Family Law and Christianity

family law and christianity

Guest Don Enevoldsen, above.

Show Topic: Family Law and Christianity

This show aired on June 18, 2017. It was hosted by attorney David Enevoldsen. Don Enevoldsen, from CounterThought.org appeared as a guest. They discussed a Christian perspective on homosexual marriage, the propriety of divorce, and covenant marriages.

Guest Information

Don hosts a website at www.counterthought.org and you can read more about him there.

Headlines

Headlines on this show looked at the mistrial in the sex assault case of Bill Cosby because of the deadlock in the jury, Oregon becoming the first state in the United States to recognize non-binary as a gender, and a raid in Bangladesh in which 27 men were arrested for homosexual activities.

Did You Know

This show’s Did You Know was a Father’s Day quiz with Don and the show’s board op regarding various Father’s Day trivia questions.

Transcript of the Show

Speaker 9:                         The discussions and information provided in Family Law Report are intended to be general in nature and are not directed for any individual circumstances. No attorney client relationship is being formed through this program. If you need legal advice, your particular circumstances can vary from what is presented here, and you should seek the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in your state.

Speaker 10:                       Welcome to the Family Law Report, the show that explores issues related to marriage, divorce and children, hosted by David Enevoldsen, a practicing family law attorney in Arizona. Now here’s your host.

David Enevoldsen:           Hello everybody, and welcome to Family Law Report. I am your host, David Enevoldsen, here with you every Sunday at noon at Independent Talk, 1100 KFNX. Here on Family Law Report we talk about all the current topics of family law, and that can range from what’s going on in the political arena to just basics, like how to work through the nuts and bolts of a divorce. I am a practicing attorney. I work in the area of family law, and when I say family law I mean anything related to marriage, divorce, fights over custody of children, child support, prenuptial agreements, just basic relationships, marriage, anything like that.

                                              I am a partner at a law firm here in Arizona called Family Law Guys. We focus principally on helping divorcing parents avoid getting screwed out of time with their children. We have offices in the Phoenix area, and we don’t practice outside of Arizona, but if you want to call us and schedule an appointment to talk about your case, you can do so by calling 480-565-8680, or you can check us out on our website at www.familylawguys.com.

                                             On today’s show we are going to be talking about the intersection of family law and Christianity. Just a preliminary note before we talk about who my guest is, today is Father’s Day if you’re listening to the live broadcast, and if not it’s not Father’s Day and you missed it. Today I’m recognizing Father’s Day because number one, Father’s Day is just absolutely integral to family law, I think, because kids are such an integral component, and you can’t have kids without fathers. Because it’s Father’s Day, the guest that I have today is my father. His name is Donald Enevoldsen.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Hi!

David Enevoldsen:           Hey!

Donald Enevoldsen:        Happy Father’s Day to you too, because you are a father yourself.

David Enevoldsen:           That’s true. Thanks for coming on. Just as a preliminary matter, I’m going to refer to him as Don, even though that sounds a little strange to me because he is my Dad, but I’m wearing the radio show host hat for the moment, so I’m just going to call you Don. Is that okay?

Donald Enevoldsen:        I won’t take it personally.

David Enevoldsen:           Okay. Happy Father’s Day to everybody out there. I just wanted to acknowledge it, and thank you for being on the show with me. Before we get into the discussion with you, we’re going to do our normal headlines, and usually we’ll look at anything that could be family law related, what’s going on in the news. Today one of the first things I noticed is that, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware of the whole stuff that’s been going on with Bill Cosby. I’m assuming you’ve heard all of this. Is that correct?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Mm-hmm (affirmative).

David Enevoldsen:           Bill Cosby’s been dealing with the sex assault allegations. He’s got the case that’s going on out in Pennsylvania. He’s now 79. I know I grew up with him, watching the Bill Cosby show and the pudding pop advertisements.

Donald Enevoldsen:        I grew up with him. That tells you how long he’s been around.

David Enevoldsen:           Yeah. I know. He’s been around quite a while. Well, obviously there’s all these sex assault allegations that have been flying around. Well, his case went to the jury this week and ended up in a mistrial because the jury was deadlocked. Apparently they met for six days, and finally came out on Saturday, yesterday, and said that they just could not come to a resolution, so the judge there declared a mistrial. District Attorney there vowed to re-try Mr. Cosby.

                                             Cosby’s wife, Camille, came out and said, “How do I describe the district attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious. How do I describe the judge? Overtly and arrogantly collaborating with the District Attorney. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical. How do I describe many, but not all, general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truth for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.” I guess we know where his wife falls, although of course she’s going to be a little biased in this whole equation.

                                             It’s certainly interesting to me that the case culminated in a deadlocked jury and now they’re going to have to go through that whole process again. I’m always curious, particularly in this instance, with someone like Bill Cosby, who just everyone knows who he is, what kind of an impact that’s going to have on the jury. We’ll see where this all goes. For the moment at least, no conviction for Mr. Cosby. It’s not really an acquittal per se either. It’s just a mistrial, which means they’re going to loop back and try all of this again.

                                              In other news, this one might actually hit you a little bit in an interesting way, because you are from Oregon, correct?

Donald Enevoldsen:        That’s right.

David Enevoldsen:           One of the things that happened this week was … Have you heard all of this discussion about the non-binary, transgender, third gender kind of discussion?

Donald Enevoldsen:        I heard a lot of it. I don’t know …

David Enevoldsen:           I know that’s been hitting the press a lot lately. Well, Oregon came out this week and has become the first state in the United States to recognize non-binary as a gender. On Thursday, Oregon’s transportation commission decided to allow residents to identify themselves as non-binary on their driver’s license and/or identification cards. The new rule’s going to come into effect on July 1st of this year. The way Oregon law is set up, it didn’t actually have to go through legislation. I guess this was an administrative decision, so this is just being implemented. What they’re going to have is on the licenses themselves, previously you were allowed to have an F for female, M for male. Now you can also have the option of putting an X for being non-binary or transgender in Oregon.

                                             California is currently working on very similar legislation, is my understanding, although in California their legal system is a little different, so they actually are pitching a bill that they have to process through the legislature, as opposed to just making it as an administrative decision. According to the Williams Institute, there are approximately 20,000 people in Oregon that identify as transgender or non-binary, so another step in this whole issue that’s been hitting the press recently, related to the non-binary, transgender issue.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Then I wonder, people who are transgender who are genetically male but identify female, if they’re going to find offense with trying to identify as neither? I would think that they would prefer to be one or the other, just by virtue of the …

David Enevoldsen:           I have no idea.

Donald Enevoldsen:        That would be an interesting question. I don’t know.

David Enevoldsen:           One of the things that I find interesting about this is that regardless of where you fall on the merits of this, whether you’re of the position that this is a bad thing or a good thing in terms of the changes, what we were seeing with, and still seeing, I think, with things like gay marriage, where there’s this sudden change in the popular understanding or the legality of it, ripples out in ways that we have to kind of uncover how to deal with things. For example, when we had the recent, relatively recent Supreme Court decision that was affirming or recognizing the validity of homosexual marriage, that sort of altered some of the equations we were previously looking at in the legal system, because we always just looked at it as male/female and nothing else, so we have a legal system entrenched around that idea. Now we’ve got to go through and change everything.

                                             To whatever extent I think this non-binary issue becomes more prevalent within the legal system, I think it’s going to ripple out and have all sorts of impacts on things we’re going to have to change, which is one of the interesting things about law in general to me, because it’s always changing. There’s always new stuff that’s coming. There’s always new concepts you’ve got to deal with.

Donald Enevoldsen:        And having been in the Christian community, evangelicals, myself, and seeing how they reacted to the Supreme Court decision, was fascinating to me because you’d think the world was coming to an end, and yet there were what, 13 states that had not already adopted that anyway? So it didn’t really change very much.

David Enevoldsen:           True. True. I haven’t actually said this yet, but you’re a pastor and you’ve got, obviously, since we’re doing the Christianity thing, that’s definitely coming from …

Donald Enevoldsen:        Which is live.

David Enevoldsen:           Yeah. I think that was probably implicit.

Donald Enevoldsen:        I didn’t mean to interrupt you.

David Enevoldsen:           No, no, no. You’re totally fine. This is all about the discussion. In other news, another kind of a similar issue then, at least kind of shifting over the homosexual thing, in Bangladesh there was recently a raid of … The story in and of itself is not necessarily interesting, but I think what it stands for is interesting. There was a raid in Bangladesh, where, it was just outside of the capital, Dhaka, where 27 men were arrested there. What happened was they were meeting. They had a monthly meeting at this community center. The guys would come and then engage in what they were calling a party.

                                             The police described it as “suspicious illegal activities”. The men were mostly college students. They were ultimately charged with drug offenses because the guys had just drugs and some other stuff, paraphernalia with that, but one of the things that they were suspected of was engaging in sodomy, which in Bangladesh is still illegal. Men were found with drugs, condoms and lubricant. As I understand it, there were no women there. Police came in, raided the place, didn’t actually catch any of these guys in the act of having any sort of sexual activities. That’s why they were only charged with the drug crimes.

                                             The reason that I thought this whole thing was interesting is that there was a huge focus on the homosexual activity here and the sodomy component of this. Now, I think implicit in the statement that we were just talking about a few minutes ago, that the U.S. has recognized gay marriage as being legal, it’s obvious that we don’t make illegal things like sodomy or sexual contact between same sex partners. That hasn’t been around that long. In fact it was in 2003 that the U.S. Supreme Court actually outlawed sodomy in the U.S. in a case called Lawrence v Texas.

                                             I think it’s interesting to remember that there’s all this stuff going on in the U.S. and we’ve highlighted this in various other contexts in previous recent shows, but things are not everywhere in the world the way that they are here in the U.S., and there are, as I understand it, approximately 70 other countries in the world that still say it’s illegal to engage in sodomy. Much less do they recognize gay marriage, which is, in my mind, a whole other step beyond that. We’ve had this Obergefell decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, but it’s not the same everywhere else.

                                             At any rate, we’re going to take a quick break. I am attorney David Enevoldsen. I’m joined by my guest, Donald Enevoldsen, and when we return, we will be talking about the intersection of family law and Christianity. If you want to call in and ask me any questions, you can do so by calling 602-277-KFNX. You are tuned into Family Law Report on Independent Talk, 1100 KFNX.

David Enevoldsen:           Welcome back to Family Law Report. I am your host, David Enevoldsen, an attorney with Family Law Guys, an Arizona law firm, here with you every Sunday at noon on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX, joined today by my guest, Don Enevoldsen, who also happens to be my father, but I’m going to call him Don, just because of Father’s Day. If you want to reach out and schedule an appointment with my firm, Family Law Guys, you can do so by calling 480-565-8680, or you can check us out on our website at www.familylawguys.com. If you are listening and you want to call in and ask any questions or share thoughts, you can do so by calling 602-277-KFNX. Don, if somebody wants to check out anything you’ve done, where would they go?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Well, my website is counterthought.org, and it’s a site that’s devoted primarily to kind of alternative views of Biblical interpretation of a whole range of subjects, including divorce and gay marriage and some of the things we’ve been talking about, among other things. It deals a lot with abuse issues. I have a Facebook page too, which is probably the easiest place to get ahold of me.

David Enevoldsen:           That’s just under your name?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yes.

David Enevoldsen:           Okay. Now, our topic for today is the intersection of family law and Christianity, which we’re going to get into in a couple of minutes here. First we’re going to do our “Did you know” which, if you’ve heard the show before, you will know that our “Did you know” is basically the part of the show where we cover some sort of family law trivia. Sometimes it’s some vestigial thing from the past. Did you know husbands and wives used to do X, Y, Z? Sometimes it’s some statistical thing. Sometimes it’s a look at some sort of journal article, and sometimes it’s a quiz. What we’re going to do today is one of those quizzes.

Donald Enevoldsen:        It sounds terrifying, actually.

David Enevoldsen:           It sounds terrifying?

Donald Enevoldsen:        We’ll see.

David Enevoldsen:           That’s probably good, then. I feel like I have power over you.

Donald Enevoldsen:        You do at the moment.

David Enevoldsen:           We’ve got my guest, Don, who is my father, and then Derek is our board op. Do you want to jump in on this?

Derek:                                 Okay.

David Enevoldsen:           Is that a yes? That sounded hesitant.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Jump in, Derek. Go ahead.

Derek:                                 Yep.

David Enevoldsen:           All right. You’re there. Okay. We’re going to do a quiz here. I suppose we could … we don’t have any other people. Maybe we should have somebody call in or something. If you can call in in the next five seconds you can do this. Call in right now at 602-277-KFNX.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Please.

David Enevoldsen:           So that you have less stress?

Donald Enevoldsen:        I’m terrible at trivia, see.

David Enevoldsen:           That’s perfect. See, I know you’re kind of well read, so I intentionally picked up …

Donald Enevoldsen:        But I’ve never won a game of Trivial Pursuit in my entire life.

David Enevoldsen:           Really?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yes.

David Enevoldsen:           Oh, well this should be fun then. Derek, you’ve got a good chance here. I don’t really have any prize for this. I suppose I should come up with something, but it’s really just going to be bragging rights. Derek, if you can take out my dad on this, that would be awesome. Then you can gloat over him.

Derek:                                 All right. We’ll see.

David Enevoldsen:           All right. Okay. Here’s what we’re going to do. I’ve got a series of questions. They’re multiple choice questions. There are six questions. All of them are related to Father’s Day or fathers, so just fathers in general, because again, fathers are pretty integral to the whole family law universe, and it is Father’s Day, so that’s going to be our theme. For each question I’m going to ask you the question, read off the potential answers and the multiple choice sequence, and then I’m going to ask each of you what you’re answer is. Then whoever wins gets to gloat. All right. Question number one. Are you guys ready for this?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Ready as we’re going to get.

David Enevoldsen:           Okay.

Derek:                                 Good to go.

David Enevoldsen:           Good to go. According to our most recent U.S. census data, approximately how many fathers are there in the United States? A) 50.5 million, B) 70.1 million, C) 97.3 million, or D) 102.7 million. Let me start with you, Derek. What do you think?

Derek:                                 I would go with C on that one.

David Enevoldsen:           C? 97.3 million? Okay. And Don?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Hmm. See, I listened to the Mother’s Day quiz, and there was a similar question on that, and the answer, if I remember right, was like around 75 million or something like that, so I’m going to go with B.

David Enevoldsen:           B. 70.1 million?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yes.

David Enevoldsen:           That is actually the correct answer. It is B, 70.1 million. That particular census data was a little bit older, so there was an estimate that I think it was something like 72 million or so, but it’s right around that range, wherever we are. Derek, I didn’t even ask. Are you a dad?

Derek:                                 I am. I have two kids.

David Enevoldsen:           Okay, so this is like father versus father here.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Bring it on.

David Enevoldsen:           All right. Question number two. When was the first presidential proclamation recognizing Father’s Day issued? A) 1910, B) 1921, C) 1949, or D) 1966? Derek, we’re going to start with you again.

Derek:                                 I would go with B on that one. [crosstalk, 20:41].

David Enevoldsen:           B, which is 1921.

Derek:                                 Yeah.

David Enevoldsen:           All right. And Don?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Again, there was a similar question on the Mother’s Day.

David Enevoldsen:           Yes there was.

Donald Enevoldsen:        This is kind of like cheating again. That was 1908, if I recall correctly.

David Enevoldsen:           I think that’s correct.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Even though Father’s Day, ultimately, was celebrated by Catholics all the way back in the Middle Ages. I did know that. I’m going to go with 1910.

David Enevoldsen:           You are both incorrect.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Really?

David Enevoldsen:           It was actually 1966. Now this is interesting, because there was, I think, some recognition of it back around the same period as Mother’s Day, but the first actual presidential proclamation recognizing Father’s Day wasn’t until 1966, and it was Lyndon Johnson who said it is now going to be the third Sunday in June. Sort of a trick question if you’re relying on this old quiz.

Donald Enevoldsen:        I’m feeling a little left out as a father here. Ignored for centuries.

David Enevoldsen:           Well, yeah.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Decades.

David Enevoldsen:           I think there are different advantages and disadvantages. If we go back we could talk about all the horrors that have happened to mothers throughout history and all that stuff. At any rate, remember the rule of thumb. That was the whole thing that you could correct your wife by beating her, so long as you had a stick that was no larger than your thumb, it was okay.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Maybe we didn’t really deserve a day …

David Enevoldsen:           Yeah, I don’t know.

Donald Enevoldsen:        … until after the feminist movement.

David Enevoldsen:           All right. Question number three. What percentage of the total number of stay at home parents are fathers? A) 5%, B) 16%, C) 24%, or D) 43%? Derek?

Derek:                                 I’m going to go with A, 5% on that one.

David Enevoldsen:           5%. All right. Don?

Donald Enevoldsen:        I think I would as well. I’m going to go with A.

David Enevoldsen:           You’re both a little bit low. The answer was B, 16%. Apparently there are 1.9 million fathers in the U.S. who function as the stay at home parent. Now, interestingly, this has changed quite a bit from over the past several decades. In fact, in the 70’s, I was reading an article that there were six fathers in the U.S. that self-identified as being stay at home parents. Not 6%, six. I didn’t verify the accuracy of that, but there’s clearly been a shift in the acceptability of a dad being the stay at home parent over the-

Donald Enevoldsen:        In my early years, even those that were doing it wouldn’t admit it, probably.

David Enevoldsen:           Yeah. I mean maybe that’s just a reporting issue, but clearly there’s been some shift in the stigma or social acceptability of it, I think. Maybe they’re just hiding it. At any rate, all right. Question number four. Derek, you’ve got to pick up, man. The score right now is 1-0. You’ve to jump in here.

Derek:                                 All right. I’m on it.

David Enevoldsen:           Question number four. What state has the highest percentage of stay at home fathers? Is it A) Montana, B) Florida, C) Arizona, or D) South Dakota? Derek.

Derek:                                 I’m going to go with A on that one.

David Enevoldsen:           A, Montana? All right. Don?

Donald Enevoldsen:        That’s tough. I’m going to go with Arizona.

David Enevoldsen:           You thought this was going to be easy? You are once again both incorrect. The correct answer is South Dakota has the highest percentage of stay at home fathers. I have no idea what the correlation is there, but that’s what the data reveals. All right. Very similarly, question number five. What state has the lowest percentage of stay at home fathers? A) Utah, B) Arizona, C) California, or D) Alabama. Derek?

Derek:                                 I’m going to take A on that one, too.

David Enevoldsen:           Utah.

Derek:                                 Yep.

David Enevoldsen:           All right. And Don?

Donald Enevoldsen:        That would have been my first inclination, but this is really just a toss up. I’m going to say Alabama.

David Enevoldsen:           Alabama?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yeah.

David Enevoldsen:           Derek got this one. The correct answer was Utah.

Donald Enevoldsen:        I should have gone with first instinct.

David Enevoldsen:           Yes. You’re coming up from behind now. You guys are tied 1-1. Okay. Question number six, and somebody’s got to get this one, because I don’t have any questions beyond that. This has to be the tie-breaker. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, what is the most popular Father’s Day gift? A) tools, B) neckties, C) golf clubs, or D) fishing rods? Derek?

Derek:                                 I’m going to go with D on that one.

David Enevoldsen:           The fishing rods?

Derek:                                 Yeah. Absolutely.

David Enevoldsen:           Don?

Donald Enevoldsen:        I’m torn between A and B, but I think I’ll go with neckties.

David Enevoldsen:           Neckties is correct. Ha ha! It was like the stereotype. We had to … at least that’s what I always think of, is that you get your dad the necktie for … which always seems strange to me because I’m really finicky about my ties. I go to court all the time so I have ties, and I’m really particular. I would not want my kids picking my ties. That, I guess, puts us at Don is the winner. Derek, I’m sorry, man.

Derek:                                 It’s all good.

David Enevoldsen:           It was a good effort. I appreciate it. Dad versus dad.

Donald Enevoldsen:        It came down to the wire. It was a tough battle.

David Enevoldsen:           Yeah. The necktie question …

Donald Enevoldsen:        I gave it 110%.

David Enevoldsen:           You both did a good job. That is our “Did You Know” for today, and again, “Did You Know” is just where we put together some of these basic information about things like family law or family-related stuff, father stuff, and hopefully we learned a little something from that. All right. We’re going to jump to a break in just a second. Before we do that, tell me, real quick. Where do we get you? Where do we find out information about you?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Counterthought.org, or Counter Thought on Facebook.

David Enevoldsen:           All right. I am attorney David Enevoldsen. I’m joined by my guest, Donald Enevoldsen. When we return we’re going to be talking about the intersection of family law and Christianity. If you want to call in and ask me questions, you can do so by calling 602-277-KFNX. You are tuned into Family Law Report on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX.

David Enevoldsen:           Welcome back to Family Law Report. I am your host, David Enevoldsen, attorney with Family Law Guys, an Arizona law firm, here with you every Sunday at noon on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX, joined today by my guest, Don Enevoldsen, who also happens to be my father, but I’m going to refer to him as Don throughout this particular presentation. It’s Father’s Day, so Happy Father’s Day again to everybody. You want to reach out and schedule an appointment with my firm, Family Law Guys, you can do so by calling 480-565-8680, or you can check us out on our website at www.familylawguys.com. If you are listening and you want to call in and ask any questions, share thoughts, tell me how incredible I am, anything like that, you can do so by calling 602-277-KFNX. Our topic today, we are going to be talking about the intersection of family law and Christianity.

                                             Just as a lead in, I’ll do the formal introduction of Don. Don is the lead writer for Family Offices, a marriage and family ministry. He is the author of numerous books, including “Chatter in the Sanctuaries”, “Simple Prayer”, “Wealth of the Wicked”, and the newly released books, “Friends, Family and Other Enemies”, I love that title, and “The Hazard of Forgiveness I Never Learned in Church”. Don has served in the ministry for more than 40 years in various capacities, which I’m very aware of, including Bible teacher, pastor. He’s a board member of Majestic Glory, a ministry devoted to bringing unity to the global church. Don’s heart is to empower people through the understanding and application of truth. The love of his life is his wife of 11 years, Christina. They share three children and six grandchildren. That sounds like quite a launching pad to talk about family law in the context of …

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yeah. Pick a subject.

David Enevoldsen:           Just one more quick plug. Where do people find you if they …

Donald Enevoldsen:        Counterthought.org is my website, and Facebook, Counter Thought, which is a separate page.

David Enevoldsen:           Cool. All right. Well, thanks for coming on.

Donald Enevoldsen:        My pleasure.

David Enevoldsen:           Maybe a good starting place for this discussion is the whole gay marriage thing. We were talking about that earlier. We were talking about the non-binary thing. First off, I mean I know the kind of traditional Christian position is that gay marriage is sinful, it’s inappropriate. Do you agree with that position?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yes, with some qualifiers.

David Enevoldsen:           Okay. Please explain.

Donald Enevoldsen:        It’s the qualifiers that make the difference, I think.

David Enevoldsen:           Maybe one preliminary note here. I recognize there seems to be a lot of dissension. Christianity is a massive, massive collection of people around the earth, I think, so there’s naturally going to be some very different perspectives.

Donald Enevoldsen:        There are widely different perspectives, yes.

David Enevoldsen:           We’re of course speaking from your perspective on all of these things.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yes.

David Enevoldsen:           All right. With that, what’s your position on the gay marriage issue, or just homosexuality in general, not necessarily gay marriage.

Donald Enevoldsen:        The reason for that, and the reason that the more conservative evangelicals would take that position is that there are six passages in the Bible that speak about homosexuality. Probably the most powerful one or the most direct one is in Leviticus, where it says that homosexuality is an abomination. Of course a lot of gays find that very offensive and I can understand why, because that has been used as a tool for oppression.

David Enevoldsen:           Well, it seems understandable for someone to say, “I’m offended by you calling what I’m doing an abomination.”

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yeah. That’s where I have to put in a qualifier here to kind of explain what does it mean by abomination, because when you really start to break that down, it looks a little differently. Throughout history, throughout church history, that has been the thing that has caused churches in general to really oppress the gays and remove from them any semblance of human rights. You were talking earlier about in one of the third world countries …

David Enevoldsen:           Bangladesh.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Bangladesh. Yes. That’s an example of what has been throughout history, not even just among Christians. It’s been everything. I mean Islam has that even today for the most part. It’s been part of, you go back to ancient Rome and ancient Greece. Even though there was a lot of homosexuality that was accepted as part of the culture in those days, it was still looked down upon and in many ways, that oppression was still there even then. It’s kind of a couple of different issues there. There’s is it an abomination and what does that mean, and do homosexuals then have basic human rights, in spite of being homosexual? Of course, I think if you live in America and understand what the founding fathers laid out as individual rights, you have to say that everyone does, no matter what. Then we also have to say that we’re going to talk about sin. Homosexuality isn’t the only thing the Bible calls a sin. There’s a long laundry list of things that, for some reason, when we’re bashing gays, we seem to ignore all those other things.

David Enevoldsen:           Yeah. That’s certainly true.

Donald Enevoldsen:        You kind of have to put that in perspective. It’s just sin across the board, which is kind of destructive to people.

David Enevoldsen:           It seems like we’ve had articles in the past on this show, even, where we have people that are very active or vocal in the community about being super religious or anti-homosexual or just taking some very strong conservative positions, and then you find out they’re doing something like cheating on their wife or doing something else that would be equally an abomination, I guess.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Kind of hypocritical when you really look at it, but my perspective on just sin in general, and let’s just talk about it in the broader base, is that sin is that which violates the basic design that God had for human beings. In the Garden of Eden, he created us to work a certain way, and what the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was really all about was him saying, “You can have anything you want. You can do anything you want. I just reserve the right to tell you how you were designed so that you’ll know what’s going to work and what isn’t.”

                                             An illustration I use, some years ago when we lived in Los Angeles, we came back here and were staying with some friends, and we went to dinner. Drove in the husband’s diesel pickup, king cab. We had dinner, left. He had to stop and fuel up and so he stopped at a gas station where, for some reason, the gas pump had a green plastic thing around it which normally means diesel. He filled up his diesel tank with gasoline. Then we started driving. It wasn’t very long before the engine started to make some pretty weird noises.

David Enevoldsen:           Sure.

Donald Enevoldsen:        That’s because there is a commandment that says, “Thou shalt not put gasoline in a diesel engine.” It wasn’t designed to work that way. It wasn’t that somebody came out from Detroit and slapped him around as punishment, but the truck stopped working because it just wasn’t able to work that way. I see sin, in general, as that same thing.

David Enevoldsen:           Interesting.

Donald Enevoldsen:        God says, “Thou shalt not lie.” Well, we weren’t designed to lie, and when we lie, there’s a certain detrimental consequence to that.

David Enevoldsen:           Reframing that a little bit then. I assume then you’re saying that in a homosexual relationship it’s not functional. Is the focal point on [crosstalk, 37:36]?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Exactly. Well …

David Enevoldsen:           Why is it not functional?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Well, genetically. Homosexuality just doesn’t work because the parts don’t fit. There are health issues that result from that. There are some psychological issues that result from that. Certainly … let me get back to Leviticus, because I think that applies here. When it says so many of the things that God designed, and then in Genesis 1 he says, “It is good.” He designed this and it is good. What it really means is it works. The chapter in Leviticus that talks about homosexuality is in the context of reproduction. It is talking about the functionality of having children. When it says it’s an abomination, that’s kind of an Old Testament poetic Biblical way of saying it just doesn’t work. In other words, you can put two gay men in a room for 20 years and never have a child because it just doesn’t work. In Biblical language, that makes it an abomination.

David Enevoldsen:           Let me back up just a bit here. You made reference a second ago, and I’ll give you, for the sake of the discussion here, obviously you have I’m not really sure how two same sex partners would reproduce a child. I guess a couple of thoughts come from that. Number one, acknowledging that fact, is … You said there were some other things too. Maybe we should back up to that first, that there were health concerns and that there were things psychologically that didn’t work. It strikes me that I saw, recently, an article, or there was a video of somebody. It was a kid, I think, talking. Did you see this video? Do you know what I’m talking about?

Donald Enevoldsen:        No, I didn’t see it.

David Enevoldsen:           There was a kid who had been raised by a same sex couple and he came out and was saying, “There’s nothing wrong with me. Look at me. I’m on honor roll. I went through school. I did great there. I started my own business. I’m functional. I’m healthy, so stop bashing on homosexuals.” With that kind of framework, what is your perspective on what exactly those health or psychological problems are in homosexual or same sex relationships?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Well, there’s that one report. There’s a plethora of reports that say the opposite. Now, again, keeping in balance, children raised by homosexual parents seem to have a lot more problems, but the question is, how many of those problems are because they were raised by homosexual children? How many of the problems are because society looks down upon it and creates problems that wouldn’t be there otherwise?

David Enevoldsen:           That’s a really good question.

Donald Enevoldsen:        I realize there’s both. There are things that a father provides to a child that a mother simply can’t. I don’t think we have time on this show to go into it, nor am I enough of an expert on it, probably, to really elaborate on it at any great length, but there are things that are wrong there. Then there are things that are wrong in a marriage where there’s a husband and wife and there’s adultery going on, or there’s drug abuse or there’s anything else. It’s not that different than any of those other things.

David Enevoldsen:           Okay. I think I’m inclined to agree with that.

Donald Enevoldsen:        You know, to focus just on gay marriage as here’s the problem. I should clarify too that when I lived in Los Angeles, I had a lot of gay friends. I had two guys, actually, who had been together like 44 years, I think, which in itself is unusual, even in heterosexual communities. The guy’s conservative, Republican, and pastors a gay evangelical church. He and I have had some very interesting discussions. He became a very good friend. I’ve got good friends on the other end of the spectrum. We’ve had these discussions and they’re good people. They have a lot of the values that many of my heterosexual friends don’t have, and I wish they did. Please understand that when I start talking about it being sin, I’m saying that I think there’s a destructive element to all sin because it just isn’t the way we were designed, and it causes problems. That isn’t the same as saying you’re going to hell because you’re gay. I want to make that really clear.

David Enevoldsen:           Interesting.

Donald Enevoldsen:        That’s not what we’re talking about.

David Enevoldsen:           Well, this seems to go back to the thing that I hear people say often, but don’t necessarily hear practiced, which is, “I hate the sin, love the sinner” concept.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Kind of, but I really hate that saying. We’ll come back to that.

David Enevoldsen:           Okay. We’re going to take a quick break. I’m attorney David Enevoldsen. I’m joined by my guest, Don Enevoldsen. When we return we’ll be discussing more about the intersection of family law and Christianity. If you want to call in and ask any questions you can do so by calling 602-277-KFNX. You are tuned into Family Law Report on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX.

Speaker 10:                       Family Law Report is hosted by Family Law Guys, an Arizona family law firm. Family Law Report is dedicated to confronting difficult issues related to marriage, divorce and children. This can range everywhere from addressing the legalities and controversies of topics like gay marriage, to current problems in the divorce system, to simply providing tips to those getting married, or going through a divorce or custody fight. Tune in every Sunday to Family Law Report at noon, here on KFNX. If you want to know more, or to schedule an appointment with David or another one of the Family Law Guys attorneys, call 480-565-8680. That’s 480-565-8680.

David Enevoldsen:           Welcome back to Family Law Report. I am your host, David Enevoldsen, attorney with Family Law Guys, an Arizona law firm, here with you every Sunday at noon on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX, joined today by my guest, Don Enevoldsen, who also happens to be my father. He’s here for Father’s Day. Thank you for joining me.

Donald Enevoldsen:        My pleasure.

David Enevoldsen:           If you want to reach out and schedule an appointment with my firm, Family Law Guys, you can do so by calling 480-565-8680, or you can check us out on our website at www.familylawguys.com. If you are listening and you want to call in and ask any questions or share thoughts, you can do so by calling 602-277-KFNX. Today we’ve been talking about the intersection of family law and Christianity. Right before we went to break, you mentioned that you hate the statement, the whole “hate the sin, love the sinner” comment. I want to shift topics away from the homosexual thing here, so we can get to some other stuff, but can you explain briefly why you hate the saying?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yeah. Well, I can try. Not so much because of what it says, but because of the attitude behind it, usually, which is usually one of judgment. You’re a horrible sinner, but I’m going to love you anyway, you dog.

David Enevoldsen:           Interesting. Yeah.

Donald Enevoldsen:        That attitude almost always seems to go with it, so I cringe when I hear people say it, because the idea really, Micah 6:8 in the Old Testament is a verse that I think, if we just got ahold of it, would be better. It says, “What does God require of you? To do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly before your God.” Well, that’s the whole Bible wrapped up in one statement, I think, if we got ahold of it. The problem is that too many evangelicals love justice and do mercy. That makes them very judgmental. We’re supposed to do justice, which means treat people fairly, but we’re supposed to love mercy, which is very different than just doing it. The attitude, I think, makes a world of difference in how we approach any of these things.

David Enevoldsen:           That definitely resonates with me a little bit. I mean I pay a lot of attention to kind of the words you use to kind of shape what’s going on. The Scriptures that you have, and this has been a big thing for me lately, shape not only the narrative that you’re telling yourself about, the world around you, which sort of shapes your perception of it, but alters in you and other people around you.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yeah, and you can even … I mean if we transition into the topic of divorce …

David Enevoldsen:           Let’s do that.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Let’s do that. The same thing applies because most of evangelical … God hates divorce. That comes from Malachi chapter two. That’s kind of a bad translation because the context of that, it says that what God really hates is … I need to kind of clarify. The Hebrew word there, for those listeners who aren’t familiar with the Bible, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, so the original language was a Hebrew word that would be more like our word separation. In other words, it’s more that God hates separation.

                                             The reason was because in those days a woman was not allowed to issue a certificate of divorce against her husband. In other words, she was just stuck with him unless he decided he wanted to divorce her, and then he would issue that certificate. He could also issue a certificate of separation, meaning that if he didn’t like her, he could … become a legal separation, basically, what we would call today a legal separation. He could send her away, which is what that word is there. God hates that separation, where he could send her out into the street without the means of support, but she couldn’t remarry because technically she wasn’t divorced. In the polygamous societies of the Old Testament, he could remarry, because a man could have as many wives as he wanted.

                                             The context of Malachi, what it says is in another verse right in that context, says, “You’ve covered yourselves with violence as with a garment,” so it wasn’t that God hated the divorce. In fact, Jesus said that Moses gave them divorce because of the hardness of their heart. What God hated was the violence they did to one another. Rather than just go ahead, separate, issue the divorce, allow her to remarry and get on with her life, there was a vindictiveness attached to that separation that was trying to make her suffer. There were husbands that were using that as a way of perpetuating that violence.

                                             It’s the same in the discussion with gay marriage. I mean if we’d stop doing violence to one another, most of the gays I know don’t believe in the Bible anyway, so why am I expecting them to adhere to a Biblical command that I’m beating them over the head with? Well, divorce has a lot of the same issues with it. What God hates is when we do violence to one another. If we learn to do justice, treat one another fairly and act with mercy and love mercy, then life would be a whole lot different at so many levels.

David Enevoldsen:           That’s an interesting angle to me. What is your stance, generally, about, if we can broaden this out a bit, about divorce? Do you feel that that, in modern context, is an acceptable practice? Certainly I’m a divorce attorney, so I take a position that …

Donald Enevoldsen:        And just for the record, I am divorced.

David Enevoldsen:           Sure, which I’m aware of.

Donald Enevoldsen:        You are aware of.

David Enevoldsen:           But our listeners may not be.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Yeah. Our listeners may not be. You know, your mom, I know, is listening to the show.

David Enevoldsen:           Sure.

Donald Enevoldsen:        It was probably the most amicable divorce on record. We didn’t even hire attorneys. We went down and filed the papers ourselves. We’d reached a point where we couldn’t go on together and was it right or not? I don’t know. If I’d been a better husband at the time, or knew more about it, maybe it would have been different. Certainly we could say the same for her. I don’t know. I probably shouldn’t put words in her mouth.

David Enevoldsen:           I guess my question is more, if you put on the Christian hat, I mean if you’re just looking at it through a Christian lens for a second, do you feel that it is an inherently wrong thing to get a divorce, or do you think it is appropriate at times? There seems to be a lot of stigma from the Christian community.

Donald Enevoldsen:        I think it’s appropriate at times, and in most cases it’s because there’s so much damage or violence being done within the relationship that for it to go on means a great deal of harm. When I was growing up, divorce was almost unheard of.

David Enevoldsen:           Sure.

Donald Enevoldsen:        In fact, you hear in evangelical circles there’s a lot of lament over the increase in the divorce rate in the church, which is now pretty much the same as in secular society.

David Enevoldsen:           By the way, it doesn’t seem to be true, with the stats that we’re seeing.

Donald Enevoldsen:        Well, it depends on how you break it down. Amidst those really conservative evangelicals who attend church regularly, the divorce rate is a lot lower.

David Enevoldsen:           Well, I guess, so I’ve talked about this on some recent shows. Some of the stats that I’ve been seeing is that divorces are actually on the decline …

Donald Enevoldsen:        They are.

David Enevoldsen:           … but marriages are also on the decline, which seems to have some sync together …

Donald Enevoldsen:        Exactly. Yeah.

David Enevoldsen:           … which, I think, preempts a question relevant to this discussion, in that what do you think of that within, again, this sort of Christian lens, that there seem to be fewer marriages happening, and I’m assuming because, and this is just my own injection into the thing, we’re seeing less divorces because we’re seeing fewer marriages, and I think we’re seeing fewer marriages because of the prevalence of divorce in the past. [crosstalk, 51:38].

Donald Enevoldsen:        That’s a lot of it. I think, because I lived through the whole feminist movement, and the evangelicals around me, of course, and I, at the time, too, lamented the impact it was having on the family and marriage.

David Enevoldsen:           Sure.

Donald Enevoldsen:        We just looked at the divorce rate that was going up within church circles and saying how horrible this was. Family quality is down. The more I learned about abusive relationships, and I should mention that …

David Enevoldsen:           That’s exactly where my thought was going.

Donald Enevoldsen:        … my current wife, Christina, deals a lot with abuse issues. The more I’ve learned about that … Her website, by the way, is overcomingsexualabuse.com. She talks a lot about these issues. The more I’ve learned about, the more I’ve realized that when divorce was not an option, women put up with a lot of things. When we had a situation where the feminist movement started to basically allow women to start saying, “I don’t have to put up with this,” they had an option to get out, which was not really there. Legally they could have gotten divorced before, but society in general and the social norms didn’t really allow for it. In a lot of ways an increased divorce rate is actually indicative of an improvement in the quality of those marriages that do survive.

David Enevoldsen:           Well, that’s exactly where my head … Just as an aside, if I can inject my legal frame on this whole thing, there’s been quite a shift, and we’ve talked about that on some previous shows, in terms of how you can get a divorce. There’s been a conservative reaction to that. For example, just one basic thing that we look at in the divorce universe is the grounds upon which you can get a divorce. It used to be that you’d have to show what was called fault, which would be something like cruelty, significant abuse, somebody strung out on drugs or had some severe alcohol problems, somebody abandons you. It would be something extreme like that. Short of one of those things, you couldn’t just go and get a divorce. It seemed that amidst this … And of course the laws are very often a product of the societal understanding of what’s going on. We started having this shift into a no fault divorce, which basically said that, and this is the case in Arizona, you can just go to the court house and say, “I just don’t want to be married anymore.” Then you can get a divorce on those particular grounds.

                                             Now there’s been a reaction, and we had relatively recently, for example, called getting a covenant marriage. I know we were talking about this a little bit before the show, where you can contractually reimpose fault into the marriage. This, of course, is a conservative reaction to try to chill the effects of divorce and try to stop people from actually getting divorced, but then you take into these considerations things like abusive relationships, where, in my opinion, you should be breaking up the relationship because you have, say, a woman, or children sometimes, that are in these situations that need to get out. You agree with that?

Donald Enevoldsen:        I do, and in terms of where divorce is at today, I think it is actually too easy. It causes people to not take it as seriously as we ought to and put as much into the relationship as they should. This is true in early Rome, too. Again, clergy were not involved in weddings until the 1400’s. All you had to do was just say, “I want to be married,” in front of witnesses and you were married. The same thing with divorce. “I don’t want to live with you anymore.” You’re done.

David Enevoldsen:           Yeah. Okay. Well, it seems like we could talk about all of this for quite a bit more time, but that is about all the time we have for today’s show. Just real quick, if somebody wants to find more about you, where do they go?

Donald Enevoldsen:        Counterthought.org, or Counter Thought on Facebook.

David Enevoldsen:           All right. That is about all the time we have for today’s show. You have been listening to Family Law Report. I’m David Enevoldsen, an attorney with Family Law Guys, an Arizona law firm. I’ve had with me my guest, Donald Enevoldsen, who is also my father. We have been talking about the intersection of family law and Christianity. I hope you join us again next week on Sunday at noon for more of the latest on family law, here on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX. Don, thanks for being here.

Donald Enevoldsen:        It was a pleasure.

David Enevoldsen:           Thank you all for listening.

Speaker 10:                       Family Law Report is hosted by Family Law Guys, an Arizona family law firm. Family Law Report is dedicated to confronting difficult issues related to marriage, divorce and children. This can range everywhere from addressing the legalities and controversies of topics like gay marriage, to current problems in the divorce system, to simply providing tips to those getting married, or going through a divorce or custody fight. Tune in every Sunday to Family Law Report at noon, here on KFNX. If you want to know more, or to schedule an appointment with David or another one of the Family Law Guys attorneys, call 480-565-8680. That’s 480-565-8680.

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