Sunday, June 23, 2013

Quick Takes: The Coffinmaker, joy, tiaras, sex and hammers

Can we call it Whenever-I-Get-Around-To-Them Quick Takes?



1) Wisdom:

"A man of conscience is one who never purchases comfort, well-being, success, public prestige, or approval by prevalent opinion if the price is the renunciation of truth." 
-- Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI



2) Not wisdom:

I have no words.
From the stage at the recent Women Deliver conference, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea revealed that her much-admired maternal grandmother was the child of unwed teenage parents who “did not have access to services that are so crucial that Planned Parenthood helps provide.” 
Chelsea’s grandmother was born of an unintended pregnancy.
I just don't get it…. Is there a disconnect here? Does she not grasp the irony in her own words and worldview? Sigh.


3) I had such great feedback after posting info about my friend Marcus and his Marian Caskets, and apparently even the secular world is impressed with this incredible carpenter and his ministry of love and Divine Mercy. Check out the short film recently made about Marcus, titled The Coffinmaker, which shows him lovingly, beautifully, fashioning a casket as he describes the process. Judging from the comments on the filmmakers site, he has moved many people who would normally not give a second glance to a spiritual work like this.

It's very short, so click the video and enjoy this touch of the transcendent. Be sure to tell me what you think!

The Coffinmaker from Dan McComb on Vimeo.



4) Day late and a dollar short is the story of my life and all, but I have been meaning to tell you about this book for so long! You all know the wonderful Hallie Lord, over at Moxie Wife (formerly Betty Beguiles). Well, her husband, Dan Lord, the editor of Catholic Exchange, is a rock star. No, really, he's literally a rock star (admittedly a minor one, but still). Anyway, he wrote this remarkable little book, Choosing Joy: The Secret of Living a Fully Christian Life, for Our Sunday Visitor a few months back and it's a gem. Just looking at the cover makes me feel refreshed (and healthy, darn it)!


The healthy is in the holy, and the holy is always joyful. To get us there, Dan is my kind of writer: clear, simple, but completely orthodox. He draws in the reader with personal stories that illustrate universal truths about Christian joy. The stories of his father, his sister Susan, even his own rock-n-roll past, kept me turning the pages and putting off bedtime just a few minutes longer. A neat surprise for me was that Dan has a brief section on the question of sex/marriage in heaven, a topic that I'd been intending to write about for months ("Why there is no marriage in Heaven") but hadn't gotten around to as usual. Dan covered it so well that maybe I should ask to use that excerpt as a guest post. Hmmmm….


5) And I am thrilled to recommend another great book from our bloggy community, as our own Rebecca Frech from Shoved to Them has set the homeschooling world on fire with her Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the rest of Us (again, I'm loving the cover here!). Rebecca's book is a must for those considering homeschooling, those who struggle with homeschooling, or even those who have given up homeschooling and are reconsidering. The buzz about this book is all positive, and you can read the Amazon reviews if you don't believe me.


Isn't it amazing what members of our little Catholic blogger community are doing these days? Keep it up, peeps! Making us proud and building up the Kingdom!


6) In the comments of my last post, Benjamin linked one of the best articles I've read about how the current obsessed-with-sex-acts culture has distorted the very meaning of the word sex. Here are the first few paragraphs to pique your interest:

...Instead of a conjugal union between a man and woman open to new life, the word “sex” now often signifies any sort of sexual stimulation, even self-stimulation. Using this new parlance, you can, for example, say you had “virtual sex” with a “virtual woman.” Speaking this way, however, bends the language beyond recognition; it makes no more sense than saying I used my virtual hammer to drive a virtual nail. Try getting a job as a carpenter with that on your resume. 

When a person using a “virtual” hammer on “virtual” nails insists he is “building a house,” then he and an actual carpenter won’t be using the same language anymore. They won’t, for example, be able to sit down and share stories about “building things” the way, say, two carpenters, one who builds houses and another who builds furniture, will. The latter two understand two different sorts of “building”; the computer guy understands only a pale simulacrum of the actual thing. 

So too with what many people today consider to be “sex.” It’s merely an odd simulacrum of actual, full-bodied sex. I swing my little toy hammer, and I call it “hammering.” Is it? A real carpenter would say, “Get yourself some nails, kid, and then start building something.  That’s hammering.” Hammering, for a real carpenter, isn’t an end unto itself; it’s a means to some other end: to making something, like a house or a table. In a similar way, you can imagine an adult who’s had real sex, upon listening to the descriptions of what young people today often call sex – that sterile, contraceptive activity – saying: “That’s not sex, any more than play hammering is hammering. Use some actual nails, kid, and make something!”

Modern people say odd things like: “What? Children? Why would they be involved in sex?” But that’s a little like saying: “What? Nails? Building something? Why would those be involved in hammering?” The actual carpenter could only scratch his head: “What are they teaching kids these days?”

Read here for the rest, and get happy because apparently he is going to give us a Part Two.


7) My boy Marshall finally has a family coming for him!! That news just made my week, and I pray we can help precious Alonzo find his family, too:

Click my photo for more info!

From his profile:

Alonzo is a 7-year-old boy who has a number of congenital bone abnormalities. Despite the deformities he can effectively use his limbs – he walks independently, goes up and down the stairs while holding onto the railing or an adult’s hand. His fine motor skills are not very well developed. He has good social and emotional skills. He sleeps good and has a good appetite. He likes to play with another children. He loves to play ball – he kicks a ball and throws the ball with both hands. During the school 2012/2013 he is a student in the preparatory class of the Primary school at the Home for Children with Physical Disabilities.

This sweet little boy's potential is endless!



Have a great week everyone, and thanks to Jen for hosting Quick Takes!



45 comments:

  1. Two thumbs up on the coffin video. I can't believe he does all that in 25 hours--plus hand-carving inscriptions. The man is amazing.

    I am confused about #2. Is Chealsea really lamenting that her Grandmother is alive today? I had to re-read that one over a few times now and still can't believe that this what she is actually saying? Am I missing something?

    Feel free to correct me, because that is just weird. And disturbing.

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  2. Chelsea revealed that her much-admired maternal grandmother was the child of unwed teenage parents who “did not have access to services that are so crucial that Planned Parenthood helps provide.”

    .... Ummm, hello? .... my eyebrows may be permanently furrowed. Permanently.

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  3. Can I just say how glad I am your back!!! :)

    Regarding #2: I started to say "I think Chelsea is just lamenting that PP wasn't around to provide contraception so her great-grandmother wouldn't have had an unplanned pregnancy. I can't imagine she's saying she wished her grandma were aborted."

    And then I realized just how crazy the whole thing is because either way (contraception so the pregnancy didn't happen or aborted so it did and her grandma was killed) results in no grandma and no Chelsea.

    And while it's sounds ridiculously crazy when I see it all laid out like that, I do think that's what Chelsea was saying - and yet, this is a good example of how contraception and abortion are linked, and the deep disconnect in our culture's thinking regarding the two.

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  4. I think Chelsea Clinton is saying "Support Planned Parenthood so more people like me and my mom won't exist." ????????

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    1. Best comment ever Kaitlin!!! Lol

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  5. Unfortunately, I have heard people lament lack of access the way Chelsea Clinton did for years. I had a woman tell me one time that she supports abortion because she thinks it's a better option than adoption. I pressed and she said, basically, that when a woman gives up her baby for adoption, there's no guarantee that baby won't be abused in some way and it would just be better to know the baby didn't live a life of suffering. I'm paraphrasing...but...seriously. My mind was boggled....


    I need to read that homeschooling book by Rebecca. I just haven't gotten around to it yet!!

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  6. Yeah, put me down as another person who is confused by that Chelsea Clinton quotation. She really said that? She must not have thought it through in advance.

    Should I be sorry that my own grandma didn't have "access to services that are so crucial that Planned Parenthood helps provide"? After she died, we found out that my dad was born just one week after his parents were married. Grandma was either 17 or 18—her family didn't keep accurate records, which was pretty common for uneducated families in those days. I read between the lines and figured it out. Grandma and my tall, dark, handsome grandpa (whom I never met) started seeing each other and one thing led to another. It took a few months for her to figure out that she was pregnant. Then somebody had to convince him to marry her. Then my Protestant grandpa had to take instruction in the Catholic church. Finally, by the time they were married, Grandma was just about ready to pop.

    But go figure—I'm so glad that she had my dad!

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  7. I read this today and thought it was spot-on:

    It’s one thing to support family planning while being glad on some level that a distant ancestor couldn’t plan you into oblivion and another to pander to Planned Parenthood in the same breath that you’re talking about what an inspiration your grandmother, who otherwise wouldn’t have existed, was to you. It’s like getting your mom a Mother’s Day card that ends with “Sorry your parents didn’t have a choice whether to have you.” Um, happy Mother’s Day.

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  8. Both of those books are on my list!!!

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  9. Chelsea's comment is sort of like pro-lifers advocating abstinence when they were born out of wedlock or Rebecca Kissling saying she wishes her mother wasnt raped, while it's certainly a weird line to tread on, but at the end of the day one can be happy to be here all while believing their parent's should have had to the right not to conceive them.

    Concerning the word sex, I would think people advocating chastity would like that the term refers to more than just intercourse. I remember in high school how the instructors made a point to include oral and anal sex as sex. The reason of course being that many people have anal/oral sex as sex substitutes to experiment and remain 'virgins'. If we stop calling these things and condomed sex sex, a lot of teenagers are going to be thrilled, and we as a society are mysteriously going to see a lot of immaculate conceptions

    CS

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  10. E.S. "I pressed and she said, basically, that when a woman gives up her baby for adoption, there's no guarantee that baby won't be abused in some way and it would just be better to know the baby didn't live a life of suffering." Believe it or not, but I used to actually think this way. Totally illogical and stupid but coming from an urge for people not to suffer. It belies a lack of experience in the world.

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  11. CS, Yes, I see your point about Chelsea, but supporting PP is not quite the same as saying it would be better if people did not fornicate or rape. PP is saying, "please, we love fornication, child sex, and sodomy! Keep it up! Just come here for your pills and abortions if you don't want those pesky kids showing up all uninvited." So creepy then that not only would she not exist, but she would have a grandma able to "embrace her inner slut" (as PP has advised young teens to do).

    As for types of sex, I think it's Planned Parenthood that encourages even very young teens to have anal sex and oral sex as a perfectly acceptable substitute for actual sexual intercourse. In the twenty years or so between our generations (yours and mine), we've gone from anal sex in teen years as being unheard of (I went to public school, I know exactly what was going on), to what you said happened in your high school (lots of "butt sex"). We have slimed down so low. Thanks, Planned Parenthood and sexual progressives. Sigh.

    What do you think of the article though? His premise is that what passes for sex now is such a pale substitute for what it should be. Really look at his words (and read the rest of the article). Is he wrong?

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  12. Hi Leila,

    "but supporting PP is not quite the same as saying it would be better if people did not fornicate or rape."

    I respect that you believe that but you need to recognize that the majority of Americans dont see fornication as a societal ill so on face value theres nothing wrong with equipping people with contraception.

    One can be very happy to be in the world yet still believe their ancestors had the right not to conceive them. I love my life and am happy my parents made me, but my happiness and existence doesnt mean I think my parents should have ben forced to marry, or have sex when they did, or not use contraceptives, They deserved to act of their own free will even if it meant I never existed, even if its a weird thing to say.

    I think you give Planned Parenthood far too much credit. They didn't pioneer foreplay and I think you'll find that in neighborhoods with no PP, couples still have oral sex.

    I didn't grasp the importance of the article, it seemed like he was making a largely insignificant semantic distinction. What does suddenly labeling sex with a condom as not sex accomplish? When girls come in to PP wanting abortions shouldn't we offer them more sympathy, after all they didn't even have sex, couldn't possibly be their fault they got pregnant. I think most Americans have had unprotected sex at some point and while their may be some differences I think the claim that they are two entirely different animals to be a little dishonest.

    CS

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  13. Hi CS! Actually a woman or girl who comes into PP with a child in her womb clearly did have sex, as sex is the only way she could have conceived that baby (unless she had the child made in a lab, via IVF, but that is unlikely in a PP situation). You are right that she may possibly have used contraception, which failed (as in about 54% of the pregnant women seeking abortions at PP according to Guttmacher if I have that right). So yes, she may have tried to have sterilized sex with chemicals and barriers thrown up all around and inside, but the fullness of biological sex happened after all. (Of course, many of the girls and women who come in for abortions did not use contraception at all.)

    Maybe it's hard to understand unless you've lived both the PP view of sexuality vs. the Catholic view (which of course is the view of the man who wrote that article). I have lived both. Night and day. Like I have said countless times, the Church views sexuality and sexual union as a Renoir. PP takes the Renoir and uses it to line the bottom of a birdcage. When I think about the debasement of how I lived my past, it actually is repulsive to me. Maybe a bit like the drug addict or alcoholic who is clean and then looks back on who she was. That's all I can liken it to, and I can't take credit, because it's only (and I do mean ONLY) because of God's great mercy that I stand here and not still there.

    As to "foreplay", think of the word. It means what happens before sexual intercourse. It's the means to the end, the "play" before the consummation, the precursor to the real deal. And faithful Catholics always end with the real deal (full, "one flesh" union, no barriers, no chemicals, husband and wife always together as one, always). And again, I'm not that old and yet I've never heard that "butt sex" (as I think you've called it) is considered "foreplay". Must be things are getting worse and more depraved, honestly.

    Also, with oral and anal sex, many use that as completion, not foreplay, if you know what I mean. And clearly you can see the difference between those "completed" acts (sodomy) and making love/intercourse/one flesh union, correct?

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  14. From the stage at the recent Women Deliver conference, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea revealed that her much-admired maternal grandmother was the child of unwed teenage parents who “did not have access to services that are so crucial that Planned Parenthood helps provide.”
    Chelsea’s grandmother was born of an unintended pregnancy.


    Are you saying it's inconsistent that she believes her grandmother should have had better access to healthcare, even though everything turned out alright for her and her eventual children? That doesn't strike me as inconsistent; you can recognize things turned out okay but realize that the reason they turned out the way they did was because of injustice.

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  15. How is contraception health care? Unless it's healthy to derail a perfectly functioning, healthy female body? Someone mentioned that contraception is behavior care, not health care.

    So, unless a women gets stuff to make her body NOT work as designed (i.e., make herself sterile), she is the victim of injustice?

    The burning question to me: Do you think that there is something inherently wrong with a woman's body, forthewar? So that we have to have clinics for doctors to change our healthy bodies in order to have justice (which I think means "unfettered sex at anytime we [or the man] has an urge)? That seems unbelievably misogynistic, frankly. Are you sure "injustice" is the word you want to use?

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  16. How is contraception health care? Unless it's healthy to derail a perfectly functioning, healthy female body?

    Contraception is healthcare because pregnancy and its avoidance is a medical issue. And derail is a strong word, isn't it? I'd agree to medicate, unless you say that all medication that alters a body from its natural trajectory 'derails' it.

    The burning question to me: Do you think that there is something inherently wrong with a woman's body, forthewar?

    Do you think pulling wisdom teeth is wrong? There are tons of things that could be improved upon in the human body. The ability to delay or possibly avoid conception is one of them. My burning question to you: I don't want kids. Should I just not have sex?

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  17. Contraception is healthcare because pregnancy and its avoidance is a medical issue. And derail is a strong word, isn't it? I'd agree to medicate, unless you say that all medication that alters a body from its natural trajectory 'derails' it.

    "Pregnancy and its avoidance" is a self control issue, not necessarily a medical one.

    Even if there's grave medical reason to avoid pregnancy, contraception still does nothing to "improve the body" in that regard.

    Medication restores the body to health and order.
    Contraception (specifically, the pill) is a mechanism that inhibits the natural reproductive response and process of the body.

    To deliberately set the body against its own natural sexual process is to derail it, so, Leila's term is correct.

    Do you think pulling wisdom teeth is wrong? There are tons of things that could be improved upon in the human body. The ability to delay or possibly avoid conception is one of them. My burning question to you: I don't want kids. Should I just not have sex?

    As said before, contraception, in no way "improves the human body". Infact, quite the opposite. JoAnna and Leila and a few others are, I'm sure, right now, lining up their links to studies and articles to share with you, which prove quite the opposite.

    To your comparison:
    Pulling wisdom teeth doesn't go against the body's natural working order, in fact it may be a good thing for some people who have a small jaw or jaw issues, or even gum or teeth issues to extract the wisdom teeth.

    In that instance, nothing is being physically or biologically inhibited by the extracting of teeth, which are obstructing the jaw. No mechanism is being used to obstruct the jaw's natural process of chewing food.

    Tooth extraction may even restore the mouth to a better working order than before, and give the patient restoration where there was previously deficiency in some form.

    Also, "delaying conception" isn't the issue. Catholics delay conception all the time, even and especially when practicing NFP. The major difference is that no artificial mechanism is involved. We are free to avoid conceiving.

    We just won't be using an abortifacient in the process, though, because that actually does derail the body's natural sexual response and process as pertains to fertility and potential conception.

    As to your burning question: "I don't want kids. Should I just not have sex?"
    You answered it.
    Yes, avoid sex, especially outside of wedlock.

    Catholics even avoid having sex when we are called to abstain due to various reasons, be they physical, spiritual, mental/psychological or financial. Wisdom is key in discerning family size.

    We avoid that very narrow window of fertility each month, if we know that we cannot, at the moment, handle another pregnancy.

    All that means is that we make the small sacrifice of avoiding sex during that fertile period for about 5 days of the month, depending (each woman's cycle is different). No biggie. Infact, even sweeter the fulfillment at the next re-joining.

    If you are married and don't feel open to having children, then there is a deeper issue there to be worked out because you're dealing with two hearts and two minds, not just one dude making his own selfish decisions regarding fertility and family size.

    How does a vasectomy "improve the male body"? How does intentionally breaking something that wasn't broken "improve" the body? Leila posted about this very topic, some time ago.

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  18. forthewar, I think Nubby did a great job answering so I will only add this:

    You said: "Contraception is healthcare because pregnancy and its avoidance is a medical issue. And derail is a strong word, isn't it? I'd agree to medicate, unless you say that all medication that alters a body from its natural trajectory 'derails' it."

    When a body is working well, doing exactly what it's supposed to (ovulating, having regular cycles, humming along healthily), and a medicine is introduced to stop the functioning of those healthy organs and systems, then yes, of course it's designed to derail healthy functioning! That is the point of the Pill! To derail healthy fertility. No?

    I asked you if there were something inherently wrong with a woman's healthy, functioning body? You didn't answer. Instead you asked:

    "Do you think pulling wisdom teeth is wrong?"

    Nubby answered that nicely, so I go back to the question: Is there something inherently wrong with a woman's healthy, functioning body?

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  19. When a body is working well, doing exactly what it's supposed to (ovulating, having regular cycles, humming along healthily), and a medicine is introduced to stop the functioning of those healthy organs and systems, then yes, of course it's designed to derail healthy functioning! That is the point of the Pill! To derail healthy fertility. No?

    But merely stopping a bodily function (whether it can be done in a healthy body or not) does not mean the stoppage is unhealthy. People are perfectly healthy while taking contraception (rare side effects not withstanding).

    I asked you if there were something inherently wrong with a woman's healthy, functioning body? You didn't answer. Instead you asked:

    I didn't answer that question directly, that's true, but I didn't ignore it either! I said there are a number of things that can be improved upon in a human body. Do I think that the human body is "inherently wrong" because I'd be in favor of devising a way so we don't breathe and drink through the same hole, ending choking? I have the same philosophy about pregnancy. I guess you can say that, yes, I do then. But the way that question is phrased makes me wary about answering it.

    Now for my question again, expanded (sure Nubby answered, but let's just say I want to hear your opinion instead):

    I'm happily in a relationship. We'll likely be married within a few years time. We both agree that we do not want kids, because it would take a lot of time away from my career and frankly, pregnancy and kids are not for us. It's a mutual personal preference. If we don't want kids, how are medical options to drastically increase our likelihood of remaining sterile *not* healthcare related?

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    Replies
    1. The human reproductive system is not an essential organ system. It function/disfunction has nothing to do with a healthy human being, unless its disfunction is causing issues with essential organ systems.

      Delete
  20. The human reproductive system is not an essential organ system. It function/disfunction has nothing to do with a healthy human being, unless its disfunction is causing issues with essential organ systems.

    Why,no, it has nothing to do with a healthy human being, only the generating of human beings entirely.
    If it's not "essential", let's see human kind produce and go on without it.

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  21. Hi Leila,

    I don’t mean to quibble with you on your own blog. But as a woman in her early twenties, I have a pet peeve about people (on every side of the issue) setting grandiose expectations about sex.

    I use NFP in my relationship. It’s pretty hyperbolic to say that it is nothing like ‘sterile sex.’ I understand that I’m not yet married but I think it’s more than a stretch of the imagination to think that someone’s entire sexual relationship changes completely as soon as they say ‘I do’.


    The Catholic faith can still have a unified vision on sex even if individuals acknowledge that people’s experiences will be different and some things will be more personally rewarding. It wouldn’t change how God feels or what one should do.

    And no I couldn’t honestly tell you I see some great distinction between ‘completion’ in oral sex versus traditional sex. I certainly see personal preferences but cant possibly see some measurable moral difference between the two.

    CS

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  22. CS, I had no idea you used NFP! What type?

    And yes, I would still say it's not the same, not the ideal (in fact, fornication is mortally sinful, enough that Jesus said that those who engage in it will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven; I know you are a Christian, so that is very important to realize).

    I see a great deal of difference between sodomy and normal intercourse. Let me ask you: If a couple were to be united in Holy Matrimony, and the "consummation" of that love were to be effected by the husband lovingly ejaculating into the mouth of his wife, and that is the way they "made love" every time, you think that is the same thing, morally, as if the couple made love in the "old fashioned" (vagina/penis intercourse) way? Do you think that is what Jesus meant when he said that the "two shall become one flesh"? Oral copulation?

    As far as the "I do" not changing things. Well, the body speaks a language. The thing that makes me sad is that your bodies are saying one thing when you have sex ("I accept you totally, completely, faithfully), but you mean something different. But you mean ("I don't accept all of you -- definitely not your fertility and life-giving qualities, and we have no real commitment at this point"). So, the body says one thing but you are saying another.

    It's exactly why when your friends were asked by you to find the downside of the hook-up culture, they couldn't find any -- except for the "constant sobbing". They don't even realized that they were lying (as in telling lies) with their own bodies, as were the "boys" (not men!) who were using them.

    We are made for something so much higher!

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  23. forthewar, why engage in the baby-making act if you are utterly opposed to it producing babies? Can sex really be just for pleasure and recreation, with no deeper meaning connected to it? And if so, then doesn't that view open up a whole host of abuses connected to sex? Because if it's just for fun, I still can't figure out why those who think that way are against children having some fun, too? Serious question, not being snarky.

    If we don't want kids, how are medical options to drastically increase our likelihood of remaining sterile *not* healthcare related?

    Because healthcare brings the body to health. There is no disease or disorder that is treated by contracepting. Unless you classify babies or pregnancy as diseases or disorders?

    With your statement, then you'd agree, I'm guessing, that abortion is also good healthcare? And if I didn't want to have eyesight, then poking out my eyeball is also good healthcare (could you find an ophthalmologist to agree with that? Doubtful).

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  24. forthewar, why engage in the baby-making act if you are utterly opposed to it producing babies? Can sex really be just for pleasure and recreation, with no deeper meaning connected to it?

    Sex isn't just about babies though? It is really that bizarre to enjoy sex but not want kids? It's about pleasure and recreation too, but foremost for me and other couples it also has a lot to do with being romantically connected with your SO. Monogamous sex with a SO is how we connect with each other.

    And if so, then doesn't that view open up a whole host of abuses connected to sex?

    Not if everyone's enthusiastically consenting.

    Because if it's just for fun, I still can't figure out why those who think that way are against children having some fun, too?

    If we're talking about pedophilia, it's because kids do not understand what sex is, it can often hurt them, and they can't properly consent.

    If we're talking about statutory rape, it's because adults have a sway over a minor that inherently makes consent coerced.

    Because healthcare brings the body to health. There is no disease or disorder that is treated by contracepting.

    Not true, there is also preventative healthcare. Vaccines treat no disease or disorder, yet are given to a healthy person. Contraception is preventative healthcare.

    Pregnancy isn't a disease, but it is medically risky (and a medical choice) and so therefore if someone wishes to avoid it becomes a preventative healthcare issue.

    With your statement, then you'd agree, I'm guessing, that abortion is also good healthcare?

    I don't know how I feel about abortion.

    And if I didn't want to have eyesight, then poking out my eyeball is also good healthcare

    You're much more likely to have a self-mutilation disorder. Eyesight does not result in something like pregnancy that people don't want.

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  25. Yes, sex is pleasurable. Hooray for that! ;) Biologically speaking only (for any materialists out there), the pleasure is the "carrot" to get folks to reproduce. ;) But sex is inherently, intrinsically, connected to reproduction as well (that is why the sex organs are part of the reproductive system ("reproduce" = make babies!).

    If it's ONLY purpose is for recreation (with no respect for or understanding of its connection to reproduction), and if we can disconnect the two, then really why not have sex with the same attitude that we eat ice cream? And really, there are perverts who could certainly pleasure kids without hurting them, so why not let kids have fun, too? It's recreational! (As I've pointed out a zillion times, IPPF wants children to have fun, so wants them to have sexual rights. Why not?) And as for coercion of pleasure… We can coerce or coax our kids to eat ice cream, and no one objects ("come on, Tommy! You know you want a double scoop!"). What makes sex different from eating ice cream? I'm seriously asking. What is the problem if we groom kids at a young age to like eating ice cream? If sex is NOT connected to procreation, or to lifelong commitment to another, then it's simply casual fun and pleasure, right? So what's the objection?

    But of course, we all know in our hearts that there is something about sex that is NOT like other pleasurable acts. There is a natural law understanding there that we really mustn't ignore. Our conscience tells us there is something wrong with porn and kiddie sex and yes, even consensual using of the other. It's not just about recreation after all, is it? Again, what is different about sex than eating ice cream?

    Vaccines prevent diseases. Again, pregnancy is NOT a disease. Risky? Yes, so is being alive. Having a heart is risky. Eating food is risky. If folks really cannot accept the risk of having a baby, then they really should refrain from performing the baby-making act. It's called personal responsibility. Being in control of our actions and their consequences.

    Pregnancy is not a "medical choice", it's a natural state of a woman's functioning body when she is gestating a child.

    Self-mutilation for the right cause is okay, though, correct? If I want to have a vasectomy or a tubal, in order to have unfettered sex with no consequences (well, no babies), then I self-mutilate my organs, and everyone congratulates me. But if someone doesn't want to hear, or doesn't want to see, then they are self-mutilators if they do something about that.

    "Eyesight does not result in something like pregnancy that people don't want."

    If you don't want a baby, then why engage in the act that is designed to make babies? Even when I was an unmarried contracepter, I realized the logic that this act could make a baby, so I'd better keep that at the forefront of my mind and make sure I take responsibility for any human being I created. I look back and can't believe how foolish I was, but I at least knew that much. I knew that if I really didn't want a baby, I should not be having sex at all, which is the act that makes (billions and billions of) babies.

    There is something wrong with a society's view of sexuality when it has to walk over 54 million tiny baby corpses in the process of getting some "free love". Something is not right with our thinking on sex.

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  26. Biologically speaking only (for any materialists out there), the pleasure is the "carrot" to get folks to reproduce. ;) But sex is inherently, intrinsically, connected to reproduction as well (that is why the sex organs are part of the reproductive system ("reproduce" = make babies!).

    But just because evolution designed a system one way does not mean we cannot improve it or find other functions for it. Evolution created our big brains partly as one of our foraging tools, to help distinguish between good and poisonous food -- but that doesn't mean we can't use it for art, or other things.

    And when you say 'recreation', you're also referring to relationship building? Because that is also an established function of sex.

    And really, there are perverts who could certainly pleasure kids without hurting them, so why not let kids have fun, too? It's recreational!

    Because children cannot consent to sex.

    Sex is not ice cream. It's a big deal. It has lasting ramifications for mental health and a poor sex life or education, especially child abuse, can result in mental disorders or self esteem issues. Children are not mentally prepared for sex. And even if they were, adults would not be able to get enthusiastic consent from them. It is inherently coercive.

    I don't get it. To me, it's like you're arguing that children should be able to sign business contracts, take out loans, or drink a fifth of Jack. We recognize fun things that kids can't do because they aren't ready. Sex does not have the same consequences as ice cream. They aren't old enough for sex!

    Our conscience tells us there is something wrong with porn and kiddie sex and yes, even consensual using of the other.

    My conscience tells me nothing is wrong with contraception, though. It's why I use it.

    Vaccines prevent diseases. Again, pregnancy is NOT a disease. Risky? Yes, so is being alive. Having a heart is risky. Eating food is risky.

    All of those things you need to do to be alive. You do not need to take on the risk of pregnancy to be alive.

    If folks really cannot accept the risk of having a baby, then they really should refrain from performing the baby-making act. It's called personal responsibility. Being in control of our actions and their consequences.

    Pregnancy is not a "medical choice", it's a natural state of a woman's functioning body when she is gestating a child.


    I agree with you on the first part, if you want to be 100% sure you won't get pregnant, don't have sex. I am okay with 99% for the rewards of sex though.

    Pregnancy is certainly a choice! People by their actions can choose whether or not to be pregnant.

    Self-mutilation for the right cause is okay, though, correct? If I want to have a vasectomy or a tubal, in order to have unfettered sex with no consequences (well, no babies), then I self-mutilate my organs, and everyone congratulates me. But if someone doesn't want to hear, or doesn't want to see, then they are self-mutilators if they do something about that.

    There's a difference between elective surgery that will prevent your body from doing something medically in the future that you don't want it to do (cancer, like elective mastectomy) and simply removing a part of your body for no reason.

    If you don't want a baby, then why engage in the act that is designed to make babies?

    Sure, sex is designed to make babies, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have other benefits.

    I really feel like I say this a lot on here, haha, but I didn't fail 7th grade biology. I agree with you here too. I know that having sex can make me pregnant, no matter what precautions I take. And *knocks heavily on wood* if it did happen, I'd suck it up, and find a way to make it work. Life happens, and I'd never abort. Simply doing everything I can to *prevent* childbirth doesn't mean I don't realize this.

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  27. There is something wrong with a society's view of sexuality when it has to walk over 54 million tiny baby corpses in the process of getting some "free love". Something is not right with our thinking on sex.

    A fetus isn't a baby.

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  28. A fetus isn't a baby.

    When was the last time you went to a fetus shower? Or heard an excited expectant mother say, "I felt my fetus kick!"

    I recently had a Level II ultrasound and the ultrasound tech called my baby a baby throughout as she was pointing out his/her various body parts. Please see this picture -- was this highly qualified and experienced ultrasound technician, a woman who works at a perinatalogist's practice and does dozens of ultrasounds per day -- lying to me when she labelled it as she did?

    Also, please see definition #5 here. The dictionary disagrees with you.

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    1. Joanna, that's awesome congrats and may God Bless you guys and St. Gianna pray you and baby safely through.

      Delete
  29. Also, forthewar - the reproductive system isn't essential? So I guess we can just remove the testicles and uteri of every child at birth and doing so will have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the human race?

    Is that honestly what you believe?

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  30. forthewar, I will get back to you in a bit about the other questions (spending some time with the fam!), but first, did you know that "fetus" means "little one"? It does.

    What do you think is in JoAnna's womb right now? You know it's not an elephant or a rabbit. And it's of the species homo sapien.

    It's a little one of our own species. We call those wee ones "babies". ;)

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    1. Click on some of these beautiful photos (images that you may have never seen before, none are gory abortions, so no worries):


      http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/abortionimages/fetaldevelopment.htm

      From seven weeks on. Truly breathtaking! These are clearly babies.

      Delete
  31. but foremost for me and other couples it also has a lot to do with being romantically connected with your SO. Monogamous sex with a SO is how we connect with each other.

    forthewar, do you think that there are other ways to romantically connect to your SO? Are there not other ways of showing your love and affection towards the other person?

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  32. forthewar, you said:

    Evolution created our big brains partly as one of our foraging tools, to help distinguish between good and poisonous food -- but that doesn't mean we can't use it for art, or other things.

    Yes, and both are rightly ordered and good! Now, if we went in an excised part of our brain because we didn't want to have long-term memory or something like that, or because we wanted to stop being able to use our healthy limbs, or because we wanted to derail our vision, then we would be doing something that goes against health. It would be unhealthy, and no one would call that "preventative medicine" or claim that it's standard healthcare (that should be paid for by others who object to such things).

    And when you say 'recreation', you're also referring to relationship building? Because that is also an established function of sex.

    Can sex build up and deepen the relationship between a husband and wife? Yes, of course! That is a function (bonding). It bonds, quite deeply, the spouses. Sex is meant for permanence.
    If you are saying that a dating couple (including dating teens) use sex to build their relationship, I would disagree. In fact, having sex while dating gets in the way of getting to know one another. I've talked to plenty of teens about chastity (and had my own experiences), and when the relationship moves to sex (and usually quite quickly), the "end" of each date, the thing that they are trying to get to, is the sexual part. There is no time to get to know each other, spend time with each other's family, find out each other's likes and dislikes, have long conversations (not about sex), just hang out and enjoy a friendship (which is the basis of any long-term commitment). Instead, they go straight to the most intimate thing that two people can do before they really know each other and before there is a permanent commitment -- there is no relationship building as they "skip" that part. That's why when the sex is no longer satisfying, or they find someone else more attractive or alluring, they move to the next partner. What if sex were off the table? Would the guy actually get to know the girl for herself and vice versa? I think it's much easier to do so, yes. I think building a relationship comes before intimacy.

    But yes, sex is about pleasure and bonding, and I've never disagreed with that. It should be in a committed, married relationship, where hearts don't break, disease doesn't outbreak, and babies don't die. Shoot for the ideal, since that is how humans thrive. It's always best for children, too. :)


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  33. I'm going to press you on this next part, so please don't get offended. I want to really challenge you to think deeply on this. It's of utmost importance and most people do not think this through….

    Because children cannot consent to sex.

    Agreed, but not everyone thinks like we do. So let's go further and think it out...

    Sex is not ice cream. It's a big deal.

    Yes, but why?

    It has lasting ramifications for mental health

    Yes, but why?

    Children are not mentally prepared for sex.

    Yes, but why? If sex can be only about recreation and pleasure, then what do they need to be mentally prepared for?

    And even if they were, adults would not be able to get enthusiastic consent from them. It is inherently coercive.

    What does that matter? Why is that different than coercing a kid to eat just one more scoop of ice cream? Even if it were not enthusiastic, it can be pleasurable. Some pedophiles say that the child even wants to do these things. There are some people who find it funny if a female teacher seduces a twelve-year-old boy, for example. They think it's almost something the boy should brag about. And they will say, "Hey, the boy came back to her and sought her out for sex several times after that." Now, you and I understand that to be rape by the teacher, no matter how the boy acted or how interested he was in the sex, but how would you explain why it's wrong (which we agree, it is wrong!)?

    I don't get it. To me, it's like you're arguing that children should be able to sign business contracts, take out loans, or drink a fifth of Jack.

    If kids are millionaires, they may be able to sign contracts, or take out loans, but most kids don't have the money so we don't bind them to contracts they cannot fulfill or pay. As for the fifth of Jack, that could really bodily injure them (although children are allowed to drink alcohol in other nations and no one says it's wrong or inherently evil).

    We recognize fun things that kids can't do because they aren't ready.

    But why?

    Sex does not have the same consequences as ice cream. They aren't old enough for sex!

    But why?

    Think harder….

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    1. This part should have read:

      We recognize fun things that kids can't do because they aren't ready.

      What fun things? And why wouldn't they be ready?

      Delete
  34. Yes, and both are rightly ordered and good!

    I don't believe in ordered and disordered things, like they are described in natural law. It's basically a naturalistic fallacy.

    Now, if we went in an excised part of our brain because we didn't want to have long-term memory or something like that, or because we wanted to stop being able to use our healthy limbs, or because we wanted to derail our vision, then we would be doing something that goes against health.

    But we need long term memory to function properly in society, and limbs and eyesight do not result in medical conditions that are harmful or undesirable. Those are equivalent to the non essential reproductive system. If someone's uterus stopped working tomorrow, nothing would change in their physiological health besides the uterus. It's not essential.

    Can sex build up and deepen the relationship between a husband and wife?

    And it can also deepen the relationship between husband and husband, wife and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend, girlfriend and girlfriend, boyfriend and boyfriend, random guy and random girl, etc. There is nothing showing that the benefits of sex are constrained to married couples.

    In fact, having sex while dating gets in the way of getting to know one another.

    This is a generalization.

    Instead, they go straight to the most intimate thing that two people can do before they really know each other and before there is a permanent commitment -- there is no relationship building as they "skip" that part.

    There is no reason there needs to be a permanent commitment between anyone having sex as long as both parties enthusiastically consent.

    That's why when the sex is no longer satisfying, or they find someone else more attractive or alluring, they move to the next partner. What if sex were off the table? Would the guy actually get to know the girl for herself and vice versa? I think it's much easier to do so, yes. I think building a relationship comes before intimacy.

    This is a generalization and a opinion. :) If that works for you and other Catholics, great. I'm not saying it's wrong. Just that it's not a universal truth.

    But yes, sex is about pleasure and bonding, and I've never disagreed with that. It should be in a committed, married relationship, where hearts don't break, disease doesn't outbreak, and babies don't die.

    Leila, this response was sure chock full of generalizations! Haha.

    Any relationship where there is enthusiastic consent and safe sex practiced is not a threat for disease. Hearts can break in any marriage, and be emboldened by a one night stand. These are not universial truths.

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  35. Sex is not ice cream because sex has more of an effect on the human psyche than ice cream. Why? Well, biology. Like you said, romantic feelings and sexual attraction are 'carrots' that are used to help us want to have sex and create human mating patterns. So such an emotionally important activity will have greater effects on children than a simple bowl of ice cream.

    Not to mention, kids have no idea how to act responsibly for themselves, that includes consent, and protecting themselves. Heck, some adults can't do it properly.

    This all comes down to the fact that children's brains are still developing and they do not have the ability to take on extremely emotionally and physically risky activities at that age. It's not just those either, minors can't sign contracts without an adult, because we recognize they likely would not understand the ramifications.

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  36. forthewar, it is a universal truth (and a common understanding of human nature) that bad, bad things happen (both psychologically and physically) with the misuse of human sexuality.

    Look, I sat down once with my liberal, Jewish neighbor, a friend. She was curious about Church teaching on sexuality. I told her that in my opinion and experience, the most painful things that happen in most women's lives have had something to do with misuse of sex (abortions, rape, being used and discarded, objectification, molestation, STDs, affairs, divorce, degradation through porn, etc.). She agreed totally. We sat there, on two different sides, and we agreed as women. She didn't argue that promiscuity was great for women, that non-commitment was great for women, that porn and abortion (she was pro-"choice") was great for women, etc. Heart to heart…. she knew.

    Opinion, generalization? Perhaps. But people know.

    I don't get the "enthusiastically" part of the consent. What is that about? So, consent has to be at a certain level? And what if she is faking her enthusiasm to make you happy? I just don't get that; I've never heard that before as a condition for something being right or good or moral. And, are you saying that consent is the sole criterion of the good?

    limbs and eyesight do not result in medical conditions that are harmful or undesirable.

    Fertility is not harmful, it's health. Pregnancy means a new human being is there now. So, we can't actually kill humans once they exist (that's called murder). We can desire the best for our child, even if that means a sacrifice of making an adoption plan if we are unable to parent. (Check out Grace In My Heart's newest post on my blog roll to see how such a miracle plays out, and no one has to die.)

    Undesirable is subjective. There are folks who have urges to cut off their limbs (it's a condition). They find them undesirable. Is it a moral action, then, for a doctor to accede to such a demand and amputate? I would argue no.

    And it can also deepen the relationship between husband and husband, wife and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend, girlfriend and girlfriend, boyfriend and boyfriend, random guy and random girl, etc. There is nothing showing that the benefits of sex are constrained to married couples.

    Did you just advocate random hook ups? Yeah, we are definitely on two different planes for what is good. How can sex "deepen" their relationship? Isn't it just about using one another? Be honest.

    And, would you advocate that to teens? That they could get to know each other better through hook ups and casual sex? Do you know how that tends to affect young girls? I wish you understood girls. It's very sad to hear you say that.

    You say you don't believe in order and disorder. So, when a doctor says your daughter has an eating disorder, or a disorder of the brain, or a personality disorder, what will you understand him to mean? Why do you suppose that particular word is used?



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  37. Well, biology. Like you said, romantic feelings and sexual attraction are 'carrots' that are used to help us want to have sex and create human mating patterns. So such an emotionally important activity will have greater effects on children than a simple bowl of ice cream.

    But why? I mean, the pleasurable tastes involved in eating are the "carrots" that are used to help us want to eat to stay alive. But ice cream eating does not devastate a child. So what is different about sex?

    And, I don't understand this. You just said that random hook ups are good (can help build relationships), but then you call sex an "emotionally important activity". What does that even mean, then? And why are emotionally important activities bad for children?

    And, what does it matter if the carrot is about getting us to mate (for procreation, right)? I thought you said that sex can be separated from procreative aspects and be purely for pleasure, even hook ups? So, why would it affect kids negatively? I'm still not getting the why it's different from coercing a child to have more ice cream. Pleasure, casual, hook up, random, all seem to point to "if it feels good, do it". Unless you really do know (and I think you do) that there is something about sex, in the bonding that comes with sex, in the intimacy in giving all of oneself to the trust and tender care of another. It's serious, serious business, this sex thing, and I think you know that. But you seem to want it both ways (just for fun, but emotionally important) and I can't understand that?

    Tell me how it can be casual, even anonymous, only about fun and pleasure, but still leave adults utterly devastated, and in the case of children, perhaps destroyed. Why is that true of sex, but not of anything else, including ice cream?

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  38. Regarding #3, this is very exciting:

    My friend Marcus, who makes the Marian Caskets, is in the Smithsonian contest for the film and could use your votes! Here is what he got from the folks running the contest:

    Hi Marcus,

    I've got some more good news about The Coffinmaker: it's a finalist in Smithsonian's "In Motion" short video contest. Your story keeps reeling 'em in!

    I need your help. Please vote for and invite your friends to vote for this video on the contest page at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/inmotion/

    It's in the People category.


    Let's rally for this brother in Christ and his Divine Mercy casket ministry -- imagine that the secular world is enthralled by what they see! And please post to your fb pages if you can! :)

    ReplyDelete

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