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Family crisis averted for now...


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Religion is a tough taskmaster because to many of us it makes little sense. LGBT issues seem to inflame the religious nature of so many people, and as others have said this is because they don't know us. Well here is one family who got the wake up call and I don't know if their faith will hold up over time.

http://abcnews.go.co...81#.UcRAZ8TD9ok

Having accepted their gay son at the early age of 13 sounds wonderful, but does it bode well for the future? A child of that age is not normally sexually active and so there has been no crisis for them...yet.

Time will tell as the boy matures and realizes he cannot be celibate just to please his family and his religion. I do hope this story has a happy ending but I guess it depends upon how the Mormon Church handles an openly gay person in their midst. I expect they won't do it well.

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Faith and background notwithstanding, I see here a loving and concerned mother and father, a son who responds to their care and appears to gather strength from it, and a family who as a unit is fighting for recognition and acceptance for their son. It is hard to fault that.

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Religion is a tough taskmaster because to many of us it makes little sense. LGBT issues seem to inflame the religious nature of so many people, and as others have said this is because they don't know us. Well here is one family who got the wake up call and I don't know if their faith will hold up over time.

http://abcnews.go.co...81#.UcRAZ8TD9ok

Having accepted their gay son at the early age of 13 sounds wonderful, but does it bode well for the future? A child of that age is not normally sexually active and so there has been no crisis for them...yet.

Time will tell as the boy matures and realizes he cannot be celibate just to please his family and his religion. I do hope this story has a happy ending but I guess it depends upon how the Mormon Church handles an openly gay person in their midst. I expect they won't do it well.

I don't expect them to do well either, Chris. The last thing I heard on the Mormons accepting LGBTQ people was that they had to be celibate for the acceptance to continue.

From my atheist position, the best we can hope for is that the situation initiates much more than an acceptance of the Mormon religious rules of behaviour. Denying natural sexual activity for the sake of a faith can only be regarded as unhealthy, both physically and mentally, in my opinion.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if this family came to accept their son and his future same sex partner with all the love they seem to be willing to give him.

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Religion is a tough taskmaster because to many of us it makes little sense. LGBT issues seem to inflame the religious nature of so many people, and as others have said this is because they don't know us. Well here is one family who got the wake up call and I don't know if their faith will hold up over time.

Having accepted their gay son at the early age of 13 sounds wonderful, but does it bode well for the future? A child of that age is not normally sexually active and so there has been no crisis for them...yet.

Chris, I'm not sure that your comment that a child of 13 is not normally sexually active is accurate any longer, at least in the U.S. I was sexually active 11 years ago at the age of 12, and this age is becoming the norm when boys accept that they are gay and they are more easily finding other boys of like mind and they are becoming sexually active.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Colin, I understand what you are saying, but it seems this young man is probably in different circumstances and surrounded with a watchful family. From the article and photo you can deduce that he is now 14 and physically mature which only means his sexuality is in the realm of personal exploration.

But taking Des' point, I would bet the family expects their son to remain celibate and since for any young man, gay or straight, that is an unnatural state of being and will create crisis.

I expect the boy knows all about the teachings of his church and that makes it all the more obvious how brave he was in coming out to his parents. The love in this family may be stronger than church doctrine and so as time goes on there may be issues but I hope they remain private, this kid doesn't need the additional pressure of public scrutiny on his sex life.

I do wish the family well. So far they have learned something and dealt with it in a loving manner. It's the religion I mistrust.

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Here's the problem I have with the "it's unhealthy" argument: in the end, it's still his choice. Whether or not he's being "brainwashed" by his religion (and even trying to figure out if that's true is tricky because a lot of people think beliving in any god is brainwashing) in the end it's still his choice and no one has any right to say "well, your choice is unhealthy so you can't do that". In the end, it's up to him. And if he wants to be celebate for whatever reason, then he should be able to without people looking down at him for that choice. Tolerance works both ways.

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Tolerance only works both ways when any action taken is the subject of doing the least harm. Having presented the cases for a course of action, it is indeed the right of the individual to make a choice, but coercion from outside forces is often not done with the best of intentions, or with the freedom of choice which should be the individual's right.

The atheist argument against religious domination of our choices is a factor which needs to be considered as part of any rational debate on belief. Unfortunately no such rationality accompanies the religious arguments. The scientific position is that without evidence, if you believe in a god, then you do so on an emotional basis. This doesn't make it wrong, but it is certainly not in the interests of doing the least harm to let anyone think that celibacy, for whatever reason, does not have physical and mental consequences.

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I'm not saying don't tell people about the possible harm, but if they know and still decide to choose it then people need to respect that choice. And even if his parents are saying "be celebate or we'll throw you out", it's still his choice. And when he's a legal adult he can reevaluate that choice. But it's all up to him. That's all I'm saying.

As for the tolerance working both ways only when the action taken is the subject of doing the lesat harm thing, I totally disagree. According to religious people, being gay is a sin and it puts your immortal soul in danger of going to hell so in their view getting gays to give up their "sinful ways" is the least harmful option, even if it sounds stupid to us because we don't believe. Tolerance means accepting that other people have a right to have viewpoints and lifestyles that you disagree with, just like you have a right to live your life in a way that other people disagree with.

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The thought occurs that we may well be discussing the subject of tolerance at cross-purposes. The statement of 'action that causes the least harm' is an ethical principle, whereas accepting the choice others make, based on the individual's viewpoint, is a moral issue, and one in which tolerance is appropriate.

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Is there a difference between ethics and morals though? The definitions are pretty much the same to the point where ethics is part of the definition for morals and vice versa.

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I know some dictionaries blur the definitions of both, however, " Although the words are often used as synonyms, morals are beliefs based on practices or teachings regarding how people conduct themselves in personal relationships and in society, while ethics refers to a set or system of principles, or a philosophy or theory behind them. When comparing morality with ethics, the word ethics is often used to refer to a philosophical analysis of a particular morality, especially when the formal definition is applied." from Wiki entry on Morality.

You can Google "difference between morals and ethics" for further discussion, but philosophically speaking, ethics are static inalienable principles, whilst morals can be created to suit a situation, even though they are rooted in the ethical principle.

Whilst it is ethically wrong to kill, it may be morally acceptable to kill in order to protect others. Our laws call that justifiable homicide, or in certain circumstances, self defence.

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You both need to see this article where the moral beliefs of some people oppress the needs and mental stability of gay youth:

http://news.yahoo.co...-152426690.html

Unfortunately a child in foster care is a captive individual placed by our legal system. It is there that the moral question becomes valid: do you place a gay foster child in the hands of a fanatically religious family who cannot accept him or her?

In that situation I think that the courts are facing a matter of ethics because they are not performing the charge placed upon them by society. Mental cruelty is child abuse and any family that wishes to foster a child ought to state up front that they will not accept gay children or be prosecuted for refusing to give proper care.

Perhaps we will eventually realize that placing gay kids with gay foster parents is a good idea. At least we don't try to eat our young. And on another note...

We also have the issue that someone on the Supreme Court does not see gay issues as a matter of civil rights or find it necessary that the government intervene in what he thinks is a moral issue.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/06/21/4121621/nc-lawyers-listen-as-justice-scalia.html

He is of course alluding to the Biblical beliefs that form a lot of our erroneous moral code. So how would he feel if that moral code were based upon Islamic belief? The Bible is a broken document in this country and completely subservient to the Constitution. Just ask the founding fathers who tried to keep God out of our governing principles.

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Thanks Chris, the Scalia comments are stirring up a storm, and I was mildly amused that I was referencing ethics and morals whilst his were very much under discussion elsewhere on the net.

As for gay kids being fostered by gay parents, or at least couples who are LGBT allies, I would have thought that was an obvious best scenario.

As for placing any child in an extreme fundamentalist religious environment, my atheist side prevents me from thinking that is acceptable, even if the kid has already been indoctrinated into the religion. And if that seems somewhat a disturbing thought then let it stand as an encouragement for people to question the value of organised religions in an evolving world of scientific progress. Too many do not understand the significance of the American Constitution as being the break with superstition under the influence of The Enlightenment's Age of Reason.

It is greatly of concern that this era of a fragile culture of compassion and human rights teeters on the brink of destruction through a return to a primitive, barbaric age of dark ignorance. After all we humans have survived, it is horrifying to think that fascist religious bigots are willing to risk losing all we have achieved for the sake of a profit from selling their particular belief to those whom they have ensured are as undereducated as they are themselves. In many areas, humanity is still only just exiting from the Dark Ages.

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The entire child services/foster care/adoption system in this country is a mess IMO, but yeah I don't think you should place a child in a home with people who have religious or philosophical problems with that child. Again, I disagree that religion is bad for everybody, but when you have a religion that says homosexuality is evil you probably shouldn't be giving them gay kids to take care of.

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Or any kid, for that matter. When a religious organization says we are all sinners from the git-go and every family's responsibility is to find out just what sins each kid is already harboring, and requires children to start out each day with a burden of guilt that can only be lessened by begging a heavenly father for forgiveness and obeying without question every rule imposed by their earthly fathers and mothers and church, then yeah, let's keep all foster kids away from that bunch plus do everything we can to free from their grasp the kids they already have.

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Disagree completely. That would be a huge violation of the first amendment and, in my opinion, morally wrong. You can't punish people for their religious beliefs. The main reason we even have an America today is because the original colonists were running from religious persecution and even though I'm an atheist I believe that freedom of religion is one of the most important founding principals we have. We can't just start saying religious people are unfit to have kids just because we don't like their relgion.

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The American judiciary has found, from time to time, that all sorts of people are unfit to raise children. No reason why religious bigots can't be included whose zeal can be shown to have led to placing the welfare of a child in jeopardy. I'm not against freedom of religion. I am against any belief system that may lead to child abuse, as it is legally understood.

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We can't just start saying religious people are unfit to have kids just because we don't like their religion.

Sadly, this is true. People in America have the ability to raise their children any way they want, as long as they aren't abused, get an education, get fed, and have a roof over their heads. If the parents choose to stuff their kids' heads full of bigoted ideas, there's not much anybody can do about it.

I don't think ideas alone make parents unfit to raise children. But I also lean towards the optimistic viewpoint that people overall are getting better in terms of tolerating different lifestyles.

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