Frederica Matthews-Green here makes many points that I have been making for some time, and some I haven’t seen elsewhere.
There is a case to be made that all Americans have been enslaved since 1973, most of us unwillingly, to the Institution of Abortion; and that we may now have hope for freedom.
Like Pilgrim, we have sorrowfully carried this burden, unwillingly complicit. What joy it will be if we become free of it.
1. I just finished wiping the icing off the bottoms of a bunch of birthday candles. I’m going to need those again in ten days, and again less than a month later. Why would I buy new ones when these still have a good inch and a half? Crumbs of old homemade icing never hurt anyone yet. I bet moms of two kids buy a new set of candles every birthday and throw them away.
Also, homemade-from-scratch cake costs about 1/20th of a bakery cake and tastes 20x better. Hydrogenated shortening kills; real butter doesn’t.
2. My son needed to do zero adjusting when he went to college and shared a room with two other guys. He shared a room with two guys at home too. Maybe my boys were unusual, but they never fought over territory. So at college my son was perfectly content with his bed and his desk; he let the other guys vie for lebensraum.
3. It is essential to learn patience when eight people share one bathroom. It is equally essential to learn sympathy and consideration for others (‘ bladders).
4. Bags and bags of clothing used to show up on our porch. We had never asked for hand-me-downs; people just assumed we could use them. They were right and we were thankful. It would have been difficult indeed to buy new clothes every season for every child. Most of the clothing we received was in like-new condition, and a lot of the items had price-tags.
Perhaps the most valuable component of these acts of generosity was that my kids learned that a second-hand item in good condition does not differ one iota from a brand-new one. There is shame neither in sharing nor receiving, and there is nothing which so inspires giving than receiving.
5. My kids are now adults who don’t expect the world to hand them all the amenities– partly because we didn’t teach them to expect gifts except on Christmas and their birthdays. They didn’t expect candy except on Christmas, Easter, and Halloween.
My oldest daughter was honestly judgmental about her friends expecting big gifts for Easter and lesser holidays. My kids know how to delay gratification, and although they do not always practice it, they know how to be frugal.
6. Reduce, reuse, recycle. It was our lifestyle before the motto was coined. I was raised by children of the Depression and learned to make my spending count. When I was growing up, we didn’t spend money on non-essentials but we had all we needed. We weren’t used to vacations and we were usually the last of our friends to get the latest tech like color TV.
We raised our kids with the same mindset: one not deprivation but careful frugality. Spend when you need to without regret, but save whenever you can for future needs. We didn’t spend much on vacations. We drove our cars until they were junk. Eating out or ordering in was a rare special occasion.
7. Contrary to popular assumption, big families have small footprints. We eight use approximately the same resources that the four of you, or the two of you, do.
At the same time they condemn parents of several kids for selfish and wasteful American materialism, my childfree acquaintances espouse the superior lifestyle of spontaneously flying the globe, to stay at the priciest family-free resorts, indulging themselves in only the finest and most select perks that the self-absorbed can devise. Driving further to shop for only the trendiest fair trade items.
I’ll compare my eight-person staycation expenses to your two-person dream trip any day you like. Guess who comes out using up more of earth’s precious resources? Virtue-signaling and Childfree -signaling don’t mix.
8. Happy families. Positive family experiences. Fostering a concept of unconditional belonging. We believe that being plunked in the middle of a bunch of other difficult human beings is actually according to a wise plan; we are each more or less compelled to learn how to live in peace with these other people, which teaches us valuable lessons about how to get along in a world full of other people.
9. Raising people who want to have children and build families, and who see the importance and enduring value of pouring their lives into others and investing themselves in creating a unique family culture which will continue to influence after they are gone.
In other words, small footprints may lead to small footprints.
10. Today, a large family orientation usually develops within a faith orientation. Our society has moved toward smaller families with the advent of birth control and the cult of personal fulfillment. I might also say with the de-emphasis of faith culture and the growth of materialist culture. It is counter cultural to have large families and, counterintuitively, large families very often happen due to deliberate choice. That choice usually derives from faith in the intrinsic value of each person, given by a gracious God.
Because of this faith orientation, the lessons of other-centeredness, the value of family, the hope of enduring heritage, good stewardship of material wealth, sustainability, recycling and reusing–all part of a whole.
Bonus reason: I love my big family.
The next generation is what gives me hope.
Part of the way you win is by being good at strategy. Part of the way you also win is by surviving, and enjoying yourself, having more fun than the other side, and persisting.
Everyone deserves health care.
Early on, I had an experience that crystallized for me why the fight for reproductive rights—the fight to give every person the opportunity and freedom to live their best life—is so important.
Planned Parenthood may have been the only thing standing between them and an uncertain future.
I hope that we leave here even more inspired to fight for all people. Because nobody is free until everybody is free.
We believe health care isn’t a privilege. It’s a fundamental human right. No human is illegal.
Whatever the future holds, I’ll always be committed to that revolutionary idea and all those who refuse to settle for a world where women are anything less than full equals.
No person should be forced out of the only place they’ve ever called home.
To be continued.
Truth matters absolutely. The nature of truth requires that I value truth before my own preferences. Truths are true no matter that I ignore or disagree with them.
Here is a simple truth on a particular subject. Human life has intrinsic value and meaning. Its Creator and Designer has clearly expressed this truth, in both word and action. *
Here is a conclusion which I draw from that truth: if you are a supporter of legal abortion or Planned Parenthood, you are making a truth claim against the intrinsic value of all human beings.
You are claiming that human beings receive their value extrinsically; that we each are granted value from another party outside of ourselves. You are claiming that value is granted by an outside entity according its own standard.
You are a defender of the belief that some people are valuable, and that other people are not valuable. Which means that human lives are not valuable in themselves.
Indeed you are claiming that no human being is intrinsically valuable.
Not the unborn fetus, not you, not me, not anyone.
This won’t be news to those pro-abortion supporters who are honest or who rise above the virtue-signaling level of activism. They will say that the unborn have no rights that we are bound to respect. Dred Scott meet Hillary Clinton.
And so, you and I are living in a world in which we each receive our value from something outside of ourselves. I have some limited power to assert that I matter; some people are better at convincing others of their value than other people are; some people have no power at all. Compare a charismatic sociopath to a disabled newborn–who wins?
One who negates the value given by the Creator of all things is in a difficult place when asked to justify human life in an objective way.
People who are thoughtful believers in Jesus Christ have a fundamental understanding that every single human being who was ever conceived has intrinsic and equal value. That value is not subjectively granted or acquired.
You who are pro-choice believe you’re virtuous because you care about the rights of women so much that you assert that they have an absolute right to societal approval and public funding of their abortions. Even while this right is exercised at the cost of many millions of human lives.
I believe it is virtuous to value the lives of all women and all unborn, that they all have intrinsic value, that they all have the right to life that has been given by their Creator; and that when we deprive any of that life, we violate an eternal law. We deny an eternal truth.
But let’s put aside the divine element for a second, as you would have it.
You pit one life against the other. You must do that if you believe that value is conferred rather than already present. Whose rights win the contest? is your context. You believe in a zero-sum proposition: one has value or the other does, and we must choose. But what is your solution if both have equal value that we must honor?
And since there is no absolute or objective conferrer of value, who will we respect as worthy to grant worth to us? This is a question you cannot dismiss. Someone will come along and claim that right, and assert the power we’ve given him. We’ve seen that movie many times, and the results are always tragic, ugly, and anything but virtuous.
- God stating that human beings have value:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13: 8-10
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127
“Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood.” And all the people shall say, “Amen.” Deut 27:25
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139: 13
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:16
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2: 3-4
If God-designed marriage’s nucleus is the unique one flesh relationship, then God designed marriage to be a relationship of equals. Here is my proof-text:
…Each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband.
In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.
Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I Cor 7: 2-5:
Here we see total equality and parity. Both people are equally accountable to render to the other (nothing less than) his/her body, and it is to be done freely and consensually. Both benefit equally.
(I like these two definitions of parity: 1. the quality or state of being equal or equivalent. 2. the symmetry of behavior in an interaction of a physical entity (as a subatomic particle) with that of its mirror image…)
And please notice: here the roles are exactly the same.
What else do we see? Clear suggestions of ownership. Like this:
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
Song of Solomon 8: 6-7
Yes please, that kind of ownership. My seal on your heart is a sign that your heart is mine, and only I may break that seal to open. My seal on your arm is a sign to the world that you belong to me. And your seal on my heart means my heart is yours, and only you may break that seal to open. Your seal on my arm is a sign to the world that I belong to you.
This ownership is irrevocable. This love is absolute. It is not a love which is measured in quantity, as in how much do you love? Do you love enough? It is a love that either is or is not. It is as absolute as death and the grave, as inevitable, as unyielding, as eternal.
We also see words like authority and duty. But the authority is mutual; don’t we owe one another something real in such a relationship?
What does our culture’s wisdom tell us? That even here, especially here in traditional or Biblical marriage, is a negotiation of an intrinsically unequal relationship. Man: patriarch/oppressor, woman: victim/subservient. We must resign ourselves to an inevitable power struggle. And that God invented patriarchy and subservience!
Nonsense. The Corinthians passage was written to first-century A.D. believers in Jesus Christ, long after the fall of man. As such, it confirms God’s original intent for marriage and tells us that we may still possess that graceful, perfect union that He made for us. In the midst of a fallen and broken world we can live in real equality and true harmony.
What do we make, then, of these passages?
…and you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.
The husband is the head of the wife. Ephesians 5:23
From Ephesians 5:
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
The passage containing “For the husband is the head of the wife” begins with “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” The first appears to be an expression of inequality and submission, but the topic sentence is an expectation of equal submission, mutual deference, mutual humility. There is no contradiction, only context.
Then in Genesis 3, we see God the Father explaining to Adam and Eve that their choice to sin will result in a chronic power struggle as each one contends for his own interest instead of living for the other. This was not a command; it was a prediction.
God’s predictions: men will raise crops successfully but they will have to sweat and strive for the increase. Women will bear babies in joy, but first will come pain and anguish. The spiritual death you have chosen must manifest in physical death, else humans’ destructiveness to one another will be endless.
I’ve invented for you a mutually loving, mysteriously interdependent, incomparably intimate relationship, but instead you will choose to strive, alone, against one another.
Women will selfishly try to control their husbands, and men will selfishly assert their power over their wives. Each will contend against the other for his and her own desires at the other’s expense, instead of living in the sublime harmony He planned for them.
We always, always do exactly what God predicted. It’s like he knows.
More testaments in the Word of God suggest that mutuality and equity are His ideal. Many of these passages are directed to all in the community of believers. Wouldn’t they necessarily apply to those within that community who have committed to marriage?
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15: 12-13
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 12:8
Here also we see mutuality and equality.
Do we buy into our culture’s misinterpretation? In the evangelical church, we often substitute media-marketed counsel for true personal guidance and we find no end of this sort of stuff: Look at the dopey man; he just doesn’t “get” it. He’s just like clueless Adam, am I right? Men-just don’t be like him. Husbands, taking out the trash counts as foreplay!
And women, the most important thing you can do for your husband is show him respect by forcing yourself to have sex with him when you don’t feel like it!
These “Christian” marriage seminars, courses and books repeat the shallow lie that marriage is a constant struggle for compromise between two people who can never understand each other. They offer only a band-aid, a self-help guide for navigation through the unequal status quo, an eternal negotiation between doomed competitors– rather than two creatures of the same flesh, one created out of the other, who find their fulfillment in belonging together.
Grace upon grace! Even though the world is fallen, even though we are fallen, we still have access to that ideal that God designed.
Nothing surprises me more than today’s feminists allowing males to appropriate woman-hood via transgenderism.
Who suffers most when we erase male and female? Those who want us to stop acknowledging the distinction between the genders have not played out in their minds the world that they would create.
One obvious recipient of change is marriage.
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. Genesis 1
Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. ’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10
“In His image” meant male and female, two beings different yet part of one another; in His image meant in a very particular kind of relationship wherein two complementary and very distinct beings are intimate and interdependent.
If we erase the concept of two distinct yet necessary sexes, we lose a premise which allows us to conceptualize the marriage relationship. When we erase marriage as it was designed and intended, we erase marriage. But that’s not all we erase.
The unique sexual union which is the big bang for a marriage relationship creates family, church, community, society, government, nation, world.
Remove that unique relationship, and you remove the nucleus around which everything spins. Remove the foundation, the structure collapses into a chaotic mess. And chaotic messes are no place for love, justice, equality, rights, peace, stability or the building of a society. When we lose that most fundamental thing, we disintegrate and descend into chaos.
For starters: reality-denial. Insanity. Total subjectivity. Disconnectedness, loss of community, relentless self-absorption. Instead of oneness, we get alone-ness.
I said it here: Manifesto: The Primal Creation
Can there be a substitute for male or for female? Can there be an equivalent to the complementary union in marriage? A parent which is nether a mother nor a father? A substitute for the true family?
In today’s brave new world, marriage means a legal union of two people, gender orientation irrelevant, based on the subjective feelings of the pair. Adopted children can be given over to the stewardship of two persons, gender orientation irrelevant; the need and the right of a child to an ideal consisting of a mother and a father is negated. Transgender bathrooms mandated throughout the land from on high. Urgent social effort to make gender orientation a continuum rather than one which acknowledges reality. And again from on high, the creation ex nilio of gender orientation special rights.
Now we read here of some of the repercussions when we make male and female a state of mind disconnected from bodies.
Lo and behold! The result for women is that we disappear. We are erased.
The progressive-secular paradigm is cannibalizing itself, and what a surprise: it’s the women who get eaten first.