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What About the Children?

2013 May 29
"Hey" by Hector Landaeta

“Hey” by Hector Landaeta

For as long as he’s been on the radio Rush Limbaugh has been a target of those who would like nothing better than to get him off the air. The effort has been re-doubled in the last couple of years, spurred on by organizations such as Media Matters.

It would be a waste of time and effort, as well as outside the scope of this blog, to attempt a defense of Rush Limbaugh. Not because I agree with what his critics have to say, because I don’t. Nor do I agree with everything he has to say; because I don’t do that with anybody outside of God. I will only add that having listened to him over the years, albeit not faithfully, I come away with the feeling that I am not listening to the same broadcast as these critics.

At the end of the day, when anger driven by ideology takes over, one cannot convince a person committed to a specific cause that the sky is blue or that the sun will rise tomorrow. It would be silly to attempt.

What is not outside the scope of this blog is the care for and love of children; and the campaign against Rush Limbaugh has, sadly, targeted the most vulnerable of these.

One of the show’s “sponsors” is AdoptUsKids. I think everyone has heard these ads telling the listener (and potential foster parent) that “you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent; there are thousands of kids in foster care who will take you just as you are”.

Limbaugh’s audience is enormous; just by probability alone it is reaching the ears of untold numbers of potential foster and prospective adoptive parents.

I’ve taken great comfort in those spots. I was forty-nine years old when our first pair of foster kids came to live with us, seven and eight year old brothers. While we were in the process I often thought, “Our first kids are going to see two people that could be their grandparents! Doesn’t a kid that age want younger, more active parents?” Top that off with all the things I don’t know how to do!

The ad spots are managed by the Ad Council and the time for the spots is donated by the media outlets. The stations that donate the time slip the ads in during various shows. AdoptUsKids has nothing to do with when and where the ads are run.

But AdoptUsKids is on the The List of Limbaugh sponsors targeted by various left-wing groups. Look at two posts made on their Facebook page:

“Did you realize that you advertise on the Rush Limbaugh show? He is a hateful racist and I’m sure not at all what this organization stands for. Please consider pulling your ads from his show. He would not support your company [sic] and you should not support him.”

Notice the use of the alternate use of the words “organization” and (laughably) “company” in this post. This is astro-turf (AdoptUsKids is not a company); but it gets “better:

“Perhaps you were not aware that your advertisements were being run during a decidedly not family program. They are. They are being used during the Rush Limbaugh program, so in a sense you are supporting his words. He spouts hate, racism, gender bashing, etc. for a program such as yours, there must be other shows your ads can run that are family friendly, his certainly isn’t. I will be sharing this with family and friends so the voice of one becomes many. I will be asking them to share on Facebook and twitter” (emphases mine).

Both posts attempt to tie the perceived values of the radio show (as defined by these groups) with that of AdoptUsKids. It’s a threat really; particularly in the second. The implication is: “If you keep advertising on Rush Limbaugh we’re going to smear you in every other available social media available.”

Neither poster lists AdoptUsKids Facebook as one of their “likes”. You don’t have to like a page to post on it, but it seems odd to me that someone who doesn’t have this page as one of their likes, and therefore not on their news feed, would suddenly show up to express concern.

Instead, the posters (or posers) like dozens of leftwing political pages, many of them cannot be characterized any other way than hate pages focused on specific individuals. Ironic, isn’t it?

On one of many pages dedicated to this current cause there is a quote from MsNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “The biggest divide in this country is not between Democrats and Republicans, it’s between people who care and people who don’t care.”

Indeed.

So what about the children? Wouldn’t concern for foster kids finding homes where they are loved and respected place one under the category of someone who cares?

As a couple apparently categorized as right-wing conservative Christian haters Jennifer and I are the proud parents of two young boys and a young lady, all adopted from foster care. At the beginning our agency wanted to know if we had any racial preference. Though we understand there are reasons why some prospective foster/adoptive parents would, we didn’t have any. Our boys, who are Hispanic (although our oldest son insists they are more Polish than Mexican) came to us as pre-adopt. Their sister, at sixteen, fell into that population of kids who often do not get adopted because of her age.

I’m not saying any of this to brag or pat myself on the back. I’m not a perfect parent, just as I am not a perfect person. What I am saying is that it takes all kinds.

Believe it or not, there are teens out there who don’t want to be adopted by atheists, but desire to be adopted by a mom and a dad who share their Christian faith. At the movies last weekend we were treated to a preview of ABC Family’s new show The Fosters, featuring a female “married” couple. Our daughter didn’t like it at all.

By the same token, a very accomplished teen featured on the AdoptUsKids Facebook page a few months ago wanted to be adopted by parents who would accept his chosen lifestyle as a homosexual.

For a good part of my life I have seen all kinds of plans and schemes, some with merit but many more ineffective, that were put forth with the appeal, “What about the children?”

Yeah, what about them? Do we just pretend we care about them until something else comes along that gets our ideological ire up and our blinders on?

To quote a popular song from the late seventies: “Leave them kids alone.”

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