A recent report about misinformation contained in a Department of Health and Human Services website – 4Parents.gov – led me to spend some quality time exploring more of the useful information our government provides to its citizenry with our tax dollars.
Prepare to be amazed.
Did you know, for instance, that the government has replaced the medical term “fetus” with “unborn infant?” Or, that a fertilized egg (medically speaking, zygote) has been termed an “embryo” by the government even before it reaches a woman’s uterus and implants itself therein?
Were you aware that the government believes the best solution for a pregnant teen is to carry her baby to term and give it up for adoption? And, that having an abortion makes “some women say that they feel sad and some use more alcohol or drugs than before.”
Yes. It’s all there in that very helpful, but sadly inaccurate DHHS website which should more accurately be called 4Parents-Too-Uninformed-To-Know-Where-To-Find-Accurate-
Oh, but there is so much more, especially if, like me, you’re misguided enough to criticize the current administration for ignoring domestic issues such as health and health care, equality for women and funding for Social Security.
I hadn’t realized that the Bushies actually DO have a plan for all of the above social issues, and it’s called marriage.
What are the benefits married people enjoy?
- Live longer.
- Have better physical and emotional health.
- Are happier.
- Earn more.
- Enjoy better sex lives.
- Save more so they have fewer money worries.
Impressive, huh? But, where did all these factoids about marriage come from? And, if marriage magically bestows these benefits, why wouldn’t the government want to extend marriage rights to all of its citizens?
(scratch, scratch, scratch . . .)
Turns out that most of this information comes straight from a 2000 report, now a book, co-authored by Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher, the latter being Director of the Marriage Program at the Institute for American Values.
The Institute for American Values? Did anyone else feel a chill? No. Seriously. Like dry ice to the heart.
So, who funds this Institute for American Values? Because, you know, I’m thinking the American values promoted by such an institute would most likely reflect the same values as the people who are paying “researchers” like Gallagher. The answer will be no surprise. Major funders include the Bradley Foundation and the Coors family financed Castle Rock Foundation, which states:
The mission of the Castle Rock Foundation is to “promote a better understanding of the free-enterprise system, preserve the principles upon which our democracy was founded to help ensure a limited role for government and the protection of individual rights as provided for in the Constitution, encourage personal responsibility, and leadership, and uphold traditional American values.
There’s that phrase again, “traditional American values.” After all this, I still don’t have a very clear idea of what those American values might be, but I can sure tell you what’s not included in the conservative’s value vocabulary.
- Equal pay for women
- Escape from domestic violence
- Access to health services
- Protection from predatory business practices
- Intellectual integrity
Go ahead and add to the list in comments.