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Welcome to the Traditional Family Values Center at Texas A&M!
April 21, 2011 8:51 AM   Subscribe

The Texas A&M Student Senate has voted to support and advocate for student-funded traditional family values education on Texas public school campuses.

Texas Republican Wayne Christian introduced an amendment to Texas's budget which mandates that any state colleges and universities with gay or gender centers or programs must match the funding for those initiatives, dollar for dollar, with "education promoting family and traditional values." The amendment passed the Texas House overwhelmingly, with a more than two-thirds majority.

You might think that this is something only the dinosaurs in the Legislature support, but you'd be wrong. The Texas A&M Student Senate has voted to support the amendment and (Word doc) "advocate for that amendment" "on behalf of the students of Texas A&M University."
posted by fugitivefromchaingang (98 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
*facepalm*
posted by joe lisboa at 8:56 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Watch out Arizona, Texas is catching up to you.
posted by desjardins at 8:59 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm guessing pretty soon we'll also have an answer to the snarky, "When's white history month?" question that gets asked every year in Texas.
posted by Standeck at 9:00 AM on April 21, 2011 [23 favorites]


....Because "traditional" family values don't get any support from the rest of society. And because "traditional" family values cannot include support for equal rights for your fellow humans, and families with "traditional" values never have LGBT members whom they love and support and see as just a member of the family.

Okay, got that all straight. So to speak.
posted by rtha at 9:01 AM on April 21, 2011 [23 favorites]


Every time one of these guys says "family values" or "traditional values" they really mean "arbitrary set of rules I think everyone should be forced to follow." Or more succinctly, "my favored set of prejudices."

Family values are things like love and tolerance and acceptance, which are exactly what LGBT support centers promote. Conversely, reinforcing bigotry is the furthest thing I can imagine as a family value. Was there no one bringing this up in the Student Senate? The amendment and article are pretty slim on details.
posted by notion at 9:01 AM on April 21, 2011 [48 favorites]


Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, asked, "What is a pansexual?"

Duh!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:03 AM on April 21, 2011


I'm not seeing anywhere what the "education promoting family and traditional values" would actually entail. What would be the curriculum? Would it by chance include traditions other than those followed by bigots in Texas?
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:03 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


In response, I plan to forget the Alamo.
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:04 AM on April 21, 2011 [77 favorites]


Makes me think of that quote in Annie Lamott's book:

"You can safely assume you have created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates the same people you do.”
posted by acheekymonkey at 9:04 AM on April 21, 2011 [71 favorites]


Does this apply to private funding as well? That is, if I gave money to A&M earmarked for, say, the GLBT Resource Center, would the school have to make a matching increase in the budget of the A&M Homophobic Bigotry Center (or whatever they're going to call it)? I would assume not, but one never knows.

But if not, then I'd love to see an endowment fund for the various GLBT centers at Texas universities set up, basically doing an end-run around this hateful nonsense.

Of course, I'd also love to see a university take the 'traditional values' money and set up a center for the study of the traditional Biblical values of polygamy and spousal abuse.

Or, less snarkily, use the money to fund the English department under the argument that a huge amount of literature in the English canon centers around heterosexual relationships.
posted by jedicus at 9:06 AM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Isn't "Family values are things like love and tolerance and acceptance" the same as "arbitrary set of rules I think everyone should be forced to follow."

I mean, you really have to look at it from everyone's perspective, even those who do not believe in any type of values whatsoever, before you begin to champion your arbitrary beliefs against someone else's.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:06 AM on April 21, 2011


I actually thought there were more Christian organizations on campuses than there were LGBT organizations. Or don't Christian student organizations fight for family values any more?
posted by JJ86 at 9:07 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does the amendment define what "traditional and family values" are? I would love to know.
posted by demiurge at 9:07 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Every two years, as the Lege prepares to descend on Austin, I ask myself "How much worse can it get?"

Every two years, I get my answer.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:10 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Every two years, I get my answer.

It's like they play a few rounds of Truth or Dare before each session. "I dare you to pass a guns-on-campus law. I dare you to pass a Voter ID law that prevents people from actually getting IDs. Wait, wait, I have the best one - pass a law demanding equal access to family values education!!!"
posted by muddgirl at 9:13 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Uh, JJ86, not as many as you'd think (at least as "official" groups on campus)
posted by k5.user at 9:14 AM on April 21, 2011


Watch out Arizona, Texas is catching up to you. Someone from Wisconsin is throwing shit about Texas politicians? Haven't you been watching the fucking news the last couple of months?
posted by Daddy-O at 9:16 AM on April 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Texas: you're doing it wrong.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:18 AM on April 21, 2011


Wayne Christian: Our legislation has passed. Let us celebrate the triumph of traditional family values over heathen gay interests!

Aide: Excuse me, Wayne?

Wayne Christian: I prefer "Representative Christian."

Aide: Yes, Representative Christian. You should know that in our haste to get this bill passed, there wasn't really time to think it through fully or carefully review the language, and...

Wayne Christian: What?

Aide: Well, funny thing -- ha ha! -- the bill actually works both ways. It requires the state to fund gay-type causes the same as traditional family matters. I did a quick back of the envelope calculation and it looks like the state of Texas owes homosexuals around $250 billion.

Wayne Christian: I see. Well, I need some time to digest this news. I'll be at the Cock Lounge -- er, I mean the Aggies Club.
posted by brain_drain at 9:19 AM on April 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


LOL... Daddy-O, haven't YOU been watching the WI threads the last couple of months? Desjardins has been among the top three permanent fixtures therein.
posted by AugieAugustus at 9:19 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone from Wisconsin is throwing shit about Texas politicians? Haven't you been watching the fucking news the last couple of months?

Well let's be fair to Wisconsin - Texas passed a law preventing teachers from collective bargaining ages ago. Wisconsin has a long way to go before they catch up to us!
posted by muddgirl at 9:20 AM on April 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


I can't speak for A&M, but UTSA strikes me as a deeply conservative campus. There are posters promoting the ROTC next to flyers for "Christians United for Israel" and the pro-life student union. The gay groups are almost non-existent and the Muslim student orgs seem to be muted, as if they fear being thrown out at a moments notice.

The thing is, there are plenty of gay college students in San Antonio. They fill the bars on weekends. He'll, they fill the bars on weekdays. But I do think there is a very real climate of fear here. The leader of the local democratic party even recently accused gays of undermining public morality and organizing conspiracies against the public or something along those lines.

It's a toxic atmosphere.
posted by Avenger at 9:20 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Someone from Wisconsin is throwing shit about Texas politicians? Haven't you been watching the fucking news the last couple of months?

I think it may actually be possible to be angry about crappy politicians in Texas, Arizona, and Wisconsin, all at the same time.
posted by Vibrissa at 9:20 AM on April 21, 2011 [24 favorites]


Texas passed a law preventing teachers from collective bargaining ages ago.

Yeah, it looks like we passed our law in like 1993, so Wisconsin is more than 15 years behind us.
posted by muddgirl at 9:21 AM on April 21, 2011


It's like they play a few rounds of Truth or Dare before each session.

Next we'll have to show our handgun and our Family Values Education Course Completion Certificate in order to vote.

Shit, maybe I shouldn't be making these ideas public.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:22 AM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


From the Texas House Budget Bill, here's the full text of the relevant section:
Sec. 56. Funding of Student Centers for Family and Traditional Values. It is the intent of the Legislature that an institution of higher education shall use an amount of appropriated funds to support a family and traditional values center for students of the institution that is not less than any amount of appropriated funds used by the institution to support a gender and sexuality center or other center for students focused on gay, lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, or pansexual, transsexual, transgender, gender questioning, or other gender identity issues.
No further definition of "family and traditional values center" is given. I can't find discussion of the bill in the Texas Tribune's legislative transcripts.

Also, I learned today that "Pastor of the Day is a long-time tradition of the Texas Legislature, which affords each state representative and senator the opportunity to choose a pastor from the district for which they serve to open the day's legislative session with prayer." Ugh.
posted by jedicus at 9:22 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are ignorant fuckheads everywhere. It's not because of where they're from. It's because they're ignorant fuckheads.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:23 AM on April 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


support a family and traditional values center for students of the institution that is not less than any amount of appropriated funds used by the institution to support a gender and sexuality center or other center for students focused on gay, lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, or pansexual, transsexual, transgender, gender questioning, or other gender identity issues.
I suppose it's too much to hope that all this means is that all GLBTQ/etc centres must support gay marriage, isn't it? Because at least the way I see it, a group advocating for gay marriage is pushing the 'families are awesome' agenda and fighting the concept of open relationships. All very traditional.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:25 AM on April 21, 2011


In the interest of balance, I propose that all extracurricular Christian groups in Texan high schools and colleges each be matched by an extracurricular Satanist club.

It's only fair.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:26 AM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm not really sure if these people are ignorant. This is just a snide, passive-aggressive way to put-down something which they believe contradicts the traditions and gender roles that they have so strongly identified with.
posted by hellslinger at 9:27 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let's just be honest about what this really is: an attempt to kill GLBT resource centers in colleges across Texas.

In these days of tightening budget belts, this is just ammo for college and university boards to cut the funding for those centers in half or completely remove it altogether.

As far as the A&M student senate passing their own measure and saying they'll advocate for the bill as it goes through the TX legislature... I wonder how many of those serving on the student senate have their eyes on being elected to Austin themselves? Best to learn to start pandering to the base while you're young!
posted by hippybear at 9:27 AM on April 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


Fucking hell Aggies, way to live up to your stereotype.
posted by kmz at 9:28 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are ignorant fuckheads everywhere. It's not because of where they're from. It's because they're ignorant fuckheads.

Not that I don't agree, but the Texas Legislature is elected by the people that live in Texas, and not "ignorant fuckheads everywhere". Therefore I think the residents of Texas are probably more culpable for the actions of those elected representatives than people that do not live in the state.
posted by dhalgren at 9:28 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, you really have to look at it from everyone's perspective, even those who do not believe in any type of values whatsoever, before you begin to champion your arbitrary beliefs against someone else's.

A value is something that you can rationally arrive at without depending on the authority of one single source, especially a source that demands to be free of skeptical investigation. "Traditional family values" in this case are arbitrary guidelines designed to ostracize people because God said so.

One is a set of ideals about what it means to be a good person, and the other is a set of instructions that require the follower to actively suppress their natural inclination to question the rationale that created the rules.
posted by notion at 9:28 AM on April 21, 2011


Brought to you by, "So how come there's no White History Month, huh?"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:28 AM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I assume there were earmarks calling for additional portions of bread in the meal plan and monthly circuses?
posted by Panjandrum at 9:29 AM on April 21, 2011


Texas Republican Wayne Christian is named like a character from Pilgrim's Progress.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:31 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


These bigots know that their actions are motivated by hate and insecurity. If they weren't, there'd be no point in dressing up their intentions in this painfully euphemistic language. They should be more honest with themselves and everyone else and just say that gays freak them the fuck out.

They could start the Gays Freak Us Out party! Finally, a dedicated political platform for people whose main preoccupation in life seems to be freaking the fuck out over gay people.
posted by clockzero at 9:31 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Clearly, the matching funds need to be designated to the Campus Crusade for Cthulhu. What could be more traditional than the Old Ones?
posted by stevis23 at 9:32 AM on April 21, 2011 [14 favorites]


any state colleges and universities with gay or gender centers or programs must match the funding for those initiatives, dollar for dollar, with "education promoting family and traditional values."

I suggest they do this by giving students major Christian holidays and Thanksgiving off to go home and spend time with their families. For dollar valuation, they can calculate the potential revenue generated on those days and apply it to the funding total for the "traditional values education" budget.
posted by Hoopo at 9:33 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or, you know, since there might be First Amendment trouble if the legislature specified a particular source for the traditional values (e.g. the Christian values strongly implied by the context), the universities should get to pick which sources they use, so long as they favor heterosexual relationships. I'd love to see a bunch of "Centers for the Study of Traditional Buddhist, Islamic, and Jewish values" spring up at universities around the state.
posted by jedicus at 9:36 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


In my family we, traditionally, speak Spanish all of the time. So, these people want every college in Texas to have student groups designed to encourage the students to speak Spanish all of the time? That's really cool.
posted by oddman at 9:36 AM on April 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


But if not, then I'd love to see an endowment fund for the various GLBT centers at Texas universities set up, basically doing an end-run around this hateful nonsense.

This actually happened about 20 years ago at Indiana University. A state senate blowhard introduced an amendment to cut $50,000 out of the university's budget for a planned GLBT-support center. Students protested, and the issue was cut short by the announcement of an anonymous private endowment to keep the center perpetually going.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:39 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do wonder, about the endowment fund thing, if that would result in the school being required to spend matching monies for a bigot resource center, or if it would indeed result in an end-run around the law, or if it would just result in the GLBT center being thrown off campus altogether.
posted by hippybear at 9:42 AM on April 21, 2011


Ugggggh. This makes me so frustrated to be an A&M alum. And a Texan.
posted by vakker at 9:43 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


A value is something that you can rationally arrive at without depending on the authority of one single source

No, that is a convention that has been arrived at over time regardless of rational thought. It may make you feel good to be in intellectual paralel with those around you, but it's just a loose agreement on a set of norms, which can and do evolve over time or in the extreme cases.

Values are arbitrary forms of measurement by which you can compare two or more items. In this case the at-large social non-compliance with antiquated stereotypes, whose origin is somewhat unknown and mostly unjustified.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:44 AM on April 21, 2011


Related: how the rest of the world views the USA (imgur link).
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:44 AM on April 21, 2011


I'd love to see a bunch of "Centers for the Study of Traditional Buddhist, Islamic, and Jewish values" spring up at universities around the state.

So could the "Center for Traditional Gay Values" get double funded?
posted by papercrane at 9:48 AM on April 21, 2011


Related: how the rest of the world views the USA (imgur link).

That map is totally bullshit.

The rest of the world is also aware of Florida.
posted by cmonkey at 9:49 AM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


> . I'd love to see a bunch of "Centers for the Study of Traditional Buddhist, Islamic, and Jewish values" spring up at universities around the state.

Well, all of the public universities in Texas have Muslim Student Associations.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:50 AM on April 21, 2011


Well, all of the public universities in Texas have Muslim Student Associations.

There you go. Give them extra money to hire a couple of people to study traditional Muslim family values professionally and you're done.
posted by jedicus at 9:51 AM on April 21, 2011


The rest of the world is also aware of Florida.

Yeah, cuz Disney.
posted by Hoopo at 9:52 AM on April 21, 2011


The news articles are ambiguous about whether a university would need to match endowment funding, so I don't know.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:54 AM on April 21, 2011


Hey Miami and Miami Beach are pretty damn well known by the rest of the world, too!
posted by oddman at 9:58 AM on April 21, 2011


"Traditional family values" is such a weasel phrase, especially if you think about what family means in real life. When I think about the traditional values of families, I think of love, support, stability, and legacy. One of the biggest pillars of the fight for gay rights is the fight to have same-sex headed families recognized as such, and doing that is far more supportive of the idea of family than it is destructive. The opposite of family values should be chaos, discord, divorce, neglect, abandonment, and the like. No one is advocating for that.

So, it's like the A&M senate is saying that gay rights and traditional family values are the opposite and cancel each other out, but that really doesn't make sense if you're talking about real families. This equation only makes sense if "traditional family values" = all things anti-gay.

They should just go ahead and say what they actually mean instead of being weenies and hiding behind a supposedly positive phrase evoking something that almost everyone actually likes. If they're going to do that they might as well hide behind something like "old-timey kitten and ice cream values".
posted by Alison at 9:58 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can't speak for A&M, but UTSA strikes me as a deeply conservative campus.

When I was teaching in Austin recently, my dear cousin who went to A&M, bless her, refused to go to a restaurant suggested by my other cousin when they all converged to visit me. Why? Because the restaurant had beets on the menu. Seriously. That was just TOO WEIRD for her. So I can imagine getting something like this passed at A&M was a piece of cake.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:59 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not that I don't agree, but the Texas Legislature is elected by the people that live in Texas, and not "ignorant fuckheads everywhere". Therefore I think the residents of Texas are probably more culpable for the actions of those elected representatives than people that do not live in the state.

I'm quite confident that a fair percentage of people who live in Texas and vote fall into the category of "ignorant fuckheads." This is not a condemnation of Texas in particular, just an observation of the distribution of ignorant fuckheads, and that Texas more than likely has their fair share.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:06 AM on April 21, 2011


Someone from Wisconsin is throwing shit about Texas politicians? Haven't you been watching the fucking news the last couple of months?

Hmm, sorry, been too busy eating cheese. Also protesting at the capitol.
posted by desjardins at 10:10 AM on April 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


Once again the family values idiots on the right take an argument away from fiscally conservative Texans who would probably prefer to see an end to all state funding for student propaganda of any stripe. Instead of cutting the fat in the budget, they are forced to divide these luxuries equally to satisfy their social conservative wing.
posted by three blind mice at 10:15 AM on April 21, 2011


Ugggggh. This makes me so frustrated to be an A&M alum. And a Texan.

Me too. And as somebody who is looking for a job in the real world (outside of Texas) I am now embarrased to put my school and degree on my resume.
posted by chevyvan at 10:22 AM on April 21, 2011


I'm with Pete Seeger* -- give me that old time religion. Aphrodite with her see-through nightie.

*Pete Seeger not as illustrated.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:23 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who was it who first coined the claim that the states are "meth labs of democracy"? Because they were right.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:26 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I wouldn't mind so much if this wasn't a bunch of dog-whistle bullshit, but it is.

Most of the LGBT folks I know are in long-term committed relationships, and encouraging "family" values would mean encouraging their equality.

The "traditional" thing is bullshit, because the immediate question is "Whose tradition?" To which they'll always give some "Judeo-Christian" guff, and then it's just a slippery slope down that road of pointing out illiberalism and majoritarianism until I'm calling them fucking fascists and they're pretending that they lurve gays so much that they just don't want them to keep being gay and then I want to have head-explodey and kill them all like Scanners.
posted by klangklangston at 10:28 AM on April 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is going to turn out like the time Texas voted to ban marriage , but forgot to remove the period between marriage and "for gay people only".

I'm pretty sure they fixed that one, I wonder how they'll screw this one up (equal funding for both sides... oh god that could bankrupt the state real fast in ways they did not intend).
posted by Slackermagee at 10:32 AM on April 21, 2011


MetaFilter: old-timey kitten and ice cream values
posted by likeso at 10:48 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


2. A bill to prohibit transgender people from marrying people of the opposite sex

Which means, they're actually cool with transgender people marrying people of the same sex. This is progress! Or, hmm...
posted by fartknocker at 11:00 AM on April 21, 2011


Values are arbitrary forms of measurement by which...

Sounds like it's time for the philosophy dept to earn their keep. I wonder if that dept has already been cut, in a preventative measure.
posted by LD Feral at 11:08 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh, Aggie Former Student here. This isn't really surprising, but it is saddening.

A little background, just for context. Back in the 1970's the GSSA, Gay Student Services Alliance I think it was called - sued the university to be recognized as a student organization. The university lost the case in the 80's, and was forced to permit GSSA to operate as a recognized student organization.

At the time, no greek organizations were permitted or recognized, either. So the university went ahead and recognized fraternities and sororities, who had been petitioning for recognition.

I suppose a fair legal strategy would be to go back and look at the particulars of that case. While the current move is to provide "equal" funding and support for "traditional" family/marriage, certainly the argument could be made that any and all recognized student organizations deserve no more funding or support than any other. If you threaten the greeks and every other organization with having support reduced to levels commensurate with "teh evil gayz" you might garner some support to have this changed. It's legally murky and a smart group of people could use this to their advantage. Just sayin'.
posted by Xoebe at 11:09 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but what bugs me the most is, at its core, it completely overlooks that EVERY SINGLE FACET OF AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR DECADES has been one giant Traditional Family Values Center. The reason for the existence of GLBT student resources isn't because they're some special interest fraternity or whatnot. Rather, it is to attempt to provide some small counterbalance to the prevailing messages of the dominant culture, and to provide a safe space for traditionally othered and socially-abused minority persons.

It's an imperfect analogy, but to a great extent, it's as if the oceanic creatures had decided that dolphins and whales had an unfair air-breathing club, and so the rest of them decided to get together and create a Water Appreciation And Education Society for all the fish to attend.
posted by hippybear at 11:17 AM on April 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


No one who has been to College Station should be all that surprised by this. It's a fun town if you're white, straight, and Christian. Otherwise, not so much.

I once had a girl avert her eyes as she walked past me in a hallway (I was working a student loan fair) and mumble "howdy." It was sad-making.

Why? Because the restaurant had beets on the menu.

That's surprising, since A&M has such a good ag program. If I'm not mistaken, they've actually bred beets more suitable for Texas soil.
posted by Gilbert at 11:21 AM on April 21, 2011


They also bred maroon carrots because it's the school color.
posted by Daddy-O at 11:26 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Xoebe: This law doesn't apparently have anything to do with student organizations, but with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center a student-services office under the Dean of Student Life.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:36 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Related: how the rest of the world views the USA (imgur link).

Funny, that's closely related to how Texas sees the USA too.
posted by norm at 12:18 PM on April 21, 2011


the university lost the case in the 80's, and was forced to permit GSSA to operate as a recognized student organization.

At the time, no greek organizations were permitted or recognized, either.


Redundant?
posted by norm at 12:20 PM on April 21, 2011


Texas is going against tradition with this teaching of tradition. Who is the state to say what Tradition is, this is just more statist intervention where it don't belong.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:23 PM on April 21, 2011


They also bred maroon carrots because it's the school color.

And more specifically because orange is UT's color.

But yeah, this is the Texas I grew up in, until I was almost 16, and the one I wish I didn't hate occasionally returning to. I haven't spent much time in Austin, so maybe that would change my opinion a bit.

You can't use logic to change the position of someone whose core beliefs are fallacious. If you can not see your own upbringing and lifestyle as anything other than "the way things are supposed to be" then arguments about whose family, whose traditions, whose values, etc are not going to sway you. The answer is "mine, obviously," because not only were you brought up the "right" way and the "normal" way, but everyone around you that you have any trust in or respect for had the same upbringing, more or less.

And for the legislators and many of the voters we're thinking of, having Papa beat your ass for not exemplifying specific gender roles is, indeed, a Traditional Family Value, going back about as far as anyone can remember.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:36 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ironically, over the past few years, I have actually developed an allergic reaction to the phrase "family values" and by association the word "family" itself. As in, when I hear the word family now, I have an averse physical reaction, a sick feeling in my gut.

This wasn't always the case. It used to bring to mind images of family picnics and family game night and family dinners shared together with other loved ones. Now when I hear the word family I think of red-faced conservatives with spittle flying from their lips. I think of hatred and exclusion and fear mostly.

The word "family" has been developing a negative connotation. And I don't think this is just myself. I bet if you were to do a statistical analysis of the use of the word online, it would start to collate with some negative connotations more recently. That's not good, for anyone really. Back to the irony, the conservatives are actually destroying the value of the word family by pushing family values.
posted by formless at 12:50 PM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


err, collocate, not collate.
posted by formless at 12:52 PM on April 21, 2011


The sad thing is, as much as I like to hate on Aggies, I've always thought A&M was unfairly thought of as super-conservative. A lot of my friends went there, and almost all of them are moderate to very liberal. TAMU once upon a time hosted one of the Internet's premier atheism/skepticism sites too. The Corps of Cadets has always seemed somewhat creepy, but the rest of the student population is pretty darn diverse. Sure it's going to be more conservative than UT or Berkeley or Reed, but it's not BYU or Baylor or Bob Jones.

This though. Ugh.
posted by kmz at 12:55 PM on April 21, 2011


Hopefully these traditional family values centers will include shrines that will allow Texans to pray for rain, as their governor has commanded.
posted by saladin at 1:25 PM on April 21, 2011


Thanks, kmz.

I already feel like I'm fighting a losing battle trying to convince my non-Texan (and, honestly, some of my Texan) friends that not everyone who goes to A&M is a bigoted shit-kicker. Of course, then things like this happen and my efforts feel even more futile. Honestly, UT needs to watch out because I know Perry is trying to influence a lot of what goes on there as well.

Lastly, it's not like Texas has ACTUAL important things to worry about, like our $27 billion deficit.
posted by vakker at 1:28 PM on April 21, 2011


The word "family" has been developing a negative connotation.

yeah, and I know exactly where it started, and who started it.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:31 PM on April 21, 2011


This though. Ugh.

This, and those damn Aggie-engineered mild jalapeños. I also wonder if they're responsible for those new-fangled tomatoes where the giant wooden core goes 3/4s of the way through the thing. I'm sure they're a boon to growers who don't want their fruit to drop off the vine, but those things are a pain when you're making tacos.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:36 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hopefully these traditional family values centers will include shrines that will allow Texans to pray for rain, as their governor has commanded.

Too bad the Cowboys let Pacman Jones go, what with all of his experience at making it rain.
posted by Copronymus at 1:46 PM on April 21, 2011


I will addend to my previous comment that I know a hell of a lot of people who went to A&M, and who were and are good people whom I love and respect. But I'm also sad to remember all of my friends in high school who dared to care about things and fight for liberal causes, and how so many of them now no longer care, and have been assimilated into the republican wing because not caring and being republican is just easier there and "what adults do."
posted by Navelgazer at 2:07 PM on April 21, 2011


Traditional values are tolerance and not judging others - it's all right there in the Bible. Or maybe they mean traditional values like those of Plato and Aristotle.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:26 PM on April 21, 2011


I think they mean traditional values like making sure you father a son with your dead brother's widow if she only has daughters by him, trying to destroy entire races of people through killing, enslavement, and forced cultural assimilation, and assuming that everyone with a different alphabet from you is somehow inferior and needs to be saved by being remade in your image.
posted by hippybear at 2:32 PM on April 21, 2011


Nope. "Traditional Values" are what my daddy taught me and what my granddaddy taught him.

I get the value of snarking here, because this sort of shit is awful, but let's be aware of the extremely deeply rooted mentality we'd actually like to change.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:46 PM on April 21, 2011


I'm just here to say "HOOK 'EM, HORNS!!!!!"

This proves we're (generally) better than you, Aggies.
posted by Partario at 2:46 PM on April 21, 2011


As I recall, carrots were bred orange to commemorate the House of Orange.
posted by norm at 2:48 PM on April 21, 2011


god, all I can think of is, as a kid, asking my mom why we celebrated mothers day and not kids day
posted by rebent at 4:25 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Partario: I was just about to say that myself.

I guess I will anyway.

HOOK 'EM HORNS!
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:18 PM on April 21, 2011


Every time one of these guys says "family values" or "traditional values" they really mean "arbitrary set of rules I think everyone other people should be forced to follow."

FTFY.
posted by aaronetc at 6:48 PM on April 21, 2011


Mexico, would you like Texas back?
posted by Vibrissae at 9:39 PM on April 21, 2011


Nope. "Traditional Values" are what my daddy taught me and what my granddaddy taught him.

In the case of my father and grandfather that would be "incest is best." Some family traditions are better forgotten,

Back to the law about transgender people. Am I right in thinking this law prevents surgically transgendered people from ever getting married to anyone? If you can't marry the opposite sex, and you can't marry the same sex, then? How can this be legal? Surely you cannot pass a law prohibiting a sub-group of people from getting married. I mean I know gay men can't get married in Texas to each other, but there is no law against a gay man marrying a woman.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:17 AM on April 22, 2011


I'd just like to state that even though I live in "Aggieland" and have a maroon car, I have no affiliation with A&M. That was the closest color I could get to purple, and the land 'round here is cheap.

Although I know lots of cool former Aggies, and actual trufax gay Aggies, the majority round here is pretty nasty. I had some hope for the area when Chet Edwards was our Rep, but yeah, that ended badly.
posted by threeturtles at 10:22 AM on April 22, 2011


Also, I learned today that "Pastor of the Day is a long-time tradition of the Texas Legislature, which affords each state representative and senator the opportunity to choose a pastor from the district for which they serve to open the day's legislative session with prayer." Ugh.

This is not actually all that different from how the U.S. House and Senate operate - they also open session with a prayer. There is an official chaplain who gives the opening prayer sometimes, but other times a congressman will pick someone from their home district to do it. In theory it can be someone of any religion, but you should have seen the shit fit conservatives threw when it was a Hindu:
posted by naoko at 11:09 PM on April 25, 2011


Update: the Texas A&M student body president vetoed the student senate bill.
posted by Vibrissa at 4:03 PM on April 27, 2011


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