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Issues, Kansas, Politics

CARE-ing for Children

So, a lot of talk lately about Senate Bill 158 – the “Leave it to Beaver” bill that supposedly rewards good, clean, churchgoing families who foster children. Something seemed odd about this bill in the media, especially with regard to the “churchgoing” part, and I thought it deserved a little closer look and scrutiny. It turns out, I was right. What’s more interesting, though, is that it’s still a bill with problems, but people are focusing on the wrong parts.

Folks have criticized the proposed CARE program for it’s emphasis on rewarding the “traditional, ideal American family.” Some of that criticism is not wrong. After all, even in the 1950’s, Leave it to Beaver did not represent the “normal” family. They were a constructed ideal, used to market an image (not to mention products) that was emphasized by the times. It was during this time, for instance, that the Cold War was escalating and we were neck deep fighting against Communism while our populations were migrating to the suburbs. We were prosperous, but tense. People looked to things like television for comfort, so it was natural to use this medium to push agendas. Continue reading

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