I’m still a fairly new father. My daughter is just five months old. Like any parent, I want my child to be happy, to have a joyful life, and to achieve her dreams. Not once have I looked down and seen her little smiling face, with the cute dimples on both sides, and wished for her a life of sin and separation from God.
But we’re now living in a culture where this is a dream of some parents—parents who are so blind to the sin that has pervaded the culture that they are apt to enable their child’s separation from God.
It was painful to read the words of CNN contributor Sally Kohn when she wrote in the Washington Post recently, “I’m gay. And I want my kid to be gay, too.”
I believe Kohn when she writes that she wants her daughter to be happy. But in Kohn’s mind, “being gay” is what would make her six-year-old daughter, Willa, happy. And Kohn is actively trying to engineer this same-sex attraction:
We’ve bought every picture book featuring gay families, even the not-very-good ones, and we have most of the nontraditional-gender-role books as well … When my daughter plays house with her stuffed koala bears as the mom and dad, we gently remind her that they could be a dad and dad.
Kohn even admits to agonizing over her daughter having a crush on a boy at school. “Time will tell, but so far, it doesn’t look like my 6-year-old daughter is gay. In fact, she’s boy crazy. It seems early to me, but I’m trying to be supportive.” Her expressions of supporting her daughter “whatever choices she makes” read like throwaway lines. I doubt if Willa grows up to be one of the children raised by gay parents who oppose same-sex “marriage,” she’d receive such support.
I said it was painful to read Kohn’s words because she is doing great spiritual harm to this child. She readily admits her intention to present an active gay lifestyle as a morally acceptable and desirable option for her daughter. Though she may not believe it, or may not even care, Kohn is pushing her daughter away from God. And as Christians, we should care.
If you’ve ever engaged in debate for any amount of time about the necessity of defending marriage between one man and one woman, at some point you’ve likely heard the retort, “Why do you care? It doesn’t affect your life if two people of the same sex want to get married!” Kohn’s own example of forcing harmful cultural influences on Willa is a prime example of why everyone should care. New studies are emerging on the negative impact of same-sex parenting on children. And the acceptance of same-sex “marriage” has already had damaging effects on our culture, including threatening our religious freedom.
To be clear, Kohn doesn’t simply desire that little Willa be attracted to other women. Kohn wants her daughter to validate the immoral lifestyle currently being lived by Kohn and her female partner, and to embrace such a lifestyle for herself. Put another way, Kohn wants her daughter to separate herself from God and fill the void with the pleasures of this world.
This is not the happiness God wishes for our lives.
God does not promise us material happiness, because material things cannot bring us true happiness—be they fame, fortune, power, or sexual indulgence.
God has, however, promised us spiritual happiness. “True happiness,” Fr. John Hardon, whose cause for canonization was initiated by Raymond Cardinal Burke in 2005, wrote, “has three characteristics that are never absent, but always in greater or lesser measure together. True happiness is spiritual. It is generous and it is always related to God.
“In order, then, to be really and not spuriously happy we have to work for happiness in these three ways: in the spirit, the practice of generosity, and in relationship to God.”
The third criterion, the relationship with God, is of utmost importance to our happiness. Fr. Hardon continued:
What does it mean to say that for happiness to be genuine it must be related to God? By this we mean that only God can make us genuinely happy and therefore we must finally look to Him even for our earthly reward. This bears a lot of stress. All genuine happiness, not only in the life to come, but in this life, comes uniquely from God. Do not look to creatures to make you truly happy.
When I think about my daughter’s future happiness, I pray that it is in the peace and love of Our Lord as a holy servant of God. Though we are all sinners, I plan to teach my daughter to avoid sin at all costs, not to embrace and celebrate sin. As parents, if we’re going to project our vision of happiness on our children, it should be one of true happiness, spiritual happiness, in the grace of God.