Children, Not As Pawns

I noticed Archbishop Chaput’s facebook post protesting the striking down of the gay marriage ban in his state, which included this bit about children:

Marriage is more than a private arrangement between two people. It’s a public commitment of love and fidelity, and it’s ordered not just to companionship but to creating and rearing new life. This is why every child deserves a mother and a father in a loving marriage, and the child is the fruit of that love.

As I’ve said before, we get something of a problem when children are dragged into a political fight like this. Children are not pawns. Children deserve better than being used to advance a political stance, then conveniently forgotten when they languish in foster care by the hundreds of thousands.

Every child may well deserve a mother and father in a loving marriage, but the truth is that not every mother and/or father is capable of rearing healthy children in healthy ways. Addictions, criminal behavior, immaturity, accidental injury, and even death intervene.

Currently, there are about a half-million boys and girls under the age of eighteen who are in foster care in the US. The case for dragging children into the same-sex tussles would be more credible if adoption and foster parenting were farther up the list of pro-life possibilities.

To be sure, the archbishop’s first is true and his second is not far off the target. Though I suspect that older couples marrying will trip up his literal argument a bit.

Marriage is indeed more than a private arrangement. It’s also more than the Biblical model of using women to generate a nation, or to produce an heir for an aristocrat. Or even companions.

People with same-sex attractions will continue to pair up and to have sexual intercourse. There are certainly no laws being enforced against that. It’s not totally clear to me that people getting legal or financial benefits from living together in a committed life is damaging to children or heterosexual couples.

My wife mentioned last night she heard the Duggar family, the one of nineteen-and-counting fame, is exploring fertility treatments. God bless their love of children. But …  I wonder if they have ever considered adopting. They could easily hike their family well past two-dozen, and without costly treatments or physical demands on Mrs Duggar.

My lament is that many people on all sides of various issues are not looking at enough possibilities. That is where the real danger is: our narrow-minded unwillingness to consider a wider view.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Adoption, bishops, Church News, Commentary, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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