Sunday, June 3, 2012

The shockingly offensive statement that got my facebook account shut down for "violating community standards"

So there I was, having a run-of-the-mill facebook debate last Thursday evening on Stacy's facebook page. The young liberal woman whom we were debating, Marti, is actually a sweet girl. There was no acrimony involved in the conversation, and in fact, I remember thinking how remarkably civil the discussion was.

The young liberal was arguing for gay "marriage" and claiming that, even with all things being equal, it was not a societal ideal that a child be raised by a married mother and father.

In fact, single parenting, gay parenting, "married sibling" parenting, even orphanages and foster homes are no less desirable or beneficial for a child than having a married mom and dad. As long as there is "love" in whatever unconventional situation a child is thrown into, and as long as one or more adults in the child's life are somehow performing the "roles" of mother and father (mothers and fathers being interchangeable, by the way), then all is well for the children of America, in her view.

Marti also asserted several times that the purpose of sex was clearly not procreation, but (almost exclusively) recreation.

As you can imagine, Stacy and I had a lot to say, and we challenged her philosophy.

(I did notice that some other liberals came on and were a bit nasty, but I was almost exclusively focused on the interesting exchange with Marti.*)

The next morning, I could not sign onto my facebook. I assumed there was a glitch, and tried several more times. Still no luck, and a message said to try again later, that there was a security issue. Finally, I was prompted to identify some photos from my friends' facebook albums, for security reasons, I was told. I had three attempts to identify correctly. I did so, but was told that I still could not sign on. I tried again later. Same drill, identified friends' pictures, still no luck.

Meanwhile, I began to receive private emails from my friends.

"So did you leave facebook?"


"What happened to your Facebook page?"


"Your whole page is gone."


"did you get rid of your facebook account?! did I miss something?!"

"What happened to your Facebook? I can't find you on there anymore! I think you may have been deleted or something! The reason I noticed is because in our messages to each other, your picture is gone and it doesn't say your name anymore...it just says "Facebook user". The only time I have ever seen this is when someone deleted their Facebook or I have someone blocked."

Hmmmm….

After about the fourth attempt at identifying friends' photos, I was taken to a series of pages informing me that I had had my account suspended for violating facebook's "community standards". One of my comments from the previous night's debate was displayed as the specific offending statement. 

Are you ready to read the statement that got me locked out of the facebook community? Clear the room of all children. It's shocking, depraved, and ugly. No decent community could stand such a horror on display. Measures had to be taken by the authorities, and now you will see why. Brace yourself. Here is it:


Oh, Marti. Think of biology. Sex is pleasurable and good… because nature wants people to have children! It's why food is good, too… so that we have life! But to separate the unitive part of sex from the procreative is just plain wrong. They go together. They are meant to be together. The baby making act (which is pleasurable and which is meant to bond the spouses) actually creates babies! That's the point of it, biologically. And, if a man and woman cannot create a baby, it's still *ordered* toward procreation; something has simply gone wrong, or the spouses bodies have gotten too old. But the act is still *ordered* rightly. You keep saying that homosexuals can make babies. Not with each other!! Obviously. Obviously. You know this. Marti, when things are seen and used according to their right order, human beings flourish. When we use things against their purpose and order, things tend NOT to flourish. The idea that anyone could be at the point of saying, "I'm not sure if in a perfect world a child should be raised by his mom and dad" makes me very sad. I think we can see why so many kids are so messed up and don't understand what it means to be a mother or a father, a husband or a wife. :(

I am sorry you all had to see that wickedness. I hope your eyeballs are not burning.

Seriously though, I was stunned. What the heck? That statement was innocuous, and it presented a view of things that was, until about five minutes ago, non-controversial and universally understood.

I scratched my head and read their "standards", trying to figure out which of them had been violated by my words. I still can't figure it out, can you? Have a look:








The statement below, which is tacked directly beneath the standards, only confirms for me that my account was suspended by a deliberate decision of the facebook police, and was not something reflexive or automatic. In fact, this statement only speaks of removing questionable content, not suspending entire accounts, so my horrible offense must have been among the worst of the worst:



After I clicked through my warning, my account was reactivated, and, being the rebel that I am, I immediately reposted the "offensive" statement on my facebook page, not once, not twice, but three times. heh heh heh. So far, no one's caught on, and I'm still allowed to roam the streets of social media -- though I must have been on probation for a day or so, as my comments were being blocked as spam on several friends' pages as recently as yesterday.

I'd ask facebook for an explanation of why the comment was censored and what rule it violated, but there's almost no way to get in touch with this shadowy panel of enforcers. Anyone out there who can get answers, I'm open to hearing it!

Meanwhile, beware, Catholics! Facebook doesn't seem to care for your Faith and your freedom any more than the Obama administration does. We aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto. It's a brave new world out there, and getting eerier every day.







*Marti was not the one who turned me in; she agrees that what happened to me was nuts. It must have been one of the other liberals, a "tolerant, open-minded" liberal, no doubt. ;)






PLEASE NOTE: If you are following the very interesting comments, there is more than one page. Click on the "load more" or "loading" link at the bottom of the comments to get to the subsequent page(s).


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541 comments:

  1. Wow, ridiculous!

    Perhaps Facebook flagged you for using "sex" and "pleasurable" in the same comment? Still ridiculous, I suppose...

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  2. Can't believe it Leila!!!! That is just so so crazy! Makes me want to shut down my acct. in protest! Ridiculous!

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  3. This has happened to me twice, and to many others I know. It appears to be an orchestrated attack where activists are alerted to join together and report a specific user. Facebook automatically does this to an account that receives a lot of reports.

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  4. Your comments on my status today were marked as spam. Ugh! And yeah, it's bizarre.

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  5. I wonder whether there is something that automatically happens when users start flagging you. That could explain how an account would be deactivated for statements that are less than universally controversial.

    When it comes to online comments, I don't know what the proper route to take is. People can say awful things and get away with it - they can also gang up on someone who isn't saying anything bad and essentially ostracize them from a community.

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  6. Perhaps Facebook flagged you for using "sex" and "pleasurable" in the same comment?

    Except that it wasn't just flagged and removed, my entire account was suspended. Also, facebook is not prudish. They let all sorts of very lewd groups and sexually-related talk go on literally every moment of every day. They don't care about sex talk, truly. And, it was Marti who spoke about sex being pleasurable, even more than I did. She did not get flagged or suspended. So, it doesn't add up.

    Katy, you'd think that facebook would be aware and not allow spamming like that. And, it was on Stacy's page that this happened, and I am pretty sure that she has had comments that have been "reported" before, too. But no suspension of account. It was very specific that this was the comment they deemed offensive. Again, I could be wrong, but it seems odd that they would just suddenly shut people down based on other people spamming them, then give a specific warning about a specific paragraph. I'd be happy to be wrong about this.

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  7. Two Things, One: not all people use their "real" identities on facebook. Since I use an online pseudonym I use one on facebook too. There's nothing that I've seen that suggests you can't (otherwise Mark Twain would have been in trouble). I don't consider it to be misrepresenting myself because that's who I go by (although not professionally and not in real life). So far Facebook hasn't cared. If they did, Mark Twain sounds like a good example to use.

    Secondly: Facebook is pulling crap like this all the time. Several breastfeeding women have gotten their pages taken down because of their discreet photos of breastfeeding. I've seen them before. As one person explained, you see more skin on people posting pictures of themselves in bikinis than these photos. Yet, Facebook removed them as offensive and lewd images. And now I see they've updated their pages to specifically include the images. It seems they've gotten enough flack for it.

    It also seems that Facebook has it's own agenda. I don't really like Facebook all that much and I'm sure as a medium it's going to eventually go the way of the dodo bird (Myspace anyone?). They've already made it difficult for small Work-From-Home Businesses and other sites to show up in people's newsfeeds.

    I hate Facebook. I wouldn't use it except everyone I know does and it's a way to communicate faster with more people.

    I feel your pain.

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  8. We are all probably on some shady list of bloggers who are oppressing the free world. Unreal! I love how "tolerant" the left claims to be. They are "tolerant" as long as you agree with them. Keep up the good fight!

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  9. Oh, brother. Another encounter with the don't-hurt-my-feelings thought police. I imagine you were flagged by multiple people. I know many people who want to ban anything remotely offensive or even words that could potentially hurt someone's feelings. When we give words that much power over us that we can't face them and demand an outright silencing ban, then we actually encourage the real bullies to flourish. We acknowledge that intentionally malicious people have tremendous power over us by saying words (they are achieving their goal!), and we squelch any intelligent conversation about thought-provoking topics. It is sad. If someone says something that is offensive to me with malicious intent, I would prefer to simply ignore them. Let them offer their true feelings to the world, and at least I know where they stand. As far as honest debate over sensitive topics, isn't that part of America's design?

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  10. There's a conservative blog I read that attracts many, many liberals. I'd bet that 1/2 to 2/3 of those who comment are liberal - oopsie, excuse me - I meant "progressive."

    The blogger has no shortage of current examples of intolerance by the tolerant, diverse folks. What you've experienced is no different. It's tragic and sad that so many posters say, no matter how much evidence is there, that we (conservatives, or anyone who disagrees with **any** ideology in the liberal/progressive/left mindset) are not nor will ever lose our rights, and often they'll say that even though they disagree with us, they'd still stand up for our rights to free speech or whatever. BULLS**T on both accounts.

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  11. Facebook is eeeevil. I deleted my account because it's so yucky there. You are braver than me!

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  12. Facebook has become a "necessary evil" for many of us. It's my only link to many distant family members and friends. We need to come up with our own social media!

    DD

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  13. That's just one of the many reasons that I refuse to have a Facebook account.

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  14. Absoluting SHOCKING!!! excuse me whilst I reach for my smelling salts and fan eh!
    Prepare yourself for the knock at your front door from the PC police asking you to sign up for sensitivity training this week.

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  15. Freedom of speech is whimpering in a heap on the floor. All but dead and gone.

    I detest facebook.
    Not at all surprised this happened to you, mama. Good thing you have your blog.

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  16. I think there are folks on the other side--religious intolerance, extreme liberalism, etc.--who are willing to devote large chunks of their day to scoping out people like Leila and reporting them to the Facebook police or other Thought Enforcement agencies. WE on the other hand are simply attempting to engage them in thoughtful debate and don't invest time in doing drone fly-overs.

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  17. Wow. Well, after the IPO went public I did a little research on Mr. Zuckerberg and found out he is a self proclaimed atheist, so this doesn't surprise me. I've never been on Facebook, actually, but it sure seems to breed evil.

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  18. Frank Zappa once said that he thought stupidity was the most plentiful substance in the universe. The longer I live, I see more and more evidence that he was right. Why do liberals, who preach 'live and let live', seem unable to live by their own philosophy?

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  19. Ridiculous!
    If I had to guess, they probably tried to use the "harassment" (towards Marti??) or the "hate speech" violation as reasoning.
    And now I must go take a bath to try to remove all of that disgusting and perverse smut I just read.

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  20. From Fr Peter (PFL) yesterday: "Facebook disabled my account for a few days. I'm not sure why. It may be that I've been posting too much or that some of my posts are "politically incorrect". If I disappear again look for me on ProLifeBook.com, LinkedIn.com of HLI.org"

    Love your last statement on "open minded" liberals. pbbsst

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  21. That is nuts. I have seen breastfeeding photos get tagged as deltaflute mentioned, which really made me mad... but this is worse!

    Some of you mentioned that FB breeds evil... do you really think so? I am going to have to ponder that today. I have had a lot of good from from FB, actually. For example, my late grandmother was absolutely addicted to farmville and loved it. You know the hymn about a mansion on a hilltop? She was able to make one on her own on her farmville account and it brought me to tears as she was suffering from ALS and could only move her right "mouse" hand in the end. Sometimes I still go back to her FB page to remember her...

    But, yes, I do see a lot of junk on FB. But, I just want to know... do you think it mostly breeds evil??

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  22. I was curious when you mentioned it. Seems absolutely ridiculous to me, but I am glad you continue to be on FB and fight through it. I think that is important.

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  23. I wouldn't take the account suspension too personally. I had my account suspended once for "suspicious activity" with no indication of what that was (I don't argue in comments or post pictures, and only occasionally post political statuses which no one has ever a problem with). A million Captchas and friends' faces later, I had my account back.

    I do want to take issue with this, though: "Well, after the IPO went public I did a little research on Mr. Zuckerberg and found out he is a self proclaimed atheist, so this doesn't surprise me." ...what? Facebook isn't about giving people a place to share ideas, it's about making money. There's no financial benefit to anything but basic censorship of spam/truly inappropriate posts.

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  24. If Zuckerberg is doing censorship, he's probably not doing it for the financial benefit.

    However, I lay the blame at the feet of some drone with a stick up his/her butt who works for FB in this capacity. The person who read the above and termed it "hate speech" was probably the same person who looked at the photos of an anacephalic baby and termed them similarly inappropriate. The mother was banned from uploading photos for a few days.

    Michelle, I'm curious. Would you term Leila's comment as "hate speech" or report it as same?

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  25. Great comments! Again, I want to stress that this was not just a case of removing a comment or image. I have had an image removed by facebook before. It was an image of late term aborted babies in a garbage can. Heaven knows we can't show what an abortion really looks like because it might disturb the comfortable. That was removed, but I didn't get any type of notification.

    And, when my account was suspended this time, as opposed to a comment simply removed, it wasn't with "no indication of what that was" -- it was with the specific comment posted, saying that this particular comment was why I was taken out of the facebook community.

    Do I think facebook is evil? No. I think there is a LOT of evil on facebook, though. I can't begin to tell you the vulgarity and sickness that is spread on that site. And recently, one post-abortive women called me every name in the book, with incredible rage and rudeness, when I asked her if she thought the unborn were human. I understand her need for rage and to fight back with all her being about that question (imagine if someone faced the truth that they killed an innocent human? Their own child?), but no one turned her in (not me; I just prayed for her and wished her well… she calmed down a bit after that). And no one took her off grid!

    I use facebook like I use my blog: It's a chance to get the truth out to a very sad, very confused, very degraded world. Aside from some enjoyment with my friends and being able to see their photos, this is why I blog and use facebook:

    "The Internet causes billions of images to appear on millions of computer monitors around the planet. From this galaxy of sight and sound will the face of Christ emerge and the voice of Christ be heard? For it is only when his face is seen and his voice heard that the world will know the glad tidings of our redemption. This is the purpose of evangelization. And this is what will make the Internet a genuinely human space, for if there is no room for Christ, there is no room for man." -- Message for the 36th World Communications Day, Blessed John Paul the Great

    And…

    "Without fear we must set sail on the digital sea facing into the deep with the same passion that has governed the ship of the Church for two thousand years. Rather than for, albeit necessary, technical resources, we want to qualify ourselves by living in the digital world with a believer’s heart, helping to give a soul to the Internet’s incessant flow of communication." (2010) -- Pope Benedict

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  26. With emphasis on this: And this is what will make the Internet a genuinely human space, for if there is no room for Christ, there is no room for man.

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  27. To the contrary, I think there would be financial benefit in censorship on Facebook. If you let spam and truly inappropriate posts (pornographic posts, for instance) run rampant, Facebook would lose its quality and lose users, which would be financially detrimental. Keep in mind, too, that atheists are a pretty small percentage of the population, so if you want to have a social network with mass appeal (heh), you're not going to want to drive away people just for being religious (which it sounded like Second Chances was implying, perhaps I misunderstood, though).

    And, no. I hesitated to comment on Leila's previous post because I have heard things from her that I think may be Facebook-inappropriate, but this, no. And honestly, I would generally err on the side of not censoring; if I had power over what merited removal/account suspension/whatever, I'd probably target harassment more than anything (I probably would only consider censoring gratuitous disturbing images - I've seen photos of dead bodies that disturbed me badly, but I wouldn't censor them because they were there for a reason). Stifling polite discussions shouldn't be anyone's goal.

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  28. Michelle, now you've gotta know that I'm very interested in what I have written that could be "facebook inappropriate", ha ha! Let me know.

    Also, just a thought as I'm reading this. Why would pornography be inappropriate, from your atheist perspective?

    Thanks!

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  29. That's pretty funny but I'm thinking your comment might not have had anything to do with it.

    Facebook is very concerned about cyber bullying (and their liability) it could have been the fact you were commenting on someone else's page and those comments were getting flagged they may have a program that automatically suspends your account until they review it. (It would've been nice to tell you that but....)

    That's my guess.

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  30. Sex and pleasure....Hmmmm You hear worse then that on rap videos posted on FB.

    I'm so glad I'm off Facebook! It was the BEST thing I ever did....

    If any extended family wants to keep in touch, holla, you know my email. And if that is the only way friends can keep in touch with me, then we weren't very good friends to begin with....

    And if I ever need a fight, I can come here. :) LOL!~!!

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  31. StarFireKK - as Leila said in her OP, "One of my comments from the previous night's debate was displayed as the specific offending statement."

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  32. JoAnna, exactly. It was not a "suspend while we review" notice. It was a "this comment (reprinted for me to see, clearly) is the one that violated our community standards" notice.

    That's why it's so ludicrous.

    Sew, I hear you!

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  33. Haha, Leila, it was mostly stuff from our email discussions. I'm not sure I'd censor it, since it was all in the spirit of discussion, but Facebook maybe would.

    And, as for pornography, it's more just a matter of time and place. Officially, the youngest Facebook users are 13 (probably a lot of younger ones who lied about their age, too), and I imagine quite a lot of revenue comes from adolescents in the 13-18 age bracket. For practicality reasons, refusing to censor pornography might run them into legal problems, and I'm guessing parents would be less likely to want their kids on Facebook if there were no standards for what could be posted.

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  34. (This is Marti) I just wanted to clarify that I'm actually not a liberal. I'm a Libertarian, which is something rather different. I am a firm believer in the constitution. There are many conservatives and people of other political parties who share my views on this topic; it's not just a "liberal" stance. The only time I deem it acceptable to flag or delete a comment is when the individual is threatening harm upon another or is trying to harass another person no matter how much the other person tells them to stop. Other than that, I feel that people should be able to post whatever they want on the internet, even if I do not agree with their views

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  35. I also didn't say the purpose of sex was solely recreation. My claim was that sex had many purposes other than procreation

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  36. " I did a little research on Mr. Zuckerberg and found out he is a self proclaimed atheist, so this doesn't surprise me. "

    I fail to see your point here. I post nothing but mature comments on facebook and on facebook pages, and yet the same thing that happened to Leila has happened to me as well. I don't put down people for their religion, and I'm an atheist. I get plenty of attacks from religious fanatics or extremists who are incapable of accepting that their world view isn't shared by every single person on the planet. There are people from all sides who act like idiots, and there are people of all sides who are capable of being mature and accepting that not everyone is going to agree with them. If people agreed on everything, wouldn't life be boring? ;)

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  37. Thanks for the clarifications, Marti!

    I said that you said sex was "almost exclusively" for recreation. Not that it was "solely" for recreation. I know that you and other sexual libertarians recognize that sometimes people use sex to have babies. My point was that, biologically, procreation is the purpose of sex. It also has the deep meaning of love and bonding of spouses. But just as, biologically, food is for nutrition and sustaining life (even while it's pleasurable), so sex is for procreation.

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  38. Marti, what statement did they shut down your facebook account for? Can you reprint it here?

    And as for agreement, well, it depends on what we are disagreeing about. I really do want a world where everyone agrees, for example, that killing the unborn is wrong. That rape is wrong. That acting on every sexual urge with no natural boundaries is wrong. That stealing is wrong. That lying is wrong. That defrauding the poor is wrong. I'm okay with a world where everyone agrees on moral issues and such. :)

    There is no error in Heaven, and it will be anything but boring. :)

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  39. Yes, JoAnna I understand. My suggestion is perhaps the comment "violated" community standards because it trigger their bullying algorithm rather than because of its content. (Multiple postings and flagged postings on a page other than the user's.)

    Most of those administrative actions are done automatically. I've seen enough of Facebook I don't think they care about you opinions- left or right. They care a lot more about getting egg on their face.

    I just happen to agree with Michelle- I don't think it was personal.

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  40. StarfireKK, I'd love to hear that from Facebook, but there is almost no way to contact them. I also just don't buy it that it was a trigger, when they specifically said that not every complaint will result in action, implying a review. If people can just spam someone's comment and get him/her shut down for "bullying" (??), with no evidence of bullying, well… that makes no sense, really. Again, I would love to hear from facebook how their "process" works. Sure seemed specific and extreme to me. Why couldn't anyone sabotage anyone, then, if it's that easy and facebook allows it? By the way, my comments are still marked as spam on many of my friends' pages. But the real spammers (who we only are suspecting turned me in) have no such issue. Weird, nonsensical.

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  41. Ok, I have to jump in again cause I think you guys are being a little hard on Facebook.

    Facebook is not the town square. Facebook is more like a coffee shop. The owner of the coffee shop does have the right to ask his patrons to cool it or to leave if he fears things are getting out of hand.

    That's not censoring. That's keeping everyone's welfare in mind.

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  42. Haha, Leila, it was mostly stuff from our email discussions. I'm not sure I'd censor it, since it was all in the spirit of discussion, but Facebook maybe would.

    Yes, but email discussions are private, unlike facebook. I would not expect the world to be reading an email exchange, although I doubt I would be ashamed of anything I wrote to you. :)

    Just a question because I am curious: Do you think it's bad for kids to see pornography, and if so, why? Isn't the "community standard" against putting it on facebook just some arbitrary social construct that could (and maybe should) change as people "progress"? Thanks!

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  43. Facebook is not the town square. Facebook is more like a coffee shop. The owner of the coffee shop does have the right to ask his patrons to cool it or to leave if he fears things are getting out of hand.

    But StarFire, nothing had gotten even remotely out of hand. Again, makes no sense, on any level.

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  44. And, facebook did not delete my comment. They suspended my account, with a warning and a specific comment referred to as the "violation". That is being done by a robot? If so, then they need to rethink their process as it is simply nuts, totally random, and completely unjust as well.

    Again, I'd love to hear from the good folks at facebook about their policy and procedures for when someone harasses others -- because frankly, if those leftists who (apparently?) spammed Stacy's thread and "turned me in" came on to a friendly conversation on my friend's page and then were able to get my account suspended by some mindless "trigger", then the spammers are the harassers, no? They should be censured, no?

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  45. Duh, Leila. Didn't you know that the word "Bully" has a new meaning? Bully means hurt someone's feelings who has deviant behavior. All you have to do is hurt their feelings. This whole anti bully movement is nothing more than a charade. It is really nothing more than an international movement to promote deviant behavior.

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  46. Some people are ridiculous. I'm sure whoever turned you in told facebook you were using hate speech. That's basically what they call anything that goes against their popular view of how things should be.

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  47. I dunno- I guess we just have to chalk it up to one of Facebook's random acts of administration until you hear from them. It does sound pretty silly.

    So Marti- I'm curious, do you really think moms and dads are interchangeable and it isn't important to have both?

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  48. I absolutely agree that the whole "anti-bullying" movement does not mean what it should mean or what it has meant in the past. It's been co-opted to push gay "rights". If you speak the truth on human sexuality, and if you don't fully accept gay sex and transgendered people (whatever that means), then you are a bully. Soon, it will be illegal. Wait, is it already illegal? I can't keep track.

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  49. I would love to know when I will be off probation. I am still showing up as "spam" on my friends' facebook pages, and one of them told me that she couldn't get back to her facebook page from mine without an "error". For all the others who say that they had the same thing happen, how long were your comments marked as "spam" for your friends? Because it's been four days...

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  50. i saw this blog title and went straight for the comments, hahaha.
    oh geez.

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  51. "I said that you said sex was "almost exclusively" for recreation. "

    I didn't say that either...lol

    "biologically, procreation is the purpose of sex. It also has the deep meaning of love and bonding of spouses. But just as, biologically, food is for nutrition and sustaining life (even while it's pleasurable), so sex is for procreation."

    "Marti, what statement did they shut down your facebook account for? Can you reprint it here?"

    It wasn't just one statement. There used to be a page run by this girl named Jenny. It was a pro-life page but it no longer exists. The girl had a bunch of pro-life friends who attacked any pro-choicer who came onto their page..and since I was the calmest, they took the most insult to me (don't ask me how that makes sense) and did everything they could to get rid of me

    "So Marti- I'm curious, do you really think moms and dads are interchangeable and it isn't important to have both?"

    I never said it wasn't important to have a mother and father. I just think that, above all, it's more important to be in the care of those who will love you, support you, and care for you financially and emotionally. A child doesn't "need" both biological parents in order to be raised well or have a great life. Mothers and fathers are definitely interchangeable, though. In this day and age they have to be interchangeable. Each parent needs to be adept enough to take on the others role (in my opinion, parenting roles should be shared equally by couples) in addition to his/her own. It's part of living and part of learning and certainly part of loving. There are a lot of different dynamics to families today. You don't necessarily have to take on the role of a father or mother, you just have to be there for your kids. Some fathers take on the role of the mother AND father and do a great job. Some mothers take on the role of the father AND mother and do a great job. Some same-sex couples have children and raise their children with more love than some heterosexual couples do. I believe that children deserve the best that they can be given, but this does not mean that being raised by their biological mother and father is always the BEST option for the child

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  52. Oops I forgot to respond to one quote:
    "biologically, procreation is the purpose of sex. It also has the deep meaning of love and bonding of spouses. But just as, biologically, food is for nutrition and sustaining life (even while it's pleasurable), so sex is for procreation."

    Sex has many purposes in the physical, emotional, psychological, and social arenas. Biological functioning is only one aspect, but I do agree that it has a deep meaning of love and bonding. Sex is best when it's with someone you love in my opinion. I don't judge people who have sex with multiple partners..if they enjoy it, more power to 'em!

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  53. Marti, I want to represent you accurately: What is sex for?

    Also, we already have stipulated that if a child is being beaten senseless and is unloved and neglected in the nuclear family, it is best for them to go elsewhere (even an orphanage which takes good care of kids). But our conversation was about "all things being equal". And, all things being equal, it's (virtually, with few exceptions) universally acknowledged that children do best with their mom and dad. It's common sense, backed up by every bit of social science out there (as if we need the confirmation). You refused to say that "all things being equal" a child should be raised by his/her mom and dad.

    And, if I read you correctly, you are saying that there is no tragedy in fatherlessness? Or in motherlessness?

    Is it conceivable to you that children without mothers might long for a mother (no matter how wonderful a father is)? Or how a child might long for a daddy? Can you even imagine that? Because it's actually quite common.

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  54. Sorry, I see that you did put in a comment which goes more deeply into your philosophy of sex!

    You said this, which intrigues me:

    I don't judge people who have sex with multiple partners..if they enjoy it, more power to 'em!

    So, when these fun-loving folks who have sex like it's eating ice cream end up conceiving a child (since sex is the baby-making act), what then? No stable home, obviously, so maybe they could just abort, right?

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  55. Sex has many purposes in the physical, emotional, psychological, and social arenas.

    And, could you specifically name some of those purposes? This is vague. Thanks!

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  56. I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight after reading that offensive post. Seriously, what's wrong with you?

    :)

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  57. Hey Leila, I had heard through the grapevine about what happened to your FB account. Since I no longer have FB, I have to rely on word of mouth for what happens. It's interesting that FB can allow so much vulgar language and so much skin to show, yet your lovingly beautiful comment was deemed "offensive".

    We must pray, pray, pary!

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  58. Leila,

    Because its not sex related talk I figured I could say something ;)

    Playing devil’s advocate, don’t you think you are being a tad hypocritical?

    As a conservative, don’t you believe that businesses have a right to refuse a ‘customer’ and those business owners and individuals should have conscious rights?

    Well face book is a liberal organization, if zuckerberg or whoever believes the opposite of what you believe (which he probably does) that its pretty much a sin to be AGAINST gay marriage and against his conscious to allow his invention as a platform to encourage married sex or discourage that , what is wrong with that?

    Facebook is a private company (yes I know they went public) isn’t it your belief that when consumers don’t like a product or business they should just patronize another?


    ~CS

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  59. I don't hold a high opinion of the nuclear family. The nuclear family consists of a working father, a full-time homemaker mother, and dependant children. The opinion of the time (when this term was first created and applied as a "norm" to society) was that parents should have sole authority over their children rather than sharing that authority with grandparents or other family members. Young families had the added stress of dealing with their problems within their family rather than being able to seek the support of their extended families. The inherent gender inequality and the belief that families should support themselves without the help of an outside social network created dysfunctional families. I don't believe that all families should set their goal to be a nuclear family...but that's just my opinion. Times have changed and I personally believe parenting should be done equally, and that families should be closer to each other rather than be distanced from one another. Women are capable of having jobs of their own and raise their children, so they don't HAVE to be a housewife if they choose not to. It's extremely inefficient for each family to have only the mother doing all that work, as well. As a feminist, who believes that men and women should be treated equally, I cannot agree with the nuclear family. I feel like the nuclear family ignores the importance of having a large support network

    " our conversation was about "all things being equal".

    The nuclear family is not about "all things being equal, though

    "universally acknowledged that children do best with their mom and dad."

    I've heard/read/observed differently. Based on this, it seems that the best family environments for children are where the extended family is close with the internal family, because outside intervention is a major factor in helping the children grow into functional adults. Social supports from outside the family play a major part the functionality of the family and the emotional well-being of the children, as well. It IS much easier for a parent if they have a significant other to help them with raising a child, but that doesn't mean the other person has to be a member of the opposite sex. What is "ideal" is having as much support as possible for a child

    "there is no tragedy in fatherlessness? Or in motherlessness?"

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It really depends entirely on the situation. Some children are distraught that they never knew their biological mother or father. Some children are better off and happier not knowing who their biological mother or father are. This concept can apply to children who were adopted as well. I don't know who my biological parents are and I'm fine with that. Out of curiosity I would like to know what my mother is like, but that will happen one day. I'm in no rush to find out

    "Is it conceivable to you that children without mothers might long for a mother (no matter how wonderful a father is)? Or how a child might long for a daddy? Can you even imagine that? Because it's actually quite common."

    Of course it happens. I won't deny that

    "No stable home, obviously, so maybe they could just abort, right?"

    I would never tell any woman to have an abortion. If a woman wants to keep her child despite her horrible situation, I would gladly support her. I would support her if she chose adoption or abortion as well

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  60. "could you specifically name some of those purposes? This is vague. Thanks!"

    Yes of course! Humans have sex to connect with one another, to satiate a hunger to be intimate with another person, it's a way to express love, to relieve stress, for emotional intimacy (there are many ways to express emotional and physical intimacy besides through the act of sex, of course) etc. Sexual behavior is complex...and can be affected by many factors. Sex also has a lot of health benefits, both physical and emotional. It can relieve stress, provides the benefits of exercise, can improve your sleep, decrease depression, enhance ones sense of spirituality, and much more

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  61. What irritates me to no end about the whole "bullying" crap, is that the perception that is now given is that only "gays" get bullied.

    I'm sorry, but anyone can get bullied. Those suffering from same-sex attraction do not hold a cornerstone on being bullied. Far from it. Bullying shouldn't happen, period.

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  62. "anyone can get bullied. Those suffering from same-sex attraction do not hold a cornerstone on being bullied. Far from it. Bullying shouldn't happen, period."

    I agree 100%!

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  63. College Student, you completely misunderstand. I never once said that facebook did not have the legal right to do what they did. Did you think that's what I implied?

    Facebook can do whatever the heck they want (and hopefully without government interference).

    My point was only to show how ridiculous things have gotten, where a statement about the traditional, normal use of human sexuality can be seen as so offensive that those on the left go haywire and have to shut it down.

    I also am not sure as to what rule I violated, which is why I put up those screen shots.

    But in no way do I begrudge facebook the right to do whatever they want. What makes you think I thought that?

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  64. Hi Leila,

    That post was fairly mild in comparison to some of the feeds I've read on this blog. :-) I'm a new commenter, but I enjoy reading regularly.

    I'm guessing the deleted FB account could have been attributable to the multiple quotations featured within your posts. (??) If you and Marti quoted each other way you are in this thread, it would seem like it was spam, possibly...just my take...although, it is very *suspect" that Marti and Stacy didn't meet the same fate.

    Marti, I am a public school teacher who works in high-risk elementary schools. I would agree with you that the most important thing a child needs is to be cared for, loved, and supported, but from my personal witness, I have to say that when a child is lacking a mother and a father, there is a void that NO ONE ELSE CAN FILL. No teacher, coach, big brother, aunt, grandma can take the place of a mother and a father: they're known as anchor parents in my field...and while other caring adults can facilitate a generative life, no one takes a mother and father's place.

    No, you are right to say, "A child doesn't "need" both biological parents in order to be raised well or have a great life." True. As long as a child has a caring adult in her life, she can succeed...but I guarantee you, that Mothers and fathers are definitely NOT interchangeable. A child with two moms, two dads, only a mom, only grandma and a dog, etc...will always seek BOTH a maternal role-model and paternal role-model if she doesn't have both a mom and dad.

    You say, "Some same-sex couples have children and raise their children with more love than some heterosexual couples do." True. Very true. I have gay friends who I love who I witness do this: two moms raising a son. BUT, that son, regardless of his advantages with comfort and love, will always latch on to a father figure, and always feel a void for a father...just as some kids with mediocre fathers reach out for a true example of a father.

    Just my perspective from the teaching front.

    BTW, Leila, thanks for letting me jump in. ;)

    ~Katie

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  65. Marti, your response gives me a lot more information about why you think as you do. Thank you!

    First, when I say "nuclear family", I mean father, mother, children. Nuclear family does not imply that there are no loving grandparents, and no extended family and a great community. It also does not imply that the mother does not have a paying job. Not sure why you equate "nuclear family" to those parameters? I don't.

    Father, mother, children. That is best for children.

    If you say that it's not best for children, then you have to believe that a child does not have a right to a mother and a father. That is clear, and I understand your position. By contrast, the Church teaches something a bit more profound:

    2378 A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents, and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception."

    A child has a right to a mother and a father. The end.

    If a child does not have a mother and a father, it is a result of some brokenness or sin along the way.

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  66. I like how Katherine Kersten explained marriage and children recently in an op-ed:

    Marriage has always and everywhere been a male/female institution because it is rooted in biology and human ecology. Across the globe and through the millennia, its public purpose has been the same: To connect men with their children and the mother who bore them, so that every child has a loving, committed mother and father.

    Though the best environment for raising children is a married mother and father, the power and inconstancy of human sexual attractions make this hard to achieve. Marriage brings social norms and pressures to bear to create a socially supported framework to ensure stable unions -- thereby forming the next generation and promoting the common good.

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  67. "there is a void that NO ONE ELSE CAN FILL"

    That's not always true. Not for every family. For some families, you are right. For others, that's incorrect

    "Mothers and fathers are definitely NOT interchangeable."

    Why not? Are you saying women and men are "supposed" to act a certain way? Gender roles are nothing but a social construction and they vary from society to society. For example, femininity. Femininity can take on many forms, because it is unique to the individual woman. Femininity is about being who you authentically are inside, plain and simple. And as such defining it in specific terms can be a little challenging, as femininity is slightly different for each individual woman. It's a social construction. I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with being pink, girly, or fluffy, if that’s who you genuinely are, but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that the route to femininity consists of dressing daily in a pink fluffy dress. Women aren't "supposed" to be feminine, but there areas where this is the social norm

    "will always seek BOTH a maternal role-model and paternal role-model if she doesn't have both a mom and dad."

    A mother can fulfill both roles and so can a father. Not all single mothers or single fathers can do this, but some can, and I've seen it

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  68. Sex also has a lot of health benefits, both physical and emotional. It can relieve stress, provides the benefits of exercise, can improve your sleep, decrease depression, enhance ones sense of spirituality, and much more

    So, since this is all really fun and helps people reduce stress, etc., then why can't kids do it, with each other or adults? Also, why do most people's deepest wounds have something to do with the mis-use of sex? Feelings of being used and abandoned, divorce, rape, molestation, abortion, STDs, heartbreak of all kinds (esp. teen girls), etc? If it's all so free and easy? I don't get it. Is it for casual use, then, this baby-making act? For stress relief? And what about the bonding factor you admit to? If sex bonds two people, how does that square with its "casual, free" fun nature and the "more power to 'em" multiple sexual partners?

    And, I know you aren't saying that everyone who has fun, free, casual, no-strings sex should have an abortion when the woman (almost inevitably) gets pregnant, but then you certainly think that is one option, right? Again… does this free love and fun lead to what is best for the child who will be created in these casual encounters? We are coming on an epidemic of kids born without fathers, and we have 54 million little corpses piled up in the name of "fun" and "more power to 'em!" Do you see any societal or philosophical problems at all with your free love/sex mentality?

    Do you see any children getting hurt?

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  69. There is more to the nuclear family than just a mother, a father, and children. I explained what a nuclear family was. I'm guessing you're talking about something else. I've done research on the nuclear family for two of my classes and it's not what you described. So, let's just take "nuclear family" out of the equation to make this discussion easier

    "A child has a right to a mother and a father. The end."

    I understand that you feel this way, but can you respond to what I said? I mean this: "it seems that the best family environments for children are where the extended family is close with the internal family, because outside intervention is a major factor in helping the children grow into functional adults. Social supports from outside the family play a major part the functionality of the family and the emotional well-being of the children, as well. It IS much easier for a parent if they have a significant other to help them with raising a child, but that doesn't mean the other person has to be a member of the opposite sex. What is "ideal" is having as much support as possible for a child"

    ^I'm curious about what your opinion is of this and why you think it's not ideal

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  70. 'Cause, see, I see the "free love, have fun, more power to 'em!" mentality as extremely selfish. And I do mean, selfish to the extreme. But then again, if it relieves your stress, I guess it's all good, right?

    Sigh.

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  71. "it seems that the best family environments for children are where the extended family is close with the internal family, because outside intervention is a major factor in helping the children grow into functional adults. Social supports from outside the family play a major part the functionality of the family and the emotional well-being of the children, as well. It IS much easier for a parent if they have a significant other to help them with raising a child, but that doesn't mean the other person has to be a member of the opposite sex. What is "ideal" is having as much support as possible for a child"

    Marti, biology says that children are born to a mother and a father. That is right order. The Church simply builds on what we all know is right order.

    I'm in no way arguing that a mother and a father should not have the love and support of an extended family. How wonderful! But even without grandparents, or aunts and uncles, a child thrives when he is raised by his mom and dad. Right order in life is important, it really is. If something goes wrong, we adapt, but we don't suddenly say that the adaptation or the attempt at restoration is suddenly the norm, the ideal, or right order.

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  72. I am using the common usage of "nuclear family". Here is how wiki puts it:

    In its most common usage, the term nuclear family refers to a household consisting of a father, a mother and their children[12] all in one household dwelling.

    Not sure what your courses taught you….

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  73. "then why can't kids do it, with each other or adults? "

    Children can't consent to sex. Adults can (unless they're raped, which is horrible)

    "Also, why do most people's deepest wounds have something to do with the mis-use of sex?"

    I've never heard of such a statistic. Most marriages end in divorce due to poor finances

    "Feelings of being used and abandoned, divorce, rape, molestation, abortion, STDs, heartbreak of all kinds (esp. teen girls), etc? "

    Those are all horrible things, but there are plenty of other things that can cause those too. When I talk about sex, I talk about sex where two adults are consenting to the act of sex

    " Is it for casual use, then, this baby-making act? For stress relief? And what about the bonding factor you admit to? If sex bonds two people, how does that square with its "casual, free" fun nature and the "more power to 'em" multiple sexual partners?

    As I said, sex has many purposes and aspects to it bedsides procreation. People have sex for many reasons and I gave you a small list of reasons

    "does this free love and fun lead to what is best for the child who will be created in these casual encounters?"

    I don't see how two adults having sex has anything to do with the couples child, unless they neglect a child while having sex all the time

    "Do you see any societal or philosophical problems at all with your free love/sex mentality? "

    No idea is perfect or comes without its own set of problems. There are both pros and cons to "free love" and I acknowledge this

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  74. "Marti, biology says that children are born to a mother and a father. That is right order. The Church simply builds on what we all know is right order."

    The "right order" isn't "right" for every situation or every family. That is all I am saying. Are you saying that, since I don't live with my biological parents (I'm adopted) that this is "wrong?"

    "a child thrives when he is raised by his mom and dad."

    Yes. But not every child does depending on their family

    "If something goes wrong, we adapt, but we don't suddenly say that the adaptation or the attempt at restoration is suddenly the norm, the ideal, or right order."

    Norms change and so do what society views as "right" or "wrong". But yes, when something goes wrong, we do adapt

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  75. Katie, jump in any time!

    Marti, if you say that motherhood and fatherhood are the same and interchangeable, and that femininity and masculinity are social constructs (that seems to be what public schools and universities are teaching young people these days, oy vey), then tell me something:

    Why do gay men want to be with men only? If men and women are the same, essentially, then why don't they just feel attracted to women? Same with lesbians. Why aren't they simply attracted to more "feminine" men?

    Or, is there a reason (besides genitals, as not everyone with same-sex attraction is acting on it) that men are attracted to the "essence" of other men, and lesbians are attracted to other women?

    Because if they were "the same", then there would be no angst or worries about all this gay stuff, and bullying, etc. They could just like either sex interchangeably, correct?

    (And I can tell you that there is a difference between a mother and a father. No mother can ever be a father. If you think so, then just start calling your mother "dad" and see what she thinks. Again this idea that we have to "prove" that mothers and fathers, or men and women, are different is like asking to "prove" the obvious. It is an axiom that one cannot "prove" the obvious; it's impossible. The fact that some young folks are confused on this fact is very bizarre and even alarming.)

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  76. Children can't consent to sex.

    Why can't children consent to something that reduces their stress?

    Also, you know that ages of consent, thanks to sexual libertines, are dropping all over the western world, right?

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  77. Yes, but email discussions are private, unlike facebook.
    Yep. What you wrote here, though, is quite a bit milder/less explicit (not that explicit is necessarily bad! Just might...offend certain sensibilities, perhaps), so having read it, I'm able to say with certainty that I agree that it shouldn't have caused a problem by anyone's standards. :)

    Do you think it's bad for kids to see pornography, and if so, why? Isn't the "community standard" against putting it on facebook just some arbitrary social construct that could (and maybe should) change as people "progress"?
    Haha, I knew this was going to be next. I think, in general, pornography sets unreasonable/unrealistic standards and makes sex out to be something very impersonal and objectifying, which, while that may be great for some people, is generally not the ideal (to put it mildly). Exposing kids to it wouldn't necessarily be the end of the world, but I think it'd be very unlikely to enrich their lives in any way.

    As for the social construct question, maybe! I'm guessing that if we had grown up in a society where pornographic material were less taboo, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion at all. Really, I'm sure the standard of appropriateness is changing (what's shocking one decade could be considered mundane the next), but I wouldn't necessarily consider it "progress" were it to change for the same reasons that I don't think children should be exposed to it. In the end, to me, it's a matter of objectification, which is something society certainly doesn't need more of.

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  78. "The nuclear family refers to a typical Western family consisting of a mother and father figure (of the female and male genders, respectively) and a couple of little kids (at least 2) running around. The nuclear family was the all-American dream of the '50s: a working father, a stay-at-home mother, little Susie and Billy gettin' B's at school and the family dog Skipper eating mom's home-baked pies before the kids get in. These families are exemplified by such horrific sitcoms as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and the abominable Leave it to Beaver. Not even outer space was safe with the Nuclear family in SPACE of Lost in Space.
    Until..."

    Here's where this came from: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Nuclear_family

    I can give you a better source if you want

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  79. I've never heard of such a statistic. Most marriages end in divorce due to poor finances

    Wait, I talked about much more than divorce (which is often due to adultery or porn). I mentioned many other things. Have you never known anyone who was wounded by sexual issues? Abortion? Molestation? Rape? Being used and discarded? Etc.? Never?

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  80. When I talk about sex, I talk about sex where two adults are consenting to the act of sex

    Marti, I know oodles of women and college/high school girls who consented to sex in which they were utterly used and discarded by the male. Most abortions are the result of consensual sex, too. Adultery is consensual sex. Etc.

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  81. Marti, I used "nuclear family" in the way it is most commonly used. If those on the left hate that common usage and want to expand or despise it, that is not my problem. I use it in the way people understand it. Not in the way the academics want to twist it.

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  82. A child needs a mother. A child needs a father. It has nothing to do with femininity or masculinity, nothing to do with gender roles.

    If a child has a single parent who accommodates for a missing father or mother, that child still bears a void. If you've witness parents compensate for a missing parent, that means you acknowledge a fundamental parent is missing.

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  83. And what about the bonding factor you admit to? If sex bonds two people, how does that square with its "casual, free" fun nature and the "more power to 'em" multiple sexual partners?

    You didn't address this, though.

    I don't see how two adults having sex has anything to do with the couples child, unless they neglect a child while having sex all the time

    You have this backwards. I'm talking about the folks having lots of casual sex with multiple partners which you said was great! Inevitably, the woman will conceive a child living a life like this. So I ask again:
    "does this free love and fun lead to what is best for the child who will be created in these casual encounters?"

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  84. "Why do gay men want to be with men only? If men and women are the same, essentially, then why don't they just feel attracted to women? Same with lesbians. Why aren't they simply attracted to more "feminine" men?

    There are various kinds of sexual orientations. Everyone is attracted to different kinds of people. What you're referring to are bisexuals who are attracted to members of the same and opposite sex. We cannot control who we are attracted to. Your questions confuse me, and compels me to ask this question: Why do women want to be with members of the opposite sex? If they are attracted to the stereotypical "manly" man, then why aren't they attracted to "manly" women? Attraction is a very interesting and complicated process. It's not simple at all. There are many things that attract one person to another, whether the person is homosexual or heterosexual

    "if they were "the same", then there would be no angst or worries about all this gay stuff, and bullying, etc. They could just like either sex interchangeably, correct?"

    No. There are many factors that play into bullying. Only a bisexual person can like either sex "interchangeably"

    "No mother can ever be a father. "

    That's not true and I know women who prove your theory wrong. The only difference between men and women are out biological factors, such as chromosomes and reproductive organs.

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  85. Marti, your definition of nuclear family is full of stereotypes. Sure, Hollywood played into certain stereotypes int he 50's. And some of those stereotypes were very healthy, much healthier than Hollywood's ideals of today. But a nuclear family is not an isolated family. They value their extended families. And while your definition portrays a stereotypical 1950's middle class family, a healthy nuclear family can exist across all cultures around the world. I think you take issue with the stereotypes of yesteryear, not the reality that man and woman make children and build their lives together.

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  86. The "right order" isn't "right" for every situation or every family. That is all I am saying. Are you saying that, since I don't live with my biological parents (I'm adopted) that this is "wrong?"

    Marti, I am one of the biggest proponents of adoption you will find. Adoption is there to help restore what has been lost to a child (namely, a mother and father). You would not have needed to be adopted if there hadn't been something that had gone wrong with the situation you were born into. Why were you placed for adoption? Likely, there was not a married mom and dad who could lovingly care for you, correct? You needed to have a father and mother restored to you, and adoption was this wonderful back up plan, when the original parents cannot (or will not) parent. But no one would say, "Let's take children out of a stable, nuclear family and place them for adoption!" Why not?

    What a blessing adoption is, in a fallen world!

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  87. " I mentioned many other things. Have you never known anyone who was wounded by sexual issues? Abortion? Molestation? Rape? Being used and discarded? Etc.? Never?"

    Of course people have been/will be wounded by these things

    "I know oodles of women and college/high school girls who consented to sex in which they were utterly used and discarded by the male."

    I know. Women do it to men too. Both sexes do it to each other. It's not good

    "Most abortions are the result of consensual sex, too. Adultery is consensual sex. Etc."

    I am aware

    "I used "nuclear family" in the way it is most commonly used."

    From my experience, it has been most commonly used in the way I originally described. I'm talking about my own experience (keep in mind that one of my history professors who taught me about this was actually a staunch conservative. My other professor seemed liberal)

    "If you've witness parents compensate for a missing parent, that means you acknowledge a fundamental parent is missing."

    Not all single parents have to compensate, though. Some children don't care if their single parent is raising them. I know that sometimes there is a void. I'm not denying that'

    "And what about the bonding factor you admit to? If sex bonds two people, how does that square with its "casual, free" fun nature and the "more power to 'em" multiple sexual partners?"

    I'm not understanding your question. Can you re-phrase it?

    "Inevitably, the woman will conceive a child living a life like this. "

    No. Its not inevitable. Not all women who have sex like that have children. Many women will end up pregnant while others won't. It also depends on whether or not her or her partner are taking precautions against an unplanned pregnancy

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  88. Why do women want to be with members of the opposite sex? If they are attracted to the stereotypical "manly" man, then why aren't they attracted to "manly" women?

    Exactly!!! Because, men and women are DIFFERENT!! The most feminine man is still a man. And the most masculine woman is still a woman. (And it is not based strictly on genitalia!)

    We are different in essence, despite even sexual attraction!

    You are getting it, and I am glad!

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  89. I'll be back on tomorrow or later tonight if I have the time. If I skipped over any question let me know

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  90. And, bisexuals are not attracted to men and woman as if they were the same, they are attracted to men as men and women as women!

    I'm actually excited that you see this!

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  91. That's not true and I know women who prove your theory wrong. The only difference between men and women are out biological factors, such as chromosomes and reproductive organs.

    Show me a woman who is a father, and I'll show you a square circle. It's an impossible thing. And, my motherhood is not changed in essence, nor my womanliness, simply because my husband does the cooking. He is still CLEARLY the father and I am most definitely the mother. And these essences are not based on genitalia alone.

    Man, we are a confused society these days…. smh.

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  92. Only a bisexual person can like either sex "interchangeably"

    They don't like them "interchangeably." They like BOTH men and women. That does not imply interchangeability.

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  93. Michelle, why not? What is wrong with objectification of persons? Especially if, as you say, it might be ideal (or "great") for some?

    And why wouldn't it enrich a child's life to see such things?

    I'm curious to get those answers from an atheist's perspective.

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  94. Not all women who have sex like that have children. Many women will end up pregnant while others won't. It also depends on whether or not her or her partner are taking precautions against an unplanned pregnancy

    Actually, even when I lived the Planned Parenthood lifestyle, I was smart enough to know that contraception fails and fails often. Most women who come to abort ( (54%) were using contraception that month. 54 million abortions shows that casual sex is definitely leading to some pregnancies, no? And my point is: Is this casual use of the baby making act (sex) good for the children who will *almost* inevitably result from those casual encounters? That's the question.

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  95. Marti- I suppose I understand why you says the roles are interchangeable if you are talking about dad roles as "play ball with the kids" and mom roles as "teach kids to sew on a button."

    But that's not what we are talking about, we are talking about the difference between men and women that is much deeper than a love of pink or football. I don't understand how you can say men and women are the same.

    Men are fascinating creatures. The way their mind works, they way they communicate, their humor, the way they see the world. Ever sat around with a bunch of guys and just listen to them talk? It is such a different world.

    Have you seen that smartphone commercial where the mom and daughter are crying and talking to each other? And then the one where the dad and the son are using head nods and elbow nudges? My husband and I were cracking up because we both said "Oh that is so true when it was our gender." The other one was rolling their eyes going "You people are weird."

    I just don't understand how women can claim they love men and not respect there is something innately different about them. And if you understand there is a difference.....you can never claim a father is the same as a mother.

    I have a hard time explaining it because I see the differences everywhere I see them in how little boys play vs. little girls, how teenagers communicate, even how men and women handle things in the work force is very different, especially how men and women go about their romantic endeavors.

    To me it is like you are saying the world is black and white and we have to explain to you how the sky is blue and the trees are green instead of different shades of gray.

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  96. Okay, to rephrase the bonding question. Bonding is a big thing that occurs during sex (one of its meanings is to bond the spouses). Studies have shown that a physiological bonding take place, esp, in the women. This leads to some very, very serious feelings of being used and abandoned by many women.

    (Note: college student, who comments here, was involved in the hook-up culture of her college campus, as were all her friends. She surveyed them to see if they thought there was any downside to the hook-ups. They reported that it was all good "except for the constant sobbing"!! Hmmmm….)

    So, if sex is designed to bond two people, then how can it also be meant for casual, transitory use?

    See, either sex is fun and free and easy, like eating ice cream, or it's very serious business, not to be taken lightly at all, but only with extreme reverence and commitment.

    So, what of the "bonding" problem?

    And those pesky babies which keep getting created (and then need aborting, or are raised with no stability, no fathers, etc.)?

    And, aren't human beings better than this? We are made for something more, Marti. Something higher, something in keeping with our human dignity, something transcendent. Something true, good and beautiful.

    Sigh. I hope you see it someday! It's a beautiful thing. It doesn't leave adults wounded, and no children get hurt in the process.

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  97. Wow- forgive my horrible typing.

    Leila is going to suspend me because I am violating the community standards of good grammar. :-)

    I'm going to blame it on the basset hound who keeps knocking the computer away because she wants to play.

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  98. I just don't understand how women can claim they love men and not respect there is something innately different about them.

    StarFire, I loved your whole comment! And this line…exactly!!

    God Lord, how can anyone not appreciate the differences between men and women? It's so primal, so sublime!!

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  99. I meant more that some people might not have a problem with objectification/depersonalization, which on an individual level I respect as just a difference of opinion. I don't even think that pornography automatically results in that mentality, it just promotes it. Kids in particular are impressionable, and exposing them to something like that before they're really able to think it through rationally seems irresponsible. They might enjoy it, but would it help form a quality character? Unlikely.

    On a broader scale, though, objectification devalues intellect and personality, which I think are the most important facets of a person's character. Actually, I would be willing to bet that objectification (by appearance/race/sexual orientation/etc) is an underlying cause of a lot of hatred. If you're not trained from a young age to appreciate people as complex individuals, I think it'd be safe to assume that you're going to be more likely to be intolerant towards people who are different from you in trivial ways (appearance/race/sexual orientation/etc).

    I know that's kind of more extrapolation than I usually do, but while objectifying others doesn't have to be a direct consequence of pornography, I think it would be a consequence of the mentality that it (and probably a whole lot of other media) promotes.

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  100. StarFire, ha ha! I was so enraptured by your excellent comment that I did not notice any bad grammar!

    Your comment could be a whole blog post in itself!

    I've raised both boys and girls, for over twenty years now. OH MY GOSH, boys and girls are NOT THE SAME!!!! ha ha!! I promise you, that is one of life's truisms!

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  101. Michelle, I appreciate your thoughts. Don't you think, though, that pornography actually is objectification? (As opposed to just possibly leading to the promotion of it?)

    I am also curious about your thoughts on character. If intellect is part of character, then what of the sociopaths who are very much intellects? Intelligence, to me, has nothing whatsoever to do with character or virtue. How do you connect the two?

    And personality? What do you mean by that? And how is it connected to one's character? I've never heard that before.

    Also, why, from a strictly atheistic, evolutionary standpoint, would it matter if one person hates another person or objectifies him?

    This is new area for me, so I'm curious.

    Thanks!

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  102. Just to expand on that. To me, intelligence and personality have no connection to whether someone is or is not of good character (or a virtuous person). That's why it startled me a bit that those were the characteristics you named.

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  103. Oh, it absolutely is objectification; the epitome of it even, probably.

    Haha, now you're just nitpicking! I was only going off of what I appreciate most in people, though character itself is definitely important (and I would say it contributes to personality - I wasn't being too precise on terms). And yes, without a doubt, intelligence doesn't necessarily have a connection to character.

    As for the "strictly atheistic, evolutionary standpoint" - that's not really my position at all. Evolution is the fact of how we got here, but a society structured on evolutionary principles would be terrible. My standpoint is one of wanting the best possible society for everyone (not just the majority), and hatred has no part in a society that values individual differences.

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  104. To clarify, I didn't neglect to mention character because I think it's unimportant - it's incredibly important. I just threw personality and intellect out there because that's how I tend to judge people, but for sure character is fundamentally the most important thing. If your character isn't good, then it's not going to matter how smart or charming or funny you are. Just wanted to make that clear so you wouldn't think I didn't care about it!

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  105. Promise, I'm not nitpicking, I'm truly unsure what you believe. So, what is 'character' to you?

    And, what is your idea of "hatred"? For example, I believe that marriage is for a man and a woman (like pretty much everyone in the history of life has known it). Does that mean that I "hate" people who want to redefine marriage? Even if I fight against them in the public square? Is that hate or is it something else? Thanks!

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  106. Starfire, loved your comment! Beautifully said.

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  107. " contraception fails and fails often."

    It does, you're right and I know this. But just because it fails often, that doesn't mean everyone who has sex WILL wind up pregnant

    "He is still CLEARLY the father and I am most definitely the mother."

    I'm not disagreeing with you there. I'm just saying that mothers and fathers can take on both of the societal roles, created by society, that tell parents how each parent is "supposed" to act. I believe that men and women are equal, and that they are more than capable of doing the same sorts of things

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  108. "I just don't understand how women can claim they love men and not respect there is something innately different about them"

    Gender roles are socially constructed. Differences between men and women are due to a variety of things; but it all boils down to 3 main categories: a child's upbringing (their parents/family, their peers in school or after school programs), society and the media (advertisements, commercials, television shows, movies), rather than genetic wiring. There are places in the world where the soft gender that is the home-maker is the traditional male, and the tough gender which is the bread-winner is the traditional female. Both men and women are generally expected to behave and think a certain way, but these expectations are different in every society and every culture

    The media delivers seductive images of gender to viewers and tries to instill certain messages, embedded in images we see on television, film, and billboards. The main goal of the media is to entertain its audience (us) and induce us to buy their goods and/or listen to their messages. Advertisers use gendered images in commercials to further gain our attention and make us believe that we should buy their product because the product is targeted to our specific gender. The two dominant images are hegemonic masculinity and emphasized femininity. Women and men look up to these images and they make them believe that those images of men and women are “ideal” and that’s how they should really look, even though some of the looks portrayed as the “idea” man and women are often unachievable and completely unnatural. The medias “hidden” agenda can be seen clearly, especially in television shows. Television shows don’t explicitly outline what real men and women are like, but the roles that men and women are portrayed as tell us about who is valued and who is not and how we should behave if we wish to be part of the popular or dominant culture in our country. Women are often more invisible on television shows and men tend to be the main focus. The way men and women are supposed to be varies throughout the media, but the line between the categories femininity and masculinity is always present. For example, beer commercials outline how men can achieve masculinity. To these ads, part of being a real man is being able to drink beer with your male peers. No girls included. Women are often excluded from beer commercials, unless the ad uses a sexy female character to try to coerce males to buy the beer

    One of the many large differences between men and women is the proportion of women who are elected into office or political positions by voters compared to men. At the executive level of the federal government, women have fared the least well compared to other governmental positions. No woman has served as president or vice president, and only 8 presidents have appointed a total of 30 women into their cabinet since the first president took office. The presence of women in political and governmental positions is necessary to maintain legitimacy and public confidence in institutions. Women would address more issues that men tend to leave out then they address certain societal problems. To address all societal problems you need to take everyone into account and use views from all points of the political spectrum. Women are also more likely than men to campaign on issues rather than personal traits such as their own integrity, honesty and intelligence. Women constitute half of our society’s population and therefore half of the skills and ideas necessary to address social issues. One of the main things that prevent women from gaining office is political ideologies. Some people still believe that women belong at home and not in the House or Senate. There are also those who associate the characteristics of good leadership with masculine stereotypes

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  109. From the words of my friend Angie: My son is encouraged - by advertisers, toy makers, kid's film writers, popular children's books and his teachers - to be adventurous, expansive, and loud. My niece, who is only a few months younger and has some similar interests and personality traits, is encouraged by her church and parents and society to be sweet and little and domestic and girly.

    "So, if sex is designed to bond two people, then how can it also be meant for casual, transitory use?"

    There are men and women who actually DO enjoy casual sex. Not all men and women do but there are those who do

    " We are made for something more, Marti. Something higher, something in keeping with our human dignity, something transcendent. Something true, good and beautiful."

    This is your philosophical opinion. I personally don't know what each individual persons purpose is, or if we even have one, so I won't claim to know or have an accurate response for this

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  110. "Marti, your definition of nuclear family is full of stereotypes. "

    Well that's what I was taught, and that's how the society I live in portrays it

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  111. That's not true and I know women who prove your theory wrong. The only difference between men and women are out biological factors, such as chromosomes and reproductive organs.

    Alright, I have to chime in here acknowledging this comment. Chromosomes and reproductive organs also lead to differing hormones and in differing amounts, which lead to inherent differences, chemically, in the brain. These chemical, hormonal, biological differences create difference in the ways that men and women act, react, and interact in, with and to certain situations and people. It is these difference that are inherently important when raising children.

    Can children be raised in wonderful homes without their biological mother and father? Of course, children can succeed in single parent homes, they can succeed in homes with two moms, and two dads, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles. And while love is ultimately important in all of these scenarios, these children are succeeding not because of their family situation, but in spite of it.

    They are making the best out of a situation that is less than ideal. They are making the lemonade out of the lemons that were handed them, for a tongue and cheek response.

    We're not talking about gender roles. I am a SAHM, and I homeschool my children. But my husband is downstairs right now, doing the dishes, and you better believe I will be the one rooting for Peyton Manning at the Broncos this fall (WTF was Indy thinking?) Gender roles are societal constructs, but biological difference go far beyond genitalia and unseen chromosomes. And it's those biological difference that we're saying is too important to just disregard for the sake of making people feel good.

    Oh and by the way, sex is part of the reproductive system. This is biology 101. All of the benefits that you list for sex, should not, must not, be separated from that FACT. In fact, all of those benefits are there, so that the human species is more likely to continue reproducing, because that's what organisms do.
    (Have I mentioned before how much I HATE biology and anatomy/physiology? I really do.)

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  112. Marti,

    "There are men and women who actually DO enjoy casual sex."

    OK.

    Define "casual." And define it explicitly.

    Then tell us how you know it is true that anyone enjoys it. Faith? Or experiment (as in you mentally experienced it, empirical evidence).

    You absolutely cannot say that you just don't know, since that is your own statement.

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  113. Marti, I understand all that you were taught in your sociology/anthropology/women's studies/whatever classes in school. I have a degree, too. I know how those classes go. But please, don't throw your common sense out the window because of what some professor told you.

    When you have raised actual boys and actual girls, and in large quantities over many years, you will laugh at this statement, honestly, you will:

    My son is encouraged - by advertisers, toy makers, kid's film writers, popular children's books and his teachers - to be adventurous, expansive, and loud. My niece, who is only a few months younger and has some similar interests and personality traits, is encouraged by her church and parents and society to be sweet and little and domestic and girly.

    Boys and girls PLAY differently, think differently, react differently, ARE different. It does not make one better or worse. They are, as they should be, complementary. I am NOT talking about gender roles (thank you, Bethany), as I told you that my husband is the cook, and I am the one who deals with the cameras and electronics. "Roles" have nothing to do with the essence of male/female. I assume you are attracted to men. I also assume it's not because you think the male genitalia is gorgeous (I mean, come on). It's because you are attracted to MEN and MALENESS. Not genital forms.

    Common sense, Marti. Men and women are essentially different. It's hard to believe we are having this conversation.

    I refer you back to StarFireKK's comment at 7:03pm. Beautifully stated.

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  114. "And while love is ultimately important in all of these scenarios, these children are succeeding not because of their family situation, but in spite of it. "

    No, not everyone does it for that reason

    "They are making the best out of a situation that is less than ideal. "

    Less than ideal to YOU, maybe not to them. You are making assumptions about how other people feel. People you don't know. Sure, maybe you know some people who your logic does apply to. However not everyone feels that way about situations like the ones we're talking about

    "hese chemical, hormonal, biological differences create difference in the ways that men and women act, react, and interact in, with and to certain situations and people."

    I agree, but that doesn't mean that all women and all men are exactly the same. My point is, is that everyone is different. We are all different people with our own personalities and traits. Women are not all the same and neither are men. different things make us happy, different things make us mad, but they all make us human. As humans, I believe we should treat each other equally

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  115. "There are men and women who actually DO enjoy casual sex."

    There are men and women who enjoy adultery, too. And some people enjoy stealing. Some people enjoy lying. Some people get great enjoyment out of using others. And mocking others. And so on. Is "enjoyment" the criterion for the good?

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  116. As humans, I believe we should treat each other equally

    What does this even mean?

    Do you think unborn humans should have the protection of the law, then?
    Do you think that no human being should use another, then? (That would mean no porn, no casual sex.)

    Please, what does that mean?

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  117. I agree, but that doesn't mean that all women and all men are exactly the same.

    Marti, no one here ever even HINTED that all women and all men are exactly the same. Where are you getting that?

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  118. "Define "casual." And define it explicitly. Then tell us how you know it is true that anyone enjoys it. Faith? Or experiment (as in you mentally experienced it, empirical evidence)"

    Casual sex is, I guess, a pretty vague term, since it applies to any sexual activity outside of a relationship. I'll give you a situation that several people I know have been in:

    Person A is single. Person A meets person B and later on, have sex but don't form a more committed relationship. They meet up to have sex, and sometimes just hang out a bit, but they usually end up having sex. Sometimes, this scenario can happen with more than one partner. I have friends who have been in this or a similar situation, and some of them enjoyed it while others didn't; each had their own reason. Those who enjoyed it and kept at it weren't looking for anything serious and just wanted to have fun. Some of my friends ended up getting hurt by this kind of situation because they became emotionally involved. I, myself, was in this situation with one guy for less than a month. It never got complicated and I was never emotionally involved. Before I got together with my current boyfriend 3 years ago, I stopped seeing the guy for sex and never had any desire to do anything like that after I started going out with my current boyfriend

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  119. "When you have raised actual boys and actual girls, and in large quantities over many years, you will laugh at this statement, honestly, you will:"

    I've been around little boys and girls all my life. I've been around disabled children as well. I've done a lot of outside work with kids and I've been around them and their parents as well. What I'm saying doesn't come from my classes alone, but they are things I've observed on my own as well. I didn't need to take a class about gender. It was an easy A class

    "Boys and girls PLAY differently"

    Why do some boys LOVE pink toys? Or barbie dolls? Or hate "boy toys" like footballs? I've seen little boys play JUST like little girls and vice verca. 3 summers ago I worked with an aggressive, outspoken little girl who hated girl toys and all she wanted to do was wrestle with the boys and play with them. She never wanted to play with the girls. These are only two examples out of the many children I've encountered. There are many aspects to who we are that are influenced by outside resources, such as the things I described

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  120. Character is caring about other people, selflessness. Desiring to do good even if it inconveniences you or requires some sacrifice. Integrity, a desire for justice. There's probably more qualities that could fall under character, but that's what first comes to mind when I think of the fundamental qualities of a "good person." Without that, you've got selfishness, deceptiveness, a lack of caring. Multiply that by thousands of people, and you'll either have a compassionate society where everyone works for the greater good, or a Randian society where it's all about yourself (or in real life, where people's characters vary, something in between).

    From the dictionary: "Hatred: intense dislike or ill will". For me, I'd make that "or" into an "and" - because I think you can intensely dislike ideas (and perhaps people as well) but not harbor any ill will towards them. What would you consider hatred?

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  121. "Marti, no one here ever even HINTED that all women and all men are exactly the same. Where are you getting that?"

    Well, that's how you've been coming off to me then lol I guess there's been a misunderstanding

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  122. Marti, yes, I don't think we communicate well, ha ha.

    I will leave it there.

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  123. I'm slightly autistic (I think) and my boyfriend thinks I have aspergers so...haha

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  124. My communication skills aren't very good but the only thing I can say for myself that I have a lot of control over my emotions when I speak to people online

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  125. Michelle, hatred to me implies an indifference or a disdain for another person's ultimate good. Meaning, not caring if the other person goes to hell. Love, by contrast, is wanting the best for the other, and willing the good for him.

    Desiring to do good even if it inconveniences you or requires some sacrifice. Integrity, a desire for justice.

    Which begs the question: What is the "good"? What is "justice"?

    To an atheist, are these fixed, objective points outside of ourselves, or are they moving, morphing, societal constructs?

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  126. Marti, yes you do. I appreciate the civility, I really do! Blessings!

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  127. "Michelle, hatred to me implies an indifference or a disdain for another person's ultimate good. Meaning, not caring if the other person goes to hell. Love, by contrast, is wanting the best for the other, and willing the good for him."
    Well put. The hell part to me isn't necessary, but I can accept it as part of a definition that makes sense for you. The rest, I just agree. :)

    I think both "good" and "justice" simply do have different manifestations (is that the right word?) depending on the person (clearly, since we often disagree on what is fair or good!). The meanings of them, however (what is best and what is fair, respectively) are fixed - we just apply and interpret them differently. Does that make sense? I think when judging character, it's alright to look at people's interpretations, but I do think intentions (are they simply applying those definitions differently than you would?) should matter. For instance: we disagree on just about everything, but I would consider you to be someone with a solid, good character because your intentions are good.

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  128. Michelle, I agree that intentions do matter insofar as ultimately culpability goes. But Catholics believe that "the good" (and not just a definition describing an idea of what "good" means) is something fixed and unchanging. And that "justice" is the same. Fixed and outside of ourselves. And justice is not the same as "fair", not at all. If you look (even with a secular eye) at the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, you will see the distinction between "fairness" and justice: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+20%3A1-16&version=NASB )

    The landowner was just. The first laborers wanted "equality" which they deemed fair, no doubt.

    Probably a Protestant translation, but oh well.

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  129. And, I hope you can now see why my opposition to "gay marriage" is not borne of hate, but of love. I want what is best for the souls of all people. I want folks to embrace the good (not sin) and ultimately find their happiness in the Heart of the Trinity for eternity, as they were made for.

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  130. Marti-

    My big bull of a father loved musicals, loved ballet, loved poetry and loved to sing. My brothers and I have fun talking about all the times we were forced to watch "Seven brides for Seven Brothers", "The Mikado", "The Music Man" and many, many more. I am well known in my circle of friends for randomly quoting lines of poetry because my father spent hours reading it to us when we were kids.

    My father's like of the arts or the stereotype "real men hate ballet" has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT HE IS A MAN. It is a matter of personal taste, not gender and not societal gender roles.

    Just like my enjoyment of hunting and guns and my hate-hate relationship with make-up (seriously, why did we fall for that con?) doesn't make me less of a woman. Even the aggressive little girl who wanted to play with the boys----that doesn't make her less of a girl.

    Being a woman has to do with how I approach the world, how I communicate, how I problem solve and what some of my talents are. Some of it is what society has taught me but most of it...I was born with it.

    The best example I can come up with at the moment is flirting. Men and women flirt differently. Most of the time no one teaches us to flirt- we learn as we go. Sure, we might mimic something or we might try something a friend suggested, but most of it comes naturally. Haven't we all been with a friend who was trying to hard to flirt and you just wanted to sink through the floor in embarrassment for them? And haven't we all seen the wallflower just turn it on? Flirting has more to do with our gender than what color of toys you like.

    I'm starting to think we are causing a lot of the gender confusion because men and women are starting to be defined by these outward traits and preferences. My dad grew up in the 1940's and loved musicals- never had an issue. A boy grows up today liking pink and he is used as an example of how "gender is nothing more than a social construct."

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  131. Hah, well, the landowner sounds kind of like a jerk, but I do get what you mean. And, yes. That is something I struggle with, because I know that your opposition to same-sex marriage is out of love (can't say the same for everyone I've talked to), even though I think it's a view that at its foundation is a breeding ground for hatred (like that charming little kid singing "ain't no homos gonna make it to heaven" - not Catholic, but still an idea that stems from a view that sees same-sex relationships as unacceptable). Hopefully you can see that my support of same-sex marriage comes from the best of intentions too, just approaching it from a very, very different direction.

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  132. Hah, well, the landowner sounds kind of like a jerk

    Ouch, well it was Jesus telling the Parable, and it was God the Father who was the "landowner". It was a parable, of course, about souls who are accepted into Heaven, even at the last moment. For example, those who were saintly all their lives should realize that even evil and godless folks can still be accepted into Heaven if they repent even at or towards the end of their lives.

    But let's take it on the literal level and I have to say, only a liberal would say that a man being generous and just to all the laborers (by even "overpaying" some) is a "jerk" because it's not "fair". I would ask you: He was not defrauding or gypping anyone, so do you begrudge his generosity? Sounds like you just don't like business owners. ;)

    But not to get off on a tangent, ha ha!

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  133. I'm starting to think we are causing a lot of the gender confusion because men and women are starting to be defined by these outward traits and preferences. My dad grew up in the 1940's and loved musicals- never had an issue. A boy grows up today liking pink and he is used as an example of how "gender is nothing more than a social construct."

    Oh, exactly! And OH MY how we are creating gender confusion. Do you know how many young women I know who are NOT lesbians, but who have thought they were, or lived that "lifestyle" in college, simply because kids are taught now to be so confused about everything, and that "gender" is "fluid"? So many messed up lives. And it takes a while for people to get past this crap. Very sad.

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  134. I think it's a view that at its foundation is a breeding ground for hatred

    Michelle, maybe you can appreciate the irony that the gay "rights" view can also be seen as a breeding ground for hatred, because look now at the marginalization of Catholics and the utter hatred directed at us by so many on the left, on a daily, steady basis? (Gosh, reference this very post!)

    I hope you will go see For Greater Glory. So interested to know what a secular atheist would think of it! Let me know if you do go see it!

    And, yes, I do believe that your intentions are good. I always have. :)

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  135. Actually, when I read it, it did bring to mind the idea of welfare, which I am completely in support of (and is a pretty liberal position!). The way this was written, though, there didn't seem to be much of a rationale other than "I felt like it" in which case the first group of workers is, I think, right to feel cheated. If it was done out of a sense of compassion ("The last group of workers needs this day's wages to eat tonight"), then I could totally understand it. Overall, though, (reading it from a completely secular perspective) it feels like the point is that employers should technically be able to do whatever they want as long as the workers agree to a contract. But, the idea you were trying to get across - that what is "just" may not be "fair" - I can see the distinction.

    Of course, I don't think hatred should come from either side, but do keep in mind - Catholics aren't being told that they are abominations, no one says that things they don't like are "Catholic", kids don't go home and hang themselves because they see no future for themselves because of people's perceptions of their Catholicism. That's not to say you should shut up and stop whining, not at all, but I think the wrongs experienced by Catholics pale in comparison to the wrongs experienced by the LGBT community at the hands of religion (or the fruits of religious thought). I see hatred and vitriol from both sides (more from both sides of the religious vs. atheist debate, not specifically LGBT issues necessarily), and I think there needs to be a recognition from everyone that disagreement that leads to hatred is going to be productive for no one. But that does require acknowledging that your views can and often do lead to a demonization of those who disagree, deliberate or not, and actively working to counteract that. That goes for everyone.

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  136. Michelle, I agree that no one should be persecuted, ridiculed, hated, etc., however, I think your perception of Catholicism is very short-sighed in terms of history. Catholics were of the minority and "hated" class when this country was first formed. Many of the immigrants -- Irish, Polish, etc. -- were Catholics and viewed as second-class citizens. (i.e., not Protestants.) In fact, freedom of religion was not originally intended for Catholic immigrants, hence our sensitivity to freedom of religion and the immigrants of today. If you listen to Archbishop Dolan talk about immigration, he has some harsh words for Republicans.

    Anyway, Catholics know what it is like to be hated and persecuted historically and even in recent history in this country. We do understand human nature and compassion. We also know that Catholics have committed grave sins throughout history, and I'm not dismissing that. We are human, after all. Your perception, however, comes from extremely recent history and in a very limited geography, since Christians are persecuted elsewhere in the world right now and current policy in America mirrors historical policies that led down that road in the past. The idea that the "wrongs experienced by Catholics pale in comparison to those experienced by LGBT community" is ludicrous. I wouldn't condone hatred or persecution of someone with same-sex attraction, but they haven't "suffered more" than other groups of people in history.

    My grandparents were Catholic Polish immigrants, and they lived in a community of Catholics of other nationalities. This country has a short memory! Those generations of immigrants are quite recent. And that doesn't include a much deeper history.

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  137. Elizabeth, it's true - I'm only really looking at the current situation, in the context of the United States, so thank you for that clarification. Unfortunately, I'm not well-read enough to carry on a coherent discussion about the history and politics of persecution of Catholics or the LGBT community.

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  138. Going back a bit, even though it is not specifically on the topic of FB's suspension of Leila, Marti said

    "You don't necessarily have to take on the role of a father or mother, you just have to be there for your kids. Some fathers take on the role of the mother AND father and do a great job. Some mothers take on the role of the father AND mother and do a great job. "

    I am a single mother. I take on the role of "father" to the extent that I, I don't know, have to be tougher than some moms maybe have to be because I don't have male back-up. My ex-husband actually would not back me up when we were married, but recently he has backed me up in some very important matters with one of our children. If he had not backed me up, that child would be in a very bad position and I would have a tremendous amount of trouble here - the thought is pretty scary, actually. We still have trouble with that child but we're on it together. I cannot agree that one person can take on both roles and do as good as job as one could do alone. I just don't believe it.

    Also, someone already mentioned the effect of biology on the way men and women behave. I don't think we should underestimate the effect that testosterone has on the brain of a man and estrogen has on the brain of a woman. Those hormones have an enormous impact and I as a single mom can't pretend to be able to think like a man and project male attitudes toward my children.

    I also think that anyone who has two parents can really say, "Oh, I think not having a father would have been just fine." That's quite a statement from anyone who had a father in her life. I'm sorry, Marti, I don't know if your father was in your life or not, so if you did not have him in your life, you can at least feel free to say that you did not miss that male presence. If you did have him, you really can't say that you think a child who doesn't have one, doesn't need one. As Leila has pointed out in the past, even if a child has a "bad" father (abusive,etc.), a child might say "I would rather have had no father than that father," but they wouldn't say, "I would rather have had no father than a better father."

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  139. Catholics aren't being told that they are abominations,

    No, we're just being told that our Church is the Whore of Babylon, that we're going to hell for being Catholic. Personally, I've been told that I am committing child abuse by raising my kids in the Catholic Church.

    no one says that things they don't like are "Catholic",

    You don't spend much time dialoguing with fundamentalist protestants, I see. Their favorite pejorative is "papist."

    kids don't go home and hang themselves because they see no future for themselves because of people's perceptions of their Catholicism.

    Sadly, many bullied kids kill themselves. For example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Megan_Meier. Bullies will bully for any reason - weight, appearance, level of intelligence, etc. I was bullied in school because I was a bookwork with glasses and a big fan of Star Trek. Thankfully, I found areas where I could excel, and made a lot of online friends who shared my interests, so I wasn't driven to despair. But you do a grave disservice to many bullying victims when you imply that only gay kids are bullied, and/or driven to extremes by said bullying.

    And then there are the Catholic kids who are told they can't participate in certain activities unless they voluntarily skip Mass. And then there's P.Z. Myers, who calls Christians "ignorant, deluded, wicked, foolish, or oppressed victims of obsolete mythologies" and thinks it's fun to bully Catholics by desecrating the Eucharist. And then there's Dan Savage, who thinks it's okay to bully Christian kids (by screaming at them that they are "pansy-asses") who decline to hear his anti-Christian rants.

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  140. Now hold on- Catholics do not teach ANYONE is an abomination.

    The only way our views lead to a demonization (funny you should use that word) is when our view are CORRUPTED.

    We DO actively work to counteract that!

    But the left always makes comments like you just did "what the Catholics suffer isn't nearly as bad." What exactly is the point of that comment?

    Do you mean to say because we aren't suffering equally it is ok to continue to make Catholics suffer until things become more balance?

    Are you implying someone who has been wrong has no right to speak up for themselves if someone else is suffering more than they are?

    Are you trying to make sure we understand being teased to the point of being driven to suicide is worse than being told your views are old-fashion and evil? You think we don't know that?

    All discussions require compassion and charity from both sides. But the left often wrap themselves up in the shield of "we are the injured party" and feel they don't have to be nice, respectful or kind.

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  141. You should get a merit badge for getting a suspended account on FB for speaking the truth.

    Like many things, people can use FB for good or for evil.

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  142. StarFire, that's because the Left has those "anointed" groups that constitute the victim class. Catholics are not in that hallowed list, so that puts us in the other group -- the oppressors.

    JoAnna, thank you for saying all the things that I wanted to say, but saving me all that time and link-finding! Whew, seriously, I thank you.

    Michelle, thank you for admitting to Elizabeth that you don't have enough historical perspective. Elizabeth is right on the money. Also, you are too young to understand this, but when I was in school in the '70s and '80s, the term "gay" (as in "that's so gay", as you alluded to), meant STUPID. No one, no one, meant it as "homosexual". It had been "evolved" to mean stupid, and I thought you all liked the evolution of language? After all, if homosexuals had left the perfectly beautiful word "gay" alone, and let it mean what it's supposed to mean (instead of corrupting it), we would not even have this problem of "gay" even meaning "stupid". You talk of all the bullying as if it only happens to gay people, but do you know how many girls had the beautiful name of "Gay" before it was hijacked for a political agenda? Do you know how teased and bullied those little girls (and big girls) were? My husband's cousin was named "Gay" and had to change her name because of it! I am sure there were many, many, many who did that. Are you sorry for them?

    I'm truly interested.

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  143. I also go back to this, and wonder if you can see that most suicides are due to an underlying mental illness, and not the bullying, per se? And that all this "gay suicide" hype might indeed be making things worse? Even the gay community is considering that:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/gay-activist-admits-bullying-hysteria-may-cause-suicides-not-prevent-them

    Also, for more (only a tiny bit more) on anti-Catholic violence and hatred even in America, please learn about the No Nothings, a political party in our nation back in the day:

    http://history1800s.about.com/od/immigration/a/knownothing01.htm

    To this day around the globe, Catholics and Christians are getting massacred and their churches bombed and burned to the ground. Pretty regularly. And in our own nation, Catholics clergy are portrayed by Hollywood as either hero apostates or depraved, evil men. But gay people? They are always the happy, thoroughly good "best friend" of the protagonist.

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  144. Yes, the landowner was just. Justice is giving one what is due him. If a just wage was paid, then for the workers to want more is called "coveting" which is based in envy (which is what so much of the left's class warfare is based on today).

    The Church is one of the biggest champions of the poor in the world and always has been (defrauding the poor is one of the sins that "cries out to Heaven for vengeance"), so there is no injustice in Jesus' parable. Only envy and spite on the part of those who had worked longer for a just wage.

    Back to pornography for a moment. You have agreed with me that pornography is objectification of persons. What is your moral position on pornography, and what is the atheist position, generally?

    Thanks!

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  145. One more question, Michelle, if you will indulge me. You seem to imply that persecution of homosexuals is a result of religion (as opposed to a natural law understanding of the disordered acts). How, then, do you account for atheistic regimes that persecuted (and still persecute or legislate against) homosexual acts?

    Again, I think as a young college student, you may live too much in present-day, pop-culture America and have not done a lot of delving into human history. Not an insult, just that the schools don't teach history well anymore (they've got a brand-new "progressive" agenda), and you haven't had a lot of time to do your own research.

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  146. Less than ideal to YOU, maybe not to them. You are making assumptions about how other people feel. People you don't know. Sure, maybe you know some people who your logic does apply to. However not everyone feels that way about situations like the ones we're talking about

    And this is the problem, Marti. No I'm not making assumptions about how people feel. FEELINGS are not a part of it. Simply because someone feels happy about the situation they are in, does not mean that the situation is ideal. This is the entire point. There is an objective truth to it all. Everything is NOT subjective. Feelings, yes, are subjective, but reality isn't.

    but that doesn't mean that all women and all men are exactly the same. My point is, is that everyone is different. We are all different people with our own personalities and traits. Women are not all the same and neither are men. different things make us happy, different things make us mad, but they all make us human. As humans, I believe we should treat each other equally

    You're right all women are not the same and all men are not the same, but all women are different, in the same ways, from all men. I'm talking about things beyond personalities, beyond feelings, beyond developed character traits.

    The landowner was just. The first laborers wanted "equality" which they deemed fair, no doubt.

    One of the best lessons I learned in college is that fair does NOT mean equal, it means what is in the best interest of the individual person.
    Of course for us Catholics, what is in the best interest of the individual stems from something beyond/higher than the individual, him/herself, or the federal government.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the source of the problem.

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  147. I think you're reading too much into what I wrote. I don't think I in any way implied that only gay kids get bullied (obviously untrue - I only meant that kids are not being tormented in school ), and...what the heck? Who "balances" suffering by adding to another group's suffering? And I made clear to say that differences in suffering doesn't mean the better-off group should stop discussing the wrongs they experience.

    What I meant was that there are attacks coming from both sides (and I was specifically thinking of PZ Myers). JoAnna, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you equated having gay parents to having sex offender parents. Is that justified while saying that you're abusing your children by raising them Catholic isn't?

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  148. Regarding history, yes, you're right. I hated it in school and tested out of it for college, so I am only beginning to gain an appreciation for it. Unfortunately, studying it takes a lot of time I don't have, but I do intend to rectify my (probably obvious) desire to only stick to the present day.

    Regarding pornography, I think I made that clear in everything I said earlier...? Not intrinsically evil or harmful, but the ideas it promotes are. I do think the general atheist position is probably a bit more accepting (embracing?) than my own.

    Regarding the name "Gay"...seriously? No. I feel literally zero pity. Language changes, and I honestly do not care. I'm sure that had to be inconvenient for some people, but if being gay wasn't so demonized, then it wouldn't have been a problem. It wouldn't have evolved to mean "stupid" and people who were named it would be no different than people who happened to be named Hope, or Faith, or any other name that's a word.

    I'm open to the suggestion of mass hysteria, etc. as partly responsible; I can't say I know everything about the situation. But I don't think that changes the fact that kids are being bullied for being gay, and that's a problem. As for atheists demonizing gay people, I think you see a whole lot less of that than religiously-motivated demonization. It's certainly not okay just because an atheist did it.

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  149. This: "obviously untrue - I only meant that kids are not being tormented in school " should read:

    "obviously untrue - I only meant that kids are not being tormented in school because they are Catholic or perceived to be Catholic"

    oops.

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  150. JoAnna, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you equated having gay parents to having sex offender parents.

    Here's the deal, and I'm set to do a whole post on this. The reason Catholics and/or conservatives use analogies like "nazis" or "pedophiles" when talking to liberals is because we are trying to find an analogy that BOTH sides still understand as "evil". It's harder and harder to find things that the left deems evil or wrong. Hopefully, my future post will say it more clearly.

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  151. I don't think I in any way implied that only gay kids get bullied (obviously untrue - I only meant that kids are not being tormented in school

    Doesn't saying that non-gay kids are not being tormented in school imply that only gay kids get bullied?

    JoAnna, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you equated having gay parents to having sex offender parents. Is that justified while saying that you're abusing your children by raising them Catholic isn't?

    Please, do allow me to correct you. I believe you're referencing this comment, which does not say what you apparently think it says -- especially given Leila's clarification, in that it would be an abuse to adopt children out to fornicating heterosexual couples as well. I was using abuse of the soul as an analogy to abuse of the body, not saying that all gay couples commit physical child abuse. For someone that constantly accuses Leila of misrepresenting your words, you seem to be doing a pretty good job of that yourself.

    The difference is objective debate vs subjective insults. Objectively, yes, I believe that it harms children's souls if they are raised to celebrate homosexual acts. And if this person had merely said, "I believe that it harms children to be raised in the Catholic Church," I'd have less of a problem with it (I'd still believe the statement is wrong, mind you, but I can understand how a person who has had bad experiences with the Church might feel that way, even if I don't agree). But this person did not say that - he said that I, specifically, was abusing my children.

    Likewise, if you were a lesbian with a child, it'd be wrong of me to say to you, "Michelle, you're a child abuser! You're committing child abuse by raising your child to celebrate homosexual acts!" That crosses the line into ad hominem at best and bullying at worst.

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  152. Regarding the name "Gay"...seriously? No. I feel literally zero pity.

    Wow. Just wow. A sexual-political movement changes a beautiful word to equate with sodomy, and you have no compassion for young girls and women who had their name twisted and sullied like that and had to change their identity completely? Okay, then.

    So, it would not be wrong for me to say that the objectifications of persons is fine/good in your moral worldview, correct? How do you teach that morality to your children one day? I'm truly interested. "It's good to use others as objects if it makes you feel happy"? And, does this extend beyond the sexual realm. I really want you to explore that principle with me.

    But you didn't answer WHY an atheist regime would be opposed to homosexuality, if opposition to homosexuality is simply a religious thing and not based in natural law?

    Thanks!

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  153. Sorry, Michelle, I didn't see your clarification before you posted. But the fact remains many Catholics (and Christians) are bullied for practicing their faith, even if it's not reported in the MSM. Some are even suspended from school for not conforming to PC groupthink.

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  154. JoAnna - I meant that kids are generally not being bullied for being Christian. That's all.

    You were saying that it's spiritually abusive to raise kids in the home of a same-sex couple, no? Even if you aren't going up to a gay couple to tell them they're abusing their children, it's still an attack all the same. I see a minor distinction between the two cases, but the idea is, to me, not significantly different.

    Right, Leila. If being gay weren't such a hated characteristic, it would not be "twisting and sullying" a word to adopt it as a descriptor. It's not changing anyone's identity. I can't believe this seems to concern you more than suicides...

    And, no...? I thought I made it very, very, very clear that objectification is bad, and explained why. That's exactly opposite of what I said. I can't speak for people who think it's fine, because that's not what I believe and it's certainly not what I'd teach my children.

    And, I don't expect you to answer for every Catholic who does something bad, so why should I be expected to justify atheists' wrongs? It's not my position, and it's not the position of most atheists.

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  155. Let me try to clarify my question on pornography, Michelle. You and I are in agreement that pornography itself is objectification of persons. You then said that you don't think it's "intrinsically evil or harmful". So, therefore, you don't think objectification, i.e., using people, or turning them into objects, is evil or harmful? Correct?

    Okay, then you say "the ideas it promotes are" harmful or evil. What might those ideas be?

    Thanks!

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  156. If being gay weren't such a hated characteristic, it would not be "twisting and sullying" a word to adopt it as a descriptor. It's not changing anyone's identity. I can't believe this seems to concern you more than suicides…

    It would be almost as bad if activists renamed a nice name to mean "sexual intercourse" of any stripe, even heterosexual, but yes sodomy and gay sex acts are even more troubling for a name.

    If "Michelle" suddenly was politically changed to mean, "coitus", you'd be happy (esp. as a school girl) and not teased or bullied? Okay, then. Sure.

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  157. I can't believe this seems to concern you more than suicides…

    Again, are you implying that only gay students commit suicide? And that introducing the word "gay" somehow led to the decline of the suicide rate among homosexuals? Do you have stats that back that up?

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  158. I thought I made it very, very, very clear that objectification is bad, and explained why.

    No. You said this about pornography: "Oh, it absolutely is objectification; the epitome of it even, probably."

    Then you said that pornography is "not intrinsically evil or harmful".

    Which is it?

    Thanks!

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  159. Aughghh. Okay. I thought I made all of this really clear, but I'll try again: pornography doesn't have to automatically lead to objectification in one's daily life. If people can use it and separate it from the ideas (objectification/depersonalization) that it represents and epitomizes, fine. I don't mind. I think it's just part of a larger problem with objectification in society (propagated through the media), and isn't the only manifestation or cause of people objectifying others.

    And...what. I am really, really confused. Absolutely not, of course not only gay students commit suicide, and of course the word itself hasn't necessarily made things better/worse. I'm not sure what's been so unclear about what I've written. Kids are killing themselves, quite often (obviously not always) it's attributed to anti-gay bullying. That's what we need to worry about, not about the women who were named "Gay" and who were slightly inconvenienced. And, "gay" is primarily a descriptor of a person, not an act. I wouldn't have a problem if "Michelle" (or my real name) were used to describe gay people, but yes, I would expect bullying because gay people are so demonized. If they weren't, I wouldn't.

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  160. What I said about objectification:

    "On a broader scale, though, objectification devalues intellect and personality, which I think are the most important facets of a person's character. Actually, I would be willing to bet that objectification (by appearance/race/sexual orientation/etc) is an underlying cause of a lot of hatred. If you're not trained from a young age to appreciate people as complex individuals, I think it'd be safe to assume that you're going to be more likely to be intolerant towards people who are different from you in trivial ways (appearance/race/sexual orientation/etc). "

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  161. Sorry, Michelle, it makes no sense. You said that porn was the epitome of objectification (for once, we agreed on something). Now, you say it's not. Are you taking back that statement, then? Pornography is not objectification of persons? What is it, then? For what purpose is it produced and used?

    If people can use it and separate it from the ideas (objectification/depersonalization) that it represents and epitomizes, fine.

    I truly have no idea what this means. Can you be more specific or give me an example? Thanks!

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  162. My cousin was bullied for being Christian at an elite private east coast boarding school.

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  163. If you're not trained from a young age to appreciate people as complex individuals, I think it'd be safe to assume that you're going to be more likely to be intolerant towards people who are different from you in trivial ways (appearance/race/sexual orientation/etc).

    So the guy using porn in the dark of his basement is "appreciating" that actress not as a sexual object to be used (by him and by the male actor and by the producer), but as a "complex individual"?

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  164. Michele, you said, "I don't think that changes the fact that kids are being bullied for being gay, and that's a problem. As for atheists demonizing gay people, I think you see a whole lot less of that than religiously-motivated demonization. It's certainly not okay just because an atheist did it."

    I really have to argue against this point of view. We are not living in a Christian society. Sadly, we are living in a post-Christian society. The bullying of gays, and non-gays, for any and no reason, is definitely on the increase. I never, ever knew of a girl in my high school who hit another girl. Ever. We didn't have rules against girls fighting because in the late 1970s's, it never crossed anyone's mind to get in a physical altercation with a girl. Now look at our society. Girls get hit, hair pulled, punched, challenged to a brawl, even threatened with death. Trust me, this is not the influence of Christianity at work. When I was in high school, most of my friends attended some kind of worship service on the weekend. Now, principals of Catholic schools are appalled at the lack of Mass attendance even among their own students. Religious influence on a daily or even weekly basis is down, bullying and other unreal forms of daily-occurring inhuman behavior is on the increase. So how is it that "Christianity" gets blamed for the increase in nastiness and cruelty in our society?

    I realize that some rather bizarre groups who claim to be Christian say terrible things about gays and get press coverage for it. Personally I think that is irresponsible journalism - they know what they are reporting is atypical, yet they report it to stir the pot. Those small groups they report on are most definitely not speaking for the Catholic Church in particular or for Christians in general.

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  165. Do you accept that someone could play violent video games or watch violent films and not be a violent person? That's what I mean.

    And, the part about the "complex individual"...no. That's my whole point. You're not appreciating the actors as complex individuals, but that doesn't necessarily have to translate into how to view people in your everyday life. The idea, though, that people aren't complex individuals is harmful. Does that make more sense?

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  166. Do you accept that someone could play violent video games or watch violent films and not be a violent person? That's what I mean.

    I'm not trying to be difficult, but how does this apply to porn? Can you give me an example of someone using porn who is not objectifying (using) a person? Or someone who is making porn who is not objectifying (using) a person?

    And I do believe that if one uses people via porn, they will most certainly be more likely to use them in other areas of life as well. And certainly their view of women in general will be different than if they never used porn.

    Again, please, give me an example of what you are talking about, with porn.

    Sharon, me too!! I went to public school, K-12. Never once did girls hit each other and brawl, etc. And yet, my friend's son was in a public school in OK in the past few years and there were girl brawls in the hallways all the time! One girl bit off her own tongue in front of her classmates in the hall, as a result of being hit so hard she had a seizure. My friend's son saw this and was traumatized! But we are supposed to believe that things are better in a post-Christian era? Or that this is not the result of broken families on the increase?

    So sad. And so unnecessary.

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  167. that doesn't necessarily have to translate into how to view people in your everyday life.

    So, a man can use a porn actress on the screen as an object for his gratification, but she is not acutally a real person? So, "everyday life" women are different than the porn actress?

    You can't mean that. Or, are you saying that it's moral to use people if they don't know that you are using them (because they never met you)? And even so, aren't the porn actors and actresses being used by the studios as well? Aren't they being used by the viewers (who aren't watching passively... ahem) and the producers?

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  168. The idea, though, that people aren't complex individuals is harmful.

    And to address your point, yes, I have said many times that people and emotions are complex. We humans have concupiscence (we are drawn toward sin, even though it is not good for us), and that makes for many complexities. Also, emotions themselves are complex and deep. But principles and truths are not complex. :)

    I'm not sure I've ever met a person who denies that people are complex, so not sure of the point you're making? Do you know anyone who has said that people are not complex?

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  169. Lots of ideas....going back to Marti and then Sharon recently.

    Marti was talking about the way the media assigns gender roles and then people conform to them....sort-of arguing that little boys are not more aggressive on the whole than little girls etc. Although I do think the media has an effect (the recent rise in female to female violence is absolutely partly influenced by the torrent of new, female characters who carry bazookas and "kick but") the inherent differences are dramatic. My good friend just had her own daughter suspended from school for assaulting a classmate (high school) in front of an administrator DURING a mediation meeting. The whole thing was caused by sexual jealousy and texting.

    I am just a bit younger than Leila and I only once heard of a girl assaulting another girl physically, although two girls I know did assault boys when they were drunk. So media does have an influence, but there is no doubt in my mind that there are GENERALLY serious differences between most young boys and most young girls in their mode of play etc. I cannot remember the exact stat., but overwhelmingly, violent crime is caused by young men. This fact alone (notwithstanding recent uptick in female violence) should be evidence alone to verify that there are stark, biologically-induced differences between males and females.

    However, recent research also shows that these brain differences become more moderate over time, and by age 40 the difference between male brains and female brains (in how they problem-solve) is not so great.

    Marti...if I took my three sons to a girly party and told them to dress up and play with the dolls, they would probably put the dresses on their heads and use the dolls as hand grenades. I bought dollhouse figures for my boys and tried to do imaginative play with them, and they strung them up with yarn; caught in a giant "spider web" they had devised. They love battle, guns (which we discourage mostly), swords and Legos. They also love stuffed animals and blankies and snuggling with their momma, and they love tender books, but to say that the media and the world has "caused" their love of swords and violence is just wrong. It is totally inherent.

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  170. Mary, that is scary, about the sexting and assaults! It makes me laugh when people criticize homeschooled kids for not being "socialized" properly because they are not in school experiencing the interactions that come there. Ummmm, I can see why homeschoolers say that you can keep your depraved socialization, thanks! :)

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  171. Do you accept that someone could play violent video games or watch violent films and not be a violent person? That's what I mean.

    And, the part about the "complex individual"...no. That's my whole point. You're not appreciating the actors as complex individuals, but that doesn't necessarily have to translate into how to view people in your everyday life. The idea, though, that people aren't complex individuals is harmful. Does that make more sense?


    Michelle, your analogy is flawed, first and foremost because several studies have shown that violent video games and movies can increase ones predilection toward aggressive and violent behavior as well as numb their psyches to the appropriate human response to such violent behavior, which would be shock, fear, anger, disgust, disbelief, and sorrow.

    Now there are many great movies and even great video games which (unfortunately) have a large amount of violence in them. Most of the people are viewing these films or playing these games in spite of the violence associated with them. (that is to say, all other things being equal, if the violence weren't in the games, they'd still be viewing/playing). The violence in these types of movies or games, is often used for multiple purposes, to illustrate or demonstrate something within the story.

    However, most people who do view violent films or play violent games solely for the purpose of the violence, are people who would be referred to psychological counseling in most regards.

    (If my son is watching nothing but Pulp Fiction 24 hrs a day and can only tell me, excitedly, about the really gory details of the violence and nothing about the rest of the movie and the story-line and what makes the story-line good, then I'm sending him to the shrink, because he has a problem)

    Now if you're really, I mean really, going to argue that there are people out there who watch porn for the cinematography, the acting, the editing skills, the script-writing, and the musical score (do they have those), well, I guess there could be a handful of people out there who might be doing that. But the vast majority of people who view porn are doing so for one reason, what they're seeing gets them aroused. THAT is objectification. I'm not going to classify porn as not objectifying, because a handful of weirdos who don't appreciate good cinema, are clamoring for "Forest Hump" to win the Academy Awards.

    (And yes, apparently that is a title, the only one I can remember when my friends went behind the little wall into the back room of Family Video when we were in college. I was so embarrassed I sat in the car.)

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  172. Bethany said, "Michelle, your analogy is flawed, first and foremost because several studies have shown that violent video games and movies can increase ones predilection toward aggressive and violent behavior as well as numb their psyches to the appropriate human response to such violent behavior, which would be shock, fear, anger, disgust, disbelief, and sorrow."

    All discussions aside....this is one of the best things you have ever said. It is numbing. I actually think this is the greater problem with these things. Not that they make you into a killer, but that they blunt your sensitivity.

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  173. While you're using it, yes, you're objectifying someone. That doesn't necessarily have to mean that you'll do that in your everyday life. Does that make sense? I feel like I've beaten this horse so dead it's unrecognizable, so I hope it does. Example of people treating each other as objects: rape. You're not thinking "wow, this is a really complex person." I don't think anyone thinks they're objectifying others, but I think stereotyping would also be an example of not seeing people as complex individuals.

    Sharon, where do you get the idea that this is a post-Christian society? Atheists are considered worse than rapists (http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111201/bc_atheist_research_ubc_rapists_111201/20111201?hub=BritishColumbiaHome) and a good 46% of the country believes in Biblical creationism (http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creationist-View-Human-Origins.aspx). The point I'm trying to make is that Christian ideas (that homosexuality is not a "legitimate" orientation - that only opposite-sex relationships should be considered legitimate) can lead to genuine hatred. Even if you don't hate, and even if that isn't your intention.

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  174. Bethany, I agree that the analogy isn't quite accurate, and pretty much agree with everything in your post. Hopefully I've clarified everything now regarding porn, though - I'm not sure there's much more I can say!

    (Sorry for the ugly links in my last post...I'll have to stop being lazy and do hyperlinks like JoAnna!)

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  175. Leila,
    The phone problems are monumental. This device alone, although inanimate, has given young people a wild amount of freedom and power, and they are having trouble managing it. This girl has other issues, she is a total rebel, although she comes from a rock solid family and Catholic home. But...the sexual texting from a rival girl brought out the worst in her. Now there are court cases etc. on the horizon. I feel for her beleaguered mother who totally dedicated herself to her kids. We all hope it is a phase.

    She is incredibly attractive, and this gives her insane power in school. I guess it always did, even years ago, but now it just seems that the sexual prowess thing is ratcheted up beyond thinkable limits.

    Just yesterday I was waiting in line, and a headline from Cosmo caught my eye...I never read this crap, but I decided to pick it up, since I did not have the kids with me. Go see for yourself. It was a total porn edition as far as I can tell. Super graphic, all about how to get your boyfriend to get your G spot and all. This is a woman's fashion magazine?..no pretext anymore...just full-on porn? I kept thinking, I wonder what Cosmo was like in 1960? This thing is being hawked in the checkout counter of my local grocery, right next to the candy bars and at eye-level of a six-year-old. Where is the outrage? Is this the normal world I have to bring my boys up in? I am trying to bring them up to respect girls, but how can you when the girls are being instructed by such publications?

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  176. Michelle said, "The point I'm trying to make is that Christian ideas (that homosexuality is not a "legitimate" orientation - that only opposite-sex relationships should be considered legitimate) can lead to genuine hatred. Even if you don't hate, and even if that isn't your intention."

    This is a good point, and one I think of often. But...(and as you might remember I am still on the fence about gay "morality") what say you about declaring divorce and remarriage to be wrong leading to hatred and prejudice against divorced persons (mostly females in the history of our world)? I am tempted to say that no-fault divorce is such a blight on our communities that it is worth it to return to the day when divorced women were slighted. Divorce is utterly commonplace today, and it wreaks havoc on the lives of the children in its wake.

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  177. Michelle, sorry, I really still do not in anyway understand your stance on porn. Usually I can follow your argument, but I can't this time.

    Maybe if I frame it this way: What is porn for? Is there a time when it does not objectify a human being? Is there a time or a purpose for it in which a human being is not being used by another human being? How is the acting of, producing of, or watching of pornography not based, inherently, in objectification of a human being? You say it's not inherently evil or harmful, but that objectification of persons is evil and harmful.

    Can you give me any specific explanation for when porn would not be "objectifying", thus wrong?

    Does anyone else see why I am confused?

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  178. Michelle: Is pedophilia a "legitimate" orientation?

    (Leave aside the question of homosexuality completely, please.)

    Also, I don't get this continual talk about the "complexities" of persons. So what? People are complex. What does that have to do with objectifying anyone? Simple principle: It is evil to objectify (use them, consider them less than fully human) anyone, whether the person is simple or complex. Can we agree?

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  179. Mary, that is truly sad. The girl needs help. And as for Cosmo... we can thank the sexual revolution and the feminists like Helen Gurley Brown for that normalized depravity. The Church has always stood fast against the casual use of sex and the objectification of women and men. One more reason to stick with the Church, whose values will never change, even in a very sick world. ;)

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  180. Some same-sex couples have children and raise their children with more love than some heterosexual couples do. I believe that children deserve the best that they can be given, but this does not mean that being raised by their biological mother and father is always the BEST option for the child.

    And some heterosexual parents raise their children with more love than homosexual parents. So what?
    That has nothing to do with what is best to teach the child about their own sex and how to develop.

    Just because parents share parenting does not replace the need for each sex. We're not talking household duties. We're talking attributes of each sex and rearing, say, the opposite sex child.

    Here's what pops taught me about womanhood: Zero

    Here's what pops taught me about how men treat women: Protection, love, all many things good.

    Here's what pops taught me generally speaking indirectly and directly: A heck of a lot as pertains to sports, schooling, and becoming stronger (mentally and physically) but not a thing about the awkward onset of menses or my female biology. He could relate nothing authentically about how I (a female) relate to other males. He could not instruct or share a similar female experience that was truly feminine. It was not his. Because... he's not female.

    And he shouldn't have had to give that, as it was not his job.

    And trying to replace mom with auntie or grandma doesn't cut it.
    Having a good aunt or caring grandma does not a mother make.

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  181. Mary, you know what is ironic? Soft-core porn (Cosmo) in the racks of the grocery stores where kids can see it and teens buy it is celebrated free speech by the left, but a comment like mine on facebook is an offense against "community standards". Makes me laugh, actually!! That's how absurd we've become in this confused, nutty post-Christian age.

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  182. " my opposition to "gay marriage" is not borne of hate, but of love. I want what is best for the souls of all people. "

    I'm not saying that your opposition is borne out of hate, but I do struggle with understanding your point of view. Aren't gay people entitled to love and happiness, as well as having the joy of raising children? Straight people aren't the only ones who are capable of loving their children or giving them everything they need. And since every child has different needs, wants and desires, you can't say that ALL children need X, Y, or Z. A child "needs" all of their basic needs for survival, such as food, water, clothing, shelter, and for one or more people to take care of them. Anything else, anything extra, or anything someone can do for the child just makes that child's life THAT much better. The more you can do for the child, the better. Let me ask you this Leila, do you think gay couples should be allowed to adopt? But keep in mind, that if you say yes, (and if gay marriage is illegal in the state the gay couple lives in) the child wouldn't be entitled to a lot of benefits, such as health care, which are important

    "that doesn't make her less of a girl. "

    Of course not. I agree

    "Being a woman has to do with how I approach the world, how I communicate, how I problem solve and what some of my talents are. Some of it is what society has taught me but most of it...I was born with it."

    Not all women approach the world the same way, communicate the same way, solve problems the same way, etc. I do believe that part of our personalities and who we care comes from our genetics and that the other part comes from how we were nurtured and the experiences we've had in our lives. I don't think this has anything to do with gender, though

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  183. "Men and women flirt differently."

    People in general flirt differently. Everyone has their own style or method when it comes to flirting

    "but most of it comes naturally."

    Yes I agree. I think it depends most on your personality; not your gender

    " I cannot agree that one person can take on both roles and do as good as job as one could do alone. I just don't believe it."

    Well, I've seen it so I know it's possible

    "Those hormones have an enormous impact and I as a single mom can't pretend to be able to think like a man and project male attitudes toward my children"

    How exactly does a "man" think? I'm rather curious. As far as I know, everyone thinks differently. Everything in our lives, from our biology, to what we put in our bodies, to our experiences/social encounters, all effect who we are, the way we think, how we behave, and more. My friend was raised by his mother his whole life, and he had 4 brothers. If you met them, you wouldn't be able to tell that they only had one parent

    "I also think that anyone who has two parents can really say, "Oh, I think not having a father would have been just fine."

    Some children are better off not having their mother or their father in their lives. In some situations, children want nothing more than their parents to divorce each other. Sure, divorce can be very hard on a child, but sometimes it's for the best of the family as well as the child. Sometimes it's better for the mother to raise the child or maybe for the father to raise the child instead

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  184. "I'm sorry, Marti, I don't know if your father was in your life or not, so if you did not have him in your life, you can at least feel free to say that you did not miss that male presence."

    My father is in my life but I never interact with him because we never get along. I've never "craved" a male presence in my life. I have male and female friends, and I get along well with my mother, so I don't mind it. I get stressed out when I talk to him so I avoid him as much as I can. Sure, it's probably sad for you to hear, but that's how I feel

    " a child might say "I would rather have had no father than that father," but they wouldn't say, "I would rather have had no father than a better father.""

    Not all children feel this way

    "Simply because someone feels happy about the situation they are in, does not mean that the situation is ideal."

    When talking about "ideals", you enter a relative realm. What is "ideal" to you may not be "ideal" to another child or parent

    "There is an objective truth to it all."

    Prove it then

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  185. "but all women are different, in the same ways, from all men. I'm talking about things beyond personalities, beyond feelings, beyond developed character traits. "

    How so? You keep saying they're different, but I haven't heard a real explanation as to WHY you think so. If you can, try to explain further

    " the inherent differences are dramatic."

    What are these "dramatic differences" you speak of? Elaborate on that idea

    "This fact alone (notwithstanding recent uptick in female violence) should be evidence alone to verify that there are stark, biologically-induced differences between males and females. "

    It doesn't prove that biology is the cause of the differences, so no, it's not good evidence

    "if I took my three sons to a girly party and told them to dress up and play with the dolls, they would probably put the dresses on their heads and use the dolls as hand grenades."

    Not all little boys like playing with dolls. Just as not all little girls love playing with dolls. However there are many little boys who do, naturally, love playing with dolls. When I was a little girl, I HATED dolls. I hated barbies and I hated baby dolls. I thought baby dolls were creepy. I was very into sports and being active

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  186. Nubby, thank you! Common sense is literal refreshment to the soul.

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  187. "to say that the media and the world has "caused" their love of swords and violence is just wrong. It is totally inherent."

    Uhm, I'm female and I love swords. Why is that not inherent? There are SO many girls who LOVE swords, but there are also SO many boys who don't care about swords. Can you prove to me that it's inherent?

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  188. "That has nothing to do with what is best to teach the child about their own sex and how to develop."

    If a parent is educated enough, try to relate to their child, are understanding enough, etc. then they are capable of doing so

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  189. I hated barbies and I hated baby dolls. I thought baby dolls were creepy. I was very into sports and being active

    And somehow, you still identify as a woman.

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  190. Some males can relate to women better than some females, and some females can relate to men more than other men. It all depends on the person, what they know, what their personality is like, how life or other circumstances has affected them, who they've encountered, etc.

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  191. Marti, I know we don't communicate well, but let me try this:

    Why do you identify as a woman?

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  192. "And somehow, you still identify as a woman."

    My sex is female and I feel that I am a woman. Distinguishing your own gender doesn't mean you inherently act, think, feel, or behave a certain way. There are those who were born male or female who feel that they were born as the wrong gender. I feel that men and women are not very different aside from biological factors, and so far no one has proven this wrong

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  193. Leila: I'm going to try to be really clear, but I'm sorry this isn't making sense, because it makes perfect sense to me. Short sentences, not to talk down to you, but just for simplicity: Porn objectifies people. Objectification is bad. If you can watch and enjoy porn and not take away from it that you should objectify people in your daily life, that is fine. If every person on the planet did that, that would still be fine. But: porn is part of a broader mentality that sets people up as objects. That mentality is bad. Basically, I don't care what you do, watch porn or not, but if you're treating people as objects, that is bad. I really hope that makes sense, because I can't think of any other way to put it. We must be talking past each other on some point, but I'm not sure why.

    I talk about complexity just because when you objectify someone, you're not looking at them as a complete person, but as pretty, or black, or gay, or Catholic. People have unique characters, personalities, intellects, and life experiences that make them who they are, and when you lose sight of that, that's not good. If you value someone solely based on looks, or race, or some other superficial characteristic, that's shallow and meaningless, and that's not something we should aspire to.

    I'm not going to talk about pedophilia. It's not related.

    Mary, that's a good question. I'm not as familiar with divorce and haven't thought nearly as much about it, but I do think there is some negative judgment of people who get divorced, probably more for some than others. In general, I don't think stigmatization would help things - I think we'd be better off encouraging people to make better decisions from the start, helping them to maintain a long-term perspective, and helping them understand how to get support when they do need it. Can't say I've thought much about what this would all entail, but it'd probably be a much larger scale shift in societal and familial values.

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  194. "People in general flirt differently. Everyone has their own style or method when it comes to flirting"
    Ummmm...yes there are subtle variations, but sit in front of a high school class for a while and you will not say that. Girls predictably do the following: flip their hair, fondle their hair, arch their backs, tilt their heads, expose their necks, giggle etc. Boys tease, throw things at girls (pencils, wadded up paper), lower their voices, saunter and stick their jaws out. Both sexes try to take things from the other, increase their proximity to each other and frequency of interactions. Granted this is immature flirting, but it is pretty raw when you see it in action.

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  195. "I think we'd be better off encouraging people to make better decisions from the start, helping them to maintain a long-term perspective, and helping them understand how to get support when they do need it. Can't say I've thought much about what this would all entail, but it'd probably be a much larger scale shift in societal and familial values."

    Agree!

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  196. If a parent is educated enough, try to relate to their child, are understanding enough, etc. then they are capable of doing so

    You can be summa cum-laude from a top university and, sorry, but if you're female, there's no way you can literally nor experientially to directly teach your boy about being a man.

    I don't care how many degrees you have or don't have. You don't have the whole male sphere to share, because you're not male.
    You can teach him how to be tough, maybe, and you'll instruct him, okay. But you're not humanly capable of relating to him as a male. Impossible.

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  197. OH. Leila, I might have just understood your confusion. Hopefully this is it: are you asking why I would condemn objectification, say that porn is objectification, and then not outright condemn porn?

    If that's what you're asking, then it's because when you use porn, there's no direct "victim" of your objectification. When you go out into the real world and fail to recognize that the gay kid is more than just his sexual orientation, or the Catholic kid is more than just her faith, etc, and treat them in prescribed ways because they're gay, or Catholic, or whatever, then that's where I see the real problem. Does that make the connection for you?

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