Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 2, 2005
Legalizing family relationships concerns author
The family provides counterbalance to the state's power, says Douglas Farrow
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
What happens when the state has a prior right to my children? What will happen to my children's right to me?
Those were some of the questions Douglas Farrow raised at an April 25 talk at St. Paul University, painting a chilling scenario of state intrusion and control of intimate family relations that is already on its way as provinces rewrite their laws to make way for same-sex marriage.
State steps in
Farrow, co-editor with McGill colleague Dan Cere of Divorcing Marriage: Unveiling the Dangers in Canada's New Social Experiment (now a bestseller on Amazon), warns that if all relationships among parents and children are legal constructs, the state can do whatever it pleases.
The associate professor of Christian thought at McGill says the problem arises from divorcing procreation from the definition of marriage. Without procreation and the natural, biological bonds of a mother and father with their children, the state defines what a legal parent is, and what a parent-child relationship is, without reference to biological relationships.
That severs a child's right to be brought up by his or her biological parents, Farrow said.
Farrow noted that Ontario has recently replaced natural terms like "mother" and "father" with generic legal constructs.
He said the family existed prior to the state and provided a counter-balance to state power. "We will make the state the primary force in the ordering of human life," he said.
As an example, he said that if the state determined that all parents must teach their children that homosexual and heterosexual sex is equivalent, and the natural mother or father failed to do so, the state could step in and remove the child.
"If you violate what the definition of a parent is, then you are no longer a parent under law," he warned.
Farrow traced the unintended consequences of Pierre Trudeau's decriminalizing sodomy, along with other factors such as the use of contraceptives and the sexual revolution.
He said decriminalizing sodomy restored the appropriate distinction between what is criminal and subject to state control and what is immoral but the responsibility of the individual. Today, however, the state seems to have lost its ability to make moral judgments at all, or to distinguish between goods, or grant privileges to behaviour it wishes to encourage - like heterosexual marriage, he said.
"If society can't make any moral judgments and everything that is not illegal has to be equal, we've lost the distinction between crime and sin," he said. "We can't even get the basic logic right and that is a sign of our collective perversion."
"If you violate what the definition of a parent is, then you are no longer a parent under law."
- Douglas Farrow
Quasi Tory support
Farrow said that while the Conservative Party has the best policies among the major political parties on marriage, he does not support the Tories "separate but equal" approach, giving gays and lesbians all the rights and privileges of marriage without the name.
Farrow said the Tories are trying to see if they "can get away with not privileging marriage."
"Marriage is one of those things which we have to privilege if we want to thrive," he said.
Farrow said that Canada is witnessing "the demise" of Trudeau's famous dictum that the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.
Instead, through same-sex marriage, and through creating genderless, procreation-less marriage, Canada will "create a meddlesome state," and "the state will be a party to our sexual partnerships."
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.