Category Archives: Same-Sex Relationships

Say It Isn’t So

October 29, 2007

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

As members of the human race, we look to our capacity for language to elevate our communication skills above all other members of the animal kingdom.  Civilizations are separated by archaeologists based on their languages and their ability to create sophisticated writing systems for recording the spoken word.

Creating words to say what we mean has inspired the thesaurus, where subtle connotations can dictate the use of one particular synonym to mean exactly what one wants to say.  Every fifth grade teacher has struggled to expand the vocabulary of budding writers.  How many times does a student use “pretty” in her story when “gorgeous, comely, lovely, ravishing, sightly or elegant” would paint a better picture?

Costume designers and actors can create ten different people who are “rude” based on the author’s choice of words.  He may be rude…but is he audacious, bold, brazen, cheeky, forward, impertinent, insolent, disdainful, nervy or sassy?

The sophistication of our language points to the premium we place on communication.  Whenever a relationship is deteriorating, the first place we look to is the couple’s ability to effectively communicate.  Almost seven million…six million nine hundred and fifty thousand, to be exact…links are reported by Google search engines looking for “improving communication in relationships.”

With so much emphasis on improving communication, it defies human intelligence to understand the logic behind the decision of the California legislature to retract language back to caveman status.  This month Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 777 into law.  When it takes effect it will prohibit any instruction or school-sponsored activity that would promote discrimination against gender. That means terms like “mom and dad” and “husband and wife” cannot be used in California textbooks because they suggest that heterosexuality is the norm.

“Suggest”…to hint, to imply…that heterosexuality is the norm…this is a bad thing?  If we are not to consider the particularity of our sex, then why does every form we fill out have two boxes for us to check…male…female.  One imagines “neutral” forms of the future where we instead will check either…human…or…other.

This restriction of communication comes at a particularly interesting time in human civilization.  More and more boxes have been added to the forms we fill out, an attempt to fully communicate whether we are Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American, Pacific Islander, American Indian, Eskimo, Asian…or for lack of specific descriptors for our origins…Other.

This attention to diversity is required even for second graders and is a headache for every teacher who must help thirty seven-year-olds to properly record their ethnicity in less than an hour.  Librarians are guided by diversity to ensure that their choice of books includes stories for every ethnicity and representing cultures worldwide.

Now, suddenly and legally, under the terms of SB 777, diversity has become a bad thing.  No longer can children be exposed to women and men who are moms and dads inside of marriages where they committed to one another as husbands and wives.  And why?

Because this form of diversity is offensive to people who have chosen not to express their heterosexuality in traditional ways…people who describe themselves as homosexual, gay, lesbian and transgendered.  Depending on your choice of words, this conundrum is either puzzling, confusing, challenging, mysterious or problematic.

Even as we keep giving people more and more ways to describe themselves, we are taking away the ability of children to describe their moms and dads.  We are asking children to ignore the fact that their moms and dads are husbands and wives.

Do we think that by legislating language that children will fail to pick up on the heterosexual realities of the world they live in?  Do we think that requiring children to describe the adults in their homes as parent, parent or parent, will keep them from noticing their parents are of different sexes and wear wedding rings?

What has happened to the premium we place on honoring diversity?  Honoring different ways of living?  Honoring cultural values…even if they are the values of the very culture we live in?

With so many words to say what we mean, to describe the variety of life around us, what in the world has led us to make laws removing words from the dictionary for the very purpose of not saying what we know is true?  Dear Governor Arnold, if you can find the proper words…say it isn’t so.

Some Hate Is Better than Other Hate

October 8, 2007

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

Murder is outlawed.  Murder, since the death of Abel at the hands of Cain, has been the ultimate offense against our brother.  Listen! God commands Cain.  Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.

Cain murdered Abel.  God passed judgment on the crime.  Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood.

It was murder.  And it was punished by God.  He told Cain, When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you.  You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.  But Abel’s murder wasn’t a hate crime.  At least according to modern law, it wasn’t a hate crime.

Cain told God, My punishment is more than I can bear.  But he can be grateful he was only punished by God’s justice and not by modern American justice.  Today’s punishment would have been so much worse…had it been a hate crime.

Hate crimes are crimes more dastardly than mere crime.  They are special crimes defined by hate…that is, a certain kind of hate…depending on who you hate.

In the United States federal prosecution is possible for hate crimes committed on the basis of a person’s race, color, religion, or nation origin when engaging in a federally protected activity.  To date, 45 states and the District of Columbia have statutes criminalizing various types of hate crimes, and 31 states and the District of Columbia have statutes creating a civil cause of action, in addition to the criminal penalty, for similar acts.

But that is not enough for some.  As of October, 2007, congress is considering legislation that would add gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability to the list.

With all of this attention to the types of hate that might motivate crime, one would think that we have covered the worst of deeds with our modern legalese.  One would think.

King David murdered Uriah the Hittite?  Hate?  Not under the new improved hate crimes law.  His was the lesser, kinder kind of murder, killing a man to gain access to his beautiful wife.

What if O.J. Simpson actually confessed to the two brutal murders proved to be his deed by blood and DNA?  He would finally be imprisoned to pay for the slaughter.  But hate?  Nope.  These were the lesser, kinder kind of murders, killing a wife who wanted her freedom and a man who made the ultimate sacrifice to save her.

By definition, until now, murder has always been considered a hate crime.  But soon, encoding into our law a special kind of crime defined as hate, we will have by exclusion reduced all other crimes, including murders, to something less than.

Creating one class of victim that is hurt by hate, to the exclusion of other victims who are merely annoyed by hate, we have fulfilled the Orwellian prophecy that predicted the reduction of equality into something other than.  All animals are created equal…but some are more equal than others.

We have become too sophisticated to see the obvious.  By legally reserving our deepest compassion for a limited set of victims, we have diminished our ability to protect one another in a civilized world where hate is called what it is regardless of who is hated.

Murder is final.  It is no less painful because the law says it is the lesser, kinder murder.

The more we work to define what kinds of hate are worse than others, the more we all need to worry about being left behind in the group of people outside the circle of protection.  There are no degrees of good hate and kinder murder.  Hate is hate.

What It Means to Be a Woman

September 24, 2007

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

This year at Smith College, in the Connecticut River valley of western Massachusetts, according to their website, a “world-class faculty of scholars are fully engaged with their students’ intellectual development, and an open curriculum encourages each student to explore many fields of knowledge.”

At this nation’s largest college for women, 24 course offerings explore what it means to be a woman.  The “Seminar on Gender and Social Change” sums it all up:  students explore “the intersection of race, class and sexual orientation” as they are revealed in “case studies [to] include feminist, lesbian and gay, right-wing, self  help, anti-abortion, and pro-choice movements.”  In short, being a Smith kind of woman requires a motherly embrace of abortion.

Whether it is Smith College or Harvard or Columbia or any American university, young women…and men…are being taught that abortion is the ultimate feminist right that guarantees the ability of women to succeed in life.  If you are pro-woman, you are required to be pro-abortion.

Woe to any student who might enter college holding a reverence for life.  This is the kind of “mistaken notion” that will cause the ire and ridicule of professors to fall upon on her, doom her to Cs and lower on papers and deny her access to fellowships and faculty positions.  In most cases, these women will survive.  They will be converted.

Battered from every side, our college daughters will eventually come to believe that no self-respecting woman could ever claim to be pro-life.  In a curriculum closed to real academic inquiry, they will never hear the truth about Elizabeth Cady Stanton who wrote feminist papers opposing abortion and infanticide in The Revolution, a newspaper she published with Susan B. Anthony.

Neither are college professors likely to disclose Stanton’s letter to Julia Ward Howe, the creator of Mother’s Day, where she wrote, “When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to dispose of as we see fit.”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton is not the only woman college professors choose to neglect.  Not surprisingly, their slate of “undesirables” includes all women who embrace the life-giving capacity inherent in the very nature of being a woman…Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Pearl S. Buck, Dorothy Day…and many others.  The curriculum at Smith College may be advertised as “open”, but not that open.

Luckily, college is not the only place where one can get an education.  Thanks to modern feminists who are reclaiming the definition of what it means to be a woman., it is possible to join the company of real feminists, both past and present, who affirm the value of every human life, no matter how small or humble it may be.

Like those who paved the way before them, Feminists for Life has refused to be controlled by the politics of abortion.  Believing in the strength of women and the potential of every human life, FFL President Serrin Foster has built a strong force of women reaching out to women with information and support.  We deserve better than abortion…we deserve better choices.

This year Feminists for Life has gathered a group of eloquent women speakers who tell it like it is…what it means to be a woman.  Traveling to university campuses around the country, they are truly engaging the students’ intellectual development, presenting case studies which illustrate the feminist case against abortion.

Finally, our daughters entering college do not have to accept the status quo dished out by college professors who want to indoctrinate with a pro-abortion bias.  Feminists for Life has paved a way to truth.  We can help.

Think of the young women in your life who are in college.  Tell them about Feminists for Life  and the full range of resources they offer to college students:  helping with abortion research projects, providing pregnancy resources and leading campus workshops and lectures.

Taking heart from women who have paved the way, it’s time for freshmen entering Smith College…and any other college…to teach their professors a thing or two.  Considering what it means to be a woman…when you are talking about abortion…we deserve better.


When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society – so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged.    

                         Mattie Brinkerhoff, The Revolution, 1869

A Forest of One Tree

October 23, 2006

No issue this year looms larger than marriage and the fight to define what marriage will be for the next generation.

All sorts of arguments fly through the air.  What is fair?  Who is going to get or lose health insurance?  Who won’t be able to get married?  Who will?  Why should government care who gets married?

There are lots of questions and lots of arguments.  But there is really only one agenda pushing them all.  This is about certifying same-sex marriage as an equivalent to traditional marriage.

Will I get to wear a wedding ring?  Will I get health insurance?  Will my relationship be validated as special by the government?  Why does it matter who or what I am when I get married?

There are lots of questions and lots of arguments.  But they are only branches of the same tree.  Marriage…what’s in this for me?

My, myself and I…will I be allowed to get all the “stuff” that belongs to marriage?

But wait.  Since when did marriage focus on “getting”?  This is a modern invention.

Since when did marriage focus on “me, myself, and I?”  This is a modern concoction.

If this is only about me, and if it’s only about what I get out of it, then I am the only tree in the forest.

This is an odd way to think about a relationship that only survives out of a desire to be a sacrificial servant to another person.  Foundationally, marriage is about giving up my right to be the only tree in the forest.

When we marry, with our attention focused outwards, looking at the other trees in the forest, it is our interest in the future of the forest that lets us see the seedlings just pushing up out of the soil and beginning to grow.  If this is about me, myself, and I…then seedlings don’t matter.

If this is about me, myself, and I, then…when I am gone, the forest will be gone.  But that won’t matter.  Who needs seedlings?  I won’t be around to see it.  And because the forest was only about me anyway, that will be just fine.

At the heart of the heated arguments about marriage, we need to step back from the trees and see the forest.  Are we building a society of individual trees?  Or are we building a society that nurtures seedlings?

Marriage, when properly focused, is about a larger society that flourishes because it nurtures the smaller family society that is raising the next generation.  It is not an arbitrary definition contrived to allow me to qualify for wedding rings and insurance.

Marriage is focused on the sacrificial relationship between a man and a woman for a logical reason.  This is the relationship out of which children are born and raised.  If children don’t flourish under the care of their parents, they will lose… we will all lose.

Government defines marriage and sets it aside as a unique relationship because of its significance for our children…for our future.  Marriage is not a random definition created by legislators.  It is a relationship of importance, a relationship that matters for the sake of the preservation of the forest.

If we are going to build a forest, then our laws best be about what is good for our children.  Marriage matters.  Mothers and fathers united in stable relationships defined by a focus on creating a nurturing environment for their children…this has always been the focus of a society that cares about the future.

Me, myself, and I will never create a seedling.  I may be a very pretty tree.  But I won’t live forever.  And I will never be more than a forest of one tree.


 September 3, 2004 – We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

June 13, 2005  – A Recipe for Families

See Archives for past editorials.


Offended by Creation

Jane Jimenez

Jane Jimenez

March 7, 2005

Every once in a while, a rare moment of complete honesty is so refreshing that, even when it jars our sensibilities, we are glad of it.

An event at Harvard last week has much to teach us about where we are headed in a culture increasingly offended by creation.  The Harvard Crimson reports that the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance is up in arms.  Harvard, they protest, lacks “sensitivity towards issues of sexuality.”

So what happened?  Some brutal attack against a gay person?  Some poisoned insult?  Perhaps an instance of employment discrimination, a professor fired because of his sexual orientation?  Nope.  It’s worse than all of this…much worse.

Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Will Smith, spoke at Harvard, and what she had to say has offended the BGLTSA community.  Darling of popular culture, married to Will, and black and beautiful on movie posters, Jada was selected as Artist of the Year.  If she had only been the quiet submissive type to accept her award and bat a few lashes at the camera, all would have been well.

But she couldn’t leave it at that.  Nope.  She had to offend the sensibilities of the Harvard intellectual elite by doing the unthinkable…embracing her creation as woman.  She told the audience, “Women, you can have it all – a loving man, devoted husband, loving children, a fabulous career.”

Whoa, Jada.  It’s all right for Hollywood to exploit woman, baring all and filming the union of man and woman from every possible camera angle.  It will even earn stars coveted awards and invitations to speak at Harvard.  But let’s not affirm Creation’s sexual design between man and woman as something to be desired.  Let’s not be “heteronormative!”

Can we appreciate the irony of Jada’s insults?  Our intellect has perfected the use of Creation’s gift of heterosexual love to offend families and children with unending pornography…at the same time that our intellect is offended by speaking of heterosexual love as a natural gift of Creation.

This particular irony is more than humorous.  It is an irony that brings clarity.

The current wars about what we should teach our children about sex are enflamed by the same debate burning around Jada’s comments at Harvard.  It’s just that few have been willing to speak boldly and honestly about the great offense of abstinence.

Several years ago, I asked a critic of abstinence education, “What is wrong with teaching children the value of abstaining from sex?”

She sputtered and shook her head from side to side.  “Have you seen what they are teaching?”  I had.  “It’s so homophobic!”

If one didn’t know better, you would think she meant it teaches children to hate gays.  But to those who lead the re-engineering of human sexuality, it’s all the same thing.  In their minds, affirming heterosexuality is equivalent to hating homosexuality.

Abstinence educators are actually charged with teaching that, “a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity.”  As we ponder the offense of affirming heterosexuality and marriage, we have to wonder what the Harvard intelligentsia would recommend as the antidote to unwed teen pregnancy?  Abortion?  Contraception?  GLTB sex?

Abstinence education offends because it has the audacity to teach, “You can have it all – a loving man, a devoted husband, loving children, a fabulous career.”  It offends when it teaches students that babies are a natural design of creation coming from sex between a man and a woman.  It is “heteronormative” when it suggests that our children can have it all…sex, pleasure, babies, and marriage…if they can succeed in abstaining from sex until marriage.

Sensitive Harvard Politico Correctos don’t want Jada, the darling of Hollywood to say it.  And they don’t want our teachers to say it.

Men and women were created for each other, but don’t dare say it out loud.

April 23, 2004:   m…m…m…Married?

September 24, 2004:   End of Life as a Fairly Normal Person

 See Archives for past editorials.