I wish I had a dad

According to my analytics, last week somebody found my blog by searching for the phrase, “I wish I had a dad.” I haven’t written on that exact topic, so I searched for that phrase to see where my blog appeared, and which post appeared, in the results. I couldn’t find it, but while scanning it became clear to me that a lot of others have written on that exact topic.

If by some chance you are here because you were searching for that phrase, and you wished you had a dad, let me offer this little bit of information and hopefully comfort to you.

1) You aren’t alone. A lot of people wish they had a dad.

2) It’s not your fault that you don’t have a dad.

3) Our culture believes that the definition of freedom includes having the State annul familial obligations whenever adults want. So part of the reason you don’t have a dad is because our culture was more concerned about your dad’s freedom (from you and your other parent) than your feelings about him, and your legitimate need for him.

4) If you don’t have a dad because you were donor conceived, then it’s also true that our culture is more concerned about your mom’s ability to choose how to reproduce than what those choices do to you, your long term prospects, and your feelings.

I say things as plainly as I can because I don’t want to be misunderstood. But I also hope for something else:

It doesn’t have to be that way for future generations. YOU can be part of the change. You can tell your story and speak out so that others don’t choose to do to their children what was done to you. If enough people speak out, then laws can be changed so that these injustices aren’t condoned by the State. The adults around you failed in their duties, but the State and the wider culture has a large part of the blame. When the State annuls people’s familial obligations without cause, it is acting unjustly and outside of its authority.

5) If you are grieving alone because you don’t have a dad, then you may be experiencing disenfranchised grief. This is grief that is not acknowledged or accepted by the wider culture. As a way to be part of a community who understands you, you might want to consider publishing your story online for others to read. It will help you see that you’re not alone, and there is a small movement afoot that calls attention to the injustice you are facing. If you want to tell your story, there are a couple of websites that want to hear what you have to say. They will publish your story, anonymously if you prefer:

  • Donor conceived people can do that here.
  • Others without dads can do that here (single mom by choice, kids harmed by divorce and/or parental alienation, kids in gay households, etc).

Finally, it is OK to put your mother and your father together in your heart and your mind. Your mom and your dad are each half of who you are. Speaking for myself, I fully acknowledge the legitimacy of that family triad, YOU, your mother and your father. Even if you don’t know what your dad looks like, that’s OK. He’s there in you, along with your mom. That is real because it is YOU. You don’t have to tell anybody that you’ve done this. But if you do tell somebody and they don’t agree, just remind that that this is your choice. Everybody else gets a choice, right? So do you. I think that part of the healing process includes letting ourselves acknowledge this, because it is truth.

holy family

Understanding the “blended family” dynamic with diagrams

About four years ago I stumbled across a book called, Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work, by Dan Roam. It sounded good so I bought one for my Kindle. This is the book that gave me confidence to start drawing what I saw in order to share it with others. So if you’re ever having trouble making your point, about anything at all, check out the book. It will give you ideas for how to make it in a new way.

I just wanted to give the book a shout out, since it has helped me.

Here is a diagram I just drew that sheds light on the post from the yesterday.

blended-family-eight-parents

The blue circle represents the “blended family” from yesterday. As you can see, there might be quite a few other people who are exerting pressure and influence on that family. And this is just one configuration–others are possible.

Let’s locate our author from yesterday. She’s inside the red circle:

blended-family-eight-parents-author-from-yesterday

Now we can see that her dad and her mom are divorced, and her dad is married to her step mom. Let’s locate her step sisters. They are across from her in the green circle:

blended-family-eight-parents-step-sisters

From their perspective, we can see that their mom is divorced from their dad, and she is married to their step dad.

Let me make it clear that regarding the post from yesterday, I have no information other than what she shared. I don’t know what went on there. I don’t know if the non-resident parents in her life remarried. I’m just using it as an opportunity to show how diagrams can shed light on these situations.

Look at all that chaos. Even if we were to redraw it so that the non-resident parents never remarry, that’s a lot of chaos. Their remarriages only add to it, and not just for them but for the new step siblings.

She described her step-sisters in a pretty negative light. I imagined myself as her step-sister, and I could relate to the way she described all of them. I resented that others were spending more time with my dad than I was; that he was doing fun and interesting things with them that he wasn’t doing with me because I wasn’t there full time; that I felt like an outsider in my dad’s home, and on and on and on. I can’t help but wonder if there were other things going on in her step-sisters lives that made them act that way.

I also think that all of us, kids and adults, are blinded by “kids are resilient” and “they just get over it,” two false ideas that are completely accepted as true. As long as people are being guided by those false ideas, they’re going to assume things about kids in those arrangements that may not be true, or may be only a partial truth.

Let’s consider something else: this diagram shows how a divorced parent on the far left side can exert an influence across the entire diagram, even to step siblings on the far right side. Let’s say, for example, that the mom on the far left is an alcoholic. This influences her children, who in turn influence their dad and their step siblings, who in turn influence those parents and step siblings, and so on. The effect reminds me of how longitudinal waves travel. This explains why kids feel stretched between their parents, but also like a buffer between them. I may have to draw a new diagram to show this effect. I drew it the way I did to show how triads get fractured in order to accommodate adult sexual liberty.

Divorce and remarriage are a mess for the kids. Divorce is bad enough, but remarriages are truly chaotic for kids. I’ve previously described it as torture and I hope this post sheds more light on that characterization.

Same-sex marriage is a form of iconoclasm

God designed marriage and the family as a reflection of the Most Holy Trinity and the Holy Family. Advocating for marriage to be something other than one man, one woman, for life is to advocate for a new sort of iconoclasm. Ultimately, it destroys the historical Christian icon of the family replaces it with something new. This:

holy family

becomes this:

gay-nativity-2

I found the second image by going to Google Images and searching for “gay nativity.” There are so many things wrong with that image, and I hope to blog about those details another time. But just to whet your appetite: the theological implications of two Christs (or three, if we include the original configuration); using marriage to segregate the sexes; the abolition of sexual sin; the enshrinement of sexual sin; undermining the divinity of Christ; the abolition of sex differences; the abolition of Mary, Mother of God; the child as chattel and the object of a contract.

Marriage is only between one man and one woman. As part of the ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Church, this teaching is dogmatic and infallible. It cannot change, ever. Not only that, but to teach otherwise is to lead little ones astray and to cause them to stumble.

I am passing along to you that which was handed to me. Christians who advocate for “marriage equality” are not doing that. They have made up a new teaching and are trying to get support for it by saying that it is consistent with larger themes of the Church such as mercy, charity (love), and justice. They distort those concepts and so are gravely mistaken. Do not listen to any of them and do not be frightened by predictions that the Church will change her teaching on this point. She will not. The true teaching will prevail. Praise God for that.

Gaslighting children in “alternative” families

Normally, gaslighting requires two people: the manipulator and the target. The manipulator lies to the target about what the target perceives, believes, feels, etc. He does this in order to gain control over the target. The term comes from a movie from the 1930s called Gaslight.

I have come to believe that children in “alternative” family structures are gaslighted by the adults who raise them. They quite naturally want the children to be happy with the decisions the adults made regarding cutting off the children from one or both of their natural parents, those extended families, and those cultures. So everybody pretends that this is OK, when really it is not.

Since it is gaslighting, it is evil. But I don’t believe that the adults are deliberately being evil. I think they really believe what they believe, that none of those things I mentioned should matter to the child.

So I don’t blame the adults nearly as much as I blame professionals who claim to know better. “Alternative” families could not have become the norm without the imprimatur of the professional class.

In my case, even though I had to pretend everything was OK, my anger still surfaced, often. My parents were frustrated with me for being “cranky,” as my mother would say. They didn’t understand why I was so unhappy. And how could they understand? The professional class had lied to them about the long term impact that their divorce, and subsequent remarriages, would have on me over time. They had given my parents a flawed framework through which to understand what I was experiencing:

“She will be fine as long as you are happy.”

If I’m supposed to be fine about the situation, but am not fine, then this means that there is something wrong with me, not the situation. This is why I say it is a form of gaslighting and is evil, especially to do it to a young child over a long period of time. It is an attempt to manipulate the child’s reality, but in my case it ultimately failed, thank God.

Let me be clear: I do not argue or believe that the adults are being deliberately evil or know that they are manipulating the child’s reality. They may suspect their error on some deep level, but since nobody is affirming what they suspect, it is easy for them to ignore their gut.

What transpires in “alternative” families is more of a structural/social/cultural gaslighting rather than the individual gaslighting that is normally associated with narcissists. Thus, it requires more than two people. It requires the entire culture, due to the social belief that “sexual and reproductive liberty” is a positive good.

The medical community is deliberately ignoring data about childhood trauma

You know how I keep talking about how the professional class is propping up the divorce culture? Well, that’s not all they are doing.

…despite twenty years of research linking childhood stress to adult disease, the majority of the medical community acts as if these findings don’t exist… only a few medical schools teach students about how childhood suffering influences adult disease. The majority of medical schools leave this science out.

Twenty years of research all showing a link between childhood stress and adult disease. TWENTY YEARS. So what is childhood trauma?

These include obvious sexual and physical abuse, but also stressors that many consider to be normal — growing up with divorced parents, living with a depressed or alcoholic mom or dad, having a parent who belittled or humiliated you – or simply not feeling as if your family had your back. People who’d experienced four such categories of childhood adversity were twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer and depression as adults.

I have never once had a medical doctor ask me about childhood stressors. Have you? Why is the medical community ignoring data that clearly shows a link between childhood trauma and disease later in life?

“To whom much is given, much is required.” Doctors claim to know better, so we deserve an answer to that question.

See also: Divorce is killing our children: a medical doctor speaks out

Same-sex marriage and the fascinating “empty set problem”

… well, I find it fascinating! Not sure if anybody else will. lol

People who argue for same-sex marriage often, if not always, rely on what I call “the infertility argument.” This argument posits that because some opposite sex married couples do not bear children, this means that marriage is not procreative. This becomes the door, so to speak, that people use to justify same-sex marriage.

empty setThe argument has a really fascinating problem, one that is little-known. In fact, I’ve never seen it addressed so I think I am the first person to identify it. I call it, “the empty set problem.” The argument depends on a definite set of infertile opposite sex couples, but I will show how it is not possible to identify the actual members of the set. That is why I say it is an empty set. Let me be clear: the set of permanently infertile opposite sex couples exists. See the brackets on the left? The set is real. The problem is that its members cannot be identified with certainty.

Since all of the members of the set of same-sex couples have a literal 0% fertility, all of the members of the comparison set must also have a literal 0% fertility. To be fair and just, we must apply an equal standard to both sets. Unfortunately, proponents of the infertility argument are not careful in their thinking. They are content with theoretical members in their set of infertile opposite sex couples, members that they don’t have to actually identify. I also suspect that they would be content to have an unequal standard between the two sets, that they would be content to let the comparison set have something slightly above a literal 0% fertility, although I can’t prove this. I do know that they toss this set into the discussion, assuming it is full of members. But arguments depending on a set of real couples must have real, identifiable couples in the set and the standard for comparison must be equally applied.

Let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine a football stadium, filled with married opposite sex couples. Now, go through this set couple by couple and identify two characteristics about them:

  1. Which of them are, and will forever be until they die, 100% infertile.
  2. Which will have one spouse die at some point in the future, and the other spouse goes on to remarry and does not bear children in subsequent marriages.

A medical doctor trained in fertility could do the first task but not with 100% certainty across the entire population, and the second task can’t be predicted by anybody.

Quite naturally, these tasks apply to elderly couples. For example, we must predict, with 100% certainty, which actual elderly couples will have the wife die, and then the husband goes on to remarry a younger woman and not bear children. I can’t predict that. Can you?

Now, let’s remove the football stadium and apply this to the entire population. Plus, in real life across the world, new couples are entering the actual set of married, opposite sex couples all the time. Now do those tasks again.

We can’t cheat by using statistics or speaking in generalities, and we must apply the same standard to both sets. We are talking about real couples, so real couples must occupy the set. I don’t think we can identify the specific couples with 100% certainty, but I might be wrong. Perhaps somebody can. Even if it can be done by somebody, the number of members in the set will be dramatically less than people realize.

If the set of opposite sex couples who have a literal 0% fertility rate is empty, this discredits the argument. But even if the set has a tiny number of couples in it, this does not validate the argument. Why? Because we can step back and demand that the burden of proof–that same-sex marriage does not change the character of marriage–rests with those making the argument. Few realize that its more honest proponents have already admitted that same-sex marriage does change the character of marriage:

“Same-sex marriage is far more radical than interracial marriage. It challenges our basic understanding of the institution.” William Saletan of Slate.com.

“Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there . . . The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change.” Masha Gessen, biographer of Vladimir Putin, as quoted in National Review.red herring

Right on cue, once same-sex marriage became law we saw headlines like this: “California deletes ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ from marriage law.” No more husbands and wives in marriage is part of “gender ideology,” and it changes the character of marriage dramatically. I am so grateful that the Church categorically rejects this change.

The infertility argument was always a red herring based on a specious premise.

Study: kids of same-sex parenting are depressed

This study really upsets me. It’s not rocket science. When you deprive somebody of half of who they are, when you force them to pretend that half of who they are does not exist, and supplant half of who they are with falsehoods… they get depressed. This was predictable, and predicted. Same-sex parenting is, by definition, codified step-parenting. And we already know that there are significant elevated risk factors for children in step-parenting households. Here’s an infographic from the linked article:

paul sullins study 2016-06

This is outrageous. I am so upset! And people are fighting for the right to do this to children! It is profoundly wrong.

About those “no differences” studies involving same-sex parenting: pretty much any study you see that reports “no difference” between kids in same-sex households and kids raised with their married bio parents uses convenience samples of same-sex couples. This means that the results cannot be generalized to the entire population… yet they always are in the popular media. But what might be worse, to my way of thinking at least, is that the respondents often know the studies goals! They know what the researcher is hoping to find. And the political Left takes these studies as absolute truth. This is madness.

I hope it’s clear that I am not singling out homosexuals. I’m as critical of other so-called “diverse” family forms as I am of same-sex parenting. What some people say is “family structure diversity,” I say is “family structure inequality.” And the science is on my side. Children who are not raised with their married mother and father have greatly elevated risk factors for negative outcomes. That’s a fact.

 

The professional class destroys what it does not understand

I will use the phrase “the professional class” from time to time. Instead of defining it each time, I will define it here then link back.

Short definition:

The professional class is the group of people who are supposed to understand family issues better than the average person and who give advice, and/or craft/enforce policy surrounding those issues.

Long definition:

I am thinking of specific professions, such as psychiatrists and psychologists. People in this category typically have at least a master’s level of education. Often they have PhDs. I include MDs in this category, although I do not include PAs or RNs (or other nursing designations).

I also include:

  • Any religious leader or religious staff person who counsels people
  • Politicians, since they craft family policy
  • Judges, but only those who enforce family policy
  • Lawyers, but only those who profit from breaking down children’s family trees in various ways (divorce, surrogacy, adoption that caters to custodial adults)

Because of their education or status, they give advice to people (or craft/enforce policy that influences people) related to family issues. Often, they are paid for giving this advice. For example, therapists charge anywhere from $75-$200 per hour. Politicians and judges are paid for crafting/enforcing policy and typically make at least six figures annually. Family lawyers can range from $75-$400 per hour. Divorce lawyers typically charge between $15K and $30K for a divorce. Adoption and third-party reproduction have expensive fees as well although I’m not sure how much the legal or psych portion is.

It bugs me that these people make money on the destruction of children’s family trees. But let me be clear: in principle I am pro-profit. I understand the role of profit. Legitimate businesses need to earn profit. They will fail if they consistently do not earn profit, taking all the jobs down with the failure. Profit serves the need for job creation.

But profit can be used for ill and so must be suppressed by legal means from certain spheres of life. Anything to do with the creation and maintenance of somebody’s family tree shouldn’t be influenced by a profit motive.

But this upsets me even more: these professionals should know better. They are supposed to be educated and knowledgeable about these things. They are far too cavalier and often gloss over the long-lasting issues that these kids have to live with.

They destroy what they do not understand.

HuffPo is on a roll: adoption ain’t all that great

 

Since I started researching the ugly underbelly of adoption, I’ve come to an unusual conclusion:

At some point, our culture embraced adoption practices that served the desires of infertile couples, instead of viewing adoption as a child welfare intervention of final resort.

When we did this, we created the foundation for all of the other unethical family-structure practices surrounding children.

Once we accepted that it was OK to chop down a child’s family tree through adoption so that infertile couples could be parents, it was natural and even logical for us to be willing to:

  • Split the child’s family tree down the middle (kids of divorce; kids of unmarried parents)
  • Chop off one-half of the child’s family tree (kids of third-party reproduction; two moms; two dads; single-parenting-by-choice)

So I’m really happy to link a recent post from HuffPo, talking about the ugly side of adoption:

On the Venerable American Bar Association or the Myth of Normal and Good in Adoption

This runs counter to their normal cheer leading about how great “alternative” families are… in other words, their normal cheer leading about how great it is to chop down or disfigure a child’s family tree. Yea for HuffPo! I’ve been pretty critical of them, so need to give credit where it is due.

Edit: I originally copied and pasted the entire post here, but because of copyright laws I’m not sure that was OK to do. So I just deleted it. Please visit the link instead. Thanks.

Christian sexual ethics is better than whatever else you’re practicing now

Christian sexual ethics is the best. As Christians, we have every right to be proud of our religion in this regard. It is part of the Good News, for everybody.

Christian sexual ethics means this:

  • People marry somebody of the opposite sex.
  • They wait for marriage to have sex.
  • Marriage is a lifelong relationship.
  • We understand that coitus makes babies. We don’t imagine otherwise.

It provides the most justice to a child in terms of the child’s ontology. When men and women wait until marriage to engage in sex, there are a number of benefits:

  • The men and women do a better job vetting their child’s other parent than men and women who are having sex outside of marriage. This means the child ends up with better parents.
  • Men and women who don’t wait for marriage end up conceiving children with partners who can be inappropriate marriage partners and/or inappropriate parents.
  • The abortion rate is dramatically lower for children conceived inside marriage than those conceived outside marriage.
  • Men who wait for marriage, and who marry women who don’t believe in abortion, never have to face the pain of having their child aborted.
  • Women who wait for marriage don’t have to raise their children alone.
  • Single moms are more likely to need public assistance than married moms.
  • Couples who wait for marriage have dramatically lower divorce rates than those who do not.
  • Couples who wait for marriage create children within that marriage who are connected to both halves of their origins. They create a triad that is a reflection of the Trinity.
  • Kids conceived and raised inside marriage don’t suffer ontological fractures like adoptees, kids of third-party reproduction, kids of divorce, kids who are raised in a single-parent-by-choice household, kids of two moms or two dads.
  • Children who are raised by their own married parents experience poverty at dramatically lower rates than children of unmarried parents.
  • Nobody has a right to pregnancy free-coitus. This is because such a thing does not exist–there is no 100% guarantee for it. Contracepted coitus still carries a risk of pregnancy. It always does. You can lower the chance of pregnancy, but not to zero. Remember this next time you’re tempted to do the wild thing outside of marriage.

I am proud to defend my religion’s teaching on this subject. It is the most just for children. It is the most humane way to understand the human person. Other practices are less humane and less just.