If these aren’t “the least of these” I don’t know who is.
If these aren’t “the least of these” I don’t know who is.
These “least of these” are so “least” they don”t even show up on Democrat lists of “leasts.”
OK, so let’s get down to fundamentals. If you are pro-choice, your argument is founded on an assumption of higher moral standing. You are fighting for rights, you are taking the high road, you aren’t one of those who want to control women, etc. You are more virtuous, and you signal that fact all you can.
But you are not more virtuous. In fact, your position has no virtue at all.
The prochoice position depends on dehumanizing or otherwise negating the worth of other human beings. Those human beings are the most helpless and innocent there are.
The pro-choice position depends on then advocating for their deaths!
It is all about death. Destruction. Hopelessness. Victimization. Elitism. Privilege (the advocacy of ). Imposing the strong’s power over the weak. Manipulation. Disenfranchisement. Injustice.
That is my premise, as it ought to be the pro-life movement’s premise. Now please defend your pro-death position.
This advent season, I am noticing my attention being drawn again and again, to this aspect of the Incarnation: Mary had a baby.
On Christmas Day, we are actually celebrating a birth, and someone giving birth.
Without enshrining the birth-giver in some sort of semi-deification, we can appreciate her amazing gift, her faithful will; but we should also note the physical sacrifice. Many factions of our socio-political advisors would like to dismiss that notice. Giving birth is default for the hopelessly un-elite. Childbearing is not for the elite, unless it be once or twice, and the offspring be carefully planned and artfully curated.
All the Christian world, those faithful and still those antagonistic, when they celebrate the holiday, are celebrating a woman giving life to her child. And I admit I am enjoying that.
But for Mary it was a gritty, painful night of anguish just preceded by ninety miles travel on a donkey. Birthing a baby with only a husband for help. In a stable. In an unfamiliar town far from home.
Her location and travel compelled by the iron will of a government for the purpose of reducing her, her husband, and her infant to three numbers in a mass of subjects. In this, that government failed.
34 years of parenting and roughly 27 years of homeschooling have taught me a few things. What do I wish somebody had told me?
You cannot do all the physical work alone. Teach your children to help you from the time they can walk. Teach them it’s normal to work. Teach them that families work together. Teach them that an orderly home is a happy priority. Be kind and patient, but persevere in your teaching.
They can’t help much, it’s true, and teaching them how is a lot of work. But you will grow your patience. And later on they will help a lot!
Any way you have to do it, get help. Get help. Get help. Get help. There is no shame in delegating. Get help.
You cannot do it all. If you decide to homeschool, please recognize that you are layering your tasks now; at the same time you are maintaining your home, you are teaching and administering education for each child. You literally have two things to do at the same time, all the time.
And each child in your homeschool is in a different grade (unless you have multiples) so you have the responsibilities to evaluate, plan, assign, teach, read aloud, check work, keep records, for each child in each grade.
The endless dishes still need to be done. Three meals and snacks still need to be planned, bought, prepared, served. And there are those dishes again. Appointments made and attended. Your home maintained and cleaned to a degree your family finds comfortable and functional. The very spaces in your home must be planned and furnished so that function and comfort are even possible.
The dishes are literally endless and they will take over your life.
It is impossible. Unless you’re an absolute genius at scheduling with a perfect grasp of the totality of your responsibilities, you will be overwhelmed and ultimately make yourself ill. (I did.)
You can’t do it alone. Get help. Delegate. Humble yourself and welcome anyone who offers help.
The effort we expend on trying to look poised while seriously struggling to keep all the plates spinning is almost funny. It’s a heavy and stupid burden.
Don’t carry it. Be honest with yourself and get help.
Thus endeth this lesson from my experience.
I know women who aborted because their ob/gyn’s discovered that the babies they carried were afflicted with fatal problems. Perhaps the babies would only suffer if they allowed their pregnancies to run their course. At any rate, they were advised by trusted medical professionals that the best course would be to terminate.
Some women in the same circumstance choose not to terminate, and to see the babies through their short lives to natural death. Both decisions are made in a medical facility, usually a hospital; and the women are served by obstetricians in whom they have confidence.
The deaths of all their babies are utterly tragic. It is not for me to presume to comment on their experience except to express sympathy.
But the loss of some babies may be tragic in a second manner. A medical culture which is dubious about the humanity of the fetus may offer termination as a panacea, and women in such dire places may grasp for any solution which seems least painful–for themselves and their children. Here too, I have only sympathy.
If that culture says we should cut our losses and try again, is that same culture likely to do all it can to seek saving solutions for the babies? If it does not, those losses are doubly tragic.
That’s the problem. If the default of our society is to err on the side of death in order to solve our problems, and women are confronted with life-and-death decisions when they are at their most vulnerable…death becomes the predetermined result.
A third kind of tragedy is the Planned Parenthood vision of abortion-on-demand. This kind of tragedy is wholly different from the others. In that universe, the fetus is probably not human, it’s not a baby. We are not supposed to really care because it’s beside the point. The only point is the sacred right of women to avail themselves of their services, at cost. All other claims are moot.
Then those women, much more so their children, become victims of opportunistic corporate interests and relentless political interests. The best and most well-meaning solution that such a society can offer is death as panacea.
Such a value system is inadequate to meet the needs of real life. In real life, we are faced with unanticipated pressures and less than perfect decisions have to be made. If the overarching goal in the face of the unexpected is to get back to our comfort and our plans, no matter what the damage, those decisions will be brutal.
A Planned Parenthood culture which denies the humanity and the rights of the pre-born cannot recognize the loss that these women feel; it cannot admit that their loss is legitimate.
So imagine being a woman who has an abortion in her past, who isn’t stridently happy about it. Maybe she was OK with it at the time, believing it was necessary though unfortunate, and maybe she has regrets now. Or maybe she was one of those who was advised to terminate by a trusted medical professional, and she has grieved over the loss of a hoped-for child. In either or any case, those women have suffered loss. Yet our abortion- friendly culture cannot allow them to fully acknowledge their loss.
That is tragic. I cannot fathom how women who have suffered through the first kind of tragedy are not outraged at the presumptuous manner by which Planned Parenthood uses their losses to promote itself.
What PP actually does is to establish societal acceptance for, create the need for, then be the primary provider for elective abortion. What many, many abortive women have experienced–that their abortions were tragedies–is not equivalent to what PP does. They are worlds apart.
Many women rebel against the idea that they are obligated to carry and birth a child they have conceived. Witness the current pro-abortion twitter fad on this subject: an embryo is an invader which we are justified in killing in self defense; violent retaliation is a right; no government nor man has the right to force birth upon a woman.
I’ve given birth several times so I won’t surprise you by saying that I think that line of reasoning is childish and frightening.
But whence comes this trouble, these heavy trials women must endure? Why in particular is childbirth such a horror? I have borne several babies and I say this: we should never minimize carrying nor bearing a child.
If we go back to its troublesome origin, we must go all the way back to Eden and the fall of mankind. In Masaccio’s fresco on this subject, Adam and Eve have been ousted from paradise and thrust into a troubled world in which they must struggle and suffer. That they understand their own culpability does not lessen their grief.
Look at their faces. They are heartbroken and incredulous that their perfect, intimate relationship with their Creator is now estranged. They seem cast outside of their Father’s bosom like a child thrown on the streets.
Yet their estrangement was not rejection. The seeds of redemption were within the bodies of the ones cast out of Eden. There would be total restoration; the Savior of mankind would come from their progeny’s bodies, and He would crush the devil who hated them and their God. That blessing was an expression of fatherly love.
The catch was that they would have to strive and suffer and work, and die before they would see the restoration. Adam would work himself to death in providing sustenance for his family. Eve would bear children in anguish and pain.
A simple story. It’s true and glorious. Notice this: it really is a burden to carry a child.
Every pregnant woman feels it if only for a few minutes: the shock that you will have no choice but to go through childbirth. It’s something that will happen to you, like it or not. There is panic for a moment.
So I understand that impulse to draw back from the huge burden of carrying another person, from going through childbirth in order to bring her into the world.
It really is humbling to be burdened with the responsibility of another’s life. You watch helplessly as your body goes through an incredible transformation and some of the changes are unwelcome. Childbirth is sublime but also as gritty as it gets.
It’s the first signal that your life is no longer your own. Your whole being will be stretched so far out of shape that you will never spring back to your old normal. Your life has changed. Your priorities are upside down. Your center is no longer you.
But isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t becoming an adult essentially the acceptance of the responsibility to put others before oneself? Philosophically and practically, when we take on the well-being of dependents, we have become actualized people.
As most women throughout human history have learned, the burden is worth bearing. The result is lasting joy and the pain is all but forgotten.
It is sad that there are so many women ready to agitate for the idea that any burden thrust upon them, no matter how tiny and defenseless the nature of the imposer, is too outrageous for them to be expected to bear. That we may not expect a woman to sacrifice one iota for another, no matter that that other was meant to be her particular and precious responsibility to nurture.
The imposition is the most weighty there is; the bearing is as close as we get to mortality even as we give life. Such a burden could only be a privilege. It is a gift not to be refused.