Karl & Judy Schowengerdt are friends of my parents, and attend the church my family and I went to before I was an interim pastor.  Their son, Randy, who was involved in the homosexual lifestyle died as a result of complications caused by AIDS.  This was an extremely difficult time for them, and I am so thankful that they shared their experience.

Karl also wrote a guest column today for the Des Moines Register:

Our hearts go out to people caught up in homosexuality. The destruction and pain that homosexuality leaves in its wake is deep and impacts so many more than just the individuals caught up in the activity. We now know several other couples who are struggling with a son who chose to engage in homosexuality. We know the pain they endure, and understand when they reach out for help. One person’s homosexuality causes stress and strain on every friend and relative who truly cares about them.

For the Iowa Supreme Court to sanction homosexual "marriage" is to encourage and underwrite the negative results that naturally come from the homosexual "lifestyle." Aside from the physical destruction inflicted on those who practice homosexuality and the incredible stress homosexuals cause their extended families, society often pays a hefty price as well. Randy lost his job when he was no longer strong enough to work. With the loss of that job, he lost his ability to insure himself. As a result, you the taxpayer paid for more than $250,000 in medical bills for this one AIDS patient.

For those still uncertain about homosexual "marriage," please understand that the more accepting we are of homosexuality as a society, the more likely it is that your family, and society in general, will suffer the pain that ultimately results. Homosexuality took the life of our son. We oppose homosexuality and homosexual "marriage" in the hope that we might help another family avoid the pain that we have endured.

Update: Read my comment policyhere’s why I have it.

2nd Update: I’ve decided to close comments due to being targeted by a couple of blogs and discussion boards encouraging people to “flame me.”  I really don’t have time to answer to comments of people who have never been to this blog or will likely come again.  I think my regular readers have had a chance to weigh in here.  Most of the vile remarks likely came from this target campaign.

89 comments
  1. That isn't the point. Karl's point is that it was avoidable, and that the taxpayer's shouldn't have too. He isn't making a point about how government spends taxpayer money. He's warning of the natural consequences of this lifestyle. I think they showed tremendous compassion and love toward their son.

  2. I wonder if liberals ever give a second thought to systematic ethics before they spout off questions about what Jesus would do.

  3. I couldn't agree more!

    Take, for example, Matthew 46-48
    If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  4. What many people forget when it comes to sin of any kind is that Christ never accepted or condoned the sin. He accepted the sinner, forgave the repentant sinner, and called and enabled them to fight further sin. We forget too often that “tolerance” and love do not mean accepting sin as good or God-pleasing. It means that we communicate to the person trapped in sin that there is a way to a better life.

  5. And what of personal accountability?
    2 Thessalonians 3:10

    If someone wants to engage in harmful behavior, that's their prerogative, but they should not expect others to pick up the tab when it comes to the consequences.

  6. Lets be clear about something, “homosexuality” did not kill Randy, AIDS did. The same as how “being Jewish” didn't kill 6 million holocaust victims, Hitler did.

    Being gay is not something that happens by choice. People are born gay. Being raised in a society where the norm is heterosexual, it is very easy to feel like an outsider if you know you're different from everyone else. It gets to the point where you can almost convince yourself that it is just easier to live a lie than try to be happy with everyone judging you the way you were born.

    Karl and Judy Schowengerdt obviously love their son and are upset that they lost him to AIDS. Where I get upset is how self absorbed they are. They seem to only care how they are affected. He was clearly living the lie by portraying himself as a heterosexual. Could you imagine being heterosexual in a society where the norm is homosexual. Would you choose a homosexual or heterosexual lifestyle?

  7. Wouldn't being in a committed monogamous relationship by being married to the person one loves, whether same sex or opposite sex, make that person less likely to contract any sexually transmitted disease though?

  8. I suppose pointing out the very, very high correlation between homosexuality and self-destructive choices– such as unprotected, multiple-partner sex, anonymous sex, and drug use– would just be ignored?

    There is an entire movement of “former” homosexuals. It is not uncommon for women in college to become GUD– Gay Until Graduation. Both of these factors are counter of your claim that it's “how they were born.”

    You also ignore that it's not the existance of the inner desire that is condemned– it is the activity. Same as we don't judge folks who are tempted when they're married, we judge on when they break their vows.

  9. Thanks for posting this. I have some extended family members going through this with one of their kids. (a distant cousin of mine) This kid grew up in the Church, as a PK. It has been difficult for the family.

    In response to some of the comments here:

    First, the Bible is clear on the matter. End of story. We all sin yes, but as a Christian, it is not OK to justify the continuing of unrepentant sin. If you do not believe the bible to be the word of God, there is nothing to discuss, that has to be the premise for the discussion.

    Second, we need to love the homosexual, and show them Christ's love and grace. This is a sin like so many others, it just happens to be more public than the man having an affair, or the one addicted to pornography. We are still called to show love.

    I know that doesn't really fit in totally with the discussion, but we need to be reminded.

  10. Why do you think gay people are self-destructive? It's because they are bigoted and ridiculed by people like you. It's why you don't want them to be married, is because you would have to acknowledge the gays as equals.

    Marriage helps support Monogamy hense no HIV.

    There is no such thing as a “former” homosexual, it's a fraud. It's a way to steal money from people.

  11. Why do you think gay people are self-destructive? It's because they are bigoted and ridiculed by people like you.

    If your logic were sound, then Christians in the US would be one of the most self-destructive groups around.

    There is no such thing as a “former” homosexual, it's a fraud. It's a way to steal money from people.

    You, sir, are a fraud and a liar. Any time someone starts to presume to speak on the flat non-existance of someone else's sexual attractions, it becomes clear that they are not being honest.

  12. I find this all really too weird – to be honest. Someone even deviated into the territory of calling another person a 'non-Christian' because they can't support this idea. Funny.

    Gay people are allowed to marry in Canada – where there is no real AIDS epidemic in the gay community – which is why this is not the 'norm' (as much as it is suggested by the writing).

    Is there actually proof gay sex is causing AIDS or just promiscuity? We need to go at the core problem – and if it aint homosexuality – then lets attack the promiscuity in our society (which BTW is rampant).

  13. It's not scientifically verifiable that a person is “born homosexual” but let's assume that it might be true for a moment. People are born every day with various tendencies. For example, if someone has a tendency to become an alcoholic what do we tell him or her? We tell them not to drink because of the destructive life consequences that occur because of alcohol consumption. This is basically the same kind of compassionate conservative message to those practicing a homosexual lifestyle. We're concerned because of possible health consequences. It's not a healthy way to live physically, psychologically, or spiritually. And this is why the Bible has some strong warnings against practicing homosexuality. What the Lord tells us is for our own good personally and as a society.

  14. People are not born gay there is not any proof for that. The only study I have seen that even pointed that direction was proven a sham. I said that AIDS killed Randy, now how did he contract it? While heterosexuals can contract it as well, homosexual men are at higher risk.

    Randy did not have those inclinations growing up or in college. It wasn't until he was in a low point in life when he was approached.

    What would I choose? Heterosexuality because that is what my faith teaches. I'm a man under authority, and that authority says that homosexuality is wrong regardless of what society says.

  15. No, because comparing the persecution gays face to whatever Christians do is total bullshit.

    Get back to me when Christians start committing suicide over being persecuted or being disowned by their families.

  16. Christ was, by all intents and purposes in the time period he lived in, a liberal. He rebelled against modern religious authority and stood against the sham that authority had created under the guise of “godliness” and “religion”. In fact, if memory serves me, he tore apart the inside of a temple, he was so furious.

    Additionally, the only commandments Christ gave were loving God and loving your neighbor. Are you saying that it is you, and not God, who can decide what constitutes as sin?

    Please, tell me, also… what qualifies you to treat homosexuality as a sin? And before you say, “it's in the Bible”, I also must ask – do you eat pork? What about shrimp? Do you shave? Do you wear clothes made of one entire fabric? Do you avoid any and all contact with a woman on her period?

    Why is it that these rules are all clumped together in the Bible, yet modern Christians tend to observe a select few of them?

  17. In the words of the interwebs: lrn2reed.

    .It's because they are bigoted and ridiculed by people like you. does not equal “persecution.”
    (incidentally, I could have very easily pointed out that “they are bigoted” is quite true– they are utterly intolerant of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own. I chose humor, instead.)

    You want to see persecution? Check out Iran– you know, the place where they “do not have homosexuals”– because they murder anyone accused of it.

    Whining that you're prosecuted because the dominant culture won't validate your life choices and objects to your spitting on thousands of years of history…that's just childish.

  18. So you deny that gay people are persecuted by saying how they get killed in Iran?

    And that you have no sympathy for all the gay teens who kill themselves because of people like you just proves what a monster you are.

  19. If you would like to include world-wide prosecution, that would include China and other places where it's more dangerous to be a Christian than to sleep with men.

    And that you have no sympathy for all the gay teens who kill themselves because of people like you just proves what a monster you are.

    Ah, again with the mind-reading– as well as alluding to junk science. (since the only published statistic I'm aware of is that well-debunked claim of 30%)

    By telling them that they must define themselves by acting on there sexual urges, and by lying about what options are out there, it is you who drive them to despair.

    There are thousands upon thousands of churches that would be delighted to try to strengthen folks who are tempted in any sin– and homosexual activists tell confused kids that, if they do not act on their urges, they are liars and worse. They are lied to, that SSA groups are brain-washing centers, and that the only way they can ever be happy is in an endless string of physical gratification.

    These same lies are the ones that result in women being used and tossed aside by men, and men realizing later on that their children have been killed– it is no less wrong when it is heterosexuals who are told these horrific, harmful lies.

    That you try to pawn off the horrific side effects of your espoused philosophy on those who try to prevent the vast harm just shows how very, very deluded you are.

  20. Tracking AIDS in the U.S. – it sprung from the bathhouse crowd in San Francisco (homosexual) and was largely a homosexual epidemic in the 80s, but did carry over to heterosexual community.

    Promiscuity is the problem with both homosexuals and heterosexuals.

    AIDS in Randy's case was caused by homosexual sex, and gay men are still at higher risk.

    I don't buy what you're saying about gay community in Canada – you haven't had gay marriage that long. Do you research to back that up?

  21. Chelsey,

    You want me to address all of this in one comment? Here's a brief response, but it is all I have time for right now.

    He spoke out against legalism… adding to the law. He didn't tear apart inside the temple, but overturned the money changers' tables because they turned it into a marketplace and were cheating the people.

    Those laws you list are dietary and ceremonial laws that do not apply to Gentiles. Jesus also said that He fulfills the law, and in Acts, God in a vision told Peter that that meat was now considered clean.

    Much of that, in the Old Testament, had to do with making sure His chosen people, Israel, was set apart for Him, and does not apply to the Church.

  22. And I'm talking about the US, not China. In the US, Christians aren't persecuted.

    But keep on justifying all the blood on your hands.

  23. Chris,

    No one is condoning any of that. And having worked with teens who struggle with homosexuality, yet it saddens me when that happens.

    Having compassion on homosexuals doesn't have to equal agreement with their lifestyle though.

  24. Yes, they sound like such great, loving, accepting parents. I'm sure they'll win “Parents of the Year.”

  25. “What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?
    There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”
    American Psychological Association
    http://www.apa.org/topics/sorientation.html

    If anyone would want to cite proof that homosexuality is genetic, I'm sure the APA would!

  26. From a Biblical perspective:
    We are probably all born prone to some sins more than others. So the fact that someone is born that way. . .well, I may have been born covetous and not honoring my mother and father. And I may struggle with this for the rest of my life. And another man maybe was born a murderer. . .but it does not excuse the justification of continuing to live that way. . .IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN>

    Having said all of that, I don't expect my non-Christian homosexual friend to act like a Christian, so I don't preach against homosexuality at him, but rather continue to preach the gospel and remind him of the gospel.

    There are several different discussions going on here. And whether you are a Christian or not will dictate where you stand on this.

    So, if you are not a Christian, then whatever it is you believe about this, I am not surprised. You don't have anything that builds a foundation for where you stand on this, it is all a matter of your opinion. (I am speaking in general, not just to Amanda.)

    And if you are a Christian here, the answer is clear, and to justify homosexuality is heretical.

    If I was a murderer and in court, a defense that would say “I was born this way and my Dad beat me on top of it, so the murder wasn't really my fault” would probably not keep me out of prison. So I could really care less about what the APA says. I stand on what the word of God says.

  27. If you are talking the US, then you can't use the persecution of homosexuals in Iran; if you aren't, then the murdered Christians in China are just as valid.

    But keep on justifying all the blood on your hands.

    Oddly, mine are clean.

    Apparently, your conscience is not.

    1. Um, you’re the one who brought up Iran in the first place, not me.

      And earlier you said, “Whining that you’re prosecuted because the dominant culture won’t validate your life choices and objects to your spitting on thousands of years of history…that’s just childish.”

      Despite the efforts of people like you, gay people are becoming more and more accepted every day. You’re losing the battle.

    2. Um, you’re the one who brought up Iran in the first place, not me.

      And earlier you said, “Whining that you’re prosecuted because the dominant culture won’t validate your life choices and objects to your spitting on thousands of years of history…that’s just childish.”

      Despite the efforts of people like you, gay people are becoming more and more accepted every day. You’re losing the battle.

  28. You’ve got to be kidding me. “Caught up in homosexuality?” as if it’s a choice? It’s NOT. No one chooses to be born gay, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Go fuck yourselves, homophobic twats.

  29. Fuck you, you piece of shit. You’re a hateful, nasty person and I can’t wait for you and all the ignorant inbred sacks of smegma like you to die horribly.

  30. Fuck you, you piece of shit. You’re a hateful, nasty person and I can’t wait for you and all the ignorant inbred sacks of smegma like you to die horribly.

  31. Go ahead and delete all of the comments. You’re still an idiot, and karma is going to eat you alive.

    GAY PEOPLE OUT THERE DO NOT LISTEN TO MORONS LIKE THIS. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND DESERVE EQUAL RIGHTS AND EVERYTHING THE REST OF THE WORLD DOES. FUCK THE HATERS!

  32. Go ahead and delete all of the comments. You’re still an idiot, and karma is going to eat you alive.

    GAY PEOPLE OUT THERE DO NOT LISTEN TO MORONS LIKE THIS. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND DESERVE EQUAL RIGHTS AND EVERYTHING THE REST OF THE WORLD DOES. FUCK THE HATERS!

  33. Yeah! Fuck the gays! White Supremacy! Make all women wear burlap sacks!!

    But seriously… we aren’t living in the 1700s anymore, Paco. Time to realize that gay isn’t a choice, you’re either born that way or you aren’t, and even if it was a choice? So WHAT? It’s not hurting everyone. AIDS has nothing to do with being gay. It can be spread through blood transfusions, and heterosexual sex, too. Get a life.

  34. Yeah! Fuck the gays! White Supremacy! Make all women wear burlap sacks!!

    But seriously… we aren’t living in the 1700s anymore, Paco. Time to realize that gay isn’t a choice, you’re either born that way or you aren’t, and even if it was a choice? So WHAT? It’s not hurting everyone. AIDS has nothing to do with being gay. It can be spread through blood transfusions, and heterosexual sex, too. Get a life.

  35. Hi, Coleen. I totally agree with you. 🙂 And I agree with what Tom said above that it doesn't truly matter! Just wanted to quash the misinformation that it has been scientifically proven when it has NOT.

  36. I feel bad for the family and the pain associated with AIDS. However, AIDS is what hurt their family, not homosexuality or gay marriage. Your argument holds no water.

  37. Complications from AIDS took their son, not homosexuality. I do not see how allowing gay marriage would perpetuate the “homosexual lifestyle” because when you agree to enter into a marriage contract, you are promising monogamy to only your partner.

    Also, yes taxpayers had to pay for his medical care, but he himself worked before he became ill and I'm assuming paid taxes which helped care for other people in their time of need in this wonderful socialistic society of ours and which thankfully also paid for his care to make sure that even as he passed away he was receiving top notch medical care and the ability to die with dignity instead of having him trown out and the street to suffer.

  38. @Tom, @Shane: While I have no scientific proof that people are born gay, you have no scientific proof that shows this is not the case. I can only speak from my own experience in knowing the feelings that I had when I was growing up. Shane, do you feel as if you had to make a choice to be heterosexual? Did you have both homosexual feelings and heterosexual feelings that you needed to pick from? My guess is no. You probably were born with this desire or your brain made a subconscious decision at a very young age.

    It has been my experience in talking with homosexuals and heterosexuals that while some had feelings towards both growing up, most only felt a sexual attraction towards a single sex.

    In regards to the “homosexual lifestyle,” one cannot make vast sweeping statements that because part of a group (a small part at that) makes choices that might not be considered “healthy,” the entire group should be shunned from society. Just because a small part of African Americans choose to use drugs, should we take back all their human rights? I'm sure we all agree, NO. In fact, the opposite tactic is used to correct the situation in this small percentage of the population.

    African Americans have countless new government aid programs and scholarship opportunities that have developed over the last several decades to help correct the disproportionate number of African Americans that are involved with drugs and violence. Providing the gay community with equal opportunities and allowing them to participate as normal couples do in society would reduce these “self-destructive choices” that you claim haunt the community. I argue that not allowing for gay marriage only decreases the quality of homosexual relations and thus increases the chances that that relationship will fail.

    Foxfier, I ask you if the society norm was to be homosexual and you still had the inner desires that you do (I assume heterosexual), would you choose to suppress those desires and live a homosexual life just to make everyone else happy? This would mean you would be forced have sex with someone of the same sex as you… Could you handle that?

    Foxfier, I need also remind you that I go as far as my local news stand or turn on judge Judy to see hundreds of reminders on how the normal heterosexual society participates in unprotected, multiple-partner sex, anonymous sex, and drug use. Also taking note at what a small percentage of these stories would involve a homosexual.

  39. Perhaps if they could actually get married and have real relationships without being ridiculed and made to feel like less than “real” men, you'd see many more monogamous relationships among gay men. Instead of having to hide who they are because some people are not as civilized as they should be, and like to beat on gay men to make themselves feel better, they could actually date and get married, just like you did.

    Certainly not all men would choose to be monogamous. Even if they choose to sleep around, like millions of straight men do, they wouldn't be the ones wanting to get married! Players don't want marriage, no matter who they're playing with.

    I notice your entire debate is centered around gay men and AIDS. One of the least likely groups to get AIDS are lesbians. So, then, is gay marriage fine for lesbians? Why should lesbians not be allowed to get married, if your primary argument against gay marriage is that gay MEN spread AIDS? Gay women rarely have sex with gay men, after all.

    I honestly don't care if people are born gay or not. It makes no difference to me. The gender of the person you marry changes nothing at all except the box that is checked on the marriage license. The risky behavior you may or may not engage in is what has serious, and sometimes terrible, consequences such as AIDS, and that is by no means a reason to ban gay marriage. If anything, it is a reason to promote marriage and monogamy regardless of gender.

    Lastly, I'd like to say that the “gay culture” is a misnomer. The media shows what sells. Plenty of gay people are quietly living in the suburbs, with no particular distinguishing characteristics to let you know we're gay. We just happen to fall in love with people of the same gender as we are, and that's the only difference. What you see as the gay culture is what you notice about openly gay, even flamboyant, people. Don't let it fool you. We're all over. You just don't notice us, because we look, and often act, just like you.

    Have a great night, and God Bless.

  40. Actually, as far as AIDS risk is concerned, lesbians are far less likely to contract it than straight people. But, honestly, AIDS risk has nothing to do with whether or not people deserve equal rights and general respect.

  41. Shh, don't mention the children who are committing suicide because of anti-gay bullying. They don't want to hear it. Nor do they want to hear that you don't actually have to be gay to suffer from the anti-gay culture. Nope, someone or multiple someones just have to *think* you're gay in order to have license to torment you.

    They would rather believe that they are the real victims of persecution when in reality they have no earthly idea what persecution actually means. Oh yes, the poor, oppressed Christians! Maybe, someday, we'll come far enough to have a Christian President! Or perhaps, 44 of them! Consecutively!

    It's their MO — they get upset when they're called on their bigotry, and then they try to turn it around and claim they are the victims of intolerance.

  42. Okay, let's assume for a moment that your theory is sound:
    AIDS = homosexual disease. AIDS is something that happens to gay people because of their dangerous lifestyle.

    Can you explain to me how, if being a homosexual is so incredibly dangerous, that the group of people least likely to contract HIV from sexual contact are lesbians? If there is some kind of divine design to HIV and risky sexual behavior, why is it that lesbians are FAR less likely to contract HIV from unprotected sex than heterosexual people? The argument that HIV is a gay disease falls apart when you factor in gay women.

    And tell me, if people are not born into their sexuality, at what age did you decide to be straight?

  43. Yes, it does equal homophobia. You can attempt to deny that you are anti-gay all the livelong day; it doesn't make your assertions true.

    Bigots never like being called out on bigotry. It's understandable, because the truth is painful.

    You know what breaks families? The inability to accept your family for who they are.

  44. I didn't say it was a homosexual disease. I said in the U.S. it was spread at first by homosexual men. That is a historical fact. Any STD is a natural consequence to sex outside traditional, monogamous marriage. And yes, lesbians are not at risk. It doesn't make the behavior normal or acceptable.

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