Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rick Santorum's Dead Baby Versus Dead Gay Kids

Get Religion has a pretty much take some journalist to the woodshed piece on the Rick Santorum coverage. See LA Times opposes fathers, Santorum.

At this point I want to focus on one part of this article. It seems that as to one controversy surrounding Santorum we have been here recently. That is the death or miscarriage of an unborn child. Last year we sort of went through this as to details of George W Bush and his mother's miscarriage. The reaction we see from all sides is very similar.

Get Religion correctly points out that some media has taken this as an opportunity to talk about how the Santorum family dealt with it is not that unusual though we don't like to talk about it. What was interesting was two newspaper people media of note came to Santorum's defense and related their own experience. That is Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam and the Washington Post’s Charles Lane.

I wish to focus on Charles Lane tragic tale here :

.....I regret that, unlike the Santorums, who presented the body of their child to their children, we did not show Jonathan’s body to our other son, who was six years old at the time. When I told him what had happened, his first question was, “Well, where is the baby?” I tried to explain what a morgue is, and why the baby went there. It was awkward and unsatisfactory -- too abstract. In hindsight, I was not protecting my son from a difficult conversation, I was protecting myself.
I’m not defending Rick Santorum the presidential candidate. From what little I know about him, he seems to have his own issues with moralizing and judging. To the extent he has used his family’s experience to make a point about abortion, I object.

But I am defending the right of the Santorums and all families to grieve an infant’s death in accordance with their personal needs and beliefs. My plea is for a little more respect regarding the way people deal with loss, and a little more maturity about physical contact with the dead. If that puts me in sympathy, for a moment, with this right-wing politician, so be it.

That bolding was mine.

The question is why the objection? Many times we have heard the stories from mothers and fathers of their kids that were killed ,or killed themselves because of issues relating to their sexual orientation. Their pain filled stories scream , quite correctly, that this was a human being that had human dignity. Often this is to advocate that people should be more accepting of gay marriage or same sex sexual acts. That having a negative view of the former causes conditions that have resulted in their children's death. Thus quit being bigots people and not only be tolerant but accept all this.

Now I don't agree with that logic. Though I do agree it's a wake up call to us about tone in this debate and speaking out for dignity of those with same sex attraction .

But it does have a place this thing called personal experience. Though personal experience can differ and should be tempered with other things.

Which brings us to the Santorums. I am not exactly sure what is different. It appears their personal experience shows to them this is not a non person. It's a human life and has human dignity. Thus abortion is wrong.

Both cases are using tragic events to advocate against what one perceive is a horrible injustice. Why is one perhaps objectionable and one is not.

Now do I expect the personal experience of the Santorums to end the discussion? Of course not .

But like the stories of parents of these gay and bi kids, the Santorum and others like them have a role in the abortion discussion.

Now perhaps Mr Lane would find anyone that uses their child's death to advance gay marriage or as promotion that same sex relations is a good as not acting right either. But I suspect he does not. But again maybe he does. I do not know if he has ever spoken on that topic.

Anyway I wonder why one personal experience is objectionable to bring out in the public square and the other is not. I find both valid and needed to be heard.

Why the difference? It seems both are related in some ways.

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