My father isn't a bad person. He's had some life struggles and a big chunk of his adolescence involved copious experimentation with a smorgasbord of drugs (I once asked him which drugs he hadn't tried, to which he respond, "Well, I never tried cocaine"). Sometimes I think that pieces of his brain disintegrated entirely somewhere between 1963 and 1978. In my childhood, I knew him as a lonely, bipolar alcoholic who, for obvious reasons, wasn't the best parent. But a lot has changed since I was a kid (such as being prescribed medication and kicking the sauce) and in the past couple of years, we've actually developed a somewhat friendly and stable relationship. Plus, he does one of the best Jerry Lewis impersonations I've ever seen.
Last night I went to dinner with my dad for the first time in a couple of months. We went to my favorite spot, Friend House, and he tried Pad See Ew for the first time in his life. We chatted about our jobs, my roommates (if you're reading this, you guys
And here's why:
♥ My dad is a tea-partier. I really don't need to expand on this.
♥ He thinks that the couple who recently decided to raise their children in a gender-free household should be sterilized, sent to jail, and have their kids taken away by Child Protective Services. These were his exact words.
♥ After ranting for a bit about how he believes that the government should have very little involvement in everything, I dared to ask him how he feels about abortion (my question was inspired by this Anthony Weiner video). First, he asked if his response could come with some sort rule set that he feels is morally accurate. I said absolutely not. By now you probably guessed that he did that anyway. My father's view on abortion is that he "is pro-choice as long as stupid girls don't repeatedly use if for birth control while places like Planned Parenthood pay for it free of charge with our tax money." I told him that this doesn't happen as often as he seems to think it does and that any instance of this is a reflection on the government's inability to provide proper sex education and resources to young women (especially in lower-income areas). You will
|My dad: looks harmless, right?|
♥ Next, we decided to delve into gay marriage. What can I say? I needed to know. My dad thinks that committed homosexual couples should have the same rights as committed heterosexual couples but it should not be called "marriage." According to him, this is because "marriage" is defined as being between a man and a woman. I asked him if he meant that his argument was one about preserving sanctity. He said yes. I cited drunk, drive-through weddings in Las Vegas that get annulled the next day (think Britney Spears) as not preserving sanctity but still being legal. He said that that's just "goofing around." I asked him why we can't change the definition of marriage since our society is growing and changing from what it once was when these definitions were set in place. He said that if we change it to include LBGT people, what's next? Bestiality? Pedophilia? I told him that it was disgusting to even compare gay marriage to those things considering they are non-consenting and that by saying gay couples cannot call it "marriage" and cannot use the same terms as straight couples, is saying that they are unequal to straight couples. He said that these rules/definitions were founded upon Judeo-Christian morals and that everyone should respect these religions and follow their guidelines. I brought up the point that many Jewish movements support gay marriage and that other religions do not have to respect or follow any other religion's guidelines since this is a country that is supposed to separate church and state and uphold freedom of religion. He scoffed. For the record, my father isn't even religious.
♥ Finally, as the icing on the cake, he told me that he can't wait to stop working at his job because of how "ghetto" the students are. I would bet my life that what he meant to say was "black."
My co-worker, Scott, suggested that I should take his TV away from him. I concur. That, or I should just permanently block FOX News. I guess it just boggled my mind to actually know someone who believed, in earnest, all of these wackadoodle things I hear spouted from intolerant, right-wing mouths in the media. I wish there was a way to change my dad's mind and believe me, I've really tried to. You can't teach an old dog new tricks though, and 64 is REALLY old in dog years.