Friday, December 2, 2011

Zach Wahls is messed up. Here's how.



I've seen this video floating around facebook quite a bit the past day or so.  If you haven't seen the video, watch it.  If you already have, just to refresh your memory, the YouTube video summary says exactly this: Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which would end civil unions in Iowa.

In many of the facebook threads I've seen linking this video, those sympathetic to his cause have asked the same question. How can you possibly disagree with him?  People want to know.  After watching this, how can you possibly believe that being raised by a gay couple is harmful to children?

Easy.  By hearing what Mr. Wahls says.  By merely listening to the words that come out of his lips.  Because when I do that, it's quite clear that being raised by two women has, for lack of a better phrase, really messed him up.  Here's how:

30 seconds into his speech, Mr. Wahls informs us that he and his younger sister are full blooded siblings because his biological mother was artificially inseminated twice with sperm from the same anonymous donor.  And how does he feel about that?  That's something which is really cool for me, he states.

So, to dial things back a bit, Mr. Wahls' biological mother wanted to be fruitful and multiply and raise her children with another woman.  This, however, was problematic for her because, per the natural laws of the God who made the heavens and the earth, it takes man parts and lady parts in order to make a baby, and neither she nor her lesbian partner had such man parts.

So to remedy that problem, what did Mr. Wahls' biological mother do?  She went to a sperm bank.  And by doing so, however indirectly it may have been, she encouraged a man to take the precious gift of life that God put into his loins and spill it into a cup.  She took the gift of fatherhood, the sacred title that our Father in Heaven blesses men to share with Him, and she mocked it.  She looked at the titles husband and father, and said,  I don't want your love.  I don't want your sacrifice.  I don't want your guidance or your courage or your care or your forgiveness, and I don't want to cherish you as one flesh with me.  All I want is something very specific from your sexual organs.  And I'll give you money for it, if you'll agree to just go away once we're done.

That's what Mr. Wahls' biological mother did.  She paid money to sexually humiliate another human being.  She paid a man made in God's image to give her what God Himself had told her she could not have as long as she lived contrary to His law.  Though she never saw this man's face, and though he may have left his "donation" willingly, she treated the father of her children like a prostitute.  

And what does her son, Zach Wahls, think about all that?

That's something which is really cool for me.

The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character, Mr. Wahls says later in his speech.  And I have no doubt that he wants that to be true.  But it's not true.  Because, in service of their sexual orientation, the two women who raised Mr. Wahls told him that men are entirely disposable once they've been harvested of their seed.  They spent 19 years proclaiming to their son that a man's faithfulness to his offspring can be purchased for nothing more than fifty bucks and a pornographic magazine.  In every day of his life, Mr. Wahls two "mommies" taught him that women have every right to humiliate men, to pimp them out, to demean and shame them if it suits their purposes.

And in the end, he believed them.

So, while Mr. Wahls may be very polite and articulate, while he may be intelligent and dignified and a million other things that nobody has ever said that children of gay couples can't be, he doesn't respect men.  He doesn't value fatherhood.  And he doesn't understand the horrors of glorifying yourself by shaming your neighbor.  And he doesn't do those things precisely because he was raised by two women.

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry that you are a man of the lord, however, it is not up to me to pass judgement.

Kenneth J. Bomberger said...

Well said, Hans.

Charles Pustejovsky said...

Anyonymous I am sorry you posted on this blog, however, it is not up to me to pass judgement.

Amanda said...

And God is the embodiment of love. Love is present in many forms, and although humans are imperfect, God is utterly perfect. Your logic would go on to support a ban on organ donation or blood banks. If someone needed a kidney and you have two, would you not give one if you could? That is because the gift of life is a precious thing. Just because a man doesn't want to be a father doesn't mean that he shouldn't play a part in others' happiness. Why shouldn't it be "cool" that he and his sister are full siblings? If either of them is ever ill, they will be the closest match possible for each other. I understand your discomfort, but I don't see any justifiable arguments here. I think you're fishing for ammunition, and maybe you should look into whether you're coming from a place of love or a place of anger and fear.

Anonymous said...

Confessions of a Confessional Lutheran on the Higher End of Mid-Church... ok soooooo your confession is, it's not possible for you to love all of those who God has crated just as you would want to be loved? Could you please post something that brings you down from your holy box so that we could no in all of you confession that you are in fact just as much a sinner as the people in this story? Thanks. o and Amanda, its a place of fear and an unwillingness to step outside is Church box. Fiene, I pray that God convicts you of his love and compassion for all sinners including yourself and the other pastors that are in the box of the LCMS. Your words cast nothing but judgment (sin).

mlorfeld said...

I also wonder if he thinks it is "cool" that many of his siblings were murdered, are in a perpetual frozen state, or are being used as experiments.

mlorfeld said...

I should also point out, that Father Fiene has the divinely instituted vocation TO Judge in matters pertaining to the Word of God. So those who do no have such a vocation and are crying foul of him being judgmental are really guilty of the very sin they complain about that Father Fiene has not actually committed as he has a command from the Lord in his vocation to do so.

Anonymous said...

mlorfeld, you can only say that he has been called to make judgment by God in the LCMS because only the LCMS believes that he has this ability to do so... Not for the rest of the Church. You all seem to have a large need for narcissism within every statement. I'm wondering if this is how you also live out your lives as men of God.

Shamis said...

Wow, for not knowing this family, you sure have a lot to say!

My name is Shamis and Zebby Wahls (his sister) is right here with me! The reason I am writing instead of her is because I get a bit more riled up than she does.

What I want to say is that all you are talking about here is artificial insemination. You are trying to make an arguement about homosexuals but in reality you're just making an arguement about artificial insemination.

I bet if a heterosexual couple couldn't concieve a child naturally, you would be just fine if they went the route of getting a sperm donor. It wouldn't be sexually humiliating a man.

Zebby also says that regardless of her mom being lesbian, her mom already had a scarred falopian tube that was more problematic in having a child than her sexual preference.

Zach is an eagle scout and by no means hates men or fatherhood.

You sound ridiculous! You make it sound like lesbians are just man haters and that is why they are lesbian. Lesbian =/= man hater.

It's people like you who don't do their research that give good Christians a bad name.

My regards.

-Shamis

Anonymous said...

This is a load of bull. This is ignorance at its finest. How do you possibly know that Mr. Wahls doesn't value fatherhood? You are making assumptions, that are entirely ridiculous. You act like the mothers of Mr. Wahls took a gun to the donors head and forced him to give them sperm. Men ARE willing participants in this process, and you have nothing to say about that. Everything goes back to the fact that he was raised by lesbians. Maybe having a full sister is "cool for him", because although he does have 2 mothers, he is lucky enough to have a full-blooded sister?

Anonymous said...

Pastor Fiene, it isn't fine that you are intentionally broadcasting your reactionary views, albeit via transparently illogical prose. We fully believe that you comprehend "the horrors of glorifying yourself by shaming your neighbor" - since you exhibit that "horror" quite well in this blog. Please find a drum & some remote forest somewhere & drum away until your masculinity is affirmed. That would be far less harmful than spreading inflammatory fallacies online. A concerned (male) Anonymous.

Adam kegg said...

While I usually find your blogs and posts to be be overtly abrasive to even most confessional Christians, I have to agree with you 100% on this issue.

And to the anonymous commenters, grow some male parts or female parts and at least leave your initials...

Joe said...

Must also note that much of your argument about disrespecting God's natural order would hold true for heterosexual couples who resort to artificial insemination. Obviously, if a hetero couple did so it would be due to a problem with the male side of the couple. Would they also be treating the donor as a prostitute? I have a feeling that you would view such an instance as a matter of grace, where God is at work in this broken world through doctors and technology. So then, and I mean this sincerely, where is your argument? There are plenty of Christians struggling to find clarity on this issue and I don't see how your argument provides it.

Anonymous said...

I was raised by a man and a women, and I am pretty messed up. But my neighbor, who talks to big foot, she was raised by a single Farmer, who ate chickens. She is pretty messed up too. So, is the debate about Gay's raising children, or that Gay's sin against God. If it is the latter, the only way to fix this, is repent, and not be Gay anymore. Simple, solved... have a great day.

Eric L said...

Pastor Hans, Amen! Homosexuality IS a SIN. We pray for every sinner, including ourselves. Homosexuality is pardonable. God says it is an abomination. God is merciful, yes. God is also just. God made male and female God did not not make homosexuals. Humans CHOOSE TO BE Homosexual. Repent I pray. Nowhere in Scripture is Sexual immorality or homosexuality condoned by God. Old or New Testament.

Anonymous said...

I feel that you are part of the reason that many people sterotype Christians as judgemental and hypocritical. You have twisted this young man's words into being degrading towards men and that he is "messed up" by being raised by two women. How does that translate into being brainwashed into thinking men are disposible? In my mind, you are the one who apprears to be "messed up".

Anonymous said...

I feel that you are part of the reason that many people sterotype Christians as judgmental and hypocritical. You have twisted this young man's words into being degrading towards men and that he is "messed up" by being raised by two women. How does that translate into being brainwashed into thinking men are disposable? In my mind, you are the one who apprears to be "messed up".

Anonymous said...

Eric, be silent in matters you do not understand.

Pr. Fiene, I simply love how these Anonymice assume that you condone sperm donation for heterosexual couples. I think by your words in this post (and other posts on this blog) it is clear that you do not condone sperm donation at all. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

As far as your argument, though, I'm not sure if it's as strong as it could be. I think a heterosexually-raised child would also think it is "cool" that an artificially-inseminated person could have a full-blooded sibling. This is more a result of our perverse culture, I think, than the sexual orientation of the parents. How is Zach Wahls messed up? The clearest example is the fact that he thinks perverting the will of God and the order of creation is okay (namely, in the lives of his parents). His conscience has been dulled and his values skewed, something he will continue to skew in the lives of his (presumable) children. I think citing that example is better than the artificial insemination angle.

-Daniel B.

Michael Anthony said...

What have you been smoking? Whatever it is, keep it away from me.

CJ01950 said...

Pastor, As a confirmed Lutheran, I find your conclusions and judgements about this fine young man unacceptable. If there is a judgement to be passed on gays, thats not your job, it is God's.

Do you honestly feel that straight couples who seek sperm donors due to various medical reasons also de-value fatherhood or humiliate their neighbors?

It is this sort of over cooked venom, so common in the church, that makes me seek (and find) the holy spirit everywhere except in a house of worship.

C.M.Y. said...

Unless I'm very much mistaken, you do not know Mr. Wahls, nor his parents, nor the circumstances of his home life. Therefore, you have no reason to believe that he does not respect men or value fatherhood. You are harshly judging the life of someone you have never met. Even if you do not agree with his words or his upbringing, you should not malign them. After all, doesn't it say in Romans to "welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God"?

Lund Family said...

Pastor Fiene is preaching and teaching to us on God's Word on a cultural topic that draws lots of fire. Bravo for doing what he is called to do and correctly doing so.

Anonymous said...

Oh, hell click bait. I'd get all up in arms but the purpose of this blog is not to foster any real discussion but to get upset people to click on the link and yourself some attention. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about and I dismiss you utterly out of hand as an attention-seeking idiot.

Good Day, *cough* Sir.

Serotonin said...

Wouldn't conceiving of a child naturally be killing millions of potential children anyway? So, in a way, artificial insemination is less wasteful, and therefore, more respectful to god.

William Sisskind said...

Father,

I must try to respect you, as you know more about the faith than I. But you of all people should be loving toward this individual, who has the courage to stand up and oppose legislation that would challenge the union of the two women who rose him.

You are a man of God. God, whoever He is, wouldn't ask you to have a vendetta against this man. He's got other more important things to worry about. And let's face it; times have changed. It's 2011. Do you think God is really worried about a man who was brought up by two women? Do you think he's upset that he never had a father? Do you think he's concerned?

And furthermore, you cannot read Zach Wahls's mind. You can't, and if you received a message from God about him then your signal clearly got messed up with interference from all of the cell phones. How are you sure that Zach Wahls doesn't respect men, value fatherhood, or glorifying yourself by shaming your neighbor?

And even if he does, he's right! Women can humiliate us. Hell, some men even like it. And if a man wants to put his sperm in a bank because two women might want to bring an eloquently-worded and polite individual into the world, then he has every right to do it and the two women have every right to seize that opportunity. You telling them not to is just motivation.

I think that you're just running your own selfish mouth, Father. God wouldn't like that. Then again, I don't know what God thinks.

Again, you're a man of the faith. I'm just a lowly student. I'd hope that we could have a more educated debate about this, that you might teach me something I don't know, and that I might be able to answer back.

Merci.

Anonymous said...

There are so many hasty generalizations and false assumptions here I don't even know where to begin...

The shortest way to summarize all of the falacies here is to say "You have so little knowledge about the actual people you are accusing of monsterous actions that nobody of intelligence would believe you."

Jon said...

John 6:60

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[e] and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

XX said...

Just some thoughts for you:
1) Sperm donators generally do it voluntarily, so clearly they don't have a problem masturbating in a cup. Most men don't have a problem masturbating, from what I understand. Therefore sperm donation does not involve "sexually humiliating another human being."
2) My dad considered going to seminary. He researched what the original Greek of "homosexual" means in the Bible, and it's not what you think. Maybe you should educate yourself before you start pointing fingers.
3) I was formerly a lutheran and I'm appalled at your theology.
4) I went to a Christian high school, and the last I checked, Jesus asked us to LOVE EACH OTHER. It's not that hard. Actually, I do it every day and I'm agnostic.
5) Have a nice life being a male chauvinist pig.

Danny Keith James said...

Someone once said:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

TD said...

I read what you wrote. Not what many of the Anon. here wished to read.

You are absolutely correct and when taken in the simple and clear meaning of your words, all the folk who now disapprove would find a deep love for your fellow man and woman, rather than the criticism they so desperately need to give themselves value.

Kerri said...

Wow, this is truly impressive.

Way to mask intolerance as insight, man. Seriously.

There are a lot of arguments to put out here, but I'm pretty sure none of them will help you out at all. Ignorance tends to be its own validation and its own argument.

Rock on; Shamis, Anonymous, et al. I'm done here.

Just call me Q said...

You sir (who is the author of this article) are an uneducated, hateful human being. I do not say uneducated in terms of schooling, but of reality. You took 1 thing this man said, and attacked it, putting words in his mouth and demeaning him without due cause. You claim that "the two women who raised Mr. Wahls told him that men are entirely disposable once they've been harvested of their seed." You are so ignorant it isn't even funny, you are what disgusts me in this world. His mothers were probably thankful for the man willing to give them the gift that is their child, I have no doubt in my mind that they have the utmost respect for men. Personally, I disagree with sperm (and egg) banks, but when it comes down to practical use, there is no difference between a lesbian using one to start an family, and a straight woman with a sterile husband. You provide no actual evidence for your claim other than blatantly personal opinions that are made to sway people into hating someone who appears to be and probably is, a perfectly wonderful person. Please, keep your ignorant, hateful, slanderous drawls off the internet and away from those of us who would prefer a legitimate and peaceful article to read about a good man.

Anonymous said...

Why should his character be called into question just because he violates a religious belief that he doesn't share with you?

Anonymous sperm donors are volunteers. These women didn't "take" anything.

Anonymous said...

You represent everything that is wrong with the world. Your ignorance astounds me. Not only do you lack any semblance of logic to your arguments, but you are hateful and blind. Using a sperm bank in no way implies a hatred for men. Mr. Wahl's mother has every right to not want a man in her life. She is not disrespecting men, she is not humiliating them, she simply does not want to have sex with them. I'm sorry that your religious beliefs make you so uncomfortable with your sexuality that you cannot enjoy masturbation. Ask anyone else, it's pretty awesome, and not at all humiliating.

I happen to know many people who were born as a result of their parent's use of artificial insemination. There is no implied message that men are disposable. Those children value parenthood, love, respect, and tolerance. They see a family as any group of people who love, support, care for, and provide for each other.

I feel sorry for your family. Love is not love if it is conditional. Zach Wahls is more of a man then you will ever be and his mothers are infinitely better people than you.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This article is absolutely ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I feel sry for u b<c this was linked on reddit atheism.
DW retards who spends a lot of time proving they r such, by writing an envious and prejudice blog leaves a bad after taste in any person`s mouth, atheist or religious.
So you are still being fairly Judged.
Amen, oh snap, burn, burn in hell XD
yea let`s just say I support ur views

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

There is a very simple word to explain people like you, people that hide behind faith to support their own sick views of the way things should or should not be... that word is Bigot...
You're a disgrace to your religion, and the human race.

Amy H said...

I see both sides of this. I don't feel That Pastor was trying to attack the young man. He has his beliefs and you have yours. It is up to God to judge in the end. However, it is up to clergymen to educate others about God's words.

I do feel that this young man seems capable of being more than an acceptionable member of society. Something a lot of "men and women" couples fail at frequently!! I've never heard of statistics claiming that the "unacceptable" members of society were raised by homosexuals. I dare to guess that the majority had only one parent or a male and a female.

In the end, I say leave it up to God to decide write from wrong! Amazing Grace has saved a wretch like me!!! How can I say someone else is more wrong than I have been! May God bless everyone with the peace that passes all (human) understanding!!

Dan Latimer said...

In spite of what a lot of people want to believe these days, men and women are actually different than one another, and have unique characteristics that qualify them for the incredibly difficult task of parenting children together. These characteristics are complimentary. That's not a mistake. God gave us fathers and mothers for a reason. That's not to say that a kid like Zach can't end up leading a productive, well-adjusted life in a number of ways; ways that would convince someone looking through the lens of this world that his parenting was equal to that of a child with parents of both genders.

But I feel badly for this young man, that he will never know what I know, which is that my father has served all my life as not only as my role model, but as the one person from whom I have developed my identity as a man and as a father myself. But it is more than that. He is an example here on earth of what it is that our Heavenly Father is to us. From my father's unconditional love I have a tangible example here on earth that, in times of weakness, brought me back from the brink and convinced me that God in Heaven is real, and that He awaits us.

It is not a mistake that God intended for us each to have fathers. Not all are fortunate enough to have a father all their lives (or, for some, at all), but that we would make a conscious decision to rob some children of a father in their lives, to steal that gift which has been truly one of the biggest blessings in my life; that is what is wrong with this situation.

For those of you who read this writing and, because of your biased view of the world, jump to the conclusion that Pastor Fiene's position is one of hatred, not love, I feel for you, too. Your view of the world has been jaundiced. You have accepted a view of this world that is something less than that which God intended for us. The world tries to cheat you of your true inheritance; yet you cheer with joy that at the scraps you are given and turn your back on what your Creator has promised. God gave us the gifts we have in this world for a reason. For us to question that reason seems a bit presumptuous, and perhaps just a tad like our arrogance has blinded us to the truth.

Rev. Michael Monterastelli said...

God loves men who want to put their junk into other male poop shoots; He also loves women who want to lie with other women as with a husband. He loves all sinners by calling us to repent of our sinful desires (like sexually immoral desires) and to believe that Jesus spilled His blood for us. He calls us to repent and believe through lovingly faithful men like Father Fiene. God bless you, brother. Love, Rev. MSM

Pastor Fiene said...

Holy Toledo, lots of comments. I don't have time to respond to everything, but here are my major points.

1. I view paying someone money for the gift of life that God has placed into their loins to be dehumanizing, regardless of the sexual preference of whoever does it. Men should be fathers and women should be mothers to the children whom God knit together with their DNA. And those men and women should be husband and wife.

2. I am aware that the anonymous donor gave his seed willingly. That's why I compared these actions to prostitution and not to rape.

3. Christ's words against judging do not forbid Christians from pointing to the things that God has declared to be sinful and declaring them as such. We are not to judge like the Pharisees, who boast of their own righteousness and deny the mercy of God to those broken by the Law. But we should call sin what it is, first the sin in our own lives, and the sin we see in the world. The apostles and prophets, sinners themselves, call people to repentance all throughout the Scriptures.

4. I recognize that I used some rather incendiary language in this post, especially in the title. But let's remember that, as far as me leveling a personal attack against someone I don't know, Mr. Wahls is the one who submitted his own character as evidence in support of gay marriage. "I was raised by two women. I am now an exemplary young man," he pretty much directly states.

So, if Mr. Wahls wants to point to his own functionality in order to make his case, fine. But neither he nor anybody else ought to cry foul when I point to what I perceive to be a great disfunctionality in order to make my case.

And that's all I did. I didn't claim to know his heart. I didn't read anything into his words. I simply pointed out that Mr. Wahls thinks its great that his mother was artificially inseminated with the sperm of the same man twice.

5. Identifying a perceived inconsistency in my argument (Response point #1) is not a response to my argument. Questioning my authority to make my argument and/or lamenting the tone of it (points #3 and 4) are also not responses to my argument. In order to persuade me, you'll have to show me what's wrong with the actual argument. And, in order to do that, you'll have to deal with the argument directly.

So, if you're interested in that, I'm all ears. But stick to the actual argument itself.

Also, I've disabled anonymous comments. If you have something to contribute, even if it's just to tell me what a loving person you are before insulting me, you'll have to leave a name.

Cleo said...

My issue with this post is not your reasoning or argument (although, I personally believe your reasoning and argument to be unnecessarily hateful, and based on a misinterpretation of a religious text, but that's just my own opinion). You have every right to hate who you want, and call them on what you believe are sins. The real problem that I have here, is you using your religion to justify the creation of law. Your judgment about this man's character is only applicable within the confines, and moral structure of your religion. Our country was thoughtfully created based on the principle of the separation of church and state. This was to ensure that this country's citizens could safely and confidently practice their own religion (or lack there of), and enjoy the same benefits and protection as every other citizen. I have no doubt that the interpretation of the bible that you believe gives you plenty of reasons to hate this man, and criticize his character, but that interpretation of the bible has absolutely no place in our constitution.

Thomas Fernandes said...

Oh and a side note, let's not forget all the horrifying things done in the name of Christianity. Let's not forget how Christianity came into existence through the persecution and execution of those who didn't believe in its bs. All the Native that were forced to convert from their centuries old practices that allowed them to live in harmony with the Earth because they were seen a savage and primitive in the eyes of Christians...Yeah Christianity is a bad joke. Most Christians don't even know the horrific past of their religion. The blind leading the blind.

I. M. Abaldy II said...

Thank you Father Fiene for a sermon on fatherhood and the good and gracious will of our Fine Father who art in heaven.

Did God really say it takes a man and a woman to make, bear and rear a family?

Why, yes, as per Genesis 1:27-28, 2:18-25; & Exodus 20:12, 14; et al,
He most certainly did.

Pastor Fiene said...

Also, aggressive comments will be bounced.

I. M. Abaldy II said...

BTW, this also has ramifications for, and application to, the ordination of women from the perspectives of both church and state.

Pastor Fiene said...

Cleo, I don't hate Mr. Wahls. I simply believe that what his biological mother did in order to conceive him was deplorable, and that his rejoicing over it is evidence of a troubling view of the disposability of men and fathers that was implicitly taught to him by virtue of having lesbian parents.

What religious texts do you think I've misunderstood?

Joe said...

Sometimes bringing up inconsistencies helps us to better understand the argument. Your initial blog pretty much makes two points: 1) Artificial insemination is bad, and 2) bringing up children without a father teaches them that men are not necessary and degrades them (and therefore God and his created order). And I take it that both of these points are meant to show how off track our culture is in regard to human sexuality.

Okay, I get that. But let me play God's advocate here a little. Let's imagine another situation. A woman has a tough go with men. She is mistreated and decides that she's done with them. But, as often happens, she gets pregnant out of marriage. She raises that child on her own, and never really pursues marriage. Now, according to your logic she is implicitly degrading men and essentially spitting in God's face because she is intentionally not following God's order of creation. I would argue that she is a broken woman in a broken world and that the beauty of the gospel is that God comes into broken lives such as these and redeems them, washes them clean, and says, "life isn't about being perfect or about how things 'should' go, it's about being mine and about where I'm working in your life despite the mess." Now maybe I'm wrong about how I see God's grace towards such a woman. But if I'm not, then the real question is where is the limit to God's grace? Does God's grace cover up the multitude of sins in the single heterosexual woman's life, but not in the lesbian couples' lives? Again I mean this sincerely, is this the crux of the matter here or have I missed the point?

Daniel Trapp said...

Your comments are fairly superficial and way beyond the pale if you are actually trying to convince someone of your cause, which I believe is that homosexuality is a sin and that marriage between one man and one woman should in fact be codified into law.

To the second part of this: we value separation of church and state in the United States. This means one's theological beliefs do not have a place in our legal system. It allows individuals to believe many different things (some of which we do not hold true ourselves) because we value their right to hold their beliefs as much as our right to hold ours. While some Christians will say homosexuality is a sin, that's irrelevant here in a system that places certain legal benefits on a union between two people. The country should recognize some legal union that offers the same rights to any two individuals of legal age. A majority of our countrymen think this should be the case, and no matter how you argue it, you cannot escape from the fact that you are only standing on theological arguments here.

Second, I'm amazed you're arguing against artificial insemination. Last I checked, Lutheran doctrine does not have any strong thoughts on this and, referring to my original point: even if you do believe that this is a sin (and again, I find it hard that you would tell one of your members that this is a sin to their face if they were struggling to conceive), that's not even up for discussion in our country and is a seriously weak starting point for your argument.

Third, I'm surprised you deducted that this young man does not respect men or fatherhood because he was raised by lesbians. Not every child has two loving parents and that does not necessarily invalidate their value of fatherhood or respect for men. This is a gross overstatement.

From your original post:
"...he doesn't respect men. He doesn't value fatherhood. And he doesn't understand the horrors of glorifying yourself by shaming your neighbor. And he doesn't do those things precisely because he was raised by two women."

Touche: apparently you understand the horrors of glorifying yourself by shaming your neighbor? Ahem.

Finally, as a fifth generation LCMS Lutheran, it pains me to no end to see your words here representing the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as a Lutheran pastor. Instead of making a salient argument for your cause: that you think homosexuality is a sin and therefore our law should state marriage is between one man and one woman, you choose instead to bring up lesbians using artificial insemination as the culprit; call into question this man's feelings toward men (unsubstantiated, except by your own misguided deduction); and otherwise make hateful comments about his family.

I understand (kind of) where you're coming from, though I think you miss out on the fundamental point that this is not about your religious beliefs. It's about an amendment to the constitution of the State of Iowa that discriminates against two people.

Further, regardless of the law, I'm sad that you miss out on the message that Christ offers us salvation by grace through faith that I was taught growing up in the LCMS. Christ's message is not one of hate or exclusion - which is the point you make here when you single out homosexuality as a sin and that all gays should repent - and you've missed the Gospel entirely.

I tried reading some other posts on your blog to see what other thoughtful theological points you might be making if, indeed, you want to be considered a thoughtful, well-spoken individual. But your notes and your thought process is disappointingly shallow and I gave up my effort.

I hope and pray that your faith leads you to welcome ALL people to God's kingdom and share with them the Good News of his death and resurrection. Repeatedly pointing out faults and making incendiary political comments will do nothing but drive people away from the Good News - and no Christian should want that.

Alexander Whipple said...

Its shit like this christians, shit like this that gives you such an awful name. He did not, "lose respect for man", because he clearly does not follow your egocentric religion. As a child of two lesbians, and atheist, I can truthfully say that it has had no negative effect on my character, aside from preventing me from growing up with my father, who left my mother. Yes, she was straight when she had me. If this concept bothers you so much, than ignore it. Its not your place to cast judgements, fuck off.

I. M. Abaldy II said...

@ Alexander, who wrote: "I can truthfully say that it has had no negative effect on my character"

Obviously.

268b257c-1d7f-11e1-a448-000f20980440 said...

For anyone to say it's wrong for you to love another person, regardless of gender, is ignorant, rude, and just wrong. Who are you to deny someone something so wonderful and amazing as love and a family? Because they are attracted to the same gender and may believe in something different than you?Can't you see how wrong that sounds? Are they hurting you or anyone else? No. 'It's evil and the spawn of the devil' or whatever you want to call it is NOT an answer. Is war evil? Yes. But we still do it. 9/11 happened because of religion. A lot of other wars, and millions of people died because of religion (yes, Christianity as well) because someone didn't agree with you.

And if someone who was raised by two women, or men, isn't a bad person (i.e. doesn't lie, steal, cheat, etc.) then OBVIOUSLY Mr. I. M. Abaldy II, they aren't bad people, and their parents didn't have a negative effect of their character. Then again, you have people who are products of loving, male and female relationships, that are murderers, rapists, and all kinds of horrible things. It isn't the gender of the parents that influence character. It's what you teach your children.
TL;DR Having two parents of the same sex isn't wrong. It's love and it should be considered beautiful, regardless of gender.

I. M. Abaldy II said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I. M. Abaldy II said...

Words have gender. People have sex.

Both teach our children something.

But only the Word and Him crucified for us and our children will remain.

Grant this Lord unto us all.

Rev. Kurt Hering, Pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church
Layton. UT
www.trinitylayton.org

CMillerMT79 said...

Oh so you've spoken to him and his parents concerning what they taught him about men? You've personally asked him about where he places the value of a father? You must have. Otherwise, making the claims you do would be out of pure ignorance and blind desire to prove yourself right. You make no valid argument except to show others exactly what is wrong with this world, that being closed-minded like you is hindering us from acheiving a community of real love and understanding. You are absurd.

I. M. Abaldy II said...

"Oh so you've spoken to him and his parents concerning what they taught him about men? You've personally asked him about where he places the value of a father? You must have. Otherwise, making the claims you do would be out of pure ignorance and blind desire to prove yourself right."

No, rather made in confession of the revealed Word of God the Crucified for the sake of those for whom He died--including each and every one of all y'all.

Joshua said...

Not only is it pure opinion and speculation, it's demeaning and downright condescending.

As a heathen atheist, I'll will learn to tolerate and love the shit out of you evangelicals.

dontbesuchadick said...

Wow you're a really hateful prick. The whole "men aren't necessary" bit.. really? are you so insecure? The scary part is that people like you think you're in the right and there's nothing scarier than a monster who thinks god is on his side. The only good thing about all this is eventually reason will win out and you and your ideals will eventually fade from the earth. Once that happens humanity might have a chance to grow into something more than the mindless sheep your religion and all the others like it would like us to be.

LutherRocks said...

Rock on Pastor Fiene, rock on. Your editorial is well founded on the Word of God. No one is going to win an argument against the Word. It is disturbing how love is used as law these days especially in 'christian' circles...lub lub lub.

The road to perdition is paved with well intentions...people have lost touch with what tough love is. Lord God have mercy.

Joe

theartserv said...

Homosexuality is an unnatural thing for me.
But, if LOVE is the only thing that's count, then why you opened mind people disagree :
- polygamy ( I refer to the modern polygamy in which partners are in willingly and not forced to do so)
- incestuously relationships
- relationships between relatives , including brothers and sisters.
- zoophilia relationship (check the Internet for that term and you'll see lots of men and women in very love with their animals ..and at least about the women and their dog lover I saw a very reciprocally love :) )
There are more examples of strong reciprocally LOVE which is forbidden and denied by not only the "closed-minded Christian" people but by the open-minded pro-homosexuality people, too.

Well, those I mentioned above love which others ! Why are they persecuted and their LOVE denied?
Are the open minded persons bigots?

Pastor Anderson said...

This is where Utilitarianism brings us. The goal of life is to be happy and to minimize or eliminate all suffering. Therefore I will do whatever it takes to be happy and to minimize suffering. If not being able to naturally have a child causes me suffering I will do whatever it takes to minimize that in order to be happy. Your only importance to me is the utility of providing me sperm (or egg) - beside that act, you have no importance to me, as father or mother. You are only important to me for the utility you provide because my only goal is my happiness. This kind of thinking not only gives us AI, but also IVF, stem cell harvesting, and on and on. We have become a nation of Utilitarianists, and we cover up all of our unmitigated selfishness with the word: LOVE. God have mercy on us

EriK said...

Very good point. Valuable perspective.

Zach Goldstein said...

this is the biggest crock of hateful bullshit i've ever read

Andrew said...

Insightful argument, Zach.

pastordbeck said...

At least people are telling you you're hateful in a loving way, (profanity, vulgarity, etc.), actually arguing the issue (@Zach Goldstein, etc.), and preaching the "everyone has a valid viewpoint" mantra (except you).

Stirred up a hornet's nest you have...Apparently you're also responsible for the crusades!

Keep preaching truth, the world will probably hate you for it all the more. Didn't Jesus say something about that?

Pastor Fiene said...

Daniel Trapp,
A few points of response:
1. The separation of church and state, as defined in the 1st Amendment, simply means that the government cannot establish a national religion or prohibit people from exercising their religion. So the government can’t establish Lutheranism as the official national religion, nor can it throw people in jail for failing to be Lutheran. It doesn’t mean that Confessional Lutherans can’t vote for elected officials or seek to pass legislation that reflects the ethics of their particular religious worldview. And it also doesn’t mean that those whose religious worldviews cause them to support liberal legislation can’t vote according to their consciences as well.

2. As to artificial insemination, Lutheran doctrine is Biblical doctrine. And Biblical doctrine states that God has given men and women their reproductive parts so that they can be fruitful and multiply. It also states that fathers should be fathers to their children and that mothers should be mothers to their children. If any members of my congregation came to me to talk about having fertility issues, I would tell them that the solution to their problem is to keep praying that God would open the womb and to trust in the mercy of Christ regardless of the Lord’s answer, to rejoice that they have been blessed to carry the same cross that Sarai and Hannah, amongst many others, bore for much of their lives, and to consider adopting a child. I would tell them that all of these things are godly ways to deal with the thorn in their flesh and that buying the sperm or egg of someone whom God has not given to be their husband or wife is not.

Pastor Fiene said...

3. I’m not saying that one automatically despises fatherhood if one grows up without a father. I’m saying that one is automatically taught to despise fatherhood if one’s mother deliberately ensures that one’s father has no role in one’s life outside of contributing his sperm. I’m also saying that, if one says his mother’s act of twice buying a man’s sperm in order to give her children a full-blooded relationship is awesome, then his mother’s instruction has been successful. Had Mr. Wahls stated that he wishes he could have known his biological father, but that he still loves his mother regardless of how he was conceived, I wouldn’t have said that he despises fatherhood. But he stated that he thinks it’s cool that his mom bought a dude’s sperm twice. So, yes, he despises fatherhood. In the same way, if a man leaves his wife for another woman, and his son says, “I think what my dad did is wrong, but I still love him,” I wouldn’t conclude that he despises marital faithfulness. But if he says, “I think what my dad did is great because you need to do whatever you can to be happy in life,” then I’d conclude that he does.

4. I’m glad that you were taught what it means to be saved by grace through faith growing up in the LCMS. But you seem to have forgotten what you were taught about the relationship between the Law and the Gospel, and the relationship between repentance and forgiveness. In John 20, when Jesus institutes the office of the ministry, he tells his disciples, “if you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained.” So when people repent of their sins, you cover them in the blood of Christ. If people refuse to repent of their sins, you let their sins burn atop their head until they repent. Zach Wahls and his family are publicly unrepentant. From every word that he speaks, it is very clear that neither his mother nor her partner repent of their sin of engaging in homosexual activity. Nor does he repent of his sin of blasphemy by calling good what God has called evil. Christ loves Zach Wahls. He loves his family. And every drop of his blood that he shed, he shed in order to win them out of the hands of the devil. But as long as they remain in unbelief by holding to their sins, the same Jesus Christ who died and rose again for them will not speak a word of forgiveness to them. As Christians, neither should we. And, by the grace of God, should Mr. Wahls and/or his family ever repent, I will be more than happy to write a post publicly welcoming them into the fold of Christ.

Brigitte said...

As an adoptive mother who raised children in open adoptions, meaning that they had on-going availability to their natural parents, I have come to believe that knowing your biological parents is a human right.

Every child, where ever it is possible, needs to know its roots. Many have gone on to search for the "sperm donor". We don't have to watch Oprah to understand how deep seated and emotional this is. The sperm donor is their own biological father and they often have a deep desire to know him. These unfulfilled needs can impact life negatively. I am glad Zach Wahls is doing well and certainly, he is not any less valuable than any other person, or less loved by God or his parents. The question at hand is, whether should society promote such arrangements in the interests of the various parties involved.

Pastor Fiene has drawn out one aspect of the conundrum. Fatherhood reflects the created order and the image of God. It cannot be simply wiped away. We need our fathers. Being fatherless is not something we wish for or design by choice or accept with simple resignation.

Kristen MacFarlane said...

Hans, let me begin this rebuttal by telling you that your father is
one of the wisest men I know, and by expressing my respect for your
calling and your heritage. Too, I will say this- that, having raised
my children without benefit of a father, I have experienced
first-hand every day the hole left in a family bereft of a husband and
father. Men are not optional, and the plan of God to create Man male
and female is more full of wisdom than any of us knows. I do believe
that one man and one woman united in love for life is God’s best plan
for His creation. That being said, the creation is groaning and we are beyond even plan B. We all know families composed of a Christian husband and wife which are toxic to at least one spouse and devastating to their children. Of course, abusus non tollit usum.
This is no argument, per se, for families like Zach’s. (And, now that I bring up Zach, your calling a teenager “messed up” in a public
forum, even a teenager who has made himself public, is probably not your proudest moment). I know, as a single parent, that I would not adopt a baby, let alone create one doomed to have no father. But I might adopt the 13 year old Siberian orphan whose face adorns my refrigerator. Children doomed to no family at all are certainly
better off in an imperfect but loving family.
Too,I don’t see reason to believe that Zach is messed up. His morals do not differ from the
morals of (likely) a majority of us raised in two-parent heterosexual families, so his acceptance of AI can not be blamed solely on his being raised by his mother and her lover. Which brings me to my second point. Comparing a man’s voluntary masturbation to a rape
was hugely ill-advised. Rape is a devastating crime emotionally,
physically, socially, and spiritually. The wounds often don’t heal.
To liken a man’s voluntary masturbation to rape is to make light of rape. If you want to find a victim in Zach’s scenario, it is not the man whose
genes are being perpetuated at no cost to him. Perhaps it is Zach and his sister. Yet, even here are shades of gray. How much better that they are alive than not! And Zach is a well-spoken and loyal young man. I am put in mind of all the families in the Bible that were
wracked with fratricide, incest, rape (the real kind), prostitution,
and fathers (David comes to mind) who did not discipline their
children. Yet God brought some of His finest, including His Son, from
families like these. Sometimes evangelicals (and the thought is not original to me) make idols of the family. And often we are less than Christlike to those to whom Christ was most gentle- the marginal people, whose lives were messy, when all the time we know that Christ was most emphatically critical, not of sinners or the socially unacceptable, but of those who were in the religious establishment,
and were pushing away the lambs for whom He came. I think, if Christ
were here today, he would be most gentle with the homosexual
community, and I am sure He would own many of them as His own. I
think the Church, however, would get an earful about our failure to
love. And, yes, Love confronts sin. We all know that. But some sins seem more equal than others. CS Lewis, in Mere Christianity, said that sex is not the center of the Gospel. I, for one, would like to see the church go after something more to the point. Like, in America, materialism. But that would be another rant.

Pastor Fiene said...

Kristen,

Thanks for your response. Thanks especially for your very personal comments on raising children without a father. Here are a few of my thoughts:

1. I didn't compare the use of AI to rape. I compared it to prostitution, because you're dealing with both consent and payment for sexual services.

2. I realize calling Mr. Wahls "messed up" is somewhat inflammatory language. But my reason for using that phrase was to counter the argument that people make in favor of same-sex marriage with the same terminology that advocates use. "Show me how gay marriage messes kids up," I've heard countless times. When it comes to my philosophy of language, I generally abide by the Louis CK school of thought. If the word you're using is putting another word in someone's brain, you might as well use the other word to begin with. So I don't really see a difference in using the term "messed up" instead of some other "nicer" sounding term when they really mean the same thing in most people's heads.

3. Certainly many straight couples teach their children not to value fatherhood. And I'm sure that the vast majority of people who use AI were raised by heterosexuals. But their parents' unions, in and of themselves, didn't teach them that. And that's the difference. A straight couple CAN end up teaching their children that fatherhood is unnecessary, but they don't have to. A lesbian couple, however, HAS NO OTHER OPTION but to teach their child that fatherhood is unnecessary, because the child's father has been removed from the equation in order for a lesbian partnership to exist in the first place.

4. While I understand what you're getting at with your comments about "if Christ were here today," I don't think we need to play the "what if" game. Christ is here today, ruling His Church through His Word. And through that Word, Christ says to everyone blessing his homosexual desires, "do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." And to those who repent of their homosexual desires, Christ continues, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God," (1 Cor. 6:9-11) For those who cling to their sin, whether that's the sin of homosexuality or anything else, Christ speaks nothing but condemnation. And to those who cry out for mercy, He speaks nothing but forgiveness. That's how Christ dealt with sinners in His earthly ministry. And it's how He deals with them now through His Word.

5. I also think the sin of materialism is a big problem in America. And if I happen to see half my facebook friends praising a YouYube video of a guy boasting of all his material possessions, I'll be happy to write a post about that as well:-)

theartserv said...

"if Christ
were here today, he would be most gentle with the homosexual
community, and I am sure He would own many of them as His own"

I would add to that Pastor Fiene said on the 4th point that Christ is against of any deviation from the normal sexuality, considering that if other sins are made outside the body, those which involve body are made inside the temple of God which is our body.
Yes, He is tolerant with the sinners but totally against of sins.
And this tolerance is granted until the sinner take acknowledge about his sin ,then that one is supposed to repent his sin ... no tolerance for him after that.

Well, that is if you believe in Christ.

If not, why not to legislate marriages (any kind of them) only for a limited time period?!! "Science" shout that love between two last no more than 2 - 3 years.
If God is a myth, why to marry one for the entire life? Huh? It's a something to think for gay marriage friends.
I would say that not even the ancient Greeks, who were accepted homosexuality as being something good and not only a tolerated thing as the Romans did, were though about gay marriages. It was a crazy thing for them, too.

As for the fertilization in vitro , think about how many eggs are killed for a single baby.

Fancy said...

So "something which is really cool for [him]" is that he and his sibling share a natural father and mother. Hmmmph.

StewNWT said...

This has to be one of the most fundamentally ignorant and narrow-minded things I have ever read. Daniel Trapp brilliantly refuted every 'argument' (I hesitate to even call them that) you attempted to make.

Let's get one thing straight. You believe Zach Wahls to be 'messed up' because he does not believe the same thing you do (that conception by artificial insemination is a 'deplorable act). Even if artificial insemination were somehow a 'moral failing' (which it is not, let's get that clear right now), how can you expect him to be anything but enthusiastic about it, since without the availability of this serve, Zach himself WOULD NOT BE ALIVE!.

This is the absolute height of simplistic idiocy, not to mention arrogance. You bring shame to your church and your religion.

Pastor Fiene said...

Stew,

1. People keep calling me ignorant, but nobody tells me what I'm ignorant about. So please fill me in. What am I ignorant about? That it takes a man and a woman to make a baby? That for two women to raise a child, they must dismiss that child's father from his life, to some extent, (and in the case of Zach Wahls, entirely)? That Zach Wahls' biological mother paid for a man's sperm? That Zach Wahls doesn't have a problem with this? Specific citations of ignorance would be helpful.

2. My contention is that artificial insemination is an immoral act because it dehumanizes men by offering them money to both create children and abandon them. I am more than willing to hear your counterargument.

3. You don't have to value the manner in which you were conceived in order to value your own life. I'm sure there are plenty of people who were born as the result of fornication, or adultery, or rape, who can very easily say, "I'm not proud of how my mother's egg and my father's sperm first met, but I'm sure glad to be alive." I don't see why Zach Wahls should be any different.

4. I'm sure I do bring plenty of shame on my church and my religion. But this post isn't why.

Robert said...

Fiene,

I'll take a crack at this one:

1) First, I guess I need to know a bit more about you before concluding whether or not you are indeed ignorant. You look quite young; how old are you? Do you believe your short life has been sufficient to allow you to become an intelligent, wise human being? Have you traveled to many places; have you met people of different cultures; do you speak any other languages; do you consider yourself to be an open-minded individual? Basically, this is one long question, and I am wondering if you have ever left the great state of Colorado. Have you been outside of Denver?

I didn't find anything on your education, either. Would I be safe to assume that you have devoted your entire life to the learning of one book (the Bible)? Did you only read it in English, because it is thousands of years old and has been translated more times than you can count? Do you think that it is advisable for people to learn many disciplines, math, physics, sciences, philosophy, biology, evolution, literature, music, etc, before they really lose their ignorance? How many of those subjects are you conversant in?

2) You cannot ask for a counterargument to your opinion. That would be like my arguing with your religious beliefs: it won't get either of us anywhere. You will still believe what you want.

3) Fine

4) You are clearly respected and a leader/authority figure to some. What kind of person goes on the internet and attacks a young teenager who stands up to fight for injustice in his life because you do not agree with something his parents did? What kind of human being can be proud that he/she has done that?

Thanks,
Robert

P.S. Being the Biblical authority that you are, could you refresh me on the nature of the birth of Jesus? Now, surely you would not be one to worship one who had been made different than what the Bible has said is right. Surely, your savior must have been made by "man parts" and "women parts" and raised "mother and father to children and children to mother and father" (or that was phrased earlier). SURELY, someone like you could not bare to praise a baby who was brought into this world similarly to Zach Wahls (i.e., a woman's being artificially inseminated, that is, not via sexual intercourse).

So if I could have just a quick summary of the specific vagina, penis, sperm, ova, and their respective owners, that would be just grrrreeeaaaat.

And if I may skip ahead and assume your answer, how is this so different than Zach's case? It seems that God dismissed himself from his son's life. Similar to a deadbeat? God was not around to teach his son to be a man, to show him how to fish, teach him to talk or speak. No, some other man did that, supposedly.

Thanks again!

. said...

http://beware-of-the-fertility-industry.blogspot.com

CountBrickula1975 said...

The best you've got is an argument against masturbation? This has got to be a tough world for you.

NEEDLES AND PINS said...

Wow...this guy's argument is the dumbest thing I have read in a very long time. I find it so sadly predictable but understandable that its always the people who THINK they are closest to God that are the most judgmental, bizarrely contemptuous and illogical thinkers out there. The good news is these kinds of ideas are coming primarily from an older generation that IS dying out. Younger people, if not corrupted by ideas of bible thumpers are always far more naturally tolerant and unafraid of people who are different from them. Because that is all this is. F-E-A-R. Anyone threatened by two intelligent loving people raising a child in a healthy value centered way...has clearly some demons of their own they are not dealing with. I say good riddance and it cannot come too soon. THANK YOU Zach Wahls. AND your two moms for raising such a smart young man!

Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bella said...

Focus in your life and your family, man! Your arguments are horrible and stupid. Go educated your self about the topic first and than you can post. But thing with your heart no your penis! All this people have feelings.

Bella said...

Don't know what happened with my post that I did before.
Well said! You family is beautiful as is. His words are hate and insensitive.

Michelle said...

And God made man, and man evolved as God had planned, which included the evolution of his mind and the abilities of the human body and spirit - My heart hears the tender voice of God celebrating this evolution of man - if you were a true disciple of God you would see the love of God expressed in their union, whether it be man with woman or man with man.