Benny on parenting

The last post I did touched on the issue of non-hetero couples having the right to have children.

Nathan suggested that having children has become a right.

Then he asked if parents have the right to raise children as they want.

Addressing the third issue first, current international law and domestic legislation favours the wellbeing of the child over the rights of the parents.

Section 61DA of the Family Law Act (Cth) requires the Court to apply a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for the child’s parents to have equal shared parental responsibility for the child (also see s 65DAA). Section 60CA cements the position that the Child’s best interests are paramount when making a parenting order. A child also gets their own representation separate from all other party’s whose primary task is to ensure the child’s best interested are represented.

In my opinion the current ideals are a little weak in recognising a parent’s right to raise their own child. for example, if a child is removed from their parents custody at a young age, say they are given to their father’s parents, and a few years later a mother, now single with the father gone, wants to retrieve custody of the child from the grandparents, the grandparents will have a very strong case to retain custody, on the grounds it is in the best interests of the child (s 65C Family Law Act). This concerns me as I think it may not necessarily lead to a presumption that the best interests of the child would be a longer-term plan focused on returning the child to the parent’s custody, despite the parent’s efforts.

However, back to Nathan’s issues, the legislation doesn’t recognise a parent’s right to do whatever they want with their child. I think to a certain degree the State should put limitations on parenting. Like with most topics, I think a certain level of regulation of parenting is beneficial. I think in this sense, acting in the best interests of the child is the correct approach. However, it should take into consideration where possible the wants of the parents.

So, now onto the bit I think Nathan really wants me to address, evil homosexuals deserve the right to have children?

My basic though process, which I admit I think needs further refinement, is that the State (and international bodies such as the UN, see the Wiki article on rights of a child,  has defined the requirements of parentage, and can further add and vary these requirements. There is nothing in my mind that suggests that homosexual parents would not be in the best interests of the child. Aside from issues that derive from social stigmas, a child with same-sex parents should have as quality an upbringing as any other. So really, the only reason a child with same-sex parents should be at a disadvantage is because of the segment of society who doesn’t believe in this lifestyle and chooses to create difficulties.

Same-sex parents aren’t the enemy to children, or adults. The bad things in this world are violent people, inconsiderate people, people that willingly cause harm or distress to others. Homosexuality does not mean that a person carries these traits. They are not mutually exclusive, but they are also definitely not psychologically attached.

Provided parents provide adequately for their children, that’s where the judgement should end. We should put our efforts into making society more accommodating, rather than reinforcing its limitations.

So I think the problem is not should “non-traditional” couples be allowed to have children, but rather how it should be implemented, as even traditional couples who can’t have children have not found the path to having a family easy. And I guess this leads to Nathan’s last question, is having children a right. I would like to say everyone who deserves children should be able to have them, however I don’t think this is possible, due to if nothing else supply constraints. I think many people think of children as a right to the point that they believe they should be supported in their right to have children, to the point society should subsidise and provide for their right. I do not agree with this. I think, like anything in life, children are something parents should have to work for, and provide for themselves. I do think there are instances where the State can assist, but not to the extent I think many people believe they are entitled to. One area that I think State can assist in is equality in opportunity, and for this reason I find no difficulty supporting consideration of extending the surrogacy laws.

58 Comments Benny on parenting

  1. aaran

    "There is nothing in my mind that suggests that homosexual parents would not be in the best interests of the child. Aside from issues that derive from social stigmas, a child with same-sex parents should have as quality an upbringing as any other."

    I disagree, The bible is clear that the differences between male and female are more than merely physical differences, but extend to the way the two relate to each other.

    Collosians 3:18-19 "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them."

    God made mankind male and female to reflect his image and although we are fallen and this immage is marred, I think that we should try and preserve and encourage this order in society, even to the point of discriminating against other forms of family structure.

  2. Leah

    "…now onto the bit I think Nathan really wants me to address, evil homosexuals deserve the right to have children…"

    I've always thought it's a little immature to put words into people's mouths that they never said. I don't recall Nathan or anybody else calling homosexuals 'evil'.

    In response to the article itself, these are just my random thoughts…

    I think it's fair enough for society to subsidise children, to a certain extent. I know it's cliche, but children are our future. I guess it depends to what extent you're thinking. Our tax money goes towards building schools; that's a subsidy of having children.

    You also said "Provided parents provide adequately for their children, that’s where the judgement should end". Some people would argue a homosexual couple is not providing adequately for children and that children should have, when possible, both a mother and father. Several studies have supported this notion. Of course many people argue that a homosexual couple would be more beneficial for a child than an alcoholic mother or abusive father, but nobody is advocating that society goes out of its way to allow alcoholics and abusers to have children. In fact, as it is, kids will often get taken off parents like that. So should they be allowed to go to homosexuals? I'd suggest that while that option might be better than the original, a heterosexual couple would be the 'best' option.

  3. Andrew

    As I understand it, studies have shown that having both a mother and a father is of significant benefit to the well-being of the child. There's more to the issue than simply having 'loving' parents. Of course, it's not very popular to recognise that men and women are different, and have different skills and parenting roles.
    Some might point to the fact that a great deal of contemporary families are not of this mother-father set-up, but that many, if not most, families are perfect doesn't change what is the best for the child, and adoption agencies shouldn't be constrained by political debates about discrimination and homosexual rights and put the child first.

  4. queenstuss

    A few things:

    1. I like some basic regulation when it comes to parenting. It helps prevent children being neglected, and helps parents know what is the 'right' thing to do with their kids. Compulsory schooling and seat belts are good examples. But it can be a fine line between setting guidelines and making rules.
    2. It's a tough call to say whether parents are providing adequately for their children. Would I be providing adequately for my son if I never read books to him? What if I give him plenty to eat, but none of what he eats is fruit?
    3. From where I sit, having children is a privilege, not a right. We have been trying for two years to have our second baby. I don't believe I'm any 'less deserving' than anyone else to have two kids. Should it be easier for a "non-traditional" couple to have kids than it is for my husband and I, or other "traditional" couples in our situation? (I don't know a whole lot about proposals in regards to surrogacy, or the Medicare benefits or laws in regard to IVF, so I can't comment more than throw a question out.)
    4. I think it is my right to be able to stay home full time with my son. Well, maybe it's my son's right to have me stay home with him. I expect that society will support that (Leah's school example was a good one) – but I certainly don't expect that government should support me monetarily, or to support someone monetarily in their choice to not care full time for their kids, which I'm guessing is what you were alluding to.

  5. benny

    sorry, i didn't mean to portray that nathan in particuler thought homosexuals were "evil". that was just poor writing by me. Actually if i could go back and delete that word i would.

    I agree, having children is more of a privledge, but I think all potential parents should have an equal right to access that privledge.

    I would think that mothers and fathers do have different parenting attributes which in unison could create an ideal situation for a child. However, I don't think a same-sex couple would be unable to compensate for such differences. Further, I don't think same-sex couples need to show they are the best form of parents or even the equal best, just that they are able to perform a required standard of parenting. That is all that has ever been required for traditional parents, they haven't been graded on their parenting skills provided they maintain the minimum.

  6. Amy

    They can play the part – but they can't physically be parents. One of them can. I'd say a significant part of the act of parenting stems from genetic ties.

    Not so, I don't think. Adoptive parents? Step parents? There are also plenty of genetic parents who don't care (absent dads/mums).

    Also, thinking aloud, is it not a good thing to enter into parenthood with intent? So you could assume that if you are going to go through a huge and complex process to have a child (IVF, same-sex, surrogate) then you must really really want a child and generally are going to pay a lot of attention to parenting and trying to do it well?

    1. Nathan

      I don't think intent necessitates care in the future.

      I know Bruno is satire. But there's no guarantee that people have intent for the right reason. Or that they will continue to back that intent up with care.

      I think it's funny that most of us aren't parents and talking as though we're authorities on this matter… personally I think a whole lot of the love I have for my children will stem from the fact that they're my children…

      1. Amy

        You could say a lot of people who can 'naturally' don't have the right intent. Some people think babies are cute accessories (not for long I'm sure). A few friends of mine had children just so they could justify not working. But who am I to decide what other people should do?

        No, not a parent. But these issues affect whether we will be or should expect to be.

  7. Nathan

    Benny,

    Here's my problem with your logic…

    "I think all potential parents should have an equal right to access that privledge. "

    Homosexual couples, without external assistance, are not "potential parents"… certainly not biologically speaking.

    They can play the part – but they can't physically be parents. One of them can. I'd say a significant part of the act of parenting stems from genetic ties. I just can't see how same sex couples can perform the same way a straight couple can.

    The question is whether that difference is worth anything. I think it is.

  8. Amy

    Also, I feel that having children is a privilege. Many can't and I have seen how heartbreaking it is for them. So who are we to argue with that desire for children, whoever has it?

    How much of this can we really legislate for without becoming a nation that makes people pass a test or something to have kids? How do we make the judgement as to who can and can't? Who is the arbitrator of worthiness?

    I don't expect (when/if my time comes) the government to throw cash at me but I do think there are things that can be legislated [sic?] for that help people out (such as the current ruling that your job must be held for you, or allowing income splitting between a couple). Especially given current living costs (ie. as the reserve bank commented recently, the huge difficulty faced by under 35s to purchase a house) versus the body's fertility levels (both male and female are generally more fertile under 35).

    When it takes 2 average incomes to buy an average house in our capital cities the fertility rate is going to suffer, and we really don't want to end up in the position Japan is in currently where the ratio of retirees to workers is hopelessly skewed.

    1. Nathan

      "How much of this can we really legislate for without becoming a nation that makes people pass a test or something to have kids?"

      Why is that outcome seen as a bad thing. I don't know how you can enforce it – but you have to do a test to be able to drive a car.

      1. Amy

        I agree that it shouldn't be easier to have a child then drive a car – but how earth do you create some sort of test to be a parent?

        Give all young boys reversable vasectomies which they have to pass a test to remove??? Forced abortions?

        There are plenty of people that I don't think should breed. But I don't have the right to tell them not to.

    2. Andrew

      >>"When it takes 2 average incomes to buy an average house in our capital cities the fertility rate is going to suffer"

      It would be interesting to investigate how it came about that it takes two incomes – could it perhaps be that after the feminist push of the creed that women can have both a family and a career (something that sadly many women are finding out too late is not necessarily true!) that banks and real estate costs rose to match the higher income of the new dual-income families?

      >>"How do we make the judgement as to who can and can't? Who is the arbitrator of worthiness? "

      I don't think it's about 'worthiness', I think it's 'appropriateness' and I think studies have shown that the appropriate environment for children is a home with a mum and a dad, and so that should guide our legislation on who 'deserves' to be given adoption and fertility treatment.

      1. Amy

        1. I would suspect that the house price rise has more to do with capitalist creeds (encouraging property investment through negative gearing etc) rather than feminism.

        But then, I'm an evil feminist.

        Also, I don't feel that I should have to choose between a career and a family any more than my husband should.

        2. The appropriateness idea then could be followed through to an idea that children should be removed from their single parents.

        1. Andrew

          "Also, I don't feel that I should have to choose between a career and a family any more than my husband should. "

          What one feels is irrelevant to what their body does. The reality is that if a woman waits until her 40s to have children, then there are far greater risks and biological obstacles. The difference between the effects of family-starting on men and women are obvious – a father does not necessarily have to miss any work to have a child, but I don't think the rest of the staff would appreciate a woman in labour in the next cubicle.

          "2. The appropriateness idea then could be followed through to an idea that children should be removed from their single parents."

          Well no, because we're only talking about who should be given children – we're not talking about people who already have children. A child finding themselves in the unfortunate position of not having both a mother and father is very different from putting one in such a position.

  9. benny

    That's not really a problem with my logic, I am not sure how same-sex couples could ever both be parents (well, they have fertilised an egg with another females dna, so I guess it is kind of possible, but lets ignore this extreme example), so there would be external assistance. so there isnt really a flaw of logic. I think for some time now the concept of parents has extended further than biological parents.

    And I guess that leads to the last bit, which I also acknowledge, the potential difference between parenting of same-sex and traditional parents. so you are saying this potential difference strikes out same-sex parents. why?

    1. Amy

      Same sex female couples could get pregnant reasonably easily with a donor. Same sex male couples – that's not so easy.

  10. aaran

    I don't see a connection from 'what is' to 'what ought' without reference to a moral authority.

    ""I think all potential parents should have an equal right to access that privledge. "

    Homosexual couples, without external assistance, are not "potential parents"… certainly not biologically speaking."

    I don’t agree with Nathans logic, but so what if they can or if they desire it, what is the connection to it being their right?

    1. Nathan

      What do you think I'm saying that you don't agree with? Gay people can't have children without the help of a person of the opposite gender.

      That's fact. That's not logic.

      1. aaran

        I don’t see the connection between that fact that gay couples can’t naturally have children, and the reason that homosexual couples should not have the same rights to adopt children or have IVF. By that logic heterosexual couples who are infertile are not potential parents and you would deny them access to IVF or adoption.
        I see your point that that is a problem in Benny’s argument, but it is irrelevant. Just because they can’t it is irrational to say that it is morally wrong to do so, unless you are assuming that is the way God made it. Ethics on the basis of naturalism are irrational, just because something is, there is no logical connection to what should be or should not be.

        1. Nathan

          "By that logic heterosexual couples who are infertile are not potential parents and you would deny them access to IVF or adoption."

          IVF is pretty ethically murky anyway.

          I don't think the conclusion that adoption is out follows the premise.

          "Ethics on the basis of naturalism are irrational"

          They're completely rational actually. Definitionally speaking. They're pretty dumb if you assume God exists (which I do) but for a state that has to create and uphold morality for atheists, Muslims, Christians and Catholics it's probably the best common ground we've got.

          My reasoning for believing the naturalism is the best way to approach ethical issues is that I see a logical connection – things are the way they are because God made them that way.

          1. aaran

            “things are the way they are because God made them that way.” That’s not really naturalism as in the philosophy of naturalism. It’s still Christian ethics, but only what can be shown from a study of nature with Christian presuppositions.

            I was referring to naturalism as in the atheistic assertion that the natural world is all that exists, the ultimate reality. I meant that ethics is irrational because they assume meaning when the logical conclusion of naturalism is Nihilism. Like Dave said in ‘Why I’m not an athesist # 2’

            “But if the physical evolutionary causes are the only explanation for life you have, how can you assert the reality of meaning of any kind? Itʼs not enough to say that you do assert the existence of meaning and love and beauty! When I hear atheists do that, I just think they are talking as a semi-Christianised atheist, still spending some cultural credit hanging around from Christianity! Itʼs not enough to say evolutionary naturalism doesnʼt lead to meaningless for you — you have to show why it shouldnʼt?”

          2. aaran

            I know that not all, if many atheists are Nihilists, but their argument for asserting ethics is trying to create meaning out of something that has no grounds for meaning.

            I think the problem with using the common ground is that there really isn’t any. All you are doing is trying to conserve something that is commonly accepted by citing its merit. It is like playing soccer on their half of the filed only, as if the half way line was like a sideline – All you can do is defend.

          3. Nathan

            Which is why poltics is hard.

            In a multicultural, multifaith society the law can't act using Christian presuppositional ethics.

            We can't, as Christians, impose our ethics wholesale on people who don't have the same framework. Put the boot on the other foot – how should this issue be legislated from the perspective of an atheist?

          4. aaran

            Do you think a multi cultural society is a good idea? I know its the reality in Australia but should we be encouraging that? By not pushing to uphold christian ethics in the law are we being neutral and accomidating or are we letting oursleves have secular humanist ethics or some other world view based ethics imposed on us? I think as christians we should be the moral voice of society and we should lobby the government to uphold and implement Christian values and use the democratic process to vote for them to be imposed or upheld. But more than that we should be preaching the gospel and calling people to repent and recognise Jesus as Lord.

          5. Andrew

            “But if the physical evolutionary causes are the only explanation for life you have, how can you assert the reality of meaning of any kind? Itʼs not enough to say that you do assert the existence of meaning and love and beauty! When I hear atheists do that, I just think they are talking as a semi-Christianised atheist, still spending some cultural credit hanging around from Christianity! Itʼs not enough to say evolutionary naturalism doesnʼt lead to meaningless for you — you have to show why it shouldnʼt?”

            Are you quoting someone, or are you saying this?

  11. benny

    amy, you threw that job holding thing in just to bait me. job holding is flawed in theory and should not be mandatory. i will blog on this later.

    There already is an arbitrator of worthiness, but they act more in retrospect of your ability to raise children. when you think of it like this it makes having a test almost sound sensible.

    Finally, Japan's problem isn't the lack of young people, its the number of old people. boosting fertility rates to solve an aging population seems as flawed as job holding.

  12. Amy

    Benny:
    Re Japan – boosting the birthrate has to be part of the solution. Not all of it certainly, but part of it.

    Re job holding. No, not to bait you but if you'll indulge me:
    One of the main reasons I will stay at my current workplace is the high level of support and flexibility of conditions surrounding maternity leave and children. The costs of rehiring positions, training staff are substantial, not to mention other costs such as the loss of experience when staff leave to have children and don't come back. Because my job is there for me I will also not be a burden on the taxation system by needing unemployment benefits or parenting allowances, and I will be more likely to be paying tax (given I won't be having difficulty finding a job after children – and mothers attempting to return to the workplace is the huge hidden face of unemployment numbers).

    How is this a bad thing?

  13. Nathan

    "There are also plenty of genetic parents who don't care (absent dads/mums)."

    That's essentially a strawman. The fact that there are bad parents who aren't gay isn't a reason to allow gay people to be parents.

    And here's the heart of my issue – proponents of gay parenting actually need to show cause as to why we should be positively legislating for that right. And by legislating on the matter we're turning the privilege into a right.

    Why should gay people be given the privilege of child rearing when children are a biproduct of heterosexual relationships?

    I don't think "because they might be good parents and have to choose that responsibility" is a legitimate answer. They might equally be bad parents.

    Re the definition of parenting raised by both Ben and Amy – I thought I made it clear that I linked biological/genetic ties to the concept of parenting – the other "types" of parenting are legal relationships that recognise a duty of care. They're not "real" parents as traditionally defined – ie the people responsible for the births.

    Anecdotally there are lots of adopted children who seek out their biological parents because there's something about the genetic mix that counts in turning us into the people we are.

    You rob children of that by purposefully stripping the genetic side of the picture out of the equation and defining them based on the household they grow up in.

    How can that possibly be a good thing?

    1. benny

      i think i have monumentally failed in putting my comments in teh correct place.

      "And here's the heart of my issue – proponents of gay parenting actually need to show cause as to why we should be positively legislating for that right. And by legislating on the matter we're turning the privilege into a right. "

      because they want to have kids. why do you need anything more than that.

      "Why should gay people be given the privilege of child rearing when children are a biproduct of heterosexual relationships?"

      Because they want kids.

      1. Nathan

        I want to have six wives and be an astronaut.

        Well not really.

        Why does "want" automatically lead to entitlement – particularly if you want something that you can't naturally have.

        Homosexual couples can't naturally have children.

        I've heard it argued that part of the evolutionary purpose of homosexuality is to control the birthrate and ensure that everybody has a "partner"… if we let homosexuals have children do you think homosexuality will eventually be bred out of our systems because it's no longer serving its purpose?

        1. Amy

          Why does "want" automatically lead to entitlement – particularly if you want something that you can't naturally have.

          But we pay for IVF through our taxes. And for premature babies to be on life support. Etc etc.

          1. Nathan

            I don't see how that has answered the question you quoted.

            Yes. We pay for IVF and the support of premature babies. That seems largely irrelevant to my point.

            We pay for plenty of things with our taxes that I receive no benefit from – that doesn't give me an entitlement to them.

            Public funding does not automatically entitle the whole public to a benefit – it can provide a benefit to society broadly. This is, I believe, is why churches are tax exempt… why university education is subsidised and why investment into the arts is tax deductible even though nobody watches Australian movies and less people work on making them.

            Just wanting a grant to make an Australian Movie doesn't entitle you to one – you have to have the capacity to make a film.

          2. Amy

            The point I was making is that those on IVF can't 'naturally' have children. So by your argument they are shouldn't feel entitled to.

          3. queenstuss

            Infertility isn't the only reason for IVF – it is used also as a method of genetic screening, only implanting embryos that don't have genetic or chromosomal defects.
            I don't see premature babies on life support a whole lot different to life support or life saving procedures for an adult.

      2. Amy

        "Why should gay people be given the privilege of child rearing when children are a biproduct of heterosexual relationships?"

        Because they want kids.

        Second that.

        And yep, the commenting thing has gotten very confusing.

  14. benny

    1. I said job holding should not be mandatory, not that it should not be allowed. My goal is to improve business productivity and increase employment, not screw business over. If the business has value in job holding, they should be able to put that in your contract. It works for both of you. Thus, if the costs of rehiring positions, training etc are that must, the business can hold your job. as an aside, it is odd that this doesn't work two ways. at the end of the leave, if they contract to leave your job open, they have to take you back. but if you decide not to come back, they are lacking an employee and wasted two years. but that is a side issue.

  15. benny

    2. I am not sure why whether there is job holding impacts tax payed and unemployment benefits. Tax during the leave will be paid depending on any leave benefits obtained, and themselves may be business paid (which i heavily oppose) or government funded (which i much less oppose). so, the impacts of the job holding will only be relevant on returning to the work force. lost taxation would occur if you couldn't immediately re-enter the workforce. So, while you would be paying less tax, whoever now fills the position would be. So there should be no net taxation losses. A similar arguement applies for unemployment benefits. If there is no net change to teh labour force, there is no change to unemployment benefits. If you aren't receiving unemployment benefits, the person who is displaced will be.

    1. Amy

      I mean that if someone has a job to go back to then she will not need to be on benefits once she is ready to rejoin the workforce.

  16. benny

    3. Mothers attempting to return to the workforce is not the hidden face of unemployment numbers. Again, job holding doesn't create jobs. It reduces jobs by creating market innefficiencies and reducing the number of employees businesses are willing to hire. it also reduces businesses willingness to hire women, due to potential costs surrounding maternity leave. Thus, job holding increases unemployment numbers.
    4. not having job holding does make it more difficult for mothers to re-enter the work-force. the alternative is to make it more difficult for non-mothers to enter the workforce. it reduces businesses willingness to take on alternative staff.

    1. Amy

      I have read studies talking about that mothers who want to return to work but can't justify it given the tax rates applied to their incomes vs incoming government assistance, or mothers unable to find work which fits in to school hours etc who thus are not actively looking for work (ie through gov. job agencies) are not counted in unemployment figures and are thus often ignored as a group who are looking to work.

      The other part of this issue that grates is that this whole issue focusses on women, when it should be both genders.

  17. benny

    5. we have a pretty competitive labour market. if a business doesn't find value in providing job holding, it is likely because you are readily replaced. Thus, the market sounds pretty fluid. In which case, there shouldn't be a great deal of trouble gaining employment when you re-enter the labour market. The only reason you would find it difficult to obtain a particular position would be if there were better alternative employees. In which case, that person should get the position ahead of you. Otherwise we are promoting a policy that gives preferential treatment to mothers above more qualified candidates. This would also impact business productivity.

    1. Amy

      That is a good point. This is a bigger issue for lower skilled positions – however, there is still a huge amount of discrimination at a professional level against mothers with children.

      At the risk of sounding incredibly divisive though, at the moment we are creating a situation there are few incentives for professionals to have children – it just costs them too much (financially and professionally) – women who pay a lot of tax in their lifetime and add a lot to the economy over their lifetime.

      1. Nathan

        Why do we think people need incentives in order to have children – anybody who wants children because there are incentives wants children for the wrong reason. Anybody who doesn't think parenting is a financial sacrifice has rocks in their heads.

        We've all got good internal reasons for wanting children – be they a result of faith, base instinct, or a mix of both.

        I don't know any parents who had children because the government told them to.

        1. Amy

          I'm not saying there should be incentives as much as saying that there are far too many disincentives. And I feel that the financial sacrifice is all too often on the female and not the male, not only at the time but also in terms of superannuation etc.

  18. benny

    6. A more likely scenario is after taking extended leave a person returning to the labour market would have to take a lesser position. Again, this is fair, as the labour force would have developed since they left the labour market and other employees would now be more proficient in the position. As would be hoped, the labour market would allocate people to positions of employment that their attributes merit. To expect an uninterupted career with blatant interuptions inserted will cost business and labour market efficiency.

  19. benny

    “Anecdotally there are lots of adopted children who seek out their biological parents because there’s something about the genetic mix that counts in turning us into the people we are. ”

    Is this really such a big issue that its worth stopping a couple having access to having a family? Your arguement that we should be trying to only having families with strong genetic ties seems somewhat insignificant in the grand scheme here.

    I thought the church was meant to be all for adoption as such (especially as opposed to abbortion). Doesn’t this logic fly against that?

    1. Nathan

      "Is this really such a big issue that its worth stopping a couple having access to having a family? "

      No. But it's one of many issues.

      If you want the law changed the onus is on you to show why it should be changed, not on me to show why it should stay the same.

      Why is a couple a magical number? I had a sponsor child with my housemates at Lorimer – why shouldn't we have been afforded the right to adopt a child and bring him up as our own?

  20. Andrew

    >>"I thought the church was meant to be all for adoption as such (especially as opposed to abbortion). Doesn't this logic fly against that?"

    That's not a very good argument. It does not logically follow that because we might oppose one thing that we must agree with any and every alternative option. Using your logical argument we might say that if one was opposed to teenage pregnancy then they should 'be all for teenage sterilisation'.

    As it is I think adoption is often too bureaucratically difficult and financially prohibitive.

  21. Andrew

    No one has yet shown why 'because I want one' instantly gives one the right to do something.
    Sometimes that desire to have a child for one's own gratification can lead to unreal expectations on the child, which is not healthy. So the desire argument can go either way and cannot be the basis for such a decision. It must what is in the best interests of children – and as has been mentioned several times, but I think largely ignored, having a mum and a dad is the best environment for children, and so that is a very good reason to legislate that adoption and IVF only be available to such a unit (which would rule out homosexual couples but also single people). Perhaps one might have a let to stand on if there were no more male-female couples wishing or available to adopt, but I do not think that is the case at all.

  22. queenstuss

    I watch Australian movies.

    Come and spend a day at my house and you might find an incentive not to have children. Then again, come and spend a day at my house and you might find an incentive to have children. Today was probably a day for the former.

    Having children should be the incentive for having children, but there are people who have children for the government benefits, others for the status/trophy, others to cross it off their list of accomplishments, others because they feel an expectation or an obligation. Those people should all come and spend a week at my house, or spend some time with families with children and see that having a child is more than about having a baby, before they consider conceiving.

    I, too, am perplexed as to why ‘because they want one’ means a right to having a child. Is it only applicable to homosexual couples, or is it okay for a 12-year-old or a 70-year-old to have a baby because they want to?

    1. Amy

      Those people should all come and spend a week at my house, or spend some time with families with children and see that having a child is more than about having a baby, before they consider conceiving.

      Totally agree with you.

      ….or is it okay for a 12-year-old or a 70-year-old to have a baby because they want to?

      Or the 60+ year old woman who concieved through IVF recently…

  23. Nathan

    Is a multicultural society a good idea?

    I don't think that's the question we're dealing with. Multicultural societies have been the reality since the Roman Empire.

    There is no Biblical mandate for a theocracy. The closest we have is Israel – and look how that turned out.

    Our Biblical political imperative is to trust God to use those in political power as agents of justice (Romans 13 (off the top of my head), and to pray for them.

    There's a Biblical basis for using the tools of government as a means for caring for the poor, but I can't see any mandate for pursuing a theocracy or for even encouraging rulers to govern according to Biblical principles.

    Rome was probably the most anti-God government of all time (given that rulers were worshiped as Gods) you would think that if this was God's intention for us as Christians the Bible would say more about opposing or influencing the Government than it does.

  24. Aaran

    Yeah, it’s something I haven't put that much thought into. I have heard people criticise the church in Germany for not really speaking up in opposition to Hitler’s regime. But at the same time I get frustrated when the church is more interested in the policies of government than the hearts of the people.

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