“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

July 27, 2010

Do kids really need a dad AND a mom? Why not two dads or two moms?

Last week, on my “Open Line” radio show (Thursdays, 3-5 ET), I took a call from a listener who wanted some advice on how to talk to a “gay marriage” proponent about why it's better to have a mom and a dad versus some other combination. I tried to offer a few points for consideration. Please click the image to launch the audio clip, or click


  1. I'm sorry, sir, we were not able to find a compatible heart for your transplant. The good news, though, is we found a compatible liver, and we'll be putting that in your chest cavity. I'm sure you'll agree that two livers is just as good as a heart and a liver; after all, it's been shown that no one can survive without a liver.

  2. I agree with what Patrick is saying, but it wont win over the proponents for gender same parents, because in thier philosophy there is no difference between the genders. Both are do equal that one can do both roles. This is the mentality we need to approach and diffuse.

  3. Some points:

    1. Biologically, the only natural formula to procreation is the co-joining of a man and a woman.

    2. Instinctively, only together can a man or a women fulfil their natural, primordial potential – to multiply.

    3. Psychologically, children will only encounter the full spectrum of emotional and social experience essential for their mental development from both a mother and a father.

    4. Economically, only a man and a woman in a life-long monogamous relationship can best offer inherited security down through the generations.

    5. Truthfully, it is only to those forefathers who entered into and defended traditional marriage that we owe our lives and our country today.

    6. Spiritually, only a man and woman can fit the pre-destined figures of Our Lord and His ‘Bride’ the Church, which of course is why God made man and woman, to know, love and serve He and His Bride.

  4. Salvemaria,
    4. Your argument is untrue. Some of the wealthiest people I know are *not* heterosexual.

    3. So all the children of single parents are forever doomed? And for those whose parent(s) died, you think your argument still holds? If so, I don't want any part of your particular religion.

    To counter argue, what about all those children who were adopted by a monastery/nunnery at an early age and we now call saints? (See Rule of St. Benedict Chapter 59 - http://www.osb.org/rb/text/rbeaad2.html#59)

  5. Something I have thought of that may be of some help. Being a scientist I often times have an empirical viewpoint that may often work well as an analogy I admit is not a perfect example.

    So many times in our society we focus on equality, meaning that everyone is equal to one another. I find we often interpret that in a very absolute mentality meaning that for men and women to be equal:

    man = woman

    Therefor if a man and a woman is the minimum requirement for a marriage and man and woman are equal then you could say:

    Man + Woman = Marriage

    and since man = woman then

    Man + Man = Marriage
    Woman + Woman = Marriage

    I think there error is the absolute totality of the american idea of equality. We do not claim that all people are equal in that all people can do the same thing, but that we are all equal in dignity and are due the respect because of it. Because men cannot have babies, as Patrick pointed out, men are not equal to women in this regard and thus we cannot say that in all situations it makes no difference whether we have a man or woman.

    I think an argument from evolution could even be pointed out, since gay rights activists are typically keen on fatalistically pointed out instances of apparent homosexual behavior. From the point of view of nature homosexuals cannot have children because it is physically impossible unless someone of the opposite sex is in participation. The ability to adopt especially in the case of gay men is contradictory of nature because most often males in nature abandon there children and typically don't hesitate to kill the males and take the females on as mates.

    In the last paragraph I don't mean to insinuate that gay men would do this with children they would have, but I do hope it points out the evolutionary principle of heterosexual parents in the lives of children.

  6. Erin,

    3. No, and children can grow up to be physically healthy in a home where both the mother and the father smoke and where there is never enough to eat, but it's less likely, and most children going up under those circumstances will be unhealthy. Likewise, it is possible for a child to be abused but still grow up to be psychologically, emotionally, and socially healthy -- it's *possible*, but very unlikely. There will always be people who overcome any obstacle, but that's no justification for putting the obstacle in front of them.

    4. You could probably also find examples of children with wealthy moms who didn't suffer economically when the dad R-U-N-N-O-F-T. See the typical Hollywood divorces. Such examples don't invalidate the problem with deadbeat dads, though. We could argue over whether "gay marriages" would be likely to last as long as heterosexual marriages, but I think you would have to admit that longevity of "gay marriages" is still questionable. ... Also, your statement "Some of the wealthiest people I know are *not* heterosexual" is not necessarily surprising; without the expenses and limitations (of time and mobility, for example) of children, it may be easier to pursue wealth. Besides, Savlemaria was talking about the economic wellbeing of THE CHILDREN; if their are no children, your examples are not to the point.

  7. Anonymous,
    3. You failed to acknowledge my monastery statement. You also built faulty argument of well-being based on physical health in an abusive environment and tried to compare it against being "psychologically, emotionally, and socially healthy" in a nurturing environment. Can we compare apples to apples please.

    4. Some of the wealthiest people I know are also heterosexual couples with three or more children. So again, your logic is faulty since obviously the presence of children does not dictate a family's wealth. Yes, "Salvemaria was talking about the economic wellbeing of THE CHILDREN". We are talking about same-sex parents WITH children, so the assumption that there are children present must hold. My statement of wealthy homosexuals, also refers to young couples that are the same age as heterosexual couples of child-birthing age.

    "First marriages ending in divorce last an average of 11 years for both men and women. ... Nationally, all marriages ending in divorce last an average of 9.8 years." (http://www.divorceinfo.com/statistics.htm) Using your own longevity argument against homosexuals, it is unwise for heterosexuals to marry and have children because their marriage will likely not last past the 18 years of child-rearing. Including remarriages we now have multiple dads, multiple moms, step-siblings, half-siblings, 3 or 4 sets of grandparents (instead of 2), etc. Why complicate matters? Let's just not have any children because something at some point in their life might present some sort of challenge.

    What does your Hollywood divorces example have to do with any of this?

  8. Anybody here try walking with two left shoes?

  9. Nick,
    I totally agree with you that, man != woman. However, I have to ask you if the identity equation holds, man =? man. More specifically, man1 =? man2.

    My dad does not equal your dad. I'd wager that switching them would not yield the same results on the children. I also assume that no one is insinuating that swapping parents is a good idea.

  10. When adopted (not biologically related to both parents) children become adults, they sometimes become interested in their genetic medical history: "What diseases did my parents & grandparents die from? What behaviors or exposures should I guard against, in order to have a healthy & long-lived life?"
    Nonbiological parents usually cannot respond as to whether the child has inherited tendencies toward diabetes, for example. Just a thought.

  11. Anonymous,
    Do you have two blue pens at your desk? Why? Sometimes one fails to be sufficient; it is busy being used be an office mate, or perhaps it gets gunked up and it's more efficient to just switch for a time until you can clean the other pen.

    In fact, do you have two pens of different colors? Why? Probably because they each serve a different purpose; one color is better for one purpose and the other color is better for a different purpose. Or perhaps you sign all your checks with a yellow highlighter?

  12. TeaPot562
    This is a false assumption. I'm remarried and know more about the biological past of my wife's children than I do about my own children. My mom divorced (and remarried) and won't talk about my biological father. Perhaps I'm an anomaly, but I don't think so. Many of my friends and acquaintances from church who also have an adoptive parent state that their adoptive parent is totally there as full-fledged parent and in some cases is actually a better parent.

    We see similar behavior in the case of cradle-Catholics vs. converts. The converts tend to know their faith better. (This is purely my observation based on conversations with several hundred men and women at our church)

  13. Interesting discussion. (We need to keep it charitable though). I am curious how to defend marriage between one man and one woman. Even some of our Protestant brethren are now falling away from what the Bible teaches and what their own church always taught. I heard one Lutheran pastor of excellent credentials say that Jesus never spoke about it and the Old Testament teachings were no longer valid. My jaw dropped. I guess Paul's writings don't count.
    Something I think of as a no-brainer is not what others believe.

    For some, it won't matter what we say but for others...how do we defend it?

  14. In a world of relativism, I doubt whether any God-fearing, Christian heterosexual people will ever convince gay or lesbian people that there is a God-given natural order of things and that children reared by a Mom and a Dad potentially face a brighter, happier and healthier future than those growing up with, say, two Dads and two Moms.

  15. To Erin,

    Thanks for taking the time to rebut my points. Happy to let ‘Anonymous at 12:03’ tendered a counter.

    What I would say though is, does this mean you agree with the other points 1, 2 and 5? (Point 6 was for those of my particular religion).

    Followed your link!

    ‘Rule of Benedict’ clearly explains that potential religious are not adopted nor enter against their will and that clearly the opposite is true.

    Indeed, the Rule states newcomers “not be granted an easy entrance” but instead experience “difficulty of admission” and three periods of ‘prolonged deliberation’ of two, six and four months before receipt into the community.

    It is self evident to any objective person reading the Rule of Benedict that it is very honest and prudent, and promotes a virtuous and exemplary life-style. It is no surprise that it should be highly desirable to many.

  16. To salvemaria,
    Generally speaking I do support your points 1, 2, 5, and 6 (I'm Catholic).

    I find the "natural order" argument to be a weak defense in every case. What is natural? Is having surgery natural? Is using a cast? How about taking medicine? How about same-sex relationships? This last one always seems to catch people off guard, because there are other God-created species on this planet that have same-sex relationships.

    As for point #6, if "only a man and a woman...", then why do we have celibate priests and nuns. This of course begs the question of different-gendered parents and emotional well-being of their children, what about when children become adults? Why do we believe that completely cutting off one gender and living a religious life is good for us, especially in the case of cloistered religious?

  17. To Erin,

    Thanks for coming back!

    Regarding celibate clergy and religious?

    Yes, marriage supremely honors the divine dignity of Our Lord and His Bride the Church, however, Our Lord also tells us that in heaven the elect “shall neither marry nor be married, but shall be as the angels of God in heaven” (Mat 22:30).

    Therefore anyone vowing celibacy over marriage in order to better imitate and glorify “the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mat 19:12) is choosing the superior state, says St. Paul (1 Cor 7:32).

  18. I have the feeling that the debate going on here is between people younger than me - I may be wrong. But if you'd be interested in the views of a 60 yr. old woman, read on. As a child, I had very loving parents; I can't tell you how often I thanked God for them - and still do. My father died when I was 13, and although there were many adults in my life, male and female, who stepped in to help our family through a life that became very difficult, it was always the males that seemed to be able to fill in the voids in a manner that best suited my needs. This was also true for my brothers. We had a mother. A wonderful mother. We didn't need a second one. We needed a male role model. Men and women may be equal in their worth as human beings, but they are in no way equal across the board. I saw great differences between my mother and my father, comlimentary differences. I realized this as a child, so I find it curious that there are adults who don't seem to recognize it. It's more likely that they are perfectly aware of it, but they have an agenda to fill. As a mathematician, I'd like to offer a lesson on equality. Keep in mind that each person is a combination of many factors. All would agree that 28 = 28. And 4 x 7 = 28 just as 2 x 14 = 28. So 4 x 7 = 2 x 14. But 4 doesn't equal 2 or 14, just as 7 doesn't equal 2 or 14. Men and women may be equal, but they have different compositions. Children benefit from those differences. Through no one's fault, I was denied the benfits of having two parents, one male and one female - I can't understand those who intentionally want children to be denied the fullness of having two parents, one male and one female. I guess the "me first" generation will always be with us. "The heck with what's best for a child. If a child can adjust to what I want, there's no reason I shouldn't have what I want. It's all about me, me, me!" That being said, I think I just discovered why Lady Gaga has a following. But that's another story.

  19. Erin, you sound confused. First you state that "Some of the wealthiest people I know are *not* heterosexual."

    Then write "Some of the wealthiest people I know are also heterosexual couples with three or more children."


    "We are talking about same-sex parents WITH children, so the assumption that there are children present must hold."

    Leaving aside your apparent confusion, your last statement, above, a mistaken assumption. The vast majority of same-sex couples do not have children and those that do, I suspect, had them before the parents "came out." Therefore, your statement that many homosexual people you know are wealthy is, as salvemaria correctly stated, irrelevant and unsurprising.

    (For the record, you did not state whether the homosexuals who are some of the wealthiest people you know actually have children. Also, the majority of homosexuals I know do not have children but I suppose you have met some who are in the minority.)

  20. Dear Anonymous (60 yr old Mathematician Lady):

    You've hit the nail on the head with your last post re people who want to twist whatever facts to suit themselves, i.e.:
    (a)"...It's more likely that they are perfectly aware of it, but they have an agenda to fill..."
    (b)..."The heck with what's best for a child. If a child can adjust to what I want, there's no reason I shouldn't have what I want. It's all about me, me, me!..."

    Such people, with their "high-brow, contrived intellectualism" in their conveniently relativistic world are exactly as defined in (a) and (b) above.

    Loved your balanced, well-considered post!

    Regards and blessings

  21. mgseamanjr and salvemaria,
    Do the wealthy same-sex couples I know have children? No, and most of them do not want children, but not all. The statement was made as a counter-argument to salvemaria when she said "Economically, ONLY a man and a woman..." If a homosexual couple wanted to adopt children, they would be equally capable of economically providing for the children. Salvemaria's is thus irrelevant to the debate of the worthiness of homosexual parents.

    Anonymous (July 28, 2010 12:03 PM) attempted to support salvemaria's claims that homosexuals "without the expenses and limitations of children, it MAY be easier to pursue wealth." This argument is likewise equally irrelevant because heterosexual with multiple children can also be wealthy.

    How many heterosexual couples in this country, and even the entire world, have children and live in poverty? Does that make them bad parents? Again, the wealth argument becomes irrelevant to the worthiness of parents.

    The wealth arguments against homosexuals as parents is at best irrelevant. From a Christian standpoint it is completely uncharitable and built on false assumptions of homosexuals, and are we called to not bear false witness?

    If you're against homosexuals as parents for religious reasons, that is fine, that's what you believe. But to cloud the waters in your debate with irrelevant arguments makes you look like a fool, especially when the arguments are patently false and can be used against you because your supposedly superior position is actually built on a foundation of sand.

    I think Jesus had something to say about sand and foundations.
    (I have to run, but I will follow up on my clergy comments later)


  22. Check out this link. Its very illuminating on the subject.

    5 Ways to talk to the Left about Same Sex Marriage


  23. Some interesting responses, but the thing that strikes me as surprising is how easily people assume that dividing parents into the broad categories of 'man' and 'woman' is enough to give any basis for argument. The spectrum of personality, ability and 'fitness for purpose' that parents of either sex range across is much more complex than whether the two people (in this scenario) involved with child-rearing should be comprised one male and one female.

    I am a stepfather to an only child who regularly (every other weekend) sees her biological father and his girlfriend (now of several years). The parenting styles of the two sets of heterosexual adults that our intelligent, healthy and (mostly) happy seven year old is exposed to inevitably differ, and in our particular case I would say I have a more feminine side to my personality/attitude, while my girlfriend (none of us are married) is less naturally maternal than my step-daughter's step-mother. So what is better for a child - one set of unhappy parents, two sets of happy parents, a lone parent, stereotypical ones or atypical ones?

    The most significant parental factor in my mind affecting a child's welfare and healthy development is whether he or she has parents - of any age, creed, colour or sexual orientation - who are truly invested in them.

    While I agree that having role models of both genders is beneficial, I'm not sure that heterosexual parents are vital _at any cost_ - in fact, I find it more concerning that primary (here in the UK) / elementary school teaching staffs are so massively skewed towards women - a fact which precludes children's exposure to positive male influences _outside_ the home for much of their early developmental lives.

    One thing that our arrangement has instilled in our daughter is - people are all different, they are all individuals, and life can be complicated. I think children who experience loving, tolerant, rational parents - in whatever configuration - are better placed to navigate our complex world than those in 'standardised' but dysfunctional households.

    As the 'cute tv animal news' spots regularly show, it is even possible for inter-species parenting, never mind atypical gender pairings! In a world where there are more children who need parents than parents who need children, it seems wise to be open-minded.