Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Parenting in a Diverse, Multicultural,
Borderline-Insane Culture

This post isn't about politics, although the central character is a politician.

The headline attracts attention, as they're designed to: "Republican senator arrested, reportedly for lewd conduct." The politico is Idaho Senator Larry Craig. The senator was "apprehended by a plainclothes police officer investigating complaints of lewd behavior in an airport men's room."

News reports very carefully didn't mention what the "lewd behavior" was. I finally learned what happened in a report that started, "WASHINGTON - Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, who has voted against gay marriage and opposes extending special protections to gay and lesbian crime victims, finds his political future in doubt after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from complaints of lewd conduct in a men's room."

Still sounds serious. Farther down, the article said that "Sgt. Dave Karsnia made the arrest after an encounter in which he was seated in a stall next to a stall occupied by Craig. Karsnia described Craig tapping his foot, which Karsnia said he 'recognized as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct.'"

Tapping his foot.

That's proof, apparently, of something. "Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, an advocacy group, on Monday called Craig a hypocrite.

"'What's up with elected officials like Senator Craig? They stand for so-called family values and fight basic protections for gay people while furtively seeking other men for sex,' Foreman said."

Tapping his foot = furtively seeking other men for sex = being a hypocrite. I hate to think what the senator would have been guilty of, had he blown his nose.

I'm a devout Catholic - yes, one of 'those' - and now I'm going to have to decide whether to add foot-tapping to the list of culturally inappropriate behaviors, or whether it's a rule that applies only to conservative politicians.

No complaints: to be Catholic is to be counter-cultural. Strongly, in some cases. But living in a culture where foot-tapping has become inappropriate behavior doesn't make parenting easier.

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