On Whether Homosexual Parents are Harmful to their Children

Disclaimer

You’re not going to like what I have to say. Please read with an open mind and a grain of salt. I do not mean to offend anyone with this or to cause division or controversy. I simply want to speak the truth. If you have questions or concerns, I would be more than happy to discuss them with you.

Introduction

The assertion is often made by defenders of the traditional family to the effect of “studies have shown that kids who are raised by homosexual parents are at a disadvantage when compared to kids raised by their mother and father.” They use this as an argument against gay marriage and gay adoption in a sort of “for the children” argument.

I always cringe when I hear this because it is a deplorable appeal to authority and an attempt to simply manufacture credibility. So I wanted to find out whether these claims actually had any basis in reality. It aggravates me to see the world successfully asserting that Conservatives on the right ignore facts and live in this made up fantasy world. It aggravates me so much because I find it to be true! I think Christians should have the highest regard for truth at all costs, if for no other reason than because we have supreme confidence in God’s Word. Or do we!?

When did we stop embracing the truth and start fearing it? Where is our faith in God that we are so afraid that some truth of science might contradict what he says? Our view of God and his Word is far too low!

So when it comes to these studies, I’m left with the following questions: What studies? When were they done? What was their methodology? What was their sampling method? Their sample size? Their margin of error? We need more information if we’re going to determine whether there is any worth in what has been said.

Continue reading On Whether Homosexual Parents are Harmful to their Children

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CS Lewis on Marriage

Just stumbled upon a quote from CS Lewis’s Mere Christianity which I completely forgot about. He’s speaking of divorce here, but his thoughts are very applicable to Gay Marriage as well. I dare say they sum up my thoughts on the subject quite well.

Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is quite the different question—how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine.

My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognize that the majority of the British people are not Christian and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.

Found: http://www.tillhecomes.org/cs-lewis-on-gay-marriage/

That author closes with this thought:

…in some countries Muslims are trying to enforce their Sharia law upon everybody in that country, just as here in the United States some Christians are trying to enforce some of our laws on all the people in our country. If anything has been learned from history, we know that it is bad for everybody when any religion picks up the sword of government and tries to enforce religious laws on anybody.

Very well said.

Defense of Libertarianism. Offense Against Legislating Morality.

If you’ve been following my recent posts, you’ll know that I’m a Libertarian and a Christian. You’ll also know that I’ve been struggling to articulate just why I think Libertarianism is more consistent with the Scriptures than what is typically espoused by Christians. That’s not a very precise way to put it. There are many different political philosophies that can be found within the church. Some Christians are pretty “liberal”. But what I’m speaking to would be closer to the more stereotypical “right wing” “moral majority” type position. Most Christians I know personally fall into the “legislate morality” camp to one degree or another, which is a bit of a broad brush. I don’t know that any are hardcore Theonomists, but some I know definitely lean that way. Almost all of them have the same stances on the big social issues. I can think of three key issues off the top of my head. They are pro-life. They are against gay marriage. They are anti-drugs. Many are also anti-alcohol, which I’ll lump into the drug category for convenience. On these three issues, I agree with them on only one – abortion. And I feel firm in my conviction that my positions do not violate the Scriptures. For while I agree with them that the Scriptures teach very clear moral principals in these areas, I whole-heartedly disagree that that necessarily means that the law of the United States must reflect that Biblical morality. This series of articles is my attempt to articulate why I believe that to be.

Matthew 22:37-40 ESV  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  (38)  This is the great and first commandment.  (39)  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  (40)  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

This is my first stop because I think it sets up the backbone of my whole philosophy on the relationship between morality and legality. I have long held that Legality is concerned with maintaining a peaceful society, while morality is concerned with living virtuously in order to honor the Lord – at least from a Christian perspective. There are other moral codes and various reasons one might feel compelled to live virtuously, by as I am a Christian and whereas Christians believe our moral code to be the correct one, we’ll assume so for the time being. Such is not the point of this text. What is the point is that distinction of purpose. Legality is concerned with peace. Morality is concerned with virtue. There can be some overlap, but to what extent? What does the Word of God say?

Continue reading Defense of Libertarianism. Offense Against Legislating Morality.

Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

So there’s a law in California on the governor’s desk that is aimed at banning Sexual Orientation Change Efforts.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/18/california-law-barring-parents-from-curing-gay-children-moves-through/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-spradley/california-conversion-therapy-ban_b_1633053.html

I included both links so you can get a good view of both sides of this issue. It seems that, like all such issues, there’s an intentional equivocation done by one side or the other in order to support their point. Having not read the legislation itself, which is extremely lazy of me, I know, I’m forced to draw my conclusions from these two articles.

It seems to me like the intended target of this legislation is toward “Mental Health Professionals” who use psychological counseling and therapy in order to try to force a patient to change sexual orientation. This is a far cry from a concerned parent sharing the truth of God’s word and encouraging the child to consider whether his behavior and choices please the Lord. However the conservative side seems to want to lump the two together and act as though the law is aimed at both things.

Granted there is this quote from the article:

Just because one is a parent does not give them the right to “change” the essence of who a person is. Read a biology text about the development of sexual identity that occurs prior to birth.

This is Dr. Mary Strobbe, a professor of psychology at San Diego Miramar College. So based on this it does seem as though they are not only concerned with professional counselors.

But even if they are targeting parents and the home, there is a strong difference between counseling your children to obey the word of God and forcing them to change the essence of who we are.

Which begs the question, is sexual orientation something that’s ingrained into the essence of who we are, as the LGBT community wants us to believe? Well, I ask you this, what is ingrained into the essence of who we are? Sin. We are all born with an orientation: a sin orientation. Homosexuality is just one symptom of that underlying disease. Unless that disease is cured, we shouldn’t expect the symptoms to vanish. And even if we try to treat the symptoms, then either they will simply be suppressed for a while only to come back stronger later, or other symptoms will surface. Without the radical change of conversion and repentence that can only come by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, nobody can change this essential characteristic of who they really are.

Thus, the goal of Christian parenting is not oriented toward changing anyone’s sexual orientation, or modifying any behavior for that matter. It’s aimed at ushering the children to the cross where they will meet Jesus. What the child does with him there is up to the child. Parents cannot force the outcome there. However, the Parent is responsible to ensure that this meeting happens. If the child responds in faith, then the change will start inwardly and will come from the heart of the child who is changed by the grace of God, not by the coercive actions of parents or psychological therapists. If the child responds by hardening his heart in unbelief, then no amount of parenting or therapy can make the child give up his sin, and it wouldn’t avail him anything even if it did.

So in conclusion, as long as some very common sense distinctions are drawn here to understand the difference between coercion and shepherding and protect the latter as within the rights of parents and religious people, then I’m actually in favor of this law. This is a bit like the distinction between spanking and abuse. There are very fuzzy lines there. But there is a difference between good gentle and nurturing spanking and harmful, violent and destructive abuse. The same is true of this. What’s interesting about this case is that, while parental activity may be somewhat in view here, the initial and primary target of this law is mental health professionals. In that case, it’s a bit like an abuse law that tries to outlaw taking your child to a professional beater. I think this is another case of Fox News trying to twist things to fit their agenda.

I think the key to knowing the difference between shepherding and coercion here is whether the parents are focusing on the externals or whether they are focusing on nurturing a heart that is oriented toward pleasing the Lord. The tree will be known by its fruit.