Why We Should Fear the Evangelical Adoption Boom

Kathryn Joyce, the author of the horrifying (and excellent) book Quiverfull, has an eye-opening piece in Mother Jones about the horrors of evangelical Christian adoption.

While it sounds wonderful when Christians spend more time focusing on kids who are already born instead of the embryos inside other women, the plan goes downhill when they see those adoptable children as little more than extensions of a ministry:

[The adopted kids] didn’t attend school, either; home schooling mostly consisted of [mother] Serene reading to the younger children. When the older kids watched a school bus drive past on a country road and asked why they couldn’t go, they were met with various excuses. So [adopted kids] Isaiah and Alfred worked with [father] Sam in his house-painting business or labored in [grandmother] Nancy Campbell’s immense vegetable garden while [adopted kids] CeCe, Kula, and Cherish cleaned, cooked, and tended to a growing brood of young ones. It was also the job of the “African kids,” as they called themselves, to keep a reservoir filled with water from the creek. CeCe hadn’t yet learned to read when Serene gave her a book on midwifery so she could learn to deliver their future babies. “They treated us pretty much like slaves,” she said. It’s a provocative accusation, but one that Kula and Isaiah — as well as two neighbors and a children’s welfare worker — all repeated.

Discipline included being hit with rubber hosing or something resembling a riding crop if the children disrespected Serene, rejected her meals, or failed to fill the reservoir. For other infractions, they were made to sleep on the porch without blankets. Engedi, the toddler, was disciplined for her attachment to CeCe. To encourage her bond with Serene, the Allisons would place the child on the floor between them and CeCe and call her. If Engedi went to CeCe instead, the children recalled, the Allisons would spank her until she wet herself.

Horrifying stuff. Even scarier when you realize it’s not limited to just this one family. Evangelical churches across the country are encouraging overseas adoptions for religiously-motivated reasons.

Joyce’s next book, to be published next week, is called The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption.

(via Boing Boing)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Michael

    As a parent, I can’t imagine anyone treating a child this way. Horrifying indeed!

  • mjones

    Abusing for Jesus!

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

    I’ve been looking forward to her new book for months! If anyone hasn’t read it yet, I also highly recommend Quiverfull.

  • WallofSleep

    Abusive Christians get a free pass on the adoption circuit, while loving, same sex couples get shafted. Makes no damn sense to me.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

      That really burns me up. There are plenty of evangelicals who don’t think my parents should have been allowed to raise me, that my brother and I would have been better off if we’d been taken away and given to a straight couple. Yet this is how some of them treat children in their care!

    • Stev84

      The thing is that they don’t go through regular channels. They are adopting in Africa (through very shady means) precisely because many of them could never pass the checks and home studies during a proper domestic adoption. Like the main couple featured in the article who lived somewhere off the grid in a house without running water.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

        human trafficking has been one of my shouting topics for a while now. it’s skyrocketed since the beginning of the bush years. you’re not wrong, the government is totally failing to uphold the law and apply similar standards for international adoptions. ironically, a lot of this has to do with wealthy, non-fundie couples who have lobbied successfully for relaxed adoption standards, mainly because they, ironically, prefer european or even asian babies to african american ones, who fill our orphanages and often go unwanted.

        and please note everyone: this kind of abuse is also driven by money. a lot of fundies do this not just for the purpose of free child labor, it’s also for the check that comes with each child. this is more common in foster situations, in which the parents lie and pretend full adoption is the goal, but milk the state for as long as possible “fostering” children.

  • Kevin

    Yeah, all of us evangelicals are abusive parents.

    • TheG

      Considering how many evangelicals use an exceedingly rare connection between homosexuality and pedophilia as a reason to stop gay people from adopting, becoming teachers, or Boy Scout leaders, you evangelicals can just sit there, shut up, and take it.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

        But then we’re just as bad as they are. I don’t think it’s fair to say that all evangelicals are abusive parents. Those who beat their children in the name of Jesus are most definitely abusive, and there’s an entire culture reinforcing that style of parenting (Dobson, etc.), but there are also groups that push back against it, such as Gentle Christian Mothers.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Evangelical Christianity IS abuse.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

            I’m just cautioning not to paint with too broad a brush. I do believe that the theology of evangelical Christianity is harmful, but it’s a big step to go from there and say that every evangelical parent is a child abuser.
            The subculture as a whole does promote and support people who advocate extreme corporal punishment, and I do not think they should be let off the hook for that. Focus on the Family is a huge organization with tremendous influence. Anyone supporting those people or those groups shares culpability, IMO, but again, not all evangelical parents support them.
            Whether teaching hell-belief or sin-belief is abusive in itself is a different question. I’m inclined to say that it is at the very least quite harmful, but those beliefs aren’t limited to evangelical Christianity. To use such a broad definition of “child abuse” would encompass most religious parents in the country.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              Disagree. Christianity is inherently mentally and emotionally abusive. Read and understand.

              • rwlawoffice

                I read it. The author is an idiot. And despite his claims, he doesn’t understand Christianity.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Then you obviously lack reading comprehension.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Understood it completely. He is an idiot.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Oh. I see you looked in the mirror.

                  Obviously this one isn’t human, as he cannot recognise his own reflection…

              • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

                The theology is terrible, but it’s a big jump to go from acknowledging that to saying that every evangelical on the planet is a child abuser. I don’t think the belief system is healthy. I think teaching children to believe in sin and hell is harmful. But it’s not just evangelicals who believe in those things. It’s also millions of others: Catholics, Muslims, etc. To tag every religious parent as an abuser, IMO, really waters down the definition of child abuse.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Not at all — To raise a child in the Christian faith is 100% emotional and mental abuse. It teaches the child that they are horrible, worthless slime, and they should be grateful that GHAWD is giving them one last chance, but if they mess up in the slightest, they will be tortured FOREVER.

                  If that’s not abuse, I wonder what you think abuse actually is…

                • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

                  Okay, well, we are not going to agree. I think the theology is harmful, and that some forms of it are more harmful than others, but I would be leery of applying the word “abuse” to every single Christian. Many people in my family are Catholic. I consider them misguided, but I do not consider them to be abusing their children.

                • Emily

                  The Bible does not teach that if we make mistakes, we will go to hell. The Bible teaches that Jesus already paid the price for our sins, all of them, and all we have to do is believe that Jesus is our savior and confess him as Lord.

                  Yes, your version of Christianity is child abuse, you are absolutely right; the true version of Christ’s message is actually really really good news.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  The core message of the Bible is, in fact, “worship me, OR ELSE.”

                  That is abuse.

                • Emily

                  No the core message of the Bible is, “I love you so much and want to have a relationship with you.”

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  WRONG

                  Your “god” is an abuser and a bully.

      • Kevin

        Well at least you’re open-minded, tolerant, and averse to stereotyping. So there’s that.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

          I don’t agree that evangelicals should have to “shut up and take it” if they are, in fact, not abusive parents. However, TheG has a point. Many evangelicals are quite vocal in their condemnation of gay adoption, gay Scout leaders, etc.

          • TheG

            I actually regret more than a little saying it, but it comes from a good place. I think that if more people who do horrible things to others or those that allow/defend those people felt even a little bad for their actions, there would be less people being hurt.
            I shouldn’t have said it. That isn’t the most moral way of helping people out.

            • Emily

              I think that’s incredibly admirable of you to take back what you said. :)

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          oh, get down off your cross already. nobody said “all.”

          however, if you want to go and dig up some stats on the religions of those guilty of child abuse… i doubt you’d like what you see.

        • Matthew Delemos

          Really? Who’s more open-minded, tolerant, and averse to stereotyping…..an evangelical or an atheist?

    • PicardFacepalm

      Yes, because that’s exactly what the article says.

    • WallofSleep

      Sure. But it’s a matter of degrees, really. :P

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Bubba Tarandfeathered

      Well this is a good start that one evangelical has admitted to it.

    • Charles Honeycutt

      Poorly-directed sarcasm won’t change that this abusive family ALONE has a
      magazine circulation of 130,000, which means they’re encouraging a
      couple of million adults and their oversized families to behave this
      way.

      Feel free to complain about that instead of pissing and moaning at the messenger. Oh, and feel free to read the actual linked article before you instinctively jump to the defense of child abuse.

    • Carmelita Spats

      You model your parenting on Yahweh-the-Yahoo and you spank your wives…

      http://www.christiandomesticdiscipline.com/whatiscdd.html

    • baal

      Not all and not to the degree noted in the book or interview.

      Evangelicals are, however, fond of the hierarchical family model. The entire concept of one person in charge and others subordinating themselves creates disincentives to seek what’s best for everyone in the family. By your definition, that’s a disordered way of thinking. By my definition, it’s the best way to avoid overlooking harms.

      I’ll also note that even when physical coercion isn’t applied, the 15 or so evangelical families I’ve spent time with in my life were all dominated by guilt. That endless and on-going internal minding had horrific effects on 2 of the humans in those families and seems to be a big part of why half of the folks are on prozac.

    • Matthew D

      Indeed.

  • Mario Strada

    This small article almost made me cry, maybe because I was listening to Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem at the same time and the difference between what I was listening to and what I was reading was stark.
    On one side, for my ears, the sublime religious music by one of the world best composers (and famously, a lifelong Atheist) and on the other side the dehumanizing misery that only the religious seem able to inflict on their own.

  • Rwlawoffice

    Wow this post is a stereotypical stretch even for you. A couple of examples of questionable behavior by a few families and the entire movement to adopt children by Christians is called horrific. And this s by the same folks who support abortion and killing the unborn.

    • Mewslie

      Did you read the source article at all? Of course not, because your reply makes no sense in light of it.

      But hey, knee jerk away.

      • Rwlawoffice

        I did read the source article and I stand by my comment.

        • baal

          Did you read the book and listen to the Terry Gross interview? Even if these are cheery picked rare instances, the arguments for this kind of abuse are 100% normal christian expressions. Is it that hard for you to admit that christians abuse in the name of christ?

          I’m of the opinion that we are responsible for the actions of our near neighbors. It’s one of the big reasons why I call out (proportionately!) atheists when I think they support violence. I’m a member of the ‘atheist’ group and can right be seen as bearing some responsibility for the normalization of the group.

          • rwlawoffice

            I do not support child abuse by anyone, Christian or not. I am not sure we would agree on what constitutes abuse in all cases. For example, I do not agree with Hitchens that teaching a child about Christ is abuse. I got spanked as a child by parents that did and do love me and I did not consider that I was being abused.

            There are some who think that any form of discipline of a child is abuse. Do they get to define it for everyone else? Do those that strike and hit their children beyond a common spanking and don’t think it is abuse get to define it for the child or everyone else? The truth is that abuse is a serious term and it is thrown around by those that want to bash the Christian faith where it loses its meaning and is harmful. It is like the Southern Poverty Law Center calling Christian organization they don’t agree with hate groups. It devalues what real hate is and the harm it can do.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

      This isn’t “a couple of examples of questionable behavior by a few families.” There are numerous examples of fundamentalist and evangelical leaders and parenting “experts” who explicitly promote beating children with implements: James Dobson, Debi and Michael Pearl, etc. It’s not just a few rogue people.

      • rwlawoffice

        Show me where any of these people advocated beating a child. I’m not talking about controlled spanking, I’m using your term beating.

      • rwlawoffice

        As an addition to my comment, I understand that the Pearls talk in terms
        of what could be considered more than a common spanking and I would not
        agree with that.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

          I’m glad you at least are willing to condemn the Pearls, but they are not unusual in fundamentalist circles. There are dozens more just like them.

          With regard to James Dobson, everything he has said is easily found on Google. It is not a secret that he promotes beating children with implements. He has also related a story in which he used a belt to beat their family pet, a tiny dachshund, into submission.

    • Charles Honeycutt

      Given that you have read neither Quiverful nor the original article, which completely debunked your complaint before you even made it, the two most reasonable responses to you follow:

      1. Why are you still a shoddy liar? And as a corollary, why are you still stupid enough to believe that people don’t see through you when you lie?

      2. Does Jesus love that you lie to defend widepsread abuse?

      • rwlawoffice

        Show me where i have lied and I will respond. I did read the article and I stand by my comments. The liberal Mother Jones writer gave examples of a few families and now Hemant and the writer are trying to call all Christian evangelical adoptions horrific. Typical broad brush nonsense.

        • Lawman

          I can show you where you lied. It’s everytime you open your mouth or write something down. Any other requests?

          • rwlawoffice

            What a childish response. If you don’t have proof than you should just say so. Or is it like Hemant, using the example of a few families who mistreated their adopted children as grounds to call Christian adoption horrific? Just throw out an allegation not caring if it is true or not. Frankly, in the past I saw more care from Hemant not to do this but it is becoming more commonplace lately.

    • Carmelita Spats

      So I’m guessing if you are female, you are not on the pill or the IUD since chemical contraception endangers “tiny people” since it affects the lining of the uterus and “starves” babies…You are a vaginal mucus sniffer, yes? Slippery stretchy?

      http://thepillkills.org/talkingpoints_12_2.php

      Don’t dump Dr. Yahweh’s drunk-with-blood-lust on atheists. Dr. Yahweh-the-Yahoo is an unlicensed OB/GYN and He thrives on COERCED abortion and infanticide.
      1. The only references to abortion in the Bible are to coerced abortion as a
      punishment for nonbelievers, sinners and those who fail to recognize Dr. Yahweh’s chosen people.
      2. In Second Kings, we learn that Menahem, leader of
      the Israelites, smote all the people who refused to follow him “and all
      the women therein that were with child he ripped up” (2 Kings 15:16).
      3. Later, in Hosea, we learn that because the land of Samaria rejected God,
      “Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God:
      they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces,
      and their women with child shall be ripped up” (Hosea 13:16).
      4. Hosea decided to carry out God’s vengeance on the people by killing the unbornbabies carried by the heathen women. He promised to “slay even the
      beloved fruit of their womb” (Hosea 9:16).
      5. Yahweh slaughtered David’s young son to punish David for adultery.
      6. In Numbers 5:11-31, Yahweh-the-Yahoo comes up with the first morning after pill. If a woman is accused of adultery, she is to drink some filthy holy water in a clay jar. If she’s guilty, her belly swells and she MISCARRIES.
      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+5%3A11-31&version=NIV

      I’m from Mexico and I’d rather terminate a pregnancy than be a third world birthing bi*ch for a crazed middle class Evangelical in the United States. No apologies.

      • Baby_Raptor

        RW is a he. He’s also a known liar, theist and general asshat. Don’t feed him, just dismiss him with the scorn he deserves.

        • Glasofruix

          The problem is, i tend to spend all my scorn the moment people like him write their stupid around here…

        • Rwlawoffice

          Prove where I lied.

          • TiltedHorizon

            Where did you lie? Right here:

            “A couple of examples of questionable behavior by a few families”

            A ‘couple’, as in ‘two’, a pair, or in a figurative expression meaning ‘few’. The article does not talk of a ‘few’, two, or a pair. The Colin’s magazine, which promotes this style of adoption and child raising has a circulation of 130,000. few? two? pair? Liar.

            “questionable behavior”

            Really? If the subject was homosexuality you would call it an ‘abomination’, ‘against god’, etc. Basically your language would be stronger, but instead child abuse only ranks as ‘questionable’ to you. Here is a hint, child abuse is an abomination as is your attempt to play it down to just being ‘questionable’. If one adult hits another with “rubber hosing or something resembling a riding crop” it would be assault, if an adoptive parent does this to a child it is ‘questionable’. By ignoring this you are again a liar.

            “And this by the same folks who support abortion and killing the unborn.”

            I don’t support abortion and killing the unborn, I support a woman’s right to choose. So get off your moral high horse, your pompous piety will find no purchase here. One who ignores the cries of living children has no right to judge anyone. This willful blindness means you are again a liar as you have chosen to ignore the point of the article.

            • rwlawoffice

              So your proof is that a publication that has a circulation of 13,000 means that that many people abuse their children that they adopt from overseas? And you think I lie?

              As for the questionable behavior- I was not down playing child abuse. What I question is the accuracy of these allegations and whether there really was abuse. none of this has been proven in a court so they remain simply allegations. If they are true to the extent as written I would call some of it abuse. Again, where is the lie?

              Finally, as to the issue of abortion, if you support a women’s right to choose than you are supporting abortion. You can try to argue otherwise, but it doesn’t work. You are saying others have the right to kill the unborn and that you won’t interfere. As for ignoring the cries of living children you are wrong. I just start caring about children before they are born as well as after.

              • TiltedHorizon

                “a circulation of 13,000 means…”

                … you can’t count. 13,000 is not 130,000.

                “And you think I lie?”

                Yes. To the tune of 117,000.

                “I was not down playing child abuse.”

                Naw. You were only downplaying the ‘couple’ of cases and ignoring the 130,000 like minded people who follow the Colin’s example.

                “If they are true to the extent as written I would call some of it abuse.”

                Which ‘some’? The rubber hosing or the something resembling a riding crop?

                “I just start caring about children before they are born as well as after.”

                I can tell by the outrage you feel on behalf of the few, couple, two.

                • rwlawoffice

                  You are correct, the circulation is 130,000. My typo mistake. But you really should learn the definition of lying.

                  What proof do you have the 130,000 who subscribe to this magazine abuse their children by feeding them raw food and making them work on a farm?

                  Way to misinterpret my last point. By the way, for those who are screaming here about the way these children were treated, where is your outrage over the Gosnell trial? Silence from everyone who supports abortion when children are actually killed outside of the womb by a doctor who performs abortions. Spare me your fake outrage here.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  Lying = deliberately untruthful; deceitful; false. As in a “couple of examples of questionable behavior”.

                  “What proof do you have the 130,000 who subscribe to this magazine abuse their children by feeding them raw food and making them work on a farm?”

                  I have no proof that 130,000 subscribers to a magazine that promotes Biblical beat-downs of their children are “feeding them raw food and making them work on a farm”. I’m sure not all own farms. What they do have in common is a shared interpretation of scripture which allows for Biblical beat-downs of their children. Which means the likelihood is high that subscribers are reading it and feeling justified in physically abusing their children. What next? Will you assert that most people who subscribe to the “shooting times” don’t own or shoot firearms?

                  “where is your outrage over the Gosnell trial?”

                  Where is the Gosnell trial mentioned in this article? For the record, based on what is reported, i.e. that eight viable fetuses were terminated, as in born alive, as in crying and responsive to stimuli. It is murder. But why do you care? It was ‘just’ eight. A ‘couple’ by your standards. Spare us all the false umbrage, you led with your real concerns and it was not these abused children in the article. Close your zipper, your parapraxis is showing.

                • rwlawoffice

                  So the article talks about a couple of families and I state a couple of examples. Sounds like I told the truth. The lie is the attempt to stretch this into calling all Christian adoptions horrific based upon these two stories.

                  It is also a lie for you to speculate that people who believe in the bible also believe that they can beat and physically abuse their children.

                  I brought up Gosnell to show the hypocrisy of your argument. You claim outrage when children are abused, yet the liberal media and those on this board have said nothing about the actual murder of children in an abortion mill. You are not concerned about children, you are concerned about bashing Christians.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  Your lies continue.

                  “all Christian adoptions”

                  The title clearly states ‘evangelical’, so unless you are saying evangelical are the only Christians…. liar.

                  “It is also a lie for you to speculate”

                  Speculation is not a lie.

                  “people who believe in the bible also believe”

                  I was rather specific, I stated “shared interpretation”, meaning that their ‘interpretation’ is that it is better to spare the rod not the child hence they subscribe to magazine which supports abominable views. It is not a great leap to conclude that people who subscribe to “Child Spank Monthly” actually apply the ‘knowledge’ gained. I guess the “Shooting Times” example was lost on you. I’d bet that you have a copy of the ABA Journal somewhere which by your argument means you are NOT a lawyer.

                  “I brought up Gosnell to show the hypocrisy of your argument.”

                  Hypocrisy – The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

                  Kinda like participating in a thread about child abuse only to marginalize the victims so you can talk about unrelated topics in an effort to bash atheists.

                  “You are not concerned about children”

                  That must be why I’m a foster parent and child advocate. It is also why I maintain focus on the topic at hand while you, on the other hand, continue to make this topic about everything but these children.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  If Hemant made that distinction than I will stand corrected, but I doubt that nuance was made.

                  Your speculation stated as a fact is a lie and that is clearly what you tried to convey.

                  Nice try at attempting to avoid your own point when you get called on it. You tried to argue that all those who subscribe to this magazine beat their children. That is unfounded speculation at best. I receive the Texas bar journal but I don’t agree with everything in it.

                  The hypocrisy I was noting was the outrage here by the same people who support the right of others to kill their unborn children. It shows the real point us to bash Christians. As for your foster parenting and child advocacy I sincerely applaud you.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Get over yourself, pompous windbag.

                  Nobody here “supports the right to kill children”, because, as ANY DOCTOR WILL TELL YOU, a zygote, embryo, or fetus IS NOT A CHILD.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  That simply is a falsehood. Ob gyns will tell you that a child is growing in the womb. Only those that perform abortions or support them want to ignore that truth.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Shut up, you lying sack of shit.

                  You know VERY WELL that your position is based on LIES.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  The only lie here is denying that what is growing inside a pregnant lady is anything other than a child. Because an embryo, a zygote and a fetus are all stages of the growth of ….(wait for it)…a human being.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Whatever, LIAR.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  “If Hemant made that distinction than I will stand corrected, but I doubt that nuance was made. ”

                  That ‘nuance’ was explicitly used 3 times.

                  “Your speculation stated as a fact is a lie”

                  I stated “the likelihood is high” in much the same was as the “the likelihood is high” that subscribers of ‘shooting times’ own or shoot firearms. People don’t subscribe to that which they hold no stock in.

                  “aboverubies” openly promotes “Disciplining God’s Way”, they actually warn “If you don’t you will ruin his life”, a child not ‘disciplined’ can “develop into unrestrained agents of evil”. So ‘spank’ with a Rod.

                  They even drive the point in rhyme:

                  “Junior bit the meter man and then he hit the cook;”

                  It goes on to tell the story of ‘Junior’ who was destined for hell until the hero, ‘Grampa’, comes in and:

                  “But Grandpa takes a wooden spoon , pulls junior ‘cross his knee, (He’s read nothing but the Bible since 1933!)”

                  So the moral of the story? Don’t Abdicate Your Duty! Take a wooden spoon to that Booty!

                  The article is full of wisdom:

                  “If our children do not cry with the one stroke we normally give, then we give another.”

                  “If it is (i.e. the issue) still manifesting itself after the spank by slamming doors, talking back, etc., then the rod has not yet dislodged it.”

                  Thank goodness ‘no one’ who subscribes to this abides by it. (eyeroll)

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Just because the term evangelical is used a few times in an article directed at Christian adoptions for religious reasons being considered something to fear, I still doubt that the nuance was intended. Since the entire article is a broadbrush approach I tend to think this is too. The article it is based upon even mentions Christian Alliance for Orphans as something to be concerned about. This is nonsense. I am a member of this organization and have been to their seminars. There was no talk of beating children. Instead there were talks about how to solve the problems of orphans around the world, how to fight sex trafficking and how to help countries solve their problems that cause children to be threatened with becoming orphans. Thousands of good people who use their own time and money on helping the most vulnerable in our world. So to lump them in with these two families that treated their children wrongly is agenda driven drivel.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  “So to lump them in with these two families that treated their children wrongly is agenda driven drivel.”

                  There are 7 families cited in the article, either directly named or indirectly through links, the Allisons & the Campbells are the focus. Ignored by you are:

                  The Schatz family who literally beat their adopted Liberian child to death with forceful and numerous whippings with a quarter-inch plastic tubing. One of the two surviving siblings were hospitalized in critical condition but thankfully survived.

                  The Paddocks who suffocated her adopted 4 year old by swaddling the air out of his lungs. The surviving siblings testified that Paddock beat them with flexible plastic rods, wooden spoons and other devices.

                  The Williams family, whose adopted Ethiopian daughter died of hypothermia, complicated by malnutrition. Prosecutors also say there was evidence that Hana and her adopted brother were beaten on multiple occasions with belts and plumbing equipment.

                  The Forders family, whose eight-year-old boy they adopted from Liberia died of pneumonia, complicated by malnutrition. Court documents explain how they forced him to eat dog food as punishment.

                  The Johnsons family, who were convicted of felony child abuse for, among other things, tying one of their adopted kids to a bedpost for two nights, and leaving their adopted daughter outside in the cold.

                  So what do all these families have in common? A ‘shared interpretation’ in which biblical literacy is adhered; It is better to spare the rod not the child, right?

                  This combined with agencies who sidestep the Hague Adoption Convention, like WACSN, which is funded in part (or was as of 2009) by the Christian Alliance for Orphans and private donations through “Above Rubies” means there is little to no oversight. This could be a problem. Not to worry though, I’m sure the publishers of “Above Rubies” realize that not all their readership are biblical literalist. Surely the screening process would identify someone who thinks a rod is used to ‘dislodge’ bad behavior. Oh wait, screening only applies to agencies who are members of the Hague Adoption Convention. Which means, oh crap! At least it is just a ‘couple’.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  There should be plenty of oversight in these adoptions nd despite the allegation in the article there is. For you to imply that CAFO encourages a lack of oversight is a lie.

                  I agree that there were more than two families discussed into article and if true what those families did is abuse. However, my point remains. The purpose of the article was to discredit Christian evangelical adoptions as horrific. I would wager that if an article like this was written about same sex adoptions such a broad brush would not be used.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  “For you to imply that CAFO encourages a lack of oversight is a lie.”

                  CAFO donated money to WACSN. WACSN is not a member of the Hague Adoption Convention. Not being a member of the Hague Adoption Convention means there is little to no oversight.

                  There is a reason why international adoptions cost 20-30K while the this process only costs 6k.

                  “if true what those families did is abuse”

                  If true? Most of the families are serving out their sentences. You continue to be guilty of not following through.

                • rwlawoffice

                  Are you implying that CAFO is horrible because it donated money to WACSN? If so you are painting with a broad brush and do not know what CAFO is what it does. It is are more than a donation to one adoption agency.

                  As for my comments about “if these families did abuse..” you are correct at lest one of them has pled guilty to abuse. i stand corrected.

                • TiltedHorizon

                  Actually you are implying that I am implying that CAFO is horrible because it donated money to WACSN. I was simply following the money trail.

                  Since you are defending CAFO and not WACSN my guess is that you are aware of the allegations of child trafficking they faced back in 2009. Don’t worry though, it was trafficking for Jesus.

                  “It is are more than a donation to one adoption agency.”

                  So how many other uncredited agencies do they give money to?

                  “at lest one of them has pled guilty to abuse.”

                  The others, except for the Allisons & the Campbells, were convicted.

              • onamission5

                You care about children so much, in fact, that you feel compelled to hijack a post about the horrific abuse of actual, living children to bang your pet drum of abortion while paying no attention to the issues of systematic abuse addressed in this post whatsoever. Screw the living, existing kids, it’s the non-existing ones that are really important. So loving! So kind!

                • rwlawoffice

                  If you will read my first post, it was about the nonsensical broad brush attempt to paint all Christian adoptions as horrific based the example of a couple of families and pointing out the hypocrisy of those claiming outrage when they support the rights of others to kill their children. If you call this hijacking the thread then you really need some better reading comprehension.

        • Matt Delemos

          I’ve seen him around a few atheist blogs for at least a year (or more), although since I do not spend my days arguing with theist bloggers, I’m not certain what his motivation is.

      • Rwlawoffice

        You really are a vile human being. Based on some of your other posts, it is obvious that the concept of grace is lost on you.

        • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

          If some tried to “bless” Carmelita with the gift of grace, I would block the shot and shield her from it. She is a badass, even when I don’t I agree with her.

        • Lawman

          And based on all your posts, it is obvious the concept of critical thinking is lost on you.

          • rwlawoffice

            In what respects?

            • Lawman

              I cannot tell you why you lack critical thinking. You must discover that for yourself. Take it into your heart and accept the truth.

              • Rwlawoffice

                You can’t back up that comment. I figured so.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Yup, we do. Because we have an IQ high enough to understand that a first trimester pregnancy isn’t an unborn child. We understand that words have meanings, and we don’t change those meanings to fit our beliefs.

      But, hey. You keep honking that horn. The more you talk your irrationality, the more people realize how crazy it is and join our side.

    • RobertoTheChi

      There is something very frightening about your post….the fact that there is no outrage about the treatment of these children. Truly scary.

      • Glasofruix

        Biblebots have their empathy center removed during those years of indoctrination.

      • Rwlawoffice

        The point of my post was to show the stretch that Hemant and the article writer make to say that all Christian adoptions should be feared because of the actions of some. It is an example of trying to call Christian upbringing abuse in the same vein as Hitchens.

        Frankly, people here who support abortion really should not attempt to lecture on about outrage over the way some children are treated. Of course mistreating children is wrong but those that support abortion advocate killing them, so they really are worse.

        • RobertoTheChi

          Everything is about abortion with you. Someone could be commenting about the weather and you would bring up aborted zygotes (no, they are not babies).

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          so how many unwanted children have you adopted?

          how many pregnant runaway incest victims have you sheltered?

          how much have you spent, this year, supporting single mothers with more children than they can afford who live in states where abortion is nearly impossible to get?

          how much have you spent, this year, supporting mothers with deadbeat fathers?

          your “moral superiority” is at stake, bub. you better have the right answers, or you’ll prove you’re just another misogynist hypocrite.

          bonus question: how many nonwhite orphans and unwanted children have you supported?

          • rwlawoffice

            I actually do quite a bit of what you list here. I do pro bono law work for unwed mothers, I chase down dead beat dads who fail to pay their child support, I support and raise money for an orphanage in Mexico that cares for orphans who have been the victims of the sex trade, I help with a ministry that deals with homeless people in our downtown area, some of whom are pregnant, my family and I helped build and support an orphanage in Uganda that includes a school and a health clinic, I assist our church with its ministries in Moldova for children who have aged out of the orphanage system to keep them out of the sex trade and the drug trade and my wife and I are going to be heading to Liberia this summer to assist an orphanage and a clinic there. We have not adopted children because I am too old to do so, but we care for them in other ways.

        • Lawman

          How is pretending that Atheism is your only opposition working out for you?

    • indorri

      questionablereprehensible and degenerate behaviour

    • Guesty von Guestheim

      How christian. You do not care in the least about the children being abused, just in attacking nonbelievers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carol.webb.39589 Carol Webb

    The Duggars are followers.

  • beatonfam

    It begs the question why someone who already had half a dozen plus children would be allowed to adopt a half dozen more. When you have childless or 1 child families literally begging for the chance to adopt but you squeeze a few more in like sardines in an already overfull household? Also, how the heck to they afford to adopt all those kids let alone feed all those mouths?

    • Tor

      According to what I just read, they don’t. They expect the kids to pay for themselves.

      • Spuddie

        They also avoid all of the hurdles and roadblocks involved with legitimate adoptions. Meaning it is just warmed over abduction.

    • Stev84

      These aren’t regular adoptions through domestic agencies. No authorities are involved. They just go to Africa and buy children. Or outright kidnap them like they tried after the Haiti earthquake. I don’t know how they get them into the country, but often they don’t even do a proper immigration process, which leads to problems when they become adults and/or leave their parents.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

        you saw that too? gawd, that sickened me. i am so glad at least that group of slavers got caught.

  • Philip

    There will always be people in any belief system that take advantage of people. Just because a few people do this and call themselves Christians do NOT mean they are following Jesus. It all goes back to Jesus, not what people who claim to know Jesus and yet know nothing about him do.

    • lefty

      so you’re saying these people aren’t true christians, huh?

      • Philip

        I am saying they are not doing what Jesus said. It’s easy to fit Christianity into your own belief system to fit your needs, BUT it’s a lot harder to actually live by the words of Jesus. Please give me an example of where Jesus would promote abusing children

        • Drakk

          No, you’re saying they’re not doing what YOU THINK Jesus said.

          “Anyone who curses their father or mother should be put to death” ring a bell?

          • Philip

            I am sorry, if you want to refer to the old testament, you have to also refer to the culture of that time. Go back 3000 years ago and read that verse again. But again those words were for the Israelites, BEFORE Jesus walked the earth. The words of Jesus are meant for everyone, to every culture and every people. So please tell me something that Jesus said, not something the God meant for the Israelites 3000 years ago, because I can tell you that I do not understand much of it to be honest :)

            • Trick Question

              So, why have the old testament at all? Why use anything at all from it?

              • Anonymous Atheist

                Well, they’re stuck with Genesis at least, for the stories that establish the whole motivation for the Jesus plotline to begin with. ;-)

            • DavidMHart

              Well, Jesus is also quoted on several occasions as saying that everyone should keep, and teach, the Old Testament laws.

              I know that your flavour of Christianity favours the ‘Jesus nullified the OT laws so that we don’t have to follow them any more’ interpretation (although it does seem rather odd that even among Christians who take that view, it is still common to support second-class citizenship for homosexuals – they are rather less happy to consider that aspect of OT law repealed than they are about the ‘don’t eat bacon or shellfish’ parts).

              But other versions of Christianity take the ‘Jesus validated the OT laws and commanded his followers to continue enforcing them’ interpretation. The problem is that the Bible is sufficiently self-contradictory and vague that you can easily argue for either case, and here’s the thing:

              If God really existed and really cared, it should be possible to consult him directly and get a definitive ruling if two groups of his followers can’t figure out whose interpretation of their holy books is correct.

              As it is, the people who take the opposite approach to you are just as sure as you are that their approach is right and yours is wrong, and they are just as able to quote scripture in defence of their position as you are.

              So, until all the people who call themselves Christians can sit down and work out between themselves how to rationally settle their disagreements – each faction say what it would take to convince them that they are wrong and one of the other factions is correct, and then actually carry out the research to settle those disagreement, nobody else is obliged to take any one faction’s side in the debate over who counts as a true Christian – the default position is for the outside world to define ‘Christian’ as something like ‘anyone who calls themself a Christian and thinks that they are following the teachings of Jesus’, rather than agree to your much narrower definition of ‘anyone who calls themself a Christian and who I think is following the teachings of Jesus’.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Sorry, your No True Scotsman doesn’t fly. You don’t get to decide who is and isn’t Christian. If these people say that they’re Christians, they are. Whether they inconvenience you doesn’t factor in.

      • Philip

        I am defining Christianity by Jesus, not by teachings made by other people. If you look at what Jesus taught, he never said to abuse children or to take advantage of them. So I believe I am being pretty reasonable at saying they are not true christians according to Jesus. Of course they can be true christians according to their own beliefs, the same way people can believe killing others will get them into heaven. It may be “true” for them, but it doesn’t stand to be true to the roots of that reality.

        • Drakk

          You don’t get to define christianity any more than they do.

          • Philip

            I hear that argument all the time. I just say read the words of Jesus. I know 99.9999% of people already made up their mind about Jesus, so me trying to tell them isn’t going to work unless they read it for themselves with an open mind. Peace :)

            • Anonymous Atheist

              It’s not that simple. “The words of Jesus” are sometimes self-contradictory, and are subject to numerous multiple interpretations, all on top of numerous multiple translations (there have been dozens of different English-language Bibles over the centuries).

            • baal

              Philip, the majority of the readership of this board are former christians and a good many of them are atheists because they read the damn book. I and others will write you off as ignorant if you don’t update your thinking to keep those two facts in mind.

              • Philip

                Yea of course people read the book, but actually following Jesus and reading the Bible is the toughest thing in my life. I wanted to turn away from Jesus several times because it was really hard but I realized that wasn’t a good enough excuse, and the best things in life are usually the hardest. It is worth being a Christian

                • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

                  ok, philip. to repeat: you’re a “good” christian, you “follow jesus.” what would jesus do, after having read this post?

                  would He: leave a bunch of self-congratulatory comments on a blog

                  or

                  would he rush out to the nearest agency and volunteer his time to adopt an unwanted child, fund poor pregnant women’s care and support, and volunteer his time to assist in the investigations of abusive “christian” families?

                  Jesus awaits your answer.

                • Philip

                  You have some good points, I know its not just about saying things. I am starting to do things and I usually don’t try to post things cus it gets annoying and people don’t usually listen to posts. It’s more about life change. Thanks for that

                • Matt D

                  If you need someone else to convince you to be a good person, than I agree that it’s worth it for you to be a christian.

        • http://www.facebook.com/karen.uncoolmom Cary Whitman

          So where is the Christian outrage at how these people are peverting the Christian faith?

          I hear this argument a lot from the “good” (Jesus loves everyone) Christians that I know. They go on and on about how those so-called-Christians who do bad things are not truly following the teachings of Jesus. But I can never get a straight answer from them on how they know they are following the “right” version of Jesus. Clearly the “bad” Christian think they are the only ones following the true Jesus too. Plus, if you really believe that all these “bad” Christians are not truly following Jesus, then why aren’t you trying to set them straight? I would expect to see a huge outrage from “good” Christians over things like this that promote child abuse and hatred, thing Jesus clearly didn’t approve of, but it’s just not there. Yes, yes, I know there are some Christians who stand up against stuff like this, but it’s not nearly to the extent of where it should be.

        • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

          Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. Why are Christians campaigning against equal rights for LGBT?

          • Philip

            Well every sin is the same, and I do believe that “act” of homosexuality is wrong, just as much as me watching porn online. I am a guy and I could say since its REALLYYYY hard to stop watching porn, and since its really hard, MANY will say it must mean that I should just do it. I believe the amount of effort it takes for any human to restrict their sexual temptations universally hard, but if you somehow want to tell yourself that its okay to watch a porn star and treat her like an object, or it’s okay to have sex with the same gender, then go ahead. That’s like an alcoholic trying to tell themselves thats it’s okay to keep drinking. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go around trying to hate on homosexuals, most people are using sex for pleasure and not using it in a committed relationship so thats just as bad. If my friend told me he was gay, I wouldn’t be angry, cus I personally know the struggle of sexual sin and how it can eat away at you if you keep feeding it

            • woftell

              So an acoholic that keeps drinking is the same as a gay couple having sex? The world must be so confusing from that standpoint…

              • Philip

                I’m saying sexual sin of any kind is just like an alcoholic saying that. Whether its a gay couple or not, having sex just for pleasure and not in a committed marriage is wrong. Can you please tell me if incest or pedophilia is wrong? Or is homosexuality is wrong? What’s the difference? (and please don’t say it’s medically proven that they are that way, because that’s a theory not fact)

                • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

                  So where in the bible does it say Jesus commanded you to have sex for reproduction purposes only? That verse was skipped over in my religion classes, and Catholics are all about being fruitful and multiplying.

                  If you’re gonna pull the Old Testament, you’re contradicting yourself: ” It all goes back to Jesus”

                • Philip

                  No of course sex isn’t just meant for reproduction, but I am saying its NOT only meant for pleasure, its also meant for LOVE in a committed MARRIAGE. Sex is of course something that is great, in the right place.

                  Also, I’m not trying to pull the Old Testament, just talking about sexual sin in general. I just want to know if incest or pedophilia is worse then homosexuality to those promoting homosexuality?

                  If you are “consenting adults”, incest is not wrong right?

                • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

                  Depends. Producing children from two siblings carries a much greater chance of genetic defects and regressive genes leading to certain conditions. But siblings who grew apart and didn’t meet until well into adulthood have been known to fall in love. As long as they recognise that they shouldn’t have kids… Look at ancient dynasties like Egyptians and Hawaiians where marrying your sibling was the perfect way of preserving bloodlines. But in the end you had sickly kids and sterility.

                  Between a parent and an offspring, then you’re messing around with strong psychological issues and weird power plays. And the whole genetic defects thing.

                  Pedophilia is an absolute no go, children are not psychologically or physically ready to enter into such a relationship. Prepubescents, by definition, are not sexually mature, much less able to give consent.

                • Philip

                  Well what if they just want to have sex and not have children the same way homosexuals do? And I can ask you, how do you know they have physiological issues, maybe they really do love each other and who are you to say otherwise (this is something people usually say to me about homosexuals). And with pedophilia, how do you know some children who are under the age of 16 are not mature, in the past girls used to marry at 13; what if they really do love the man/woman they are having sex with. What right does society have to deem that wrong, but let homosexuals have that freedom?

                  Of course you should know I am not trying to support any of these acts, I am just saying that if you support one, then you must support all given the reasoning behind just one of them.

                • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

                  Stop equating homosexuality to incest and pedophilia.

                  And if I wasn’t clear, there isn’t a real argument for siblings having sex as long as they don’t have kids. But it is very unusual for people raised together to feel sexual attraction. Look up the Westermarck Effect.

                  Teenagers do have sex with each other. They should be taught about safer sex. But the inherent power imbalance betwee a grown adult and a young teenager makes sex between them unhealthy.

                  Pedophilia is the sexual abuse of prepubescent children.

                  Are you being purposely obtuse?

                • Philip

                  No I am just noticing your morality towards different things. Justifying one thing and not the other. I know me writing a comment won’t change anything so peace. And hope you learned something

                • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

                  That’s rich!

                • Philip

                  I wasn’t trying to be offensive, sorry for that. I just don’t like posting a lot of stuff because it takes a lot of my time and someone in this post reminded me of that

                • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

                  Apology accepted. You can’t assume atheists haven’t been schooled in Christianity. Most of us were raised in one version or another of it.

                  It boils down to: does an action cause real harm or not? Two consenting adults being in a loving relationship (sexual or not, doesn’t. Adults willingly making pornography, whether because of the money or they get a kick out of it, doesn’t An understanding adult viewing such pornography, doesn’t.

                  An adult taking advantage of a teenager just coming into their sexuality, does. And adult molesting a child, ABSOLUTELY does.

                • Philip

                  Alright, well maybe watch this. It’s pretty long and maybe you’ll hate what he says but I agree with much of what he says:
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXqNbcz4SjQ

                • Stev84

                  And again, we have typical religion-induced amorality and insanity. Things are only wrong because god or the Bible says so. Not because they cause harm. Not because some things may be abusive or coercive. So harmful actions get tossed into the same pot as harmless and consensual ones. All because a bunch of ignorant goat herders thought so long ago.

                • Philip

                  I am actually not even referring to that. I am giving a similar argument for another sexual activity and want to see how people view that. Tell me where I am leaning towards insanity in my comment. I do not believe things are wrong “just” because God said it. Sin is wrong, and that’s why God said it. The consequence of sin in our lives is evident.

                • Stev84

                  >” Sin is wrong, and that’s why God said it. The consequence of sin in our lives is evident.”

                  This is why you are insane

                  And let’s not get into all the immoral and bad things your god sanctions and commands in your holy book. Your god loves things like mass murder, incest or the death penalty for the most trivial offenses.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Um, well, there’s this little thing called consent. Pedophilia is wrong because children cannot, by definition, give consent for sexual acts. Incest is almost always also coercive, which is why it’s wrong. Sibling consensual incest squicks me out, I’ll be honest, but from a purely ethical standpoint it’s not wrong. They probably shouldn’t have kids, though.

                  Homosexuality? Premarital sex? Polyamory? Hardcore BDSM? As long as everyone consents, there’s nothing morally or ethically wrong with any of it.The difference between pedophilia and rape and every other type of sex is the presence or absence of consent.

            • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

              You haven’t addressed the point, Jesus said NOTHING about homosexuality. Why are you defining it as a sin?

              You should be all for gay marriage, that way everyone gets the opportunity for married sex.

              Btw, don’t feel guilty about porn, as long as all concerned are consenting adults. Look at it as very safe sex for you.

              • Philip

                Well of course Jesus didn’t say every kind of sin. And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” – Mark 7:20-23

                Jesus didn’t say to not have sex with an animal so does that mean he thought it was okay. Or he didn’t to not have sex with little children. Sexual immorality is anything that you do for selfish gain or that you try to illude yourself to believe. Of course sex is proven to give the most exhilarating thrill, only equal to that of heroine, but that does not make it okay. And being a consenting adult doesn’t mean that looking at a random women as sexual objects to gratify my sin is okay, whether I am an adult or a little kid or whoever I may be. If you read the rest of the New Testament Paul clearly talks about specifics of homosexuality, but thats just one sin of MANY. I don’t want to make it seem like homosexuality is the worst, all sin is sin so yea.

                • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

                  Then you’re a Paulist.

                • Philip

                  I never heard of that before, but I guess I do observe what Paul says going in accordance with Jesus

                • Claude

                  So what if Paul was squeamish about homosexuality? He could be wrong. For instance, he was wrong about the imminent end of the world. (Now that’s what you call an epic fail.)

                • Philip

                  Can you tell me where he said the end was coming for that particular generation?

                  And the logic is not that: If God said its bad = it’s bad because he said it

                  The actual Logic is: It’s Bad = Therefore God said it

                  Sin is not good for us, and God is there to show it to us when we sometimes don’t see it that clearly. Thats all

                • Claude

                  For at the signal, at the cry of the archangel and the trumpet of God, the Lord himself will come down from heaven, and first those who are dead in Christ will rise up, and then we the living, the survivors, will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall be with the Lord forever.

                  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

                • Philip

                  Where does that refer to “imminent”. All it says is that “we” meaning Christians who are alive when Jesus comes will see this. It doesn’t say that Paul will see Jesus come before he dies. But I am getting tired of commenting, so have fun :)

                • Claude

                  If Jesus, as reported in the Gospels, believed that the Day of Judgment was imminent, why wouldn’t Paul? You’re aware they were both apocalypticists who expected Yahweh to intervene in history in their own generation?

                  Do you even read the New Testament?

                • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

                  i am not a sinner. sin is a made up unword used to shame people into giving money to religious charlatans and feel bad enough about themselves that they follow the instructions of con artists.

                  sensuality and sex are not sins. they are normal human function, and found throughout the animal kingdom.

                  most religions that restrict or reject sex and sensuality, as well as homosexuality, do so for the purpose to treating women and their offspring as property of a male patriarch. most sexual prohibitions in religion disproportionately punish women, while allowing greater liberty to men.

                  the vast majority of these commandments and religious regulations of sex and sexual morality stem from writings of much more primitive people and cultures where successful reproduction was more difficult and more tied up with property. in a modern age, people have access to medicine, science, and equal property rights; there is no need to form one’s life around ancient sexual scriptures.

                  free yourself from sexual oppression. sex for pleasure is normal, healthy and wonderful. denying to yourself is harmful, unhealthy, and silly.

  • smrnda

    I’m sure that *not all Christians* abuse kids. However, Christians, if members of your supposed in-group, all people you might end up spending eternity with (depending on your theology) happen to be doing it, you can:

    1. Say ‘we’re not all like that.’ Sure, everybody will agree already.

    2. Say ‘these bastards! They must be stopped!’

    You’d think the 2. would be the choice for any Christian, and that, upon learning about what some people are doing using the religion as an excuse, some meaningful effort to shut down abuse would be made.

    Maybe this stuff isn’t representative of most Christians, but the people backing this behavior are pretty powerful figures in Christian media. You can throw up your hands and say “well, these people don’t represent Jesus, so they don’t discredit Christianity” but that sounds like it’s said to protect an ideology more than to protect children. People who support or enable this type of conduct need to be stopped. Media figures who say things that can enable this behavior need to be told to shut up. Agencies that facilitate it should have criminal charges brought against them.

    • repressedloftus

      Well said, my friend.

    • Marcus Absent

      Well, adopting children for the sole purpose of evangelization is a matter of misplaced priorities, and the events described in the article are quite clearly child abuse. But would you say homeschooling itself is harmful to children?

      • allein

        Homeschooling itself isn’t necessarily harmful; it all depends on how it’s done. If you are actually capable of teaching a real curriculum, or using resources that do, and you make an effort to give your kids social outlets that they are missing out on by not being in school, it can be good. The problem with many religious homeschoolers is that they are doing it so they can teach a religious curriculum and keep their kids sheltered from the real world, and that is indeed harmful to the kids. (That’s not to say that non-religious homeschoolers can’t be bad, of course. I was watching an episode of Wife Swap recently where the one family was “unschooling” and their 11-year-old could barely read even basic words.)

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

          For anyone’s who’s interested in this topic, I highly recommend the book Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling by Robert Kunzman.

  • TiltedHorizon

    Where is the christian outrage at these acts against children? Instead all those who identify as Christian are posting their disdain at atheists for the ‘insult’ of being ‘stereotyped’. Really!?! If you don’t want to be lumped into the same bucket it behooves you to speak against abuse for jesus, else you ARE no different.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Doing something about it is hard. Whining about being insulted just requires pressing a few keys, plus they get persecution points!

    • Emily

      I’m outraged at the treatment of these children, and the mindset behind it. I’m also an evangelical Christian (if you’re going to label me :) and my circle of friends/acquaintances are mostly other evangelical Christians, many of who have adopted children, none of who treat their children like this. I’ve NEVER heard of people treating adoptive children like this. I would love to hear the stats on how many evangelicals treat their adoptive children like this versus how many don’t.

      Mr. Mehta said “Evangelical churches across the country are encouraging overseas adoptions for religiously-motivated reasons.” You know what that motivation is? Our faith’s call to “care for the last of these.” That’s it. Nothing sinister, and there’s no reason to write panicky articles about it.

      • TiltedHorizon

        Sorry Emily but you can’t fence-sit the issue. You claim ‘outrage’ yet say there is no reason to write ‘panicky articles’ about it, that is a contrary claim. These are children, even one isolated abuse is one too many, and the reality is is not just one, two, or three. The Mother Jones article cited numerous cases, several ending in death, and at the time of writing nearly all ending in the arrest of the adoptive parents. But this is just part of the problem….

        Did you know there are around 104,000 children in the US legally free for adoption? Yet in the rush to comply with religiously-motivated reasons, an unknown number of Evangelicals are seeking overseas adoptions with countries unaccredited by the Hague Adoption Convention. By adopting from unaccredited countries the adoptive families sidestep the oversight and costs associated with protecting these children from abduction, sale of, and trafficking. Yep, nothing sinister to report, no reasons to write panicky articles, it is just a few dead children…

        BTW… I’ve adopted and currently foster, now there are only 103,998 children left for adoption. Do you know what my motivation is? Simply because it is the right thing to do. Granted it is not as lofty or selfless as ‘because it is that what my faith calls me to do’ but it will just have to do.

        • Emily

          I’m not fence-sitting the issue. I think what happened to these children is awful. But I don’t think we need to start panicking about all evangelicals adopting.

          All the families I know that have adopted, have adopted American children through the foster system or through American agencies. Actually, scratch that, a family I know adopted a girl from the Ukraine who had a mother who prostituted her out for drug money. (she is old to enough to remember this, so it is not just some unaccredited agency saying it) But I guess it was better for her to live that sort of life than to have had the misfortune of being adopted into a loving Christian family.

          Your reasons for adopting are the same as most Christian families – it’s the right thing to do. I worded it one way, you worded it another. I only said that because Mr. Mehta’s closing statement about the “horrifying” truth that many other evangelicals are adopting for religiously motivated reasons. I was pointing out how unsinister those reasons are.

          • TiltedHorizon

            The article identifies a subset of Evangelicals perusing “overseas” adoptions at the encouragement of their churches. Your line of reasoning does not seem to acknowledge the set from the subset, as evidenced by “ALL evangelicals adopting”. There is no “all”, those you know, except one, pursued domestic adoptions; not overseas. Yet based on one anecdotal example, the Ukraine adoption, you conclude this to be a non-issue. So one example dismisses the multiple cases cited in the article and the many more ongoing. I suggest you Google “private rehoming”, you may want to sit down while you read through it all. It is a disturbing trend affecting children adopted from overseas.

            My reasons for adopting are not the same as yours. Your reason is predicated on “Our faith’s call”. Odd choice of phrase considering one would think such altruism should be born out of a desire to do ‘good’ and not by mandate of a “call”. Such sentiment means that sans faith, you would not have adopted.

            • Emily

              I didn’t “conclude” anything, and neither did I “dismiss” anything. All I’m doing is pointing out that lumping all evangelicals in with the group of slave labor hunters disguised as “Evangelicals” is not only unfair to the vast majority of Christians who are adopting based on a desire to help others, but even more so, it’s harmful and possibly devastating to the numerous children out there who are in desperate need of a loving and protective environment. The article, and many comments here, seem to suggest children are better to be raised in an orphanage than to have a Christian raise them. That’s where I cry BS.

              I will concede you are right – I should be more careful about my wording. When I said “call”, it was definitely not out of a sense of duty but a God-given desire to help those in need. Normally I would say you are splitting hairs over a word, but I would never want an adoptive child to feel like a duty or a chore, so that word should not be used here, and I apologize for the confusion.

              (I know what rehoming is. I agree – heart-wrenchingly disturbing)

              • TiltedHorizon

                Emily, there is no lumping of “ALL” evangelicals. The article defines a narrow subset which you are not part of. There is no suggestion in the article citing Evangelical Christians (or just Christians)as a whole to be suspect. So I find it somewhat confusing as to why you think this article is somehow slanted to include you.

                You appear to have separated Evangelicals from the “slave labor hunters” disguised as Evangelicals. The problem is, until these “slave labor hunters” are caught they continue to hide in plain sight, trusted solely on the basis of how they present themselves and how they self identify (i.e. Evangelical). They remain free to use Church sponsored resources and services earmarked for Evangelical Christians. Until they are discovered to be otherwise they are ‘Evangelical’ on the surface and accepted as such within the community. While you may take offense at ‘feeling’ included with them, the *real* offense is how easily they can hide amongst your numbers, exploiting the trust and privileges that comes with pretending to be just like you.

                Here is something which you may not have realized. The article and responses to it has caused you to inventory those you know and conclude that it does not apply within your circles. That is the point. If someone in your circle started to fit the description, you would have undoubtedly raised the concern. That, again, is the point. In doing what you did the article has served its purpose.

                BTW. In acknowledging the importance of wording you understand the nuance the sense of a word or phrase imparts. It is in lending generalization to these nuances that the truth is lost. While your desire to help those in need comes from an internal source (god-given if you wish to call it so), not all share your motives. Don’t hide your good nature by categorizing it as a “call”. It lets those who truly view adoption as a duty, chore, or an opportunity for free labor stand next to you, heads held high, hide in plain sight.

  • Baby_Raptor

    This is the “protect the children” that traditional marriage advocates are crying about. Scumbags.

  • DoctorDJ

    Joyce was on Terry Gross’s Fresh Air radio program today. The Evangelicals were let off pretty easily, their motive for foreign adoption being described as a church-supported benevolent “good deed.” The “bad guys” are the foreign adoption network
    systems set up to meet this Evangelical need for children.

    Very interesting listen. The audio is at
    http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    As an adoptee, this just grinds my gears. I’m thinking that private or religious adoption agencies should be banned, and all adoption should go through the state. Also, that religion should be taken into account, and the beliefs heavily scrutinized before prospective parents are even considered for approval.

    It is 100% clear that Evangelical Christianity is nothing more than child abuse dressed up as “faith”.

  • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

    Most Liberians are Christians anyway, so the adopting to raise in a religion doesn’t disturb me as much in these cases highlighted. What makes me sick is the fact that families who would NEVER have been approved to be foster parents bypass all supervision and child protection regulations and basically buy African children whosesale.

  • Labyrinthia

    It doesn’t disturb me so much that they are Christian (children need strong, loving, capable families- religion isn’t very important in that equation to me), as that our government apparently allowed these adoption schemes to run unchecked. There should have been much more oversight.

    It’s bizarre in so many ways.

  • SeekerLancer

    I’m really, really hoping this family is not the norm. I used to live next door to a preacher with adopted overseas kids and they were a perfectly loving family. He wasn’t terribly evangelical though.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EYZCDG3OAPGD3PDG7XD7SM7OAM ElizabethS

    So sad. Where is children services and the adoption agency in all this?

    • baal

      State children services need complaints to act. They can’t wander around looking for kids. Situations like the main example above often are discovered by ‘mandatory reporters’ like cops, teachers and hospitals. If the abusive families can keep under the radar (and their churches facilitate that), it can be years before anyone does something. Even then, waving the christian card is effective. There is an implicit threat that christian politicians will pull your funding or put a right winger in charge of your dept. if you come down too hard on the wrong people (christians).

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

        which is total BS, imho. it’s a question of funding, not any inherent unwillingness or inability of case workers to be able to “inspect” adoptive families.

        i’m sorry, but the standards should be very high. the state is clearly failing here. there should be the same standards for adoption everywhere, and any family that receives aid or adopts should be subject to regular review. i don’t often say “if you’re innocent, you’ve nothing to fear” but when it comes to abused kids i will.

        we can afford wars of choice and banking bailouts to the tune of trillions. we can afford more mobile caseworkers.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

        This seems to be one reason why a lot of homeschooling fundamentalists are so averse to government oversight. They believe they have a right to beat their children, and keeping their kids out of public schools, away from secular people, and in “modest” clothing that covers marks or bruises will lessen the chances that anyone will notice something amiss.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch
  • http://profiles.google.com/jennie.erwin Jennie Erwin

    Does anyone know of any counter forces to this? As a secular woman interested in adopting a baby girl some day, it seems that secular adoption agencies are few and far between and there’s nothing in place like the Evangelicals have to support families with the cost/travel/etc. Anybody know of anything in place like that?

  • Sue Blue

    This is the result of an idealogy that considers women and children to be subservient property of men. As a child raised in an evangelical Christian household, I can say that I was brought up with memes like “children should be seen and not heard”, “spare the rod, spoil the child”, and “obedience is everything”. Children are not seen as individual human beings but as property; livestock over which parents have absolute control. I see this with anti-vaxxers who are religious (not all anti-vaxxers are religious, but many are), in organizations like the “Good News” clubs, in religious homeschoolers, and in the “purity” movement. I’m not saying children should be brought up without discipline, standards of behavior, or goals – but this religious crap is beyond the pale. It’s another example of how religion can enable and self-justify slavery, racism and bigotry, murder, and genocide – just about any atrocity you can name has been done in the name of God, backed up by “scripture”.
    This is yet another reason why religious privilege should be abolished. Just as people who deny their children medical care for religious reasons should be prosecuted as vigorously as anyone else who abuses children, these adoptive “parents” should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for human trafficking and slavery.

  • Tim VanHaitsma

    As an adoptive parent that went overseas to get my daughter, this is one of the most disturbing things I have ever heard.
    I can not imagine the twisted minds of the parents that do this. I would horse whip them in a front of their children in a heartbeat then steal the kids and raise them. And I would not feel guilty of it. If you rescue a child from a 3rd world ophanange and then basicly through them into slavery in the USA then you are a complete shit bag. this really gets my ire up.

  • Dana

    I am a Christian and know many adopted children within our congregation. I am outraged! Be assured that NOBODY in our church would stay silent if any parents, adopted or not, were abusive, just as I am hopeful that any religious or non-religious group or individual aware of the family would immediately contact authorities. Adopted parents in our congregation all work through state adoption rules, have a state case worker, multiple home visits, and a judge review and approve. I can’t imagine why these people are not in prison.

  • Ninja

    Just a tiny bit of suggestion, though, Hemant, I wish you’d title the post “Why We Should Fear the Quiverfull Adoption Boom,” not “Evangelical” as the Quiverfull movement (e.g., 19 kids and counting) that Joyce writes about is a movement WITHIN the evangelical Christianity. And I know YOU know that, given you posted the interview with Joyce.

    Quiverfull families shun birth control, but you know most Protestants, evangelicals included, aren’t like Quiverfull or the Catholic Church, they’re more relaxed about birth control. Most of them don’t have large families.

    If there are proofs that the TYPICAL evangelical families that adopt do abuse the adopted kids, then by all means, expose them and leave no stone unturned. The problem is, your basis for your post’s title is a book about a SPECIFIC kind of evangelical people, not all of them. Given you are an atheist activist, your zeal against organized religion is fully warranted. I understand that to you, all religious people and families, including evangelical Christians (be it quiverfull or not) are badly indoctrinated. However, I trust that you are smart, knowledgeable, and intelligent enough to know that evangelical Christianity is a pretty diverse religious group and it’s dishonest to misuse the term “evangelical” to refer to the Quiverfulls, in a way that makes people think ALL evangelicals are like the quiverfull.

    It’s one thing if the commentators here bother to check the Amazon link, where the book description explains the Quiverfull movement in slightly more detail. Judging from the tone of these comments, they don’t bother checking.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

      I haven’t read Joyce’s second book, but I did read her first one. The Quiverfull movement is not terribly connected with adoption. It’s about rejecting all forms of birth control and having as many pregnancies as possible. The Duggars are probably the highest profile example of Quiverfull, and they have no adopted children. They follow Bill Gothard, who discourages adoption on the grounds that children inherit their biological parents’ “sin,” which can then corrupt the other children in the family.

      I get the impression that The Child Catchers is not concerned with Quiverfull families in particular. Most evangelicals who adopt are not Quiverfull, and many of the evangelicals and fundamentalists who advocate for extreme corporal punishment are also not Quiverfull. James Dobson, for example, is no Quiverfuller.

  • Ben

    The motivation behind most Christian adoptive parents (and Christian adoption agencies) is to obey the teachings of Jesus to love and care for the weak, the helpless, and the outcast. Jesus loved children, and so many Christian ministries put a high value on caring for children. The family that was depicted in this article is an extreme example, not typical of most Christian adoptive families. I personally know many Christian adoptive families that are very loving, very healthy, very normal people. I completely agree that abuses must be stopped — even those who “religiously” abuse children. But I disagree that a whole demographic of adoptive parents and agencies should be characterized by the abuses of a few.


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