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South Carolina Granted Waiver for Faith-Based Foster Placement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) granted a waiver requested by South Carolina’s governor from an Obama-era anti-discrimination rule that applied to foster care placement agencies.

Specifically, the regulation would have required Miracle Hill Ministries, the largest foster placement agency in the state, to place children in non-Christian homes, contrary to its religious beliefs and in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The waiver is conditioned on the agency referring potential foster parents to another foster placement agency that will place children in non-Christian homes.

Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project, said in a statement, “ We applaud HHS for their effort to protect faith-based foster care providers, and we urge HHS and the Trump administration to continue their efforts to undo this discriminatory regulation in order to preserve the freedom of these providers to continue their important work.”

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Is Mother’s Day an Anachronism That Must Go?

Although my mother has passed into eternity, I will still celebrate Mother’s Day, giving thanks to God for her and honoring my wife because of her own high calling as a mother. But driving into work this week, a radio commercial about buying jewelry for Mother’s Day caught my attention. I couldn’t help but think about how much longer Mother’s Day will still be acknowledged and celebrated.

The line in the commercial suggested that someone buy Mom jewelry “for all those times she didn’t tell Dad when he got home.” I’m sure a lot of us heard something like that from our mothers somewhere along the line.

But the reference to fathers in connection with a day celebrating mothers really grabbed my attention because of what’s happened the last couple of years in connection with the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts, which heartily embraced homosexual behaviors a couple of years ago, opened itself to girls last year, and then last week dropped the word “Boy” from its name. Now the organization is almost unrecognizable to most of us.

For the following reasons, it could be only a matter of time before Mother’s Day will go the way of the Boy Scouts.

The Spirit of the Age: Offense and Victimhood

First, we must begin by recognizing that the spirit of the age in which we live is one in which many look for offense or consider themselves mere victims of something outside of themselves.

On the other hand, our social milieu encourages us to affirm a person’s victimhood and the offense in order to help them feel better about themselves and doing so is supposed to help us assuage whatever guilt we might feel for the alleged wrong, whether there is real ethical guilt or not.

The Lies We Tell Ourselves Must Be Suppressed

This brings me to the second consideration. We have to recognize that our culture is in the process of embracing what we know is a biological lie, that a child can have two mothers (or two fathers).

Given these two realities, what is going to be the response of the two-mom and two-dad families when their kids start asking why they don’t celebrate either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day? What will happen if those two days of honor and recognition cause their child to wonder, let alone ask, if there is something unique and special that he or she missed by not having a relationship with a person of the biological sex that is intentionally missing in their home?

Parents in these two-parents-of-the-same-sex households may then begin to feel that these year-after-year memorial days are offensive and demeaning to their preferred family model. Convincing themselves of that may be preferable to recognizing that their child is simply asking questions concerning their attempt to circumvent either the law of God or, if you will, the obvious laws of nature. After all, our natural tendency is to suppress the truth, because believing the lie somehow, in the moment, serves an end we desire more than that which we fear will come about if we accept the truth.

Those who support same-sex “marriage” and don’t want anyone to be offended or feel victimized will then feel compelled to criticize Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as anachronisms inconsistent with our “enlightened” understandings about human sexuality, marriage, and family.

What Is at the Root of all This?

Those who understand the root cause of what is going on in the blurring of the lines between male and female should not find these thoughts Orwellian. They are a result of denying God as the Creator and all things being His creation and embracing the view that the cosmos is all there is, expressed by the naturalist in the scientific dogma of evolution and by the religious as pantheism.

Theologian Abraham Kuyper expresses well why this is so:

For centuries the Church of Christ has guarded its barrier against every open or cry to pantheism by solemn confession in the inaugural of its Articles of Faith: ‘I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;’. . . The most distinctly marked boundary lines lie between God and the world; and with the taking away of this line all other boundaries are blurred into mere shadows. For every distinction made in our consciousness . . . takes root a last in this primordial antithesis . . . But every pantheist starts out with the denial of this primordial antithesis, which is mother to every antithesis among creations.

Unless the Church regains its doctrinal footing by challenging the denial or irrelevance of God as our Creator, which washes over us at every turn, and gathers the courage to proclaim the truth in the public square, we better enjoy Mother’s Day while we can.1

NOTES

  1. Abraham Kuyper, Pantheism’s Destruction of Boundaries.

David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. Read David’s complete bio.

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A father and mother hold the tiny hands of their infant son

How Long Before Parents Have to Be Licensed by the State?

The last two weeks we’ve talked about hard decisions Christians are going to have to make. If you are a young Christian couple or you have a child or grandchild who someday hopes to be a parent, then you need to read this. In the coming years, Christian couples who teach their child the “wrong” thing could have their parent’s license revoked. Never happen you say? Keep reading. The Constitutional groundwork has already been laid.

Last week, a judge in Ohio ruled in a parental rights case. The Washington Times headline about the case tells you all you need to know: “Religious Parents Lose Custody of Transgender Teen for Refusing Hormone Treatment.”1

That headline shouldn’t really shock anyone, given that the following was the very first sentence in the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex “marriage,” Obergefell v. Hodges: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.”

As I’ve said for the past two weeks, the Christian understanding of humanity—as being male and female in the image of God and there being a real and meaningful difference between the two—was decisively rejected in Obergefell in the context of marriage.

That necessarily means that Obergefell’s worldview must now govern all other areas of law that flow from marriage, which necessarily includes parental rights.

What the Ohio case helps us understand is that Obergefell changed the rules upon which future debates about parental rights can be made. Parents can no longer argue, as they did in the Ohio case, that certain rights arise naturally out of biological kinship bonds formed through procreation.

Here’s why. Those kinds of bonds do not exist for both “parents” in the same-sex model for marriage that has now replaced the male-female model of marriage.

Furthermore, arguments implying that biology or biological kinship matter cannot be allowed because they would undermine same-sex “marriage.” If you don’t believe me, then you must not have heard about this other case from last week.

In this other case, a biological father tried to obtain custody of his child who was in state custody. His request was denied, but not because he was unfit. The problem was that he had only been the sperm donor who had helped the now derelict adults in a same-sex “marriage” have the child.

The Court said letting the biological father rescue his child would “expos[e] children born into same-gender marriages to instability for no justifiable reason other than to provide a father-figure for children who already have two parents.”2

In other words, any “two parents” will do and two is enough. A father doesn’t “add” anything to a child’s life, a thought I hope the men out there let sink in until Father’s Day.

Obergefell means that parenthood can no longer be grounded in biological, procreative realities.

That is why Yale law professor Douglas NeJaime wrote in the Harvard Law Review3 that the biological model of parentage must be jettisoned and a new model substituted for it based on the intention of a person to parent and the carrying out of functions related to parenting. But this converts parentage to only a legal status bestowed by civil government, not a relationship arising out of procreation between a man and a woman.

Moreover, in time, you can bet this power will be abused by the relativists in control, and they will conclude that parental status should only be bestowed on those whom they think worthy of it, namely, those whose style of parenting benefits the state. After all, the good economy we demand will justify it.

From there, it will be a short leap, logically, to the proposition that a state can and should license persons to be parents.

When that happens, don’t be surprised if Christian parents have to choose between losing their license or leaving out the Christian stuff the state thinks is harmful to the child, meaning harmful to the state. They shouldn’t think that biological kinship ties will protect them from the same type of disciplinary actions that other state licensees face if their Christian convictions become a problem for the smooth functioning of a well-ordered state.

Again, if you don’t want to believe me, just ask the “religious parents” in Ohio how their reliance on biological kinship arguments turned out last week. In the words of Obergefell, the state thought the right of their minor daughter to “define and express her identity” as a son trumped their rights as parents.

Licensing parents may seem far fetched, but fifteen years ago, people said the same thing about licensing marriages between two people of the same sex.

NOTES

  1. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/20/religious-parents-lose-custody-transgender-teen/
  2. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/01/30/sperm-donor-denied-parental-rights-child-same-sex-parents/1077662001/
  3. “Marriage Equality and the New Parenthood,” Harvard Law Review, Vol. 129, No. 5, March 2016

Commentaries in the Marriage Series:


David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. Read David’s complete bio.

FACT-RSS-Blog-Icon-small Get David Fowler’s Blog as a feed.

Invite David Fowler to speak at your event

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The ‘Immorality’ of Having Children

Travis Rieder, an environmental extremist and climate change believer featured on NBC News’ Think website, is suggesting that children harm the planet due to their carbon footprint and even compares his own daughter to a murderer who must be “responsible for her own [carbon] emissions.” Rieder goes on to write, “If having one fewer child reduces one’s contribution to the harms of climate change, the choice of family size becomes a morally relevant one.”

This kind of argument brings a new type of “morality” from the Left, a new ethical argument to which many pro-aborts might turn to in the future to endorse a “responsible” view of family planning.

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