Monday, June 23, 2014

Rita Skeeters among us

Dear Ms. Erin Gloria Ryan,

Have you read the Harry Potter books? I’m reading them for the first time – holy cow they are GOOD!  – and I just finished book four, The Goblet of Fire. One of the characters reminded me of you: Rita Skeeter.

As you probably know, Rita is a “journalist” for the Daily Prophet. She will do anything for a scoop, even writing falsehoods and downright lies. But Rita doesn't care about facts; she has her agenda and nothing, not even the truth, will get in the way of her recounting her version of things.

Why’d I think of you? Because I read your account of my recent blog post about the doctor’s visit with my daughter. As I read your story, I wondered if you’d actually read mine, because you completely missed the point. It’s as if you were using a quick-quote quill, “the magical quill… that takes a subject's words and creates sensational and inaccurate tales that bear little resemblance to actual events.”

See, you focused on me not wanting my daughter to speak to a doctor without me present and you incorrectly assumed it’s because I’m afraid they’ll warp her values. You, and many of your commenters, went on to say that if my daughter’s values aren't cemented by the time she’s 17 then I had a host of other problems, not the least of which is my egomania and issues of control.

And that’s when I knew you hadn't read my article. Because I clearly stated my concern was about the rights of parents. This is a parental rights issue, not a, “I don’t want my kids to know about sex and drugs,” issue.

My kids live in the world. They know about sex and drugs. They know about them because their Dad and I talk about them. They also know about them because they’re not blind. Or deaf. Or stupid.

Just for kicks, let’s turn this around. You have a daughter who is required to speak to a doctor without you. And this doctor is a Christian. And this doctor is going to tell your daughter that sex before marriage is not ideal because that’s not God’s design for sex. And that abortion is killing a baby. And that there is no safe sex, there are only ways to attempt to protect her from STDs, although none will do so 100% of the time and none will protect her heart or soul.

You game for that conversation?

Just so we’re clear: my concern is that parental rights are being stripped away. Parents should have the right to allow or deny any private conversation with their child/ren and other adults. If one of my children wishes to speak to a doctor without me, I will absolutely make arrangements for that to happen, with a doctor who shares our values.

What I've learned from Rita is that journalists like her don’t care about the truth. You don't want to be a Rita, do you? I hope not.

I’d love to chat with you about this – my email address is right here on my blog. If you’d like to be a real journalist and not a Rita, please shoot me an email. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. (I tried to find an email address for you so I could contact you directly but you don’t have one on your site.)

Short of that, you could read my post

Enough of this – I’m on to book 5. Can’t wait to find out about the Order of the Phoenix!


Here's a link to some follow-up posts: 
Where have all the thinking caps gone
That escalated quickly

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