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On Orson Scott Card's take on marriage

1) Didn't you see this coming? In one of his latest books, the hammer that he hit people over the head with was that the meaning of life, the sole mission in life that people have, is to have babies. Not to educate children, not to take care of children so much, but to have babies. He got removed from my buy-on-sight list for this; he's read-first-then-buy-if-appropriate.

2) I skimmed the first page of his essay/rant thing, and decided that for the peace of my soul, I was not reading any more of it. Not because I was afraid it would convince me that he is Right and I am Wrong, but because I know enough to avoid material that will anger me to no good end.

3) Az-the-Elder has a very good essay/rant/open letter, well-reasoned and not particularly flamy, speaking from experience on what happens when a homosexual man and a heterosexual woman get "married", and why this is a bad idea.

4) I feel very strongly that sometimes divorce is necessary. I also feel that many divorces could be prevented by making a marriage more difficult to obtain, and that education on the fact that it takes more than just blind love to keep a marriage together is necessary. Some people may pick up the skills that it takes to keep a marriage together directly from the blind love stage without education, or have them without knowing that they have them, but people relying on love and love alone to keep them together are, for the most part, in deep trouble.

5) I think that in most cases, it takes more than one person to raise a child. These people need not be in a marital or romantic relationship with each other, but must all be devoted to doing their best to raise the child. Pressuring someone who is unprepared and unwilling to take on the responsibility of a child to become responsible for a child may result in them becoming responsible, or may more likely result in them becoming bitter and resentful of the situation. If someone engenders and then abandons a child, and is unwilling to wholeheartedly devote themselves to the day-to-day well-being of the child, then they should not be pressured to spend time with that child as a caregiver. A caregiver who resents the situation will probably resent the child, and a resentful caregiver is not a healthy person to have raising a child. Someone who engenders and abandons a child should be pressured to provide financial support for the child and another caregiver in their stead. No amount of financial support can replace a willing full-time long-term caregiver, but financial support can aid in finding a replacement. Someone who is unprepared to care for a child, but is willing to do their best and learn how to do a good job of it should be given support and education in how to do it better, and should not be forced to do it alone. It is not necessary for a long-term caregiver to be genetically related to a child to be a good caregiver for it; it is advisable that a caregiver be long-term to best know the child to raise it.

6) Long-term caregivers of a child need not be of opposite sexes in order to provide a child with a wide enough experience of people in order to function well in the world. A child should be exposed to more adults than just their long-term caregivers on a regular basis, and a child should have playmates with diverse interests as well as common interests. The broader the array of cultures and people a child is exposed to on a regular basis, the better adapted they will be to function in the adult world. The media (television, movies, books, newspapers) is not an effective subsititute for regular diverse human contact, but is better than isolation. Allowing a child contact only with people who hold one specific viewpoint on the world does not serve a child well, because the child generally does not become prepared to deal with people who do not think in the same way.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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