12/16/2006                                                                                       View Comments

Dobson: One Too Many Mommies

When I was 10 years old, my father told me he was gay. For most of the next eight years I lived with him, except for a two year period living with my mom & stepfather. Most conservative Christians today would probably assume that living with my mom & stepfather was a healthier situation.

They would be wrong. That's why the following bothers me.

On Dec. 12th, Dr. James Dobson contributed a guest column to TIME magazine entitled Two Mommies Is One Too Many (see also here), which he apparently wrote as a reaction to Mary Cheney's recent announcement that she's pregnant. That announcement rekindled the public debate concerning same-sex parenting, and has prompted mixed reactions from both conservative and liberal pundits, bloggers, and leaders.

In his column, Dr. Dobson expressed his concern that children raised by same-sex parents suffer from the lack of an opposite sex parent. He asserts that 30 years of social-science evidence tells us that by every measurement of well-being, children do best when raised by married heterosexual couples. Additionally, he writes that there is something intuitive about a child's need for a mother and father, and that God's divine plan gives children the best opportunities to thrive.

While he carefully tries to avoid casting aspersions on the character of Ms. Cheney and single parents, he does take shots at politics, political correctness and no-fault divorce, which he seems to imply indicates a breakdown in our moral culture. In the final paragraph, he characterizes same-sex parenting a social experiment that defies 5,000 years of human experience.

Dr. Dobson's apparent concern for children is well-known and laudable. However, there are some problems with his conclusions regarding same-sex parenting that simply cannot go unanswered. Among the more glaring errors is that he chose to cherry-pick quotes from studies that he uses as examples of "30 years of social science" supporting his view, when the fact of the matter is that these studies do nothing of the sort. It is a truism when he writes that "love is not enough," but tautological to state that two women can't provide a father or that two fathers can't be complete role models for girls. By comparing today's culture to 5,000 years of human experience, Dr. Dobson reveals his ignorance of history.

The above might be surprising given his credentials were it not for Dr. Dobson's equally well-known status as an Evangelical Christian. That is to say Dr. Dobson's views are ultimately derived from his belief in biblical doctrine, which he allows to prejudice his analysis of existing science on the matter.

In fact, both Dr. Kyle Pruett and Carol Gilligan, whose work he references, expressed dismay at the misuse of their work, and wrote letters to Dr. Dobson asking him to stop (see here and here). Additionally, though he cites a 1996 article from Psychology Today dealing with fatherhood behavior , he fails to note a 1999 article from the same publication dealing directly with same-sex parenting. Furthermore, his assertion that over 30 years of social science affirms his conclusions is patently false. Several well-respected organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, and the National Association of Social Workers have published research or issued position statements on same-sex parenting, each refuting the notion that children of same-sex parents suffer any negative impact from their unique family situations.

A few examples:

  • A 2002 technical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics stated:
    "A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with 1 or 2 gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes."

  • Even while acknowledging that current research is limited, a 2005 study completed by the American Psychological Association found:
    "...no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children's psychosocial growth."

  • In a position statement from the Child Welfare League of America, it was noted that:
    "Studies using diverse samples and methodologies in the last decade have persuasively demonstrated that there are no systematic differences between gay or lesbian and non-gay or lesbian parents in emotional health, parenting skills, and attitudes toward parenting (Stacey & Biblarz, 2001). No studies have found risks to or disadvantages for children growing up in families with one or more gay parents, compared to children growing up with heterosexual parents (Perrin, 2002). Indeed, evidence to date suggests home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents support and enable children's psychosocial growth, just as do those provided by heterosexual parents (Patterson, 1995)."

  • The Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Social Workers published an op-ed piece in which it was stated that:
    "Anyone who wishes to examine the twenty years of peer-reviewed studies on the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes of children of gay and lesbian parents will find not one shred of evidence that children are harmed by their parents’ sexual orientation. In a recent national study of adoption by lesbians and gays, The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute concluded the following: gay and lesbian parents are no more likely to be emotionally disturbed than their heterosexual counterparts; there is no link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse; children raised by gay and lesbian parents display no significant differences compared to children of heterosexual parents with regard to levels of depression, self esteem, conduct problems, emotional functioning, and other areas of social and psychological adjustment."

    and
    "The empirical and clinical evidence suggesting same sex parents are equivalent to heterosexual parents in their ability to care for children and provide loving homes is so compelling that there is a growing consensus among legal and child welfare experts that there is no rational basis to deny adoption to gay and lesbian couples solely on the basis of their sexual orientation."

    Furthermore, the same organization has been active in New York and Maryland, coming out in support of same-sex marriage, in at least one case filing an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief stating:
    "...decades of social science research proving that gay couples are just as capable of being good parents as straight couples, debunks arguments by marriage equality opponents that allowing same-sex couples to marry would somehow be harmful to children." See this 2004 press release.

  • The 2005 position statement and philosophy of the North American Council on Adoptable Children with regard to same-sex parents is that:
    "Children should not be denied a permanent family because of the sexual orientation of potential parents."

    and that
    "All prospective foster and adoptive parents, regardless of sexual orientation, should be given fair and equal consideration.
    NACAC opposes rules and legislation that restrict the consideration of current or prospective foster and adoptive parents based on their sexual orientation."


Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of Family Pride, wrote a scathing response to Dr. Dobson in which she characterized Dr. Dobson and those espousing similar positions as "politicizing" the family without regard to existing science.

Bill O'Reilly also weighed-in on the issue (see here), but in his usual fashion failed to draw a useful conclusion, instead comparing same-sex parenting as a violation of nature on par with cupcakes causing pregnancy. Thanks, Bill. I needed that.

I can unequivocably state that neither myself nor my siblings ever suffered any adverse effects from our father's homosexuality. At times, our father was an anchor we could cling to when things got out-of-control. You see, my mother and stepfather were alcoholics. Yes, it was a 'traditional' family in the sense that we had a mother & father in the home. But isn't it interesting that my sister was removed from that home by child services, my brother moved out after being physically assaulted by my stepfather, and ultimately my mother was kicked out when her husband went on a bender.

My father and I had our problems. All of us did. But our problems were no different than those confronting any parent & child. Today, I am a happy, healthy, heterosexual male who never suffered any indoctrination, any abuse, or any other negative impact from having a gay father. The fears fostered by the Christian Right seem to be, in each and every way, unfounded.

For those who are interested, my mother since got clean & we are all very happy she's around for us. Like my dad once was, she's an anchor we can turn to.

Returning to Dr. Dobson, with regard to history he seemingly ignores that even according to his Bible, non-traditional families have been commonplace. Setting aside biblical inconsistencies, did not God allow men to divorce their wives, thereby sanctioning the single-parent household? Did not God permit polygamous relationships? Did not Abraham, sanctioned by God, set aside Hagar and her child Ishmael? In other words, there never has been the 'traditional' family to which Dobson so lovingly clings, even in his most sacred text.

It seems that even someone who holds a PhD is not immune from drawing blatantly erroneous conclusions by cherry-picking data, mischaracterizing existing science as supporting a certain position when clearly it does not, and ignoring history. Then again, this seems to be the modus operandi of politically-motivated Evangelicals, who blithely and apparently without irony portray their cause as righteous even as they behave dishonestly.

As an ex-Christian, I find none of this surprising.

What do you think?

16 comments:

Theresa Frasch said...

I agree...It would be interesting to see what would happen if Dr. Dobson and his cohorts actually looked at the "traditional family structure" actually found in the Bible: concubines and harems, bigamy, daughters sleeping with their fathers, daughters not even family members, but property to be dealt with, etc.

Thanks for the insightful thoughts.

SpaceMonk said...

Thanks for this article.
Very informative, and I'm glad this Dobson guy is here exposed.

Plenty of people grow up in unconventional homes, for many different reasons.
I'm sure many of those are same-sex, not necessarily through homosexuality, but just things like a widowed woman now living with a sister, or mother, etc.

This would be no issue to a christian I'm sure.
So the welfare of the child is just a smokescreen for their prejudice, purely against homosexuality.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Christian. My comment is only partially related to the article based on Mr. Dobson's (whoever he is) analysis of homosexual parenting. The so-called traditional family relationship and structure has been in decline for years in America. That is not due to homosexuals or the lack of Evangelical Christian beliefs in the home and government. I have my reservations about homosexual or lesbian parenting but that's simply my personal opinion. I do not object to it nor do I hate homosexuals because I was molested as a kid by them. Certainly not because the Bible tells me so. I think the problem lies in one of judgment for an entire group instead of the behavior of certain individuals within that group. I do not hate homosexuals because of what a couple of them did to me. In fact, I have a very healthy friendship with a homosexual I once worked for who I can always talk to on a personal, trusting basis more so than I've ever been able to do with a heterosexual male. That doesn't make me a homosexual or persuade me to approve of everything they want to do in life. Nor is my manhood at stake because this guy is my friend. He would no sooner make a pass at me than I would to him. But that's me and him.
I think most Christians are very troubled people who use their irrational faith and the Bible to back up some things that they find threatening to their way of life and then demand that everyone live the same way.
Incidentally, I spent ten years with my heterosexual parents before they divorced. For a number of reasons that I don't care to go into, it was one of the most disfunctional families I've ever encountered. To this day, I am extremely uncomfortable in the presence of family members who exhibit true love and familial bonding. That's how the unconscious works, I guess. In any case, I don't condemn all heterosexual parenting because of the messed up life I had with my mother and father. I just have to control my feelings that family relationships based upon genuine love is not always phony.
Ms. Frasch: Guys like Dobson aren't the least bit interested in pointing that out to them. Your comment was refreshing to read instead of that written by some of the people who write into this site and make juvenile, insulting, and profane remarks to ward off Christian propaganda. Thank you.

jfraysse said...

Informative piece, as always, JC. Thanks!

And Theresa Frasch’s comments are exactly my own.

Why Dr Dobson, or anybody for that matter, refuses to talk about the Biblical family examples, is beyond me! Now, remember that Jesus said that monogamy was the true state of marriage (Mark 10 and Mathew 19). There is also a clear Levitical prohibition against a King with many wives (De:17:17: Neither shall he (the King) multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold). But, nowhere in the scriptures is there a rebuke of Solomon’s family life, who, allegedly, had 1,000 wives and concubines. By the end of his reign, Solomon was a pathetic and apostate king. Perhaps all those “one fleshes” (nasty, nasty pagan chicks too!) did him in!?

I really don’t see anything wrong with polygamy and tend to agree, on this point, with the Mormons who were coerced by the US Gov into changing their doctrine so that Utah could become a state. Don’t get me wrong, Big Love is not for me, but I see no moral reason why it should be prohibited. Especially, if he or she can afford it!

The only problem that I have with Gays as a political group, is that they seem to insist that they are “normal”. I contend that they may be “natural”, that is, born Gay , but are not “normal” in a sexual sense. I have several Gay and Lesbian friends, even though I am strongly heterosexual. They and I both agree that Gays are “natural” but not “normal”.

However, I don’t see Gays as any different than others with other types of birth defects or handicaps. We make allowances for handicap people, so I see no reason not to afford Gay people the same rights as heterosexual couples, besides, shouldn’t all marriages be “happy” ? I know, bad pun – sorry!

My concern is when Gay adults are in positions of authority over same sex functions such as Scouts and Physical Education classes. If Gay guys like looking at naked men as much as I like looking at naked women, then, Houston, we have a problem!

As far as, Gay v Straight parents, I think the data suggests there is little or no difference as long as the home is peaceable and without abuse.

Anonymous said...

Dobson was awarded a PhD in BIGOTRY. As a gay male, one who grew up in a right-wing, fanatical, Southern-Baptist church, I've found Dobson to be one of the most offensive men in America. His abusive words to gay Christian teens incite self hatred and provoke suicide. America could use LESS Dobson, and MORE self-esteem; however, to a Christian, one cannot have self-esteem, as that would be giving less of yourself to Christ. (sigh) Religion SUCKS!

Anonymous said...

Also, a note to jfraysee: Gay men in positions of power are no different than heterosexuals. Boyscouts or any profession where one has to shower with the masses is nothing to worry over. I have tact, the majority of homosexuals have tact, to say that if a homosexual showers with a heterosexual that the homosexual would pose a sexual situation is entirely hypocritical! Attraction is just that--Attraction. One has control over attraction! If you were to shower with females of a profession, would YOU suddenly turn into a predator and make unwanted advances? If so, the problem resides with your character! Character is what determines the individual, NOT his sexuality!

xrayman said...

Hey Steve, If I were showering with some hot women I would defanately get turned on, and yes I could control myself, but that would not nolify the fact that I would be wanting to do some naughty things to them, but that's beside the point of this whole discussion.

Dobson is one of the biggest assholes ever to walk on this planet. He preaches intorrance through religion, and believes homosexuality can be cured by God.

Obviously a married man and a woman is what is best for a child, but that is not to say that a gay couple could not make great parents and raise well adjusted kids.

I guess the only real problem I have with gay parents is the way the kids would inevidably get picked on in school when other kids found out, and you know it would happen. Kids are cruel, and the child of gay parents would be quite a target of ridicule.

jfraysse said...

Stevie P: I said, “if Gay guys”… respond like me, using myself as a straight reference. I’m afraid I might “respond” but turn into a predator, no. But, your suggestion about showering with a bunch of naked women is on my short list of Best-Dreams-Ever, and of course, they would all want me, right? Seriously, your point about integrity is well taken and I apologize and stand corrected. I did not intend to impugn your character. Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

Don't expect evangelicals to say anything rational. It appears that a growing number of e-leaders are closet cases.

Children need the care of a mutliplicity of diverse.,caring and functional adults.

Illusion Free said...

Peace & care know no gender. We are born into that mold. It requires teaching and rationality to numb a child from what they inherently understand.

The politicians, rhetoriticians, religious leaders, and any office where there is self-proclaimed authority (even in the class-rooms of some universities), argue over what the most correct "ideal" sould be, while blatantly disregarding what is.

Making such arguments doesn't change what is. Those who engage in such tactics do so, with the hope that they can influence others to attain their subjective ideal.

If such repression becomes accepted over time by society, then the unreal becomes the illusion of normalcy/real, and professionals are hired to measure the deviation from the unreal normalcy - and those that are no longer in the norm are considered to be deviants.

Unfortunate, that many societies have individuals who churn up profitable illusion debates. Even more unfortunate, that one has to engage in the illusion debate in order to keep bigots from taking over a nation, etc.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

The following issue can destroy ISLAM or ISRAEL; study it thoroughly to see if there is any truth to it.

READ THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES FROM THE BIBLE AS IT HAS IMPLICATIONS ON THE WAR AGAINST TERROR/ISLAM and the claim of Israel that god gave them the land. If the child is an infant than the Judeo-Christian version becomes null and void and we are wasting our time and resources i.e. we could save trillions of dollars and create a more peaceful world rather than fighting against Islam the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

The COVENANT with Abraham and his DESCENDANTS is central to JUDAISM/CHRISTIANITY/ISLAM.

Please note this is not a competition between faiths but an attempt to decipher fact from fiction.

Genesis 21:14 Contemporary English version se below link

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=GENESIS%2021;&version=46;

Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar an animal skin full of water and some bread. Then he put the boy on her shoulder and sent them away.

GENESIS 16:16
And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ish’mael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ish’mael to Abram.
GENESIS 21:5
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

At Genesis 22 Abraham had only 2 sons others came later. The Quran mentions that it was Ishmael that was sacrificed hence the reference in genesis 22:2 your only son can only mean someone has substituted Ishmael names for Isaac!!

BY DOING SOME KINDERGARTEN ARITHMATIC USING ARABIC NUMBERS (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
NOT ROMAN NUMERALS (I, II, III,IV,V,VI,VII,VIII,IX,X) NB no concept of zero in roman numerals.

100 years old – 86 years old = 14 ADD 3 YEARS FOR ISSAC’S WEANING

THAT WOULD MAKE ISHMAEL 17 YEARS OLD IN GENESIS 21:14-21
BUT IT IS A DESCRIPTION OF AN INFANT.

Carefully read several times the above passage and then tell me the mental picture you get between the mother child interactions what is the age of the child. If the mental picture is that of a 17 year old child being carried on the shoulder of his mother, being physically placed in the bush, crying like a baby, mother having to give him water to drink, than the Islamic viewpoint is null and void. Why is there no verbal communications between mother and (17 YEAR OLD) child?

GENESIS: 21:14 - 21
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the (17 YEAR OLD) child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the (17 YEAR OLD) child under one of the bushes. Then she went, and sat down over against him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Let me not look upon the death of the (17 YEAR OLD) child.” And as she sat over against him, the (17 YEAR OLD) child lifted up his voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the (17 YEAR OLD) lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the (17 YEAR OLD) lad where he is. Arise, lift up the (17 YEAR OLD) lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the (17 YEAR OLD) lad a drink. And God was with the (17 YEAR OLD) lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.


The age of Ishmael at this stage is crucial to the Abrahamic faiths. If he is 17 than the JUDEO/CHRISTIAN point of view about the Abrahamic covenant is correct. This has devastating theological consequences of unimaginable proportions.

This makes the conflict between Ishmael and Isaac and there descendants a work of fiction. I would strongly suggest it is clear cut case of racial discrimination and nothing to do with god almighty. The scribes have deliberately tried to make Isaac the only son and legitimate heir to the throne of Abraham??

Please can you rationally explain this anomaly?

I have asked many persons including my nephews and nieces - unbiased minds with no religious backgrounds but with reasonable command of the English language about this passage and they all agree that the child in the passage is an infant.
AS THE DESCRIPTION OF ISHMAEL IN GENESIS 21:14-21 IS THAT OF AN INFANT IT CAN BE ASSUMED SOMEONE HAS MOVED THIS PASSAGE FROM AN EARLIER PART OF SCRIPTURE!!! AND HAVE GOT THERE KNICKERS IN A TWIST.

For background info on the future religion of mankind see the following websites:

http://www.islamicity.com/Mosque/Muhammad_Bible.HTM
(MUHAMMAD IN THE BIBLE)
http://bible.islamicweb.com/
http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696
(ISRAELI HOLOCAUST AND WAR CRIMES)
http://ifamericansknew.com/
http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MB_BQS/default.htm
(BIBLE, QURAN and SCIENCE)
http://www.harunyahya.com/
(EVOLUTION DECEIPT)
http://www.barnabas.net/
http://www.answering-christianity.com/ac.htm
http://www.islamicity.com/
http://www.islamonline.net/english/index.shtml
http://www.islamalways.com/

HOLY QURAN CHAPTER 37 verses 101 - 122

101. So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.

102. Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!"

103. So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah., and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),

104. We called out to him "O Abraham!

105. "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" - thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

106. For this was obviously a trial-

107. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:

108. And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:

109. "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"

110. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

111. For he was one of our believing Servants.

112. And We gave him the good news of Isaac - a prophet,- one of the Righteous.

113. We blessed him and Isaac: but of their progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do wrong, to their own souls.

114. Again (of old) We bestowed Our favour on Moses and Aaron,

115. And We delivered them and their people from (their) Great Calamity;

116. And We helped them, so they overcame (their troubles);

117. And We gave them the Book which helps to make things clear;

118. And We guided them to the Straight Way.

119. And We left (this blessing) for them among generations (to come) in later times:

120. "Peace and salutation to Moses and Aaron!"

121. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

122. For they were two of our believing Servants.

ISHMAEL IS THE FIRST BORN AND GOOD NEWS OF ISSAC DOES NOT APPEAR UNTIL AFTER THE SACRIFICE?????

Therefore the claim that god gave the land to Israel is destroyed without the need of any WMD’s.




HADITH

Volume 4, Book 55, Number 583:
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ishmael. She used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah. Abraham brought her and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him, to a place near the Ka'ba under a tree on the spot of Zam-zam, at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Mecca, nor was there any water So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Ishmael's mother followed him saying, "O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?" She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her Then she asked him, "Has Allah ordered you to do so?" He said, "Yes." She said, "Then He will not neglect us," and returned while Abraham proceeded onwards, and on reaching the Thaniya where they could not see him, he faced the Ka'ba, and raising both hands, invoked Allah saying the following prayers:
'O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Kaba at Mecca) in order, O our Lord, that they may offer prayer perfectly. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits, so that they may give thanks.' (14.37) Ishmael's mother went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she had).
When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him (i.e. Ishmael) tossing in agony; She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed the valley and reached the Marwa mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between Safa and Marwa) seven times."
The Prophet said, "This is the source of the tradition of the walking of people between them (i.e. Safa and Marwa). When she reached the Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, 'O, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?" And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zam-zam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water-skin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out after she had scooped some of it."
The Prophet added, "May Allah bestow Mercy on Ishmael's mother! Had she let the Zam-zam (flow without trying to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water) (to fill her water-skin), Zam-zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth." The Prophet further added, "Then she drank (water) and suckled her child. The angel said to her, 'Don't be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people.' The House (i.e. Kaba) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left. She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a family from Jurhum passed by her and her child, as they (i.e. the Jurhum people) were coming through the way of Kada'. They landed in the lower part of Mecca where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not leaving it. They said, 'This bird must be flying around water, though we know that there is no water in this valley.' They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water, and returned to inform them of the water. So, they all came (towards the water)." The Prophet added, "Ishmael's mother was sitting near the water. They asked her, 'Do you allow us to stay with you?" She replied, 'Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water.' They agreed to that." The Prophet further said, "Ishmael's mother was pleased with the whole situation as she used to love to enjoy the company of the people. So, they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child (i.e. Ishmael) grew up and learnt Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up, and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them.

Anonymous said...

"Please can you rationally explain this anomaly?"

I am assuming you are directing your comment at me. However, I don't really understand exactly what you are getting at through your post. If you are trying to show that Islam is the One True Faith™, please understand that I personally think each and every Abrahamic faith is based on a work of fiction.

I don't expect anyone here will assign any importance to whether Isaac or Ishmael was the firstborn of Abraham, or which one is entitled to whatever birthright the Koran, Hadith, Talmud, Torah, or Bible says they are. The bottom line is that the Abrahamic religions are, of a piece, engines of intolerance, hate, and destruction.

If your intention was otherwise, then I apologize in advance for not understanding you.

Thanks for the kind words, everyone else. I've been busy futzing around with my own blog and haven't had much time to comment at exC. It's great to be able to discuss these kinds of issues with you all.

Astreja said...

Well, that Islamic preaching was a total waste of bandwidth and had nothing to do with the topic of Dobson's comments on same-sex parenting.

I consider the Qur'an to be a deeply flawed piece of religious fiction (along with the New Testament, the Tanakh, and every other collection of words that purports to speak for invisible gods).

Addressing the OP, I find it appalling that individuals who claim to value "the family" are ignoring studies that disagree with their personal views. Two moms or two dads *can* successfully raise a child in a supportive environment. Period.

religionkills said...

HAH! The whole crispie community is so full of shit about this subject! I grew up in a "traditional" house hold to the tune of being repeatedly molested and raped by my step-father, from the age of 10 till I was almost 16, who I thought was my natural father for years because my christian mother had told me and my sisters this very thing. She dragged us to church every f**king sunday and preached to us about how wrong it was to lie. Dobson, and other so-called experts like him don't have a f**king clue about what seems to constitute the "traditional" family. I've known several gay couples with kids and they were far more well adjusted psychologically than most kids from these "traditional" families. The years and money I spent in therapy over this shit until I woke up to the bullshit of this bullshit religion would astound you. Funny, but not once in the last 20 years have I EVER read of a same sex couple sexually abusing their kids.
Can't say the same for all the "good christians". You crispies make me want to puke. (by the way, crispies is my term for all you f**ked up asshole "christians" that keep trying to shove their bullshit morality down everyone's throat.)

religionkills said...

I agree with Astreja on anonymos' islamic bullshit. That so-called religion is even worse than xianity! The quran is the ravings of a lunatic! The "holy bible" a hodge podge of different cutural beliefs with very little merit to it...other than some possible historical value. Buddy, if your trying to get converts to islam, then I'd advise you to save your breath, and these people's bandwidth. This is not a muslim country and I hope like hell it NEVER will be.

blaine said...

Thanks J. C. Samuelson for a wonderful and insightful post.
xrayman said, "I guess the only real problem I have with gay parents is the way the kids would inevidably get picked on in school when other kids found out, and you know it would happen. Kids are cruel, and the child of gay parents would be quite a target of ridicule."

I can understand where you are coming from xray but I have to disagree. Yes it could and in all likelihood be rough on all involved but I also heard the same logic presented when the Civil Rights struggle was going on. This argument was most often used, as it is still used by too many today, on why there should be no inter-racial marriage. I know personally the consequences of that argument on those it is used against-their pain and dismay is beyond words. This whole thing boils down to prejudice which is hateful and the result of fear, ignorance and religious intolerance and bigotry.
Yes, there will be suffering, but we cannot remain silent or inactive in the face of evil.
Your friend, blaine