BreakPoint Blog

No Shelter under the Umbrella

This is a tough and sometimes graphic read by a woman who had been raised in a GLBT household. Dawn Stefanowicz is speaking out on behalf of children everywhere. But it's not all bad, for Stefanowicz's story also shows real forgiveness and redemption.


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How did I miss this...?
Maybe I should start taking fish-oil capsuls...and cut back on my Chik-fil-A intake ;) (har har)

Something that occured to me after reading this article and the interview: this woman seemed to be raised by one LGBT parent, not two. I do not condone anything this man did to his daughter, and I commend her for her strength to forgive him. Even though I'm a staunch LGBT supporter, the things he put her through were menacing and disgusting.

However, heterosexuals have been known to put their lusts before their own children time and time again. Irregardless of "who does it more", LGBT parents are not the only guilty party, yet they seem to get the most flak (or flack?). Also, this article does not address children raised by 2 men or 2 all. I agree that a 2-parent household is the best arrangement to raise children, but I cannot and will not agree that those children MUST be raised by a mother and a father. Although, I look back at my first 12 years living in Greenville, PA with my natural father and my mother, and what a disaster that was (not trying to be anecdotal, since I've been called-out for that on here before).

To be honest, I can't rely on either side's studies of same-sex households containing children, because both sides will call the other bias no matter what (although I lean in agreement more towards what auditor Tom Bartlett said of Mark Regenerus' study, calling it bulls***). But this article does not contain one shred of information regarding SS PARENTS. It only focuses on one parent.

I do, however, thank God for people like this woman, for her willingness to forgive her father for the ghastly events he put her through - I know it was difficult to forgive my own father, who put me through enough as a child (although in a radically different situation). THAT is true faith in Christ.

I've also been known to chastise any of my LGBT friends who are single and engage in unprotected sex, just as I would any heterosexuals I know as well.
Jason and Kevin
I don’t have time at present to do it justice, and perhaps you guys don’t have time to dig, either. But I’ve run across compelling, historic “non-Christian” arguments against gay “marriage”, so I know it’s pretty well-documented.

I commend this from Al Mohler which points to source material:

“…even those who do not share my Christian commitment must recognize the cultural wisdom and historic knowledge that points to the primacy of marriage and the disaster which will befall a society that would weaken–much less destroy–this most precious institution. The historic wisdom of human happiness and moral knowledge points to the centrality of marriage. A review of history proves its necessity to civilization itself. Marriage is a given–and is therefore not infinitely negotiable. Marriage cannot be severed from heterosexuality without dissolving into meaninglessness. Social experimentation must meet some limitation–and the controversy over same-sex marriage presents us with that limitation.”

Mohler quotes Will and Ariel Durant, among others, in support of that thesis.

Also, this piece by Tim Leslie strongly documents the social costs of gay marriage:

And so does this by Randy Hicks (Ga Family Council), titled “The Cultural Argument Against Gay Marriage”:

The extra-biblical arguments are there, and I agree with you that we (including myself) need to be familiar with them if we hope to make a case to those who reject biblical authority on the subject.
What Jason is saying is valid. It might be uncomfortable to read it on a site like this, but it's better than going into the secular world with shaky claims about homosexuality bringing down societies.

Even if examples could be provided, there's always the problem of cause vs. correlation. Rampant homosexual activity could in fact be just one symptom of a society on the decline due to numerous factors, including slothfulness, selfishness, and a complete lack of respect and compassion toward others, born and pre-born. There are a lot of factors that would seem more likely to lead to a society's collapse than guys sleeping with guys. (Not to mention that such falls don't always happen from within.)
As I remember, Ancient Athenian society lasted several hundred years, and is still remembered as one of the foundations of modern civilization.

Saying homosexuality is immoral is one thing, but I don't really think you can say that no society embracing homosexuality has ever survived.

Just remember. Sometimes a Devils Advocate is needed for an argument as for a Beatification.
Shouldn't you give historical examples of that Rolley?
The arguments in Mr. Colson's piece are still largely based on a Christian/religious perspective and would be knocked down in no time flat by someone who doesn't share our values.

It is jarring to see how overwhelmingly DOMA passed not so long ago, and then to see how rapidly society's views have changed. Even just a few years ago, we would never have seen mayors outside of the Bay Area refusing to allow a franchise because it supports traditional marriage. It's shocking just how quickly this is moving.

One of my biggest concerns is the very real threat to religious liberty. We already see sanctions, both official and unofficial, being imposed on people who say the wrong things. Once gay marriage has full-blown legal status, how much longer can it be until any dissenting opinions are considered hate speech? Lest you think that can't happen because of the First Amendment, remember that it's already well established that yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, i.e., speech that can incite immediate harm, can be outlawed. It is no giant leap of the imagination that anti-homosexuality speech could be deemed unacceptably incendiary.
Two Points, Jason
But you needed a touchdown to win. :)

I think the point was that no society survived *long* after it embraced homosexuality. A silly analogy might be: no one who daily eats a pinch of arsenic survives. True, EVERYONE dies. But the point is, folks who eat a pinch of arsenic every day die whole lot quicker.
As no society survives forever anyway Rolley you have to actually be able to show societies whose perishing can be clearly tied to homosexuality. Otherwise the argument is rather like "No human survives life on Earth."

Thebes at least, drew considerable military benefit from er, "embracing" homosexuality.
“No Society Embracing Homosexuality has Survived”

How’s that for starters for those who reject the biblical arguments? And there are lots of other compelling reasons to steer away from homosexual “marriage”.

There is a wealth of info on this subject right here at the PFM network of sites. You can use this search utility to locate it by keywords:
The civil argument against gay marriage however simply can't be based on the Bible for the reason that we are no longer a Christian country.

It might be better simply to admit that marriage is not an issue of law or if it is it is an issue far subsidiary to what it is now.
It's not "sufficient for me" exactly. I wouldn't be who I am if it was. It just is what it is. Understanding is not required only obeidience.
Early on in one of the first philosophy courses I took, the professor advised against using "Because the Bible says so" as an argument, because it is entirely unpersuasive to someone who doesn't believe in the Bible. Then you're back to square one, still needing to come up with an argument that the other person will respect.

That, I'm afraid, is where we find ourselves in the debate on gay marriage (and homosexual behavior in general). As fewer and fewer people believe in the things we do, we face a real challenge in coming up with reasons gay people should change their behavior and should not be allowed to marry.

Someone commented on this site a while back that his friends are hurt by our attitudes and don't understand why we would condemn them for simply wanting to be happy. If they're not Christians, it's easy to understand why they'd feel that way.

They also argue that their behavior isn't hurting others, so lay off. Some of our arguments have, in fact, been questionable. For instance, the claim that allowing gays to marry will be harmful to the institution of heterosexual marriage is a theory that would be very difficult to prove at this point. Are we asking them to give up what they love based on that?

I have often wondered why God made some of the rules He did. As a Christian, I don't have to know WHY He says something, only THAT He says it. Even though that's sufficient for me, it's not very helpful in trying to persuade a nonbeliever.
"If, as you say “everything makes people unhappy”, then arguing for happiness on ANY basis is unsound, no? :)

My point was that subjectively you may not feel happier, but objectively, you will be better off doing things God’s way, even if there is a painful price attached.

History --i.e. empirical evidence accumulated over time-- will eventually bear out in the long-term (as many studies have already done) what faith right now can bear out in the near-term: i.e. Father knows best. And happy indeed is he who accepts that on faith sooner rather than later. He will avoid many a painful knock in the school of hard sames."

You cannot say for sure in a sample this size with so many contradictory and ambiguous reports exactly what makes someone happy without your own preconceptions. Now presumably doing things God's way will indeed make you happy. However logically that is an assertion not an argument.
Yes Rolley, but a considerable amount of the arguments made are made to a large degree for arguing with unbelievers.
Ah, But Jason
If, as you say “everything makes people unhappy”, then arguing for happiness on ANY basis is unsound, no? :)

My point was that subjectively you may not feel happier, but objectively, you will be better off doing things God’s way, even if there is a painful price attached.

History --i.e. empirical evidence accumulated over time-- will eventually bear out in the long-term (as many studies have already done) what faith right now can bear out in the near-term: i.e. Father knows best. And happy indeed is he who accepts that on faith sooner rather than later. He will avoid many a painful knock in the school of hard sames.

That said, I don’t disagree that unbelievers are unlikely to accept the word of God, wayward beasts that we all are; but the aforementioned studies (which, hopefully, they will accept) ought not only be valued as guides for better practice, but more importantly, as corroborators of what the evangelist proclaimed all along: that “Thy word is, indeed, truth”. What an important lesson, that!

As for martyrdom, you know the accounts – Christ’s earliest witnesses *rejoiced* that they were counted worthy to suffer beatings, shame, and death for His name. I would submit that at a certain level, joy and happiness are indistinguishable (John 16:21). That is certainly true of the lover who loves his beloved ferociously – his greatest joy/happiness is to suffer nobly for her sake.
We are also commanded to endure martyrdom. Presumably that makes us happier in the long run but none argues on that basis.

The point I am making Rolley is that a lot of our arguments are incoherent. Some are for instance based on a picture of sex that is really aesthetic. What does "objectification" mean? I am objectifying the workers at an ISP by writing this. How does one describe the glories of complimentarity to someone who doesn't recognize gender.

Now if one wants to make a social argument for traditional marriage I would start by saying that it civilizes men with(crudely and simplistically) the permanent threat of a Lysistrata strike, and is a more reliable and egalitarian by sex and class method of distributing enjoyment. And that child raising like farming to make an analogy is a long term project and therefore, like farming needs rules; the carefreeness of nomadism cannot work. And I would also point out that marriage cannot be marriage unless it is a distinction; making it a synonym of "sexual relation" would take away the meaning. I would further insist that attempts to change marriage customs by force of law have the effect of making it closer to being such a synonym. And that the typical gay objection that this is a "slippery slope" fails on at least two counts. One that gay marriage is already pretty close to the bottom of the slope by most standards. The other is simply that it is an inconsistency; someone who makes such a claim is in fact saying they are prepared to do(by their own standards) injustice to "odd people" who are not odd in their particular way. What if a brother and sister really love each other?

All that said, the point is that an awful lot of our arguments simply won't fly. And certainly co-opting the story of an abused girl doesn't help the matter.
While it may be true, Rolley, that every command of God will mean happiness in the long run, such commands include "endure martyrdom".

The point I am objecting to is "It makes people unhappy" as an argument for chastity is unsound because everything makes people unhappy and unbelievers cannot be counted on to observe that one makes people unhappier in this world then another.
Jason, the Point is
Not that traditional chastity necessarily makes you *happy* per se, but that it makes you *happier* than you would be if you jettisoned it.

And this is so because it is an absolute principle that EVERY moral commandment of God, if obeyed, makes for “fewer unhappy people” because EVERYTHING God commands is for our good. Everything! Our good is His motivation and grand design – always always always, no exceptions (cf. Deut 8:16; Heb 12:10-11). “If you, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much MORE your heavenly Father!” (Matt 7:11)

You’re right that since the Fall, unhappiness is largely a function of, as you nicely put it, “the universe in general”. And that’s why we are told to set our minds on the things above, not on the things that are on earth; for our true happiness ought not, and seldom can, come from what we experience, but rather from what we know to be true.

For “momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” THAT is the source of our true happiness: conviction that the nastiness of life in a fallen world is temporary, and by contrast with what is coming, supremely negligible! There is joy and peace to be had in believing this because it is THE TRUTH! (Romans 15:13).
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