A newspaper story caught my eye and evoked all sort of thoughts, associations and historical facts.
Back in 1998, two homosexual men, who today would be married and, if they could wait a year or two, possibly in church, adopted two toddlers from a Russian orphanage in Ulyanovsk.
With the factual precision so typical of today’s press, the paper refers to the place as “a frozen wasteland 550 miles east of Moscow”. In fact, it’s a major industrial centre on the Volga inhabited by over 600,000 souls.
Some of them are no doubt proud of living in the birthplace of Alexander Kerensky, the last head of the Provisional Government ousted by the 1917 Bolshevik coup. Conceivably more of them take pride in sharing their birthplace with the chap who led the coup, Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin), after whom the city is named.
But this historical detour is by the bye. What matters is the present, along with the more recent past.
The two adopters were ecstatic: for obvious reasons they never thought they’d be able to experience the joy of fatherhood, or motherhood if you’d rather. Yet the joy turned out not to be so joyous.
Another detour, if I may, this one from personal experience. Many years ago, two of my friends, both university professors, had despaired of producing a child. So they adopted a lovely baby boy and raised him the way cultured parents raise their children.
Sure enough, the boy grew up a nice, kind-hearted, well-read young man. The trouble was he wasn’t very bright. Hard as he tried, he couldn’t do well at school, which saddened my friends. They loved him, he loved them, tried his best to please them, but nurture didn’t unequivocally triumph over nature.
One hates to generalise on the basis of limited information, but it stands to reason that most parents putting up their children for adoption don’t pass on perfect genes. In some cases, the genes may be so imperfect that no amount of loving care will work.
As it didn’t in this story. Both boys were abandoned by their mothers at birth and, at the time they were adopted and brought to London, they were dying of malnutrition and neglect, which is par for the course in Russian orphanages.
By adopting them, the two Londoners probably saved their lives, but at a significant cost to their own. The smaller boy had learning difficulties, which, to their credit, his two father/mothers managed to overcome. He’s now studying biology at university and, judging by his photograph, is a pleasant youngster.
However, the bigger boy made his father/mothers’ lives a misery. In fact, he put their lives in jeopardy.
The lad started out by breaking the family dog’s tail. Then he moved on to bigger things. He tried to strangle both father/mothers with a dog lead, beat them up, threatened them and his brother with knives and screwdrivers, smashed their furniture and electronic appliances, and even punched holes in the wall (I told you he was big).
Now penniless and despondent, the men took out a restraining order that their foster son ignores. Moreover, by his own admission, the lad “went through a homophobic stage”. That was largely brought on by his classmates who mercilessly teased him about having two fathers.
Now that I’ve let my narrative meander, here’s another historical detour. At the end of the 12th century a young Mongolian chieftain Temüjin’s 16-year-old wife Börte was kidnapped by a hostile tribe. When Temüjin, soon to become Genghis Khan, recovered Börte a year or so later, she was pregnant.
Yet, contrary to biological evidence, Genghis declared her son Jochi his own and promised to impale anyone who contested that declaration. Nonetheless, Mongolian mauvaises langues slyly called Jochi “a son of two fathers” behind his, and wisely his father’s, back.
The classmates of the boy in question didn’t have to be quite so furtive, and the boy grew up fighting every day of his life. He grew up hating not only his mean classmates, but also his father/mothers.
Returning to the nature-vs.-nurture argument, it’s possible that the boy was born such an irredeemably rotten apple to begin with that he’d grow up bad even in a normal family, like the one of my friends from way back.
But it’s not counterintuitive to suppose that the perversely unnatural environment in which he grew up encouraged his bad heredity and suppressed the better part of his character.
Allowing homosexual couples to adopt children goes against, well, just about everything: history, physiology, reason, common sense, theology, philosophy, sociology – even common decency.
I’m sure there’s much anecdotal evidence showing that sometimes such adoptions work out well. But any possible benefits are nothing compared to the fundamental debauchment of the very concept of marriage, family and parenthood inherent in the legalisation of such practices.
The trouble is we can’t even say that any longer: the pagan demiurge of egalitarian political correctness is a wrathful deity, ready to smite any infidel. I just hope that the two homosexual parents won’t lay their lives at this totem pole.