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Land: Surrogacy is Child Abuse

Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention gave a lecture at a school in Georgia where he accused gay couples who engage a surrogate mother of “child abuse.” He has to either ignorantly or deliberately distort the results of many studies to make his argument.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s former top expert on moral and public policy concerns says same-sex marriage is opening doors for a gay-surrogacy movement that he predicts will be harmful to children.

“We’ve conducted a 40-year experiment in this country in whether or not fathers are optional accessories in the rearing of healthy adults, and they are not,” Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, said Jan. 30 in the inaugural H. Ray Newman Ethics and Religious Liberty Lecture at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga.

“Up until now, no one’s been dumb enough to argue that a mother is an optional accessory,” said Land, who moved to the non-denominational school in Charlotte, N.C., after retiring as president of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission last year.

“But that’s exactly what same-sex marriage says, that two men can do as good a job raising a child as a mother and a father can,” he said. “That’s just plain goofy.”

Land said there is “a thriving business now in gay surrogacy” for homosexual couples who want to have a baby.

“They don’t just want a marriage license,” he said. “They want to have a baby. So they’re hiring, they’re renting wombs, and they’re buying eggs, and they’re having the eggs fertilized and implanted in the rented wombs.”

“There are many businesses that are thriving providing this kind of commodification of human flesh so that they can follow the trend and have two men try to raise a baby,” Land said. “What a travesty. What a collective sense of child abuse it is.”

No, it isn’t. He is referring to a body of work that has found that stable, two-parent households are more likely to produce positive outcomes for children. That body of work is pretty much undisputed, but it does not support his claim that two men (or two women, or one man or one woman) can’t “do as good a job of raising a child as a mother and father can.” Such studies are statistical and probabilistic, which means they don’t apply in every case they just record trends and generalities.

A single parent with excellent parenting skills and a stable household will almost certainly be better for a child than a two-parent household with poor parenting skills and instability (not getting divorced is hardly the only measure of stability). The same is true of two male or two female parents. And many studies show that gay parents do just as well as straight ones when you control for income, divorce and other far more relevant factors.

Comments

  1. Jacob Schmidt says

    “We’ve conducted a 40-year experiment in this country in whether or not fathers are optional accessories in the rearing of healthy adults, and they are not,” Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, said Jan. 30 in the inaugural H. Ray Newman Ethics and Religious Liberty Lecture at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga.

    “Up until now, no one’s been dumb enough to argue that a mother is an optional accessory,” said Land, who moved to the non-denominational school in Charlotte, N.C., after retiring as president of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission last year.

    Surely, then, the greater problem would be single parents.

  2. Synfandel says

    Surely, then, the greater problem would be single parents.

    Yeah, just look how Opie Taylor turned out.

  3. says

    “We’ve conducted a 40-year experiment in this country in whether or not fathers are optional accessories in the rearing of healthy adults, and they are not,”

    … Starting with WWI and WWII, which caused a lot of young people to grow up without fathers. Perhaps his own father was part of that experimental set.

  4. howardhershey says

    And, it bears repeating that evangelical Christians have a higher divorce rate than any other religious or non-religious group.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Jacob Schmidt @ # 1: … Land, who moved to the non-denominational school in Charlotte, N.C., after retiring as president of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission …

    Said “retirement” occurring after revelations of the entirely unethical practice of blatant plagiarism, which apparently in the fundagelical mindset qualifies him for both academic administration and lecturing on, uh, ethics.

  6. raven says

    40% of births in the USA are to single mothers.

    Most of these are xians and fundie cultists are overrepresented, having a high rate of teenage pregnancy.

    If Land could count, and really cared about two parent families, he would dissolve his SBC cult. They are a drag on our society anyway.

  7. raven says

    Single mothers have 48% of first births – Washington Times
    www. washingtontimes. com/news/…/single-mothers-have-48-of-firstbirth…‎

    Mar 20, 2013 – Some 48 percent of first births in America are now to unmarried women. … of first births in the United States precede marriage,” said the study, …

    For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage …
    www. nytimes. com/…/us/for-women-under-30-most-births-occur…‎

    by Sabrina Tavernise – in 90 Google+ circlesFeb 17, 2012 – Among mothers of all ages, a majority — 59 percent in 2009 — are married … nearly two-thirds of children in the United States are born to mothers under 30 … Living together became routine, and single motherhood lost the …

    The Moonie Times says 48% births to unmarried mothers. It’s 59% for unmarried mothers under 30. These numbers are higher in the fundie states.

    Just from demographics, the average unmarried mother is going to be a heterosexual xian.

    I’m sure Land will realize this and lauch a war against heterosexual xians to keep them from breeding outside of marriage.

    PS Unmarried birth mother isn’t quite the same as single mother. A lot of these are two parent families who haven’t bothered to get married.

  8. says

    Also (to take this in another direction), if fathers aren’t an “optional accessory”, maybe you should, I don’t know, maybe stop locking so many of them up on simple nonviolent drug possession charges?

  9. Chiroptera says

    …he said. “That’s just plain goofy.”

    Huh. That’s odd that he’s wrong on this. Most Southern Baptists, from what I’ve seen, are pretty much experts on goofy.

  10. alanb says

    There are many businesses that are thriving providing this kind of commodification of human flesh so that they can follow the trend and have two men try to raise a baby.

    What’s Richard Land got against capitalism? What’s Richard Land got against job creators? Is Richard Land a dirty commie?

  11. colnago80 says

    I notice that lamebrain Land doesn’t mention lesbians who conceive children by IVF, like former Vice-President Cheney’s daughter Mary?

  12. garnetstar says

    Jacob @1, you are correct.

    My sister-in-law died of cancer at age 34, leaving three children of 8, 5, and 3 years. My brother raised them all by himself. He didn’t remarry until they were grown and out of the house.

    And they’re all mighty fine, thank you. But Land’s saying that my brother alone is not a better parent than some unloving or drug-addicted or cruel, or whatever, heterosexual couples?

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