Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Psychologist claims father is an unfit parent for refusing to yield to son’s demands for fast food

Psychologist Marilyn Schiller

Psychologist Marilyn Schiller

From ABC News.

Excerpt:

Saying no to a toddler’s demands for a McDonald’s meal got a father branded an inept parent, he says in a lawsuit claiming a psychologist urged a judge to curtail his parental visits over the dinner debacle.

David E. Schorr says psychologist Marilyn Schiller pronounced him incapable of caring for his nearly 5-year-old son after he offered a choice — dinner anywhere but McDonald’s, or no dinner at all — and let the boy choose the latter. He then took his irate son home to the boy’s mother’s house early from their Oct 30 dinner date, according to a defamation suit Schorr filed Tuesday.

[...]“Normally not a very strict father who rarely refuses his child McDonald’s,” Schorr put his foot down Oct. 30 “because his son had been eating too much junk food,” the suit said. Schorr himself didn’t immediately return a call Friday.

He quickly regretted his stance when his son threw a tantrum, but he felt that giving in would reward bad behavior, so he offered the elsewhere-or-nowhere “final offer,” as his court papers put it.

“The child, stubborn as a mule, chose the ‘no dinner’ option,” the suit says. And the father promptly carted the boy back to Bari Schorr’s building, still trying to entice the child into changing his mind as they waited in the lobby for her to get home from work, according to the suit.

Schiller told a judge the fast food flap “raises concerns about the viability” of the father’s weekend visits with his son and asked a judge to eliminate or limit them, his lawsuit says.

The NY Post reports that the brat’s mother immediately took him to McDonald’s.

Excerpt:

Adding insult to injury, he said: “My wife immediately took him to McDonalds.”

[...]But the son apparently tattled on his dad and his wife flipped out and called the shrink, according to the suit.

Schorr claims that Dr. Schiller only interviewed the child and his mother and never asked for his side of the story before telling the court she was gravely concerned about Schorr’s parenting.

Bari Yunis Schorr sued her husband for a divorce in 2011, just four years after they married in a lavish ceremony at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan.

Now does this situation happen a lot? I mean a situation where a mother goes to the feminist authoritities (psychologists/social workers/lawyers/teachers/judges) in order to overrule the father’s parenting authority?

Another case from Canada

Here is a story from Canada that shows why we need to be careful about enacting compassionate, non-judgmental, feminized social policies.The more you reduce the male role and male authority in the family, the fewer men will want to take on the responsibilities of being a Dad. We need to be careful not to replace husbands and fathers with big government social programs and intrusive, anti-male courts.

Excerpt:

A Gatineau father lost an appeal Monday after a lower court ruled last June that he had issued a too severe punishment against his 12-year-old daughter.

The case involves a divorced man who says that in 2008 he caught the girl, over whom he had custody, surfing websites he had forbidden and posting “inappropriate pictures of herself” online. The girl’s father told her as a consequence that she would not be allowed to go on her class’ graduation trip to Quebec City, even though her mother had already given permission for her to do so.

The girl then contacted a legal-aid lawyer who was involved in the parents’ custody battle, who convinced the court to order that the girl be allowed to go on the trip with her class.  The father appealed the decision on principle, although his daughter went on the trip in the meantime.

The appeals court reportedly warned in its ruling that the case should not be seen as an open invitation for children to take legal action against their parents when grounded.

The girl now lives with her mother.

You may think that this would be overturned on appeal, but the father LOST his appeal, too.

So, what the daughter, wife, prosecuting attorney and judge (all feminists?) are all telling this Dad that he can donate sperm, pay bills, and pay taxes for feminist social programs, but that he cannot PARENT his own children. He cannot have any moral authority to guide the child into becoming a man. That job is for child care workers, single mothers and public school teachers. Men need to butt out of parenting – except they can pay for all these experts through taxes, of course.

Questions:

  • Does anyone care what men want from marriage and parenting, or should we just be ordered around like little boys?
  • Do we really think that state coercion is going to make men be more involved with their marriages and children?

I think that marriage should allow men to express themselves as fathers, just as much as women can express themselves as mothers. Parenting should be an equally shared responsibility, and the father should have at least as much parental authority as the mother.

Compassion vs standards

Here is a pretty good article by Jewish scholar Dennis Prager that argues against compassion and for moral standards. He tells a story of a team losing a baseball game 24-7, when the scoreboard is reset to 0-0 DURING THE GAME. He then asks what beliefs would motivate this action.

As is happening throughout America, compassion trumped all other values.

Truth was the first value compassion trashed. In the name of compassion, the adults in charge decided to lie. The score was not 0-0; it was 24-7.

Wisdom was the second value compassion obliterated. It is unwise to the point of imbecilic to believe that the losing boys were in any way helped by changing the score. On the contrary, they learned lessons that will hamper their ability to mature.

He lists the lessons that the winning and losing boys learned from this compassionate act, and how they will act in the future. Then he continues his list.

Building character was the third value trumped by compassion. People build character far more through handling defeat than through winning. The human being grows up only when forced to deal with disappointment. We remain children until the day we take full responsibility for our lives.

…The fourth value that compassion denied here was fairness. It is remarkable how often compassion-based liberals speak of “fairness” in formulating social policy given how unfair so many of their policies are. It was entirely unfair to the winning team to have their score expunged, all their work denied. But for the compassion-first crowd, the winning team is like “the rich” who earn “too much” and should therefore be penalized with a higher tax rate; the winning team scored “too many” runs to be allowed to keep them all.

The standards that are undermined by compassion can be moral standards or standards of rationality. The former is under attack from moral relativism, and the latter is under attach from postmodernism. But I guess parents don’t really care enough to teach their children about these ideas, and when the children grow up, they vote for the policies that follow from moral relativism and postmodernism: policies of the secular left.

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

Why celebrate Memorial Day? Why is Memorial Day important?

Arlington National Cemetary

What is Memorial Day? It’s the day that we remember all those brave men and women who have sacrificed to protect our liberties and our lives so that we could be safe from harm.

This video may help you to understand.

From Hot Air, a quote from Ronald Reagan.

Memorial Day is an occasion of special importance to all Americans, because it is a day sacred to the memory of all those Americans who made the supreme sacrifice for the liberties we enjoy. We will never forget or fail to honor these heroes to whom we owe so much. We honor them best when we resolve to cherish and defend the liberties for which they gave their lives. Let us resolve to do all in our power to assure the survival and the success of liberty so that our children and their children for generations to come can live in an America in which freedom’s light continues to shine.

The Congress, in establishing Memorial Day, called for it to be a day of tribute to America’s fallen, and also a day of national prayer for lasting peace. This Nation has always sought true peace. We seek it still. Our goal is peace in which the highest aspirations of our people, and people everywhere, are secure: peace with freedom, with justice, and with opportunity for human development. This is the permanent peace for which we pray, not only for ourselves but for all generations.

The defense of peace, like the defense of liberty, requires more than lip service. It requires vigilance, military strength, and the willingness to take risks and to make sacrifices. The surest guarantor of both peace and liberty is our unflinching resolve to defend that which has been purchased for us by our fallen heroes.

On Memorial Day, let us pray for peace — not only for ourselves, but for all those who seek freedom and justice.

And check some of my Medal of Honor posts:

If you want to help out our troops, you can send them things through Soldier’s Angels.

I am listening to this podcast from the Heritage Foundation about the origin and meaning of Memorial Day.

God bless our soldiers, airmen and sailors!

For more reading, why not check out some of the military bloggers?

If you want to help out our troops, you can send them things through Soldier’s Angels.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gay marriage debate: Michael Brown debates Eric Smaw on same-sex marriage

About the debate:

On April 21, 2011 at 7:30pm at UCF’s Health and Public Affairs Building (Room 119), Rollins College professor, Dr. Eric Smaw and author and seminary professor Dr. Michael L. Brown will debate the question “Should same sex marriage be legalized in America?” The event will be held at 4000 Central Florida Blvd and is open to the public. After the formal portion of the debate, Brown and Smaw will field questions from the audience.

About the speakers:

Dr. Smaw will be responding in the affirmative. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Law from the University of Kentucky in 2005. His areas of expertise are philosophy of law, international law, human rights, ethics, and modern philosophy. He has published articles on human rights, terrorism, and cosmopolitanism. His most recent publication is “Swaying in the Balance: Civil Liberties, National Security, and Justice in Times of Emergency”.

Dr. Brown will be responding in the negative. He earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and is a nationally known evangelical lecturer and radio host. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and twenty books, including the recently published study “A Queer Thing Happened to America”, which is quickly being recognized as the definitive work on the history and effects of gay activism on American culture.

Here are the first two parts:

Part 1 of 10:

Part 2 of 10:

The rest of the segments are here.

Summaries of the opening speeches

Summary of Dr. Brown’s opening speech:

There is no compelling reasons by the state should change the definition of marriage

The reason the state conveys benefits for marriage is because marriage is beneficial for the state

Traditional marriage is recognized by the state for several reasons:
- it domesticates men
- it protects women
- it provides a stable, nurturing environment for children

Marriage has three public purposes:
- to bind men and women together for RESPONSIBLE procreation
- to get the benefit
- to provide children with two parents who are bonded to them biologically
- to create the next generation of people to keep the society going

Normally, opposite sex couples create children

Homosexual couples can NEVER create children together

Men and women are differences that are complementary

Monogamy is the norm for opposite sex couples.

For gay men, open relationships / cheating is the norm.
This is because women have a tempering effect on sexuality.

There is no evidence that recognizing same-sex civil unions and marriages have changed this trend.

Same-sex marriage guarantees that children will either not have a father or a mother
So which of the sexes is dispensable when raising children?

For example, consider Dawn Stefanowicz, who grew up with a gay father and no mother
She never got a chance to see a man model love and protect a women within a marriage
That makes an enormous difference in a woman’s life – in the way she relates to men

Even with scientific advancements, every baby has a mother and a father

If we change the definition of marriage so that it is based on consent, then why limit it to just two people
If marriage is not the union of male and female, then why have only TWO people
In Canada, you have civil liberties lawyers arguing for for polygamy
In the United States, Professor David Epstein was in a consensual relationship with his daughter
Should incestuous relationships also be celebrated as marriage? Why not?
Should polyamorous relationships also be celebrated as marriage? Why not?

Sexual orientation is not the same as race
Men are women are different in significant ways, but different races are not
You need separate bathrooms for men and women, but not for people of different races

Summary of Dr. Smaw’s opening speech: (He ended his speech after only 10 minutes)

You can redefine marriage so that it no longer based on the public purposes he mentioned (controlling procreation, fusing complementary male and female natures, providing children with mothers and fathers who are biologically linked to them, providing children with a comparatively stable development environment that offers comparatively less instability, promiscuity and domestic violence rates compared to cohabitation, etc.), but is instead based on consent and feelings, and that redefinition of marriage won’t open marriage up to polygamy, polyamory, etc.

If you like feminism, then you should allow same-sex marriage

If you like abortion rights, then you should allow same-sex marriage

Homosexuals participate in society by working at various jobs, so they are participating in society

Homosexuals should be given the same tax breaks as married people because they work at various jobs for money

Working at a job for money achieves the same public purpose as procreating and staying together to raise children in a stable environment

You can listen to the rest for the rebuttals, and cross-examination. Oh yes – there was cross-examination! It starts two thirds of the way through Part 5, if you want to jump to it. And sparks were flying! There is also Q&A from the audience of students.

This is such a great debate – I love to hear two passionate guys disagreeing about something. I love to hear both sides of the issues. There is always something to learn by listening to the other side. It makes me more effective and more tolerant when I stand up to defend my side of the argument.

By the way, my own secular case against same-sex marriage is right here, if you want to see how I would debate this issue. Also check out the recent studies on the effects of gay parenting on children.

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

Is it good enough to quote the Bible when discussing public policy issues?

In a recent post, I stated my view that holding up signs with Bible verses on street corners was a foolish way to argue against homosexuality and legalizing same-sex marriage.

Marshal Art wrote this in response:

It might be much better to have scholarly spokesmen, but can we wait about until they show up, are sought out by the media and left-wing enablers or can command the same level of attention as the activists? I don’t think so. The fact is that we need everyone who opposes the sanctioning of this attraction as normal and the attendant behavior as morally benign to speak out often and loudly. The problem with the goofs, like Fred Phelps for example, is that they are among the few who are vocal about their position, without more rational people risking blowback by being outspoken opponents themselves.

And then Lindsay Harold replied to me, and this is the one you need to read closely:

Exactly. People who make a public case against same-sex marriage (or abortion, etc.) solely on religious grounds are basically painting a big target on everyone who holds the same position. They make it easy for people to ridicule them and ignore the facts by saying that the only opposition to these things is religious in nature – that conservatives just want to “force their religion” on others. That’s a difficult charge to overcome precisely because, in many cases, there is a lot of truth to it. Too many people only want to stop same-sex marriage and abortion because they believe they are wrong according to the Bible.

The problem is, that’s not sufficient reason to make something illegal. There are plenty of things that are wrong (coveting, lust, not remembering the Sabbath, etc) that are not and should not be illegal. Thus, if you are going to make a case for why something should or should not be legal, you must have more than religious reasons. Making only a religious case in such a situation is indeed attempting to force religion on others. And it hampers the real work of using evidence and logic to make the proper legal case by painting all the others defending marriage or fighting abortion with the label of “religious fanatic.”

Probably the hardest part of defending traditional marriage or arguing against abortion is convincing the other side to listen to the facts and logic rather than dismissing you as religiously-motivated. The reason for this is that there are too many well-intentioned, but ignorant and misguided, people out there making things harder for their own side with their faulty arguments.

She actually wrote a similar post on her blog, “Lindsay’s Logic”, but on the abortion issue on her blog recently, and here’s a snippet:

You see, laws in this country are not based on religion. In fact, our Founding Fathers specifically planned to create a nation where religious freedom was protected. In order to do that, one must have a secular country based on logical principles, not a theocracy. History has shown that government based upon religion inevitably persecutes those who disagree with the religion in power. Many, if not most, of those who came to America and founded this nation came to escape religious persecution. They knew firsthand the dangers of living in a church state. They wanted to ensure freedom for all, so they set up a secular government and laid out basic principles to limit the government’s power and prevent oppression of the people. Their principles were based on the concept of inalienable rights – rights that are innate in every human being and which government cannot grant or take away. These rights include the right to life, liberty, ownership of property, religion, a fair trial, and many others – all developed from basic logical principles. And, in this country, laws are to be made by the people, but only in accordance with these principles so that no one’s rights will be violated.
Of course, these logical principles are quite consistent with a Biblical worldview – and not by accident. The concept of inalienable rights, for example, comes from the view that mankind is the product of a Creator who has endowed them with these rights. Religious freedom is also consistent with the Bible. After all, even God Himself does not force Himself upon anyone, but gives all people the free choice to choose Him or not. But one cannot enforce every doctrine from the Bible in a secular society. There are things that are wrong, according to the Bible, which cannot be made law. How would one, for example, make lust or coveting illegal? And while the Bible commands us to remember the Sabbath day, one cannot enforce this on all people within a society without violating their freedom of religion. Thus, not everything that is wrong should be illegal.

It looks to me like Lindsay’s logic is pretty sound. My own view is that I get my moral views from the Bible, and then when talking about those views with people in the the public square, I use secular arguments (unless they happen to be evangelical Protestants like me – but then they probably would not need convincing?!)

What do you think? Is Marshal Art right or is Lindsay right? Although both of them are good people and mean well, which approach do you think will actually solve the problem?

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

Gay marriage debate: Michael Brown debates Eric Smaw on same-sex marriage

About the debate:

On April 21, 2011 at 7:30pm at UCF’s Health and Public Affairs Building (Room 119), Rollins College professor, Dr. Eric Smaw and author and seminary professor Dr. Michael L. Brown will debate the question “Should same sex marriage be legalized in America?” The event will be held at 4000 Central Florida Blvd and is open to the public. After the formal portion of the debate, Brown and Smaw will field questions from the audience.

About the speakers:

Dr. Smaw will be responding in the affirmative. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Law from the University of Kentucky in 2005. His areas of expertise are philosophy of law, international law, human rights, ethics, and modern philosophy. He has published articles on human rights, terrorism, and cosmopolitanism. His most recent publication is “Swaying in the Balance: Civil Liberties, National Security, and Justice in Times of Emergency”.

Dr. Brown will be responding in the negative. He earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and is a nationally known evangelical lecturer and radio host. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and twenty books, including the recently published study “A Queer Thing Happened to America”, which is quickly being recognized as the definitive work on the history and effects of gay activism on American culture.

Here are the first two parts:

Part 1 of 10:

Part 2 of 10:

The rest of the segments are here.

Summaries of the opening speeches

Summary of Dr. Brown’s opening speech:

There is no compelling reasons by the state should change the definition of marriage

The reason the state conveys benefits for marriage is because marriage is beneficial for the state

Traditional marriage is recognized by the state for several reasons:
- it domesticates men
- it protects women
- it provides a stable, nurturing environment for children

Marriage has three public purposes:
- to bind men and women together for RESPONSIBLE procreation
- to get the benefit
- to provide children with two parents who are bonded to them biologically
- to create the next generation of people to keep the society going

Normally, opposite sex couples create children

Homosexual couples can NEVER create children together

Men and women are differences that are complementary

Monogamy is the norm for opposite sex couples.

For gay men, open relationships / cheating is the norm.
This is because women have a tempering effect on sexuality.

There is no evidence that recognizing same-sex civil unions and marriages have changed this trend.

Same-sex marriage guarantees that children will either not have a father or a mother
So which of the sexes is dispensable when raising children?

For example, consider Dawn Stefanowicz, who grew up with a gay father and no mother
She never got a chance to see a man model love and protect a women within a marriage
That makes an enormous difference in a woman’s life – in the way she relates to men

Even with scientific advancements, every baby has a mother and a father

If we change the definition of marriage so that it is based on consent, then why limit it to just two people
If marriage is not the union of male and female, then why have only TWO people
In Canada, you have civil liberties lawyers arguing for for polygamy
In the United States, Professor David Epstein was in a consensual relationship with his daughter
Should incestuous relationships also be celebrated as marriage? Why not?
Should polyamorous relationships also be celebrated as marriage? Why not?

Sexual orientation is not the same as race
Men are women are different in significant ways, but different races are not
You need separate bathrooms for men and women, but not for people of different races

Summary of Dr. Smaw’s opening speech: (He ended his speech after only 10 minutes)

You can redefine marriage so that it no longer based on the public purposes he mentioned (controlling procreation, fusing complementary male and female natures, providing children with mothers and fathers who are biologically linked to them, providing children with a comparatively stable development environment that offers comparatively less instability, promiscuity and domestic violence rates compared to cohabitation, etc.), but is instead based on consent and feelings, and that redefinition of marriage won’t open marriage up to polygamy, polyamory, etc.

If you like feminism, then you should allow same-sex marriage

If you like abortion rights, then you should allow same-sex marriage

Homosexuals participate in society by working at various jobs, so they are participating in society

Homosexuals should be given the same tax breaks as married people because they work at various jobs for money

Working at a job for money achieves the same public purpose as procreating and staying together to raise children in a stable environment

You can listen to the rest for the rebuttals, and cross-examination. Oh yes – there was cross-examination! It starts two thirds of the way through Part 5, if you want to jump to it. And sparks were flying! There is also Q&A from the audience of students.

This is such a great debate – I love to hear two passionate guys disagreeing about something. I love to hear both sides of the issues. There is always something to learn by listening to the other side. It makes me more effective and more tolerant when I stand up to defend my side of the argument.

By the way, my own secular case against same-sex marriage is right here, if you want to see how I would debate this issue. Also check out the recent studies on the effects of gay parenting on children.

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

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