The courts always legislate morality...

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As Tim prepared for his recent appearance on WTIU's In Focus panel discussion on same-sex marriage, a number of men corresponded over different aspects of marriage law in Indiana. One pastor wrote the following:

'[You] should know that the assumption in Indiana (& most states) is that each parent is equally responsible for the support of the child, up to the limit of his or her capability. The law expects that each will be employed. So, for example, if a stay-at-home mom with four kids is divorced and gets physical custody of her children, the law will expect her to be employed and will set child support on that basis. If she is not employed, the law will impute to her the income the judge thinks she could be earning. At the least that will mean 40 hours weekly at the minimum wage level. The only major exception is if either the parent or one or more children is disabled.

'The law follows our society's assumption that child rearing is a hobby, like stamp collecting.'

In further correspondence, another pastor (who will remain anonymous given the personal nature of his testimony) gave his take on why this is the case, what it could mean for godly, stay-at-home moms, and how it relates to the larger question of sodomite marriage. We believe that his testimony and insight will be instructive and helpful to BaylyBlog readers. He writes:

It's just as likely the stay-at-home mother of four doesn't get custody due to her inability to provide financially, and is then required to pay child support to dad. This is especially true if she doesn't have much earning potential in the eyes of the court--like a college degree or career experience.

That my mom wasn't working (and had no degree) was one of the central angles my dad used to get custody when he divorced my mom. Of course, it helped that she was an adulteress who packed her own bags, but that's how it played out--and that was more than 20 years ago. My dad initially agreed to forego child support, but took her back to court and sued for it just a few years later. And, of course, he won.

Note that had he pursued child support in the first place he would've had to argue for her earning potential had he wanted to get anything substantial out of it. But that would've undermined his arguments for custody and made him look like a hypocrite. Waiting until circumstances changed was a much more politically (and financially) savvy move. Now, I'm not that cynical about his motives for reasons I won't bother explaining, but that doesn't mean that kind of thing doesn't happen.

My point is that my life is a case in point of these principles at work.

My parents were always in court, and it was always about money. And the courts decided everything--including how my college education was divvied up between my mom, my dad, and me. If I chose to go to college after high school, my divorced formerly-sort-of-stay-at-home mom was required by the courts to pay a percentage of my tuition and room and board. She had no choice in the matter. None of us did.

As I see it, this is all a necessary and natural consequence of the sexual revolution. It used to be that in the case of divorce it was almost always a man leaving his wife and kids. The courts restored some sense of equity and did justice to the orphan and widow by requiring financial support from the scoundrel.

In other words, the system of child support was put in place recognizing that men have a responsibility to provide for their families that they simply ought not be permitted to escape. But how do you deal with things when a woman leaves her husband and kids to run off with her boss or one of the doctors at the hospital? Or when she leaves the family that's been holding her back in order to start a new life, a career?

Is it justice to saddle the poor woman with unwanted custody of unwanted children? Why does she have to be the one responsible for the nurture and constant care of those little ones? Can't she just have a post-birth, no-fault abortion that is financed monthly? Men can do it. Always have. They just buy their way out. Women ought to have that right, too.

And, in fact, who says that it's better for children to be raised by their mothers? That's blind prejudice. Aren't there better and more impartial ways to evaluate what is a healthy environment for children to grow up in?

Take quality of living, for example. There's one good and fair factor more suitable to deciding the custody of children than the sex of the parent. Shouldn't the ability of the parent to provide for the children financially receive more weight in custody battles than it once did? We have schools for them, after all. Education is the great equalizer that compensates for mom and dad's failures and inadequacies.

Faced with these problems, the divorce courts began treating marriage as an egalitarian contract. One parent gets the kids and works to provide for them. The other pays supplemental support. There's a formula that's applied to all situations. Lady Justice keeps her eyes shut tight and her blindfold secured.

The price for this is that now a good, godly, stay-at-home mom can be punished severely for her godliness by the courts when her husband walks out. And those poor kids.

Fortunately, there's still some bias in many judges towards mothers. And there's still the fact that louses rarely want the responsibility of children. But how when the financial incentive of having custody is not simply tax deductions but bonus income that you don't have to share? And that when you can still take her to court for additional money whenever there's a significant expense needing to be covered--braces, cars, college, etc.?

Yes, yes, college. If I live in a divorced home and decide to go to school, my parents have an income-based obligation to pay for significant portions of it. The judge says so. Or at least he did in my case.

The price, of course, goes far beyond this. When the courts reduced marriage to an egalitarian contract, marriage became ipso facto homosexual. Because of the introduction of no-fault divorce and the rising prevalence of wife-initiated divorce, the courts ceased seeing husbands and wives a long time ago, much less covenant obligations distinct to each sex. The courts only see two consenting adults under contract. Why should they be one man and one woman?

And that kind of law is instructive. So it's a foregone conclusion. It's already done. Inevitable. Has been for years. Marriage amendments are like the Sandusky trial--the last gasps of a pitied vice paying tribute to a dead virtue before the inevitable embrace. But I mix metaphors or mangle poetry or something like that.

Not long after writing this email, the same pastor wrote again after learning that a new California bill would allow children to have more than two parents. First, from the article about the new California bill:

When adults fight over parenthood, a judge must decide which two have that right and responsibility – but that could end soon. State Sen. Mark Leno is pushing legislation to allow a child to have multiple parents. . . .

SB 1476 is not meant to expand the definition of who can qualify as a parent, only to eliminate the limit of two per child. . . .

SB 1476 stemmed from an appellate court case last year involving a child's biological mother, her same-sex partner, and a man who had an affair with the biological mother and impregnated her while she was separated temporarily from her female lover.

Designating multiple parents in such cases could enhance the child's prospects for financial support, health insurance or Social Security benefits, thus reducing the state's potential financial responsibility, supporters say.

In bitter breakups involving two unfit or incapacitated parents, a judge might have more flexibility to keep a child out of foster care by recognizing the existence of another parent, Leno contends.

The key factor is a child's best interest: SB 1476 does not force judges to do anything, it only provides them with discretion to recognize multiple parents if doing so not only is beneficial, but is required for a child's well-being, Leno said.

Californians give judges great power to split families with the stroke of a pen, so there is a duty to do it right, said Ed Howard, senior counsel for the Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law. "And we can't get it right if we're forcing judges to rule against their judgment."

Our pastor friend comments:

Above, I write, "The courts only see two consenting adults under contract. Why should they be one man and one woman?" But the above legislation is only a hop, skip, and a jump away from asking the question, "Why should there only be two?"

Elevating the financial well-being of the child in a custody battle to paramount importance over and against other, less quantifiable concerns is simply a long-established, well-sympathized-with trojan horse for anti-family, pro-feminism, pro-sodomy, pro-polygamy, pro-polyamory activism. And it's already to the point where this ludicrous multi-parent nonsense can be justified as being in the best interests of children.

Lucas Weeks

Lucas serves as an assistant pastor at Clearnote Church in Bloomington, Indiana. Although he pines for the warm, tropical weather that was familiar to him growing up in west and central Africa, he has since made peace with the harsher climes of North America.

Want to get in touch? Send Lucas an email!