A not so happy Father’s Day

Today is Father’s Day. For most husbands, that means going to the opera with their wife, enjoying a round of golf with their son, or taking their daughter out to eat. But for many children, it can serve as a painful reminder that their father is either willfully absent or, by choice of their parents and with the approval of the state, that they live in a home with two moms.

It is my contention that children have rights. Aside from the intrinsic right to life, children also have the right to be raised by their biological mother and father.

Proponents of same-sex unions argue that there is no real difference between children who grow up with parents of the same sex as opposed to those who grow up in a home with a mother and a father. However, as Lauren Hoedeman of CV pointed out not long ago, a recent study confirms that children appear most apt to succeed as adults when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father.

With the commercialization of “the pill” during the middle part of the 20th century, the biological reality concerning the consequences of sex was changed forever. Historically, human beings relied on sex to have children. Children were considered gifts from God created in His image within the confines of a lifelong relationship. They were viewed as the natural result of what has been called the conjugal act.

Now, humans – note the choice of “humans” as opposed to “human beings” – are more or less the end product of a scientist’s flow chart. Children are no longer the result of love between spouses, they are viewed as commodities that are to be bred (in-vitro fertilization) and destroyed (abortion) according to our desires.

When humans are made in the image of man, they lose certain rights and become means to an end. Just look at the sperm donor industry. It has been reported that one man is believed to have fathered over 150 children.

This past week I attended the Michigan-based Acton Institute’s Acton University. Acton University is a four day “exploration of the intellectual foundations of a free society” within the Judeo-Christian framework.

Ambassador Michael Novak is interviewed at Acton University 2012

This year’s event hosted over 800 attendees from 70+ countries and featured speakers from all corners of the globe. Some specialized in poverty, others in political theory, but consistent throughout the conference was the need to understand the human person within the context of Christian anthropology.

I agree with the Acton Institute and encourage you to visit their website. The week reminded me that even though we live in a world permeated by a truncated understanding of the human person and parenthood in particular, there are voices crying out in the wilderness who still fight for the traditional family unit headed by a mother and a father.

Stephen Kokx is an adjunct professor of political science and featured columnist at RenewAmerica.com. Follow him on twitter @StephenKokx



  • patrick

    I’d love to hear a cogent argument explaining how it is that I have a right to be raised by a mother and a father who are bound to each other in a civil marriage. Never heard one.

    Example: AI was raised by a single mother because the motherand father agreed that he would go pursue his dreams of poetry or rock music or medicine or whatever, and the mother felt she could raise A best on her own. So, who has abridged A’s rights? How? What laws should be in effect to prevent this? Forced marriage? Again, a COGENT argument, or please feel free to remain silent. Thanks.

    P.S. The recent Regnerus study in NO WAY says that gay parents are less effective than straight parents. Its not a study about straight parents vis-a-vis straight parents. Suggesting so is a material misrepresentation of it.

    • Bruce

      The Regnerus study proved what we always knew was true: Homosexual “parents” does violence to a child. A child has a right to a mother and a father by virtue of the fact that the child is a human being. If that isn’t “cogent” enough for you, please feel free to remain silent. Thanks. P.S. We will never agree with you on this and probably a host of other issues as well. Your first principles and assumptions are not the same as ours, therefore, you’re basically wasting your time.

    • Patrick

      136 dislikes for asking a serious question? Nice. Anybody with a cogent argument? I’m not saying I DONT have such a right, I’m asking for someone to explain it. I mean, does that citizen also have a right to housing? By whom?

      Kokx? You began with the premise, does your whole argument rest on it?

      So, who has abridged A’s rights in my example? What’s the appropriate remedy?

      • Stephen Kokx

        I’m working on a post so I can respond to your question, Patrick. Patience is a virtue.

  • PaulT

    If children have a right to a mom and dad, I assume you support a law to forcibly marry single mothers to their children’s baby daddy?

    • Rose

      Nice of you to point out the hypocrisy of these ridiculous statements. I also wonder about this statement: “But for many children, it can serve as a painful reminder that their father is either willfully absent or, by choice of their parents and with the approval of the state, that they live in a home with two moms.” I grew up in a home with two dads and never resented Mother’s Day and it certainly was never a “painful” reminder of anything. My best friend, who had parents that were married, spent both of those days (and practically every other holiday) at our house, trying to avoid her abusive father. She resented those holidays, not me. I am thankful that I grew up with two wonderful fathers and I’m sorry that some people are too prejudiced to understand that I didn’t miss, regret, or have any pain about our family (except for the fact that my fathers have to endure discrimination like this).

      • Randall

        I’m sorry to hear that, Rose. Have you sought therapy for the years of abuse that you underwent? Or, for that matter, have you sought therapy for being brainwashed by the homosexualist agenda into thinking that your upbringing was in any way “normal?” I will pray for you. :)

        • PaulT

          Curious, why is it considered “years of abuse” for two men to raise a happy, well adjusted child?

          • Bruce

            There is no such thing, PaulT. Two men cannot “raise” a happy and well-adjusted child. At least, not in research funded and skewed by the homosexual-agenda-driven APA, that is. :)

    • Rod

      There was a great article on CNN about a year or two back about how “well adjusted” children raised by same sex couples were. They had gotten together on some sort of conference for a “Look at me! There’s nothing wrong with me!” session. I found it funny such “well adjusted” folks needed to reassure each other. I also found it funny that in the article, it mentioned how miserable their childhood was because they were not like other families. “Well adjusted” indeed.

  • Bruce

    Absolutely correct. A child has a RIGHT to a mother and a father. Two women cannot replace a dad. Two men cannot replace a mom. This is one of the many problems with same-sex “marriage” and same-sex “adoption.” Each are selfish and fail to take into account the rights and needs of a child.

    • Randall

      Amen, Bruce. Better to have children stacked 10-deep in an orphanage for the entirety of their childhood, than to have them sleep in their own beds in a house run by “two daddies.” The former is pitiable, to be sure, but the latter is child abuse.

      • Bruce

        Strawman, thy name is Randall. But, since you’re trolling anyway, yup.

        • Randall

          Trolling? I think not… Catholic adoption agencies are overflowing with children who need a loving home. The radical Obama administration gave them the choice to allow gay couples to adopt, or shut down operations. Catholic Charities chose to shut down operations – better to have the children not be adopted, than to be adopted by gay couples. My earlier statement was *agreeing* with their actions. So was Catholic Charities trolling when they did this? Nope.

          • Cris

            Looks like Randall is going to stick with that strawman to the death. “…overflowing with children…”? Yeah, okay

    • PaulT

      Let’s talk strawmen Bruce: How about the fact that banning gay couples from the civil right of a marriage license from their local City Hall doesn’t do one single thing to insure that any child in our great country is raised by a mother and a father. What it does do is insure that the children that are being raised by gay couples are denied the legal protections and benefits that are enjoyed by their peers.

      • Bruce

        Well, since homosexual “adoption” is a form of child abuse, I say go ahead and deny legal protections.

        • Randall

          Deny legal protections AND throw the “parents” in jail. It IS child abuse after all.

  • Meg

    You seem to be ignoring the reality of children growing up with no one to care for them. How many children are wards of the state right now? How many children are born into abusive homes? I couldn’t care less the sex of a child’s parents, as long as they are loving and do what’s right for their child. It’s kind of funny that directly under your column is one appreciating priests bc “Catholic fathers are notoriously absent/abusive.”

    • Randall

      Wards of the state may not have a parent, but a child with “two adoptive mommies” has two ANTI-parents. Who is suffering more? A child who is occasionally beaten by his father, but can be comforted by his mother… or a child who suffers the psychological and mental abuse of being raised by two same-gender “parents” 24 hours a day (not to mention the bullying that such a child would undoubtedly endure at school)? I, and the Catholic Church, would contend that the latter is in a worse state. This is why we need to stop these arrangements at all costs.

      • Bruce

        “Strawman” Randall is at it again. Just keep telling him there is no such thing as same-sex “marriage” or “parents” and that a child has a human and civil right to a mother and a father until he either gets it or implodes.

        • Randall

          Bruce I don’t know why you are being so antagonistic, we are on the same side here!! :(

  • Sandy

    If everyone has a right to life, isn’t each death a denial of that right? I bring up that point to show that no one has a right to life. People die for all kinds of reasons: auto accidents, plane crashes, etc. Did all those people who died have their right to life taken away from them? No, because there is no such thing as a right to life. If there is a God, he or she did not give us this right. Each person does indeed, have a right to live the ethical life they choose. That’s completely different. Regarding your contention that “children also have the right to be raised by their biological mother and father,” that contention is not only completely unprovable but also, in my opinion, is just plain dumb. By the way, how many children do you know who have 2 mothers and no father who are actually sad today because it’s Father’s day and they have no father?

    • Stephen Kokx

      @Sandy, your thought process here is entirely illogical. From what I gather, you equate the fact that people die as proof that there is no God and that there is no such thing as a right to life. I guess for you to believe in God people should live forever? I don’t follow your argument here.

      What I am concerned with is the way in which children are cast aside in society. Some sperm donors are the biological “fathers” of hundreds of children yet they have no relationship with them. In the inner city, there is an almost 70% chance that a newborn child will be born to a single mom.

      I assume you are familiar with the saying that we should take care of the least of those among us. The President makes this argument all the time. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that children are in fact the least among us and that they deserve protections from such immature and neglectful behavior?

      • joey

        It’s really sad to see you focus on this. Comparing children in same-sex relationships to child neglect is despicable and wrong. You don’t see that the kids are actually being cared for. All you see is that have 2 mothers and no father in the household. What a horrible way to look at the world.

        • Stephen Kokx

          @joey what I see is a culture that has no understanding of what family, fatherhood, or what the human person means anymore. To ignore such realities is the true horror.

      • Sandy

        Stephen, you’ve not responded to my questions. That’s ok because you have a right not to respond. However, I think I’ve made it clear in my previous post that your contention that we all have a right to life is illogical. It just ain’t so. I have no idea where your most recent point came from: “In the inner city, there is an almost 70% chance that a newborn child will be born to a single mom. I assume you are familiar with the saying that we should take care of the least of those among us.” That has nothing to do with your original post. If I want to help a single mother I will do so out of choice and not out of obligation. Your statement implies that we are all somehow responsible for everybody. That concept is called SLAVERY and has been used to suppress entire civilizations.

        • Stephen Kokx

          Sandy, its clear you are having some difficulty following the logic being used here. Be advised that you are exhibiting some very muddled and contradictory ideological arguments that make it hard for me to answer in a way you will understand. I think its best if I stopped responding to your comments.

          • Sandy

            Stephen, you have every right not to respond because that is indeed, a human right. The right to life, however, is not a human right. The right to have your biological mother and father raise you is also not a human right. We are not born with those rights. Obligating society to take care of the least of those among us is, as I stated, a form of slavery. We are not obligated to do those things. Many of us do help the needy out of choice but not out of obligation. And by “needy,” I do not mean those who have chosen to be parasites.

          • Randall

            Thanks Stephen, in the future don’t waste your time with this well-known anti-Catholic liberal troll. :)

  • tz1

    Acton (and specifically Fr. Sirico!) recently honored Margaret Thatcher – who is about as Pro-Abort as Nancy Pelosi and pushed abortion when she was in Parliament. I’ve heard nothing about Lady Thatcher having any turn-around or regrets for doing so. Acton honored her for her pro-free-market stands, ignoring this apparently trivial part of her political record. But is Abortion important, a non-negotiable, an utter violation (Life precedes Liberty), or something we can ignore? I don’t understand how honoring a rabid pro-abort regardless of what other good the person may have done is in the context of Christian anthropology. Tell me again why it was wrong to honor Obama at Notre Dame?

    • Stephen Kokx

      I cant speak for the Acton staff as to why they chose to honor her. But I do know that the president of the Ruth Institute – an organization that promotes traditional marriage and respect for the unborn – gave several lectures at Acton U and that Acton is vehemently pro-life.



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