Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lord Winston: ‘lesbians make better parents’

As the media shifts its focus away from the depravities of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, and decides on its next ‘uproar du jour’ to which it will direct the attentions of the undiscerning masses, Cranmer has been sent an insightful morsel by his loyal communicant Ultramontane Grumpy Old Catholic, to whom His Grace is profoundly grateful.

The issue is concerned with the rearing of children in the absence of a father figure, and the protagonist is the pathologically-possessed New Labour peer Professor Lord Winston.

Cranmer has considered his pontifications before, and, while respecting his eminent scientific learning, finds his moral worldview repugnant. The problem is that the professor asserts the latter with all the absolute certitude of the former, and his charismatic media presence provides him with an influential pulpit from which he may expound his dogma.

Consider a recent Radio 4 broadcast ‘The Embryo Wars’ in which Lord Winston claims (14 min into the programme) that a study in Cambridge showed that children brought up by lesbian parents were better parented and better adjusted than those brought up by heterosexual parents.

What is the sample size for this eminent piece of research? How many children have been reared by lesbians? While Cranmer has no doubt that the number is increasing, and will even moreso after the HFE Bill is on the statute books, this piece of research must be so profoundly flawed that it is unscientific of the eminent scientist to quote it as in any sense authoritative.

It took decades for scientists to reach conclusions about the adverse effects of smoking tobacco or cannabis, and on the matter of homosexual parenting there is simply insufficient data to give Lord Winston’s assertion any credibility at all. Not-So-New Labour is simply treating children as guinea pigs and is content to experiment on the nation's most vulnerable.

But if one wishes to be generous to Lord Winston and entertain his reasoning, there is a study from 2003 by the Centre for Law and Social Policy which indicated that children under 18 who were reared by lesbian parents displayed no significant differences in behaviour from those who were raised by heterosexual divorcees.

Although the research has evident limitations, the findings are consistent: children raised by same-sex parents are no more likely to exhibit poor outcomes than children raised by divorced heterosexual parents. Since many children raised by gay or lesbian parents have witnessed and endured the separation of their parents, researchers have considered the most appropriate comparison group to be children of heterosexual divorced parents. In terms of educational attainment, children of gay or lesbian parents are indistinguishable from their counterparts raised in heterosexual divorced families, and the same applies to their social, emotional and behavioural development, and also their attitudes towards teenage pregnancy and their employability.

Professor Susan Golombok, who was cited by Lord Winston, apparently addresses many gay and lesbian fora, and lectures at City University. Her editorial in the BMJ in 2007contains findings consistent with those above, but she concludes:

A limitation of the existing body of research is that only small volunteer or convenience samples have been studied, and thus mothers whose children are experiencing difficulties may be under-represented. Nevertheless, a substantial body of evidence indicates that children raised by lesbian mothers do not differ from other children in key aspects of psychological development.

None of this, of course, shows that children brought up by lesbian parents are better adjusted than those brought up in the good old natural way – by a mother and a father who are married. Indeed, research shows that children achieve better and are much better adjusted when a father figure is around.

Lord Winston is an staunch advocate of ‘women’s rights’, and this extends to overriding their natural body clocks and being able to have children when they want, with or without a partner. His vision is one of a ‘one-stop shop’ where successful single women or loving lesbian partners can come for their in-vitro baby. He foresees a time soon when science will be able to produce eggs from stem cells. This has already been done with mice, and the next tests are to be on sperm. We then have the wonderful prospect of children created by two men, and, the ultimate in narcissism, a child created from the cells of a single person.

The debate then turned to ‘saviour siblings’ - babies created for the express purpose of providing tissue to save a brother or a sister.

Ann Widdicombe said that she was extremely concerned about this concept. She and others had sought safeguards to require the child’s consent to donate tissue, which was refused. She had sought a limit on the amount that could be plundered, which was refused. In this she was supported by Lord Winston who agreed that the child, when grown up, could have imposed on it a continuing responsibility toward their sick brother or sister.

Fr James Hanvey, Director of the Heythrop institute for Religion, Ethics and Public Life, rightly asks where all this is leading, and where it will stop. He observes that once we remove the absolute respect for the human person - no matter how much legislative control is put in place - we erode the deep sense of respect for a person at the beginning of its life. If we choose to treat a human being as a commodity, what is there to stop us creating a whole group of persons - a slave class - which can be used as donors for whatever purpose? Is this civilisation?

And Baroness Deech enters towards the end of the programme, and was asked what she thought the scientific future was going to be. She said essentially that as a woman who has borne children, her figure is not what she would like it to be. But embryos can now be kept alive for 14 days until the statutory requirement to kill them. And also babies can survive outside the womb at say 23 weeks. So her conclusion was that this gap of around 21 weeks needed to be bridged, and it was down to science to achieve this by developing a tank with nutrients in which the child could develop and the mother could collect the baby at end of term, figure intact.

While Cranmer wonders what manner of ‘mother’ this would be who is content to watch her child develop next to the goldfish, it is clear that we are moving towards a society which not only negates the need for a father, but also diminishes motherhood to the simple provision of an ovum.

Has science finally discovered a way of implementing Plato’s vision that all human reproduction be state controlled? Having abolished the need for a father, are we but a few steps away from needing a mother’s womb? Would the withdrawal of ante-natal health provision encourage all citizens to make use of government-sponsored incubators for the production of the next generation?

If Parliament continues along its present course, this is indeed the likely destination, with unknown and unknowable consequences. And the likes of Dr Evan Harris, Lord Winston and Baroness Deech will go down in history as the legislative architects, and they shall be lauded and honoured:

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!


Such people indeed.

16 Comments:

Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

"Fr James Hanvey, Director of the Heythrop institute for Religion, Ethics and Public Life, rightly asks where all this is leading, and where it will stop. He observes that once we remove the absolute respect for the human person - no matter how much legislative control is put in place - we erode the deep sense of respect for a person at the beginning of its life."

I've said it before but I'll say it again: The materialist ethics are based only on bad faith. They have no reason why they should grant "human rights" to anyone at any time if they can kill a baby at 24 weeks when it fully possesses all the attributes of the human form.

Are you in agreement Cranmer?

27 May 2008 at 11:22  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Homophobic Horse,

His Grace has been meaning to ask you for some time why the obsession with the equine fear of mankind?

Human rights are nothing when devoid of human responsibilities.

27 May 2008 at 11:27  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

No that's the thing Cranmer, a "right" is a political tenet granted by a sovereign. It's not a transcendent tenet like 'man being made in the image of god' which is inherent to reality (i.e. Natural Law). The same goes for responsibility. In a materialistic atheistic sense there's no reason why we should observe these rights or responsibilities.

The architects of this latest embryo bill are intellectually dishonest.

The thing with "rights" is that they can be revoked by spiteful fallen creatures like people. Moreover, my point is that these "rights" are themselves based on nothing but bad faith.

27 May 2008 at 12:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These things shall be! All disabilities will be removed in the womb! Parthenogenesis will rule! A wondrous race will arise which will fulfil it's destiny!
Remind you of anything?

27 May 2008 at 15:20  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Remind you of anything?

Yeah. It reminds me of gnosticism. In gnosticism the finding of secret knowledge will facilitate evolution to a higher level of consciousness. The more gnowledge you get the higher you go. The early church fought hard against such vain fancies. Only the grace of god, not "hidden" knowledge, will grant you a place in the kingdom of heaven.

27 May 2008 at 15:55  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

I do like your imagery of Baroness Deech's wonderful incubation tank next door to the goldfish...

A womb with a view perhaps?

You've gotta laugh or you'd cry...

27 May 2008 at 15:58  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

I think the concept of "Saviour Siblings" is about as sinister as anything I've ever heard of.

What kind of a mind can think up something like that ... and then think it's a good thing?

27 May 2008 at 16:42  
Anonymous sjm said...

A cliche, but it reminds me graphically of Huxley's Brave New World.

Can you imagine the emotional reaction of a teenager who learns that he was born to be used as a tub of spare parts for a sibling?

27 May 2008 at 18:10  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Well they'll probably turn around and say they like their sibling and are glad that they were born to save them.

27 May 2008 at 18:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I know this may not be the best place to post this but this website seems to be filled with like-minded people and this shocking news needs to get out!

Recently the Daily Mail ran an article about the "cult of emo" and how such music promotes suicide, in response the so-called "emos" have decided to protest. Now I'm fine with the protest itself, everyone has a right to peaceably express their opinion, but this protest shows all the signs of going bad! First, it's made up of hormone-ravaged teens, but look at this website, the official one for the protest on May 31st:

http://www.whathefrank.co.uk

If you read carefully and watch the videos you can clearly see that this website is promoting suicide and self-harm! I found this out from watching my son browse this website, he is now banned from listening to this kind of music and he will definitely not be attending this protest but I'm still concerned for other children. The protest is only this weekend so I've decided to turn to blogs to spread the message. Please, watch these videos and tell everyone you know who could be affected! We can't let these poor kids slaughter themselves senselessly at this protest!

-Hillary, concerned mother.

27 May 2008 at 19:09  
Anonymous Jenny said...

HH

I very much doubt that. A psychiatrist friend has explained to me that it is more likely that the 'Saviour Sibling' will develop a morbid fascination with the sick sibling's health, feel guilty for not being ill, worry that they aren't 'good enough' to save them and should the sick sibling then die will believe that he or she is personally responsible, with all the inevitable consequencies. This sort of behaviour is witnessed in people who have rescued friends and relatives who attempted suicide, or donated kidneys to relatives who were ill.

Of course, there's also the small chance that the siblings will not get on well; if my sister needed a kidney and I could choose to give her one of mine, I probably would. But I don't like her, so I'd be extremely resentful if someone took that decision for me.

27 May 2008 at 19:12  
Anonymous John said...

Fathers not required your Grace.

The human species, by its reproductive nature, requires both male and female for impregnation, and historically, nurturing success. Only the hermaphrodite species finds satisfaction, one presumes, having both male and female attributes. Since the human is not hermaphrodite there is no logic in attempting to deny the need for both male and female parents, thus the law is either an ass or pandering to the perverted.

In Nietzsche.

27 May 2008 at 19:23  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Hmm, I see what you mean Jenny.

I believe Jesus was supposed to be the last human sacrifice. The gospels say we must not placate evil with evil. This embryo bill is one of those situations where the dopey hippie religion suddenly seems extremely demanding and intolerant.

27 May 2008 at 21:06  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
lord winston appears to have spent too much time at the binocular microscope , he sees that if you put things in the right medium and petre dish , you can make life .

he is right in one sense , gay parents can buy clothes and food , be concerned about about academic progress, cheer on at sports day .

so if he hasnt thought too deeply , he is promoting that farming is what "childhood" really is and so is universal.

mmm lets think farming , animal farm , dumbing down, maslows pyramid of hieracical needs .how very of kind of him , to support the farmers cough er communists .what would lord winston do with all those human experiments that do not give a repeatable good result , perhaps they would be a "bio hazard" and be sent to the brave new world future incinerator

ian duncan smiths broken britain and breakthrough britain reports , seem to have some very interesting nuggets , which are difficult to get across partly because of the years of labour proganda.

men have been made into fantasy cash cattle , fed with anything that will lead to a profit from the friends of nu labour business's , indeed there are rumours that EUSSR project has deployed this , just to ensure its rise to omnipotent power.

the fall of man which is so beautifully portrayed in genesis (and i dont blame eve, i see somthing else) , he ate the fruit of the knowledge tree , there never was an ignorance tree !!

families are better off with fathers , not tyrants, drunkards, wife beaters or womanisers , but fathers .

the question is how many men feel they know how to be a good father ??, not the outward paranoia of critiscism peddled by liberal eliteists . But those who are happy to develope into the role in hand of great responsibility that comes from within, to teach right from wrong, respect and mature love balanced with discipline .

lord winston may think he has found the truth of equilibrium and say i am a bigot, i say some one has bootpolished his microscope eye pieces and he hasnt yet looked in the mirror !!

27 May 2008 at 23:12  
Blogger Christendom said...

Even if we lived in the Godless, atheistic universe these politicians delude themselves into believing in, fatherless parenting would still be a moral wrong. No matter how it was done, by God or by natural selection, man was meant to, and designed to, cleave unto woman. There is simply no substitute or alternative for this. Homosexuals and their supporters posit their ‘lifestyle’ as an acceptable alternative to heterosexuality, but there is no logical reason to subscribe to this view. By every measure (including parenting), homosexuality is objectively inferior to heterosexuality. In the same way that the best student gets rewarded with an ‘A,’ the best relationship type got rewarded with reproduction. As such, pandering to sexual deviants is lunacy in its highest and most realized form. At least its just the Labour government staying true to form.

This sort of thing would have never passed muster in 1556....

28 May 2008 at 06:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...a "right" is a political tenet granted by a sovereign. It's not a transcendent tenet like 'man being made in the image of god' which is inherent to reality (i.e. Natural Law). The same goes for responsibility. In a materialistic atheistic sense there's no reason why we should observe these rights or responsibilities."

HH, your characterisation of rights accords neither with the constitutional settlement of this country from the late 17c nor the nature of the English Common Law.

1. Following the tyrranicide of Charles I (pretended 'Saint and Martyr' [sic]) and as recognised in the Bill of Rights of 1689, no monarch may, alone, grant rights or impose responsibilities (save for those matters specifically reserved to the Royal Prerogative). Such matters are the province of The Queen in Parliament. The accession of this country to the EEC in 1973 clearly complicates matters...

2. In a Common Law (as opposed to a Civil or Roman Law) system there is no comprehensive codification of rights and responsibilities. Thus many fundamental rights and obligations are or were until recently (e.g the Human Rights Act 1998) not defined in statute.

3. I would categorise the treatment of rights under English law as follows:
3.1 Rights granted expressly by statute: e.g. universal adult suffrage in 1928;
3.2 Rights implicitly granted by the statutory removal of impediments: e.g. the removal of the disqualification barring Roman Catholics from taking a seat in the House of Commons by the Roman Catholic Emancipation Act 1828;
3.3 Rights implicitly defined as those matters that are not expressly prohibited: e.g. before 1998 there was no express right to freedom of speech/expression but it was always understood that the only limits to freedom of speech were those expressly set out in statute (e.g. the Obscene Publications Act 1959) or as applied by the Common Law (e.g. incitement to commit a crime);
3.4 Rights defined by the Common Law so as to clarify the extent of competing rights and obligations: e.g. in the 1930s Lord Chief Justice Hewart felt obliged to define the extent of the right of the subject to use the public highway before ruling on the anture of the crime of obstruction of the public highway (he defined that right as "the right to pass and repass" along the highway, i.e. he therefore excluded a 'right' to obstruct the highway by those seeking to march or 'demonstrate').

von Hayek

29 May 2008 at 03:59  

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