Over the weekend my boyfriend, Tivo, recorded a couple episodes of 30 Days for me. 30 Days is the brainchild of Morgan Spurlock who deep fried himself into liver failure by eating nothing but McDonalds for 30 days in the hilarious and disturbing documentary Supersize Me. (Banning note: Don't try that at home, Gentle Readers.) 30 Days follows the same concept as the movie – take someone with one opinion/creed/philosophy/moral conviction/living condition and have them live in the exact opposite environment for 30 days and see what happens. As you can well imagine, fun ensues from there! Spurlock has tossed an active duty soldier into the San Francisco apartment of a homosexual activist; a Boston gun control advocate onto the Ohio farm of a gun enthusiast, a New York City electronic gadget freak onto a Utah off-the-grid organic commune, a conservative Christian from West Virginia into a Muslim home in Dearborn, Michigan, and himself into a Virginia jail... all for 30 days.
It’s absolutely brilliant. In every episode I’ve watched, all the participants come out changed for the better, with less rigid opinions, an understanding of something they used to fear, and unexpected new found friendships. That is, until I watched yesterday’s show. In it, a Mormon woman, Kati, who believes that children should be raised by a mother and a father, lived with Tom and Dennis, a homosexual couple, who adopted four boys out of the foster care system. This episode really shocked me. Despite the fact that Tom and Dennis were excellent parents and that the boys were happy and healthy and would still be in foster care without them, Kati never swayed from her opinion that Tom and Dennis shouldn't have been allowed to adopt children.
So, today I am thinking about gay and lesbian parents. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman seemed like a fine book for The Daily Banning. This book is about a child, Heather, raised by lesbians; one of whom gets pregnant via artificial insemination, and the other who helps raise Heather. It centers around Heather's new playgroup, where the other kids and their parents talk about Heather's mommies simply and positively. No big deal, right? Wrong!
This poor book is so banned that its author, Leslea Newman, gave an interview on beliefnet.com stating that she had two jobs -- one as a writer and the other as a defender of Heather Has Two Mommies. Apparently this book has been praised, banned, showered with awards, burned, read aloud in the US Senate, and gotten people fired. Quite a track record for one little childrens' book. I think the thing that most shocked its censors is that Heather's family is virtually indistinguishable from their own family. If that's true, then what happens to their conviction that being around gay people is damaging to children? They might have to change their minds and we can't have that.
Let me bottom line it for you, Gentle Readers... Kati would hate this book. That alone should make you run out and buy it.