Sunday, June 30, 2013

Should the children sit down and shut up?

While we focus on the wants of adults in the gay "marriage" debate, we've utterly forgotten the rights of children:

A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception."  CCC #2378

The left reminds us often that marriage has nothing to do with children, and yet we all know that the continuing push for gay "marriage" will be followed by the "right" for those couples, one way or another, to procure and raise children that nature never allows them.

The voices of kids raised by gay parents are still few and far between, as it's early yet in this sweeping social experiment, but mainstream and social media have ensured that positive reports go viral, such as Zach Wahls' tribute to the lesbian mothers who raised him. I would never expect a child to speak ill of the family he loves, and we can all admire Zach's loyalty.

However, there are many children of gay parents who simply remain silent in their pain, not only to protect their parents, but to protect themselves. If they do speak out to grieve the absence of a mother or father or to question the means of their creation, they risk immediate ridicule or a condescending reminder to be grateful -- and be quiet.

For example, back in March I read with sadness a People Magazine article story of the Today show weekend anchor who is pregnant through anonymous donor insemination, and who will be raising a daughter with her lesbian lover.


Beneath the glowing photo of the "two moms", scores of well-wishers left joyful congratulations, affirming the women with many, many exclamation points. I scrolled down and down, searching for naysayers amidst the myriad celebratory squeals. At last, two notable dissenting voices piped up, both young women.

First, the daughter of two lesbians:

[Kaitlin C. -- unedited] 
congrats to them both and the baby. I am the daughter (not biological) of two mom’s. I love them both sooo sooo much but their is not a day that goes by that i didn’t wish i had a dad. it is very hard for kids like me that are different. no matter how accetping are society is. i have men in my life – my moms’ friends but it is not the same. please, don’t get me wrong, i really love them both but i guess i’m just saying it is not the same. -KC

She received an odd sort of sympathy in reply:

[amalia -- unedited]
Dear [Kaitlin C.],
I understand your point. It’s the same as of millions of people that grew up without a father figure. Either because their fathers didn’t take the responsibility and left them, or because of a divorce, death, estrangement etc. The phenomenon has been around since forever, it has nothing to do with homosexuality. Thus nothing to do with this thread.
Family is that close circle of people that offer you love and care unconditionally and create you a solid environment to educate and develop.
Just as a little detail, I had both parents around as I grew up, but my dad had never been a father figure, nor involved at the level I needed. It was just a personal experience that I overcame just fine. Love is everywhere!!!

In other words: "Your experience is nothing special, Kaitlin. Lots of people suffer through life without a dad and let's just be really clear, your fatherlessness has nothing to do with homosexuality (even though your fatherlessness is precisely because of homosexuality, shhhh!). Let's not point out the fact that while those other father-losses I mentioned were tragedies or the result of sin and neglect, your father-loss was planned and intended by people who love you. And remember, it's all about love, which you can find everywhere!!! (Except for the love of a father.) Bottom line: Your feelings are invalid, please sit down and shut up."

The second dissenting voice also came from a young woman, and although she was raised by a mother and a father, she was conceived through anonymous sperm donation, a fact which unites her experience with that of the children of gay parents:

[Kathy -- unedited]
I’m the product of a my mother’s egg and a sperm donor. I love my parents but I don’t agree with the fact that I will never know half of my biology or my siblings. I will never do that to a child. If I can’t have them, I will adopt. I hope more couples, gay and straight, consider adoption and foster care.

Like Kaitlin, she declared her deep love for her parents, but dared to expose a great wound as well. Here's the scolding she got, admonishing her to stay silent next time:

[Marky -- unedited]
Kathy, I am the adoptive mother of a child who was abandoned on the street with no identification in another country. We adopted her as an infant who was assigned a birthday, a name, and any other information, including what town they thought she might have been born in. Children born using sperm donors are not the only children on the planet who may never know their biological heritage, or bio family, etc. You know half of it, and frankly, I’ve known many people who discovered their bio parents and siblings, only to wish they had stuck with the adoptive parents they knew. Your insistence that knowing bio family makes all the difference in your life is exactly why many people nearly kill themselves to try to have bio children rather than adopt or foster. Believe me, your parents’ worst fear was the thought you would end up saying all the things you have posted here. All they wanted was to have a family, and when you “father”came to grips with the fact he couldn’t do the deed himself, they probably chose to do what they did so you would be related to at least one of them. I know people who were from your same circumstances and they feel very differently. Adoption and fostering, both of which I have done, is not some easy road, either, depending on personality of the child. There comes a time when you need to accept your circumstances and live the best life possible, not to be harsh in any way. Most people make the best choices they can, under their circumstances, when choosing how to build their families.

In other words: "You spoiled little brat. How dare you snivel and whine when you at least know half of your biological heritage? Look at you, complaining about being the product of a stranger's sperm-for-hire when you could have been an orphan on the street! Your speaking of your pain is your parents' worst fear! How dare you make them feel bad? They did this because they wanted a child at all costs, you ingrate. Your profound loss and disconnection from your origins was orchestrated by the ones who love you the most, so you have no right to complain. You must learn to support adults' choices in how they build their families! They have a right to children and you need to respect that. I mean this in the kindest way: Sit down and shut up."

Now, do you think Kaitlin or Kathy will speak up again any time soon? Not likely. However, as gay "marriage" and artificial reproduction (donor sperm, surrogacy, IVF) go hand-in-hand, we are going to hear more and more stories slipping out, even if they have to be told anonymously, and even if the truth upsets folks.

There aren't yet many seniors who can look back on their life and evaluate the impact of being raised in a homosexual household, but at least one man has done so publicly. In an article that made "huge waves" in France before the recent controversial gay "marriage" vote there, a 66-year-old Frenchman who had been raised by lesbians broke his lifelong silence. He had never wanted to speak of his suffering, but said he simply could not allow the injustice of same-sex "marriage" to come to France. In Jean-Dominique Bunel's emotional interview, he explained that although he loved the women who raised him, he became more and more affected by his situation as he grew into adulthood:

"I suffered from the indifference of adults to the intimate sufferings of children, starting with mine. In a world where their rights are each day rolled back, in truth, it is always the rights of adults that hold sway. I also suffered from the lack of a father, a daily presence, a character and a properly masculine example, some counterweight to the relationship of my mother to her lover. I was aware of it at a very early age. I lived that absence of a father, experienced it, as an amputation."

"All my life as an adult was thrust out of whack by this experience," he blurts. But he stops himself there. "It is too intimate a matter." Pushed, he concedes, "I offer you a testimony. It's not the same in value as a poll. Other children, placed in the same conditions, have certainly grown up and reacted differently. But to the best of my knowledge, no serious study has been carried out in due diligence about this topic, within scientifically irrefutable conditions and bearing upon a large sample size. I doubt that many children of gay couples will open themselves up easily and honestly to journalists on this very delicate matter. It's traumatizing to speak of suffering that one would rather silence."

"...in the name of a fight against inequalities and discrimination, we would refuse a child one of its most sacred rights, upon which a universal, millenia-old tradition rests, that of being raised by a father and a mother. You see, two rights collide: the right to a child for gays, and the right of a child to a mother and father."

I urge you to read it all, here. Like Kaitlin and Kathy, Monsieur Bunel deserves a voice in this debate. 

So does Robert Oscar Lopez, Ph.D, a bisexual married man raised by lesbians and who for years was immersed in the gay lifestyle. He has been vilified for daring to speak against the acknowledged orthodoxy, but he refuses to be bullied into silence. His story was the first I encountered from a child of gay parenting that was not politically correct. It was raw, introspective, honest -- and difficult to read. Since going public, Professor Lopez has "been in frequent contact with adults who were raised by parents in same-sex partnerships":
They are terrified of speaking publicly about their feelings, so several have asked me (since I am already out of the closet, so to speak) to give voice to their concerns. 
I cannot speak for all children of same-sex couples, but I speak for quite a few of them, especially those who have been brushed aside in the so-called “social science research” on same-sex parenting. 
Those who contacted me all professed gratitude and love for the people who raised them, which is why it is so difficult for them to express their reservations about same-sex parenting publicly.
It's hard for these folks to speak out for two reasons: 1) It's frightening to be politically incorrect as a brave new social movement is bulldozing the land and yours is not the acceptable narrative. 2) It's unthinkable to come out publicly with reflections that would deeply hurt the ones who raised and love you, and whom you love in return.

Ultimately, it's hard to assert one's rights and demand justice when society denies that you have any rights at all. If children have no inherent or natural rights, they are, by default, commodities to be manufactured and manipulated, bought and sold and traded, tested and discarded if defective, killed (or "selectively reduced") if eventually unwanted. How could it be otherwise? Either children have intrinsic, natural rights by virtue of being human, or they only have the lesser rights that the adults decide to give them -- which makes them chattel.

Heterosexuals began this injustice against children long ago by demanding a "right" to a child at all costs, it's true, and now the gay "marriage" movement will only solidify and advance this view of children in our land, with the added injustice of systematic deprivation of a mother or a father.

The left prides itself on being tolerant, on fighting the oppressor, on giving voice to the weak, on being sensitive to the pain and feelings of others -- but will the proponents of gay "marriage" invite or even allow these hurting children of gay unions to speak of their experiences without censure or rebuke?

I'd like to be optimistic, but I'm not holding my breath.



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500 comments:

  1. I agree that this is one of the greatest problems that comes out of all of this (DOMA, this week). In just one more way, we are perpetuating this crazy idea that wanting or not wanting a child is all that matters. If you want one, feel free to use any means to obtain one. And if you don't, use any means to get rid of them.

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  2. CM, exactly. And check this out. In UK and other places, the government is legally abolishing the words "mother" and "father", "husband" and "wife" in the public sphere. Are we in the Twilight Zone? This is madness, and all a consequence of "gender identity", gay rights, and the bogus drive for "equality" (regarding things that are not equal):

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/a-man-can-be-a-wife-and-a-woman-a-husband-under-new-uk-govt-rules

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    1. Oh, geez. I don't think people even realize how out of touch with reality that they are. It's crazy.

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  3. I wonder how long until our country decides to eliminate Mother's Day and Father's Day from the calendar and just make a "Parents' Day"? Also, not only are children going to be deprived of a mother or father, but eventually kids will be deprived of a grandma or a grandpa (2 grandma's, 2 grandpa's...?)

    Or what about father/daughter events? Or mother/son? Is it just going to be parent/child in the future??

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    1. Don't give them any ideas, Margo!

      :)
      DD

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  4. Margo, there is a town in Europe (or somewhere?) that I just read about, that did do away with Mother's Day and Father's Day. Again, imposed by the elites, not the people.

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  5. In reading this, I was reminded of this sperm donor children's study released in 2010:http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2010/06/the_spermdonor_kids_are_not_really_all_right.html

    What was extremely telling, contrary to common belief, adopted children fare much better than those who discover that they were "unwanted" by one half of their biological parents. You are correct, Leila, once again - a child has a right to a mother and a father - that's what marriage is about.

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  6. CG, I am glad you brought up adoption, because it gives me the chance to discuss the difference between traditional adoption vs. donor sperm/eggs/surrogacy:

    Adoption is born out of a loss. A loss of biological parents who for whatever reason were unwilling or unable to parent their own offspring. So, as Danya has so eloquently explained, adoption is a restoration of what has been lost to a child. It can never be right to purposely design a situation (and a child) with that tragic loss built-in, and call it "good", or a "right". No adoptive parent would plan for his or her adopted child to have suffered the loss of his original parents so that he or she could have the child! Hopefully, we would never let them adopt a child if that were the case!

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  7. Sadly there have been articles where in several countries children have been ripped away or conned away from their biological parents. A lot of adoptive parents have been good about speaking about the problems with foreign adoption. But if one is willing to be an adoptive parent than one (I would think) would not ignore those problems and would research like crazy.

    In the end, it is far easier for adopted children to find out information about their biological parents. It's very difficult for children through sperm-donation to find their bio dads because that's anonymous (unless the man elects otherwise). It's also really bad for the gene pool. I read some crazy story where this gentlemen finally looked up his donor to discover that he was married to his half-sister. *shudder* I would not want to be in that man's shoes.

    And we aren't even just talking about gay parentage either. But as you point out, that's going to only solidify the problems with foreign adoption and donor sperm.

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  8. I feel bad for Kaitlyn and Kathy. Like you said, they probably won't speak out again. How ironic it is that they opened up to the very people who claim that they are tolerant and open to all and were silenced the minute and objection (if you even want to call it that) was made?

    I guess you already made that point, but really, the irony. I just don't get it. I'm still shaking my head.

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    1. it should read: the minute an objection was raised."

      I have my 3 year old here distracting me. :-)

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  9. For every child who has had a less than ideal childhood, I can point to scores more that have benefited from a loving home with two gay parents. I am also willing to bet that the vast majority of the public feels just fine with artificial insemination btw. Additionally, how likely was it that these peoples cases were caused by an intolerant/unequal society that the majority of these people grew up in? Being made to feel that your family is worse than others will take its toll. Adoptive children "love their families sooo much", but probably also feel a bit of sadness regarding being given up by one or both natural parents. Lets outlaw adoption!

    The truth is Leila, that no matter what I say, no matter what statistics or stories you hear of wonderful gay families, you will not change your mind. Religion is such an encompassing part of you, and so strict is your adherence to, that to acknowledge that it is wrong would be, in your eyes, saying that God is wrong. You cant accept that the catholic religion may be wrong. Answer this for me, if the data was Overwhelming that two gay parents are just as good for kids, if every major organization affirmed this, yet the catholic church objected still, would you change your view on gay marriage?

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  10. Andrew... One question
    Why is it licit and moral to obtain the eggs or sperm from a person through financial means but not licit or moral to purchase sexual services or organs from willing parties.
    Selling one's child for money is abhorrent, as is selling one's gametes.

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  11. Answer this for me, if the data was Overwhelming that two gay parents are just as good for kids, if every major organization affirmed this, yet the catholic church objected still, would you change your view on gay marriage?

    This question is a sucker question, because:

    1) What data could possibly make it concrete; people just saying, "gay parents are just as good" in a study?

    2) What facts are you going to gather by these types of studies? What are you measuring for?

    3) What number of groups of data would be accurate? Are there four groups of data? Ten? How many to make the study complete? How would you even know you have enough, and what's the appropriate duration of time?

    Last, but not least:
    4) Would you change your mind and go with the Catholic view? How much "data" would be needed to change your mind? What's the limit on when you'll know? What form would that data come?

    A lot of opinion doesn't make something fact. In other words, just because people like an idiotic reality tv show doesn't make the show "good". It means lots of people watch it, that's all.

    A moral compass helps navigate thoughts and opinions. The Catholic Church is that compass.

    Great post, Leila.

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  12. Of course I would change my mind! If constant study after study showed children being harmed by gay families, if studies showed gay people are happier and more well adjusted trying to become straight, or just remaining celebate, if professional organizations (and as a future counselor I have great respect for the APA and ASA) were saying, "this is wrong gay people should not be together raising families", then I will tell you right now I would change my views and take a closer look at faiths that preach against acceptance of those relationships.

    My views can, and do change as I learn more, I try to constantly better myself through information. Religion can be a beautiful thing, but strict adhearance to any one religion can prevent people from considering other views.

    What data could possibly make it concrete? Studies of children raised from birth in same sex households showing normal development and being happy. Studies showing that little to no difference exists between these children and others. Give both the parents and children of various families psychological tests and note if there are any differences, controlling for cultural, financial, and stability. You study as many families as possible, and conduct multitudes of experiments.

    You are right that majority opinion itself does not lend credence to an argument, but when this opinion is coming from learned minds with access to these studies, then yeah their opinion counts

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  13. Andrew, a couple of questions and points for you:

    1) Why did the concept of adoption originally come about? You may not have read the comment of mine above, that adoption is born out of a loss (that was out of the adoptive parents' control). Adoption is an attempt at restoration for a child, restoring what has been lost to him or denied him due to misfortune or malice or some other regrettable circumstance. We don't build in a loss so that we can make a kid for ourselves, and then tell the kid to shut up and be grateful when he feels the loss (which he has every right to feel).

    2) Do you know of any support groups that are for kids who had a happy, loving two parent home (meaning, married mother and father)? I've never heard of any. And yet, the adult children you are ignoring (who do seek out support) often say that they are from happy, loving gay-parented homes. Why do they still need to pour out their grief, and why are they still haunted by their (purposely created) losses? They say it's because a part of them (a mother, a father, an identity) has been amputated. You say it's simply because society makes them feel bad for having gay parents. Should I believe them, or you?

    3) What do you make of the existential pain of the people in the OP? Should we hear them, or tell them to zip it?

    4) Do children have any natural rights?

    5) Is it right to plan and create a fatherless or motherless child? Setting up that loss in a child's life is okay to you?

    6) It may well be that the majority of Americans believe that ART/IVF/donor conception is good and fine. They may think that of no-fault divorce, as well. They may think that of abortion, or of a number of other injustices to children. You've heard of the phrase: "What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right", right? Or do you believe that whatever the majority believes is automatically right?

    7) To put a fine point on it: What makes an action right?

    7) In your last sentence, define "just as good for kids" for me, if you would.

    To answer you: Of course I would never change my opinion on this. I will repeat exactly what I believe, not only because it's taught by my Church (for non-Catholics believe it, too), but because it's true:

    A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception."

    The fact that overwhelming social science bears out that children do best with both married parents in the home is just the icing on the cake, but it's not the cake. So yes, just as it will always be wrong to deny a child the right to life (even if all the "major organizations" say the opposite), it will always be wrong to deny a child his right to be born to his parents, and to treat children as chattel.

    Always.



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  14. Studies of children raised from birth in same sex households showing normal development and being happy. Studies showing that little to no difference exists between these children and others. Give both the parents and children of various families psychological tests and note if there are any differences, controlling for cultural, financial, and stability. You study as many families as possible, and conduct multitudes of experiments.

    Statistics are out there b/c you can't measure everything. Statistics give you a confidence level in the bell curve. That doesn't mean everything will be inside of the curve. So that doesn't mean it's "good" in all scenarios. It's not proving an across the board "good" and "okay", because you cannot apply statistics to those words.

    Also, per your "test" above, is happiness really only culture, financial security and stability? Just those three?
    Not for me personally, so I'd skew your study.

    How do you measure for "being happy"?
    How do you quantify "happiness"? You can't.
    It's like trying to apply a number to "happiness", and then putting it on a scale.

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  15. Again... Selling your gametes for money, or procuring someone else's gametes( probably poor) is twisted and horrid.

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  16. Leila, apologies if you've already done this, but can you point me to the studies that show that straight married parents are better than gay married parents? From what I've seen, studies only show that kids are better with married parents than with divorced parents. Unless I've missed them, studies that would actually confirm your views don't exist.

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  17. The study bit was off the top of my head, although if I was actually working on creating such a study on gay and straight couples and their families, I would hopefully be brainstorming with other researchers to come up with as many measurements of well being as possible.

    Instead of measuring happiness, perhaps it would be more accurate to measure a child's ability to function in society. I was not suggesting just asking a child, how happy are you??

    "The fact that overwhelming social science bears out that children do best with both married parents in the home". Leila I hear this from opposition constantly. Studies that have compared homes with just one mom or dad raising kids as oppose to children from two family homes have indeed shown that kids are better off with two PARENTS. The science for whether if these parents being a mom and a dad, or two moms or two dads makes any difference is younger, but still points to little or no differences.

    As to whether or not you should believe me or those people you have discussed, Id say you can not make assumptions based on such few testimonials, just as you cant make sweeping judgements on gay marriage based on a single study. Additionally, aren't you also ignoring those kids who just feel just fine, and want full equality for their families?

    I am willing to change my opinions as i learn more Leila. My views on abortion, family, and society has changed throughout my life, perhaps even in ways your might agree with. You however, have stated you will not change your opinions regardless of information. I am curious, are there any areas (involving gay rights or other issues), where you disagree with the Catholic church? Honest question


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  18. Andrew can you please answer my question ?

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  19. perhaps it would be more accurate to measure a child's ability to function in society.

    Function how? Smile at someone? Get a job at a drive thru? What do you mean function?

    just as you cant make sweeping judgements on gay marriage based on a single study.

    It's not a "sweeping judgment on gay marriage", it's a moral stance. It's biblical.

    Let's get to the moral discussion. We're not working off any "study". A study is a pile of information, it isn't fact. It's not even a conclusion. Studies take information, form an opinion, and publish it.

    Trying to gauge "happiness" or "function" is like grasping the wind.
    "I was happy yesterday, but today the puppy piddled on the rug and I'm not happy currently, but I might be happy later."
    And to a child "happiness" would fluctuate even more. They're not happy now because they have homework, but later they are happy because they got an ice cream cone. It's not relevant.

    The relevant question is: Is the fight against gay marriage a moral one? And which side of the morals are you (universal) on?

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  20. Sorry Mary, i keep forgetting lol. well the libertarian esq part of me does not care what (fully) consenting adults do, but in both cases, I can see the potential for problems with people being taken advantage of, which is why if either prostitution or organ trade were ever legalized, there would need to be strict guidelines with them.
    If people want to sell their eggs or sperm for money, voluntarily, then I am fine with that, because by doing so, they are helping countless couples have the children they so long for, These children (ideally), are being brought into a family that has invested the time and money, while considering all the alternatives. Many donors, as well as surrogates, do this for reasons beyond the money. They do this because they truly believe in the Christian view of helping others.

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  21. Nubby, with all due respect, It seems that I answer your questions, and you respond by saying, "no lets talk about this instead..."

    As someone who majored in psychology for my undergrad, and am working towards my masters in social work, i can tell you that it is possible to measure overall functioning abiltiy in people. Its not as simple as "lets count all the days your happy Vs the days your not!", and it is not just whether you can brush your teeth and bathe yourself. You need to see if these kids are functioning, both psychologically, physically, and socially, as well as other kids.

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  22. Morals are different for different people, and society needs to look at what works best for the people. As someone who does not strictly follow any one religion, this discussion of christian morality may not go anywhere, whats more important is which position, embracing or condemning gay marriage in our society and government, will cause less OBJECTIVE harm.

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  23. So then you know how imprecise psychology can be. And you'd agree that studies are published opinions which can be argued. They are not theorems, they don't even produce facts, agreed? It's not mathematical analysis.

    Just want to keep the focus, is all. Don't want to get lost in the weeds. All the studies in the world don't matter because there's always a study out there to counter the one you're agreeing with.

    I'm asking about the morality of the argument, as this is a Catholic blog. That's all.

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    1. "the libertarian esq part of me does not care what (fully) consenting adults do"

      "If people want to sell their eggs or sperm for money, voluntarily, then I am fine with that, because by doing so, they are helping countless couples have the children they so long for"

      Although I generally disagree with Leila about this sort of thing, I'm actually bothered by this line of thought. In this case the contract between adults is responsible for bringing a new person into the world without said person having any choice in the matter (not that that would be possible), so I think that the parents are morally (should be legally) obligated to ensure the child will have a certain quality of environment.

      Libertarian arguments (in my opinion) tend to fall apart when you realize that the parties' actions often have consequences on others around them, not to mention the planet itself.

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    2. Did not mean for this to be a reply, sorry.

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  24. Andrew, I don't mean to be a pain (honest!), but can you answer the questions specifically as I numbered them? I really want the readers to have clarity on where you stand so that they can evaluate the two sides.

    Michelle, again, there are not enough gay "married" couples in the world to do such a study (and homosexual couples tend to not stay married). That's part of the problem. And, since you don't believe that fatherlessness leaves any kind of void (though the fatherless voices you see in the OP would indicate otherwise), then there would be no way to convince you that there is an existential angst there for these children. They can be given another generic parent of either gender and they should be satisfied, in your mind. Of course I could bring up the vindicated Regnerus study, but it doesn't matter how vindicated he is, no one on the other side will do anything but attack and vilify the man in the ugliest ways. (Thus proving the chilling and silencing effect mentioned in the OP. Do you think people, aside from the heartiest and most courageous, will speak out against the gay lobby today? Sheesh, even I worry for myself sometimes. It's a dangerous thing to speak up for marriage and children today. Really scary, vicious reactions out there.)

    Michelle, do children have inherent rights? And, what do you think of the voices of the children in pain, from the OP? Do they deserve a voice, or should they be silent and just be grateful and get over it?

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  25. Chris, what, in your opinion, are the natural rights of a child? And, I know you are for gay "marriage", so does it follow that they have a "right" to procure children for themselves?

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  26. We don't prevent poor people from having children, we don't prevent racial minorities from having children, we don't prevent carriers of the CF mutation from having children.. and so on. We only take children away from their parents in instances of actual abuse – there's no legal requirement that children be born only into ideal circumstances. Should military parents be prevented from having children because they could die and leave them missing a parent? Should parents who are poorly educated and employed in minimum-wage jobs be prevented from having children because their kids are statistically less likely to have the support they need to do well academically? Should parents living in dangerous urban neighborhoods be prevented from having children because their safety is at risk? There's no end to the ways that someone can encounter suffering in a basic nuclear family setting, so I find it kind of weird that Catholics would rail against a very specific kind of (potential) suffering but not others. In all of these cases, I'm sure you'll tell me, kids can be more likely to have a tough time, but they can also do fantastically well. I agree completely. Why don't you also see that as the case for all of the children who are born of donation or who have gay parents? They may have a difficult time in some ways, but there are countless situations you can be born into where you could have a difficult time, and no one's stopping those parents from having children.

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    1. I would say in this vain that often times we do not remove children from very harmful and abusive situations because the rights of the parents far outweigh the rights of those children. This is my work and I have seen it countless times, children left in severely abusive homes, who coincidentally won't talk because they love their parents (oh, yes, that's not sarcasm, they do), and they don't want to see Mom/Dad go to jail. And yet, we as society know that these children are hurting, suffering, and they are left in these homes, because Mom/Dad have more rights. I would much rather see a loving gay couple raise those children, then have those children continue to suffer at the hands of their often married biological parents.

      Delete
    2. But this would be an injustice where the weakest are not being protected. Children have a right to their parents and typically parents should have a right to their children... however, if their parents are abusive, that is a loss of well, decent parents (every child SHOULD be loved even if they aren't). The failure of the community to recognize the rights of the vulnerable (a child) to a safe home does not justify purposely creating a situation where a child is raised by his or her parents (or are you trying to justify same-sex households with the argument that sometimes parental rights wrongly trump a child's rights? Because that's pretty insulting). In the case of abuse, a just society would acknowledge this child's loss (caring parents) and attempt to restore what was lost by placing them in a loving home (a healthy relative or in the most extreme cases, adoption, which Leila has already explained is an attempt to replace what the child has lost).

      Basically, the failure of our system should not justify parental rights trumping a child's basic needs and rights but instead should highlight the need to fight for the most vulnerable.

      Delete
    3. I meant does not justify purposely creating a situation where the child is NOT raised by his or her parents.

      Delete
  27. Michelle, that's such a wrong-headed argument because in those cases, the parents can have children! The children are the result of their conjugal union! The children still are born to their parents. A child has a natural right to his parents, not to his own room and a swing set and a private school. A child has a natural right to his parents, not to be born free of congenital defects. A child has a natural right to his parents, period. All the other situations are not a result of taking a natural right away from the child, by design of the ones who demand the child.

    None of the children in the OP were lamenting something incidental or external or material. They were lamenting the loss of something primal.

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  28. I'm going to interrupt this for a moment to ask for prayers for the souls and the families of the 19 Hot Shot elite firefighters who just died fighting a fire in my state. The entire unit is dead. So many widows and fatherless children, please pray. It is heartbreaking, and the worst loss of firefighter lives in 30 years.

    Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

    And for the Syrian Catholic priest who was abducted at a monastery and viciously beheaded along with two others while the Islamist crowd cheered and videotaped his slow death, we also pray. Or rather, we ask his prayers for us, as he died a martyr's death. Fr. Murad, pray for us!

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  29. I'm honestly not sure what natural rights children have. I didn't even believe in natural rights a year or so ago, believing that all rights were granted either by a person's ability to defend them, or by the gift of a government. Now I'm more receptive to the idea, but I'm not sure what to use as the basis for it, aside from my very nebulous idea of God. I don't want to use God to justify a position of mine because I can't be sure it isn't just me projecting my views onto an unquestionable figure.

    I know that many situations are non-optimal, but still permissible (e&e lists quite a number above, and banning any of them would be downright tyrannical). I suppose for now I'll leave it at vaguely saying that everyone has the moral obligation to act responsibly when their decisions affect other parties who don't have a say in the matter. If you ask a couple of soon-to-be parents why they are having a kid, they should be able to give a good answer, and it shouldn't just be about providing them a sense of fulfillment or something.

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  30. (answering the second part of your question)

    As for a right to procure children, I'm not sure. The only argument I can think of against artificial insemination and similar processes is that there are already children without families out there, and they should come first. However, this doubles as an argument against having kids in the usual way. Then again, it's a lot harder to regulate a biological fact (that men and women can naturally produce children without oversight) than it is to regulate an artificial method of producing children. But of course, gay people should have equal rights to straight people.

    I suppose overall that artificial insemination should be under some sort of oversight (irrespective of the partners' genders). I also think it should be much easier for a gay couple to adopt children if they choose to, no harder than it is for a straight couple.

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  31. "If you ask a couple of soon-to-be parents why they are having a kid, they should be able to give a good answer, and it shouldn't just be about providing them a sense of fulfillment or something."

    And a Catholic would say (as would most of mankind I believe, up till now) that a child is a privilege of marriage, and one does not have to "prove" anything to be married and have a child come from that union. That's how children are supposed to come.

    I know you are not sure of the God part, but if there is a God, He is the God of nature, and nature decrees that no child can ever come from the union of two men, or two women.

    "I also think it should be much easier for a gay couple to adopt children if they choose to, no harder than it is for a straight couple."

    So if an infant is available for adoption, and there is a mother and father available to raise that child, and also two gay men who are available to raise that child, you believe there should be no preference given to the mother and father?

    I do think that overall, you are saying that adults have a right to a child (no matter what it takes to get one), but children have no rights to their parents. Is that what you believe?

    I am glad that you are getting closer to a belief in natural rights. Our nation and our laws presuppose that our unalienable rights come to us from our Creator, not from the government (other men).

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  32. "if an infant is available for adoption, and there is a mother and father available to raise that child, and also two gay men who are available to raise that child, you believe there should be no preference given to the mother and father?" In that case you would need to look at other factors, such as income and suitability of the couples to meet any special needs the child may have. It should not be a case of, "oh oh, gay couple, bad! lets find any other Normal couple before these ones!"

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  33. "So if an infant is available for adoption, and there is a mother and father available to raise that child, and also two gay men who are available to raise that child, you believe there should be no preference given to the mother and father? "

    Yes.

    "I do think that overall, you are saying that adults have a right to a child (no matter what it takes to get one), but children have no rights to their parents. Is that what you believe?"

    I said nothing like that. Gay and straight adults alike, if adopting, go through some sort of screening process, right? So clearly they don't automatically get a child. It's a privilege. And in the same vein, I said there should be some oversight on artificial insemination, not that random people should always be able to bring a child to be via artificial means. And I never said that children have no right to their parents--I think it's best if a child can be with their parents, but it's not always possible.

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  34. So, to Chris and Andrew, a father is nothing to the life of a child. A mother is nothing to the life of a child. Only generic "parents" matter. I know, I should be used to that answer by now, but I honestly cannot get over it. And the words of the children in the OP -- what do they mean to you? When children mourn the loss of the presence of a father, even though they have two loving mothers? They had no right to a father, is what you are saying, even though nature has given every single person on the planet a mother and a father. It seems odd to me that what we are all given by nature, we have no right to.

    Why do we lament fatherlessness in the inner cities? Why have male mentors and role models to fill the fathers' void, when we could just have the moms mentor all those boys? Have we (and even the mentors in their own inner cities) just gotten it wrong all this time?

    I said nothing like that. Gay and straight adults alike, if adopting, go through some sort of screening process, right? So clearly they don't automatically get a child. It's a privilege.

    You are talking only about adoption proceedings, which is only one way that gay couples can procure children. In actuality, there are no laws at all that prohibit anyone from manufacturing a baby. In fact, most lesbians would much more easily inseminate themselves than adopt (either sperm bank or ask a friend for a "donation"), and the newest trend is for gay men to go to India and exploit the poor women there who are desperate for money, renting their wombs to grow them a child. Surrogacy. It is not a "privilege" to get a child anymore, a child is something we make, buy, and sell. Commodity. Chattel.

    And I never said that children have no right to their parents--I think it's best if a child can be with their parents, but it's not always possible.

    It's always possible not to purposely create a child without a father or without a mother. It's always a choice to put kids in that position, when you are making a child by artificial means using other people's DNA. So you really must be saying that those particular children have no right to their parents. If you think it's okay to purposely make children in artificial ways for gay couples to have (even if their were screening, which there is not), then there is no way around that conclusion.

    If I'm wrong, then tell me when do children have a right to their parents?

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  35. I'll write up an answer tomorrow. Right now, I'm going to bed.

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  36. Children have a right to a loving home. For those three people you mentioned, what about the countless others who are perfectly happy with their two parents, albeit maybe with some questions about their biological history (which any adopted child could relate to)?

    Children need love and stability, plain and simple. Inner city kids who are raised in single parent homes are not comparable to kids raised with two loving and involved same sex parents.

    You still haven't answer my last question Leila. Are there any areas (involving gay rights or other issues), where you disagree with the Catholic church? Honest question

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  37. Sorry, Andrew, I didn't mean to skip your question. There is not one part of the Deposit of Faith (revelation) that I disagree with. Catholicism is a revealed religion (though the natural law can be ascertained with reason alone, which is why other faiths and no faiths share certain moral understandings). Catholicism is not a pick-and-choose religion, as it forms one big "tapestry of truth" (as I like to call it).

    Christ died (truly) and rose (truly). He is God, and he left his Truth with His Church, whose mission is to proclaim that same truth till the end of time. It will never change. When one understands and accepts this proposition (and this legitimate authority), it's easy to accept the entire Deposit of Faith. It all hangs together, none of it contradicting another part. It's quite beautiful. So, no, I don't disagree with my own professed faith.

    By whom were the children given the right to a loving home? In other words, where did they get that right (and how did they not get the right to have a mother and a father)?

    I actually quoted four people in the OP, but clearly they are not alone (did you check out the anonymous support group, or the Slate article, for starters?).

    I've made the distinction between the pain of adoptees (adoption is the restoration of what was lost to a child) vs. the pain of the folks like Kaitlin and Kathy (the loss was by design, built-in on purpose by the adults who wanted the child).

    Can you see the distinction?

    Maybe I can put it this way to help you see the difference: It's one thing if a child is born without a limb or loses a limb accidentally; then, we put on a prosthetic to help restore the thing that was lost, the limb that the child had a natural right to.

    It's quite another thing if a child was manufactured to be limbless on purpose, or if his limb was purposely cut off -- just so that the prosthetic maker could practice making and fitting the limb.

    It's late, but I hope that makes sense.

    I guess you could say that traditional adoption assumes the child had a right to his parents, but a tragedy (loss) made that relationship impossible, vs. artificial reproduction, in which the tragedy (loss) is intended and designed.

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  38. "Children need love and stability, plain and simple."

    Then you must agree that a happy orphanage with long-time workers (perhaps nuns, there for decades) would be the same as a two-parent family, correct?

    And there is a bit of a distinction between what they need and what they have a natural right to, no?
    So, you say that children have a "right" to a loving home. That's not something that we get by default, just by being human. However, we do get two parents, by default, just by being human. So, shouldn't that natural right, that inherent right, be the foundation for all other things, including our wants and needs?

    I know people close to me who did not grow up in a "loving" home. If it was their right, then how does one enforce that right?

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  39. Leila, you were right - polygamy up next. Here's an article from The Economist, a high profile international weekly, free-market outlook but socially liberal. This is read by many of the "elites" around the world and very influential. You shudder when you read the main article, and more when you get to the comments.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/06/slippery-slopes

    Hope you can open the link, they have recently put up a pay wall around both the articles and correspondent blogs. If not, you can copy the article headline into Google, and then click on the link, it will open.

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  40. Leila,

    I would love to join in to this convo, but I'm on the way to the airport to visit family and I won't be on the computer for a few days. I did want to jump in though, to say that the Regnerus study has not been "vindicated." UT did find that he didn't falsify data or plagiarize, but they made no judgment about the study's quality, its conclusions or the way it's been used. I've written about that here: http://letterstothecatholicright.tumblr.com/post/30777974428/no-misconduct-in-regnerus-study

    Best!
    Frank

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  41. Leila,

    I am the founder of www.AnonymousUs.org

    Thank you for writing this.

    Alana

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  42. Here is something that I've pondered with regards to this issue. Suppose a gay couple decides to adopt a girl for example. This girl is raised by two moms. As time goes by, she starts to have feelings for boys (as the natural law founded), but she gets confused. She looks at her moms and says, "That's natural" and she listens to the natural law in her heart with regards to boys and says, "That's natural." Both cannot be natural. So she starts to question her sexuality, simply because her parents are gay. Are we not automatically throwing up a road block on the course of events that flow from natural law? As with a lot of things, children take 90% or more of their cues from their "parents." It seems logical to me that the next generation will be utterly confused.

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  43. Let me clear up this confusion for you John. No, she will not question her sexuality based solely on the fact that she has two moms because that is not the only couple she sees in her life, she sees the parents of her friends, her parents friends, depictions of male female relationships everywhere. Do gay people think they are straight because their parents are?

    Having gay moms will make her more accepting of different people, but whether she turns out to be gay or straight is beyond her parents control. They would recognize she likes boys, or that she likes girls, and embrace her like good parents.

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  44. Leila,
    This is the first time I have read your blog. As a faithful Catholic woman I am eternally grateful for your thoughtful clarity regarding this issue. I also appreciate your publishing the opposing viewpoints because it gives people like me a window into the minds and hearts of those whose views are diametrically opposed to mine. I suspect none of them know anyone born as the result of ART, because the reality is that they DO suffer, whether it be silently or openly. Tank you again for giving them a voice. May God bless you abundantly for your courage!

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  45. Alana, thank you for your courage, and for your service to others by having that anonymous forum available for people to be able to speak without fear.

    Jon, you are absolutely right! There is incredible confusion out there now, from a young age, and experimentation is occurring now that never would have happened even when I was in high school and junior high. The more ambiguity, the more mixed messages, of course the more confusion and second guessing!

    Andrew, there is a phenomenon called LUG ("lesbian until graduation" -- yeah, it actually has a name) that I know of from very, very good friends of mine, young women who were surrounded by a lesbian culture (or pressure) in college, and who fell into a lesbian lifestyle. Some still identify as lesbian or bisexual, others found their way out (they were never inherently attracted sexually to women), but there are many, many scars and wounds from those experiences, esp. in trying to relate to men.

    One of the women is a fellow blogger who is actually going to tell her story as soon as I get my rear in gear and interview here. She was/is 100% hetero, and yet at her senior dance at an all-girls university (where radical feminism rules the day), she looked around and saw all her friends kissing each other romantically. She was fairly repulsed, but then thought there must be something wrong with her. She and her best friend fell into kissing, and she spent the next two (or three?) years in a lesbian relationship. This is not uncommon, Andrew.

    And as for gay men, isn't it true that up to 40% of them were molested or raped by men in childhood? A homosexual friend of mine was molested by a camp counselor. It's very hard to reconcile, as a child, something that is a total violation and a filthy crime but yet which physically "feels good". The shame of having (involuntary) good feelings as a boy or young teen is a VERY confusing experience, and one which of course would make that poor kid assume he must be gay (not to mention a whole host of other fall out).

    If you live in a household in which the prevailing opinion and culture is: "Sweetie, you can be gay or straight or bi, it's all good, you might be any of those, no worries, it's all normal!" -- you can bet that there will be questioning even among the most heterosexually inclined children.

    How could there not?

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  46. Sebastian, yep, it's just a matter of time, and not only for polygamy, unfortunately. Remember these folks are watching and following the legal arguments carefully:

    http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2009-08-20/news/those-who-practice-bestiality-say-they-re-part-of-the-next-gay-rights-movement/

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  47. Why can't decent people just acknowledge the loss and heartache other people including children feel? Sure love is all around, but you miss whom you miss. Oh, but then we may have to acknowledge that our society's social experiments are not turning out so happily.

    ===

    The lost of those firefighters is horrific, is so is the beheading of the Syrian priest. I must pray.

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  48. Mosy, thank you so much!

    And Lena, bingo! You said a lot there with just a few words.

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  49. All,

    Dr. Robbie (Robert) George (Princeton U and coauthor of "What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense) was asked a very similar question to the one Andrew posed above. On Facebook, George was asked: "If we look back in 25 years and there is robust social science saying that children raised in same sex marriages do just as well as those raised in conjugal marriages, then would you be willing to embrace same-sex civil marriage?"

    His reply is lengthy but worth quoting in full, particularly inasmuch as he's on the front line of the marriage controversy rumbling within academia. His reply follows:

    "I would do exactly the same thing I would do if, looking back over a significant chunk of time, robust social science showed that children of divorce, or children brought up in polyamorous households, or in 'open' marriages, or in single-mother homes, or in other 'non-traditional' circumstances, 'did just as well' as those raised in the conjugal bond of marriage. I would express surprise, and then I would confess error in having predicted the contrary. It would not change my view of what marriage is, but it would force me to say, in honesty and candor, that non-marital arrangements of various sorts turn out to work just as well as marital ones in the child-rearing process.

    HOWEVER, I would want to ask some questions before making any declarations: What criteria were used in determining what would count as the desirable outcomes for comparing and judging the various family forms? How were they selected? Do they include moral criteria? Or is it just about SAT scores and educational achievement, avoidance of clinical depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, criminal delinquency, and the like. If moral criteria were not used, how did the investigators shape the factors without reference to moral norms? If so, how were the norms identified and selected? Does it in fact turn out that, contrary to long human experience, children do not long to know and be known by and love and be loved by their biological progenitors? How do we account for the longstanding data seeming to establish that they generally do?

    I hope you will bear in mind that in the 1970s the forces demanding the 'reform' of matrimonial law to introduce no-fault divorce said that same thing that revisionists are saying now: 'It won't harm children, it will actually serve their interests.' 'Everyone concerned will, in the end, be happier and better off because of the easier availability of divorce.' 'It won't harm the marriage culture, it will help it!' 'Studies already show . . . . ' And on and on. The 'no-fault' revolution swept the country. All the 'enlightened,' 'sophisticated,' 'right-thinking' (i.e., left-thinking) people were for it. 'Who wants to force people who don't want to be married to stay married? That makes no sense at all. It's just religious fundamentalism. Etc. Well, that was then, this is now. If you are familiar with the work of Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Judith Wallerstein, my Princeton colleague Sarah McLanahan, and other leading scholars who have studied the impact of the divorce culture on children and society, you will know how spectacularly wrong all those 'enlightened,' 'sophisticated' people turned out to be.

    And, incidentally, who has borne the brunt of cost resulting from the damage to the culture wrought by divorce, cohabitation, promiscuity, out-of-wedlock child-bearing, and the like? Is it the affluent? The well-educated? The socio-economic and cultural elite? Nope. It's people, above all children, in the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of our community--urban and rural. It's the people that the forces of 'enlightenment' are supposed to care so much about. Yeah. Great job, guys. Got any more good ideas?"

    Sincerely,
    ~Benjamin

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  50. Frank, I am not aware that Regnerus was being accused of plagiary? I believe the issue was that he was attacked with such an ungodly rage and ripped by such sickening, vicious personal attacks from all corners of the elite pro-gay machine that UT could not but respond. And yes, he was vindicated from the charges hurled at him by those raging masses.

    You know, the conservative side might claim that 90% of the left's social science is "bad science" (I think a case can be made!), but you will not see the kind of ad hominem attacks on their authors by the conservative scholars and colleagues. What a chilling affect the left has on any real chance at debate or scrutiny of anything they hold up as orthodoxy. Who would dare to venture out now in this field of study (unless with a foregone, pro-gay conclusion), knowing that next time an "unacceptable" conclusion is reached, the author could be ruined both professionally and personally (not such a stretch, not at all).

    The rage from the gay advocacy side does not abate as they win more ground, by the way. It only emboldens them to be more and more vicious, and people are intimidated and scared into silence or compliance. When someone like Fr. Longenecker can write something like this:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2013/06/why-im-scared.html

    then you know things are bad. I can only think that this is all a manifestation of the avenging conscience:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/10/laughing-at-dead-babies-and-avenging.html

    Benjamin, thank you! Professor George is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Who, with any human experience or wisdom at all, cannot see truth in his words? I fear this nation of "I want it so I have a right to have it" and "if it feels good, do it" is too soft and selfish to see the common good anymore or consider the rights of children above their own desires. Thank God I'm a Catholic before I am an American (as much as I love, and will dearly miss, the America I knew).

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    1. Dear Leila
      Apropos Regnerus - he was not attacked by the masses. The initial complaint to the UT was mounted by a very nasty homosexualist by the name of Scott Rose (a.k.a. Rosensweig). So frightened are organisations of homosexualist activists that UT immediately acted on the entirely pissant complaint filed by Rose. Prof Regnerus' four computers and assorted documentation he kept in his UT office were appropriated and an investigation commenced. The university eventually cleared Regnerus of any improper scientific conduct, which really upset Rose and the usual coterie. It took no less than one of the most renown research integrity professional in the US, former associate of the US Office of Research Integrity, Dr Alan Price to clear the university of any improper conduct in undertaking its inquiry into Prof Regnerus' study (Dr Price's report can be accessed here http://www.utexas.edu/opa/wordpress/news/files/PRICE-Report.pdf)
      Rest assured, though, Mark Regnerus will be hounded for a long time to come. Already new allegations (again, fabrications) have been put forward (e.g.,by going after his collaborators in the study: http://americanindependent.com/219255/journalist-sues-university-of-central-florida-for-docs-on-publication-of-flawed-parenting-study)

      Delete
  51. Benjamin, that is awesome and frankly makes me reminded and sad about so many friends in my peer group who have had to eat that $&@! sandwich and live with the effects to this day. The professor nailed it.

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  52. Yes, Jon, and it is a roadblock to the fulfillment of the human person as God made him. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, when he was Prefect of The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote that the adoption of children into same-sex unions is child abuse. The natural law was created by God and placed into the heart of each person. There is no excuse not to seek Him. Those who have not sought Him with their free will are subject to His punishment for willfully turning their backs on Him. This process brings upon the grave sinner a disordered mind and confuses the decision-making process allowing lies to be turned into the truths and vice-versa.

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  53. Hi Andrew, you said: "Religion can be a beautiful thing, but strict adhearance to any one religion can prevent people from considering other views."

    Precisely!

    The Catholic Church was established by Jesus Christ and for 2000 years it still exists. Despite the humanity of the Church, the scandals, the turmoil, etc - she still stands. Why? Because the Truth will always surface and Truth is the Truth. Once you understand that you will feel a peace like no other.

    Traditions and disciplines have changed, but Church doctrine has remained the same. By the way, many of the things that people paint as a Catholic teaching are correct in that they are a Catholic teaching, but they are also God's laws.

    I would think somebody would better find issue with one picking up bits and pieces of many religions. A person would only do that so that they can form opinions and suit beliefs that fit their lifestyles. I certainly don't know more than Jesus Christ, so why would I seek to form my own religion which is essentially what people do when they grab bits and pieces from different religions.

    I have this conversation with many people and the faithful Catholics will follow the Truth of the Catholic Church every step. It doesn't mean it's always easy and often a struggle for many, but we do believe in the teachings of the Church.

    I often ask people and I will ask you, what is it that the Catholic Church teaches that is bad for me?

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  54. Tonka, great comment, and it reminds me of Bad Catholic's post "In Defense of Things", in which he ponders what evolving "religion" might look like:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2012/07/in-defense-of-things.html

    So, so, so good. Most people don't even think to think about this stuff.

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  55. Benjamin, thanks for sharing that quote from Robert George. It's so important. It seems to me the other side is just asking us to take it on faith (haha) that children will be okay, because we haven't proven the opposite--yet. It's a similar argument to saying that since we don't know when human life begins, we might as well kill embryos, because they might not be children (and of course we do know when human life begins; at least in the '80s they taught us that in high school).

    I'll repeat here what both Leila and George have said for emphasis: there are not enough children of stable, gay "marriages" to prove anything, one way or the other. There won't be for a long time. So we should just experiment, because after all, kids don't matter, right?

    On the other hand, studies consistently show that living with a man other than one's biological father is less than ideal, and the farther one gets from the traditional family, the more likely that man is to be an abuser. What about two men who are unrelated to the child(ren) and in a same-sex relationship? Nobody knows, but common sense and decency would at the very least say, it looks like it could be dangerous, so let's protect kids from this.

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  56. What criteria were used in determining what would count as the desirable outcomes for comparing and judging the various family forms?

    How were they selected? Do they include moral criteria? Or is it just about SAT scores and educational achievement, avoidance of clinical depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, criminal delinquency, and the like.

    If moral criteria were not used, how did the investigators shape the factors without reference to moral norms? If so, how were the norms identified and selected?


    Like a bawwwws.

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  57. Wow so many posts since I last checked this lol. Benjamin, I am not sure what you mean by "moral criteria"? Desirable outcomes for children is very easily made subjective. If you have a child who grows up to be valedictorian of their high school and has lots of friends, but considers themselves an atheist, is that a desirable outcome? To some yes, others no. I would imagine (again i am not designing any sort of study at this point), you would leave out as many subjective areas (religion, political involvment, number of friendships, etc), and would focus more on general areas of well being, such as education, mental health, quality (not quantity) of relationships with people, etc.

    Leila there was a recent study out of Australia that showed children raised by lesbian couples were actually more well adjusted than straight couple's children! I have seen these results in other studies as well. The main difference that appears between straight and gay couple's children appears to be that (not surprisingly), child from gay couples show more tolerance for diversity and acceptance. I have heard of the phrase LUG, although I am shocked that you mentioned it lol. Yes some girls experiment in HS and college, as well as some guys. Lesbian activity in general has been seen as less taboo in our society for some time, even seen as desirable in some cases ("two girls making out is hot man!"), and girls may simply feel more comfortable (or even pressured to) openly expressing their experimentation. I have also read studies that suggest that females in general are more sexually dynamic than males.

    It almost seems like your suggesting that gay parents would be pushing their "gayness" on their children, and pressuring them to be the same. I can tell you from the gay couples i know and love, many only hope their children are straight, so that they do not have to fear the intolerance and bullying that their parents faced. These couples just aim to raise healthy, well adjusted, and tolerant kids, not push their "gay agenda".

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    1. "Leila there was a recent study out of Australia that showed children raised by lesbian couples were actually more well adjusted than straight couple's children!"
      As I live in Australia, I feel I should respond to this post. The 'study' I think you are referring to is from the Uni of Melbourne, conducted by a medical doctor who is undertaking his PhD there. If indeed it is that study, then please note that last year, as part of his 'drive' to recruit participants for the study, this particular character, Simon Crouch (who, I am told, is a homosexual man), wrote an article in a renown Aussie online publication titled "Don’t believe the hype: kids with same-sex parents are well adjusted" (http://theconversation.com/dont-believe-the-hype-kids-with-same-sex-parents-are-well-adjusted-6998). Andrew, I see in posts above here that you say you are a graduate student; in the social sciences, no less. Once you read the article I linked to (which, let me emphasise, was written about a year before the data were collected and analysed), perhaps you will be in a position to enlighten us with your learned opinion on whether Crouch's study might be a tad biased?

      Delete
  58. Desirable outcomes for children is very easily made subjective. If you have a child who grows up to be valedictorian of their high school and has lots of friends, but considers themselves an atheist, is that a desirable outcome? To some yes, others no. I would imagine (again i am not designing any sort of study at this point), you would leave out as many subjective areas (religion, political involvment, number of friendships, etc), and would focus more on general areas of well being, such as education, mental health, quality (not quantity) of relationships with people, etc.

    The point is to make objective criterion, not subjective. And if you factor out categories, your set-up would be less data driven. Data wouldn't drive your analysis. Opinion and feelings would.

    If the valedictorian starts dealing drugs to other kids, is that a success, just because they're valedictorian? The point is, you cannot pick and choose your criteria. Then you're caught back in the "you cannot quantify 'happiness'" trap.

    What is objective criteria for this study?

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  59. I named some ideas for objective criteria in my previous post.

    "you would leave out as many subjective areas (religion, political involvement, number of friendships, etc), and would focus more on general areas of well being, such as education, mental health, quality (not quantity) of relationships with people, etc."

    The entire point of my post was that subjective=unreliable, and that we indeed need as objective criteria as possible. Most researchers (and people) would agree that a good education, minimal mental health disturbances, and fulfilling and healthy interpersonal relationships (again not the number of these relationships, but that the relationships that you do have are healthy).

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  60. You have not mentioned ideas for anything objective. Objective criteria is measurable, there is a value assigned to it.

    So, how then do we "measure" (meaning assign a number to) a relationship deemed healthy?

    Numbers. Values. These are data, these are what make an objective criterion. That is my point. I understand your post was all about subjectivity, I was making the point further. Opinions are not considered data. It's dishonest when people throw that term around like it's non-mathematical.

    Question: How do you statistically analyze something that doesn't have a value that you need to calculate? It's too hazy if you cannot quantify it.

    It's like counting colors. There's colors between red and pink. Various shades. Same thing with "happiness", various shades of happiness. Number that, how? Measure that with what?

    Again- not quantifiable. You cannot consistently quantify someone's 'happiness' nor 'health of relationships' to determine the objective criterion. The way you want to measure in this case is fuzzy, the categories you compare are fuzzy, so how do you make a conclusion that's data driven?

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  61. Yes, I will concur that these objective criteria, are vague, let me link you to my study which goes into further detail...
    As i said before, I am not working on any study of this at the moment. I have designed studies before (senior projects), and am well aware that methodology needs to delve further and needs to have some sort of concrete measurements. If you are asking for a fully detailed and complete study, send me the grant money and I will make it happen :)

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  62. Again, Nubby or Leila, is there anything I could tell you that would change your minds? Any empirical data or testimonials that would make your reconsider your positions?

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  63. Andrew,

    A fair query - and since I was quoting Dr. George's reply bear in mind that while I offer *my* take on what moral criteria would be, his might or might not be different.
    I assume you judge your acquaintances based on whether or not they're moral, yes? In (presumably) the same way children from differing kinds of households can be judged. Do children from single-parent households steal more often than children from two-parent households? Are children of divorced parents systematically thought of by their peers as being less honest than children from polygamous homes? Etc. I think the larger point Dr. George is trying to avoid is saying, for instance, that children of two same-sex parents are doing "as well as" children from two opposite-sex parents *merely because* they have equivalent high-school graduation rates. When one is doing child wellness studies you need to take a wide view of human wellbeing.
    You mentioned the Australia study - it was problematic in some serious ways (non-random, heavily skewed towards children raised by two lesbians rahter than two gays), but on the positive side it tries to take into account moral criteria in its evalution of child wellbeing. For instance, it evaluates children on the basis of adequate emotional expressiveness, self-esteem, whether or not children from same-sex parented households spent an adequate amount of time with their children, and whether children were accepting of diversity. The last part in particular (but all of them to some extent or another) involve not just scientific judgements alone but scientific AND moral judgements. Scientifically, you can say children of two lesbian couples spent X amount of time-per-day with their parents, but whether that's "appropriate" or not is a moral judgement (not a scentific one). Whether children from lesbian (or straight) households are "appropriately tolerent of diversity" (and what counts as an appropriate vs. an inappropriate tolerance of diversity) isn't a purely scientific judgement but a moral one as well.
    Hopefully you get the idea - subjective moral criteria are *harder* to quantify but it can be done. And since the Australia study already is judging children based on moral criteria we just need to make sure it's being done responsibly. Hope this helps?

    Yours Sincerely,
    ~Benjamin

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  64. Answering two folks' points here:

    I would much rather see a loving gay couple raise those children, then have those children continue to suffer at the hands of their often married biological parents.

    This is a false dichotomy. It's not a choice between either abusive biological parents or gay parents, as if there are no other options for children. Children have for generations been removed from abusive homes and put in non-abusive (non-gay) homes -- long before the very, very, very recent idea that they could be placed into gay homes.

    Again, Nubby or Leila, is there anything I could tell you that would change your minds? Any empirical data or testimonials that would make your reconsider your positions?

    No, since Natural Law transcends modern American social science studies (which change with the zeitgeist… a generation ago, we thought differently than today, and in a generation we will have changed our ideas again).

    I will not change my position that a child has a right to a mother and father any more than I will change my position that we don't kill innocent children in the womb, we don't steal, we don't lie, we don't commit adultery, we don't objectify others via porn, etc.

    No matter how many studies "show" that those things are either harmless or good for us.

    I do enjoy the discussion, and it serves a purpose: To showcase each side with clarity, so the readers can decide. But if you read the "Read First" tab at the top of the blog, this blog is not about finding consensus. It's about debating ideas vigorously, and my POV is 100% Catholic (I found objective Truth when I found the Man who died and rose and founded a Church that has taught the same truth for 2,000 years). And I have never seen one point of the faith that has contradicted logic and reason.

    Did you happen to read the link called "In Defense of Things" that I posted in a comment above?


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  65. "Why do we lament fatherlessness in the inner cities? Why have male mentors and role models to fill the fathers' void, when we could just have the moms mentor all those boys? Have we (and even the mentors in their own inner cities) just gotten it wrong all this time?"

    This is actually something I've been thinking about lately. It really is important that young people have access to older, responsible mentors who know what it's like to be in a similar position. Boys and girls go through different challenges, as a rule, and I am glad that I've had my dad around to talk about certain things with. That said, it wouldn't necessarily have to be a parent in my opinion, but it's always good to have someone around who's gone through the things you're going through.

    "It is not a "privilege" to get a child anymore, a child is something we make, buy, and sell. Commodity. Chattel."

    This is wrong, of course. People need to have respect and consideration for any children they may have. On the other hand, it shouldn't be the government that's ultimately in charge of human reproduction (which is one legitimate fear that the pro-choice crowd has). Eugenics is one of my least favorite things, and I don't want to be suckered into declaring that some people shouldn't be allowed to reproduce.

    Do you think that everyone should be allowed to reproduce? If so, you're saying that people have a right to children, even if they're some of the worst people on the planet, even if they couldn't provide a tolerable environment for their kids. But if you don't think everyone has that right, then you're saying that the government decides who gets to have children and who doesn't, based on whatever they decide is in the children's best interests. This could quickly become a really bad idea. It's a moral quandary, and I actually don't want to take a firm stand on it either way without serious thought.

    Children should always have access to their parents. Perhaps it's a natural right, but I'm not sure I see a way to implement it as law.

    Related, this is the UN Declaration of the Rights of a Child. I agree with all of it, although it's more a set of principles to make laws by, not an exact set of rules to follow.

    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CRC.aspx

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  66. It bothers me that you are so dismissive of social science. Science can't directly tell us what to do, but it can inform us so that we correctly act based on our principles. It's important to keep abreast of new evidence, regardless of your beliefs.

    I don't understand how someone can say that their ideas would not change based on new evidence.

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  67. Chris,

    Our beliefs are set in the stone/rock that is the Catholic Church founded by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The beliefs and doctrines cannot and will not ever change as previously discussed by Leila in this post:
    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/09/catholics-you-must-understand-this.html

    As Catholics, we put our trust in God and His plan, trusting that He has and only has our best interests at heart.

    Why put faith in something that changes as rapidly as social science? Do social scientists think they know better than God?

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  68. Margo, do you think scientific inquiry is contrary to Catholic values?

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  69. I'll admit to being baffled as well (though not surprised) that you'd never change your beliefs based on evidence. Yes, social science is an awfully wishy-washy beast, but it's not worthless. You (Leila and others) often mention that studies show that kids do best with married parents. Why cite those studies and then turn around and act as though no study could ever adequately show that kids do well with gay parents? Do you see the double standard? Either evidence can exist or it can't – it can't only exist to support your foregone conclusion.

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    1. And by "cite" I mean mention, because I don't think we've ever actually gotten links to the studies themselves...? Not that I recall, anyway.

      Delete
    2. If you're looking for the Regnerus paper, here is the link to it: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610

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  70. Nubby or Leila, is there anything I could tell you that would change your minds? Any empirical data or testimonials that would make your reconsider your positions?

    You mean "information". Not data. Data is what it is.
    "Three apples". That's data. It can be analyzed.
    Apples to oranges. A one to one ratio. A fifty-fifty split. That's data, it can be manipulated and worked with.

    Information, psychological tests, and testimonials are just information and opinions. You can't manipulate that like data.

    So, no, I would not leave my reason just because someone had an opinion on something.

    I keep hitting on the "data" word because it's not meaning what you're intending, strictly speaking.

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  71. Chris, yes, sex is a privilege of marriage, and every married person has a right to conjugal union. That union would naturally (barring some disorder or medical problem) result in the couple's children. That right (for married people to bear children) cannot be abridged by the state (though if a couple puts that child in danger, the state may legitimately take the child out of harm's way, as the child has a right to life, thus the protection of the state would be appropriate).

    A push or acceptance for eugenics doesn't come from the Church, ever. It comes from those on the left. Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) was a major proponent of eugenics. Sickeningly so. And today the abortion industry is the eugenics industry: Kill the unborn based on defect, imperfections, poverty, etc. You are right to fear the eugenicists.

    Also, I am going to go out on a limb here and say something that might make everyone's heads explode, so here goes: I see a big, huge difference between social science and hard science (biological science, for example). Huge difference.

    I like the way that Dennis Prager puts it. He says that either a social science study bears out what we already know through common sense and wisdom, or it's wrong. ha ha, I like that! He has graduate and post-graduate degrees from two Ivy League schools and is not Catholic (he's Jewish, and ex-liberal, so he is not a brainwashed papal sheep). If a social science study comes out with a conclusion that negates everything we've ever known about human nature, primal relationships, natural law, etc., then be very, very, very suspicious of it. Let's face it, a group can get a social science study to skew the way it wants. Looking at the social science departments at universities today, I humbly suggest that they have become corrupted.

    It comes down to the following:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/08/are-you-wiser-than-17th-century.html

    Now -- give me a hard science study, and yes, I will assume its validity. Hard to politicize chemistry or physics or biology (though I know the left tries, and that is a whole other post….)

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    1. "Now -- give me a hard science study, and yes, I will assume its validity. Hard to politicize chemistry or physics or biology ..."
      Leila, I am new to your blog, which I have just discovered through a Facebook link. It is marvelous, and I have read a number of entries - all delightful, and which I enjoyed a lot. As a social scientist, however, I am mortally wounded by your remarks (well, almost!). It may surprise you to learn that 'hard science' can be politicisised quite a bit; actually, it is my honest opinion that we have more scientism than science happening nowadays. Social science is important, because (like it or not) it underpins all policy-making and most of the 'modern' human and helping professions. I am sure that Andrew commenting above here is able to tell you all about 'evidence-based' practice in social work. As Christians we need to engage and undertake social science more. Indeed, some are, thankfully, doing exactly this - and with much courage and at the cost of personal attacks on them of unbelievable ferocity and raw hatred, like Mark Regnerus. Besides, I can say with some confidence that it is quite easy to debunk much of the 'science' we're routinely presented with by the homosexualists. It's just that we don't challenge them on their own grounds often enough, and when some do, we don't get behind them to a sufficient extent.

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  72. That said, it wouldn't necessarily have to be a parent in my opinion, but it's always good to have someone around who's gone through the things you're going through.

    Chris, are you saying that men and women are different in mentoring but not in parenting? Isn't mentoring a huge part of parenting?

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  73. It is such an unexpected honor that Alana Newman, the courageous woman who founded the website AnonymousUs.org, commented earlier on this post. I think it's only fitting that I reprint her moving testimony given before the California assembly on April 30:

    I’m writing to oppose AB460 and am writing on behalf of myself and thousands of donor conceived children urging you to vote no on AB460 . I am a California resident temporarily living in New York and am unable to personally testify, but I humbly request that you accept my personal testimony in writing.

    I am the founder of AnonymousUs.org – an online story collective for donor-conceived people, sperm and egg donors, and surrogates, parents and anyone else affected by third party reproduction. Our tagline is “anonymity in donor-conception hides the truth, but anonymity in story-telling helps reveal it”.

    I was conceived using an anonymous sperm donor. Despite all best intentions, and being deeply wanted by my mother, I strongly disagree with the practice, and cannot sit back and neglect to describe the consequences of third party reproduction to a world that is increasingly creating new life this way.

    First, can I say that it is extremely difficult to speak up against these issues. I was raised in San Francisco where the mantra is to support family diversity. But the very good intentioned goal of showing respect for different kinds of families is sometimes in direct conflict with children’s rights; the right to have a relationship with and be raised by your own biological parents, to not be sold or trafficked or given away unnecessarily. Every pregnancy that is commissioned by a single person or same-sex couple is by definition being denied a relationship with at least one of their biological parents, and therefore it is a human rights violation.

    Donor-conceived people are finally growing up and starting to organize and take action for our rights. We have successfully banned anonymity and payment for donors in a number of countries such as the UK, Canada, Sweden and Australia. I urge you to do right by children by not extending insurance coverage to pay for this new form of human trafficking.


    to be continued...

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  74. continued…

    The facts of my conception are that my father was paid to abandon me. There is no dignity in that. I suffered from debilitating identity issues, mistrust of the opposite sex, hatred and condemnation of the opposite sex, feelings of objectification – like I only exist as a play-toy for others, and feeling like a science experiment.

    If people can take away something so precious as a mother or father and make us feel like we should be grateful for the loss, what else can people take away from us? How do you expect the next generation to fight for things like freedom, democracy, clean air, clean water, when something as precious and basic as your mother or father is stolen from you? Removed by the state… Removed by a fertility industry that forces you into existence and then doesn’t return your calls when you grow up and start banging on their doors asking for records… Removed by a commissioning parent, often your other biological parent who vowed to protect and provide for you, but only on the contingency that you show gratitude for your life and don’t ask questions about the other missing parent…

    In response to being told I should be grateful for my circumstances, I ask people – would you ask someone conceived through rape or incest why they might criticize the details of their conception? Shouldn’t they too be grateful for life? To me, donor-conception is a euphemism for buying and selling children. Writing the checks and signing the contracts before the child looks human and is out of the womb, is how we cognitively justify the loophole.

    In the last 8 years I have submitted DNA tests and connected with a personal investigator to try and find out who this man is; my father. Other donor-conceived people I know have spent decades and hundreds if not thousands of dollars trying to find their genetic parents and half-siblings. We know from history that it is a natural human need to want to know and be known by our genetic family. The open adoption movement is one example. Very recently the Australian government offered an apology to those affected by forced adoption.

    One of the United State’s most famous civil rights leaders was Malcolm X. The “X” he used to replace his last name was a direct criticism of slave-owners removing slaves from their spouses, parents and children, and being disconnected from their ancestry and heritage. “Who do you think you are” is a popular TV show where celebrities have their genealogy investigated. Rosie O’Donnell herself expressed a craving to “discover her family as fully fleshed out people and learn about their journeys”. The sheer existence of a term and concept like genealogy demonstrates that it is unfair to minimize and marginalize donor-conceived people’s curiosities about our genetic kin, and dismiss our desire for connection.


    to be continued...

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  75. continued…

    Commodification of Life.

    I was initially inspired to start participating more in the public debate over donor-conception when I noticed some moms-via-sperm donation asking how they could get refunds for their donor-conceived children who were born with genetic diseases. Yes, refunds. I read testimonials from parents who seemed to be experiencing buyer’s remorse. It appears spending cash on conception corrupts the parent-child relationship.

    Last week there was a story that broke of an American surrogate who was offered $10,000 to abort the baby she was carrying for a couple (via husband’s sperm + egg donor) because at the 5 month ultrasound it was discovered the child had a cosmetically unfortunate cleft palette.

    For a documentary I did recently, I carried on a conversation with a gay man who with his partner, had hired a surrogate who is now pregnant with twins. When I asked what they would do if the babies were discovered to have Down’s syndrome, they told me point blank that they would abort. At the time of the interview the surrogate was 4 months pregnant. It reminded me of my pregnancy, and how at 4 months gestation, my mother-in-law put her hand on my abdomen and could clearly feel her granddaughter kicking.

    Theresa Erickson is a famous former surrogacy attorney in the United States and was a serial egg donor and now, a convicted felon. Theresa conspired to hire anonymous egg donors, and create embryos with anonymous sperm donors, and implant them into a hired surrogate’s womb, and then once the baby made it to the 2nd trimester, would then sell parental rights to the highest bidder. She created and sold 13 babies this way, for up to $180,000 each.

    Having a bloated industry where medical and legal professionals profit from separating children from their biological parents is problematic.

    I urge you to reject insurance expansion for singles and same-sex couples that by definition will alienate a child from their mother.


    Amen, and thank you, Alana.

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  76. Chris
    You're right there with the very real importance to older adult mentors. I would suggest though that the idea that any adult could fulfill that role is very rare and unreliable. No matter how good a coach, teacher , neighbor tries to fill that roll, simple time restraints limits the ability to go deep. You used to hear the old drumbeat of quality being so much better than quality. Nonsense, quality is borne out of quantity. Constructed quality is not organic and leaves a void that gives a child a feeling that all this are temporary. They know when adults are checking a box.
    Also, I totally agree with Leila's response to your question. Chris, you and Michelle both seam like truth seekers and I dig that ( even if you drive me nuts) but please consider real life evidence and give it real weight in these social matters. I love stats and studies and seek them out and use them to inform my judgment all the time. But what you will find out over time is that studies can be badly manipulated to fit any agenda you like. Ask any politician, doctor, lawyer and if they are honest they will tell you the same.
    Example: ( im not Anonymous so gotta be careful) I know a professional phd big wig head of many things who has been in practice in field directly related to these questions. He would say ( at least in private, not at a press conference) that his professional association is a political monster and everything gets spun and treated for political correctness and not to make waves in related fields etc. He totally agrees with Leila here but you will never see that relayed in the studies done on his work.
    My point ? Go find out in the real world. Take all the data with you but talk to real people. Do ride alongs with cops, talk with people in corrections or prison ministries, marriage counselors, shrinks and doctors that have been around a long time. If you honestly keep looking for truth, you will find the keys in real life out there. And there is such a thing as Truth but you will only find pieces of it in the classroom.

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  77. Oh dear, sorry about the horrific typos. There must be medication for this

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  78. I think my head might actually indeed explode, thank you Leila. First though,

    Nubby:

    "Information, psychological tests, and testimonials are just information and opinions. You can't manipulate that like data.

    So, no, I would not leave my reason just because someone had an opinion on something."

    I notice you said nothing about this original blog post, which is based on testimonials from people who believed they were harmed through same sex partnership. Are you saying their testimonials don't mean anything either? What about the testimonials of those who feel nothing but happiness with their same sex parents? Or those who have studied child rearing extensively? The testimonials of people with experience are indeed opinion on some level, yet they also can be invaluable when it comes to sorting through these issues.

    I would also suggest that your explanation of data vs information is not entirely correct. When psychologist conduct experiments, they collect data; how the subjects responded, what the subject said or did, etc. How the psychologists interpret data does bring opinion into the mix, which is why most researchers are hesitant to draw any direct conclusions from any single study. It is just another piece of the puzzle.

    Leila.
    "Either a social science study bears out what we already know through common sense and wisdom, or it's wrong." Wow how convenient that there is no need to defend your views simply because they're "the way things have always been, anything else is wrong".

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  79. Andrew, to be very clear, that quote is from Prager, who defends his logic and positions for several hours a day, every day, inviting and respectfully interviewing and engaging dozens of left-wing scholars, professors, writers, and luminaries every month. And yet he still comes up with that general assessment about the current state of social science. I have to agree.

    Let me ask: To what sorts of things (or areas of life) do common sense and wisdom apply? And really, what do "common sense" and "wisdom" mean to you?

    Also, what did you think of the statement to the CA Assembly by Ms. Newman? I thought the money line was this:

    "If people can take away something so precious as a mother or father and make us feel like we should be grateful for the loss, what else can people take away from us?"

    Injustice happens, and it can be made to look pretty and sanitized by a social science study, but it doesn't negate the injustice.

    Children have inherent rights that supersede adults' temporal and transitory wants. I have no idea if Ms. Newman is Catholic (and she was raised in the diversity and tolerance of San Francisco, so no unacceptable social constructs are the cause of her pain), and yet she seems to fall in with the wisdom and common sense of the following:

    A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception."

    Yes, I've repeated it a lot here, but my gosh, really read it. It's flippin' beautiful! Imagine if we lived it out, as a culture! We'd go from a using culture to a loving culture in a heartbeat!

    One can dream. And on that note, I need to get to bed, yipes!!


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  80. We all know the old saying "The road to hell is plastered with good intentions". It is so literally true.

    No fault divorce - look at its impact on children today. Can anyone claim they are better off, on balance, than before? Where are the studies?

    Contraception and free love - oh yes, there will surely be less abortions as a result of contraception, and oh yes, women will be empowered! Right??

    Legalize prostitution - studies in the Netherlands and Germany, where prostitution is fully legal, unequivocally show that it has increased sex trafficking, pimping and dependence.

    Legalize drugs - see above.

    Pornography - anyone claiming that its ubiquitous availability has been a net benefit to anyone? I mean, anyone? Have we, as a society, advanced in any way?

    Gay "marriage" - don't even get me started.

    When will well-meaning people of no faith (usually but not always on the political left) see that God, in the end, was right, and that it is infinitely useful to listen to Him? He means our well-being, not our enslavement. He came to free us, not to enslave us.

    And no, no one wants to impose Catholic values on anyone, least of all the Church. It is all about free will, that is so important. The Truth is so beautiful, and so accessible, and so reasonable. One only has to accept the possibility in principle, and then inquire with an open heart. Ask, and you will be given.

    Michelle, Alan, forthewar, MaiZeke (oh, it's been a while...), CS etc., you all ask for evidence. Look at the evidence, it's right there for you. Look at it. Will you open your eyes and ears?

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  81. Best post ever Leila. I wish I had time to join the conversation but my toddler and 4 month old keep me very busy these days. I particularly appreciate the testimony of Alana.

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  82. Andrew,
    Just to be very clear:
    Testimonials are important and have worth.
    But testimonials = words.
    Data = math, calculable numbers.

    To say a blanket statement like, "they" (all children of gays) are "just as happy" isn't accurate. Just because 10 kids out of 1000 in this situation may be smiling, polite, academically strong, etc. doesn't mean "they are all happy" and "have healthy relationships" across the board. You're not measuring as you would measure numerical relationships when you collect your information.

    Back on point, a mother and father are necessary for the "whole" experience of "healthy" and "happy".

    I find Alana's words powerful, because illustrates this. Her family structure was designed with a lack from the start. She found it painful and disturbing, as she explains. Why are people discounting her pain, her loss, her experience?

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  83. Chris, Andrew, E&E,

    I read through this thread and I saw a lot of appeals to studies, but I didn't find any linked.

    The only studies I've seen that show the children of SS couples are A-OK were done by questiionaire's given to those parents and their young children up to age 14 I think. Extremely flawed and biased.

    Have I missed something?

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  84. Stacy, I haven't read many. I know that a lot of the studies favorable to gay parenting have a small sample size (though you'd think that inherent issues in parenting would be apparent even in small sample sizes), and I know that the big Regnerus study had very loose definitions of "gay parenting" – it was essentially comparing broken families to stable families, and I believe Regnerus himself said that the study couldn't speak to the efficacy of gay parenting.

    Anyway, I was mostly asking about studies because Leila often will say that studies show that kids do best with a married mother and father. I know studies show that kids do best with a married mother and father compared to divorced parents but I have yet to see a study that makes that claim in comparison to married gay parents. I just wanted to know which studies Leila was referring to, because I know the ones I mentioned are often used to support conclusions that are outside the scope of the study.

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    1. Well, technically a same-sex couple raising a child is raising the child in a home with divorced parents since her mother and father are not married.

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  85. Studies are done to find out the impact on the children, correct?

    But these are not complete because there are too many variables like personality differences, upbringing, culture, etc.

    There is a large objective piece of the puzzle missing at all times to grasp a complete picture or complete study.

    No matter how effeminate a man is, he is not a woman. No matter how masculine a woman is, she is not a man.

    There is nothing to truly correlate because there is no substitute for the actual opposite sex.

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  86. Nubby, that's all fine. I really am not a fan of social science either, in general. I have yet to see a social science paper that I couldn't rip to shreds – Koko the Gorilla could probably design better studies most of the time.

    BUT you do realize that if you are going to hold that social science cannot effectively support gay parenting, you (all of you) cannot use studies to support your side either. Either social science is capable of giving us meaningful information, or it isn't. It can't go only in one direction.

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  87. I don't need social science to defend anything. My "side" is already natural (natural law). Divine law gives the morality. I use both.

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  88. "Well, technically a same-sex couple raising a child is raising the child in a home with divorced parents since her mother and father are not married."

    Exactly, Stacy. It's a broken home from the get-go.

    Sebastian, you said a mouthful! And you know what is interesting? Eventually societies suffer so much that they have to backtrack (after soooo much damage). I think it's Iceland that is considering banning pornography, due to the incredible harm it has caused. It's opposed to the common good, so destructive.

    As for social science, the only (and I do mean the only) reason I would appeal to social science on the issue of something so basic and common sensical as "do children need fathers?" is because those I debate seem to utterly rely on social science for their positions on things. Please understand, I don't care if a single social science study is used here. It's fine if you want to, but I don't base morality or truth on what a group of academics say. They are great when they confirm and conclude what is true, but they are harmful when they contradict and undermine what is true.

    Question for anyone: Philosophically, why would it be wrong to amputate a child's limb in order to replace it with a prosthetic?


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    2. "Question for anyone: Philosophically, why would it be wrong to amputate a child's limb in order to replace it with a prosthetic?"
      To spice things up a bit, I would venture a response from the social science instead. It would be wrong to replace a perfectly functioning and healthy arm because this would:
      - (in a psychological sense) harm the child as he or she will be subjected to bullying and lesser quality of life (as many psychological studies on disability and its behavioural effects would indicate)
      - (in a sociological sense) affect the life chances of the child as he or she develops into adulthood (as the literature on the sociological construct of disability shows)
      - (in an economic sense) likely reduce the productivity of the individual, and so increases the likelihood of economic disadvantage for the individual and their family (as the various economic data sets, obtained from longitudinal studies, show)

      and so on ... we could consider anthropological, political and such other perspectives from the social sciences, but you get the gist.

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  89. "In response to being told I should be grateful for my circumstances, I ask people – would you ask someone conceived through rape or incest why they might criticize the details of their conception? Shouldn’t they too be grateful for life?"
    Exactly!

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  90. I understand that there are differences between social science and "hard" science. With soft sciences you can never have certainty, but you can move towards a consensus. You can get an idea of what's probably true, or what's true on average. And because social science still uses the scientific method, it's possible to see the flaws or issues with a study even from the outside.

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  91. Total non sequitur, but my friend Marcus, who makes the Marian Caskets, is in the Smithsonian contest for the film and could use your votes! Here is what he got from the folks running the contest:

    Hi Marcus,

    I've got some more good news about The Coffinmaker: it's a finalist in Smithsonian's "In Motion" short video contest. Your story keeps reeling 'em in!

    I need your help. Please vote for and invite your friends to vote for this video on the contest page at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/inmotion/

    It's in the People category.


    Let's rally for this brother in Christ and his Divine Mercy casket ministry -- imagine that the secular world is enthralled by what they see! And please post to your fb pages if you can! :)

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  92. I'll totally vote for The Coffinmaker.

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  93. "Chris, are you saying that men and women are different in mentoring but not in parenting? Isn't mentoring a huge part of parenting?"

    I'm saying that it's best for children to have a variety of adults in their lives. For a boy going through puberty, it's easier to discuss things with a father than with a mother (and even then, most find it awkward to discuss that sort of thing with adults at all). But gender isn't the only thing where it's good to have parents like you. My parents have a wide range of interests, but neither of them remembers math beyond really basic concepts, so I can't ask them for help with any of that. When I was more of an agnostic, neither of my parents could really relate or understand where I was coming from. If I was gay, I'd have trouble because neither of my parents would know what that was like. None of this means that a family must have one adult who's male, one who understands math, one who's an atheist, one who's gay, or anything like that. But you're certainly right that adults aren't interchangeable. I never thought that they were, and I hope I haven't given that impression.

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  94. Andrew:

    You said something many posts ago that I want to touch on. You made a comment morals are different for different people. That's moral relativism. Catholics do not believe in moral relativism. We believe morals are objective and what is right for me is right for you.

    Once you understand we don't believe determining the moral good or action depends on society, our upbringing, or what we had for breakfast that morning it is easier to understand why we stand with the Church.

    I go to my doctor when I am sick. I go to my lawyer when I have legal issues. I go to a structural engineer when I want to know if my house's foundation is sound. And I go to my priest when I need help deciding what is the proper way to handle a situation.

    Each of these people have spent years learning their field. I'm asking and in some cases paying for their education and advice. It makes no sense to me to ignore that advice.

    That doesn't mean I never argue or ask for clarification. But when I am talking to my priest and I don't like his answer. I have to ask myself the same thing I ask when I see the doctor. Is this really wrong......or do I just not like it? I can always go ask another priest if I really believe this one is wrong.

    There are some things the Church teaches I do not fully understand. But just as I accept and take the doctor's advice despite the fact I do not understand everything.....I listen and accept my priest's counsel.

    I've learned from past experiences the Church does have reasons for her teachings. Often times I've learned the hard way what those reasons are. So just like a doctor who has good instincts or a lawyer who has never steered me wrong....I've learn to trust the Church knows what she is doing and she doesn't take positions lightly.

    You can say I am blindly following my Church but you are discounting my previous experiences of finding the Church often gets things right. It isn't that I don't try to understand or I don't seek out explanations. But sometimes you have all the information you can get, you still don't fully understand the issue and you need to make a decision. In those cases, I take a leap of faith and follow the Church.

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  95. Chris, I guess I am still confused. You are talking a lot about functionaries. This one can help with math, this one can identify with me if I'm gay, this one has such-and-such an interest. But if that is the point of parents, then certainly we need to match up children with parents that are most like them, and not even keep them with their bio parents at all. Wouldn't that be best for kids? You say adults (even not in the child's immediate life) are not interchangeable, but that mothers and fathers are. So, does that give more importance to a part-time mentor (let's say inner city) than to a father? I still cannot understand how that can be. A boy needs his father.

    Do you agree that a boy gets different cues about how to be a man from his father than he would from his mother? I'm guessing not, but I'm still holding out hope, ;). And if there are not different social cues from men, then again, why do you agree that male mentors are important for male fatherless children?

    Thanks for hanging in here with me! It may just be that we are at an impasse.

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  96. That's exactly not what I said. I was making a point that we should *not* be matching kids to the exact "best" parents for them, even though doing so could superficially benefit the children.

    What I said was that no two adults are interchangeable at all. You're acting (I know you don't actually think this, but you're acting) like all men and all women are interchangeable, because they fill male and female roles. You're simplifying people, I'm talking about how complex and different they are.

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  97. But you are saying that there is no special or particular connection of a father and a son. That a second "mother" is interchangeable there.

    And if every person brings something unique to the child, as you say, then why not have more parents than two?

    You also said it was good for fatherless boys to have male mentors in their lives. But then you say that there are no male/female "roles" (that is why a child does not need a father, correct?). So why do fatherless boys need men as mentors if women mentors could bring the same things to the table? I can't make sense of it, and yes, I could be getting lost in your words. Lots of comments have gone back and forth and I sometimes get things blurred in my mind or forget precisely what any one commenter has said. Sorry if that's happening here!

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  98. "You also said it was good for fatherless boys to have male mentors in their lives. But then you say that there are no male/female "roles" (that is why a child does not need a father, correct?)."

    I'm sorry if I sound a bit frustrated, but you're misinterpreting almost everything I say. Each man is different from every other man, and each woman is different from every other woman. You're once again reducing people to their sex. Am I grateful to have someone I can relate to, who I share a gender with? Yes, of course. And that's why it's important to have male role models. But if my father were another man, he would probably teach me a lot of different things, act in very different ways, fulfill different roles, and so on.

    And anyway, would I be a lesser person if I was not brought up to be conventionally male?

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  99. "They [studies] are great when they confirm and conclude what is true, but they are harmful when they contradict and undermine what is true."

    Wow. I just...I don't even know what to say. I don't know that I've ever seen such blatant intellectual dishonesty here before. Leila, you are smarter than this.

    I don't know how I didn't see it before, but I think I'm starting to understand. You cannot be wrong. You are utterly closed-minded because if human experience shows even one facet of your philosophy to be wrong, the entire thing comes crashing down. If human experience shows you to be right, you trumpet it to the world; if it shows you to be wrong, you dismiss it entirely because that's better than confronting the possibility that you could actually be wrong.

    Look. I get that you're 100% Catholic, but I don't think until now I really understood that you are 100% Catholic no matter what. You have zero doubt in your mind, to the point that announcing a massive confirmation bias doesn't give you pause, to the point that a world of evidence contradicting your philosophy only means that everyone else is wrong. Not in a million years could it possibly be you.

    That is terrifying.

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  100. Although I stand by everything I've said, remember that I know very little about parenting. Thinking about something a lot is not somehow equivalent to actual experience with it. I feel stupid for debating with an actual parent about the purpose of parenting. I firmly believe that there isn't just one way to raise a child, but I want to admit that I'm not the proper person to have this conversation with you. I hope that a few gay parents find this post, they would be much better suited to discuss this.

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  101. "They [studies] are great when they confirm and conclude what is true, but they are harmful when they contradict and undermine what is true." -Leila

    "Wow. I just...I don't even know what to say. I don't know that I've ever seen such blatant intellectual dishonesty here before. Leila, you are smarter than this." -Michelle


    Well, after some deep breaths, Michelle, let's just put on our fact hat and re-read here.

    Look again. Would you not agree that if you have objective truth, you can clearly see when a "study" deviates from that?

    Example: If a study was published that proclaimed that eating poison is beneficial and healthy, would you not disagree with that study? Based on what you know to be true as pertains to biological health, mental health, physical health, why are you panicked that Leila would say, "that particular study on poison does not confirm what is true, therefore it's harmful"?

    Measuring sticks make all the difference. They are highly intolerant of error, as they should be. If they weren't, they wouldn't be objective. If each time I went to measure a truth, and the stick fluctuated, how would I get an accurate reading/measurement?

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  102. Terrifying to hold to natural law? Okay.

    Well, Michelle, let's try this. Not too long ago, the APA came this.close to declassifying pedophilia as a disorder. As we speak there are many forces around the nation and the world working to normalize both pedophilia and bestial sexual contact (the Ivy's are holding seminars, etc.). As we desensitize, we might very well go from taboo (as we have with so many other things) to acceptable, in fairly quick order.

    So (stay with me, Michelle), when the APA finally does come out with the normalization of certain forms of sexual deviancy that you (at this moment in 2013) think is wrong, will you stick by your guns and dispute any social science that will refute your ideas (i.e., that pedophilia is a disorder), or will you join the "enlightened" ones and agree that if society and "social science" bears it out, then you are going to go with that flow? And if you stick with your wise and commonsensical understanding of the wrongness of pedophilia and bestiality, etc., should I consider that you are frighteningly "close-minded"? Should I consider your ideas and your philosophy (that some things are true and some things are wrong no matter what the culture and the elites declare) to be terrifying?

    Or should I be relieved that someone, somewhere, actually has the courage of her convictions and will not stand down when nonsense is declared as today's enlightened truth?

    Actually, I prefer a person of conviction and principle, any day. I would admire you if you took a stand that, for example, killing innocents is simply wrong, no matter what the world and society says. Even if I disagree with you, I would respect you if you lived by a principle. What are the principles that you live by? On what principle do you claim that you can deprive a child of a father or a mother and it is to be counted as all good? Name the principle.

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  103. Perhaps somebody can outline what these "natural rights of children" are, and where they originate from? When do you outgrow your child-rights?

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  104. Nubby: "Example: If a study was published that proclaimed that eating poison is beneficial and healthy, would you not disagree with that study? Based on what you know to be true as pertains to biological health, mental health, physical health, why are you panicked that Leila would say, "that particular study on poison does not confirm what is true, therefore it's harmful"?"

    that's a bad example Nubby. There are studies like that-of all kinds in fact. People ingest alcohol (poison) and in fact, studies have shown heart beneficial effects of sdrinking one glass of red wine per day. Chemo drugs are exceptionally poisonous yet are administered to save lives everyday, based on clinical trials.

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  105. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CRC.aspx

    I don't know how to objectively determine natural rights (or if it's possible), but according to the UN these are the human rights of a child.

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  106. No,G, it's not a bad example when drawing a general instance. Generally speaking, is poison beneficial?
    The point is not the criteria in my example, the point is that anyone can make a distinction, logically and naturally, when given a study to read.

    The point is that Michelle pushed the panic button because she can't see the measuring stick.

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  107. I think what disturbs me most about this issue is children of alternative arrangements don't seem to be allowed to grieve (I don't even mean the SSM debate... I mean any situation where donor sperm or ART are used). We as a society allow children of divorce to grieve. Even with our extreme tolerance of divorce, we acknowledge it as a loss. We allow adoptive children to grieve and open adoption has become ever more the norm due to years of observing the benefits of allowing children to have access to their histories to help with the grieving process. Meanwhile, the ART community seems to have moved in the other direction focusing more on the rights of adults, allowing for anonymous donation, etc. And the perceived rights of adults trump a child's right to even ACKNOWLEDGE a loss. I find it appalling that these children who have spoken out get divorce thrown in their faces like they should just be "okay" because hey, the kids of divorce are okay. No, the kids of divorce are a) Not that okay and b) Are ALLOWED to grieve as much as they need or want (typically). It's perfectly PC for a child of divorce to say, "I never want a divorce after what I went through." Yet children of same-sex unions or donor sperm, etc... well, how dare they not tow the political line and affirm their situation as some great, wonderful thing equivalent to being raised by their mom and dad. We don't hold any other kids to that standard because, well, the political and social agenda isn't there.

    And for the comment-er who is studying to become a counselor... I hope you can learn to really hear and acknowledge the pain of your individual clients and not just rely on studies. Studies are helpful only to a point. But a counselor is more about meeting the individual "where they are at". I have very gifted counselors in my family who are able to help people heal precisely because they allow their clients the room to express their feelings and thoughts over their situation even if they are not PC. They acknowledge that each person is unique and valuable and they may never fit a single finding of a single study (And fwiw, I quite my psych major precisely because I just wan't impressed with what the APA and various studies could "prove." Yes studies are super helpful sometimes, but they lack the ability to reveal some of the deepest truths about life).

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  108. PART 1 OF 2

    Sheesh! All this talk about the need for surveys and studies and data and research and scrutinies and social sciences to confirm or disprove the bleeding obvious - that a child hurts all its life if disconnected from its biological father or mother - be it by death, divorce, adoption, a surrogacy deal or whatever! Goodness, how hard is it to work out that deliberately suppressing someone's genealogy or robbing him/her of his/her ancestry (his/her biological identity, in fact) is a grave crime? No, I don't care that some "law" says otherwise - it's a dastardly crime, plain and simple! And here's as much proof of that as anyone should ever need:

    Here in Australia, for decades after (forceful) white occupation, Aboriginal children were removed (often at birth) from their biological mothers/parents and adopted into homes and institutions by the thousands. This happened for a range of reasons - ranging from the most racist ("white assimilation")to the most noblest (to provide care for children born, say, to impoverished/unwed/underage mothers). Any "objective survey" done on these kids would reveal that some were subjected to terrible institutional abuse (including in Catholic orphanages) while others had great love, along with every privilege, showered on them - education, first class healthcare, financial security, careers and the like. And frankly, most of them received far greater nurture and care than they could've ever hoped for with their biological families.

    Yet, invariably, to a (wo)man they suffered mentally and psychologically. Suffered all their young and adult lives from being cut off from their roots, not knowing anything about their biological parents and siblings, their native dialect (it's called one's "mother tongue" for a reason), tribal customs and traditions (upto 40,000 years old!) - or even something as simple as knowing whether they'd taken after their mum or their dad in physical appearance, mannerisms and way of thinking! I've shed many tears listening to their heartrending stories. Anyone have the courage to put aside all the sterile hypothesizing and surveying and scientific data collecting for a moment to join me in giving ear to them?

    http://stolengenerationstestimonies.com/

    Over scores of years, the entire Aboriginal community of Australia has been devastated by this pain, with generation after generation ravaged by depression, alcoholism, violence, health issues and bottom-of-table rankings on every socio-economic indicator you can think up - even as they tried desperately, and mostly unsuccessfully, to reconnect with their roots and real families - to satiate the unquenchable longings of their hearts.

    Then in February of 2008, one Mr Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia, stood up in Parliament and delivered an historic apology to these "Stolen Generations" of native Australians for all the harm that governmental and social policies had done to them. The dramatic event stopped the entire nation. Grown men and women, black and white, young and old, openly wept, both in regret and in joy, right across this continent. After years of dragging its feet on the issue, the nation had matured enough to address the gross injustice that had been done to several generations of these helpless, vulnerable and voiceless people. Finally a concrete step had been taken to right a grievous wrong. Alana Newman referred to this incident in her testimony which Leila reproduced [see Leila's post at July 1, 2013 at 10:57 PM]

    The apology: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/pm-moves-to-heal-the-nation/story-e6frfkw9-1111115539560

    (continued…)

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  109. Part 2 OF 2

    Now here's where the plot turns sour - really sour. For those not in the know, Kevin Rudd was unexpectedly deposed as Australia's Prime Minister shortly after that apology. He has been sitting on the back bench in Parliament for three years pondering his fate and plotting his comeback. That finally happened last week - he is now our Prime Minister again. But during his time in the wilderness, Mr Rudd, it seems, was applying his great rejected intellect to the (non) issue of "gay marriage". Under constant pressure from his enlightened wife and children (by his own admission) the thinking of this Catholic turned everything-goes Anglican "evolved" on the issue, to the point where he came out a month ago, fully supportive not only of "gay marriage" but also the hot new champion of adoptions by gay "couples".

    http://www.kevinruddmp.com/2013/05/church-and-state-are-able-to-have.html

    In other words, the very same man who not so long ago apologized on behalf of the nation to several mourning generations of Stolen Children is now pushing (and will no doubt, succeed) in creating a new one! Make you ill? Me too. I tell you, the 9 year old kids in my primary school class would make for better leaders of society than these - given that their little intellects are still intact and still capable of cogent thinking!

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    1. As a fellow Australian, may I say that that's a good analysis, Francis. As an aside, since Abbott's sister is a lesbian, methinks I will vote for Family First, come September - just to be safe. (Tony Abbott leads the opposition in the Australian Parliament)

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  110. Francis,

    "In other words, the very same man who not so long ago apologized on behalf of the nation to several mourning generations of Stolen Children is now pushing (and will no doubt, succeed) in creating a new one!"

    I don't understand, is Australia mounting another campaign to take aboriginal children away from their parents in order to give to homosexual couples looking to adopt?

    I'm not seeing what this has to do specifically with gay couples raising kids.

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  111. p.s. For those that claim the studies only "prove" that a child needs two of any "parent" (not their mom and dad)... um, do you really buy that? Have you ever met a person raised in a stepparent home? A stepparent can turn a 1-parent household into a 2-parent household, but the vast majority of kids in this situation would give their right arm to have DAD (or mom) home - not the stepparent (and this includes good, caring stepparents. I have two wonderful stepparents... I find it insane that an "expert" would imply my mom and dad are interchangeable with them).

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  113. Francis,

    "In the former case they will be deliberately orphaned of one of their biological parents just like the Stolen Generations were."

    Not "just like", as there are no grieving families whose children were taken from them, and no knowledge on the part of the child that they were kidnapped from their family. As you point out, they'll have at least one biological parent. Also, you're misusing 'orphan' for purely emotional reasons.

    "In the latter case they will be deliberately orphaned of the influence of an intimate father or mother figure in their lives."

    Yet they will have infinitely more of one than they would had they not been adopted, no? Unless you're against adoption in general, or there's a world-wide excess of demand to adopt, I'm not sure that's a good argument either. At least not to categorically deny SS couples.

    "We can safely assume - whether they are able to speak out or not - that they will feel the same pain, the same longing for their "own" as the Stolen Generations have felt. Right?"

    Wrong. I'm surprised you don't see the key difference that the children were taken from existing families against the will of all involved in the case of the SGs, vs. gay couples trying to adopt unwanted children, or have their own with donors.

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  114. Andre,

    Australia is on the verge of approving "gay marriages", with children who will either be born of donor eggs or sperm, or adopted.

    In the former case they will be deliberately orphaned of one of their biological parents just like the Stolen Generations were.

    We can safely assume - whether they are able to speak out or not - that they will feel the same pain, the same longing for their "own" as the Stolen Generations have felt. Right?

    In the latter case they will be deliberately orphaned of the influence of an intimate father or mother figure in their lives.

    Are the consequences of that really so hard to imagine in a world that's roughly half male and half female?

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    1. "Are the consequences of that really so hard to imagine in a world that's roughly half male and half female?"

      Can you clarify?

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  115. Not so fast, Andre. The families whose children were taken from them weren't the only ones grieving. It has been the children themselves - even years later, as full grown adults - grieving as much as anyone else. That's the point which can't be ignored, no matter how much anyone tries.

    On the issue of adoption, Leila has said repeatedly that it's a good inasmuch as it restores that which has been unfortunately lost (biological parents, for whatever reason). However, adoption by gay couples has an additional (detrimental) qualification - it always involves the loss of either a father or a mother figure. I suppose that's your cue to launch into the notion of gender neutrality in parenting, or whatever. BTW, I don't like the word parenting at all. For me it's fathering and mothering.

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  116. Andre, sorry, but have you read any of the comments by these kids of donor sperm (in the OP and comments), and have you seen any of the (repeated) times I've discussed the difference between restoring what is lost (adoption) vs. creating the loss on purpose?

    I feel like you've missed half the conversation.

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  117. Francis,

    "It has been the children themselves - even years later, as full grown adults - grieving as much as anyone else."

    I addressed this already: "... knowledge on the part of the child that they were kidnapped from their family."

    See? Not ignoring.

    "However, adoption by gay couples has an additional (detrimental) qualification - it always involves the loss of either a father or a mother figure."

    This might be the case, though I've seen little outside of comments gleaned from message boards to support this notion in the OP. For the sake of argument, let's say that gay adoption is less beneficial for a child than straight adoption. Are there so few children in need of adopting, and so many families waiting to adopt them that we should deny gay couples the ability to adopt? It seems, to me, that if you're going to deny children a loving home, you have to show not only that gay couples are less beneficial as a function of not providing both male & female figures, but that due to this, adoption by gay parents is actually worse for the child than remaining in the care of the state/institution/etc.

    "I suppose that's your cue to launch into the notion of gender neutrality in parenting, or whatever."

    Thank you for doing me the kindness of not imposing your prejudices on me.

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  118. Andre, there are countless heterosexual couples waiting to adopt. Healthy infants, and yes, special needs and older kids. The problem is with the broken and often corrupt foster care system, not in the lack of people willing to take children in. You want to open up the discussion to the problems with the foster and adoption system? It's a big topic, and a heartbreaking one.

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  119. "Are the consequences of that really so hard to imagine in a world that's roughly half male and half female?"

    Can you clarify?

    Yes, I can, Andre.

    a) Why should a child, who by natural sexual orientation might well grow into being part of the vast majority of people (heterosexual male or female) be handed over for an intimate relationship without his/her consent to a "couple" whose romantic affections and sexual activities are those of an aberrant minority? Why should the child have to put up with witnessing two men or two women sleeping together and "making (sterile) love" together when most of the world's men and women (like the parents of most of their schoolmates and friends) don't indulge in such things with partners of their own sex? Why should these children be deliberately excluded from the mainstream of society in their life circumstances?

    b) Without a father figure or a mother figure (save, perhaps, of the imitation variety in a SS household) in his/her life, will a child's interactions with the opposite sex in the real world not be more unsure - and perhaps even confused - than those by children who have learned first hand from their dads and mums what men and women are all about and how they normally interact with each other?

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  120. Leila,

    "Andre, sorry, but have you read any of the comments by these kids of donor sperm (in the OP and comments)"

    I read the OP and some of the comments. The OP seemed to consist almost entirely of comments from message boards, as well as some biographical anecdotes. I don't dismiss these opinions out of hand, I just don't see how I'm supposed to take these as authoritative or informative when discussing the issue as a whole. I'm assuming one could round up many positive testimonials from those raised by gay parents. Where does that leave us?

    "have you seen any of the (repeated) times I've discussed the difference between restoring what is lost (adoption) vs. creating the loss on purpose?"

    If you mean the distinction between adoption and donors, I wasn't particularly moved by this, whether in relation to hetero couples who can't conceive, or as it relates to gay couples.

    "I feel like you've missed half the conversation."

    Sometimes the whole conversation isn't worth listening to. Also, I was initially addressing a very specific claim from one person. I'm assuming I didn't miss many references to the Stolen Generation before the one I replied to.

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  121. Francis,

    “ Why should a child, who by natural sexual orientation might well grow into being part of the vast majority of people (heterosexual male or female) be handed over for an intimate relationship without his/her consent to a "couple" whose romantic affections and sexual activities are those of an aberrant minority?”

    I hope it won’t come as a shock that children don’t get to pick their parents, or what their parents are into. Should Catholic couples in Japan be denied children because Christians make up 1% of the religious population there?

    “ Why should the child have to put up with witnessing two men or two women sleeping together and "making (sterile) love" together”

    This is an odd statement, do you think it’s ok for kids to have to watch their hetero parents having sex? Maybe they do things differently down-under  I’m assuming that most gay couples would, you know, shut the door when they make love.

    “Why should these children be deliberately excluded from the mainstream of society in their life circumstances?”

    I agree that society should stop discriminating against homosexuals.

    “Without a father figure or a mother figure (save, perhaps, of the imitation variety in a SS household) in his/her life, will a child's interactions with the opposite sex in the real world not be more unsure - and perhaps even confused - than those by children who have learned first hand from their dads and mums what men and women are all about and how they normally interact with each other?”

    This presumes, of course, that most hetero couples make it a point to teach their kids “what men and women are all about”, or that what they end up imparting is in any way a healthy reflection of what “men” and “women” should be. Again, you may be right, missing out on the ‘other half’ might well be less optimal, it still seems to me that you need to show it’s worse that not being adopted or conceived at all.

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  122. "I'm assuming one could round up many positive testimonials from those raised by gay parents."

    Problem with that Andre, is: conditioning. If a boy is brought up from birth by two "mommies", how on earth is he even to know what it might actually be like to experience a daddy in his life? He doesn't even know what he doesn't know! He doesn't even know what he's missing out on! Ignorance is bliss, remember? Until the cookie finally crumbles, that is. And yet, despite these stymieing blocks that could likely have kept them in the dark about either mommies or daddies, people are speaking out about their loss - as evidenced by the stories which Leila has reproduced in the OP and the further stories that she has linked to. It's early days yet in this brave new experiment. Prudence declares that we go slowly and cautiously, if at all, until more is known, not rush headlong into this radical social engineering as we're doing right now, without, seemingly a care in the world - about the children.

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  123. Leila,

    "Andre, there are countless heterosexual couples waiting to adopt."

    Then there should be a fairly open and shut case against gay adoption. All you have to do is show that the number of families looking to adopt outnumbers the number of children needing adoption, and couple that with the studies that show that kids fare better with straight adopted parents than gay adopted parents. You don't even need to show that gay adoption is worse than no adoption!

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  124. "I hope it won’t come as a shock that children don’t get to pick their parents, or what their parents are into."

    So here come the pedophiles of the world, demanding adoption rights, per the logic of Andre Boillot.

    "Should Catholic couples in Japan be denied children because Christians make up 1% of the religious population there?"

    (Most) Catholic couples (heterosexual ones at least) can have children. No same sex couple can. Not naturally, in a procreative relationship of a fruitful marriage anyway. No point comparing apples with oranges.

    "I’m assuming that most gay couples would, you know, shut the door when they make love."

    From what I see of the naked bodies cavorting at the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras each year, I'm not so convinced they would. Sobriety and bashfulness don't exactly appear to be a big forte of the gay community.

    "I agree that society should stop discriminating against homosexuals."

    Society actually doesn't. Not in most of the West at least. Unless homosexuals call not getting everything they demand with little or no obvious justification for it, "discrimination".

    "This presumes, of course, that most hetero couples make it a point to teach their kids “what men and women are all about”"

    They don't need to make it a point. They are living examples of what being male and female is generally all about.



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  125. Francis,

    "Problem with that Andre, is: conditioning. If a boy is brought up from birth by two "mommies", how on earth is he even to know what it might actually be like to experience a daddy in his life?"

    I think this is where I'd like to reiterate my question of how the notion that two parents, let alone hetero parents, is a right that all children are entitled to? What are these 'rights of the child'? Where do they come from?

    "Ignorance is bliss, remember? Until the cookie finally crumbles, that is. And yet, despite these stymieing blocks that could likely have kept them in the dark about either mommies or daddies, people are speaking out about their loss"

    What makes you think that these children won't be exposed to both genders throughout their lives? Maybe he'll have 5 uncles that will make sure his free-time is filled with "manly" things like sports, beer, and emotional detachment. How is this functionally different than kids who's fathers are dead, deadbeats, always away due to the military (or work), etc.?

    "Prudence declares that we go slowly and cautiously, if at all, until more is known, not rush headlong into this radical social engineering as we're doing right now"

    A play right out of the same book used to stall the efforts of women and minorities to gain equal rights. Adoption is generally good, seems to me you should have to show the harm in order to restrict access to it.

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  126. "I think this is where I'd like to reiterate my question of how the notion that two parents, let alone hetero parents, is a right that all children are entitled to? What are these 'rights of the child'? Where do they come from?"

    So, Andre, if children have no rights to (both of) their biological parents then Australia had no need to apologize to generations of Aboriginals for taking them away from actual mothers and fathers? Is that what you're saying? The issue of where unalienable rights come from has already been addressed in this post, if you care to scroll back.

    "How is this functionally different than kids who's fathers are dead, deadbeats, always away due to the military (or work), etc.?"

    This is functionally no different. And that, sir, is precisely the point. Tragic situations, all. Some unavoidable (death, military duty), others definitely avoidable (adoptions by gays).

    "Adoption is generally good, seems to me you should have to show the harm in order to restrict access to it."

    Exactly what we've been doing in this discussion. Hint: deliberate denial of fathering or mothering of a child.

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  127. Francis,

    It appears you’re no longer interested in reasonable dialogue. This will be my last response to you.

    “So here come the pedophiles of the world, demanding adoption rights, per the logic of Andre Boillot.”

    I was responding to your objecting to a situation “without his/her consent”. The above response is a non-sequitor, though if you’d like to go down that route, there’s nothing keeping two hetero pedophiles from adopting or having their own kids either.

    “(Most) Catholic couples (heterosexual ones at least) can have children. No same sex couple can. Not naturally, in a procreative relationship of a fruitful marriage anyway. No point comparing apples with oranges.”

    To the contrary, you were objecting to gay adoption on the grounds that homosexuals are “an aberrant minority”, just as it can be argued that Christians in Japan are.

    “From what I see of the naked bodies cavorting at the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras each year, I'm not so convinced they would. Sobriety and bashfulness don't exactly appear to be a big forte of the gay community.”

    Using this logic, I suppose that St. Patrick’s Day is a good indication of Irish norms.

    “Society actually doesn't [discriminate against homosexuals]. Not in most of the West at least. Unless homosexuals call not getting everything they demand with little or no obvious justification for it, "discrimination". “

    You seem to be guilty of a bit of trivialization here. FBI hate-crime statistic for the US in 2011: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2011/tables/table-4

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  128. Andre,

    I agree. You and I are now talking past each other, so I'll refrain henceforth from conversing with you.

    My comment “So here come the pedophiles of the world, demanding adoption rights, per the logic of Andre Boillot.” was in direct response to your careless suggestion that it's not relevant for children "what their parents are into".

    ab·er·rant
    /ˈabərənt/Adjective
    1.Departing from an accepted standard.
    2.Diverging from the normal type.
    Japan allows all religions, so Christians there aren't aberrant - simply a minority. Heterosexual people have potentially procreative sex - even if variably. Gay and lesbian sex acts aren't even in the ball park; they're perversions/sterile simulations of natural intercourse. In other words, aberrant.

    I'm not talking about hate crimes when I challenge the charge of discrimination against gay and lesbian people. I'm saying there's little or no legal discrimination against them in most of the West. Until, that is, they demand redefinition of marriage and family - the very foundational blocks of society - to include things that they've never ever included. Half-baked, synthetically constructed, inherently unstable arrangements (being based solely on emotions) which have never been considered marriage or family by any society, ever, from time immemorial. Until suddenly-"enlightened" yesterday.

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  129. I have not read through all the comments of late, but Andre, where do rights come from?

    And, why do you suppose nature does not allow gay couplings to produce offspring?

    "Then there should be a fairly open and shut case against gay adoption. All you have to do is show that the number of families looking to adopt outnumbers the number of children needing adoption, and couple that with the studies that show that kids fare better with straight adopted parents than gay adopted parents. You don't even need to show that gay adoption is worse than no adoption!"

    What on earth did the history of mankind do before there were gay couples to pick up the slack for unwanted children? You didn't even touch the question about why children are not being adopted. I do a lot of adoption advocacy, and I can talk about that from here till Tuesday. It has nothing to do with "no straight parents, so we simply MUST get gay people to take these children!"

    So, the whole "what to do with all the orphans?" Is a total joke, when it comes to making that a cause for gay rights.

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  130. Although I stand by everything I've said, remember that I know very little about parenting. Thinking about something a lot is not somehow equivalent to actual experience with it. I feel stupid for debating with an actual parent about the purpose of parenting. I firmly believe that there isn't just one way to raise a child, but I want to admit that I'm not the proper person to have this conversation with you. I hope that a few gay parents find this post, they would be much better suited to discuss this.

    Chris, I thank you for this. It is very mature. I've always said you are very mature for your age, and I stand by that.



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  131. Sarah, thank you for this (below)! It makes sense. I think most folks can understand the common sense and wisdom in what you say!

    p.s. For those that claim the studies only "prove" that a child needs two of any "parent" (not their mom and dad)... um, do you really buy that? Have you ever met a person raised in a stepparent home? A stepparent can turn a 1-parent household into a 2-parent household, but the vast majority of kids in this situation would give their right arm to have DAD (or mom) home - not the stepparent (and this includes good, caring stepparents. I have two wonderful stepparents... I find it insane that an "expert" would imply my mom and dad are interchangeable with them).

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  132. Leila,

    "I have not read through all the comments of late, but Andre, where do rights come from?"

    The quick and dirty version, I would say, is that they come from our nature as conscious, self-aware beings.

    I'm curious as to what your specific 'natural rights of children' consist of though? They seem to be in addition to the broader 'life, liberty, [insert your favorite third right]' that most philosophies would postulate, so I'm wondering where you derive these extra rights from specifically?

    "What on earth did the history of mankind do before there were gay couples to pick up the slack for unwanted children?"

    Is the answer: there used to be no problems with finding adoptive homes for every orphan? Maybe I'm wrong, but there doesn't seem to be a worldwide shortage of orphans.

    "You didn't even touch the question about why children are not being adopted."

    Your right, I guess I just assumed that the supply was outpacing demand. Am I wrong? If all the red-tape and corruption were solved, would every orphan be placed with a family?

    "I do a lot of adoption advocacy, and I can talk about that from here till Tuesday."

    That's great. No really, I admire you for this.

    "It has nothing to do with "no straight parents, so we simply MUST get gay people to take these children!

    So, the whole "what to do with all the orphans?" Is a total joke, when it comes to making that a cause for gay rights."

    I haven't seen you demonstrate that there is enough demand among straight couples to satisfy the supply of orphans in need of adoption. If you could demonstrate that, I think you'd have a starting point for trying to restrict the pool of adopting couples further. I'm not even implying that gay adoption would solve what I presume is the problem of not enough families looking to adopt (given how little of the population they constitute). However, if there is more need than available families, I don't think you've made a convincing case for how children raised by gay couples are worse off that those raised by straight couples, let alone being worse off than had they not been adopted at all.

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    Replies
    1. "They seem to be in addition to the broader 'life, liberty, [insert your favorite third right]' that most philosophies would postulate, so I'm wondering where you derive these extra rights from specifically?"
      Andre, pardon me for jumping in here. I simply want to suggest that you read Locke (John Locke, that is). I think you'll find his classic explanation of where the notion of life, liberty and (fyi) property as natural rights derives from quite ... enlightening.

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    2. Dan,

      I would have thought that the way I phrased things would have hinted at familiarity with Locke, and thus the patronizing suggestion unnecessary. Leila had already asked (and I answered) where I thought natural rights come from. What you're responding to was in regards to what I thought those rights were, which is a separate issue. Also, if memory serves, while Locke might ultimately ground Life and Liberty in the divine, according to him, the natural right to Property is the fruit of man's Labor alone.

      Cheers.

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  133. The issue of gay adoption (which is a slightly different issue than donor insemination/surrogacy, etc.) is a troubling one precisely because after eons of understanding that children have a right to mothers and fathers, we suddenly are all supposed to play pretend and think that nothing we knew before matters. I was just talking to an adoptive mother yesterday, and she told me that many of the agencies in her state have started to list gay couples as prospective parents for infants in need of homes. You scroll through, and there are tons of lesbians and gay couples vying (for lack of a better word) for the same babies that countless heterosexual couples are ready to adopt in a heartbeat. So, if we begin by understanding that there are MORE than enough married couples (mother and father) waiting (sometimes years) to adopt newborns, and yet we bypass those mom-and-pop homes to put this little newborn in a house with two lesbian "moms"? Or two gay men? It is non-sensical. It has nothing to do with what is best for the child, and everything to do with the new societal mandate to pretend that two dudes can be "married" and play house with a newborn infant that nature would never, ever, every give them, even when everything is fixed and ordered and working right (to quell the "but what about infertile couples!) diversion.

    The very fact that newborns are placed with gay couples when there are plenty of straight couples dying to adopt them undermines the "well, we are just worried that there are not enough homes for orphans!" argument.

    The quick and dirty version, I would say, is that they come from our nature as conscious, self-aware beings.

    Then only the self-aware have rights? Please clarify. You said they come from our "nature" so does that mean there are natural rights? But only for some?

    I'm curious as to what your specific 'natural rights of children' consist of though?

    I quote from above: A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception." CCC #2378


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  134. B-I-N-G-O!!

    I find it appalling that these children who have spoken out get divorce thrown in their faces like they should just be "okay" because hey, the kids of divorce are okay. No, the kids of divorce are a) Not that okay and b) Are ALLOWED to grieve as much as they need or want (typically). It's perfectly PC for a child of divorce to say, "I never want a divorce after what I went through." Yet children of same-sex unions or donor sperm, etc... well, how dare they not tow the political line and affirm their situation as some great, wonderful thing equivalent to being raised by their mom and dad. We don't hold any other kids to that standard because, well, the political and social agenda isn't there.

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  135. But if my father were another man, he would probably teach me a lot of different things, act in very different ways, fulfill different roles, and so on.

    Yes, but he would still be a father and not a mother. He would still be a man with a son, not a woman with a son. You said male role models are important, and you are right, but at the same time you accuse me of reducing everything down to one's sex. One's sex either is relevant, or it isn't. You say it is. So do I.

    A boy doesn't need 3 billion different male role models in his life (all individual males relating to him individually on the planet). He needs male role models, period, because they all possess "maleness" in common. Female role models are not enough for a boy, because there is no "maleness" in a female, even if she has masculine qualities. We still all see that women (even butch women!) are women and not men. The greatest role model in a boy's life is, by nature, his own father. It's supposed to be so. Nature (and Nature's God) made male and female on purpose. Both matter to the child of their union.

    And anyway, would I be a lesser person if I was not brought up to be conventionally male?

    As a Catholic, we don't believe that anyone is a "lesser person", ever. But would you be cheated out of your right to your father if your father was denied you? Yes. Shame on whomever denies a boy his father.

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  136. "...a world of evidence contradicting your philosophy…"

    Michelle, a world of evidence contradicting my philosophy involves a lot of things. The world has been committing genocide since forever, and that "lived experience" continues to this very day. Genocide is a "world of evidence" contradicting my Natural Law moral philosophy. Should I go with the "world of evidence" that this is what people do?

    Slavery is has also been a "norm" in human society since forever. It goes on to this very day. Same with murder, rape, etc. Those are all part of the "lived experience" of those who deem those acts to be A-ok (since they do them). If the "world" says that this is the "experience" of millions, over and above my Natural Law philosophy, does it frighten you that I am going to stick with my own philosophy, despite the "evidence" that the "world" doesn't see it my way?

    If the entire world decides that children don't have a right to their mothers and fathers (didn't Brave New World address this?), is it really so, so, so, so, so, so terrifying that I would stick to my Natural Law philosophy that children have a right to their parents and to life itself? Is that just the most horrendous possibility out there? That moms and dads are naturally, morally connected to their offspring?

    Scary, scary, scary stuff this Catholicism. It asserts that there is a God, and He ordered all things, all based in true love -- which is synonymous with "sacrifice", a word that our culture doesn't recognize today. Sacrifice is scary, scary stuff because it means we don't always get what we want, but we do what is right for the other, especially the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Sacrifice is not what modern Americans want to see or hear about. We want "fulfillment" (and that mostly means sexual and material pleasure today). Catholics still want true love. We look at the Man on the Cross. Love cost Him everything. We don't recognize that kind of love today. And it's a shame.

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  137. "The very fact that newborns are placed with gay couples when there are plenty of straight couples dying to adopt them undermines the "well, we are just worried that there are not enough homes for orphans!" argument."

    Again, unless you can show that there are far more families looking to adopt than children that need adopting, your merely making an argument against a procedure that doesn't place priority on straight couples. Your argument would hold much more weight if you could demonstrate that the problem of orphan children could be solved without expanding the pool of prospective parents to gay couples, were it not for unjust procedures or red-tape, and that straight couples are being denied adoptions in favor of gay couples, and not just having to wait their turn.

    "In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception." CCC #2378"

    I guess I'm still not seeing where the child has the natural right to two parents. Maybe some other part of the catechism covers this. I see that this (specifically Catholic) definition stipulates that the child has a right to be conceived from hetero sex by his parents, and has the right to life. Maybe it seems silly to make this distinction but, I think that given how frequently tragedies befall one or both parents, it's meaningless to say that the child has a "right" to two parents. That's not the same thing as saying the child is not infinitely better off with two parents, it's just that so many other things fall into that category.

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  138. Andre, to what does a child have a natural right? And where does it come from (you mentioned "nature")?

    And, tragedies can take away natural rights, correct? Like the right to be alive? Or, do you not make distinctions between tragedies and rights? Is it a tragedy if a child is denied a father? Or is that a positive good?

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  139. No. It's terrifying that you could never, ever believe you were wrong, even in the face of evidence. It's fine to question it, excellent even – you should question things – but it's scary that you are dead set in your beliefs to the point that you won't even entertain the idea that you might be wrong.

    I come here fully open to the possibility that I'm wrong. I haven't yet seen evidence that I find convincing, but I recognize that it could exist. You don't have the intellectual honesty to even say that, and in light of that, frankly, I don't see the point of discussing anything. We're talking on completely different levels, with completely different goals. I should have seen it before, and I'm not sure why I didn't. The idea that someone could come right out and say, with no shame, that they believe only "evidence" that supports their beliefs – it makes my head spin.

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  140. Michelle, well that's one way to completely ignore my last two comments to you. Can you go back and address my points?

    And, you completely misunderstand the nature of truth. If one finds truth (and legitimate authority), one stops there, on truth. My search for truth was undertaken, with vigor, and it was incredible. When I came to the end of my search, I found a Person. His name is Jesus Christ and He is the Alpha and the Omega. When you come face to face with the Truth, loving you as He does (yes, a real, palpable love relationship involving two persons -- read some Teresa of Avila, some John of the Cross, some of the other saints covering two millennia), then you are struck dumb by the glory of the fullness of Truth, of revelation. None of it is "my opinion", or "my beliefs" in that strict sense. It's not that I can't be wrong, it's that God is never wrong, and God revealed His Truth (and made the moral law accessible by human reason alone). Can God be wrong? Of course not. Truth cannot be Error, as that is nonsense, and would contradict His nature.

    You don't believe in Natural Law, and natural rights. Fine. You don't believe in Jesus Christ your creator, who rose from the dead and lives in every tabernacle and monstrance to this day. Fine. But to paraphrase Chesterton, there can no more be a private truth than there can be a private moon or sun. Truth is Truth. We are charged with seeking it and finding it (not determining it), and when we find it, we accept it. Then it's over. We can keep learning about that truth of course (and we will never plumb the depths of truth, even in eternity, that's how rich and deep it is). Resting in truth is, ultimately, freedom.

    You once told me that you could not dismiss Peter Singer's arguments for infanticide because you hadn't read enough of his works yet. You also told me you didn't know if the burned, dead baby girl in the casket was trash or deserved love, because you didn't know the circumstances of her abortion. I know you think that is what enlightened people must do, how enlightened people must talk. But really, you are wrong about that. There are things that we "can't not know", and one of those things is that we don't kill innocent human beings. Even if an Ivy League bioethicist says we can, and even if he's got innovative "new" ideas to back it up, we stand on certain principles. You would have been wise to say, "No, I don't need to read Singer's stuff (although I will, to get his side), because I already know that it is wrong to kill infants." About the dead, tortured baby girl, you could have said, "This killing is never right, never good; there is always a better, more loving way." It's okay to stand on principle. It's okay to say that certain things are true.

    If you cannot ever find any truth, and if you principle is that there is no truth to be found, and truth is always changing, then you will only find chaos and madness. It's not a world I want to live in.

    I like the world where we acknowledge that a child has a right to his own life, and to his own mother and father, and that child is not to be bought and sold and tested and killed and manipulated, and put at the center of a social experiment, at the whims of adults. The alternative world is selfish, cruel, materialistic, base, and cold. Not interested.

    The whole point of the OP was to give voice to the children who are hurting and who have suffered a loss due to the utter selfishness of the adults in their lives. These children are told to sit down and shut up, and though I was hopeful to find sympathy amongst the liberals here for them, I think my last two sentences of the OP have been born out.

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  141. Just putting a 4th of July thing together for the kids and thought this fit here.
    I know , I know these guys were slave holding , bigoted , kitten stompers but I think they did ok especially in comparison to our stellar enlightened modern track record.

    There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.
    George Washington


    Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred.
    Alexander Hamilton and James Madison

    And this is pretty good


    This is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering... And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." Thomas Jefferson

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  142. It is not necessary to enumerate the many advantages, that arise from this custom of early marriages. They comprehend all the society can receive from this source; from the preservation, and increase of the human race. Everything useful and beneficial to man, seems to be connected with obedience to the laws of his nature, the inclinations, the duties, and the happiness of individuals, resolve themselves into customs and habits, favorable, in the highest degree, to society. In no case is this more apparent, than in the customs of nations respecting marriage.
    Samuel Williams


    "(T)he foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; ...the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained..." George Washington

    .....fools!

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  143. Leila, honestly, I don't know what the point is of me answering any questions. When one side is completely rigid, with zero open-mindedness, it's not a discussion anymore – it's an interrogation. You know what you believe, you know with absolute certainty what "the left" (the blundering, stupid, thoughtless left) believes. I don't know. It starts to feel like I am – anyone who disagrees is, really – an unnecessary part of the equation.

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  144. Michelle, what do you think of what Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail?

    One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."

    Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.


    Michelle, I'm trying to get you to think. Really think about this.

    Tell me how what MLK is saying is different from what I am saying?

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  145. And you know, really, I regret even feeling like I have to say these things. I like talking to you guys. But I am not in the habit of talking to walls, and I'm beginning to get the sense that that's what I'm doing here.

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  146. Michelle, you know you are always welcome here. I want you to understand that we are not in dialogue here to reach "consensus". We are here to showcase our ideas so that readers can get edified. If your ideas win them over, so be it. If mine do, so be it. But consensus is not the model, as truth cannot compromise with error (but love can bridge the gap between people who disagree -- we are not enemies. There is only one Enemy).

    If you read the "Please Read First" at the top of the blog, it really helps explain what I am doing on this blog. I'd love your response to MLK. Is he "terrifying"?

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  147. To no one in particular:

    Beware of being overly open-minded - your brains fall out.

    (Which, by the surreal sound of so many things, they arguably have for many).

    Used to be millenia when societies flourished peaceably with certain prudent sets of non negotiables. Post enlightenment, just about everything's up for grabs. Posterity included.

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  148. Quick note: I will not be online much tomorrow, but I see we are creeping towards 200 comments. At that point, Blogger goes insane and hides the rest of the comments for ransom. If you want to keep reading after 200 comments, please hit the "load more" link at the bottom that you will see at that point. Thanks!

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  149. 'Mere concepts of morality have no business being law,' said ZETA chairman Michael Kiok.

    Michelle, how would you counter that statement? By which principle of law or morality would you refute him? It comes from this article:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2352779/Bestiality-brothels-spreading-Germany-campaigner-claims-abusers-sex-animals-lifestyle-choice.html

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    1. *If there are no moral absolutes, if there is no Natural Law, if holding to absolute truth is terrifying, how do you counter what he said?

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  150. Leila,

    "Andre, to what does a child have a natural right?"

    I'm partial to those enumerated in the US Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are approximations of what most philosophical traditions deem as indispensable.

    "And where does it come from (you mentioned "nature")?"

    Actually, I mentioned rights rising from our nature as self-conscious beings.

    "And, tragedies can take away natural rights, correct? Like the right to be alive?..."

    Sure, and I perhaps I was clumsy in my phrasing. When I'm talking about natural rights, I'm talking about core rights without which life becomes intolerable for self-conscious creatures. One can overcome the loss or absence of a parent in a way that is distinct (and often demonstrated) from having to overcome the lack of life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness. This isn't to say that losing or missing a parent is good, just that it's not necessary for the survival and fulfillment of self-conscious individuals.

    In any case, I was just intrigued by this concept of 'natural rights of children' as something distinct form 'natural rights' in general. It was something that, outside UN declarations, I'd never heard of, despite growing up in a Catholic household, attending Catholic HS and University, and studying Political Science.

    Enjoy the long weekend.

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  151. Jesus teaches on (heterosexual) marriage leading to comprehensive sexual union, and the undesirability of divorce - while pointing to the obvious need for celibacy for some (and even the call to voluntary celibacy for others). And He rebukes those who would restrict the rights of children - inheritors, no less, of the kingdom of heaven (treat with care, hinder not their patently obvious rights!).

    He teaches about all this in one short and straightforward discourse. Nothing about… er… “gay marriage” between those for whom a meaningful ("one flesh") union is circumstantially not possible. Rather, He advocates celibacy "for the kingdom of heaven" (which is true and everlasting life, health and happiness).

    Matthew 19: 3-14:

    “Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others — and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

    Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”

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  152. Studies support the agenda at hand for a reason. Because people will believe anything based on a study. This is how those in power have gotten the public to accept new legislation in the past, so why trust any study? Roe v. Wade was passed partly because they lied about the number of women dying from back alley abortions. Most studies are funded by those who have an interest in a certain result. Whatever happened to common sense? Using logic and critical thinking have been replaced by studies. Do you think the elite don't know this? Whenever someone comes out with an unpopular study it somehow gets voted off the island by being called "unscientific". Science is the God liberals bow down to, even though it can change with the wind.Two men and two women can NEVER make a baby. When you start saying two things are equal that are not in fact equal, ie marriage and same sex "marriage", the pursuit has no end in sight because logic has gone out the window.

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    1. Don't be afraid of science. The other side has stacked the scientific deck of cards. When one looks closely at what they refer to as 'science', they would see that what those pushing the gay 'liberation' agenda (homosexualists) are using is actually scientism. That is they are using science for political ends. However, science is great in obtaining empirical insights and knowledge to inform debates about the future of society.

      As an aside, we really need to ask some relatively simple questions. Why is it that homosexuality never existed before about 150 years ago (and neither did 'heterosexuality')? Whence has this 'history' of 'gays' and the demands of gay rights sprung from, when (apart from some plays and mimicry) the whole of human history never yields any identifiable periods of homosexual 'marriage', gay adoption, or homosexual social institutions?

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    2. I ain't afraid of no "science". Those who worship the creation rather than the Creator ought to be afraid. ;) And I'm not sure why my comments are posting twice each time but I do aplogize.

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  153. Hi all, Leila is having computer problems and can't post at the moment. She'll respond to the most recent comments as soon as she can.

    Dan, she thanks you for your input and hopes to respond ASAP. :)

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  154. Dan,

    G’day! Conservative Opposition leader Tony Abbott lost my respect in September last year when he dumped good Senator Cory Bernardi as his Parliamentary Secretary for speaking out as he did against gay “marriage”. Bernardi had correctly pointed out during Parliamentary debate that approval of gay “marriage” would open the door to demands for polygamous and perhaps even bestial marriages down the track. The liberal media of course went into immediate overdrive, whipping up instant mass hysteria about Bernardi’s most sensible remarks, resulting in his prompt sacking from his parliamentary post. What has mostly gone unreported though, is that - exactly true to Bernardi’s prediction of barely a few months ago - the Polyamory Action Lobby group with the support of Green activists started last month to circulate a petition to the House of Representatives demanding full recognition of multi-member unions! This even BEFORE sodomite “marriages” have been approved! Tony Abbott also declared in a recent interview that he disagrees with his lesbian sister’s lifestyle and is “personally against” gay “marriage”, but doesn’t intend to bring his personal views “into the political arena”. (I suspect he's been looking carefully for cues to "Catholic" Democrats in the US!) The contemporary copout par excellence! Welcome to leadership in the brave new 21st century!

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  155. A future child from the genetic material of two men or two women - that is, from two sperm or two ova? Maybe? A human clone? Maybe? A Frankenstein? Maybe? Why do it? Just because we can (and novelties must mean "progress"), maybe?

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/the-case-against-legalising-samesex-marriage-20120714-2236g.html

    (Note: The Age is a notoriously liberal mainstream publication in Australia. And Jesuit social activist Fr Frank Brennan is controversial at times, beloved by lefties, to say the least.)

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  156. I don't think you know what Love is. These are people who love each other and love their children and you just can't see it.

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  157. Posting for Leila:

    captcrisis, could you comment on the original post? No one denied that these people love each other or their children, so your comment doesn't make sense. Thanks.

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  158. Leila,
    I read your post (and all the comments).

    This was really wonderful. I shared it with others and linked to it through the Anonymous Father's Day (www.anonymousfathersday.com/) facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/AnonFathersDay/posts/539219282780245

    Thank you for taking an interest in this subject.

    Karen Clark
    Co-investigator of the "My Daddy's Name is Donor" report
    http://familyscholars.org/my-daddys-name-is-donor-2/

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    1. Oops, first part of my post got cut off - the above is an e-mail that was sent to Leila.

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  159. Operating on an iPad, sorry.

    Dan, I am sooooooo glad you commented! Agreed! We need more Catholic and Christian and simply SOUND social scientists. Your list about the prosthetic limb speaks to my point. If someone (or everyone) were to come out with social science that concludes that children are better off with prosthetic limbs, so it's okay to deny them their natural limbs, our common sense and natural law detectors should go off, loudly! And sound social science should step in to reflect the truth.

    Now, who will be brave enough, after seeing what a Regnerus went through?

    If you are still there, Dan, could you email me? Littlecatholicbubble@gmail.com

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  160. And, I wish Andre or Michelle would come back to answer the question about MLK's words.

    And for Andre, just to clarify, are you saying that you hold Chris P.'s old position, that rights come from the ability to defend rights? So, the strong have rights, but the weak do not? I don't fully understand your position, so if you could expand and clarify. You like the rights in the Declaration of Independence, but those came from our "Creator", in whom you don't believe. Thanks!

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  161. Here is one good reason to be against egg purchasing and womb rental:
    http://katenews2day.com/2013/07/04/the-8000-devils-purchase-u-s-australian-gay-couple-mark-newton-and-peter-truong-sentenced-to-40-years-for-adopting-a-russian-boy-they-used-for-child-pornography-boy-sexually-abused-before-he-wa/

    Granted, likely that most male couples who buy eggs would never commit such an unspeakable and heinous crime, but it is a data point. Why not news on the big outlets? Remember when that dude was executed for killing the infant he sexually abused (his girlfriend's infant)? It was all over the big news outlets...but this is kept quiet. Why is that?

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  162. Okay, I don't think you're understanding my concern here. It's not about standing up for principles, it's about looking at research and saying it absolutely 100% is bunk unless it agrees with what you believe. That's what's bothering me, particularly about a topic (the efficacy of gay parenting) where you should be able to accept that research can tell us something. You've already said that research shows that kids do better with married parents; why can't that same kind of research tell you that you're wrong about gay parenting? I am really asking, because I don't get the double standard.

    Look. I get that social science is a very soft science. Honestly, a lot of it is poorly done. But what kills me is when smart people dismiss research because they disagree with it, and defend to the death research they like. The Regenerus study was bad, simply put. When I (and others) say that, it's not a character attack on Regnerus, and it shouldn't be, because he himself said that the study cannot be used to draw conclusions about gay parenting. It's the people who use it to defend their position, and then say things like "what Regnerus went through" – as though none of the criticism of his work was warranted – that are the real problem. Because, get this, social science research is not hard to read. Leila, I know you have at least one kid in college. My guess is that they have access to databases that would house these very studies that we're talking about. Read the studies. If you can rip them to shreds based on their methodologies or their analyses – again, these are often not hard to understand – that's great. It's quite likely that you will find major flaws, coming from every side of an issue. This is how you deal with science – you evaluate the framing of the question, the methodology, and the analysis. From there, if the conclusion still seems really wrong to you, then there are a few possibilities: there was another issue with the study that you didn't notice, the authors fabricated the data to fit their preconceived conclusion, or you are wrong. But to write off a study entirely because of its conclusion and assume that it's just part of an agenda – that is intellectually dishonest. It's not a matter of sticking to principles, it's a matter of having a blatantly, unashamedly ignorant approach to evaluating research. That's what bothers me, and I know you're better than that.

    All of that said, if you actually want to discuss the merits and flaws of various studies, I would love to. I think it's fun. I think you might find it fun, too. But I don't have any interest in discussing anything when both parties aren't willing to question things and accept that they might not know everything. Because now, after what you said, I don't feel any reason to believe what you say. None. If you only find evidence to support what you believe and throw the rest out, if contrary evidence doesn't even give you a bit of pause, then you are believing blindly, not intelligently, and I want no part of it.

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  163. Michelle,

    I, along with Leila, JoAnna, Francis, etc. all participate in this discussion from the perspective of objective Truth that comes from and is revealed by God, Who cannot ever be wrong. So, no matter what studies you show us, ultimately, we place our trust in Him, not in man-made studies. Can you at least understand that?

    Leila has said this many times, that this is a Catholic teaching blog, that is open to anyone and everyone, yet "In matters of theology, I don't give my opinion, I simply pass along what the Church teaches. Truth originates with God, and our only job is to seek it humbly, then live it." Truth cannot be changed, Michelle, no matter how badly humans may desire it to change, it's a rock. It is entirely your choice if you do not think you can handle objective, unchanging Truth. I do wish you would at least keep an open mind to it and to God who loves you so much and is waiting for you to open yourself to Him and His perfect love for you. Many blessings to you, Michelle.

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  164. Margo, you and I share a (sort of) hometown! Cool. Congrats on your graduation.

    Anyway, I do understand (now) that objective truth is untouchable. I think the idea is interesting, actually, because – this may come as a surprise – I also believe in objective truth. I believe, though, that it's sheer hubris for anyone to say that they know with zero doubt what that objective truth is.* You could be completely correct, but to say that with complete authority is, to me, dishonest. It's better and more honest to say that you think that the evidence (history, science, humanity, your personal experiences, etc) leads to Catholicism. It's fine if you're really, really sure Catholicism and everything surrounding it is true. But once you say that it is true regardless of any evidence, then to me that's putting the cart before the horse. If you are right about something, the evidence should lead you there. If the evidence leads elsewhere, then you should be willing to at the very least evaluate it to make sure you are still right. Keep an open mind to it.

    ________
    * I'll leave it to Hamlet to back me up here:
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

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  165. Oh, all this ado about the sacrosanct scientific and social "research" that's apparently required to inform us about every little thing these days! Seems we can no longer tell even the most obvious things by simple observation or commonsense deduction! Talk about mischievous lobby groups with vested interests attempting to hoodwink an entire populace into total imbecility!

    For a straight person with even an average modicum of sobriety or sexual morality, the very sight of two grown men (or two women) kissing or fondling, would be, to say the least, off-putting, if not outright revolting (as it is to me). There. I've said it now. For me (and I propose for billions of others in the world as well - outside of the decadent "enlightened" West) it's a disgusting, abhorrent - and indeed abominable - sight. (Here come the outraged howls!)

    Nevertheless, regardless of all the howling and the foot-stomping, the question begs itself: why should any child (who is statistically overwhelmingly likely to develop heterosexual tendencies as he/she matures), be placed in an intimate family environment where he/she might have to be witness to such displays between his two "daddies" or his two "mommies"? How torn would that child be between his (genuine) love/respect for his parents (who, let's assume, loved him and were good to him) and the gulf of difference between their same-sex attraction and his own leanings (not to mention that of most of his friends) towards the opposite sex? How easy or hard would it be for him/her to simply shrug off the glaring discrepancy? Indeed, what if he/she feels (as my friends, acquaintances and I do) that physical expressions of same-sex attractions are, in fact, disgusting? Why should the child be forced to suppress/distort his/her most intrinsic natural feelings to humor adults of such un-usual disposition? I don't get it. Does this not amount to child abuse?

    Secondly, why would anyone need "research" to tell them how traumatic it is for a child to be separated (intentionally) from his/her biological parents (as, for example, in the case of children born of donor egg/sperm)? Does not the (contemporary) tragedy of the stolen generations of children in Australia speak volumes in evidence of that? Why did the Australian nation have to formally apologize to its generations of stolen children - despite the fact that those children had, by and large, been showered with love and help by their foster parents? What are these children so aggrieved about? Are they mourning for some concocted mischievous reason? Again, I don't get it - how can such in-your-face real-life evidence be countered or nullified by (some scant, biased and half-baked) "research"?

    Thirdly, amidst all the enthusiasm over the recent research allegedly confirming that children with same-sex parents are just as well off as others, have we suddenly developed a mass amnesia about the long-and-well-established statistic that the HIGHEST incidence of child abuse in families involves a parental figure who is NOT BIOLOGICALLY RELATED to the child? What happens to the "clear cut" conclusion from this new-fangled research when it is logically weighted with such a significant and well established factor?

    Truly, dishonest people with personal agendas to further are so wont to gloss over the glaring realities of life, they wouldn't acknowledge truth even if it rocked up and hit them over the head in broad daylight!

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  166. "And for Andre, just to clarify, are you saying that you hold Chris P.'s old position, that rights come from the ability to defend rights?"

    I have no idea who Chris P., though the notion of having whatever rights you are able to defend yourself certainly sounds like Hobbes. In any case, I've already stated where I think rights come from, and it wasn't a Hobbes-ian notion.

    "You like the rights in the Declaration of Independence, but those came from our "Creator", in whom you don't believe."

    Oh my, I totally set you up for that zinger, didn't I? (/sarcasm) Again, I've already noted where I think rights come from. You were asking me what I thought examples of natural rights were. My answer encompasses a range of different ideas on what natural rights are, proposed by traditions which ground these rights in a variety of different things including: god, pure reason, the law, etc. Hope that clears up your confusion.

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  167. This is another thing I don't get. Where do you guys think research comes from? You keep saying things like "dishonest people with personal agendas to further". Do you think that all social science data (save for the stuff you agree with, of course) is fabricated? I would love to be walked through how you think a study not supporting your personal beliefs comes to be. Does it go wrong in data collection? Analysis? Where? You are glossing over things in the name of "common sense", but you have got to evaluate research a little more intelligently than "I think gay couples are groooosss so all of this research is obviously the product of a nefarious liberal agenda."

    Another question: If you were a social science researcher and you found that your data did not support your preconceived beliefs, what would you do? Not publish it? Alter it? Look for just enough countering evidence to skew your results to match your beliefs? If you wouldn't ever publish a study that didn't support your beliefs, how are you any less pushing an agenda than these researchers (allegedly) are?

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  168. Francis said: "HIGHEST incidence of child abuse in families involves a parental figure who is NOT BIOLOGICALLY RELATED to the child?" This is very true.

    My husband and I completed a course to be foster parents and this point was driven home to us time and time again. We were instructed to guard against it and be aware of it.

    That said, adoption will always be necessary.

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  169. Michelle,
    I agree that it is intellectually dishonest to reject all social science findings that do not support one's views.

    I am actually quite sure that there are children raised by two lesbians or two gays who "turn out just fine", but to me the issue of egg and sperm purchase and womb rental is so immoral and fraught with so many pitfalls, that it should be outlawed immediately. It is the epitome of objectification; paying someone for their gametes. It is worse than prostitution. Not only is it unfair to the child, it is an abuse of the mother/father.

    I fear that gay marriage will make this problem much worse. By normalizing gay marriage it will make it seem like discrimination not to "allow" them to "create" a child. And then, what of that child? The child will come into the world purposely cut off from one biological parent, and then raised in a minority situation by design...one that, as the Regnerus study implies, has a greater chance at instability than traditional marriage. That is not something I want to promote.

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