Monday, July 11, 2011

Revisioning the Vander Plaats Pledge

As you may have heard, that old sinner Bob Vander Plaats launched The Family Leader’s “The Marriage Vow” last week, demanding that GOP presidential hopefuls sign on to ensure his support --- and by implication, that of Jesus.

It’s not a vow any candidate with a lick of sense would sign, so Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum did.

You can understand why Vander Plaats did this. He’s not gotten much attention lately as the focus shifted from Iowa to New York, where marriage equality won a big one.

I’ve posted the “Pledge,” but there really are no surprises in it --- a rambling and not especially coherent preamble followed by a 14-point laundry list including everything and everybody Vander Plaats, and by implication Jesus, hates.

Vander Plaats already has removed one paragraph from the preamble: “Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

While some enslaved children probably were raised by two parents, providing both were owned by the same white master, slaves weren’t allowed to marry, so it’s hard to make the case for marital fidelity. Beyond that, black folks generally were looked upon as livestock back in the day. Children, once weaned, had a good chance of being sold down the river.

So some, even a Republican or two, found the implication that black families were better off when enslaved a bit much.

Now I’m not suggesting that, beyond its racism and overt homo- and several other phobias, taking the pledge is a bad idea --- it’s just that a few more revisions seem to be in order. So I’ve made some. Feel free to make your own. I’ve numbered rather than bulleted my 14 points since, unlike Republicans, I don’t believe in shooting people.

A Declaration involving Marriage and the Family, minus the dumb-ass parts.

I the undersigned do hereby vow to honor and cherish, to defend and to uphold the Institution of Common Sense leavened by charity as it governs relations between men and women, women and women, men and men and single folks and their houseplants. I vow to do so through my:

1. Personal fidelity to my houseplants. While I’m 100 percent in favor of personal fidelity to spouses, I don’t have one. So I’ve have promised to water the houseplants more consistently. The philodendron and I feel that it would be premature to announce our engagement, however.

2. Respect for the marital bonds of others, especially for those bonds that now unite thousands of same-sex couples. Just don’t get touchy-feely with my ficus.

3. Official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution which, bless the framers’ hearts, is specifically designed to keep wingnut Christians out of my face.

4. Vigorous opposition to any attempt to limit the rights to marry of same-sex, mix-race, mixed-cultural and mixed-faith couples or anyone else on Republican hate lists. Polygamy is excluded. It worked well in the Old Testament, but Mormons have had trouble with it more recently.

5. Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy all kinds of advantages, legal and otherwise, that folks not currently allowed to marry would like to share. Other than that, we’re in the same boat.

6. Support for prompt recognition that horny heterosexuals who can’t keep their private parts in their pants, not welfare and tax policies, are responsible for spiraling divorce rates.

7. Earnest efforts to have that Goddamned Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) declared unconstitutional.

8. Steadfast embrace of a resolution to take a cold shower whenever I start to fantasize about the potential of a constitutional amendment to resolve much of anything --- with the possible exception of the ERA.

9. Humane protection of women from Christianist wingnuts who fantasize about fertilized eggs and believe 12-year-old incest victims should be forced to give birth.

10. Support for safeguards, like the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t tell, that respect the intelligence and honor of young men and women serving in the military.

11. Rejection of Sharia Christianity (despite the entertainment potential of watching heterosexual adulterers and kids who sass their parents being stoned to death on the courthouse lawn).

12. Recognition that planned parenthood and Planned Parenthood are beneficial to U. S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.

13. Commitment to getting the national debt under control by resisting the urge to declare war at the drop of a hat and by voting all Tea Partiers and a good share of other Republicans back under the rocks from whence they came.

14. Fierce defense of the First Amendment right of freedom from religion.

So help me God ….

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