Today I was reading one of the many articles discussing Jerry Falwell's ministry. While I disagree with many things he stands for, the article's mention of his pro-family platform really irritated me. (Disclaimer - due to a very unsatisfying meeting today, I am a little cranky.) I have a lot of issues with the conservative right exclusively claiming that they are "pro-family". How did this happen?! Just because I am not Christian, does not mean that I am not pro-family. If fact, most of my liberal religious friends are very much pro-family. Of course, the conservative religious right (and I do know I am making great generalizations) will argue that they believe in the man/women/child family not the inclusiveness that the religious left would claim. To me, a family will always be a group of people who love and are there for eachother. Why does it matter so much how that is arranged? Do we really want to spend what little time we have on earth supressing the love we have for eachother as a family just because it doesn't fit traditional molds?
Why, as religious liberals, did we let them take this word? Why do they get to be "pro-family", while we are considered to be "tearing down the family structure"? How do we get it back? A minister I really admire has often talked about reclaiming words. I think as Unitarians we really shy away from using words that have such strong connotations. Many of us come from backgrounds heavily influenced by these "words" and it is not easy to see them in a new light. I would love to see more (and I have seen a few out there) bumper stickers declaring "Pro-Family Unitarian". The more we use this vocabulary, the more comfortable we will be with it. We can't let other people monopolize words that actually, also, apply to us.