Do you ever have days like this?

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There are days when I run up against a brick wall, in that there are world views that are so totally different from what I value as a Catholic Christian. It is hard to quantify, but it has to do with the 'of course' reaction to various day in and day out events.
For example, I was reading a blurb about a restauranteur in the Boston area. It mentioned early on that she had twin children, that her business partner was her ex-husband, and my 'of course' reaction was "Oh well, too bad they didn't work on keeping the marriage going, but at least they are an example to the children of one kind of partnership". But at the end of the article, I learned that the children were the product of artificial insemination with an anonymous donor. Excuse me? Did I read that right? Yep - she wanted children and heard her biological clock ticking to she just went and did it - high tech style. I don't know and would not presume to guess why she didn't have children while married. I was just flabbergasted that what once would have been a private issue now becomes a tidbit in a fairly humdrum nnews feature.
I have some others that come to mind, but I am having trouble figuring out how to share them without compromising the privacy of some of those involved. I'm not out to pass judgement - that is for God and I'm not He! I just want to try to share how every so often I am brought up short by the contrast and disparity between Catholic moral and social values, and the commonly accepted cultural values.
I was talking to a medical student about OB/Gyn docs like Dr. Hilgers, who do not prescribe artificial hormones for any purpose, including contraception, cycle regulation, etc. I was mentioning this in passing when discussing how that caused him to do a lot of research into the female cycle, and how to support rather than suppress that cycle. The student expressed the opinion that it was 'unethical and cruel' for a doctor to impose his judgement on women by refusing to prescribe contraception. I was taken aback - I don't know why - and wasn't able to whip out my usual snappy reply about it being unethical to prescribe dangerous drugs when there is a safer alternative. It was just such a knee-jerk reaction on the student's part. I did point out that this doctor is perfectly up-front about his practices, and that patients do have the right to choose to see or to avoid him.
These moments have a way of making me think about the upcoming election. Maybe the Second Coming is at hand. Maybe we will all meet on the fields of Armageddon. Last I heard, the Sox were ahead in game 3.
Addendum - Dawn Eden posts a letter from a reader that says what I was trying to say, only much much better!


I felt that way when I looked up the last number that called us via star-69, which I later realized was the poll my husband had answered about whether he was voting for the local Republican. Apparently the same firm had been calling people about "gay marriage" measures in other states. I found a blog discussion on the subject in which a commenter who seemed highly representative of other participants in that discussion said those who believe homosexual behavior is immoral are becoming the equivalent of "clansmen [sic] and communists" in terms of the deference people feel their views should receive in the making of social policy. I felt pretty down after reading that thread. I know Christians should expect this kind of thing but I wish my children would not grow up in a society increasingly hostile to the Faith.

I find it interesting that a medical student thinks it's ethical not to treat women like women and to force that medicalized ideology on his patients. I'd guess most women would rather support their cycles rather than go nuts trying to suppress them.

I couldn't find anywhere on Dawn's site to post a comment. I read the letter from the woman who spoke against a charity solicitiation which included Planned Parenthood on its list of charities and divided up the money with it.

I was at coffee after daily mass when I heard a man say his wife works for United Way. I spoke up and pointed out that United Way gives money to Planned Parenthood, and even though one can designate gifts, that just frees other money to go to PP. I said we should not support any organization that has ANYTHING to do with Planned Parenthood. The man was offended. Then the priest said that St. Patricks School, the parish grade 1-5 school, gets a lot of donations through United Way!!! I told him that I thought that that was wrong too, and that the school should tell its parents and any other potential donors please to give directly and not through United Way. He just shrugged. He is not a radical or an activist or any one who would preach anything against the church's teaching. I am sure he thinks abortion is wrong. And yet this situation doesn't bother him. Why?

I think we have yet to learn that in this society "respectable" does not mean ok for us to be involved in.

Susan Peterson

How many of us take the time to be aware of the conflicts between what "seems" reasonable and licit and our religious beliefs?

When we make the choice to follow our Catholic beliefs there are things we truly cannot do. Obeying the precepts of the Church (all of them - no cafeteria here) remains a truly countercultural behavior. Reading the writings of the early Church fathers (pre 400AD) is an eye opener. PP is simply a reactivation of parts of the Roman Pagan culture.

I can hear the complaining now. "We've outgrown that" "We're post-modern" "We're better than that".

Two words: Original Sin. "We don't believe that anymore!" Sadly, that is true for so many who call themselves Christians. But it is there in the Bible. We have a pre-disposition to be disobedient.

PP has been successful at "positioning" by association. They are a part of United Way and UW "only does good".

The constant repetition of an untruth can lead to that statement becoming a "fact" in so many peoples minds.

I still remember hearing the statement "Don't trust anyone over thirty". I was amazed then by how many of my peers jumped wholeheartedly into that belief. It is being played out again with today's youth. The PP sites and "programs" that Dawn points to are evidence of PP chosing to manipulate that sentiment for their own gain. They take advantage of an "age appropriate" sense of rebellion. This is combined with the need to "fit in". This brings to mind the sarcastic remark about "an individual like everyone else".

From what I've observed, most who read this Blog think on their own. At the same time most have come to realize that faith is not mindless. By faith I mean (in part) understanding that some truths are universal. And that these truths are immutable. Thou shall not murder is one of them.

My friend just had an overdue "over 40" medical exam over here in the UK. They went through her whole medical history and when it came to birth control/contraception, there was no box to check for "a pregnancy would be just fine/no problem". The nurse was at a loss and had to just fill in "advice given" or something like that. She was incredulous that, at age 44, my friend would be just fine with a pregnancy. Especially since she already has four kids.

It's definitely different!

I really struggle to remain truthful to the Church and to object to all those things that "seem" right, and not just nod along with everyone else. I try my hardest to be a truth-teller, but sometimes I don't try hard enough. I know I'm doing well when I get the funny stares.

Example One: I always wish newly married couples a fruitful marriage, and the blessing of children to warm their home. Some people look at me like I have three heads and say, "We haven't decided about kids yet." If they were married in a Catholic church, I always try to gently point out kids are one of the main purposes of marriage. And I always share my joy over my two little ones.

Example Two: I am so sick and tired of people making variations of the same remark: "Oh, you must be so glad to be done! (having kids)" Since I conceived my second, I hear it once a week. When I and smile and say, "oh, we're just getting started", most people think I'm nuts. "Oh, we'll see if you're still saying it after the baby is born" people said.

Well, the baby is three months old, and I had a 37-hour labour folowed by a C-section, followed by a month of recovery, and I'm still saying it. I'll have to have every other child via a section, because it was my second, and I'm still saying it. And it drives ZPGers nuts. Many people get quite rude and tell me I'm being selfish. (Ironic or what?)

I try to remember what Martha Sears always says when people ask her why she brought 8 kids into an "overcrowded" world. "The world needs my children," she says.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on October 26, 2004 11:11 PM.

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