“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

Arkansas Moves to Ban Homosexual Adoption

In the current war on marriage and family, children by far stand the most to lose.

As much peril as this war holds for adult men and women, children are the most vulnerable and least able to defend themselves against the fallout.

Children are in great need of a stable home environment as they not only strive for academic success, but even as they work to understand the world around them and how they are supposed to grow into well-adjusted members of society.

No-fault divorce and high out-of-wedlock birth rates have seriously hurt countless children in the past four decades. Cohabitative environments have left children uncertain of the future and often at higher risk of abuse and neglect.

Now, with states like Massachusetts and California attempting to ramrod the idea of homosexual “marriage” on the rest of American society, the subject of homosexual adoptions is becoming more serious.

When a child is adopted into a homosexual home, the child is intentionally being deprived of either a father or a mother. What’s more, children placed in these homes are exposed to the same negative health conditions homosexuals face at much greater rates: AIDS, STDs, hepatitis, substance abuse, depression, suicide, and domestic violence. Homosexuals also have a much higher rate of promiscuity, further subjecting children to chaotic and potentially abusive situations.

Already, there are few states that prohibit adoption of children by homosexual couples.

But one of those states where the door has not yet been opened, Arkansas, is making a move to protect children this November.

From CNS News:

A proposal aimed at effectively banning gays and lesbians from becoming foster or adoptive parents was cleared Monday to appear on this fall’s ballot in Arkansas.

The measure would prohibit unmarried couples living together from fostering or adopting children

This legislation would not only stop homosexuals from adopting or providing foster care for children, but would prohibit cohabitating couples also.

It stands to reason that a couple who lacks the commitment to marry one another may also lack the commitment to provide the best possible home environment for a developing child. At the very least, they would be subjecting a child to an uncertain future (it’s a lot easier to walk away from a relationship when there is no marriage covenant involved). They would also be teaching the child that marriage, one of the foundational institutions of any healthy society, isn’t important.

The state has a compelling interest in preserving marriage. This interest involves not only preventing marriage from being hijacked and counterfeited by homosexual couples, but in promoting and preserving the institution of marriage. Several states have begun responding to this need by offering “covenant marriages,” which involve premarital counseling and restricting justification for divorce to more traditional reasons such as adultery or abuse.

It is interesting to note that Arkansas, like South Dakota, has one of these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” organizations masquerading as a “family friendly” group–while attacking the family.

In South Dakota, it is the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families (aka South Dakota Campaign for UnHealthy Families) fighting for the right to slaughter children in the womb for any reason. In Arkansas, it is the Arkansas Families First group fighting to put children last after the sexual and convenience priorities of adults.

Such masquerades are not new. But it is good to see Arkansas taking a proactive approach to defending the welfare of children in that state.

Every state in the union, including South Dakota, should initiate similar actions as soon as possible. Children are the least among us able to defend themselves. We owe it to them to protect them from adult irresponsibility.


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44 Responses to “Arkansas Moves to Ban Homosexual Adoption”

  1. I’m with you 100%, Bob. I’d rather have no parents than gay parents!

  2. If that’s the case, then you’re as ignorant as your statement.

    People are lined up and waiting to adopt children.

    There is no need to place them in inadequate homes when there are plenty of good homes available.

  3. Yeah, but for the kids who are stuck in orphanages waiting for parents, they’re better off there than in the home of a gay couple.

  4. Given the hazards they face and the unhealthy lessons they would learn in a homosexual home, that would probably be true.

    But how many children would even be in an orphanage?

  5. Well, UNICEF has a projected estimate of 44 million orphans worldwide by 2010. And that’s including all those parentless children who don’t have the luxury of even the most run-down orphanage. Are they still better off than if they had food, shelter, and clothes provided by two loving gay parents?

    You say that people are lined up waiting to adopt children. How many miles, exactly, does that line stretch? How many children are you able to adopt to keep UNICEF’s estimate lower?

  6. Parents are waiting months to adopt children, both here in the United States and around the world.

    There are also many families who help by bringing multiple foster children into their homes.

    Even if children were waiting long periods to be adopted, it would be better for them to wait in surroundings that didn’t subject them to higher rates of AIDS, STDs, hepatitis, substance abuse, depression, suicide, domestic violence, promiscuity, and the intentional deprivation of a father or mother.

    Children are not pets, nor are the political devices some may find useful to advance an immoral and unhealthy lifestyle.

  7. Bob, you say “higher rates” of STDs, domestic violence, etc., as if you are certain that children of gay parents will be exposed to these things. You are not.

    Also, children in African orphanages have a ridiculously higher chance of contracting HIV than American kids with uninfected gay parents. And those children, unlike the ones in places where gay adoption is legal, don’t have the good fortune of calling ANYONE mommy or daddy. But I’m willing to bet you’ll still say it’s better to rot in an AIDS-infested orphanage in Uganda than it is to be the child of gay parents.

    I’ll ask you again: since you refuse to let gay people do their part to ameliorate this deplorable situation of parentless children (caused, ironically enough, by heterosexuals), then what are YOU doing to make things better?

    While you mull that over, have you ever wondered about the number of gay parents versus the number of straight parents who discard their children to orphanages and expect someone else to care for them? Have you ever wondered what drives gay parents to go through the rigorous and expensive adoption process, background checks and all, even though they know they probably won’t get a child?

    Must be their overwhelming compulsion to recruit and corrupt innocent minds, eh?

  8. As I have said multiple times by this point, homosexuals experience higher rates of AIDS, STDs, hepatitis, substance abuse, depression, suicide, domestic violence, promiscuity.

    Will every homosexual experience these factors? No. But when the average number of annual sex partners for homosexuals is about 100, and many go considerably higher, the odds for all these factors are very high. Monogamy is also very rare even in “committed” relationships in the homosexual community. A Canadian study found that in homosexual relationships lasting a year, only 25% were monogamous. That rate drops almost to somewhere around 3% by 5 years.

    It would be insane to place a child into such a chaotic environment.

    I also have a few questions for you. How do you know orphanages in Uganda are AIDS-infested? How, presumably, would these children contract AIDS?

    I’ve identified a need to place children in good, stable, healthy homes, while you have come on the scene advocating we place them in high-risk homes. Do you believe children deserve the best possible home, or is what homosexuals want the highest priority?

    What are YOU doing to ensure children have the best shot at a good life?

  9. Wow, you really are incapable of accepting that homosexuals can truly love and care for children. It’s sad.

    And for the record, I’m doing just as little as you are to ensure that these orphaned kids have good homes. But at least I’m not the one who’s using a few statistics to generalize and justify a prejudiced opinion about millions of people.

  10. You actually have no idea what I’m doing or not doing, regardless of whether “doing something” was even necessary to (a) care or (b) promote the welfare of children.

    Incidentally, that is something that everyone can do, if they’re willing: advocate and promote the welfare of children above the selfish desires of adults. Just being a voice in defense of “the least of these” is more than most people will dare today; it is far too easy to go with the flow, keep your mouth shut and allow selfish adults to use children as pawns.

    And for the record, I don’t dispute that homosexuals are capable of showing love toward children or caring for children. What I do dispute, and the overwhelming evidence (not just “a few statistics) backs it up, is that a homosexual home is even remotely the best place for children.

    And if it makes you feel any better, the cohabitative homes also banned by this Arkansas bill are also not a good place for children–which is why they, too are included in the ban.

    We’ve treated children worse than pets for decades, and it’s high time it ended. They are the most vulnerable, most impressionable, and most easily damaged among us, yet we’ve treated them as an afterthought, a minor consideration in our pursuit for self actualization.

    We should be ashamed of ourselves as a society. It’s high time we all followed Arkansas’ lead and started protecting children like a healthy, just society should.

  11. I think you’re right about needing to change our treatment of children. For too long, heterosexuals have aborted, abused, discarded, exploited, and neglected innocent children. Yet for some odd reason, you don’t hear anybody saying, “Heterosexual parents inherently cannot give children what they need. They only want kids to fulfill their own selfish desires.”

    Oh and I’m sorry I assumed what you have and haven’t done. It’s not my place to make assumptions about a complete stranger. Studies and overwhelming evidence show that Christians are generally more likely to actively care for children, so I guess that’s what put the idea in my head. Here I prejudicially thought you were some stereotypical save-the-world, adopt-all-the-kids Christian. But I understand you have an important blog to maintain, so that trumps everything.

  12. You don’t hear people saying “Heterosexual parents inherently cannot give children what they need. They only want kids to fulfill their own selfish desires.” because…it simply isn’t the case.

    Oh, it’s definitely true that some heterosexuals have kids because they make good props on the Christmas postcard and such.

    But “Heterosexual parents inherently cannot give children what they need?” They are the only couple capable of providing what children need. Whether they do or not could be a different story, but they possess what is necessary to do so.

    Homosexuals, on the other hand, cannot even create children, much less give them what they need.

    If homosexuals want children that badly, they should do the proper thing for having children: find someone of the opposite sex and marry them.

    Otherwise, they have no business meddling where they aren’t willing to do the right thing.

  13. Congragulations, Bob! I counted 15 examples of bigotry and hatred in this blog post. That’s a new record for you!

  14. Gay people are fully human law-abiding competent contributing citizens. We love fully and our families are fully loved.

    The anti-gay bigots, as shown here in these comments, are no different than any other past SUPREMACISTS. Like past supremacists their primary tool for promoting their supremacist ideology is dehumanization.

    Children are much better off in a stable loving home than in an orphanage. Some of these stable loving homes will have parents who happen to be gay in them.

    The shame the anti-gay supremacist bigots do not have now will surely be felt by their descendants when these immoral ugly vile hateful comments here are found by them. You see, just like the photos of white supremacists burning books, kicking young black students, screaming racist obscenities live on today… so will these ant-gay comments which surely show a poverty of spirit and character.

    Gay people and our straight friends and family members will continue to marginalize the supremacist bigots just as past bigots have been marginalized. Let’s just look at our youth. They show that the evil immoral heinous anti-gay hatred shown by some of their parents will assuredly continue its long slow death.

    Thank you God for your mercy and for lifting up the gay community and all those who choose reason, compassion and moral truth over the evil that is supremacist anti-gay bigotry.

    :)

  15. You have a very vivid imagination, Haggs. Only people dedicated to excusing immorality see opposition to immorality as bigotry and hatred.

    A more reasonable person would have seen 15 examples of support for sexual morality and defense of the welfare of children.

    Thanks for letting us know on which side you stand.

  16. Patrick, can’t you come up with anything other that the tired and irrelevant comparisons to slavery, civil rights, etc? Even most black Americans know that’s a total crock.

    Skin color is an innate physical characteristic that is morally neutral.

    Homosexual behavior, on the other hand, is a behavior which God repeatedly condemns as immoral in both Old and New Testaments. It is an egregious violation of God’s design for the expression of human sexuality. It serves no biological purpose. It runs counter to the purpose for which our bodies were designed. And the elevated health risks associated with homosexual behavior (higher rates of AIDS, STDs, hepatitis, substance abuse, depression, suicide, domestic violence) illustrate that it is not a healthy choice–as does the high rate of promiscuity and low rate of monogamy.

    These are all terrible places to situate children, and a society which places the welfare of children before the selfish desires of adults would take steps (as the people of Arkansas are doing) to prevent such an offense against developing children.

  17. Bob,

    There are many gay couples who have just as little chance as you do of separating from their partner, having an affair, getting AIDS/STDs, committing suicide, abusing drugs, being depressed, and committing domestic abuse. In fact, there are many gay parents who exhibit a greater amount of responsibility and care toward their children than straight parents. What do you say about them?

    On the other hand, many married heterosexual couples are far MORE likely than some gay couples to engage in these kinds of things, and yet they are allowed to raise children.

    If you knew a heterosexual woman who has AIDS and raises three children with her husband, would you have her kids taken out of that home? I mean, who in their right mind would allow children to be around AIDS?

  18. You’re wasting your breath with this guy. Ive read many of Mr Ellis’ posts, and, you are never going to change his mind. His views are narrowly centered, and hate filled. He believes that his bible and his interpretation is the only possible truth in life. He states “facts” without providing unbiased or properly checked sources, and expects everyone to take them at face value. His true agenda is clear, he wants to control everyone else, and he’ll yell and scream until the day he dies about how he’s right, and any time you try and show him evidence contrary to what he believes, he will stick his fingers in his ears, close his eyes, and believe that makes it untrue. I fully suspect he is closeted himself, and very self hating.

    I feel sorry for people like Mr Ellis, they have been robbed of all true joy in their lives, wrapping themselves in a flag and using a bible for a sword, they feel that it is their place to tell everyone else how they *must* live. And then they wonder why they are vilified by others for spewing their hateful garbage. He is not worth listening to, he is not worth engaging in debate. He is nothing. Even trying to reach him, is futile. He will continue to spew his hatred until his dying day, and then, perhaps, he will face retribution, or perhaps he will just be truly saddened when he realizes the love he could have been embracing all these years of his life that he’s instead chosen to waste.

    Please, feel free to join me in the real world, while Mr Ellis can continue to stew in his own, secure in knowing he’s “right”.

  19. Bob,

    I think both Haggs and Patrick have a point. I mean, look at the word choice you’re using. Gay couples are “hijacking” and “counterfeiting” marriage? Not only that, but you claim that their kids are in danger, because gay parents usually have AIDS and STDs, sleep around, have unstable relationships, abuse drugs, beat their partners (and I suppose you also assume their kids), and intentionally put children in abusive and chaotic environments.

    I’m willing to accept that your articles are not hateful per se, because I don’t believe you’re a hateful person. I believe you have good intentions. But your writing conveys a tone of aggression, anger, unfriendliness, and mean-spiritedness that cannot be ignored. That you go out of your way to use the typical Christian anti-gay rhetoric implies that gay people should be considered criminals for what you interpret as destroying everything you value and going out of their way to ruin your life.

    In the midst of your anger and dedication to Christian activism, I think you are overlooking something important: MOST GAY PEOPLE ARE NOT ACTIVISTS. Most of them are just ordinary people who want to mind their own business and achieve happiness in their lives, and they get annoyed when someone else tells them how to live.

    As I said, I don’t think you’re hateful, at least not as hateful as others might characterize you. You are so passionate about your cause that your passion occasionally blinds you to the reality of what you’re doing, which is stereotyping millions of people based on averages and using that one stereotype as grounds for why gay people AS A POPULATION should not be allowed to do this or that. To you, millions of people should be denied certain rights and privileges because of the actions of a few. That is completely unfair, and I can totally understand how one can misconstrue it as hate and bigotry. I hope you do too.

  20. At best, you misunderstand, Anonymous 8:57. As I said earlier, not every homosexual will experience these problems, as not every heterosexual will provide a good home.

    But the evidence is clear: homosexuals have a much greater rate of AIDS (less than 3% of the population accounts for more than half the AIDS cases in the US, and among males, 72% of AIDS cases arise from homosexual behavior), much greater rates of other STDS, depression, substance abuse, suicide, and promiscuity.

    What’s more, placing a child with a homosexual couple intentionally deprives the child of either a husband or father. Further, this environment teaches the child that one or the other sex is unnecessary or even undesirable. This is a terrible incorrect and warped message to send to a child.

    If homosexuals want children, they should do the right thing: renounce homosexual behavior, marry someone of the opposite sex and raise children in a healthy, stable, balanced environment.

  21. Anonymous 11:10,

    I absolutely could not have said it better myself.

    If Mr. Ellis is incapable of changing his mind, why does he expect others to?

  22. Anonymous 11:10 is right in one thing: you’re wasting your breath if you think you’ll ever convince me that wrong is right and right is wrong. The facts are too clear.

    Those “biased” and “improperly checked” sources include such anti-homosexual, biased and hate-filled sources as gay.com, the Journal of Sex Research, The Social Organization of Sexuality, the Washington Blade, the Lambda Report, USA Today, the American Sociological Review, the Journal of Social Service Research, the International Journal of Epidemiology, the Department of Justice, the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control, the New England Journal of Medicine, and others.

    The information is out there…for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear.

    If you would call it hate for someone to warn another person about a damaged bridge on the road ahead, then I am hate-filled.

    If you would call it hate for someone to warn another person about the risks of a dangerous behavior such as drug use or drunk driving, then I am hate-filled.

    If you would call it hate for someone to warn another person about something poisonous in a product they were using or about to use, then I am hate filled.

    If you would call it hate for someone to warn another person about a practice that that will wreck their spiritual health, their emotional stability, and even their physical well being, then I am filled with hate.

    If you’re determined to embrace a lie and thus endanger yourself and everyone around you, there’s nothing I can do to stop you.

    But I can warn more reasonable people about the dangers, both to individuals and to society (like these children), and hopefully we can avoid more suffering than our world already knows.

  23. “…not every homosexual will experience these problems.”

    Which is EXACTLY why it’s illogical for you to cite your usual reasons as grounds for prohibiting ALL gay couples from adopting — they don’t all experience these problems, just as you said.

    This leaves you with the defense that all gay couples intentionally deprive children of both genders of parents, which is supposedly wrong and immoral. Single parents do this every day, yet they’re still allowed to raise their kids. No one forces them to marry or remarry.

    So what else have you got?

  24. Jon, thank you for the tone of your comments, which was much more reasonable than most here.

    My choice of those words hijacking” and “counterfeiting” was very deliberate, because I wanted to convey as accurately and clearly as possible what homosexual activists are attempting to do with marriage.

    Also, those risk factors I mentioned are very clearly documented; they aren’t the demented fantasies of religious bigots. They are documented by objective medical authorities and medical organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control.

    My tone may very well be aggressive, but it is appropriate–and I dare say called for–to aggressively meet an aggressive threat to marriage, family, and the welfare of children. Timidity and passivity are a totally inappropriate response in the face of the head-on aggressive assault on these most foundational institutions and members of our society. If harm was about to be visited on the children or family of your next-door neighbor, would it be appropriate to respond haltingly and timidly…or aggressively in their defense?

    I do concur with you that most homosexuals don’t fall into the category that would be considered “activists.” And I usually take care to make that distinction–not that not being an activist makes homosexual behavior any more moral or healthy, but simply that, as you said, the majority of homosexuals are simply looking to do their thing and be left alone, and not bother anyone else.

    But the activist corps does exist, and they are militantly dedicated to the full legitimization of homosexuality, and are aggressively working to undermine marriage and family.

    Neither the activists nor the rank-and-file homosexual who simply wants to be left alone are being denied any rights and privileges. Homosexuals have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex that everyone else has. And, as this measure in Arkansas illustrates, adoption should be reserved for married men and women that can provide the healthy, balanced and stable environment children need–regardless of whether the couple is homosexual or heterosexual.

    Thanks again for your polite and thoughtful comments, Jon.

  25. Anonymous 12:21, not every intoxicated person who gets behind the wheel will have a wreck and kill someone.

    Would you like to do away with DUI laws which protect the public?

    I didn’t think so.

  26. Ah, the typical Bob response. Avoid an issue by throwing around faux-analogies and acting like they are acceptable substitutes for a reasoned and thoughtful answer to the specific issue at hand.

    As long as we’re asking stupid hypothetical questions, would you like to enact laws that make it illegal for single parents to raise children? After all, they ARE depriving their children of a “normal,” heterosexual environment. What do you say?

  27. The Anonymous from a few posts ago has a good question, and I think you should answer it Bob. If you are so sure that you’re right and know that you’ll never change your mind no matter what, then how can you expect others to change theirs?

    There must be a Bob Ellis on the other side of this debate, who is as adamantly in favor of gay rights and equality as you are against it. He will never change his mind, but you expect him to anyway? I’ve seen some arrogance in my day, but you take the prize.

  28. Anonymous 1:01, apparently “faux-analogies” are what you call “An argument with such fundamental logic that I can’t find any way around it.”

    As I said in another post recently, the only viable alternative for enforcing a theoretical law making it illegal for single parents to raise children would be to implement an absolute police state where essentially all freedom and privacy were removed–not an option anyone on the Left or the Right wants. What’s more, even if we tried such a thing, even the surveillance technology available today wouldn’t make it possible, nor could there be a big enough police force to make it work.

    Single parenthood, however, can and should be discouraged. We can return to a set of objective moral values, the kind which made our nation the great and successful place it has come to be, which teach from childhood the value and sanctity of marriage, and that marriage is the only proper place for sexuality and child bearing. Some will of course ignore this, as some humans always have ignored the right path, but those will be, as they were until relatively recently, the exception rather than the rule.

    We can also get rid of the abomination that is no-fault divorce, so that if someone makes a marriage contract with another person, we expect them to honor it (as we should expect of all agreements and contracts) except for reasonable exceptions such as infidelity and abuse.

    But as I’ve said (how many times now?), placing children into a homosexual home is intentionally depriving them of a mother or father…in addition to all those other risk factors.

    That’s not something a sane society does.

  29. Anonymous 1:21, It is reasonable to expect someone who is wrong to change their mind and adopt the correct position (I’ve been wrong in the past–through ignorance–and have changed my position accordingly).

    It is unreasonable to expect someone who is right to change their mind and adopt an incorrect position, or to claim that something they know is wrong is really right merely for the sake of being “reasonable” or “agreeable.”

    To expect someone to abandon the truth and embrace error so that it will make you feel better is the height of arrogance.

  30. Bob, what you keep proving in all your posts/replies is you’re a moron regarding knowledge of homosexuals.

    And I thought the biggest homophobe was Fred Pehlps of the Westboro Baptist Church, who uses his religion to promote his hatred.

    You’re definitely in the same league as him in regards to the amount of lies and untruths you’ll tell to sell your anti-gay message.

    Hopefully like Fred, the two of you will just fade away when gays are given more rights.

  31. Fred Phelps just hates homosexuals and doesn’t base any of his rhetoric on Biblical authority.

    I don’t hate homosexuals. I simply state what God has said on the matter, which is intended to help homosexuals realize their error, repent and get into a healthy relationship with God–something people can’t do when they refuse to admit their sin.

  32. Bob, what kind of idiots do you think we are?

    First of all, gay marriage does not imply that gay people are going to start adopting. In actual fact, Massachusetts legalized gay adoption 18 years ago and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the first. Gay couples have been adopting for long enough that their kids are adults now, and guess what, the sky hasn’t fallen and we don’t have massive numbers of traumatized kids whining about their gay parents.

    Secondly, you’re complaining that unmarried couples shouldn’t be adopting because they need to show commitment by marrying. HELLO! Gay couples are trying to marry, to show commitment to each other, and you’re complaining about that too. Are you schizophrenic, or did you just say commitment is required but bad at the same time?

    You said the state has a compelling interest in preserving marriage, but you’re trying to stop people from getting married. You complain (rather questionably) that gay people are promiscuous, but you don’t want to let gay people commit to each other. Are you high?

    You failed entirely to actually consider what experience shows about the welfare of children. In every state that has tried to ban foster parenting by gay people, when foster child case workers were interviewed about it, they universally reported that doing so would be a disaster.

    You trumpet the idea of “covenant marriages” but don’t bother mentioning that only about 1% of people in states where it’s offered want it for themself, and the vast majority of states that have considered it have not chosen to pass it.

    It sure looks like you’re a wackjob bigot pushing a radical political agenda, willing to say anything, no matter how contradictory or untrue, to do so.

    Oh, and one last thing Bob… you claim that people are lined up to adopt children. BZZT! Wrong! People are lined up to adopt BABIES. Older children frequently languish in foster care until they turn 18. Gay couples have proven to have an above average willingness adopt children other people don’t want because they’re older or require medical care.

  33. Anonymous 12:47, the insane idea of homosexual “marriage” doesn’t, as you said, necessitate that homosexuals will automatically try to adopt, but the fact that some in our society are entertaining this nonsense (it takes a man and a woman to constitute a marriage, so calling two men or two women a “marriage” is like calling a pine needle a $20 bill) will further facilitate adoption for those homosexual couples inclined to warp a young child.

    You claim people aren’t lined up waiting to adopt older children. This shows YOU don’t know what you’re talking about, since I know some people who run an adoption agency, and I also know several people who have adopted many older children–including many with special needs–and people are waiting to do that, too.

    You are simply desperate to legitimize an immoral, unnatural and unhealthy lifestyle, and you don’t care one iota if children’s lives are warped and destroyed in the process. Their welfare is apparently a minor consideration in this whole drama.

  34. [Edited from an earlier post]Anonymous 1:21 and others, you challenge Mr. Ellis about his willingness to be persuaded to accept your point of view. I hold the same position as Bob and can be persuaded with facts and truth, both conspicuously lacking in most of your posts. Mr. Ellis has provided extra-biblical facts and sourced them appropriately yet you answer with emotionalism and by appealing to the exceptions. His question about drunk drivers is a legitimate analogy but it is dismissed with ridicule and scorn.

    “Mugsy” Bogues at 5′-3″ was the shortest professional basketball player of all time, yet NBA scouts do not go out to college campuses every year looking for short players to recruit. That’s because, for a successful team they need TALL and talented players to put on the court. We know that stable two-parent families with a mother and a father give kids the best chance of success. Does it make sense to recruit potential adoptive parents offering anything less?

    As to willingness to change our minds, Mr. Ellis has talked before about his past indiscretions. I have a past of substance abuse, homosexual behavior and militant atheism. Yet, we both came to know the truth through Jesus Christ and have repented of our past sins. Speaking only for myself, when I was living that sin-filled life I was as convinced as many of you seem to be that I was right and those Christian busy-bodies had no business telling me what to do. Thank God they didn’t give up on me. Through persistent encouragement, love and prayer I was finally convicted of my sinful ways and turned to God for the truth. No, I doubt that Bob or I will ever convince you, but God just might if you open your heart just a little.

  35. Dr. Theo,

    How do you know when God is convincing you? Think about that.

    Gay-affirming Christians, such as the ones you might find in the Metropolitan Community Church and many other places, not to mention your very own evangelical community, believe God has convinced them to accept homosexuality. I’m sure many of their minds have been changed from rejection to full acceptance, and do you know what they attribute it to? The work of the Holy Spirit. They believe that you are wrong for opposing homosexuality just as vehemently as you believe they are wrong for accepting it. It’s not just how they personally interpret the Bible; it’s how they feel GOD TELLS THEM TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE, so how can you possibly explain to them that that’s wrong? The only similarity between you and them is that you all believe that your views come not from yourselves, but from God.

    What you activists don’t seem to get is that while you can convince someone that he or she is wrong personally, you can do NOTHING to make them see that what God whispers to them through prayer and the Bible is incorrect.

    So I hope you realize that saying “We don’t have to convince you; God will do that for us” is still open to subjectivity and is just as futile.

    Some people believe God wants them to be missionaries. Others believe they are called to be ministers. Others, like you and Mr. Ellis, believe God wants them to spread His message via online blogs. And others believe that God has called them to be martyrs, so they turn themselves into bombs and fly airplanes into office buildings. How does someone make such conclusions for their life? By doing just as you recommend: they opened their hearts and listened to God.

    If they are already convinced beyond a doubt that this is the will of God, something that necessarily can never be wrong, what good is it to say that God can change their minds again? It implies that God made an error when he planned out their life, and any Christian knows that that’s impossible.

  36. Mr. Anonymous 11:16 what your argument condenses down to is moral relativism and you are correct that beginning with that premise leads to an endless circle of assertions and counter-assertions. I do not accept that premise, and, for that matter, have never met anyone who truly does. There is always a point at which a person holding that position has to agree that there are, at some point, moral absolutes. On a visit home from college my daughter once proclaimed that she did not believe there was such a thing as absolute truth. I asked her if she was absolutely sure about that?

    So I believe that there is absolute truth that can be known in this world and it is contained in the only source of absolute truth, God’s Word, as revealed in the Scripture. The line of argument in support of this belief is contained in the apologetics of such Christian philosophers as Paul of Tarsus, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Justin Martyr, Tertullian and, in modern times, C.S. Lewis. The major types of Christian apologetics include: historical and legal evidentialist apologetics, philosophical apologetics, prophetic apologetics, doctrinal apologetics, biblical apologetics, moral apologetics, cosmological and scientific apologetics.

    For those who are seeking the truth there is an abundance of evidence in support of the veracity of the Judeo-Christian scriptures, but to get to that point one must examine himself carefully and separate his biases and proclivities from the mix and be prepared to accept the truth. Once done, it is indeed liberating. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

    Another point that you tried to make, to my annoyance, was that religious conviction inexorably leads to hate, persecution and violence. I reject that. There is no argument that bad men have used religion as a tool to advance their evil desires, but that is not the inevitable product of all religious belief. For all the examples that you might raise there are countless millions of religious men and women who have lived completely moral lives without resorting to any method more extreme than witnessing and praying for others, even those who they believe are enemies of our God.

    I am perfectly willing to let others live their lives as they wish, but expect the same in return. I have never advocated or condoned violence against anyone because of his or her beliefs. When their actions infringe upon the life and freedom that is the God-given right of us all, then I am compelled to speak out and defend our faith. Such is the case with some activist homosexuals, who desire to impose their beliefs on all by force of law.

  37. Anonymous 11:16, the key thing that both you and those who believe as you describe is that all aspects of the life of a Christian must be measured against the Bible for accuracy and authenticity.

    It is easy for us to confuse the voice of our own desires with the voice of God’s Spirit. That is why God bothered to give us the written word in the first place. It is an objective tool that we can measure things by. If we think, “God told me to murder my wife,” we can check the Bible to find out “God says we are not to murder.” If we think, “God told me to leave my wife for that cute honey down at the office,” we can check the Bible to find out that God’s design is marriage for life. Likewise, if we think “God told me he created me homosexual,” you can check the Bible and find out that God said repeatedly in the Old Testament and New Testament that he strongly disapproves of such behavior–it turns his design for human sexuality upside down.

    It is certainly true that no one will ever get through to people who are committed to denying the truth–probably most of them will never get it, since Christ himself told us that the path to his truth is a narrow one and few people will find it.

    But that does not remove the command he gave and the obligation we have as his followers to convey that truth in the hopes that some will listen and be saved (Ezekiel 3:18-21, Matthew 5:13-16, Matthew 28:19).

    As for the implied association between religion and extremists like those who perpetrated 911, it is true that practically anything (including religion) can be perverted into a justification for violence.

    But an important thing to consider is whether any attitudes and acts carried out in the name of a particular religion are in harmony with the tenets of that religion.

    Finally, one of the least religious of the Founders speaks great wisdom to the subject of religion. Ben Franklin said to Thomas Paine in a letter admonishing Paine for his attack on religion: “If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it.”

  38. Thanks for the thoughtful response, Dr. Theo.

    First of all, my intention was not to imply that religious faith inexorably leads to hate, persecution, and violence. Most of the religious people I know are not hateful, and I believe religion can do a great amount of good in our lives. My last example merely points out that the notion of “God calling me to do something” makes people do horrible things. And the scary part is that they don’t see anything wrong with their actions.

    As for whether my argument boils down to nothing more than moral relativism, I disagree. I believe wholeheartedly in objective, absolute truth. What I doubt, however, is our ability to access and recognize it. That’s an essential difference. We try in our various ways to find the truth, whatever it might be, but in the end our efforts cannot escape personal biases and subjectivity.

    Absolute truth is out there, but can we ever reach it? If so, how will we know?

    And as for my original question, I suppose it’s more hypothetical than anything else, but try to answer if you can: When you talk to God, how do you know that He is the one answering?

  39. Bob,

    The Bible may very well be objective, but the fact that Christianity has separated itself into hundreds of (often) contradictory denominations, all with their own interpretations of scripture, is clear evidence that we are unable to access that objectivity. If only one of these denominations is right, which one is it? How do you know?

    Why did you choose your particular denomination over another? Why are you an evangelical when there are so many different paths to choose from? If things had turned out differently, and you had been raised in another part of the country or world and in another time, you most likely would not be an evangelical. You could be Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox, even Jewish. And what’s more, if things had gone this way, you would read the Bible differently from what you do right now. None of us can access true objectivity.

    Here’s a question I always make a point to ask any Christian I talk to: How do you know the Bible is not a lie? I’m not talking about the various historical events and geographical corroborations that the Bible affirms with other sources. I’m talking about the big stuff: Jesus being the son of God, Adam and Eve being LITERALLY the first two humans, and all the other things we cannot and will never prove. You often accuse many commenters on this blog of being too closed-minded. So, how about it? Are you open-minded enough to consider the possibility that the Bible is God’s lie to us? How would we ever know? I guess it wouldn’t make much sense in quoting scripture to answer this, as you’d be relying on the very source this question calls into, well, question.

  40. God’s truth is eternal and unchanging, Mr. Anonymous. I believe that your questions are sincere so I’ll try my best to answer honestly. When I believe God is directing me in some way in my life I weigh it against His Word as revealed in Scripture. If I get an idea that I think is of divine origin but it isn’t consistent with what I know from studying His book then I know I am being deceived, usually by my own desires, but sometimes perhaps, by the Great Deceiver.

    Just as there is absolute truth (or good), there is also absolute evil. The latter can sometimes be harder to detect than the former. That is why the Lord gave us His Word for discernment and edification.

    I hope you have a great evening, friend. I am going to log out for now.

  41. I noticed in your explanation that you have to weigh what you read in the Bible against what YOU think is an idea of divine origin and what YOU believe God is telling you. No matter what, you cannot take your intellect, your perceptions, and yourSELF out of the equation — things that, as we all know from being human, are subject to imperfection and inaccuracy. You are the ultimate interpreter of your own experience with God, and because of this, you can never access His objective truth, whatever that may be.

    I gather from your other comments that you used to be a militant atheist. Personally, I do not consider myself to be one, but rather an open skeptic/agnostic. One of the questions I had to ask myself was, “Is God’s truth as presented in the Bible REALLY eternal and unchanging?” Common sense tells me that merely having a statement printed in a book is not enough to make it true. And once I stopped letting wishful thinking sway my opinion, I concluded that I could not answer that question honestly in either direction. It was a terrifying resolution at the time, but well worth it in the end.

    I think the best answer to the question above, and many other questions concerning Christianity, is simply, “I don’t know and can never know.”

    Just my two cents. G’night! :-)

  42. Anonymous 5:52, I wonder if it’s ever occurred to some of the folks who read Dakota Voice and comment here that in the past I have believed in things like abortion, evolution, sexual license, and so on. Or that I’ve approached the Bible, Christianity and their truth claims with great skepticism.

    Or that perhaps I have examined those past behaviors and beliefs…and have seen their error (or in the case of the Bible, become convinced of it’s truth and reliability). And that a great deal of the reason I talk about the things I do, and offer the information I do, and the logical considerations I do, is to help folks maybe cut through some of the errors quicker than I did and avoid some of the stumbling around in the dark.

    Well, all of that would be the case.

    These multiple denominations exist because human beings do not see the truth clearly; as Paul said it, we see through a glass darkly, or unclearly. And human beings have a tendency to be unbalanced, resulting in over-emphasizing some things while under-emphasizing others. This leads to divisisions on particulars about things like the meaning and implications of baptism, free will, whether one can lose their salvation, etc.

    Having said that, with only a handful of exceptions, practically all the major denominations out there (and almost all the minor ones) agree on probably 80% or more of the tenets of Christianity, and certainly the main tenets. I expect to share heaven with Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Pentacostals, and on and on and on.

    As for the reliability of the Bible, as I said a minute ago, I’ve approached it and the truth claims of Christianity in general with some measure of skepticism since my teen years. Even now, though the Bible has gained a high degree of credibility in my estimation because of years of always passing the tests I’ve put the Bible to, when new “facts” or interpretations of facts arise, unless they are completely nutty and irrational, I usually hold them up, examine them, and see if there is any credibility to them. If there is any at all, I explore it. In every case to date, I’ve found nothing to contradict any claims of the Bible, though I’m still open to the remote possiblilty that the mountain of evidence I’ve accumulated thus far could suffer some fatal flaw. I don’t want to believe a lie any more than the next Joe. But after years of repeated (almost daily) critical examination of Christianity’s truth claims, I’ve found them to be solidly reliable.

    And that’s part of how you get to assurance on that “big stuff” you mentioned. It may take starting on some of the smaller stuff, like historical data. And if you’re starting from a position of greater skepticism, it may take longer than for some others. But if you have an open mind and really want to know one way or another, you can do it. If your mind is closed and you’re starting from the postion of “It’s pure bunk,” you likely won’t progress an inch. But if you start with the open-minded attitude of “Let’s examine it and see if it’s true,” then you’ll likely end up pleasantly surprised in time.

    A resource I could recommend would be Josh McDowell’s “Evidence That Demands a Verdict.” He started out intending to prove Christianity was a bunch of lies…and ended up becoming one of the most passionate believers in the last 50 years. But though he was highly skeptical, at least his mind was open to the truth, where ever it led.

    I hope that helps.

  43. Mr. Anonymous, I agree emphatically with everything that Bob has said and agree with his suggestions and recommendations. I would like to suggest another source for someone who truly seeks answers. Most of the questions that you have asked I have asked as well. Indeed, most thinking, rational Christians have considered these things in one fashion or another. C.S. Lewis wrote a small book on exactly this subject some years ago. He was a committed agnostic, philosopher and author yet questions kept coming to him and he honestly pursued answers. This story and its conclusions are contained in “Mere Christianity.” The first time I read it I finished it in one evening, so Lewis gets right to the point. I highly recommend it to someone with serious questions but with serious intellectual reservations about another religious belief system claiming to have the truth.

    Thank you for your reasoned and civil discourse. You’ve given me a few things to think about, too.

    Doc

  44. Thanks for the recommendation. I’m glad I got you thinking too!