The Truth is worse than the Joke
There was an article floating around the internet yesterday that got a lot of people pissed off. If it had been true, I would have been right there with them.
Thing is, it wasn’t true.
The original article appeared on The Daily Bleach, which is a parody site. I can’t link directly to the article right now because the entire site appears to be down but here’s what it said:
A Southern Carolina couple have made national news by being the first parents to put their child up for adoption due to their sexuality. Usually parents give up their children because they can’t raise them due to finances or because they are young and don’t have the mental ability to bring up a child. Kids are also usually given up for adoption at a young age, but April Chadwell is barely 16 years old and has been listed as legally adoptable by the state of Southern Carolina. Mrs. Chadwell released a statement saying “It was a tough choice to give up our daughter to the state, but we don’t know how to handle someone who decides to live a lifestyle that we do not agree with”. The Chadwells said they had help from their local church, who prayed for weeks seeking guidance for the couple and came to the conclusion that it would be best to let the child go in hopes of being adopted by a gay friendly family.
There were no links to provide a source. Just the text.
I was initially unaware that it was a parody site, but the article set off alarm bells right away. No links to a longer article. No sources quoted at all. It just looks pretty flimsy.
I’ve learned my lesson more than once (pretty recently even), that failure to double-check something like this can frequently mean you are looking at a parody site or an unsupported accusation.
But I’m not making this post just to warn people off re-posting shocking stuff on Facebook without checking the source. Although you shouldn’t do that.
I think that the most shocking thing about this story is that the real consequences for some gay teenagers are far worse than the joke consequences in this article. I saw so many people get freaked out upset over the treatment of this fictional kid but what about what some rabidly religious parents do to their actual kids?
Real parent don’t put their teenaged kids up for adoption. Real parents kick them out of the house.
Real parents force them into brutal “re-education” camps.
Real parents try to beat the gay out of them.
These fake parents were theoretically going to do something horribly cruel but at least they were going to make sure their daughter found a loving home. At least they were going to make sure she still had food and shelter. At least they weren’t going to abuse her for her “lifestyle choice.”
As everyone was getting themselves worked into a lather over the comparatively compassionate behavior of a couple of people who don’t exist, parents were still doing actual horrible stuff to actual kids. And yes, they were doing it because their religion told them it was OK. They were doing it because they prayed and god didn’t explicitly tell them not to do it.
I’m not excusing what these non-existent parents didn’t actually do, mind you. If there is a real couple out there who did something like this (and there might be), they are horrible people.
A little perspective is important, though. There are terrible people everywhere in the real world and they are doing terrible things to their gay children.
Getting tricked by a parody site on the internet isn’t such a bad thing. It’s happened to a lot of us. Even people who believe that we are smart enough to avoid that stuff. Like me.
So let’s be careful to avoid getting pissed at a parody site for the fact we didn’t get the joke. Instead, let’s get pissed about the fact that reality is far worse than the joke.
Also, let’s remember that Snopes is our friend.