The Collapse of the American family (Part 1 of 2)

I snapped a few days ago and came close to throwing something at
the TV.

Mainstream America has been on the path towards becoming more
accepting of LGBT people. A majority of Americans are against
discrimination towards gays in the workplace and also in housing.
They aren’t fighting domestic partnership benefits. They get the
need for hate crimes legislation. They are even getting over their
fear of dropping soap in military showers.

The two areas that remain sticking points are same-sex marriage
and LGBT parenting. Fortunately the acceptance trends even on these
two issues are improving. Still the thought of gays marrying and
raising kids is a tall hurdle for many heterosexual Americans. I
don’t know what their minds conjure up about what we do as
married couples or how we parent our children but these to issues
remain barriers nevertheless.

Straight America would be better served by becoming more
concerned with its catastrophic divorce rate and the collapse of
the American family. With nearly fifty percent of straight
marriages ending in divorce the percentage of kids growing up in
June and Ward Cleaver “Leave It To Beaver” TV show style homes
is definitely in the minority. Many kids today are raised by single
parents, parents with blended families and for far too many in
foster care. And yet the thought of children being raised by a
committed LGBT parent or couple is disconcerting. Never mind that
most gay people who chose to raise kids have made a strong
commitment to do so. Most of our kids aren’t conceived because of
condom failure in the backseat of a car. If we are raising kids
alone because of the break-up of a mixed orientation marriage we
most likely faced challenges in obtaining and/or maintain

Far too few American parents are involved enough in their
kids’ lives. What pushed me to snap a few days ago was viewing a
new TV ad for a Panasonic wide-screen HDTV that recently began
airing. In the spot a mom was trying to find time to spend with her
three kids all of whom had overly planned hectic schedules. Two of
the kids were too busy to fit mom in. The third, an elementary
school student said that she would somehow find 15 minutes to
pencil mom in during the afternoon by shuffling her overbooked
schedule. The announcer chimed in suggesting that the family buy a
new Panasonic HDTV so that they could spend more quality family
time together. That is when I lost it! Has quality time for
families sunken to the point that it is considered sitting in front
of the TV for an hour or two and not talking to each other?

As some of you know, I have been substitute teaching since
January in inner city public schools here in Dallas. The experience
has been eye opening and alarming. I have taught students in grades
K-12 and have spoken with students, teachers and administrators. I
am deeply concerned with the education that our kids are not
receiving and it isn’t the fault of the teachers or
administrators are they are doing their best. A new study released
in April showed that on average only 50% of high school students
are graduating from public schools systems in the 50 largest cities
in the U.S.

Aside from the problems with our educational system, which
Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” is exacerbating, I have strong
concerns with the lack of parental involvement in their kids’
lives. Far too many parents are so busy that they don’t connect
with their kids. In reality, they are not parenting and their kids
are suffering badly because of it!

(To Be Continued in PART 2)