Abstinence for Kids Is the True Freedom
It is clear to me that these two epidemics - out-of-wedlock births and on-demand abortions - are sapping America's moral strength. We have two challenges. On the one hand, we need to reduce the number of pregnancies that so often lead to sad, unstable homes and eventual divorce (assuming that marriage ever had any role to play in the situation in the fi rst place). On the other, the answer to the likelihood that children will grow up in a fatherless home is not to abort them. Th e strong families this country needs are always built on two shared societal beliefs: the value of marriage and the value of human life.
"Grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure," wrote English playwright William Congreve in 1693. "Married in haste, we repent at leisure." That's certainly still true all these years later, as many young people pressured to marry in response to an unplanned pregnancy will attest. But even those who decide not to marry may eventually have reason to "repent," because the other choices can be equally dismal. As a pastor, I often saw women who suffered wrenching guilt and/or depression after having an abortion or giving a baby up for adoption. I believe these women will feel their loss and anguish for the rest of their lives. As for single mothers, they typically have to interrupt their education, entrust their children to the care of strangers, and marginally support their households on a meager income. (It's then, of course, that the kindly federal government steps in to "help.")
Kids exposed to mass culture - TV, movies, music, the Internet - are incessantly told that everybody who's "cool" has sex before marriage. What's the prob? Sex is no more consequential than a handshake, dude, so "hook up" any time you want, and with anybody. Aft er all, doing what you want, what you feel like in the moment - that's what "freedom" is, right? Too bad our culture doesn't bother to explain that it is abstinence that is the true freedom. Only abstinence ensures that our children don't have to take on adult roles before they're ready. It's only abstinence, too, that protects their options to pursue their dreams, marry the one they love at the time that's right, and feel joyful about the choices they've made freely along the way. Gay Parenthood: A Social Experiment
I have often been criticized for my outspoken views on gay marriage and homosexuality, so let me be clear. I have no doubt at all that homosexual men and women love their children deeply. Just as deeply as heterosexuals love theirs.
But love alone cannot always provide what children need. If that sounds harsh, bear with me for a moment. My main concern here is that the children, most of whom are heterosexual, will not, and really cannot, get critical early-life lessons in how a heterosexual family functions successfully. In general, men and women bring different outlooks and temperaments to the task of parenting. Those male/female dynamics that make themselves evident in parenting - including even the conflicts and inconsistencies that are likely to arise - teach a child about how men and women relate to each other. In the home with two gay parents, where is that learning going to come from? It's already challenging enough to grow up, even when the parents are more conventional role models.