Saturday, February 15, 2014

Twitter Debate

Photo by Michael K. Lavers
I responded to a tweet this morning from Patrick Madrid, an American Catholic author and radio host.* We had a fine exchange, which you can also see if you want to wade through my timeline. Out of nowhere, however, I got pinged by two other people who wanted to discuss the issue further. 

Twitter is a difficult medium on which to have an in-depth conversation. So, @ShannonGlasford, I just wanted to express myself a little better and thought it more appropriate to do that here. Please feel free to respond in the comments section below if you think there is more to discuss. 

I appreciate that you reached out to discuss this with me although I have to admit I'm not sure why you did, as you don't follow me there and I don't follow you. We disagree on the issue of marriage and equality. That disagreement doesn't make either of us bad people, and I hope those like us will be able to learn to get along. Because gay people are going to be able to marry someday soon and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it. 

You said "children are better off living with their BIOLOGICAL parents." I don't disagree. Surely you know, though, that many parents, gay and straight, have adopted kids whom they love and care for as though they *are* their BIOLOGICAL kids. You seem to make a distinction. Thankfully adoptive parents, gay and straight, do not. And I say "thankfully" because otherwise the state (foster care) and tax dollars would be raising these children. 

In addition, many gay parents have BIOLOGICAL kids via the advances in fertility drugs you mentioned. These are families in which the children have only known their parents (for some it's two moms, for others it's two dads) as their parents from the day they were born. You may disagree with it, but it's happening in your town, your parish, and in towns and parishes all across our country. 

Plus, you cited studies showing kids do better with their biological parents. I don't disagree with such studies and would love it if all couples with children who are currently married, including so many Catholics and other people of faith, could work it out and stopped getting divorced. However, divorce keeps happening and many children are not living with their biological parents through no fault of their own. Their parents are free to remarry, though. 

In addition, you should be aware that there are other scientifically sound studies that show equally similar things about children of gay couples. If you really believe marriage is the best way to preserve society and raise children, it is irrational to deny such parents the rights, benefits, and obligations of marriage. 

Finally, if your argument is based on your faith, you have to recognize the law protects all faiths (and even no faith) equally. The law cannot require anyone to follow the dictates of your faith. Otherwise our country is no different than Iraq and Iran, two countries that strictly follow Sharia law. Our country is not that. 

If you want people to follow your faith, be the genuine, authentic example that compels people to want more of whatever it is you have. If you can't live that example, at least try not to fault someone else their own struggles.

Again, thank you for reaching out. We can always continue this discussion here if you want, but maybe we should agree to disagree and hope we, and others like us, can all get along. 

* The initial tweet you can find on my timeline. Mr. Madrid's tweet linked to the page I hyperlink above. 

Some resources for Gay Catholics can be found at a variety of places around the web:

New Ways Ministry
A ministry of advocacy and justice for LGBT Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger Christian and civil communities.

Equally Blessed
Faithful Catholics committed to full equality for LGBT people in the church and civil society.

Dignity USA
A ministry that works for respect and justice for people of all sexual orientations, genders, and gender identities - especially LGBT persons - in the Catholic church and the world through education, advocacy, and support.

Fortunate Familes
Catholic parents with LGBT children supporting others like us to affirm, celebrate, and seek equality for our families. Our faith journey calls us to strive for justice for all our children.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that Twitter isn't conducive to thorough conversation. This was a good idea to move it here
    I agree that disagreeing with someone doesn't make one a bad person. I am sure you are very sincere in your belief. I have found you to be very charitable, and for that I am thankful.

    Concerning your claims about adoption rates, since heterosexual couples are the vast majority of adoptive parents, I doubly rates would ever vary much.

    Concerning fertility drugs, gay couple still cannot have biological kids. Only one half of the couple can have one. The same is not true for heterosexual couples, so there's what I was referring to.

    Heterosexual people should be allowed to remarry by the star because they are procreate. Therefore, the state would have an interest. The same cannot be said for homosexual relationships.

    I would be interested in perusing the studies you claim exist. Please point me in the right direction.

    I have made no appeal to faith in our discussion. It since you brought it up, I will respond. Just because someone may not follow their faith perfectly all the time doesn't mean they are wrong to profess the value of following it. Nor does it invalidate the truth of their faith.

    I am more than happy to continue our conversation. I will leave it up to you.


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