All It Takes Is One?

Anyone apart of the Facebook world has likely seen a video of Zach Wahls petitioning the Iowa State House of Representatives opposing the proposed ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions.  Wahls describes a storybook rendering of his childhood as he recounts being raised by a lesbian couple.  Wahls tells how his family is no different from any other.  He scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT, he is an Eagle Scout, and owns and operates his own small business.  The two women who raised him have apparently done him well.


Wahls’ testimony is quite moving, and many people will find it a compelling reason to legalize same-sex marriage.  However successful Wahls is, he is but one story, the exception and not the rule.  This is not to say that ordinarily children of same-sex relationships are utter failures.  But the research has consistently — and persistently — shown that children are socially and emotionally better off in opposite-sex parented environments (Note this peer-reviewed article from the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy illustrating the perils of legalizing same-sex marriage).

But more to my point, one — or a few — success stories does not justify an overhaul of marriage.  After all, if only we had to produce a counter-example, then the issue would be settled.  For example,

(WTNH) — A couple who adopted several young boys through the Department of Children and Families is now charged with sexually assaulting at least two of them. The two fathers appeared in court and the judge issued each eight protective orders keeping them away from their adopted sons. Douglas Wirth and his partner George Harasz are charged with sexually abusing two of their nine adopted children.

Of course, Wirth and Harasz do not appear to be representative of the homosexual “married” community who adopts children, but counter-examples do exist to Wahls’ same-sex parents’ success.  I don’t find this anecdote to be at all persuasive for their goal.  Wahls is a moving speaker, he has a heart-tugging message, but he does little to add to the discussion by way of argumentation.  Policies surrounding issues so fundamental to society as marriage ought not be reconstituted based on the equivalent of “I know a guy…”.

Comments

  1. I’ve always thought, one of the reasons homosexual couples wanted to adopt children is so they could have a a child to molest. There is no moral center for these people. Without a Christ centered life, I don’t put anything past them.

    • I don’t know if I’d go that far. That wasn’t the point I was making.

    • About a quarter to a third of child molestation victims are boys, and 90-95% of perpetrators are men, which means 25-30% of child molesters are homosexual even though they represent only 2% of the population.

      So a quarter to a third of molesters are homosexuals, but that doesn’t mean that a quarter to a third of homosexuals are molesters. There is a difference.

  2. Marshall Art says:

    This really is just another version of the angle that insists if we just knew a homosexual, then we’d not be against them. The problem is that I have indeed known a few, one was a relation who died of AIDS, and had no issues with any of them apart from their “orientation”. That is to say, they were nice people that I liked personally, but didn’t find their behaviors any more justifiable because of how much I liked them. Indeed, I felt more sadness for their sinfulness and more concerned about their salvation (not to mention health) than because I knew them. The same goes for a couple of friends I knew who sold drugs, and some people I know who struggle with alcohol.

  3. Why not just prosecute criminal behavior towards children, rather than presuppose that those who think outside the norm in an unrelated matter; i.e., their sexual orientation, are likely to commit such crimes? It seems to me that the government should have the burden of proof that a certain subgroup is a danger to society rather than discriminate on the basis of supposition rooted in prejudice.

    • Max

      I think you might be missing my point. My citation of the gay couple molesting their adopted children was only to say that there are counter examples to “successful” same-sex families. Wahls was testifying as though his case was the rule rather than the exception. Again, nearly every study to date on the issue shows children are better socially and emotionally adjusted when raised by an opposite-sex couple.

  4. How do you tell a homosexual man from a heterosexual man? By the type of sexual behavior he chooses to engage in. Homosexuality is not about who someone is, but about how someone behaves. If a male is defined as a “homosexual” because of the type of sex he enjoys, then every male on male molestation is done by a “homosexual.”

  5. If these studies (uncited) provide overwhelming evidence that children are endangered by being raised by same-sex couples then the government may have a case in institutionalizing discrimination against this as a practice sanctioned by marriage. My point is that the burden of proof is on the side that intends to legislate a discriminatory position, not on the side that just wants the same rights as everyone else.

  6. My comment in no way implied that you used the word endangered. I’m stating my belief that there would have to be evidence of this to justify institutionalized discrimination against those with different sexual orientation than the majority.

    I read a little of your chosen citation, and Dr. Hansen provides no such evidence. She also appears just a tad one-sided. A little snippet:

    The accumulated wisdom of over 5,000 years has concluded that the ideal marital and parental configuration is composed of one man and one woman. Arrogantly disregarding such time-tested wisdom, and using children as guinea pigs in a radical experiment, is risky at best, and cataclysmic at worst.

    A little while back a guy named Galileo had a little problem with the multi-millenia time-tested wisdom that the Sun revolved around the Earth. His views weren’t “ideal” and he wound up in a spot of trouble. Dr. Hansen’s second sentence seems to sum up to “I’m afraid of what I don’t understand. Please make it go away!”.

  7. Marshall Art says:

    Max,

    I believe that your expectation for evidence of child endangerment places the focus in the wrong place. Your expectation is a defense of adults, where the alternative is focused only on the children, where it should be. The ideal for children is to be brought up by their biological parents, with the next best possibility a home with a mother and father figure (adopted, remarried widow, etc.). I don’t know that anyone could reasonably dispute this as being true. Thus, to allow that children be adopted by homosexual partners, or to use surrogates and sperm banks to procreate a child of their own (to the extent that is possible), is to purposely place a child in an environment that has the least possible chance for successfully raising the child. The question becomes, what level of endangerment is worth the risk to the child? Should it be enough for our society to say that the kid will probably be OK? Is that really putting the needs of the kid first? Is that really showing compassion for the child? I’d say no. I’d say it is putting the desires of the adults ahead of the child regardless of the potential that perhaps the child might not suffer adverse effects.

    As to evidence, I would suggest two places listed on John’s blog roll, “Ruth Institute” and “Wintery Knight”, both of which have good posts, links and sources of info that should satisfy your interest in what has been found to be the case with children in such circumstances. Some hunting is required, but not too much.

  8. The ideal for children is to be brought up by their biological parents, with the next best possibility a home with a mother and father figure (adopted, remarried widow, etc.).

    Please provide some evidence for this assertion. My gut feeling is that the ideal home for the child is one with responsible and loving parents. Sexual orientation shouldn’t enter into it in the slightest. There are an awful lot of terrible biological parents out there, many of whom didn’t even want to have children or give much thought to the responsibilities involved. The average gay or lesbian couple does not choose to raise a child on a whim, and certainly doesn’t blunder into it by accident.

    Children are endangered by bad parents. I’m not aware of any real evidence that homosexuals on average are bad parents. If you know of any please provide the links. Again, I’m not saying there aren’t exceptions. I just don’t believe there is a clear record of homosexual parents being on average worse than straight couples or single parents, and without such evidence, laws prohibiting homosexual parenting is rooted in simple prejudice.

    • Allowing homosexuals to adopt children is child abuse.

      • I don’t know that I’d call homosexuals adopting children child abuse just by virtue of their homosexuality. I think they truly want children and to care for them as best they can.

        However, they will inevitably end up with an anti-biblical worldview, which is dangerous in the eternal sense.

  9. Allowing homosexuals to adopt children is child abuse.

    Because fear of gays is good enough. No evidence required.

  10. However, they will inevitably end up with an anti-biblical worldview, which is dangerous in the eternal sense.

    Which is my point. Homosexuals will influence (if not teach) children a warped world view where perversion is normal and normal is considered bigoted. Teaching and/or influencing children that homosexuality is natural and normal will inevitably encourage perversion, thus, it is child abuse.

    • But Mark, when you don’t clarify, it is easy to see why nonChristians will view Christians as hateful. You can’t use “insider” concepts with unbelievers, all it does is fuel a fire with nonbelievers unnecessarily. Sure they might not distinguish anyway, but the way you stated it, they are justified in their misunderstanding.

  11. My feeling is that the core of a Christian world view – as Jesus taught it – is very close, if not identical to that of many other world religions, and it has nothing to do with homosexuality. It’s about love and compassion for others who are suffering. Once one becomes familiar with the biases and erratic impulses of one’s own mind, the heart naturally opens to feel profound empathy for others. I think it’s very likely that this is exactly what happened with Jesus and the Buddha, for instance. I don’t know enough about Islam to guess about Mohammed’s motivations, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find there were strong commonalities in the core message all were trying to convey.

    • Max

      Christianity is not about love, it is about forgiveness and redemption from a Holy God. Jesus did teach to “love your neighbor” but that is not what Christianity is about. Regardless what some religions have in common, it is not their commonalities that matter most, it is their differences (See: Do Differences Matter?).

  12. Teaching and/or influencing children that homosexuality is natural and normal will inevitably encourage perversion, thus, it is child abuse.

    mark, do you have kids? If so, do they always end up agreeing with your persuasions of what is natural and normal and share perfectly your views on what is perverse? If so, you are a very rare parent indeed. This is where we’re likely to be stuck in intractable disagreement, because I believe that sexual orientation is not taught, but is experienced from within. A child of gay parents is more likely to have an open attitude towards those with different orientations, but is no more likely to be gay themselves. An awful lot of very straight parents have found out to their dismay that a child doesn’t share their sexual orientation and there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it, except perhaps learn to accept it.

  13. I read your post at the link and remain convinced that the spiritual core of most religions is open-hearted empathy for others resulting from knowledge of one’s internal mental processes attained through habitual virtuous conduct. See Aldous Huxley’s “The Perennial Philosophy” for more on this. Specific doctrinal differences are largely cultural overlays on this core. My feeling is that these overlays tend to work against the flow of the universal advantages of the core spiritual outlook by dividing people into groups fixated upon their cultural biases. This is where all the great negatives of religion; wars, terrorism, intolerance, etc., come from. So, to answer the question of whether differences matter I would claim that they matter quite a bit in that they generate extreme and needless suffering that runs counter to the core benefits of spirituality.

  14. I will tell you why Homosexuality is NOT a sin and why they should get married. Christians believe that Christ is God and God is Love so if God is love then how come homosexuals have the capacity to Love. I am Homosexual and I love everyone and everything. I have felt the Universe’s Love (God). So if I am wrong why then does it feel right? I have been homosexual my entire life, ever since a child, I believe that if Christians were not ignorant towards homosexuality, I would have come into as naturally as a straight person would come into his/her sexuality. You said: “However successful Wahls is, he is but one story, the exception and not the rule.” Let me tell you something if that is true, then Jesus was the last true Christian, because none of what I am reading here is anything that relates to Christ. Christ came here with a message of Love and you people have turned that into Justifying the discrimination and hate to a fellow brother and sister. How dare you! Jesus said, “Love thy Neighbor” and that meant EVERYONE. You cannot teach homosexuality any more than you can teach someone to straight. Were you taught to be straight? I don’t think so. The ONLY reason you think its wrong is because you were raised with that belief not because its wrong. In the eye’s of God, there are no differences, we are all human and we all deserve the love of God. Even blasphemous Christians. Also Gay’s should get married, wanna know why? Because NOT everyone in this world is Christian and you CANNOT impose your false religious law on people who do not believe in your idea of a God. It is not right and goes against free will and morality. Its not moral. We all deserve the SAME respect as the next person, for we live on this Earth together as One Race. God is here, watching and God is very disappointed in humanity. People have turned Love into Hate! BLASPHEMOUS!

    -I AM

    • I will address these comments in a new post. So I will be brief.

      You make claims for the bible which it does not make for itself. For example, when you say the Bible is not a rule book, I think it would be hard for anyone who has read it to not come away with the impression that its got a lotta rules which are quite explicitly stated MUST be followed. Second, you create a false dichotomy when you only reference Love as a quality of God, as though there is nothing else to Him, and using what seems to be your definition of love, would not be very loving.

      Jesus said a lot more than love your neighbor. And Paul defines love for us in Corinthians. If all you got out of Jesus’ teachings was ‘love’, then either He was a poor communicator, or you are ignoring a lot from the New Testament.

  15. Which is my point. Homosexuals will influence (if not teach) children a warped world view where perversion is normal and normal is considered bigoted. Teaching and/or influencing children that homosexuality is natural and normal will inevitably encourage perversion, thus, it is child abuse.

    ^—–This goes for religion as well, because no one nowadays is taught the True Doctrine of Christianity, which is Love. If we taught our children to Love each other and accept each other’s differences as a part of who we are, and that we all deserve peace and happiness no matter who you are, our world would not be int he state it is in. John you stated: “Christianity is not about love, it is about forgiveness and redemption from a Holy God.” This is not true. Forgiveness and redemption are acts of Love. The very heart of Christianity is that of Love. If you knew the history behind your religion you would see that. John you also said: “However, they will inevitably end up with an anti-biblical worldview, which is dangerous in the eternal sense.” Who said that this was dangerous? Not everyone is Christian and not everyone should be Christian, The Bible is meant to be a guidebook for life, not a rule book. The bible is not made for control but for reference and to fill our children’s heads with a bunch of non-sense about Judgement, Condemnation and Sin, if you haven’t noticed does more harm than good because people grow up to be single-minded and ignorant to those who clash with those notions of morality. God does not Judge, we judge ourselves. God loves all. As Jesus stated in the Gnostic Gospel of Mary Magdalene: “Sin is but a creation of a sickly imagination.” It is Man who creates sin, not God. We are all created in the image of One God and that everything we see, touch, feel, hear, taste, and experience is in fact a reflection of God. And Mark: Homosexuality is found all over nature here are a few sites:


    http://www.adherents.com/misc/paradoxEvolution.html

  16. I have read the bible and their are plenty of things in that BOOK that I find immoral and ignorant. One can assume that majority of the moral law in the bible is another man’s opinion as to how one should live life. It would be unreasonable of God to assume that ALL men can and will follow this moral law. 2000 years have passed since the death of Jesus and times have changed. As time’s change, so does the word of God. God grows with humanity and humanity grows with God. Jesus broke all of the “rules” of his time, rules that were once considered the Law of God, so this would make Jesus a “sinner.” However, the only TRUE sin is harming another living being, whether it be physical, emotional or psychological. In reality, there is no such thing as Good or Evil. Good and Evil are human notions, not notions of God. 1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. If Jesus was truly God incarnate (which I believe we are ALL God incarnate) then Jesus acted on Love and nothing else. Jesus did say a lot of things, none of them involving the condemnation of homosexuals. 1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. If God is Love as it states in John, and if Love keeps no records of wrongs as it states in Corinthians then the only logical conclusion is that Love does not Judge, for if Love judges then there must be a record of wrongs. Also, there is A LOT of things that Paul states that are simply not true, especially his views on Women (which is another blog). I am in the process of creating the beginning of the New Age Testament and there are a lot of things in the New Testament that I am here to get rid of and completely abolish. If you think Jesus would approve of the discrimination of another human being based on sexual orientation then you don’t know Jesus very well.

    Also I apologize for posting identical comments….I didn’t realize I could log in using Facebook. Won’t happen again.

    • Where are you getting these theological ideas from? Did you read it from somewhere or have you developed them yourself? I’d like to know before proceding since I can tell by your beliefs it will be very difficult to communicate with you.

  17. Re. the video — Arguing by anecdote is a lousy way to decide on public policy that impacts whether 5 yr. olds are taught about how “normal” LGBTQ “orientations” are and whether we are going to be able to keep our religious freedomds.

    @ Kween — I would echo John’s question. You make a lot of seemingly authoritative statements about God and the Bible but it is not clear what grounds your views.

    Sample:

    “If you think Jesus would approve of the discrimination of another human being based on sexual orientation then you don’t know Jesus very well.”

    I am very well acquainted with Jesus. He agrees with everything in the Bible (not a surprise, considering He is divine and the Bible is divinely inspired) and the Bible couldn’t be more clear: God’s ideal for marriage and parenting is one man and one woman. He wasn’t soft on sin, either.

  18. Let’s say my theological ideas are divinely inspired through meditation and being one with the infinite. How are you trying to communicate with me? If your trying to sway my perception of orthodox religion and what I have come to know as truth then I would say you need to give me something a little more positive, I am open to evolving my thought. I am firmly rooted though in the belief that all ideas should be open and welcome. Humanity is on the brink of evolution and by that I mean an evolution in thought. I understand that God’s view has been a bit harsh, however, God’s view and God’s word is subjected to change with the current times. 2000 years ago, those words would have held true. However, times have changed since then. Homosexuals are here and they are not going anywhere. The words written that God’s ideal for marriage and parenting is one man and one woman, that has changed, considering God now recognizes the Love that all human beings are capable of. What grounds my view on God and the bible is a direct connection with the source of divinity. Just as the Law of God changed from the days of Abraham to the Crucifixion, the Law of God is now changing from the Crucifixion to modern times. It is clear though that change is not possible without resistance from those who are stuck in the same mindset. The way we think and perceive ALL humans, must change if the Kingdom of Heaven is to ever reach Earth. Jesus loved the sinners just as much as he loved the saints. For every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. Sin and Repentance are no longer valid. As humans, we make mistakes that become a part of our growth. There is no need to Repent for our sins, we must forgive ourselves and each other.

    • How can you be sure your experience is an authentic one with ‘the Divine’?

      And when you say I can keep my religious beliefs as long as… don’t you see you are restricting and judging me, the very thing you are condemning. You are basically saying I am free to believe as I wish as long as it conforms to what you believe. Pretty hypocritical and self contradictory.

  19. Also you can keep your religious freedoms so long as you don’t use your religion as a basis to judge and discriminate another human being. Believe in what resonates with your soul, but you do not have permission to use that belief to justify ignorance to a fellow brother and sister. Whether they are Black, White, Gay, Straight, Muslim, Buddhist it does not matter. We are all in this world trying to figure out who we are and it is clear that we are all different, and we cannot all believe in the same idea, but we must all be treated as a dignified human being. There is no guide to parenting but I do know that I will raise my child with Love and Compassion for all living beings, that there is no separation between God and Humanity. We are here to Love and Love knows no separation. 5 year old should be taught that the homosexual community is no different than everyone else. We are all Gods children.

  20. “Let’s say my theological ideas are divinely inspired through meditation and being one with the infinite.”

    The Bible was inspired by God. We have many good reasons to believe that the original writings turned out exactly as God and the human authors intended and that it has been faithfully transmitted to us.

    Your claim is that what you have typed is superior to the Bible, because your words are “truly” divinely inspired in you are equipped to sit in judgment of scripture.

    I stopped reading after that. Just another person who has made himself god, only in a more bold way. I hope you study the Bible from beginning to end and reconsider who God really is. Your fantasy world will vanish in an instant when you die.

  21. How was anyone sure who wrote the bible was an authentic experience…by faith I correct?

    Jesus judged the bible (The Old Testament) and he broke the laws he saw unfit which led to his crucifixion. Listen, what you do in your home is your business. If you don’t like gay people, don’t associate with them, but you should to respect them just as you would respect yourself and every right you have, they have. Your missing the point, God does not know separation between people, people have separated themselves from each other. Not everyone is Christian and it is not God-ordained to force people into that belief. It doesn’t work for everyone. Also, your bible has been altered throughout the course of history, starting with Constantine when he decided to use the bible to gain power through conformity. He went on a massive genocide mission…not very christian and against everything God is. We will never see eye to eye when it comes to what God is and your morals are not my morals. Humans are faulty. There is no reason to believe that the bible is meant to be a way of conformity or a strict rule book. It may have been inspired by God but it was interpreted by men, men who have egos and a thirst for power. I in no way said that my word is superior to the Bible, for superior and inferior do not exist, All is One and One is All. I am just adding to the text that is already established. I am giving a new word to fit the New Age that approaches us. I am equipped to sit in judgment of scripture because I CREATED IT! No body makes himself a God we are created with the Divinity of God! Its inside each one of us and we all have the potential to be God-Like. As humans we have the power to create the world we live in as the Creative Flow of Life creates the Universe we live in. God lives through Humanity. The I AM that I AM presence dwells within the heart of every man and every woman. I AM the Incarnation of Love. I encourage everyone to experience the divine nature of God, Allah, The Divine Mother, The Universe, Christ, whatever you want to call it, its all the same thing. Love lives.

    • You are so far off, both on historical fact and biblical literacy that it will be impossible to have a reasoned discussion.

      Thank you for your thoughts and opinions and hope to interact on other posts.

  22. “I hope you study the Bible from beginning to end and reconsider who God really is. Your fantasy world will vanish in an instant when you die.”

    I know what God really is and S/he is nothing like what humanity has made it out to be. It’s a shame that no one truly knows what S/he is. To know God is more than just studying a bunch of words. Its about actually obtaining a direct connection with All that Is and opening yourself in a way that God can Live through you. That is the point of everything! Its why you even have a bible! The bible is like a road map to enlightenment and becoming one with God and Jesus showed humanity how to become ONE WITH GOD! How can you miss that???? I don’t understand. THAT IS HEAVEN! *sigh*

    You think this world is real…this world is filled with illusion and fantasy, you must find a way to live in the illusion which seems oh so real. When you experience what I have experienced you will come to understand the words I speak. I humbly suggest to open your mind and your heart to other beliefs. Knowledge is looking at the cube from one side, wisdom is seeing ALL sides of the cube. Meditate. Let yourself grow within…..we are not done learning.

  23. And I promise you the minute you let God live through you, your entire perspective on everything will change in an instant because you will want to do is Love. You will no longer see evil…but the beauty in all life.

  24. So was Jesus when he came…The only people who believed in him were his family and friends….and the people he could convince through his “miracles.” Its safe to say that if Jesus was to make himself known nowadays No one would believe him, but Christians would dismiss every word he speaks. Christians are the new Jews. However, this world has grown in population, there is no way to preach a new word in this day and age, so its every man for himself unfortunately. Not even God can save humanity from itself, he died trying. Your salvation is your responsibility. As much as God loves you, S/he won’t be coming back to save you. God learned that lesson the hard way. People don’t see nor understand anything. Its conversations like this and the unwillingness to learn a new way that gives God reason to believe that there is no hope for humanity and its destructive way of life. Humanity kills the Earth and each other.

  25. Biblical Literacy?

    There is nothing literal in the bible. It’s a metaphorical story and will end up nothing more than a myth in the very near future. The stories of the Greeks were very influential for that Age. People believed in numerous Gods and to say anything against that was met by death. Socrates was put to death for claiming there are not multiple gods and we should rely on our reason and intellect. Of course, the way people perceived God had to have changed and with that change the Greek Gods were lost to One and Greek Gods became a mere myth in modern times. Christianity will have the same fate. What’s interesting to me though is that the Stories of the Bible will Live forever. Hopefully though humanity will get out of the past and start living in the present.

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