Yes, I still believe we need to understand and feel compassion for a tortured closet case like George Rekers. But when people do evil, we need to stand up and call it evil.
In 2008 Rekers testified as an expert witness to stop a gay couple from adopting a 4-year-old boy and his 4-month-old brother. It’s even worse than it sounds. Please read these excerpts from the judge’s ruling. If you ever falter in your conviction that our cause is just, come back and read these again.
Here’s the condition of the boys John and James when they arrived at their foster home:
The children arrived…on the evening of December 11, 2004. John, the elder sibling, arrived with his four-month old brother wearing a dirty adult sized t-shirt and sneakers four sizes too small that seemed more like flip-flops than shoes. Both children were suffering from scalp ringworm. Although John was clearly suffering from a severe case of ringworm, the medication brought from John’s home to treat his scalp was unopened and expired. James, too, suffered from an untreated ear infection, as evidenced by the one-month old, nearly unused, medication. John did not speak and had no affect. He had one concern: changing, feeding, and caring for his baby brother. It was clear from the children’s first evening at the Petitioner-Roe home that the baby’s main caretaker was John, his four year old brother…
For the first few months, John seemed depressed and presented a void, unresponsive demeanor and appearance. Upon arriving at the Petitioner home, John did not speak a word for about one week. After two weeks, he began to mumble imperceptible utterances. After about one month, John finally began speaking. Petitioner quickly learned that John had never seen a book, could not distinguish letters from numbers, could not identify colors and could not count. He could not hold a pencil. He had never been in an early childhood program or day care. Nevertheless, John’s potential for educational development was apparent. Although he had not had any formal education, John could sing and pick up lyrics very quickly. Early on, Petitioner and Roe noticed that John hoarded food by requesting additional servings at the start of dinnertime and later hiding the extra food in his room. John eventually grew out of this behavior, due in part to a tactic employed by Petitioner and Roe of showing John, in advance of mealtime, the more than sufficient amount of food on the stove prepared and available for the family.
James was a very happy baby and was content with anyone, even strangers. After approximately two months, James began to exhibit signs of attachment to his primary caregivers, Petitioner and Roe. John, however, took about two years to fully bond. At one time, John shunned hugs from Petitioner and Roe. However, in his own time, John developed bonding and today, initiates goodbye hugs each morning before going to school.
And here’s what their world turned into — the world Rekers wanted to kick them out of:
On weekdays, the household wakes up at about 6:30 a.m. Petitioner usually prepares breakfast, permitting each child to assist with an assigned kitchen duty. Each morning, the family eats together without distraction from the television. As each child finishes his breakfast, he puts his dish in the sink and proceeds to the bathroom to brush his teeth and hair. Petitioner and Roe purchased a Ford minivan, which Petitioner jokes was not his dream car, however, to accommodate the family size, is the most feasible. Tom Roe, Jr. is dropped off at school first. Afterwards, Petitioner takes John and James to school, walking them into their classrooms and usually speaking to their respective teachers. In the afternoon, after Petitioner picks the boys up from school, they generally go to the park for tennis lessons. At the conclusion of their lessons, the family heads home for dinner. At mealtime, the family blesses the food together and takes turns sharing the highlights of their day. Phones are not answered and the television is off during dinner. After the children are excused from the table, the older children load the dishwasher.
After dinner, the children spend one hour doing their homework. Although James does not have homework, he spends time at the table pretending to do homework. John requires more supervision and one-on-one interaction to complete his homework. If a child finishes his homework early, the remaining time is spent reading. After homework is completed, the children are allowed to watch television. At bedtime, the boys retreat to their separate beds. By morning, however, James seems to always find his way into John’s bed.
The family attends a non-denominational Christian church and have as pets, a dog, rabbit and kitten. John and James refer to Petitioner and Roe as “papi” and “daddy” respectively. John and James have lived in the same neighborhood, attended the same school, day care and aftercare since their arrival in the Petitioner-Roe home. As a result, each child has created friendships from school and in the neighborhood. John and James are closely bonded to Tom Roe, Jr., and their extended family. The boys consider Petitioner and Roe’s parents, brothers and sisters their grandparents, uncles and aunts. The extended family sends the boys gifts for their birthdays and the holidays. Roe’s mother, who lives in Tampa, visits the family regularly.
Please share. People have to know.
Thanks to my buddy Brad for inspiring this post.