Eric Metaxas’ commentary today highlights an article by a man who was raised by a lesbian couple and who is speaking out against gay marriage. You can download the audio here or listen below.[audio:http://www.breakpoint.org/images/content/breakpoint/audio/2013/060313_BP.mp3]
As the Supreme Court is set to render a decision this month on two gay marriage cases, gay activists have been arguing that same-sex marriage is good for children and that children fare just as well being raised by gay parents as they do with their mother and father. Dr. Robert Oscar Lopez, who was raised by a lesbian couple, argues otherwise. Metaxas writes:
Contrary to what the gay lobby claims, Lopez writes, children raised by same-sex parents “deeply feel the loss of a father or mother, no matter how much we love our gay parents.”
These children know they are “powerless to stop the decision to deprive them of a father or mother,” he adds. And this decision comes with serious and often permanent consequences. For instance, they “feel disconnected from the gender cues of people around them,” and long for a role model of the opposite sex.
While they love the people who raised them, they experience anger at their decision to deprive them of one or both biological parents—and “shame or guilt for resenting their loving parents.”
The so-called “consensus” by psychologists and pediatricians on the soundness of same-sex parenting is, Lopez writes, “frankly bogus.” The truth is, there is no data to support that assertion.
Instead, as political scientists Leon Kass of the University of Chicago and Harvey Mansfield of Harvard University note, “Claims that science provides support for constitutionalizing a right to same-sex marriage must rest necessarily on ideology”—and “ideology is not science.”
Read the rest here or listen above.
Robert Oscar Lopez, “Growing Up With Two Moms: The Untold Children’s View,” The Public Discourse (August 6, 2012).
If the objection is over depriving children of either a mother or father, I’m sure everyone here will demand that single persons not be granted adoption rights to any child so long as they are single, correct?
Excellent observation. No doubt at some point in the past, children of single parents were shamed in to feeling they lacked something because of their “incomplete” nuclear family, for whatever reason may have been that they lacked a certain parent. And, of course, how much of that shame is internalized is up to the individual child, as well as the parent(s) who, if they truly care, will do what they can to mitigate that shame. Lopez is perfectly entitled to state his opinion, but it does sound like he has not been able to overcome that shame and thus, quite sadly, has chosen to throw his caretakers under the bus. Maybe they were two lousy mothers. But one could make the same argument that a parent who is deployed overseas is selfishly “depriving [the child] of of one or both biological parents” by being gone so much of the time. This is undoubtedly a predicament unique to every family situation, and since most people who write on this site clearly seek to deprive gay people of parenting rights, they will inevitably pick the Robert Oscar Lopezes of the world and broadcast it. But for each Lopez, how many children of gay parents are they who vigorously defend their upbringing? I’ll confess I can’t answer that question.
This is very simplistic. The lack of a father is not the only thing that makes lesbian adoption a bad thing. It is not even the worst thing about lesbian adoption. But it is one reason that is not in its favor.
The one thing that makes homosexual adoption unconscionable is the perversion that the child is enslaved to believing is good and right, to the damnation of that poor child’s soul, except God intervene.
This is not the case with a child having a single parent (of which there are precedents in scripture). But of course single parents are not ideal, and a child should be given to household that has a mother and father instead.
I encourage you to read Tim Bayly’s excellent comments in this regard, especially the discussion in the comments section. It touches on some of these issues:
Henry writes: “to the damnation of that poor child’s soul”
So I’m assuming you think that children should not be given to parents who are Mormons or Jews or any couple who denies what you consider to be “essential” for saving faith?
So I’m assuming you think that children should not be given to parents who are Mormons or Jews or any couple who denies what you consider to be “essential” for saving faith?
No. I don’t hold your underlying assumption that all sin is equally damaging to the child and to society. There are different degrees to which error is passed onto children. And some errors are less far from the truth than others.
That being said, I would certainly desire that a child be put in the home of parents who would teach him rightly about God than in the home of Mormons or Jews. But to be brought up by lesbian parents is way way way further down the list than being brought up by Mormons or Jews, in the same manner in which the Bayly article judges.
A child brought up with lesbian parents has not only been taught to deny the true God but has had his conscience seared to the depravity of homosexuality. Can you see that this is a bad thing? Do you believe it is sinful? You appeared to scorn the notion of ‘essentials’ so I am not even sure you believe scripture’s testimony.
How does lesbianism trump idol worship?
Paul states in Romans 1 that it is because of the forsaking of the true and living God and the worshiping of idols (the creature rather than the Creator) that God gives them over to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done, the exchanging of natural relations with unnatural ones. Idolatry is a heinous sin, however homosexuality is one of the poisonous fruits of idolatry. Think of it like a slide on a playground: at the top of the slide of sin is idolatry (where we start) at the bottom is the reprobate mind in which homosexuality lies. It is easier to snatch someone from the top of the slide than from the bottom. I believe that is the point that Mr. Bish was trying to make.
That’s not how homosexual attractions develop, though. I was a Bible-believing Christian going through puberty when my same-sex attractions developed. I think Romans 1 is often misread. An idolatrous individual is not punished with homosexual desires. To say that’s the case would be to blame the Christian children and teenagers who, for one reason or another (abuse, neglect, biological predispositions, etc.), develop homosexual inclinations at puberty.
This does not make homosexual behavior less sinful — any more than the early presence of heterosexual lust excuses heterosexual sin — but I do think it needs to be kept in mind when writing about and engaging with people who are tempted by homosexuality. Too often there’s a Job situation going on: “You must have done something terribly wrong, otherwise God wouldn’t have let you be tempted this way.” And that’s just not the case with most Christians I know who struggle with same-sex attractions.
This isn’t really related to the discussion of same-sex parenting, but I thought it was worth pointing out.
Yes, absolutely I oppose granting adoption to a single person.
My mother was a single parent from the time I was about 10 until now. I am 21 and I turned out just fine, thank you very much.
“we’re hearing a lot of claims about how well children do when they’re reared by homosexual couples. Sad to say, some of those claims are being made to the Supremes—and they are completely false.”
Seriously? I can’t believe a thing Metaxas says after a statement like that — he’s completely biased.
Anyway, I’ll go out on a limb and agree that a child’s biological parents (obviously an opposite-sex pair of people) provide the best parenting scenario, generally speaking, but I wonder how many children go through the foster care system never having an adoptive family. If one of those children were adopted by a gay couple, would they necessarily be worse off?
Lauren asks: “But for each Lopez, how many children of gay parents are they who vigorously defend their upbringing”
Look up Zach Wahls. He’s a young man who has done exactly that.
“If one of those children were adopted by a gay couple, would they necessarily be worse off?”
I have friends who have been partnered for over a decade. While living in Ohio, they became foster parents to several minority children whose financially impoverished mother conceived them with three different fathers (who were no longer around). My friends were generous and kind to these kids. They were able to provide them everything their biological parents were unwilling and/or unable to give them: stability, care, affection and a life of relative affluence. They had no interest in “recruiting” them to anything. Sexuality never came up.
They had to relocate to a state that denies them any adoption rights whatsoever, so they had to say goodbye (at least for the time being … they have stayed in touch).
I’m not sure I understand why this has to be.
When looking for what is ethical in life, it seems that one must deal with reality as it is and make the best of the options actually available. It’s called “nuance”. Religious fanaticism makes this impossible. There is either perfect goodness or perfect holiness: everything that is deemed to fall short must be shunned and rejected as pure evil.
You can’t feel loss for something you’ve never had. What this man feels is the loss of something other people have, and that is something that cannot be legislated. It can only be mitigated by growing up, maturing enough to realize that the Cleaver-style family you thought you wanted never existed in the first place. As we mature, we (most of us, anyway) come to understand the difference between reality and fantasy, the lives we have and the lives we think we might have been able to have if only…(we were beautiful, rich, normal, famous… whatever). That is the grief this man is feeling, but he has misidentified it. Everyone feels grief at the death of their fantasy life. It has nothing to do with the sex/gender of the people who raise you.
I’m trying to think of a single example of kids who were raised by straight parents and had an unhappy childhood. Hmmmm. Nope. Can’t think of a single instance.
Good information. Thanks for the post and the links.
Other commenters have alluded to this – how is this an argument against same-sex civil marriage? This is an argument against same-sex parenting, which is a separate issue. Are we saying gay couples shouldn’t be allowed to adopt?
Not just adopt, given the context of this story, but conceive and bear children.
I can’t help but wonder why when the homosexuals are in the minority does their opinion hold more validity than Dr. Lopez’s when he is in the supposed minority? He speaks with clarity and makes very valid points, yet the only argument against him is based primarily on the assumption that he is an anomaly and in the minority. If majority is how we determine morality, then there really is no reason to legalize homosexual marriage. Popularity and public approval is a horrible way to live life.
You sound just a little bit too eager to justify your own prejudice by claiming this one person’s story is somehow an example of how most or all gay parenting is flawed. I suspect introspection may not be your thing but you might ask yourself why you’re so eager to treat gay folks badly simply because they’re different.
Mr. Metaxas’ testimony isn’t necessarily an argument against same-sex marriage although it can be. It really is an argument for truth in a way that can only be seen in God.
While all “families” can provide children with a roof over their heads and perhaps “love”, it is only a father and mother who can give children a sense of wholeness as a child sees what it means to be a man or a woman, a husband and wife, and a father and mother. There is a way of goodness and that is a family rightly constructed of a father and mother who are brought together by God, who see the truth of the rightness and goodness of making a life together, and, as a natural consequence of their intimacy, have children.
A father and mother under such circumstances make a family, a place in the world that is complete and whole by providing a better kind of morality and the purpose, the kind that opens a window into the holiness and righteousness of God, a view of life as worship of God and service to those whom God has given us to love and cherish, an education and preparation for life, and the right revelation of how goodness and love can be true and permanent by remaining steadfast in their love and support as their children move through life. A home with a mother and father is a rock, an anchor for life and the rightness and goodness of love as revealing the character of God. The children, in turn, can then grow into their own sense of love and goodness, especially as they provide the care and help, grounded in love and goodness, as their parents become vulnerable as they age.
This is what a marriage is about; it is not about how people might feel about themselves, how they then feel toward each other, or what type of commitment they might make to each other. A marriage is not about employee benefits, tax breaks, or other state proffered financial grants; it is about children and what they see and learn and what they are given of goodness.
While it may be true that a child is better off with a same-sex couple than in the care of the state, whether through foster parenting or adoption, it still does not reveal the wholeness and goodness of marriage. Yes, there can be kindness, care, protection, and support – and even love – but it can only reveal what is shown; it cannot reveal the reality of God in the wholeness of the love between a father and mother to that child and it cannot ever be whole in the sense of what only a father and mother can give the child.
Furthermore, and the issue to which I belive Mr. Metaxas is speaking, is what is not being said in the so-called “gay marriage” debate about how same-sex couples acquire children. I use the word “acquire” because they cannot “have” children. While lesbians may conceive, they still need sperm; while homosexual men have sperm, they still need eggs. For lesbian couples this means buying sperm at a so-called “sperm bank” (as if sperm is a simple commodity like a car or bread) or inducing (truthfully or fraudulently) a male to impregnate one of them. For male homosexuals, like Elton John and his “partner”, it means buying an egg and renting a womb.
To create a child with the expressed intent to deprive the child of its mother or father is an act of extreme selfishness and duplicity. It is selfishness because the “parents” think more of themselves and what they wish to be (after all, they cannot conceive”) than of the child. That they may “love” the child is immaterial. It is inherently duplicitous because the “parents”, in their selfishness then wrap their “children” in lie that they have “Two Mommies” or “Two Daddies” and nothing more. This, I believe is what Mr. Metaxas is speaking: the disruption of truth and the withholding of the wholeness and completeness that can only come with a mother and father.
This also holds true for women who decide to have children without marrying. Here I am not speaking of the death of a spouse or the abandonment of family by either father or mother. I am speaking of the willful decision to have a child with the intent to deprive the child of a mother or father.
Shalom is the condition of perfection and goodness that God intended before the Fall. Sin is the culpable disruption of this perfection and goodness. While we all fall short of the glory of God, we should not stop trying. We need not do it alone because we have Jesus. With faith in God through Christ there is a way of catching enough glimpses of the goodness of God and what He wrought in his creation to want it to be the way it ought to be. It is why same-sex marriage, as beneficial and self-pleasing to its participants as it may be, is not the same as a child having a mother and a father bound together for life.
Yes, this is a Biblical argument but it is grounded in truth. That we may not wish to see the truth is an affliction we all share. However, to deny the truth of what is, like denying the truth of how same-sex couples “conceive and have children”, is inexcusable even for those to whom God is a stranger.
“To create a child with the expressed intent to deprive the child of its mother or father is an act of extreme selfishness and duplicity.”
This seems to argue the child would be better off not having been conceived if he or she is going to be raised in a household that lacks either a mother or father. Not sure I agree. That a household with same-sex parents isn’t optimal doesn’t necessarily imply that bringing a child into that household is selfish and/or cruel.
The decision to conceive a child for same-sex couples is intentional and calculated because there is nothing they can do in the ordinary course of their intimacy to get pregnant. Thus, there is no element of chance or marital intimacy whereby a child might be conceived. Consequently, unlike husband and wife, the same-sex couple must undertake a specific course of action in order to conceive a child. That decision (by either impregnation or surrogacy) propels the couple outside of the relationship in order to conceive and is designed only to satisfy the couple’s “need” to have a child and necessarily involves fabricating the illusion that they are, indeed, a “family” when the child is born.
This decision is inherently selfish because it is undertaken with the express intent to deny the child his or her true mother or father in order to satisfy the desire/emotional needs of the parents. Furthermore, the decision is duplicitous because there exists a mother or a father somewhere who is intentionally excluded and is, in fact, denied when the child is presented to his or her parents and to the world as having “Two Mommies” or “Two Daddies”.
Dr. Lopez speaks to the yearning of a child for the wholeness of family, to have a father and mother.
Thus, the issue is not whether a same sex relationship might not be the optimal “family”; the issue is the nature of the willful acts of the couple to acquire a child in denial of the truth of conception and their further actions toward the child in teaching the child that they are the child’s true parents. When a child is told that those to whom the child will love as caretakers are both mommies or both daddies and, in point of fact, only one is the actual parent, the child is told an untruth. To then raise a child in what is, quite simply, a denial of truth is duplicitous.
Say what you want, but I stand on the Word of God not public opinion. The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is sinful. I don’t know how to say it more lovingly than that.
“The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is sinful.”
Yes it does. So far, in these comments, I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone suggest it doesn’t.
What does the Bible say about not following the God of the Bible, Brett Cody? Should Buddhist couples be allowed to adopt despite your belief that they are sinful?
We live in a multi-cultural society, but only some people/cultures get a chance to thrive.
If the Buddhist couple is a homosexual couple, then, no. Homosexuals cannot offer both a father and a mother.
Nothing else mentioned here can compare to James Bradshaw’s incisive comments regarding religious fanaticism and nuance. It really does seem as though some people can’t see anything outside of the conventional nuclear family as being corrupt and debased—unworthy of consideration. It’s all or nothing…good or evil…the stereotypical “black or white”. But in this infinitely complex world, it easily recalls another aphorism: “Never let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” In the desire to mandate the traditional family, I fear Evangelicals are likely to throw the baby out with the bathwater–and the embedded pun there is fully intentional.
Unfortunately I believe that you need to redefine what you consider to be “good.” The adage that you sited “Never let the perfect be the enemy of good,” is a tautological statement. There is only One who is good and He is also perfect and He is One, therefore He cannot be divided and what He says is good (being perfectly good in Himself) must be upheld as the highest and the only good. If a child is raised in a impoverished orphaned state, starving and struggling; from our perspective we say, “oh, that is bad,” but we a child in an affluent home well provided for with loving gay parents as “good”. However, how does God see the situation? Is being well provided for the highest “good” that can achieved for children? I admit and I will not pretend to know the mind of God, but I do know what has been revealed via the Scriptures and suffering and trouble are a promise in this world, this is not a perfect world, and yes, you never throw out the “good” for the sake of the perfect in this infinitely complex world; however you must define good by God’s standard and you must let the good be the enemy of EVIL. If the devil himself could give an orphaned child the world would that child be better off than in an impoverished and abusive foster home?