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« Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism | Main | There’s No Evidence for the Resurrection (If You Rule Out Evidence for the Resurrection) »

April 07, 2015

Comments

If you substitute for the word same-sex marriage almost anything that is morally wrong, then it sounds ludicrous. If you take away children from drug dealers and don't let them have children, you'll take away stability from the children of drug dealers, for instance. The question is whether or not this is something we should be foisting upon children, not whether or not children will have more stability. There might be other things far more important in a child's life beyond stability.

I found it interesting to look at some studies re same-sex couples and their children. It seems that Mark Regnerus' study of a few years back, really polarized the issue, as up to that time the academic community, especially the APA, had simply been voicing the gay, same-sex marriage politically correct party line in regards to the effects that such unions had on the children involved. Although Regnerus' study doesn't address the core, moral aspect of the issue, it has been a a 'flood gate opener' to the reality of the situation. The following is an interview with Christianity Today which may be a good place to start for those interested in his study and that of others.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/october/mark-regnerus-interview-gay-parenting-study.html?share=Rb%2bYxVxJD2B5Yopt%2b98nalyTh68d5yxz

Just look at the writings of Robert Oscar Lopez (a bisexual college prof raised by his lesbian mother and her partner). He blogs at http://englishmanif.blogspot.com/ the following is a short statement "On Love" from that site

"When confronted with the reality that same-sex parenting has become entangled with human trafficking, the buying and selling of children, exploitation of surrogate mothers, and denial of children's rights, people often respond with these words : "but gay parents love their children." It is important to remember some things about love. Love is subjective and often vague. People have often done terrible things to people whom they love: there have been abusers who loved the people they abused, slavers who loved the people they bought and sold, and others who have lied to those whom they loved, lest they lose their loved ones. Love is a human good, but not a basis on which to measure children's rights. We do not question that gay men and lesbians can be loving parents -- we know they can, because for thousands of years they stayed together with partners of the opposite sex so that their children would have a mother and father. Children's rights depend on things that go far beyond love: respect for the lifelong impact that one's decisions will have on a child as he becomes an adult, honor for the child's other biological parent, and truthfulness in telling the child about her origins."

Lane,

Exactly how did Regnerus identify the same-sex couples in his study?

I ask because the process of identifying the couples effectively defines the term 'same-sex couple' for the study.

RonH

Scientific studies demonstrate that children are better off in families with married, monogamous, heterosexual couples. But let's assume that this isn't true. The argument that specific same-sex "families" would be affected, but nothing else, perhaps reveals the false idea that an ideology that looks favorably on same-sex relationships doesn't affect any other part of society. The fact is that it does. In fact, many same-sex proponents know it does and are specifically using the same-sex issue to negatively affect these other things while claiming that their position only influences same-sex couples. Some have been vocal enough about their true motives.

But let's look at it from a biblical point of view. Marriage exists *in its present form* (since the fall), because sin exists. When there are no social conditions to provide stability in familial relationships, then children grow up in fear, doubt, uncertainty, hatred, and violence. Does this exist when heterosexual, monogamous marriage is upheld in society? Yes, but to a largely mitigated degree. No doubt many people oppose marriage based on what were once the exceptions. However, what were once the exceptions have become the rule since the mores of traditional marriage have been loosened or cut outright. Many people think that the sinful miscarriages of marriage were a result of marriage, when the opposite is true. Destroy marriage and you destroy the restraints for acting out bad relationships. I have no doubt that there are good same-sex relationships. However, this is largely not the case. The same-sex community is fraught with multiple partners, broken and transient relationships, self-gratification, and abuse. That kind of lack of restraint plays out in all other areas of society.

I'll give you an example of this: bullying. On one level, we know that bullying is wrong. We've always had bullies and the bulk of society has been against them. (Of course the LGBTQ... folks think that a few bullies represent all of the traditional marriage crowd, which couldn't be farther from the truth. They've simply been lied to in order to stir up a hateful lack of tolerance for people who they've been told are hatefully intolerant.) Today, if you get on the Internet and read the comments for anything, you will see how many bullies there are deriding others for simply expressing an opinion. They curse, deride, threaten, make unwanted sexual verbal advances, etc. But we can also see how they approve of bullying when it actually happens. Look up the number of videos on YouTube where someone was beaten while others stood around with their phones up hoping to be the one to post the next viral video.

So this is all related because although we have more laws today than ever, society isn't enforcing them very well because the message is that the restraints are off, and you better not get in someone's way or they will take you out.

The problem with this challenge is that the pro-gay crowd wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want to claim they are doing "what comes naturally." But, then they want to have children too. If they are doing what they claim just comes naturally (living a homosexual lifestyle), then having kids would be un-natural for them, seeing as the same gender cannot procreate. They can't have it both ways.

Children are a natural byproduct of a male and female sperm and egg. Therefore, it is only natural for a daddy and a mommy be a male and a female. If one dose not subscribe to a transcendent moral law-giver (God), they have to base their "morals" on naturalistic processes. Since a naturalistic process would never create an embryo from 2 sperm mated together or 2 eggs mated together, then even a naturalistic worldview just shows how incompatible the notion is for homosexuals to have children.

Again, this all goes back to the pro-gay crowd wanting everything. They want their lifestyle, but they also want what a heterosexual lifestyle would give them too--children.


I would actually agree with this challenge. Since the Government allows Same Sex couples to legally adopt children, then I think the "By Nature" argument fails. I think that Same Sex Marriage perhaps could help stabilize those families by promoting monogamy and giving them additional tax and legal benefits.

These so-called marriages do not model the complimentary nature of a union of opposites. The "marriage" of man/man or woman/woman is not helpful for a child because it is confusing in the long run. It is actually harmful to the child who will have to deal with the reproductive aspect of the relationship.

Do not same sex unions have to be able to produce children before they can provide them stability? This horse doesn't have a leg to stand on...and that's just plain horse sense.

This argument is based solidly on the concept of the "tyranny of the child," that is, the promotion of an idea for the presumed sake of children. As a former teacher, I had to cringe at some of the ideas that parents advanced with no more defense that a vague "it's for the good of the children." This plum was used for good reasons, but also for limitations on homework, adjustments to the curriculum (removal of difficult lessons) and quaint destinations for field trips. Too many times we have been swayed by the promise of "if one child's life is saved" by the passing of some law or limitation on some freedom. And in the end children still die in spite of our efforts to offer safe, secure environments without even considering that this world has become a more dangerous place (that and the contemplation on why this is the case).

In the end, the issue remains with the matter of stability, and the point whether a same-sex union offers such. Have we granted a "Murphy Brown" seal of approval on this status, and highlight only the evidence that supports the cause, and ignore the data that disproves it?

Childhood Plasticity:


On whatever topic may arise – not just this topic – we seek, strive, press – it’s difficult – to use caution in our own interior navigations of our own tendencies both towards and away from grace, and, just the same, in our own tendencies both towards and away from truth. On such navigations I’ve proven to be an inept sailor. Fortunately though, He is Himself the Ocean – that is to say – He holds all things. We are, perhaps, not on the side of any Majority/Minority in any ipso facto sense, but rather we are on the side of Grace in all directions – towards all period, and of Truth in all directions – towards all period. Grace and Truth as a Singularity. That is the Narrative Whose Name is The-Real.


A few points of interest on truths, times, and histories. The data on children raised with one parent is relevant in a few ways here. Children raised by the single father are found to be less aware of, and more likely to possess some degree of maladroitness in, many relational contexts where the feminine is concerned. And the reverse is seen in those raised by the single mother. This of course does not amount to simple dysfunction, but rather to degrees of awareness, to degrees of ability to fully interact in and with and by our humanity’s full range of potential, of capacity. Obviously this can be in part overcome by emersion – from day one – with a wider circle of close – daily – contacts (it takes a village, so to speak). However, we don’t seem able to find the equal to the sort of daily intimacy of the home as our own humanity’s fully feminine to fully masculine range weigh in on childhood plasticity.


Many humanists appeal to the brain, to neural-networks, as the sole basis of humanity – despite the intractable philosophical problems such reductionism fails to navigate – and yet they seem to disinvite such (tempting for them to be sure) nuances as these from the table. One would think the reductionist would jump to embrace such observations. The observation that a kind of critical mass is needed in those critical formative years of high plasticity finds our humanity’s range of the fully masculine to the fully feminine in need of a particular some-thing which, as it turns out, actually exists in the real world. Of course, just because “X” for various reasons offers the highest possible chance for a robust emotional intelligence amid the sexes does not mean that good functionality is not obtainable with X-minus-some-thing. We all get by with various levels of discomfort or unawareness, as it were, amid something less than fully healthy interfaces as adults. But being functional has gradations, or layers, or degrees, as it were.


We find here an interesting move on the part of the newly institutionalized majority and its narrative in the denial of such layering in our humanity as it develops. And here we find a close cousin to another interesting observation we see in the narrative of the newly institutionalized majority inching further into its dependence on the marginalization of minority lines of actual lived-lives and/or real observation. By that we mean that just as that newly institutionalized majority’s narrative cannot welcome the small minority of ex-gays to the table on pains of that small minority’s narrative housing a critical and fundamental line of evidence against a core pillar of the majority’s narrative, so too here we are seeing the newly institutionalized majority’s narrative actively ignoring – or disinviting – very real gradations, degrees, and layers of childhood development narratives – and these seem to be means motivated towards the ends that its own narrative may remain not just, say, work-able, but rather, say, highly plausible.


As we unpack this it seems that perhaps these sorts of (inconvenient) minority gradations and layers – and so on – are just that – inconvenient to the majority’s narrative which seems, for unclear reasons, wedded to something which the ex-gay’s minority narrative threatens and also seems wedded, again for unclear reasons, to – when it comes to the development of emotional intelligence amid healthy interfacing with both sexes as adults – something along the lines of this:


Children’s highly plastic emotional intelligence amid the sexes don’t do best when immersed in our humanity’s full range of that which is the robustly feminine to the robustly masculine in the sustained intimacy of the home. That range in that setting just is not a real, living, factor with real, living outcomes”.


These sorts of basic, apparent, and intentional steps are rather interesting when applied to the issue of narrative. When any one narrative becomes dependent, as we see here, on, say, the need to marginalize and/or disenfranchise inconvenient minorities who are themselves lived-lives, or on, say, the need to shape public awareness with select layers or degrees of observation that sum to something less than the full array of all layers observed, or on, say, the necessity to just go ahead and foist what amounts (in essence, as it were) to false-narratives, when any institutionalized majority begins employing those means for the ends of its own narrative remaining highly plausible, well then, as Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. taught us so well, when such narratives begin to succeed by such means they are themselves fated to come down on the wrong side of history – time and truth just do have that peculiar sort of relationship. History is both our teacher and a kind of proof in this arena. Narratives built atop power and deception just cannot endure over time. For a century or two, yes, but eventually the truth of our humanity rises and we’ve seen these principles of Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. play out over and over again on the world stage – for millennia.


Disinviting truths about our humanity from the assembly cannot serve humanity in the long run. No one, none of us, can move forward in autohypnosis and wish-fulfillment and expect to succeed. The newly institutionalized majority cannot commit the crimes of the old majority and expect to survive – for it will, quite obviously then, fail for all the same reasons the old majority failed. Perhaps that is one of the reasons many of us find ourselves embracing the metaphysical paradigm which converges in Christ – simply on the grounds of grace’s embrace of every last one of us – and – simply on the grounds that reality does in fact have a true narrative, perhaps up ahead of us, perhaps within us, or perhaps both – and – simply on the grounds of reason’s categorical imperative to embrace reality’s true narrative – to experience His unquenchable instantiation.


Again, many permutations do get on quite well – as noted earlier – but we are speaking here of identity claims – that A and B are identical ontic-realities. Observational reality seems to be declaring such to be (in at least some vectors of import) a false identity claim. Of course none of these are or need to be legal observations – but rather are nothing more than observations of essence.

It may be helpful to delineate possible lines of overlap:

Confusion and straw man #1:

Where love’s reciprocity is concerned, where the value of all of us is concerned, regardless of who we are, we find two general landing zones for such apparent and weighty truths. It seems that in the particular arena under review childhood plasticity helps reveal a singular spectrum of actualization. That being the robustly feminine housing all that it houses in constant reciprocity with the robustly masculine housing all that it houses. The child’s latent and plastic potential emerges and – then – there is the very present reality of that plasticity itself in constant reciprocity with an intimate, stable, and full range of emotionally intelligent conditions extracting the fullest span of that plasticity’s elaborations. The humanist who reduces all of our humanity to neural-biological networks inside our skulls ought to wonder here at such ranges as they converge with non-materialist observations if he genuinely means to be true to his own definition of that which is our fullest range of humanity – especially as such relates to early plasticity. The reductionist, also, must find a way to compel us towards our own latent distances such that if it is in fact *true* that all his paradigm has to offer us there is a set of irrationally conditioned (over eons) neuro-biological reflexes inside our skulls then there is no such thing (actually) as “final causes” for me or you or us. Martin Luther King Jr. helped us to answer these questions as he showed us how to navigate the question of the Negro’s innate value and innate equality. Is such that which truly is both in and by essence or is such the Noble Lie which Man (at bottom) merely acts as-if were the case in a con compelling biological self-perpetuation to carry forward? MLK well knew that the former is the fact of the matter as his appeals to final causes ultimately discarded any appeal to noble lies. That is to say, Martin Luther King Jr. got it right. Such appeals help us discover that the philosophical naturalist and/or the evolutionary moralist simply need not bother us here fussing about their own paradigm’s final indifference within harsh and pitiless definitions of genomic ends as both Feser and Hume agree with logic – reason finds no categorical imperative at the end of the line tying it to, committing it to, flourishing. They can spare us the absurdity of their as-if ends, as we are interested here instead with what actually is.

Confusion and straw man #2:

Scripture tells us that those guilty of this or that sin or of some sins in particular that they will not be found - finally - in God. There is that. And, also, there is the annoying problem that, say, liars is among that list, and yet I discover that though I lie both to myself, to God, and to others in all sorts of (subtle) ways, daily, and though my eye may here or there gaze at this or that woman for that moment that is just a bit too long (and that *is* adultery per Christ), I discover that I am yet found in God, that I am, even still, found in God - finally. Such is Man in Christ – and we find that such is the state of affairs with whatever slice of our nature the Accuser of Christ's Sacrifice happens to throw at any of us. The Accuser’s thought is (it seems) that a-n-y given slice of our humanity will out-power or out-reach Christ’s All Sufficient Sacrifice and therein the Accuser just fails to account for the whole-show that just is the meta-narrative of the God paradigm – the errors of coerced robotic universalism aside. Philosophical naturalists (PN) make the very same mistake as the Accuser. Why? Because both attempt to define our ends not by “the whole of reality”, as it were but instead by this or that single and isolated ontological slice of me or you or us or of man’s nature. But that is ontologically incoherent for the Naturalist’s own fateful eliminative materialism as Man finds no actual stopping point in himself – as Man there just fails to be the ultimate meaning maker, and, just the same, that is nonsense for the Christian because God outdistances Man in the same way that Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. levied his appeals against the wider, broader paradigm of final causes, those beautiful contours of ceaseless reciprocity within Trinity there in the immutable love of the Necessary Being. Hence the reductionist’s confusion as he seeks to disinvite inconvenient findings of observational reality from the arena. But surely the reductionist must know that Pastor King’s appeal to timeless reciprocity, to such unending self-sacrifice, began and ended amid love’s own unique milieu of emptying and of filling ceaselessly there within his God, within Trinity, as the root of love’s nature justified all his claims – as the root of unending sacrifice finds God Himself pouring Himself out for all of us, His beloved. Surely the reductionist must know by now that these lines, these appeals, these motions have no first and no last as these are the topography of “…..the infinite wellspring of being, consciousness, and bliss that is the source, order, and end of all reality…” – that is, of God, where logic’s relentless demands for lucidity finds Martin Luther King Jr.’s – and reality’s – ultimate meaning maker.

Clarification:


Under "Confusion and straw man #2" there is this:


"......There is that. And, also, there is the annoying problem that, say, liars is among that list, and yet I discover that though I lie both to myself, to God, and to others in all sorts of (subtle) ways, daily......."


By "annoying problem" there we mean such as a descriptive not of God's perfect and complete provisions in Christ, as such is wonderfully true for all of us in our frailties, but, rather, we mean such as an annoying problem for the Accuser of Christ's all sufficiency as he (the Accuser) presents the straw man of this or that sin (finally) banishing someone from His Presence. In Christ I discover that such lists - though applicable to me on a few fronts - simply fail to grant the Accuser's straw man when faced with the rest of Christ's paradigmatic actualities.

I visited a grade school (1st and 2nd grade) in an impoverished area and recall the (all women) teachers essentially pleading with me to return. That felt good until I learned why the request came. The children in that class were, for the most part, fatherless and me, as a male, had, these teachers felt, a certain something their young impressions needed, but were lacking. They didn’t need me to be a rocket scientist. Just a generator of appropriate and consistent male-impressions, as it were. It still “felt good” to be asked to return as often as possible – though for unexpected reasons.

We’re forever seeing hints of this leaking onto the floor in all sorts of places.


Early submersion within an ongoing, stable, and emotionally perceptive environment insightfully exhibiting that which is fully human inside of the robustly feminine milieu amalgamated with the robustly masculine milieu seems to provide the necessary stimuli and interfaces sufficient to elicit the child’s embryonic intuitiveness. Mechanistically speaking, such caring reciprocity recurrently interfacing amid those distinct milieus are then levied atop the child’s highly plastic potential and that, as it relates to the child’s future capacity for authentic adult interfacing amid the sexes, houses our most credible or balanced consistency.


It seems that we have two approaches which allow us to arrive at that location – that of final causes (God paradigm) and that of the latent potentiality of an already-present and deeply embedded neuro-biological network (reductionist, no-god paradigm) as the “end of the line”, as it were. It is not at all obvious that either approach finds us with a different answer. In fact, in both we find an uncanny degree of convergence. The reductionist (no-God paradigm) who appeals to neurobiology as the end of line where our humanity’s employable substrate is concerned finds (it seems) all the evidence of his stimuli-outcome trajectories converging in all the same locations as those trajectories predicted by final causes (God paradigm).

That plasticity and its potential just “is what it is”, so to speak, and by that we mean the very simple statement that no amount of semantics can change “that stuff” there in our skulls (if the reductionist’s no-god paradigm) or there in Mankind’s final causes (if final causes / God paradigm). The spectrum in question translates to the breadth of the genuinely relational – to the scope of reciprocity’s milieu. That then finds a certain potential, an underlying capacity. That then finds a certain range of stimuli and exposures which obtain that potential’s elucidation within the intimacy of empathy’s fully felt gamut comprised of the robustly feminine milieu in reciprocity with the robustly masculine milieu in a caring, stable, psychologically aware environment. Such “means” applied to childhood plasticity extract and actualize latent capacity to degrees or to distances which various other combinations and/or permutations do not (…..as consistently….) seem to reach. It is an interesting observation that given *either* final causes (God paradigm) *or* neural-biological networks (no-god reductionist’s paradigm) as the end of the line, we seem to find convergence. That is pragmatically predicted given the latitude spanning our humanity’s entire spectrum in its fully-felt range of enterprises. That extent or girth levied atop early childhood plasticity reveals in part the certain “some-thing” which not only attains the necessary reach, which not only exists, but which in essence exists free of charge. Not free of cost in the full sense of the word, mind you, as love’s fullness is, of course, costly on all fronts, particularly to our own ‘Self’, though that is a different spectrum than the one currently under review.


As already noted, none of this is to say that other combinations and other permutations don't get by, often quite well – they do – but we are speaking here of that particular something which we can call the fullness of our innate range of what just is our humanity's capacity as it relates to childhood's early plasticity and of extricating a broad relational insightfulness amid adult interfaces. The robustly feminine / masculine milieus seem to offer a degree of reach of perceptible import. Caring reciprocity amid distinct milieus seems unavoidable where fullness is sought. The reductionist need not worry that the semantics here unavoidably find us within the geography of “Trinity” – from the ground up, as it were, as that is not the point. Not entirely, that is.


All of this is revealing – again – where narratives are concerned as the newly institutionalized majority of late seems to be (on some fronts here) establishing its narrative by repeating the same unthinking and shortsighted crimes which the old defunct majority use to employ – that is to say – by disinviting the truths of our unending value – by disinviting the truths of our humanity – by disinviting the truths of our potential – from the arena. Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. taught us well as his own higher and fuller and more human means outreached the reductionist’s own lesser, baser, darker means in these trajectories. That is to say, again, that Pastor King got it right. He didn’t aim at the illogical as-if, but instead embraced our humanity and aimed at the coherent is of Man’s essence. It seems evident that childhood plasticity as it pertains to the robust emotional intelligence amid the sexes posits submersion in the stable, ongoing, caring, emotionally aware environment of reciprocity’s feminine-masculine amalgamation of distinct milieus as that which houses a more balanced degree of feasibility. However, the newest institutionalized majority of late now seems to border on repeating the same errors of the old system which MLK helped to de-throne, the old majority. That is to say that the newly institutionalized majority repeats their mistake and waves a hand at an entire slice of reality and disinvites such data from the table merely because such data presents a narrative which is itself inconvenient to that newest system’s own narrative.


Is “Environment A” just as adept as “Environment B” regarding the child’s early plasticity as such relates to the breadth of the spectrum in question? Many permutations or combinations do get on quite well – as noted earlier, and, also, thankfully there are always many exceptions scattered about the bell curve – but we are speaking here of identity claims – that A and B are identical ontological realities which therefore both have and offer identical reach. Observational reality seems to be declaring on at least a few fronts that such may (perhaps) be a false identity claim. None of these are intended as nor ever need be “legal observations” for all I care – as my goals here are found in a far more expansive foci. Given that such is the case, on point of fact, then, these are instead casual observations of essence.

We find here a necessary embrace of homo-sexual human beings with whom we disagree just as we find here a necessary embrace of hetero-sexual human beings with whom we disagree and such is housed – in both directions – each in their peculiar and indissoluble preciousness. For the Christian anything less just won’t do. Further, and just as importantly, we find this necessity to be paradigmatic else all the pains of circularity fatally ensue – that is, we find this necessity to be in and by Christ – in and by God as the ultimate meaning maker – (we can leave the reductionist’s incoherent noble lies behind) – neither side with the moral clout to banish anyone from God on grounds of mere appetite alone or on grounds of a-n-y “X” alone – as that peculiar value of all of us is – in and by Christ – relentlessly making demands on all things human. This is where all of those inane and shortsighted errors of the old defunct majority (which MLK helped de-throne) in its rejection of fundamental slices of our very humanity are – now – sadly and unfortunately being employed by the newly institutionalized majority. And that peculiar turn of events presents all of us with a prolific substrate for insight, understanding, compassion, revelation, logical lucidity, and that enigmatic interconnectedness of truth with grace.


On whatever topic may arise we press – it’s difficult – to use caution in our own interior navigations of our own tendencies both towards and away from grace, and, just the same, in our own tendencies both towards and away from truth. We cannot offend grace towards our own selves and towards one another and think our narrative will – ultimately – flourish. We cannot offend truth towards our own selves and towards one another and think our narrative will – ultimately – flourish. Such shortsightedness has been found wanting upon the world stage – over and over again. History seems to reveal our final causes surfacing – bit by bit – inside of the stuff of time and physicality – inside the stuff of directionality – ever spying somewhere within us – ever spying somewhere up ahead of us – His unquenchable instantiation. On such navigations amid grace and truth I’ve proven to be an inept sailor. Fortunately though, He holds all things. We are, it seems, not on the side of any Will-To-Power in any ipso facto sense, nor are we on the side of any Temporal Brand per se, but rather we are on the side of Grace in all directions – towards all – full stop – and – in the same sense – we are on the side of Truth in all directions – towards all – full stop. Grace and Truth as an *actual* singularity. That is the Narrative Whose Name is The-Real as we find all such lines seamlessly converging in Christ.


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