Two stories from the last week have been brought to increased national attention thanks to the hopelessly idiotic tweets of Bryan J. Fischer, self described “Director of Issue Analysis, American Family Association; Host of Focal Point radio program on [American Family Radio] Talk network”. But let’s start with the background:
A Mennonite minister goes on trial this week for helping a woman flee to Nicaragua with her daughter to evade court-ordered visitation with her former same-sex partner, and he could face up to three years in jail if convicted.
One of Isabella’s mothers, Lisa Miller – who is not related to Kenneth Miller – took the girl to Central America in 2009 after denouncing homosexuality and losing a series of family court battles in Vermont with her former partner, Janet Jenkins.
“Ken says it is clear that Jesus taught marriage is to be a life-long relationship between one man and one woman,” [his legal defense] says. “Ken sees the solution for the sins of adultery and other sexual sins – including homosexuality – as being life-long repentance.”
That’s nice. This guy helped a woman kidnap a child from this country to Nicaragua through Canada and Mexico when her legal options were exhausted. If your only defense is Jeezus, you’re screwed. You broke the law and you know it.
Next up is this, an article by Robert Lopez, who grew up in a same sex household:
Quite simply, growing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. People in our community didn’t really know what was going on in the house. To most outside observers, I was a well-raised, high-achieving child, finishing high school with straight A’s.
Inside, however, I was confused. When your home life is so drastically different from everyone around you, in a fundamental way striking at basic physical relations, you grow up weird. I have no mental health disorders or biological conditions. I just grew up in a house so unusual that I was destined to exist as a social outcast.
I’m not necessarily going to dismiss his experience, but it does nothing more than show his own interpretation of the issue based on the events in his life. Statistics by the APA and others show the reality of the situation on a much larger scale … in stark contrast to the severely flawed study of the supposed “harm” same sex parenting can have on children by Mark Regnerus, which was cited at the end of the piece. Zack Ford has a good take on it:
Perhaps unfamiliar with the concepts of self-fulfilling prophesies and internalized homophobia, this man’s odd testimony seems to attack gay parenting merely because he believes his bisexual mother’s decision to live with a woman made it a struggle for him to identify as bisexual himself. Unlike his mother, his preference seems to be to conform to heteronormative society, and he feels unable to do that because he feels he wasn’t properly conditioned by archaic gender stereotypes.
So what does this have to do with some idiot and Twitter? Glad you asked. When these stories came out, Fischer took to the Internets to first write about the minister who helped a woman illegally kidnap her child:
Head of Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households goes on trial. chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us…
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) August 8, 2012
First, he wasn’t the head of an “Underground Railroad”. He’s a guy who feels that his blind adherence to the words of a 2000 year old book outweighs the laws of the land in which he lives, and can be safely ignored regardless of the harm it causes. Second, the ex-partner is innocent in this too. It’s the lady who broke the law because she’s convinced that God hates gay people that we really have to worry about.
Then there was this tweet after the second article:
Why we need an Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households: thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/08/6065
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) August 8, 2012
The fact that a bisexual man had the seemingly uncommon experience of feeling strange, awkward, and like a social outcast as a result of his unique upbringing is what has convinced him that all children who have been legally adopted by homosexual or bisexual couples should be taken against their will and “spirited away” to God only knows where so they are finally safe from the dangerous homosexual influence.
Given the fine condition of our foster system, I’m sure they’ll do just fine when they’re dumped on someone else’s doorstep. I’d bet good money that if they ever saw something like to fruition, they wouldn’t care what happened to them after taking them away from the original adoptive parents.
This is dangerous on multiple levels. First, to interpret a completely unsupported and unprovable personal belief of reality and the supernatural to such a point that you are convinced you have the right to ignore the laws of the state whenever you find them in conflict is a sign that something is seriously wrong with you.
To ignore the findings of actual scientists and experts in the field who say that children who are raised by same sex couples turn out fine – and instead replace that reality with one you prefer and act on it regardless of how many families would potentially be destroyed – demonstrates a either an inability or a blind unwillingness to deal with reality.
I’ll finish up with this, from David Badash of the New Civil Rights Movement (I had something similar but he did it better):
Bryan Fischer’s boss, Don Wildmon, is an original signatory to the Manhattan Declaration, a manifesto written in late 2009 by National Organization For Marriage co-founder Robert P. George and the late Chuck Colson. The Manhattan Declaration, which now has well-over a half-million signatures, directs those who sign it to break the law if the law interferes with their Christian beliefs.
We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.
Through the centuries, Christianity has taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required.
When a radical right-wing religious/political leader like Bryan Fischer says America needs an “Underground Railroad” to free the children of same-sex couples and gay people, you can bet there are some — insane, perhaps — who are working right now to create it.
Meanwhile, while they’re putting together their Underground Railroad, we should be building a couple of psychiatric wards for all of the people who think that committing crimes that do measurable physical and psychological harm in order to achieve some supposedly larger, loftier, “spiritual” purpose is just fine and dandy. These people have no place in positions of power or influence in our society – or any society for that matter.