adoption and the price of progress

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 21, 2006

At the Touchstone blog, Anthony Esolen examines the gay adoption imposture currently unfolding in Massachusetts. He argues that it is not an ordinary conflict between church protocol and municipal regulations, but that the collision was engineered -- with malice aforethought -- precisely in order to damage the Church. The whole piece deserves a careful reading. Some excerpts:

In this case, the government of Massachusetts had issued an ultimatum: either allow homosexual couples to adopt children, or shut up shop. The Church simply had no choice. Here it is not a case, as Newman put it in order to reject it, of committing a venial sin to save the world. For the Church to capitulate to the state, it would be cooperating in the grave social evil of undermining the institution of marriage and the order of the sexes, fashioned by God Himself.

If you're playing chess, and you can only get out of check by sacrificing your queen, you have to lose it no matter how reluctant you are. In the case of gay adoption, the state has boxed the Church into an analogous dilemma. To be a Christian is to believe, inter alia, that good cannot be purchased at the price of evil. The Church, in virtue of who she is, cannot advise her children how to commit just the right amount of sin. To make the contrary claim is to apostasize. Back to Esolen:

Then why the compulsion? Homosexuals in Massachusetts can already adopt children; it is unlikely that anyone will have been seriously inconvenienced by the Church's policy. The conclusion seems inescapable: the Church was given the ultimatum not so that homosexuals would benefit, but so that the Church would be hurt, either by a capitulation that would signal its subservience and irrelevance evermore, or by a curtailment of the freedom of Catholics to practice their faith in the public square.

Exactly. The idea that adoptable orphans and gay couples have their noses pressed up against opposite sides of the nursery window -- and that only Catholic intransigence prevents their blissful familial union -- is preposterous. To a gay activist, on the other hand, the Church-as-cruel-stepmother ruse is a weapon too good to pass up. It's a win/win situation: if, under the pressure of public odium, the Church caves, she un-makes herself; if she hangs tough, she gets sidelined. Esolen again:

[T]he enforcers in this case must have been looking forward with complacency to this predictable result. That it would hurt thousands of children who would have to wait much longer before finding a family to adopt them, did not matter; or did not matter as much as the ideological conformity that the enforcers aimed to compel.

Can anyone honestly doubt that Esolen is on target? The tears shed by the politicians and media commentators over the Catholic Charities decision are crocodile tears, and it has to be tough for them to keep the grin off their faces as they see their main opponent knocked out of their path. For the innovators, it's simply another skirmish in the culture wars -- in respect of which Lenin reminded them that you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. The orphans, once again, are the broken eggs.

Reuters photo

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  • Posted by: Sterling - Mar. 25, 2006 10:04 AM ET USA

    I don't think that the state is as happy as you all seem to think, despite its bluster. I predict other states aren't going to try to pull this garbage, now that it has finally seen the Church can show some spine. It translates into money, money, money, that the government now has to spend in increasing staff - it was more cost effective the other way. We can argue about this, but I think time will show I'm right - let's see.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 25, 2006 6:34 AM ET USA

    Being totally aware that this displays my "homophobia", I must say that this picture and others like them are totally nauseating! But even more nauseating is what they do to each other in the name of sex. The blatant display of sexual depravity is always offensive.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Mar. 22, 2006 8:32 PM ET USA

    Amen, Diogenes and Esolen (and patriot6908). Could this message somehow get to the mainstream media?

  • Posted by: rpp - Mar. 21, 2006 7:34 PM ET USA

    Opps! I meant the other left. (Darn keyboard!)

  • Posted by: rpp - Mar. 21, 2006 7:33 PM ET USA

    Nice picture D. I do have a question about it, though. It is a little hard to tell from the picture, but is the one on the left expecting?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 21, 2006 9:57 AM ET USA

    Amen to "Patriot6908"

  • Posted by: - Mar. 21, 2006 9:31 AM ET USA

    And, while Catholic families will still be able to adopt in MA, the protagonists increase the unlikelihood that orphans will be adopted by families having Catholic values. Those Catholic families that consider adoption as an act of charity more than desire for a child (many have children of their own), may now elect to manifest their charity on other ways. Thus, this win is sweeter to them than Church acquiescence, since the Catholic conscience issue is no doubt lost on them anyway.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 21, 2006 8:48 AM ET USA

    We have heard now for almost five years of the external threats to our Western Civilization by the so-called bronze-age Islamicists. And there is truth to those threats. But a far, far greater threat to our society is the utterly internal rot of moral decay lead now by homosexualists and their allies in politics, academia, the educational systems, and almost the entire mainstream media and cultural outlets. The latter suck the soul out of our society.