Caught this link over at Raw Story
Disclaimer: IANG. However, I have had a number of gay friends over the years and continue to do so. I've been told by several that they would never have willingly choosen the kind of social ostracism they have been subjected to as gays. While I lack the direct knowledge I'm willing to accept the word of people with actual experience.
Since the incidence of homosexuality among the human population is roughly the same as the incidence of left-handedness, I have to assume that there is some underlying biological mechanism for each, and that being gay is no more wrong than being left-handed. Of course, until the latter part of the last century left-handed school children in this country were forced to write with their right hands, because left handedness was "wrong". Still is that way in a lot of countries.
But back to penguins. Flap over to the flip for
a tasty herring the story
I had read about these two penguins a year or two back. In brief that two male penguins in the New York's Central Park zoo had been engaging in the normal mating behavior for their species. Despite their ernest attempts at copulation no egg was forthcoming. So the zoo staff put an egg in their nest to see what would happen. In a nutshell (eggshell?), nothing happened, or everything did, depending on how you look at it. They cared for the egg, hatched a chick, and raised it to be a perfectly normal penguin. End of story. Wouldn't even be a story if it was Mom and Dad, rather than Dad and Dad. But it couldn't stay that way...
Someone wrote a children's book about it, and now that book is stirring controversy. From the article:
Lilly Del Pinto thought the book looked charming when her 5-year-old daughter brought it home in September. Del Pinto said she was halfway through reading it to her daughter "when the zookeeper said the two penguins must be in love."
"That's when I ended the story," she said.
Now if you read the article it doesn't seem that this woman intended to go Taliban about the book, but I am concerned about the overtones of the controversy. There will be other objectors and somehow I have to think that she will be one of the more moderate among them. There are some people out there who would go over the top about this. What is it about two male penguins "being in love" or bonding with each other that should strike fear into the heart of a parent?
My concern is this: As a parent, I understand the need to monitor the information available to my child. I understand not wanting to go into lots of graphic detail about homosexual activity - or heterosexual for that matter - with a young child. But given that this is a children's book I sincerely doubt it contains graphic descriptions of their copulation. Yet children are very adept at reading subtle signals from their parents. So the implicit message in this case is what? that there is something wrong with two beings caring for each other and raising a family? At the very least mom clearly conveyed that there was something "wrong" with the book.
I guess this caught my attention because the story isn't about two humans who may or may not have chosen a lifestyle. This is something that happened in nature. There is no hidden agenda to it. I honestly can't accept that these two birds "chose the hedonistic lifestyle" or could be cured if they just gave their hearts to Jesus. Protecting your child from harmful information is one thing, but hiding from them spontaneous events occurring in nature is another. At what point does protecting our children become hiding from inconvenient truths?