the educational mandarins decide that these children had acquired "two mommies" or "two daddies." The fact that their biological parents were involved with someone other than each other did not suddenly convert those other people into parents, deserving of the titles mother and father.

The fallacy you're committing here is known as the overwhelming exception. You ignore the preponderance of families in which this is not case, while shifting the action onto an irrelevant third party, the educational bureaucrat. The fact is that, in many families of divorce, including an extension of my own family, children are considered to have two daddies. Sometimes, two mommies.

As a child of divorce and subsequent adoption, I can tell you that concepts of the family unit are more malleable than you allow here. My sister, raised by an entirely different set of adoptive parents, would agree.

In my own case, I experience no cognitive dissonance in stating that I have two mothers and two fathers. One set who raised me, the other who gave birth to me. My situation is more common than you seem to realize.

The reason is that the people writing this sort of subversive literature would never, under any circumstances, concede that their children had two mommies or two daddies. No, that special abundance of parentage belongs to other people's children only. As for their own, well...you'd better believe my little Katie will always have One Mommy.

This is just a bald assertion, and it does nothing to support your argument. You clearly have no idea who is writing "this sort of subversive literature," and your personal relationship to your daughter has no bearing on the larger social issue you're attempting to address.

As a dad, I sincerely intend to be the best and only father that my daughter will ever have, but that has nothing to do with anyone else's notion of the family unit. I have a good many smart, successful, well adjusted friends who grew up amid divorce, adoption, and yes, even gay parentage, and it would be obnoxiously presumptuous to assume a priori that any of their families were somehow inherently inferior to any given conventional, biological nuclear family. To assume that all biological nuclear families are automatically more conducive to good child-rearing than non-conforming family groups would once again commit the fallacy of the overwhelming exception. Abuse, neglect, and general mistreatment are as common in traditional families as in non-traditional ones.

This position should not be confused with mere relativism, which would hold that all possible conceptions of the family unit are equally valid. However, any reasonably functional concept of family, wherein one or more parents or guardians undertake the raising of children, is necessarily as valid as its constituents may claim it to be.

The enemies of traditional values want you to be quiet. They want you to be nice, to sit quietly in the corner of the room, hands folded and mouth shut. They want the friends of beauty, truth and goodness to speak only when spoken to and to speak only those things that offend no one. That they have offended you does not matter. They want you to stick to the script. They want you to keep your views to yourself and to act as if your views were not true, indeed as if there were no truth.

Nice has its proper place. But nice out of its proper place is not nice. It's evil.

Resist.

This is captivating prose.

There are kinds of resistance, some not so good. Resistance can be counter-productive. Marxism lusts after resistance, any kind. The next step after silence is contemplation and deliberation. Cultural renewal is not a logic.

You are all blind asses. Do you realize that your thought processes, your so-called Traditional Values, only serve to discriminate? That your undying hope to deny the reality of homosexuality is the reason why so many homosexuals themselves wish to deny it? I should know, I am a closeted lesbian, and the reason I cannot surface is my family is like you. Yes, your familiars raised one of them! You explain to me how that happened? Its not possible with your limited logic.
Also, there is no such thing as 'sexual preference.' There is, however, a 'sexual identity' but that is not something one chooses, though one should not be seen as 'better off' one way or another. Your prejudice towards sexuality is an idea that is quickly becoming outmoded, just as racism as a motivator for policies has become( i.e. the Jim Crow laws you point your hypocritical finger at.) Your ideas are like cud, already chewed up and regurgitated again and again. You are hurting yourselves and others through hatred the derives itself from a wicked root of uncertainty. Though Heather has two mommies, they seek not to destroy the lives of heterosexuals, as you seek to destroy the normalcy of a relationship your ignorant mind refuses to accept. If God made anything, God made Homosexuals. Just as he made everyone else, even you and your fellow Holy Rollers. If you are concerned that introducing the idea of homosexuality as a healthy and acceptable way of life will 'bring others into the fold' (to use your terminology) of homosexuality then where did I come from? I was conceived of a man and a woman, raised in a loving home, with a leather bound Bible on our table and crosses nailed to our walls, and, somehow, I just happened to turn out to be attracted to women. I can't help it, and I am constantly at odds as to whether I should be ashamed or not. I know what I feel, and I can not deny it. It would be a false pretence. If God did not make me the way I am, and my environment did not make me the way I am, then what did? If its not natural, then why am I here?
Also, You should know, since you wish to refer to those who favor this particular book negatively as Feminist Nazis, that the Nazi regime murdered Gays in the Holocaust as well as Jews. You all are no different because you seem to feel we deserve it.

If Hate is considered one of your Traditional Values, you can keep them.

To quote St. Thomas Aquinas, homo unius libri, beware of the man of one book.


Its no use trying to convince you. Your reasoning is already impededed and tarnished, and besides, both our die are already cast. Your path is chosen, though mine was not. You will hate me instinctively like a threatened animal. No use reasoning with you. I just hope that someone isn’t too far gone to take what I have said to heart.

You are a moron

Let me start off by stating this: Yes, I am seventeen. Yes, I am bisexual. No, I don't agree with your opinions on this subject. However, they are just that. Opinions. Not right or wrong. I will say this: The author merely intended this to be a book for children who come from diverse family backgrounds. The fact that there no adult males present is a mere coincidence. Also: Who is to say who may hold the title of parents? Are thre not step- and foster parents? Are there not adoptive parents?

This essay sounds more like preachy propaganda than the children's book it attempted to review (with trite, flowery prose, might I add). What is all this nonsense about "real" mom or "real" dad? I challenge you to say that to the face of any adopted child who grew up with loving parents. They will tell you that your parents are the people that raised you. That gave you love and shelter, and taught you to be a good person and not assume people have an evil agenda just because they're (in your mind) part of the opposing political sports team. So what if Heather has a biological dad? The point wasn't to feature him - he may be out of the family's life because of personal problems, or he may be dead. The focus of the book was to celebrate the simple fact of having two mothers. The bio mom's partner may not be related to Heather by blood, but she is the one that helps her with her homework, takes her to the zoo, or tucks her in at night. She might've been the one to change Heather's diapers and get up in the middle of the night to sing her to sleep. In my mind, that merits the title of Mommy.

P.S. The simple fact that the author of this piece of "writing" refers to his "cause" as a CRUSADE (yes, remember that? Christians marching in, killing millions of people in the name of a god, forcing others to convert, and generally being real dicks about everything, all so the church higher-ups could gain power) - the simple fact that he refers to his cause as a crusade should tell you all you need to know about this essay.

To slfja;lkdjfsfd: I found this site while conducting research for a paper I'm writing. I underestimated the levels of blind xenophobia on this webpage. When I finally trudged through the bigotry and reached you post, my first thought was "this person is my hero on this thread". Floowed closely by Bill T.

The use of a religion, Christianity in this case, to justify the expression of hatred of entire demographics; those who are not heterosexual and opposed to equality.

While I do not personally follow or endorse a deity, I do not necessarily oppose religion. Some religious people have led fantastic charities, disaster relief efforts, and more. The reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr. in particular wrought amazing social reform. So I do not see a religion as an independent entity. A religion is actualized via those who follow it. It is possible for those who follow it to drag it down, use as a platform to support their blood lust, while others like Dr. King Jr allow their particular religion to be a positive force in the world.


To Bill T: I am equally impressed by your ability to draw up relevant examples on the topic as I am by the clarity with which you negate the dehumanization inflicted on same-sex couples and others.

I would dearly like to see someone, who expresses such hatred of one who identifies as LGBTQ, etc., to directly confront the parents they are claiming are "not really mothers" on a condition.

The person who want to confront a same-sex couple must do so without the support of a crowd. A face to face interaction. Without the anonymity of a crowd and the separation of telecommunications, one cannot easily hide their personal beliefs and damn someone else.

I do not expect this post of mine to change anyone's mind on the subject, I merely wish to be less silent in my opposition to the hatred of people who are no hetero-normative. Hopefully those who attack my post will resort to the ad-hominem logical fallacy of attacking me as an individual rather than the LGBTQ community.

Best Wishes,
Avery

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