July 10, 2012
My new neighbors are lesbians with a small child. They are determined to have her “socialize” to build her “social skills” and my children are children they would like her to socialize with. That is not a suprise. My children are older, very well behaved and honor students. They are also kind, reflecting our Catholic values. We live in an apartment complex and several times now, the lesbian or her partner have come over and brought the little one with them. They clearly expect my children to play with the child, which they have so far done, politely. However, I don’t approve of their lifestyle, and I find the more “butch” member of the couple to be almost intimidating. She is aggressive, mannish and heavily tattooed with a nearly shaved head.
Reading over the old posts on your blog has given me some ideas on how to approach the situation from now on. I feel my childrens’ innocence is at stake here, and that is a serious matter. I appreciate your willingness to address this topic and help parents like me, who may be unprepared to deal with such issues because we did not grow up in a time where such things were even discussed, never mind openly brought into our neighborhoods.
I think a lot of parents are in similar situations and it is so hard to know what to do sometimes. This is not the first time my children have encountered such things. My son was in kindergarten when a classmate announced she had “two mommies.” There are several lesbians in town who have children and my kids know they have classmates who have lesbian “parents.” Some of the lesbians were married women with children who divorced their husbands then got together with other women, leaving their ex-husbands and children devastated. One has the gall to continue going to our church like it is perfectly fine. It is nearly impossible to totally shield children from these things, but having it so close to us is a new experience.
Strangely, I don’t know of any men in town who are living together with a child, or any men who left their wives for another man.
— Comments —-
Lesbian couples are entirely dependent on the world of normal people.
Lawrence Auster writes:
When I began to read Jennifer’s post, about a neighborhood lesbian couple who want her children to play with their children, I was thinking what a difficult situation this is to be in. How does one avoid unwanted social contacts with homosexual couples without offending them, or perhaps even putting oneself in their sites for future intimidation?
But then Jennifer wrote:
We live in an apartment complex and several times now, the lesbian or her partner have come over and brought the little one with them. They clearly expect my children to play with the child, which they have so far done, politely. However, I don’t approve of their lifestyle, and I find the more “butch” member of the couple to be almost intimidating. She is aggressive, mannish and heavily tattooed with a nearly shaved head.
That simplifies the issue, removing any grey area or ambivalence. I would never allow a heavily tattooed (or lightly tattooed) person to enter my house on a social visit, period. Why is Jennifer allowing this freak in her house?
If I were in her position, this is what I would say: “I find your tattooes repulsive and disgusting. It makes me feel sick to look at them. You chose to disfigure your body, so that every time other people saw you, they would be forced to look at the frightening sight of your disfigured body. So not only are you repulsive to look at, but, since you did this through your own choice, you obviously haven’t the slightest consideration for other people. Why then should other people have any consideration for you? You are not welcome in my home, and I do not want my children to play with yours.”
In the previous posts, in a similar case, but without the heavily tattooed lesbian, I suggested creating a distance and yet allowing the child involved to play with the other children. I don’t think it’s right to ostracize an innocent child. That’s why it’s such a difficult situation.
James P. writes:
I am not clear why it is necessary for Jennifer to offer any explanation for her actions either to the lesbians or to her own children. A simple “you are not welcome in my home” to the lesbians is sufficient — or, just repeatedly say “I’m sorry, we’re busy at the moment” until they get the message. Jennifer can simply tell her children, “You are not to play with her.” If her children ask why, “because I say so!” is always a valid response. I really don’t understand why Jennifer should care if the lesbians are “offended” if she does not choose to associate with them. [Laura writes: Jennifer did not mention that she was worried about offending the lesbians.] There is no obligation to associate with anyone in a private setting, and people can be excluded from your home for any reason or no reason at all.
The child of the lesbians are not going to be “innocent” for long. Undoubtedly she is already being indoctrinated by the lesbians to think that homosexual parenthood is not merely normal but positively admirable. Almost certainly the lesbians will raise their children actively to detest Christians and Christianity. It is not inappropriate for Jennifer to wish to insulate her children from exposure to these attitudes, which can only corrode the values she wishes to impart. Why compound the problem when her children are already getting plenty of homophilia and Christianophobia in school and from popular culture?
Jennifer should not be at all concerned about “offending” the lesbians. I do question whether it’s right, especially in an apartment complex, to reject a small child who wants to play.
James P. writes:
“Jennifer did not mention that she was worried about offending the lesbians.”
Yes, but Lawrence said, “How does one avoid unwanted social contacts with homosexual couples without offending them” — which should not be a concern, and may be unavoidable in any event, since I doubt the lesbians would be fooled by the “I hate your tattoos” excuse.
I think it is right to instruct your children to avoid the children of unsuitable adults. Children often repeat the words, and emulate the attitudes and mannerisms, of their parents. When your children associate with the children of homosexuals, those children are inexorably going to influence your children. I certainly don’t want my children exposed to that influence.
We have been in a similar situation recently, though not so extreme: we are not in an apartment, and fornicating drug addicts instead of sodomites are the “parents” involved right next door. It is excruciating to turn the children away with some excuse or another (which is what I did much of the time, not outright rejecting the child), though not necessarily wrong, given that we are risking our children. I have done the “missionary babysitting” for two short episodes in my life, and both times, the children about the age of the visiting child picked up sensual mannerisms, bad habits, and speech imitations that have lasted for years after the association (nearly always supervised – should always have been supervised), even after trying to train it out of them without focusing unduly on it to the child’s knowledge. We did have the little girls over for “special times” – tea parties, meal times, or other specific events to show a different way of life, and not so much unstructured play time, where I would have to say to a seven year-old things like, “We have a rule – we don’t flip people off.” We cannot save these children, especially at the risk of our holy charge from God regarding our own children; we can only show them another way and pray for them.
Sodomites hate historic Christianity and try to disrupt or contaminate the lives of those who practice it. Letting these people into the home so that children become comfortable with the perverse in their own home may be just what they want, for more than just “neighborly” reasons.
I’d wager that this predictament will become less common in the future if liberals don’t do everything in their power to “integrate” sexual dysfunction like they do with so-called racial integration (e.g. Section 8 housing). As whitopias have sprung up, we will probably have various distinct communities and this will become a situational thing, e.g. if you live in a community with a lot of religious people you will have marriage, children and whatnot, if you have a lot of liberals it means more unchaste singles, more LGBTQIPs, more non-monogamy, if its a lot of seculars that means more atheists and less babies and other stuff. I think this is already happening. People are moving in with people who have their own values and are like them. The only way you can have a traditional religious Catholic family and a pair of lesbians on the same block is if you do the LGBTQIP version of section 8 housing and move them around to influence your kids. A lot can be said about the state of mainstream Christianity but here’s one of the things they got right: homeschooling and the dangers of public education. Hide and protect your kids for now and pass on the word of God.
While you have a valid point about not unnecessarily ostracizing or stigmatizing an innocent child, Laura, that’s not precisely what’s happening here per Jennifer’s description. This is a lesbian couple, at least one of whose members makes her extremely uncomfortable, coming to her apartment personally so that their young child can play with/be socialized by Jennifer’s older, well-raised Catholic children. It’s not a case of playground exclusion or even a playgroup. If Jennifer’s children are older, neither they nor she ought to feel obligated to provide attention or socialization for a younger child apparently lacking in such at home. I also suspect that the lesbian couple is seeking more than merely playmates for their young child. If Jennifer’s family is as she declares, the lesbian couple is seeking de facto acceptance/approbation though this relationship. Jennifer does not mention whether or not there are other children, perhaps closer in age, for the child to play with in their apartment building. Neither does she say how this couple came to know her and seek her out in the first place. Finally, as another commenter notes, this child will not remain completely “innocent” for long. Will Jennifer’s sense of courtesy and hospitality require her children to refer to this child’s lesbian caretakers as her “moms” as well? What has she told them regarding this child’s home life? Have they questioned why they must play with this younger child? Do they do this often, or seek this child out otherwise? Perhaps Jennifer needs to better distinguish the line between courtesy and hospitality and private family boundaries and morals.
John E. writes:
“I do question whether it’s right, especially in an apartment complex, to reject a small child who wants to play.”
I understand you aren’t making any definitive statement here, only raising points to consider, but I’d like to suggest that more weight be placed on preserving the innocence of one’s own children in this situation or similar situations. It is highly unfortunate, tragic in fact, that the child the lesbians are raising should experience the effects of their destructive choice. It’s unfair and no child should have to experience this. But this situation shows us that there are unavoidable consequences to one’s actions, the burden of which is felt even by those who are entirely innocent in the matter, as is always the case when we sin.
I would do everything in my power to help this particular child have as normal a childhood as possible. The problem is that I have a greater obligation to my own children to protect their innocence at this stage in their lives when it is particular sensitive to attacks. James P. brings up valid points about the influence the other child is almost certain to have on my children is they were in this situation. To be concerned about the lesbians’ child in such a way that it compromises my own children’s innocence would be unacceptable.
This does not mean that I am not very concerned about the lesbians’ child, and it cannot be neglected that the cruelty in the situation is that of the lesbians who are pretending that a highly disordered arrangement is normal, not in the parent who is trying to protect his or her own children by being judicious about their playmates. I think it is a further reflection of the heinousness of the disordered arrangement the two women have chosen in that it could hinder something so innocent and light as young children playing together.
I realize this makes me a bigot, but I am getting somewhat accustomed to the label. We live in apocalyptic days, whether the final consummation is to be soon or eons in the future. It’s good to remember Our Lord’s words in the Gospel of St. Matthew: “Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known.” He knows that I do not hate children, or even lesbians, and someday He will make that known.
John E. writes:
I think it is a further reflection of the heinousness of the disordered arrangement the two women have chosen in that it could hinder something so innocent and light as young children playing together.
Very well said.
Unspeakable insensitivity and callousness toward children is involved in the normalization of homosexuality. The utter estrangement from the world – and civilization itself – that a child with lesbian “parents” experiences is unprecedented. In all of history, this situation has never been thrust on innocent children before.
A further reason to refuse any contact with the lesbian’s child (both of Jennifer’s children are, by the way, over eight years old) is that if a relationship is formed it might continue in adolescence and then one’s own children would have the burden of being friends with a child who would be experiencing an even more profound crisis than the normal child in adolescence. Also, rejecting her may be the most powerful way a parent can communicate to her own child disapproval of homosexuality.
Still, I would find it difficult.
In my experience with gays and lesbians, it has not been difficult, as a Catholic, to make them the uncomfortable party. After all, they are the one’s that are abnormal. And as a Catholic, I have every tool needed to show that without much trouble.
If I were Jennifer, I would start teaching that little girl, or instructing her children to teach that little girl, about marriage. Maybe that’s too much to pull off, but maybe not. At the very least, I would have the older children introduce her to the Holy Family in a picture, making an emphasis on protective St. Joseph and commenting on the beauty of Mary. Heck, send her home with a little holy card of the Holy Family!
Then they will probably ban her from playing with your children!
Dan T. writes:
Is there anything to be said for freely offering overt Christian influence in the form of conversation, telling children’s Bible stories, Christ-related crafts, and so on during structured play dates in the home?
I hesitate to make that suggestion because to some extent it implies the wielding of spiritual tools for the purpose of intentionally offending the child’s caregivers, as surely they’ll get the indirect drift. And I don’t mean open, direct opposition to their lifestyle but rather providing general Christian principles with a Biblical basis that can’t be mistaken as anything else. While I think Jennifer will notice play date requests gradually (or suddenly) diminishing, it may additionally have the more important effect of planting the seeds of God’s grace in the young heart of the visitor.
Dan and Kimberly make very good suggestions, and offer what may be a perfect resolution to the problem.
The child involved can better understand if her own guardians ban her from playing with others than she can understand being outright rejected by neighbors.
I would also, of course, not permit my own children any time in the apartment of the lesbian women. If the girl came over, she would receive specific kind and friendly instruction and then be permitted some play time.
As I read the discussion putting myself in Jennifer’s shoes, I felt torn between wanting to welcome the child into a loving, normal home and fearing that my own children would be badly influenced. I thought Lisa’s methods were good ones – tea parties, meal times, special events that allow structure and constant supervision. It seems that that might be the most loving thing to do, even for one’s own children. No doubt they would realize later in life that they were always protected, yet their parents welcomed the less fortunate to help them see a better way.
I recently heard about a convert to Christianity who attributed her conversion first to the bus driver who never wrote her off, who always greeted her with a friendly word and a smile. God can use the smallest act to bring souls to himself. Perhaps a situation like Jennifer’s would have similar results.
I just want to clarify one thing about the lesbian neighbors. I came to know them through other neighbors and was introduced to them that way. These other neighbors I have known for years. They have been very accepting, almost too much so, as though they disapprove but are going out of their way to cover it up by being extra-accommodating. The lesbians seem to expect this special treatment.
One thing I did in response to their presence was to put a lovely garden statue of Mary outside, right where they can’t miss it if they look at my apartment. I planted pink flowers around it. I thought it might be one of the few statues of Mary the little girl will ever see.
Jesse Powell writes:
While reading over this thread what strikes me the most is how strange this whole thing is, how strange it is to have homosexuality being “a clear and present danger” in the lives of children even when those children are in ordinary communities in an ordinary family setting. I am not that old, I graduated from high school a little over 20 years ago, but thinking back on my childhood I don’t remember homosexuality being discussed or visible at all. The first time I remember being “introduced” to the concept of homosexuality was in 9th grade when I was taught in school a little bit about the fast growing and mysterious new AIDS epidemic that was affecting mostly gay men in the United States. I remember at that time being amazed that there was such a thing as “gay communities” where such a disease could take off in the first place.
Fast forward to today and I discover that my old high school actually has pro-homosexuality posters put up presumably by the school administration in the school hallways. I went to a community center near my old high school where young children about five years old gather to play in structured activities and I saw a poster reading something like “All children are welcome here,” with a rainbow in the background and the silhouette of two lesbian “mothers” bringing their child to play. Just the other day, I was walking down the street near my area’s downtown and I saw the sight of two presumed lesbians about 20 years old holding hands and laughing nervously about the attention their hand-holding was receiving. Shortly afterward, I saw a poster plastered on a pole with two men kissing as the central theme of the advertisement, the advertisement being for a rock band playing in some kind of music venue nearby.
None of these encounters with “gayness” were in any kind of “gay neighborhood”; all of these encounters were just everyday experiences that it would be very hard to avoid. Are adolescents not supposed to go to public high schools or to walk down the street at busy times when lots of other young people are around? Are young children not supposed to go to community centers to play? Homosexuals seem to be an ever expanding presence wherever you go and if you don’t approve of “the gay” then you are the one to be shunned!
It certainly a difficult time to be a parent today.
Jeremy Putnam writes:
You’re an awful, judgemental, hateful person and so very unlike how Christ asked people to be. Learn to love your fellow man, no matter how they look or act, and the world will be a kinder place.
Michael D. writes:
Allow the Apostle John to contribute to this topic.
Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God: hee that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Sonne. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For hee that biddeth him God speed, is partaker of his evill deeds. [2 John 9-11 (KJV)]
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