Tuesday, December 09, 2003

'Bad = bad' = bad!

One thing that often frustrates me with some of the more extreme conservatives in America is that they don't understand the differences between the various things they oppose. Gay people are promiscuous. Environmentalists are socialists. Black people are Democrats. They don't realize that they're opposing two seperate things, which are logically independent from one another. Example: Today I read about Stanley Shepp, a Mormon polygamist who wants to teach his daughter that he thinks it's ok for a man to have multiple wives. Her mother, his ex-wife, does not want him to teach their daughter that he thinks it's ok for a man to have multiple wives. There's a lawsuit flying around, and it's all very interesting. But some of the rhetoric floating around on the anti-teaching-the-daughter-about-polygamy side is shockingly bad. From the CNN.com story:
The [Pennsylvania] state Superior Court panel based its decision in part on a finding that exposing Kaylynne to polygamy posed a substantial threat to her. Roberts' lawyer, Richard K. Konkel, said learning about polygamy from her father could put Kaylynne at risk of "child abuse and sexual abuse and whatever else." "In a custody case, the best interests of the child is always paramount," Konkel said.
Please explain the following three things to me, Richard K. Konkel. (1) What does polygamy have to do with child abuse? (2) What does polygamy have to do with sexual abuse? (3) Of what 'whatever else' are you concerned, and what does polygamy have to do with it? When answering these three questions, it may be useful to keep in mind the following: do these answers also provide reasons not to teach my child about the existence of God? UPDATE May 2006: I've had an email exchange with Mr. Konkel, and it's obvious to me now that I was judging things way too quickly when I wrote this, two and a half years ago; I was interpreting uncharitably to read offensive views that weren't there. I really feel pretty silly about it, now. I apologize to Mr. Konkel for the unfriendly attack, and to readers for having to read a pretty dumb rant.