But I'm a Cheerleader, or Saved!

I saw parts of But I’m a Cheerleader – and honestly, could not get past the horrid acting. Saved was funny as heck, and probably had a better ending. However, I did not think that things like that actually existed!

Imagine my horror when I read the following on Heretical Ideas.

Well today, my mother, father, and I had a very long “talk” in my room where they let me know I am to apply for a fundamentalist christian program for gays. They tell me that there is something psychologically wrong with me, and they “raised me wrong.” I’m a big screw up to them, who isn’t on the path God wants me to be on. So I’m sitting here in tears, joing the rest of those kids who complain about their parents on blogs – and I can’t help it.

Not really beliving, I followed a few links. All that I can say is ‘wow’.

Justus has a post today that is somewhat related about parential notification in cases of abortion. He says

I will back up anyone on having as a part of parental control laws a strong system of counseling and child protective services to deal with this sort of problem. The idea though that a 13 yo girl, when having these sort of problems and facing the need for an abortion should just have minimal tools to try and be self reliant is repellent however.

This same topic applies here – however it is a fine line. When do we allow the goverment to step in and stop what could amount to toture? When is the freedom of the child eclipsed by the freedoms of the parents to raise their child as they see fit?

13 thoughts on “But I'm a Cheerleader, or Saved!”

  1. "<em>The state is not in a position to legislate morality in issues like abortion.</em>"

    I would postulate that the state is not in a position to legislate morality in any manner.

    The state exists to protect my rights, and yours. That is all. When you try to take away my rights (say, by shooting me) the state should interceed. However they should not do so on moral grounds (it’s wrong to kill) but on the grounds that my rights are infringed upon by your taking them away.

    I guess that the article was a reflection on the difficulty in judging when a child’s rights to privacy and lifestyle choice eclipse the rights of a parent to make those choices for that child. I feel that this should be a case by case basis. There are parents that do not "<em>know and love their children best</em>" nor keep their best intrest at heart. In cases like this, I think that some one needs to interceed on the child’s behalf. However, if the parents are at least 1/2 human, then they should be able to, well, parent their children.

  2. I have a 14-year-old daughter, and three sons younger than that. The thought that my daughter could have an abortion without my knowledge mortifies me. How in the world am I supposed to be as good a parent as I can be without that kind of information available to me? This goes for any major medical procedure on my kids, male or female.

    The state is not in a position to legislate morality in issues like abortion. By allowing the state to do so what they advocate is an almost complete lack of morality by enabling decisions like this to be made without the knowledge or consent of the parents, who, ostensibly, know and love their children best.

    18 is a good age limit. If a child can prove that they do not need their parents by age 16 they can be emancipated, but those cases a very, very rare.

  3. <em>I think there are times however when logic fails us and we emotionally, or intuitively know that something is so even though we cannot put our finger on why.</em>

    I would propose that is our subconscious coming to a logical outcome with more information, or a more detached view, then we are capable of at the time.

    A hunch is simply parts of your mind that you cannot readily access making connections that you cannot. I’ll be that when you do re-examine your position, you find that there was logic behind the choice that you made – just logic that you could not use or find at the time.

    Becca – If 1 + 1 = 2 now, will it not equal the same thing in a year? 10 years? 1000 years? There are inescapable underpinnings of logic everywhere you look. The difficult part is making a logical determination based on (what will always be) faulty or incomplete information. That’s why we have to be able to estimate in a unemotional fashion what would be the best choice, logically, based on the information at hand.

    Best choice is another concept entirely! :)

  4. I think there are times however when logic fails us and we emotionally, or intuitively know that something is so even though we cannot put our finger on why.

    I agree that quick emotional choices are often bad. But if I think something out for a while, can’t put my finger on why I feel a certain way but maintain my strong feelings even after long examination I tend to go with my gut. In those cases I continue to re-examine my position though and often eventually find what my reasoning was missing.

  5. <i> Logic will stay the same no matter
    what. </i>

    This sounds odd, but…I don’t know if I agree with that. *ponders*

  6. <em>I have serious problems with my opinion that parents shouldn’t be allowed to send their children to ‘degayification” camps. It’s quite a conflict for me, and the only way I can get around it is by my firm belief that being gay or bi is not a choice, but an inborn biological component.</em>

    I understand the emotional vs the logical conundrum. I hit it in several of my beliefs. However, my solution is that to remember the following – emotion is fleeting, and fickle. Logic will stay the same no matter what. Choices based in logic have a better chance of remaining for the best, while ones based on emotion tend to be knee jerk responses which might seem silly or poorly thought out with hindsight.

    As to the young girl – it’s sad, however she is at the age where her parents have that say. The state has a safety net, where if they feel that the parents are neglecting or abusing the child there are steps that they can take – and it seems that Texas has taken those steps.

    I agree that the child’s opinion should have some weight in the matter, but the final choice should be the parents (if they are not fit, then the state).

  7. Please don’t misunderstand: I have serious problems with my opinion that parents shouldn’t be allowed to send their children to "degayification" camps. It’s quite a conflict for me, and the only way I can get around it is by my firm belief that being gay or bi is not a choice, but an inborn biological component.

    Now. Ask me if it should matter if being gay or bi WERE a choice, and I get even more confused.

    Incidentally, I was wondering what you thought of this, in light of the above post and conversation: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=856748&amp;CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312

    I can’t come to a firm opinion on it because I have thus far been unable to ascertain how the girl herself feels about the whole thing. Which leads me to believe I must put a fair amount of weight on what a child wants, at least after a certain age.

  8. I think a very good argument can be made that 18 is too old to start taking full responsibility for oneself.

    Unfortunately though, we live in a very technologically complex culture that really requires education into the 20s before one can be self-sufficient. And it is almost axiomatic that one cannot expect to be fully responsible for oneself, if one is not self-sufficient.

    I think that there are a lot of problems with our delayed entry into the adult world. I don’t know that there are any simple solutions however.

  9. Tsykoduk says, "At what age does a parent loose complete control over their child?"

    When they are born. :)

    It’s always an unfortunate situation when children get caught up in parental lunacy. However I do not feel the 18 year old limit is a terrible one.

    Sure there are kids who mature quicker, either biologically or because their situation forces them to. The fact remains that most kids, seemingly mature or not, cannot handle important decisions on their own.

    As we can tell from this story though, many parents can’t make good decisions either.

    There is not an easy canned answer to this problem, so this leaves us with laws that try to protect as many of our children as we can.

    Can parents force religious beliefs on there children? It’s sad, but yes they can. Hopefully when children become "adults" they will remember their oppression and make an informed choice.

  10. If a child were to become a cultist and inflict harm on themselves, would you support putting that child through a de-conditioning?

    It’s really kind of the same thing. The parents involved probally really <strong>believe</strong> that their child is in the grip of the <em>devil</em>. Even though we disagree with them, if we are to take their rights away, then what if some one disagrees with our beliefs? Do we get stripped of our rights?

    That is the fine line that I am concerned with. At what age do we say that a child is mature enough to make up their minds about issues like this? At what age does a parent loose complete control over their child? At what age does a child’s right to choose their life’s path eclipse the rights of a parent?

    I agree that sending their child to a place like this is abhorrent, not to mention the guilt and pain they caused when they told him the things that they did. However I do not know if it my right, or the state’s right to interfear with their parenting choices of their child.

  11. Perhaps not startlingly, I’m completely against parental notification laws. Separate, though related, issue.

    I’m not as torn on the issue of whether or not parents should be allowed to inflict things like this on their children. I think programs like that are complete crap. The only thing that surprises me is that you weren’t aware they actually existed.

  12. I still feel that personal freedoms come first. The issue to me, is where do you draw the line between the child’s freedoms and the parents freedoms?

    I would support a ‘spectrum of freedom’ for the children – based on age. As a child ages, they would (and should) have more freedoms from their parents. I do not agree with no freedom until age 18, and then all.

    Parents that fail to impart their moral values at a young age should have less and less control, and responsibility.

  13. I saw this story via a link on Sandcastles and Cubicles last week I think.

    I strongly believe that teens need an adult, in addition to their parents, that they can go to when needed, if nothing else to act as a mediary between them and their parents.

    The adjustments of going from a child to an adult require a constant flux in the parental-child relationship, and even the best parents sometimes have trouble keeping up with it.

    One of the difficulties though, is that you can’t just put an adult there for these kids to go to, it has to be someone they trust, not someone just assigned to them. However, having a system of councilers and advocates who are at least availible to kids seems very worthwhile.

    As to the particulars of programs like this, I am skeptical that they work even for those that want to ‘change’. I am sure that they are a waste of time, money and come close to being torture (at least as bad a Guantanamo anyway) to those who have no desire to be there in the first place.

    There are valid, honest reasons to use to convince a 16 gay kid (or a straight kid for that matter) to avoid sexual activity.

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