marriage and family: July 2005 Archives


| | Comments (1)

The above word was famous in my childhood as being the longest word in the dictionary. I have no clue if it still has that honor, but I thought it would be a good title for what I really want to talk about right now, which is one of the clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Article [I.]
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I would think that, given the positioning of this as the very first item in the Bill of Rights, the Founding Fathers were pretty interested in preserving the rights enumerated above. It is pretty amazing how few citizens of the USA actually know the exact language of this article, or even what the phrase means in a literal sense. I do hope that when our newest justice is confirmed, that he will continue to strictly interpret this clause.

Hopefully, we won't get to the point in the USA where governments think that they have the right and the responsibility to regulate religion. (wow, what a tongue-twister of a statement - sorry about the alliteration). I was recently sent information about some commentary on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that supposedly suggested that government regulation of religion would be a good thing. While I recognize that the print version of the story has been written and promulgated by a special interest group, it still seems to be pretty damning to me that the CBC found it of value to publicize this kind of comment:

"I envisage a congress meeting to hammer out a code that would form the basis of legislation to regulate the practice of religion. Like the professional engineers' P.Eng designation, there would then be RRPs (or registered religious practitioners). To carry the analogy to its conclusion, no one could be a religious practitioner without this qualification."
"I won't try to propose what might be in the new code except for a few obvious things: A key item would have to be a ban on claims of exclusivity. It should be unethical for any RRP to claim that theirs was the one true religion and believers in anything else or nothing were doomed to fire and brimstone. One might also expect prohibition of ritual circumcisions, bans on preaching hate or violence, the regulation of faith healers, protocols for missionary work, etc."

Sounds like he is after not only Catholics, but also Jews and Evangelical Christians here, and maybe even the Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Scientologists! Sounds real close to a call for the establishment of a state religion. It also reminds me of the situation in the "People's Republic" of China, where the Catholic church is underground and only the Patriotic Catholic Church is recognized.
I haven't listened yet to the audio of the full commentary so I have no idea of the context in which this was stated. I don't know if there was any rebuttal provided, either. I am not at this time condemning the CBC for airing this, but I do find the fact that at least one person has this idea to be quite alarming.
Question for my Canadian readers - do any of the Provinces (or does the country as a whole) have an Established religion? If so, does this have any effect upon public discourse?

In resonse to this from Erin
Fathers and mothers have different roles, absolutely. I think that one of the earliest steps to the confusion of these roles was that mothers voluntarily gave up their God-given gift of breastfeeding. Anyone (male, female, adult child, relative or total stranger) can give a baby a bottle. Bottle feeding was the earliest stage of the scientification of motherhood. Mothers no longed learned their craft from other mothers, and eventually came to rely upon 'scientific' methods for everything from infant feeding to toilet training and a whole lot more. The care of the infant and the child was there upon turned over to others besides the mother, leaving her to be simply a servant to the chores of the household. Her unique role was lost.

Don't get me wrong - I do recognize that for some rare circumstances, artificial infant feeding is a necessity and that the research into preparing adequate substitute foods has saved many lives. But in general, the first step to turning child care away from the mother starts with the baby bottle. The popes, throughout history, have always encouraged Catholic mothers to nurse their infants themselves if it were at all possible. (Father William Virtue did his dissertation on Catholic motherhood, it is a fascinating read and I wonder how much more he would have put in there if the TOTB had been more fully developed).

Fathers start taking on mothering when they feed the baby with a bottle. This has been going on for at least 80 years of which I am aware (I have both fiction and non-fiction from the 1920s where this is commonplace). Fathers started to encroach on motherhood by taking on first the 'fun' stuff - and eventually mothers reasoned that if they can do the fun stuff they should also do the drudgery stuff.

Fathers can nurture babies and children in some pretty unique ways that mothers can't. My dh was an excellent burp the baby guy, and he walked fussy babies so that I could get in a shower or a few bites to eat. My husband took all our children to work with him at various times - he has taught all of them how to handle one set of tools while I taught them to handle others. Both the boys and the girls have been taught to cook and to care for themselves and their environment. I don't think that it's unreasonable to expect that both men and women should be able to care for themselves in case of need.

Most jobs have a fair degree of drudgery involved. My days at work I spend much of my time doing the same basic physical exam on one woman after another. It would be pretty boring if I couldn't engage them in conversation and do some health teaching. Sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor, chasing a toddler out of the cupboards for the nth time, doing 7 loads of laundry, those are pretty exhausting and boring.
The big differences between paid employment outside the home and being a stay at home mom are pretty big. Two that come to mind are:
1) the concept of PAID! Our culture doesn't value the unpaid work done by anyone, be it the volunteers at church or the work of moms.
2) the opportunity to interact with adults. as a kid, I would see moms talking to each other over the back fence as they were hanging laundry - 3 dozen diapers a day and so on. the interaction was built in to the way things were done, but now we don't hang laundry and most households have no one at home daytimes

does a ft sahm need a college education?


read wonderful commentary here

And while you're on her blog, also scroll down and check out her recommended reading list for pregnancy.

February 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28    
The WeatherPixie

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the marriage and family category from July 2005.

marriage and family: June 2005 is the previous archive.

marriage and family: September 2005 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.