Saturday, March 03, 2018

The Carnival of Absurdity on #SB48

Yesterday, the Courier-Journal wrote an error-filled article titled "Kentucky's 'child bride' bill stalls as groups fight to let 13-year-olds wed." Its author, Deborah Yetter, a liberal writer for the paper, took what seemed to be all of the wild rhetoric of some supporters of the bill, and enshrined them in a news story. Then the story was taken by national newspapers and broadcast all over the country.

Not only was the title blatantly false to the point of being scurrilous, but the story itself blatantly misrepresented the Family Foundation's position on SB 48. 

"A bill to make 18 the legal age for marriage in Kentucky has stalled in a Senate committee amid concerns about the rights of parents to allow children to wed at a younger age, according to several lawmakers," says Yetter. And good luck trying to correct this falsehood, given that Yetter contacts the Family Foundation office only about an hour and 15 minutes before she posts her story and is then able to write "Family Foundation Executive Director Kent Ostrander did not respond to requests for comment."


She never attempted to call me (which she's done frequently in the past), who was the one handling communications on this issue.

First of all, this bill does not ban child marriages if by that anyone means the prohibiting all marriages of minors. It allows 17 year-olds to marry under certain conditions. The only debate was over what those conditions were. The Family Foundation wanted to keep current provisions that allowed parents to consent and opposed taking away the right of all parents, bad and good, and handing it to judges.

The Family Foundation has always supported the provisions in the bill that prevent children under 17 from marrying. The only issue with the bill was that it took away parental consent in the case of 17 year-olds and gave it to the very judges who, we now know (if all the rhetoric about the crisis of child marriages is to be believed) were allowing children under 16 years-old to get married (Under KY law, only a judge can do this).

Second, the Foundation just asked the chairman for a week to fix this problem. He recognized that the concerns were reasonable and was kind enough to do this. And we never asked that it be delayed past the first week. In any case, I believe we are going to see an improved bill come out of the committee next week.

The Foundation never said anything publicly about the bill until inaccurate stories like Yetter's hit the web, after which it became imperative to correct the misapprehensions that were on the loose. It didn't even lobby against the bill, with the exception of conversations that were had with three or four committee members, none of whom were asked to vote against the bill, since negotiations were still happening.

But the carnival of absurdity that the talk surrounding this bill has engendered is a wonder to behold.

Partly thanks to the Courier-Journal's ethically-challenged journalism, people think the opposition to the bill is about whether 13 year-olds can marry. 


Of course, it doesn't help that nobody who thinks they are qualified to comment on this online bothers to know the facts, read the bill, or even understand the legislative process (the bill was never "killed" as some online sites reported). 

Inaccuracy and bias is not something the CJ has ever shied away from. But they've almost outdone themselves this time.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, typical "Christian" logic. Hate the gays, support the child molesters.

You people wouldn't recognize Jesus if he walked up to you and turned water into wine.

Anonymous said...

"Christian" means Christ follower and Christ never hated anyone and neither do his followers. He does however hate sin (disobedience) he never went against his word and never will, he is not wishy washy, neither does he condone Sin of any kind. He only addresses it in his word when you read it in the way it was written and not in the way you want to see it and he gives clearly the consequences of that sin. Any of us can make the Bible say what we want it to because we want to be comfortable in our sin and we want to keep doing what pleases the flesh. Christ "did" come to die for our Sin and give us an opportunity to repent (turn away from our sin) believe him and follow him and make his truth known, but we make the choice he don't make it for us. We either believe the total truth of his word or we decide to live like we want and reject his truth. Eternity is forever, I'd be sure to get it right because a little fun down here is never worth losing your soul for all eternity. You are not making a argument against the topic at hand, you are making a hate statement towards Christianity and Christians.