Lack of college degree does not equal “uneducated”

As somebody who only recently finished her bachelor’s degree, it is like salt in a wound when I hear news commentary about “uneducated” voters, those who don’t have a bachelor’s degree.

I wasn’t uneducated before I had my bachelor’s. I wrote books about bookkeeping; created a website; was self employed; marketed, brokered and sold my small bookkeeping business; got a good paying job; had a column at the Christian Post; forged an argument for the defense of marriage by seeing Christian sexual morality as a conduit for justice for children; read a lot; and in general tried to be a good citizen. A college degree is great and I’m grateful I was finally able to finish it, but the lack of one didn’t mean I was “uneducated.” So insulting, elitist, and classist for the news media to use that term.

In addition to the insult about being “uneducated,” this article by Garrison Keillor at the Chicago Tribune makes a stunning, yet buried, admission:

“…it helps a lot if the waitress and her husband encourage good habits and the ambition to use your God-given talents and the kids aren’t plugged into electronics day and night.”

Wait a minute: the waitress AND HER HUSBAND? I thought gender specific words were a no-no now? And what about the single mom like Murphy Brown? What about the gay couple using a surrogate to create and raise a child like David Sawyer and Bryan Collins? What about the gender-neutral trans family raising children? Nope, no mention of them or people like them. How odd, coming from a liberal. Is this a quiet admission that sex differences matter, that the natural family founded on natural marriage actually DO matter to the outcomes of children, just like the social science has been telling us for decades, just like the ancient Christian teaching on sexual morality upheld?

What about those of us who didn’t live with our own married mother and father? Where is the open admission that **championing** “sexual freedom” for adults contributed to kids not finishing their college degrees (or even their high school diplomas)… aka being “uneducated”? Not to mention a lot of other negative, painful outcomes such as shorter life spans, addictions, their own divorces, anger issues, thoughts of suicide, losing contact with grandparents, and on and on? So they’ll destroy our families and champion them never forming, then gloat over us being “uneducated.” They’ll just plug their ears to the social science, since it gets in the way of their “open mindedness” and “sexual liberation.” They cannot admit that kids being with our own married mothers and fathers contributes to them being “educated.” Got it? This is their shtick: “Family for me but not for thee.”

I am so angry right now. The most charitable thing I can say about Mr. Keillor is that he is tone deaf.

The State’s (very active) role in family breakdown

I was thinking more about how abortion and no-fault divorce are similar. Here’s a chart I made that shows it more clearly. I included another category: anonymous gamete donation.

states-role-in-family-breakdown
How the State “frees” some at the expense of others

So you can see the pattern. In each case, the State is siding with one person (Party A) while simultaneously providing no legal defense for the other person (Party B). It is obviously unjust for the State to provide Party A with absolute control, and to deny Party B any legal means to stop the action.

Why is this happening? It’s because of how we view freedom. We believe that freedom includes being free from familial obligations. That is bad enough on its own and in fact, stating it that plainly makes it seem pathological. But what is even worse is that we believe that the State has an obligation to uphold that version of freedom, even though it is profoundly unjust for many people. In prior generations, I’m pretty sure this mindset would have been viewed as irresponsibility, not as freedom. Our forebears recognized the difference between liberty and license.

We are living in a time when an entire class of people (Party B) are summarily denied the opportunity for justice so that others can be “free” from their obligations (Party A). One way to view slavery is that the slave has no legal means to stop the slave-owner from doing certain things. That pattern is playing out today under the guise of sexual and reproductive “liberty.” This is more evidence those ideas are regressive. Some people get to be “free” while others, who are directly impacted by that “freedom,” are denied justice as a matter of course.

Now it should be obvious how active the State is in breaking down the family. So much family breakdown happens because of how the State has positioned itself. If the State provided a way for Party B to defend against the action, and denied Party A unilateral capacity to commit the action, so much family breakdown just wouldn’t happen.

See also:

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.

Same-sex marriage is a luxury good being paid for by the poor

ricochet logoI used to be a member of a website known as Ricochet. I was a member for a couple years and let my membership lapse once. Another member whom I had gotten to know talked me into renewing. So I did for a year, but let it lapse again in March. I was very busy on another project and Ricochet can be very distracting. I’m finished with that project now but I don’t think I’ll renew my membership. I’m not really a good fit with the sort of site it is. Somebody actually pointed this out to me once but I didn’t believe him. In retrospect I think he was right.

Ricochet is a blogging site where people can join and write posts for other members to read and comment on. These posts are behind a paywall so that only paying members can read them. If the post is very good, it will get “promoted” to the front page where they are available for anybody to see and members to comment on.

Even though I’m not a member, once in a while I will go back and read some posts there on the front page. I did so just the other day. It was actually a podcast, not a written post. I’m not normally a podcast person but it was an interview of R.R. Reno, editor of First Things. I’ve read a number of his articles over the last few years and I respect his opinion. He was being interviewed about his new book, called Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society. Before listening, I scrolled down to the comments. I saw some familiar faces there and one of them remarked that he didn’t understand what Reno said when he made this statement in the interview:

“[Gay marriage is] a luxury good for the rich that is being paid for by the poor…”

Another member wondered the same thing. I listened to the podcast and discovered that Reno partially answered their question. Previous to the quote he made this statement:

Our moral transformations of the 60s has actually created a moral culture that benefits the rich and harms the poor.

And after it he said this:

…as marriage declines among the poor but remains relatively strong among the well-to-do.

I feel confident to state that Reno is saying that that same-sex marriage will accelerate the declining marriage rate among the poor. They (and their children) will not receive the benefits of marriage, and this is how they will pay for same-sex marriage.

We all agree that marriage has benefits for couples and their children. Social liberals and social conservatives disagree as to what same-sex marriage will do to the understanding of marriage and therefore the distribution of those benefits. Social liberals believe that same-sex marriage extends those benefits to more people; therefore, the declining marriage rate among the poor should decrease if they are correct–more of them will marry over time. But social conservatives believe the opposite: that same-sex marriage will slowly accelerate the declining marriage rate among the poor–fewer of them will marry over time. On the surface that might seem counter-intuitive. After all, allowing more couples to marry seems like more people would marry, not fewer. Let me break it down.

Social conservatives argue that same-sex marriage radically changes how people view what marriage is. It changes this view so much that fewer people will see the need to participate in marriage. Fewer married people means fewer people (and children) will receive the benefits of marriage. Let me quote from Robert George’s book, What is Marriage:

[The new view of marriage is] the union of two people (whether of the same sex or of opposite sexes) who commit to romantically loving and caring for each other and to sharing the burdens and benefits of domestic life.

People don’t need to get married in order to have those benefits–they can just live together instead. Plus, living together has an advantage over marriage: no risk of divorce.

If social conservatives are right, this new view of marriage will accelerate the declining marriage rate among the poor. Fewer poor people, including poor children, will receive the benefits of marriage. This is how the poor will pay for same-sex marriage. Here’s a chart I made that shows each sub-issue and each side’s view.

Same-sex marriage will: Social liberals say: Social conservatives say:
Decrease the marriage rate among opposite-sex couples over time No Yes
Harm the poor due to the declining marriage rate among them over time No Yes
Increase the abortion rate due to fewer women getting married over time No Yes

The jury is still out as to which side is correct on these sub-issues, and it may take a full generation for the effect to be measured accurately. Given that social liberals have a terrible track record when it comes to understanding sex and marriage at the marco level, meaning, that same-sex marriage is just one more “sexual freedom” along a path that is already well-known to be harmful to children and society, my money is on the socially conservative position.

Finally, I hope you noticed something important: I did not argue that marriage, in an objective sense, has changed. This was deliberate because it has not.

“Alternative” families are near occasions of sin for children

I am going to make a very bold claim: so-called “alternative” families are near occasions of sin for children.

In order for readers to understand this claim, I will first define a few terms:

  • Intact family structure (we have to understand the “intact” form before we can understand the “alternative” form)
  • Alternative family structure
  • Near occasion of sin

Definition of “intact family structure”

I define an “intact family structure” as when male/female couples put these three ideas together to form families:

  • Marriage
  • Sex
  • Procreation

God designed these three things to function together as a unified whole, not to be separated.

Regarding infertility: some male/female couples experience infertility due to no fault or actions of their own. I include those couples here, since their lack of procreation is not their doing but God’s. I leave that in His hands, and I know that He has a plan for them. I also include here married and infertile male/female couples who have caused their infertility but later realize their error in causing the infertility and turn from it.

Definition of “alternative family structure”

I define a “alternative family structure” as when adults create a family by separating one or more of those things from the others (marriage, sex, procreation). I exclude ethical adoption from the definition of “alternative family structure,” since its purpose is to find parents for children who need them, rather than finding/creating children for parents who want them as we see in the “alternative” form.

Definition of “near occasion of sin”

According to the Baltimore Catechism:

The near occasions of sin are all persons, places, or things that may easily lead us into sin.

Lying is sin, and having the structure of a family that fosters lying about what it is like to be separated from one’s parents, extended family, origins, and culture qualifies as a near occasion of sin, in my view.

One of the things I love about being Catholic is how we learn to make proper distinctions. That is what we are doing here, making proper distinctions.

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

Why did my parents reject me?

In almost all of the divorce literature, you will come across something that goes like this:

“Children of divorce often think that the divorce was their fault.”

This was not my experience. I never consciously thought that my parents divorce was my fault. So I have doubted that idea. I think, instead, that this idea doesn’t go far enough. It is an attempt to describe something, but it is inadequate.

It is not so much that the child blames himself, it is that he feels a deep sense of rejection, cannot understand the rejection, and cannot articulate it. Each parent has embraced the half of the child that represents himself or herself. But simultaneously, they have rejected the half of the child that represents the other parent. It is profoundly confusing to be simultaneously accepted and rejected. It is like living in a hall of mirrors without being told it is a hall of mirrors.

Here is a diagram I created in Word to try and explain what I see and feel.

divorce diagram of the child 20160811
The stretched life of a child, post-divorce.

I’m trying to show how the child’s life is being stretched in two directions. In a normal situation, the parents’ lives and interests are more closely bound up with the life of the child. After a divorce, the child becomes pulled in two distinct directions, and these directions become more and more distinct as time goes on. On the mother’s side, she accepts the side of the oval (the life of the child) that corresponds to her life and interests, but rejects the side of the oval (the life of the child) the corresponds to the father’s life and interests. The same is true for the father but reversed.

When parents divorce, the child spends time with each parent without the other there. The parents are saying, in effect, “I want my freedom so badly that I am willing to be apart from you for half your life.” That is rejection. Related to this is the rejection of the child’s other side of the family: in-laws become personae non gratae practically overnight. This means that the child has family that his flesh-and-blood parent no longer has. The hall of mirrors gets bigger.

I think this explains why some parents engage in “parental alienation.” They don’t want to be with the other parent, and they don’t want to be apart from their kids at all. In order to achieve this goalthey believe that they can emotionally separate the child from the other parent and that parent’s family without harming the child. Given that it is now viewed as child abuse, this is probably the strategy of somebody who is mentally or emotionally impaired.

I do not think kids of divorce are wondering, “Is the divorce my fault?” I think they are feeling a deeper question: “Why did my parents reject me and my family?” If what I’m saying is true then this means that important aspects of our culture and family law system are based on lies and need to change. For example, our notion of “freedom” currently supports kids being stretched into two halves as I’ve described here. Also, the divorce industry (and other industries that thrive on separating kids from their family trees) is founded on the idea that “kids are resilient.” This is another way of saying that it is perfectly fine to tear somebody’s life into two pieces, since:

  • They’ll just somehow “get over it”
  • They won’t care
  • They will be so thrilled with their parents’ happiness that they’ll sublimate their own
  • They are automatons who don’t have their own happiness; they only have their parents’ happiness

How is that wound healed? I still do not know, but it cannot be healed by pretending it is not there.

Family building and slavery

chesterton photo“Family building” is a pleasant sounding phrase that hides unethical practices based on similar arguments used to justify slavery. For one thing, it deliberately separates a child from his family tree in order to satisfy a market demand for children, thereby turning children into commodities. People are beginning to connect the dots between “family building” and slavery. See, for example:

Mothers urge ban on surrogacy as a form of slavery

The similarity I see to Fredrick Douglass

Sperm and egg donation foster technology-induced child slavery

Here’s another interesting thing to think about. Modern-day “family building” advocates justify the practice by arguing that there is no a priori family to destroy. They arrive at that conclusion through the twin beliefs of “love makes a family,” and “biology does not matter.” According to G.K. Chesterton, the same lack-of-family argument was made by advocates of slavery in the United States back in the 1800s (emphasis added):

“The Servile State… has always been embarrassed by the institution of marriage. It is an old story that the negro slavery of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ did its worst work in the breaking-up of families. But curiously enough, the same story is told from both sides. For the apologists of the Slave States, or, at least, of the Southern States, make the same admission even in their own defence. If they denied breaking up the slave family, it was because they denied there was any slave family to break up.

Free love is the direct enemy of freedom. It is the most obvious of all the bribes that can be offered by slavery.  In servile societies, a vast amount of sexual laxity can go on in practice… One of the conveniences of that pagan world is that, below a certain level of society, nobody really need bother about pedigree or paternity at all… of all the bribes that the old pagan slavery can offer, this luxury and laxity is the strongest…” From Fancies versus Fads, pp. 128-129

Summary: it’s OK for the strong to take advantage of the weak, since the weak aren’t part of a family anyway.

As I have argued before, sexual and reproductive liberty is a might-makes-right ideology. Imight makes right 2 fully expect it to end up in the ash heap of history, repudiated and reviled. Chesterton’s book was published in 1923, decades before “sexual liberation” and the corresponding and widespread breakdown of the family. The man was a prophet.

Thanks to Stephen R.L. Clark who directed me to the Chesterton quote through his book Biology and Christian Ethics.

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.