Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Are feminists at war with their own biology?



So, I'm just chugging along writing my next post, when a comment from "college student" (for whom I have a great deal of affection) pops up on a previous post. (Comment #461, by the way!! What a great conversation it's been!)

The part that intrigues me enough to stop writing my new post and write this one instead is the following:


"I have a big issue with gender roles. I have a big issue with all of your assumptions about women, that their bodies were made to breed and sustain other people…."


[blink, blink]


I (and many others) have contended that feminists are at war with their own biology. 


I have to ask "college student" and any other leftist feminist out there: If we women were not "made" to "breed" and "sustain other people" with our bodies, then why, in your opinion, were we made with ovaries and a uterus? Aside from procreation, what meaning or purpose do those organs have?


Are you, in fact, at war with your own body, your own biology? If not, can you help me reconcile your sentiments with a woman's biological reality?


Thanks!



507 comments:

  1. Things that make you go hmmmmmm......

    I love that icon! Seriously love it!

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  2. I'm afraid to subscribe....

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  3. Well I have a problem with people expecting me to be potty trained! If it's my body, my choice...

    Never mind.

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  4. Are priests and nuns at war with their biology? I'm not being flip--I'm really curious to see your response. Do you consider their struggle okay because it's a sort of "Holy War"?

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  5. Pedro, great question! No, they aren't. They are single people, so they don't have sex. (Sex is a privilege of marriage.) But they know what their bodies are made for, and that their reproductive organs were designed to create children. They exist to bring a married couple together as "one flesh" and produce new life! Priests and nuns are pro-marriage and pro-life, so there is no "war against biology" there. :)

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  6. I realize plenty will say I'm at war with my body because I'm gay--butttt, I'll try to provide a comment regardless.

    I think it might be better to call this line of thinking postmodern liberalism. And to be certain, I think most feminists welcome children. I think they question the gender roles, which has nothing to do with biology and sexuality but the cultural and psychological constructs associated with them.

    Feminists want to be able to have careers and families, and just because a male and a female have a kid shouldn't mean that the female drops everything while the man keeps going.

    I guess I consider myself a feminist, and I just think that it should be made easier for people to raise families regardless of their gender. I'll add more later!
    -Peter

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  7. Pedro, what is this "Holy War" of which you speak? I'm not getting that.

    There is no war between marriage and the celibate life. From Catholic Answers:

    "Most Catholics marry, and all Catholics are taught to venerate marriage as a holy institution—a sacrament, an action of God upon our souls; one of the holiest things we encounter in this life.

    In fact, it is precisely the holiness of marriage that makes celibacy precious; for only what is good and holy in itself can be given up for God as a sacrifice. Just as fasting presupposes the goodness of food, celibacy presupposes the goodness of marriage. To despise celibacy, therefore, is to undermine marriage itself—as the early Fathers pointed out."

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  8. We may be born biologically male or female but not necessarily masculine or feminine. Gender roles are products of society. Expectations about how men and women act, dress, carry themselves, even speak are often delineated by societies.

    Feminists (at least the ones I choose to admire) are not at war with their biology, but concerned with society's proscribed ideas about gender roles largely based on whether people are male or female. In other words, because I have ovaries and breasts should not mean I have no choice but to stay home, raise children, cook meals and clean house or that men because of their parts, should always have to work, earn money and go hunting. Now, if people WANT to do these things and are HAPPY to do them, that's one thing. But our society associates certain practices as masculine and feminine and these expectations are usually backed by public policy, societal expectations of "normal" and so forth.

    To give a famous anthropological example, in the 19th Century, White anthropologists were amazed to be introduced to a Zuni "woman" named We'wha who was born biologically male but excelled at practices associated in Zuni culture with women: pottery, sewing, cooking, etc. She was accepted as a woman and dressed in women's clothing and participated in rituals as a woman.

    Lastly, when feminists argue that access to birth control should be available to all women who want it, the idea isn't to disavow that sex creates babies or that our uteri are being denied their rightful purpose. The idea is that consenting adults can have relations as equals thereby either choosing to assume responsibility for any created babies or postpone/prevent pregnancy. Of course, in real life it isn't always so conveniently worked out like this, but consider that for hundreds of years (in the western world at least) habitual sex for women meant either recurrent pregnancies and children, miscarriage, and/or death during childbirth while men were able to have sex as they pleased pretty much and choose whether or not to be fathers.

    Thanks,
    Gwen

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  9. Peter, no Catholic dogma exists that says that women cannot work and have fulfilling careers. Of course they can! But college student was arguing for abortion because our female bodies "were not made to breed and sustain life". That seems to contradict biology at its most basic and obvious level, no?

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  10. Gwen, thanks. So you are disagreeing, in a way, with college student? You do admit that women's bodies were made to "breed" and sustain life?

    I know the concept of "gender" as "societal construct" is a big thing in feminism. I don't think it's as tricky as it sounds. Men and women really are fundamentally different, and the case of the Zuni "woman" is an anomaly, don't you think?

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  11. Semi-long-time lurker here and first time commenter....

    I don't consider myself a feminist. I'm actually fairly traditional in my beliefs concerning gender roles...

    But I am personally at war with my body as an Infertile woman who the doctors can't figure out what is wrong (we're "Unexplained Infertility") and my husband is hesitent about adoption. We've gone as far with treatment as our Catholicism will take us and DH is unsure about adoption.

    So I'm somewhat stuck.... my body won't do what it was created to do (carry a child - I can conceive but I can't "get pregnant") and there's nothing - NOTHING that can be fixed. So I'm stuck.

    Sorry.... just a bad day as three "friends" on Facebook were whining about their fertility so I'm a little touchy.....

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  12. Jen J, I am so sorry. That is horrible, and I know there are many women on these blogs who understand that pain.

    I would say that you are not so much at war with your biology, but you simply wish your body would function in right order.

    I am glad you piped in and I will pray for you to become a mother. God bless you!!

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  13. Jen j- I'm interested in what you have tried....mainstream dr told me I had unexplained if but creighton dr found otherwise.....I understand and hear your pain. Have you had surgery ?

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  14. Hi Leila, back again, and hopefully less controversial this time!

    I agree with Gwen and Peter - it's not so much a war against biology as a struggle against the societal expectations surrounding that biology. There's definitely no denying that women are evolved (or made, if you like) to reproduce. I think the issue most feminists, including myself, have is with the expectation that women use and singularly devote their lives to that biology. Not anyone can give birth to a baby - some gender roles are nonnegotiable - but anyone can raise kids, anyone can have a career, etc. regardless of gender.

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  15. I didn't mean to suggest that marriage and celibacy are at war. I meant that priests and nuns "opt out" of the biological functions of parts of their bodies and that must be a struggle (for many, at least). I called it a "holy war" because I thought you might find it justified by its religious purpose. That's sort of what you said when you called celibacy a sacrifice to God.

    But you're right to point out that priests and nuns aren't having sex and, therefore, aren't at war with the purpose of sex (as you/they see it).

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  16. I think the issue most feminists, including myself, have is with the expectation that women use and singularly devote their lives to that biology.

    Michelle, hi again! Do you think that marriage and motherhood are a slavery of sorts? And that our biology makes us slaves to it (thus the need to chemically alter, surgically sterilize, abort our offspring)? Or do feminists feel that a female's biology is a gift, something to be cherished and worked with, revered?

    Also, I think you and Peter would say that it matters not if a child has a mother and a father, or two mothers and two fathers, because mothers and fathers are interchangable, bringing nothing necessary and unique to the table?

    And one more question if you have time: When you say we "evolved" to reproduce.... what was the crossover from when we couldn't reproduce (is that what you are saying?) to when we could? How did that transition take place?

    Thanks!

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  17. Pedro, yes, I think we can agree. I would call it a "holy sacrifice" and not a "holy war" -- but yes, you've got it right. :)

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  18. Where is this societal pressure coming from to be stay at home mom? I'm really confused by this because if you look around you see a lot more 2 income families then you do single income families.

    I am a stay at home mom and I can tell you I get a lot more "what do you do at home all day" questions then I do get pats on the back.

    Actually I would love to have a pat on the back! hahahaha

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  19. Sew, consider this your pat on the back!! :)

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  20. Leila,

    Are we at war with our biology, I am going be the first to say yes! so what?

    My body does some things I like: it allows me to enjoy food, to see sunsets, to take walks. My body also does a lot I don't want it to do: I develop sinus infections every time the whether changes, sometimes I get pimples, sometimes my period gives me horrible cramps...I treat the things I don't want it to do, i try to protect the things I do want it to do.

    Lets say there was science to support that my body was designed to give me pimples or cramp every month. Or I wasnt supposed to have perfect eye sight at 92. So what. It wouldn't make a difference to me. would it make a difference to you?

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  21. I did say this

    "I dont like the assumptions about women, that their bodies were made to breed and sustain other people…."

    I do understand the irony of that statement because on some level all species are made to reproduce:) But I think in contemporary society we recognize that the purpose of life isn't to breed breed breed!

    I merely meant to say just cause women's body has the capacity for something doesn't myour individual has to do it or is supposed to do it. For instance the clitoris, like your uterus and ovaries has a specific purpose: to give you pleasure. Even though this body part was designed for pleasure doesn’t mean women should design their life around their clitoris' ability to organism.... same thing goes by their uterus' ability to gestate children

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  22. college student, regarding pimples (disorder of the skin) and cramps (which can be normal if mild, but if they are too severe, they are a disorder of the menstrual cycle, possibly indicative of endo or some other pathology), I wish you would go back to the paradigm of ordered vs. disordered, not "what I want" and "what I don't want".

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-about-ordered-vs-disordered.html

    You can fight your biology, even when it's ordered. Many people do. But they do not, then, have bodily integrity. They do not and cannot have peace. How can someone have interior peace when they are fighting against who they are? Unfortunately, the Women's Studies folk and the liberal college campus (artificial as it is) have taught you and others that even our biology is our enemy. If you want to live like that, you can do it, but it's a hard way to live. So much better to work and live with your body and your femaleness than against it. You're young yet, so you are not yet tired of fighting with yourself. But one day you might be….

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  23. Taste buds are designed to give pleasure, too. We don't "design our lives" around them. But we do recognize their proper design. We don't fight against our taste buds. Feminists seem to fight against their reproductive nature. Even the slogan, "reproductive freedom" implies freedom from our own (oppressive) bodies.

    That is sad to me.

    Do you think that the reproductive capabilities of women are more profound then, say, the ability to taste? Or to experience orgasm? Why or why not?

    Also, if you don't mind my throwing this in there: We Christians are called to recognize and love our neighbor. We love our neighbor as ourselves. Who, in your view, is your neighbor?

    Thanks!

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  24. Just jumping in here to say I agree with Peter (Anonymous) that this line of thinking (which is being debated) ought more accurately to be called postmodern liberalism than feminism. Feminism is first and foremost the concept that women are broadly gifted and capable, in Catholic terms that woman was "created a person for her own sake" (Theology of the Body)... and in John Paul II's sense, the new feminism deeply cherishes motherhood in both its physical and spiritual forms.
    I've debated this in very "postmodern liberal" forums, and I feel pretty strongly that I will not give the word "feminist" to women who disregard womanhood, reject all that is feminine, or refuse to see the glory of being other than male.

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  25. Sew, I too pat you on the back because I do recognize how very hard and demanding motherhood is whether one stays at home (and runs a bazillion errands) or works.

    And you're quite right, most people cannot afford to have one income support the household. There is so little support for women who want to have children and career (or need to have both) which again is where the idea of utilizing some sort of family "planning" method comes into play as important.

    And no, I don't think we'wha is an anomaly. As more archival, historical and ethnographic work is done that uncovers practices all over the world where gender means different things to different societies, the easier it is to such things as more commonplace than one might think.

    -gwen

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  26. Christine, I am so with you! I hate, hate, hate, that the liberal post-modern, post-Christian liberal has co-opted the term "feminist". Sadly, the average citizen does not even know what "postmodern liberalism" means, but they do know generally what a modern "feminist" is. It's so sad. I have tried to fight against the co-opting of terms such as feminist and marriage, etc. But I still want to be able to reach those who don't remember the traditional understanding of anything. (For example, I myself am a classical liberal, and I hate, hate, hate what leftists have done to pervert the meaning of that word. Sigh.

    So, I'm with you, Christine. :)

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  27. Whoops, sorry, I was redundant in that second sentence! Boys swarming me...

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  28. And no, I don't think we'wha is an anomaly. As more archival, historical and ethnographic work is done that uncovers practices all over the world where gender means different things to different societies, the easier it is to such things as more commonplace than one might think.

    Gwen, I don't believe that we are suddenly "uncovering" the widespread understanding of male and female as societal constructs and that "genders" are "fluid". I just don't believe that. I understand that that is what is taught in Diversity Studies and Women's Studies, etc., but that's about the only place it has credence. All societies recognize that men are men and women are women. Roles can vary to a certain degree, of course, but there is not a "spectrum of genders", as if men and women don't exist, except as societal constructs.

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  29. Some more insight about the beliefs of feminist. This isn’t a defense just my own observations which I made up just now ☺

    Feminism is based on the idea of equality. Essentially it says lets look at what men can do. Men can have sex for pleasure, they can have sex without pregnancy, and they can have sex and expect an orgasm. They are not required to ever use their bodies to sustain other people. They are allowed to put themselves first without guilt. They are not required to be caring or nurturing. They can pick a career they want. They don’t have to take time off for maternity leave. Their children do not impede their ambitions. They can be ruthless. They can be independent.

    WHY CANT WOMEN DO THESE THINGS?

    Well for one, some of these things aren’t the best things. Also there are biological differences. Maybe we as a society should have focused on making men more like women, instead of making women more like men. Maybe. But if we want to know why women ‘want to be more like men’ its not difficult to see . Being a ‘woman’ (this is in the most stereotypical sense) is a thankless job, with sagging skin and sticky hands. ‘Being a man’ is glamour’s self-fulfilling work. Again the world needs people to act more like women (compassionate selfless, caring). But the world (not just the liberal world but the whole world) rewards people to act like men (competitive, ruthless self-serving) is it a wonder that women want to compete?...like I said that was more my stream of consciousness than argument

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  30. College student, you are right that feminism is all about "equality". To them the biggest evil in life is inequality. To Christians, the biggest evil of all is, well, evil (i.e. sin). So, feminists fight to be the same as men (??) and Christians fight sin.

    You are right that not all the "manly" traits are good. But instead of making women more like male cads (money-obsessed, using people for selfish gratification), why didn't feminists simply insist that men act more like heroes? Why not insist that both men and women become more virtuous, not more selfish?

    Ideologies based on "equality", by the way, usually leave a huge and bloody body count. Communism is all about equality, after all, and I think we are in the multiple tens of millions of dead humans in that cause. Feminism, the same: To be "equal", we have to be able to be "unpregnant". The body count for that equality here in America? Fifty million + dead babies, and counting. "Without apology". We have to be equal, right? Sometimes there is collateral damage....

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  31. But the world (not just the liberal world but the whole world) rewards people to act like men (competitive, ruthless self-serving) is it a wonder that women want to compete?

    Women have been sold a bill of goods. And they are suffering for it. Christians believe we are to be in the world, not of it. And we also know that the world will hate us. So what? The peace that comes from doing right is indescribable. We seek to please God, not the world.

    CS, I need to get you off that college campus, ha ha.

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  32. Wow, you guys really go at it here, don't you?!

    To be sure, both men and women are "made" to breed, whether you think that's by God or by evolution. I see college student admitted that.

    I know this is a copout, but I don't like getting into arguments about abortion. I hate hate hate it, but I think the conversation should always be directed towards AVOIDING abortion, that abortion isn't the problem, that it's sex ed. blah blah blah.

    I think same-sex parents are viable. They can contribute the same core things to a child. Can two men provide breastmilk (most awkward question ever)? No, but they can raise a child who is inquisitive, loving, compassionate, etc etc etc.

    To be certain, I'm not sure it's fair to talk about abortion AND liberalism AND postmodernism in the same line. These are all three VERY DIFFERENT things. True, postmoderns tend to be liberal, and liberals tend to be pro-choice. But we should be careful about throwing these adjectives together. Postmodernism is a diverse school of thought with a lot of dissent within itself, and just like conservativism, it's not fair to generalize any of these ideas.

    "All societies recognize that men are men and women are women. "

    @Leila- Even cultures that have a gender binary don't exhibit the same gender roles as Western thought. There has been a rich diversity in the history of gender, and while it's typical to see gender binary, there's plenty of cases of people and ideas existing outside of it.

    Feel free to take what I say with a grain of salt. I study SCIENCE, but I enjoy reading postmodern literature and gender cultural studies. I think the lessons gleaned from them are valuable for everyone, secular or not.
    -Peter

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  33. To be sure, also, I think that equality for gay marriage is fought for to make lives of gay couples easier, so we're not marginalized by those family members and people in society who feel free to rob us of our money and property. Gay marriage is fought for so our children can be raised for properly. Families reared by same-sex couples will always exist, and by not giving them the same rights and privileges from the federal government is flat out bigotry and discrimination. I doubt anyone even cares if you call it marriage or not!
    -Peter

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  34. I don't think motherhood and marriage are slavery at all! If they're freely chosen and embraced, they're great. If there's a sort of expectation that a woman will marry and have children and stay at home to raise them, and there's a stigma associated with rejecting those norms, then that's a bit different. I don't think we're slaves to our biology or to society necessarily, but throughout history society has imposed gender roles that feminism sees as outdated. Also, I do consider female biology to be a gift, and I do think most feminists do as well. Are we obliged to use it, though? I don't think we are.

    And, yes. I don't think parental gender matters. I grew up with a stay-at-home dad and a working mom, and things worked out just fine. I know that's not quite the same as having two fathers or two mothers, but I do think it goes to show that gender isn't really a defining factor in how you'll approach your role in a family. If two people are committed to loving one another and loving and caring for their children, then I don't see anything wrong with that, regardless of gender.

    Haha, to your last question - that was poor wording on my part. Very, very early on, we (and by "we" I mean our single-celled ancestors) reproduced asexually, but eventually evolved sexual reproduction, which was preferable because it allowed us to have more genetic variation among individuals. Didn't mean to imply that humans didn't always reproduce sexually!

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  35. The thing I have with the whole not fighting biology thing that is forces a path for a women. That eventually she would have kids (it is there, right).
    Do you think it is OK for a women to say that she NEVER wants kids? What about in a marriage, could a couple say they do not want kids, and use NFP religiously.

    I know plenty of people who do not want kids.

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  36. Peter, here is why I cannot call gay relationships "marriage":

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/06/while-were-at-it.html

    I see this convo veering into a discussion of gay "marriage", but I am not sure I want to go there now. I want to do a post on it someday, and really lay it all out. I don't think this is that day. Meanwhile, dinner calls and I will answer more in a bit....

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  37. That's fine. Don't call it marriage. But don't make it impossible for gay couples to raise children, pass on their inheritance to their *life-long* partners, and be able to visit their lifelong partners in the hospital when they're dying! Like I said, don't even bother calling it marriage if you don't want to. It's just affording them the legal privileges they deserve as contributing members to society and as lifelong, monogamous partners. Just wanted to throw that out there, we can definitely put it on hold for another day! For now, to the homework...
    -Peter

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  38. Gender roles are products of society.

    I'm curious how many of the commenter's who agree with this statement have children.

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  39. I honestly don't know any segment of society that isn't actively seeking more approval from society and peers. We just seem to go about it in different ways, with different ideas of what is worthy of admiration, what constitutes success, and what aspects of society work against us. I don't see how it's a working woman issue.

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  40. @nellakat - you do understand what gender means in this context, right? Society expects certain sexes to act certain ways, and this is policed by the way parents raise their children. Just because you have lady parts doesn't mean you inherently wear pink! Society and your parents teach you that rule! (Also, I have one pink button-up, and it's pretty awesome.)
    -Peter

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  41. Leila: " Why not insist that both men and women become more virtuous, not more selfish?"

    DING!! Why did women, through "feminism" (mainly artificial birth control and abortion) sink to the level of irresponsible men, instead of insisting that men rise up to the level of virtuous women?

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  42. Amen Nicole! My husband is the total opposite of all of those awful male descriptors College Student listed (like you said CS, not an argument just your thoughts at the time - I'm just continuing that stream). As I'm sure many of your husbands are. THAT's the standard. Not these guys who call themselves "men" and act irresponsibly. Nor are these ladies "women" who accept that behavior and act equally irresponsibly.

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  43. I keep getting the implication in this thread that in today's society, women are "expected" to be stay at home moms. I don't know where everyone else lives, but I can say with certainty that here on the East Coast I get the exact opposite reaction. People always ask me what "I do" (as in, a career). When I say, "I stay at home with my son" I often get an awkward reaction, as if I seem to think it's 1952. Just my observation and experience. Makes it hard for me to believe that the whole "women are supposed to be at home with 10 kids...not in the workforce" mentality still exists very much these days.

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  44. Nellakat is correct, I believe. I am not a "Gender Studies" professor, but I have been a parent for nearly twenty years. I have eight children, six boys and two girls. The girls and the boys are very, very different.

    Peter, you said: Society expects certain sexes to act certain ways, and this is policed by the way parents raise their children.

    This is naive. I know you are young, still in college, and you have no children. I understand that you believe this. But it's not true.

    I can promise you, when my boys saw a doll, they used it to hammer things and smash each other with it. When my girls saw a toy truck, they would walk by it. Or maybe put a barbie in it and take it for a ride around the "park". I didn't not tell them to do so. They did not watch TV shows which told them to do so. From infancy, my boys are girls have been different. Different energy levels, activity levels, inclinations.

    This doesn't put us in a box: My husband is the cook in the family. I don't cook. My husband decorates the house for holidays. I don't decorate. I assemble the lamps, the cabinets, etc. I use the electronic equipment. I control the remote. Believe me when I say, he is all man and I am all woman. We are not "gender fluid". Our children know he is a man, and they know I am a woman. It is innate in each of us. We are not interchangeable (I still haven't heard if you think mothers and fathers are interchangeable?).

    I like pink shirts on men. I don't have one boy who wants a pink room.

    Peter, you are a young gay man. I don't think you would consider yourself a woman. You are not a woman. You are a man. Women and men are different, inherently.

    Society is not making up "constructs" to force girls to be girls and boys to be boys. They just are what they are: girls and boys.

    More soon….

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  45. I have three kids plus one on the way, and I work outside the home by necessity, not by choice. It's difficult, but doable. I wish I didn't have to, though. I think society at large does women a disservice when it sends the message that you can do kids or a career, but not both at once.

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  46. Also, I have two girls and one boy. I have given my oldest daughter trucks and permitted my son to play dress-up with his sister. Despite that, my daughter is a girly girl who loves pink and princesses, and my son loves trucks, sports, and superheroes.

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  47. Leila: " Why not insist that both men and women become more virtuous, not more selfish?"

    DING!! Why did women, through "feminism" (mainly artificial birth control and abortion) sink to the level of irresponsible men, instead of insisting that men rise up to the level of virtuous women?

    This was actually semi what I was getting at, finally some sort of consensus.

    Lets work together to make this society. But until we have it can you see the use ( or at least the perceived use) of measures to keep women from getting pregnant. Can't you see how in a society where the end goal is riches, pregnancy IS undesirable? Do you think you have an obligation to change that society?

    The (young) women I see have the attitude about their biology because our society demands it. Why is pregnancy seen as a 'disease' to be cured because it de facto makes getting an education harder, it makes getting a job harder, its expensive. it makes you less competitive. These ain't frivolous things these are fundamental things. What should society do to change this, what pro-life conservative pro-family laws can we pass to help us out with this to make pregnancy not seen as a disease

    I think everyone in the world is my neighbor Leila, don't you?

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  48. Michelle, I think you are right. It's not a proper comparison to say that having two dads is the same as having a working mom and a stay-at-home dad.

    The Catholic Church has no issue at all with stay-at-home dads and working moms. We know two families who are personal friends (devout Catholics) where the mom works and the dad stays home. In the case of one of the families, the dad has been the homeschool teacher, while mom works in an accounting firm! Their third child is our godson. In another family, the mother worked until the oldest was in college, and the dad stayed home (we teach engaged couples together). The kids have no confusion about who is mom and who is dad.

    Peter, I am guessing you don't want your future child to call you "Mommy", correct? Because you could never be a mommy to a child. You can only be Daddy. A child deserves his mommy and his daddy. You cannot replace a mother, and neither could your male partner.

    There is a difference in essence between a woman and a man, between a mother and a father.

    Michelle, this is totally out of curiosity, but how did "our one-celled ancestors" make that transition from asexual reproduction to sexual reproduction? I can't imagine that "middle ground" transition, and how that would work, but then again, I am not a scientist. Help me out.

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  49. Can't you see how in a society where the end goal is riches, pregnancy IS undesirable?

    But college student, YOUR goal doesn't have to be "riches"! Why do you follow the crowd? Haven't you seen that we Catholics here have chosen to take the better path? Why should you go along with the selfishness of society? I live a beautiful life, am normal and healthy and happy, have a good marriage and a lovely home, and I don't have "riches" as my goal. I have virtue, joy and peace as my goals. Goodness and truth and beauty as my goals. You can do this! Be counter cultural! :)

    Do you think you have an obligation to change that society?

    I have an obligation to change myself, first of all.

    I think everyone in the world is my neighbor Leila

    Except for the unborn?

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  50. I'll be concise. I'm not a woman, I don't plan on it. I'm a cis-gendered guy, and that's what I'm attracted to. I've never said anything about gender fluidity, because I don't think I have the background to discuss it. But I don't care what other people choose to self-identify as, as long as they're comfortable and happy. I know that might not sit well with everyone here, but I have no place telling anyone what gender they should be/ought to be/ or ought not to be. People can dress, talk, and behave with any set of gender roles they choose too.

    No, I can't "replace" a mother, and neither can my boyfriend. The difference is our assumption. Neither of us is trying to be a mother or replace that role--we don't see the role of "mother" and "father" as inherent to the family. These are names applied to parents of certain genders. I don't think there are specific roles for a mother, or specific roles for a father. There are things each and every parent ought to do.

    I think we're agreeing a lot, in that people turn out every which way regardless of what we think they should. Some boys play with dolls, some girls like sports and trucks. Who cares?!
    -Peter

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  51. we don't see the role of "mother" and "father" as inherent to the family. These are names applied to parents of certain genders. I don't think there are specific roles for a mother, or specific roles for a father.

    This is absolutely heartbreaking to hear. And a complete denial of the reality of how children were designed to come into this world, and into a family.

    It's like the new paradigm is, let's make it up as we go along, because we "feel" it.

    How tragic for the children, who have every right to their mother and their father. It seriously breaks my heart. There are times that the broken world cruelly dictates that a child not have a mother or a father, but to do it on purpose? Not cool.

    I am off to mother my children now. Back in a bit.

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  52. Leila, it might be heartbreaking for you to hear because you can't understand our perspective. You can try to, but until you've weather the marginalization of being gay and then falling in love in someone of the same sex you can't.

    And while you understand the family to be designed by God, not everyone does. It's been shown that same-sex couples can raise children successfully, and the children are just as happy. There's a certain pragmatism to understanding that.

    What's not cool is barring loving, same sex parents from adopting children who are scared and lonely when we can offer the same environment, care, love, and direction as any other couple.
    -Peter

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  53. Can I just say that I don't think feminists have done us any favors by fighting for "equal rights"?

    I, too, got a degree, now I'm a working woman, run a household, take care of the kids, yada yada yada (my hubby is awesome and definitely does his part) but I still haven't figured out what is so great about having a "career"? I want to be a lady of leisure! I would LOVE to stay home with my kids and play in the garden and go to book clubs! Thanks, feminists!

    I agree with Second Chances? that true feminists embrace their femininity. We are the caretakers, the heart of the home, the boo-boo kissers, etc.

    College Student, the workplace ain't all it's cracked up to be! Instead of asking, "why can't women do what men can do" ask "why should we?" I KNOW my husband would also like to not have to work...why do you think everyone is trying to win the lottery? I'm half joking, of course bc I understand that a job is a part of a man's inherent needs (or something like that---psychology 101 I think that's all I remember)

    I understand there are women out there who want to climb the corporate ladder and stare out their corner office window but I just had to get that off my chest. I'm a princess at heart!

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  54. College Student, you said "let's work together to make this society." Except...you believe we "need" the very things that I just stated created this chaos (bc & abortion). Which is, ironically, exactly the "war with their own biology" the post is about! So we'll never reach a consensus until you're able to see that those things are not natural, are disordered, and are what created this "war" in the first place.

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  55. Manda, word to the wise: you may not want to call stay at home moms "ladies of leisure" on this blog! :)

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  56. Manda: I agree with Second Chances? that true feminists embrace their femininity. We are the caretakers, the heart of the home, the boo-boo kissers, etc.

    I actually didn't say that initially, but I totally agree with it! Staying home IS my job. I don't need to work in the work force because my kids need me to teach them, to love them, and to care for them. That said, we sacrifice A LOT by not having two incomes. Our society is structured for two incomes and not having that second one requires a lot of sacrifice (no cable service, used cars, small ranch home, etc). We GLADLY make these sacrifices for our family. But it's not a luxury to stay home, it's a duty. At least that's how we see it.

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  57. Nicole, You said it! But it's ok Manda :) I love your spirit :)

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  58. St. Gianna Beretta Molla: One cannot love without sacrifice or sacrifice without loving.

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  59. Nicole,
    oh, right!:) In my dreams I'm sipping lemonade through a straw while getting a pedicure on the patio, whoops! Forgot about that pile of laundry and those pesky toilets...my little man just threw his juice cup into one of them. But I'll take that over the corporate world!

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  60. What about gay couples (for example, male) who make sure to have a women around that can be a strong role model. Yeah, there are some thing that a women cannot do, or would be better at (like explaining puberty) somebody like an aunt would be able to fill in the blanks, as an aunt.

    The kid would still have two parents. One to pick them up from school if the other is sick. And they whould still feel like they had a support system. Even Liela said that it is possible for the "typical" roles to change (ex: cooking). Why does it need to be a mother and a father.

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  61. Peter, are you saying that gay couples should only adopt scared, lonely kids (foster kids)? Or do you think they should be able to adopt infants? Or make their own via some sort of surrogate, or at a sperm bank (lesbians)?

    You are right I can't know how you subjectively feel... it's true. But I also don't know what a lonely married woman feels as she pines for the married man at work who shows her attention and affection and draws her into an affair. I don't know the sadness mingles with hope that she feels, or the excitment he feels, but I can still say, without hesitation, that adultery is wrong. I hope you can understand what I am saying.

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  62. Why does it need to be a mother and a father.

    Chelsea, because children are meant to have a mother and a father. And women and men are not the same, not just in roles, but in essence.

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  63. I'm not saying there should be any set role for gay couples, just that they are viable parents.

    Also, adultery is the destruction of love and monogamy. You can't equate adultery to homosexuality.

    But I understand that what you're saying is not that. You're saying that just because a sin feels right doesn't mean it is, but your argument ends up implying that adultery and homosexuality are in the same category, which is mildly offensive to someone who works hard to maintain a loving, committed samesex relationship. You're juxtaposition of (lesbians) is also confusing--if I ever did use a surrogate, I wouldn't pick her based on sexuality! Yikes!

    I think it's safe to say we've probably reached the point in the debate where we can't really go much further. I understand your thoughts on the role of parents, and I hope you understand mine, and I'm certainly going to keep thinking on this. I'm out for the night, but I might come back later!
    -Peter

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  64. Manda, Nicole, Second Chances, it's funny because I grew up with a very strong sense of "self" and I never, ever felt "less than" because I was a woman and not a man. I knew that I could have any career I wanted if I worked hard (my dad wanted me to be a doctor). I remember always thinking, "I am so glad to be a woman. I have so many more choices and so much more freedom than a man. I can work, or I can be a stay-at-home mom." I chose to be a stay-at-home mom (I am blessed to be able to, and it required a lot of sacrifice in those first 18 years or so...).

    The idea that I was a victim of my biology or my female nature is a foreign concept to me. That is why gender feminism never held any appeal to me at all. I've never felt oppressed, and modern feminism is built on the oppression model. No thanks.

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  65. So men cannot be caring? And Women cannot be strict?

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  66. Peter: It's been shown that same-sex couples can raise children successfully, and the children are just as happy.

    What do you mean by "successfully"? And how are you measuring their "happiness"? I'm curious. I'd love to read some of those studies.

    I LOVE your name by the way :) Peter is one of my favorite names :)

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  67. Leila: The idea that I was a victim of my biology or my female nature is a foreign concept to me.

    Me too. We are blessed. Another "small thing" to be thankful for :)

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  68. I think I'm headed to bed too. It's an Easter knockout! I'm pooped.

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  69. Leila, I hope your comment was in agreement with mine and that I didn't somehow imply that woman can't be both strong and stay at home (or have a career, etc). Just double checking! In case I did imply that, I can assure you it's not what I meant! I grew up with a stay at home mom, who also happened to debate congressional candidates on conservative issues, among other things! Hence my passion for leadership and activism. (which is why the "ladies of leisure" comment jumped out at me! :)) I'm college educated and had a career pre-babies! :) Just clearing things up!

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  70. Ok, just read SC's comment. I second! (third??)

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  71. @ Miss Leila

    I like pink shirts on men.

    Salmon, Miss Leila, salmon.

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  72. So men cannot be caring? And Women cannot be strict?

    Chelsea, of course. But that is not what makes a man a man (being "strict") or a woman a mother (being "caring"). I am caring and I am strict. And my husband is both, too. And yet, we are not the same. We are mother and father. Mother and father, woman and man… are not the same. If anything is obvious, it is this. And yet we're at a point in our society where we cannot see that men and women are not the same. We are different in our essences, and yet the left denies it. It's a bizarre place at which we have arrived.

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  73. Nicole, no don't worry!! I am in total agreement with you!! Sorry if I confused you, ha ha! Typing fast sometimes….

    Giuseppe, ha ha, yes! Salmon! ;)

    Good-night, SC!

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  74. Peter, I meant that two gay men might hire a surrogate. And a lesbian couple may go to a sperm bank. Sorry for confusion!

    Both adultery and homosexual activity are sexual sins. They are not "the same" sexual sin, but they are both serious ones, for some of the same reasons, and also for very different reasons. When I do my post on why homosexual activity is wrong, I will get in to more depth.

    You know (I hope) that it is not my intention to offend you, but I am sure that anytime you encounter a belief system which says "you're engaging in harmful, sinful activities" it's not going to feel good. I apologize for that mild sting, but you can hopefully count on me to not be ill-mannered or obnoxious when I discuss it. I cannot sugar-coat sin and I will not apologize for the teachings of the Church. I hope you can respect that, and you do know where I stand. I worry that no one has the courage to speak the truth anymore, simply because someone's feelings may get hurt. That is not me. I have to speak truth or die trying. :) I am sure I will be jailed one day for "hate speech", but Christians throughout the centuries have endured much worse for their faith.

    Thanks for understanding. :)

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  75. Oh, Peter. You just had to go ruin your credibility with the wrong "your"!

    Leila, what is it specifically that only fathers can do/provide and only mothers can do/provide? I've heard the argument that they're intrinsically different so often, but never heard a clear explanation of how other than "they just are."

    As for the evolution of sexual reproduction, I'm no expert on evolution, but I know many single-celled organisms are capable of both asexual and sexual reproduction. They can divide and create identical copies of themselves sometimes (asexual reproduction), and other times they can reproduce sexually, so that their offspring are genetically intermediate between the two parent cells. This is often a survival mechanism, and it helps introduce some genetic variation. It's possible that something like this was how sexual reproduction got started.

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  76. @ Michelle

    What is it specifically that only fathers can do/provide and only mothers can do/provide? I've heard the argument that they're intrinsically different so often, but never heard a clear explanation of how other than "they just are."

    Fathers = sperm.
    Mothers = eggs.

    Fathers = can't be pregnant.
    Mothers = can be pregnant.

    Fathers = can't feed babies their own breast milk.
    Mothers = can, for the most part.

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  77. Leila

    In my feminist days it wasn't so much my biological capability to have children that I was at "war" with. In fact, I used to be a Wiccan and in that faith motherhood is sacred, as "Mother" is one of the three faces of the goddess. Being capable of bearing children for women is considered a source of power. The war was, as others have said, with prescribed gender roles, specifically the imagined limits that were implicit in those roles.

    This was something I still struggle with as a Catholic. I remember when my Catholic friend Carolina (the one who used to drive me to RCIA) told me that a man was the "head" of the Christian family. It just got my back up to hear that.

    As a married woman, however, I can sort of see how it works out in real life. Things do run more smoothly when I defer to my husband's judgment and try to be cooperative in our marriage rather than combative. That, and I find it actually very difficult to be working outside the home. It makes my role very undefined and confusing. I'm not the one who exclusively takes care of the domestic side of the partnership, but I'm not really the breadwinner either. I find I would like to be the primary caregiver of our little girl, but its not a tenable position given our economic circumstances.



    The problem with feminism, however, is that it is fighting a war with a very undefined enemy, and because of this it tends to fire such a wide volley that ends up hitting itself. It is constantly contradicting itself because it focuses more on the negatives it opposes then the positives it is trying to attain. Women are "strong Goddesses" but they are also perpetual victims, women are mothers but they also must be manly so as not to be weak. We're supposed to be free to enjoy as much sex as men but are not to be treated as sex objects. On and on it goes...

    The Christian view seems to reconcile differences better. The wife of Proverbs 31 is a dynamic individual with strong faith, strong love of family and a great deal of passion and purpose. She's neither a doormat nor a harpy, but something right in the middle, combining strength, uprightness and docility. A kind of paradox, but unlike feminism, harmonious instead of contradictory.

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  78. Giuseppe, thank you, I do know that, and I'm pretty sure you know that's not what I meant. There's no denying that same sex couples can't produce their own children. I want to know what this "essential" difference is - why it is that a same sex couple CAN'T POSSIBLY raise children in just as happy and healthy of a home as an opposite sex couple can.

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  79. @ EVERYONE

    Here's something interesting I just read in First Things, quite apropos:

    "When the government decides that marriage is indifferent to the sex of the spouses, as it does in approving "gay marriage," it must also commit itself to the belief that the rearing of children is also indifferent to the sex of the parents. Accordingly, the State Department announced in early January that American passports will soon be minted with "gender-neutral" parental titles, substituting "Parent one" and "Parent two" for "Mother" and "Father." (And in some states for "Mother" and "Mother" or "Father" and "Father")

    This new set of titles solves one alleged problem by creating another. In one way, it is even less neutral than the old one. "Mother" and "Father" are different in kind, and don't lend themselves to any particular pecking order. "Parent 1" and "Parent 2," however, is decidedly hierarchical. How is the poor bureaucrat to rank them?

    We'll make one prediction. A few years from now, some well-funded academic will study recently issued passpors and discover that the majority of "Parent 1" entries refer to the father. He, or probably she, will be enraged. The major newspapers will carry the story, quoting feminist activists lamenting the ineradicability of sexism and demanding action, and a defesnive spokesman from the State Department who will promise a better balance from now on. A few politicians will look indignant for the cameras.

    The story will die, as such stories do, though the cause of eradicating sexual difference will, apparently, continue forever. And still fathers will roudly take their "Numer One Dad" mugs to work, and not one will ever, ever bring in a mug saying "Number One Parent."

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  80. Leila, what is it specifically that only fathers can do/provide and only mothers can do/provide? I've heard the argument that they're intrinsically different so often, but never heard a clear explanation of how other than "they just are."

    But Michelle, the essence of being a woman is not what I "do". The essence of being a man is not what my husband "does" -- it is who we are, as much as you don't seem to grasp what that may mean. The concept of "motherhood" is different from the concept of "fatherhood". The concept of "man" is different from the concept of "woman". I wish I were a poet, but I'm not. It seems so basic to me that men and women are different that I really almost can't believe the question is posed. Do you ever confuse men and women? Or mothers and fathers? I never do. Children don't either. My children know that to be a child without a mother is a tragedy. And to be a child without a father is a tragedy.

    The fact that we are having this discussion at all is a tragedy. Makes me thank God for my mother and father, and makes me so happy that my children have a mommy and a daddy. To think that the two are interchangeable, or that someone could believe that they are, is seriously astounding to me.

    I honestly don't get it.

    Michelle, I'm guessing you have no children, but do you also think there is no actual difference in having a daughter vs. having a son? Or in having a brother vs. having a sister?

    I have a sister, and I am so grateful for her! But I never had a brother. I always wanted one. Why? Because a brother is not a sister.

    I have had so many women without sisters tell me they wished they had a sister (they do have brothers/brother). Why would they wish for a sister, if they had a brother? Can you imagine something like that? Can you conceive of the fact that a sister is different from a brother, or a mother is different from a father?

    Even a little bit?

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  81. @ Michelle, ,

    Here's where we reach somewhat of an impasse. A point of clarity.

    They cannot raise a child in as happy and healthy a home because the family itself is made up of unhealthy relationships.

    Your understanding of the nature of humanity is essentially different than our understanding. We see a same-sex couple as something essentially unhealthy because it at odds with nature. A child reared in such a home would be exposed and made to participate by circumstance in that unhealthy same-sex relationship.

    Why is it unhealthy? Because a) it robs sex of its purpose. It is precisely because same sex couples can't reproduce that same-sex couples are seen by us as having unhealthy, unnatural relationships. b) it reduces sex to the feelings it gives the partners. As we can see with the raging pornography industry in the US, the rampant date-rape on college campuses, and the commonplace disrespect men have for women in thought and conversation, reducing sex to merely an activity of pleasure, or utilitous trading of affection is dangerous for relations between men and women, or men and men. It only encourages the unjust using of the other or same sex for personal ends. "Where's the love?"

    Motherhood and fatherhood are complimentary. One half ideally balances out the other. Regardless of how they share various domestic roles (cooking, laundry, cleaning, breadwinning, education, etc), there are certain qualities that tend to inhere in men, and certain qualities that tend to inhere in women that the mother and father exhibit and with which balance each other.

    Having a mother and mother, or a father and father, while the same-sex couples can attempt to make up for the lack behavioral, and psychological complimentarity, the very visual reality is that they cannot make up or substitute for biological complimentarity.

    If biology and nature truly does matter, and we don't want to destroy nature (mother earth, ozone layer, whatever you want to call it), then why would we want to oppose nature?

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  82. That's our position (minus the obvious typos and occassional grammatical error), and obviously you disagree.

    I wish we could come to a conclusion.

    By the way, I wasn't entirely (not entirely) being snarky about the whole sperm and egg thing. It is a simple reality that when a man and a woman create a baby they both contribute to that creation in a unique way.

    The man and woman become "one flesh" as the bible put it, through the child, as John Paul II put it. That child represents their unity of spirit, and love, through biology.

    That is one thing a same sex couple can never say, "You are a fruit of the unity of our relationship!"

    Before you jump down my throat about infertile couples and adoption. Infertility is something that is wrong with a man or woman's body, it isn't the natural state. Things just aren't working the way they shoud, something is broken that needs to be fixed.

    If it can't be fixed, the husband and wife always have the option of adoption. When you adopt, two things are happening, you are providing that child a home and family that he wouldn't otherwise have been able to have, and that child represents the unity of the husband and wife, that love and spirit, that would have been represented by a child had their sexual faculties been able to work properly, or had they been fixed.

    Adoption is a comprimse reached betwen law, nature, and circumstance.

    A same-sex couple does not have accidentally frustrated biological potential (meaning, they don't have the potential to make a baby together if only their sexual faculties weren't broken), there just a willful lack of potential for reproduction.

    That adopted child is no longer a representative of their potential fecundity, he is no longer a compromise reached between law, nature, and circumstance. The child simply becomes an object used to complete the natural trinitarian external image of what constitutes a family, but in an unnatural setting.

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  83. I know that many of you are straight, and it would feel unnatural to be with someone of the same sex. That would go with me too. It would feel unnatural for me to marry another women. But for someone who is homosexual, it does feel more natural, it feels right.

    I do not want to disrespect the catholic church, but if it was started by those whom are straight, doesn't that just wipe out their credibility, since to them, being with someone of the same sex would feel unnatural.

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  84. I am amazed that we even have to discuss the differences that a mother and a father bring to the table. I was fortunate that I had a few years of being a "stay-at-home" mom (my house has never been as clean since then!), the career is both fulfilling and exhausting but my babies are all in college and beyond now, and there has always been a huge difference in how my husband and I relate to and nurture our children (whether or not I'm mowing or he's cleaning the bathroom). My greatest accomplishment in life has been my children - not my degrees, not my accolades from work, not my volunteerism, etc. - but in raising young women who are better people than I am.
    Oh, and, by the way, they were raised with the notion that there were no such things as "boy toys" or "girl toys" - one loved trucks, one loved Barbies, and the other loved to play piano....

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  85. Chelsea, it's not about "feeling" unnatural. It's not about feelings, it's about right order. It's about the design of male/female, and the resulting offspring of a man and woman. I know everyone hates this comparison, but pedophiles "feel" natural having sex with children. They consider it a gift, and they want acceptance for their sexuality.

    Sex is not about how we feel we want to use our genitals to express ourselves. It's about a man and a woman, becoming "one flesh" in marriage, for the procreation and education of children.

    There is no sexual union in homosexuality. It's not physically possible. It's a biological fact. So, it may feel "natural" but it is not natural or ordered. Homosexual attraction is a disordered sexual attraction. It's not the only one, but it's one of them.

    So, again, Chelsea, it's not about "feelings". Morality is not based on subjective "feelings".

    I hope you understand what I mean.

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  86. Chelsea, let me try it this way: Do you think the moral law should be based on "feelings"? If so, do you see any problems that may arise with that paradigm?

    Thanks!

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  87. My uterus and ovaries are my favorite organs. :)

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  88. Like you Leila, I don’t think I feel oppressed by my biology, but I asked my roommates what they thought. No one felt afraid of their reproductive capacity (except for me☺) but that is more because of the advent of birth control and less because we are ‘open to life’. No one felt that that she couldn’t accomplish something because she was a woman (snaps to feminism). But the one disadvantage we felt women had biologically was our emotions. We noted how we are infinitely more attached to boys and sex than they are to us, and what an exceptional problem this has become. Said attachment makes us awfully emotional, and prone to embarrassing sobbing fits. In my survey of all of 6 college girls, this was what they came up with as the biggest disadvantage of being a women…just thought i'd share

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  89. @ College Student

    Like I said before, most guys (especially in college) are scumbags. Why even give them the opportunity to use and discard you? Patience and you'll find someone who actually respects you for who you are. It isn't a fairy tale.

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  90. College Student, You said,
    "But the one disadvantage we felt women had biologically was our emotions. We noted how we are infinitely more attached to boys and sex than they are to us, and what an exceptional problem this has become. Said attachment makes us awfully emotional, and prone to embarrassing sobbing fits. In my survey of all of 6 college girls, this was what they came up with as the biggest disadvantage of being a women…just thought i'd share"
    This is not a problem of being a woman, this is a problem of sex outside of marriage. When a man and a woman understand their marriage as a sacrament between husband, wife, and God, sex is sacred and the man is just as attached to the woman as she is to him. Having sex outside of marriage makes women vulnerable and gives way to problems with self-esteem and self-worth, along with feelings of inferiority towards men. Why isn't he as attached to me as I am to him, you and your friends wonder. Because you have participated in making the sexual act about pleasure only, making it selfish in nature...a man can get that anywhere including from pornography and prostitutes.

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  91. Leila, no, I really don't grasp what that essential difference is. Of course I can tell the difference between men and women - that goes without saying - but I don't see what it is that makes them so fundamentally different that a same sex couple raising children would be "tragic."

    Put more simply, if I have kids, they'll be raised by a mother and father because I happen to be heterosexual. But I honestly don't see what it is that I and my hypothetical future husband would provide our children that Peter and his boyfriend wouldn't be able to provide. I'd really love a straight answer on this, from anyone.

    Guiseppe, what exactly are these "certain qualities that tend to inhere in men, and certain qualities that tend to inhere in women that the mother and father exhibit and with which balance each other" and why can't two men or two women who love and are committed to each other balance each other?

    Fertility and pedophilia are old, tired arguments. Until we stop comparing homosexuality to pedophilia and suggesting that infertile couples are somehow biologically superior to same sex couples, discussions like this won't go anywhere.

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  92. Someone once said "Nature is God's first vicar." Nature teaches us about God, about what is true. To go against nature is disordered because in goes against Truth. The truth is I am a woman. I am capable of bearing children. I am not forced to bear children. I could live as a single woman or a married woman and choose not to have children. I can choose to make a career my life. But the truth is that sex is for the purpose of the continuation of people. (Sex between people that is.) The truth about my life is that I have had 8 children. I am married. I think it is a wonderful thing to have been allowed by God to do this. And yes, my children are my greatest accomplishment. I do not envy men their ability to go around having sex with whomever they please and go to work and not have to bear children or stay home and take care of them. I'm glad I'm not them. But a man who goes around having sex with different women etc. with no responsibility is not doing the right thing either.

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  93. Lesbian and gay couples may feel they are at war with a culture that does not understand them, etc., but they are really at war with Truth. I do not mean to be hateful when I say that. It is true that children cannot be the fruit of their love. Their love is sterile and disordered. This is not the same for infertile married couples because, even though nature teaches us what is true, nature sometimes has flaws, nature is fallen. Hurricanes and earthquakes, and even infertility show us this. When the laws of the land and peoples opinions ignore what is True, more and more problems will arise. Pandora's box will be opened.

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  94. Michelle,

    Other than saying that our arguments are tired, you have not actually countered the argument that a heterosexual couple is natural, and a homosexual couple is unnatural.

    Like I said, we disagree on this, so we've probably reached an impasse, or a point of clarity. Of course you're right, discussions like this usually aren't going to go anywhere for the participants since our first principles are so opposed to each other.

    However, the point isn't to get anywhere with you, the point is to come to clarity, and help people who aren't participating, who are on the fence lurking in the background, come to a conclusion about what they should believe, or accept as their first principles.

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  95. Sorry... I posted at the end of my work day yesterday and intended to get back on the home computer last night and it never happened - so I'm a little late in responding....

    @Leila~ Thanks for the prayers. I've long been a "fan" of the Catholic IF Blogs so I've been reading a lot of them and I know that they frequently comment here.

    @Sew~ I've had the surgery. I haven't met with a Napro doctor (there isn't one within a reasonable distance to us) but I've done all of the testing and drugs that they'd do. Like I said to Leila, I've read the Catholic IF blogs for a long time and have followed the procedures. I don't feel that there's much that I've missed out on a chance to do. I basically just have to continue to pray to St. Joseph that he'll work on Jim's heart.

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  96. In regard to the connection of homosexuality with pedophilia, just scroll down to the bullet points.

    Another interesting paper on the issue.

    Interesting that many ancient cultures like Greece, and Rome in its later days, where homosexuality was prevalent, so was pederasty, and pedophilia.

    Even today, in cultures like the Pashtun's, where there is an underlying homosexuality, there is oftehn a use of young boys for the sake of sexual satisfaction.

    Not a tired argument. An argument you have yet to intelligently engage other than to dismiss it as tired.

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  97. Michelle, if you don't see a difference in essence between a man and a woman, then we have definitely hit a point of clarity where we cannot continue. Let the readers decide. Maybe they will think there is no inherent difference between a mother and a father. Maybe they will.

    You did hit on something brilliant, though: When the heterosexual world decided to separate sex from procreation (with contraception), then marriage became something different. If marriage can be about sex for pleasure only, and not about the procreation of children, then really there is no philosophical reason why gays can't "marry" or even two sisters, or two brothers, or any number of other non-procreative scenarios. That is why Protestants who argue against homosexuality have no leg to stand on, if they are okay with contraception and sterilization. But that is a post for another day. :)

    And, my argument may be "tired", but to date I have not had a single answer about why pedophilia is disordered, but not homosexuality. I hear the "children can't consent!" argument, but let's say that the pedophile does not act on his "feelings" -- are the feelings still disordered? Or are they "natural"?

    Thanks!

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  98. But I honestly don't see what it is that I and my hypothetical future husband would provide our children that Peter and his boyfriend wouldn't be able to provide. I'd really love a straight answer on this, from anyone.

    They won't be able to provide a child with his/her mother. There will be no motherhood in the child's life. A mother is not replaceable. I am so sad that it's come to this, that you cannot understand the difference innately. Of course, I think you do know the difference, just as you know the difference between having a brother or having a sister (a point you didn't answer).

    When did you start to learn that there is no inherent difference between mothers and fathers? I'm not being snarky, I'm truly interested. Was it in high school? Or college? Was it part of a curriculum, or is it just a feeling you have because you have no problem with homosexuality?

    Thanks!

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  99. Why do modern feminists despise their vaginas?
    I ask in honesty. Why desecrate the true meaning of what a vagina and uterus are meant for? A broader question I guess, is why do feminists loathe anything about natural womanhood?

    Never understood that.
    Women wanting to be men. Women hating men because they're male. Women supposedly hating men because it's all a power game sexually, yet feminists are all for women lying naked in magazines, etc in the name of feminine liberty.

    Never got it. Still don't. Never will. Quite a perversion of the understanding of true "power".

    -Nubby

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  100. This is not a problem of being a woman, this is a problem of sex outside of marriage.

    Manda, a thousand amens to this!! College student, please tell your friends this! It's so sad that no one has figured this out. Life doesn't have to be about sobbing and being playthings for loser men! Look what feminism has wrought: Women being used constantly, men getting sex for kicks with no responsibility and disrespecting women to extreme degrees, and women sobbing in pain. Great job, feminists!! Way to screw up people's lives. And yet liberals are still defending all the "happiness" and "freedom". Ummmm, right.

    Nubby, I agree. The whole thing makes my head spin. I am so grateful to be living life the Catholic way. Seriously on my knees with joy and thankfulness. I remember the other way, and it's ugly. Seems from college student that it's just gotten worse since my college days. So, so, so sad.

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  101. Wow, there's a lot going on here! I'm going to throw my 2c in on just a few items:

    1. As a former feminist, I think the short answer to your question is, "Yes. Women are at war with their biology." But of course there's more to it than just that. Really, women participating in the hook-up culture, or just emerging from it into marriages or serious relationships, bear the wounds of a real war. The hookup culture creates an atmosphere of war between women and men. Contraception is seen as "armor" in this war. I mean no disrespect, because I used to be fully entrenched in that world, but, what a hollow way to live.
    One of the definitions of insanity is to do the same thing over and over, and expect different results. I think a lot of women who are trapped in the hookup culture experience this. They want someone to love them, to want to know them; most women do want commitment and love from one man only. But they keep on giving themselves away in the hopes of getting what they want in return.
    College student said that our deeper feelings of emotion toward the men we have sex with are a real "problem" and "disadvantage". No, college student, it is not a problem! It is a blessing! It is your beautiful female heart trying to protect itself from use and abuse by men who are not worthy to lick your shoe. It is your soul trying to keep you from using others, which is always damaging to us. It is a sign of the fact that we women have the power to demand our men treat us with the respect and dignity we deserve, not to use us as glorified blow-up dolls for their enjoyment.

    2. About the whole parent thing; really? There is no difference between a mother and a father? So if you were going to tell us about your parents, you'd tell us there was essentially *no difference* between your mother and father? Really? I mean, I have never heard anyone say that in anything other than the abstract. So let's be real here.

    I get it, I really do. But what the people here fighting against "gender roles" are really doing is fighting against gender characitures. Men are supposed to be beer-swilling, football watching, macho pigs. Women are supposed to be quiet, house slaves with no interests and basically wall-paper. Well, of course no one thinks men or women should only be that, or are only that.

    I mean, when you talk about men and women and their differences, we're not talking about what we *do*, we're talking about who we *are*, which is hard to grasp in a society that links being with action inseperably.
    My husband and I believe in traditional gender roles; what does that mean? It means that I chose to be a stay at home mom. It means that he works outside the home full time. It means he is the spiritual head of our home; he is the leader. We discuss everything, but if there is a point of disagreement (as long as it does not pertain to something that is sin) I defer to him, because I trust him. Because he *earned* my trust. Not just because he is a man and I am a stupid woman who needs to be led around by the nose. No! Because he earned my trust long before we were married by showing me he loved me enough to put my good ahead of his own, consistently.

    I am home all day, I am the primary caregiver of our daughter. But when he gets home, she's daddy's girl. He feeds her in the evening, he gives her her bath, he gets up with her in the night 90% of the time. He is an amazing father, and *that* is being a true man.
    A true man, when we're talking about "what is a man" is one who gives the best of himself away to others, not one who selfishly takes the best of others to satisfy his own desires.

    I could keep going, but this is l-o-n-g, so I'll stop.

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  102. Lol - natural! Then please, go tell all the animals who exhibit "abnormal" sexual behavior to cut it out! The praying mantis female that eats the male after sex (yikes!). Or the lion seal that keeps his harem. Or the plenty of documented cases of same-sex animal couples raising children. The way I see it, same-sex relationships happen in natural-ergo, they are natural.

    Also, Giuseppe, your articles border the line of making a *causal* link between homosexuality and pedophilia. These are remarkably different things, and a relation doesn't mean much!

    That being said, I'm not sure much else in my life is ordered other than my relationship with my boyfriend. We don't harbor feelings for small children, we're committed to each other, and we contribute to society. You can't quantify order and disorder (oh wait.. entropy. dang it). At the very least, you can't stick anything with being just ordered or being just disordered.

    The slippery slope argument isn't particularly effective either. There's a difference between my boyfriend and my brother, and it's that I'm related to my brother. I consider my relationship to be normal even within the unspoken policies of Western thought.

    On an end note, you have to understand what "natural" is going to mean to both parties here. You're going to see it as something that falls in line with common sense, and we're not. Just because something is natural doesn't make it right.
    -Peter

    http://www.blaghag.com/2009/04/natural-sexuality.html

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  103. Also, your side is always bugging on about how Kinsey's studies are flawed, but yet you use them to argue a point for linking homosexuality and pedophilia?! That's rather hypocritical.
    -Peter

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  104. Peter, animals act on instinct and urges alone. They do not morally reason. They do not have free will.

    Do you think we are like animals? Should we all act on our urges?

    No one will answer my question about pedophiles and their "natural" feelings, and I am not sure why. NAMBLA and such are appealing to folks to understand their sexuality as a gift, and one that is inherent to their humanity. Not a disorder. The APA came this.close to affirming them.

    Is sexual attraction to children a disordered attraction or not? They say it's natural and ordered, and perfectly normal for them.

    Peter, you are so much more than your sexual attractions. You are a man with inherent dignity and value and worth, and God loves you enough to bleed and die for you. That's something.

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  105. Nubby, I think you hit on something very real when you said this: "A broader question I guess, is why do feminists loathe anything about natural womanhood?" Recently, Natalie Portman was accepting an award and thanked her husband(?) for giving her the gift of her unborn child, as "motherhood would be her greatest role". Salon.com had an article attacking Natalie Portman for saying such a thing.http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/feature/2011/02/28/natalie_portman_most_important_role The whole article argues against motherhood being a woman's greatest role, and claims that Portman was just confused when she made such a ridiculous claim, considering all her accolades. Salon recently did another piece attacking women who share their positive pregnancy tests on youtube, citing Good Morning America as well for doing a piece on it---wondering if women were "sharing tmi"---Since when did telling people you're pregnant become TMI? It's okay to air commercials of young teenage kids holding up signs and saying, "I have sex!" But it's not ok for pregnant women who are HAPPY about becoming a mother to share their good news?
    It all goes back to the 60s feminist movement.

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  106. I know that this is a little beside the point with this discussion. But what about all of the young gay men committing suicide. They are being shamed and bullied to the point where they cannot take it, and their families have to live with their death. Is that OK? Or do you think they deserve it? I know that you would not want for someone to kill themselves. So what do you do? Tell them to squash their true selves?

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  107. Chelsea, I answered that here:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/10/catholic-mother-beloved-son-who-is-gay.html

    Everyone must be treated with dignity and respect. No one's "true self" is their sexual attractions. Our "true self" is our identity as a child of God, made in his image, loved and wanted by Him. Every life is precious.

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  108. I agree with you, Leila, as regards Peter's intrinsic worth as a child of God. We also know, from much research, that as we accept less and less the value of a father in a child's life, we have a harder time accepting our God as a patriarch.

    Unfortunately, this is a result of much damage that fathers may have done to their children-and especially their sons. we can either let our hearts break over that and try to fix it-or we can dismiss a father/man as unnecessary.

    yet, there is such unending reference to God as father-protector, defender,provider,leader-throughout both old and new Testament, that we can hardly underestimate the value placed on the male figure fulfilling those exact roles in the family.

    We continue to try and "normalize" the wounds - and resulting behavior - of disordered families. All this does is perpetuate the pain, even while it becomes woven into our own daily attitudes. The result is very obviously anger and an over the top dismantling of what we have Known to be the best example of family life abd it's fruits.

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  109. The praying mantis female that eats the male after sex (yikes!).

    And the lion who hunts and kills his prey, etc.

    But you are not arguing that humans who kill should be given a pass, right? You are not arguing that because it's what they want to do, that they should act on it? I guess I am trying to point out that humans are moral creatures, and we have the free will to make moral choices. Animals do not.

    Peter, this conversation is hard for me, because it involves your feelings. I feel very maternal toward you (and the other young commenters) because I can't separate the "mom" me from the blogger. So, my heart goes out to you. I am trying to tread lightly and gently so as not to hurt you in any way. But I also cannot not say what is true. If you are an atheist, then it doesn't matter what I or the Church say. It doesn't actually matter what anyone does (which is why I'm not sure why you are against brothers being sexual?). So obviously, you can ignore it all and do what you want.

    But I don't believe in atheism, I believe in Christ and His Church, and I must speak what I believe to be objectively true. The misuse of sex has caused more pain and suffering than anything else in this generation. There is a right order to sexual activity. It is for union of spouses (one flesh) and procreation of children. To deviate from that norm (as even Freud and Gandhi knew) is to cause harm and pain and suffering in a million different ways.

    The Church doesn't say that homosexual activity is wrong because she wants to be "mean", but because it's not ultimately going to lead to your good. Or happiness. Or peace. You were made for something greater.

    Anyway, I am sorry if anything I say hurts you, and yet I am going to try very hard to speak clearly on this issue anyway…. I hope to do a whole post on it. I keep saying that, but it's an important post, and I want to do it right, and life keeps getting in the way.

    Thanks for understanding!

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  110. apologies for the typos-I have a three year old sitting on my lap while I type - trying to stuff cheez-its into my mouth. Thus ends my few moments in the blog world for the present.

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  111. Peter,

    The purpose of referencing Kinsey is precisely because "your side" believes they aren't flawed. It isn't out of hypocrisy.

    Also, that post by Jen McCreight is absolutely excellent! There is a variety of natural sexual behaviors throughout the animal kingdom. To each species their own. What might be natural for the Mallard Duck, or the Piped Seahorse is not natural for, say, the Mongoose, or the Swan.

    I'd hardly imagine you'd say that the Mallard Duck's, the Goose's, or the white-fronted bee-eater's naturally violent sexual assault is acceptable/natural for humans?

    How about a group of adult humands running a train on a non-consenting fellow adult human?

    Acceptable? Why not? The Bottlenosed Dolphins do it.

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  112. Don't have time to really catch up or contribute today, but for a witty but succinct take on "men and women are different" check out Seraphic's lovely blog post here.

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  113. Peter,

    This confused me a little.

    On an end note, you have to understand what "natural" is going to mean to both parties here. You're going to see it as something that falls in line with common sense, and we're not. Just because something is natural doesn't make it right.

    You are saying here that just because something is natural doesn't make it right? Like the bottlenose Dolphins and their cornering and raping of female bottlednose dophins? If that's the case, where and how do you draw the line of what is right and wrong, and who has the authority to do that?

    Is it a gradual discovery of the human race that rape is wrong? I'm just curious as to what you're saying.

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  114. Oh and one more thing: College Student (and others!) when your exams are done and you have a smidgen more time on your hands, this book is a really wonderful read. Dawn Eden lived a very typical "postmodern" lifestyle in NYC much like Carrie & Co on Sex and the City and gradually came to realize she wasn't being fulfilled. She started her journey toward chastity in her 30s. Unlike a lot of other "chastity" books it's written for women in their 20s and up, not high school girls. I really really loved it.

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  115. Peter-
    Just to address one point about having two dads. There is obviously more a biological mother provides than breastmilk. My babycenter emails that talk about infant development said last week that dads and moms interact with their child differently. Both are important and develop different parts of the brain. I found that interesting.

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  116. Leila, with all due respect, if you can't explain to me the essential difference - what exactly it is that I and my potential future husband could provide kids that Peter and his boyfriend couldn't - then I question even more if it exists.

    Sorry about neglecting to answer the brother/sister question - yes, I do see a difference, since in general people do follow certain gender stereotypes. But there's no trait that I see in my sister that it would be impossible to imagine in a brother. Same with mothers/fathers. It's not something I was ever taught. Sure, the basic gender stereotypes are there and we see those all the time, but I have never seen anything innately different, nothing I could say that my mother provided me that a father couldn't have.

    If sex is solely about procreation, then I still don't see why infertile couples shouldn't also be prevented from marrying and raising children. Sure, if they were young and healthy they'd be able to reproduce. But they can't, and none of us has a problem with them raising kids. Your aversion to gay marriage clearly has nothing to do with reproduction or the ability to do so.

    As for pedophilia being "disordered" - I would argue that it, like bestiality, is. It involves attraction to someone or something that cannot give consent. If you kept it entirely to yourself and never, ever acted on it, it'd be a little creepy maybe but ultimately harmless. Homosexuality, however, is consensual. Comparing it to NAMBLA is honestly a bit rude, I think.

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  117. Peter-
    You compare animals to humans to support your lifestyle. Are you not above the animals?

    And if you want, two can play that game. There's a flatworm that lives in the gills of fish that meet while young in life and fuse together in monogomy until they die.

    If you're arguing against monogamy in the animal kingdom, your argument is weak.

    If you're arguing that humans aren't above animals and that we should all pursue our instincts, then your argument is even weaker.

    You were created much higher on the food chain. You have a mind, intellect and will, for starters.

    -Nubby

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  118. Michelle, and with that, you have perfectly laid out why Christianity and secularism can not be reconciled.

    We are not what we "do" (that is utilitarianism). We are who we are. Women and men are different. If you can't see that they are different beyond "gender stereotypes", then we are beyond being at an impasse, we don't even speak a common language. When people like "L" say there is no culture war, and we don't have to pick a side, they aren't seeing with open eyes.

    With pedophilia: Since when is "consent" the only criteria for what is disordered or immoral? Can you imagine any situation where two people can act consentually and yet be doing something (anything) immoral? Or as long as two people consent, an act is moral?

    I never once said that sex was "solely" about procreation. I am very precise about what I say. Sex is for the union of spouses (a "one flesh" union, which by the way is impossible for two men or two women, because they cannot have sexual intercourse) and for procreation of children. If the parts are not working right to create a baby, that is very sad, but not a moral disorder or problem. It's a physical issue that (many times) can be corrected. If not, the spouses still have a legitimate right, as husband and wife, to bond through sexual intercourse, and remain open to life should God send the gift of a child.

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  119. I can "consent" all day long to be unfaithful to my spouse. I can even "consent" and "conspire" to rob, steal or maim. Doesn't mean it's right. Majority vote doesn't = morally right.

    -Nubby

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  120. Nubby, thank you for saying so clearly and concisely what this old brain was searching for.

    Michelle?

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  121. And, you're right. We have to disagree here, because I do think we are for the most part defined by what we do. Of course, I can't bring myself to be fully existentialist, and I do recognize that intentions and feelings are important, but it's what we do that affects other people. Our feelings and intentions inform our actions, and it's our actions that other people see and experience. That's why I can't see why a same-sex couple is any different from an opposite sex one - if they treat their children with exactly the same love and care, then I really don't see a difference.

    As for consensual acts being immoral, I'm going to say no. It's not my place to judge what other people find enjoyable, and I think that's another point on which we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    Well, the whole "one flesh" union doesn't really have much meaning beyond feelings, right? There's nothing about the act of sexual intercourse that creates a literal "one flesh," unless we're like anglerfish (look 'em up - it's fascinating stuff!). If parts aren't working correctly, how is that different from not having the right parts? What about people with androgen insensitivity syndrome?

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  122. I think this is the general atheist/leftist thought on sexual issues: "Whatever I choose to do with my own genitals, and whatever I do consenutally with my genitals and another's (or several people's) genitals, is moral. If my free genital activity results the creation of a new human being that is an unwanted intruder into my reproductive system (how'd that kid get in there?), then my right to do with my genitals as I please extends to the right to kick out (kill) the unwanted inhabitant of my uterus, so that I can go on doing what I want with my genitals. Which is always moral, so long as consent is given by the owner of the other sets of genitals. Unless I am masturbating to a photo of a little girl or boy, or a snuff video, and then it's still all moral because I'm not hurting anyone."

    If I have it wrong (and I hope I do!), then please someone, help me out. What are the parameters for sexual morality in the atheist view? I am honestly, truly asking.

    Thanks!

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  123. As for consensual acts being immoral, I'm going to say no. It's not my place to judge what other people find enjoyable, and I think that's another point on which we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    Michelle, just to be clear on this... in your opinion, then, adultery is not immoral?

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  124. There's nothing about the act of sexual intercourse that creates a literal "one flesh,"

    A penis was designed to be received by a vagina, for the purpose of intercourse. That is where a penis is supposed to go. The sperm that ejaculates and swims upward toward the tubes is an excellent indicator that this is the design for penises and vaginas. Oh, and the children who are conceived.

    As for infertility: It's like you are saying that the eye is not designed for sight, just because some people are blind.

    If a couple cannot actually complete an act of intercourse, then the are not able to marry in the Catholic Church. "Marriage" which cannot be consummated at least once is not a marriage, it's a special friendship. But if a couple can consummate, then they have become "one flesh". And, God willing, a baby will someday be created from their union.

    That is what marriage is. That is what sex is for.

    Bonding and babies.

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  125. How'd I miss this?

    Michelle says: "Same with mothers/fathers. It's not something I was ever taught. Sure, the basic gender stereotypes are there and we see those all the time, but I have never seen anything innately different, nothing I could say that my mother provided me that a father couldn't have"

    For real?

    Wow. Open thine eyes. Physical differences for one. Differences aren't neatly summed up in "gender stereotypes" as badly as you want them to be.

    And for the 4,785th time:
    Catholic sex is Unitive and Procreative. It is MORESO for uniting the couple than for "breeding" as people love to misrepresent.

    The naturally small window of fertility each month is testiment to that fact. If we were meant to breed like rabbits, we'd be fertile constantly.

    Let's understand Catholic teaching before we wreckless spew it.

    -Nubby

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  126. wrecklessly

    -Nubby

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  127. Michelle,
    In regards to parenting, you speak from a hypothetical standpoint because you have not yet had children with your future husband.

    Most of us here are speaking from a practical level. We see first hand how important both sexes are in raising children. And like others have said it has nothing to do with gender stereo types. My husband can be very caring and nurturing to my kids but he's still not their mother. I am. They go to him for different things. They relate to him differently. My toddler son instinctively goes to his dad and grandfather and other men to play and rough house. My girls go to me for certain things that they would never feel comfortable going to dad or a man about. It just is what it is. We as parents see it with our own eyes. Just as boys and girls are not the same, moms and dads are not the same. I have girls and a boy and they are fundamentally different. It has nothing to do with conditioning or stereo-types.

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  128. Michelle, I direct you to two resources that make the case against gay marriage (and in doing so, present evidence that a household headed by two married parents of the opposite-sex are best situated for rearing children, based on social research) without referencing a religious viewpoint (the first opens as a pdf, just fyi):

    The Witherspoon Institute: Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles

    and

    Social Science Research Network: What is Marriage?

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  129. Michelle says:
    "As for consensual acts being immoral, I'm going to say no. It's not my place to judge what other people find enjoyable, and I think that's another point on which we'll just have to agree to disagree."

    Cool! So I'll be right over to pursue your husband, since everything's peachy on your end

    -Nubby

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  130. In our society, do we no longer even have the concept of an objective right and wrong, an objective truth? What do y'all think? Is this a foreign notion to people? Aristotle spoke of this. The Catholic Church teaches that objective truth is real. If I have a chair and I want to use it to stand on to clean the fan, or to help my kids build a fort, or to burn for firewood, I can do that, but a chair is really to sit on, right? Well it doesn't matter what I do to an inanimate object, like a chair. But people are of more value than a chair, right. Or a bird or a preying mantis, or a lion, etc. Doesn't our design as human beings matter? What do people think about this nowadays? And as far as what a mother can provide that two men cannot. A TOTALLY different kind of Love. There is a bonding that comes with giving birth to a child, there is a bonding that comes with breastfeeding a child. There is an attachment that a child has with his/her mother that she/he usually does not have with the father. I don't think anyone writing about this has adequately explained this away. I am referring to a very young child, an infant. I know older children are many times more attached to their fathers. I'm talking about babies being raised the way "nature" teaches us that babies are to be raised.

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  131. So, to sum up:
    Kids are just commodities.
    They're like designer handbags, expensive cars or bling bling jewelry.
    They're only as important and worthy as the parents deem them.
    It's a-ok to deprive them of a mother (if two men adopt) or of a father (if two women adopt or carry a donor's sperm).
    The kid is like a badge, an extension of the parents' ego, a trophy of the parent's existence.
    Gotcha.

    -Nubby

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  132. Leila, I really don't want to drag abortion into this discussion. But yes, I really don't see how this sort of thing is anyone else's business. You can think it's immoral all you want, but what are you going to do? You can tell people you disapprove, but beyond that, what people do among themselves is their business. It only becomes our business when it harms other people.

    As for adultery, there's an element of harm in that. The spouse of the adulterer is hurt, assuming he/she hasn't given consent to the relationship.

    I'm not too concerned with what the Catholic Church says about sex - I'm not Catholic, and neither is our legal system. Sure, reproductive organs exist for reproduction, but that doesn't mean we HAVE to use them for that. And "bonding and babies"? Infertile couples can bond, but they can't have babies. Gay couples can bond, but they can't have babies. And now we're back to these inexplicable innate differences that no one can satisfactorily identify.

    JoAnna (did we argue over on the National Catholic Register a while back? hi!) - I'll take a look at those and get back to you. What I'm seeing so far is only convincing me more that gay marriage is a necessity, though.

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  133. I see, Michelle.
    There's an element of harm in adultery.
    But there's ZERO harm in same sex relations?
    How about the fact that those involved in that lifestyle die younger? If you'd like facts and reports, I can supply those.

    Getting back to your element of harm theory. I'm sorry but I just don't see why adultery is harmful in your view. If it feels good to me, and I consent to it, and you've said yourself that you're no one to cast judgement, well, then ...

    There is zero logic in trying to say adultery causes harm, but same sex lifestyle doesn't. Statistically, you're way off.

    -Nubby

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  134. Sandy, yes, the concept of objective truth is marginalized these days, in favor of subjective "truth" or feelings. Relativism.

    I had one young mom (an atheist) admit that she had never thought of the concept of "truth" before reading this blog. It sort of blows my mind. In the past, truth-seeking was an expected and valued activity in every man's life. And truth is supposed to be the end (i.e., goal) of education, and the liberal arts!

    Sadly, in a post-Christian world, truth isn't even a thought in the human mind anymore. Life for the secular is about minimizing suffering, and seeking comfort and pleasure. (Although deep down, we all have a conscience, and a way to access objective truth.)

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  135. Michelle - are you the same Michelle @ NCR who insisted that there is no difference between abortion and miscarriage because the ends are the same?

    As for adultery, there's an element of harm in that. The spouse of the adulterer is hurt, assuming he/she hasn't given consent to the relationship.

    Why does the spouse of the adulterer need to give consent to what two other consenting adults do with their genitals?

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  136. What I'm seeing so far is only convincing me more that gay marriage is a necessity, though.

    If it's a necessity, how did society survive without it for millenia?

    Necessity in what manner?

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  137. You can tell people you disapprove, but beyond that, what people do among themselves is their business.

    But I'm wondering if you, personally, can think of anything involving "consentual" activity that might be immoral? I'm looking for your personal opinion. For example... In Germany, there was a guy who advertised for a sex partner whom he could then kill and eat. The man who answered the ad wanted to have sex adn then be killed and eaten. This was illegal, sure, but it was consensual. Was it moral, in your opinion, for them to do that?

    I know that's extreme, but I would love an answer. Is consent the only thing that determines if an act is moral?

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  138. Why does the spouse of the adulterer need to give consent to what two other consenting adults do with their genitals?

    JoAnna, that is a great question. Michelle?

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  139. Alright, JoAnna - I'm going to admit up front that I really don't have the time to read a 43-page article on this. Any other time, I would, but finals are coming up and I have things that need to get done. From what I've read, though, a lot of emphasis is placed on having a stable family. That's something we all agree that all kids deserve - where we disagree is in what that stable family requires.

    I'll just say this: if you are truly, truly against gay marriage, if you think it'll have a serious detrimental effect on the rest of society, then you have to (1) work just as hard to make divorce illegal as you work to prevent gay marriage from becoming legal and (2) answer to the kids who would love to have ANY family at all. A single parent, same-sex parents, opposite-sex parents, whatever. I cannot imagine how having same-sex parents could be worse than having no parents at all.

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  140. (1) Actually, no, Michelle, I don't have to work hard to make all divorce illegal, because divorce is sometimes necessary for the protection of abused spouses/children and for the equitable distribution of marital assets. What we need to do is work to make divorce much less prevalent, and perhaps modify existing "no fault" divorce laws.

    (2) My answer to that is: absolutely, and it's our job to get you the best family you can get. There are hundreds of thousands of couples out there waiting to adopt but financial burdens and red tape prevent that. I absolutely agree that current adoption laws and policies need to be modified so that it is easier for stable, married couples of the opposite sex to adopt.

    At least with "no parents" kids aren't being raised to believe that disorder is actually order.

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  141. I've heard that used before, that miscarriage and abortion are the same. It's like saying that grandma dying of pneumonia is morally the same as grandma dying when I put a bullet through her head.

    Maybe there is a smidge of moral distinction there?

    Michelle, the Church is against divorce and we fight as hard as we can to make sure it is not seen as anything but a tragedy. Also, if the foster system were a little more about the needs of the child to find a stable home, and less about "family reunification" for hopeless and sick situations of abuse and drugs, then those children would find homes so much more quickly. Talk to anyone who has tried to adopt through the foster system. There's a lot that needs to be addressed there...

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  142. Just saw that you said we need to fight to make divorce "illegal". Never have we fought for that... JoAnna is right on. Dangerous situations call for civil divorce and financial rights. Even so, it's a tragegy for a child to live through a divorce. Divorce should never be seen as a "good".

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  143. Yes, JoAnna, that was me. When you marry someone, as I'm sure you'd agree, you're saying you're committed to them. If you break that commitment without their permission, then there's an element of harm.

    Leila, that example is ENTIRELY irrelevant to the discussion of gay marriage. I think it's horrible and hard to imagine anyone wanting that, but they both wanted it. I don't think it was immoral any more than assisted suicide would be immoral, though, even though I'll admit to being incredibly repulsed by the idea of it.

    I absolutely agree that divorce is sometimes a necessity, but if you're concerned about children growing up without a mother and father, then divorced parents are worse than same-sex parents, because the kid knows their parents don't love each other. And, really, JoAnna? No parents are better than same-sex parents? How sad. I know we're never really going to come to an agreement or even a compromise on this - while I still can't see how men and women are essentially different, I think I better understand how our viewpoints are.

    With this, I'm going to quit commenting on this thread. I have papers to write and projects to finish, and this is far from the original topic of female biology. Thanks for the discussion!

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  144. Yes, JoAnna, that was me.

    Well, I am deeply offended that you believe I murdered the children I miscarried. I assure you that nothing is further from the truth.

    When you marry someone, as I'm sure you'd agree, you're saying you're committed to them. If you break that commitment without their permission, then there's an element of harm.

    So, then, it's possible that consent is not the sole criterion of the good? You agree that there are elements other than "consent" involved in determining if an activity is moral or immoral?

    No parents are better than same-sex parents?

    I consider teaching children that disorder = order as tantamount to abuse, so yes I would rather that kids not be in a situation where their morals are being abused.

    Incidentally, I've had an atheist tell me that I was abusing my children by raising them Catholic, so this attitude comes from the other side of the aisle as well.

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  145. Michelle, I know it's far afield of the topic of gay marriage, but my point was to try to find out your criteria for immorality. You have said that even willfull killing and then cannibalism is not immoral, so long as there is mutual consent.

    This is fundamentally different from a Christian worldview, as we believe that willful murder is inherently (of its very nature) immoral/evil/wrong. And we believe that cannibalism is inherently (of its very nature) immoral/evil/wrong.

    I do thank you for making the distinction between worldviews and philosophies so clear.

    If I were an athiest, I actually couldn't find a single compelling reason why I couldn't do anything I want, so I think you are philosophically on firm ground when you say that killing and cannibalism can be moral in an atheist's worldview. (Though I do recognize you have put in place some subjective, personal caveats, so you haven't given a blanket "okay" to murder and cannibalism.)

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  146. Michelle, I'll say the same thing to you here that I posed on NCR about abortion and miscarriage. Also, I'll add that I refuse to believe that any being with a brain could be stupid enough to equate an abortion and a miscarriage.

    “But I fail to see the difference between a miscarriage and an abortion when the end results are exactly the same.” Your words.

    I had a miscarriage, and I can tell you this Michelle: I would have fought tooth and nail, I would have given up anything in order to bring that baby into the world. At the same time that I was having a miscarriage, that my baby was dying inside me, some woman who was also 8 weeks pregnant walked into a Planned Parenthood and paid someone to crush her baby’s spine, organs, and end its life.
    While I wept over the natural death that my baby died before I ever got to meet him/her, some other woman who was also 8 weeks pregnant purposefully and willfully ended the life of her child. She threw her baby away like a piece of garbage, while I wept over mine for months.

    That’s the difference between a miscarriage and an abortion, and I hope someday you say that crap to someone’s face and they smack you. You deserve it.

    I think you're a troll Michelle, because only someone who does not want to contribute to a rational discussion, but only wants to say incendiary things, would ever try to equate a miscarriage and an abortion. I also officially have zero respect for you. May God have mercy on your misguided soul.

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  147. You fail to see the difference between a miscarriage and a purposeful abortion?

    You take the cake for dimwitted, sweetheart. You really do.

    -Nubby

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  148. Sarah, I feel your pain. More than once. I feel it, sister.

    To all who've miscarried. I'm with you.

    -Nubby

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  149. In defense of Michelle (and I am not defending her positions, only her intentions), she is only repeating a common liberal line which has been taught to her, maybe in college, maybe somewhere else.

    The first time I heard the "abortion is the same as miscarriage" thing was 16 years ago when I was writing my editorial column for the Phoenix paper. At the time, there was a syndicated columnist named Molly Ivins, an older Texan, who was a liberal icon. (Anyone remember her? She passed away a few years back.)

    She wrote one day that if pro-lifers were honest, they would call women who had miscarriages murderers, because a miscarriage is exactly the same as an abortion. I remember my twenty-something brain trying to twist around that logic…. I knew it was so ridiculous, and so morally incomparable, that I thought for sure she would be called out on it, and I wondered why her editor had allowed the article to run! Turns out, this is standard thought among the morally relative.

    They truly do not see a distinction between means and ends. If the "end" is the same, then the means are irrelevant.

    But then they have to answer this:

    Is there a moral difference between grandma dying of pneumonia and grandma dying because I willfully put a bullet through her head? Same outcome: Dead grandma. So, same moral situation?

    If there is no moral difference between dying of natural causes and dying of willful murder, then open the prisons now and let the people go, as they are guilty of nothing. Either that, or put the grieving family members in jail (or someone? Anyone?) when grandma dies of natural causes (since, that is "murder" … somehow).

    It's one or the other.

    OR, it's that the two scenarios are not morally equivalent in the least. That one is an act of nature, and one is a willful choice to kill.

    If Michelle or any liberal really can't see that distinction, then we are sunk. Western civilization is on the way out. I shudder to think what will replace it. But thank God Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and always.

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  150. If atheists, liberals, whomever cannot or will not make a moral distinction between a miscarriage and an abortion or grandma dying of heart failure or dying from a gunshot wound, then I don't wanna hear any of them bi---ing about what is right or wrong with this world.

    If something as basic and blatant as murder will not be called what it is, then they've lost all right to comment because they're clearly insane.

    -Nubby

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  151. I'm stepping out. It's clear you guys can't understand the basis of our viewpoint on morality. Your view is that without something above humans, we are not allowed to judge our own actions. You lead this to the "anything goes" conclusion. But as far as we're concerned, a morality based on the bible and on faith is completely baseless (if you're going to consider our's baseless as well). Our worldviews differ slightly on a few assumptions about the universe. This ends up creating philosophies and ideas that in different dimensions, such that the language we're speaking isn't being related to each other.

    For example, after my attempt to articulate how we see what "natural" means is different, you all made some pretty brash conclusions about me and my sexuality. I do not think that killing is okay, and I'm well aware that I'm more than just my sexuality. Even after explaining that just because I think something is natural doesn't make it right or wrong, you all jumped on me asking me if I thought because lions killed each other, that it's okay for us too. Did you seriously consider my viewpoint, or could you have asked for clarification before jumping to THAT conclusion?

    I'm afraid I can't fully articulate my view on morality, sexuality, and nature here. I can defer to some of my favorite writers (Albert Camus, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris). But, til' the next post, I bid adieu!

    And, Giuseppe, I had yet to meet any person, gay or straight, who finds Alfred Kinsey's experimental methods acceptable. That is, until I read your articles.
    -Peter

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  152. Peter, I guess at base, I wonder if your morality is based on what you "feel", or on core principles that cannot ever legitimately be violated?

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  153. Going back to what Leila said, I find that many young people think that because the technical term for miscarriage is "spontaneous" abortion - that it's the same thing as a "deliberate" abortion. A distinction which Sarah made quite clear.

    I have a friend who has four wonderful children - yet I would call her every year on the anniversary of when her 5th baby (the one she miscarried) had been due. We would cry together and rejoice in the ones that she had but she still mourned the loss of that little one.

    As I have repeatedly told my daughters over the years, once you become a mother, you cry for the world. I've taken in one additional child, consider hundreds of my former and current students also as "mine" and I'll gladly take any more that God chooses to bring me. "My heart has many rooms...".

    Peter, my heart aches for you if those are your favorite writers - try some C.S. Lewis or G.K. Chesterton. I'll be praying for you.

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  154. I, too, have argued with women who used the abortion=miscarriage equation. You have to remember that they have de-valued the life of an unborn child to the point of indifference. Whenever pro-choicers defend abortion 100 percent of the focus is on the rights of the mother and they will not consider the baby. It's easy for them to call a miscarriage an abortion, because it's not a baby. It can't be.

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  155. So I am a little behind on the comments so I apologize if this was already discussed, but I have to comment on what Joanna said

    “At least with "no parents" kids aren't being raised to believe that disorder is actually order.”

    I am relevantly indifferent to the idea of gay marriage but it seems you (and others) want to hold the homosexuals too much higher standard than the heterosexuals. Traditional marriage is still the law of the land, yet 40% of white children are born to unmarried parents 70% of black children are born to unmarried parents, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the number of parents who eventually divorce.
    You make it seem like homosexual couples are the only couples who show their kids ‘disorder.’ Children raised by gay parents are missing out on having a mother or father but so are many other children of the world. I imagine many of the babies you save for abortion do not have both of their parents involved, there are slews of single mothers out there.


    Furthermore yes homosexual sex lacks a procreative aspect, but doesn’t a lot of heterosexual sex, even heterosexual married sex? The Guttmacher institute just published a study that said 98% of catholic women were using or had used contraceptives. A whole hell of a lot of people are having sex just for fun, the gays aren’t the only ones guilty of that

    Doesn’t it seem hypocritical to say gay marriage will ‘destroy the institution of marriage’ ‘deprive children of both of their parents’ and ‘rob sex of its meaning’, haven’t we as heterosexuals already done that ourselves?

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  156. @ Peter

    And, Giuseppe, I had yet to meet any person, gay or straight, who finds Alfred Kinsey's experimental methods acceptable. That is, until I read your articles.

    Beside the fact that you've not answered my arguments, and have only attempted to discredit the writers of the two articles I posted by saying they are the only one's who've seen Kinsey's experiments are acceptable, I suggest you and everyone who thinks Kinsey is condemned by "both sides of the issue" to go here, or here, for planned parenthood's take.

    The writers of the two articles I posted originally did not support Kinsey's method of experimentation. They used him as an example of someone "YOUR SIDE" holds up as a legitimate researcher into human sexuality. It would be like you quoting the bible to prove a point of yours because we like the bible, even though you don't.

    PS I've read Camus, love him, disagree with him.

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  157. Gwen, Leila and Sew:
    Someone said: "I know the concept of "gender" as "societal construct" is a big thing in feminism. I don't think it's as tricky as it sounds. Men and women really are fundamentally different, and the case of the Zuni "woman" is an anomaly, don't you think?"

    Although I do think there are wide ranges of "normal", I would have to argue that I (a heterosexual mother of three) was a total tomboy, and the oddness of this (to my self) was highlighted by the ultra girlishness of my sister. To this day, I abhor fragrance and other make-up type stuff most of the time. As a child I loved horses and dogs and being outside playing baseball. My favorite book used to be Two Against the North by Farley Mowatt. I liked overalls and thought it was very strange and annoying that I had to wear a shirt all the time in the summer. I am a bit more inclined to wear a dress nowadays, but really...I was more like a boy than a girl for much of my early life...and very happy about it. SO...I don't know about GENDER roles...the more I learn, the more fluid they seem.

    I'm also in a few parent groups with Stay-AT-Home Dads....and many are just amazing...they seem so much like your stereotypical "mommies" that it blows me away...and most of them are heterosexual.

    That said...I do think postmodern liberalism has made many women not understand that their biology IS ALL ABOUT BREEDING. I am a biologist and this is information that is totally lost on many women today. Our bodies are indeed precisely made to sustain other people...That is not all we can do...but it is the biological definition of being female...

    ...unless you are a seahorse...

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  158. Leila and others,
    I remember Molly Ivins and I remember her equating the miscarriage and abortion, and I was really surprised. Molly was funny...and witty, and seemed very smart...but that was a big slip....I was also trying to figure out how she could not see the difference.

    So, yeah...I think Michelle is just repeating something she heard before...

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  159. College Student, you're right in a very important way. Marriage is under attack, period, not *only* from those who seek to redefine it, but from people who make light of it via no-fault divorce, etc. I wrote about that very problem on my [very little, rarely updated] blog a few months ago.

    'In a world where marriage and sex have been so cheapened (again, we've been struggling with this since the Fall, but it was made ever so much worse from the 1960s onward) the debate about marriage almost ridiculous in itself. Supporters of traditional marriage, at least the Glenn Beck types, seem to live in the fantasy that defending traditional marriage will roll back the tide of sociological problems that have escalated exponentially since the 1960s (ridiculous divorce rate. Horrific numbers of abortions. Single mothers galore. The list goes on).

    Keeping marriage defined as one man/one woman won't give us paradise. We need to deal with a more pressing and difficult issue: what God planned for humanity from the beginning. How do we even begin to fix the larger problem? It is so vast I cannot even fathom it.

    I can't bring myself to support same-sex marriage, because I'm a Catholic who supports her Church because her Church is based on the synergy of faith and reason. But it still bothers me that heterosexual marriage is hailed as the gold standard, even though it as an institution is already fraught with problems in our hedonistic, postmodern culture. Is this just giving up? What's the answer?

    One solution I considered was kicking government out of the marriage business altogether. After all, marriage is a sacrament, meant to be under God's discretion, not the state's. Marriage only became a civil contract (thanks Martin Luther!) because of the financial things that go along with it- tax status, insurance benefits, and so on. What if, just what if, the government was out of the marriage realm altogether? What if everyone, gay or straight, went down to the courthouse for a civil union? What if such a civil union enabled couples to seek a tax shelter, share insurance benefits, and so on? Then, if you're interested in marriage, go to your church. As long as churches have the clearly articulated right to refuse marriage to those whose union doesn't conform to their beliefs (which for Catholics would include contracepting or cohabitating couples), then marriage as a sacrament would stay protected and the same-sex marriage advocates could stop screaming about equal rights vs. "second class citizens." Am I totally crazy, or might such a system actually work? Is this just giving up?

    I have no idea. But I look at the divorce rate, in particular, and it's abundantly clear that marriage is in serious trouble. It's been under attack since the beginning, of course; something so beautiful and holy will certainly be high on the Enemy's hit list . Same-sex marriage is only his newest technique, along with so many others in his arsenal. Pornography, addiction, abortion, contraception, etc have all been used with great success to destroy God's plan for marriage. This is only the latest ploy in the game.

    I am having trouble seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. How dark it seems. "

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  160. Alright, I said I was done and wasn't going to discuss abortion, but I do need to clear things up so no one thinks I'm a monster, although I'm sure nothing I can say will change your minds.

    JoAnna - I'm deeply sorry for your miscarriages. For anyone's. I've had family members struggle with miscarriages and I know how difficult they can be. But nowhere did I say you were a murderer - I only drew the comparison between abortion and miscarriage because I DON'T think miscarriage is murder, and I don't think abortion is either. I realize now that since you see abortion as murder, what I said could have been construed as "miscarriage = murder" - that's not at all what I meant. No offense was intended, and I apologize.

    Leila - If you kill a person, you're taking the life they had from them against their will. That's something I think we can all agree is immoral. I know you'll want to know how this is different from abortion, so, from my perspective, abortion isn't the killing of a person who's accumulated experiences and relationships. That's the difference I see. I know you think differently, and I don't want to argue it, but I also wanted to clear up the idea that the ends are always the ONLY thing that matters.

    Okay, for real, I'm out.

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  161. @ College Student

    The Guttmacher institute just published a study that said 98% of catholic women were using or had used contraceptives.

    What's your point? Does that make it right or discredit our arguments? Most Catholics know that the majority of Catholic contracept, doesn't make it right. 98% though? The key thing there is "had used contraceptives." I'd like to see how many had used, but don't any more and why.

    Doesn’t it seem hypocritical to say gay marriage will ‘destroy the institution of marriage’ ‘deprive children of both of their parents’ and ‘rob sex of its meaning’, haven’t we as heterosexuals already done that ourselves?

    Have you destroyed the institution of Marriage? I haven't, I doubt you have. Have you deprived children of both of their parents? I haven't.

    The whole collective guilt thing is really a straw man. The actions and motivations of one person, or a group of persons, does not destroy objective reality. Just because a group of heterosexuals have made a mess of themselves and their particular society does not mean that there isn't a right way, and it certainly doesn't make homosexual acts ordered according to nature.

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  162. College Student,
    You said,
    "I am relevantly indifferent to the idea of gay marriage but it seems you (and others) want to hold the homosexuals too much higher standard than the heterosexuals. Traditional marriage is still the law of the land, yet 40% of white children are born to unmarried parents 70% of black children are born to unmarried parents, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the number of parents who eventually divorce.
    You make it seem like homosexual couples are the only couples who show their kids ‘disorder.’ Children raised by gay parents are missing out on having a mother or father but so are many other children of the world. I imagine many of the babies you save for abortion do not have both of their parents involved, there are slews of single mothers out there."

    Can't you see the pattern? The American family is being dismantled by Liberals, piece by piece...It's not intentional, but it's happening, nonetheless. First comes no-fault divorce, then comes broken homes galore, then comes widespread use of contraception, then abortion, now gay marriage, what's next? After gay marriage becomes the law of the land, what is next? Have we reached the Liberal Utopia because I'm not seeing it.

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  163. @ Michelle

    I know you'll want to know how this is different from abortion, so, from my perspective, abortion isn't the killing of a person who's accumulated experiences and relationships.


    If you present to a Pashtun a situation where there is a child and its grandfather in a burning car, and they have the opportunity to save one, which would they save, they would save the grandfather because of his proven worth to society.

    I, and most, not all, but most westerners would save the child for the potential he/she has. Unless of course, that child is inconveniently found in a womb, bereft of accumulated experiences and relationships.

    By the way, that's the beauty of a family, the child's relationships are set up for him/her before they come into the world. In regard to experience, well, isn't abortion a compassionate act to save that child from experience? Like a broken home, poverty, abuse, what not?

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  164. By the way, practically, you'd try to save both, but most westerners would go for the child first.

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  165. Doesn’t it seem hypocritical to say gay marriage will ‘destroy the institution of marriage’ ‘deprive children of both of their parents’ and ‘rob sex of its meaning’, haven’t we as heterosexuals already done that ourselves?

    College student, it would only be hypocritical if the Church doesn't preach against all threats to holy Matrimony. So, we are against gay marriage, polygamy, divorce, sex out of wedlock, etc. But we are against all of it precisely because of what we are for: Natural marriage, the lifelong commitment of one man and one woman, becoming one flesh out of love for each other and for the procreation and education of children. Mother, father, children.

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  166. Leila - If you kill a person, you're taking the life they had from them against their will. That's something I think we can all agree is immoral. I know you'll want to know how this is different from abortion, so, from my perspective, abortion isn't the killing of a person who's accumulated experiences and relationships. That's the difference I see

    I still don't understand how the postmodernist gets to decide the worth or personhood of others. It seems so convenient that "that one" is not human" because of XYZ reasons, but "I am". Why do all the people who deserve to be alive somehow look a lot like you?

    What happened to "liberals protect the weak and voiceless"? I see your view as straight up utilitarianism. People have value as long as they are useful. Or have "experiences" and "relationships" that are acceptable to... you.

    Do you see any moral problems arising from one group of humans defining the humanity/personhood of another group of humans?

    Seriously, what happened to liberalism?

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  167. Just because a group of heterosexuals have made a mess of themselves and their particular society does not mean that there isn't a right way

    Giuseppe, exactly. The misuse of something does not negate its proper use.

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  168. Manda, good points. I keep wondering what that Liberal Utopia will finally look like. So far it's pretty yucky and getting worse by the moment. And it's always the children who suffer for it. Imagine if all the world lived by the Ten Commandments? Wow... now that is a nice world.

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  169. Manda,

    I really need to address something.

    “Can't you see the pattern? The American family is being dismantled by Liberals, piece by piece...It's not intentional, but it's happening, nonetheless. First comes no-fault divorce, then comes broken homes galore, then comes widespread use of contraception, then abortion, and now gay marriage, what's next?

    We need to not delude ourselves. Contraception, abortion, divorce are NOT ONLY DONE BY LIBERALS. I know you know this but you are implying that those who voted for John McCain are upstanding citizens who have perfect happy marriages, don’t use contraception, and don’t ever have abortions etcetera. I know you know this isn’t true. I know you know that even Catholics use contraception, sometimes divorce ,and yes even have abortions. I know you know that premarital sex is the norm for all Americans of every religion in this country. Am I defending these things, not in this post, but I am saying stop using liberalism as the scapegoat for society’s problems.

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  170. I also wish you would stop saying how bad we have it today and how society has gone so horribly down hill. Do you really feel this way? For all the problems of contemporary society I am happy to live now as opposed to any other time in history do you agree or disagree?

    Leila keeps saying how great life would be like if we lived according to the Ten Commandments, again Leila godless liberals aren’t stopping humanity from achieving this, humanity is. For centuries Christianity was revered and yet everyone did not follow the Ten Commandments, liberalism did not ruin this for us!

    You say 'look' what liberalism has done to society, how it has ruined it, but not so long ago the world you yearn for existed. 60 years ago there was no real contraception, no legalized abortion, no no-fault divorce, children raised by married parents, people went to church. Was this world better than ours Manda, Leila, anyone else. When you answer please take into consideration the treatment of African Americans, the lynching, Jim Crow laws, school segregation. Do you support bringing back fifties America, I sure as hell don't

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  171. college student, isn't the idea to keep the good and throw out the bad? Lynchings, Jim Crow, etc… good riddance! But why on earth did we throw out the rest?

    You recognize that we can get rid of the bad and keep the good, right?

    Unfortunately, since young people don't even hear about "truth" anymore, or think their life goal should be "goodness" (not riches, pleasure), then we do have a bit of a problem. I'm teaching my kids about virtue, and I am hoping that a few more people will, too. But until society as a whole decides that's a good thing again, well, we are in a spot of trouble that is not so easily reversed.

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  172. @ College Student

    Catholics use contraception, Catholics abort, and Catholics have sex outside of marriage. The Catholic 'worldview' does not result in, nor encourage those things. Just like it does not encourage racism, torture, or segregation. Such things are against the philosophy, the way of life, of a Catholic. Such things happen, Catholics participate in such things because Catholics are not automatons who have no choice but to follow Catholic moral teaching.

    Every horror you have described is a result of man's free will, and selfishness, and often, his utilitarianism.

    The world we yearn for has never existed. There has never been a utopian society on earth. Not even Christendom during the so-called golden age of Christian civilization (13ths Century).

    Our desires for the world is more a desire for the individual. You might find a measure of happiness in the disposable culture that surrounds us, but we evangelize, and discuss these issues becasue we know there is a greater happiness.

    Also, just because two things happen at the same time, does not mean they are related. No contraception does not = racism.

    Has man evolved, and society developed such that no more self-reflection is necessary?

    Contemporary liberalism is not a scape goat, it is merely a convenient term to describe the ideology that encourages what we call sinful, socially destructive lifestyles.

    Again, just because most contemporary liberals think smoking is evil, doesn't mean all of them don't smoke. Just because mose contemporary liberals believe in saving the environment from mankind's carbon footprint, doesn't mean they don't create a carbon footprint the size of Montana (Al Gore, anyone? President Obama with Air Force 1, anyone? What about the President mobile? 6 miles to the gallon?)

    Not everyone practices what they preach. All we're saying is contemporary liberalism preaches that the exact things that make society go wonky, and that screw up people's lives, are the things we should be doing.

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  173. College Student,

    It's a matter of what we FIGHT for. We live in a fallen world, so we all sin, but are we going to embrace that sin and take it to the next step of selfish or are we going to fight against evil and demand better of ourselves? Men will fail, but what are our principles that we choose to strive to live by?
    http://www.city-data.com/forum/history/353681-what-do-you-think-best-decade-15.html

    I really am curious about the end goal of Liberalism. We should have in our minds a picture of what we want to achieve. If we are fighting for more contraception (more abortion, promiscuous sex, prostitution, adultery, fornication, more divorces) what is the end result? If we are fighting for abstinence and chastity (no abortions, no prostitution, no adultery, no promiscuous sex or fornication)what is our ideal end result and what have we come closer to achieving?

    If it was possible to achieve either of these ideals, which one would you prefer?

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  174. You don't defend the "achievements" of Liberals, but instead blame those who claim to want the opposite but fail to live up to their principles- "Catholics get abortions, Catholics conracept, Catholics divorce"

    Are the things you fight for not worth defending? Do you fight for something and then point fingers when many fall prey to it?

    Why aren't there more Catholics? Because of Catholics. The hypocrisy is more repulsive to human nature than just giving up all hope of virtue and embracing the fallen nature we've been given. "Don't fight it, embrace it" has become the mantra of the day. "There's probably no God, so just live your life and quit worrying" is a fairly recent advertisement found overseas, and it probably won't be long until we see these things in the U.S.
    It seems many have lost all hope.

    So depressing. Leila, I'm ready for your Jesus post!!!

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  175. Maggie, If you are right about marriage being solely the province of the Church and civil unions being the province of the government and society, then you are saying that the Church and civil society should be totally separate, that the Church should not impose its opinions on civil society. This is not the kind of government we are supposed to have. The proper kind of government is where people try to create a society based on what is True and Right and what is best for the people who live in that society. Marriage is indeed a sacrament and if we lived in the days of Christendom, then that would go hand in hand with the view of marriage in the society. But we live in a Protestant based society where there is no such thing as a sacrament. ( I am Catholic, I believe in sacraments.) But in that Protestant based society, there is still sacredness of marriage. I know our society has deteriorated greatly from the founding of our country. I also know that it was never a perfect society, that children always suffered and so did many other people. But what we have now is so much worse. We have gone from contraception and no fault divorce (which were evils) to worse evils like abortion and extreme relativism and acceptance of gay unions.

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  176. Michelle, in case you do return, I'd like to challenge you on this statement you made:

    "from my perspective, abortion isn't the killing of a person who's accumulated experiences and relationships."

    How much experience and relationship building has a 1 month old had? Or a three month old? It took my son 6 months to finally recognize and smile at his grandma. He really only recognized me and my husband. So is it ok if I wanted to end his life before that 6 month period because he didn't really have any life experience or relationships before then anyway?

    I really think you need to think about this. Also, consider that AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION, all of our DNA is fully formed. Our gender, our eye color, everything. YOU, Michelle, were a FULL PERSON at the moment you were conceived. Do we change as we develop? Of course. We are always developing. I'm 34 (gulp) and still growing, learning, changing. From the moment we start growing, we're ALIVE and should not be killed.

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  177. Second Chances,
    Thank you. When Michelle said,
    "from my perspective, abortion isn't the killing of a person who's accumulated experiences and relationships" I was taken back and thought about the 52 people who lost their lives last night in Alabama due to tornadoes. There are most likely babies included in that number, and children, and middle-aged, teenagers, old people. 52 people, all who have the same value regardless of experiences and relationships, or lack thereof. Regardless of how many attend their funerals, they are all noteworthy.

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  178. Leila @ April 27, 2011 9:16 AM says

    "If you are an atheist, then it doesn't matter what I or the Church say. It doesn't actually matter what anyone does (which is why I'm not sure why you are against brothers being sexual?). So obviously, you can ignore it all and do what you want."

    Please consider the absurdity of someone who self-describes as a Roman Catholic explaining an atheist position.

    Corollary: Please consider the absurdity of someone who self-describes as conservative explaining a liberal position.

    Add to this the very many bright, eloquent, and brave self-described atheists (and liberals) who have posted on this blog and have repeatedly explained the error in Leila's description.

    For the sake of brevity and clarity, the idea, which is sometimes titled "If God is dead, then everything is permissible," was old when I first heard it and may possibly describe what some people believe. Perhaps, someday, a reader will own up to such a belief and explain how it works.

    In the meantime, one can only hope that Leila and her friends will actually try to understand and respond to arguments with which they are unfamiliar, rather than the usual method of fabricating preposterous positions and asserting that this is what, in fact, atheists (or liberals) believe.

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  179. @ Anonymous

    "try to understand and respond to arguments with which they are unfamiliar,"

    All right, give us the arguments you're talking about, and the ones we've ignored. At least one or two that we've consistently outright ignored.

    Please consider the absurdity of someone who self-describes as a Roman Catholic explaining an atheist position.

    How is that absurd? Do you have to believe in order to describe or explain? Atheism and material determinism(logical consequence of atheism) are not difficult concepts to understand insofar as their basic principles are concerned.

    What preposterous positions are you saying that Miss Leila and her friends (me) are fabricating and ascribing to atheists/liberals?

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  180. "Please consider the absurdity of someone who self-describes as a Roman Catholic explaining an atheist position.

    Corollary: Please consider the absurdity of someone who self-describes as conservative explaining a liberal position."



    A conservative can't understand the ideologies of a liberal, and vice versa? My goodness...were be born one or the other? Many of us USED TO BE LIBERALS! Many of us USED TO BE ATHEISTS!

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  181. Please consider the absurdity of someone who self-describes as a Roman Catholic explaining an atheist position.

    Perhaps it's nearly as absurd as Richard Dawkins et al explaining what Catholics believe...

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  182. "In the meantime, one can only hope that Leila and her friends will actually try to understand and respond to arguments with which they are unfamiliar, rather than the usual method of fabricating preposterous positions and asserting that this is what, in fact, atheists (or liberals) believe."

    Enlighten us, friend.

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  183. Michelle (in case you're still reading):

    I'm deeply sorry for your miscarriages.

    Why? The children involved, by your criteria, weren't worthy of life anyway. They hadn't, in your view, formed relationships or memories. So why on earth would you be sorry? For anyone's.

    I've had family members struggle with miscarriages and I know how difficult they can be.

    I'm sorry, but until you have gone through it yourself, you have NO IDEA how difficult it is to lose a child to miscarriage.

    But nowhere did I say you were a murderer - I only drew the comparison between abortion and miscarriage because I DON'T think miscarriage is murder, and I don't think abortion is either. I realize now that since you see abortion as murder, what I said could have been construed as "miscarriage = murder" - that's not at all what I meant. No offense was intended, and I apologize.

    Thank you for your apology. I accept.

    Here's what's illogical about your position, Michelle. I began loving and planning for my children the minute I got the positive pregnancy test. I began talking to them, praying for them, picking out their names, imagining what they'd look like, even planning for their births. I had a relationship with my babies, and I grieved when they died and that relationship was taken away. Regardless, my relationship with them did not determine their worth as human beings, or their right to live their natural lifespan.

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  184. "from my perspective, abortion isn't the killing of a person who's accumulated experiences and relationships."

    Michelle keeps reaching new heights of absurdity.
    So, what arbitrary number of "accumulated experiences and relationships" would be a good starting point for you to consider someone, anyone, worthy of living?

    Are you also for the killing of those who don't measure up to your idea of valid experiences and relationships? Are you okay with wiping out the homeless, the poor, the elderly. Afterall, their experiences might just be fewer or less valuable than yours, Michelle. But since you're never clear on any standard, who knows with you? Who can read the infallible mind of Michelle? Better just do away with those people that she deems unworthy, you know, to keep the "important ones".

    Michelle, some might say your experiences in life fall short, too. Some might choose you to go first. Ever think of that?

    Remind me to give you a wide berth if we ever cross paths.

    -Nubby

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  185. Manda and Nubby: Exactly. I think it's very arrogant to assume that one person's life is not as valuable as another. Who makes that call? I hope no one makes that decision for me.

    Joanna: I'm so sorry for your losses. I agree that unless you've experienced a miscarriage firsthand, it's impossible to know all of the pain involved. My sympathies.

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  186. Jen J: I'd love to chat with you about what you've had done for your fertility and hear your story. Feel free to email me! My email is under my profile on my blog :)

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  187. Anonymous (do I know you?),

    Here's the problem: You say it's absurd that I try to think like an atheist. But atheists don't have a pope, right? So, you can't tell me the "atheist" position. Apparently the New Atheists think the existentialists are wrong in many ways. So, if I were an atheist (and atheists have the right to determine what their own existence means, correct?), I know that I would not find any logical reason for doing this abstract thing called "good" (which is subjective anyway), except for the arbitary rules of a society that might jail me if I don't.

    So, again, which tenet of atheism do I not understand? Which of its dogmas?

    Thanks!

    (Manda, I'm craving the Jesus post, too. Sweet Jesus, how I love you!)

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  188. "Please consider the absurdity of someone who self-describes as a Roman Catholic explaining an atheist position."

    Utterly ridiculous.
    We've been given the ability as humans to grasp concepts. It's called comprehension.

    If you're not willing to allow anyone to comprehend your worldview, then you should stop trying to comprehend native american history, physics, or the simple concept of balancing a checkbook.

    -Nubby

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  189. Nubby, those are excellent points.

    Anonymous?

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  190. What about in a marriage, could a couple say they do not want kids, and use NFP religiously.

    Chelsea, I don't think I ever answered this, sorry!

    If a couple goes into a marriage saying "we will not have children" then it would not be a valid marriage in the Catholic Church. It doesn't matter the means of avoiding pregnancy, it's the intent to never be open to having children that is the problem. The Catholic marriage vows include the vow to welcome children lovingly from God. Marriage is about coming together in love as "one flesh" (sex) and also about procreating and raising children.

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  191. I'm sorry, but until you have gone through it yourself, you have NO IDEA how difficult it is to lose a child to miscarriage.

    I've had a miscarriage, and I think it is definitely possible for someone who has NOT had one to understand what it is like. Would you say the same for a husband - that a father couldn't possibly understand a miscarriage unless he's been through it? Then why wouldn't a friend understand the same way?

    I understand you are angry about Michelle's comment, but telling her she can't possibly comprehend a miscarriage, or that you'll smack her upside the head (not JoAnna, someone else) and otherwise insulting her intelligence doesn't become this group.

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  192. "If God is dead, then everything is permissible," was old when I first heard it and may possibly describe what some people believe. Perhaps, someday, a reader will own up to such a belief and explain how it works.

    I'll take a crack at this, because it goes in line with a comment from Peter a while back:
    You lead this to the "anything goes" conclusion. But as far as we're concerned, a morality based on the bible and on faith is completely baseless (if you're going to consider our's baseless as well).

    A morality followed by someone who does not believe in an objective morality held by some sort of higher standard (God, Natural Law... etc...) is not baseless, but it IS autonomous/individualistic. Therefore, it is perfectly within the realm of possibility (already occurring) that if everyone in the world developed their own individual, autonomous morality there could, in theory, be over 6,000,000,000 different moralities, many of which could and, statistically, probably would, be in direct opposition to each other. It's an if/then statement. If there are 6 billion different moralities that are all acceptable (because everyone is to come up with their own) and many are in direct opposition then yes, "anything goes"/"anything is permissible".

    The only thing that keeps people in check is the legal system, which is ultimately based on the changing morality of the people. In 50 years if the majority of the people in the country decide that everyone between the ages of 20 and 65 must smoke 6 packs of cigarettes a day to keep the tobacco companies in business, or not eat vegetables because it might harm the eco system, then they elect politicians who put those laws into place. It may be an absurd and unrealistic example, but I bet 100 years ago, the thought of legally defining marriage as any two adults who want to get married was equally absurd, or legally saying that a baby inutero can be removed, violently at that, if the mother wants to.

    We can't base right from wrong on the indvidual, because everyone will want right from wrong to be slightly different from (and you have enough people differing slightly from one another and pretty soon you have at least two people who believe right from wrong to be complete opposites). And you can't base right from wrong on the legal system because that's based on what a group of semi like-minded individuals want.

    Does this make sense?

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  193. Would you say the same for a husband - that a father couldn't possibly understand a miscarriage unless he's been through it?

    MaiZeke, yes, I don't think my husband can fully comprehend how difficult it was for ME, personally, to miscarry, any more than I can fully understand how difficult it was for him to wait for me when I was undergoing a D&C, or to hold my hand on the ER gurney while I was losing a baby.

    I don't think that anyone can fully comprehend the emotional pain and trauma that accompanies miscarriage until they've gone through the experience themselves. The exception may be trained therapists who've worked with hundreds of such women, but even then their experience is only clinical and not personal.

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  194. "I've had a miscarriage, and I think it is definitely possible for someone who has NOT had one to understand what it is like. Would you say the same for a husband - that a father couldn't possibly understand a miscarriage unless he's been through it? Then why wouldn't a friend understand the same way?"

    Well this is news. I thought atheists aren't all into that 'absurdity' of anyone understanding anyone else's position. See anon above.

    -Nubby

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  195. Regarding feelings about miscarriage: I have had one, too. I think everyone's feelings are subjective. That is why some of us can mourn our unborn offspring, and some can abort them without a blink. Our feelings about human beings are subjective, but thank goodness their inherent worth is objective!

    I am not more "valuable" than the atheist, or the Jew, or the African, or the unborn. We are EQUAL in dignity and worth before God and man. Now that's the kind of equality that college student and others should be championing!

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  196. See anon?
    From the mouth of a fellow non-believer. Just replace the words as shown. Understanding of a variety of thoughts does exist mentally:

    "I've had a miscarriage, and I think it is definitely possible for someone who has NOT had one to understand what it is like. Would you say the same for a husband - that a father couldn't possibly understand a miscarriage unless he's been through it? Then why wouldn't a friend understand the same way?"

    Insertion as shown.
    Read::

    "I've been an atheist, and I think it is definitely possible for someone who has NOT been one to understand what it is like... Then why wouldn't a friend understand the same way?"

    Direct your questions to MaiZeke who apparently has no issues with comprehending something she has experienced, and even above and beyond - she thinks those who haven't firsthand experienced are capable of understanding, er..comprehending it!

    -Nubby

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