You may have seen this catchy slogan among some Christians who support same-sex marriage:
Jesus had two dads and he turned out OK.
Yes, he did have two dads, and yes, he did turn out OK. But that statement is pretty ignorant overall, if you ask me.
Many people on both sides of the marriage debate haven’t connected the dots between divorce/remarriage and same-sex marriage. Why they haven’t, I don’t know.
Maybe it’s because they lived pretty cozy lives as kids, with their own married parents.
So they either advocate for (or oppose) same-sex marriage without having a grasp on the underlying structure of that kind of family.
They fight over sexual sin, the necessity for complementary sexes, equality, or other things.
But those arguments never interested me.
I often feel like the voice of one crying in the desert. Opponents of same-sex marriage don’t seem to like my arguments.
I don’t like their arguments either so I guess that makes us even! lol
I can only speculate as to why they don’t like my arguments.
It is probably that they really believe their arguments are better. But it could be other things as well. I don’t want to speculate why. But they missed such a good opportunity.
You see, exactly like the kids of same-sex marriage, kids in divorce/remarriage arrangements can have:
- two dads
- and/or two moms
- or more
Did you know that? Did you ever put the pieces together that way?
Think about it.
You probably saw articles like this one: Bride’s Dad Stops Wedding So Stepdad Can Walk Down The Aisle Too
Or this one: To my daughter’s stepmom: I never wanted you here, but thank you
You probably saw this movie: Stepmom
Or this one: The Parent Trap
Or this one: Daddy’s Home
So yea, it’s out there that kids in divorce/remarriage situations were dealing with that kind of confusion. I coined a term for it:
We tell them that the unity of their origins doesn’t really matter.
We make them pretend that the new people are great additions or substitutions for where they came from.
And maybe the new people are truly good people. I’m not calling their character into question at all. I’m calling attention to the structure, not the individual people in that structure. The structure matters, since it relates to the child’s ontology.
But many people ignored these manifestations of “two moms” and “two dads,” because it didn’t seem like a big deal…
…even though the social science data is clear about the risk factors for those kids.
It’s pretty bad, really. Shorter life spans. Lower educational attainment. Higher risks for addictions and their own divorces. Separation from grandparents. Loneliness. Feeling unwelcome in their churches.
For me, I was raised with multiple divorces and remarriages between my parents. So that’s how I know about this kind of thing.
That’s why I totally dig these family structure arguments. I live and breathe them.
So… back to Jesus.
“Jesus had two dads and he turned out OK,” promotes injustice.
People want to believe that their choices are all good. That’s normal. I don’t fault them for that.
So they like that slogan since it seems like Biblical reason to support same-sex marriage. After all, if you can get the Bible in your corner, that’s pretty cool.
But the similarity between Jesus and those children is superficial. Check out this table I made:
||Children with two dads
|Made a free choice
||No choice given
|His Heavenly Father loved His mother Mary
||Child’s father does not love child’s mother
|His Heavenly Father was with his mother through the Holy Spirit
||Father explicitly rejects mother
|Jesus knows His Heavenly Father loved His mother and was with her
||Child knows father does not love mother and is not with her
|Ontology respected; never required to choose between his parents
||Forced to choose between mother and father, or, choice predetermined through falsified birth records and/or deliberate suppression of origins
(It is similar for kids with two moms. Just switch the sexes in the second column.)
From the perspective of the child, same-sex marriage is more like divorce/remarriage than natural marriage.
Here’s the injustice: It is a codified-step-parent that supplants the natural parent. This forces the child to lie about, or at least ignore, her origins…one half of who she is. Like in this video:
Some groups want us to accept them for who they are.
OK, I can go along with that to a point. I didn’t vote Yes on Prop 8, after all. My dad and maternal grandmother lived in an artsy LGBT enclave, and his third wife was bisexual. So I know that these people are people. They’re not subhuman freaks. They were created in the image and likeness of God.They’re just trying to get along and figure out this life.
Like everybody else.
But I have my limits.
My limit to accepting who they are stops at the precise point where they start requiring a child to reject half of who she is so that they can be a parent under the kind of family structure that they want.
It is profoundly hypocritical to demand that a child ignore half of who she is so that some couple can have the experience of being who they are.
Once I put those pieces together, I knew where I had to stand.
On top of that, nobody has an a priori right to be a parent. That’s like saying you have a right to acquire another human being.
We all have the right to parent our own child, certainly, but that comes after (not before) we conceived that child.
Our duty as parents to that child includes a duty to respect our child’s other half…our child’s other genetic parent. We form a triad. And that triad is an ontological unity to the child that we all have a duty to respect.
If it must be dissolved for a reason that protects us or the child, I am not opposed to that at all. But even in that circumstance, the guilty party does not stop being half of who created that child.
So I will never, ever, ever in a million years or more, endorse what we see in that video above.
It is unjust.
I know what it feels like to have to pretend that half of you doesn’t exist. I know what it does to the sense of self, the capacity for moral discernment, the ability to have proper boundaries, and so many other things.
Look, my mom and dad loved me. But they bought into the idea that they could dissolve their unity and it would have no long term impact on me. And why did they do that? Because of the words of professionals.
Professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, medical doctors, religious and political leaders) started saying, “The kids will be fine if the adults are happy.” Their words influenced my parents and so many other people.
Words matter. Every time somebody says, “Jesus had two dads and He turned out OK, ” it is just another manifestation of, “The kids will be fine if the adults are happy.”
Those words influence people to behave in an unjust way towards their child.
If we are Christians, shouldn’t we be influencing people in a way that pleases God? Wouldn’t this include upholding justice for our own children? I love this verse from Micah 6:8:
He hath shown thee, o man, what is good and what the Lord requires of thee
But to do justly
And to love mercy
And to walk humbly with thy God.
Respecting our child includes respecting all of who she is. Not just the half we like. “Jesus had two dads and he turned out OK” falls far short of this standard. Plus that’s not how Jesus had to live. All of His ontology was respected.
And that’s what we need to do with our kids, as a matter of justice.