Friday, May 25, 2012

My Quick Takes are getting quicker...



…because the college kids have been home for a couple of weeks and we have ten people in this house! Crazy times, fun times, but it leaves me much less time to blog. I have to be succinct. Here goes.




1) Two of my favorite men. Different races, different cultures, different dimensions (one long dead), both princes of the Church, both smart as whips, both sharing the same faith that transcends all time and space. Man, I love being Catholic!!



If your eyes are old like mine, it says: "I am not amused by your amateur theology", ha ha!


2) Okay, so aside from the 47 other things that are just-so-wrong and depraved about this story itself and the existence of the website in the first place (which promotes bowl-a-thons to fund human abortions), does anyone notice something glaringly, obviously missing from this atrocious, heartbreaking piece about a 14-year-old girl?


I'm not going to mention what it is. I want to see if anyone else notices.


3) I find myself asking (even shouting) the following question out loud lately: 

WHERE HAVE ALL THE GROWN-UPS GONE???


4) Saw this a few days back, from the brilliant Robert P. George, of Princeton, whose common sense, logic, and straight talk is so refreshing:
At a forum at Princeton a few evenings back, I predicted --- it hardly took much prescience --- that the race between Obama and Romney would be brutal and nasty. I see that the Obama supporters have already taken the gloves off. The consistently and strongly liberal Washington Post is running a story today reporting that 47 years ago, while at prep school, the adolescent Mitt Romney tackled another boy whose long hair and hairstyle he didn't like, and cut off some of his hair. 47 years ago. That would be 1965. Gosh, how can we get a sense of just when that was? Hmmm . . . Let's think. Well, it was after the Kennedy assassination and before Barack Obama used cocaine. Yes, it was definitely before Obama used cocaine. I mean, Obama was only four years old in 1965, so he couldn't yet have used cocaine. No, he only used cocaine later. Of course, the President doesn't use cocaine now. He hasn't used cocaine for a long time. Well, it's true that it has been less than 47 years since he used cocaine. So, I suppose if it's OK to bring up bad conduct that occurred 47 years ago, then it's perfectly OK to bring up bad conduct that happened less than 47 years ago, right? Or should both sides observe a rule against bringing up bad conduct from decades (and even half-centuries) ago that tells us nothing about what the candidates are like as people today? Obviously, the answer to that last question is yes. But the point of this comment, for anybody who hasn't gotten it already, is that there must be --- we must insist on --- a single standard to be applied to both campaigns and their supporters. Double standards are simply intolerable. What's fair for one side is fair for the other. What's foul for one side must be treated as foul for the other.
We all get that, right? Please say we do.


5) Had a son's kindergarten graduation on Wednesday night, a son's eighth grade graduation last night, and a bunch of year-end activities for everyone these past couple of weeks. May is a busy month! It is also Mary's month, and a time for countless worldwide May Crownings of Our Blessed Mother:


I am fairly certain I had never seen a May Crowning or procession in the first 27 years of my life as a Catholic. So grateful it's a yearly occurrence in my own children's lives!


6) I'm reviving the…


… with the following quote from LJP to Johanne (who, as a non-Catholic, finds the rules of Catholicism confusing):


Johanne,


I'd like to second Leila's appreciation for your answer. I understand where you are coming from...it can be confusing to see all the Tradition, Liturgy, dogma, etc.. and try to make sense of it all individually. I think this may be a case of missing the forest for the trees. If you are truly interested in coming to a better understanding of the Church, may I suggest a different route?


Let's say you are interested in learning about baseball; you know nothing about it but you do know several people who are quite passionate about the game. Would you want to start by reading up on the infield-fly rule, defensive strategy, or what factors are involved in determining batting lineups? Of course not! You would start by going to a few games, just enjoying the stadium, the roar of the crowd, the hot dogs, the beauty of the game itself. Are the rules of the game complex? Absolutely. Can a child enjoy and appreciate the play of the game without understanding the rules? Absolutely.


Think of Catholicism in the same way. If you are truly interested, look at the great Cathedrals, look at the abundance of art, music, philosophy, and science that has been created and forwarded by the Church faithful. Go to a Mass and just watch.


Would you judge the legacy, foundations, and beauty of the sport of baseball solely upon a reading of the Mitchell Report (report on the investigation into the use of steroids in the MLB)? No, you would read stories of the the greatest players, the greatest games, the greatest stadiums.


Read a biography of a saint. Visit a Cathedral. Find a local monastery and spend an afternoon there.


I would suggest taking a look at Fr. Robert Barron's website, wordonfire.org. He has many, many interesting videos that explain many aspects of the faith. He's the one who puts forth the baseball analogy I used earlier (although much more profoundly than I did).


Start by seeking the Beautiful. This will lead you to the Good. Eventually you'll end up at the Truth. Then you can dive into all the rules you want.


Just thought I would share that.


I'm so glad he did!


7) Finally, orphan stuff. I've decided that Quick Takes #7 will always be about orphan stuff. You can always skip #7 if you'd like, but I hope you will read this post from my other blog before you do. There is so much hope, and when you read this story, you will understand the happy side of all this!


See? So simple to feel better about things, and even get excited!

Oh, and look at Stella:

Mommy and Daddy, are you out there?

Do you want Stella? Go and get Stella. She's available for adoption, and she needs you. Get more information, here.

Yes, I believe that each #7 is going to feature the photo of a waiting child from now on, too. :)

One last thing: Malcolm is still waiting in that darned orphanage, but the rusty wheels of bureaucracy are slowly moving ahead, and the Smiths hope to have him home by the end of the year. They hope to take their first flight to his country before he is sent to the adult mental institution (transfer apparently scheduled for September, sigh), so that he will be "held" at the baby house instead. The family is so close to being fully funded, but we are still trying to close that gap. Kara has put together an online silent auction (too fun!) for Malcolm and the Smiths. You can go look at the great items here (or search "Bidding Malcolm Home" on facebook) and start anticipating! The bidding begins on Saturday, June 2, and I think there could be a feeding frenzy on some of those items. :)

I lied. There is still one more thing. The iPad giveaway to bring Ava home to America -- to be reunited with her orphanage crib-mate and be real sisters at last! -- is now running, here. My son just donated (he really wants an iPad to help orphans), and I will be donating too, once June begins (my husband can attest that I've gone over my orphan donation quota for the month of May).



Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks to Jen for hosting!





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42 comments:

  1. #2: I noticed two things missing from that story

    A) A father.

    B) The Father.

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  2. sthenryii, yes, you got it!

    No mention of the young girl's father.
    No mention of the father of the baby (who in all probability is a legal adult; statutory rape is very common but almost never reported by abortion clinics.
    And finally, the young girl herself mentions her future: wanting to become a vet and wanting to be able to support her other children one day when she has them, but no mention of marriage.

    No men anywhere in the picture of this girl's past, present, or future.

    That is an utter tragedy - a society without fathers and husbands is a society in deep, deep trouble.

    I wonder if those on the left noticed the missing "fathers" in the story right off the bat? And if they are deeply disturbed by it?

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  3. Don't you know that mothers and fathers are interchangeable?! Don't you know that gender doesn't matter? Love matters! Only love does! Sheesh, I'd have thought that some of your enlightened lefty readers would have educated you by now. That God/god/the Flying Spaghetti Monster/Gaia/pick a goddess/Nature created two, count'em, TWO complimentary genders that create life means nothing, it's just a coincidence. Must I teach you everything??

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  4. Girl from NY, I am a slow learner! Be patient with me. I am not fully evolved and enlightened yet… ;)

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  5. #3 After the week I had, I am screaming the same thing.

    I can look at the orphans all day and most don't make me cry. But Stella does for some reason. She's so sweet.

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  6. 2. What's missing? Her dad. And the father of her baby. And any concept that marriage and picking a good man will be key to fulfilling her dreams.

    Alot of other things are missing too, like there's a complete disconnect between the sacrifices her mother has made for her so she could have an opportunity to become a vet, SAHM, etc. And apparently her mother hasn't connected the dots either. A lack of understanding that if she doesn't want kids now, she should focus instead on her studies and avoid baby-making behavior, etc. A lack of understanding that she's lost a child "when I have kids... " Yikes, she already had one... and now she doesn't. Very sad.

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  7. What I found most pathetic about #2 was this line: "My mom has tried my whole life to shield me from being hurt."

    Sadly, she didn't succeed, since this girl went looking for masculine love (to replace her absent dad's) and ended up getting pregnant as a result. Now, her grandchild will be killed, which is going to hurt her daughter more than either of them realize.

    I also found the lack of personal responsibility in that story saddening. "Darcy" talks like she was just walking down the street one day and -- oops! -- somehow got pregnant. No mention of, "Gee, I made a really bad choice having sex when I wasn't in a position to deal with the natural biological consequences of sex."

    Sigh.

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    Replies
    1. agree.........complete disconnect

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  8. I'm guessing the baby didn't get a second chance.

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  9. I currently have two cousins getting inseminated because they want babies but no husbands or dads for these kids. In my own family!
    I know how important dads are because I didnt have one and it did horrible damage in my early years as a young adult.

    Very sad.

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  10. You guys are all totally right! And Christine, there is only one word for what your cousins are doing: selfish.

    When did selfishness become a virtue in our society? Wait, I know… sometime in the '60s.

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  11. #2 - not sure I can eat my dinner now. I'm sick. And so, so sad.

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  12. I noticed that there were no men in the story or at least I knew that is what you were looking for. Its a relatively unsurprising narrative....

    Even if the girl's father was in the picture I wouldn't expect him mentioned in the abortion story. Girls generally prefer to talk only with their mother's about sex related things. So, even if her parents were married she easily might not have talked about her abortion with him

    As for the baby daddy. I think it shows slight maturity that she didn't mention him. Many girls that young would be so enamoured with the guy (who is almost always not a good influence) that they would do whatever he wanted-either getting an abortion at his request or keeping the baby because he said he would be there. So there is something to be said about the girl making a decision on her own, not based on his demands or empty promises...Practically speaking I don't see how the involvement of a 14-year old boy would have helped.

    ~College Student

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  13. College student, do you acknowledge that fatherless cultures are BAD for children? You know that about 72% of black babies are born out of wedlock, right? What do you think of that? Will you make that sound like it's just "one of those things"? Is there a time when you might finally say: Yes, this is a moral crisis! (But you didn't think that the man who fathered 30 children with 11 women was a moral problem, so I guess I already know the answer, sigh.)

    And I'd bet dollars to donuts that the baby daddy is no 14-year-old boy.

    Very sad. Let's call a tragedy a tragedy, and then work to have whole families again. This is a little girl. She has no business having sex in the first place. We have failed her as a society. We will all be held to account one day.

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  14. #2... My heart just broke to read this and my jaw was on the floor. I noticed the absence of men in the story but I just couldn't get over the facts that she is 14, she is having sex and that is not "the problem", she is desperate for money to get an abortion. Poor, poor girl. It brings tears to my eyes to think of a 14 YEAR OLD living this kind of life. You are right... society has failed her.

    #7... Oh my. Stella is beautiful. She also brought tears to my eyes. How I wish she was mine. I always pray for the RR children but this is the first one that really stopped me in my tracks. If I had the money I'd be on a plane asap. (You know I would be too.) She deserves the love of a forever family as all children do.

    So glad your college kids are home. That always made for a fun time in our house too! Have a great weekend Leila!

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  15. Yes Leila,

    I did know that very sad fact about black families and do indeed acknowledge that it is sad. I am glad to hear you say that we are failing these people because I do agree society must take some culpability for not properly educating people, I also agree that 14 is way too young to be sexually active

    But I think you are blaming liberalism where you should be blaming slavery and its far-reaching effects. Have you spent any time in poor black communities. It's okay if you haven't because I hadn't until very recently. The sexual culture is very different than you would see on a liberal college campus where people are trying to defer pregnancy. 'Elite liberals' think pregnancy is a life-changing ordeal which is why they try to avoid it until they are married and financially stable. In many poor communities young teens welcome and encourage pregnancy. They won't use birth control if you give it to them. They aren't as preoccupied as ruining their lives because they don't expect much quality of life to begin with...very difficult to conflate with the elite liberal paradigm. Two very different things going on.

    ~CS

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  16. College student, back up and try again. Are you saying that uneducated people or black people are incapable of morality? That is sad, since, I believe that morality is achievable to any race, class or gender.

    You are aware that not too long ago (and yes, after slavery), black people were perfectly capable of having marriage come before babies, right?

    It's condescending to imply that because someone is black or uneducated that they cannot understand or live by basic morality. And yes, I know that you are black yourself, which is why it is doubly troubling to hear you say such things.

    You can't really mean that, so hopefully I misunderstood you….

    But if you really think that, perhaps you should follow the lead of LT at "Look! A Black Catholic!" and read the book she highlights in this post, about the very problem you see in the black communities:

    http://lookablackcatholic.blogspot.com/2012/05/black-folk-aint-catholic-and-other.html

    It's not an issue of "uneducated people" being somehow unable to be moral! Uneducated people, and black people, and all sorts of disadvantaged and oppressed people, are able to still live moral and honorable lives.

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  17. Also, CS, you didn't actually address the missing father issue, or tell us why it's sad or problematic in your opinion. Thanks!

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  18. About #3 - the grown-ups are the people we went to high school with. They are people who experienced childhood during the "me" decade. The grown-ups are also people I use to babysit. Thomas More was a real grown-up. He's on my mind because I just watched A Man for All Seasons.

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  19. One of my college HUMANISTIC college PSYCHOLOGY professors said that the reason it takes a man and a woman to make a baby is because children need BOTH parents, and both the mother AND the father bring different qualities to parenting. Professor said children need the qualities both parents have. Also because raising children is a BIG JOB and that's why it takes two.

    Now those of you who have great things to say about single parents or tell of some sad story about why they are a single parent will write in. Yes, life often throws us a curveball, or we make errors or misjudgments. But why deliberately seek out a less than ideal situation?

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  20. Without reading the other comments, for #2 I'm going with where have all the fathers gone. Apparently the poor girl writing the piece doesn't have a father and neither does the baby she sees no choice but to kill. But hey, at least the evil parental notification laws forced her to let her mom know what was going on.

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  21. Leila,
    No I wasn’t trying to say black or uneducated people were incapable of morality at all.??? to infer that I would have had to say that having babies out of wedlock was immoral, which I didn’t…I am against young people having babies because it is stupid, not immoral.

    I was merely commenting that when addressing a problem we can’t assume every culture has the same value set. We cant use the same tools to combat teen pregnancy among every demographic. I.e. an upper class 14 year old doesn’t need you to explain to her why she shouldn’t have a baby at her age. However another 14-year-old girl where teen pregnancy was very common might need to have it explained to her comprehensively.

    ~CS

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  22. As for why is it sad, It is sad anytime someone is not born into a stable home.

    The women who are unmarried also tend to be uneducated and young and fairly poor. They tend to want companionship and support in a partner and rightly feel maligned and overwhelmed supporting a baby and a house on their own.


    ~CS

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  23. "...we can’t assume every culture has the same value set…"

    CS, blacks and whites (and rich and poor) used to have exactly the same value set when it came to having babies out of wedlock. At the time of slavery and after. You mentioned slavery. So, what was your point, then? Also, why do you suppose that the black culture (or the uneducated culture, or whatever culture you were implying), switched to a different set of values a few decades back?

    I am very interested in why you think that happened.

    Also, what makes a home "stable" or "unstable"? (Since you think their is nothing immoral about having babies out of wedlock, I'm thinking it has more to do with having financial security, in your mind, rather than a need for a child to have a father? But I could be misunderstanding you.)

    What is the significance of a father (and a father in the home) in a child's life, in your opinion?

    Thanks!

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  24. I absolutely love that you keep #7 about orphans. Thank you for being a voice for the oft-forgotten children of our world!!

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  25. I mentioned slavery because it decimated the black family structure in this country or rather was the catalyst it never formed properly in the first place.

    “CS, blacks and whites (and rich and poor) used to have exactly the same value set when it came to having babies out of wedlock. At the time of slavery and after.”

    Eh Black people weren’t allowed to get married so every single black baby was born out of wedlock for the first couple hundred years…

    As for what I think changed between reconstruction and the 1980’s… I would have to go with slavery redux aka the war on drugs. A majority of black men are either in jail or were in jail making them
    a) Literally unavailable for marriage
    b) Undesirable to women because they are unable to support a family b/c they can’t secure a job due to their record
    c) Gay or open to gay sex
    Women are no longer used to husbands, fathers, or men being around in general. So they don’t bat an eyelash when their child doesn’t have a father, because they didn’t have one either.

    The question isn’t where are the fathers it is where are all the men. The answer is jail.

    ~CS

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  26. By stable I suppose I was talking more about financial security

    Generally two parent households have more money, which produces more financial stability.

    In an ideal world I would say the father and mother together provide an example of the sort of marriage the child could aspire to. For a daughter, a father sets an expectation of how she should be treated and for a son, a father sets an example on how to be a man.

    However I have noticed in many families the mother primarily raises the children and the father provides financially. In situations where the mother had the resources to provide financially by herself (i.e. is a kardaishian or is independently wealthy) I can see where a father is less necessary
    ~CS

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  27. CS - this black 14-yr-old seems to have gotten the "upper class white" message that having a baby now would be a bad idea, hence the abortion (although she never mentions learning this lesson from anyone upper class or white but instead cites her mom's hardships). Regardless, I don't see any problems solved, nor do I see the "upper class white" message as being healthier. I also would like to point out that plenty of well-to-do white teens get pregnant out of wedlock and a LOT of middle-to-upper-class white folk choose to get pregnant before marriage... it's pretty common these days. So I am not convinced our cultures and "value sets" are wildly different.

    I don't see how it's mature to fail to mention the father... while I agree that women often get pressured from the father to make a certain decision, we also have to remember that the father is equally the parent of the child, and it's his loss too if the child is aborted. This is something that really bothers me about the entire abortion issue - the law's (and society's) denial of the father. If a woman decides to have the baby, guess who gets dragged into court for child support? It's a double standard that sends very mixed and confusing messages to men, women, and children.

    I also agree with Leila that sadly, the father may not be a minor like she is, which opens an entirely new set of problems for this young woman... problems an abortion will never fix.

    Ultimately, what strikes me about this story other than the lack of fathers is the mother making the sacrifices to give her daughter a better life and the daughter totally missing that message... that it's worth it to sacrifice for a little one so that they can have a chance at life. I too was raised by single mom, and at least now as an adult, I can't imagine choosing an abortion based on my mom's hardships but instead would be inspired towards sacrificial love for an innocent (although I can see how, as an immature teen, I might be too scared to see that without the help of an adult).

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  28. CS, but none of what you stated is a moral problem? Is that what you said originally? You don't believe there is a moral problem?

    Marriage was still held in high esteem by black slaves, even when not permitted to marry. They "jumped the broom", and they were moral people, no?

    Are you telling me that post-slavery, black people did not believe that marriage came before children?
    So, you are saying that drugs have caused the issues in the black community. I agree that drugs are a scourge. But if they are all in jail, ow are they impregnating all these girls/women?

    Again, I suggest you read the book that LT suggested (Bill Cosby Was Right).

    There is a big problem in the black community that many blacks acknowledge, even if it's not politically correct to do so. Until intact families are the norm again, there will continue to be heartbreaking, unnecessary problems, esp. for the children who always suffer for the sins of the adults.

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  29. Sarah, I totally agree.

    And CS, I think much of what you say is correct, about why it's important to have a father in the home, to role model for the girls and the boys. But then you say that if a woman makes money, it's "less necessary". But less necessary to whom? The child? I think a father is essential to the child whether he is rich or poor, don't you? I believe fatherhood matters a great deal, and not just because a father provides financially.

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  30. Sarah,

    How do you think the father’s involvement would have helped? When my friends were 15 they were having sex with other 15 and 16 year olds so I’m just going to make the assumption that he too is a young boy. He may be biologically responsible but what do we as a society honestly expect from young teenage fathers. You seem to think it is a lot but I think it is quite little.

    If this was your daughter and the boy involved was 14 and told her he wanted to marry her and be very involved, what would you do? Would you be comforted? Because I think you wouldn’t believe him. I think you wouldn’t trust a 14 year old boy to be a father and a husband; to keep his word. I imagine you wouldn’t want him anywhere near your daughter no matter how much he ‘loved her’ and I think most of society is with you on that. Granted I know you wouldn’t allow your daughter to have an abortion either way, but I think its disingenuous to pretend like anything really meaningful would come from his involvement.

    Double standard, barely. Legally men don’t ever have to provide for their children. If they CHOOSE to work they have to give a percentage of their wage away. A percentage, it doesn’t matter if it is enough to cover basic expenses for raising a child. And if the man isn’t working or is underemployed the gov can’t make him get a better job (think about the man with 30 children who paid some women 1.50 a month.) Hell, men never have to see their children if they don’t want to, so the idea that men have an unfair burden of taking care of children is silly. At most they pay a ‘sex tax’ a fine, no ‘taking care of’ is legally required.
    ~CS

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  31. Leila,

    You dichotomize everything as moral or amoral. I think of only the big things as moral v amoral. So no, I don’t think it’s a moral issue, I think it’s an education issue.

    No I didn’t say minute marijuana usage was the problem. I said mass incarceration was the problem.

    How are men impregnating if they are in jail? Um drug sentences aren’t life sentences, recidivism is high, and the men go in and out. The might not have time to tend family, but its enough time to make one

    You seem to think I am missing something? Why do you think black people have babies out of wedlock? What happened to them?

    ~CS

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  32. Leila

    I mean I have a great dad but I've noticed a lot of other people don't, and so yes I think the average ones are relatively disposable.

    Must be the pessimism from my recent breakup but I'm having a genuinely hard time putting my finger on what men bring to the table. Clearly it makes sense to have help from someone else, but why that someone else has to be a man...ehhh

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  33. "When my friends were 15 they were having sex…"

    You don't think this is a moral issue?

    You don't think that children having sex on a wide scale is a "big thing"? When black folks are not only having babies out of wedlock much more often than they are having babies in wedlock, but they are also are aborting more of their own children than any other group?

    Then we can't even begin to have this discussion.

    College student, we have dialogued for what, over a year now? I am pretty much out, sorry… we may as well live on two different planets for the way we continue to talk completely past each other. When you are married, and raising a child of your own one day, please, I'd love to chat then. For now, we just don't have even a premise to start with. I thought we did for a while...

    (remember this? http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/10/remember-college-student-shes-back.html )

    ... but I am pretty sure that was an anomaly. I don't suspend dialogue easily, but I think we have reached our point of clarity. Anyone else who wants to dialogue with you is welcome to do so, of course. Blessings to you! You know I have a mother's heart for you and I do wish you the very best.

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  34. Must be the pessimism from my recent breakup but I'm having a genuinely hard time putting my finger on what men bring to the table.

    Considering the caliber of men you have allowed to use and abuse you, I am not surprised. I wish one day you would hold men to a much higher standard; you have so much more dignity than that, truly. You are a child of God, not an object to be used and discarded.

    And that's about all I am going to say about that.

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  35. CS is correct in that there have been a lot of institutional racism that has decimated the African-American family for hundreds of years--from slavery to how welfare programs were set up (discouraging marriage). Even today "black crimes" often have a stiffer penalty than equivalent "white crimes" often have a harsher jail sentence (crack and cocaine are the same thing in different forms but the former is usually used by blacks and carries a harsher sentence than the latter which is more commonly used by whites.)

    After reading Michaels Oher's autobiography, the biggest issue in the "ghetto" seems to be a sense of hopelessness: unless you get lucky this will be your life forever so you might as well just give in and go with the flow of it.

    And even "average fathers" are extremely important. For one thing, parenting is very physically demanding if you want to have a chance of doing it right. Having someone to lighten your load even a little bit can make a big difference. Even just having the financial burden off your back to concentrate on the day to day care makes a big difference, because one person can not be in two-places at once. Studies consistently show how having a father around (even only a partially-involved one) has major ramifications on the physical, psychological, and neurological development of both girls and boys.

    It's sad to say, but a lot of white communities are starting to face a lot of the same problems of the black community. Most of it can be traced back to the absenteeism of even "average" fathers.

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  36. Barbara, yep, the biggest single indicator for poverty in America is not race… it's single motherhood. The breakdown of marriage and absence of fathers is devastating.

    I'm so glad you read the Michael Oher book! He really was and is tuned into the transcendence of the human spirit, and is adamant about morality being for our good, not just some silly set of rules. I appreciated how Oher showed deep love for his own shockingly neglectful mother (beyond neglectful, actually), but was very clear not to excuse her behavior, even when the others from his neighborhood told him as an adult that he should. He was grateful that she gave him life, but was not going to excuse her horrible, destructive and hurtful choices. His chapter on "Breaking the Cycle" was so hopeful! He gives some great advice to foster children, who are in the same boat he was once in. He had no role models in his early years; only bad influences (and completely absent parents). He emphasizes to kids in foster care or bad neighborhoods that their choices are only thing that matters. Nobody has to be a permanent victim. And it's clear that he means making morally responsible choices, having self-discipline and virtue.

    He specifically mentions his intention never to do anything that would bring a child into this world until he could provide that child with a solid family. Obviously, he's talking about something more than financial stability, as he is already rich now and could certainly provide a lavish lifestyle to a child. Sold family means: marriage first. God bless him! He really did beat the odds, and I'm so grateful that he is now a role model to the other kids who feel hopeless, living the life he used to live.

    It's absolutely a moral issue, the breakdown of marriage and family. A HUGE moral issue.

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  37. I won’t comment much more because I’ve been asked not to and I don’t want to become a troll, but I don’t want to be misrepresented.

    Barbara

    I think we are saying similar things. There IS a hopelessness in the ‘ghetto’ many people don’t understand they can do better than their parents, they have no role models, no reason to believe their lives can be infinitely improved which is why I suggested that education was the answer. You can say they need moral education or whatever, but they need to be taught how to live, and its education all the same

    ~CS

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  38. Barbara and Leila

    Also I can absolutely see the value of having someone to ‘lighten the load’ I am not at all trying to glorify single motherhood (which I personally think would be hell) but I feel the readers on this blog glorify marriage and I never know if you are talking about de facto marriage or ideal marriage. Because about half of the time in this country marriage LEADS to single motherhood…. so we can pretend that marriage magically shelters women, but it is indeed pretending…marriage ends my friends.


    I have been working for a corporation for less than a year. Rarely have I had a one-on-one with a male executive who didn’t say I was beautiful. 30, 40 and 50 year old men who are all very nice, talk innocently with me about their wives and children and then tell a 20 year old she is beautiful, and then text me, or invite me to events or flat out ask for sex. This is how these men behave at work. How do you think they behave outside of work? I imagine these men are generally good fathers, and are relatively committed to their wives, but its marriage not magic.

    Does this mean no one should get married or all marriages fail, of course not; it merely means marriage is not full proof. And just as we do a disservice to women by telling them its easy to have a baby alone, we also lie by saying marriage will guarantee a stable home. Marriage is better IF it works out and that is a big if.

    ~CS

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  39. CS - I know I am late in responding, but a 14-yr-old boy and girl are too young - in our culture - to marry. You're mistaking me saying that the father is "important" with saying that all pregnant couples should "get married." Not the same. They're not socially ready. If two 14-yr-olds got pregnant, I'd strongly suggest adoption. If it was my daughter or son, I'd help them make the best decision for their child and help them grieve the circumstances, which are tragic and hard for all involved due to poor choices on the part of these two 14-yr-olds.

    Not ever scenario has a neat and tidy "easy" ending but that doesn't mean there aren't good, worthy options. There are different kinds of pain... those that come from making a good, but hard, choice (like adoption for a child that cannot be cared for by his or her parents) and those that come from making a bad/tragic choice (like having an abortion).

    And yes, this girl's baby has a father, and even if he has no resources and is indeed 14, he needs to know about his child and grieve any losses (ideally, NOT the loss of the child's life... that whole two wrongs not making a right thing).

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  40. And CS - if they CHOOSE to work??? So my father was supposed to choose to have NO job and career for my entire life? My father already had a law degree and was a lawyer when my parents divorced. Yes, he was held accountable by the courts. He was almost sent to jail when he was unemployed, living out of a car, and couldn't make child support payments due to owing child support. Yeah, what a great life he was living. So fulfilling! What he *wanted* was a successful career (and yes, to be involved in his children's lives in spite of mistakes). Most men are decent people who want to live according to their own dignity even though it seems like you've yet to experience that. I pray someday you meet more men like that.

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