American Girl‘s latest move is being hailed by many as a big step in the right direction, but the well-known Christian group One Million Moms disagrees. One Million Moms is now calling for the boycott of the magazine because of a sweet feature story featuring four adopted black children with their two gay dads.
Sadly this is not a hoax. One Million Moms, notorious for trolling the Internet as the Christian police and even going so far as to take on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for its “Kinky Boots” performance in 2013, is at it again. The Christian mom group believes that American Girl‘s blended family piece, which features Maryland husbands Rob and Reece Scheer and their children adopted from foster care, is “wrong” and “sinful” in nature. Rob Scheer said that while he expected some criticism in response to the story, he was shocked to be attacked by fellow parents. The Scheers’ 11-year-old daughter Amaya said in response, “This is none of your business.”
If you’ve never seen One Million Moms in action before, the group’s hard-line stance on a gay family may seem shocking at first. After all, it makes little sense that a religious group would condemn a family who has adopted four children — a loving act of helping the needy that Jesus commanded us to do. But One Million Moms’ history speaks for itself. The group has made a pastime out of promoting Jesus at the expense of real people and wasting valuable Internet space freaking out about popular shows with gay themes, like Glee and Good Luck Charlie. Oh, yeah, and there was the whole Geico-bestiality scandal that we are still trying to understand.
Still, Amaya makes a good point if we don’t want to fall into the same hypocritical rabbit hole that One Million Moms seems to be living in. We may not understand what this group is doing, but it’s not our place to judge. Their interpretation of Christian values is really none of our business, until it starts to affect innocent people like the Scheers.
Because One Million Moms has publicized its anti-American Girl credo, we get to do the honor of exploring the argument. One Million Moms is up in arms against American Girl because the group claims the pro-gay magazine ad is desensitizing our children. Funny enough, American Girl is actually doing the opposite of what One Million Moms has accused the magazine of doing.
By featuring an open-minded and equal advertisement, American Girl is sensitizing our kids to what they need the most: acceptance, of themselves and of others.
We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what our kids see in the media influences them at a core level. Junk food advertisements are a problem, yes, but nontraditional magazine stories like American Girl‘s are part of the solution. Media depicting different families and children of all races, genders and ability levels have the potential to bust powerful social stereotypes that are holding our kids back.
When our kids see an atypical blended family, they are seeing what America really looks like now. We now know that the cookie-cutter nuclear family with a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister, a dog and a white picket fence doesn’t exist — not even close. Pew Research says that less than half of the kids in the U.S. live in a traditional home, and it is easy to see that we are better for it. Just days ago, a study published in Current Biology quantified the value of this nonreligious acceptance when researchers discovered that secular kids were more empathetic and altruistic compared to religious kids.
Even if you don’t agree with same-sex parents, you can still learn one important thing to not do from One Million Moms: Just don’t judge. It’s really not your business. And if you want to take it a step further, use this opportunity to teach your kids the power of acceptance, no matter what you believe. That’s the beauty of acceptance right there — no one has to earn it.