Sturm und Mom

The Storm & Stress (& Joy) of Motherhood

Archive for the tag “Bible”

New Names for Right and Wrong

There’s a debate right now on the Internet, inspired by the comments of this woman, recommending a maximum age that a woman be allowed to have a baby.  Or rather a non-debate, because the fact is that biology has all ready determined that some women will be too old to have a child.   So what’s to debate?

This kind of phoney, fuzzy thinking debate is part of what drove me from “progressivism” and into the arms of the Church.  Ms. Tollefsen decided to have IVF at the age of 57, with her male partner and a donor egg.  In other words, she “gestated” the biological child of her partner and another woman.  Sort of the high-tech version of what Sarah cooked up when she sent Abraham into Hagar’s tent.  Maybe that should be the litmus test for new technologies — whether or not we would balk at using the “low-tech” version of the procedure.

So, if desperate, childless women have been resorting to this kind of thing for thousands of years, I ask again:  Why are we calling it a debate?  Most women, when they read Genesis 16, know that it is wrong.  Yes, we sympathize with with Sarah’s plight, and no, we don’t hate Hagar and Abraham’s child, Ishmael, but the moral of the story is clear.  This was never God’s plan.  When Hagar and Ishmael are finally driven out, in Genesis 21, it’s not surprising.  The story is foreshadowed to end badly.

The last I checked, the modern debate had descended into “selfish woman” versus “you go girl!” versus “who can really know what’s right or wrong, anyway?”  This misses the point entirely.  So does the personal situation of Ms. Tollefsen.  As to her age, many grandmothers (including my own) raise their grandchildren with no problem, and a lack of funds has never been a impediment to a happy family.  I also do not want to minimize the suffering of those who are unable to have the children they so desperately crave.  But the main issue remains. Just because we figured out a new way to do something, doesn’t make it an entirely new situation morally.  Natural law still applies.  Human nature is still human nature.  It is not right for a married couple who want children, to engineer a child with a third woman.  Especially if we want to turn around and deny that child’s claim to his or her biological mother.

In Genesis, everything is fine for a while.  Until Isaac is born.  Then Sarah stops calling Ishmael “Abraham’s son”, and he becomes “that woman’s boy.”  The scales fall from her eyes, and she allows, sadly, her heart to harden.  And a similar realization has occurred to Ms. Tollefsen:  that she was very misguided in her decision to bear that little girl.  Just because modern man has come up with new language and tidier methods, doesn’t mean we get to come up with a new and tidier right and wrong.


More Thanksgiving thoughts

Our Thanksgiving weekend was great!  Even though Boobah was up until 3am laughing and giggling and lying on the floor playing with all her toys, we all managed to get enough sleep.  The turkey was great, the stuffing was yummy, the gravy was savoury and the pumpkin pie was awesome.  Even though the turkey was defrosted, it cooked right on time, which was a problem that I have had in previous years (and usually when everyone is over waiting for it!)  This time I put my still super cold bird in a slightly hotter oven (350) for about 1 hour, and it seemed to work just fine.  Must remember that trick for Christmas.

Lately though, my sweetie and I have been discussing some chatter I heard.  Some volunteers in a not-for-profit, where helping themselves to the (very meager) fund raising monies.   He couldn’t wrap his head around this — why would someone risk shame, garnisheed wages and possibly probation for $2000?  This make me chuckle a bit, because that was my reaction to the News of the World phone hacking scandal in Britain.  Here were these super powerful, privileged, rich people, who had supper with the Prime Minister .  Why would they risk it all for just a little bit more?  I guess that’s why in a list of the Seven Deadly Sins greed isn’t split into Greed under $15,000 and Greed over $15,000.  It’s all just greed and it manifests itself in whatever it is that we covet in our lives.

This is why I am thankful this year for the Law.  Why yes — the same Law that everyone disses to give themselves backhanded compliments (like when I told my lapsed Catholic obstetrician that I don’t used birth control because of my faith.  “It’s nice to see people doing what they are told,” she said with a smile.)  Because even at my weakest, I know that my actions are seen by God, who has given me direction in matters both great and small, and whose way will leave me free from sin, and whose grace is my assistance.  Rather than restricting me, I am saved from regret, shame, lies, and greater and greater bondage to my vices.

So this year, I am thankful to do something very countercultural — to happily call myself a sheep.  “Happy are those who…delight in the Law of the Lord.  They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.  In all that they do, the prosper.” Ps1:1,2-3

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