Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Woman reflects on her bio-parents’ divorce and growing up in two-lesbian home

The Public Discourse posted a really interesting letter from a woman whose biological parents divorced, and then she grew up with her mother and her mother’s lesbian partner. She addresses this post to Justice Kennedy, the swing vote on the Supreme Court.

She writes:

Children are the reason government has any stake in this discussion at all. Congress was spot on in 1996 when it passed the Defense of Marriage Act, stating:

At bottom, civil society has an interest in maintaining and protecting the institution of heterosexual marriage because it has a deep and abiding interest in encouraging responsible procreation and child-rearing. Simply put, government has an interest in marriage because it has an interest in children.

There is no difference between the value and worth of heterosexual and homosexual persons. We all deserve equal protection and opportunity in academe, housing, employment, and medical care, because we are all humans created in the image of God.

However, when it comes to procreation and child-rearing, same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples are wholly unequal and should be treated differently for the sake of the children.

When two adults who cannot procreate want to raise children together, where do those babies come from? Each child is conceived by a mother and a father to whom that child has a natural right. When a child is placed in a same-sex-headed household, she will miss out on at least one critical parental relationship and a vital dual-gender influence. The nature of the adults’ union guarantees this. Whether by adoption, divorce, or third-party reproduction, the adults in this scenario satisfy their heart’s desires, while the child bears the most significant cost: missing out on one or more of her biological parents.

Making policy that intentionally deprives children of their fundamental rights is something that we should not endorse, incentivize, or promote.

What about children who grow up with two gay adults? Aren’t they supportive of their gay guardians?

She writes:

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. This should come as no surprise to anyone who is willing to remove the politically correct lens that we all seem to have over our eyes.

Kids want their mother and father to love them, and to love each other. I have no bitterness toward either of my parents. On the contrary, I am grateful for a close relationship with them both and for the role they play in my children’s lives. But loving my parents and looking critically at the impact of family breakdown are not mutually exclusive.

Now that I am a parent, I see clearly the beautiful differences my husband and I bring to our family. I see the wholeness and health that my children receive because they have both of their parents living with and loving them. I see how important the role of their father is and how irreplaceable I am as their mother. We play complementary roles in their lives, and neither of us is disposable. In fact, we are both critical. It’s almost as if Mother Nature got this whole reproduction thing exactly right.

So in same-sex marriages, either the father or the mother will be missing. I think that children can be a big responsibility, and they are challenging to the happiness of adults. The way that natural marriage solves this problem is by making both parents invested in the children biologically. That’s what causes mothers and fathers to keep trying and to not quit. They are biologically invested in their children. They are not accessories, they are little clones of their moms and dads.

Regardless of what Hollywood celebrities may tell us, studies show that fatherlessness is a disaster, and motherlessness is a disaster. And of course, studies show that same-sex parenting does not produce the positive outcomes for children that natural marriage does. There’s a conflict between children’s rights and adult’s rights in the same-sex marriage debate, just like their is in the no-fault divorce debate – and we need to side with the children in both cases.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , ,

Great grandmother florist is the latest victim of the gay inquisition

This is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

A florist in Washington state is being sued for adhering to her Christian beliefs in declining to make flower arrangements for one couple’s wedding.

Before the lawsuit, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash., had employed workers who identify as homosexual and sold floral arrangements to gay and lesbian customers.

One such customer turned out to be one of the men who would sue her for not being willing to be hired for their same-sex wedding.

Unlike businesses that face similar lawsuits for refusing to provide specific wedding-related services to gay and lesbian couples on religious grounds—among them bakers in Oregon and farmers in New York—Stutzman is being sued in both a professional and personal capacity.

When Washington state legalized same-sex marriage in 2012, she decided that as a matter of conscience she could not participate in or further same-sex ceremonies by using her creative skills in connection with them.

So when two men, Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, asked her to design flower arrangements for their wedding, Stutzman politely declined and referred them to other vendors in the area. Ingersoll had been a valued customer, she says, so it was difficult.

The state’s attorney general said Stutzman’s decision to stand by her Christian faith was in direct conflict with a state law ensuring freedom from discrimination.

The measure prohibits places of public accommodation–which officials say include Arlene’s Flowers–from discriminating on grounds of race, creed, sexual orientation, physical disability and so forth.

[…]Stutzman is represented by Kristen Waggoner, a lawyer at Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization dedicated to defending religious liberty.

[…]Waggoner says it is unprecedented for the Washington attorney general’s office to sue a family business owner in a personal capacity unless that owner has committed acts of fraud or misrepresentation.

“They’re trying to set an example of her and punish her,” says Waggoner, noting the suit has the potential to cripple Stutzman’s livelihood. “She’s not wealthy, so common sense would tell you that it’s going to hurt pretty bad.”

So I guess my problem with this is that gay people can go to any other florist and get the flowers they want. But instead of doing that, they prefer to force their morality on this woman. This woman doesn’t think that same-sex marriage is something to be celebrated. But the gay rights activists think that she needs to be forced by the power of the state to celebrate gay marriage. How would gay marriage affect you? Well, you will be prosecuted by the state and have your wealth confiscated. This case should be talked about in every church in the land next Sunday. But then I guess people would complain that that they were being too political and not providing them with feelings of comfort and happiness.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

FDA now allowing gay men to donate blood

This is from the Weekly Standard.

Excerpt:

The FDA will seek to change the ban on gay men’s blood, so long as the donor hasn’t had sexual contact in the last year.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is a science-based regulatory agency that works to protect and promote the public health. In this role, it is our responsibility to regulate the blood supply and to help ensure its continued safety for the patients who receive these life-saving products,” announces FDA commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg.

Over the past several years, in collaboration with other government agencies, the FDA has carefully examined and considered the available scientific evidence relevant to its blood donor deferral policy for men who have sex with men, including the results of several recently completed scientific studies and recent epidemiologic data. Following this review, and taking into account the recommendations of advisory committees to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the FDA, the agency will take the necessary steps to recommend a change to the blood donor deferral period for men who have sex with men from indefinite deferral to one year since the last sexual contact.

This recommended change is consistent with the recommendation of an independent expert advisory panel the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability, and will better align the deferral period with that of other men and women at increased risk for HIV infection. Additionally, in collaboration with the NIH’s National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the FDA has already taken steps to implement a national blood surveillance system that will help the agency monitor the effect of a policy change and further help to ensure the continued safety of the blood supply.

Here’s a story from the CBC about how the blood supply became tainted in Canada. (H/T Patriactionary)

Why is this a problem? Well, gay men are at a much higher risk for HIV, and other sexually-transmitted infections. The CDC released this report about the elevated risks posed by this lifestyle.

The write:

Sixty-two percent of American men who know they are HIV positive continue to have unprotected anal sex, according to data released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control.

This data, which was published Friday, came from the federal government’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System.

The percentage of self-aware HIV-positive men who engage in unprotected anal sex has been increasing, according to the CDC. In 2005, 55 percent did so. In 2008, 57 percent did so. And, in 2011, 62 percent did so.

“Unprotected anal sex is a high-risk practice for HIV infection, with receptive anal sex having the highest risk,” said the CDC report. “Unprotected anal sex also places MSM at risk for other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Although condoms can reduce the risk for HIV transmission, they do not eliminate risk and often are not used consistently. Some MSM attempt to decrease their HIV risk by engaging in unprotected sex only with partners perceived to have the same HIV status as their own. However, this practice is risky, especially for HIV-negative MSM, because MSM with HIV might not know or disclose that they are infected and men’s assumptions about the HIV status of their partners can be wrong.”

And in another report:

Teens and young adults now account for more than a quarter of the new cases of HIV identified in the United States annually, and a clear majority of those cases involve young gay or bisexual men, the federal government said in a major new survey Tuesday.

Of the nearly 48,000 new HIV cases identified in the United States in 2010, the latest year for which complete data are available, more than 12,000 involved teens and young adults, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found in its latest report.

About 72 percent of these new HIV cases in younger adults occurred in young men who are gay or bisexual, according to the CDC report.

[…]According to the CDC figures, black youths accounted for the largest share of new HIV cases, with Hispanic youths and white youths accounting for about 20 percent each.

About 1.1 million people are estimated to be living with HIV in the United States. Some 47,129 new HIV cases were identified in 2010.

The CDC’s new report, “Vital Signs: HIV Infection, Testing, Risk Behaviors Among Youths, United States,” estimated that youths aged 13 to 24 accounted for 12,200, or 26 percent, of new HIV infections in 2010.

But, this is what we get when we elect a government that is more in service to ideas of “equality”, “diversity” and “non-discrimination” than common sense. It would be nice to think that the only people who will suffer from this decision are Democrats, but that’s not the way it works.Everyone suffers when we elect people who are led by emotional ideology (the vision of the anointed, as Thomas Sowell calls it) instead of reason and evidence. We get to be the test subjects of their little experiments.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Should Christianity be open and inclusive to those who practice idolatry?

Why, oh why, did I not write this parody of gay activist Matthew Vines. It’s entitled “The Case for Idolatry“. It’s a parody of Matthew Vines’ case for compatibility between Christianity and the gay lifestyle.

Excerpt:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to worship idols. It’s not that my parents raised me that way, because they didn’t; I was brought up in a loving, secure, Christian home. But from childhood until today, my heart has been drawn to idolatry. In fact, if I’m honest, one of the defining features of my identity has been my desire to put something else – popularity, money, influence, sex, success – in place of God.

That’s just who I am.

For many years, I was taught that idolatry was sinful. As a good Christian, I fought the desire to commit idolatry, and repented when I got it wrong. But the desire to worship idols never went away.

I wanted it to, but it didn’t.

So it has been such a blessing to discover that worshipping one God, and him alone, isn’t for everyone. There are thousands of Christians out there who have found faithful, loving ways of expressing worship both to God and to idols, without compromising either their faith or their view of Scripture. In recent years, I have finally summoned the courage to admit that I am one of them. Let me give you a few reasons why I believe that idolatry and Christianity are compatible.

I start with my own story, and the stories of many others like me. I am an evangelical, and I have a very high view of the Bible – I am currently studying for a PhD in biblical studies at King’s College London, which will be my third theology degree – as well as knowing both the ancient languages and the state of scholarly research. Yet, after much prayerful study, I have discovered the liberating truth that it is possible to be an idolatrous Christian. That, at least, is evidence that you can be an evangelical and an idolater.

Not only that, but a number of evangelical writers have been challenging the monolatrous narrative in a series of scholarly books. A number of these provide a powerful case for listening to the diversity of the ancient witnesses in their original contexts, and call for a Christlike approach of humility, openness and inclusion towards our idolatrous brothers and sisters.

Some, on hearing this, will of course want to rush straight to the “clobber passages” in Paul’s letters (which we will consider in a moment), in a bid to secure the fundamentalist ramparts and shut down future dialogue. But as we consider the scriptural material, two things stand out. Firstly, the vast majority of references to idols and idolatry in the Bible come in the Old Testament – the same Old Testament that tells us we can’t eat shellfish or gather sticks on Saturdays. When advocates of monolatry eat bacon sandwiches and drive cars at the weekend, they indicate that we should move beyond Old Testament commandments in the new covenant, and rightly so.

Secondly, and even more significantly, we need to read the whole Bible with reference to the approach of Jesus. To be a Christian is to be a Jesus-person: one whose life is based on his priorities, not on the priorities of subsequent theologians. And when we look at Jesus, we notice that he welcomed everyone who came to him, including those people that the (one-God worshipping) religious leaders rejected – and that Jesus said absolutely nothing about idols in any of the four Gospels.

Skip forward a bit:

We should also remember that, as we have discovered more about the human brain, we have found out all sorts of things about idolatry that the biblical writers simply did not know. The prophets and apostles knew nothing of cortexes and neurons, and had no idea that some people are pre-wired to commit idolatry, so they never talked about it. But as we have learned more about genetics, neural pathways, hormones and so on, we have come to realise that some tendencies – alcoholism, for example – scientifically result from the way we are made, and therefore cannot be the basis for moral disapproval or condemnation. To disregard the findings of science on this point is like continuing to insist that the world is flat.

With all of these preliminary ideas in place, we can finally turn to Paul, who has sadly been used as a judgmental battering ram by monolaters for centuries. When we do, what immediately strikes us is that in the ultimate “clobber passage”, namely Romans 1, the problem isn’t really idol-worship at all! The problem, as Paul puts it, is not that people worship idols, but that they “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images” (1:23). Paul isn’t talking about people who are idolatrous by nature. He is talking about people who were naturally worshippers of Israel’s God, and exchanged it for the worship of idols. What else could the word “exchange” here possibly mean?

Not only that, but none of his references apply to idolatry as we know it today: putting something above God in our affections. Paul, as a Hellenistic Roman citizen, simply would not have had a category for that kind of thing. In his world, idolatry meant physically bowing down to tribal or household deities – statues and images made of bronze or wood or stone – and as such, the worship of power or money or sex or popularity had nothing to do with his prohibitions.

Read the whole thing. You might recognize these arguments from Matthew Vines’ debate with Michael Brown about whether you can be a practicing gay person and a Christian at the same time. I I summarized the debate in this post.

I wrote this in reaction to the debate:

Even heterosexuals who have not married are called upon to embrace lifelong celibacy. I am in my 30s and am a virgin because I have not married. I wouldn’t seek to reinrepret the Bible to allow premarital sex just because what I am doing is difficult. I would rather just do what the Bible says than reinterpret it to suit me. And it’s just as hard for me to be chaste as it would be for him to be. In short, it’s a character issue. He takes his right to recreational sex as non-negotiable, and reinterprets the Bible to suit. I take the Bible as non-negotiable, and comply with it regardless of whether it seems to make me less happy. With respect to the purposes of God for me in this world, my happiness is expendable. If I don’t find someone to marry, I’m going to be “afflicted” with the lifelong celibacy that Vines seems to think is torture, but let me tell you – God is happy with the contributions I am making for him, and if I have to be chaste through my whole life, I am 100% fine with that. I serve the King. And not the reverse.

So back to the parody. Apparently, Matthew Vines is saying that he doesn’t really use arguments like the ones above, so thankfully Samuel James has gone through Vines’ book and listed out exact quotes where he uses the arguments in the parody. This is worth a read as well – it’s really first class work, because a lot of people who think Christianity is supposed to be about us being happy and fulfilled buy into these reinterpretations of the Bible. We need to be ready with an answer.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Human Rights Campaign co-founder Terry Bean arrested for sex crime with 15-year-old

Gay activist Terry Bean and Barack Obama

Gay activist Terry Bean and Barack Obama

Here is his biography from his web site:

Terry Bean is a native Oregonian, successful real estate developer, and President and CEO of Bean Investment Real Estate, a private company that trades and invests in commercial real estate as well as large residential complexes.  Along with these badges of honor, Terry Bean is often first recognized as a pioneer in the national civil rights movement, promoting full equality for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer/questioning communities. (GLBTQ)

Terry Bean is so well regarded as an activist that Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski declared August 23, 2008, to be “Terry Bean Equality Day” in recognition for the work he has done on LGBT rights causes since the 1970’s.

A pioneer in the movement, Terry Bean, started advocating politically for gay rights in the early 1970′s in Eugene, Oregon. Early successes resulted in the passing of a city gay rights ordinance, which, while was later overturned by voters, set the framework for grassroot organizations and strategies which quickly followed—establishing a pattern of victories which have continued well into the new millennium.

In 1979, Bean helped to organize the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the first such highly visible effort to empower a minority while educating a majority.

After the march on Washington, Terry Bean turned his focus to the national level co-founding the Gay Rights National Lobby and the Human Rights Campaign Fund. These groups merged to become today’s Human Rights Campaign – HRC.

The Human Rights Campaign is the nation’s largest gay rights organization.

Here is the first story from KOIN 6 News:

A founder of the country’s leading gay rights organization was arrested Wednesday on charges related to an incident with a 15-year-old boy last year.

The Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit took Terrence Bean into custody at his home in Southwest Portland following a Lane County Grand Jury indictment.

Bean, 66, was on the ground floor of the Human Rights Campaign, according to terrybeanpolitics.com, and is listed as an HRC board member and Portland’s sole representation in the group’s leadership on hrc.org.

And the follow-up story from Oregon Live:

The former boyfriend of Terrence P. Bean was arrested early Thursday on sex abuse charges stemming from the same alleged 2013 encounter with a 15-year-old boy at a hotel in Eugene.

Kiah Loy Lawson, 25, was arrested at 1:15 a.m. at the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center shortly after 2 a.m.

He’s accused of third-degree sodomy and third-degree sexual abuse.

Lawson is expected to be transferred later Thursday to Lane County, where he was indicted, according to jail officials. His bail was set at $50,000.

Detective Jeff Myers from the Portland’s Sex Crimes Unit made the arrest, hours after police took Lawson’s ex-boyfriend, Portland developer Terrence Patrick Bean, into custody Wednesday morning.

Bean, 66, a prominent gay rights activist and major Democratic Party fundraiser, was arrested at his home in Southwest Portland and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 10:12 a.m. Wednesday.

The indictment charges Bean with two counts of third-degree sodomy, a felony, and one count of third-degree sex abuse, a misdemeanor, police said.

[…]Both Bean and Lawson are accused of having a sexual encounter with the same 15-year-old boy in a hotel in Eugene last year. They had arranged the encounter with the teen after meeting him via a website, investigators allege.

“The investigation began in Portland, but the criminal episode occurred in Lane County,” said police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Bean has been one of the state’s biggest Democratic donors and an influential figure in gay rights circles in the state. He helped found two major national political groups, the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and has been a major contributor for several Democratic presidential candidates, including Barack Obama. He’s also a close friend of former Gov. Barbara Roberts.

The Human Rights Campaign promotes the idea that gay marriage is “equal” to heterosexual marriage. And a lot of big companies are very friendly with the Human Rights Campaign.

Companies that support the Human Rights Campaign

I found a list of companies on the Human Rights Campaign web site that are also strongly oppose traditional marriage.

Platinum Partners:

  • American Airlines
  • Citi
  • Microsoft
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • VPI Pet Insurance

Gold Partners:

  • Bank of America
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Lexus
  • Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
  • Prudential

Silver Partners:

  • Beaulieu Vineyard
  • BP
  • Caesars Entertainment
  • Chevron
  • Google
  • MGM Mirage
  • Nike

Bronze Partners:

  • Chase
  • Cox Enterprises
  • Cunard
  • Dell
  • Goldman Sachs
  • IBM
  • Macy’s Inc.
  • MetLife
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Orbitz
  • Paul Hastings
  • PwC
  • Replacements, Ltd.
  • Shell
  • Starbucks
  • Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank
  • Tylenol PM

And of course prominent Democrats support them too – like Barack Obama:

Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign

Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign

And Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

UPDATE: Life News says he is also pro-abortion:

A nationally-known pro-abortion activist has been arrested on charges of raping a 15-year-old boy. Terrance Patrick Bean is the founder of Human Rights Campaign, a group that pushes other political issues but also takes a steadfastly pro-abortion position.

Human Rights Campaign, in addition to advancing abortion, has also lobbied Congress to end all federal funding for abstinence education, and hailed one piece of legislation that cut off fundingbecause it “would end abstinence-only-until-marriage programs once and for all.” Bean is also a prominent supporter of pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

Please see the related links below for more related stories.

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