Catholic Charities: Adoption services ‘imperiled’ by civil unions passage

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The religious organization has threatened to end adoption services in Colorado if protections for gay couples are signed into law.

While many Coloradans praised the passage of civil unions Tuesday, some religious adoption agencies began wondering how the new legislation would affect their religious beliefs — and their legal ability to follow them.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver expressed Tuesday “disappointment” in Colorado’s Legislature, stating that if signed into law, the bill “may threaten the policies which guide us in the vital work to find families for Colorado’s children in need.”

The bill providing protections for gay couples does not provide exceptions to religious institutions wishing to withhold adoptions based on sexual preference, a decision that House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, said would be “discriminatory.” Ferrandino sponsored the bill and is caring for a foster daughter with his longtime partner in hopes of adopting her — one of more than 650 children currently seeking homes in the state’s foster system.

“There are hundreds of LGBT couples who want to raise kids, and these kids who are in the foster system have for some reason been taken away from their biological parents for abuse or neglect,” he said. “What they need more than anything is a family who loves them and wants to raise them. We should not deny them the opportunity to have two loving parents, be they two women, two men, or a man and a woman.”

The Rev. Samuel J. Aqulia, archbishop of Denver, released a statement Tuesday refuting Ferrandino’s stance on religious exemptions, adding that while the Catholic Church “recognizes and affirms the dignity of every human person,” it does not view all relationships as equal.

Written By: Sarah Jane Kyle
continue to source article at coloradoan.com

36 COMMENTS

  1. And given the attitude of the pope elect this situation will not get any better…in fact it might even escalate, when they start boasting about how caring and loving the new pope is…you know the world is in deep trouble!

  2. “… the Catholic Church … does not view all relationships as equal”

    No indeed, it views a relationship with an entirely imaginary being as more important than relationships with actual beings

  3. while the Catholic Church “recognizes and affirms the dignity of every human person,” it does not view all relationships as equal.

    Fortunately like myself, the legislators do not regard all opinions as equal. These faith-heads need to get over themselves and comply with legal requirements.

  4. How would we feel about a Mormon soup kitchen who refused to serve black people for being Lamanites?

    Or one that refused Atheists for being the amoral godless?

    I suspect we’d force that organization to close so that new ones could fill the gap.

  5. One of the adoptees quoted in the article makes the most sensible observation in the whole piece. It would indeed be sad for these agencies to discontinue all of their services out of fear of having to serve a few homosexual couples. Sure, they’d get to deny homosexual couples childrearing responsibilities, but they’d also be denying many more Catholic and other Christian families those same responsibilities. And this without even considering the loss to the children themselves.

    If they do close their agencies, there is no way it will be understood as an act of conscience – the collateral damage to parentless children and childless heterosexual Catholics outweighs the perceived harm of gay couples raising children too. It could only ever be known as simple spite. Faith or no faith, I dearly hope the Catholic decision-makers choose to embody the best moral messages their religion has to offer.

  6. These charities are government subsidized. what little most religions help with almost always goes into imposing their belief structure on those who have no choice about being there. I hope they do pull out so that more responsible and reasonable organizations can take over the government contracts. There will also be the added advantage of having people accountable for their actions in charge of the most vulnerable.

      • In reply to #16 by bluebird:

        In reply to #11 by Net:

        What’s “Tuesday disappointment”? Is there also a “Monday disappointment”, and so on?

        Monday disappointment is fair of face, Tuesday disappointment is full of grace,…

        Were there some slight typos?

        Monday disappointment is fair of farce, Tuesday disappointment is full disgrace,…

  7. No religious organization should be involved in adoption services, so this is good news. That’s like having your book club also run an orphanage, what the hell. And since the Vatican is considered a sovereign city-state, their churches/embassies should play no role in any public policy, service or political arena; they shouldn’t be allowed to even teach their religion.

  8. I understand the catlicks in Ireland had an approach to adoption. It involved taking newborns forcibly and under duress from the ‘moral turpitude’ of their ‘sinful’ unmarried mothers and giving them to good catlick childless couples (approved by the morally upright and unimpeachable priests) so they could be brought up as good little catlicks.

    If they are going to shut up shop its probably for the best.

  9. Right, so the Catholic church would rather see orphaned and abandoned children institutionalised permanently, or left to fend for themselves, than have them taken in by adults who have passed the same screening processes as have always been required? Who’s surprised?

    I’m not a fan of the parents in that picture, though, who seem to be using their children to make a political point. The kids are clearly far too young to be participating in that rally of their own free will, or to understand any of the underlying motivations for it. It seems that imposing values on children, and then holding up the children as examples of why your values are so wonderful, is a human trait, not just a religious one.

    • You don’t think the kids can tell if they are happy or not? I think they probably are especially compared to a kid dragged out of a catholic orphanage and told to hold a “thank god I don’t have a gay family sign.”

      I’m not sure the political point of “I’m happy” is too much of a stretch or child abuse like taking it to church.

      In reply to #15 by Jabarkis:

      I’m not a fan of the parents in that picture, though, who seem to be using their children to make a political point. The kids are clearly far too young to be participating in that rally of their own free will, or to understand any of the underlying motivations for it. It seems that imposing values on children, and then holding up the children as examples of why your values are so wonderful, is a human trait, not just a religious one.

  10. In reply to #17 by alaskansee:
    The parents are using the children’s happiness, which I can’t prove or disprove and is, in fact, irrelevant, in support of their political position. I agree with their political position (equal rights under law for LGBT and heterosexual people), but who’s to say that their children will? We have to be open to the idea that children might not agree with their parents when they grow up. They might even become bigots!

    And “We‘re a gay and happy family”? How is that different from saying “We’re a christian family”? The only differences I can see are in the detail, not in the logic. Each makes a statement about the beliefs of the individuals in that family unit based entirely on the preference or opinion of the parents, or, in some cases, of the parent in a position to exert control.

    Maybe I’m being too strict about this, but it never sits well with me when I see small children at highly politicised events or demonstrations.

    And where in my comment did I give the impression that I thought the Catholic church was in the right? They’re being complete monsters, as usual.

    • No gay is not the same as christian; gay is a sexual orientation, christian is a religion. Gay is certainly not a belief or position, is you hetrosexuality a belief or are you just straight?

      Comparing sexual orientation to mystical beliefs is inappropriate!

      That the children do not understand exactly what gay is has nothing to do with whether they understand that they are happy and have been told that it’s in a gay family.

      The parents are using their child’s happiness to show how happy the child is, while being in a gay family, what do you have against that? You’re not being “strict” you’re just missing the gaping difference between reality and fantasy.

      The article is about a catholic adoption agency, any and all catholic references were to the article not your statement about the inappropriateness of forcing kids to be in political events, which was what I was focused on.

      In reply to #19 by Jabarkis:

      In reply to #17 by alaskansee:
      The parents are using the children’s happiness, which I can’t prove or disprove and is, in fact, irrelevant, in support of their political position. I agree with their political position (equal rights under law for LGBT and heterosexual people), but who’s to say that their children will? We have to be open to the idea that children might not agree with their parents when they grow up. They might even become bigots!

      And “We’re a gay and happy family”? How is that different from saying “We’re a christian family”? The only differences I can see are in the detail, not in the logic. Each makes a statement about the beliefs of the individuals in that family unit based entirely on the preference or opinion of the parents, or, in some cases, of the parent in a position to exert control.

      Maybe I’m being too strict about this, but it never sits well with me when I see small children at highly politicised events or demonstrations.

      And where in my comment did I give the impression that I thought the Catholic church was in the right? They’re being complete monsters, as usual.

  11. I’m tempted to agree with the logic employed by Jabarkis.

    This is an interesting point.

    Children are being, and do get, used in these situations, though in this specific situation (re adoption) I can understand why.

    I’ve also taken children (my own, I might add) along to demonstrations in the past for a variety of reasons – some similar to the above, some simply in order to make it more difficult for security forces or fascists to attack the demonstration.

    Sometimes this worked – sometimes it didn’t.

    As regards the children in the photo, I think my own children at that age could tell the difference between right and wrong, fair and unfair, justice and injustice – or at least they were well on their way to discovering this – and every demonstration they accompanied either myself or their mother on was part of this journey of discovery.

    A discovery of their own morality based on reason and rationality rather than the threat of everlasting punishment.

    Anvil.

    • In reply to #21 by Anvil:

      I’m tempted to agree with the logic employed by Jabarkis.

      This is an interesting point.

      Children are being, and do get, used in these situations, though in this specific situation (re adoption) I can understand why.

      I’ve also taken children (my own, I might add) along to demonstrations in the past for a variety of reasons – some similar to the above, some simply in order to make it more difficult for security forces or fascists to attack the demonstration.

      Sometimes this worked – sometimes it didn’t.

      As regards the children in the photo, I think my own children at that age could tell the difference between right and wrong, fair and unfair, justice and injustice – or at least they were well on their way to discovering this – and every demonstration they accompanied either myself or their mother on was part of this journey of discovery.

      A discovery of their own morality based on reason and rationality rather than the threat of everlasting punishment.

      Anvil.

      Interesting points, Anvil, and I certainly agree with your final line – that is an admirable thing from which to protect children. Though I’m a bit worried by the idea that using children as a shield against violence (not always with success) is in some way less problematic than using children as a prop in political arguments! Maybe I’ve misunderstood?

      As for children being able to tell the difference between right and wrong, well I suppose that’s a question for someone with more expertise than me. I suspect children generally agree with their parents’ conception of justice and morality, though I’m sure there are exceptions, and I’ve seen, anecdotally, that even children who have been terribly indoctrinated are capable of impressive feats of reasoning which often lead them to positions contrary to their parents’.

      In reply to #23 by alaskansee:

      What are the points of difference between religious belief and sexuality? I can think of a few that you might mean, but I don’t want to put words in your mouth. You suggest that religious belief is a “position”? Yes, religious/supernatural beliefs often lead, or become connected, to “positions” (by which I assume you mean claims about the nature of reality), but many people’s religion comes from an experience which they interpret in light of the prevailing religion in their culture.

      Would you say that a person’s politics can be predicted with 100% accuracy on the basis of the religion that person professes? Can they be predicted by their sexuality? Yes, I am straight and I support equal rights under law for all people, regardless of sexuality. Yes, the parents taking their children along to that demonstration are probably gay (as their sign says), and in all likelihood, given their attendance at the demonstration, support equal rights under law for all people, regardless of sexuality. But do their children have the same “position”?

      Children should not be held out as subscribing to their parents’ religious beliefs. Religious belief can become connected to political positions.

      Children should not be held out as subscribing to their parents’ sexuality. Sexuality can become connected to political positions.

      Children should not be held out as subscribing to their parents’ political positions, regardless of the origin of those positions.

      If the children were, hypothetically, part of a survey of child happiness in families of LGBT, straight and other households then their happiness would by definition be something we’d want to know about! As it stands, the parents’ claim that the children are happy AND the persons of the children themselves are being used in support of a political position to which the children should not be assumed to subscribe and which, arguably, they are too young to sufficiently understand – just as would be the case if the children were wheeled out at a christian/religious demonstration in support of homophobia or some other ghastly position.

      I call your attention to this story: Behead Them. The photograph in the current article is structurally identical to the photograph in the article I’ve linked to. The first may be rather nice, and the second unbelievably nasty, but they have one important thing in common which I’ll leave you to consider.

  12. Hi Jabarkis,

    Interesting points, Anvil, and I certainly agree with your final line – that is an admirable thing from which to protect children. Though I’m a bit worried by the idea that using children as a shield against violence (not always with success) is in some way less problematic than using children as a prop in political arguments! Maybe I’ve misunderstood?

    Well, the violence was (and is generally) a political argument so in return I’m not sure what you mean by ‘less problematic’? It makes the decision much harder, not less?

    But that doesn’t mean that this decision should not be made. It’s certainly something I’ve struggled with in the past.

    When you believe the state will employ a strategy of violence it is tempting to face this with the biggest, tallest, ugliest, most masculine amongst you.

    It is invariably always a mistake.

    To say “Look at us, we are normality, we are society, we are you!” – not simply to the rows of masked men in blue overalls, hobnailed boots and pick-axe staves, arrayed in front of you – but to the wider world, (as we can now do with much greater effect) is a better strategy to adopt.

    In all conflict the powerful will attempt to demonise the weak. The photo above both fights this demonisation and provides an number of lessons both to the adults, and to the children in it.

    Still, it would be foolish to say that leaving your front door holding the hand of your child will carry no risk – it does.

    The problem I find is that invariably the risk increases in direct proportion to the necessity.

    More of a decision then, when you know that someone may throw a nail-bomb into the crowd, or, instead of pick-axe staves, the men in front of you have SLR’s.

    As for children being able to tell the difference between right and wrong, well I suppose that’s a question for someone with more expertise than me. I suspect children generally agree with their parents’ conception of justice and morality, though I’m sure there are exceptions, and I’ve seen, anecdotally, that even children who have been terribly indoctrinated are capable of impressive feats of reasoning which often lead them to positions contrary to their parents’.

    Yes I agree. But regardless of parental indoctrination I think children begin a moral journey from the moment they can understand quantity – which is very early on. It is initially expressed as selfishness but quickly develops into a concept of fairness, of justice.

    An early form of the golden rule.

    Anvil.

    ps: By the way, I’ve also seen this understanding of quantity – the ability to distinguish between more or less – and the subsequent responses to the conflicts this causes in individuals – in every pair of dogs I’ve owned.

    • In reply to #26 by Anvil:

      As for children being able to tell the difference between right and wrong, well I suppose that’s a question for someone with more expertise than me. I suspect children generally agree with their parents’ conception of justice and morality, though I’m sure there are exceptions, and I’ve seen, anecdotally, that even children who have been terribly indoctrinated are capable of impressive feats of reasoning which often lead them to positions contrary to their parents’.

      Yes I agree. But regardless of parental indoctrination I think children begin a moral journey from the moment they can understand quantity – which is very early on. It is initially expressed as selfishness but quickly develops into a concept of fairness, of justice.

      An early form of the golden rule.

      Anvil.

      ps: By the way, I’ve also seen this understanding of quantity – the ability to distinguish between more or less – and the subsequent responses to the conflicts this causes in individuals – in every pair of dogs I’ve owned.

      It’s not quite that simple, I’m afraid. Piaget discovered that children below six years of age aren’t usually capable of perspective-taking. Children younger than four (or children with some forms of autism) often failed the “Smarties test”. The former found it hard to describe what a physical object would look like from somebody else’s position; the latter kept thinking that, because they knew the Smarties tube actually contained pencils and they had seen it, therefore someone seeing the tube for the first time would know it contained pencils. Since these abilities underlie abilities such as empathy and sympathy, and that the acquisition of such abilities varies from child to child, it seems to be the case that moral understanding has to develop rather than come ready-formed when the child is born.

      Perhaps more disturbingly, young children tend to be more violent in temperament, and tend to be more implicitly racist, discriminatory, and selfish, than older children and adults. Richard Tremblay (Quoted in Holden, ‘The violence of the lambs’, Science, 2000).points out that toddlers readily kick, spit, pinch, and generally use violence regardless of gender or upbringing, and that these violent tendencies usually decrease over an individual’s lifespan such that even young male adults – who are usually the go-to demographic if you want to know who commits most of the violent crimes – compare favourably. Aboud (Children and Prejudice, 1989) found that preschoolers often professed racist attitudes that caught their liberal parents by surprise, and Kinzler, Shutts, DeJesus, and Spelke (‘Accent trumps race in in guiding children’s social preferences’, Social Cognition, 2009) found that even babies prefer to interact with people of the same race and accent.

      This doesn’t necessarily mean that children have to be taught to be nice purely by upbringing. The brain continues to develop after birth anyway, and one of the main factors for emotional immaturity in adolescents is that their emotional circuitry develops far sooner than their self-inhibiting and rational neurological components. Also, twin studies and studies between blood relatives and step- or adopted relatives have shown that all kinds of features, including political and religious inclinations, can be traced in part to genetic differences. For more details, see The Blank Slate, especially chapter 3, pages 45-51. It may well be that toddlers eventually grow out of such unethical attitudes and behaviour on their own when the brain develops in childhood (or not – depending on the individual concerned, of course).

    • In reply to #26 by Anvil:

      Well, the violence was (and is generally) a political argument so in return I’m not sure what you mean by ‘less problematic’? It makes the decision much harder, not less?

      But that doesn’t mean that this decision should not be made. It’s certainly something I’ve struggled with in the past.

      I’d say the violence is part of the political argument in such situations, yes. My, perhaps mistaken, interpretation of your post was that you had taken children to demonstrations which you thought could turn violent in the hope that the presence of children would discourage the various brutes who were there. I also got the impression that said brutes had sometimes decided that they didn’t much care if there were children present or not.

      When you believe the state will employ a strategy of violence it is tempting to face this with the biggest, tallest, ugliest, most masculine amongst you.

      It is invariably always a mistake.

      I usually find it hard to argue for an absolute. There is a massively increased risk of escalation when you face strength with strength, but sometimes a bit of violence is the only way to prevent a lot of violence. I’m sure you wouldn’t sit and watch someone being beaten if you felt you could stop it, even if the only way to stop it was to throw a punch.

      To say “Look at us, we are normality, we are society, we are you!” – not simply to the rows of masked men in blue overalls, hobnailed boots and pick-axe staves, arrayed in front of you – but to the wider world, (as we can now do with much greater effect) is a better strategy to adopt.

      I agree, that is a strategy that has worked many times.

      In all conflict the powerful will attempt to demonise the weak. The photo above both fights this demonisation and provides an number of lessons both to the adults, and to the children in it.

      I don’t think anyone is trying to demonise children (who are so weak that they can be, and are, taken basically anywhere their parents want to take them), and it is an ever-diminishing minority (of intellectual and rhetorical weaklings) that seeks to demonise LGBT people – the demonisers are weak, but they have loud voices and, too often, fewer alternatives to violence than those who are truly strong.

      Still, it would be foolish to say that leaving your front door holding the hand of your child will carry no risk – it does.

      The problem I find is that invariably the risk increases in direct proportion to the necessity.

      Yes, even, say, going to a museum, or taking a child to school carries risk, but in these every-day situations the risk if of the unforeseen. Taking children to a demonstration with the knowledge that it may become violent, and with the intention that the children be present to deter or forestall that violence, realising that it may happen anyway, is not comparable.

      • In reply to #29 by Jabarkis:

        In reply to #26 by Anvil:

        Hi Jabarkis,

        Yes, I can’t disagree with anything you said.

        As for your last para'; again, hard decision enough to leave the house knowing you may yourself come back badly beaten or dead. Civil Rights marches in Northern Ireland and various strikes during the Thatcher administration come to mind.

        Also the ‘Stop the War’ marches knew there was a potential for violent reaction from both police and right wing pro-war nationalists and encouraged children and families (and tambourines, I recall from one leaflet in Newcastle, England). Heavy handed policing was dropped – or at least never materialised, and reactionary demonstrations were diffused and dispersed early with little or no violence.

        Whatever the decision I always followed my Granddads advice: Stout boots, strong laces, with plenty of ankle support.

        Anvil.

        • In reply to #30 by Anvil:

          As for your last para'; again, hard decision enough to leave the house knowing you may yourself come back badly beaten or dead.

          That is a brave decision to make, but also one that cannot be made on behalf of another. Children are people, not tambourines ^_^

  13. Yes, I didn’t mean to give the impression I believed children are born with some sort of morality, merely that in my experience this journey begins with the development of the concept of quantity.

    Anvil.

  14. In reply to #32 by Anvil:

    Okay, I suspect we’re not going to agree about this, or that we’ll be stuck at cross purposes until the end of time.

    My point is not about the justness or otherwise of any given cause, it is about the incapacity, legal and, I would argue, ethical and moral as well, of children to give their fully informed consent to being used by their parents, or other adults, for purposes they 1) do not (and perhaps cannot) fully understand, and/or 2) which they may, if given time and information to make their own decision, disagree with.

    Like I said above, we can’t assume that our children will agree with us, we can only hope that they will. Until children are demonstrably capable of reason, and able to make informed decisions over which their parents can exert no over-ride, they should not be used by their parents, either as props, or as shields, in their parents’ arguments.

    Would you grant a child the vote? Would you, as an adult, or as a parent of that child, overrule that vote if you disagreed with it? Would you, perhaps more importantly, believe the child to have all of the reasoning capacity and autonomy of decision-making of an adult?

    If you answered affirmatively to the third question I wonder what would be the basis of the age of consent, or of majority?

    As for the argument in your second-to-last line, there are differences between taking your child to a place you suspect to be unusually dangerous on the one hand, and you and your children happening to find yourselves in an unusually dangerous place. I am not a parent, but I imagine my supreme desire in the latter situation would be to take my child as far as possible from danger. Hopefully that little girl wasn’t put there by her parents or guardians to make a political point, or to act as a human shield for others as they made a political argument, no matter how just.

    • Jabarkis,

      Good to see you agreed with me that “happiness” is not a political statement although it’s normally polite to acknowledge you lost your last point before you start losing the next!

      I was waiting for a retort but your words speak volumes on how seriously I should take your next post.

      Seriously that realisation might have helped your next conversation. Please “learn from your mistakes” without that you are nothing especially in the scientific world.

      Mods,

      Is it possible to create a Troll filter that deletes the posts of those only willing to post but not respond to comments on their own posts?

      In reply to #33 by Jabarkis:

      In reply to #32 by Anvil:

      Okay, I suspect we’re not going to agree about this, or that we’ll be stuck at cross purposes until the end of time.

      My point is not about the justness or otherwise of any given cause, it is about the incapacity, legal and, I would argue, ethical and moral as well, of children to give their fully informed consent to being used by their parents, or other adults, for purposes they 1) do not (and perhaps cannot) fully understand, and/or 2) which they may, if given time and information to make their own decision, disagree with.

      Like I said above, we can’t assume that our children will agree with us, we can only hope that they will. Until children are demonstrably capable of reason, and able to make informed decisions over which their parents can exert no over-ride, they should not be used by their parents, either as props, or as shields, in their parents’ arguments.

      Would you grant a child the vote? Would you, as an adult, or as a parent of that child, overrule that vote if you disagreed with it? Would you, perhaps more importantly, believe the child to have all of the reasoning capacity and autonomy of decision-making of an adult?

      If you answered affirmatively to the third question I wonder what would be the basis of the age of consent, or of majority?

      As for the argument in your second-to-last line, there are differences between taking your child to a place you suspect to be unusually dangerous on the one hand, and you and your children happening to find yourselves in an unusually dangerous place. I am not a parent, but I imagine my supreme desire in the latter situation would be to take my child as far as possible from danger. Hopefully that little girl wasn’t put there by her parents or guardians to make a political point, or to act as a human shield for others as they made a political argument, no matter how just.

      • In reply to #34 by Anvil:

        But yes, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.

        It’s been good to discuss these ideas with you, Anvil, and I hope I haven’t seemed disrespectful. It’s always a good exercise to try to convert internally held ideas into something someone else can understand. Hopefully we can do it again sometime :)

        In reply to #35 by alaskansee:

        Point 1:

        Good to see you agreed with me that “happiness” is not a political statement although it’s normally polite to acknowledge you lost your last point before you start losing the next!

        Yes I do agree with you, and I said as much. In fact I even used the words “I agree”. If I had suggested that happiness was a political statement, it would have been proper for me to concede the point had you convinced me otherwise; as it was, you actually missed my point then changed the subject, and are now accusing me of being slippery in my debating style rather than addressing any of my arguments (see point 4, below).

        Point 2:

        I was waiting for a retort but your words speak volumes on how seriously I should take your next post.

        Likewise, but I’d prefer a reply to a retort. Discussion is more interesting than bickering.

        Point 3:

        Seriously that realisation might have helped your next conversation. Please “learn from your mistakes” without that you are nothing especially in the scientific world.

        I’m not a scientist, but I do try to learn from my mistakes. I think that’s less a strategy for scientists specifically than for sane people in general.

        Point 4:

        Mods,

        Is it possible to create a Troll filter that deletes the posts of those only willing to post but not respond to comments on their own posts?

        I think the irony of that suggestion is all too obvious. Maybe you are being sarcastic?

        • My apologies Jabarakis!!

          I did not notice your reply hidden below the one to someone else! So my snide point #4 was entirely misplaced but yes it was tongue in cheek anyway. It also applies to my smarty pants point # 2 but bear in mind I was going for the wittier end of retort. Christ even point # 3 is mired in me being cheeky HOWEVER despite your good answers to my nonsense I still strongly disagree with your original point.

          It is in no way a problem to bring your kids to a political march and asking them to hold a placard saying that they are “happy” in their family. The alternative being not having a family at all – see happy. It is not up for debate that’s a fact not a political position.

          You are worried that they might grow up and join a cult that makes them think the gay family they grew up in was/is immoral, so what? Their statement was they were happy, again nothing to argue about and we can only hope that they are clever enough to realise that when they are older. What right have they been deprived of, the right to have no family?

          It sounds like you’re trying to make an equivalency with Richards argument about calling your child a muslim, christian, socialist, communist, etc. These are all terrible (silly) things to label a child, happy is not.

          Apologies again for not spotting your post, it was probably the mass of your other replies that made me feel ignored but I’m also struggling with the way the posting spot is at the other end of the massive page from the comment that I am replying to and the way my comment once placed appears to me at the top of the list so I have to check the number of the post and go to the spot to look for a reply!

          It’s always a pity when a redesign makes it harder than the original system, not to mention the front page layout which places boring never changing articles at the top above the new ones that people want to see?

          In reply to #36 by Jabarkis:

          In reply to #34 by Anvil:

          But yes, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.

          It’s been good to discuss these ideas with you, Anvil, and I hope I haven’t seemed disrespectful. It’s always a good exercise to try to convert internally held ideas into something someone else can understand. Hopefully we can do it again sometime :)

          In reply to #35 by alaskansee:

          Point 1:

          Good to see you agreed with me that “happiness” is not a political statement although it’s normally polite to acknowledge you lost your last point before you start losing the next!

          Yes I do agree with you, and I said as much. In fact I even used the words “I agree”. If I had suggested that happiness was a political statement, it would have been proper for me to concede the point had you convinced me otherwise; as it was, you actually missed my point then changed the subject, and are now accusing me of being slippery in my debating style rather than addressing any of my arguments (see point 4, below).

          Point 2:

          I was waiting for a retort but your words speak volumes on how seriously I should take your next post.

          Likewise, but I’d prefer a reply to a retort. Discussion is more interesting than bickering.

          Point 3:

          Seriously that realisation might have helped your next conversation. Please “learn from your mistakes” without that you are nothing especially in the scientific world.

          I’m not a scientist, but I do try to learn from my mistakes. I think that’s less a strategy for scientists specifically than for sane people in general.

          Point 4:

          Mods,

          Is it possible to create a Troll filter that deletes the posts of those only willing to post but not respond to comments on their own posts?

          I think the irony of that suggestion is all too obvious. Maybe you are being sarcastic?

  15. Still, an interesting mental process and all your points, which I do understand, are thought provoking and honest, and clearly put.

    But yes, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    As to the shot, she wasn’t put there. That’s her home, that’s her street – that was her normality, her community.

    By the end of that evening thirteen of her community would be dead.

    Seven of them too young to vote.

    Anvil.

    Sorry, I keep forgetting to use the ‘reply’ button – probably an age thing, doh!

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