Dr Laura: Really the Evil Within?
By K. Peak
Her brusque and no-holes barred attitude sometimes grates on the nerves. Yes, she may go overboard with her Judeo-Christian ideals (especially for those of us who are not of these faiths) and get pushy with her quoting of the Ten Commandments. Yes, she speaks out against various groups at times. But is Dr. Laura the evil person she is made out to be? Or, does she just make us as humans look at our own acts and how we affect others? (Note, I am not against homosexuality nor am I trying to imply that they are immoral – I am speaking in general about all peoples).
I admit: I listen to Dr. Laura. I do disagree with some of the religious based ideals she puts forth, but that's OK. I can look above that and think how would MY religious moral codes apply. Most religions have a code of ethics. Dr. Laura just puts forth the code of her faith and the faith of many others (admit, most people in this country are or at least profess to be of a Judeo-Christian background). Heck, look at "Do as ye will but Harm None" and "That what you do will come back threefold upon you." These can be very powerful statements when you sit and think. Seriously, sit and meditate on the Wiccan Rede and the Three-Fold Law: "…Merry Meet and Merry Part, bright the cheeks and warm the Heart, Mind the Threefold Law ye should, three times bad and three times good… True in love ye must ever be, lest they love be false to thee. These words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: and ye harm none, do what ye will."
Many people tend to ignore moral codes of their religions and some people even turn to other faiths because they perceive the codes to be looser. But are such codes looser or are people distorting the codes of other beliefs they have joined just to justify their own needs? So, if you can ignore that Dr. Laura puts forth the code of only a couple faiths (Judeo-Christian – remember the Torah is part of the Old Testament and Christianity built the New), much of her advice can cover anyone of any faith. Seriously, all the Ten Commandments do is emphasize what we all know is wrong - regardless of your religion. We should not kill unless it is in self-defense. We should not commit adultery. We should honor our parents and the God (or Goddess). We should not covet our neighbors (though that green eyed monster rears up in even the best of us.) And so on through the list. Just because they are Judeo-Christian in writing does not mean those of us who are not of these faiths should ignore them. Some religions' moral codes are far simpler and shorter but have the same concept – we need to harm none in our actions and deeds.
Now, where I really agree with Dr. Laura is her stance on what is best for children. Children deserve to have a safe, loving, two-parent household. Though let me first state I disagree with Dr. Laura's stance on homosexuals and kids. There are so many needy kids out there that if a homosexual couple wants to adopt one, meets the requirements and part of the couple will stay at home to raise the child, so be it. I feel it is far better than languishing in a system that often "loses" kids and shuffles them from home to home without stability. There are just too many kids that the stereotypical couple would not consider adopting that are in dire need of stable homes. Is it not better for a committed homosexual couple to raise a child than have that child waste away in the foster care system because no heterosexual couple wants him/her? Not all these kids have behavioral or medical conditions making adoptions hard. Some are simply older or mixed race. Whatever the reason, I feel they would do better in a home than in the system.
That said… Children deserve and do best when a parent stays home to raise them. It is selfish for us to have children as single women and then stuff them in day care for someone else to raise for eight to ten hours a day, five days a week. Day care should be a last resort and used only by those who truly need it. To put our desires for corporate power, prestige, or just because we "need" to live a specific lifestyle and will not live more modestly or just because we have kids but cannot stand to be with them all day the first few years is selfish. Even after the kidlets go to school, if possible, stay home. Studies have shown that most teens get pregnant or cause trouble in the hours when they are home but parents are still at work (from 3 – 6pm). Then what about breaks and summer vacation? Personally, my child will know he has a parent who will be home to help guide him. (Providing something does not happen to one of us – but this is where daycare is needed and not for those who can make the choice between working out of the house and staying at home.)
Why do women do stupid things? Why do we shack up with men and get pregnant only to not marry the father? Why do we feel abortions can be used as birth control and not place the undesired child in a good home? Why do we not wait until in a solid, safe committed relationship before engaging in sex? Why do we take the risks we do and seek out men that are not good for us, do not respect us and are slime? Why do we not take more control our own lives? Why do we insist that when we bring new life into the world that we continue to put ourselves first?
I know many mothers who work because they HAVE to – and not because they want to. These are women who do not live lavish lifestyles but work for many reasons – divorced, widowed, husband lost job. Most of them would give their eyeteeth to be at home. Then I know many women who work because they WANT to – they like the power and prestige. Many of these women mistake the WANT to's with the HAVE to's. I can think of several who could stay home if they would give up a few luxuries (lavish trips to vacation homes, vehicles that cost half as much as some houses, clothes from only the most expensive boutiques). I also know a few who insisted on having a child out of wedlock because they felt men were not needed. Do they realize that children from single mothers are more likely to be in trouble than those with good fathers in the house?
Why are we so selfish? Should not feminism be gauged by how well we do at raising our children? Is that not what the female body was meant for? Why is feminism gauged only by power and control? Is not the ultimate feminist one who throws away what others think and does what she knows is best – even if that is striving to be the best parent possible and staying at home?
Another reason I like Dr. Laura is she makes people own up to their failures that often the person tries to blame on someone else. "Gee, maybe if my husband looked better I would not have had that affair." Um Sweetie? You had that affair because you could not keep your legs closed. You could not put lust behind you for the vows you took. "Gee, I did not mean to get pregnant and have an abortion." But why did you have sex when you know that pregnancy just one of the many consequences of sex and when NO birth control is 100% effective? Dr. Laura wants us to think long term. She wants us to look at our selfishness and ourselves. We have become a society of greed and lust and often forget that our actions have reactions. We forget that when we pledge ourselves to someone that it does not mean until someone better looking comes along. Granted, if a spouse is abusive, addicted to drugs or alcohol, commits adultery or otherwise cannot hold up those vows, then the marriage is over. But how many people marry and divorce like they would change shirts? What is this telling our youth? What are we telling them when we cannot hold to our vows or when we shack up with different partners each weekend?
Why do parents fear their children so much? How many times do we hear "I do not want to make little Lisa mad at me."? Hey, who is the parent? Kids are our charges for the first 18 years. We are meant to guide them even if it means saying NO and grounding them if needed. I would rather my son hate me for a few days of grounding and learn that his actions have consequences than feel the world owes him and he can do anything he wants. Why do we let our young women dress and act like sluts? Who makes the money? When Janie is fully self-sufficient and on her own, she can dress like a tramp. When she is in your house and you pay the bills, she should dress and behave respectfully. Personally, I would think nothing of burning all unacceptable clothing in a nice cleansing ritual if I had a daughter who was a prostitute-look-a-like. But how many parents feel they need to be their child's friend as opposed to their guide? How may of us do not teach our children that actions have consequences? How many of us will dress down a teacher who fails Billy on a test when we know dang well Billy did not study his hardest?
On the other hand, how many of us are too spineless to become our children's voices when the little ones cannot be heard? How many of us would call Social Services of we suspected abuse in a house – even if that house belonged to a friend? How many of us will fight the system to ensure our children are getting what they need in schools? How many of us would step to the plate and fight for our child's rights and what is best?
Now, I am not saying we as parents should give up everything or run our kids' lives. We need an evening out and time off. But everything should be in moderation - we now have little ones that rely on us. I know parents who go out five or six nights a week – sometimes after their kids have spent most of the day in day care! Why bother having kids? I see nothing wrong with an at-home parent having an evening or two a week off. But everything in moderation… When you have children, you give up the right to be selfish. Someone else is now more dependant on you than you are on yourself… We also have to let our kids make mistakes and learn from them. But we need to use such mistakes as learning tools and not just ignore them.
I think why many people do not like about Dr. Laura is she gets into us. She makes US own up to OUR actions and stop placing the blame on others. "Gee, I know using my home system to hack into the company system to play games is wrong but they had no reason to fire me for being a security risk – I am being picked on!" Who was at fault: the company or the employee breaking the rules and opening up for the risk? Maybe this is why people cannot stand Dr. Laura; she makes us own up to our actions. How many of us say we are victims of others when the true blame lies within ourselves? How do we affect others? Sort of a hard pill for many to swallow…
I may not fully agree with Dr. Laura on many things. I may not agree at all with her on some topics. But I do agree with her that we are not taking care of our most precious resources, as we should. We put our selfish wants first and the little lives we brought into the world second. Our kids are only kids once. We need to work to give them the best foundation we can so when they are adults they will: follow the moral codes of what ever faith they follow; they will have respect for others; they will in turn know how to care for their children – your grandchildren.