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.
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.