This is Dennis Prager noting that there are only two economic models. And the two-parties (at least their base) exemplify and push them to varying degrees of success in our two-party system. This audio or video is either recovered from an old Vimeo account or my MRCTV account, and in fact may be quite dated (old). I will have more info shortly but this dates from 2010.
Between this post here, and a multi-part post at True Free Thinker, the reader should get all the answers available for skeptic.
This will be a critique of some points in a presentation by gay, lesbian, and transgender about homosexuality, the Bible, and Christianity. This long article attempts to pick apart some major premises of the Christian faith that many believe are a given, but would not know how to respond to it. May I also say that we as Christians should be welcoming to the gay community, while at the same time not affirming. This can be tough and should be a challenge in one’s life to show the loving kindness we have already through Christ by applying it to our cultural surroundings while not giving up the Gospel and its absoluteness. Paul was a missionary to his surroundings as we should be as well. One of the major arguments in the same sex marriage debate deals with this accepting but not affirming aspect. We want the state to accept the homosexual lifestyle by not impinging on the privacy of one’s home, but also to not affirm as a body politik this behavior by allowing marriage.
These links are not up for debate, merely a posting of my position in regards to this topic exhumed. Okay. onto this critique of some bad thinking and application. And I truly think that ultimately this debate is not about homosexuality, but about which hermeneutic one used to interpret the Bible. This was dealt with many years ago and can be found in a free book pictured and linked to the right. The Rev. Mel White, who happens to be the co-founder of Soulforce, wrote an article entitled “What the Bible Says – And Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality.” (For those interested, I read Mel’s first book, Stranger at the Gate.) It is some of the points in this article I will critique and use my resources to critique as well. My first critique comes from premise number one, and is the only point I will take from this first premise. It deals with Jesus Christ and is short and sweet:
“Jesus says nothing about same-sex behavior.”
Partially true. But one can surmise from other statements and positions that God (Jesus Christ) accepts the goodness of His creation as the norm, making outright other acts inferior in form. This norm is something Soulforce stands against as the Anti-Heterosexism Meeting hints at. Where does Jesus stand on this? Let us read Matthew 19:3-6:
Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?” “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female , and He also said: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
This seems pretty straight forward. Not only is Jesus affirming young earth creationism here, in contradistinction to evolutionary thought (Adam and Eve), he is also affirming a norm. A model for those reading his words to follow. Jesus like wise affirms other main aspects of “fundamentalism” that are worth listing to show the literal interpretation He had on historical events:
Back to the verse at hand [Matt 19:3-6]. Here Jesus is not merely mentioning a historical event that the prophets, Apostles, God, and I believe to have happened. Jesus is accessing a moral category that stems from biology. A more modern author talks about this in natural law and biological/scientific terms:
Matrimonial law has traditionally understood marriage as consummated by – and only by – the reproductive-type acts of spouseswhom make this biological whole. Robert George mentions a thought experiment by Professor of Christian Ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Germain Grisez:
Imagine a type of bodily, rational being that reproduces, not by mating, but by some act performed by individuals. Imagine that for these same beings, however, locomotion or digestion is performed not by individuals, but only by complementary pairs that unite for this purpose. Would anybody acquainted with such beings have difficulty understanding that in respect of reproduction the organism performing the function is the individual, while in respect of locomotion or digestion, the organism performing the function is the united pair? Would anybody deny that the union effected for purposes of locomotion is an organic unity? 
In this short analogy, one can see that because of biology, law is fashioned to affirm one action as naturally well for society over another. Not because of bias or phobia, but because inherent in the male and female are two potential parts of a different organism, one that can reproduce naturally. What did I mean by inherent? Professor George explains:
“…take gold as an example, it has inherent in its nature intrinsic qualities that make it expensive: good conductor of electricity, rare, never tarnishes, and the like. The male and female have the potential to become a single biological organism, or single organic unit, or principle. Two essentially becoming one. The male and female, then, have inherent to their nature intrinsic qualities that two mated males or two mated females never actualize in their courtship… nor can they ever. The potential stays just that, potential, never being realized…“ (Q&A: PapaG Style)
This is what God (Jesus) was accessing… the created order and its inherent qualities that define moral categories via Natural Law. In a wonderful book, The Apologetics of Jesus, Geisler and Zukeran in their chapter on Jesus’ use of reason, quote Dallas Willard, the Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles:
We need to understand that Jesus is a thinker, that this is not a dirty word but an essential work, and that his other attributes do not preclude thought, but only insure that he is certainly the greatest thinker of the human race: “the most intelligent person who ever lived on earth.” He constantly uses the power of logical insight to enable people to come to the truth about themselves and about God from the inside of their own heart and mind. Quite certainly it also played a role in his own growth in “wisdom.”
Indeed. Jesus was a thinker who accessed Natural Law, the Laws of Thought, and the like. His use of such demand our response and understanding of what He was wielding. That is point number one.
Point number two comes along lines I am very familiar to. Ad hominem attacks. I will quote the Revs second premise:
Over the centuries people who misunderstood or misinterpreted the Bible have done terrible things. The Bible has been misused to defend bloody crusades and tragic inquisitions; to support slavery, apartheid, and segregation; to persecute Jews and other non-Christian people of faith; to support Hitler’s Third Reich and the Holocaust; to oppose medical science; to condemn interracial marriage; to execute women as witches; and to support the Ku Klux Klan.
This is a lot to deal with, so I will deal with just a few, historically and logically. Logic first. Assuming that all of the above is correct in the way Mel White understands it, so what? How does this affect the veracity of the argument at hand? It would be like me quoting all the cases of homosexual violence against heterosexuals negate any argument from Mel’s side. See for instance:
(Even most of the priestly attacks were male on male.) Cataloging these crimes makes no judgment on whether or not this particular argument is Biblical or sound. It has no bearing on whether there are degrees of offense to God and his created order. None. They are non-sequiturs. I could likewise quote the same exact thing and mention that this view Rev. White holds to is just like the examples I gave, a misuse of the Bible. Again, the one has nothing to do with the other, other than to engender feelings of animosity that drive the progressive to action. Rightly or wrongly. One author puts it thus:
…he [Mel White] uses a lot of anecdotal arguments about this inexcusable behavior, but that is not really a substantive argument. We could just as easily speak about the Crusades, slavery, the treatment of women, etc. None of the anecdotes deal with the heart issue, namely, what the Bible says about homosexuality. Still, it’s fine for him to use these to get an emotional appeal going before he dives into his argument.[4a]
That aside, I would love to deal with a few of the historical aspects of this point number two by the Reverend White.
This is from a philosophy 101 class my son and I took at a local community college. Francis Collins, one of America’s leading scientists and head of the Genome Project for America – one of the most important scientific programs of our day, stepped outside his expertise and tried to don on a cap of a historian at times. Here is my critique of a portion of Collins book for class:
b. Faith in God is harmful, since “throughout history terrible things have been done in the name of religion” (p. 39).
Another favorite of the skeptic. Here Collins drops the ball in my opinion. I will critique two aspects of his work: i. his understanding of Islam, and ii. His understanding of comparative crimes.
i.Collins is getting out of his genre a bit. If I met him I would probably hand him two books by Robert Spencer. Quickly, before I quote Spencer. Muhammad personally ordered (and partook in) the slitting of 900 throats of men, women, and children. Jesus, when Peter cut off the Roman soldiers ear, told Peter to put the sword away and healed the soldiers ear.
The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great religious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strongminded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been worshipped, even with multitudinous idols.
All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances.
Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the comprehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.
Not to mention that just saying the Crusades were wrong is almost jeuvinile. Robert Spencer talks a bit about the lead up to Christendom finally responding — rightly at first, woefully latter.
The Third Crusade (1188-1192). This crusade was proclaimed by Pope Gregory VIII in the wake of Saladin’s capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Crusader forces of Hattin in 1187. This venture failed to retake Jerusalem, but it did strengthen Outremer, the crusader state that stretched along the coast of the Levant.
The almost Political Correct myth is that the crusades were an unprovoked attack by Europe against the Islamic world. I can see with quoting Tillich and Bonhoeffer, although worthy men to quote, they are typically favorites of the religious left. Robert Schuller and Desmond Tutu on the back of the cover of Collins first edition are also dead give a ways. So PC thought is entrenched in Collins general outlook on religion and life. Continuing:
The conquest of Jerusalem in 638 stood as the beginning of centuries of Muslim aggression, and Christians in the Holy Land faced an escalating spiral of persecution. A few examples: Early in the eighth century, sixty Christian pilgrims from Amorium were crucified; around the same time, the Muslim governor of Caesarea seized a group of pilgrims from Iconium and had them all executed as spies – except for a small number who converted to Islam; and Muslims demanded money from pilgrims, threatening to ransack the Church of the Resurrection if they didn’t pay. Later in the eighth century, a Muslim ruler banned displays of the cross in Jerusalem. He also increased the anti-religious tax (jizya) that Christians had to pay and forbade Christians to engage in religious instruction to others, even their own children.
Brutal subordinations and violence became the rules of the day for Christians in the Holy Land. In 772, the caliph al-Mansur ordered the hands of Christians and Jews in Jerusalem to be stamped with a distinctive symbol. Conversions to Christianity were dealt with particularly harshly. In 789, Muslims beheaded a monk who had converted from Islam and plundered the Bethlehem monastery of Saint Theodosius, killing many more monks. Other monasteries in the region suffered the same fate. Early in the ninth century, the persecutions grew so severe that large numbers of Christians fled to Constantinople and other Christians cities. More persecutions in 923 saw additional churches destroyed, and in 937, Muslims went on a Palm Sunday rampage in Jerusalem, plundering and destroying the Church of Calvary and the Church of the Resurrection.
A pastor once made mention to me that to paint a picture of the crusaders in a single year in history is like showing photos and video of Hitler hugging children and receiving flowers from them and then showing photos and video of the Allies attacking the German army. It completely forgets what Hitler and Germany had done prior.
While the church withheld the Bible from most, so the misuse of it wasn’t the case as much as a drive for political supremacy — and in fact was the catalyst for the Reformers and pre-Reformers getting copies of it into the laities hand so they could actually read what the Bible said on such matters — the response by the West’s only large organization to the Islamo-Fascism of the day was in fact a net-good. (Actually showing that God can bring good out of the bad.) This response may have been carried out wrongly at times engendering people’s fears and prejudices, however, the Bible played no role in these fears or prejudices. Mainly because the people involved in these atrocities had no access to a Bible. That aside, the totality of the Crusades [good and bad] was a net moral good for our planet and shows God’s providence over the course of history.
…between June and September of 1692 five men and fourteen women were eventually convicted and hanged because English law called for the death penalty for witchcraft (which, incidentally, was the same as the Old Testament). During this time there were over 150 others that were imprisoned. Things finally ended in September 1692 when Governor William Phipps dissolved the court because his wife had been accused. He said enough of this insanity. It was the colony’s leading minister, by the way, who finally ended the witch hunt in 1693 and those that remained in prison were released. The judge that was presiding over the trials publicly confessed his guilt in 1697. By the way, it’s interesting to note that this particular judge was very concerned about the plight of the American Indian and was opposed to slavery. These are views that don’t sit well with the common caricature of the radical Puritans in the witch hunt. In 1711 the colony’s legislatures made reparation to the heirs of the victims. They annulled the convictions.
A man of God ended the trials. The question then is, was this guilty judge misusing Scripture as well for his care for the Native-American and the slave as well? Or, was there issues of misapplying law in cases of religious matters? And it took a religious man to set things straight? The argument Rev. White makes is again a non-sequitur, being able to be used against his position, not to mention banal.
Hitler’s Third Reich
This is so often misused I almost grow tired of refuting it. I can mainly supply some resources to understand some of the thinking behind the paganism found in Germany, and some of the progressive liberalism found in fascist Italy. Let us first start with a highly recommended book by Rabbi David Dalin, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany, in which, for example, the inside leaf of the book has some mind blowing points (mind blowing to the progressive):
The true history of Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust—how the Catholic Church did more than any other religious body to save Jewish lives
The real history of the Church and the Nazis—including the Nazi plan to kidnap the pope
The real agenda of the myth-makers: hijacking the Holocaust to attack the very idea of the papacy—especially the papacy of the late Pope John Paul II—as well as Christianity and traditional religion as a whole
How Hitler’s cleric, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, advised and assisted the Nazis in carrying out Hitler’s Final Solution
How Pope Pius XII rescued Jews—and deserves to be called a “righteous gentile”—while the grand mufti of Jerusalem called for their extermination
Many times people forget that 3 million Catholics were killed in Poland. Which brings me to ask if Christianity played any role in brainwashing the youth?
We are the happy Hitler Youth;
We have no need of Christian virtue;
For Adolf Hitler is our intercessor
And our redeemer.
No priest, no evil one
Can keep us
From feeling like Hitler’s children.
Not Christ do we follow, but Horst Wessel!
Away with incense and holy water pots.
Singing we follow Hitler’s banners;
Only then are we worthy of our ancestors.
I am no Christian and no Catholic.
I go with the SA through thick and thin.
The Church can be stolen from me for all I care.
The swastika makes me happy here on earth.
Him will I follow in marching step;
Baldur Von Schirach, take me along.
~ Hitler Youth Song ~
In fact, there is a plaque hung on a entrance wall to the building many people (mostly Jews) lost their lives in at Auschwitz. It quotes Hitler:
“I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality…. We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence — imperious, relentless and cruel.”
Likewise, Hitler said:
“The war is going to be over. The last great task of our age will be to solve the church problem. It is only then that the nation will be wholly secure…. When I was young, my position was: Dynamite. It was only later that I understood that this sort of thing cannot be rushed. It must rot away like a gangrened member. The point that must be reached is to have the pulpits filled with none but boobs, and the congregations with none but old women. The healthy young people are with us.”
So if not in the name of Christianity and in fact a rejection of the Bible… what was it done in the name of and accepting which worldview? I have some ideas on this. The first is in what name. Philosophical Naturalism, or the Neo-Darwinian Worldview. For instance, Hitler himself mentions this in Mein Kampf:
“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.”
Hitler referred to this dispensation of nature as “quite logical.” In fact, it was so logical to the Nazis that they built concentration camps to carry out their convictions about the human race as being “nothing but the product of heredity and environment” or as the Nazis liked to say, “of blood and soil.”It is significant to note that some of the Crusaders and others who used force to further their creeds in the name of God were acting in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ.
Here is where the German Nazi’s diverged from what is known to be fascism as lived in Italy under Mussolini (dealt with later). I will present here some occultic ties that twisted the Super Man into the monster he became. Again, showing that this movement had nothing to do with the Bible:
Many of the Nazi emblems, such as the swastika, the double lightning bolt “SS” symbol, and even the inverted triangle symbol used to identify classes of prisoners in the concentration camps, originated among homosexual occultists in Germany (some, such as the swastika, are actually quite ancient symbols which were merely revived by these homosexual groups). In 1907, Jorg Lanz Von Liebenfels (Lanz), a former Cistercian monk whom the church excommunicated because of his homosexual activities, flew the swastika flag above his castle in Austria. After his expulsion from the church, Lanz founded the Ordo Novi Templi (“Order of the New Temple”), which merged occultism with violent anti-Semitism. A 1958 study of Lanz called, “Der Mann der Hitler die Ideen gab” – or, “The Man Who Gave Hitler His Ideas” – by Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Daim, called Lanz the true “father” of National Socialism.
List, a close associate of Lanz, formed the Guido Von List Society in Vienna in 1904. The Guido Von List Society was accused of practicing a form of Hindu Tantrism, which featured sexual perversions in its rituals (the swastika is originally from India). A man named Aleister Crowley, who, according to Hitler biographer J. Sydney Jones, enjoyed “playing with black magic and little boys,” popularized this form of sexual perversion in occult circles. List was “accused of being the Aleister Crowley of Vienna”. Like Lanz, List was an occultist; he wrote several books on the magic principles of rune letters (from which he chose the “SS” symbol). In 1908, List “was unmasked as the leader of a blood brotherhood which went in for sexual perversion and substituted the swastika for the cross”. The Nazis borrowed heavily from Lis’s occult theories and research. List also formed an elitist occult priesthood called the Armanen Order, to which Hitler himself may have belonged.
The Nazi dream of an Aryan super-race was adopted from an occult group called the Thule Society, founded in 1917 by followers of Lanz and List. The occult doctrine of the Thule Society held that the survivors of an ancient and highly developed lost civilization could endow Thule initiates with esoteric powers and wisdom. The initiates would use these powers to create a new race of Aryan supermen who would eliminate all “inferior” races.
This is the first known Swastika known to be in Germany, and it is a political poster by the occult Thule Society
Hitler dedicated his book, Mein Kampf, to Dietrich Eckart, one of the Thule Society’s inner circle and a former leading figure in the German Worker’s Party (when they met at the gay bar mentioned earlier).
“…And among them I want also to count that man, one of the best, who devoted his life to the awakening of his, our people, in his writings and his thoughts…”
After the above dedication, the notes in this edition of Mein Kampf read, “Dietrich Eckart was the spiritual founder of the National Socialist Party.” The various occult groups mentioned above were outgrowths of the Theosophical Society, whose founder, Helen Petrovna Blavatsky, was a lesbian, and whose “bishop” was a notorious pederast Charles Leadbeater. Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, was obsessed with Freemasonry, which is full of occultic influences and practices.
The dreaded SA Brownshirts or Sturmabteilung (“Storm Troopers”, the SA) were largely the creation of another homosexual, Gerhard Rossbach.
“…the SA, under its leader Ernst Rohm, was administered to a large extent by homosexuals. And elaborate pimping service had been developed to satisfy the appetites of Rohm and his cohort…”
Rossbach, who historian Gruber says “was a open homosexual,” formed the Rossbachbund (“Rossbach Brotherhood”), a homosexual unit of the Freikorps (“Free Corps”), The Freikorps were independent inactive military reserve units, which became home to the hundreds of thousands of unemployed World War I veterans in Germany. Rossbach also formed a youth organization under the Rossbuchbund, calling it the Schilljugend (“Schill Youth”). Rossbach’s staff assistant, Lieutenant Edmund Heines, a pederast and murderer, was put in charge of the Schilljugend. The Rossbuchbund later changed its name to Storm Troopers (in honor of Wotan, the ancient German God of storms).
(See also: Was Hitler a Christian) So again the question is this: “Is Reverend White correct in connecting the Third-Reich and the Holocaust to Christianity?” The obvious answer is a resounding “NO!” One last aspect before moving on. Mussolini was a very intelligent man and even had a masters degree in philosophy and in one of his books he defined what fascism is, lets read:
“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”
So we can deduce from this definition given by the father of the only true fascist movement yet that it stood in direct contradistinction to Christianity. One last point before moving on to the next point. Mel documents a murder of a homosexual by a person claiming Scripture in his act. I wish not to get into said persons bad hermeneutic, exegesis, cultural and historical applications, but instead wish to bring to the attention of the reader some points of interest. Most serial killers have been either homosexual or bi-sexual. In fact, one study puts 69% of the serial killers as being homosexuals (i.e., people who were self-described homosexuals or people who had engaged in homosexual behavior immediately prior to, during, or after committing their murders).
In a paper presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago by Dr. Paul Cameron in 1983, he documented that of 518 sexually-tinged mass murders in the U.S. from 1966 to 1983, 68% of the victims were killed by homosexuals! And remember that they only make up 1% to 3% of the total population.
I guarantee I would be able to find some Scriptural use or understanding in the manifesto of one of these serial killers towards their victims. Would I then discount Rev. White’s stance with this? No, it is a non-sequitur. I will bring up, however, this lopsided percentage I quoted above later; as I believe it to show something else about this topic. Mel White thinks “it’s important to hear these stories, because [he] not writing this little pamphlet as a scholarly exercise… [but as]… a matter of life and death.” Using his own thinking, I will write with this in mind. Which brings me to the next topic, his fourth premise.
“organizations representing 1,500,000 American health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and educators) have said clearly that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation, a combination of yet unknown pre-and-post-natal influences.”
This is partially true. There is good evidence that some influence comes from pre-natal influences. And there is work being done that may not only allow for the parent to catch and correct down-syndrome in the womb, but also to make sure their child is heterosexual. However, this being said, most of the homosexuals in the real world have been affected by outside influence and is correctable by counseling. And this graphic (below) Reverend White has on his site doesn’t explain how the American Psychiatric Association (APA) came to this conclusion.
The APA vote to normalize homosexuality was driven by politics, not science. Even sympathizers acknowledged this. Ronald Bayer was then a Fellow at the Hastings Institute in New York. He reported how in 1970 the leadership of a homosexual faction within the APA planned a “systematic effort to disrupt the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association” [R. Bayer, Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis (New York: Basic Books, 1981), p. 102.]They defended this method of “influence” on the grounds that the APA represented “psychiatry as a social institution” rather than a scientific body or professional guild.
At the 1970 meetings, Irving Bieber, an eminent psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, was presenting a paper on “homosexuality and transsexualism.” He was abruptly challenged:
[Bieber’s] efforts to explain his position … were met with derisive laughter…. [One] protester to call him a . “I’ve read your book, Dr. Bieber, and if that book talked about black people the way it talks about homosexuals, you’d be drawn and quartered and you’d deserve it.” [102-103]
The tactics worked. Acceding to pressure, the organizers of the following APA conference in 1971 agreed to sponsor a special panel—not on homosexuality, but by homosexuals. If the panel was not approved, the program chairman had been warned, “They’re [the homosexual activists] not going to break up just one section” .
But the panel was not enough. Bayer continues:
Despite the agreement to allow homosexuals to conduct their own panel discussion at the 1971 convention, gay activists in Washington felt that they had to provide yet another jolt to the psychiatric profession…. Too smooth a transition… would have deprived the movement of its most important weapon—the threat of disorder…. [They] turned to a Gay Liberation Front collective in Washington to plan the May 1971 demonstration. Together with the collective [they] developed a detailed strategy for disruption, paying attention to the most intricate logistical details.[104-105]
On May 3, 1971, the protesting psychiatrists broke into a meeting of distinguished members of the profession. They grabbed the microphone and turned it over to an outside activist, who declared:
Psychiatry is the enemy incarnate. Psychiatry has waged a relentless war of extermination against us. You may take this as a declaration of war against you…. We’re rejecting you all as our owners.[105-106]
No one raised an objection. The activists then secured an appearance before the APA’s Committee on Nomenclature. Its chairman allowed that perhaps homosexual behavior was not a sign of psychiatric disorder, and that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) should probably therefore reflect this new understanding.
When the committee met formally to consider the issue in 1973 the outcome had already been arranged behind closed doors. No new data was introduced, and objectors were given only fifteen minutes to present a rebuttal that summarized seventy years of psychiatric and psychoanalytic opinion. When the committee voted as planned, a few voices formally appealed to the membership at large, which can overrule committee decisions even on “scientific” matters.
The activists responded swiftly and effectively. They drafted a letter and sent it to the over thirty thousand members of the APA, urging them “to vote to retain the nomenclature change” . How could the activists afford such a mailing? They purchased the APA membership mailing list after the National Gay Task Force (NGTF) sent out a fund-raising appeal to their membership.
Though the NGTF played a central role in this effort, a decision was made not to indicate on the letter that it was written, at least in part, by the Gay Task Force, nor to reveal that its distribution was funded by contributions the Task Force had raised. Indeed, the letter gave every indication of having been conceived and mailed by those [psychiatrists] who [originally] signed it. . . . Though each signer publicly denied any role in the dissimulation, at least one signer had warned privately that to acknowledge the organizational role of the gay community would have been the “kiss of death.”
There is no question however about the extent to which the officers of the APA were aware of both the letter’s origins and the mechanics of its distribution. They, as well as the National Gay Task Force, understood the letter as performing a vital role in the effort to turn back the challenge.
Because a majority of the APA members who responded voted to support the change in the classification of homosexuality, the decision of the Board of Trustees was allowed to stand. But in fact only one-third of the membership did respond. (Four years later the journal Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality reported on a survey it conducted. The survey showed that 69 percent of psychiatrists disagreed with the vote and still considered homosexuality a disorder.) Bayer remarks:
The result was not a conclusion based upon an approximation of the scientific truth as dictated by reason, but was instead an action demanded by the ideological temper of the times. [3-4]
Two years later the American Psychological Association—the professional psychology guild that is three times larger than the APA—voted to follow suit.
How much the 1973 APA decision was motivated by politics is only becoming clear even now While attending a conference in England in 1994, I met a man who told me an account that he had told no one else. He had been in the gay life for years but had left the lifestyle. He recounted how after the 1973 APA decision he and his lover, along with a certain very highly placed officer of the APA Board of Trustees and his lover, all sat around the officer’s apartment celebrating their victory. For among the gay activists placed high in the APA who maneuvered to ensure a victory was this man—suborning from the top what was presented to both the membership and the public as a disinterested search for truth.
So this graphic by the Reverend White means nothing. Most women I know who are lesbians who have intimated family members of mine their past have all said they were abused by a man in the family. Likewise, the two homosexual men I know well enough to ask, both had a sexual encounter with an older man when they were 14 years old and younger. Lesbian author Tammy Bruce intimates this story in her book:
… and now all manner of sexual perversion enjoys the protection and support of once what was a legitimate civil-rights effort for decent people. The real slippery slope has been the one leading into the Left’s moral vacuum. It is a singular attitude that prohibits any judgment about obvious moral decay because of the paranoid belief that judgment of any sort would destroy the gay lifestyle, whatever that is…. Here come[s] the elephant again: Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhood — molestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult. The gay community must face the truth and see sexual molestation of an adolescent for the abuse it is, instead of the ‘coming-of-age’ experience many [gays] regard it as being. Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS.
Do you think… I am asking you… do you think this is psychological in nature? I mean, raping of boys and these boys growing into men confused, hurt, traumatized (often by a close family confidant) and expressing this confusion in unhealthy lifestyle choices? These men and women are hurting and need counseling, compassion, care, and understanding. But the best way to get this to them is not to normalize the actions done to them and they do to themselves. One author mentions the timing this “reclassification came about:
…it may be just a coincidence that just about at the height of the “sexual revolution” (or devolution) the “evidence from science” changed. Keep in mind that psychiatry and psychology are soft sciences and that secular counseling and education is largely based on the societal trends de jour.
Which brings me to a point I left off with in premise four. Homosexuals make up one to three percent of the population, yet, almost 70% of serial killers are homosexuals… this non-diagnosis in lieu of political correctness and the sexual revolution seems a bit quick and non-scientific, considering the abuse that leads to this lifestyle and crime stemming from this lifestyle.
In Mel’s fifth premise, you will find this:
“all kinds of relationships that don’t lead to having children:
couples who are unable to have children
couples who are too old to have children
couples who choose not to have children
people who are single”
Are these relationships (or lack of relationships) “unnatural”? There’s nothing said here that condemns or approves the love that people of the same sex have for each other, including the love I have for my partner, Gary.
In this Mr. White is saying that acts by these categories are just like acts by homosexuals. However, there is no potential in same-sex couples acts like we understand marital acts. That apparent conundrum offered by Mel has nothing on Professor Robert George’s understanding of the situation and the logical end of these acts:
Properly understood in light of a non-dualistic account of the human person, the goodness of marriage and marital intercourse simply cannot be reduced to the status of a mere means to pleasure, feelings of closeness, or any other extrinsic goal. Indeed, it cannot legitimately be treated (as some Christians have, admittedly, sought to treat it) as a mere means to procreation, though children are among the central purposes of marriage and help to specify its meaning as a moral reality even for married couples who cannot have children.
So marital acts realize the unity of marriage, which includes the coming to be of children. In consensual nonmarital sex acts, then, people damage this unity, the integrity of the marriage, inasmuch as the body is part of the personal reality of the human being and no mere sub-personal instrument to be used and disposed of to satisfy the subjective wants of the conscious and desiring part of the “self.”
The psychosomatic integrity of the person is another of the basic or intrinsic goods of the human person. This integrity is disrupted in any sexual act that lacks the common good of marriage as its central specifying point. Where sex is sought purely for pleasure, or as a means of inducing feelings of emotional closeness, or for some other extrinsic end, the body is treated as a sub-personal, purely instrumental, reality. This existential separation of the body and the conscious and desiring part of the self serves literally to dis-integrate the person. It takes the person apart, disrupting the good of acting as the dynamically unified being one truly is.
(1) Marriage, considered not as a mere legal convention, but, rather, as a two-in-one-flesh communion of persons that is consummated and actualized by sexual acts of the reproductive type, is an intrinsic . . . human good; as such, marriage provides a non-instrumental reason for spouses, whether or not they are capable of conceiving children in their acts of genital union, to perform such acts.
(2) In choosing to perform non-marital orgasmic acts, including sodomitical acts—irrespective of whether the persons performing such acts are of the same or opposite sexes (and even if those persons are validly married to each other)—persons necessarily treat their bodies and those of their sexual partners (if any) as means or instruments in ways that damage their personal (and interpersonal) integrity; thus, regard for the basic human good of integrity provides a conclusive moral reason not to engage in sodomitical and other non-marital sex acts.
It is sometimes thought that defenders of traditional marriage law deny the possibility of something whose possibility critics of the law affirm. “Love” these critics say “makes a family” And it is committed love that justifies homosexual sex as much as it justifies
heterosexual sex. If marriage is the proper, or best, context for sexual love, the argument goes, then marriage should be made available to loving, committed same-sex as well as opposite-sex partners on terms of strict equality. To think otherwise is to suppose that same-sex partners cannot really love each other, or love each other in a committed way, or that the orgasmic “sexual expression” of their love is somehow inferior to the orgasmic “sexual expression” of couples who “arrange the plumbing differently.”
In fact, however, at the bottom of the debate is a possibility that defenders of traditional marriage law affirm and its critics deny, namely, the possibility of marriage as a one-flesh communion of persons. The denial of this possibility is central to any argument designed to show that the moral judgment at the heart of the traditional understanding of marriage as inherently heterosexual is unreasonable, unsound, or untrue. If reproductive-type acts in fact unite spouses interpersonally, as traditional sexual morality and marriage law suppose, then such acts differ fundamentally in meaning, value, and significance from the only types of sexual acts that can be performed by same-sex partners.
Liberal sexual morality which denies that marriage is inherently heterosexual necessarily supposes that the value of sex must be instrumental either to procreation or pleasure. considered, in turn, as an end-in-itself or as a means of expressing affection, tender feelings, etc. Thus, proponents of the liberal view suppose that homosexual sex acts are indistinguishable from heterosexual acts whenever the motivation for such acts is something other than procreation. The sexual act of homosexual partners, that is to say, are indistinguishable in motivation, meaning, value, and significance from the marital acts of spouses who know that at least one spouse is temporarily or permanently infertile. Thus, the liberal argument goes, traditional matrimonial law is guilty of unfairness in treating sterile heterosexuals as capable of marrying while treating homosexual partners as ineligible to marry.
….it is a central tenet of the traditional view that the value (and point) of sex is the intrinsic good of marriage itself which is actualized in sexual acts which unite spouses biologically and, thus, interpersonally. The traditional view rejects the instrumentalization of sex (and, thus, of the bodies of sexual partners) to any extrinsic end. This does not mean that procreation and pleasure are not rightly sought in marital acts; it means merely that they are rightly sought when they are integrated with the basic good and justifying point of marital sex, namely, the one-flesh union of marriage itself.
It is necessary, therefore, for critics of traditional matrimonial law to argue that the apparent one-flesh unity that distinguishes marital acts from sodomitical acts is illusory, and, thus, that the apparent bodily communion of spouses in reproductive-type acts—which, according to the traditional view, form the biological matrix of their marital relationship is not really possible.
I will import a critique by someone I consider a friend. He has an excellent series of posts dealing with this same article I am. I will let him comment a bit on Reverend White’s misuse of Genesis:
While appealing to Genesis ch. 1 and 2 Rev. Dr. Mel White only quotes five words, “In the beginning” and “it’s good.” This, of course, offers no context whatsoever. Yet, he concludes,
“We can also learn from this story that ultimately God is our Creator, that God shaped us, and said, ‘It’s good.’ Isn’t this the heart of the text?”
God proclaimed His creations “good” and the entirety of His creation “very good” while it was in the un-fallen state in which He had created all things-this is the heart of the text.
Now, let us consider an extremely important aspect of the story of creation as regards our discussion of human sexuality.
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every fowl of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. And Adam gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field. But there was not found a suitable helper for Adam. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh underneath. And the Lord God made the rib (which He had taken from the man) into a woman. And He brought her to the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife; and they were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:18-25).
Notice the intermixing of a discussion of Adam being alone and that of animals being brought before Adam to be named. What were the names Adam gave the animals? What language did he speak? Can etymology disclose these original names? As interesting as these questions may be they are neither as relevant nor as important as what the text is relating to us. What is the text relating?
Firstly, note that Adam’s being alone was described as “not good” and that the solution is to make “a helper suitable for him.” At this point we do not know what or whom (or what gender) this helper will be. Adam then witnesses all of the animals and yet, “there was not found a suitable helper for Adam.” Next the Lord created Eve and brought her to Adam who said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” Understand the picture and Adam’s astonished excitement. He has just seen every sort of living being and has apparently noticed that they are not like him, “This one has wings-I don’t, this one has a trunk-I don’t, this one has a tail-I don’t,” we may imagine Adam thinking. But when he sees Eve he makes a statement that expresses his acknowledgment of her as being like him, “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”-the perfect match for a lonely man, the companion, the helper, is a woman.
What Rev. Dr. Mel White did not point out is that the creation story has been viewed for millennia as the model for marriage. This is why “a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:18-25). One man and one woman leaving their families in order to come together for life. Keep in mind that Adam and Eve did not have human parents, which is an indication that this is meant to be a model for future generations.
In dealing with these Scriptures and positions the Reverend takes, I would read forward from the link provided in footnote number twenty-six. Ken Ammi is a Messianic Jew who has an excellent grasp of the Old Testament and the created order.
I wish to end this long post by dealing with White’s (and the progressive’s) understanding of equality. In other articles the Reverend White pushes the idea that we all should be treated equal. The progressive left envisions an egalitarian society. The left values equality above other values. You cannot have equality AND liberty at the same time. You must choose one or the other.
[THERE WAS A VIDEO HERE… BUT IT IS LONG GONE IN THE ETHER OF YOUTUBE]
Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism and later carried forward by Christianity. This revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.
Dallas Willard, “Jesus the Logician,” Christian Scholars Review (summer 1999): 610; taken from Norman Geisler and Patrick Zukeran, The Apologetics of Jesus: A Caring Approach to Dealing With Doubters (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2009), 66.
 Francis S. Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (New York, NY: Free Press, 2006).
Robert Hume, The World’s Living Religions (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959), 285-286.
 Robert Spencer, The Politically Correct Guide to Islam and the Crusades (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2005), 147-148.
 Ibid., 122-123.
 Gene Edward Veith, Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview (Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1993), 67; See Ernst Christian Helmreich, The German Churches Under Hitler: Background, Struggle, and Epilogue (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1979), 267; Horst Wessel was the composer of the party anthem. Baldur von Schirach was the Reich Youth Leader – See Hermann Glaser, The Cultural Roots of National Socialism (Austin, TX: University Texas Press, 1978), 43, 56n.
Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God (Nashville, TN: W Publishing, 1994), 23.
From Hitler’s Tabletalk (December 1941); quoted in the Joachim Remake ed., The Nazi Years: A Documentary History (Lon Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 1990), 105.
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy (New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942), 161-162.
 “The SS Blood and Soul,” one of four videos in a video series entitled, The Occult History of the Third Reich (St. Lauret, Quebec: Madacy Entertainment Group, 1998); Now in DVD – ISBN: 0974319465).
Prager plays and comments on Paul Callan’s change of mind on Trump and others “slamming” of the FBI (REAL CLEAR POLITICS). Apparently, this deep bias wasn’t just in the leaders of these investigations, but in the grand jury.
This was a comment on the latest upload of mine from YouTube (posted on LIVELEAK):
Keep convincing yourself the whole FBI is corrupt and it’s not just Trump. What makes more sense?
The problem is that the evidence is saying something different. If they were as “clean” and “noble” as I have been told, they should have recuse themselves — like Sessions. But by not doing so the cards are being played and the poker faces are melting away…. here is my response:
That the same three or four guys at the FBI (that were getting money directly from the DNC or that had wives working at GPS Fusion and exonerated Hillary and mentioned a “fail-safe” for defeating Trump is he won) are corrupt… that is where the evidence points. No one is saying the W-H-O-L-E FBI. Dumb.
Another comment from my YouTube notes this: “The more CNN squeezes the more the anti-Trump narrative slips from their fingers.” Yep.
“When men get in a fight, and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born [prematurely], but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman’s husband demands from him, and he must pay according to judicial assessment. If there is an injury, then you must give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot….”
What does this verse mean for the Judeo-Christian person in the real world — if we rightly shape our worldview according to God’s Revelation? Wayne Grudem explains with an excerpt from from his book, POLITICS ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE:
For the question of abortion, perhaps the most significant passage of all is found in the specific laws God gave Moses for the people of Israel during the time of the Mosaic covenant. One particular law spoke of the penalties to be imposed in case the life or health of a pregnant woman or her preborn child was endangered or harmed:
When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (Exod. 21:22-25). [footnote A]
This law concerns a situation when men are fighting and one of them accidentally hits a pregnant woman. Neither one of them intended to do this, but as they fought they were not careful enough to avoid hitting her. If that happens, there are two possibilities:
1. If this causes a premature birth but there is no harm to the pregnant woman or her preborn child, there is still a penalty: “The one who hit her shall surely be fined” (v. 22). The penalty was for carelessly endangering the life or health of the pregnant woman and her child. We have similar laws in modern society, such as when a person is fined for drunken driving, even though he has hit no one with his car. He recklessly endangered human life and health, and he deserved a fine or other penalty.
2. But “if there is harm” to either the pregnant woman or her child, then the penalties are quite severe: “Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth …” (vv. 23-24). This means that both the mother and the preborn child are given equal legal protection. The penalty for harming the preborn child is just as great as for harming the mother. Both are treated as persons, and both deserve the full protection of the law. [footnote B]
This law is even more significant when we put it in the context of other laws in the Mosaic covenant. In other cases in the Mosaic law where someone accidentally caused the death of another person, there was no requirement to give “life for life,” no capital punishment. Rather, the person who accidentally caused someone else’s death was required to flee to one of the “cities of refuge” until the death of the high priest (see Num. 35:9-15, 22-29). This was a kind of “house arrest,” although the person had to stay within a city rather than within a house for a limited period of time. It was a far lesser punishment than “life for life.”
This means that God established for Israel a law code that placed a higher value on protecting the life of a pregnant woman and her preborn child than the life of anyone else in Israelite society. Far from treating the death of a preborn child as less significant than the death of others in society, this law treats the death of a preborn child or its mother as more significant and worthy of more severe punishment. And the law does not place any restriction on the number of months the woman was pregnant. Presumably it would apply from a very early stage in pregnancy, whenever it could be known that a miscarriage had occurred and her child or children had died as a result.
Moreover, this law applies to a case of accidental killing of a preborn child. But if accidental killing of a preborn child is so serious in God’s eyes, then surely intentional killing of a preborn child must be an even worse crime.
The conclusion from all of these verses [many are discussed in Grudem’s book] is that the Bible teaches that we should think of the preborn child as a person from the moment of conception, and we should give to the preborn child legal protection at least equal to that of others in the society.
A. The phrase “so that her children come out” is a literal translation of the Hebrew text, which uses the plural of the common Hebrew word yeled, “child,” and another very common word, yātsā’, which means “go out, come out.” The plural “children” is probably the plural of indefiniteness, allowing for the possibility of more than one child. Other translations render this as “so that she gives birth prematurely,” which is very similar in meaning (so NASB, from 1999 editions onward; similarly: NN, TNIV, NET, HCSV, NLT, NKJV).
B. Some translations have adopted an alternative sense of this passage. The NRSV translates it, “When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows …” (RSV is similar, as was NASB before 1999). In this case, causing a miscarriage and the death of a preborn child results only in a fine. Therefore, some have argued, this passage treats the preborn child as less worthy of protection than others in society, for the penalty is less. But the arguments for this translation are not persuasive. The primary argument is that this would make the law similar to a provision in the law code of Hammurabi (about 1760 BC in ancient Babylon). But such a supposed parallel should not override the meanings of the actual words in the Hebrew text of Exodus. The moral and civil laws in the Bible often differed from those of the ancient cultures around Israel. In addition, there is a Hebrew word for a miscarriage (shakal, Gen. 31:38; see also Exod. 23:26; Job 21:20; Hosea 9:14), but that word is not used here, nor is nēphel, another term for “miscarriage” (see Job 3:16; Ps. 58:8; Eccl. 6:3). However, the word that is used, yātsā’, is ordinarily used to refer to the live birth of a child (see Gen. 25:26; 38:29; Jer. 1:5). Finally, even on this (incorrect) translation, a fine is imposed on the person who accidentally caused the death of the preborn child. This implies that accidentally causing such a death is still considered morally wrong. Therefore, intentionally causing the death of a prebom child would be much more wrong, even on this translation.
Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 159-160.
Here is the Dennis Prager interview on this topic:
In a recent interview by Dinesh D’Souza (President of Kings College at the time, as well as being a favorite author of mine) of physicist Stephen Barr (Professor of Particle Physics at the Bartol Research Institute and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware). What was otherwise a good interview and overview of philosophical naturalism’s metaphysical positions in contradistinction to true science and religion’s metaphysical outlook, took a historical turn for the worse when Augustine was used as defense in the “old-earth/young-earth” debate.
In this next portion you will hear the portion of the interview I wish to weigh in on. We pick up the conversation as it happens coming in from the break:
The problem with Dr. Barr’s summation is that he has failed to take into account that people’s views on matters change over time. (This wasn’t intentional… we are finite beings and cannot know all things to bring to bare in conversation.) For instance, R.C. Sproul (evangelical scholar, professor, and President of Ligonier Ministries) mentioned that through most of his teaching career he accepted the old-age position. However, late in his career he changed his position to that of the young earth creationists.
For most of my teaching career, I considered the framework hypothesis to be a possibility. But I have now changed my mind. I now hold to a literal six-day creation, the fourth alternative and the traditional one. Genesis says that God created the universe and everything in it in six twenty-four–hour periods. According to the Reformation hermeneutic, the first option is to follow the plain sense of the text. One must do a great deal of hermeneutical gymnastics to escape the plain meaning of Genesis 1–2. The confession makes it a point of faith that God created the world in the space of six days. [emphasis in original, indicating these words are part of the Confession] (pp. 127–128).
ST. AUGUSTINE (PART 1)
Similarly, Augustine, early in his life, was very allegorical in his attempt to interpret and define Scripture and events in it. Later however, he changed his position in much the same way Dr. Sproul did. Therefore, to quote Sproul or Augustine as old-earth creationists supporting the views of professor Barr would not do the position justice.
As his theology matured, Augustine abandoned his earlier allegorizations of Genesis that old-earth creationists and theistic evolutionists have latched onto in an attempt to justify adding deep time to the Bible. Furthermore, he always believed in a young earth (painting by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1480)
An example of Augustine’s allegorical uses comes from the journal Church History by way of Mervin Monroe Deems (Ph.D., past Samuel Harris Lecturer on Literature and Life at Bangor Theological Seminary, Maine) in which he points out Augustine’s use of allegory in interpreting “paradise” in Genesis:
But let us get back to the Paradise of Genesis. As Augustine put it, “. .. some allegorize all that concerns Paradise itself”: the four rivers are the four virtues; the trees, all knowledge, and so on. But to Augustine these things are better connected with Christ and his Church. Thus, Paradise is the Church; the four rivers, the four gospels; the fruit-trees, the saints; the tree of life, Christ; and the tree of knowledge, one’s free choice. And he closes the paragraph thus:
These and similar allegorical interpretations may be suitably put upon Paradise without giving offense to anyone, while yet we believe the strict truth of the history, confirmed by its circumstantial narrative of facts.
To put this closing remark in slightly updated English, it reads as follows:
No one should object to such reflections and others even more appropriate that might be made concerning the allegorical interpretation of the Garden of Eden, so long as we believe in the historical truth manifest in the faithful narrative of these events.
To be clear, Augustine was still holding to the literal meaning in the Genesis narrative even during his use of allegory in rendering extra meaning to the idea of paradise in Genesis. Again, professor Deems:
Augustine’s approach to the scriptures was gradual. At the time that he came across the Hortensius he turned to the Scriptures, only to turn away again, for in his estimation they could not compare with the writings of Cicero. Later at Milan following the advice of Ambrose he started to read Isaiah but found this too difficult and turned to the Psalms. The period of retirement and the months immediately following, which produced the philosophic treatises, were devoted to the classics rather than to the Bible. But increasingly Augustine studied and meditated upon the Scriptures, with the result that his writings are filled with Scriptural quotation and references…. The use of allegory by Augustine was not only a means of making Scripture say something, it was also a technique for bringing Scripture down to date, by forcing ancient words to minister, through prophecy, to the weaving of present patterns of behavior or through the summoning to higher ideals. But it was also dangerous for it came close to making Scripture say what he wanted it to say (through multiplicity of allegories of identical Scripture), and it prepared the way for Catholic or Protestant, later, to find in Scripture what he would.
And this is key, as Professor Benno Zuiddam (Benno Zuiddam is research professor [extraordinary associate] for New Testament Studies, Greek and Church History at the faculty of Divinity at North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa) points out,
As Augustine became older, he gave greater emphasis to the underlying historicity and necessity of a literal interpretation of Scripture. His most important work is De Genesi ad litteram. The title says it: On the Necessity of Taking Genesis Literally. In this later work of his, Augustine says farewell to his earlier allegorical and typological exegesis of parts of Genesis and calls his readers back to the Bible. He even rejected allegory when he deals with the historicity and geographic locality of Paradise on earth.
The professor points out as well that from Augustine’s City of God, we can begin to see this literalism in the evolution of his responses to pagans. Dr. Zuiddam asks:
3) Isn’t it obvious from his City of God (De Civitate Dei) that Augustine believed that God created Man 6000 years ago?
Not quite, but a young earth definitely. Augustine wrote in De Civitate Dei that his view of the chronology of the world and the Bible led him to believe that Creation took place around 5600 BC [Ed. note: he used the somewhat inflated Septuagint chronology—see Biblical chronogenealogies for more information.]. One of the chapters in his City of God bears the title “On the mistaken view of history that ascribes many thousands of years to the age of the earth.” Would you like it clearer? Several pagan philosophers at the time believed that the earth was more or less eternal. Countless ages had preceded us, with many more to come. Augustine said they were wrong. This goes to show that theistic evolutionists who call in Augustine’s support do so totally out of context. All they allow themselves to see is his symbolic use of “day” in Genesis, and a very difficult philosophical doctrine of creation with ideas that develop. “Wonderful!” they think, “Augustine really supports our post-Darwinian theories!” It takes a superficial view of Genesis and Augustine to arrive at such conclusions. His instant creation, his young earth and immediate formation of Adam and Eve rule out Augustine’s application for this purpose.
An example of this can be seen here with Augustine himself saying:
“They are also still being led astray by some false writings according to their claim to the history of the times many thousands of years to take, as we do from the Bible to calculate that since the creation of man, not quite six thousand years have expired ” (XII, 11).
Non-literalist Professor James Barr (Professor of Hebrew Bible at Vanderbilt University and former Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University in England) in a letter to David C.C. Watson, 23 April 1984 wrote this:
Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; . . . Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the “days” of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.
As one can see from here and following the links to the larger articles, Dr. Stephen Barr may want to revise his position on some of the church fathers and their views in regards to the age of the earth and hence creation. A good resource for reading their thoughts on the matter — the early church fathers that is — can be FOUND HERE.
 Tas Walker, “Famous evangelical apologist changes his mind: RC Sproul says he is now a six-day, young-earth creationist,” Creation Ministries International, published May 21st, 2008, found at URL:
Allegory is primarily a method of reading a text by assuming that its literal sense conceals a hidden meaning, to be deciphered by using a particular hermeneutical key. In a secondary sense, the word “allegory” is also used to refer to a type of literature that is expressly intended to be read in this nonliteral way. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is a well-known example of allegorical literature, but it is doubtful whether any part of the Bible can be regarded as such. The parables of Jesus come closest, but they are not allegories in the true sense. The apostle Paul actually used the word allegoria, but arguably this was to describe what would nowadays be called “typology” (Gal. 4:24). The difference between typology and allegory is that the former attaches additional meaning to a text that is accepted as having a valid meaning in the “literal” sense, whereas the latter ignores the literal sense and may deny its usefulness altogether. Paul never questioned the historical accuracy of the Genesis accounts of Hagar and Sarah, even though he regarded them as having an additional, spiritual meaning as well. Other interpreters, however, were often embarrassed by anthropomorphic accounts of God in the Bible, and sought to explain away such language by saying that it is purely symbolic, with no literal meaning at all. It is in this latter sense that the word “allegory” is generally used today.
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Gen Ed., Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), cf. Allegory, 34-35.
 Saint Augustine, City of God (New York, NY: Image Books, 1958), 288; or, Book XIII, 21 (emphasis added).
 Mervin Monroe Deems, “Augustine’s Use of Scripture,” Church History Vol. 14, No. 3 (Sep., 1945), 188-189 (emphasis added).
 Benno Zuiddam, “Augustine: young earth creationist — [How] theistic evolutionists take Church Father out of context,” Creation Ministries International, published October 8th, 2009, found at URL (emphasis added):
May I remind those who may not understand this critique that it [the critique] has nothing to do with said physicists faith. This is merely a challenge to his understanding of a historical figure and where he [Stephen Barr] separates his understanding of Augustine and what Augustine believed. We know Augustine, from his later writings specifically, rejected the spiritualistic aspect he once placed on the Genesis account and accepted the plain understanding as paramount. This critique neither places young-earth creationism as a litmus test for faith or some standard one must reach to be “holier” than thee. One may wish to read myfootnote #18to understand my position on this.
THREE OLD EARTH CHURCH FATHERS
This is an update to respond not in the intended spirit of unity in the Body of Christ – but in response to the misinformation that CONTINUES to permeate this debate. The article posted in an Apologetics group on Facebook was this one:
The short answer is “yes,” when good church history is shared within the debate. When bad points of history are inserted into the debate, a pause and reflection and secondary debate needs to be undertaken. (you can enlarge the picture below by clicking it. It is just to show I have the books some of the following quotes are coming from.)
ST. AUGUSTINE (Part 2)
ANSWERS IN GENESIS notes the following, “[Augustine] believed that God created everything in an instant and that He described it for us as being completed in six normal days for the sake of our understanding.” They continue with the quote:
Perhaps we ought not to think of these creatures at the moment they were produced as subject to the processes of nature which we now observe in them, but rather as under the wonderful and unutterable power of the Wisdom of God, which reaches from end to end mightily and governs all graciously. For this power of Divine Wisdom does not reach by stages or arrive by steps. It was just as easy, then, for God to create everything as it is for Wisdom to exercise this mighty power. For through Wisdom all things were made, and the motion we now see in creatures, measured by the lapse of time, as each one fulfills its proper function, comes to creatures from those causal reasons implanted in them, which God scattered as seeds at the moment of creation when He spoke and they were made, He commanded and they were created. Creation, therefore, did not take place slowly in order that a slow development might be implanted in those things that are slow by nature; nor were the ages established at plodding pace at which they now pass. Time brings about the development of these creatures according to the laws of their numbers, but there was no passage of time when they received these laws at creation.
Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, Vol 1, translated by John Hammond Taylor (New York, N.Y.: Paulist Press, 1982), 141-142.
Continuing, AIG notes:
“Augustine believed the genealogies given in Genesis to be literal chronologies and that the pre-Flood patriarchs lived to be around 900 years” — The City of God, Book 15, Chapters 11–12 (read here)
He also stated, “Unbelievers are also deceived by false documents which ascribe to history many thousand years, although we can calculate from Sacred Scripture that not 6,000 years have passed since the creation of man” — Augustine, The City of God, translated by G. G. Walsh and G. Monahan (1952), Book 12, Chapter 11, p. 263. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press.
One summary of Augustine’s work the writer comments: “Interestingly, Augustine supports a young earth or at least a young humanity view, believing man was created 5000 years previously” (Whole Reason – scroll down to 4 Books 11-14: The Origins of the City of God)
One must remember that Augustine believed, wrongly, that all six days of creation happened on one day. But he did not ascribe long ages before or after that, that we know. Don Batten adds to this thought: “Even Augustine cannot remotely be used in support of old-earth beliefs. Even though he allegorized the Days of Creation (and lots of other passages—he was no Hebrew scholar), he tried to compress the days into an instant, which is diametrically opposite to what long-agers claim!”
In another critique of James Mook’s chapter in the young earth creationist book, Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth, Dr. John Millam admits the following:
By my own research, none of the fathers taught an old earth.
And Dr William Dembski opines as well:
Let me concede that young earth creationism was largely the position of the church from the Church Fathers through the Reformers
The following comes from a discussion elsewhere on the Web, and should serve as a great reminder to the deleterious effects of larger (more regulatory) government vs. a smaller form of it:
The main point is that one party has people in it that are for small government — people like Ron Paul, Larry Elder, and the late Milton Friedman (a libertarian “god” of sorts). In the other you have people who want to grow government larger, and larger, and larger. California is a microcosm of the effect this has on businesses and regulating people’s lives. However, this drive to regulate people and their lives and to grow government, has, in every case, increased the possibility of government intrusion by force into the lives of ordinary people, which increase the risk (again, this is provable in history) of detention and death.
Which is why most libertarians vote Republican, they want smaller government. A great example is the housing market crisis. Some people are under the impression this was caused due to an easing of regulation. Not true. In fact, it was government-regulating banks to loan to people it would previously not. Why is this? Because the left wants [material] equality, the right wants people to prosper. One offers the most freedom, the other forces one person to pay for another. Here is an a small sampling of 2012 regulations from California that is helping businesses make the choice in moving to other states:
✦In addition to mandatory insurance coverage, eligible female employees can take four months pregnancy disability leave, under provisions of SB 299. ✦The independent contractor law, SB 459, is worth discussing with a legal or h/r expert, because the rules are so tough and potentially expensive. That $5,000 to $25,000 fine is PER INCIDENT. ✦Employees can take up to 30 business days in a year for donating organs or bone marrow. SB 272 clarifies the law a bit. ✦Company dress codes must accommodate transvestites and cross dressers under AB 887. ✦Companies operating in multiple states must offer the same insurance coverage for same-sec couples and domestic partners as they do married couples in California. ✦Five new laws change workers compensation insurance. Check with your insurance carrier.
Everything the growth in government touches (which is typically from the left… or, the right embracing the foundational thinking of the left [like Bush working with Kennedy to increase the size and focus of the Dept of Education]). This regulation causes friction between government and regular people. As more and more regulations are added, the increase in the possibility of armed persons coming to your door increases — like this example of natural foods markets being raided: http://biggovernment.com/reasontv/2011/08/04/reason-tv-rawesome-foods-raided-again/
So persons that *REALLY* want to effect the political spectrum and possibly decrease the size of the government the most would want to vote Republican (like Milton Friedman, Larry Elder, and Rand Paul [Ron Paul’s son]). And this decreases the abrasive aspect of government and the regular Joe meeting. Congress — for instance – should meet for 3-months during the year, and do less of this:
“Federal agencies publish an average of over 200 pages of new rulings, regulations, and proposals in the Federal Register each business day. That growth of the federal statute book is one of the clearest measures of the increase of the government control of the citizenry…” James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (St. Martins Griffen; 1994), 1.
“All forms of the liberal agenda interfere with the rational relationship between human action and the conditions of life by disconnecting outcomes from adaptive behavior. Government welfare programs of all kinds disconnect the receipt of material benefits from productive behavior and voluntary exchange, and from those normal developmental processes that lead to adult competence. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all other federal and state welfare programs divorce an individual’s material security and emotional well being from his economic and social connections to his community, and replace them with a marriage to government officials. In particular, welfare programs disconnect the individual’s security and well being from two of his most reliable resources: his own initiative in producing and exchanging with others, and his social bonds to members of his family, church, neighborhood or village. The liberal agenda’s takeover of countless individual and community functions, from early education to care of the elderly, has had the effect of alienating the individual from his community and robbing both of their essential mutuality. In the economic sphere, especially, the liberal agenda’s rules have become strikingly irrational. Countless restrictions dictate what the ordinary businessman and professional may or may not do regarding hiring procedures, sales and purchasing, health insurance plans, retirement plans, safety precautions, transportation policies, racial and ethnic quotas, immigration matters, liability rules, and provisions for the handicapped. Endless paperwork adds to the already crushing burden of confiscatory taxation. Licensure requirements needlessly prevent workers from entering new fields in which they are willing to work hard and risk much in order to make life better for themselves and their families. Unnecessary and unjust restrictions in the freedom with which individuals can run their economic lives are the hallmarks of the liberal agenda. But the social pathology of collectivism extends well beyond the economic realm. While children can be happy in dependent relationships with parents, adults cannot be happy in any mature sense in dependent relationships with government welfare programs, no matter how well intentioned or administered. The reasons for this are developed more thoroughly below and occupy a major portion of this book. Stated briefly, however, the large-scale dependency of the adult citizen on governments is always inherently pathological and always profoundly detrimental to…” Lyle H. Rossiter, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, p. 71.
Cal Watchdog adds to the idea with the most recent businesses leaving:
Waste Connections, a Folsom-based garbage hauling and landfill company, said last week it is busting a move for Texas. Santa Barbara-based Superconductor Technologies Inc., which develops advanced superconducting wire, also confirmed this week it is leaving for the Lone Star State.
After California’s ongoing budget imbroglio, there is arguably no greater crisis facing our once Golden State than the continuing exodus of homegrown companies like Waste Connections and Superconductor Technologies. Yet, lawmakers in Sacramento are doing next to nothing about it.
In fact, Waste Connections CEO Ron Mittlestaedt actually warned state officials back in August that his company was thinking about relocating to another state. Those officials failed to step up and dissuade the Sacramento region’s largest publicly traded company from leaving. Higher Taxes
Mittlestaedt echoed the lament of all too many California CEO’s that the state is inhospitable for business. It “has the highest tax rates in the nation,” he told the Sacramento Bee this week, “and they’re going higher.” And California is not only fiscally broke, he said, but also “structurally.”
By that, he was referring to the state’s hostile regulatory environment. As when the Legislature this year neglected to pass a measure that would have made it easier for Waste Connections and other landfill operators to move trash around the state, while doing no harm to the environment.
Superconductor Technologies CEO Jeff Quiram said in a statement that the company’s goal of becoming “a leader in the superconducting wire industry recently reached the inflection point where it was time to make a move.”
Translation: The cost, the hassle of doing business in California has risen to such a level that aspiring companies like STI cannot grow their businesses the way they can in competing states….
If the Arab Spring was seeded by a liberal insurrection, the Arab Fall has brought a rich harvest for Political Islam. In election after election, parties that embrace various shades of Islamist ideology have spanked liberal rivals. In Tunisia, the first country to hold elections after toppling a long-standing dictator, the Ennahda party won a plurality in the Oct. 23 vote for an assembly that will write a new constitution. A month later, the Justice and Development Party and its allies won a majority in Morocco’s general elections. Now, in perhaps the most important election the Middle East has ever witnessed, Egypt’s Islamist parties are poised to dominate the country’s first freely elected parliament.
In the first of three rounds of voting, two Islamist groups won a clear majority between them: a coalition led by the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) got 37% of the vote, while the al-Nour Party won 24.4%. The Egyptian Block, a coalition of mostly liberal parties, was a distant third, with 13.4%. The FJP is the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, a mostly moderate Islamist group; al-Nour represents more-hard-line Salafis. With momentum on their side, the Islamists are expected to do even better in the second and third rounds, scheduled for Dec. 14 and Jan. 3. (See pictures of Egyptians flocking to the polls.)
Why have the liberals, leaders of the Arab Spring revolution, fared so poorly in elections? In Cairo, as the votes were being counted, I heard a raft of explanations from disheartened liberals. They were almost identical to the ones I’d heard the previous week, in Tunis. The litany goes like this: The liberals only had eight months to prepare for elections, whereas the Brotherhood has 80 years’ experience in political organization. The Islamists, thanks to their powerful financial backing from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, outspent the liberals. The generals currently ruling Egypt, resentful of the liberals for ousting their old boss Hosni Mubarak, fixed the vote in favor of the Islamists. The Brotherhood and the Salafists used religious propaganda — Vote for us or you’re a bad Muslim — to mislead a largely poor, illiterate electorate.
These excuses are all plausible, as far as they go. But they don’t go very far. After all, the Salafis had no political organization until 10 months ago, and they still managed to do well. The liberals were hardly penurious: free-spending telecom billionaire Naguib Sawiris is a leading member of the Egyptian Block. Even if you buy the notion that the generals — themselves brought up in strict secular tradition — prefer the Islamists to the liberals, international observers found no evidence of systematic ballot fixing. (See photos of the recent clashes between police and protesters in Cairo.)
And to argue that voters were hoodwinked by the Islamists is to suggest that the majority of the electorate are gullible fools. This tells you something about the attitude of liberal politicians toward their constituency. And that in turn may hold the key to why they fared so badly.
The Islamists, it turns out, understand democracy much better than the liberals do. The Ennahda and the FJP were not just better organized, they also campaigned harder and smarter. Anticipating allegations that they would seek to impose an Iranian-style theocracy in North Africa, the Islamists formed alliances with some secular and leftist parties and very early on announced they would not be seeking the presidency in either country. Like smart retail politicians everywhere, they played to their strengths, capitalizing on goodwill generated by years of providing social services — free hospitals and clinics, soup kitchens — in poor neighborhoods. And they used their piety to assure voters that they would provide clean government, no small consideration for a population fed up with decades of corrupt rule. Even the Salafis, who openly pursue an irredentist agenda and seek a return to Islam’s earliest days, benefited from the perception that they are scrupulously honest….
At a press conference on May 19, Arthur Robinson, Ph.D., announced the release of the names of 32,000 scientists who have signed a strongly worded petition dissenting from the alarmist assertions of Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Fears of catastrophic human-caused global warming, requiring draconian energy rationing, are the basis for policies supported by all three leading Presidential candidates: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain.
Al Gore claims that “the debate is over,” and that there are only a “few” remaining “skeptics.”
“In Ph.D. scientist signers alone, the project already includes 15-times more scientists than are seriously involved in the United Nations IPCC project. The very large number of petition signers demonstrates that, if there is a consensus among American scientists, it is in opposition to the human-caused global warming hypothesis rather than in favor of it,” states Robinson. Signers include more than 9,000 Ph.Ds.
Most signatures were obtained by mailing to lists of university professors and a compendium that constitutes a “Who’s Who” of American scientists.
“How many scientists does it take to establish that a consensus does not exist on global warming?” asks Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post 5/17/08). He reviews the history of previous petitions, including the Heidelberg Appeal, which ultimately obtained 4,000 signatures, including 72 Nobel Prize winners. In numbers, the Oregon Petition Project vastly exceeds all others, having gathered some 17,800 signatures in 2001—“all the more astounding because of the unequivocal stand these scientists took.”
“Not only did they dispute that there was convincing evidence of harm from carbon dioxide emissions, they asserted that Kyoto itself would harm the global environment because ‘increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the earth.’”
This is an interesting post MercatorNet has done in that it is supported by all the facts and studies done on this topic of the health to society done via the nuclear family. The Tottenham Riots have only been a recent example of this in a geo-political sense. Domestically it is seen in the Flash Mob mentality of violence and theft here in the States. For instance, commenting on the riots in London, Melanie Phillips says that,
…When church leaders stop prattling like soft-headed social workers and start preaching, once again, the moral concepts that underlie our civilisation [i.e., family and hard work], and when our political leaders decide to oppose the culture war that has been waged against that civilisation rather than supinely acquiescing in its destruction, then — and only then — will we start to get to grips with this terrible problem.
Left-wing parties all over Europe are losing elections because they are out-of-touch and because their big idea – the welfare state – is outdated. It does not work. Why not? Because it is based on a false view of human nature; it simply does not conform to reality.
It believes that people are basically good, though corrupted by society. These Leftist Utopians read Rousseau and Marx and think they sound like they know what they are talking about when, in fact, they are completely detached from reality. The welfare state ideology assumes that the main problems people face are material in nature, in other words – poverty. “Solve” poverty and we will have a good society, they say. How do they propose to solve poverty? Do they have a way to make people hard-working, educated and productive? No, they propose a short-cut; just take from the rich by redistributive taxation and give to the poor. Problem solved. But moving money from bank account to bank account does not alter human nature. It does not solve depression, sin, pathological behaviour, immaturity, disrespect for the law and lack of care for one’s family.
MercatorNet comes in as well and underlines this idea of family and the deteriative aspect of the welfare system subsidizing failure and violence as it tears apart the marriage ideal… and it is ideal!
It was a traumatic and costly lesson, but the rioting in English cities last weekend has forced “broken Britain” to face where its major social faultlines lie. Without a doubt, family breakdown is one of them, destabilising the welfare class over several decades by robbing children of their fathers and replacing them all too often with their mothers’ transient partners or with the Alpha males who run neighbourhood gangs (Scotland Yard says one in four of the rioters was a gang member).
Of course, as the appearance of the odd grammar school or university graduate in court showed, bad behaviour is not limited to the “underclass”. Neither, as it turns out, is family disintegration. While the attention of the world was riveted on the anarchy in England, two reports were published in the United States warning that family instability is making serious inroads into the working class and lower middle class of that country — as it is in Britain and many others. Both reports are about the erosion of marriage; together they leave no-one, in America at least, with any excuse for ignorance on the subject.
In the first, The Marginalisation of Marriage in Middle America, the problem is outlined by two sociologists: W Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and a conservative; and Andrew J Cherlin, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a liberal. Their views diverge on the importance of marriage, but they agree about two basic things: “that children are more likely to thrive when they reside in stable, two-parent homes,” and “that in America today cohabitation is still largely a short-term arrangement, while marriage remains the setting in which adults seek to maintain long-term bonds.”
Many social commentators are worried about the widening wealth gap in today’s America. More worrying still is the marriage gap that has opened up between the working class — basically, people with not much more than a high school diploma — and the college educated middle class. Indeed, the latter gap is a significant contributor to the first.
Contrary to the impression you might get from reading the New York Times, college educated Americans are not generally engaged in pushing the sexual revolution to new extremes; they are busy creating what Wilcox and Cherlin call a “neotraditional style of family life”. They “may cohabit with their partners, but nearly all of them marry before having their first child. Furthermore, while most wives work outside the home, the divorce rate in this group has declined to levels not seen since the early 1970s.”
Brittle cohabiting unions
In contrast, working class young adults, who comprise half of the population aged 25 to 34, are defaulting on marriage:
“More and more of them are having children in brittle cohabiting unions. Among those who marry, the risk of divorce remains high. Indeed, the families formed recently in working-class communities have begun to look as much like the families of the poor as of the prosperous. The nation’s retreat from marriage, which started in low-income communities in the 1960s and 1970s, has now moved into Middle America.”
Compared to college graduates, moderately educated Americans are more than twice as likely to divorce in the first 10 years of marriage, and women are more than seven times as likely to bear a child outside of marriage. “Indeed the percentage of nonmarital births among the moderately educated (44 percent) was closer to the rate among mothers without high school degrees (54 percent) than to college-educated mothers (6 percent).”
We need to get the seriousness of this: back in 1960 the marriage gap barely existed; now there’s a chasm opening up between the third of Americans with higher education and everyone else — including the large class of ordinary working people that used to be the backbone of family values.
Many will say it doesn’t matter. We are not looking at a boom in single mothers here, but of cohabiting couples having children, which means the kids still have a mother and father under one roof. Cherlin himself inclines to the view that a stable two-parent home is what matters, not marriage as such. The fact is, however, that cohabiting relationships are much less stable than marriage.
US Demographers Sheela Kennedy and Larry Bumpass suggest that 65 per cent of children born to cohabiting parents will see their parents part by the time they are 12, compared to 24 per cent of the children of married parents. A British report last December found something similar: unmarried couples accounted for 59 per cent of break-ups affecting children up to the age of five, divorces for 20 per cent, and single parents headed 21 per cent of broken families with young children. Even in Sweden, the fabled home of non-traditional happy families, children born to cohabiting couples are 70 per cent more likely to see parents separate by the age of 15, compared to married parents.
The marriage advantage is a fact
Now, we all come across married families here there is conflict between the parents, where there is poor parenting, where the children are not thriving. Not all married families are healthy. And it may be that the advantage enjoyed by married families on average is due in part to the kinds of people who marry (selection effects). That there is a marriage advantage, however, is beyond dispute. Wilcox and Cherlin note:
“The fact is that children born and raised in intact, married homes typically enjoy higher quality relationships with their parents, are more likely to steer clear of trouble with the law, to graduate from high school and college, to be gainfully employed as adults, and to enjoy stable marriages of their own in adulthood. Women and men who get and stay married are more likely to accrue substantial financial assets and to enjoy good physical and mental health. In fact, married men enjoy a wage premium compared to their single peers that may exceed 10 percent.”
These claims are borne out by data from 250 peer-reviewed journal articles on marriage and family life in the US and around the world which are the basis of the second report mentioned above: Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Sciences. Released this week and updating two earlier reports of the same name, Why Marriage Matters is co-authored by 18 family scholars from leading institutions and chaired by Professor Wilcox.
Among its statistics: 66 per cent of 16-year-olds were living with both parents in the early 1980s, compared to just 55 per cent in the early 2000s. Assuming that no responsible or humane person would say that this trend, bringing insecurity and misery to millions of children, does not matter, we have to ask: Why is this happening? And what can be done to change it?