Friday, June 23, 2006

Slaps and a Hug for Mad Dad

Predictable criticism and a surprising and touching outreach followed the latest lunacy of Lexington's Mad Dad.

The Lexington locals don't seem to like odor that rubs off on their tony town from the sensational posturing of the Parkers and their MassResistance/Article8 chums. You can check out the letters to the editor of the Lexington Minuteman in the June 22nd issue. The four are all in favor of common sense and tolerance and against the made up storm.

On the other hand, over at Bay Windows, Editor Susan Ryan-Vollmar, tries to soothe his febrile brow. She details their many commonalities as parents.

She also offers solid advice -- "start putting your children first."

She cuts him a terrific amount of slack, including:
Your passion for your sons is admirable. You don’t want them exposed to ideas that you think would be harmful to them. You’ve had heated exchanges with school officials about their education. You’ve engaged in civil disobedience to make your point. And you’ve filed a federal lawsuit to drive that point home.

But this month you let Brian Camenker, a fringe anti-gay activist, publish lies on his website about a playground incident your eldest son was involved in. You let Brian publish your son’s name. And you yourself have made claims about the school yard scuffle that both your son and his friends know to be untrue.

Then she writes in terms all of us parents should be able to understand:
David, I am urging you, with all sincerity, to rethink your actions and your words. You can hold whatever opinion you want about gay people and our desire to marry and raise children. But don’t let your deeply held beliefs about families like mine cloud the way you raise yours.

I bet you can’t believe that your oldest son is already a first-grader and that your youngest is in kindergarten. They’re going to be teenagers before you know it. Don’t squander this precious time with them. Stop using them as props in your political activism. Start putting them first.

Many workaholic parents have realized their non-familial activities hinder and mar their kids. Some have learned to do what is important for everyone and right for their kids. Likewise, maybe the Mad Dad can pray on those Susan's thoughts for him and his children.

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