Thursday, July 28, 2011

A good discussion

There's a very good discussion going on over at Feministe about adoption and the rights of children to be raised by their biological parents, the rights of mothers to raise their children, rights regarding creating families and raising other people's children, what's problematic in the adoption world and what can be done about it. There are many comments coming from a variety of POV in the constellation.

I think it's worth reading if you have a few minutes....

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Did I make reparation yet?

1. Against the law; illegal.
2. Born out of wedlock.
3. Grammar Not in correct usage.
4. Incorrectly deduced; illogical.
5. Biology Unacceptable as a scientific name because of contradiction to the international rules of nomenclature.

I have been fighting this word for years. I hate it! I hate it when it's used in reference to human beings. To me it's demeaning and humiliating. It's completely unnecessary. The dictionary definition may not seem that way, it's just a word. It's just a meaning for a word. That's true but words have power. They affect people in good ways and in bad.

Today a friend of mine posted a link to a site I've seen before but I hadn't seen this particular page before. As I read I could feel my blood pressure building, my teeth grinding and the bile rising in the back of my throat. Just like the definition of that word, people like this priest have power. People listen to what he has to say. They put stock in the answers he has to offer and what he writes on websites like this. He's a representative of a church that I used to belong to, a church that participated in the taking of my child. If you read the page on this link you'll see that in the church's tradition....

"The Catholic Church does not look down on such a woman or expect her to bear the mark of her guilt upon her person, like a cursed woman. But, at the same time, the Church does not deny that the woman must still bear the consequences of her action after Confession, even if she made a perfect Act of Contrition, and would thereby be worthy to enter Heaven in she should die that very moment.

The social situation of the mother and child does not change after Confession and the completed penance; and yes, no matter who has argued to the contrary since I first broached the subject over a year ago, it is an ongoing scandal. Until her situation as a “single mother” changes, it is not advisable the woman should be included in all the normal social life at the parish, e.g. youth groups, etc. An unwed mother can get support from certain more mature members of the parish for her spiritual and temporal needs without appearing ostentatiously for the confusion, and, yes, the scandal of the little ones.

Fr. Jacques Leclercq, Professor at the Saint Louis Institute of Brussels, author ofLessons of Natural Law, indirectly confirms this opinion when he states:

“To admit the illegitimate children in the family, and to put them at the same situation of the legitimate ones, would be to ruin the fundamental institution of the marriage, because the same familial advantages would be obtained without the family by means of illegitimate unions” (1).

What is valid for the family life, proportionally is also valid with regard to Catholic social life in the parish and elsewhere."

So..... the unwed mother is not looked down upon by the church but she is to be ostracized from it. Seems to me the church is speaking out of both sides of it's mouth. We care for our parishioners but don't you dare have sex outside marriage. Well, we all know that sex outside marriage is going to happen because we're human BUT if you get caught by growing another human inside you (because that's really the only way anyone is going to know that you had sex outside of marriage isn't it?) you can't come to any of our meetings anymore. AND, if your children are to associate with legitimate children the institution of marriage will be destroyed. We can't have these associations so here we have the solutions....

Catholic solutions

"The presupposition of the three solutions below is that the mother has full right over her child, as has the father. They also have the duty to raise their child well. In principle, they should marry, if the father is still single. But, as almost always happens, the father is either unknown because of the promiscuous life of the mother, or is known but has fled his responsibilities. So, let us face the common case of a single mother alone with her child.

What are the solutions for such a scandalous situation?

The first is marriage. If the woman finds another man of upright character who marries her in the Church and takes her and the child under his custody, her situation is regularized. He covers her shame with his honor and his name."

I don't know why.... why am I still surprised by these attitudes - "almost always" the mother is a slut and the father is a deadbeat. So the solution - find another guy to put a ring on her finger because we all know that that is the be all end all of existence. That child will not be a legitimate human being unless there's a ring, a band of metal formed into a circular shape and pushed onto the ring finger of the left hand. Now her situation can be regularized. What the hell does that mean - be regularized? I guess it fits right in with my so-called status as a BM. 

Oh, and let's not forget - he covers her shame with his honor. So because he was willing to say "I Do" her shame is no more. When, oh when will these attitudes go away?! Isn't it about time we recognized each other's worth as human beings and love each other simply because we are, not because we say a certain collection of words or wear a piece of metal around a digit. When is the human race going to outgrow this nonsense? If we are to really follow the lessons of natural law then we will love each other unconditionally. We will accept and love new life without labels and insults. We will care for each other without casting members of the race aside simply for being human.

From the same page....

"Adoption is also a possibility for such a situation, provided that the unwed mother is at least reasonably certain that the foster parents will raise the child in the Catholic Faith. The role of the godparents, usually in practice more of a background role, clearly becomes more active and they are required to help the mother fulfill her responsibilities in such a situation. It may even be the case that one or both of the godparents (if they are married, which is often the case) would be in a situation to become the foster parents. That would be ideal.

An important point to remember in these last solutions is that the unwed mother has to overcome her natural affection for her child in order to give the best chance to save his soul.
This separation imposed by charity will go a long way in helping the unwed mother to make reparation for her sin, assuming, of course, that she did sin, and was not violated without her fault." 

Well, that was obviously written by someone who has never had children. Apparently the only way I was to save my daughter's soul was to overcome my affection for her. Separating a newborn infant from her mother will cleanse the mother of her sin and save the child's soul. No thought is given to what the separation does to the child or the mother, the lifelong grief that results. This is written by a man. A man who has no idea what it is to carry life within. What it is to give birth. A man who cannot marry and have children of his own. A man who has no idea what it is to raise and love a family. How dare he?! How dare he put these rules out there. Rules about life and love that he knows nothing about. Who is he to decide what is sinful? Who is this church to decide who is to be accepted and who is not? Who is he to tear mother from child?

I'm so tired of hearing this attitude of moral authority from an institution who hides criminals and has a history of abuse in so many parts of the world. I'm going with number 4 of the definitions of illegitimate: the CHURCH is "incorrectly deduced; illogical"