Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers, etc.

I was reading the transcripts of final arguments in the anti-proposition 8 lawsuit in California, and it was an interesting read. The arguments were not new, for the most part, but the way they were stated was so much clearer and more compelling than the usual. That was what I liked about it.

There were some different arguments that I'd never heard before. In fact, the *central* argument of the defense on the heterosexual exclusivity of marriage was a spin-off of arguments I've heard about the ideal circumstances in which to raise a child. This argument was that marriage is intended to benefit society by channeling intimacy (that may lead to a child) into a committed and stable relationship that would be better for an accidental child, should that occur. Or something to that effect. Gays can't have accidental children, and if they go out of their way to get kids, they're the last ones you have to worry about channeling into stability and commitment, because they've already got it in spades. Weird, huh? Flameretardentmormon called that out as disingenuous--something like what our son does when he's been naughty and then has to come up with an excuse after the fact as to why he was in the right the whole time.

Having said that, I disagree with the prosecution that those who supported proposition 8 could only have been motivated by discrimination, hate, and animus. That's the drum I've beaten on this blog for a long while, so that probably comes as no surprise that I get irritated by such labeling of others' motivations. Whether they successfully proved this is not the case, I still know for myself that it's not based on the only motivations I can really know without doubt--my own. I've written about my ambivalence on the subject and the competing gospel principles that may lead members of the church to opposite conclusions, and how I ultimately would have voted for proposition 8, had I been in such a position. I know I'm not motivated by hate, discrimination, or animus, so that's a settled question for me.

In the spirit of Fathers' Day, I thought I'd share this link: Science can't prove fathers matter. That doesn't mean we don't. It reflects my sentiments pretty accurately, in the title particularly. If doing research for the last several months has reinforced one principle in particular, it's the inability of science to satisfactorily address certain types of questions even while being brilliant at addressing others. Whatever science has shown about lesbian mothers and their well-adjusted children, or failed to show about the differences between gay households and straight ones, I'm certain that my choices have been for the best for my children. Absolutely certain.

Happy Fathers' Day!


Anonymous said...

Fathers do matter. Mine passed away when I was young, and his absence impacted me drastically.

Those who say that fathers don't matter are either in denial or just naive.

Craig said...

Science proves not that fathers don't matter, but that the gender of your parents doesn't matter. What matters is that you have loving parents. That's what science proves.

-L- said...

Not to be too hard on you, Craig, but it seems you are speaking for science and what it proves. So, can you tell me how science has managed to measure love? Because I'm not aware of an existing assay that can quantify it. And if a surrogate was used, science hasn't proved what you say it has proved. If you could provide some references that would help me understand where you're coming from. On the other hand, if you're saying from your own personal beliefs that what matters is that you have loving parents, no matter the gender, I'm more receptive. I'm just not a fan of people quoting science as having said something or shown something when to my knowledge it has done nothing of the sort.

Anonymous said...


Just stumbled upon your blog for the first time; I read a lot of your past posts and would love to have an update on where you are at in your faith, your marriage, and your 'struggle' with SGA.

I am a psychologist/ family therapist who finds himself in a very similar position to yours: a solid Christian believer from childhood. . . aware from my youth that I was exclusively attracted to men but found this morally and spiritually unacceptable . . . married (15 years ago) a woman who was able to deal with my same-sex attraction and previous sexual experiences . . . adopted two sons who are now 7 and 9, and the joy of my life . . . recent experiences in individual and couples therapy about "the gay thing". A few differences: I have been losing my faith over the past few years, partly over this very personal struggle and partly over some theological issues, and now find myself no longer believing a lot of what kept me on the "straight and narrow" for my life up to now; and in January 2009, I fell in love for the first time in my life -- with a man -- and had a sexual affair that lasted a month but whose repercussions continue to haunt me. I feel literally torn in two, and both my wife and me are dealing with extreme stress and uncertainly. A friend asked me yesterday, "do you think you can maintain this for the next 50 years?" and I felt overwhelmed and hopeless.

Sorry to go on -- I'll stop now! -- but just to say, I can relate to your ambivalence on many levels and would love to hear how you're doing it.

-L- said...

I'll write a post for you, anon. Thanks for the comment.