Driving home yesterday morning from my early AM encounter with the endodontist, I caught the last ten minutes of a segment on Talk of the Nation. I like TOTN. I’ve learned a lot from the show. But host Neal Conan generally pilots his ship pretty straight down the middle of the channel…avoiding the higher seas and icebergs to the far right and far left. But Neal was out of the office yesterday; the guest host tackled the topic of the recent legislative pushes in several states to ban adoptions by gays and lesbians, and the S.S. TOTN strayed into some slightly choppy waters. And darned if I didn’t find myself hollering (incoherently, through my half-dead lips) at one of the guests—Charmaine Yoest of the "Family Research Council." Such a calm, soft-spoken, rational-sounding raging bigot…
Dr. Yoest’s mission was to point listeners in the direction of a study which concluded that children "do better" in homes with a Mom and a Dad. When other guests referred to thirty years of research that did not back her point, Dr. Yoest politely interrupted, called their research "flawed," or accused them of misquoting it. In the end, backed into a corner by the other guests, and challenged by excellent points made by several callers to the show, she exhorted listeners to check out the research, but, more importantly, "use your common sense."
Common sense? Wouldn’t common sense dictate that a system overloaded with children in desperate need of loving homes should welcome any and all responsible families willing to provide those homes? Wouldn’t common sense tell you that any child would "do better" in a stable adoptive home than being bounced from foster family to foster family? Hasn’t common sense been telling us for ages that homosexuality is not a learned behavior, and that gay couples do not adopt in order to raise up armies of little gay children? (And, come to think of it, what if they did?)
No, Dr. Yoest’s calm, reasonable exhortation was right-wing speak for, "Tap into your personal prejudices. If you feel threatened by homosexuality, we’ll just call that common sense." Common sense, religious right style.
Yep…just made me want to reach right through the radio and slap her upside the head.