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Today's Society/Church and Learning From the Catholics


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Hello!

I enjoy reading Catholic thought and I wanted to share.  I believe the call for SSM and many other criticisms of the CoJCoLDS (primarily from those who still hold to some sense of its being “true”) is a product of lack of rigorous thought.  An emotionalism where we substitute how we feel about things for sound principles derived by seeking God with faith and reason.

First two links:
Article by Archbishop of Philadelphia:
https://www.firstthings.com/article/2018/03/believe-that-you-may-understand

Faith and Reason by JPII:
http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_14091998_fides-et-ratio.html

I will admit that I have only read parts of Faith and Reason, but I hope to rectify this.

I think the Catholic Church is in crisis partially because its highest leaders have left behind sound thinking on issues for a hoped pastoral love of all.  This is from First Things:


In the name of being pastoral, the Church threatens to become merely indulgent, malleable, affective, and practical; in effect, anti-intellectual. This is exactly the wrong moment for that kind of mistake.

More poignantly from an interview with Bishop Chaput:


Why do you think these problems of faith and reason are so recurring in our time?
Science and technology can seem — but only seem — to make the supernatural and sacramental implausible. The language of faith can start to sound alien and irrelevant. This is why we lose so many young people before they even consider religious belief. They’re catechized every day by a stream of materialist distractions that don’t disprove God, but create an indifference to him.
The Church is struggling with a lot of self-doubt. It’s natural in an age of rapid change. I think many Church pastors and scholars have simply lost confidence in the rationality of faith and the reliability of God’s word, without being willing to admit it. Instead, they take refuge in humanitarian feelings and social action. But you don’t need God for either of those things, at least in the short run. In the long run, God is the only sure guarantor of human rights and dignity. So we need to think our Christianity — deeply, faithfully and rigorously — as well as feel it.


It is my opinion that there are many very concerning things coming for the Pope and the leadership around him.  I fear he has forgotten (and I think it likely that many around him have forgotten) the second half of: “Truth without love is imperious self-righteousness. Love without truth is cowardly self-indulgence.”

With an organization so committed to preserving the “truth once delivered,” how (with or without God’s supernatural guidance) can such a thing happen.  How can it happen to the CoJCoLDS?

Somebody who wrestles with issues like advocating for or against SSM will become a general authority (not me).  In my personal life, I feel the desire to embrace love without the restraining influence of truth.  In the name of love sometime not just self love, I can stray from God’s path.  As my attempt at my best self online, I feel the desire to embrace love without mentioning truth to those with whom I dialogue even though I do not face the same issues they do (I like to not speak of their sin or emphasize that I too am a sinner to eliminate or soften the truth).  How much tougher will this be for the future bishop who can clearly see the pain in those he loves and knows that speaking truth to them will make him a lone voice in a world that has ceased to care about truth.

There are two things about the difficult and recent declaration concerning children of same sex couples.  First, is that it would be somewhat cruel to ask a child to explain the reason his/her parents have embraced a way of living out of alignment with God’s teaching.  The second is having not been cruel, those who likely believe that SSM is a wonderful institution that has blessed their lives will continue to grow and learn and progress in the church.  

As I said in a recent thread, I think it quite possible that one day our church will embrace SSM in many and perhaps all ways.  IMO today this would be the love without truth result.  If this happens in the future, it will not be the end of the church, but too much of this love without truth could be (I have faith that God is in control and can steer away from this).  But, one of the ways God steers away from this is by calling us to THINK correctly.

I believe that wrong thinking after Vatican II has lead to the place where the Catholic Church is today and while some of the things Pope Francis is doing may briefly increase the number of folks in the pews, I believe ultimately it will further water down truth and lead to more indifference to the things of God.

I do not think the highest leaders of the CoJCoLDS have succumbed to the thinking Pope Francis has embraced.  And I believe that the highest leaders of the CoJCoLDS receive revelation and inspiration to guide God’s church.  That being said, I have little doubt that Bishops and Stake Presidents struggle with these issues.  Without a commitment to have both TRUTH and LOVE, I think errors can happen.  As these error permeate the church AND society, there may be one day when our God (who I think is pragmatic) will recognize that it does more harm than good to continue to teach the truth in certain ways.  Someday, the pain caused by the truth and the prevalence of societies tolerant arms willing to offer an ultimately cold loveless embrace, could make it better for the church to water down the gospel in certain areas (no more United Order comes to mind).  Alternatively, if the gospel understanding of these issues is correct and discussion and dialogue helps folks to find ways to love in truth, perhaps pragmatic solution will not be required.  

Anyway, there is great value in learning from wise folks like JPII and Arch Bishop Chaput.  I believe God is in charge.  I believe the CoJCoLDS passed through its first 200 years in a way far more remarkable than the years 33-233AD were for New Testament Christians and evidence God’s continuing inspiration and revelation for the whole body of the church.  That being said, God’s hand is occasionally the wise and intelligent council of our brothers and sisters.  The society into which President Nelson held his first press conference is hostile to God’s truths.  I believe that the church is guided by God through President Nelson, but ALL of us imbibe inappropriately of the ideas evidenced in this press conference hostility (in the name of love or in the name of self-indulgence or in the name of …but we imbibe).  May right reasoning and truth from God provide a counter force to societies pull!  
Charity, TOm  

P.S.  In case it is somehow veiled by what I say above, I do not think I am superior in my thinking to all others.  I offer the above because it is what seems true to me.  If it didn’t seem true to me, my best self, would find something else to embrace that I think is true.  I desire to align my beliefs with what God believes to be true!  

This also means I want to read and discuss thoughts about the above.

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It seems to me you have assumed something to be true and have created as a result of that assumptions, reasoning as to why others don't agree with you, even though, in your view they should.  Where does a discussion go on this if there is no way to know if your assumption is true?  Why not question your assumption, or at least leave room for others to see it differently?  

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

It seems to me you have assumed something to be true and have created as a result of that assumptions, reasoning as to why others don't agree with you, even though, in your view they should.  Where does a discussion go on this if there is no way to know if your assumption is true?  Why not question your assumption, or at least leave room for others to see it differently?  

Thank you for the response.
My point in my P.S. was that if you see it differently you should discuss and explain why.  
What assumptions do I evidence that you would reject?  What is the underlying thinking that leads you to your position?  

My point is also that I have thought about many of these issues for quite a while.  So what I present is my best understanding of truth.  If I had a different best understanding of truth, I hope I would present that.  To the extent that I think the above post reflects the way God desires we interact with truth and love and Him, I hope everyone aligns their views with it.  To the extent it is in error, I hope to be corrected.

My views on many issues have changed.  Emotional appeals have impacts upon me, but I hope to balance emotion/love with thinking/reason.  I really doubt either exists isolated from the other, but if one can stand alone it is likely emotion.  Thinking will always be subject to non-thinking forces including emotions and assumptions we cannot defend or do not know we utilize.

Charity, TOm
 

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35 minutes ago, TOmNossor said:

Thank you for the response.
My point in my P.S. was that if you see it differently you should discuss and explain why.  
What assumptions do I evidence that you would reject?  What is the underlying thinking that leads you to your position?  

My point is also that I have thought about many of these issues for quite a while.  So what I present is my best understanding of truth.  If I had a different best understanding of truth, I hope I would present that.  To the extent that I think the above post reflects the way God desires we interact with truth and love and Him, I hope everyone aligns their views with it.  To the extent it is in error, I hope to be corrected.

My views on many issues have changed.  Emotional appeals have impacts upon me, but I hope to balance emotion/love with thinking/reason.  I really doubt either exists isolated from the other, but if one can stand alone it is likely emotion.  Thinking will always be subject to non-thinking forces including emotions and assumptions we cannot defend or do not know we utilize.

Charity, TOm
 

Hi Tom.  Thanks for the response.  I'm not sure what you are looking for so I may just have to leave it at this:  It seems to me you premise your position on the assumption that the Church's position is true regarding SSM.  I don't know how you prove your position, or support it with much other than to say,  "I assume it's true".  The only argument necessary to pose against that, is, it seems to me, "I disagree on one of two fronts:

1.  Your position is not a true one because I assume it is not.  

or

2.  Your position is possibly a true one, but since you can't do much more than assume it is true, I don't see what more to say."

 

 

Edited by stemelbow
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I want to edit that post at a fundamental level so for now, I am deleting it

Edited by mfbukowski
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57 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Hi Tom.  Thanks for the response.  I'm not sure what you are looking for so I may just have to leave it at this:  It seems to me you premise your position on the assumption that the Church's position is true regarding SSM.  I don't know how you prove your position, or support it with much other than to say,  "I assume it's true".  The only argument necessary to pose against that, is, it seems to me, "I disagree on one of two fronts:

1.  Your position is not a true one because I assume it is not.  

or

2.  Your position is possibly true one, but since you can't do much more than assume it is true, I don't see what more to say other than to say I disagree."

 

 

Thank you.  I can respond to that.  I hope this does not solely become a SSM thread, but I do think it is a prime example of people using emotion without reason.


I was once someone who reluctantly supported the church’s view of SSM but without any passion or certainty.  This is a wonderful piece of same sex marriage propaganda and I really enjoyed it and felt deeply for the fictitious characters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ROXTFfkcfo&feature=youtu.be

If you refuse to return to a reasoning position after watching it, please do not.  I truly feel for that little girl.  I love her and I hate what those homosexual jerks did to her.  I wish to never be part of the jerks!


That being said, my mind has CHANGED from where I once was.  It was in part due to Rabbi Sacks and some other interaction with Catholic thought that I became a CONVINCED by reason in the church’s position.  

SSM is one of the more obvious areas in which I think society is busy inviting folks to love without truth.

Most of society atheist or not believes that woman (and men) should not be sexual toys devoid of humanity.  Sex trafficking is wrong!
Much of society believes that prostitution and pornography is wrong.
I think it very defendable that for the same reason that sex trafficking devalues woman (and men) removing their humanity to make them play objects, so does prostitution and pornography.  So does sex for entertainment on primetime TV.  So does teenage sex for fun and conquest.  So does sex for advertising on billboards and in magazines.

There is a small additional problem with human trafficking absent in SOME of the “lesser” offenses against the full humanity of those sold for sex.  That is that human trafficking entails zero choice and the rest of these MAY entail some aspects or most aspects of choice.  Some will celebrate the freedom of the willing prostitute and the porno star.  Many of us will celebrate the “hot” news anchor or the buff shampoo model.  But, I submit part of the problem with Weinstein’s sexual exploits is that he paid for sex in ways that make us uncomfortable and his job was to select sex workers in ways that make us comfortable.  I do not think this is too much of a leap.  Those who "let" Weinstein do what he did, made a choice.  Then they didn't talk about it.  We all think this is wrong.

This is my emotional plea to see that attitudes about sex in our society are profoundly distorted.

Let me try some reason:
Wether you believe in God or godless evolution, humanity is at the top of the earthen peeking order.  All species survive through reproduction.  Above a certain level of complexity this reproduction is sexual.  Above a higher level of complexity this reproduction includes child rearing.  Many species leave the child rearing to a single parent usually the female.  Some (generally ones with more complex development) include both the male and the female in child rearing.

Numerous studies have shown that human child rearing in a stable home with a man and a woman who are raising their biological offspring is better for child development.  This is the ideal.

For the human child this is more important than for the mouse or the dog.  Human’s are in general far more helpless for far longer than lower animals.  The human brain is so large, human babies must be born at a less developed stage due to passing through the birth canal so they require more physical care than most other animals.
In addition this human social interaction requires rearing with love and touch (see Russian orphanage studies).  Human mental development requires much more support than for lower animals.

The reason (wether it is God or evolution) that sex developed and produce the bonding effects that same sex couples covet is to facilitate the continuation of the species.

Sex is unitive and procreative.

Sex is unitive and procreative.

Sex is unitive and procreative.

To engage in sex without acknowledging its purpose either because an opposite sex couple NEVER wants children or because one is “just having a good time” is to psychically cleave the human person be removing either the unitive or procreative aspects of sex developed evolutionarily or through God’s hand.  The consequence of this are legion.

The evils of sex trafficking.  The likely evils of prostitution and pornography.  The breakdown of the stable family.  The kids who grow up without touch or without love or without a solid role model and all the damage this does to our society.

I have adopted my daughter and I cannot express how wonderful this is.  But this is not the ideal.  The ideal would be for her biological parents to have made different choices (probably different choices long before she was conceived as they were quite in bondage by then).  As a society and as a church we should teach the ideal is the ideal and do the best we can when we and/or those around us fall short.  Love is the guiding force, but reason is important too.


The above set of ideas is why I am no longer a reluctant supporter of the Prophet of God’s position.  I love that little girl in that youtube video just like I love my family and friends who because of their SSA and choices have experienced similar things in the world we live in.  I am emotionally pulled toward them and never march up to them and say, “you are a dirty breeder” or you “just a homosexual.”  But as best I can tell reason indicates to me that the church’s position of SSM marriage is correct.
And, it the other side of this question seems to be largely about compassion for those with same sex attraction.  It is an emotional appeal.  Compelling, yes, but primarily emotion.

I like to compare the way we treat folks with SSA with the way we treat folks with Aspergers syndrome.  One who has Aspergers does not pick up well on social queues.  They feel estranged from the humans.  Coping mechanisms are isolation or superficial interaction (like on message boards).  But councilors do not tell those with Aspergers that they were “made that way” and should not enter into deep and meaningful relationships.  This is because those with Aspergers need love too.  If they can overcome their desire for isolation/safety and learn coping mechanisms that enable them to form meaningful relationships, they will have MORE happiness than if they choose isolation.  Since as a society we do not worship peculiar social queues and … like we worship sex there is not a prevalent move within psychiatry to create isolated bubbles for those with Aspergers.
I do not think we are in a society that can ask those with SSA to enter into loving heterosexual relationships.  This is not a pragmatic solution for most.  But we can still teach that this is not the ideal and this is not marriage.  Or maybe this is no longer pragmatic either.
The evidence of problems for folks who embrace a homosexual lifestyle MAY be only due to the horrible way they are treated, but it seems unlikely.   I think a very reasoned position is that there would be challenges for those with SSA who entered into heterosexual relationships, but if society had not departed from a right understanding of sex these challenges would be less than the challenges they face in the most accepting of societies today.  If I lived in that youtube video and believed President Rachael M. Nelson was the prophetess with the same conviction I believe now, I would give it a shot (I know many on both sides would not).  Still for most in our society attraction and sex are too important for them to embrace a partner that is of the wrong sex in their mind.  That boat sailed long ago.

So, that is LONG.  I am sure there are issues here and there and I am not sure I can demonstrate every piece of data is accurate, but I lean in the direction that overall it is a reasoned view as contrasted to the emotional view I am invited to embrace.

Charity, TOm

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

I want to edit that post at a fundamental level so for now, I am deleting it

I didn't get to read it, but I was thinking we would disagree in some ways.

I still believe that the ground of truth is in the mind of God.  While I interact with the world as I see it and you interact with the world as you see it, I think we are called to align or will with God's to have "all knowledge" in common with God.  We should know what He knows.

Charity, Tom

 

 

 

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I think it all comes down to this.  If you believe that the leaders of the church have received the will of God through revelation then that is what is true and what society or those that disagree even in the church is irrelevant.  There is NO changing the position of the church.  Children of gay couples should not be baptized until they are 18 and disavow the marriage of their parents.  And gay couples are apostates.  Whoever objects to this is wrong and it doesn't really matter if they disagree.  Some may write this paragraph differently, but the core of it is what they believe.  

Or you believe that God wants everyone to have the opportunity to participate in marriage. What we do know is that being in a committed marriage is better for any children that are involved.  It is more healthy for those that are gay to live within the bounds of marriage.  We seem to be wired to want those kinds of connections and love that sharing a life brings to us.  The experiences and love that one gets from being in a committed marriage are important to all of us.  We learn how to be more Christ like by experiencing the kinds of unconditional love that marriage brings into our lives.  Marriage is at the very core of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  All should be allowed to participate in such a fundamentally important core of the gospel experience in this life.  Some may write this paragraph differently, but the core of it is what they believe.

Just about everyone on this board falls into one of these two paragraphs.  You follow what paragraph the Spirit guides you to.  What anyone else says is of very little concern.

 

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2 hours ago, TOmNossor said:

I didn't get to read it, but I was thinking we would disagree in some ways.

I still believe that the ground of truth is in the mind of God.  While I interact with the world as I see it and you interact with the world as you see it, I think we are called to align or will with God's to have "all knowledge" in common with God.  We should know what He knows.

Charity, Tom

 

 

 

I agree completely with your statement BUT I honestly think that is not possible in Catholicism which has no concept of continuing revelation or the possibility of an open canon.

The question becomes how WE know what is in the mind of God and the nature of "revelation"- was it given once for all time and is perfect in every detail as given ("God breathed") or could there be errors?  Does God reveal progressively or not, as we are prepared to receive new truth?

If there was an apostasy and a need for further revelation, obviously the "one revelation for all times" will not work, and THAT is the central problem here,

In reading "Fides" it becomes clear that Catholicism cannot handle that revelation is ongoing- that is crystal clear even in the first section.  But I have not finished it either yet

Fides cannot be made reconcilable with Alma 32 in which truth is defined as essentially "that which bears fruit which is sweet" IF Fides does not affirm perhaps a concept like "Sensus Fidelium".   I have not gotten that far.

Of course Catholicism can accommodate changes in "interpretation" while saving the term "truth" for that is what is unchanging.

On the other hand clearly he condemns the idea of "changing truth"

My initial reaction is that it is a semantic confusion over the definition of "truth"- can it be changing or not?   Is Newtonian mechanics "true"?  Does Relativity demonstrate a changing interpretation or a changing" truth"?

How far could one push the definition of "interpretation"?  Gay marriage?  ;)   If that becomes the "Sensus Fidelium". ?   At some point I fear it will become that.

Sounds like semantics to me but I will save judgement until I have finished it.  VERY Neoplatonic, pure Scholasticism.

But the philosophy itself is clearly at odds with God revealing "truth" to individuals in a Moroni 10, or a James 1 or an Alma 32 sense.  :)

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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44 minutes ago, california boy said:

I think it all comes down to this.  If you believe that the leaders of the church have received the will of God through revelation then that is what is true and what society or those that disagree even in the church is irrelevant.  There is NO changing the position of the church.  Children of gay couples should not be baptized until they are 18 and disavow the marriage of their parents.  And gay couples are apostates.  Whoever objects to this is wrong and it doesn't really matter if they disagree.  Some may write this paragraph differently, but the core of it is what they believe.  

Or you believe that God wants everyone to have the opportunity to participate in marriage. What we do know is that being in a committed marriage is better for any children that are involved.  It is more healthy for those that are gay to live within the bounds of marriage.  We seem to be wired to want those kinds of connections and love that sharing a life brings to us.  The experiences and love that one gets from being in a committed marriage are important to all of us.  We learn how to be more Christ like by experiencing the kinds of unconditional love that marriage brings into our lives.  Marriage is at the very core of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  All should be allowed to participate in such a fundamentally important core of the gospel experience in this life.  Some may write this paragraph differently, but the core of it is what they believe.

Just about everyone on this board falls into one of these two paragraphs.  You follow what paragraph the Spirit guides you to.  What anyone else says is of very little concern.

 

For the record in Mormonism revelation is not "once and forever" meaning actual revelation and dogma can change theoretically.

That actually happening is another issue, I will agree.

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1 hour ago, california boy said:

I think it all comes down to this.  If you believe that the leaders of the church have received the will of God through revelation then that is what is true and what society or those that disagree even in the church is irrelevant.

It is precisely my point that it does not come down to that at all. 
I am willing to grant that there are truths that I accept on faith and the opposition to same sex marriage was once one of those.  But even then, it is faith and reason that directed me to believe that the leaders of the church  are uniquely chosen to lead us through this fallen world.  I will not abandon their prophethood and declare them mistaken when I feel like sinning, especially when reason is on their side.  I do not understand the ins and outs of why Christ had to die to forgive my sins, but I accept this on faith.  This is different than my feelings on ice tea or alcohol.  I follow the prophet because of faith and reason.

1 hour ago, california boy said:

There is NO changing the position of the church.  

Actually church positions do change.  I do not think any church members think that the United Order was evil and should never have been tried.  This changed.  I think it very possible that if there is not a re-enthrownment of reason (with emotion and faith) within our society and/or within the church, this policy will change.  The appeal to emotion is just too strong.  The thinking to evaluate is just to ponderous.  It is easy to say “marriage equallity,” but it is harder to demonstrate that same-sex marriages do not have the same societal benefits as do stable families that produce and rear their biological children.

1 hour ago, california boy said:

Or you believe that God wants everyone to have the opportunity to participate in marriage. What we do know is that being in a committed marriage is better for any children that are involved.  It is more healthy for those that are gay to live within the bounds of marriage.  We seem to be wired to want those kinds of connections and love that sharing a life brings to us.  The experiences and love that one gets from being in a committed marriage are important to all of us.  We learn how to be more Christ like by experiencing the kinds of unconditional love that marriage brings into our lives.  Marriage is at the very core of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  All should be allowed to participate in such a fundamentally important core of the gospel experience in this life.  Some may write this paragraph differently, but the core of it is what they believe.

That was a beautifully written paragraph.  It contained truths and appeals to emotion.  That being said, the ideal is and should be for children to be produced in loving stable relationships and then be raised by their biological parents.  To take the institution of marriage and say that the ONLY way those with SSA can have the great things you espouse is if they are allowed to participate in SSM is not true.  There are many other options that do not undermine the truth that as a church and a society we must preserve.  The stable family is not as prevalent as it once was.  The deification of sex (without any SSA aspects) is a large part of this, but SSM and the celebration of SSA is another step in the wrong direction.  As a society (and a church) we need to promote stable families that produce and rear children with a mother and father in the home.  This is more likely to produce children that thrive than any other structure.

So what are the options for someone with SSA?  As I already said, if I lived in the youtube world and I had faith in Pope Joan or President Rachael M. Nelson, I would try to enter into a SSM.  If I could see the rational (not just bald emotionalism) for entering into the SSM, I think that would improve my chances of success.  But, I do not prescribe this for everyone.
I believe living celibately with your same sex partner is in alignment with the gospel today.  I am certain that if Pope Joan allowed this in the youtube world, I would be willing to give it a shot too.  This would not be the ideal, but in the real world being married to me is not the ideal, I guarantee it.  Our challenges are our challenges and we work with God to deal with them rather than try to deny what reason and faith tell us is the ideal.
And, as long as we have departed from the ideal, there is some type of civil union or handshake agreement with all the sex one can desire.  This is again not the ideal, but it does not communicate to society or the church that marriage is only about being in a loving relationship and has nothing to do with producing and raising children in a stable house with a mother and father.  

As a society we have left behind the idea that couples should marry and then have sex and children.  That they should stay together till death or for eternity and raise those children.  This is not a position that is celebrated in our society and ever step away from it is damaging to society and the church.

I hope you read my response to Stemelbow.  I do not believe EVERY point follows from every other point and it cannot be attacked, but I do believe it brings more reason into this discussion than your paragraph.

I do not know if you participated in an opposite sex marriage.  I do not know if being married like that is/was as difficult for you as being married to me is for my wife.  I do not know you and if I did I would not condemn you as an individual for choices you made and make.  But, at this point, I think the position of faith and/or reason is that SSM will have limited benefits and great costs for the church and society.  Your position appears to be in alignment with your faith, but I want to both faith and reason.  

Charity, TOm

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49 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I agree completely with your statement BUT I honestly think that is not possible in Catholicism which has no concept of continuing revelation or the possibility of an open canon.

In reading "Fides" it becomes clear that Catholicism cannot handle that revelation is ongoing- that is crystal clear even in the first section.  But I have not finished it either yet

Fides cannot be made reconcilable with Alma 32 in which truth is defined as essentially "that which bears fruit which is sweet" IF Fides does not affirm perhaps a concept like "Sensus Fidelium".   I have not gotten that far.

Of course Catholicism can accommodate changes in "interpretation" while saving the term "truth" for that is what is unchanging.

On the other hand clearly he condemns the idea of "changing truth"

My initial reaction is that it is a semantic confusion over the definition of "truth"- can it be changing or not?   Is Newtonian mechanics "true"?  Does Relativity demonstrate a changing interpretation or a changing" truth"?

How far could one push the definition of "interpretation"?  Gay marriage?  ;)   If that becomes the "Sensus Fidelium". ?   At some point I fear it will become that.

Sounds like semantics to me but I will save judgement until I have finished it.  VERY Neoplatonic, pure Scholasticism.

But the philosophy itself is clearly at odds with God revealing "truth" to individuals in a Moroni 10, or a James 1 or an Alma 32 sense.  :)

 

I agree with you that Catholicism is very wedded to the “truth once delivered.”  There is also a profound anti-pragmatic streak in Catholic thought that is absent in LDS thought.  This is one of the reasons I think Pope Francis’ actions are so problematic.  If Buttiglione is right (and I have seen little REASON for the CHANGES other than his), Pope Francis is acting pragmatically because society has changed so radically.

My pointing to Arch Bishop Chaput and through him to Fides was to invite LDS to enthrone reason with faith rather than rely upon emotion to determine how we feel about issues of controversy between the church and society.

I like your semantic comment.  Newtonian mechanics were/are true in the sphere in which they were discovered and described.  Relativistic mechanics is necessary in other spheres.  That being said, I believe God knew about relativistic tweaks to Newton’s positions when Newton was writing and experimenting.  That is why I want God’s truth.

Now, I think the CoJCoLDS has a strong pragmatic streak.  I think the best thing for the church and society would be if people recognized how perverted our views of sex has become.  If they then realized how vital the IDEAL family is to the success of society and the church.  They then reasoned from this ideal while still LOVING those who do not and/or cannot live the ideal.  It seems impossible that society will walk this path.

I believe the church is lead by revelation, that being said, I think the abandonment of the United Order was revelation too.  It seems quite possible to me that if society does not re-enthrone reason and the family, eventually the pragmatic solution will be for the church to embrace SSM.  I think God is a pragmatist and will lead the church down this path if necessary.  I do not know what that will look like, but it will not undermine the reasons I believe the church is lead by revelation so it will not be something that causes me much stress.
Charity, TOm

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3 hours ago, TOmNossor said:

Still for most in our society attraction and sex are too important for them to embrace a partner that is of the wrong sex in their mind.  That boat sailed long ago.

You capture here an important aspect of this discussion: where we are is a historical moment. What you describe, quite accurately, as 'our society' is just one out of literally an infinite number of iterations of culture and practice. Those who exist within the assumptions of early 21st-century Western society struggle to see it, but their current understandings of things like attraction and sex (and so much more!) are not universal, either across space or time. Most of the world's people have lived and died without having ever been exposed to Western social constructs, and even today, the Western colonisation of the human imagination is far from complete.

It will be interesting to see what the next few decades bring. I'm already starting to see the early stirrings of academic push-back, with a number of studies from just the past few years pointing out how Western- (and often US-) centric nearly all social science research is, including psychology -- with categories of being that simply don't match reality on the ground elsewhere. Will Western conceptions of attraction and sex, being and identity -- which are themselves such recent constructions that we have no trouble tracing their genealogy -- really take the leap from discursive ascendancy to universal reality, or has the tide already started turning, with the rest of the world (and many Western subaltern voices, such as those of the Saints) ready to say, 'Stop telling me who I am and how I have to be!'

We live in interesting times. Thanks for your thoughts, Tom. They certainly resonate with me.

ETA: As I have carefully read what the living prophets have said on this and other issues, I long ago concluded that they are far more informed from a position of reason (and history!), than almost anyone else I have encountered.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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1 hour ago, TOmNossor said:

It is precisely my point that it does not come down to that at all. 
I am willing to grant that there are truths that I accept on faith and the opposition to same sex marriage was once one of those.  But even then, it is faith and reason that directed me to believe that the leaders of the church  are uniquely chosen to lead us through this fallen world.  I will not abandon their prophethood and declare them mistaken when I feel like sinning, especially when reason is on their side.  I do not understand the ins and outs of why Christ had to die to forgive my sins, but I accept this on faith.  This is different than my feelings on ice tea or alcohol.  I follow the prophet because of faith and reason.

The sentence in bold contradicts your first sentence.  You are saying the exact same thing I said, just in a different way.  You believe that church leaders have special insights into this issue.  And that is what you base your opinion on.

 

1 hour ago, TOmNossor said:

Actually church positions do change.  I do not think any church members think that the United Order was evil and should never have been tried.  This changed.  I think it very possible that if there is not a re-enthrownment of reason (with emotion and faith) within our society and/or within the church, this policy will change.  The appeal to emotion is just too strong.  The thinking to evaluate is just to ponderous.  It is easy to say “marriage equallity,” but it is harder to demonstrate that same-sex marriages do not have the same societal benefits as do stable families that produce and rear their biological children.

The church position on SSM is based on the Law of Chastity.  It can not be compared to the United Order which was a higher law, not a law in opposition to other principles.

1 hour ago, TOmNossor said:

That was a beautifully written paragraph.  It contained truths and appeals to emotion.  That being said, the ideal is and should be for children to be produced in loving stable relationships and then be raised by their biological parents.  

There is no where in the world where all children are being raised by their biological parents.  So this is not really a factor.

 

1 hour ago, TOmNossor said:

To take the institution of marriage and say that the ONLY way those with SSA can have the great things you espouse is if they are allowed to participate in SSM is not true.  There are many other options that do not undermine the truth that as a church and a society we must preserve.  

You are trying to fit the second paragraph in with the first paragraph.  If you believe the first paragraph, then what others believe in the second paragraph is irrelevant to you.  If you believe in the second paragraph it is irrelevant what church leaders believe.

1 hour ago, TOmNossor said:

The stable family is not as prevalent as it once was.  The deification of sex (without any SSA aspects) is a large part of this, but SSM and the celebration of SSA is another step in the wrong direction.  As a society (and a church) we need to promote stable families that produce and rear children with a mother and father in the home.  This is more likely to produce children that thrive than any other structure.

The part in bold is true.  Hence the value in SSM.  Your assumptions in the rest of the paragraph are based more on your bias against gay parents than facts.  

 

Quote

 

A 2002 review of the literature identified 20 studies examining outcomes among children raised by gay or lesbian parents and found that these children did not systematically differ from those raised by heterosexual parents on any of the studied outcomes.[35]

In a 2009 affidavit filed in the case Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, Michael Lamb, a professor of psychology and head of Department of Social and Developmental Psychology at Cambridge University, stated:

The methodologies used in the major studies of same-sex parenting meet the standards for research in the field of developmental psychology and psychology generally. The studies specific to same-sex parenting were published in leading journals in the field of child and adolescent development, such as Child Development, published by the Society for Research in Child Development, Developmental Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, and The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, the flagship peer-review journals in the field of child development. Most of the studies appeared in these (or similar) rigorously peer-reviewed and highly selective journals, whose standards represent expert consensus on generally accepted social scientific standards for research on child and adolescent development. Prior to publication in these journals, these studies were required to go through a rigorous peer-review process, and as a result, they constitute the type of research that members of the respective professions consider reliable. The body of research on same-sex families is consistent with standards in the relevant fields and produces reliable conclusions."[36]

Gartrell and Bos's 25-year longitudinal study, published 2010, was limited to mothers who sought donor insemination and who may have been more motivated than mothers in other circumstances.[37] Gartrell and Bos note that the study's limitations included utilizing a non-random sample, and the lesbian group and control group were not matched for race or area of residence. The study was supported by grants from the Gill Foundation, the Lesbian Health Fund of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Horizons Foundation, and the Roy Scrivner Fund of the American Psychological Foundation.[38]

Michael J. Rosenfeld, associate professor of sociology at Stanford University, wrote in a 2010 study published in Demographythat "[A] critique of the literature—that the sample sizes of the studies are too small to allow for statistically powerful tests—continues to be relevant." Rosenfeld's study, "the first to use large-sample nationally representative data," found that children of same-sex couples demonstrated normal outcomes in school. "The core finding here," reports the study," offers a measure of validation for the prior, and much-debated, small-sample studies."[39]

According to a 2005 brief by the American Psychological Association:

In summary, research on diversity among families with lesbian and gay parents and on the potential effects of such diversity on children is still sparse (Martin, 1993, 1998; Patterson, 1995b, 2000, 2001, 2004; Perrin, 2002; Stacey & Biblarz, 2001; Tasker, 1999). Data on children of parents who identify as bisexual are still not available, and information about children of non-White lesbian or gay parents is hard to find (but see Wainright et al., 2004, for a racially diverse sample)... However, the existing data are still limited, and any conclusions must be seen as tentative... It should be acknowledged that research on lesbian and gay parents and their children, though no longer new, is still limited in extent. Although studies of gay fathers and their children have been conducted (Patterson, 2004), less is known about children of gay fathers than about children of lesbian mothers. Although studies of adolescent and young adult offspring of lesbian and gay parents are available (e.g., Gershon et al., 1999; Tasker & Golombok, 1997; Wainright et al., 2004), relatively few studies have focused on the offspring of lesbian or gay parents during adolescence or adulthood.[40]

In 2010 American Psychological Association, The California Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy stated:

Relatively few studies have directly examined gay fathers, but those that exist find that gay men are similarly fit and able parents, as compared to heterosexual men. Available empirical data do not provide a basis for assuming gay men are unsuited for parenthood. If gay parents were inherently unfit, even small studies with convenience samples would readily detect it. This has not been the case. Being raised by a single father does not appear to inherently disadvantage children's psychological wellbeing more than being raised by a single mother. Homosexuality does not constitute a pathology or deficit, and there is no theoretical reason to expect gay fathers to cause harm to their children. Thus, although more research is needed, available data place the burden of empirical proof on those who argue that having a gay father is harmful.[6]

 

 

 

1 hour ago, TOmNossor said:

So what are the options for someone with SSA?  As I already said, if I lived in the youtube world and I had faith in Pope Joan or President Rachael M. Nelson, I would try to enter into a SSM.  If I could see the rational (not just bald emotionalism) for entering into the SSM, I think that would improve my chances of success.  But, I do not prescribe this for everyone.
I believe living celibately with your same sex partner is in alignment with the gospel today.  I am certain that if Pope Joan allowed this in the youtube world, I would be willing to give it a shot too.  This would not be the ideal, but in the real world being married to me is not the ideal, I guarantee it.  Our challenges are our challenges and we work with God to deal with them rather than try to deny what reason and faith tell us is the ideal.
And, as long as we have departed from the ideal, there is some type of civil union or handshake agreement with all the sex one can desire.  This is again not the ideal, but it does not communicate to society or the church that marriage is only about being in a loving relationship and has nothing to do with producing and raising children in a stable house with a mother and father.  

As a society we have left behind the idea that couples should marry and then have sex and children.  That they should stay together till death or for eternity and raise those children.  This is not a position that is celebrated in our society and ever step away from it is damaging to society and the church.

I hope you read my response to Stemelbow.  I do not believe EVERY point follows from every other point and it cannot be attacked, but I do believe it brings more reason into this discussion than your paragraph.

I do not know if you participated in an opposite sex marriage.  I do not know if being married like that is/was as difficult for you as being married to me is for my wife.  I do not know you and if I did I would not condemn you as an individual for choices you made and make.  But, at this point, I think the position of faith and/or reason is that SSM will have limited benefits and great costs for the church and society.  Your position appears to be in alignment with your faith, but I want to both faith and reason.  

Charity, TOm

You are still trying to force first paragraph ideas into someone who doesn't believe that church leaders have any unique insight into this issue.  Those gay couples that see value in marriage will make that choice regardless of what Mormon leaders believe.  Data supports that society is better off when its citizens are in stable marriage relationships.

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7 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

“Truth without love is imperious self-righteousness. Love without truth is cowardly self-indulgence.”

Certainly worth remembering.  Jesus Christ managed to encompass both love & truth in his life.

Every now and then you come up with a real gem:D  This is one of those times.

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CB,

First, let me applaud the inclusion of a number of studies suggesting that same sex parenting produce children that are not less well adapted than children raised by non-same sex parents.  This is not mere EMOTION.  It does argue for a parity in that in and of itself it attempts to respond to one of the arguments I make, but it is a step in the right direction IMO.  I will get to your studies shortly, but first let me discuss what you have written before that.
 

2 hours ago, california boy said:

The sentence in bold contradicts your first sentence.  You are saying the exact same thing I said, just in a different way.  You believe that church leaders have special insights into this issue.  And that is what you base your opinion on.

The sentence you bolded actually went with the first sentence being how I previously viewed this issue.  That being said, I am a LDS because of faith AND reason.  In response to pure emotional arguments, I have claimed that my reasons for believing in the teachings of LDS authorities will trump emotionalism.

2 hours ago, california boy said:

The church position on SSM is based on the Law of Chastity.  It can not be compared to the United Order which was a higher law, not a law in opposition to other principles.

I referenced the CHANGE in church teaching concerning the United Order (a higher law) in order to suggest that PRAGMATIC reasons might result in a change in the church’s teachings concerning SSM, and that this change would not mean that the church was WRONG all along, it would only mean that the church must deal with the situation on the ground.  One day the higher law (if you will) that involved the teachings against SSM may be replaced because it is too damaging to those who have SSA (and the church) to continue to teach the higher law.  If that day comes, I will not curse church leaders and I will gladly welcome any folks who previously felt they could not worship with me because of their SSA and/or SSM.  Because the success of this “pragmatic solution” will be undermined by me reminding my new coreligionists of the older higher law, I will not do this and neither will the church eventually.

If that day comes, I hope you will embrace me, because I will welcome you (as I would today anyway).  This is all very unemotional for me and I hope you participate in these discussions without great psychological stress.
 

2 hours ago, california boy said:

There is no where in the world where all children are being raised by their biological parents.  So this is not really a factor.

I am not sure what church you desire to belong to, but I do not want to belong to the one that accepts this form of argument.  Because there is “no where in the world” where the ideal is the reality we should teach the non-ideal instead of the ideal.  It is a factor and it is important.  The church to which I belong teaches “Be ye therefore perfect, eventually” -Elder Holland!  This is the perfect (in the here and now even, but he is a prophet, seer and revelator so it is prolly God’s perfection) balance between the unattainable “be ye therefore perfect, now, always, immediate” and “be ok because perfect is too hard.”  I do not want to attend either of those churches.  Are you sure you think your “no where in the world” position isn’t something you would like to abandon?

2 hours ago, california boy said:

You are trying to fit the second paragraph in with the first paragraph.  If you believe the first paragraph, then what others believe in the second paragraph is irrelevant to you.  If you believe in the second paragraph it is irrelevant what church leaders believe.

I believe you are mistaken.  Pastoral love dictates that the church meet those with SSA where they live.  It is “truth without love” that say, “Here is the truth, get in line …”  I say, I love that little girl in the youtube video and I would love her if she wasn’t a “ro” like me too.  But, I will love with truth.  So, I offer some ways to lessen the pain associated with SSA.  Things I would do as a “ro” if I lived in the youtube world.
The parallel I drew earlier is the tools councilors give those with Aspergers syndrome to cope in the world of neurotypicals.  There are even tools given to intelligent clinical psychopaths that help them negotiate the world of neurotypicals without being a serial killer.

Let me note something.  Those with Aspergers syndrome are never viewed as immoral.  I wish to apologize for everyone and anyone who has communicated that having same sex attraction makes you or anyone immoral.  I even feel a strong desire to say that I sin differently than you do, but let me also say that does not change what sin is and to suggest it does would be untrue.

So, I do not deny that having SSA is a challenge with which I do not have to deal.  I do suggest that everyone has challenges.  And that you and and I have no way of knowing whose challenges make living the gospel harder yours or mine.  But I wish to acknowledge that having SSA makes living the gospel harder than not having SSA.

2 hours ago, california boy said:

The part in bold is true.  Hence the value in SSM.  Your assumptions in the rest of the paragraph are based more on your bias against gay parents than facts.

Thank you very much for your studies.  First, I wish to state that if there are SSA folks who cannot enter into loving relationships with the opposite sex AND cannot enjoy the loving relationship with their same sex partner without declaring the sex must be part of it, then stable same sex sexual relationships are superior for society than the “hook-up” culture prevalent within youth (with and without SSA) today.  
Now, let me offer two other responses.
1. If the studies choose by you represent truth, it is still true that society and the church must and should value opposite sex marriages more than same sex couples.  The societal cost of producing children for SSM couples and placing them in a SSM home is greater than that for producing children in opposite sex marriages.  The ideal still should be the traditional family raising their biological children.
2. Now, I have a lot to say about your studies.  
    a. Before questioning data and evaluating the limited data you shared, I wish to argue that society needs children to grow and learn how to be in a relationship that produces and rears children.  The role model limitations present in same sex couples are obvious.  They may be overcome because of the extraordinary nature of the SSM that choose to rear children as compared to the broad spectrum of traditional marriages that produce children occasionally on accident (another non-ideal).  But, I would argue that two absolutely average same sex parents would not teach the gender roles for opposite sex marriage as well as two absolutely average opposition sex parents.  This is an argument based on reason not data.
     b. Before questioning data and evaluating the limited data you shared, I wish to argue that the funding for many/most of your studies and the prevailing views in the psychological community should be recognized.  The Lesbian Health Fund and many/most of the funders and researchers began their studies looking for a certain result.  In a field were between 70-90% of studies are not repeatable, this is a big piece of data.
      c. Now, all but one of your studies was limited by self-selection of the participants.
      d. All but one of your studies was limited by extremely small sample sizes.
      e. The only study not so limited only “demonstrated normal outcomes in school.”  Other studies have shown that the majority of outcomes in school come from two factors, genetics and socioeconomic factors.

The above 5 things do not mean there is no value in your study, but I do think they limit it.  Likewise the below studies are not rendered useless because they are done by a Catholic professor.

Here is the abstract and conclusion from a 2010 study precisely for the purpose of addressing the SMALL and self-selected nature of your studies.  Its findings are here:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2500537

Quote

 

Methodology: Using a representative sample of 207,007 children, including 512 with same-sex parents, from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey, prevalence in the two groups was compared for twelve measures of emotional problems, developmental problems, and affiliated service and treatment usage, with controls for age, sex, and race of child and parent education and income. Instruments included the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Kessler Scale of Psychological Distress (SPD). Bivariate logistic regression models tested the effect of parent psychological distress, family instability, child peer stigmatization and biological parentage, both overall and by opposite-sex family structure.

Results: Emotional problems were over twice as prevalent (minimum risk ratio (RR) 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7-3.0) for children with same-sex parents than for children with opposite-sex parents. Risk was elevated in the presence of parent psychological distress (RR 2.7, CI 1.8-4.3, p (t) < .001), moderated by family instability (RR 1.3, CI 1.2-1.4) and unaffected by stigmatization (RR 2.4, CI 1.4-4.2), though these all had significant direct effects on emotional problems. However, biological parentage nullified risk alone and in combination with any iteration of factors. Joint biological parents are associated with the lowest rate of child emotional problems by a factor of 4 relative to same-sex parents, accounting for the bulk of the overall same-sex/opposite-sex difference.

Conclusion: Joint biological parentage, the modal condition for opposite-sex parents but not possible for same-sex parents, sharply differentiates between the two groups on child emotional problem outcomes. The two groups are different by definition. Intact opposite-sex marriage ensures children of the persistent presence of their joint biological parents; same-sex marriage ensures the opposite. However, further work is needed to determine the mechanisms involved.

 

Dr. Sullins has also dug into the methodology for many of the studies you quote.  One you mentioned possibly classified 65% of its same sex couples incorrectly meaning that they were really opposite sex couples.  

I think there is a great deal of difficulty in citing these studies on both your list and mine.
The Sullins’ study was the only one that cited confidence intervals and the necessary statistical test to give one some confidence that it is not among the 70-90% of psychological studies whose results cannot be obtained repeatedly.  

Here is a list of Dr. Sullins work:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=2097328

All that being said, 
Society needs opposite sex couples to produce children.  These children must then be placed in a home and raised.  For SSM couples to be successful, there is much more logistics required.
Society needs the children to learn how to become members in opposite sex couples so that they may produce children.  While extraordinary same sex parents can compensated for the structural disadvantages in their relationship, this is not the ideal.

I really do not think the COLD reasoning of this situation suggests that same sex couples are as valuable to society and the church as opposition sex couples.  I just think removing emotion from this question makes the TRUTH obvious.  

Inputing emotion, means that I must love you (which is easy for me as I love that little girl in the video).  I must make allowances for your differences.  I refuse to condemn you and I consider my sins 100x as bad as yours (they may be much worse than yours objectively, but subjectively I really care far more about mine).

Still, I think we need faith and truth, emotion and reason, ….  
Charity, TOm
 

Edited by TOmNossor
Link to comment
1 hour ago, TOmNossor said:

CB,

First, let me applaud the inclusion of a number of studies suggesting that same sex parenting produce children that are not less well adapted than children raised by non-same sex parents.  This is not mere EMOTION.  It does argue for a parity in that in and of itself it attempts to respond to one of the arguments I make, but it is a step in the right direction IMO.  I will get to your studies shortly, but first let me discuss what you have written before that.
 

The sentence you bolded actually went with the first sentence being how I previously viewed this issue.  That being said, I am a LDS because of faith AND reason.  In response to pure emotional arguments, I have claimed that my reasons for believing in the teachings of LDS authorities will trump emotionalism.

I referenced the CHANGE in church teaching concerning the United Order (a higher law) in order to suggest that PRAGMATIC reasons might result in a change in the church’s teachings concerning SSM, and that this change would not mean that the church was WRONG all along, it would only mean that the church must deal with the situation on the ground.  One day the higher law (if you will) that involved the teachings against SSM may be replaced because it is too damaging to those who have SSA (and the church) to continue to teach the higher law.  If that day comes, I will not curse church leaders and I will gladly welcome any folks who previously felt they could not worship with me because of their SSA and/or SSM.  Because the success of this “pragmatic solution” will be undermined by me reminding my new coreligionists of the older higher law, I will not do this and neither will the church eventually.

If that day comes, I hope you will embrace me, because I will welcome you (as I would today anyway).  This is all very unemotional for me and I hope you participate in these discussions without great psychological stress.
 

I am not sure what church you desire to belong to, but I do not want to belong to the one that accepts this form of argument.  Because there is “no where in the world” where the ideal is the reality we should teach the non-ideal instead of the ideal.  It is a factor and it is important.  The church to which I belong teaches “Be ye therefore perfect, eventually” -Elder Holland!  This is the perfect (in the here and now even, but he is a prophet, seer and revelator so it is prolly God’s perfection) balance between the unattainable “be ye therefore perfect, now, always, immediate” and “be ok because perfect is too hard.”  I do not want to attend either of those churches.  Are you sure you think your “no where in the world” position isn’t something you would like to abandon?

I believe you are mistaken.  Pastoral love dictates that the church meet those with SSA where they live.  It is “truth without love” that say, “Here is the truth, get in line …”  I say, I love that little girl in the youtube video and I would love her if she wasn’t a “ro” like me too.  But, I will love with truth.  So, I offer some ways to lessen the pain associated with SSA.  Things I would do as a “ro” if I lived in the youtube world.
The parallel I drew earlier is the tools councilors give those with Aspergers syndrome to cope in the world of neurotypicals.  There are even tools given to intelligent clinical psychopaths that help them negotiate the world of neurotypicals without being a serial killer.

Let me note something.  Those with Aspergers syndrome are never viewed as immoral.  I wish to apologize for everyone and anyone who has communicated that having same sex attraction makes you or anyone immoral.  I even feel a strong desire to say that I sin differently than you do, but let me also say that does not change what sin is and to suggest it does would be untrue.

So, I do not deny that having SSA is a challenge with which I do not have to deal.  I do suggest that everyone has challenges.  And that you and and I have no way of knowing whose challenges make living the gospel harder yours or mine.  But I wish to acknowledge that having SSA makes living the gospel harder than not having SSA.

Thank you very much for your studies.  First, I wish to state that if there are SSA folks who cannot enter into loving relationships with the opposite sex AND cannot enjoy the loving relationship with their same sex partner without declaring the sex must be part of it, then stable same sex sexual relationships are superior for society than the “hook-up” culture prevalent within youth (with and without SSA) today.  
Now, let me offer two other responses.
1. If the studies choose by you represent truth, it is still true that society and the church must and should value opposite sex marriages more than same sex couples.  The societal cost of producing children for SSM couples and placing them in a SSM home is greater than that for producing children in opposite sex marriages.  The ideal still should be the traditional family raising their biological children.
2. Now, I have a lot to say about your studies.  
    a. Before questioning data and evaluating the limited data you shared, I wish to argue that society needs children to grow and learn how to be in a relationship that produces and rears children.  The role model limitations present in same sex couples are obvious.  They may be overcome because of the extraordinary nature of the SSM that choose to rear children as compared to the broad spectrum of traditional marriages that produce children occasionally on accident (another non-ideal).  But, I would argue that two absolutely average same sex parents would not teach the gender roles for opposite sex marriage as well as two absolutely average opposition sex parents.  This is an argument based on reason not data.
     b. Before questioning data and evaluating the limited data you shared, I wish to argue that the funding for many/most of your studies and the prevailing views in the psychological community should be recognized.  The Lesbian Health Fund and many/most of the funders and researchers began their studies looking for a certain result.  In a field were between 70-90% of studies are not repeatable, this is a big piece of data.
      c. Now, all but one of your studies was limited by self-selection of the participants.
      d. All but one of your studies was limited by extremely small sample sizes.
      e. The only study not so limited only “demonstrated normal outcomes in school.”  Other studies have shown that the majority of outcomes in school come from two factors, genetics and socioeconomic factors.

The above 5 things do not mean there is no value in your study, but I do think they limit it.  Likewise the below studies are not rendered useless because they are done by a Catholic professor.

Here is the abstract and conclusion from a 2010 study precisely for the purpose of addressing the SMALL and self-selected nature of your studies.  Its findings are here:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2500537

Dr. Sullins has also dug into the methodology for many of the studies you quote.  One you mentioned possibly classified 65% of its same sex couples incorrectly meaning that they were really opposite sex couples.  

I think there is a great deal of difficulty in citing these studies on both your list and mine.
The Sullins’ study was the only one that cited confidence intervals and the necessary statistical test to give one some confidence that it is not among the 70-90% of psychological studies whose results cannot be obtained repeatedly.  

Here is a list of Dr. Sullins work:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=2097328

All that being said, 
Society needs opposite sex couples to produce children.  These children must then be placed in a home and raised.  For SSM couples to be successful, there is much more logistics required.
Society needs the children to learn how to become members in opposite sex couples so that they may produce children.  While extraordinary same sex parents can compensated for the structural disadvantages in their relationship, this is not the ideal.

I really do not think the COLD reasoning of this situation suggests that same sex couples are as valuable to society and the church as opposition sex couples.  I just think removing emotion from this question makes the TRUTH obvious.  

Inputing emotion, means that I must love you (which is easy for me as I love that little girl in the video).  I must make allowances for your differences.  I refuse to condemn you and I consider my sins 100x as bad as yours (they may be much worse than yours objectively, but subjectively I really care far more about mine).

Still, I think we need faith and truth, emotion and reason, ….  
Charity, TOm
 

Evidently some experts disagree with your conclusion.  

 

Quote

 

In a 2009 affidavit filed in the case Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, Michael Lamb, a professor of psychology and head of Department of Social and Developmental Psychology at Cambridge University, stated:

The methodologies used in the major studies of same-sex parenting meet the standards for research in the field of developmental psychology and psychology generally. The studies specific to same-sex parenting were published in leading journals in the field of child and adolescent development, such as Child Development, published by the Society for Research in Child Development, Developmental Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, and The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, the flagship peer-review journals in the field of child development. Most of the studies appeared in these (or similar) rigorously peer-reviewed and highly selective journals, whose standards represent expert consensus on generally accepted social scientific standards for research on child and adolescent development. Prior to publication in these journals, these studies were required to go through a rigorous peer-review process, and as a result, they constitute the type of research that members of the respective professions consider reliable. The body of research on same-sex families is consistent with standards in the relevant fields and produces reliable conclusions."[36]

 

I might also point out that the Dr. Sullins that you are relying on is a Catholic priest. Hardly a neutral study.  His study has not been peer reviewed or endorsed by any professional group  that is nationally recognized as experts in this field.  The studies that I referred to have been supported by American Psychological Association, The California Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, and the American Association for Marriage and Family and have been peered reviewed.

This discussion seems to be headed where all of these discussions head.  Not sure I have much more to say.  I have given my thoughts on this issue.  I have backed them up with scientific data.  And I am more than happy for you to keep your own viewpoint on this issue.  Your belief on the inferiority of gay families are shared by many of your faith.  You have different beliefs of the access church leaders have to God than I do.  I don't really feel the need to dissuade you from your beliefs or opinion.  

Edited by california boy
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28 minutes ago, california boy said:

Evidently some experts disagree with your conclusion.  

 

I might also point out that the Dr. Sullins that you are relying on is a Catholic priest. Hardly a neutral study.  His study has not been peer reviewed or endorsed by any professional group  that is nationally recognized as experts in this field.  The studies that I referred to have been supported by American Psychological Association, The California Psychological Association, The American Psychiatric Association, and the American Association for Marriage and Family and have been peered reviewed.

This discussion seems to be headed where all of these discussions head.  Not sure I have much more to say.  I have given my thoughts on this issue.  I have backed them up with scientific data.  And I am more than happy for you to keep your own viewpoint on this issue.  Your belief on the inferiority of gay families are shared by many of your faith.  You have different beliefs of the access church leaders have to God than I do.  I don't really feel the need to dissuade you from your beliefs or opinion.  

You already cited your study once.  And I acknowledged that Sullins was Catholic (though I didn't know he was a priest as that was not part of Google Scholar).

I will offer you a lot more papers however shortly.

That being said, I made a good deal of arguments that do not rely upon data from your favorite researcher or my favorite researcher.  Remember in this field 70-90% of studies are not repeatable.  In general all but one of your studies is of the type that typically is not repeatable.

I think the argument from reason are valuable in addition to the studies.

ALL the data you share only argues for parity.  If your studies are right and mine are wrong, then all you have shown is the same sex marriage does not help or harm children.  We still have the logistical jostling, the role model availability, and something I have not mentioned the questions about absent parents that arise.

My position is not that SSM cannot raise healthy children, it is that it is harder.   My position is not that my adopted daughter should not be adopted, only that the IDEAL would have been for her parents to have not been drug addicts (arrested for non-drug related crimes in one or both cases).  The ideal is that children are born and reared by their biological parents in a stable home.  I do not need the CoJCoLDS or follow the prophet to see this (not anymore at least).

Here are more studies (surely some of which are not by Catholic priests).

Charity, Tom

Edited by TOmNossor
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Some more because I can used google scholar too:


Children in three contexts: Family, education and social development
Sotirios Sarantakos

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/children-australia/article/children-in-three-contexts-family-education-and-social-development/BA0DB5DC62B9E7D955454A5BB165F7F8

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Abstract
This paper explores the relationship between family environment and behaviour of primary school children living in three family contexts. It uses data from studies including children of married heterosexual couples, cohabiting heterosexual couples and homosexual couples, and examines the extent to which these children differ with regard to scholastic achievement and aspects of social development. It shows that in the majority of cases, the most successful are children of married couples, followed by children of cohabiting couples and finally by children of homosexual couples.

This paper addresses many of the studies that conclude no differences and question aspects of them.

A Review and Critique of Research on Same-Sex Parenting and Adoption
Walter R. Schumm 
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0033294116665594

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Abstract
Are the outcomes for children of gay, lesbian, or bisexual parents in general the same as those for heterosexual parents? That controversial question is discussed here in a detailed review of the social science literature in three parts: (1) stability of same-sex parental relationships, (2) child outcomes, and (3) child outcomes in same-sex adoption. Relationship instability appears to be higher among gay and lesbian parent couples and may be a key mediating factor influencing outcomes for children. With respect to part 2, while parental self-reports usually present few significant differences, social desirability or self-presentation bias may be a confounding factor. While some researchers have tended to conclude that there are no differences whatsoever in terms of child outcomes as a function of parental sexual orientation, such conclusions appear premature in the light of more recent data in which some different outcomes have been observed in a few studies. Studies conducted within the past 10 years that compared child outcomes for children of same-sex and heterosexual adoptive parents were reviewed. Numerous methodological limitations were identified that make it very difficult to make an accurate assessment of the effect of parental sexual orientation across adoptive families. Because of sampling limitations, we still know very little about family functioning among same-sex adoptive families with low or moderate incomes, those with several children, or those with older children, including adolescents or how family functioning may change over time. There remains a need for high-quality research on same-sex families, especially families with gay fathers and with lower income.


This one mentions that many previous samples seem to have only included a small set of Lesbian couples (possibly due to self-selection bias), but that when this randomized sample was used there was a large difference among results for Lesbian couples and with the greater sample differences appeared as compared to opposite sex couples.

How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study
MarkRegnerus
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610

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Abstract
The New Family Structures Study (NFSS) is a social-science data-collection project that fielded a survey to a large, random sample of American young adults (ages 18–39) who were raised in different types of family arrangements. In this debut article of the NFSS, I compare how the young-adult children of a parent who has had a same-sex romantic relationship fare on 40 different social, emotional, and relational outcome variables when compared with six other family-of-origin types. The results reveal numerous, consistent differences, especially between the children of women who have had a lesbian relationship and those with still-married (heterosexual) biological parents. The results are typically robust in multivariate contexts as well, suggesting far greater diversity in lesbian-parent household experiences than convenience-sample studies of lesbian families have revealed. The NFSS proves to be an illuminating, versatile dataset that can assist family scholars in understanding the long reach of family structure and transitions.


Here form Canada:
High school graduation rates among children of same-sex households
Douglas W. Allen

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Abstract
Almost all studies of same-sex parenting have concluded there is “no difference” in a range of outcome measures for children who live in a household with same-sex parents compared to children living with married opposite-sex parents. Recently, some work based on the US census has suggested otherwise, but those studies have considerable drawbacks. Here, a 20 % sample of the 2006 Canada census is used to identify self-reported children living with same-sex parents, and to examine the association of household type with children’s high school graduation rates. This large random sample allows for control of parental marital status, distinguishes between gay and lesbian families, and is large enough to evaluate differences in gender between parents and children. Children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 % as likely to graduate compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families. Daughters of same-sex parents do considerably worse than sons.

 


This study seems very interesting.  I pointed out that children are not born to SSM couples and logistically this creates issues for society.  It would seem that such logistical jostling also creates issues for children.  Much (but not all) of the less optimal results observed in this study are theorized to come from the jostling not the same-sex parenting.Psychosocial Well-Being in Children of Same-Sex Parents: A Longitudinal Analysis of Familial Transitions
Daniel Potter and Emily Potter
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0192513X16646338

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Abstract
Families in the United States are increasingly diverse, which has given rise to questions about the consequences these new family forms have for children’s outcomes. This study uses a life course perspective to examine the association between family transitions, nontraditional family structures (with particular attention to same-sex parent families), and children’s psychosocial well-being. The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten cohort was used to examine children’s externalizing well-being, internalizing well-being, and interpersonal skills. Results indicate that nontraditional family structures are associated with poorer psychosocial well-being, but this is largely accounted for by changes and transitions experienced in the creation of new families. The findings provide a critical look at the assumptions embedded in arguments focused solely on family structure, and joins other research in calling attention to the importance of family processes for understanding the well-being of children.


 


Let me conclude this mess with this statement.

My argument for emphasizing the ideal family is based on the ideal.
I think the more compelling data currently suggests that there are structural disadvantages for children of SSMs.  That being said, there is zero reason that a pair of committed fathers cannot overcome much of these issues.  A handful of the studies I found suggested that the equivalence results you cited were a product of extraordinary same sex parents self-selecting for inclusion in studies.  Be an extraordinary SSM parent!
Charity, TOm

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17 minutes ago, TOmNossor said:

The ideal is that children are born and reared by their biological parents in a stable home.  I do not need the CoJCoLDS or follow the prophet to see this (not anymore at least).

I work as senior adviser to a politician who is our Shadow Minister for Youth. I can assure you that your first statement above is not controversial or even challenged in the realm of child protection research or policy. It is in fact one of the fundamental principles upon which all experts agree.

Right up until it presents itself as an obstacle to the emerging discourse of SSM.

As a trained historian, I think one of the questions that future academics will be asking about our time is why we were so quick to jettison solid research whenever it ran contrary to our preferred political narratives.

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52 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I work as senior adviser to a politician who is our Shadow Minister for Youth. I can assure you that your first statement above is not controversial or even challenged in the realm of child protection research or policy. It is in fact one of the fundamental principles upon which all experts agree.

Right up until it presents itself as an obstacle to the emerging discourse of SSM.

As a trained historian, I think one of the questions that future academics will be asking about our time is why we were so quick to jettison solid research whenever it ran contrary to our preferred political narratives.

I think the reason we jettisoned solid research in this area is because we have deified sex.  It is a god for us.  
When homosexuals were nicely in the closet sex was still our god.  We wanted guilt free, child free, disease free, consequence free, ... sex for ourselves.  Now that homosexuals rudely stepped out of the closet, anyone who desires to be remotely consistent must fully embrace homosexual sex OR reject society’s views on sex altogether.
When I looked closer at the church’s view it was obvious that they were fairly consistent in rejecting society’s view on sex altogether.  The Catholic Church is still quite good at this too, and they were once better.
I believe folks in committed SSM are likely closer to God than folks who move from opposite sex partner to opposite sex partner with no commitment.  That is why I started my answer to Stemmelbow with comments about how sex was incorrectly viewed by our society.  From this incorrect view it is ridiculous to deny homosexuals their sexual desires just because their tastes are different than ours, such is arbitrary and capricious.
We already demanded our birth control so we could have sex without children so it is just the same for folks who engage in same sex sex only they do not need contraception, bully for them!  
If we do not decide that:


Sex is unitive and procreative

 

there is no good response to many of the ills that befall us because of the perversion and deification of sex.
Charity, TOm

 

P.S. I am doing a lousy job at not making this all about SSM!

Edited by TOmNossor
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