Why is there even a debate about the beliefs and standards of adoption agencies? Consider the numbers. If 80% of adoptions in Virginia are directed by religious organizations, would not the other 20% be able to support adoptions outside the biblical pattern of a family? In doing so, those agencies committed to a standard can still adhere to it; those believing in other options can place children as well.
In looking at several other comments on this issue before the Social Services Board, there is a common thread - it is about the children. On this, most would agree. However, those forcing the extra time for debate are apparently not interested in the children. If this bill were to pass, then many of those church organizations would: 1) loose skilled workers who would quit rather than violate strongly held beliefs or 2) close their doors altogether, rather than compromise standards that have been acceptable to the majority for generations.
The consequences to children would be devastating. Less adoptions, longer stays with foster parents, and other negatives. For those requesting extra time for this debate, it is not about the children; it is about silencing those who stand on principles that are contrary to their standard of political correctness at all costs.
I am one who believes in the absolutes of right and wrong. But I also know that I have no right to impose those values on others. By just speaking of those values, the "tolerant" crowd believes that my standards are judgmental, that I am "Imposing" those principles on others, and am thusly labeled "intolerant." I am labeled "intolerant," not for imposing, but because I stated my beliefs. So, if I am not allowed my first amendment right to free speech because my words are not politically correct, then who should be declared "intolerant"? The answer is obvious, but only to those who do not have an agenda.
It is certainly appalling that the great religious debates of our Founding Fathers are now being ignored and/or trampled on by those who would impose their beliefs on Christians. Even a cursory examination of historical trends reveals that Christian religious principles have been and will continue to be the only lasting support for maintaining a Democratic Republic, under a Constitution, like the United States. Historical illiteracy is the norm for most when aligned with America's past.
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed that religious freedoms could not be forced on anyone. Religion must be considered a free choice. But they also believed that to force religious principles from a culture would eventually result in the same reaction. The only difference would be in those responding - those opposed to forced compliance of religion by government and those opposed to expulsion of religious expression by government.
This decision is not about children. It is ultimately about the removal religious traditions from a nation conceived in Christian tradition. The consequences of any decision that expels these principles will vastly expand those affected to include all of society, not just the children.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.