childhood children

A Response to Kathy Faust

12:23:00 PMTheresa Corgan


Love. Marriage. Equality. 

These are hot topics these days.

We have to admit, same sex marriage is starting to look more and more like a social reality. Marriage defined as the union of one man and one woman is being seriously questioned. The majority of my peer group definitely sees this transformation of marriage as very good, especially when it comes to the question of children. Kids that are stuck in a foster care system or perhaps even unwanted unborn babies now have the potential to gain two loving parents.

Real talk. 

I have known quite a few same sex couples in my lifetime, and most of them would indeed be great parents. 

These couples are great people. 

They have strengths and weaknesses, just like any other heterosexual couple. As human beings, we all share the same nature: fragile and sinful at times, but also capable of great virtue and love. Beyond the labels of homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, or whatever, we are all human beings. Good human beings all have the potential to be great parents. It’s a part of us.

What’s the big deal, then?

Kathy Faust, a woman brought up within a same sex marriage, recently wrote an open letter to Justice Kennedy regarding this very topic, stating that redefining traditional marriage is a bad idea. She did not lament a traumatic childhood that revealed the failure of having two mothers. In fact, she clearly tells us that she appreciates and loves both of her same sex parents. They weren’t horrible parents. 

They were good parents.

The problem, she points out, is that every child needs their mother and father. And a same sex marriage falls short of a mother and father. “The debate, at its core, is about one thing,” she writes. “It’s about children.” Same sex marriage strips them of their fundamental right to a mother and a father.

You may ask, what about single parents? What about widows? What about adoption, when children are separated from their biological parents? Would they not all fall short of the reality of mother and father?

My honest answer is that I think they do fall short. It is sorrowful, even unavoidable, but they do.

A man should not get a woman pregnant and then leave her alone. 

A husband should not have to die before his time. 

A young mother who was raped should not have to give up her child for adoption. 

Unfortunately, these scenarios all happen. But, in the ideal situation, a man and woman should conceive children and raise them together. The normal state of affairs is for every child to have a loving mother and father. When this is not possible, there is a real and raw heartbreak, because someone important is missing from the equation.

Kathy Faust knows that fatherhood and motherhood are not just learned social roles that result from cultural conditioning. The roots of these roles run deeper than ticking off a checklist of parenting traits and habits. Within the fabric of human life on this earth, fatherhood belongs to man and motherhood belongs to woman. There are no rules about which traits must go along with each role, because fathers and mothers are always unique and diverse. Fatherhood and motherhood are deeply human, personal, and sacred parts of life.  

Maybe it sucks to swallow our pride and admit it, but these roles are simply not interchangeable. Two fantastic mothers can never be a father. Two selfless fathers can never be a mother. And children deserve one of each, because it is how they are made and exactly what they need. 

Kathy Faust had two great mothers, but she missed out on a father.

She writes: 

“When a child is placed in a same-sex-headed household, she will miss out on at least one critical parental relationship and a vital dual-gender influence. The nature of the adults’ union guarantees this. Whether by adoption, divorce, or third-party reproduction, the adults in this scenario satisfy their heart’s desires, while the child bears the most significant cost: missing out on one or more of her biological parents. Making policy that intentionally deprives children of their fundamental rights is something that we should not endorse, incentivize, or promote.”

Now, modern culture recoils at the idea of denying parenthood to same sex parents. Given that same sex partners have the potential to be great parents, this denial can seem harsh.

I have nothing but sympathy for those who desperately desire a child; this longing is real and good. 

Yet, in spite of the desire of parenthood, we must ask ourselves: is it truly the place of the government to create policies to satisfy the individual longings for parenthood outside of common motherhood and fatherhood?

Kathy Faust thinks that the government’s responsibility is rather to safeguard a child’s fundamental right for mother and father, because that is what is legitimately and naturally best for the society as a whole and for the flourishing of the human persons within it. Kathy Faust wants public policy to ensure a child’s safe and sound upbringing, and not to redefine basic human structures in order to satiate the parenting desires of those who want to break the mold of traditional marriage.

Kathy Faust believes the natures of fatherhood and motherhood are beyond reconstruction. Do you?

Read the full article here:

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Theresa Corgan 

I am a world-ranked Irish dancer, aspiring painter and drawer, truth seeker and coffee drinker.  I study Humanities and Catholic Culture and Philosophy.  I would love to teach high school students and challenge them to become philosophers in their own right.  I also want an Irish dance studio, a painting studio and a bunch of children named after my favorite saints.  

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