Since I posted 6 Reasons Why I am Voting No on Measure 6 in North Dakota, I have received hundreds of emails, comments and messages. Everyone has a story and everyone has a need to be heard. I am firmly voting no because I think it is best for North Dakota kids. But regardless of my vote, I wish I could share all of your stories. Instead, I will be praying for many kids, parents and families I have never met.
As I said earlier, the proponents of Measure 6 would have you believe this is a “men’s rights” issue. It is not. Just ask the many fathers who have been awarded custody of their children by our North Dakota courts. They are as alarmed by this measure as I am.
Today I am sharing the first story that was emailed to me, a father’s perspective on why he is voting no on Measure 6 in North Dakota. I have never met David and only exchanged three emails with him. I changed his name in respect to him and his family and have his permission to share his email. Below are his words on why as a father and custodial parent he does not think Measure 6 is in the best interest of North Dakota kids.
I have been a custodial father for about seven years now. Because of the visitation schedule, my daughter still experiences a lot of back and forth between houses. In a typical month, my daughter lives with me 60% of the time. About seven out of the 20 school days each month, my daughter stays with her mother, who now lives 55 miles from us. This means my daughter has to travel a good hour to and from school several days a month. I’m concerned about my daughter and our shared parenting arrangement when she gets to junior high and high school and is involved in extracurricular activities. This arrangement won’t work when one parent doesn’t live in the same school district.
In the past seven years, my ex-wife has lived with at least four different guys. This means my daughter has been dragged in and out of a lot of so-called “committed relationships.” I’m praying my daughter doesn’t grow up thinking this is normal. As you can imagine, if Measure 6 passes, the situation will only worsen for my daughter. I’m sure there are a lot of similar circumstances across North Dakota, and I worry about all of the kids who would be adversely affected if this poorly thought out measure passes. In most cases, I truly believe both parents need to be involved in a child’s life. Without the guidance of the judicial system, though, our kids will be stuck in the middle of a free for all. We need to work to find better ways to involve both parents, but we can’t fix the problem with an approach such as Measure 6. There are very real reasons that NO OTHER STATE has this same measure in place.
Please put kids first and vote NO on Measure 6 in North Dakota.
Thank you, David, for your willingness to share your perspective. It has been made clear to me that emotions are running high on Measure 6 and for that reason I am keeping comments off on this post and any future posts about this topic. I think it is in the best interest of many kids involved to not have upset parents airing their stories in the comments section on why they are voting yes or no. If you want to share your voice, I encourage you to write letters to the editor, speak to local media, share your perspective with your friends and family and of course, vote in North Dakota on November 4.
Lastly, for my longtime loyal friends who have been reading this blog for years and just want some sunrises and sunsets that I most often post on Instagram. Here is one for you from yesterday with the first verse to an old, favorite hymn that came to mind. For the Beauty of the Earth.One reader said in a comment on Facebook, “…Thank you for addressing important issues in our community instead of exclusively posting “safe”, fluff content (although that can be fun, too).” I love fluff but I am ready to deal with hard issues with respect when needed. My friend Brenda reminded me to wear my favorite t-shirt yesterday from Be Still Clothing Company, Hug the Haters.
So I did. At the bottom of the shirt it says, Luke 6:27: “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,”
You don’t have to agree with David’s above perspective on Measure 6 in North Dakota. You don’t need to agree with me. But in this political season and long past it, we can always be respectful. The last 48 hours I have been reminded again and again that the world needs more hugging of the haters and a whole lot more love.