It's that time of year again, when the Texas Republican Party continues its grim, unwilling march toward the 17th century by updating its party platform. It's the usual gathering of heavy-duty God talk, racist paranoia, Victorian-era attitudes toward marriage, crippling homophobia, and that bit of Texas right-wing weirdness that I've always been fond of, the abject fear that your child might learn that there are other ways of viewing the world other than holing up in a house with a gun in case today's the day that reparations-seekers descend from black helicopters to kick down your door and confiscate your Bible. The obsession with giving total control over the minds and bodies of minors to their parents blows past creepy and right into Flowers in the Attic territory.
It's hard to know where to begin with the carnival of anti-child horrors in the document, but things really start to get weird in the "Protecting Our Children" section, where not only is the U.N. Treaty on the Rights of the Child denounced vigorously, but a rather troubling demand is made for a slate of "parental rights" to be granted that are clearly aimed at giving extremists the right to shield their children from the existence of the outside world. You'd think conservatives would support the U.N. Treaty, as it's very supportive of the idea that children should have a relationship with both biological parents, but apparently, the U.N.'s belief that you shouldn't beat your children or emotionally abuse them into terrified silence is just a step too far for the Texas GOP. Being able to beat children is explicitly mentioned in their defense of corporal punishment in foster care and in schools. (In case anyone wants to claim I'm denouncing a light pat on the bottom, my Texas school used corporal punishment, and it involved having a grown adult beat your a-- with a paddle, so no, this isn't about light pats.)
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