July 1, 2011
American Family Besieged by Outside Forces? Godges Espouses Contrary View
GOING HEAD TO HEAD with Michael Ray Dresser, host of the “Dresser After Dark” talk radio show, author John Paul Godges shared contrary opinions about the state of the American family in an age of global communications, multicultural relations, and anti-immigrant legislations.
“The biggest problem we have is outside intervention in the family,” Dresser began.
Godges acknowledged that families today face unique pressures. “One of them might be the widespread diffusion of communications technologies. But if we’re going to follow that line of argument and place any blame on television or movies for moral decline of the family unit in our country, we also have to recognize the countervailing benefits of global communications that have liberated the minds and bodies of people around the world, because it is no longer nearly as possible for people to oppress one another in isolated and remote pockets of the planet.”
Dresser and Godges agreed on the value of parent training programs to help parents build communications skills to address uncomfortable topics with their children, from substance abuse to sexually transmitted diseases. “I’m on board with you with parent training,” said Dresser. “But one of the biggest problems we have is sensitivity training. That has gone way overboard.”
Godges disagreed. “Look at what is happening today among gay and lesbian youth. If you look at the spate of suicides and murders and even tortures that have occurred over the past 18 months or so in this country, there still is very much a need in our communities, our families, our schools to enhance our cultural sensitivity toward people who do not fit into mainstream society.”
“I don’t think the schools are the place to be teaching this,” countered Dresser. “That has to happen at home.”
“Homophobia comes from the home,” Godges asserted. “Racism comes from the home. Most often, if it comes from the home, it will not be addressed in the home.”
“So how do you stop it in the home?”
“That’s why you go to students and children where they are outside the home. And that’s why the school is one logical location for some kind of intervention or education or training or cultural sensitivity effort.”
“John, if it were just that, I would say okay. But go to some of the schools in Arizona right now, where they want to give Arizona back to Mexico.”
“Who wants to give Arizona back to Mexico?”
“You haven’t been watching what’s been going on?”
“Who specifically are you saying wants Arizona to go back to Mexico?”
“You got me put against the wall,” said Dresser, “because I can’t remember the name of the organizations and the activists doing it. I’ll get the name, and I’ll bring you back on, and we’ll address it. And if I’m wrong, I will apologize publicly.”
“Sounds good to me.”
The full interview plays in the three videos below.
“Those were pretty sweeping generalizations regarding what used to be parental involvement in children’s lives and what is today what you might call recklessness of children in disobeying parents.”
Running time: 4 minutes, 57 seconds.
“If we’re talking about the difficulty of rearing children in this day and age on difficult subjects—sex, drugs, all of the dangers that teenagers and tweens and other children can become involved with today and can be exposed to at very early ages—the most promising solution or strategy that I have been aware of is parent training.”
Running time: 9 minutes, 29 seconds.
“Homophobia comes from the home. Racism comes from the home. Most often, if it comes from the home, it will not be addressed in the home.”
Running time: 3 minutes, 55 seconds.