This came through my letterbox on the weekend. It’s really upset me.
The Christian People’s Alliance are peddling the all too common hatred of divorced couples and children who grow up in one parent families. Arguing that children who live with one parent do not grow up in a ‘loving environment’ is deeply insulting. My parents divorced when I was three but I can still remember the arguments and sense of permanent tension when Dad was at home. Divorce is one of the most traumatic experiences a married couple can go through. It is a decision no-one reaches lightly, and yet single parent families are often discussed in terms of failure.
I was raised Catholic so I know how damaging this prejudice is. I was often treated as a problem child by my teachers, whilst my mum was often patronised or ignored by everyone in the church. There remains an implicit contempt for people who had my upbringing in wider society and it goes largely unchallenged.
We need to start thinking seriously about why single parents are treated as outcasts. Why do we still talk about divorce in terms of failure? Why do we still talk about children who grow up in single parent families as problems? Why are these experiences not part of the conversation when we talk about equality?