I am white, male, Christian and financially comfortable. Those facts are certainly worth bearing in mind (even if my particular Christian tradition – the correct one – is unfamiliar to you and opposed to much of the nuttiness exemplified by traditions that are familiar to you). If you consider this background and demographic information the very essence of my point of view, then there’s not much point in reading any further.
Apolgies to Jonathan Chait, whose long piece on political correctness inspired the prior paragraph. His piece sat unread in a browser tab for days until the hiatus of Church cancellation for an anticipated major winter storm. I hope I’ll not be thought of as mansplaining or making an unsafe comment when I say that it was excellent, and that it put in context a lot of the baffling jargon I’ve read from my safe, non-binary friends.
If I am so thought of, then I’m sorry that I can’t be your ally, for I will not consciously become stultifyingly bland.
I used to write letters to the editor with initials only, as I thought my gender or profession were irrelevant to the validity of my position. I learned that from C.S. Lewis, who also lived in an age when an opinion could be dismissed airily with lines like “you only say that because you’re a man.”
I guess I was wrong.
And so I’m sure there’s something wrong with Katy Faust that, despite her plausible credentials, prompts her to write against the Zeitgeist:
It’s very difficult to speak about this subject, because I love my mom. Most of us children with gay parents do. We also love their partner(s). You don’t hear much from us because, as far as the media are concerned, it’s impossible that we could both love our gay parent(s) and oppose gay marriage. Many are of the opinion I should not exist. But I do, and I’m not the only one.
This debate, at its core, is about one thing.
It’s about children.
The definition of marriage should have nothing to do with lessening emotional suffering within the homosexual community. If the Supreme Court were able to make rulings to affect feelings, racism would have ended fifty years ago …
When you emphasized how important the voices of children with gay parents are, you probably anticipated a different response. You might have expected that the children of same-sex unions would have nothing but glowing things to say about how their family is “just like everyone else’s.” Perhaps you expected them to tell you that the only scar on their otherwise idyllic life is that their two moms or two dads could not be legally married. If the children of these unions were all happy and well-adjusted, it would make it easier for you to deliver the feel-good ruling that would be so popular.
I identify with the instinct of those children to be protective of their gay parent. In fact, I’ve done it myself. I remember how many times I repeated my speech: “I’m so happy that my parents got divorced so that I could know all of you wonderful women.” I quaffed the praise and savored the accolades. The women in my mother’s circle swooned at my maturity, my worldliness. I said it over and over, and with every refrain my performance improved. It was what all the adults in my life wanted to hear. I could have been the public service announcement for gay parenting.
I cringe when I think of it now, because it was a lie. My parents’ divorce has been the most traumatic event in my thirty-eight years of life. While I did love my mother’s partner and friends, I would have traded every one of them to have my mom and my dad loving me under the same roof …
The opposition will clamor on about studies where the researchers concluded that children in same-sex households allegedly fared “even better!” than those from intact biological homes. Leave aside the methodological problems with such studies and just think for a moment.
If it is undisputed social science that children suffer greatly when they are abandoned by their biological parents, when their parents divorce, when one parent dies, or when they are donor-conceived, then how can it be possible that they are miraculously turning out “even better!” when raised in same-sex-headed households? Every child raised by “two moms” or “two dads” came to that household via one of those four traumatic methods. Does being raised under the rainbow miraculously wipe away all the negative effects and pain surrounding the loss and daily deprivation of one or both parents? The more likely explanation is that researchers are feeling the same pressure as the rest of us feel to prove that they love their gay friends.
So the mainstream media has labeled me a bigot because– regardless of my reasons or experience or background or heart– I oppose gay marriage. Maybe you agree– that simply being against gay marriage makes you a bigot. And if that is your definition, then I guess I am. So this is your chance to ask me, a real life “bigot,” all your questions.
But if you see through this Blog that I am neither obstinate nor intolerant and that I do not hate my gay neighbor, but you want to continue to call all traditional marriage supporters “bigots” anyway… does that make you one?
Hmmm. Check. Is there a way out of this gambit? Oh! “Self-hating”! Maybe that‘s the ticket!
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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)