Focus on the Family. This organization has been a staple for the American evangelical family for decades. James Dobson books and other Focus on the Family publications fill many evangelical bookshelves. I am among the fallout of this religious political machine, and I know I am not alone. To be quite honest, I tend to shy away from things endorsed by Focus on the Family unless I have another reason, more credible recommendations, to indulge it. As I was browsing news articles a few days ago I came across something that caught my attention, an article with this in the description "Franken Destroys Focus On The Family Witness". Guilty pleasure as it was, I watched the linked video on youtube because I always enjoy seeing Focus on the Family look like fools. Tom Minnery cited a study as saying that children from homes with a mother and father had a better life than those without. Al Franken used to the same report and read it aloud demonstrating that the report said children in a nuclear family had the better life. The report defined a nuclear family as “one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents of all the children in the family”. Franken concluded the report said nothing about same sex opposite sex marriages, and dismissed Minnery's testimony by his lack of ability to read a report properly. Minnery responded in typical fashion arguing that silence assumed exclusion of same sex unions, however the author of the report told POLITICO that Franken's reading was correct and the study did not exclude same sex couples.
This got me thinking about the topic of gay marriage and same sex adoption. These are topics that inflame many conservative evangelicals into a political frenzy. This is a large reason I want to push evangelicals away as far as I can, this crazy idea about political sanctification. While I agree with evangelicals on the moral aspect of homosexuality being opposed to the Christian life, I must get as far away from them as I can on their assertion that must translate to society. Mostly because I reject the idea that we are to redeem our culture, and that this nation was a Christian nation, but also because of my view of two kingdom theology. We as believers live in two kingdoms. We simultaneously live in the common kingdom where we share that culture with all non believers as equals and the redemptive kingdom where we dwell in the Kingdom of God, or the church. We have obligations to both, but while we live in both, we do not confuse them. We live as sojourners and exiles in a land not our home, but a land where we are to help prosper and coexist with. We are to live as the Jews exiled in Babylon. I'm not going to spend any more time on that, but for an introduction to two kingdom theology I recommend David VanDrunen's "Living In God's Two Kingdoms".
Two kingdom theology has helped me approach these political issues more easily and also reaffirmed my libertarian leanings. I went back and forth on the issue of gay marriage and have finally settled on a view where a state sanctioned marriage should not be banned. An affirmation of same sex marriage naturally leads to the question of same sex adoption. This I struggled with a bit more, however a few things actually pushed me more to the affirmative side of that debate as well. While I don't morally endorse either same sex marriage or same sex adoption, politically I will defend them both under the banner of liberty and the assumption that Christians are to be in the world and not of the world and neither are we to make the world bow to our moral obligations. Here are some of the considerations for my stance on same sex adoption.
One of the main objections to same sex adoption I remember hearing was that the children will be raised under the mindset that homosexuality is normal. This is a very understandable objection from the evangelical pragmatists but is narrow sighted as well. There are a vast number of heterosexual couples who would affirm the normalcy of same sex unions. Being in a "straight" family doesn't mean the parents endorse heterosexuality as the only normal lifestyle. Shall we pass legislation protecting children from heterosexual families with sympathies for homosexuals?
Another related objection is one of worldviews. Children are going to be indoctrinated with the "liberal" agenda and be bred to hate God and hate the church (conservative evangelicals). Well, this happens in families that are militant atheists or secularists. Apart from hating "God", what about other religions. Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Mormons and other religions all have opposite sex marriages that will be teaching their children opposing worldviews. Shall we pass legislation protecting children from any non Christian family?
What about the health of the relationship itself. Surely there will be adverse effects on the children's development being in such an unnatural relationship. And we know just how healthy the natural relationships between heterosexuals always are. Married couples with kids who have been married two or three times where the children are all half or step siblings, totally healthy and functional. Married couples where the parents are always fighting, or one or both are out partying and sleeping around with the kids with the babysitter. Abusive relationships where one parent physically emotionally or sexually abuses the other parent and/or the children. Taking it beyond the definition of a "nuclear family", what about single mothers who got pregnant and don't know who the father is or single fathers raising children because the mother left for whatever reason. What about single parents families where the other parent died. Are these situations somehow more healthy than a loving committed and nurturing homosexual couple (yes, they do exist)?
I will agree that because of my theology and views of marriage and the family, this situation is not normal, and not ideal. That being said, I cannot stand by and look at the need for adoption and say that these children would not be better off in a home i have moral objections with as opposed to getting passed around the foster care system. It is healthier to have stability than to have instability. This is just basic human nature. I contend that being raised by a sinful homosexual family is no different than a sinful heterosexual family, and every single Christian family is a sinful family whether you like it or not. If we believe the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, then we believe that God is powerful enough to bring us to himself from the worst non-Christian and the worst Christian families.
Let me put it bluntly. If evangelicals are so concerned about the gays screwing up children because of adoption, then those evangelicals better actually start to adopt kids. Put your money and your life where your ballot is or else shut up.