A Gay Dad Sounds Off About Fundamentalists Who Target My Kids

ImageAs a parent, my job one is the protection and care of my children. It is my job to be vigilant over their self-worth, to keep them physically safe, to show them how to be moral and productive citizens, and to empower their spiritual growth. It is a duty that I take very seriously.

It is distressing when total strangers launch an attack against all those things specifically targeting my kids. That is exactly what author Amber Lee Parker and illustrator Hannah Segura have done with the release of their children’s book “God Made Dad & Mom.”

The colorful children’s picture book seems pleasant. It never uses the word “gay” or “hate.” Many LGBT facebook pages have rightly described it as being about both. The point of the story clearly is meant to deride LGBT families as the ones that God did not “make,” even though it uses the most illogical and inaccurate plot to attempt to make its point.

Amazon.com describes the plot as: “Michael learns that God made men to be fathers and women to be mothers. After school, his father takes him to the zoo, where he learns that animal families consist of a male, a female, and their offspring. Upon observing these phenomena, Michael asks his father two questions: 1. Why does his friend have two fathers? 2. Am I adopted? His father sensitively addresses both of these questions with love and compassion, and he tells Michael that he needs to pray for his friend and his friend’s two fathers. His dad lets him know that he is adopted and that he and his mother love him very much.”

The plot makes no sense from beginning to end. It implies that LGBT are not as “male and female” as heterosexuals. It theorizes that animals in nature are exclusively heterosexual, monogamous and dedicated to their children. It argues that a male and female who adopt are more suitable as parents solely because they have the ability to procreate. The fact that those things are all ridiculous does not matter since the book is targeting, according to author Amber Lee Parker, children from age 5 to 8 who are not likely to put the plot to the test of any kind of critical thinking.

The book’s illustrator, Hannah Segura, is a Nebraska home-schooled teen. Parker also resides in Nebraska. She was motivated to write the book over her concern that some laws in Nebraska might benefit LGBT families. She states, in an interview with BridgeLogos, “I had just went to a committee hearing in front of the judiciary committee to listen to a few bills that have been introduced and even though we as a state do not have same sex marriage, it was very clear the attack on traditional family values. One bill, would be, I believe it’s LB380, would allow any couple to adopt children, LB385 is a bill, same thing but was with Foster Care. And then LB485 was a bill which would allow telling businesses that they could not discriminate against LGBTQ which is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and the other two bills I shares, the bottom line was you could not discriminate, they would be a protected class and you could not discriminate in these areas… there were those who were definitely infiltrating the family areas traditional values and basically, through this, making it look like the heterosexuality way was not normal.”

Beyond her fear that LGBT people might be accepted in Nebraska, Parker’s stated effect on LGBT couples and families is more disturbing. Convinced that such families are not “what God’s views are of family,” she describes the reaction she would like to see: “Well the first step would be to turn away from the behavior that dishonored God, so in practicing homosexuality, I would say one of their first steps would be kind of difficult because we have people who are getting mortgages together, but they would have to separate themselves from that relationship so they could flee the temptation from the old yoke.”

From personal experience, I can assure Ms. Parker that her hopes in this area are delusional. Divorce in LGBT families is no more to be hoped for than it should be in heterosexual ones. My sons have had to deal with the loss and grief over the departure of my ex-partner several years ago. It was by no means a God-given blessing. They, like children of many divorces, still hold out hope that their parents will come back together.

Blogger and Gay Marriage USA founder, Murray Lipp, describes the philosophical elitism Parker projects, “The assumption that all people are heterosexual is a central feature of heterosexism. Biological diversity is ignored within a heterosexist context… The favoring of straight people in positions of political power ensures that those with the power are able to maintain it… The exclusion of gay people from a seat at the main table of society communicates the erroneous message that gay people are ‘less than,’ not worthy, not good enough. It lays the foundation for homophobia to flourish.”

Parker hopes to inspire an innate heterosexism and homophobia in the young peers of my kids. When homophobia flourishes it inspires violence, self-destruction, and tragedy. In biblical terms, these are the “fruits” by which authors like Parker will be known, and they are not Godly.

Ms. Parker’s brand of “God’s-view-of-the-family” heterosexism was not my first such encounter. It was first said to my face as I interviewed a school for my sons to attend. I knew the school, which had an excellent academic reputation, billed itself as a “Christian school.” I wanted to be very upfront with the nature of my family and deal with any potential issues up front. “I am a single gay dad. I want to make sure you don’t have an issue with that if my sons were to come here,” I said to the school’s administrator.

A condescending look crossed his face. “Well,” he said smugly. “It will not be a problem for us at all, but I am not sure you are going to like what we would tell them.”

“What is that?” I asked.

“Well, it is just like what I told a friend of mine who is divorced whose children come here. We just tell them that theirs is not God’s best plan for a family.”

It was one of those times, where for a moment, I sat in stunned silence. We continued talking about academics and special education.

As I started to leave, I paused and looked back at him. “You know, both the biological couples that had my sons had the opportunity to reunify with them and raise them. I turned over my will to God to help them, and do the right thing by my sons. It became apparent to all concerned, and presumably by God, that being with me was the right thing. I don’t know you, and I don’t know what God’s best plan for your family is, but for ours, we are it. Thank you for your time today, but I can’t enroll my sons here. They are very special little boys and I can only entrust them to a school that is dedicated to helping them be the best they can be, and helping them take pride in who they are. This school is clearly not God’s best plan for that.”

I did not bother checking for a reaction as I left the room.

For a list of LGBT friendly books go here.  Please like the evoL= Facebook page here.

 Follow us on Twitter @JandJDad

 Thanks to Rachel Hockett for editing help on this article.

About robw77

A single gay dad who cares. His story can be read here: http://www.imagaysingleparent.com/2013/02/02/rob/ and here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/rob-watson-gay-family_n_4689661.html
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37 Responses to A Gay Dad Sounds Off About Fundamentalists Who Target My Kids

  1. Pingback: A Religion Education Teacher Sounds Off : Stop Using the Book of Romans in the Bible to Gay Bash! | evoL =

  2. Kelly says:

    What are all these malevolent people who hate (insert non-societally acceptable descriptor here) people going to do when they finally succeed making everyone around them just like them? Then they’ll look around an realize that the only person left to hate is themselves.

  3. I seem to remember not to long ago there was a book that came out about kids with 2 dads, and it was in some school libraries. That book got yanked off the shelves very quickly, because parents said it was hurting their children. ” making them think it was ok to be Gay ” i believe is what they said. so now here is a book that is promoting Hate towards the LGBT community? OH YES IT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN OFF SHELVES.

  4. Mardel says:

    I always feel like laughing when I hear the fear tinged phrase that same sex marriages “attack” or threaten hetero marriages. I don’t see how. I’m a hetero woman, who has been married for 34 years, and of all the things that might have threatened my marriage, same sex marriages don’t even register. How does ANY other marriage affect my marriage? the only thing that might affect any marriage at all is the married people themselves – their actions toward each other. I don’t get how ANY one takes that flawed reasoning seriously. We have a lot of idiotic zealot heterosexuals in our country, and I’m sorry to even be included in the “hetero” group because they give the rest of us a bad name.

    I have a lot of respect for anyone who stays married (happily or mostly happily), and EVERYONE who raises a family, whether they are gay, lesbian, single, divorced, heter, bi-sexual…whatever. The fact that people are making an effort to adopt, foster or birth children and try like hell to keep them happy, safe and sane makes them heroes in my eyes.

  5. K says:

    *looking at the family on the cover* They do realize that around 50 years ago, that cover would’ve gotten the book banned in many quarters of the country.

    • robw77 says:

      Good point, K. The family on the cover is nonsensical in terms of the story as well. In the story, the boy is adopted– which makes the exploration of procreation (the book’s sole rationale, and “proof” of God’s best idea) completely moot since the family IN the story “procreated” no more than a gay couple would have.
      I have to caution you. If you allow yourself to ponder just how much this project does not make sense, you will give yourself a headache, 🙂

  6. Andre Luiz Lopes says:

    This is sick and nauseating! I could only come from bigoted people like the authors of this book. The message is clear to the children: you should hate gay people and bully them. The hate continues using religion. No wonder this world is so hateful!

  7. Nhia says:

    If they can ban “And Tango makes Three” then they can sure as hell ban this book.

  8. beverlydiehl says:

    Anybody else find it hilarious that the illustrator created a white-skinned, blonde mother and a dark-skinned, curly/kinky-haired father? Because the kind of people who are homophobic ain’t real happy about THOSE kinds of marriages, either.

    Yep, if you go to the zoo, you’ll find “normal” family groupings, unlike in the wild, where there would be one lion and several lionesses, for example. Many animal mothers raise their offspring on their own, lest the sires eat them.

    Of course, “God” doesn’t put animals in zoos in the first place, let alone decide how they should be grouped or displayed, so the whole idea of going to a zoo for insight on what “God” intended in nature is more than a little twisted.

  9. aaron says:

    i did not dare to read is all i got half way and though i heard enough the people that wrote and illustrated are people who i do not like to hear or even see about that book should be takin off the market for good

  10. garyt2 says:

    I firmly believe that the “non-traditional” family in its many forms is going to be the norm sooner than we think. Conservatives who continue to use fear, hate and discrimination only continues to add fuel to the “hate fire” that so many adopt. This book does nothing other than perpetuate self-doubt and hate within small children. Do we wonder where bullying comes from? Look no further than to the ones who have no problem spewing their ideas of hate, animosity and false statements. It saddens me to the core to believe that people think it’s their job to be the “moral compass” for any group. I do believe that this book can be used as a great example of what NOT to teach your children and to use it as a text book against hate and discrimination. It is NOT OK to discriminate in any nature, any way….any time. Treat others with the respect and love that Jesus treats everyone. Only then will you truly become god-like. Coming from a gay single parent who could not be more proud of the girl I raised.

  11. David says:

    What a shame that this child’s mind has been poisoned in this way. She will live her entire life in fear of some supernatural bogeyman, racked with guilt and never able to embrace her own humanity fully because she is forbidden to feel any empathy with her fellow human beings. She is to be pitied. Christians like her should fear the hell of the afterlife less than the one they create for themselves in this life.

  12. Rick says:

    I weep for this poor girl and her home school education. I have friends who have home schooled their children with quality materials and strict adherence to things like spelling, GRAMMAR, etc. The grammar this poor child is using is like chewing gum with the foil wrapper left on. It seems that those who were teaching her were less concerned with grammar and more concerned with religion.

  13. Miss_EH says:

    Sex is the only human behavior for which anti-gay apologists point to a zoo in search of an analogue.

    • robw77 says:

      Isn’t that strange!?

    • David says:

      There’s plenty of same sex behaviour in the animal kingdom. Like their scripture, these people cherry pick to back their argument and disregard any evidence that might call their conclusion into question. My feeling is that we can’t use behaviour of non-human animals to justify human behaviour. If we did, the you could justify a step father murdering all the children of his wife that he did not sire – after all, that’s what happens in a pride of lions.

    • BRILLIANT. I never thought of that, but I am now going to add it to my arsenal of outrage when faced with bigotry like this. Thank you, Miss EH.

  14. M.L. Wallace says:

    There’s just no way to expect any teen, or young person, raised in a box to have any other point of view than those who put them in that box. It is the “God Given Duty” of all parents to prepare their children for the society in which they will be expected to live beyond the years they require care. To not raise a child to accept and adapt within the society they are expected to mature and co-exist in is child abuse. Yes, I said child abuse. It’s clear that gay and lesbian parents are more prepared to parent than those who taught these people to judge others. I feel very certian that if these two, and those like them, had been told that penquins had been sent north to die off, because God wanted birds to fly rather than swim, they would be trying to ban tuxedos from being worn. I have no doubt that these books will end up in yard sells and burn barrels, hopefully before they’re read to young minds.

  15. Juan Reyes says:

    I didn’t think it was possible, but there is actually a book out there that turned out to be worse than Twilight.

  16. Angela White says:

    I think the writer of this book is small-minded and mean. I think we should pray that G-d sends her compassion for others and the understanding to deal with people who are different from her.

  17. As a mother of 2 biological children and one step daughter.I have been with my life partner (Who I call my wife even though we are not legal in our state) for 9 years. I have been with her longer than both my marriages to men last together. I have never been happier with my life or with who I was with than with her. I am upset that this book is even given any type of press. These same folks who want to spout off about what God so wants. I say to them, When you live your life as your God wants. Then maybe you can say something. But just think about this. Your GOD is the one who is too judge those of us who do not live by a book written by man called the bible. I do not knock folks who go to church by no means. If they want to believe then that is up to them. But as a person who does not believe in a book written by man that says another man said this and that. There are a lot of things in the bible ( again written by man) that Christians do not live by. Some of them pick and chose what parts of the bible they want to follow. So in my opinion you want your cake and ice cream too. This book is a desperate way to slander those in the LGBT. We are human just like the rest of you. We have feelings, we love, we hurt, and we even put our pants on the same way as the rest of you. So we should be allowed to love and marry just like the rest of you. This book should be banned as it is a form of hate. The intent is there and in my opinion that is all that is needed.

  18. lightweaverapril says:

    Propaganda starts early. Mold the minds as children and they are likely to retain it. The fact that so many christians ignore their own savior when he said “love everyone” shows they are only looking out for themselves. I saw a trailer on youtube or this book, and no surprise the comments were disabled. These people would rather see children homeless than in loving homes that may be against their standard of “normal”. There wouldn’t be laws to make LGBT people a “protected class” if people would just live and let live without trying to dictate how other people live. Those laws would make us a “protected class” in the same way it makes heterosexuals one. Can’t we all just agree that everyone deserves equal protection? Well, truth will win out in the end. All their prayers for God to exert his will are just going to yield marriage equality and equal rights, and they’ll claim it was satan that influenced it.

  19. MichaelB says:

    How an uneducated, illiterate rube such as this got a book published is beyond reason.

    • I checked out the link, it leads to a youtube video where the comments have been disabled. Fancy that.

    • Shane Camp says:

      When we resort to name calling we become part of the problem instead of part of the solution. The author of this book is clearly educated and literate…and that’s the problem. The worst kind of discrimination speech is the kind that makes sense as long as it’s not held up to scrutiny. This sort of reasoning makes it easy to perpetuate discrimination because it appeals to the…less…intelligent among us (logically challenged? I’m trying hard not to be insulting here.)

      • robw77 says:

        Shane, listen to the interview, or read the quotes by the author in the article. They were unedited as she said them. I am not sure how educated and literate the original material was– presumably there was an editor involved before it went to print. (Like you, trying not to be insulting here…)

      • Emily Nelson says:

        That author is neither educated or literate. She is sneaky and she is a liar. Her hate and prejudice is easy to see. And this book should be banned as it is hate speech.

  20. As someone who was a single parent for 6 years, I also take offence to this book as it implies that single parents can’t do a good job at raising their children either. I was thankfully never given a condescending attitude when my older daughter attended a Catholic school back in NY- there were other single moms who sent their children there as well.

    If someone had said that to me about how my family isn’t what God had in mind, I would have said ‘Well, I didn’t exactly have the idea in mind that my ex husband would break God’s laws either, but here we are.’

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