I recently wrote a response to this letter printed in The Courier. They rang me around an hour later to get permission to print it with my name attached, I agreed, and with any luck it will be in Mondays edition of our local newspaper.Below is a copy of what i wrote, but I would also like to point out today one of the replies i found on the Courier's website from one of the regular contributors as i think it is well worth a read to try and understand the psyche of some of those on the opposing team.
But first, my response letter.
“Won’t somebody please think of the children!”
I write in response to Brendan Keogh’s letter ‘Same-sex relationships damaging for children’, in which the author outlines reasons why gays should not be allowed to marry, or adopt.
To quote Mr Keogh, he believes that ‘Marriage is a legal and social institution with a biological foundation, which helps to bind a male to his mate for stability and for the children they might have’.
Note the sterile descriptions about how marriage is about ‘binding’ a male to his mate, note the specific gender mentioned, and note the complete absence of love, emotions, or commitment; things which I believe are much more vital to a healthy marriage and family life than mere biological compatibility.
The author claims that evidence supporting the view that same-sex parents can successfully raise healthy children is ‘shallow and biased’, yet offers no corollary evidence to support their claim that same-sex couples raising a child is ‘unnatural and damaging to them [the child]’. There are assertions yes; but no evidence.
According to the author, the role of a mother in raising a child is ‘the emotional security of the bonding touch and feeding’, whereas a father is required to ‘firmly model’ the child into adulthood. Such clear cut gender roles are not an intrinsic part of being a parent. There is no reason why a father cannot offer emotional security, and bond with their child during feeding. Nor is there anything stopping a mother from helping guide their child into adulthood. Asserting such roles is simply a throwback to the days when mothers stayed home to clean the house while men went off to bring home the bacon.
Any argument about a child being robbed of their biological identity falls flat when you look at the multitude of families out there that raise adopted children, or are comprised of single parents, and are able to produce perfectly well-adjusted individuals.
The author’s clear aversion to same sex relationships in general is evident in the language they use, calling their mutual love an ‘unnatural satisfaction’.
This appeal to natural law however is no more than a veiled appeal to religious values. If we are to accept natural law as a governing factor in who can raise children, then sterile couples would be banned from adoption. Yet point out that homosexual coupling is prevalent throughout the natural world, and suddenly natural law is relegated to the sidelines.
Again we see the opponents of homosexual marriage and adoption sinking further into malaise as they try and justify their outdated views. No longer willing to attack the unions directly, they now seek to reduce the argument to sterile biological terms, and relegate marriage to an institution solely derived for the act of procreation and child rearing.
Never is love mentioned in this argument. Not the love that parents feel for their children, which is a necessity to raising a child, nor the love between two people who are committed to entering into a marriage together.
Opponents of same sex couples can no longer sway public opinion by simply pointing out how offended their sensibilities are by the existence of such people, so now they are reduced to echoing Maude Flanders perennial cry of “Won’t somebody please think of the children!” in the hope that appealing to peoples innate sense of responsibility toward children will blind them to the obvious flaws in their arguments.
To grow up as a healthy and well-adjusted person you don’t need a male and female to raise you; you need parents who love you.
I'm pretty happy with that response. And responding seems to be the main way that i ever get the motivation to send anything into The Courier, which is guess isn't a bad thing.
But then last night i was checking the comments on this article, which were assuring in their general disagreement with the authors thesis, until i stumbled upon this reply:
Thanks Brendan, well said. It's very sad that so many confuse love with lust. Looking at same-sex relationships today , some think it's keeping up with the times. If they went into history, they would know that it's all been done before. The best thing to do, is to live morally with Love. If you truly love your children, you will give them a Mum & Dad that are married.
People like to rubbish the Churches of any denomination if they can't get what they want out of it. Why is it that Christians always get the blame for all bad? True Christians are devastated, seeing how obscene some have become. They are not judging you, but are sad for such behaviour. The children raised by same-sexes, may not be bad, but they don't know how to live morally, they only know self-gratification, and their minds are tainted with this. Real Happiness, is doing it Right!
It is cliche Christian fundamentalist claptrap, from the bad grammar, to the randomly capitalised initials, and from the hypocritical theme (we aren't judging you; but here are my judgements of your behaviour...), to the smug sense of moral authority. But the one line that really sent my blood boiling was this one:
The children raised by same-sexes, may not be bad, but they don't know how to live morally, they only know self-gratification, and their minds are tainted with this.
Really? People can say this in today's day and age, and not feel as if they are on the wrong side of not only history, but also decency?
One of the best parts of being an atheist and confronting these people (albeit online and in no direct way) is that i don't mind pointing out that i am judging them. I judge her words as phenomenally offensive. I judge her to be an insensitive person, for suggesting that homosexual people don't know love from lust, or that they are only choosing a lifestyle for the sake of 'keeping up with the times'.
Rest assured, I dont think my judgement comes from anything but my own opinions, but I am willing to put my argument to the test against hers, and i figure that if one can put a rigorous argument together of their own accord, rather than referring to some ancient text, then surely there is merit in this?
Anyway, thats my little rant over; what do you all think?