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Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Change in the Way We Look at the Unexpected Pregnancy

Decades back, an unexpected pregnancy was a very exciting, happy experience! This was the case because way back then, many couples had in fact been struggling for years - maybe even decades - with infertility, miscarriage, and sterility! Their unexpected pregnancy was a joyful experience.

If you look back in your geneology records, most of you will find an aunt or sister that just couldn't get pregnant even though she and her husband wanted a baby! These childless couples are even mentioned in the Bible! But they were childless - not by choice but by chance and there weren't any answers or solutions for these couples.

The lack of answers and lack of solutions helped  preserve the mystery of conception and fertility!

Fast forward to 2013. We know, words matter but their meaning changes with the times. Today, the term unexpected pregnancy isn't regarded as a joyful experience at all; rather it is presumed to be the woman's  fault! When we hear the term we don't really want to know about when or with whom she is having sex. In other words, we really don't care if she is 13 or 45; whether this is her first partner or her 50th partner; whether she loves the individual or not; whether the relationship is a committed one; whether she is committing adultery, or why. We just want to know why she was not managing her birth control better! She should have known better - after all this is 2013 and she could have used the Pill, the Patch, the Plug or been Permanently fixed!

Sexuality is now just one more utilitarian act that demands utilitarian attitudes, approaches, measures and standards. We have stripped away the love. We have stripped away the commitment. We have stripped away the mystery of the conception. We have eradicated the respect for the mystery. We have de-coupled pregnancy from sexual relationships. And it has garnered more infertility and man-imposed sterility than most previous modern day generations. We are well on the road to eradicating future generations in America just because we have thrown the baby out with the love - literally speaking. We are hooked on utilitarian solutions and we will pay for this. We were not made for bread alone.... . 

What other consequences are there? What ever happened to expecting men to share in the responsibility and the blame for the sexual partnership? Women pretend that they are now fully emancipated - from old fashioned moral standards and the trappings of traditional marriage.  But what a hoax! Women admit to still feeling pressured into having sex with their partner or husband for fear of being dumped for willing female competitors. Why else do women act and dress the way they do? They have made themselves into a commodity.

Why are women the major consumers of birth control products? Why was the HPV vaccine first offered only to young girls? Did you know that the majority of parents refused in large measure to have their girls vaccinated? Because of that refusal to go along with the vaccination program for their young girls, the HHS decided to include boys in the program as well! But why wasn't that inclusion part of their first objective? After all, men and boys infect their partners with HPV; they also  acquire devastating cancers just like women!

W have also become dependent on man-made technologies which in the long run helped to change the way we view sexuality. We have turned into a society that serves the technology rather than the other way around. We march to the orders of the technology - we align ourselves with the technology so we are modern, informed, protected, and like everyone else. We have become utilitarians for love of the technology. The technologies reduce human conditions to plumbing problems. What was once mysterious is now mundane!  Consequently, we have failed to hold onto the concept that fertility is a gift - and it should be treasured and appreciated - not because we want a pregnancy - but because it just is!

Years ago, a speaker from RESOLVE (a support group for infertile couples) said that couples came to accept their infertility faster years ago compared to today's couples because of the fact that their number of options was next to zero. Today, the options are multiple and complex - leading couples to think that if they just had more money - there would be a way. And they are right - assisted reproduction is a big business but that misses the point of this article. 
Old fashioned morality made sex outside of marriage wrong. Modern morality makes sex outside of marriage the norm ok while making the unexpected pregnancy the new NO-NO. Many young people don't see sex as the problem - they see the baby as the problem. We have again successfully placed the blame on the wrong person! Hasn't that been an age old problem starting with Adam and Eve? The problem is we no longer see our own sins....

 At this rate, we really won't ever have to worry about over-population again. But we ought to worry about the state of humanity. We have all just gotten a bit more cheap with our enslavement to things.

So when you hear the term - unexpected pregnancy - what do you think of? What advice do you offer? Who do you blame?

Linda Kracht

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Forgiveness - the Holy Healer

Forgiveness - the holy healer

We have all been injured by someone. Sometimes the injury is minor; sometimes it isn't. Either way it comes our way - physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally.... in playgrounds, grocery stores, homes, parking lots, school, etc.

Today is the first day of school, and we know that some of the kids will bring their emotional hurts to school. It's true, that hurt people hurt people and so the cycle of injury continues... until we decide enough is enough. And that's where forgiveness comes in.

Immaculee Ilibagiza, genocide survivor, teaches us about forgiveness first hand in the book Left to Tell. Immaculee barely survived the Rwanda genocide that took place in the mid 90's in which over  one million Rwandans were brutally murdered by fellow Rwandans.... Why did this brutality occur? Fear, hatred, repressed anger, and other usual suspects were the reasons used by neighbors to kill other neighbors. The dead included Immaculee's beloved mother, father, and two brothers.

Americans harbor a lot of the same vices which turn violent when they reach the tipping point. Domestic violence is widespread as is neighborhood or gang violence. There are a lot of hurt people hurting a lot of people.

Bringing violent people to justice is always going to be necessary in order to prevent them from hurting others. But what about the victims? Should they seek justice or vengeance - that is the question.

Immaculee teaches us that only forgiveness can turn hatred and injustice into charity! Pope Francis teaches us the same.... Most of us will never have to forgive someone who killed our family... but all of us will have to forgive someone who says he/she love us.

None of us are perfect and all of us are guilty of being insensitive to others' feelings. All of us lack understanding.All of us are impatient. Who are we to expect someone else to be perfect when we aren't.

But how do we forgive the little offenses? We really can't without some supernatural help. And that is the point of the book! With God all things are possible - even forgiveness for those who try to take from us - even life!

If we don't forgive , we will end up just as hateful and vengeful as the perpetrators.

Immaculee ends with this note: "Tens of thousands who were jailed for killing during he genocide are starting to be released into their old towns and villages. If there was ever a time for forgiveness it is now. Rwanda can be a paradise again, but it till take the love of the entire world to heal my homeland... the love of a single heart can make a world of difference. .... " Her message applies to the US as well.

We continue to be torn and divided by differences in politics, beliefs, and practices. For those of us who say we are Christian, we can change hearts by proving that we love - really. And that takes forgiveness - the supernatural type that comes to us by way of prayer, devotion to the Divine Will, and dying to selfishness and self-centeredness. The Pope has called for a day of sacrifice and fast on Saturday, September 7th for peace in Syria. Let's begin there.