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Monday, June 24, 2002

Single Parents and the Church-Jordan Cooper had an interesing rant on stigma and single parenting spinning off of negative feedback on a post on the Nickelodeon child-of-lesbians show. Cooper's oversight in the original post was his saying that "I respect Nickelodeon's willingness to open a discussion and to talk about something that has so many people angry." The problem with that is it wasn't much of a discussion in that the cons of a lesbian couple raising a child were ill-addressed when they were addressed at all. From what I heard of the show, it was one-sided in favor of accepting a lesbian couple raising a child, with the token conservatives shown putting their side in a bad light. In liberal hands, "hate the sin, love the sinner" goes to "ignore the sin, accept the sinner's lifestyle choice." Cooper is correct in stressing that the children of alternative households shouldn't be stigmatized, but we should still speak out against the self-centered and amoral culture that gives us free extra-marital sex, homosexuality and divorce. He speaks from a wounded heart from his experiences of being a child of divorce, but he winds up inadvertently wading into the liberal camp by endorsing a flawed piece of pro-homosexual propaganda. Dealing with single moms (or single dads) is a hard issue. Many times, the single parent (as Mama Cooper seems to be) was a godly person who made a bad choice in spouses. In a family-oriented church, where couples' dinners and father-son and mother-daughter outings are common, single parents are awkward to deal with. Many churches will tend to judge the wronged spouse in a divorce, wondering what the person might of done wrong to help cause the divorce, since "godly people don't get divorced." Often, it isn't the churchgoing spouse's fault; their only sin might of been in marrying the wrong person, and even then the warning signs might have been hidden. Churches should be forgiving of past sins while being called to educated against present and future sins. Having single parents in a church is embarrassing in that it shows that some of the church's members were sinners in the past. Guess what, folks? We all were sinners in the past and still are. It will require accommodating the single parent into a paradigm that assumes two-parent families, but the church needs to minister to the single parent while still stressing the importance of stable marriages.

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