Step 1: Read Timothy Jackson’s article entitled “Suffering the Suffering Children.” Pay particular attention to the way he defines the (4) key terms in the piece: “dignity,” “sanctity,” “abomination,” and “liberating.” The text can be found on Canvas.
Step 2: Watch the video on Jerry Cox and the Arkansas Family Council: (first 59 seconds. Skip the gun stuff)
Arkansas Bans Gay Adoption :: Gun Sales Soar (Links to an external site.)
Step 3: The Essay
Imagine that you are Timothy Jackson, that you are home in Benton, Arkansas for semester break, and that while at church last Sunday you received one of the ‘350,000 church bulletin inserts’ distributed by the volunteers of the Arkansas Family Council. When you inquire about the content of the bulletin inserts, you discover (2) critical pieces of information: first, your church and your parents are vocal supporters of the Family Council; and second, Jerry Cox is holding a live town hall style debate in Little Rock for a statewide television audience. You decide to call the producers of the show at KATV Channel 7 and offer to participate in the debate. You tell them that you are a professor of Christian ethics at the Chandler School of Theology and a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, both at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. After some communication with Cox’s Family Council, NEWS station 7 calls you back and formally invites you to participate. You accept—only to find that your family is disappointed in you and your church community is horrified.
Your job is to be Timothy Jackson in this debate. Do not forget that strong debaters make pointed responses to the claims made by their opponents. So pay careful attention to what Cox says in the clip and design your essay to meet his claims directly.
- Your essay should make use of allkey terms found in Jackson’s article: Dignity, Sanctity, Abomination, and Liberating. You might also want to think about whether his refutations of the “major” arguments against same-sex adoption are relevant here; use them if they are.
- Remember your audience is full of Christian church goers, so: to make Jackson’s argument as effective as possible, you mustbuttress his usual argument with the Scriptural ethics of (1) Slavoj Zizek and(2) Emanuel Levinas and (3) the secular ethics of Aristotle.
Specific hints: Be sure to consider the following statistics: more than 54,000 children are waiting to be adopted every day in the USA; approximately 127,000 children are in the process of becoming eligible for adoption as I write this exam; between 14,000 to 16,000 more children would be adopted out of social services each year if gay and lesbian people we not precluded, denied by law, or discouraged from adopting. Those 14,000 to 16,000 are most always the least likely children to be adopted by anyone let alone ‘traditional households.’
Hints On Levinas:—among other matters, do not forget to use Levinas to address Jackson’s claim that society as a whole has a dutyto provide adoption possibilities for its members (p198). What is Jackson’s justification for this claim and how/why is it Levinasian?