Robert Oscar Lopez

Same-sex parenting: child abuse?

Robert Oscar Lopez
By Robert Oscar Lopez
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July 8, 2013 (The Public Discourse) - Emotional abuse can be as bad as physical abuse. Any young person who’s heard the words, “I wish you were never born,” understands that adults can inflict tremendous damage on their dependents without leaving the slightest bruise. One of the worst parts of abuse is society’s refusal to see the injustice. Emotional abuse is particularly difficult because it is invisible and therefore ripe for denial.

It is worse still to feel “abandoned” by a community that views the cruelty inside a child’s home and does nothing. When told by everyone in the vicinity that what’s happening is normal and no cause to be aggrieved (even worse, a reason to be grateful), the natural instinct of the child is to blame herself for revealing the effects of mistreatment, in addition to the primal trauma of the mistreatment itself. The situation is much worse if outsiders who intervene, such as doctors, school officials, cousins, or legal authorities, side with the guardians.

After having spent the last year involved in the debate about same-sex parenting, I can say the following with great confidence: both sides of the same-sex marriage debate are afraid of naming child abuse by same-sex couples. The issue is so raw and painful that even critics of same-sex parenting are scared to go there.

Pro-SSM people say gays have been unfairly stereotyped as child abusers, so any discussion of gay child abusers is adding to their oppression. Anti-SSM commentators generally don’t want the added fuss of showing up on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of homophobes. So a general pattern emerges: even when you critique same-sex parenting, you must never do so in terms that sound accusatory or equate homosexuality with child abuse.

Let’s be clear: I am not saying that same-sex parents are automatically guilty of any kind of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse to the children they raise. Nor am I saying that LGBT people are less likely to take good care of children.

What I mean is this: Even the most heroic mother in the world can’t father. So to intentionally deprive any child of her mother or father, except in cases like divorce for grave reasons or the death of a parent, is itself a form of abuse. (Though my mother raised me with the help of a lesbian partner, I do not feel I was abused, because I always knew that my mother didn’t intend for my father to divorce her.)

This holds true not only for same-sex parenting, but for any choice to parent a child in a less-than-ideal setting for a less-than-grave reason. It’s abuse, for example, for a single parent to adopt a child when many other equally good two-parent homes are available. It’s abuse for parents to divorce simply for reasons related to their own emotional happiness. It’s abuse for LGBT couples to create children through IVF and then deprive them of a mother or father.

Media Tip-Toeing Around Abuse

Two recent pieces in the Washington Post and the New York Times last month are noteworthy, because both broke the silence on the downsides of same-sex parenting but still carefully avoided the word “abuse.”

After months of presenting a whitewashed portrait of same-sex parenting, the Post finally ran a letter from Tommy Valentine of Alexandra, Virginia, warning the proponents of homosexual adoption that “A child is not a commodity to be coveted, like the car or house,” and “Even with an ‘open adoption’ arrangement with his birth mother, Kyler [the adoptee] is being deprived of the unique, irreplaceable impact of a life with a mother and father.”

Three days later the New York Times ran a self-reflective piece by Frank Litgvoet, a gay man who is raising two adopted children with his male partner, titled “The Misnomer of Motherless Parenting.” Litgvoet deserves tremendous praise for being willing to name the integral flaw in same-sex parenting, despite how promising it looks to gay adults:

Being a “motherless” child in an open adoption is not as simple as it looks, because there is a birth mother, who walks in and walks out of the lives of our children. And when she is not physically there, she is—as we know from many accounts of adult adoptees—still present in dreams, fantasies, longings and worries. . . .

When the mother walks into the lives of our kids it is mostly a wonderful experience. It is harder for them when she walks out, not only because of the sad goodbye of a beloved adult, but also because it triggers the difficult and painful question of why she walked out in the first place.

I was impressed with Litvgoet’s honesty. I do not want to criticize him too much when I am sure that some in the LGBT lobby are going to decry him for handing too much “ammunition” to the critics of same-sex parenting. It takes great courage to admit that there is a lack in his daughter’s world, which cannot be filled with political dogma or crusades against homophobia. Every child has a mother and father, and when that figure is missing, there is a narrative that is experienced as pain, loss, and at times shame.

To appreciate the heroism in Litvgoet’s breaking of silence, we must first step back and take stock of how much silence there is and how much harm it does.

Whereas single parenting and divorce have always been understood as a breakdown of the married mom and dad ideal, same-sex parenting is now being elevated as normal. Were changing views of same-sex parenting based on a natural, organic process of cultural adaptation, that would be fine, but instead views are being coercively changed through a same-sex marriage movement—most recently by Supreme Court judicial fiat.

“Normalization” demands a kind of silence from multiple parties in a child’s life. The child’s lost biological parent(s) must keep a distance or disappear to allow two gay adults to play the role of parent. Extended family must avoid asking intrusive questions and shouldn’t show any disapproval through facial expressions or gestures. Schools and community associations have to downplay their celebrations of fatherhood or motherhood (even canceling Father’s Day and Mother’s Day in favor of “Parenting Day”). The media have to engage in a massive propaganda campaign, complete with Disney productions featuring lesbian moms, to stifle any objections or worries. Nobody must challenge the gay parents’ claim that all is being done for love.

Does the silence of so many surrounding parties reverse the sense of loss? No. The child still feels the loss, but learns to remain silent about it because her loss has become a taboo, a site of repression, rather than a site for healing and reconstruction. The abuse comes full circle.

The fact that a gay father in the New York Times is willing to drop the façade and admit that there is something amiss is cause for hope. But Litvgoet’s piece in the Times backtracks by the end and encases his realization within the standard euphemisms that have made same-sex parenting advocates so frustrating over the years:

Gay parents, trained to deal with those forces, should be aware of the effect on their children. What these questions do touches on a vulnerability in the children’s identity, the identity of the motherless child. The outside world says time and again—not in a negative way, but matter-of-factly—you are not like us. We have to give our kids the chance to give voice to that vulnerability, and to acknowledge the sad and complicated feelings of being different. (And show the pride in that as well.)

On the one hand it is good to allow children the chance to “give voice” to such feelings of pain and loss, and I am proud of Litvgoet for not immediately blaming everything on prejudice. But he still cannot process his own responsibility for what is, in essence, child abuse. Like all the saccharine, smiling liberals who have driven me crazy since I was a two-year-old raised by a lesbian mom, he acknowledges the child’s pain just enough to occasion a later disappointment when he and his allies will likely refuse to rectify it. He concedes a few points about “feelings” while still asserting an unquestionable ownership: “our kids,” with a parenthetical about “pride in that.” Kids can read between the lines. They’ll know that what’s in the parenthesis is the part that the guardian is insisting on—in other words, you must be proud of what’s been done to you, even when it hurts.

Problems with Same-Sex Parenting Testimonials

In a recent heart-to-heart talk with Dawn Stefanowicz, a Canadian woman who was raised by her gay father, she and I lamented that many children of same-sex couples will never speak openly about how unfair it was to be denied a mother or father.

Dawn’s experience resembles mine: most kids of gay parents we know are struggling with sexual identity issues, recovering from emotional abuse, fighting drug addictions, or are so wounded by their childhood that they lack the stability to go public and face the onslaught from an increasingly totalitarian gay lobby, which refuses to admit that there’s anything wrong.

Mark Regnerus’s study, published a year ago, brought brief attention to adults who were coping with the aftereffects of vexed childhoods under gay parents. In the months following Regnerus’s study, Dawn and I barely had time to have a public conversation about our struggles, because the LGBT lobby immediately wanted to redirect attention to the debates that mattered to them: their “right” to marry, the fact that they were capable of “loving” children, and their sense that they were being “bullied” by Regnerus. For many kids of same-sex couples, this was a familiar experience: we only count when we make gay people look good.

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Same-sex parenting advocates have the advantage of handpicking their success stories, who are sure to receive fulsome accolades for expressing their joy at having gay parents. Those who interrogate same-sex parenting have a corresponding disadvantage. Same-sex parenting has been efficient at traumatizing the inhabitants of its dark side, rendering them frightened and mute, so nobody will ever know about it.

The existence of a venomous LGBT lobby capable of all-out emotional warfare against anybody who doubts same-sex parenting is of course a great help to the cause.

When I was in France, a pediatric psychiatrist with decades of experience told me that he has been working with a severely traumatized woman who was raised by two homosexuals. He wanted her to go public alongside me at the March 24 rally in Paris, but he dared not test her fortitude: “She is still too weak,” he told me. He could not, as her physician, permit her the risks of being a public figure.

Dawn and I are left with a dilemma: it seems we are the only two children of LGBT parents who are old enough to articulate what is wrong with same-sex parenting, independent enough to view our upbringing critically, and strong enough to deal with the LGBT lobby’s vitriol.

Cut the Charades

Like divorce and single parenting, same-sex parenting isn’t merely controversial or untested; we know that children have poorer life outcomes when they are raised outside a married biological-parent household. The data we have, thanks to the work of scholars like Regnerus, make it all the more clear that it’s abusive to force children to live without a mother or father simply to satisfy adult desires.

Moreover, anyone who supports same-sex parenting in spite of these data is complicit in child abuse. This is true, for example, of pediatricians, sociologists, and psychologists who justify same-sex parenting by pointing to vague metrics like “emotional well-being” or “willingness to communicate.”

That they hide their complicity behind their PhDs makes complicity even less excusable.

Doug Mainwaring and I have been working on ways to distinguish between gay parents and same-sex parenting. A gay parent in a male-female marriage or a single gay parent is better, in our view, than a same-sex couple raising a child, because the elements of abuse are missing in the first two scenarios.

In the first scenario, the child has a mom and a dad even if one of them is gay. In the second scenario, there is no charade of replacement, no pretenses that one or two unrelated homosexual parents are to receive the equivalent love and respect that a child would show to his mom and dad. The coercion involved in “same-sex parenting,” and the silencing of any recognition that a loss has occurred, is elemental in making same-sex parenting homes abusive.

Worst of all is a same-sex parenting home that arose because two homosexuals contrived the situation knowingly, in order to experience parenting. These are cases in which divorce was initiated by a gay spouse, with the explicit goal of setting up a new gay parenting household, and then custody was transferred (often in an ugly family court process). Or where lesbians went to a sperm bank. Or where two homosexuals began a lifelong relationship with the intent of adopting and then sought adoption on-demand. Or worst of all, two gay men engaged in a surrogacy contract with a woman who sold them her baby.

Many gay parenting advocates say these are more noble scenarios since they “wanted” the child, but they are wrong. They imposed their vision ruthlessly on a helpless being and then extorted gratitude. The false equivalency used in order to make the child “love” a second parent of the same sex is coerced and injurious.

In the household irreversibly alienated from constitutive rituals like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, it is abusive to tell the child it was all for her own good and she shouldn’t listen to her own feelings, nor her peers, neighbors, or any moral authorities on TV who praise motherhood or fatherhood.

It is abusive to tell a child, “We are your moms” or “we are your dads,” and then expect the child never to feel the loss of such important icons, in addition to the injury of having been severed from at least one, and possibly both, biological parents—not because it was necessary, but because the two adults insisted on the arrangement. The lessons children learn from this undermine selfhood: might makes right, little people are subject to the whims of self-serving parents, and powerful people can impose “love” on weaker beings with money or political influence over adoption agencies, family courts, sperm banks, and surrogate mothers.

None of these problems would arise if we lived in a world where gay people saw children not as a commodity for purchase but rather as an obligation requiring sacrifices (i.e., you give up your gay partner instead of making your kid give up a parent of the opposite sex, because you’re the adult.)

When the child begins to ask, “why don’t I have a mom?” or “why don’t I have a dad?” the abuse grows, for the gay “parents” will likely respond with an answer that protects them from criticism but disallows the child’s recognition of hurt feelings.

Consider what Rob Watson wrote in the Huffington Post in an open letter to Justice Anthony Kennedy:

If you come, you will meet my 10-year-old sons, who will likely impress you, given how personable, articulate, polite and bright they are. You might ask, as many people we meet do, if they are twins. The answer will be, “They are ‘almost-twins’: Their birthdays are four months apart.” That will bring a “huh, come again?” look, and I will explain how I adopted them as babies from different drug-addicted birth mothers through foster care.

If Watson’s standard routine in explaining his situation to strangers is to highlight the fact that his two ten-year-olds came from “drug-addicted birth mothers,” it is possible that he has been explaining it this way to his own sons for years. He wouldn’t be the first gay dad I’ve heard say to an adoptee, “you don’t have a mom because your moms were drug addicts and I was the only one who wanted you.” That’s emotional abuse at its worst.

Watson’s glib narrative is reflective of the larger genre of same-sex parenting manifestoes. For a movement like the LGBT lobby, which grew out of a desire for openness, the silences imposed on children of same-sex couples are criminally hypocritical. Kids have a clear, specific script to follow when outsiders ask where they come from—don’t mention the sperm bank, don’t mention the woman who sold you, don’t talk about the ugly divorce from five years ago, don’t …. Just don’t talk. Just shut up and smile. Say you like this. Otherwise, bad things will happen. You’ll go back to being an unloved being with nobody willing to put up with you any more.

After a year of being in this game, I have grown wary of strategy. I don’t have a silver bullet tactic for suddenly making low-information Americans aware that all the same-sex parenting propaganda—and more broadly our growing acceptance of non-traditional parenting—is really a cover for systematic abuse. My hunch, however, is that it might be time simply to drop all the masks, put away our strategies, and just state the uncensored truth.

If you think child abuse is wrong, then say so.

Reprinted with permission from The Public Discourse

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Scott Walker rebukes media claiming he thinks forced ultrasounds are ‘cool’

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker begs to differ. The Republican presidential hopeful found himself on the receiving end of a media feeding frenzy this week, as several leading mainstream media outlets misquoted him and implied that he thought forcing women to undergo an invasive transvaginal ultrasound was “a cool thing.”

Last week, Walker defended his pro-life record in a conversation with Dana Loesch, a talk show host with 97.1 FM in St. Louis. “Most people I talk to, whether they're pro-life or not, I find people all the time will get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids' ultrasound and how excited they are. That's a lovely thing,” he said. “My sons are 19 and 20. We still have their ultrasound picture – it's a cool thing out there.”

On Tuesday, Right-Wing Watch posted a story with the headline: “Scott Walker: Ultrasounds Should Be Mandatory Since They're 'A Cool Thing.'” The website, which frequently cherry-picks quotations for maximum outrage, is a project of People for the American Way, a liberal group dedicated to fighting conservative Christians.

Politico, regarded as an authoritative website for campaign issues, picked up the remarks the following day with the headline: “Scott Walker on mandatory ultrasounds: ‘It’s just a cool thing out there.'”

The new account of Walker's remarks soon went viral in both the mainstream media and the left-wing blogosphere. Salon, Mother Jones, The Week, and Blue Nation Review among other outlets reported that Walker had said forcing women to have a transvaginal ultrasound was “cool.”

The meme had been a major part of the Democrats' “War on Women” in 2012 and 2013, as the abortion industry likened mandatory ultrasounds to rape. In fact, transvaginal ultrasounds are standard care before abortions.

Nonetheless, Planned Parenthood tweeted this week:

An outraged Loesch posted the full quotation, as well as audio of the full segment, on her website. (Walker's remarks on ultrasounds begin at 15:49.)

Ironically, his comments came as part of a complaint that the media had distorted his record on abortion.

“Anyone with the reading comprehension of a dolphin knows that Walker was specifically describing ultrasound images, not the legislation itself,” Loesch said.

But Think Progress, a project of the George Soros-funded Campaign for American Progress, dismissed this as “a narrow distinction.”

Politico eventually relented and changed the headline to “Scott Walker defends mandatory ultrasounds.”

The governor, who regularly polls near the top of the 2016 Republican presidential field, came out swinging Thursday.

“I said ultrasounds are pretty cool,” Scott Walker clarified, praising “the wonders of that technology.”

The constant repetition of a media distortion, he said, was “more than biased; it’s just lazy.”

Despite efforts to set the record straight, prestige media outlets continued to churn out headlines misconstruing his remarks, with new stories appearing in New York Magazine and the New York Daily News as the week drew to a close.

“They can’t win on the Left on an issue, [so] they exaggerate things,” he said. “They make things, and they take them out of context.”

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Planned Parenthood has misrepresented political stories numerous times before. It tweeted out a picture that falsely implied that no women took part in a religious freedom hearing before the House of Representatives. In fact, two pro-life women participated.

The Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationally, Roe v. Wade, hinged upon a lie that Norma McCorvey had been raped. McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of the decision, now hopes the decision is overturned.

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Many parents and families are ill-equipped to respond when faced with such circumstances, leaving them frightened and uncertain how to act.
Lianne Laurence

What to do when your own child is a sex abuser

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

May 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In the wake of revelations that Josh Duggar allegedly sexually molested five minor girls – four of them his younger sisters – when in his early teens, many familiar with the evangelical Christian Duggar family and their ten-season-long TLC hit reality show “19 Kids and Counting” are inevitably putting themselves in Jim Bob and Michelle’s shoes and asking: What would I do if faced with a similar situation? What should I do?

Many parents and families are ill-equipped to respond when faced with such circumstances, leaving them frightened and uncertain about their responsibilities both to the victims, as well as as to the perpetrator of the abuse. 

What, then, are parents’ moral and legal obligations, and how can they most compassionately and effectively respond to both offender and victims? These are the essential questions.

Moral obligations

“Clearly, this is the last thing that a parent wants to hear,” says Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the program in medical ethics at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, speaking of parents who discover that their child has been involved in abusive behavior. But “we should take anything like this very seriously.”

In a telephone interview with LifeSiteNews, Kheriaty said parents have two moral obligations that might seem contradictory.

The first is to protect their and other people’s children from “any form of sexual abuse.” “All of us in society have a responsibility for protecting all children from any form of abuse, including of course, sexual abuse.”

The second and equally important “is to help one’s own child who may have been the perpetrator of the abuse. And the way to help them is not to try to manage the situation on one’s own.”

Parents must “bring their child to a licensed mental health practitioner” such as a child psychologist or child psychiatrist “for an evaluation to look at what’s going on with the child’s sexual development.” There is a possibility the perpetrator has himself suffered from abuse, or is “entangled in the use of pornography.”

While parents may shrink from “the hard realities of what this is going to entail,” they lack the necessary professional knowledge to deal with the situation, or if they do have such knowledge, their “emotional attachment to their own child would cloud their judgment,” noted Kheriaty, a father of five sons and author of The Catholic Guide to Depression.

And while certainly not necessarily the case in every instance, “there’s going to be a much higher probability that there’s serious family dysfunction” if such incidents are occurring in the home.

Legal obligations

Parents also meet their legal obligations when they take their child to a licensed mental health practitioner, Kheriaty explained. All states have mandatory reporting laws, which require the mental health practitioner inform parents that he or she must report the incidents to Child Protective Services (CPS), which will then investigate.

“What would happen legally really depends on the nature of the case and the age of the child as well,” he said. A 13-year-old may be considered too young to be legally or morally culpable. But the CPS would monitor the situation and take steps to ensure the abuser can’t “continue this abusive behavior” and “to reduce his access to younger children.” This might mean removing him from the home for a period of time.

“Obviously that whole process is going to be extremely trying and painful for any parents, but not only is it the best thing for potential victims, to protect them, it would also be the best thing for the perpetrator,” Kheriaty told LifeSiteNews. “In general, the earlier you catch this behavior, probably the more amenable it is to treatment.”

The inclination to sexually use a minor “tends to be difficult, if not impossible, to change or to eradicate” in an adult. But “in a younger child, where they’re still going through a process of ongoing sexual development, there may be things that can be done to put them on a better track and diminish, if not completely eradicate, those tendencies.”

If a youthful offender doesn’t get the help he needs, he could be “doomed to a life in prison or a situation where he’s done tremendous damage or harm to others,” Kheriaty observed. “It’s a situation in which the most loving thing may be very, very difficult and very, very tough, and yet still the best thing for the child who is perpetrating this behavior.”

While Christian parents might worry about what influences their child will encounter in a secular treatment center, Kheriaty countered that “no behavior could be more contrary to living a Christian life” than sexual abuse. He contended that the benefits of a treatment center far outweigh any perceived dangers, and the danger of not getting treatment.

“Any decent program is going to have the same aims that the parents have,” Kheriaty said, and its goals therefore will be “consistent with the goals of living a Christian life.”

Strong families, open communication about sex/porn

Kheriaty and fellow Christian psychiatrist Richard Fitzgibbons emphasized that parents need to educate their children on sexuality and to be particularly vigilant about the pervasiveness of pornography.

“How to raise psychologically and morally healthy children: that is the million dollar question for all of us as Christians,” Kheriaty noted.

“Parents need to wake up and dial in and be clued in to what’s happening with their children and technology, and whom their children are communicating with on the Internet.” They also need to teach their kids about sexuality in an “age appropriate way” but in this culture, “that will probably happen earlier than parents are comfortable with.”

In terms of protecting one’s child against being a victim of sexual abuse, “the best thing is to maintain strong, healthy, intact families,” he told LifeSiteNews.

A father of three daughters, Fitzgibbons, the director of the Institute of Marital Healing outside Philadelphia and an expert on sexual issues, said that “parents should closely monitor any youngster who has few friends and who isolates himself” and “try to support and encourage close friendships in their children, particularly with those of the same sex. They should inquire as to how friendships are going and support having friends over and going to friends’ homes.”

He too urged parents to instruct their children about “what God’s plan is for human sexuality.” He advised this take place “certainly by 6th grade given the pornography epidemic. Youth need to be taught that pornography is the use of another person as a sexual object.”

“Fathers should ask their sons about how they are dealing with sexual temptations.  Mothers should have similar discussions with their daughters,” he suggested. “Psychologically, it is important to encourage male friendships in their sons, build their confidence in their God-given gifts and provide comforting love and praise by each parent.”

For Catholic parents, he recommended the teachings of St. John Paul II, which “can also be valuable in helping to prevent such tragedies in families and in healing the wounds inflicted by sibling betrayals.” He recommends summaries of “Love and Responsibility,” “The Theology of the Body,” “The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World,” and the “outstanding” 1996 document by the Pontifical Council for the Family, “The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality.”

Obligations to the victims

Fitzgibbons echoed Kheriaty in pointing out that the parents of the offender have a moral obligation to the victims. No type of sexual abuse can ever be termed minor, he noted. “Our experience is that if parents become aware of such behaviors that they act promptly.”

But he noted that “many older female patients” have stated that their parents denied their “reports of sexual molestation by an older male family member, such as a cousin, uncle or grandparent,” which “further weakened the trust of the victim.”

Forgiveness is essential in healing the effects of abuse, Fitzgibbons said, but forgiveness does not necessarily mean trust.

“Parents need to pursue in their own lives the hard work of forgiving one child who may have sexually abused another child. They also need to insist that the abuser ask for forgiveness and in that process identify the emotional or spiritual conflicts that made them vulnerable.”

“Parents need to also encourage a victim child to work on the process of forgiveness so that he/she does not become, in the words of St. John Paul II, ‘a prisoner of one’s past’ because of the failure to forgive.”

It’s also essential that victims be protected from further abuse. “Hopefully, if the offender worked for a long time on his/her weakness, in some cases it might be possible to build a degree of trust, but in other cases this is not possible.”

If the trauma suffered is severe, the victims must be protected “from people, places and things that remind one of the trauma” in order to recover. And if abuse occurred within the extended family, “the usual response is to end the relationship with the abuser indefinitely and with his/her parents… The nature of the abuse often indicates the time necessary.”

Lasting damage to the victim will “depend upon the nature of the abuse, its frequency, length and the abuser,” Fitzgibbons pointed out. “If the abuser is a very angry person, it will instill more fear and mistrust that could seriously damage a person’s ability to trust and to give oneself fully later in life.”

Spiritual response

Fitzgibbons adds that in addition to counseling, the response of a Christian family to adolescent abuse should also include “a discussion of the youngster’s spiritual life.”

“When someone uses others in one’s family, he/she has serious psychological and, often, spiritual conflicts,” pointed out Fitzgibbons. In the case of repeat offenders, “the child really needs some moral help.”

For Catholic children, this means “particularly the use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This Sacrament can help in mastery over strong sexual temptations.”

Fitzgibbons, who has extensive experience treating Catholic priests for homosexual attraction and ephebophilia says it’s also absolutely crucial to get to the root of the behavior through therapy.

“You can repent and say God has forgiven me, and I believe the Lord does forgive us, but you want to know specifically what caused it. … The burning question we always have is, what is the cause?”

In his clinical experience, men with youthful offenses involving some form of sexual abuse had “serious weakness in confidence and social anxiety” on a psychological level. “Often, they did not have close male friends and were highly anxious with adolescent females.”

“If I had a 13-year-old son who did that, I would want to look very carefully: Is there some weakness he has that would predispose him to do that? Is he overly selfish? Is he very insecure in his masculinity, doesn’t have enough friends? Is he a very lonely person? Does he need more comforting female love than he’s getting?”

“These are hard questions but they have to be looked at.”

While Fitzgibbons emphasized that “this type of behavior in youth is not an indication that there are serious problems in the family,” he also observed “I’d want family therapy” in order to ascertain if there is “there some conflict the child has that he would seek comfort like that. … One would have to look with complete honesty at everyone.”

It is possible that “the cause may not be anything psychological. It could be the allurement of sin,” Fitzgibbons noted. “But the devil often works through a weakness we have within us.”

Fitzgibbons added it is critical that those who have been involved in such behavior understand and resolve the reasons for their adolescent actions. “There are numerous studies that demonstrate that 70 to 80 percent of people’s adult psychological problems are the result of unresolved child or adolescent traumas,” he said. “It’s a huge problem, for example, in married life.”

In the case of Josh Duggar, he pointed out that Josh had voluntarily confessed his adolescent crimes to his wife and her family two years before they were engaged, something he said was "very important."

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The well-funded propaganda blitz in full swing.
Mass Resistance

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What really happened in Ireland’s gay ‘marriage’ referendum

Mass Resistance
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The "big lie" techniques were alive and well in Ireland.
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This issue is very powerful -- and frightening -- over in Europe.
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Across the country the "No" side was much more creative.
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This militant movement is just getting started.

May 29, 2015 (MassResistance.org) -- Last Friday’s 62% vote in Ireland to legalize “gay marriage” has been hailed as a triumph of progressive thinking by the mainstream media and the political establishment. The outcome shocked many in the pro-family movement. But what the mainstream press isn’t reporting is even more shocking.

There is no question that the secularization of Ireland, the weakness of the Catholic Church and refusal of the Pope to intervene, the corrupt political class, and the relentless pro-gay media were all contributing factors to the “gay marriage” vote.

But the “Yes” vote would still have most likely failed if it had been a normal Irish election. Those same general conditions existed in many places here in the U.S. from California to Maine where “gay marriage” failed to win a popular vote.

This “culture war” election was conducted under extraordinary conditions that have never been seen anywhere before in the West. As we described in our pre-election article virtually all of the effort to pass “gay marriage” in Ireland came from massive funding from the United States – primarily a billion-dollar pro-gay foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies –  in a sophisticated campaign spanning over a decade.

Background: Years of referendum losses by the LGBT movement

To understand how this Irish election was won, a bit of history from the U.S. is in order.

Most of us forget that for over 20 years, the idea of a “gay marriage” referendum passing anywhere seemed next to impossible. From 1998 to 2009, there were 31 statewide votes to completely ban “gay marriage.” All of them won. Some won by majorities as high as 80%. Even in Massachusetts, the LGBT lobby fought furiously to keep a “gay marriage” ban from coming to a vote. Their own leaders had come to believe that the only way they would make any “progress” in the U.S. was through the courts.

The big LGBT turnaround in 2012

Then, after the their 2009 “gay marriage” referendum defeat in Maine, the homosexual movement decided to craft an entirely new approach toward elections.

They brought together groups of political strategists, psychologists, pollsters, organizing experts, and various “think tank” types. They meticulously studied the data and their election experiences and designed a new set of strategies and tactics to win against their “right wing” adversaries.

They created a sophisticated propaganda campaign. They shipped thousands of activists into key voting areas to canvass door to door. In order to soften the average people toward homosexuality and create an animus against traditional religious values, they resurrected many of the “big lie” techniques used by the 20th century totalitarian movements. For example, people were told over and over that not allowing “gay marriage” was bad for the economy and that only backward, ignorant, and superstitious people still were against it. Homosexuality was said to be the next phase of the Civil Rights movement. A key talking point was that by supporting “gay marriage” you are “on the right side of history” – a Marxist concept (later used by the Third Reich).

Fundraising became a major part of the strategy. For earlier elections they had casually raised about the same amount (or less) than the pro-family side. But now, they would tap the “gay” moneymen for very large sums of money.

And it all worked. In November 2012 they won all four statewide “gay marriage” referendum votes: Maine (a re-vote), Minnesota, Maryland, and Washington. In those races they spent between five and ten times as much as the pro-family side. Their propaganda was shrewd – for instance, putting forward friendly faces of “gay” couples who seemed just liked everyone else. Their winning margins were not large (between 51% and 53%), but they won.

Shortly after the 2012 wins, the LGBT movement published an article in a Maine newspaper describing much of their “turnaround” process. And since then, they’ve been virtually unstoppable.

Laying the groundwork in Ireland over a decade earlier

Funded primarily by Atlantic Philanthropies, the Irish LGBT lobby groups started laying the groundwork over a decade in advance. Their ambitions multi-year plan (which they later outlined HERE) included a very sophisticated and aggressive lobbying effort targeting Ireland’s key politicians, which resulted in a long string of “incremental” parliamentary successes for the LGBT movement.

The National Catholic Register recently published a very good article chronicling this.  Also, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts has compiled a complete list of the major anti-family political actions over the past decades that helped bring Ireland to the state it’s in.

However, from the beginning the main goal from all of this for both the Irish LGBT groups and their American funders was to soften up the Irish citizenry to eventually win a nationwide “gay marriage” vote, which for constitutional reasons had to be done by a nationwide referendum. The referendum finally took place on May 22, 2015.

Ramping up for a nationwide “gay marriage” vote in Ireland

It’s one thing to get a country’s parliament to chip away at the moral underpinnings through legislation. But it’s a much different challenge to get a country with a thousand-year Catholic culture to accept “gay marriage” through a nationwide vote.

So to take on the Irish election, the LGBT movement ramped up their effort tremendously over what they did for the elections back in the U.S.

The total LGBT funding to achieve “gay marriage” in Ireland has been estimated at between $17 and $25 million – roughly 50 times what was raised and spent by the pro-family side. Their execution was planned and focused rather than scattered and haphazard as our side’s tended to be.

The campaign with lengthy and intense (and expensive) nationwide propaganda using psychological manipulation techniques to pound the entire country. The average person could barely grasp the force that was coming at him. And that was just the beginning.

The arguments were not rational or truthful, but completely emotional.

People were told over and over that those opposed to “gay marriage”:

  • Are opposed to democracy
  • Will damage lives
  • Are against human rights
  • Will hurt Ireland’s international reputation
  • Will hurt Ireland’s economy
  • Are in favor of discrimination
  • Are against love
  • Are hateful and bigoted
  • Are stupid and backwards

This all had a horrible effect on our side while galvanizing their supporters. It got to a point where people who persisted in holding these “backward” beliefs were considered inferior humans by the supporters. One could literally lose his job over it. A particularly nasty venom was directed at religious believers and the Catholic Church. Many of our people became frightened and confused, while the other side became bolder and more vicious.

Ireland gets a lesson in ‘election mechanics’

As the election neared, the polls showed a 78% “Yes” vote coming up. But the homosexual movement knew they still weren’t safe.

Their brain trust realized early on that a great many people would simply “go underground” with their views and would vote their conscience on election day, but would respond to pollsters in a “politically correct” manner. They also knew that the bulk of hardcore “gay marriage” supporters were young people who had a terrible record of voting or even being registered.

They could still lose if those they really needed (those responding emotionally) didn’t register or vote. So months before the election – with the help of the country’s police force – they set up pro-gay marriage voter registration areas at college campuses. According to eyewitness reports, these booths illegally skipped required steps in the registration in order to process more people.  Over 50,000 college students were registered in this manner, and others already registered were identified. In addition, according to reports, they also had paid canvassers make sure that their likely supporters in the cities were registered to vote.

Then on election day, using sophisticated social media and other techniques, they had the most massive “get-out-the-vote” effort ever seen in Ireland. As a result, over 90% of  known pro-gay marriage supporters voted, and 95% of registered college voters, according to one report. On the other hand, many pro-family people, we were told, feeling overwhelmed and beaten down by the psychological techniques used against them and with no overall get-out-the-vote organization, never made it to the polls.

Nobody in Ireland had ever seen anything like this. There is no question that if the election had been conducted on an even playing field from the beginning (or even with just a 2-1 funding advantage) the “Yes” side would not have prevailed. As one Irish voter observed, "If usual voing patterns had prevailed this would have been easily defeated."

The pro-family Irish opposition – a valiant stand

Given the odds against them and the terrible psychological battle focused against religious believers, the Irish pro-family people stepped up quite admirably. But they were on their own. "These groups received their funding from personal donations by private individuals. There was no big financial backing coming from anyone," we were told by one of the Irish pro-family people.

They put up as many signs as possible, even though a great many were vandalized. They passed out many thousands of leaflets in cities and also went door to door in rural areas. one organization distributed over 91,000 pamphlets. A group of 12 Baptist churches put some ads in newspapers.

We were told that the Catholic Church was very weak on this issue and did not officially call for a "No" vote. According to the Catholic Action League, at least 15 priests publicly endorsed the "Yes" campaign and at least one bishop criticized the pro-family "efforts. Nevertheless, many individual Catholic priests were outstanding in their outrcy for a "No" vote.

Lacking sophisticated planning, there was no unified message. “Every child needs a mother and father” was the common refrain, which has a much stronger meaning in Europe because of outrage over the child trafficking. Others used MassResistance information on what “gay marriage” brings to the schools and other social institutions. A few focused on the dangers of homosexual behavior.

Can this be stopped in the future?

There is talk about Italy being their next “gay marriage” target. They are also eying some of the African countries that have been holding out on “LGBT rights”. 

Can this juggernaut be stopped? Of course it can – with proper resources. Everything the other side does can be picked apart and be countered. Plus, working with the truth normally has a big natural advantage. Their lies, irrationality, and thuggish tactics only work because there’s no effective opposition.

Their biggest triumph has been the LGBT movement’s ability to cut off the  money supply to frontline groups. The millionaires and billionaires ostensibly on our side could easily donate many times the money necessary to fight this effectively. But they have virtually all become emasculated by fear of the “gay mafia”. It’s quite pathetic to see, and it has had terrible consequences. So we need to create new methods of funding. Average people are more becoming more important than ever.

Also, many people in the  pro-family movement (and many donors) still do not see this as a “war” to subvert society, but as a kind of religious/secular disagreement among individuals. This often causes our tactics to be skewed and usually only marginally effective. So even when we have the money, it often gets squandered on dumb things.

Let’s hope that we can all learn something from what happened in Ireland on May 22.

Reprinted with permission from MassResistance.org.

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