When my daughter was born in 1988, my middle son was two years old. For him it was love at first sight. He never displayed a shred of jealousy. In fact, he loved her so much that I had to be ultra-vigilant constantly. I mean how many two year olds understand the concept of being gentle? And yet, his intentions were always pure, he just wanted unlimited easy access so that he could shower her with kisses when the mood struck him (which was often). He’d have his chubby little arm slipped through the slats of her crib and her chubby arm in his grasp and her tiny little body yanked over within convenient proximity of his pursed lips in a nanosecond, long before I could get my chubby little post pregnant body over there to stop him. It is a wonder that she doesn’t have one arm significantly longer than the other. But he just could not help himself. He was so overjoyed to have a precious little sister.
That love affair never ended. Their bond today is as amazing as ever. And his love for babies and children in general never ended either. I always felt that of my three kids, he was the one that would most likely get married and have a family of his own. And I had no doubts whatsoever that he would be an amazing dad if he ever chose to have kids. His compassion and tenderness really come out when he is around children.
So when I hear the Dobson, Falwell, Robertson crowd telling me that my son is not fit to be a father, I don’t take it too well (and I am not the only one). Never mind the fact that they don’t even know him, never mind the fact that he is a wonderful, kind, compassionate, and truly good human being, according to them he will never be good enough to be a daddy. How dare them! Where do they get off? Why do they think that they have the right to demand that my son never know the joys of fatherhood, that my husband and I never know the joys of being doting grandparents to his children, that my other son and daughter never know the joys of being uncles and aunts to his children, and that some child with no family never be allowed the joys of having a loving family? How can these so called Christians live with themselves? How can these so called Christians say that they are advocates for the family when there will be children denied families and condemned to the revolving door of the foster care system because of their ignorance, hate, and bigotry?
There are numerous studies (two of which are here and here) that show that children of gay and lesbian parents do just as well as children of heterosexual parents. But something tells me that it doesn’t matter how many studies debunk all of their reasons for denying gays and lesbians the right to adopt. Their ultimate goal never had anything to do with the best interest of the child and everything to do with demonizing gays and enshrining their bigotry in laws and in our constitution. The children? Pfffft Just collateral damage in the war on gays.
And then there is the Catholic Church! It is so sad how much this institution has lost its way. Once again the church’s most needy and vulnerable, the children, take a back seat, first to the protection of pedophile priests and now to bigotry. And yet the Pope actually had the gall to justify the church’s stand by saying (back in 2003 when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger) that allowing children to be adopted by same-sex couples would actually mean doing violence to these children and was gravely immoral. Wow! Let that sink in for a minute. It simply boggles the mind, doesn’t it? I am left quite speechless. But as always, Andrew Sullivan can eloquently put into words what my anger prevents me from saying in an even remotely civil manner:
Truly heart-breaking news. The
Vaticanhierarchy refuses to budge in its demonization of gay couples and families. And so Catholic Charities in has stopped placing needy children in adoption altogether. I would have reluctantly acquiesced in the discrimination, just to help the majority of kids. But I respect the integrity of the lay Catholic board in refusing to give in to an invidious piece of discrimination; and Boston for insisting that the only criterion for adoption be the safety and love in adoptive households, regardless of sexual orientation. The whole thing is sad. But that's what bigotry does. Cruelty begets cruelty. And all in the name of love. All Catholics who do not share the bigotry of the hierarchy simply have to pray that one day, their hearts will open. Massachusetts
I am honestly left to wonder what happened to the loving, inclusive Jesus that I learned about when I was a child. Has He just gotten mean and hateful in His old age, or is it just that His loving image has been twisted and distorted to fit the mean and hateful agenda of the mean and hateful? I know what I think…