Sunday, December 14, 2008

More on Old Loveless Men

Ok, I thought I could link and be done. Breathe deep and let it go. But it seems I can't. I just can't.

What pains me is the fact that so many wonderful and beautiful women I know struggle on a daily basis to reconcile their faith and their religion with their desire to create and nurture loving families that would also be a part of that faith. Why must there be a dichotomy? Why must these women feel rejected and refused by a god that they want to love and believe in? I love my friends of faith and admire their commitments to their churches even if that is not a path I feel is open to me. And I HATE that this feels like a kick, literally, in their guts. Tell me, other than being women, what have they done to deserve this disrespect?

What confuses me is a doctrine and a dogma that places motherhood as the highest thing a woman can aspire to, yet seeks to dictate how motherhood is achieved and exactly who is worthy of it. Never mind the challenges and obstacles already placed in these women's path that they have already overcome. What, exactly, needs to be done to prove our worth?

What angers me is the Catholic Church's adamant stance that adoption is the one and only option and alternative for unwed mothers, unwanted pregnancies, abortion and infertility. Yet, for years and years and years ruled those adoptions as unquestionably closed and to this day, controls and limits the information available between birth mothers and their children. Adoption is a gift. Yet why was my birth mother shamed into it? My birth father refused the right to see his own child? What did he have to do to prove his worth?

What hurts me is knowing that my mother prays and prays for us, and that those prayers fall not on deaf ears, because that would be more merciful, but on ears that have no interest in the path that we have available to us. I want to tell her, stop! Don't let them in on our plans! It's better if they don't know. But it is her faith and her comfort and who am I to take that from her.

But where is the comfort? Where is the mercy?

Nowhere to be found.


Anonymous said...

I'm not Catholic, and I've never understood the dogma. (These are just my thoughts, and I don't mean to offend.) Most Catholics I know, including my husband are "former" Catholics or "not practicing" Catholics. It's always seemed strange to me -- why not be part of something else that does match your beliefs? Or to put it another way, why not run toward something rather than away from something?

A long time ago, I decided to read the bible from cover to cover. I'd never done it, and I always wanted to. I found the bible to be very illuminating -- and I was more surprised about what wasn't in there, as opposed to what was.

Now, I start from the premise that the bible is the inspired word of God. After actually reading the bible, I decided that I would use it as my yardstick from then on -- if a particular rule isn't in there, then it is man-made. And I don't need to comply.

Jesus commanded us to put God first. And then to love each other as He loved us. If you can fit your actions into those two commandments, I think that you are doing just fine.

But that's just my opinion, for whatever it's worth.

Sarah said...

The Roman Catholic Church doesn't speak for God. No man-made institution does.

Infertile women play important roles in the Bible. Their pain is taken seriously by God and they become both recipients and vehicles of God's comfort and mercy. That is still happening today.

AmyinMotown said...

I am Catholic, practicing and everything, and when we struggled with infertility it was the worst crisis of faith I'd ever had (especially since at the same time a friend lost a much wanted infertility-treatment-concieved baby at 20 weeks). We finally went to our priest at the time, a remarkable, compassionate and wise man. His advice to us was that treatment had to come down to a matter of our consciences and examination of our motives. We didn't do IVF, which has everything to do with finances and nothing to do with religion, but I know for a fact we celebrated the baptism of at least one IVF baby in that church.

I am deeply angered by the Vatican's stance, but I also know that the true "wise men" of the church leave a lot more room for, well, life.

Waiting Amy said...

I understand your difficulty relating to those who turn to prayer to the church's g-d. My sister has become rather devout later in her life, and often suggested to me (while struggling with treatment) to "leave it in g-d's hands" or some such comment. It was really hard to reconcile those sentiments with what I knew and how I felt. I understand.

DE Mommy said...

DH is a reformed Catholic. We, too, were not amused by the new ruling from the church and even less so that his mother has completely bought into it and is not happy at all for our pregnancy.

We also note that Jesus' conception is obviously not condoned by the church since it was conceived in a different way than through marital relations.

Just a thought.

(I also just saw all that happened to you yesterday and I am overwhelmed with sadness for you. I am so sorry)