Posts Tagged ‘Family’
I want to thank my patient readers as I have taken a hiatus from blogging during this pregnancy.
It’s been a long 9 months of nausea, exhaustion, hope, fear and anticipation. Now our rainbow baby is due any time, and I can hardly believe I’ll actually get to hold her in my arms.
I hadn’t originally intended to suspend my blog, but with so many other demands on my body, energy and sanity during this period, something had to give. I’ve spent the past several months focused on staying rested and healthy in the midst of homeschooling my older three children, acting as Troop Coordinator for our local American Heritage Girls troop, and volunteering for the Oregon Tea Party.
These days my political activism is focused primarily on running the Oregon Tea Party Facebook Page, so please “like” and follow my posts there. Then click “share” on the ones you find most important. It’s a simple way to spread the word and make a difference.
One important note: Facebook is now hiding up to 97% of posts of from pages you “like” from your news feed, in an attempt to force those pages to pay for “promoted posts.” So how do you get around Facebook censorship and make sure you don’t miss anything? Hover your mouse over the “Liked” button on our page, and select “Get Notifications” and “Add to Interest Lists.” That’s it.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to take up blogging again, but in the meantime, thank you for your patience and support, and keep up the good fight in whatever sphere of influence you have!
There’s a tradition in our society that says it’s not a good idea to tell people about your pregnancy until you’re past the “safe mark” of 12 weeks, when the risk of miscarriage diminishes. The unspoken message is that miscarriage is best kept quiet. Nobody wants to know about the ones that didn’t make it. In fact, our culture barely regards them as even human. That’s why you hear statements like “thank goodness you weren’t that far along,” “don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll have another, “ or “at least you have (your older children),” as if you’d lost a dream instead of a living child. These are things people would NEVER say to parents who’d lost an older child, but because of our culture’s dismissive attitude towards unborn life, these children are viewed as less valuable. Their mothers are expected to grieve in private silence, if they are given permission to grieve at all.
For those who find themselves pregnant after losing a baby, we know there is no such thing as a “safe mark.” We know that life is fragile, and that it can just as easily be lost after 12 weeks as before. There are no guarantees. We have lost our innocence…the ability to look at that little plus sign and instantly be filled with the joyful expectation of holding that little bundle in nine months. We walk a tightrope of joy and sorrow, hope and dread, knowing that the next appointment may bring the words that we fear most: “I’m sorry, I can’t find a heartbeat.”
Even though I never got to hold Autumn, Eden and Hope, they’re still my babies. I’m still their mother. The only way I know to parent them is to honor their brief lives here on earth, and acknowledge that they are real children, now waiting in heaven for me. They weren’t just blobs of tissue. They weren’t just lines on a pregnancy test. They were precious, individual souls…and so is the one I carry now.
My last three babies didn’t make it to the “safe zone” of 12 weeks. I live with the knowledge that there is a very real possibility that I won’t get to meet this baby on this side of heaven, either. My children’s lives, like my own, are in God’s hands, and I have no control over them. But whatever the outcome, I have peace that God is in control, and I WILL meet my babies someday, although perhaps not as soon as I would hope. In the meantime, I best way I know to honor their lives is simply by acknowledging their presence. By recognizing that every life matters, no matter how brief.
So for now, I will partner with God in carrying this little life as long as He allows me to, and accept each day we have together as a gift.
When I was 8 weeks pregnant, I went with some friends to a 3-hour women’s self defense seminar offered by a local Krav Maga studio. I put a name tag on my belly that said “baby” so nobody would grab me around the waist, and enjoyed every minute of it. They gave everyone a coupon for a month of free classes, but I didn’t want to push it as my pregnancy progressed.
When the studio offered a summer special on classes, I decided to take them up on it. I’ve been wanting to learn self-defense for awhile and need to get the baby weight off. Though most people I know do Zumba, my mood right now is much more towards fighting than dancing.
During my first class the instructor told me, “you’ve got a lot of aggression and fight in you.” No one has ever told me that before. I immediately knew it was coming from all the frustration of trying to fight something that can’t be conquered. The only reason I was even able to take the class was because I was no longer pregnant. No matter how hard I try, I can’t change that fact. I can’t bring my babies back. Suddenly I was slammed by a wave of grief and anger. The lump in my throat strangled me far more than my partner’s practice choke-hold.
The next day I argued with myself over what I had gotten myself into and whether I should go back. I hate it when my grief catches me off-guard in public, and was afraid of losing it in the middle of class. I forced myself to go back at the next available opportunity, knowing that if I didn’t face the fear immediately, I would find an excuse never to return.
Towards the end of my second class they did a drill where they exhausted you and then had you fight off an attacker with pure instinct and adrenaline. I was ready to give up and the instructor and two other students kept telling me I could do it. It reminded me of being in labor, when I’d be convinced I couldn’t go on and everyone around me would encourage me. But the difference was, there was a wonderful reward at the end of all that labor. And the last time I had been pushed to my limit like this, there had been no reward. Nobody to cheer me on. Just silence, and the remains of my babies to be buried. Another grief trigger. I managed to fight off my opponent but I couldn’t stop the tears once the class was over. They probably thought I was nuts.
It’s amazing how raw emotion rises to the surface when you’re pushed to the limits. The ache in my muscles is nothing compared to the aching chasm in my heart, and no amount of Advil can touch it. Right now I’m faced with two choices: keep learning to swim in this ocean of grief, or allow myself to drown in it. I’m coming to terms with the fact that sometimes the only way to heal is simply to fight through the pain.
How have we gotten to the point where government can force private companies to pay for controversial services like abortion from another private company? Whatever happened to the freedom to VOLUNTARILY decide which products and services you want to purchase, and from whom?
In a move that sends the message that her role is a powerful one, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has required health insurers to include Planned Parenthood as an “essential community provider” along with other doctors and health facilities in their networks.
Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner (WE) reports that most of Planned Parenthood’s 750 health and abortion clinics in the country will be covered by ObamaCare. Sebelius’ command means that health insurers who wish to participate in the state health care exchanges must cover services by Planned Parenthood, as well as other “essential community providers,” such as AIDS clinics, pain management facilities, and alternative medicine providers.
[...] Though ObamaCare is not, technically speaking, supposed to cover abortions, the fact that Planned Parenthood has always had significant support from Sebelius, and is already an important player in the “navigator system”–assisting insurance advisers in signing Americans up for the exchanges–is a real concern for Americans seeking limited government and those who are pro-life.
Planned Parenthood, which she deems as an “essential community provider,” is part of the long list of local organizations that insurers are required to partner with. (Others, Bedard says, include lesbian and gay centers, family planning clinics, and “holistic” centers.)“We’ve never covered these sorts of thing,” a Wisconsin provider told Bedard. He, like most health care representatives, is probably horrified at the prospect of collaborating with an organization which (when it isn’t lobbying for infanticide) is on trial for government fraud and botched abortions. Unfortunately for Americans, Sebelius — not Congress — decides what belongs in state exchanges. And if her past relationships are any indication, taxpayers are in for even more surprises when ObamaCare goes into effect January 1.
Planned Parenthood is a bully, using the power of the state to force those who disagree with their practices to buy their grisly product, anyway.
We The People have been negligent in allowing government to wield this unconstitutional power and groups like PP to manipulate it.
Every life matters.
STILL is a documentary film aimed at breaking the cycle of silence surrounding miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. STILL will examine the effects of a grief avoidant society and will tell the stories of individuals and families from all walks of life who have suffered the death of a baby during pregnancy or infancy:
How did we get to the point where we not only murder innocent children, but use tax dollars to pay the hit men?
“Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
President Obama offered a defiant defense of government funding for Planned Parenthood Friday and urged the group’s members to help his administration sign up more women for benefits under his besieged health-care law.
The first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood, Mr. Obama accused conservative politicians of trying to “roll back the clock” on abortion rights and health-care services for women.
“They’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health,” Mr. Obama told the group’s annual convention in Washington. “When politicians try to turn Planned Parenthood into a punching bag, they’re not just talking about you, they’re talking about the millions of women who you serve. And when they talk about cutting off your funding, let’s be clear, they’re talking about telling many of those women, ‘You’re own your own.’
That is a bold-faced lie. Pro-life groups do more to support and provide services for women in crisis pregnancies than anyone else. And those services don’t involve murdering a child and scarring a woman for life!
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said Mr. Obama should have reproached Planned Parenthood officials for not doing more to stop the alleged violations at the clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Planned Parenthood officials in Philadelphia said they encouraged patients who complained to them about the clinic to report it to state authorities.
“President Obama blatantly ignored this inconvenient truth about the abortion industry’s horrific lack of oversight, and disparaged the pro-life advocates who wake up each morning with the goal of saving the lives of unborn children and women from the pain of abortion,” Ms. Dannenfelser said in a statement.
Instead, the president decried efforts across the country to limit women’s access to abortion services.
As he ended his speech, Obama blasphemously called on God to “bless” the largest child murder organization in the country.
“As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way,” said Obama. “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”
Murdering children is NOT health care, and the choice to kill a child is NOT a choice about one’s one health, but to end the life of another human being.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” ~ Isaiah 5:20
Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, referred to blacks as “human weeds” and “reckless breeders.” Ironic the first black president is the first president to speak to a child killing organization founded by a racist who targeted blacks. KKK should be applauding Obama’s speech today, for they had the same goals as Sanger.
THIS is why we need the Parental Rights Amendment!
Parents don’t even realize that the state now considers their parental rights something that are delegated to them by the state, rather than being unalienable rights endowed by Nature and Nature’s God! If a doctor decides to play god or someone decides to make a false accusation, your rights as a parent can be suddenly revoked, and you’re considered guilty until proven innocent!
A Sacramento family was torn apart after a 5-month-old baby boy was taken from his parents following a visit to the doctor.
The young couple thought their problems were behind them after their son had a scare at the hospital, but once they got home their problems got even worse.
It all began nearly two weeks ago, when Anna Nikolayev and her husband Alex took their 5-month-old boy Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital to be treated for flu symptoms, but they didn’t like the care Sammy was getting.
For example, one day Anna asked why a nurse was giving her son antibiotics.
“I asked her, for what is that? And she’s like, ‘I don’t know.’ I’m like, ‘you’re working as a nurse, and you don’t even know what to give to my baby for what,’” Anna explained.
According to Anna, a doctor later said Sammy shouldn’t have been on the antibiotics.
Anna said Sammy suffers from a heart murmur and had been seeing a doctor at Sutter for regular treatment since he was born. After Sammy was treated for flu symptoms last week, doctors at Sutter admitted him to the pediatric ICU to monitor his condition. After a few days, Anna said doctors began talking about heart surgery.
“If we got the one mistake after another, I don’t want to have my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don’t feel safe,” Anna said.
Anna argued with doctors about getting a second opinion. Without a proper discharge, she finally took Sammy out of the hospital to get a second opinion at Kaiser Permanente.
“The police showed up there. They saw that the baby was fine,” Anna said. “They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad stuff that they thought that this baby is dying on our arms.”
Medical records from the doctor treating Sammy at Kaiser Permanente said the baby as clinically safe to go home with his parents. The doctor added, “I do not have concern for the safety of the child at home with his parents.”
“So police saw the report from the doctors, said, ‘okay guys, you have a good day,’ and they walked away,” Anna said.
That SHOULD have been the end of the story, but it wasn’t. Many doctors are no longer recognizing the right of parents to disagree with their recommendations and/or seek a second opinion. With god-like arrogance, they seek to intimidate, threaten and punish any patient that dares to question them, and the law allows them to do it.
Evidently the doctors and staff at Sutter were offended that Anna wanted to seek a second opinion because the day after the two hospital visits, police and Child Protective Services showed up at their house. Alex met them outside the door and says that the police pushed him against the house and then smacked him down to the ground. The police then opened the door without asking permission and entered the house. Anna, who was frightened to death, turned her camera on to record what was happening. She recorded one of the police officers telling her:
“I’m going to grab your baby, and don’t resist, and don’t fight me ok?”
The policeman took Sammy from them and turned him over to the CPS agent. They told the shocked and frightened parents that they had a report that Sammy had been severely neglected and that an investigation was being launched.
Alex and Anna have retained an attorney to help them sort the whole thing out. Their attorney says that there are absolutely no signs of neglect and that the exact opposite is true. The parents have never missed an appointment and they have the doctor’s records from Kaiser indicating that Sammy was okay to go home and that he was not in any danger.
Even though the baby shows no signs of neglect and the parents have not been charged with any crime, CPS forced them to agree to restrictions on their parental rights in order to regain custody. They have lost their right to disagree with the doctors over their son’s treatment, and must allow intrusive “follow up” visits into their home. ”Follow up” for what? Further proof that the parents have done nothing wrong? These parents are being treated as if they are guilty until proven innocent!
Five-month-old Sammy, who was removed from his parents’ custody by Sacramento County Child Protective Services last week, will be transported to Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, a Sacramento County judge ruled Monday. The baby has been in protective custody at Sutter Memorial Hospital.
The Nikolayevs have since been fighting to get their baby back and talking with local and international media to explain their case.
The court also ruled Monday the parents must following all medical advice from now on, including not taking their child from Stanford without proper discharge.
A county social worker will make regular house visits to check on Sammy once he is returned home.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Paul Seave said he believed all of the attorneys involved worked in the best interest of Sammy.
The “best interest of Sammy” was to be left with his parents the minute the cops saw he was in no danger, investigate the first hospital’s false reports to CPS, and investigate CPS’s unlawful abuses of power to harass and tear apart an innocent family!
ParentalRights.org explains why the Parental Rights Amendment is desperately needed:
Traditionally, the Supreme Court has recognized the “fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child,” found in the Fourteenth Amendment’s “Due Process” clause. Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745 (1982) This protection, however, has been lost on Sacramento CPS. It is also being weakened through judicial erosion in the courts.
Passage of the Parental Rights Amendment will provide parents an explicit constitutional protection; otherwise, they’ll have to rely on the courts, hoping they will continue to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment as they traditionally have (but increasingly no longer do). And the PRA will allow organizations like CPS to know exactly what the rules are that they must follow.
“The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their child is a fundamental right. Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.”
These two sentences would make clear that CPS cannot take a child away unless it is prepared to prove that the child was in danger caused by abuse or neglect. In this case, it would increase the chances that common sense would prevail and baby Sammy would have gotten to stay home safe and sound with his mom and dad.
Imagine how many more incidents like this we are likely to see with a government takeover of health care!
Planned Parenthood is one of Obama’s biggest fans. They poured millions of dollars and volunteer hours into his re-election campaign, and have been rewarded handsomely for their support.
Obama has directed millions in federal taxpayer dollars into their coffers, sending his Justice Department to sue any state that tries to block taxpayer funding of abortion.
He is forcing all employers – even those with religious objections – to purchase insurance policies that include abortions. And Obamacare is on the verge of creating an enormous boom in business to the abortion industry, which they are preparing for by building enormous new abortion clinics.
Is it any wonder they invited him to be the keynote speaker at their annual fundraiser dinner?
It bears repeating that Obama strongly opposed the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which would have required doctors to assist babies born as a result of a failed abortion. How about his opposition to a bill that would have prevented partial-birth abortion?
If Obama wanted to make abortion rare, would he be such a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood and its notorious abortion industry? No one could be more in bed with that organization than Obama, who is planning on attending the organization’s fundraising gala this coming Thursday.
Obama and the pro-abortion left don’t want to call attention to the grisly practices of Gosnell for a number of reasons. You can disguise the practice of abortion with euphemisms, such as “they snipped the baby’s spinal cord,” but in the end, we are talking about the intentional killing of human life, and it follows that a facility so morally corrupt as to routinely engage in that despicable practice might not dot and cross all its other ethical i’s” and t’s.
If Obama or the leftist media were to shine a disinfecting light on the Gosnell trial, it might lead to a public discussion on abortion and an inquiry into how widespread such abuses are. The less attention the left permits to be drawn to this the better.
But there are additional sinister reasons Obama and his liberal media cohorts have suppressed the news on this story, knowing as they do just how horrendous Gosnell’s clinic was.
The pro-abortion left ridicules and condemns Second Amendment advocates for being paranoid purists in opposing all restrictions on gun rights, but in the purist and paranoia categories, they make gun advocates look like pikers.
Abortion is the left’s holy grail; it is liberals’ sacred ritual, about which nothing negative may be uttered for fear that it might lead to even the slightest infringement on it. Likewise, the abortion lobby simply will not countenance any restriction on abortion or any negative light to be cast on any abortion practice or clinic for fear that it could lead to a slippery slope whereby abortion might actually become significantly rarer. That would be a big setback for the lucrative abortion industry and for the campaign blood money it generates for supporting politicians.
The Moral Relativist Left in Canada isn’t outraged by the practices of murdering women and sexually mutilating children. But they are outraged if someone dares to call these abuses “barbaric”:
Cultural relativism has reached a new point of absurdity in Canada when the “barbarity” of female genital mutilation and honor killings is questioned and becomes a controversy.
A recently introduced manual by the Government of Canada intended to teach newcomers about Canadian values and Canadian society has been met with ongoing hostility from left-wing Canadians and politicians over the choice of words in describing female genital mutilation and honor killings. Jinny Sims, the immigration critic of the opposition New Democratic Party of Canada, suggested the word “barbaric” might “stigmatize some cultures.”
[...] Taking up the relativist banner was also none other than Justin Trudeau, front-runner for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, and son of the infamous Canadian Prime Minister who brought multiculturalist policy to Canada. He attacked the Conservatives for using the term “barbaric,” and suggested that the term was a “pejorative” and that “there needs to be a little bit of an attempt at responsible neutrality.”
“Neutrality” on murder and sexual mutilation? Are you kidding me???
Recently, I penned an article about an Amnesty International initiative: an art project for which the organization had commissioned artists and designers to address the devastating problem of female genital mutilation, or FGM – using 8,000 paper rose petals. The petals had been gathered as part of a petition action to bring attention to – and to end – the practice of FGM, and were each signed by a member of the public who participated in the petition. It was a laudable project, and I said so.
Amnesty responded with great appreciation for my story – but took exception to one detail. I had called FGM “barbaric,” and, said an Amnesty official, “we try not to use this word.” In an e-mail, she explained, “The use of the word ‘barbaric’ suggests that the people who do this are less than human, which isn’t so because they are being led by social pressure which is what needs to be fought. So we avoid using this word to not judge the people.”
Overlooking the fact that “barbaric,” which means simply “uncultured,” “uncivilized,” or “uneducated,” does not quite suggest “less than human,” I could not help but wonder about the “not to judge them” part. After all, if you set out to change a thing – a behavior, a place, a custom (and especially if you set out to end it) – haven’t you already implicitly expressed a judgment? And how is calling a custom, a practice, “barbaric,” conferring a judgment on the people who perform it?
[...] If, say, a Park Avenue Protestant family carried out FGM on their daughter, that, too, after all, would be barbaric. And anyone would be right to say so. But barring the use of that word, should we use another one, like “different?” But wait – isn’t “different” somewhat alienating, as well? Does it not imply a judgment?
And so on. At this rate, the only workably acceptable term would seem to be “normal” or “okay.”
And it is not.
These are the times I worry that we stand upon a precipice, and fear for the ideas and the ideals that form the fundament of civilization and democracy. We censor words and language, as Howard says, bending our knee to the tyranny of political correctness, concerning ourselves more with the sensitivities of the perpetrators than the lives and safety of the victims.
Some things are just EVIL, and SHOULD be called “barbaric!” There’s no other way to describe them! But according to the Left, the only thing that’s “barbaric” is criticizing the EVIL practices of an EVIL “religion” that glorifies misogyny and child abuse!
Melissa Harris-Perry: All Your Kids Belong to Us (Not the Parents)
View on YouTube
I’ve seen the village, and I don’t want it raising my kids!
In a scripted MSNBC promo, Melissa Harris-Perry made the following statement:
“We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had a private notion of children, your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”
Got that? You kid doesn’t belong to you. He/she belongs to the “collective” – meaning, the state.
Ironically, this is the same woman who calls unborn babies “things that turn into humans.”
How do I put this politely? Stay the **** way from my kids!
So kids belong to whole communities? Didn’t we fight a war back in the 1800s to prove that people weren’t owned by the state or anyone else, but were, in fact, people? Seriously?
But take that out of it. This is amazingly stupid commentary. All of us who own property (real property, not children) pay property taxes to fund a public education system to educate our children. We have democratically elected school boards to make the decisions on how tocollectively educate our kids to common, state approved standards.
It is failing spectacularly. And I suspect that the tangible efforts to improve it, from neutering teachers unions to giving parents choices in where to send their children, are opposed by Melissa Harris-Perry.
I never thought I’d see the day when self-styled progressives advocated the state owning the people.
Ken Shepherd at Newsbusters correctly points out that this is actually Maoist philosophy she’s spewing:
[T]he notion of collective responsibility for children was a philosophy that undergirded the Cultural Revolution in Communist China under Chairman Mao. I bring that up because, as you may recall, another Harris-Perry “Lean Forward” spot contains a reference to a “great leap forward,” which calls to mind the disastrous agricultural reform plan which starved millions of Chinese to death in the 1950s.
The Five on Fox made some great points about this collectivist mentality while discussing this around the table:
View on YouTube
Sarah Palin tweeted a few ingenious responses to this:
Love it! After having spent 22 hours of my life in labor, I heartily agree!
After the justifiable outrage and backlash, Harris-Perry is trying to walk back her statements and blame the views for misunderstanding her. Nice try. This is typical for the Left. They float a trial balloon and then pretend it was all an innocent misunderstanding when they get called for dropping their mask. The mask goes back up, but the ugliness behind it doesn’t go away. They work by desensitizing people over time, so that what sounds outrageous now will actually start to sound reasonable a few years from now. I don’t buy her “backpedaling” for a second.
Sign the petition to adopt the only Constitutional Amendment that will protect children from this kind of power grab – the Parental Rights Amendment!
Back in the 1920′s, women began fighting against a clear double standard when it came to sexuality. Promiscuous men were given a wink and a “boys will be boys” excuse, while promiscuous women were frowned upon. Women were right to fight against this double standard, but they chose the wrong solution.
Instead of working to ensure that sexual purity was expected from BOTH sexes, they fought for the “right” to violate God’s design with equal impunity, believe that would be “freedom.” It wasn’t freedom – it was slavery. It led to rampant STD’s, broken families, and illegitimate and aborted children. It paved the way for the sexual revolution of the ’60′s and the total breakdown of the family.
40 years ago, with ”no fault” divorce, we redefined marriage as a relationship based solely on the romantic feelings of the participants. We allow the contract to be dissolved for no other reason than diminished feelings, completely ignoring the fact that children’s rights are thrown aside and their lives destroyed at the mere whim of their parents.
Ronald Reagan is one of my heroes. But I’ll be the first to say that on this one, he blew it BIG TIME. I can understand his reasoning. A victim of divorce himself, he wanted to prevent abandoned spouses from being trashed with false accusations by the spouse who was looking for any excuse to leave.
Instead of protecting abandoned spouses, “no-fault” divorce actually made them powerless to protect their family. Reagan later regretted signing the law and called it one of his biggest mistakes. That mistake is what laid the foundation for the battle we are now facing over marriage, 40 years later.
Whenever you are tempted to think that compromising “just this little bit” won’t hurt or change anything, think again. The Left are experts at using incrementalism to push their agenda, one inch at a time.
Damon Linker argues that the foundation was first laid with the introduction of birth control, which removed procreation as the primary purpose for getting (and staying) married:
Permitting gay marriage will not lead Americans to stop thinking of marriage as a conjugal union. Quite the reverse: Gay marriage has come to be widely accepted because our society stopped thinking of marriage as a conjugal union decades ago.
Between five and six decades ago, to be precise. That’s when the birth control pill — first made available to consumers for the treatment of menstrual disorders in 1957 and approved by the FDA for contraceptive use three years later — began to transform sexual relationships, and hence marriage, in the United States. Once pregnancy was decoupled from intercourse, pre-marital sex became far more common, which removed one powerful incentive to marry young (or marry at all). It likewise became far more common for newlyweds to give themselves an extended childless honeymoon (with some couples choosing never to have kids).
In all of these ways, and many more, the widespread availability of contraception transformed marriage from a conjugal union into a relationship based to a considerable degree on the emotional and sexual fulfillment of its members — with childrearing often, though not always, a part of the equation. And it is because same-sex couples are obviously just as capable as heterosexual couples of forming relationships based on emotional and sexual fulfillment that gay marriage has come to be accepted so widely and so quickly in our culture. (If marriage were still considered a conjugal union, the idea of gay marriage could never have gained the support it currently enjoys. On the contrary, it would be considered ridiculous — as it remains today among members of religious groups that continue to affirm more traditional, conjugal views of marriage.)
Once marriage was reduced to a mere partnership of convenience, destroying what was supposed to be a life-long commitment became much easier, and the results were devastating:
In the inaugural edition of National Affairs, W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, pointed out: “In [September] 1969, Governor Ronald Reagan of California made what he later admitted was one of the biggest mistakes of his political life. Seeking to eliminate the strife and deception often associated with the legal regime of fault-based divorce, Reagan signed the nation’s first no-fault divorce bill.”
After California, every state followed suit.
No-fault divorce answers the Pharisee’s question to Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” with a resounding, “Yes!” Then it adds that it is also lawful for a woman to divorce her husband for any and every reason. In the U.S., wives initiate approximately two thirds of divorces.
It permits unilateral divorce, that is, one spouse can decide “for any and every reason” that the marriage is over giving the other spouse no recourse.
Children of divorce are “two to three times more likely to suffer from serious social or psychological pathologies.”
The result, says Wilcox, was that, when added to the sexual and psychological revolutions of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the number of divorces doubled between 1960 and 1980.
Divorce became acceptable even among Christians, easier to rationalize, and far easier to obtain. People who were unhappy and found their marriages unfulfilling, says Wilcox, “felt obligated to divorce in order to honor the newly widespread ethic of expressive individualism.” Children, everyone felt certain, were resilient and would do just fine.
But children of divorce, says Wilcox, are “two to three times more likely than their peers in intact marriages to suffer from serious social or psychological pathologies.”
Beyond children, divorce often has devastating social, psychological, spiritual, and financial consequences for at least one spouse. And others’ divorces effect all of us by calling every marriage into question. “[W]idespread divorce,” writes Wilcox, “undermined ordinary couples’ faith in marital permanency and their ability to invest financially and emotionally in their marriages—ultimately casting clouds of doubt over their relationship.”
Children of divorce lose their faith in marriage and are less likely to marry themselves. As a result, cohabitation rates have skyrocketed, which is bad news for adults, children, and marriage since, as Michael and Harriett McManus report in Living Together, cohabitation carries a whopping 80 percent failure rate.
In the beginning, the argument was made that divorce wasn’t really harmful to children, and that it would be more harmful if their unhappy parents stayed together. That has since been entirely debunked. The damage to multiple generations of divorce-scarred children is incalculable.
Sadly, proponents of gay marriage assure us that there is no harm in denying children either a mother or a father, but that social experiment, like so many others that try to substitute the nuclear family, will fail. And innocent children will be hurt in the process.
“What good excuse would keep a person in an unhappy, unrewarding relationship?” asked one respondent, a woman who left a twenty-five-year marriage because she was “tired of trying to please, gain love, do the ‘right thing.’“ “Would it be denial of a problem?” she asked. “Would it be financial gain, would it be ‘for the children,’ would it be for all the wrong reasons? My question—why would an unwanted spouse wish to stay in a marriage? What is, therefore, wrong with no-fault divorce?”
This is a common sentiment among Americans, one strategy we employ to resolve the moral conflict between two spouses, one of whom wants a divorce and the other does not: You want to hold onto someone who doesn’t want you any more? What kind of loser are you?
On the other side, another woman wrote to tell me of her husband’s decision to divorce her: “At age fifty-seven, he announced he would seek a divorce. All my dreams, hopes, and looking forward to some well-earned ‘golden time’ were dashed and smashed to smithereens. Our thirty-seven-year marriage was to be erased. My former standard of living was obliterated and can never be reached again.” “Our laws,” she complained, “do not differentiate between four months or forty years.”
Nor do they differentiate between a woman who wants to leave an abusive husband and a man who wants to trade in an aging wife. Our laws make no distinctions at all, because no-fault’s primary purpose is to empower whichever party wants out, with the least possible fuss and the greatest possible speed, no questions asked.
The right to leave ASAP is judged so compelling that it overwhelms the right to make (and be held responsible for) our commitments. For twenty-five years we have talked and written and legislated about no-fault divorce as if it represented an increase in personal choice. As the letters I received from divorcees suggest, this is a simplification and a falsification of our experience with no-fault divorce. For in most cases, divorce is not a mutual act, but the choice of one partner alone. “We might expect that both partners would be ready to end the relationship by the time one leaves,” note family scholars Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr. and Andrew J. Cherlin in their book Divided Family. “But the data suggest otherwise. Four out of five marriages ended unilaterally.”
No-fault divorce does not expand everyone’s personal choice. It empowers the spouse who wishes to leave, and leaves the spouse who is being left helpless, overwhelmed, and weak. The spouse who chooses divorce has a liberating sense of mastery, which psychologists have identified as one of the key components of personal happiness. He or she is breaking free, embracing change, which, with its psychic echoes of the exhilarating original adolescent break from the family, can dramatically boost self-esteem.
Being divorced, however (as the popularity of the movie The First Wives’ Clubattests) reinforces exactly the opposite sense of life. Being divorced does not feel like an act of personal courage, or transform you into the hero of your own life story, because being divorced is not an act. It is something that happens to you, over which, thanks to no-fault divorce legislation, you have no say at all.
The spouse who leaves learns that love dies. The spouse who is left learns that love betrays and that the courts and society side with the betrayers. In court, your marriage commitment means nothing. The only rule is: Whoever wants out, wins. By gutting the marital contract, no-fault divorce has transformed what it means to get married. The state will no longer enforce permanent legal commitments to a spouse. Formally, at least, no-fault divorce thus demotes marriage from a binding relation into something best described as cohabitation with insurance benefits.
Is it any wonder, with the decades of damage that has been done to the definition and purpose of marriage in our society, that people begin to assume that redefining it further is no big deal?
[H]omosexuals did not destroy marriage, heterosexuals did. The demand for same-sex marriage is a symptom, not a cause, of the deterioration of marriage. By far the most direct threat to the family is heterosexual divorce. “Commentators miss the point when they oppose homosexual marriage on the grounds that it would undermine traditional understandings of marriage,” writes family scholar Bryce Christensen. “It is only because traditional understandings of marriage have already been severely undermined that homosexuals are now laying claim to it.”
Though gay activists cite their desire to marry as evidence that their lifestyle is not inherently promiscuous, they readily admit that marriage is no longer the barrier against promiscuity that it once was. If the standards of marriage have already been lowered, they ask, why shouldn’t homosexuals be admitted to the institution?
“The world of no-strings heterosexual hookups and 50% divorce rates preceded gay marriage,” Andrew Sullivan points out. “All homosexuals are saying C9 is that, under the current definition, there’s no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead. But until you do, the exclusion of gays is simply an anomaly—and a denial of basic civil equality.”
[...] Conservatives have completely misunderstood the significance of the divorce revolution. While they lament mass divorce, they refuse to confront its politics. Maggie Gallagher attributes this silence to “political cowardice”: “Opposing gay marriage or gays in the military is for Republicans an easy, juicy, risk-free issue,” she wrote in 1996. “The message [is] that at all costs we should keep divorce off the political agenda.”
No American politician of national stature has seriously challenged unilateral divorce. “Democrats did not want to anger their large constituency among women who saw easy divorce as a hard-won freedom and prerogative,” writes Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. “Republicans did not want to alienate their upscale constituents or their libertarian wing, both of whom tended to favor easy divorce, nor did they want to call attention to the divorces among their own leadership.”
In his famous denunciation of single parenthood, Vice President Dan Quayle was careful to make clear, “I am not talking about a situation where there is a divorce.” A lengthy article in the current Political Science Quarterly is devoted to the fact—at which the author expresses astonishment—that self-described “pro-family” Christian groups devote almost no effort to reforming divorce laws.
This failure has seriously undermined the moral credibility of the campaign against same-sex marriage. “People who won’t censure divorce carry no special weight as defenders of marriage,” writes columnist Froma Harrop. “Moral authority doesn’t come cheap.”
A blogger named Cindy made these interesting observations about the hypocrisy of Christians who supported “Amendment 1″ in North Carolina:
As long as we’ve still got easy, no-fault divorce, and a culture that excuses and applauds all sorts of “straight” perversion, I’m afraid I just can’t get myself all worked up about a mere one or two percent of the population wishing to do what the rest of us have been doing for a couple of generations now—have a temporarily monogamous life with the person of their choosing, along with all the privileges that the State has chosen to attach to that temporarily monogamous lifestyle.
Let’s face it, Christians, we’re not having this conversation because homosexuals pose some kind of threat to our way of life. (They don’t.) We’re having this conversation because we’re finally at the bottom of a slippery slope that we polished to a glossy finish for ourselves when we separated marriage, sex, and procreation from each other, making the union of matrimony about our own happiness rather than about familial and social stability. Now we’re just trying to stop the slide before we fall off the cliff entirely. But we’re not much interested in doing the hard work of climbing back up to marital sanctity ourselves!
[...] This amendment seems to me to be nothing more than a far-too-late moral panic, with very little thinking behind it at all. Our culture is in a state of sexual anarchy, and most of us—I’ll wager even most of those who voted yes on Amendment One—kinda like it that way! But gay marriage is where we draw our arbitrary line, because the majority of people don’t like that sin the way we like our own.
We seem to hold the superstitious belief that stopping gay marriage at the ballot box will appease the wrath of the God whose opinion we stopped consulting on these matters generations ago.
Wake me up when we’re interested in using marriage for its intended purpose. Until then, I don’t think this amendment is going to amount to a hill of beans, and I’m not going to waste a lot of breath trying to defend it.
I disagree with her belief that gay marriage poses no threat to religious liberty (the multiple incidents of discrimination lawsuits against Christians who decline to provide services for same-sex weddings is just one example). But her assessment of the hypocritical double standard is spot-on.
The solution is not to degenerate marriage even further, but to admit our own culpability in the destruction of marriage, and to fight for its total restoration as it was 50 years ago – not the “status quo.”
I don’t blame gays for hating the current double standard in the churches, where homosexuality is condemned and those who struggle with it are often ostracized, while straight sexual sin is often justified, and straight sinners are treated with grace and understanding. In God’s eyes, gay sexual sin is no different than straight sexual sin - both need God’s grace and forgiveness, and neither can be overcome in our own strength, without the power of the Holy Spirit.
In all honesty, I believe the church is going to lose the gay marriage battle, because we deserve to (just as God allowed Israel to be carried off into Babylon, because they had become no different than their pagan conquerors). We have failed to keep our own house in order. The church has not been salt and light with our righteous behavior – we have become hypocritical finger-pointers.
Of course, going back to seeking sexual purity as a nation can’t be achieved by laws – it has to happen through revival and repentance, beginning with the church.
Republican Establishment Blames Social Conservatives, Tea Party For GOP Being Viewed As ‘Out Of Touch’
Hmmm…could it be that the reason people think the GOP is ‘out of touch’ is that they keep ignoring the American people’s concerns about massive debt, out-of-control spending, the erosion of constitutional liberties, and massive power-grabs like Obamacare?
Karl Rove has founded an organization for the specific purpose of bulldozing Tea Party candidates and replacing them with those hand-picked by the GOP establishment.
House Speaker Boehner has caved on Obamacare, illegal immigration, and a host of other issues, and even says that “trusts Obama completely.” WTH???
And he’s not the only one. Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have all waved the white flag on Obamacare.
The conservative base has been betrayed again and again by their own party. But who does the party blame for their losses? Their base!
I believe that the disappointing results for Republicans in the 2006 elections and probably the 2012 elections, as well, were in no small part attributable to frustrated conservatives staying at home.
The thinking among many conservatives has been that the party has consistently fallen short by failing to restrain the growth of the ever-expanding federal government and by failing to nominate sufficiently conservative presidential nominees. That is, if we would just nominate and elect Reagan conservatives and govern on Reagan principles, we would recapture majority status in no time.
The main opposing view — call it the establishment view — holds that Republicans need to accept that the reign of small government is over, get with the program and devise policies to make the irreversibly enormous government smarter and more energetic. In other words, Republicans need to surrender to the notion that liberalism’s concept of government has won and rejigger their agenda toward taming the leviathan rather than shrinking it.
I’d feel better if the ongoing competition between Reagan conservatives and establishment Republicans were the only big fissure in the GOP right now, but there are other cracks that threaten to break wide open, too. Our problems transcend our differing approaches to the size and scope of government and to fiscal and other economic issues.
Reagan conservatism is no longer under attack from just establishment Republicans; it’s also under attack from many inside the conservative movement itself. Reagan conservatism is a three-legged stool of fiscal, foreign policy and social issues conservatism. But today many libertarian-oriented conservatives are singing from the liberal libertine hymnal that the GOP needs to remake its image as more inclusive, more tolerant, less judgmental and less strident. In other words, it needs to lighten up and quit opposing gay marriage, at least soften its position on abortion, and get on board the amnesty train to legalize illegal immigrants. I won’t even get into troubling foreign policy divisions among so-called neocons, so-called isolationists and those who simply believe we should conduct our foreign policy based foremost on promoting our strategic national interests.
[...] I belong to the school that believes the Republican Party must remain the party of mainstream Reagan conservatism rather than try to become a diluted version of the Democratic Party. This does not mean Republicans can’t come up with creative policy solutions when advisable, but it does mean that conservatism is based on timeless principles that require no major revisions. Conservatives are champions of freedom, the rule of law and enforcement of the social compact between government and the people enshrined in the Constitution, which imposes limitations on government in order to maximize our liberties. If we reject these ideas, then we have turned our backs on what America means and what has made America unique. What’s the point of winning elections if the price is American exceptionalism?
Rush Limbaugh is calling the Republicans to task for their “blame the conservative base” mentality:
The Republican National Committee released earlier on Monday an “autopsy” of its 2012 election failures and pinned the blame on the party being out of touch with voters, particularly minorities.
Limbaugh said the opposite was true. “We are in touch with the founding of this country. We are in touch with the greatness in this country and its people,” the popular radio commentator said, according to Politico.
Limbaugh said that if the party moves away from championing values, such as traditional marriage, it will lose support among its base.
“If the party makes that [gay marriage] something official that they support, they’re not going to pull the homosexual activist voters away from the Democrat Party, but they are going to cause their base to stay home and throw their hands up in utter frustration,” Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh said it was party leaders who were out of touch with its own base.
Jonathon Moseley writes that the problem isn’t conservative values, but a failure to effectively market them to a new generation:
The Republican Party is violating time-tested, basic principles of sales and marketing. That’s why the GOP is failing to communicate its messages. On Monday, the Republican National Committee released a massive reform strategy, whimsically labeled an “autopsy” or “reboot,” to completely overhaul the GOP. Like Democrats in 1992, Republicans are growing hungry to win in 2014 and 2016.
Here is what is wrong with the Republican Party. This author taught in a sales training seminar firm in Eastern Europe, International Trendsetters. The solutions are overwhelmingly time-tested and proven in real life. This is not theory. Republicans are chronically making classic rookie sales mistakes.
“FAB” — Features, Advantages, Benefits. You must explain how a policy benefits the voter. Bad salesmen talk about features – the radio has a better tuner. Good salesmen talk about how the radio benefits the customer – you will enjoy the music more and set a better mood for your love interest because it sounds better and clearer. People don’t buy a mattress. They buy a good night’s sleep. And maybe good décor.
On Monday, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus explained that we must talk about how Americans benefit from low taxes and lower national debt. We have to talk about how Republican policies will put more people to work, at higher salaries, improve our economy, and strengthen our country. Republicans talk about details — lower taxes, lower regulations, lower deficits. We fail to explain why those details actually matter to the voter.
But isn’t it obvious? No. Classic rookie mistake. It’s obvious to you if you spend lots of time thinking about these things. It’s not obvious to busy people who have other things to think about, which they feel are more important in their lives. Yes, you have to draw them a map.
There is an imbalance between the speaker who is extremely familiar with a topic and the listener who isn’t. The speaker needs to understand how the speaker really sounds to the listener. Republicans skip over too many steps and assume too much. The American voters are smart. But they haven’t spent as much time thinking about your topic as you have. We have to be able to empathize with the busy listener and even remember how we were when we first learned about these issues.
It is amazing that the GOP has been so bad at this, when Ronald Reagan was so good at it. If anyone is thinking of running for office, Step #1 is to listen to every speech Ronald Reagan ever gave. Several times. Reagan “got” it. Then the GOP lost it.
Next, the mind abhors a vacuum. What you don’t say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. People have never stopped talking about cuts in education, even while education spending soars year after year. People will assume you want to help the rich by lowering taxes. They will assume you hate immigrants. They will assume you want women barefoot and pregnant. If you don’t explain how GOP policies benefit the listener, their minds will fill in the vacuum with other explanations. If you don’t provide a reason, their minds will provide one for you.
Third, love objections. This is one of the most powerful principles good salesmen know. We view objections with dread. A voter tells you why they don’t like the GOP. Time-tested sales techniques have proven that objections are opportunities. When a prospect tells you what he is concerned about, you now have the opportunity to address his or her concerns.
This is especially true when a voter believes something that isn’t true about Republicans — if they are willing to talk to you, that is. Proven sales experience shows that when someone is willing to tell you their negative views, and talk to you about it, you have an open door to dramatically turn around their perceptions.
Of course you have to treat them as a future friend, not as a current enemy. But the overwhelming majority of successful sales are closed after the third or fourth objection. That’s right, most sales succeed after not just the first negative response, but after several negative issues are raised and discussed. But you have to care about the other person as much as you care about yourself to answer their concerns fully, fairly, and respectfully.
Fourth, “ask for the order” as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus described on Monday. In other words, you have to show up. You are not going to win over any hearts or minds sitting in your office across the street from the Capitol South Metro station (the RNC headquarters). It is common sense that you have to go out and talk to Hispanics, Blacks, and other groups.
The GOP’s “outreach” efforts have often been embarrassing. Republican campaigns appoint leaders of, say, “Korean-Americans for Bush,” then order bumper stickers and campaign pins. And that’s about it. Pretending to be doing outreach, but not really, is a Republican specialty.
Last I checked, children’s biological and psychological needs don’t change to fit the convenience and preferred lifestyles of adults. Children are hard-wired to need BOTH their mother AND their father. When one is missing, it creates a void and a wound that can never be entirely filled by a substitute. My heart breaks for children who are forced into this situation – for they are not given a choice.
The Obama Justice Department is arguing in the United States Supreme Court that children do not need mothers.
The Justice Department’s argument on the superfluity of motherhood is presented in a brief the Obama administration filed in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that amended California’s Constitution to say that marriage involves only one man and one woman.
The Justice Department presented its conclusions about parenthood in rebutting an argument made by proponents of Proposition 8 that the traditional two-parent family, led by both a mother and a father, was the ideal place, determined even by nature itself, to raise a child.
The Obama administration argues this is not true. It argues that children need neither a father nor a mother and that having two fathers or two mothers is just as good as having one of each.
[...] So far in the history of the human race, no child has ever been born without a biological father and mother. Now, in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Executive Branch of the federal government is arguing that, regardless of the biological facts of parenthood, states have no legitimate and defensible interest in ensuring that children conceived by a mother and a father are in fact raised by mothers and fathers.
The brief that the Justice Department presented to the Supreme Court discussed children only as items controlled by others, not as individual human beings who have God-given rights of their own. It simply assumes that a child has no inherent right to a mother or father and that the only right truly in question is whether two people of the same-sex have a right to marry one another and that that right encompasses a right to adopt and foster-raise children.
To take this view and be consistent with the principles of the Declaration of Independence—which recognizes the ultimate authority of the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” and says that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”—the Obama Justice Department must advance the assumption that natural law and Nature’s God give children no right to a mother and father and no right not to be legally handed over by the government to be raised by same-sex couples.
As for children raised by two adults of the same sex, the most extensive study ever done was that of Dr. Mark Regnerus. Dr. Regnerus of the University of Texas conducted the largest, most rigorously controlled study in history. Here’s what the U.T. study found:
The results of the NFSS [National Family Structures Study]research revealed that the “no differences” claim—the claim that children raised by parents in gay or lesbian relationships fared no worse and in some cases better than children raised by intact biological parents—was not true. On the contrary, the children of these households, on average, did worse than children raised by their biological, still-married parents.
The weight of scientific evidence–as opposed to Donald Verrilli’s politically correct posturing–shows that his statements before the High Court are “not true.” Remember, we are talking about the well-being of the children, not whether the adults in these relationships are well-satisfied with their domestic arrangements.
People around the world are amazed at the casual way some Americans are ready to dispense with mothers and fathers. In France, for example, a young pro-marriage spokesman joined the nearly 800,000 impassioned defenders of marriage who turned out in Paris on Jan. 13th. This young spokesman–Xavier Bongibault–said “everyone needs a mother and a father. It’s only natural.” It isnatural. And this young demonstrator is gay.
He understands what the Obama administration refuses to acknowledge: Children need their mothers and fathers. It is their natural right. We can go as far back as 1790 and Edmund Burke and the French Revolution to see confirmation of this. The Rights of Man, wrote the great Irish philosopher and parliamentary leader, include the right to “the inheritance of our parents and the consolations of religion.”
The Obama administration is casting all that away. President Obama promised to “fundamentally transform America.” Few then realized he meant it. Abolishing marriage is what he is doing. Not changing. Not expanding. More than re-defining marriage, he is abolishing it.
I don’t take my position on any issue lightly. Especially for one who regularly expresses opinions on political and moral issues, I believe it behooves us to seriously research and consider all the facts and cornerstone moral principles before taking a position on an issue. I expect as much from those who seek to serve in public office. Sadly, it appears many politicians consider principles to be disposable things that can be discarded as soon as they are deemed inconvenient.
Senator Rob Portman became the most prominent Republican lawmaker to back gay rights when he reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage on Friday, two years after his son told him he was gay.
In a newspaper opinion piece on Friday, shortly before the Supreme Court is to hear arguments in two key cases on the issue, the Ohio senator said he now supports gay marriage.
“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married,” Portman wrote in an op-ed piece in Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch.
“That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a Congressman, and more recently as a Senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then, something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.”
Portman’s 21-year-old son, Will, told the senator and his wife in February 2011 that he was gay and had been “since he could remember.”
As a parent, I understand how love for one’s children can sometimes tempt us to blind ourselves to truths we’d rather not face. But it’s a temptation we must not yield to. Truth, right and wrong are not dependent on our feelings or circumstances.
Does that mean Portman should stop loving his son? Absolutely not! He should love Him unconditionally, no matter what mistakes he makes or what he’s struggling with. But loving a child doesn’t mean redefining an entire bedrock societal institution for their sake. It means embracing them for who they are, responding in grace to what they do, and remembering that all of us are sinners in need of a savior, whether gay or straight.
Leaving apart the question of whether marriage law should be changed, this strikes me as a problematic approach. I mean, marriage law should be changed or it shouldn’t be changed — but it shouldn’t hinge on the sexual attractions of one senator’s son, should it?
What if a conservative senator said, “I’m reversing my views on whether abortion should be legal because my daughter got pregnant and wished she weren’t.”
One of the fascinating things about society today is that personal experience trumps everything else in argumentation. Very few people seem to care about fundamental truths and principles while everyone seems to care about personal experience and emotion. It’s the Oprahfication of political philosophy.
Should a conservative determine good policy this way?
To state it bluntly, Senator Portman, Christianity, the Word of God, and the proper view of homosexuality has nothing to do with you or your changing perspective. It has everything to do with the unchanging Word of God. Your attempt to cloak your opinion by distorting the Word of God is not only offensive but blasphemous. I encourage you to open your Bible and read what it says about false teachers and those who add to or take away from the Word of God.
I understand that your son is a homosexual. As a Christian you are called to love him but you cannot condone his sin and encourage others to do the same. Principles are higher than our individual circumstances. Principles do not change because the circumstances in our lives change.
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)
Condoning the sin of homosexuality will not help your son to lead a “happy, meaningful” life. He cannot lead such a life in direct opposition to the Word of the Lord. You have taken the easy path and it will only lead to sin and death, error, and worse.
My prayers are with you and your family but Christians must not let your attempt to pervert the Word of God to fit your own personal life go unchallenged.
Do you know what you believe, and why? Have you actually thought through your position on certain issues, taking into consideration all the facts and core values before taking a position?
This is a very unique and insightful view from an openly gay man with adopted children.
I wholeheartedly support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, but I am opposed to same-sex marriage. Because activists have made marriage, rather than civil unions, their goal, I am viewed by many as a self-loathing, traitorous gay. So be it. I prefer to think of myself as a reasoning, intellectually honest human being.
The notion of same-sex marriage is implausible, yet political correctness has made stating the obvious a risky business. Genderless marriage is not marriage at all. It is something else entirely.
Opposition to same-sex marriage is characterized in the media, at best, as clinging to “old-fashioned” religious beliefs and traditions, and at worst, as homophobia and hatred.
I’ve always been careful to avoid using religion or appeals to tradition as I’ve approached this topic. And with good reason: Neither religion nor tradition has played a significant role in forming my stance. But reason and experience certainly have.
Learning from Experience
As a young man, I wasn’t strongly inclined toward marriage or fatherhood, because I knew only homosexual desire.
I first recognized my strong yearning for men at age eight, when my parents took me to see The Sound of Music. While others marveled at the splendor of the Swiss Alps displayed on the huge Cinerama screen, I marveled at the uniformed, blond-haired Rolfe, who was seventeen going on eighteen. That proclivity, once awakened, never faded.
During college and throughout my twenties, I had many close friends who were handsome, athletic, and intelligent, with terrific personalities. I longed to have an intimate relationship with any and all of them. However, I enjoyed something far greater, something which surpassed carnality in every way: philia (the love between true friends)—a love unappreciated by so many because eros is promoted in its stead.
I wouldn’t have traded the quality of my relationships with any of these guys for an opportunity to engage in sex. No regrets. In fact, I always felt like the luckiest man on the planet. Denial didn’t diminish or impoverish my life. It made my life experience richer.
Philia love between men is far better, far stronger, and far more fulfilling than erotic love can ever be. But society now promotes the lowest form of love between men while sabotaging the higher forms. Gay culture continues to promote the sexualization of all (viewing one’s self and other males primarily as sexual beings), while proving itself nearly bankrupt when it comes to fostering any other aspect of male/male relationships.
When all my friends began to marry, I began to seriously consider marriage for the first time. The motive of avoiding social isolation may not have been the best, but it was the catalyst that changed the trajectory of my life. Even though I had to repress certain sexual desires, I found marriage to be extremely rewarding.
My future bride and I first met while singing in a youth choir. By the time I popped the question, we had become the very best of friends. “Soul mates” is the term we used to describe each other.
After a couple of years of diligently trying to conceive, doctors informed us we were infertile, so we sought to adopt. That became a long, arduous, heartbreaking process. We ultimately gave up. I had mixed emotions—disappointment tempered by relief.
Out of the blue, a couple of years after we resigned ourselves to childlessness, we were given the opportunity to adopt.
A great shock came the day after we brought our son home from the adoption agency. While driving home for lunch, I was suddenly overcome with such emotion that I had to pull the car off to the side of the road. Never in my life had I experienced such pure, distilled joy and sense of purpose. I kept repeating, “I’m a dad,” over and over again. Nothing else mattered. I knew exactly where I fit in within this huge universe. When we brought home his brother nearly two years later, I was prepared: I could not wait to take him up in my arms and declare our kinship and my unconditional love and irrevocable responsibility for him.
Neither religion nor tradition turned me into a dedicated father. It was something wonderful from within—a great strength that has only grown with time. A complete surprise of the human spirit. In this way and many others, marriage—my bond with the mother of my children—has made me a much better person, a person I had no idea I had the capacity to become.
Intellectual Honesty and Surprise Conclusions
Unfortunately, a few years later my marriage ended—a pain known too easily by too many. At this point, the divorce allowed me to explore my homosexuality for the first time in my life.
At first, I felt liberated. I dated some great guys, and was in a couple of long-term relationships. Over several years, intellectual honesty led me to some unexpected conclusions: (1) Creating a family with another man is not completely equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.
It took some doing, but after ten years of divorce, we began to pull our family back together. We have been under one roof for over two years now. Our kids are happier and better off in so many ways. My ex-wife, our kids, and I recently celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas together and agreed these were the best holidays ever.
Because of my predilections, we deny our own sexual impulses. Has this led to depressing, claustrophobic repression? No. We enjoy each other’s company immensely. It has actually led to psychological health and a flourishing of our family. Did we do this for the sake of tradition? For the sake of religion? No. We did it because reason led us to resist selfish impulses and to seek the best for our children.
And wonderfully, she and I continue to regard each other as “soul mates” now, more than ever.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found our decision to rebuild our family ratified time after time. One day as I turned to climb the stairs I saw my sixteen-year-old son walk past his mom as she sat reading in the living room. As he did, he paused and stooped down to kiss her and give her a hug, and then continued on. With two dads in the house, this little moment of warmth and tenderness would never have occurred. My varsity-track-and-football-playing son and I can give each other a bear hug or a pat on the back, but the kiss thing is never going to happen. To be fully formed, children need to be free to generously receive from and express affection to parents of both genders. Genderless marriages deny this fullness.
There are perhaps a hundred different things, small and large, that are negotiated between parents and kids every week. Moms and dads interact differently with their children. To give kids two moms or two dads is to withhold from them someone whom they desperately need and deserve in order to be whole and happy. It is to permanently etch “deprivation” on their hearts.