It’s Not About the Children

June 25, 2012

Commenting on the recent study showing that children raised by homosexuals have worse outcomes in a number of areas, David French comes to the following conclusion:

“There could exist definitive social science that homosexual families produce — on average — worse outcomes for their children than heterosexual families, and the fervor of the gay-marriage advocates would be undimmed. After all (and like no-fault divorce), the case for gay marriage has never been about the welfare of children, but instead, the fulfillment of adults.”

Many gay marriage advocates respond to opponents by questioning why they don’t concentrate their efforts on more pervasive marriage problems like easy divorce, adultery and out-of-wedlock pregnancies. To that I would respond that those phenomena, including the push for gay marriage, stem from the same impulse that is central to the philosophy of the secular left – that is that satisfying one’s sexual desires trumps virtually every other good, including the well-being of children.

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Observations

June 18, 2012

 In the most basic form, all a belief in God requires is a skepticism that either materialism or naturalism is sufficient to explain the existence of reality. Being a Christian requires something more of course but at the foundation, that God exists merely requires one to believe His absence isn’t credible in one way or another.


Fewer People Believe in Evolution

June 15, 2012

One common recent meme articulated by  atheists is the US is becoming more secular while Christianity is fading. There are various polls offered to that effect, and while I don’t disagree that more people are willing identify as atheists, I am not sure that this particularly indicative of the fact Christianity is fading in its influence in the US.

I think better explanation of what is happening is polarization; rather than there being a large middle ground of where people fall on matters of faith, they are being pushed to take sides in what has become a much more contentious discussion about the existence of God and the truth of Christianity. Part of this has to do with the success of more conservative churches and the fading of mainline religious institutions. Part of this has to do with the openness and combativeness of the New Atheists who have no toleration for those they call accommodationists, or those who allow for the notion that religious ideas inhabit a different sphere of thought than science does.

A recent Gallop poll gives some weight to that interpretation. Asking respondents whether they believe human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life but God guided this process, human beings have evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life but God had no part in this process or whether God human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years, the survey found that 6% more people believed in the direct creation of humans than did just two years ago. This would seem to run counter to the notion that the US populace is becoming more ‘secular’ – particularly given the atheist position that God played no part in the development of humans dropped by a point. But the greatest drop was in what I would call the ‘middle’ position, the notion that God guided the development of humans over time. That notion dropped by an amount corresponding to the amount that the full blown creationist position increased. I think this is some indication that the middle ground is evaporating in the wrangling between Bible-believing Christians and the New Atheists.

While I don’t necessarily discount the idea that the U.S. is becoming more secular (the West certainly is to its growing detriment) and I think there are Christian principles that explain why this is so. But the current data suggest something else is going on, and that something else maybe a very refreshing distinction between the Christian and secular position that can’t be compromised away.


God Weighs In On The Same Sex Marriage Debate

June 15, 2012

This is from a recent debate between Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UCI Law School, and John Eastman, dean emeritus of Chapman Law School. Timed in a way that every debater dreams about, God adds a puntuaction mark to John Eastman’s excellent statement defending the legal aspects of traditional marriage protection. The whole clip is worth watching, but if you are impatient, head to the 3:40 mark.


Observations

June 14, 2012

I am certainly not the first person to notice this, but events continually seem to unfold directly opposite the way this administration anticipates. From “Hope and Change’ and “Yes We Can!” to the “Summer of Recovery” and the “Arab Spring” it‘s as if every slogan is an Orwellian catchphrase for its dark opposite.

This is especially troubling given the current slogan is “Forward”.


The Man Who Tore Down A Wall

June 12, 2012

The Parenting Question

June 11, 2012

One of the issues concerning the current gay marriage debate has to do with the parenting that occurs in such relationships. I have often held that the primary value of marriage between a man and woman to a society has to do with the parenting that occurs within such relationships. The state has no interest in sanctioning our romantic relationships – but it does have a significant interest in sanctioning and supporting those relationships in which children are raised. It is in such homes our citizens are created and the nature of the home can determine the future health and wealth and happiness of children.

So it is no surprise that one of the critical factors in the debate has been to consider how well gay couples do as parents. It is already established that children do best with two parents, and that there are many benefits from having a father and mother in the household in a long-term relationship. Gay marriage advocates tend to agree that a plurality of parents is beneficial, but contend that the sex of the parents is irrelevant. In defending such claims they have cited a number of studies that have been done over the years which purport to show that there is no significant difference between children raised in the home of gay parents and those raised of the homes of heterosexual couples. Such studies that are becoming increasingly important as the courts begin to take up these issues.

Now there are two new studies that come to notably different conclusions than previous investigations. In a study by Professor Mark Regnerus using data from the New Family Structures Study (NFSS), one of the largest samples to date of the health and well-being of young Americans there is evidence of numerous differences between the social and emotional well-being of children raised by women in a lesbians relationship, and those who have grown up in a heterosexual family. Most notable were these findings:

According to his findings, children of mothers who have had same-sex relationships were significantly different as young adults on 25 of the 40 (63%) outcome measures, compared with those who spent their entire childhood with both their married, biological parents. For example, they reported significantly lower levels of income, more receipt of public welfare, lower levels of employment, poorer mental and physical health, poorer relationship quality with current partner, and higher levels of smoking and criminality.


A separate but related study by Dr. Loren Marks from Louisiana State University that previously widely cited study from 2005 regarding same-sex parenting fails to provide a sufficient basis to draw conclusions about same-sex parenting. As he puts it:

“The jury is still out on whether being raised by same-sex parents disadvantages children”, explains Marks. “However, the available data on which the APA draws its conclusions, derived primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalized claim either way.”

Like all published scientific studies, these findings will certainly be reviewed, debated, and further studied. What they seem to indicate now is that the data gathered so far on the subject of same-sex parenting don’t warrant the confidence advocates often attribute to them and that there is reasonable doubt about the efficacy of same-sex parenting when compared to the parenting of married heterosexual couples.

The question of course is whether those who are advancing a pro-gay marriage agenda will care about the data when it doesn’t support their position.

*Studies cited below*

How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study. by Mark Regnerus – Social Science Research Volume 41, Issue 4, July 2012, Pages 752–770

“Same-sex parenting and children’s outcomes: A closer examination of the American Psychological Association’s Brief on lesbian and gay parenting” by Dr. Loren Marks  – Social Science Research Volume 41, Issue 4, July 2012, Pages 735–751