Author Topic: Contraception: an observer's view  (Read 88784 times)

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Offline Tamara

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Contraception: an observer's view
« on: January 10, 2008, 08:33:20 PM »
I have read many opinions over the last few years from young married or almost married MEN about the use of contraception in a marriage. Many of these idealists have proclaimed or vowed not use it in their marriage. But be prepared for the consequences of how multiple pregnancies will affect the long-term health of your future wife. I have many friends who followed this path and I admire their large families. But most, if not all of these mothers in these families (age range mid 40s) have long-term or debilitating illnesses (ex:crippling rheumatoid arthritis, severe anemia, hormonal imbalances, stress-related disorders, etc.) due to caring for large families. The stress alone can be immense especially when all of their children are very young and then again when most of the children reach  their teen years. Their husbands end up shouldering more of the child-rearing duties as their wives succumb to various long-term, chronic illnesses. In comparison to the families who have two to four children, the wives are still in good health and can function as a wife and mother. Just something to think about as you prepare for the future.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2008, 10:13:20 PM »
What a depressing post.  I mean seriously, what a dumper.

I personally know mothers of 5,6,7, and 9 kids, one of whom is going to be my mother-in-law; while they have often had hormonal imbalances (Thyroid seems to be the most common), (a) they're not "debilitating."  None of the mothers in the above category have been "debilitated" by their condition; (b) the stress is shared between husband and wife, and once you get to the 6+ kids category, the older kids are quite well able to help care for the younger ones (which often, in my experience, makes them more responsible than their peers), and (c) they chose the have whatever families God would provide them knowing that it would lead to some hardship, but infinitely more joy.

As for hormonal imbalances, they can occur with the first child (as is common in my mother's family), let alone the 5th or 10th.  Painting a bleak picture of having many kids seems a bit overdone.  Yes, it is good to warn people to the risks involved, and not allow them to get caught up in some sort of idyllic dream.

But I repeat... what a downer!
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2008, 10:15:34 PM »
As a post-married man on this issue: the statistics on divorce are what they are.  The statistics on couples that depend on natural family planning divorce: 0%.

Something to think about while you prepare for the future.

Btw, the stats on success rate for NFP is better than others.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2008, 10:18:02 PM »
My faith is, if it is good for your family, use contraception. Period. End of discussion. All who say otherwise are idiots or, worse, hypocrites.
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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2008, 10:25:19 PM »
As a post-married man on this issue: the statistics on divorce are what they are.  The statistics on couples that depend on natural family planning divorce: 0%.

Something to think about while you prepare for the future.

Btw, the stats on success rate for NFP is better than others.

What statistics?

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2008, 10:47:28 PM »
My faith is, if it is good for your family, use contraception. Period. End of discussion. All who say otherwise are idiots or, worse, hypocrites.

I'd like to hear you expand on this.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2008, 11:01:34 PM »
I'd like to hear you expand on this.

Why? What's unclear? You are a man, a father, you have a one year-old child, and your wife is a scientist like yourself (like it was in my case), and works crazy hours. And you live in a 13 square meter one-room apartmnent. Another child good for your family? NO. You need to ask a "holy father," what's his enlightened opinion on that (him being a monk)?

NOOOOO!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or else, of course, I am not Orthodox. I'm willing not to be, I don't care.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2008, 11:07:42 PM »
Why? What's unclear? You are a man, a father, you have a one year-old child, and your wife is a scientist like yourself (like it was in my case), and works crazy hours. And you live in a 13 square meter one-room apartmnent. Another child good for your family? NO. You need to ask a "holy father," what's his enlightened opinion on that (him being a monk)?

NOOOOO!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or else, of course, I am not Orthodox. I'm willing not to be, I don't care.

Hey George, no need to defend yourself or feel like you're being attacked.  But your POV was unclear in your earlier post.  You're saying that if it's too much of a strain on the family, then you should use contraception, rather than strain the family and risk people's health and sanity.  Your earlier post wasn't as clear as the example that you've used.

Quite frankly, I don't know why your polemical language is necessary - you don't need to use words/phrases like "idiots" and "or else, of course, I am not Orthodox."  No one is attacking your faith, and no one is saying that your faith is void because of contraception.  Take a deep breath.  I am not your enemy, and hopefully no one else here is, either.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 11:11:01 PM by cleveland »
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2008, 11:30:57 PM »
Cleveland, thank you. I do believe that you aren't my enemy. But there are a lot of others who claim that they know "God's will," and who say that if you use a condom, you are sinning, etc. As I wrote previously to this forum, I had been attacked and maligned by these people for a good number of years, for admitting that I had, indeed, used contraception in my marriage and also for expressing my belief that sex in marriage is sacred ("whaaaat? seeeex??? that caaaaaarnal thing????) You guys here in the civilized USofA have no idea how vicious is the polemics on Ukrainian "religious" Web sites and how awful are "Christians" there.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2008, 11:31:45 PM by Heorhij »
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2008, 12:30:49 AM »
As a post-married man on this issue: the statistics on divorce are what they are.  The statistics on couples that depend on natural family planning divorce: 0%.

Something to think about while you prepare for the future.

Btw, the stats on success rate for NFP is better than others.
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Natural Family Planning is simply a non-issue.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States has published figures.  The estimate is that less than 3% of Catholics use NFP.  A whopping 97% of young married Catholics are using birth control methods forbidden by their Church!


Speaking gf "success" rates, condoms win out by far over NFP.   Condoms have a failure rate of 7%  (i.e. result in pregnancy.)  By contrast NFP has a failure rate of 1%.  So your chances of an accidental pregnancy with condoms are much higher than with NFP.

But, as I said, with a miniscule 3% of Catholics using NFP, it's hardly an issue to debate or take much notice of.


Offline Quinault

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2008, 12:49:57 AM »
I guess I don't really understand the point of what you are saying Tamara. There are a great number of women that suffer those issues that have no children whatsoever. They key is to take care of yourself, whether you are a parent or not. In fact, women that have fibromyalsia (sp?) tend to do BETTER while pregnant and breastfeeding then when they are not pregnant or breastfeeding. So there are actually benefits for some women in pregnancy. Not that I would say that is a good reason to have children! But to say that all the effects are bad is a bit of an overstatement.

I love large families. I have three kids, I would love to have more. I will readily admit that having children can be (and often is) difficult. I will be a single mom of three for about a year starting in August. To say it will be difficult is an understatement. But the difficulty is nothing compared to the joy. If you try and be a "perfect" mother you will fail, miserably. But if you live each day and try to do better it is suprisingly easier.


Offline Fr. George

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2008, 12:58:35 AM »
Cleveland, thank you. I do believe that you aren't my enemy. But there are a lot of others who claim that they know "God's will," and who say that if you use a condom, you are sinning, etc. As I wrote previously to this forum, I had been attacked and maligned by these people for a good number of years, for admitting that I had, indeed, used contraception in my marriage and also for expressing my belief that sex in marriage is sacred ("whaaaat? seeeex??? that caaaaaarnal thing????) You guys here in the civilized USofA have no idea how vicious is the polemics on Ukrainian "religious" Web sites and how awful are "Christians" there.

Whether or not it's a sin, I won't speculate.  IMO it doesn't qualify as Onanism, so I don't think the case is clear-cut.  And who am I to speculate about my brother's sin?  I can see where you find people to be hypocritical in their arguments against sex being blessed in marriage.  And I'm glad that you find this site to be a "safe haven" compared to other places.
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2008, 01:05:20 AM »
I guess I don't really understand the point of what you are saying Tamara. There are a great number of women that suffer those issues that have no children whatsoever. They key is to take care of yourself, whether you are a parent or not. In fact, women that have fibromyalsia (sp?) tend to do BETTER while pregnant and breastfeeding then when they are not pregnant or breastfeeding. So there are actually benefits for some women in pregnancy. Not that I would say that is a good reason to have children! But to say that all the effects are bad is a bit of an overstatement.

I love large families. I have three kids, I would love to have more. I will readily admit that having children can be (and often is) difficult. I will be a single mom of three for about a year starting in August. To say it will be difficult is an understatement. But the difficulty is nothing compared to the joy. If you try and be a "perfect" mother you will fail, miserably. But if you live each day and try to do better it is suprisingly easier.



Hi Quinault,

I guess it has been hard for me to watch all of my church friends with large families suffer from health ailments over the last few years. When they were young, they were able to bounce back easily but now, as they are reaching menopause many of them are falling apart physically. Many of them look years older than their husbands. I look around at my female neighbors and girlfriends who do not attend church and have smaller families. They are all so much healthier than my church friends. My one girlfriend at church always has deep, dark circles under her eyes. She just found out she is severely anemic and most of her boys are teenagers right now (she has six children). Its been very stressful for her with her boys. They are good kids but they put her through the ringer emotionally. Her husband is very supportive but he works all day. I guess I just want men to appreciate the sacrifices women make to bear large families.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2008, 01:16:06 AM »
Tamara; I have seen just as many moms of one or two that are run down appearing. I think a great deal of that has to do with how much we take care of ourselves. And how much our husbands MAKE US take care of ourselves. Anemia has little to do with children though. You can become anemic while pregnant or breastfeeding. But anemia isn't from raising children really. And it is readily fixed and you feel better nearly INSTANTLY. On the days I am anemic (I have been breastfeeding or pregnant all but 2mths of the last 7 years) and I take liquid iron, I feel better within minutes.

But it is a good thing to note that if you want a large family Dad has to be SUPER involved. And even MORE importantly, you have to take care of your relationship with each other. If your marriage is in good shape then parenting is MUCH easier. (not that I am saying any of your friends are having marital issues, I am merely speaking from experience).

Offline Quinault

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2008, 01:18:09 AM »
My sister-in-law is so stressed by having two kids that she had her husband get "fixed." So it is also open to how much parenting effects you stress-wise. Having three I am less stressed than she is with two. Not that she is a bad mom/woman/wife. She merely has a different "threshold" than I do. (the sister-in-law is Mennonite, not Orthodox).
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 01:18:28 AM by Quinault »

Offline Quinault

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2008, 01:20:09 AM »
One more thing; it is actually LESS stressful for me to have three kids than two. The other two play while I care for the third, they help clean up, they watch their brother so I can take a shower ect. So it depends upon how you "utilize" your kids too.

Offline AMM

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2008, 01:39:21 AM »
Cleveland, thank you. I do believe that you aren't my enemy. But there are a lot of others who claim that they know "God's will," and who say that if you use a condom, you are sinning, etc. As I wrote previously to this forum, I had been attacked and maligned by these people for a good number of years, for admitting that I had, indeed, used contraception in my marriage and also for expressing my belief that sex in marriage is sacred ("whaaaat? seeeex??? that caaaaaarnal thing????) You guys here in the civilized USofA have no idea how vicious is the polemics on Ukrainian "religious" Web sites and how awful are "Christians" there.

The reality is the church overall has a highly negative stance towards sex, even in marriage.  What I have read in patristic sources has basically shown me that while there are a few exceptions, the most common view is that sex in marriage is for procreation only.  In other words the unitive aspect of sex is not recognized.  St. Augustine for instance said that sex not intended for procreation was lust.  Most would probably say that marriage itself and sex are products of the Fall, they didn't exist as such in man's initial perfect state.  Typically consecrated virginity is seen as the highest state of being.  The song of songs was interpreted purely non literal terms and so on.  I attended a marriage class at a mission we used to go to and the main Orthodox book used in the class stated that husbands and wives are called to basically live as celibates in marriage.  My opinion after soaking all of that up was "wow, this is pretty f$$%'d up stuff."

The main debate now is I guess is there a philosophical distinction between the various means of controlling conception (natural vs. artificial, etc.).  I think it's kind of a pointless argument myself.  Basically as far as I can tell the churches have caved in to the fact that people are going to limit their family sizes, probably by normally simply looking the other way.  Whether or not it's actually ethical or responsible to keep having kids until your wife hits menopause in this day and age is a different story.

I have two kids I love very much by the way, and always wanted to be a Father.

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2008, 01:41:38 AM »
One more thing; it is actually LESS stressful for me to have three kids than two. The other two play while I care for the third, they help clean up, they watch their brother so I can take a shower ect. So it depends upon how you "utilize" your kids too.

Well, I would say all the moms with large families in my parish do expect their children to pitch in and help with all the household chores. Most of the moms were homeschoolers when they were younger. Two of the moms still are but the rest have given up with the younger ones. They couldn't handle the load as they got older. I only have two children and I don't homeschool so I know from talking to my friends that my life is much easier than theirs. I admire their sacrifices on behalf of their families.

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2008, 01:41:55 AM »
My faith is, if it is good for your family, use contraception. Period. End of discussion. All who say otherwise are idiots or, worse, hypocrites.

Hear, hear!

Always glad to see you chime in George.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2008, 08:03:03 AM »
My sister-in-law is so stressed by having two kids that she had her husband get "fixed." So it is also open to how much parenting effects you stress-wise. Having three I am less stressed than she is with two. Not that she is a bad mom/woman/wife. She merely has a different "threshold" than I do. (the sister-in-law is Mennonite, not Orthodox).

I always love that expression: fixing what isn't broken, which is why you are getting it "fixed," because you want it broken.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2008, 08:10:11 AM »
Whether or not it's a sin, I won't speculate.  IMO it doesn't qualify as Onanism, so I don't think the case is clear-cut.  And who am I to speculate about my brother's sin?  I can see where you find people to be hypocritical in their arguments against sex being blessed in marriage.  And I'm glad that you find this site to be a "safe haven" compared to other places.

Thank you again.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2008, 08:20:14 AM »
The reality is the church overall has a highly negative stance towards sex, even in marriage.  What I have read in patristic sources has basically shown me that while there are a few exceptions, the most common view is that sex in marriage is for procreation only.  In other words the unitive aspect of sex is not recognized.  St. Augustine for instance said that sex not intended for procreation was lust.  Most would probably say that marriage itself and sex are products of the Fall, they didn't exist as such in man's initial perfect state.  Typically consecrated virginity is seen as the highest state of being.  The song of songs was interpreted purely non literal terms and so on.  I attended a marriage class at a mission we used to go to and the main Orthodox book used in the class stated that husbands and wives are called to basically live as celibates in marriage.  My opinion after soaking all of that up was "wow, this is pretty f$$%'d up stuff."

The main debate now is I guess is there a philosophical distinction between the various means of controlling conception (natural vs. artificial, etc.).  I think it's kind of a pointless argument myself.  Basically as far as I can tell the churches have caved in to the fact that people are going to limit their family sizes, probably by normally simply looking the other way.  Whether or not it's actually ethical or responsible to keep having kids until your wife hits menopause in this day and age is a different story.

I have two kids I love very much by the way, and always wanted to be a Father.

Exactly. You see, that's why I am in such a crisis right now. I just can't read these so-called "fathers" of the Church, and exactly because of their rabid hatred (yes) of human sensuality, and because of their complete ignorance of the unitive aspect of marital sex. I can't fool myself and pretend that they are my great "spiritual teachers."

I am also still, after that evolution debate on this site, completely unable to reconcile with the idea of "Adam" being real actual physical "first man" in whom all of the human race originated. Again, this mythical story is so tightly connected with this idea that humans were created immaterial and asensual, and that they began to "do this monkey business" after falling from God's grace (see "father" Gregory of Nyssa's horrible, inhuman, perverted meanderings about humans gradually acquiring "heavy cattle-like bodies" as compared to innocent, light, ethereal asensual pre-lapsarian bodies).

I feel like I am falling into some kind of abyss. I can't pray right now, I can't look at icons, I can't listen to liturgical music. It's all hypocricy to me. Yesterday night, my wife and I - still mourning for our deceased kitty - listened to the song from "Les Parapluilles de Cherbourg," and I thought, now THAT'S honest, real, human... and I cried. I don't cry often. 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:21:26 AM by Heorhij »
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2008, 08:29:01 AM »
Hear, hear!

Always glad to see you chime in George.

Thank you, GreekIsChristian. I wish I had your calm confidence.
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Offline PrincessMommy

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2008, 09:20:06 AM »
I'd like to respond as a mother of a large family who also uses contraception and a homeschooler. 

I have read many opinions over the last few years from young married or almost married MEN about the use of contraception in a marriage.

First off, I so appreciate this Tamara.  I get rather annoyed at these young newlywed men (and a few women) who think they've figured it all out AND feel the need to strong arm the rest of us into agreeing with them.  Its one thing to have your own convictions, quite another be consider oneself to be an expert on the matter.   It reminds me of teaching my son how to drive.  He had all of 2 hours under his belt but still wanted to argue with me about how to do it properly.  Uh, "hello??" 

Many of these idealists have proclaimed or vowed not use it in their marriage. But be prepared for the consequences of how multiple pregnancies will affect the long-term health of your future wife. I have many friends who followed this path and I admire their large families. But most, if not all of these mothers in these families (age range mid 40s) have long-term or debilitating illnesses (ex:crippling rheumatoid arthritis, severe anemia, hormonal imbalances, stress-related disorders, etc.) due to caring for large families. The stress alone can be immense especially when all of their children are very young and then again when most of the children reach  their teen years. Their husbands end up shouldering more of the child-rearing duties as their wives succumb to various long-term, chronic illnesses. In comparison to the families who have two to four children, the wives are still in good health and can function as a wife and mother. Just something to think about as you prepare for the future.

I have not seen this like you have stated.  Yes, moms can get frazzled and frustrated and I can completely relate that it gets much harder when they become young adults (teen years have been great for us so far - college a bit more frustrating).   My husband did most of the shouldering of child-rearing during my pregnancies, which left me almost completely bed-ridden with all-day sickness (hyper-emesis).  Now that my children are older they are great help to us - especially since we are in that busy stage of life when kids are going in several different directions at once.

I think the problem comes when as I stated above, people feel compelled to have many many children, without regard to their health.  I do know some people who already have some of the health issues you have mentioned above but still feel that they are not obedient Christians unless they don't use birth control.  This is more inside the "Quiver full" community of homeschoolers.

I am not comfortable saying someone shouldn't have a large family because they may have health issues in the future, or their children may be rebellious, difficult teens.  Most (not all!) women I talk to who are are past the child-bearing age say they regret not having more children.  I like the way the Orthodox Church seems to take the issue, which is to help the individual.

I think you have cast an unfair light on moms who no longer homeschool.  Perhaps they were ready for a new challenge or a new "career".  I've been homeschooling for 16 years.  I know I'm ready to move on and am planning to put the last two into school within the next two years (I already have an older one in school).  Some of my kids have special needs and I know my limits.  I've also been hoping to get involved with Hospice care after I'm finished with this phase of life for a very long time.  But, to me you make me sound like a homeschool dropout.  It doesn't mean I've become overwhelmed with homeschooling or because my large family has run me down.  Its just time.  If I had 3-4 kids widely spaced, I might feel the same way.

Kindest regards.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2008, 09:27:07 AM »
Exactly. You see, that's why I am in such a crisis right now. I just can't read these so-called "fathers" of the Church, and exactly because of their rabid hatred (yes) of human sensuality, and because of their complete ignorance of the unitive aspect of marital sex. I can't fool myself and pretend that they are my great "spiritual teachers."

I am also still, after that evolution debate on this site, completely unable to reconcile with the idea of "Adam" being real actual physical "first man" in whom all of the human race originated. Again, this mythical story is so tightly connected with this idea that humans were created immaterial and asensual, and that they began to "do this monkey business" after falling from God's grace (see "father" Gregory of Nyssa's horrible, inhuman, perverted meanderings about humans gradually acquiring "heavy cattle-like bodies" as compared to innocent, light, ethereal asensual pre-lapsarian bodies).

I feel like I am falling into some kind of abyss. I can't pray right now, I can't look at icons, I can't listen to liturgical music. It's all hypocricy to me. Yesterday night, my wife and I - still mourning for our deceased kitty - listened to the song from "Les Parapluilles de Cherbourg," and I thought, now THAT'S honest, real, human... and I cried. I don't cry often. 

Dear George,

Sometimes we simply have to take a step back and say; "I simply don't care about anyone else's opinions; I'm doing the best with what I have and no one - and I mean NO ONE - can tell me what is best for me in my situation." Sometimes, George, we really shouldn't care what someone else is thinking.

I have found the creation/evolution threads very frustrating. It's like the people on either sides are speaking a different language from each other, but I have found these same frustrations when discussing literature - especially fantasy literature. In the end, what the heck does it matter? So we are all wired differently. Let's rejoice in the diversity! Don't let the failure of others to see your point of view or that you can't get theirs push you to the edge. For myself, reading your posts on evolution have been of tremendous benefit.

Trust God to see you through the present fog. Read and listen only to that which uplifts your spirit; you probably need a well-earned break from the trivia of "was Adam the first human being?" If you don't see the need for him to be, if you see the Genesis account of creation as allegory or metaphor, shrug your shoulders and forget it for a while. Spend some time with your wife, comforting each other and remembering your kitty - all in the hope that there's somewhere on the other side where you will meet again.

God be with you.

P.S. Sorry for going off topic.




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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2008, 09:49:19 AM »
Exactly. You see, that's why I am in such a crisis right now. I just can't read these so-called "fathers" of the Church, and exactly because of their rabid hatred (yes) of human sensuality, and because of their complete ignorance of the unitive aspect of marital sex. I can't fool myself and pretend that they are my great "spiritual teachers."


A lot of what the fathers writings are, are for ascetics. When a married man reads them they became confused.
 Do yourself a favor. Go to a real Church and see how Orthodox people live. They are no different than you and I. I'm not judging your life, but from what you have posted in the past tells me that you don't have a church life and that most of what you know is gathered from internet sources. It's best if you live the experience of being a church member. Orthodox people aren't ritualistic fanatics as you believe.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 02:06:37 PM by Demetrios G. »

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2008, 10:36:06 AM »
The reality is the church overall has a highly negative stance towards sex, even in marriage.

What are you reading?  Jeez oh man.  Chrysostom is considered the pre-eminent father on the subject (even though he was a celibate), and he considers sex in marriage to be blessed.  Yes, anyone who can live without lust should be encouraged, but he says that sex within marriage is not only a means to unity, but a means to stay out of sin.  He and other Fathers have expressed something very practical: is the celibate way blessed?  Yes - only if you can stand it.  But if you are going to burn for lust, then it is a road to damnation, not salvation, and your intended path is marriage, which will be your road to salvation.

In fact, St. John goes so far as to say that procreation is not even the primary purpose of sex in marriage (since the command to "be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it" had already been accomplished in his opinion back in the 4th century).  Read his stuff carefully.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why don't I like these debates about sex, procreation, homosexuality, etc.?  Because people become too emotionally charged, and when you become emotionally charged temptation and sin come into life.  We become tempted to hate God and the Church because we think that they're against "normal" life, or against "normal" marriage, or whatever.  We become tempted to hate our brethren for "knowing it all," or "not knowing anything," for sounding arrogant or condescending or whatever. 

What does it boil down to?  I'll quote Yoda.  Substitute "dark side" for "sin and death."  Or you can leave it alone.  But they're quite apropos.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”  "Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they." 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 10:37:11 AM by cleveland »
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Offline AMM

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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2008, 02:32:33 PM »
What a depressing post.  I mean seriously, what a dumper.

I personally know mothers of 5,6,7, and 9 kids, one of whom is going to be my mother-in-law; while they have often had hormonal imbalances (Thyroid seems to be the most common), (a) they're not "debilitating."  None of the mothers in the above category have been "debilitated" by their condition; (b) the stress is shared between husband and wife, and once you get to the 6+ kids category, the older kids are quite well able to help care for the younger ones (which often, in my experience, makes them more responsible than their peers), and (c) they chose the have whatever families God would provide them knowing that it would lead to some hardship, but infinitely more joy.

As for hormonal imbalances, they can occur with the first child (as is common in my mother's family), let alone the 5th or 10th.  Painting a bleak picture of having many kids seems a bit overdone.  Yes, it is good to warn people to the risks involved, and not allow them to get caught up in some sort of idyllic dream.

But I repeat... what a downer!

Of course, the Pill messes with women's hormones too.

The kids in large families I know seem much better behaved than only children or pairs.

My maternal grandmother had 7 kids and my paternal grandmother had 6. The maternal one had thyroid issues, but it runs in the family (my mother and aunts have it too, and most of them had 2 kids only)

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2008, 02:33:35 PM »
My faith is, if it is good for your family, use contraception. Period. End of discussion. All who say otherwise are idiots or, worse, hypocrites.

But do we always know what is good for ourselves?

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2008, 02:39:03 PM »
*
Natural Family Planning is simply a non-issue.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States has published figures.  The estimate is that less than 3% of Catholics use NFP.  A whopping 97% of young married Catholics are using birth control methods forbidden by their Church!

Right. The latest statistics indicate that 100% of American Catholics commit sins of various kinds.

Sin is a non-issue.

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2008, 02:40:58 PM »
Of course, the Pill messes with women's hormones too.

The kids in large families I know seem much better behaved than only children or pairs.

My maternal grandmother had 7 kids and my paternal grandmother had 6. The maternal one had thyroid issues, but it runs in the family (my mother and aunts have it too, and most of them had 2 kids only)

I have two children and they are well-behaved. I would never use the pill because it messes with a woman's hormones.

Offline AMM

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2008, 02:43:25 PM »
But do we always know what is good for ourselves?

Our primary guide is our own conscience, sometimes even in the face of what the church says.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2008, 02:48:53 PM »
Exactly. You see, that's why I am in such a crisis right now. I just can't read these so-called "fathers" of the Church, and exactly because of their rabid hatred (yes) of human sensuality, and because of their complete ignorance of the unitive aspect of marital sex. I can't fool myself and pretend that they are my great "spiritual teachers."

I am also still, after that evolution debate on this site, completely unable to reconcile with the idea of "Adam" being real actual physical "first man" in whom all of the human race originated. Again, this mythical story is so tightly connected with this idea that humans were created immaterial and asensual, and that they began to "do this monkey business" after falling from God's grace (see "father" Gregory of Nyssa's horrible, inhuman, perverted meanderings about humans gradually acquiring "heavy cattle-like bodies" as compared to innocent, light, ethereal asensual pre-lapsarian bodies).

I feel like I am falling into some kind of abyss. I can't pray right now, I can't look at icons, I can't listen to liturgical music. It's all hypocricy to me. Yesterday night, my wife and I - still mourning for our deceased kitty - listened to the song from "Les Parapluilles de Cherbourg," and I thought, now THAT'S honest, real, human... and I cried. I don't cry often. 

I'm sorry to hear what you are going through lately, George. I'll keep you in my prayers.

You are right that many of the Fathers saw sex in general as dirty and ungodly.

I think the heart of the problem is the tendency to separate the unitive and procreative purposes of sex. Some of the Fathers improperly excised the unitive purpose, and I think many today are mistaken in excising the procreative aspect. I believe both extremes are not in God's design.

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2008, 02:51:18 PM »
Our primary guide is our own well-formed conscience, sometimes even in the face of what the church says.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 02:51:33 PM by lubeltri »

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2008, 02:56:57 PM »
I have two children and they are well-behaved. I would never use the pill because it messes with a woman's hormones.

I'm glad. So many people think the Pill is like candy.

Offline AMM

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2008, 02:57:18 PM »
Our primary guide is our own well-formed conscience, sometimes even in the face of what the church says.

And this is probably one of those instances.

I will second the remarks made by Demetrios however earlier.  I think most priests and people out there in parish life have realistic approaches to this issue.

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2008, 03:40:43 PM »
But do we always know what is good for ourselves?

No, but I think it's safe to assume that we better understand what is good for us than some dusty old cleric steeped in 2000 years of ignorance.

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2008, 06:22:36 PM »
Right. The latest statistics indicate that 100% of American Catholics commit sins of various kinds.

Sin is a non-issue.
Lubeltri,

You response has no connection with what I wrote.  I never even addressed sin.

I was pointing out that when it comes to people'e preferences and practices of birth control, any discussion on NFP is about as useful as discussing green chocolate from Mars.  I was pointing out that even in the Roman Catholic Church which disallows all other forms of birth control, a mere 3% of married people use it.   In that case, how many people do you imagine are using it outside the Catholic Church?

So I was not interested in sin but in what amounts to the wholesale rejection of NFP.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2008, 07:21:50 PM »
I don't have the time right now to split the homeschooling tangent off this thread, so if you want to continue this side discussion, please start another thread in the Orthodox Family section for this.  Thank you.  - PeterTheAleut
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2008, 07:40:21 PM »
Per Peter's advice, I've split off the side discussion about home-schooling and moved it to the Family Forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14272.0.html
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 07:40:41 PM by ytterbiumanalyst »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2008, 08:39:34 PM »
Right. The latest statistics indicate that 100% of American Catholics commit sins of various kinds.

Sin is a non-issue.

100% of them are committing mortal sin?

No, but I think it's safe to assume that we better understand what is good for us than some dusty old cleric steeped in 2000 years of ignorance.

Oh?

Why do you assume a) it's a cleric, b) dusty, c) old?

As for 2000 years of ignorance, how much of masters and johnson has had to be revised?  How much will be revised as the dust from the "sexual revolution" settles down?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:44:54 PM by ialmisry »
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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2008, 10:39:28 PM »
Oh?

Why do you assume a) it's a cleric,

If one is avoiding the use of contraceptives because of some religious prohibition, then it's clearly some cleric making the decision (the Pope, perhaps, lubeltri is a catholic afterall; and as for dusty and old, how old is Ratzinger?); and even if not, I don't remember whether the cliché response of 'talk with your spiritual father' was mentioned in this actual thread, but we have had so many discussions on this matter and related matters it has been given and those discussions at least provide a context for this discussion.

Quote
b) dusty, c) old?

Stereotyping for rhetorical effect; I have several friends who are priests and they are great people, but with no offence intended, though they are great people and wonderful priests, I don't believe this makes them qualified to dictate my sex life, just as I am not qualified to dictate theirs. It's ultimately a decision that must be made between the two partners involved and no one else.

Quote
As for 2000 years of ignorance, how much of masters and johnson has had to be revised?  How much will be revised as the dust from the "sexual revolution" settles down?

Considering that over 95% of people are sexually active prior to marriage (Reference), it may be safe to say that the sexual revolution is over; but not because it's been reversed, rather it's over because we've won.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 10:44:10 PM by greekischristian »

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2008, 11:30:06 PM »
I'm sorry to hear what you are going through lately, George. I'll keep you in my prayers.

You are right that many of the Fathers saw sex in general as dirty and ungodly.

I think the heart of the problem is the tendency to separate the unitive and procreative purposes of sex. Some of the Fathers improperly excised the unitive purpose, and I think many today are mistaken in excising the procreative aspect. I believe both extremes are not in God's design.

Thank you so much, Luberti. I am a mess right now, so all prayers will be really appreciated.

From the little I read of the "fathers" (sorry, in my current state of mind I just cannot write this word starting with a capital and without the quotation marks), I understood that they simply had no clue about the "unitive" aspect, and it is so, so sad.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2008, 01:50:12 AM »
If one is avoiding the use of contraceptives because of some religious prohibition, then it's clearly some cleric making the decision (the Pope, perhaps, lubeltri is a catholic afterall; and as for dusty and old, how old is Ratzinger?); and even if not, I don't remember whether the cliché response of 'talk with your spiritual father' was mentioned in this actual thread, but we have had so many discussions on this matter and related matters it has been given and those discussions at least provide a context for this discussion.

Plenty of evangelical protestants avoid contraceptives because of some religious prohibition, and they have no cleric to make the decision.  I'm talking about the evangelicals who are each and every one a pope unto himself.

Quote
Stereotyping for rhetorical effect; I have several friends who are priests and they are great people, but with no offence intended, though they are great people and wonderful priests, I don't believe this makes them qualified to dictate my sex life, just as I am not qualified to dictate theirs. It's ultimately a decision that must be made between the two partners involved and no one else.

I remember someone from NAMBLA saying something similar when I was working in D.C.

Quote
Considering that over 95% of people are sexually active prior to marriage (Reference),

LOL.  A statement without substantiation, on a web site riddled with inconsistencies (they don't like moral absolutes, but say genicide is wrong.  Sorry, you can have the cake or eat it, but you can't have both).  Was it ex cathedra?


Quote
it may be safe to say that the sexual revolution is over; but not because it's been reversed, rather it's over because we've won.

Won what?  for one thing, will you chorttle if the muslims outbreed us into oblivion? Look at Eurabia.

I'm a bit amused from the smugness. A decade or so ago I was reading a study on demographics in early America.  The data showed a rise in newly weds having children less than 9 months after the wedding and other indications that the revolution against the king didn't stop there.  You didn't think that debauchery began in the 60s, did you?

And then there's the Romans.  You guys are pikers compared to them.  (that context, btw, is responsible in part for the viewpoints of the Fathers on this issue).
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 01:54:17 AM by ialmisry »
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Offline livefreeordie

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2008, 02:30:12 AM »
My experience, hitting the above points.  I give my wife ALL credit for what follows.  She is a saint.  If you believe in those!  ;):

My wife and I use NFP.  Of course, we've been married 9 years and have 5 children, 8,6,5,2,9 months.  Go figure! :o

We homeschool.  Our oldest is already reading books like the original Tom Sawyer and doing book reports.  Our 6 year old isn't as aggressive, but still reading books, writing, lots of art.  The 6 and 8 year old both take piano lessons. Our 5 year old still just kind of plays.  Our 2 years old is a terrorist and the 9 month old is already exhibiting sings of uncreated light.  A true angel.  Besides activities in Church, we have a great club athletic system here in Indianapolis so the oldest 3 are already in club sports.  They get along well with the kids, and our oldest really excels.  Scored a touchdown in every football game this year.  Just say this because if you are diligent you can homeschool your kids and get them plenty of healthy interaction with other kids.

At home, we pray together every night, we read the lives of the saints, we read the fathers.  Takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, more dependent on the ability of my wife and I to keep up with the kids, they'd go an hour or more every night.  We enjoy teaching the miraculous stories of the saints and the lives of the Holy Fathers.  As my kids know my miraculous story and others, these "stories" are all very real to them.

The greatest effect of homeschooling our kids, teaching and believing in the lives of the saints and the holy fathers? One good example, our Church at Nativity basically has a 5 hour service.  Starts at 8 with Matins and goes through the liturgy until about 1:30.  Isaac, my oldest, asked me if he could ask our priest if he could serve for all the services.  I said sure, the priest obliged.  He made it standing for 5 plus hours.  The other 2 acolytes/readers, one 15, the other a grown man, couldn't.  When he was done at one in the morning he ran to me with a smile on his face, jubiliant.  Then he begged me to take him to bed.

I have no quick and easy answers for people struggling with issues of faith and reason and science.  But I KNOW if you live your life with a faithfullness and belief in the Church you will be blessed.

"Come to me as children".  That's how I hear Christ.  Friends, try coming to the Church as a child, just for a little while.  Give it 6 months.  Pray, fast, read the saints lives, read the fathers, don't intellectualize, just believe. Like a child. What can it hurt?  You have the rest of your life to be a sceptic.  The biggest benefit of 5 kids, the constant reminders of a child's faith.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 03:20:36 AM by livefreeordie »

Offline St. Christopher

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2008, 04:19:05 AM »
I don't know if this question has been answered in some other topic.  If sex didn't exist before the Fall, how were Adam and Eve supposed to "be fruitful and multiply?"

I honestly don't know how anyone can seriously argue that marriage didn't exist before the Fall.  Jesus quotes Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 as the ideal of what God intended marriage to be.

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2008, 04:35:28 AM »
Plenty of evangelical protestants avoid contraceptives because of some religious prohibition, and they have no cleric to make the decision.  I'm talking about the evangelicals who are each and every one a pope unto himself.

Sure they do, they're just obeying what 'Pastor Fred' told them, though he's convinced them it's their own idea.

Quote
I remember someone from NAMBLA saying something similar when I was working in D.C.

That's an entirely different question, the age at which someone can actually make that decision; I would agree that it's probably before 18, but it's certainly after puberty.

Quote
LOL.  A statement without substantiation, on a web site riddled with inconsistencies (they don't like moral absolutes, but say genicide is wrong.  Sorry, you can have the cake or eat it, but you can't have both).  Was it ex cathedra?

Ok, if we're going to start objecting to references, perhaps you could provide me with a statistic from an academic journal to counter the one I presented?

Quote
Won what?  for one thing, will you chorttle if the muslims outbreed us into oblivion? Look at Eurabia.

As I have posted elsewhere, I have no objections with nuking them into oblivion first...but now we're starting to drift dangerously close to politics.

Quote
I'm a bit amused from the smugness. A decade or so ago I was reading a study on demographics in early America.  The data showed a rise in newly weds having children less than 9 months after the wedding and other indications that the revolution against the king didn't stop there.  You didn't think that debauchery began in the 60s, did you?

LESS THAN 9 months...considering the length of homo sapiens gestation I think that kinda makes my point. ;)

Of course debauchery didn't begin in the '60's, we've been this way since before our species evolved, since the first reproducing organism arose from the primordial soup...it's just then that we ended our hypocracy and accepted reality for what it was.

Quote
And then there's the Romans.  You guys are pikers compared to them.  (that context, btw, is responsible in part for the viewpoints of the Fathers on this issue).

Only amongst the aristocracy, our great accomplishment was to bring this freedom to everyone, rich or poor. It's become a part of our entire culture, not merely a symbol of the corruption of the rich enjoying freedoms denied to the general populace.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2008, 04:37:50 AM »
I'm glad. So many people think the Pill is like candy.
lubeltri,

I know you feel very strongly about NFP and artificial contraceptives, and I respect that.  But please remember that the Faith Issues section is not the place for you to teach the doctrines of your Roman Catholic faith, even if that be your personal opposition to artificial birth control in keeping with Humanae Vitae.  Thank you in advance for complying with my request that you be more careful in this regard.

- PeterTheAleut
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 05:14:40 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2008, 04:43:56 AM »
I'm glad. So many people think the Pill is like candy.

Lubertri personally I think that I agree with your statement but a better way to have worded it would be "I find it distressing that some people give hardly any thought to using the contraceptive pill" that I believe everyone can agree on but I doubt any Christian would use the pill without seriously thinking about the consequences about that decision.
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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #50 on: January 12, 2008, 06:41:14 AM »
From the little I read
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2008, 08:28:24 AM »
Sure they do, they're just obeying what 'Pastor Fred' told them, though he's convinced them it's their own idea.

Actually, among the many I know and know of, there was one in particular I was thinking of:had 5 miscarriages and then 6 kids (something like that, I don't remember the numbers).  In that case 'Pastor Fred' told him to become Orthodox, to which he balked. 

Sorry to break it to you, but 'Free thinkers' are not the only ones who can think for themselves.  And I've been around the stambede of the herd of independent minds enough to doubt how much thinking for themselves they do.

Quote
That's an entirely different question, the age at which someone can actually make that decision; I would agree that it's probably before 18, but it's certainly after puberty.

Why different?

One of the loviest case law precedent I've come across (because the abuse occured partly in Illinois: the case was decided in the resident state of Kansas): baby sitter commits statutory rape with boy (teenager) and conceives.  Boy is judged responsible for child support although at 15 couldn't legally work and also couldn't have legally conceived the kid.  Mom, of course, got off scott free.  Notice the run of female teachers in this position? (double entendre).

Quote
Ok, if we're going to start objecting to references, perhaps you could provide me with a statistic from an academic journal to counter the one I presented?

I'm sorry, that's not how it works.  You make an assertion, you have to back it up.  I don't have to prove it wrong.

I'll help you though: it would seem that your "source" is getting their information from a study done by the Guttmacher Institude (on them, it is interesting that they had to come out with policy paper on "Minors rights as parents," another amassing mess from their mentality.  And don't give me it's abtinence programs: I know plenty of adults, at least chronologically, who don't think contraception when their mind is on something else.  And you expect it of teenagers?).  I think one of the reasearchers involved in it was Lawrence Finer.

I notice that you haven't addressed the issue of Masters and Johnson.  I add the even more indefensible Dr. Kinsley: look at his own private sex life, his methodology, bias (for one, he refused to use blacks, I understand) results and the relationships thereof, and you see how agenda driven this 'data' has been, and how it has necessitated revision (how many militant homosexuals toss out the "10%", as if that meant anything, not recognizing that more recent studies have come up with around 2% at most.

[Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics revealed that only 2.3% of the population considers themselves homosexual. The statistics come from a 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and are based on 12,571 interviews with men and women ages 15-44 years of age. (The findings were reported in WorldNetDaily, September 16, 2005)].

Btw, concerning sources, that's how it's done. :police:


Quote
As I have posted elsewhere, I have no objections with nuking them into oblivion first...but now we're starting to drift dangerously close to politics.

Your "source" would evidently have a problem with that.  They mention Kosovo and Bosnia.

Quote
LESS THAN 9 months...considering the length of homo sapiens gestation I think that kinda makes my point. ;)

No, I believe that was my point.  The study went on to say that the 1800's clamped down on that and got with the Victorian Age.

Quote
Of course debauchery didn't begin in the '60's, we've been this way since before our species evolved, since the first reproducing organism arose from the primordial soup...it's just then that we ended our hypocracy and accepted reality for what it was.

How much contracepting was going on in the primordial soup?

Sort of reminds me of feminists promoting the worship of the great mother goddess, without stopping to notice that the great mother goddess is the deification of the concept of woman as only a baby making machine.

Evolution arguing for contraception.  Interesting concept.  I guess we'll bring back murder of the less than fittest.  Ooops! I forgot, we already have.....

Quote
Only amongst the aristocracy, our great accomplishment was to bring this freedom to everyone, rich or poor.


Yes, the freedom of the train to run off the rails.  You know how that ends up, no?

I'm afraid both literary, documentary and archeological sources won't back up your assertion.  Temple prostitution, for instance, did a brisk business among ALL classes.  The lessers fully followed their betters (or in this case, their worses).

Quote
It's become a part of our entire culture, not merely a symbol of the corruption of the rich enjoying freedoms denied to the general populace.

Maybe we should legalize murder next.  After all, we all can't afford the likes of Johnny Cochran.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 08:57:40 AM by ialmisry »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2008, 08:33:44 AM »
I have two children and they are well-behaved. I would never use the pill because it messes with a woman's hormones.

Actually, it's messing up with everyone's hormones.

The hormones are excreted by the woman taking it, and they do not dissolve in water (if they did, they wouldn't do their job in the woman's body), where they get into water supply.  The link is being investigated between this and fish populations (think about all the warnings on eating fish) and world wide plumeting sperm counts (a trend of the last 20-30 years.  What a coincidence! that men for instance in the UK in their teens and twenties have much lower sperm counts than men in their forties and fifties).  So much for "it's my personal business."

I'm glad. So many people think the Pill is like candy.

Lubertri personally I think that I agree with your statement but a better way to have worded it would be "I find it distressing that some people give hardly any thought to using the contraceptive pill" that I believe everyone can agree on but I doubt any Christian would use the pill without seriously thinking about the consequences about that decision.

Depends on how serious they take their decision for Christianity.

lubeltri,

I know you feel very strongly about NFP and artificial contraceptives, and I respect that.  But please remember that the Faith Issues section is not the place for you to teach the doctrines of your Roman Catholic faith, even if that be your personal opposition to artificial birth control in keeping with Humanae Vitae.  Thank you in advance for complying with my request that you be more careful in this regard.

- PeterTheAleut


You don't have to kow tow to the pope of Rome and place Humanae Vitae on a par with Holy Scripture and the Ecumenical Councils (exageration for rhetorical effect) to question the morality of the pill, etc.  I do neither, and the pill is suspect just from a medical perspective (I also remember the pill's eugenics past: it was created for an agenda, and Sanger was unrepentent to the grave).  As for NFP:


Speaking gf "success" rates, condoms win out by far over NFP.   Condoms have a failure rate of 7%  (i.e. result in pregnancy.)  By contrast NFP has a failure rate of 1%.  So your chances of an accidental pregnancy with condoms are much higher than with NFP.

But, as I said, with a miniscule 3% of Catholics using NFP, it's hardly an issue to debate or take much notice of.

Lubeltri,

You response has no connection with what I wrote.  I never even addressed sin.

I was pointing out that when it comes to people'e preferences and practices of birth control, any discussion on NFP is about as useful as discussing green chocolate from Mars.  I was pointing out that even in the Roman Catholic Church which disallows all other forms of birth control, a mere 3% of married people use it.   In that case, how many people do you imagine are using it outside the Catholic Church?

So I was not interested in sin but in what amounts to the wholesale rejection of NFP.

I know plenty of Orthodox and Protestants who practice NFP. I know practically nobody under Rome who does (in fact I cannot think of anyone, except my step-uncle, now in his seventies so its a none issue).  I know a number of said couples who after years of aritificial contraception are having severe problems conceiving, and other problems.

I tried it, after the birth of our first son (we contracepted before) unfortunately with a wife who had a contraceptive mentality (I was informed at some point, after the birth of our first, that her mother and she had decided that WE wouldn't have anymore children.  Though contracepting, God had other plans evidently, because we got my second joy (her "mistake": she got mad because I "got [her] pregnant."  She didn't explain where she was and what she was doing when "I" was getting her pregnant.  She then got an IUD, without discussing it with me because "it wasn't any of [my] business."  I raised the issue that unless she was sleeping with someone else (which she did years later) it very much was my business (as was the adultery). My concerns about the IUD were besides the abortifacient possibilities (I never touched thereafter during her fertile periods, easy to tell because with the IUD she would bleed during that time), the fact that they do not know how it works tells me you should have nothing to do with it (her doctor had told her otherwise, but I pointed out the unknowns in the literature that the same doctor had given her.  And then there was that bleeding that the doctor didn't seem to be able to explain....).  Btw, since the divorce (4 years) she has gone around accusing women of having affairs with me at present, as if it were her business (she filed for the divorce, although, as our priest said, I had all the grounds).  She bought into the divorce is the solution to all problems promise of the divorce industry.  She had has a number of diagnosed mental health issues that only became apparent after the marriage (like her self medicating).  The contraceptive mentality and divorce promise just got mixed in with those.

Sorry for the gruesome details.  I post them only to point out to some that contraception is not the simple, harmless (and victimless) solution that some seem to be making it out to be.  I know that for a fact, both statistically, anecdotally, and personally. And I say that as someone who couldn't care less if Humanae Vitae is ex cathedra, and who doesn't accept it as Holy Writ, and who does NOT accept (at least 100%) the Pope of Rome's stance on it.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 01:16:43 PM by ialmisry »
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Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2008, 02:29:36 PM »
Actually, among the many I know and know of, there was one in particular I was thinking of:had 5 miscarriages and then 6 kids (something like that, I don't remember the numbers).  In that case 'Pastor Fred' told him to become Orthodox, to which he balked.

Sorry to break it to you, but 'Free thinkers' are not the only ones who can think for themselves.  And I've been around the stambede of the herd of independent minds enough to doubt how much thinking for themselves they do.

Religion does the most psychological damage to children; if evangelical or charismatic protestantism it is ingrained in your immediate surroundings and culture for decades even 'Pastor Fred' can't break that, he can only manipulate you within the system, but it's the system, the religion itself, that has the true power over you. That's hardly evidence of free thinking, not that all so-called 'free thinkers' think freely either, far too many follow the orthodoxy of previous generations.

Quote
Why different?

Why is the question of 'if two mentally capable people can made a mutual decision' and 'if one mentally capable person and one who is mentally incapable can make a mutual decision' different? Well I would think it's obvious, but for starters, in the first situation there is mutual agreement, both parties are capable of consenting to the act or objecting to it, since both agree, there can be no victim, any hardship is brought upon oneself, there can be no wrongdoing. When one person is mentally incapable be it on account of youth or even mental retardation, they can not positively contribute to the agreement, they are not competent to entering into this 'contract' of sorts, there is far more opportunity for abuse of power by the one who is mentally capable, and we cannot know with certainty if the agreement is mutual. Thus, there very well could be a victim, and if there is a victim there is wrongdoing.

I can't believe I actually had to spell that out, to compare consensual adult sex to pedophilia is just absurd.

Quote
One of the loviest case law precedent I've come across (because the abuse occured partly in Illinois: the case was decided in the resident state of Kansas): baby sitter commits statutory rape with boy (teenager) and conceives.  Boy is judged responsible for child support although at 15 couldn't legally work and also couldn't have legally conceived the kid.  Mom, of course, got off scott free.  Notice the run of female teachers in this position? (double entendre).

One one level I would agree with this position, 15 is probably old enough to make a decision about ones sexuality, it certainly is from a biological perspective the only question is how much has society retarded the social development of teenagers; I'm sure the judge could see that this was consensual sex and he judged the father competent to make such a judgement of consent and ruled accordingly.

But, while I don't object to this case in vacuum, I do object to it because of matters of consistency within the law. It is certainly not fair to rule this situation consensual then turn around and charge another couple where the two partners are of similar ages (I don't know how old the babysitter was, I'd guess 18 or 19 considering the outcome of the case -- but at those ages statutory rape with someone 15 or over is often just a misdemeanor depending on the state) and give them legal penalities, this inconsistency is unjust, it undermines the concept of equality under the law. Two post pubescent teenagers within say four years of age having sex really shouldn't be subject to legal control since they are both equally capable of making decisions on this matter and thus there is not the power dynamic that would be there if a 30 year old and 15 year old were to have sex.

Quote
I'm sorry, that's not how it works.  You make an assertion, you have to back it up.  I don't have to prove it wrong.

I did back it up, and you simply dismissed the source out of hand without giving me better or even equal quality research to back up your objection. 'I don't like their morals and mindset' does not constitute disproving academic research. Sounds like the arguments creationists use against Biology.

Quote
I'll help you though: it would seem that your "source" is getting their information from a study done by the Guttmacher Institude (on them, it is interesting that they had to come out with policy paper on "Minors rights as parents," another amassing mess from their mentality.  And don't give me it's abtinence programs: I know plenty of adults, at least chronologically, who don't think contraception when their mind is on something else.  And you expect it of teenagers?).  I think one of the reasearchers involved in it was Lawrence Finer.

That's nice and you still haven't addressed research methodology or given me any good reason to dismiss the research.

Quote
I notice that you haven't addressed the issue of Masters and Johnson.  I add the even more indefensible Dr. Kinsley: look at his own private sex life,

His private sex life followed the liberal objective view of sexuality he publically advocated, nothing wrong there it was perfectly consonant with his research on sexuality. Now if he had had an adverterous sexual lifestyle and argued that it was somehow immoral, that hypocracy would have been a problem.

Quote
his methodology, bias (for one, he refused to use blacks, I understand) results and the relationships thereof,

Probably a poor call in his research, but, without computers to properly analyze large amounts of data he probably considered it best to limit cultural variables by restricting the research to a single culture. Of course, today we can more easily model practices accross culture and develop programmes to find similarities inorder to help reduce the noise brought into the field by culture. It would have been theoretically possible in his day, but far more difficult. But even then, people should probably be grouped by genetic similarities for proper research, this hasn't even been possible before about ten years ago and still isn't practical though the field of genomics is rapidly advancing. In the end it was an attempt to limit variable the best one could back in the 40's, but biology is fortunately more advanced today.

Quote
and you see how agenda driven this 'data' has been, and how it has necessitated revision (how many militant homosexuals toss out the "10%", as if that meant anything, not recognizing that more recent studies have come up with around 2% at most.

[Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics revealed that only 2.3% of the population considers themselves homosexual. The statistics come from a 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and are based on 12,571 interviews with men and women ages 15-44 years of age. (The findings were reported in WorldNetDaily, September 16, 2005)].

That would be the percent of people who consider themselves homosexual (as your source clearly states), this is of course heavily influenced by culture and society. The rate for homosexual desire is closer to 7.5% (Laumann, E., Gagnon, J.H., Michael, R.T., and Michaels, S. The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. 1994. Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Showing people pictures and monitoring their brain activity is a better way to gather these statistics than a giving them a questionnaire. Dr. Kinsey used his scientific judgement to come up with a percent of people who have homosexual desire, he did better than a simple questionnaire would, but he lacked the technology that we enjoy today and his number was a bit high. This is not a criticism of his work but rather an admission that he simply didn't have the tools available that we enjoy today and was forced to do his best in their absence.

Quote
Btw, concerning sources, that's how it's done. :police:

Dismissing sources based on moral objections and misusing a statistic about how many identify themselves as homosexual to argue how many actually have homosexual desires? Sorry, but I spent enough time doing research to know that this is not how it is done.  :police: ;)

Quote
Your "source" would evidently have a problem with that.  They mention Kosovo and Bosnia.

Good for them, I don't have to agree with their subjective conclusions to use the actual research they cite. Scientific research is scientific research, no matter how unethical, immoral, or just plain evil the person doing the research is; so long as they follow the principles of the scientific method. That's what made me fall in love with science, it reveals truth independent of human cultural and social norms.

Quote
No, I believe that was my point.  The study went on to say that the 1800's clamped down on that and got with the Victorian Age.

So in the spirit of our new found freedom people embraced it and acted accordingly, unfortunately the forces of social orthodoxy reduced that freedom for a time (at least in the east, out here in the west we placed a higher value on the concepts of individualism and freedom), but we then revolted again against the old world powers in the 60's; so the sexual revolution is simply a patriotic duty. ;)

Anything else you want to tell me about this 'study' (like, I don't know, the name or author)?

Quote
How much contracepting was going on in the primordial soup?

Which wasn't my point, my point was that sex without cultural limitations is an inherent part of our biological history.

Our recently evolved intelligence has simply allowed us to enjoy this heritage without the personal difficulties associated with reproduction.

Quote
Sort of reminds me of feminists promoting the worship of the great mother goddess, without stopping to notice that the great mother goddess is the deification of the concept of woman as only a baby making machine.

Paganism is certainly a minority influence in feminism, the primary philosophies that underlie the movement are Christianity and Atheism.

Quote
Evolution arguing for contraception.  Interesting concept.  I guess we'll bring back murder of the less than fittest.  Ooops! I forgot, we already have.....

There is a far more effective approach which is already manifesting itself and will become practical on a large scale in the near future: genetic engineering.

Quote
Yes, the freedom of the train to run off the rails.  You know how that ends up, no?

I'm afraid both literary, documentary and archeological sources won't back up your assertion.  Temple prostitution, for instance, did a brisk business among ALL classes.  The lessers fully followed their betters (or in this case, their worses).

Prostitution is your example of debauchery? :laugh: Find me a culture without prostitution?

Quote
Maybe we should legalize murder next.  After all, we all can't afford the likes of Johnny Cochran.

Sex equals murder? Where do you come up with this stuff? :laugh:

And you wonder why Christian morality isn't taken seriously? It's because of misrepresentations like this.

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2008, 02:33:14 PM »
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Then this forum is a dangerous place. ;D

But seriously, I think that George has gotten the gist of what most the fathers (especially the monastics) thought on this matter (though there were certainly exceptions).

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2008, 02:33:25 PM »
The greatest effect of homeschooling our kids, teaching and believing in the lives of the saints and the holy fathers? One good example, our Church at Nativity basically has a 5 hour service.  Starts at 8 with Matins and goes through the liturgy until about 1:30.  Isaac, my oldest, asked me if he could ask our priest if he could serve for all the services.  I said sure, the priest obliged.  He made it standing for 5 plus hours.  The other 2 acolytes/readers, one 15, the other a grown man, couldn't.  When he was done at one in the morning he ran to me with a smile on his face, jubiliant.  Then he begged me to take him to bed.

Beautiful story.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #56 on: January 12, 2008, 03:34:08 PM »
Religion does the most psychological damage to children; if evangelical or charismatic protestantism it is ingrained in your immediate surroundings and culture for decades even 'Pastor Fred' can't break that, he can only manipulate you within the system, but it's the system, the religion itself, that has the true power over you. That's hardly evidence of free thinking, not that all so-called 'free thinkers' think freely either, far too many follow the orthodoxy of previous generations.

Hmmm.  Yes we should raise them in a moral vacuum.  That's worked so good so far.

We made the assertion that you (and you are the one who said "we") have made hedonism an

Quote
Why is the question of 'if two mentally capable people can made a mutual decision' and 'if one mentally capable person and one who is mentally incapable can make a mutual decision' different? Well I would think it's obvious, but for starters, in the first situation there is mutual agreement, both parties are capable of consenting to the act or objecting to it, since both agree, there can be no victim, any hardship is brought upon oneself, there can be no wrongdoing. When one person is mentally incapable be it on account of youth or even mental retardation, they can not positively contribute to the agreement, they are not competent to entering into this 'contract' of sorts, there is far more opportunity for abuse of power by the one who is mentally capable, and we cannot know with certainty if the agreement is mutual. Thus, there very well could be a victim, and if there is a victim there is wrongdoing.

I can't believe I actually had to spell that out, to compare consensual adult sex to pedophilia is just absurd.

One one level I would agree with this position, 15 is probably old enough to make a decision about ones sexuality, it certainly is from a biological perspective the only question is how much has society retarded the social development of teenagers; I'm sure the judge could see that this was consensual sex and he judged the father competent to make such a judgement of consent and ruled accordingly.

But, while I don't object to this case in vacuum, I do object to it because of matters of consistency within the law. It is certainly not fair to rule this situation consensual then turn around and charge another couple where the two partners are of similar ages (I don't know how old the babysitter was, I'd guess 18 or 19 considering the outcome of the case -- but at those ages statutory rape with someone 15 or over is often just a misdemeanor depending on the state) and give them legal penalities, this inconsistency is unjust, it undermines the concept of equality under the law. Two post pubescent teenagers within say four years of age having sex really shouldn't be subject to legal control since they are both equally capable of making decisions on this matter and thus there is not the power dynamic that would be there if a 30 year old and 15 year old were to have sex.

I did back it up, and you simply dismissed the source out of hand without giving me better or even equal quality research to back up your objection. 'I don't like their morals and mindset' does not constitute disproving academic research. Sounds like the arguments creationists use against Biology.

That's nice and you still haven't addressed research methodology or given me any good reason to dismiss the research.

His private sex life followed the liberal objective view of sexuality he publically advocated, nothing wrong there it was perfectly consonant with his research on sexuality. Now if he had had an adverterous sexual lifestyle and argued that it was somehow immoral, that hypocracy would have been a problem.

Probably a poor call in his research, but, without computers to properly analyze large amounts of data he probably considered it best to limit cultural variables by restricting the research to a single culture. Of course, today we can more easily model practices accross culture and develop programmes to find similarities inorder to help reduce the noise brought into the field by culture. It would have been theoretically possible in his day, but far more difficult. But even then, people should probably be grouped by genetic similarities for proper research, this hasn't even been possible before about ten years ago and still isn't practical though the field of genomics is rapidly advancing. In the end it was an attempt to limit variable the best one could back in the 40's, but biology is fortunately more advanced today.

That would be the percent of people who consider themselves homosexual (as your source clearly states), this is of course heavily influenced by culture and society. The rate for homosexual desire is closer to 7.5% (Laumann, E., Gagnon, J.H., Michael, R.T., and Michaels, S. The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. 1994. Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Showing people pictures and monitoring their brain activity is a better way to gather these statistics than a giving them a questionnaire. Dr. Kinsey used his scientific judgement to come up with a percent of people who have homosexual desire, he did better than a simple questionnaire would, but he lacked the technology that we enjoy today and his number was a bit high. This is not a criticism of his work but rather an admission that he simply didn't have the tools available that we enjoy today and was forced to do his best in their absence.

Dismissing sources based on moral objections and misusing a statistic about how many identify themselves as homosexual to argue how many actually have homosexual desires? Sorry, but I spent enough time doing research to know that this is not how it is done.  :police: ;)

Good for them, I don't have to agree with their subjective conclusions to use the actual research they cite. Scientific research is scientific research, no matter how unethical, immoral, or just plain evil the person doing the research is; so long as they follow the principles of the scientific method. That's what made me fall in love with science, it reveals truth independent of human cultural and social norms.

So in the spirit of our new found freedom people embraced it and acted accordingly, unfortunately the forces of social orthodoxy reduced that freedom for a time (at least in the east, out here in the west we placed a higher value on the concepts of individualism and freedom), but we then revolted again against the old world powers in the 60's; so the sexual revolution is simply a patriotic duty. ;)

Anything else you want to tell me about this 'study' (like, I don't know, the name or author)?

Which wasn't my point, my point was that sex without cultural limitations is an inherent part of our biological history.

Our recently evolved intelligence has simply allowed us to enjoy this heritage without the personal difficulties associated with reproduction.

Paganism is certainly a minority influence in feminism, the primary philosophies that underlie the movement are Christianity and Atheism.

There is a far more effective approach which is already manifesting itself and will become practical on a large scale in the near future: genetic engineering.

Prostitution is your example of debauchery? :laugh: Find me a culture without prostitution?

Sex equals murder? Where do you come up with this stuff? :laugh:

And you wonder why Christian morality isn't taken seriously? It's because of misrepresentations like this.


EDIT:  Fixed quote tags to make post more readable...  nothing more.  - PeterTheAleut
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 09:02:17 PM by PeterTheAleut »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2008, 06:24:57 PM »
^???

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2008, 06:33:30 PM »
^???

Pulling up the report from the CDC, Vista battled with Adobe and lost, taking most of the text of the message with it.

I'm with my sons now, so a little preoccupied.  I'll have to return to this later, in shaa' al-Rabb.

In the meantime, I tried to delete the rest of the reply in the post.  Moderators, please?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2008, 09:18:59 PM »
Ok, if we're going to start objecting to references, perhaps you could provide me with a statistic from an academic journal to counter the one I presented?
What qualifies ReligiousTolerance.org as an academic journal or even otherwise reputable source of information?  Simply brushing aside someone else's objection as being without substance, even if it is, doesn't prove the substance of your argument.
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Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #60 on: January 13, 2008, 12:39:53 AM »
Pulling up the report from the CDC, Vista battled with Adobe and lost, taking most of the text of the message with it.

I'm with my sons now, so a little preoccupied.  I'll have to return to this later, in shaa' al-Rabb.

In the meantime, I tried to delete the rest of the reply in the post.  Moderators, please?

Ah, ok...isn't Microsoft wonderful. ;)

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #61 on: January 13, 2008, 12:43:26 AM »
What qualifies ReligiousTolerance.org as an academic journal or even otherwise reputable source of information?  Simply brushing aside someone else's objection as being without substance, even if it is, doesn't prove the substance of your argument.

The site has relatively reliable information, they cite journals; I didn't know that our level of debate had risen so high that only academic journals were acceptable sources on OC.net, if I had I would have just looked at their bibliography and cited the academic journal they reference. ;)

In the end, I was given no viable reason for the objection to the statistic other than the people who performed the study didn't measure up to ialmisry's moral values and if that is the only objection given, I have a good and objective reason to dismiss the objection.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #62 on: January 13, 2008, 12:52:21 AM »
The site has relatively reliable information, they cite journals; I didn't know that our level of debate had risen so high that only academic journals were acceptable sources on OC.net, if I had I would have just looked at their bibliography and cited the academic journal they reference. ;)
Well, YOU were the one who suggested this high standard for debate. ;)
Ok, if we're going to start objecting to references, perhaps you could provide me with a statistic from an academic journal to counter the one I presented?
So, based on the standard YOU set, why don't you look at the bibliography for ReligiousTolerance.org and tell us what academic journals they cite as the source of the information you spouted here?

Quote
In the end, I was given no viable reason for the objection to the statistic other than the people who performed the study didn't measure up to ialmisry's moral values and if that is the only objection given, I have a good and objective reason to dismiss the objection.
Yeah, from an academic point of view, I would have dismissed his objection, too. ;)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 05:48:09 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Alexius

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #63 on: January 13, 2008, 04:42:57 PM »
George:

I am praying for you. Please do not let these issues cloud your faith...
"You cannot reason with those who do not..."

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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #64 on: January 13, 2008, 05:00:58 PM »
The site has relatively reliable information, they cite journals; I didn't know that our level of debate had risen so high that only academic journals were acceptable sources on OC.net, if I had I would have just looked at their bibliography and cited the academic journal they reference. ;)

In the end, I was given no viable reason for the objection to the statistic other than the people who performed the study didn't measure up to ialmisry's moral values and if that is the only objection given, I have a good and objective reason to dismiss the objection.

They don't even measure up to my standards of research, let alone moral values.

They posted a number.  Period. Nothing more.

I don't even take that from my high school students.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 05:03:56 PM by ialmisry »
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #65 on: January 13, 2008, 06:05:57 PM »
They don't even measure up to my standards of research, let alone moral values.

I don't even take that from my high school students.
This does not measure up to standards of good English.  "I don't take that even from my high school students."  There, that's much better, with "even" in its proper place.

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #66 on: January 13, 2008, 06:30:18 PM »
They don't even measure up to my standards of research, let alone moral values.

They posted a number.  Period. Nothing more.

I don't even take that from my high school students.

Well, since you're so interested, here's the research paper:

http://www.publichealthreports.org/userfiles/122_1/12_PHR122-1_73-78.pdf

So what exactly is wrong with the methodology and standards of research demonstrated in this paper? And why should I dismiss a peer-reviewed paper for no other reason than you seem to dislike the author?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 06:30:49 PM by greekischristian »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #67 on: January 13, 2008, 06:45:47 PM »
Well, since you're so interested, here's the research paper:

http://www.publichealthreports.org/userfiles/122_1/12_PHR122-1_73-78.pdf

So what exactly is wrong with the methodology and standards of research demonstrated in this paper? And why should I dismiss a peer-reviewed paper for no other reason than you seem to dislike the author?

You didn't reference the paper.  You referenced the website who didn't reference it either.  I referenced it (I'm assuming it's the Guttmacher report that you link to: the adobe still doesn't like the Vista, so I can't tell).  On the author all I said was his name.  Anything else you assUme.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #68 on: January 13, 2008, 06:56:47 PM »
You didn't reference the paper.  You referenced the website who didn't reference it either.  I referenced it (I'm assuming it's the Guttmacher report that you link to: the adobe still doesn't like the Vista, so I can't tell).  On the author all I said was his name.  Anything else you assUme.

You can't even view a .pdf file in vista? Are you using the 32 or 64 bit version?

Offline The Iambic Pen

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #69 on: January 13, 2008, 07:18:10 PM »
The apparent wide diversity of opinion on contraception can be a bit confusing, I find.  It does tend to make one long for the simple "No" of the Catholic Church.  Whether you agree with them or not, at least you know where they stand.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #70 on: January 13, 2008, 10:01:24 PM »
I'm assuming it's the Guttmacher report that you link to...
Yes, it is (whatever that means).

From the linked report: 
Quote
Address correspondence to: Lawrence B. Finer, PhD, Director of Domestic Research, The Guttmacher Institute, ...
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #71 on: January 13, 2008, 10:05:19 PM »
You can't even view a .pdf file in vista? Are you using the 32 or 64 bit version?

Usually I can.  Certain sites I get a warning about known problems, and it's roulette what happens next.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #72 on: January 13, 2008, 10:59:24 PM »
Helps if you disable most of Vista's security settings. It seems to think every user is a possible intruder.
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #73 on: January 13, 2008, 11:10:54 PM »
Lubertri personally I think that I agree with your statement but a better way to have worded it would be "I find it distressing that some people give hardly any thought to using the contraceptive pill" that I believe everyone can agree on but I doubt any Christian would use the pill without seriously thinking about the consequences about that decision.

Prodromas and Peter:

Sorry I was not clearer. I didn't mean it that way. I mean, many people I know think the Pill is like popping an aspirin, something as innocuous as candy. It's a serious hormone-altering drug, and one of which teen girls especially should take note.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #74 on: January 13, 2008, 11:26:45 PM »
Prodromas and Peter:

Sorry I was not clearer. I didn't mean it that way. I mean, many people I know think the Pill is like popping an aspirin, something as innocuous as candy. It's a serious hormone-altering drug, and one of which teen girls especially should take note.
Looking at it from this perspective, yes, I agree that this is a valid concern regardless of your faith background.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #75 on: January 13, 2008, 11:31:49 PM »
Helps if you disable most of Vista's security settings. It seems to think every user is a possible intruder.
Probably the best place to start with this is to disable User Account Control via Start Menu > Control Panel > User Accounts > User Accounts > Turn User Account Control On or Off.  One of my more experienced co-workers seems to think that the average user will only find Vista's User Account Control an unnecessary inconvenience compared to your relatively light security needs.
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #76 on: January 13, 2008, 11:34:43 PM »
It is interesting how this thread as developed but also I notice only men are now posting here.

Just to bring it back around to the original message, I have a few other thoughts after reflecting on this thread.

First, I hope that any man who is planning to marry and not use contraception does not pressure his bride-to-be into
forgoing contraception if she disagrees. Bearing children takes alot out a woman's body and she should be apart of the decision making. And when I speak of contraception I am only thinking of the kind that does not abort a fertilized egg or that does not harm a woman's hormonal system.

And second, remember, not every woman is sturdy or hearty enough to have a baby ever year or year and half. I was advised by my OB to space out my pregnancies by three years so my body had time to recover. By following my doctor's orders I was able to have two really healthy pregnancies and two very healthy boys. So please include your wife's health and her doctor in the equation to make sure her body can bear closely spaced children.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 01:11:18 AM by Tamara »

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #77 on: January 13, 2008, 11:35:47 PM »
Probably the best place to start with this is to disable User Account Control via Start Menu > Control Panel > User Accounts > User Accounts > Turn User Account Control On or Off.  One of my more experienced co-workers seems to think that the average user will only find Vista's User Account Control an unnecessary inconvenience compared to your relatively light security needs.

Of just follow this link.  That has all of the solutions to Vista and other Microsoft bugs. 

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #78 on: January 13, 2008, 11:41:36 PM »
It is interesting how this thread as developed but also I notice only men are now posting here.

It does appear though that at least a few of the men agree with you.  For others it appears to be so hypothetical to them that I strongly suspect when (or rather if!) it becomes a real life scenario for them, reality may make them think differently.  Others I suppose are just so obstinate that they would even treat their future wife like a beast of burden to birth and care for children to stroke their own ego with little regard for her actual mental and physical well being. 

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #79 on: January 14, 2008, 12:31:41 AM »
First, I hope that any man who is planning to marry and not use contraception does not pressure his bride-to-be into
forgoing contraception if she disagrees. Bearing children takes alot out a woman's body and she should be apart of the decision making. And when I speak of contraception I am only thinking of the kind that does abort a fertilized egg or that does not harm a woman's hormonal system.
I imagine, knowing your traditional Orthodox convictions against voluntary abortion, that you mean to say "does NOT abort a fertilized egg"? ;)
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #80 on: January 14, 2008, 12:34:15 AM »
It is interesting how this thread as developed but also I notice only men are now posting here.

Is there another way to get pregnant? ???

Quote
First, I hope that any man who is planning to marry and not use contraception does not pressure his bride-to-be into
forgoing contraception if she disagrees.

Perhaps this should be discussed at least before becoming the bride to be.

Quote
Bearing children takes alot out a woman's body and she should be apart of the decision making.


Has someone said otherwise?

Quote
And when I speak of contraception I am only thinking of the kind that does abort a fertilized egg or that does not harm a woman's hormonal system.


Am I reading correctly?

Quote
And second, remember, not every woman is sturdy or hearty enough to have a baby ever year or year and half. I was advised by my OB to space out my pregnancies by three years so my body had time to recover. By following my doctor's orders I was able to have two really healthy pregnancies and two very healthy boys. So please include your wife's health and her doctor in the equation to make sure her body can bear closely spaced children.

Any need to squeeze a priest in there somewhere?  I wouldn't trust an OB who doubles as an abortionist, for instance.

I don't know, because I'm new here, but is it axiomatic that someone who doesn't contracept MUST want to have a baby every year?  I've known a lot of couples who practice NFP (or claim to, I don't check) and only one has a number of kids (5), but they both came from big families and wanted the same.  Otherwise, I don't see the basis of this non-sequitor.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #81 on: January 14, 2008, 12:35:30 AM »
This does not measure up to standards of good English.  "I don't take that even from my high school students."  There, that's much better, with "even" in its proper place.

I teach Arabic. :P
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #82 on: January 14, 2008, 12:54:14 AM »
Tamara,

Being as that I am not Orthodox, but rather Melkite Greek Catholic, I can have little sway in the opinion of Holy Orthodoxy. I don't agree with contraception and I don't accept NFP used by Catholics to prevent birth. That put's me in a real minority. I believe the marital embrace is for procreation and is a awesome experience between a married man and a woman. Now, for me, in every instance, the couple must be open to life. I reject NFP because I don't see the marital embrace as something you engage in for mere pleasure. Of course, this is mere background to my statement, not my point.

My point is as follows: There are a whole host of things that negatively effect and affect a woman and her pregnancy; eating, exercise, genetics, health, mental wellness. Not only this, but (as you already know) all women are different and this requires alot of "listening to your body". As a man is difficult for me, but I have some idea of how things effect and affect over health and wellness as a man. As a future father and husband, the health and wellness of my future wife and, God-Willing, Mother of my children is extremely important. Now, sadly, I do see that many men before me didn't consider this. However, I know men, like myself who do. I think that the overall wellness has alot to do with eating, exercise and environment. It's not simply a matter of the strains and pains of pregnancy. As women are built for this, I know God designed His creatures for the task. However, MUCH more knowledge of the intricacies of being a woman and her health need to be understood and realized by men and women.     

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #83 on: January 14, 2008, 01:13:06 AM »
I imagine, knowing your traditional Orthodox convictions against voluntary abortion, that you mean to say "does NOT abort a fertilized egg"? ;)

Thanks Peter! I made the change...I am a little under the weather today.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #84 on: January 14, 2008, 01:17:00 AM »
Thanks Peter! I made the change...I am a little under the weather today.

Sorry to hear that, Tamara. Hope you are feeling better very soon.
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #85 on: January 14, 2008, 01:41:46 AM »
Is there another way to get pregnant? ???

Not by Orthodox ethical standards. But some men can put alot of pressure on women and many women who are raised in the church are taught to submit to their husbands. I would hope that most men would have the best interest of their wife and  her health at heart.

Quote
Perhaps this should be discussed at least before becoming the bride to be.
I would agree along with a whole host of other issues. My husband practically proposed on our second date which quickly led to a discussion about our faith, if we wanted to have children, what church would we marry in, which church our future children would be baptized in and many other important issues. If we didn't agree there probably would never have been a third date.  ;)
 

Quote
Has someone said otherwise?
No one has directly said otherwise but I think it is easy for single men to overlook this little detail when they are dreaming about their future. Women, on the whole, tend to have their feet firmly planted on the ground, while men gaze up at the stars.
 

Quote
Am I reading correctly?
Mistake... which I have corrected.

Quote
Any need to squeeze a priest in there somewhere?  I wouldn't trust an OB who doubles as an abortionist, for instance.

At the time of my marriage and subsequent pregnancies, I attended an ethnic Antiochian parish with an elderly Lebanese-American priest who hated to hear confessions and didn't want to be bothered with counseling. He was sort of an old school kind of guy. Since you are of Arab heritage I am hoping you understand what I mean.  ;) He never cared how many children you had as long as you had children.
But it would be helpful to have priest, who has common sense, to advise a young couple with these issues. However, I fear there are some priests who would not give a young couple good advice so I would carefully choose a priest as a family counselor.
I would also give a woman the same advice when choosing an obstetrician.

Quote
I don't know, because I'm new here, but is it axiomatic that someone who doesn't contracept MUST want to have a baby every year?  I've known a lot of couples who practice NFP (or claim to, I don't check) and only one has a number of kids (5), but they both came from big families and wanted the same.  Otherwise, I don't see the basis of this non-sequitor.
NFP may work great for women who have VERY regular cycles but here again, many women do not. I never had a regular cycle so NFP would not have worked well for me. These are the kinds of issues the woman deals with so a husband may need to compromise. They may have to find another way if NFP doesn't work for them.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 01:50:00 AM by Tamara »

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #86 on: January 14, 2008, 01:47:14 AM »
Sorry to hear that, Tamara. Hope you are feeling better very soon.

Thank you...its flu season!   :-[

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #87 on: January 14, 2008, 02:09:48 AM »
Tamara,

Being as that I am not Orthodox, but rather Melkite Greek Catholic, I can have little sway in the opinion of Holy Orthodoxy. I don't agree with contraception and I don't accept NFP used by Catholics to prevent birth. That put's me in a real minority. I believe the marital embrace is for procreation and is a awesome experience between a married man and a woman. Now, for me, in every instance, the couple must be open to life. I reject NFP because I don't see the marital embrace as something you engage in for mere pleasure. Of course, this is mere background to my statement, not my point.

Then whoever you marry may severely limit how often you enjoy the marital embrace. I know that I would if I was married to someone who refused to use any form of contraception. The woman is the one who carries the baby and pregnancy is very difficult for some women. I will be honest with you. I hated being pregnant. I was nauseous all of the time. My sciatic nerve was constantly being pinched which made it painful to walk, lay down, or sit for the last six months of the pregnancy. And my pregnancy was considered normal and healthy.

Quote
My point is as follows: There are a whole host of things that negatively effect and affect a woman and her pregnancy; eating, exercise, genetics, health, mental wellness. Not only this, but (as you already know) all women are different and this requires alot of "listening to your body". As a man is difficult for me, but I have some idea of how things effect and affect over health and wellness as a man. As a future father and husband, the health and wellness of my future wife and, God-Willing, Mother of my children is extremely important. Now, sadly, I do see that many men before me didn't consider this. However, I know men, like myself who do. I think that the overall wellness has alot to do with eating, exercise and environment. It's not simply a matter of the strains and pains of pregnancy. As women are built for this, I know God designed His creatures for the task. However, MUCH more knowledge of the intricacies of being a woman and her health need to be understood and realized by men and women.     

It is true that all things you mentioned do effect the health of a woman. I was in A-1 shape before my first pregnancy. I hiked, biked, swam, worked out at the gym etc. but unfortunately, I was unable to continue with this regimen after about four months of pregnancy. With the second pregnancy I was in okay shape but I no longer had time to exercise as hard as I did before I had children. As a mother, I put the babies first, and so my health came second. It wasn't until my children were in school that I had time to exercise as I had before children. Each woman is different. Some women sail through their pregnancies and I have heard some say they feel their best when pregnant. Others have a host of problems which can become more severe with each pregnancy. You and the woman you marry may need to adjust ideals according to your situation.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 02:11:38 AM by Tamara »

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #88 on: January 14, 2008, 02:13:56 AM »
It is interesting how this thread as developed but also I notice only men are now posting here.

For the most part, it's only men who are willing to waste hours of their day discussing irrelevant religious trivia. Women, being more pragmatic, generally forego such nonsense. ;)

Quote
Just to bring it back around to the original message, I have a few other thoughts after reflecting on this thread.

First, I hope that any man who is planning to marry and not use contraception does not pressure his bride-to-be into
forgoing contraception if she disagrees. Bearing children takes alot out a woman's body and she should be apart of the decision making. And when I speak of contraception I am only thinking of the kind that does not abort a fertilized egg or that does not harm a woman's hormonal system.

If she is willing to be with a man who would try to force her to do this AND allows him to, she half deserves what she gets. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but in this day and age there is no excuse to put up with psychological abuse and I find no reason to be sympathetic to one who endures such abuse and fails to act.

In any case, we are fortunate that the Church offers absolution in these cases, it's commonly called divorce. ;)

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #89 on: January 14, 2008, 04:12:21 AM »
Quote
Then whoever you marry may severely limit how often you enjoy the marital embrace. I know that I would if I was married to someone who refused to use any form of contraception. The woman is the one who carries the baby and pregnancy is very difficult for some women. I will be honest with you. I hated being pregnant. I was nauseous all of the time. My sciatic nerve was constantly being pinched which made it painful to walk, lay down, or sit for the last six months of the pregnancy. And my pregnancy was considered normal and healthy.

As a man, I will sadly never know the joys nor the tortures of carrying life in my womb (which I obviously do not have). What else can I say.

God-Willing, I will know the joys and tortures of being a faithful and devoted husband. I honestly can't wait to take care of my future wife's needs during pregnancy. I can't wait to rub her feet or get pillows or cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, go on walks with her, read to her, pray with her, make sure she has all the mental, physical, and emotional support she needs. But then again, I was born a sucker and I am madly in love.

Quote
It is true that all things you mentioned do effect the health of a woman. I was in A-1 shape before my first pregnancy. I hiked, biked, swam, worked out at the gym etc. but unfortunately, I was unable to continue with this regimen after about four months of pregnancy. With the second pregnancy I was in okay shape but I no longer had time to exercise as hard as I did before I had children. As a mother, I put the babies first, and so my health came second. It wasn't until my children were in school that I had time to exercise as I had before children. Each woman is different. Some women sail through their pregnancies and I have heard some say they feel their best when pregnant. Others have a host of problems which can become more severe with each pregnancy. You and the woman you marry may need to adjust ideals according to your situation.

I know of a woman whose pregnancy lasted for four hours, no complications and little problems before. But then, as you rightfully point out, pregnancy is debilitating for other women. I don't know what the future holds, but all I have ever wanted since I was a child was to be a Father. By God's Grace, I will be soon marrying a woman who has always wanted to be a mother. We don't have much, but we know God will direct our steps. He always has.

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #90 on: January 14, 2008, 04:28:43 AM »
As a man, I will sadly never know the joys nor the tortures of carrying life in my womb (which I obviously do not have). What else can I say.

God-Willing, I will know the joys and tortures of being a faithful and devoted husband...

Perhaps I could indulge you in the tortures of the rack as well?

Or am I the only one freaked out by the way you worded this?

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #91 on: January 14, 2008, 10:37:59 AM »
Perhaps I could indulge you in the tortures of the rack as well?

Or am I the only one freaked out by the way you worded this?

LoL!  How did I know you were going to jump all over that statement?   :laugh:
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #92 on: January 14, 2008, 11:10:00 AM »
I'm glad. So many people think the Pill is like candy.

Please remember that some people who have medical womanly problems take the Pill.  It is quite a blessing for them as it REGULATES their hormones and makes life far more livable, reducing all kinds of pain and other problems that are a result of problems such as irregular hormones and things like endometriosis.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #93 on: January 14, 2008, 11:19:44 AM »
And how does any of this relate to a doctor's competence in their field? 

For those who believe that human life begins at conception, having a doctor suggest an abortion is like asking a cop what to do about the house-guest who is a financial and emotional strain on the family and hearing him recommend that you kill him.  The officer's duty is to protect life and livelihood and property through the enforcement of the law; if he makes a suggestion in an official capacity that seems to contradict that, then it stands to reason that the hearer will question the cop's competence in the field or his sanity.

I know.... Strike that.  We all know your stance on when a fetus is really human and deserving of protection, and it happens to not be shared by the majority on the board.  I, er, we also know that you like stoking the fire as much as possible.  Leave this one alone.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #94 on: January 14, 2008, 11:22:14 AM »
Or am I the only one freaked out by the way you worded this? 

Lol.  Not at all - I was wondering how they view pregnancy in comparison to being drawn and quartered, but I think the answer to the rack question will suffice at least in the short-term.
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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #95 on: January 14, 2008, 02:20:42 PM »
As a man, I will sadly never know the joys nor the tortures of carrying life in my womb (which I obviously do not have). What else can I say.

Having the baby makes all of pain worthwhile but the pregnancy part is not a time of joy for all women. Please come down to reality before you get married. Don't romanticize life.

Quote
God-Willing, I will know the joys and tortures of being a faithful and devoted husband. I honestly can't wait to take care of my future wife's needs during pregnancy. I can't wait to rub her feet or get pillows or cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, go on walks with her, read to her, pray with her, make sure she has all the mental, physical, and emotional support she needs. But then again, I was born a sucker and I am madly in love.

During my first pregnancy my husband was working 50 hours or more a week while getting his master's degree. He often travelled to Japan on business during both of my pregnancies. I was on my own quite often during that time.  How will you have time to cater to your wife's every whim? What you wrote sounds like a fairy tale. Life is just not like that....unless you are independently wealthy and don't have to work?

Quote
I know of a woman whose pregnancy lasted for four hours, no complications and little problems before. But then, as you rightfully point out, pregnancy is debilitating for other women. I don't know what the future holds, but all I have ever wanted since I was a child was to be a Father. By God's Grace, I will be soon marrying a woman who has always wanted to be a mother. We don't have much, but we know God will direct our steps. He always has.

I am assuming you meant to write a woman's labor only lasted four hours. Yes. Some women sail through labor but others do not. I just wanted to bring some real world realism into what many men view in a romantic or unrealistic way. And remember, I was one of lucky ones because my pregnancies were healthy as were my babies. I understand your desire to be a father. Becoming a mother was my life dream too. I love being a mom. Just try to be realistic and enter into your marriage with your eyes wide open and your feet on the ground.



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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #96 on: January 14, 2008, 02:47:24 PM »
Please come down to reality before you get married. Don't romanticize life. 

He called pregnancy "torture."  I don't know if you're considering that "reality" or not.  As for the rest of the post, maybe it is idyllic - but let him keep his goals intact for how to treat his wife.  If he falls short, so be it.
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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #97 on: January 14, 2008, 02:55:21 PM »
He called pregnancy "torture."  I don't know if you're considering that "reality" or not.  As for the rest of the post, maybe it is idyllic - but let him keep his goals intact for how to treat his wife.  If he falls short, so be it.

I didn't notice that...I think to say he will sadly never know the torture of pregnancy is a little scary. God help them.

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #98 on: January 14, 2008, 03:22:51 PM »
I didn't notice that...I think to say he will sadly never know the torture of pregnancy is a little scary. God help them.

I'm sure it's just a misuse or misunderstanding of the language, but if it's either, at least he's already acknowledging the fact that pregnancy is hard, and that he'll never experience it firsthand.

I don't know if anyone that's posting here on OC.net, or at least no one that I've seen so far, has any sort of overly-naive view of the woman's burden in pregnancy - the sickness, hormone swings, physical burden, emotional burden, psychological struggle with living a restricted life, and of course the possible long-term after-effects.  I'm glad you're trying to "shake up" anyone that does, just be careful not to paint too bleak a picture.
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #99 on: January 14, 2008, 04:40:30 PM »
I'm sure it's just a misuse or misunderstanding of the language, but if it's either, at least he's already acknowledging the fact that pregnancy is hard, and that he'll never experience it firsthand.

I don't know if anyone that's posting here on OC.net, or at least no one that I've seen so far, has any sort of overly-naive view of the woman's burden in pregnancy - the sickness, hormone swings, physical burden, emotional burden, psychological struggle with living a restricted life, and of course the possible long-term after-effects.  I'm glad you're trying to "shake up" anyone that does, just be careful not to paint too bleak a picture.

I just wanted to bring a little reality (I left out a lot of details) into the picture because while I have heard many men suggest a priest should be a part of the family equation, I have never heard any of them mention a woman's doctor. The woman's perspective was lacking. I only was trying to provide a different viewpoint.

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #100 on: January 14, 2008, 04:49:42 PM »
Quote
Perhaps I could indulge you in the tortures of the rack as well?
Or am I the only one freaked out by the way you worded this?

Goodness, let's back to  horse up. Perhaps I need to add indications of tongue-in-cheek humor to every post I make, but I assumed that people are able to pick up on social cues. I'm afraid I can't possibly keep up with the techno-savy. I'm at the bottom of the list.

Quote
I have read many opinions over the last few years from young married or almost married MEN about the use of contraception in a marriage. Many of these idealists have proclaimed or vowed not use it in their marriage. But be prepared for the consequences of how multiple pregnancies will affect the long-term health of your future wife. I have many friends who followed this path and I admire their large families. But most, if not all of these mothers in these families (age range mid 40s) have long-term or debilitating illnesses (ex:crippling rheumatoid arthritis, severe anemia, hormonal imbalances, stress-related disorders, etc.)

Quote
I will be honest with you. I hated being pregnant. I was nauseous all of the time. My sciatic nerve was constantly being pinched which made it painful to walk, lay down, or sit for the last six months of the pregnancy. And my pregnancy was considered normal and healthy.

To me, this reads like a description of torture. Though I was replying to Tamara's post's with a tongue-in-cheek style of sorts, it doesn't to me, seem that pregnancy for her was not particularly a cakewalk. She hated it and gave some pretty scary and painful descriptions of her experience.

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #101 on: January 14, 2008, 05:06:18 PM »
Quote
Having the baby makes all of pain worthwhile but the pregnancy part is not a time of joy for all women. Please come down to reality before you get married. Don't romanticize life.


What can I say, I'm a hopeless romantic. Ironically, I often am accused of being too strict and too realistic by others.  ???

Quote
During my first pregnancy my husband was working 50 hours or more a week while getting his master's degree. He often travelled to Japan on business during both of my pregnancies. I was on my own quite often during that time.  How will you have time to cater to your wife's every whim? What you wrote sounds like a fairy tale. Life is just not like that....unless you are independently wealthy and don't have to work?

Well, I don't know what the Lord has in store for me. However, I don't foresee this kind of job with me. Who knows? Perhaps I'll get the perfect job and have plenty of time with my family, perhaps not. God only knows. At the present,my job isn't what you described.

IN my life, I was raised in frugality and a fairly impoverished household. I'm from the country and family is everything. My future wife and I have a lot if emotional and physical support from our families. We also have a lot of support from our Church. Hardly any money, but its connections that have always seemed to make the difference. I suppose I could end up like Job. Of course, Job was more abundantly blessed than before. I don't see this as a fairy tale.

Quote
I am assuming you meant to write a woman's labor only lasted four hours. Yes. Some women sail through labor but others do not. I just wanted to bring some real world realism into what many men view in a romantic or unrealistic way. And remember, I was one of lucky ones because my pregnancies were healthy as were my babies. I understand your desire to be a father. Becoming a mother was my life dream too. I love being a mom. Just try to be realistic and enter into your marriage with your eyes wide open and your feet on the ground.

I think a lack of Charity the main thing that destroys relationships. Whether its family or friends, Christians should concern themsleves with this. Frankly, growing up in the feminist charged 90's, I had to grow up being blamed for the ignorance of all males in the past. That has made me particularly concerned with sensitivity about the nature of "woman". However, after seeing the failure of the feminist revolution, I realized that men AND women have a lot to learn from each other. Often times, I see men trampled under the respect women banner and thier concerns trivialized in the face of women and their struggles. This is simply anti-Christian. Rather, the reality needs to be brought to the relationship of men and women relating to and living in harmony with each other in relationship with the Holy Trinity.

The accomplishment of spouses bring each other to the Holy Trinity through deification is a most awesome Mystery to me. I don't know if that qualifies me as pursuing a fairy tale. I think it qualifies me as a Christian working to transform, with the aid of his future spouse, his Holy Crowning by the Grace of God.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #102 on: January 14, 2008, 05:09:28 PM »
I just wanted to bring a little reality (I left out a lot of details) into the picture because while I have heard many men suggest a priest should be a part of the family equation, I have never heard any of them mention a woman's doctor. The woman's perspective was lacking. I only was trying to provide a different viewpoint.

And I'm glad you did.  I can't believe that folks wouldn't consult their doctors on this, but then again, sometimes they don't like utilizing folks for their talents and gifts.
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Offline Jimmy

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #103 on: January 14, 2008, 05:46:09 PM »
Then whoever you marry may severely limit how often you enjoy the marital embrace. I know that I would if I was married to someone who refused to use any form of contraception. The woman is the one who carries the baby and pregnancy is very difficult for some women. I will be honest with you. I hated being pregnant. I was nauseous all of the time. My sciatic nerve was constantly being pinched which made it painful to walk, lay down, or sit for the last six months of the pregnancy. And my pregnancy was considered normal and healthy.

It is true that all things you mentioned do effect the health of a woman. I was in A-1 shape before my first pregnancy. I hiked, biked, swam, worked out at the gym etc. but unfortunately, I was unable to continue with this regimen after about four months of pregnancy. With the second pregnancy I was in okay shape but I no longer had time to exercise as hard as I did before I had children. As a mother, I put the babies first, and so my health came second. It wasn't until my children were in school that I had time to exercise as I had before children. Each woman is different. Some women sail through their pregnancies and I have heard some say they feel their best when pregnant. Others have a host of problems which can become more severe with each pregnancy. You and the woman you marry may need to adjust ideals according to your situation.

I would just like to point out that this is part of the reasoning that the pro-choice advocates say that abortion should be allowed.

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #104 on: January 14, 2008, 06:03:40 PM »
I would just like to point out that this is part of the reasoning that the pro-choice advocates say that abortion should be allowed.

These were my personal views from having been pregnant and I have never, ever been pro-choice. I am also not a feminist.

Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #105 on: January 14, 2008, 06:12:59 PM »
I would just like to point out that this is part of the reasoning that the pro-choice advocates say that abortion should be allowed.

I don't understand what this has to do with anything.

Tamara was simply trying to present the balancing point of view- that pregnancy is not easy for all women, but is a great blessing.  Some women are blessed to have fairly easy pregnancies and labors (my sister slept through both of her labors- she pushed for less than an hour for both children).  Other women are not so blessed.  The physical and psychological hardships of pregnancy can be such that they are hard to even imagine, unless one has experienced them firsthand through childbirth or by being very close to a pregnant woman throughout her pregnancy and watching what she goes through.  Tamara even spared the worst in her posts...  

And then there are some women who are not blessed with childbearing at all...

Since this thread is about contraception...
Many on this forum have objected to contraception for moral reasons (which I understand, whether I agree or not).  What say you all about women who take the Pill for reasons other than contraception (as I stated in my previous post)?  With all the criticism of the Pill that has gone on specifically in this thread, there are many women who have found it to be a great blessing, as it has made their quality of life so much better, and as it is a necessity to treat the conditions from which they suffer.  Where do you all fall on that one?  Just curious...

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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #106 on: January 14, 2008, 06:34:02 PM »
These were my personal views from having been pregnant and I have never, ever been pro-choice. I am also not a feminist.

I also have never been (nor will I ever be) pro-choice, but I am a feminist in that I desire equality for men and women.  I am not a bra-burning "feminist," however, which I believe is the category of feminist to which LakaYaRabb was referring.

Why is it that conversations about pregnancy, women's "roles," etc. usually end up discussing abortion and bra-burning feminism, as though that's what every woman believes and desires? 


Frankly, growing up in the feminist charged 90's, I had to grow up being blamed for the ignorance of all males in the past. That has made me particularly concerned with sensitivity about the nature of "woman". However, after seeing the failure of the feminist revolution, I realized that men AND women have a lot to learn from each other. Often times, I see men trampled under the respect women banner and thier concerns trivialized in the face of women and their struggles. This is simply anti-Christian.

From what I learned about the feminist movement by an award-winning professor of women's studies at the University of Georgia and civil rights activist(Dr. Johnson-Bailey)...

You were never "blamed" for the ignorance of all males in the past.  The only thing the feminist "movement" ever asked for was a recognition that men (specifically white males) reap the benefits of the men of the past and that this should be rectified, not to place blame on the men who obviously had nothing to do with it.  Yes, men and women have a lot to learn from each other.  But I'll raise you ten women who are denied positions, sexually harassed, demoted, not promoted, not taken seriously, their concerns trivialized in the face of the male ego, etc. to your one man who has been "trampled under the respect women banner and their concerns trivialized in the face of women and their struggles." 

It is anti-Christian that either situation should happen.  But please remember, that the struggles of any person, man or woman, should be the concern of Christians, who should try to rectify the situation and help their fellow human being.  This was the goal of the "feminist movement"- to rectify the situation.  And I'll be the first to say that, having encountered the "glass ceiling" as a result of being a woman many times, it is (rightly) not over yet.

Rather, the reality needs to be brought to the relationship of men and women relating to and living in harmony with each other in relationship with the Holy Trinity.
Agreed.

As I said before, I am not a bra-burning "feminist" (who, btw, to my mind have given those in favor of equal rights for women a bad name), and, lest anyone jump on me as being a liberal heretic, nor am I one who seeks the ordination of women or anything like that.  When it comes to such matters, I am conservative.  I mean no offense by the things I say, I am only, like Tamara, trying to offer the balancing point of view.
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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #107 on: January 14, 2008, 06:54:32 PM »
Since this thread is about contraception...
Many on this forum have objected to contraception for moral reasons (which I understand, whether I agree or not).  What say you all about women who take the Pill for reasons other than contraception (as I stated in my previous post)?  With all the criticism of the Pill that has gone on specifically in this thread, there are many women who have found it to be a great blessing, as it has made their quality of life so much better, and as it is a necessity to treat the conditions from which they suffer.  Where do you all fall on that one?  Just curious...

I've been there.  For many years, the Pill was a great blessing to me because of hormonal irregularities that made life difficult.  When I went off the Pill for a while to have a child, things really got bad.  But the Pill seems to have helped to regulate me, because I went off the Pill late in 2006 with trepidation, but discovered my cycles were much more regular.  I've had no reason to regret going off the Pill this time. 
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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #108 on: January 14, 2008, 08:09:38 PM »
However, after seeing the failure of the feminist revolution, I realized that men AND women have a lot to learn from each other.

The feminist revolution failed ??? Not meaning to be contentious, but did I miss something?  :o
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Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #109 on: January 14, 2008, 08:14:20 PM »
The feminist revolution failed ??? Not meaning to be contentious, but did I miss something?  :o

Nope, just reactionary propaganda devoid from any realistic understanding of history.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 08:16:08 PM by greekischristian »

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #110 on: January 14, 2008, 08:18:27 PM »
Unrealistic? Shakespeare was too a woman. ;D
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #111 on: January 14, 2008, 08:41:45 PM »
But please remember, that the struggles of any person, man or woman, should be the concern of Christians, who should try to rectify the situation and help their fellow human being.  This was the goal of the "feminist movement"- to rectify the situation.  And I'll be the first to say that, having encountered the "glass ceiling" as a result of being a woman many times, it is (rightly) not over yet.

Well said, GreekChef. Viva la Revolution! ;D

Just because many injustices have been put down and are a thing of the past, let's not forget that for hundreds of years of Christian history most women were without rights and were considered second-class and inferior.  


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Offline Elisha

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #112 on: January 14, 2008, 10:10:51 PM »
These were my personal views from having been pregnant and I have never, ever been pro-choice. I am also not a feminist.

There's a family at St. Lawrence in Felton (I think it is there) with 10 children!  I heard the wife loved being pregnant.  Doesn't exactly happen that often I presume...

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #113 on: January 14, 2008, 10:40:25 PM »
Well said, GreekChef. Viva la Revolution! ;D

Just because many injustices have been put down and are a thing of the past, let's not forget that for hundreds of years of Christian history most women were without rights and were considered second-class and inferior.  

Hear, Hear! (from a guy that sits slightly further to the left on this issue than most people here ;))

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #114 on: January 14, 2008, 11:24:08 PM »
Having the baby makes all of pain worthwhile but the pregnancy part is not a time of joy for all women. Please come down to reality before you get married. Don't romanticize life.

During my first pregnancy my husband was working 50 hours or more a week while getting his master's degree. He often travelled to Japan on business during both of my pregnancies. I was on my own quite often during that time.  How will you have time to cater to your wife's every whim? What you wrote sounds like a fairy tale. Life is just not like that....unless you are independently wealthy and don't have to work?

I am assuming you meant to write a woman's labor only lasted four hours. Yes. Some women sail through labor but others do not. I just wanted to bring some real world realism into what many men view in a romantic or unrealistic way. And remember, I was one of lucky ones because my pregnancies were healthy as were my babies. I understand your desire to be a father. Becoming a mother was my life dream too. I love being a mom. Just try to be realistic and enter into your marriage with your eyes wide open and your feet on the ground.




I have to say it seems that the thought is only men romanticize/mythologize having children.  Far from the truth.

many woman have children because they want someone to love in their lives.  A lot of teen pregnancy (and many DO try to get pregnant) comes from this. Quite sad.

All I can say is that it won't be what you expect, and you'll find out how unready  you were for it.  Oh, and that it's worth it.
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Offline Jimmy

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #115 on: January 15, 2008, 12:09:27 AM »
These were my personal views from having been pregnant and I have never, ever been pro-choice. I am also not a feminist.

That wasn't my point.  My point was that the pro-choice advocates use the same reasoning to justify what they justify.  I don't think the justification is valid.  

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #116 on: January 15, 2008, 12:20:02 AM »
I don't understand what this has to do with anything.

Tamara was simply trying to present the balancing point of view- that pregnancy is not easy for all women, but is a great blessing.  Some women are blessed to have fairly easy pregnancies and labors (my sister slept through both of her labors- she pushed for less than an hour for both children).  Other women are not so blessed.  The physical and psychological hardships of pregnancy can be such that they are hard to even imagine, unless one has experienced them firsthand through childbirth or by being very close to a pregnant woman throughout her pregnancy and watching what she goes through.  Tamara even spared the worst in her posts...  

And then there are some women who are not blessed with childbearing at all...

Since this thread is about contraception...
Many on this forum have objected to contraception for moral reasons (which I understand, whether I agree or not).  What say you all about women who take the Pill for reasons other than contraception (as I stated in my previous post)?  With all the criticism of the Pill that has gone on specifically in this thread, there are many women who have found it to be a great blessing, as it has made their quality of life so much better, and as it is a necessity to treat the conditions from which they suffer.  Where do you all fall on that one?  Just curious...



It has to do with it because I think the justification she uses for contraception does not work.  It is the same justification that the prochoice people use.  Pain can not make an action that is immoral to be moral. 

I have no problem with contraceptives being used for other reasons.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #117 on: January 15, 2008, 05:33:53 AM »
I just wanted to bring a little reality (I left out a lot of details) into the picture because while I have heard many men suggest a priest should be a part of the family equation, I have never heard any of them mention a woman's doctor. The woman's perspective was lacking. I only was trying to provide a different viewpoint.

The metion of the woman's doctor is how the reference to the priest came up.

So please include your wife's health and her doctor in the equation to make sure her body can bear closely spaced children.

Any need to squeeze a priest in there somewhere?  I wouldn't trust an OB who doubles as an abortionist, for instance.
How does woman's doctor=woman's perspective?
I'd also include your wife's health and her spiritual advisor in the equation to make sure her soul can bear closely spaced children, if that is the plan, which seems to be the assumption (without reason IMHO) here.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 05:43:26 AM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #118 on: January 15, 2008, 11:51:23 AM »
There's a family at St. Lawrence in Felton (I think it is there) with 10 children!  I heard the wife loved being pregnant.  Doesn't exactly happen that often I presume...

Our family doctor and his wife have 10 children (RC).  He has always given us good advice on caring for our kids.

Ebor
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Offline The Iambic Pen

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #119 on: January 15, 2008, 01:26:42 PM »
It is a common statement by Catholic apologists that the Catholic Church alone has maintained the traditional Christian teaching on contraception and abortion.  They believe that the allowance of contraception by various Christian bodies (starting with the Anglican Church in 1930) led to a decrease in sexual morality and led to Christian people being more accepting of abortion later on.  I hate to say this, but the statements by some Orthodox Christians, both on this board and referenced by it, make me think perhaps the Orthodox Church is heading down the same path.  Will the Orthodox Church hold to the ancient faith, or will it follow the example of so many other Christian bodies, abandoning traditional morality?  The Orthodox liturgy is beautiful.  I hope that the Church's commitment to righteousness continues to match it.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #120 on: January 15, 2008, 01:38:26 PM »
It is a common statement by Catholic apologists that the Catholic Church alone has maintained the traditional Christian teaching on contraception and abortion.  They believe that the allowance of contraception by various Christian bodies (starting with the Anglican Church in 1930) led to a decrease in sexual morality and led to Christian people being more accepting of abortion later on.  I hate to say this, but the statements by some Orthodox Christians, both on this board and referenced by it, make me think perhaps the Orthodox Church is heading down the same path.  Will the Orthodox Church hold to the ancient faith, or will it follow the example of so many other Christian bodies, abandoning traditional morality?  The Orthodox liturgy is beautiful.  I hope that the Church's commitment to righteousness continues to match it.

It really bugs me when people pontificate like this. It must be nice to be a fundamentalist living in a black and white world where "the ancient faith" says that a woman who is beaten by her husband can never find happiness with someone else......
Life just isn't like that, nor is Christianity. Christ often stood where difficult decisions had to be made. The Law He came to fulfil said adulterers must be stoned to death, so He challenged the one without sin to be the first to uphold the Law.
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #121 on: January 15, 2008, 01:39:43 PM »
And what if you already had two young children and a pregnancy endangered your life and the fetus? Would you force the pain and hardship of your death (which would likely result in the death of the fetus as well) for an ideological stand? Is this ideology really important enough to stand by at the expense of inflicting untold pain and suffering on not merely your neighbour but on your own Children...what would anybody gain but hardship? As ozgeorge said the right choice, the moral choice, is often the lesser of two evils.

Actually, I have thought of that with relation to my husband.  As I said, I'm not going to air my personal circumstances, but for me, the choice is simple.  I will not voluntarily kill my unborn child.  If God wills that we both die, then so be it.  But I will not be responsible for it.  My husband agrees with me on this, too. 

As I said, though, I am in favor of a law that allows special circumstances (to be judged by a doctor and a judge together), because I won't judge somebody who, presented with the same circumstance, chooses to abort the child.

Obviously I have not been in the situation mentioned.  And God forbid I do end up there, who knows, maybe I'll change my mind.  But as my husband and I have prayed about it and discussed it together, this is where I stand right now.

You may dismiss it as "ideology," but some of us struggle to attain salvation amidst these types of problems and questions every day.  So before this gets nasty, let's just agree to have a little respect in our tone when discussing, shall we?
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #122 on: January 15, 2008, 01:58:12 PM »
I am in favor of a law that allows special circumstances (to be judged by a doctor and a judge together)

I think such a law must be clearly spelled out to ensure that a decision (one way or the other) can never be forced on a woman.
For example, in the case of women who are under the Legal Guardianship or Power of Attorney, who should decide?
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #123 on: January 15, 2008, 02:30:23 PM »
The metion of the woman's doctor is how the reference to the priest came up.
How does woman's doctor=woman's perspective?
I'd also include your wife's health and her spiritual advisor in the equation to make sure her soul can bear closely spaced children, if that is the plan, which seems to be the assumption (without reason IMHO) here.

Because a woman's doctor is responsible for her health and will make recommendations about how closely a woman can space her children based upon her health. A priest can not advise a woman in regard to her health because that is not his area of specialty. My grandmother had 13 children from the time she was 30 till the age of 45. Her priest and her husband saw no problem with this type of close spacing even though the last pregnancy almost killed her. In fact, she never fully recovered her health after the last baby. Her doctor told her husband,"No more babies or your wife will die." Which gave my grandmother the information she needed to tell my grandfather he could no longer sleep in their room (they were Roman Catholic and did not use any form of birth control).
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 02:35:54 PM by Tamara »

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #124 on: January 15, 2008, 03:33:15 PM »
And how many nappies did these Fathers change and school lunches did they cut, and school uniforms did they wash and iron? How many sleepless nights did they have nursing colic? How many jobs did they have to work to support their kids?
Oh please!

That is irrelevant.  No matter how difficult it is to raise a child that does not justify abortion.  In that case you might as well aquite the person who shakes a baby to death or beats it to death to get it to stop crying.  your logic can be applied to other more extreme situations. 

Experience of being a parent does not change the truth.  Jesus can not condemn drug addiction since He never experienced a high.  He can't judge sexual addiction since He was celibate.  He can't judge any sinner because He never sinned.  All things are justified.  Therefore we should go and live it up.

Further, as Paul mentions we do not justify the means by the ends.  Some accused the early Christians of this but it is not true.  Abortion can not be justified because it allows an easier life. 

Regarding the earlier mention of the soul and the body.  It is irrelevant because it is still Gods will that you have a child.  You look at the scriptures it shows God intervening and making certian women pregnant, for example Abraham's wife Sarah.  Every child is part of Gods plan.  It is not our job to choose whether that child lives.  That is Gods job.  Our job is to do the will of God.  Further, Fr Ambrose mentioned that it is not necessarily the only tradition that the soul is formed from the parents soul.  He also mentions that many fathers spoke of the soul being formed seperately by God.  Whether St. Ephrem or St. Clement or any other father was married does not affect whether this statement is true.  You experiencing a baby that has colic does not mean that baby was not born with a soul. 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 03:39:26 PM by Jimmy »

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #125 on: January 15, 2008, 04:42:11 PM »
Quote
Because a woman's doctor is responsible for her health and will make recommendations about how closely a woman can space her children based upon her health. A priest can not advise a woman in regard to her health because that is not his area of specialty. My grandmother had 13 children from the time she was 30 till the age of 45. Her priest and her husband saw no problem with this type of close spacing even though the last pregnancy almost killed her. In fact, she never fully recovered her health after the last baby. Her doctor told her husband,"No more babies or your wife will die." Which gave my grandmother the information she needed to tell my grandfather he could no longer sleep in their room (they were Roman Catholic and did not use any form of birth control).


Of course doctors make great decisions all the time. (NOTE: Tongue-in-cheek humor)

ONe has to be very careful and even wary of doctors nowadays. An expert in physical health usually completely disregards spiritual health. That's where a priest comes in. IT sounds that you had an unfortunate experience in that your spiritual father wasn't a father to you when you needed him most. Sad, really.

13 Children from age 30 to 45. Since one thing medical science has now offered is the fact that women who wait until nearly 30 yrs of age to have thier first child as a large factor in negatively affecting the overall health of a woman, i'm sure this had a lot to do with it. ALso, was the Khouriyeh healthy? Did she eat healthy? Regular exercise before, during and after pregnancy? Was she stressed all the time? Did she recieve any physical help with child-weening?

Frankly Tamara, you posts make it sound like women who have multiple pregnancies are all like unhappy, unhealthy pregnant sows, constantly breeding without any regard to health.

Quote
Which gave my grandmother the information she needed to tell my grandfather he could no longer sleep in their room


So basically, children are a burden, no sex for you, you inconsiderate male-breeding machine!

Any overall consideration you could give to the facotrs of health of a woman and its effect and affect on pregnancy seems minor, if not completely absent in your posts. They are all generalizations.  ???
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 04:45:52 PM by LakaYaRabb »

Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #126 on: January 15, 2008, 05:07:35 PM »


Of course doctors make great decisions all the time. (NOTE: Tongue-in-cheek humor)

ONe has to be very careful and even wary of doctors nowadays. An expert in physical health usually completely disregards spiritual health. That's where a priest comes in. IT sounds that you had an unfortunate experience in that your spiritual father wasn't a father to you when you needed him most. Sad, really.

I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but I think we need to be careful about demonizing doctors.  Not all ob/gyn's are abortion doctors, and many of them are very spiritual indeed.  I have doctors in my family, and they are very spiritual, wonderful people.

There is nothing wrong with saying that a woman should consult her physician.  The best of all worlds would be that the husband goes with her to the doctor, and they go together to see the priest and report what the doctor recommends, so that they can make a good decision based on what is best for them as a couple both physically and spiritually.

My own doctor was (pleasantly) surprised that my husband came with me to my first appointment (he comes to all of my appointments).  She was (and continues to be) very respecful of my husband's status as a priest and considerate of our way of life.  She went out of her way to address spiritual issues so that we would have the knowledge we needed to make an informed decision.  She has more than gone out of her way to help me in other ways, as well, that I won't bore people on the forum with.  Oh, and she doesn't perform abortions.  Any responsible doctor will behave the way my doctor does- that is, being considerate of the patient's concerns and helping them to make informed decisions based on their way of life and what is best for them not only physically, but spiritually.  If one's doctor is not like this, then find a new doctor.  You should never go to a doctor that you are not comfortable with.



13 Children from age 30 to 45. Since one thing medical science has now offered is the fact that women who wait until nearly 30 yrs of age to have thier first child as a large factor in negatively affecting the overall health of a woman, i'm sure this had a lot to do with it. ALso, was the Khouriyeh healthy? Did she eat healthy? Regular exercise before, during and after pregnancy? Was she stressed all the time? Did she recieve any physical help with child-weening?

Frankly Tamara, you posts make it sound like women who have multiple pregnancies are all like unhappy, unhealthy pregnant sows, constantly breeding without any regard to health.
 

So basically, children are a burden, no sex for you, you inconsiderate male-breeding machine!

The lack of overall consideration you give to the facotrs of health is completely absent in your posts. They are all generalizations.  ???

I'm having trouble figuring out where these accusations come from.  Tamara is doing nothing more than relating her own personal experiences.  She's not pushing them off on anyone else, nor is she saying that it applies to all women or all men.  She certainly hasn't said that children are a burden (in fact I believe she stated clearly that she loves being a mother), nor did she say "no sex for you, you inconsiderate male-breeding machine."  She simply said that her grandparents were (BOTH) strict Roman Catholics who felt that celibacy was appropriate in light of the fact that she couldn't bear any more children. 

Tamara was evidencing the fact that doctors are responsible both morally and legally for the health of their patients, and in the case of her grandmother, it was, in fact, her doctor who came to her aid and gave her the knowledge she needed to make an informed decision.  Her doctor did nothing wrong, nor did she.  Tamara is only presenting the side of the coin that says that, while it is easy for anyone, man or woman, to say "no contraception ever," this decision needs to be made with the health of the woman in mind, as well as the couple's spiritual wellbeing.  It would be far worse to ignore the doctor's advice, get pregnant, and then end up in the terrible situation discussed before- where they have to choose between the life of the mother and that of the baby.  Better to be prepared beforehand, don't you think?

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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #127 on: January 15, 2008, 05:12:19 PM »
I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but I think we need to be careful about demonizing doctors.  Not all ob/gyn's are abortion doctors, and many of them are very spiritual indeed.  I have doctors in my family, and they are very spiritual, wonderful people.

Don't forget, of course, as well, that we have many beloved saints in the Church who were doctors.  Ss. Cosmas and Damianos the Unmercenaries, St. Luke, St. Panteleimon, Ss. Cyril and John the Unmercenaries, just to name a few. 
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #128 on: January 15, 2008, 05:24:09 PM »
I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but I think we need to be careful about demonizing doctors.  Not all ob/gyn's are abortion doctors, and many of them are very spiritual indeed.  I have doctors in my family, and they are very spiritual, wonderful people.

There is nothing wrong with saying that a woman should consult her physician.  The best of all worlds would be that the husband goes with her to the doctor, and they go together to see the priest and report what the doctor recommends, so that they can make a good decision based on what is best for them as a couple both physically and spiritually.

My own doctor was (pleasantly) surprised that my husband came with me to my first appointment (he comes to all of my appointments).  She was (and continues to be) very respecful of my husband's status as a priest and considerate of our way of life.  She went out of her way to address spiritual issues so that we would have the knowledge we needed to make an informed decision.  She has more than gone out of her way to help me in other ways, as well, that I won't bore people on the forum with.  Oh, and she doesn't perform abortions.  Any responsible doctor will behave the way my doctor does- that is, being considerate of the patient's concerns and helping them to make informed decisions based on their way of life and what is best for them not only physically, but spiritually.  If one's doctor is not like this, then find a new doctor.  You should never go to a doctor that you are not comfortable with.


I'm having trouble figuring out where these accusations come from.  Tamara is doing nothing more than relating her own personal experiences.  She's not pushing them off on anyone else, nor is she saying that it applies to all women or all men.  She certainly hasn't said that children are a burden (in fact I believe she stated clearly that she loves being a mother), nor did she say "no sex for you, you inconsiderate male-breeding machine."  She simply said that her grandparents were (BOTH) strict Roman Catholics who felt that celibacy was appropriate in light of the fact that she couldn't bear any more children. 

Tamara was evidencing the fact that doctors are responsible both morally and legally for the health of their patients, and in the case of her grandmother, it was, in fact, her doctor who came to her aid and gave her the knowledge she needed to make an informed decision.  Her doctor did nothing wrong, nor did she.  Tamara is only presenting the side of the coin that says that, while it is easy for anyone, man or woman, to say "no contraception ever," this decision needs to be made with the health of the woman in mind, as well as the couple's spiritual wellbeing.  It would be far worse to ignore the doctor's advice, get pregnant, and then end up in the terrible situation discussed before- where they have to choose between the life of the mother and that of the baby.  Better to be prepared beforehand, don't you think?



Thank you Presvetera, you completely understand what I was trying to communicate.  :)

I would like to add that from what I understand the majority of OB/GYNs do not perform abortions. My OB/GYN had four children of her own and was very sympathetic to my beliefs in having children. When I told her I didn't want to have an amniocentesis taken with my second pregnancy she was supportive and did not pressure me to have it.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 05:39:52 PM by Tamara »

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #129 on: January 15, 2008, 05:25:45 PM »


Of course doctors make great decisions all the time. (NOTE: Tongue-in-cheek humor)

ONe has to be very careful and even wary of doctors nowadays. An expert in physical health usually completely disregards spiritual health. That's where a priest comes in. IT sounds that you had an unfortunate experience in that your spiritual father wasn't a father to you when you needed him most. Sad, really.

13 Children from age 30 to 45. Since one thing medical science has now offered is the fact that women who wait until nearly 30 yrs of age to have thier first child as a large factor in negatively affecting the overall health of a woman, i'm sure this had a lot to do with it. ALso, was the Khouriyeh healthy? Did she eat healthy? Regular exercise before, during and after pregnancy? Was she stressed all the time? Did she recieve any physical help with child-weening?

Frankly Tamara, you posts make it sound like women who have multiple pregnancies are all like unhappy, unhealthy pregnant sows, constantly breeding without any regard to health.
 

So basically, children are a burden, no sex for you, you inconsiderate male-breeding machine!

Any overall consideration you could give to the facotrs of health of a woman and its effect and affect on pregnancy seems minor, if not completely absent in your posts. They are all generalizations.  ???

And just to clarify a few misconceptions and questions from my post. My grandmother was not a priest's wife. My grandparents married late in life because it took a few years before my grandfather could send for her from the old country. They didn't use any birth control because they were strict Roman Catholics. She was a very fertile woman so since they were both open to life she got pregnant almost yearly. She was obviously, originally, in very good health otherwise she could never have had so many pregnancies in a row. She came from strong peasant stock. She cooked very healthy meals (ex: homemade bread every week, home grown vegetables and fruits from her garden) for her family but she was unable to exercise because she didn't have time due to caring for her large family. Eventually her health did fail.

I also didn't marry until I was 30 due to the fact I didn't meet my husband until that time. I had children in my 30s and it did not effect my health in a negative way. I am very healthy.

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #130 on: January 15, 2008, 06:32:27 PM »
Presbytera Mari,

Quote
I'm having trouble figuring out where these accusations come from.  Tamara is doing nothing more than relating her own personal experiences.  She's not pushing them off on anyone else, nor is she saying that it applies to all women or all men.  She certainly hasn't said that children are a burden (in fact I believe she stated clearly that she loves being a mother), nor did she say "no sex for you, you inconsiderate male-breeding machine."  She simply said that her grandparents were (BOTH) strict Roman Catholics who felt that celibacy was appropriate in light of the fact that she couldn't bear any more children.  


There needs to be complete assessment of all Tamara's posts. "I hated being pregnant" doesn't read like I like being a more. Geneally, when a person assesses the blessings and joys of an expereince, they don't say they hated it and mention all of the horrors associated with that experience. When reading Tamara's posts, I was under the impression that prenancy is nothin but pain and suffering. Of course some women don't experience pain and suffering? I would say that most women do experience pain and suffering in pregnancy, right? Isn't uncomfortable? I would assume so. The reality that a living and growing human being in the womb of a mother depends completely on the mother for sustanance is a obvious fact of biology, isn't it. I mean, duh?

Tamara is right to point out that all women have different experiences. For some pregnancy is a tremendous burden physically.

Howeverm the OP was simply mortifying. It even contains a shot at MEN. Here, read it for yourself:

Quote
 I have read many opinions over the last few years from young married or almost married MEN about the use of contraception in a marriage. Many of these idealists have proclaimed or vowed not use it in their marriage. But be prepared for the consequences of how multiple pregnancies will affect the long-term health of your future wife. I have many friends who followed this path and I admire their large families. But most, if not all of these mothers in these families (age range mid 40s) have long-term or debilitating illnesses (ex:crippling rheumatoid arthritis, severe anemia, hormonal imbalances, stress-related disorders, etc.) due to caring for large families.

I'm sorry, but debilitating illness resulting from multiple pregnancies sounds pretty burdensome to me.

Read the OP. It is a generalization.

IN fact this is what the first response to her OP includes:

Quote
Painting a bleak picture of having many kids seems a bit overdone.  Yes, it is good to warn people to the risks involved, and not allow them to get caught up in some sort of idyllic dream.

But I repeat... what a downer!

Here's another post by Tamara:

Quote
I guess it has been hard for me to watch all of my church friends with large families suffer from health ailments over the last few years. When they were young, they were able to bounce back easily but now, as they are reaching menopause many of them are falling apart physically. Many of them look years older than their husbands. I look around at my female neighbors and girlfriends who do not attend church and have smaller families. They are all so much healthier than my church friends. My one girlfriend at church always has deep, dark circles under her eyes. She just found out she is severely anemic and most of her boys are teenagers right now (she has six children). Its been very stressful for her with her boys. They are good kids but they put her through the ringer emotionally. Her husband is very supportive but he works all day. I guess I just want men to appreciate the sacrifices women make to bear large families.

Generalizations. This is not her personal experience, but her personal interpretation of other peoples experiences.

Later, she says this

Quote
It is interesting how this thread as developed but also I notice only men are now posting here.

Umm. So what? IN the same post:

Quote
First, I hope that any man who is planning to marry and not use contraception does not pressure his bride-to-be into
forgoing contraception if she disagrees. Bearing children takes alot out a woman's body and she should be apart of the decision making. And when I speak of contraception I am only thinking of the kind that does not abort a fertilized egg or that does not harm a woman's hormonal system.

And second, remember, not every woman is sturdy or hearty enough to have a baby ever year or year and half. I was advised by my OB to space out my pregnancies by three years so my body had time to recover. By following my doctor's orders I was able to have two really healthy pregnancies and two very healthy boys. So please include your wife's health and her doctor in the equation to make sure her body can bear closely spaced children.

The generalization here is that "men" don't already do these. Are these good points, yes. Do they apply to all men. No.

Here is a reply to one of my posts:

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Then whoever you marry may severely limit how often you enjoy the marital embrace. I know that I would if I was married to someone who refused to use any form of contraception. The woman is the one who carries the baby and pregnancy is very difficult for some women. I will be honest with you. I hated being pregnant. I was nauseous all of the time. My sciatic nerve was constantly being pinched which made it painful to walk, lay down, or sit for the last six months of the pregnancy. And my pregnancy was considered normal and healthy.

Again, no mention of what a man feels or any pressures men have when his wife is pregnant. Hello, men have feels and struggle too. We are different and NO ONE ever talks about that. When a couple is united by the Church in the Mystery of Holy Crowning, the are joined together. Why don't I hear about what men have to go through? Is it just unimportant?

Also, Tamara says women shouldn't be forced into refraining from the use of birth control. IN this post, she states quite contridictorily that it is okay in her eyes for a bride to limit the marital embrace without consent from the husband. I'm sorry, but this kind of think severely harms the marital bond. She does (thankfully) point out that decisions should be made together, though.

For the sake of clarity, the OP should have started like this post:

Quote
It is true that...things...do effect the health of a woman. I was in A-1 shape before my first pregnancy. I hiked, biked, swam, worked out at the gym etc. but unfortunately, I was unable to continue with this regimen after about four months of pregnancy. With the second pregnancy I was in okay shape but I no longer had time to exercise as hard as I did before I had children. As a mother, I put the babies first, and so my health came second. It wasn't until my children were in school that I had time to exercise as I had before children. Each woman is different. Some women sail through their pregnancies and I have heard some say they feel their best when pregnant. Others have a host of problems which can become more severe with each pregnancy. You and the woman you marry may need to adjust ideals according to your situation.

This would be a more appropriate introduction to the discussion of child-spacing.

The folloing post is a more in line with a personal experience:

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Having the baby makes all of pain worthwhile but the pregnancy part is not a time of joy for all women. Please come down to reality before you get married. Don't romanticize life.


She also makes this post:

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I just wanted to bring some real world realism into what many men view in a romantic or unrealistic way. And remember, I was one of lucky ones because my pregnancies were healthy as were my babies. I understand your desire to be a father. Becoming a mother was my life dream too. I love being a mom. Just try to be realistic and enter into your marriage with your eyes wide open and your feet on the ground.

It's a good post, however, the earlier posts don't really give the impression that pregnancy is joyful. I have to wonder if Tamara had ANY joyful experiences during her pregancies. Yes, I know that pregnancy is painful and uncomfortable for women (which, I'm sure is an understatement). How could it not be? I'm sure I don't have to go through the host of discomforts and pains for Tamara or yourself to agree. However, aren't there joys during pregnancy? I assume there are.

I'm glad that Tamara seems completely understood by youself. I think Cleveland offers the best assessment of both Tamara's points, my understanding and his own appropriate words of caution in this post:

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I'm sure it's just a misuse or misunderstanding of the language, but if it's either, at least he's already acknowledging the fact that pregnancy is hard, and that he'll never experience it firsthand.

I don't know if anyone that's posting here on OC.net, or at least no one that I've seen so far, has any sort of overly-naive view of the woman's burden in pregnancy - the sickness, hormone swings, physical burden, emotional burden, psychological struggle with living a restricted life, and of course the possible long-term after-effects.  I'm glad you're trying to "shake up" anyone that does, just be careful not to paint too bleak a picture.

Okay, basically, you get the picture with my posts.

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Tamara was evidencing the fact that doctors are responsible both morally and legally for the health of their patients, and in the case of her grandmother, it was, in fact, her doctor who came to her aid and gave her the knowledge she needed to make an informed decision.  Her doctor did nothing wrong, nor did she.  Tamara is only presenting the side of the coin that says that, while it is easy for anyone, man or woman, to say "no contraception ever," this decision needs to be made with the health of the woman in mind, as well as the couple's spiritual wellbeing.  It would be far worse to ignore the doctor's advice, get pregnant, and then end up in the terrible situation discussed before- where they have to choose between the life of the mother and that of the baby.  Better to be prepared beforehand, don't you think?

My questioning of a doctors assessment of the situation is a comcial generalization. I'm not a doctor, nor do I pretend to know anything about making definitive statements concerning life-threatening situations brought about by multiple pregnancies.

I do have to wonder, what factors contributed to the life-threatening situation? I'm mean, it's gotta be pretty serious if the doctor tells you, no more babies or your wife dies. Can the overall cause be treated? What was the overall cause? When Tamara put this example out there, all we, the readers are left with is to assume that her grandmother's multiple pregnancies were the cause of her possible death. More problematuically, the only solution offered by the doctor, according to Tamara's post was, no more children.

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It would be far worse to ignore the doctor's advice, get pregnant, and then end up in the terrible situation discussed before- where they have to choose between the life of the mother and that of the baby.  Better to be prepared beforehand, don't you think?

Are all assessments of multiple child-births this bleak? I'm not a doctor, but isn't it possible that certain unmentioned factors played a role in this situation? Can the situation be remedied ever? The whole scenario seems very defeatest to me. What if her grandparents wanted another child? Does it always have to end in "Steel Magnolia's"? I mean, what exactly are doctors who study women's health and fertility doing to remedy these situations? Does anyone know?

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #131 on: January 15, 2008, 06:33:11 PM »
And what if you already had two young children and a pregnancy endangered your life and the fetus? Would you force the pain and hardship of your death (which would likely result in the death of the fetus as well) for an ideological stand? Is this ideology really important enough to stand by at the expense of inflicting untold pain and suffering on not merely your neighbour but on your own Children...what would anybody gain but hardship? As ozgeorge said the right choice, the moral choice, is often the lesser of two evils.

Now, not all of us reach the kind of sanctity as exemplified by St. (Dr.) Gianna Molla


but we can certainly aspire to it and are expected to do so. We are called to be saints, and shepherds in the Church should not be telling their flock to choose the lesser of two evils. Choose neither evil, and if you fail, there is compassion and absolution.


Offline Veniamin

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #132 on: January 15, 2008, 06:49:24 PM »
but we can certainly aspire to it and are expected to do so. We are called to be saints, and shepherds in the Church should not be telling their flock to choose the lesser of two evils. Choose neither evil, and if you fail, there is compassion and absolution.

That quote's amusing, since it was one of your religious organization's saints that said "Of two evils the lesser should always be chosen."
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 06:50:17 PM by Veniamin »
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #133 on: January 15, 2008, 07:00:48 PM »
That quote's amusing, since it was one of your religious organization's saints that said "Of two evils the lesser should always be chosen."

There it is again.  :D Your rhetoric is amusing.

-

Well:

1) Thomas a Kempis is not a canonized saint.

2) Even if he were, saints (like popes) are not always right.

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #134 on: January 15, 2008, 07:10:37 PM »
There it is again.  :D Your rhetoric is amusing.

Well, of course.  To call your organization the Church would necessarily require me to deny that Orthodoxy is the Church.  I'm not going to stoop to apostasy simply to be nice. ::)

And now I'm getting us off topic...
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 07:23:40 PM by Veniamin »
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Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #135 on: January 15, 2008, 08:14:23 PM »
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And can we imagine Saint Luke... "so your husband earns only 20 denarii a week. Of course that is not enough to raise a second child on.   I'll perform an abortion for you tomorrow."

Or, at a consultation with Saints Cosmas and Damian.... "it would not be God's all-benevolent will for you to bear this child when you are an unmarried woman.  Come back later today and we'll abort it."

I would dare say we can not. However, it seems to me that the Holy Orthodox Church has just as much trouble concerning this issue and contraception as the Holy Catholic Church. At least, that's the impression I get from this forum. Sadly, I never had this impression of Holy Orthodoxy. 

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #136 on: January 15, 2008, 08:34:24 PM »
Now, not all of us reach the kind of sanctity as exemplified by St. (Dr.) Gianna Molla
but we can certainly aspire to it and are expected to do so. We are called to be saints, and shepherds in the Church should not be telling their flock to choose the lesser of two evils. Choose neither evil, and if you fail, there is compassion and absolution.

Something else that just occurred to me.  The dictum to choose the lesser of evils is predicated on the nature of the choice; choosing one of them prevents the other from happening.  Refusing to choose either of the two options and instead doing nothing operates as a refusal to prevent either evil and is ultimately worse than choosing one of them alone.
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Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #137 on: January 15, 2008, 08:47:59 PM »
Howeverm the OP was simply mortifying. It even contains a shot at MEN. Here, read it for yourself:

She does no such thing, I am a man who took no offence whatsoever. She takes a shot at HYPOCRITES, at those (thankfully few) men who do not have to endure the hardships of pregnancy and yet oppose the use of Birth Control (whether it be Abstinance, Condoms, the Pill, etc.). The post simply asks that these people take reality and compassion into account and approach the issue accordingly. Me thinks this is most reasonable.

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I'm sorry, but debilitating illness resulting from multiple pregnancies sounds pretty burdensome to me.

Welcome to the real world.

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Again, no mention of what a man feels or any pressures men have when his wife is pregnant. Hello, men have feels and struggle too. We are different and NO ONE ever talks about that. When a couple is united by the Church in the Mystery of Holy Crowning, the are joined together. Why don't I hear about what men have to go through? Is it just unimportant?

In a discussion about the physical hardships of pregnancy I fail to see the relevance of discussing some guy's emotional crisis.

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Also, Tamara says women shouldn't be forced into refraining from the use of birth control. IN this post, she states quite contridictorily that it is okay in her eyes for a bride to limit the marital embrace without consent from the husband. I'm sorry, but this kind of think severely harms the marital bond. She does (thankfully) point out that decisions should be made together, though.

Something needs to be done, I personally believe that using the pill is a better course of action than celibacy from both a theological perspective and the perspective of the relationship; but if you have some ideological objection you really don't have a choice.

Quote
For the sake of clarity, the OP should have started like this post:

How about you write your posts and let Tamara write hers?

Quote
I do have to wonder, what factors contributed to the life-threatening situation? I'm mean, it's gotta be pretty serious if the doctor tells you, no more babies or your wife dies. Can the overall cause be treated? What was the overall cause? When Tamara put this example out there, all we, the readers are left with is to assume that her grandmother's multiple pregnancies were the cause of her possible death. More problematuically, the only solution offered by the doctor, according to Tamara's post was, no more children.

Are all assessments of multiple child-births this bleak? I'm not a doctor, but isn't it possible that certain unmentioned factors played a role in this situation? Can the situation be remedied ever? The whole scenario seems very defeatest to me. What if her grandparents wanted another child? Does it always have to end in "Steel Magnolia's"? I mean, what exactly are doctors who study women's health and fertility doing to remedy these situations? Does anyone know?

What are cancer researchers doing to cure cancer? Why haven't we cured aids? Wouldn't it be nice if we could cure all physical ailments? But we're not quite there yet. Of course the particular medical problem will vary from person to person, it's not a disease for which a simple single cure can be found. The bottom line is that we only evolved to live to an age of approximately 30, women evolved to be physically hardier than men to allow them to survive to (or at least near) this age while enduring the greater biological investment required for reproduction, but evolution was not interested in extending life much longer, it provided no significant evolutionary benefit. If a woman chooses to have children every year her odds of living longer are a bit better today than they were ten thousand years ago due to advancements in modern medicine as well as improvements to our diet...but the physical damage that is potentially caused by reproduction are to the entire system (not everyone has the same degree of problems, of course, as humans are not all the same, some have certain genes that are superior to others), they are not easily reversed.

One day we may have a better understanding of medicine and be able to prevent this; heck, one day in vivo gestation of homo sapiens may simply be a historical and evolutionary curosity. But today we have to deal with reality and the reality is that some women (most?) cannot reproduce at the theoretical maximum rate and reach the average life expectancy. We should be thankful that we understand this and adjust our life accordingly.

Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #138 on: January 15, 2008, 08:52:27 PM »
Presbytera Mari,
 

There needs to be complete assessment of all Tamara's posts. "I hated being pregnant" doesn't read like I like being a more. Geneally, when a person assesses the blessings and joys of an expereince, they don't say they hated it and mention all of the horrors associated with that experience. When reading Tamara's posts, I was under the impression that prenancy is nothin but pain and suffering. Of course some women don't experience pain and suffering? I would say that most women do experience pain and suffering in pregnancy, right? Isn't uncomfortable? I would assume so.

I guess maybe what I'm not understanding is what is wrong with Tamara's experience?  Of course pregnancy is not just pain and suffering for all women.  It may have been for Tamara, though.  And there may be women out there for whom it is all pain and suffering.  There are women who are on bed rest throughout their entire pregnancy...


The reality that a living and growing human being in the womb of a mother depends completely on the mother for sustanance is a obvious fact of biology, isn't it. I mean, duh?
No arguments here.


Tamara is right to point out that all women have different experiences. For some pregnancy is a tremendous burden physically.
That was all that I was trying to point out with relation to how her posts should be read.  Nothing more.

Howeverm the OP was simply mortifying. It even contains a shot at MEN. Here, read it for yourself:
Mortifying for whom?  Her or men?  Again, these are Tamara's own experiences and interpretations of those experiences.  I'm not saying that I agree with the post, nor am I saying that I would have posted it exactly that way (I probably would have been more specific about the fact that those were my impressions and more specific about the conversation I was trying to begin).  All I'm saying is that those are her experiences and opinions, to which she is entitled.


I'm sorry, but debilitating illness resulting from multiple pregnancies sounds pretty burdensome to me.
I'm sure it is burdensome.


Read the OP. It is a generalization.
It is.  You are correct.  I'm not arguing that.  I'm just arguing that these are her impressions based on her experiences, and she wanted to discuss them.

IN fact this is what the first response to her OP includes:
And I fully agree with Cleveland.  He is always very level-headed and eloquent.


Here's another post by Tamara:

Generalizations. This is not her personal experience, but her personal interpretation of other peoples experiences.
Agreed.

Later, she says this

Umm. So what? IN the same post:
Actually, I thought that was kind of funny, because I noticed it too.  My interpretation of that post (and she can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), is just that it's funny that the subject of women's health was being discussed by all men!  :)  My own personal experience (and granted, I'm still new to this forum), is that it often seems on this forum that when it comes to issues about women (their "roles," their "place," etc.), it is often the men who are quite vocal about the issues, though they obviously have no first hand experience of what it's like to be a woman (no offense meant at all, guys!).  And I'd further say that they also have no first hand experience of what it feels like, as a woman, to be the object of discussion and often summarily dismissed because we are women.  This often gets our backs up, so to speak.


The generalization here is that "men" don't already do these. Are these good points, yes. Do they apply to all men. No.

You are absolutely right.  And that is what both she and I both said.


Here is a reply to one of my posts:

Again, no mention of what a man feels or any pressures men have when his wife is pregnant. Hello, men have feels and struggle too. We are different and NO ONE ever talks about that. When a couple is united by the Church in the Mystery of Holy Crowning, the are joined together. Why don't I hear about what men have to go through? Is it just unimportant?

Of course men feel something.  And so does anyone else associated with a pregnant woman (I worried like heck when my sister was pregnant).  But, personally, out of concern for my sister (who vomited constantly, was constipated, had problems with her sciatic nerve like Tamara such that she could barely walk, sit, or stand, had hormonal imbalances, and herself constantly worried about the health of her unborn children-- all for nine straight months), I laid my feelings aside so that I could tend to her.  This is like what you said in your post.  You said you wanted to care for your wife during her pregnancy.  That's fabulous!  (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic) 

But please do keep in mind that we live in a world that has been dominated by men for thousands of years in the majority of ancient and modern cultures.  I'm sure you can understand how many are thus less concerned about how men feel and more concerned about how women feel (whose bodies are the ones being sacrificed- whether by choice or by force- on the altar of childbirth) with relation to this particular topic.

Maybe it's that I am also a woman, and am of childbearing age, that helps me to understand what she's trying to say.  As I have consulted with my husband and my doctor about bearing children and have first hand knowledge of the issues that are involved, I guess it helps in understanding another woman's opinion. 

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Then whoever you marry may severely limit how often you enjoy the marital embrace. I know that I would if I was married to someone who refused to use any form of contraception. The woman is the one who carries the baby and pregnancy is very difficult for some women. I will be honest with you. I hated being pregnant. I was nauseous all of the time. My sciatic nerve was constantly being pinched which made it painful to walk, lay down, or sit for the last six months of the pregnancy. And my pregnancy was considered normal and healthy.
You see her limiting the marital embrace as retribution against men?  Involving anger or control?  Correct me if I am wrong, please.  I am trying to understand. 
My interpretation of that (and again, she can correct me if I'm wrong) is that she is protecting her body and her potential children.  I don't see anything in that post that indicates she is angry at men, trying to control men, etc.  Rather, it has nothing to do with men, really.  It has to do with the reasons she lists after her statement (nauseous, sciatic pain, etc).  She was simply saying that even normal pregnancy is somewhat painful and this should be considered when discussing the subject of contraception.  She is (from my interpretation) not in favor of a husband summarily dismissing any type of contraception without consulting his wife and agreeing on this with her.  And further, she would not be in favor of refusing contraception because she doesn't want to spend the vast majority of 15 or so years in pain as a result of pregnancy.  As a result of this, she would limit the marital embrace to protect herself from possible pregnancy, not because she hates her husband or something.

Also, Tamara says women shouldn't be forced into refraining from the use of birth control.
And she is absolutely right.  It is her body (lest someone jump in and say this is the abortion line, I don't agree with this line for abortion because the baby is not "her body."  But as for birth control, yes it is her body).  And I don't believe that anyone should be made to do something or refrain from medical treatment (or participate in medical treatment, for that matter) that they don't believe in or wish to do.

IN this post, she states quite contridictorily that it is okay in her eyes for a bride to limit the marital embrace without consent from the husband.
She absolutely has the right to limit the marital embrace without consent from her husband.  Otherwise, I believe that is legally known as rape.

I'm sorry, but this kind of think severely harms the marital bond.
You are absolutely right.  It would harm the marital bond indeed.  These decisions should be made together.  St. Paul states that very clearly:
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1 Corinthians 7:4-6  The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.  5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.
I would temper this by saying that I feel sure that St. Paul intended this to be conditioned upon consent.  If a woman does not desire sex, whether with her husband, or any other person, she cannot be made to participate. 

She does (thankfully) point out that decisions should be made together, though.
See above.

For the sake of clarity, the OP should have started like this post:

This would be a more appropriate introduction to the discussion of child-spacing.
Agreed.


The folloing post is a more in line with a personal experience:
And I can't think of a single woman who would disagree with her.  The joy of pregnancy is the resulting child, not being pregnant.  I imagine most women would agree that the happiness a woman feels during pregnancy is in anticipation of the child.

She also makes this post:

It's a good post, however, the earlier posts don't really give the impression that pregnancy is joyful. I have to wonder if Tamara had ANY joyful experiences during her pregancies. Yes, I know that pregnancy is painful and uncomfortable for women (which, I'm sure is an understatement). How could it not be? I'm sure I don't have to go through the host of discomforts and pains for Tamara or yourself to agree. However, aren't there joys during pregnancy? I assume there are.
Again, I think most women would agree that the joy of pregnancy is the resulting child. 

I'm glad that Tamara seems completely understood by youself. I think Cleveland offers the best assessment of both Tamara's points, my understanding and his own appropriate words of caution in this post:
Cleveland pretty much always has the best assessments.  :) 

Okay, basically, you get the picture with my posts.

My questioning of a doctors assessment of the situation is a comcial generalization. I'm not a doctor, nor do I pretend to know anything about making definitive statements concerning life-threatening situations brought about by multiple pregnancies.

I do have to wonder, what factors contributed to the life-threatening situation? I'm mean, it's gotta be pretty serious if the doctor tells you, no more babies or your wife dies. Can the overall cause be treated? What was the overall cause? When Tamara put this example out there, all we, the readers are left with is to assume that her grandmother's multiple pregnancies were the cause of her possible death. More problematuically, the only solution offered by the doctor, according to Tamara's post was, no more children.
Let me just put it this way.  Pregnancy involves carrying something (someone) inside you who is essentially about the size and weight of a watermelon for a good deal of time.  Then, during labor, squeezing that watermelon-sized child out of a hole the size of a lemon.  (sorry if that is terribly graphic, I'm trying to put it the way my fourth grade teacher did.  ;) )  Imagine doing that for the greater part of 15 years.  Besides the obvious fatigue, stress on the bones (especially the pelvis and spine), the sciatic nerve (among others), any resulting problems from the hormone changes (such as polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, etc)... I think you get my point.  I don't imagine that after so many children, these causes can be treated.  I don't know, of course, I'm not a doctor, nor have I had any children (yet).  I imagine (of course I could be wrong) that the doctor told her what he felt was the only solution.  Either way, my point about listening to one's doctor was that we should listen to them so as to make our own informed decision.  So that we can weigh the risks with the benefits, and make a decision that is based on what we know about the body as well as what is best spiritually.  I can't comment about whether Tamara's grandmother made that decision alone or with her husband.  I don't know.

Are all assessments of multiple child-births this bleak? I'm not a doctor, but isn't it possible that certain unmentioned factors played a role in this situation? Can the situation be remedied ever? The whole scenario seems very defeatest to me. What if her grandparents wanted another child? Does it always have to end in "Steel Magnolia's"? I mean, what exactly are doctors who study women's health and fertility doing to remedy these situations? Does anyone know?
As I said, if her grandparents wanted another child, of course they could have made the decision to do so despite what the doctor said.  What I got from Tamara's post was more that her grandmother didn't want any more children and had been having so many of them for so many years because her husband wanted to enjoy the marital embrace without contraception.  Tamara, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

It doesn't always end in "Steel Magnolias," (which is one of my favorite plays, by the way) but it isn't always "coming up roses" either (to quote the late, great Ethel Merman).  That's all either Tamara or I were trying to point out.  I would like to think that Tamara was pointing it out specifically to you to give you a little insight into what women worry about when considering contraception- and that is the struggles and risks of pregnancy.  I think she was trying to save you some hurt by offering another perspective for you to consider, lest you tell your future wife that you refuse contraception without considering her feelings or worries on the matter (not that you would, so please don't take that offensively). 

God bless you and your future wife in your journey together.  I pray that you may see your children's children like olive shoots round about your table! 

With love in Christ,
Presbytera Mari
Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
Matthew 18:5

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #139 on: January 15, 2008, 09:23:15 PM »
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She does no such thing, I am a man who took no offence whatsoever. She takes a shot at HYPOCRITES, at those (thankfully few) men who do not have to endure the hardships of pregnancy and yet oppose the use of Birth Control (whether it be Abstinance, Condoms, the Pill, etc.). The post simply asks that these people take reality and compassion into account and approach the issue accordingly. Me thinks this is most reasonable

Funny, I didn't see hypocrite in bold letters in the OP.

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Welcome to the real world.

Thanks, but your about 25 years too late welcoming me into the "real" world.  ::)

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In a discussion about the physical hardships of pregnancy I fail to see the relevance of discussing some guy's emotional crisis.

Exactly. You just proved my point that husband's are seen as irrelevant. Thanks.

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Something needs to be done, I personally believe that using the pill is a better course of action than celibacy from both a theological perspective and the perspective of the relationship; but if you have some ideological objection you really don't have a choice.

I thought Orthodox believed in free-will. Is this the prevailing opinion of Holy Orthodoxy, or just yours?

Quote
The bottom line is that we only evolved to live to an age of approximately 30, women evolved to be physically hardier than men to allow them to survive to (or at least near) this age while enduring the greater biological investment required for reproduction, but evolution was not interested in extending life much longer, it provided no significant evolutionary benefit. If a woman chooses to have children every year her odds of living longer are a bit better today than they were ten thousand years ago due to advancements in modern medicine as well as improvements to our diet...but the physical damage that is potentially caused by reproduction are to the entire system (not everyone has the same degree of problems, of course, as humans are not all the same, some have certain genes that are superior to others), they are not easily reversed.

This is realy bizarre. 30? Um, sorry, but many healthy people live much longer than that. I don't know what evolution has to say about this. Fortunately God designed men and women for reproduction. I don't recall him saying anything about only being designed to live until 30.

Damage? Ummm..considering women are designed for pregnancy and birth, I hardly believe that the irrevesible damage you refer to is not also accomplanied by the body's natural compensation of this natural occurances.

Life brings all kinds of wear and tear, but to live in fear and always harp on the dangers of broken bones, scars and bloody noses is a little over the top.

Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #140 on: January 15, 2008, 09:31:00 PM »

Damage? Ummm..considering women are designed for pregnancy and birth, I hardly believe that the irrevesible damage you refer to is not also accomplanied by the body's natural compensation of this natural occurances.

Life brings all kinds of wear and tear, but to live in fear and always harp on the dangers of broken bones, scars and bloody noses is a little over the top.

I honestly mean no offence by this...

I find it really hard to believe that you would still say this after spending nine months pregnant, much less the better part of 15 or so years. 

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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #141 on: January 15, 2008, 09:31:34 PM »
I don't think that anyone should underestimate the very horrible prospect of having more and more children if a: one is physically worn out or ill; b; one is financially unable to care for existing children.

What is the Church's view (if there is one) on solving the problem of unwanted pregnancies more permanently - via vascetomy or tubal ligation?

I'm assuming that this could be an option if the wife has carried children and is too ill to carry more or is too worn out to consider the mental and physical burden of more. If husband and wife decide that enough is enough, what would be the impediment from making sure that it is?

From what I understand these measures can be reversed?

« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 09:39:59 PM by Riddikulus »
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #142 on: January 15, 2008, 09:33:47 PM »
However, it seems to me that the Holy Orthodox Church has just as much trouble concerning this issue and contraception as the Holy Catholic Church. At least, that's the impression I get from this forum. Sadly, I never had this impression of Holy Orthodoxy. 
This is the teaching on abortion of my own Russian Orthodox Church.

http://incommunion.org/articles/the-orthodox-church-and-society/xii

"The Basis of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church"

Document Adopted by the Jubilee Bishops’ Council
of the Russian Orthodox Church,
in August 2000, Moscow, Russia



2. Since the ancient time the Church has viewed deliberate abortion as a grave sin. The canons equate abortion with murder. This assessment is based on the conviction that the conception of a human being is a gift of God. Therefore, from the moment of conception any encroachment on the life of a future human being is criminal.

The Psalmist describes the development of the foetus in a mother’s womb as God’s creative action: “thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb… My substance was not hid from thee, them I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest part of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance” (Ps. 139:13, 15-16). Job testifies to the same in the words addressed to God: “thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about… Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved by spirit… Thou brought me forth out of the womb” (Job 10:8-12, 18). “I formed thee in the belly… and before thou comest out of the womb I sanctified thee”, says the Lord to the Prophet Jeremiah. “Thou shalt not procure abortion, nor commit infanticide” — this order is placed among the most important commandments of God in the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, one of the oldest Christian manuscripts. “A woman who brought on abortion is a murderer and will give an account to God”, wrote Athenagoras, an apologist of the 2nd century. “One who will be man is already man”, argued Tertullian at the turn of the 3d century. “She who purposely destroys the foetus, shall suffer the punishment of murder… Those who give drugs for procuring abortion, and those who receive poisons to kill the foetus, are subjected to the same penalty as murder”, read the 2nd and 8th rules of St. Basil the Great, included in the Book of Statutes of the Orthodox Church and confirmed by Canon 91 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. At the same time, St. Basil clarifies: “And we pay no attention to the subtle distinction as to whether the foetus was formed or unformed”. St. John Chrysostom described those who perform abortion as “being worse than murderers”.

The Church sees the widely spread and justified abortion in contemporary society as a threat to the future of humanity and a clear sign of its moral degradation. It is incompatible to be faithful to the biblical and patristic teaching that human life is sacred and precious from its origin and to recognise woman’s “free choice” in disposing of the fate of the foetus. In addition, abortion present a serious threat to the physical and spiritual health of a mother. The Church has always considered it her duty to protect the most vulnerable and dependent human beings, namely, unborn children.

Under no circumstances the Orthodox Church can bless abortion. Without rejecting the women who had an abortion, the Church calls upon them to repent and to overcome the destructive consequences of the sin through prayer and penance followed by participation in the salvific Sacraments. In case of a direct threat to the life of a mother if her pregnancy continues, especially if she has other children, it is recommended to be lenient in the pastoral practice. The woman who interrupted pregnancy in this situation shall not be excluded from the Eucharistic communion with the Church provided that she has fulfilled the canon of Penance assigned by the priest who takes her confession. The struggle with abortion, to which women sometimes have to resort because of abject poverty and helplessness, demands that the Church and society work out effective measures to protect motherhood and to create conditions for the adoption of the children whose mothers cannot raise them on their own for some reason.

Responsibility for the sin of the murder of the unborn child should be borne, along with the mother, by the father if he gave his consent to the abortion. If a wife had an abortion without the consent of her husband, it may be grounds for divorce (see X. 3). Sin also lies with the doctor who performed the abortion. The Church calls upon the state to recognise the right of medics to refuse to procure abortion for the reasons of conscience. The situation cannot be considered normal where the legal responsibility of a doctor for the death of a mother is made incomparably higher than the responsibility for the destruction of the foetus — the situation that provokes medics and through them patients, too, to do abortions. The doctor should be utterly responsible in establishing a diagnosis that can prompt a woman to interrupt her pregnancy. In doing so, a believing medic should carefully correlate the clinic indications with the dictates of his Christian conscience.

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Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #143 on: January 15, 2008, 10:03:19 PM »
Funny, I didn't see hypocrite in bold letters in the OP.

Well, since I'm a man and didn't find the post to be directed at me, clearly it isn't directed at me. In fact, she further defined who she was speaking of in the second sentence, 'these idealists'...I must confess, hypocrites was my personal addition...which seems to be an appropriate term for those who would seek to force hardship on others that they are unwilling (or in this case unable) to endure.

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Thanks, but your about 25 years too late welcoming me into the "real" world.  ::)

Are you sure? Heck, I just entered it about 2-3 years ago.

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Exactly. You just proved my point that husband's are seen as irrelevant. Thanks.

To discussions about women's health? Of course, just as men's wives are generally irrelevant to discussions about men's health.

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I thought Orthodox believed in free-will. Is this the prevailing opinion of Holy Orthodoxy, or just yours?

Ah yes, in matters of salvation may very well have a degree of freedom...but nature is not always as kind as God. In real life you don't always have a coice or at least not a choice between two viable options.

Quote
This is realy bizarre. 30? Um, sorry, but many healthy people live much longer than that. I don't know what evolution has to say about this. Fortunately God designed men and women for reproduction. I don't recall him saying anything about only being designed to live until 30.

I wish I had an anthropology textbook to reference for you, but as I never took anthropology I don't. But life expectancy of Cro-Magnon man was around 30. And while perhaps not a great academic reference wikipedia also has a pretty good article on Life Expectancy with a number of footnotes that will validate this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy

Quote
Damage? Ummm..considering women are designed for pregnancy and birth, I hardly believe that the irrevesible damage you refer to is not also accomplanied by the body's natural compensation of this natural occurances.

Evolution did a pretty good job, but it isn't perfect...if it was we'd all live for ever. Of course, the overcomsumption associated with this would have probably killed our species off long before we gained the intelligence to deal with it. The plain and simple fact is that reproduction is an intensive biological investment and does damage the body. Medical research as well as common experience has more than demonstrated this. Bipedalism has only complicated this problem and evolution really hasn't had the time to catch up, though it did manage one small improvement (see http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/071212-pregnancy-tips.html ). Because of these relatively recent evolutionary changes humans are actually less resilient in pregnancy than other species.

Quote
Life brings all kinds of wear and tear, but to live in fear and always harp on the dangers of broken bones, scars and bloody noses is a little over the top.

I think modern medicine and biology has demonstrated that reproduction is a bit more of an issue than broken bones or bloody noses. What were you saying about being in the real world? ::)
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 10:04:42 PM by greekischristian »

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #144 on: January 15, 2008, 10:23:34 PM »
Presvetera, you are very astute with understanding what I am trying to share even if my wording has caused some confusion. And for the record I do not hate men. I live in house full of them (no daughters).  ;) :)

I honestly mean no offence by this...

I find it really hard to believe that you would still say this after spending nine months pregnant, much less the better part of 15 or so years. 


Quote from: LakaYaRabb
Damage? Ummm..considering women are designed for pregnancy and birth, I hardly believe that the irrevesible damage you refer to is not also accomplanied by the body's natural compensation of this natural occurances.

Life brings all kinds of wear and tear, but to live in fear and always harp on the dangers of broken bones, scars and bloody noses is a little over the top.

He's true feelings revealed. I would hope he spends time reading about the changes that occur to a woman's body while pregnant so he will know what to expect.  :-[

Anyway, my grandmother's last pregnancy occurred at a time in a woman's life when she was phasing into menopause. Because her body had not been given proper rest between each pregnancy and  because she had reached a time when physically it no longer was able to nurture a child as well as when she was younger, her body struggled to maintain itself. She was bedridden and nearly died. The doctor begged her husband not to get her pregnant again or she would die. I think my grandmother realized that the only way to insure no more pregnancies was to sleep in separate rooms because of human desire on both of their parts. My grandfather obviously agreed because he needed his wife to be alive so they could continue to raise their children. He loved her enough to be willing to sacrifice his own desires. By following the doctor's orders my grandfather was loving my grandmother by treating her body as his own. Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

I think any mother is concerned about maintaining her health in order to be able to take care of the children God has blessed her with. I would hope any father would also be concerned for the health of his wife and be willing to make sacrifices in order that she could continue to live and take care of the family.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 10:26:53 PM by Tamara »

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #145 on: January 15, 2008, 10:49:56 PM »
And she is absolutely right. It is her body (lest someone jump in and say this is the abortion line, I don't agree with this line for abortion because the baby is not "her body."  But as for birth control, yes it is her body).  And I don't believe that anyone should be made to do something or refrain from medical treatment (or participate in medical treatment, for that matter) that they don't believe in or wish to do.

A husband's body belongs to his wife and a wife's belongs to her husband. They belong to each other. It is simply amazing that you would post the above, but later post St. Paul.  ???

Quote
Quote from: LakaYaRabb on Today at 05:32:27 PM
IN this post, she states quite contridictorily that it is okay in her eyes for a bride to limit the marital embrace without consent from the husband.
She absolutely has the right to limit the marital embrace without consent from her husband.  Otherwise, I believe that is legally known as rape.

This contridicts the reality that decisions should be amde together. Frankly, if the wife decides for the husband, this isn't a decision made together.

Quote
Quote from: LakaYaRabb on Today at 05:32:27 PM
I'm sorry, but this kind of think severely harms the marital bond.
You are absolutely right.  It would harm the marital bond indeed.  These decisions should be made together. St. Paul states that very clearly:
Quote
1 Corinthians 7:4-6  The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.  5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.
I would temper this by saying that I feel sure that St. Paul intended this to be conditioned upon consent.  If a woman does not desire sex, whether with her husband, or any other person, she cannot be made to participate.


Presbytera, you have to make up you mind. Either the couple decides together or they don't.

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #146 on: January 15, 2008, 10:54:06 PM »
Quote
I honestly mean no offence by this...

I find it really hard to believe that you would still say this after spending nine months pregnant, much less the better part of 15 or so years.

 ::) I can't believe you are playing the "let's see what you think in ten years" card. Gimme a break. To be fair, you could wake up tommorrow with a complete change of heart and agree with everything I have said. What does any theoretical "changing of the mind" have to do now?

Besides, if you must know, it what my future wife's comment, not mine. I guess would could all dismiss her on similar grounds considering she's never even given birth, right?  ::)

Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #147 on: January 15, 2008, 11:09:41 PM »
And she is absolutely right. It is her body (lest someone jump in and say this is the abortion line, I don't agree with this line for abortion because the baby is not "her body."  But as for birth control, yes it is her body).  And I don't believe that anyone should be made to do something or refrain from medical treatment (or participate in medical treatment, for that matter) that they don't believe in or wish to do.

A husband's body belongs to his wife and a wife's belongs to her husband. They belong to each other. It is simply amazing that you would post the above, but later post St. Paul.  ???

This contridicts the reality that decisions should be amde together. Frankly, if the wife decides for the husband, this isn't a decision made together.
Apparently you didn't read the rest of my post.  I said that I feel sure that St. Paul states this assuming that the wife is CONSENTING to sexual relations with her husband. 

Presbytera, you have to make up you mind. Either the couple decides together or they don't.
My mind is clearly made up.  It is you who are arguing semantics and ignoring certain parts of my post in order to back up your assertions, which are, frankly, insulting as a woman.  Thank God my husband would never think of forcing sex upon me against my will!!!!!
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #148 on: January 15, 2008, 11:13:42 PM »

Damage? Ummm..considering women are designed for pregnancy and birth, I hardly believe that the irrevesible damage you refer to is not also accomplanied by the body's natural compensation of this natural occurances.


Considering that men are designed for physical labour, is it not also true that they still sustain irreversible damage; dependant on their physical fitness, body make-up and capability? The body's natural compensation of natural occurances such as pulled muscles, torn ligaments, fused vertebrae etc doesn't help someone who is simply not physically able to undertake constant hard labour - for any number of reasons. The added burden of unreasonable expectations; like returning to work before damage has had a chance to heal, would surely be an impediment to ever recovering fully.

Not all men are physically capable to dig ditches day after day without some nasty side-effects. And that a woman can become pregnant every year, doesn't necessarily mean that she should - and there could be any number of reasons why she shouldn't. And more's to the point, if she doesn't wish to, for whatever reason, surely her wishes should be of great concern to a loving husband.

Added because I realised that my thoughts are not complete:

Should such an ocassion arise that, for any reason a wife, is not willing or able to persist with pregnancies, it would appear that there are really only two people who should be concerned with how to manage their sex life; and the avoidance of future pregnancies. Those are the wife and husband. If they feel they need to seek the advice of a spiritual father, that doesn't seem to be unreasonable.

However, it seems to me that all His Holiness is saying is that it's not the task of the Orthodox Church to create a dogma regarding what is essentially the private affair of husband and wife. Even with regard to the sometimes necessary consideration (however rare) of an abortion. I don't see his opinion as evil, but pastoral and compassionate towards the people who find themselves in the unenviable position of making that choice. No way do I see him advocating abortion as a means of contraception.

If there is one thing I am grateful for in being Orthodox, it is that I have never felt the intrusion of the Church or any priest into my marriage bed.


« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 12:30:26 AM by Riddikulus »
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #149 on: January 15, 2008, 11:15:19 PM »
::) I can't believe you are playing the "let's see what you think in ten years" card. Gimme a break. To be fair, you could wake up tommorrow with a complete change of heart and agree with everything I have said. What does any theoretical "changing of the mind" have to do now?

Besides, if you must know, it what my future wife's comment, not mine. I guess would could all dismiss her on similar grounds considering she's never even given birth, right?  ::)

LOL...

I'm not going to respond to this except to say it's not the "let's see what you think in ten years card" because sorry, but no amount of time is going to change the fact that you don't have the biological capability to carry a child for nine months (or any amount of time, for that matter)  ;D.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #150 on: January 16, 2008, 12:41:14 AM »
Like I said, I wasn't trying to compare the two situations, as they may or may not be compatible.  However, while the situations are not analogous, there are times when the presence of the baby or the process of giving birth does threaten the life of the mother and itself, so one could draw a parallel, even though it would be the weakest of ones to be sure.

Personally (and I do fall into the potentially hypocritical category of the single and childless) at the moment I find myself unable to support abortion in any case.  However, I have left open the possibility that I am wrong.

cleveland, I fall into the same category as you.  I am single but hold to my position.  I could be wrong like I have been on many things I have felt very firm on.  My principle is that if anyone has had an abortion then you should only show love and not condemn them or their actions.  They have done what they have done and God will judge each man in His own way.  But in a discussion like this where it is a discussion of doctrine or truth then I think it is good to defend the truth as you see it. 

I have to go.

Well, I'm single, but with children.  I have to say I am in complete agreement with the two of you.
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Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #151 on: January 16, 2008, 12:43:00 AM »
Quote
Apparently you didn't read the rest of my post.  I said that I feel sure that St. Paul states this assuming that the wife is CONSENTING to sexual relations with her husband.

Accept your arguing the dominance of the opnion of a woman over a man if they disagree about when to enjoy marital realtions. It's really this simple: a married couple should make those decisions together.

The context of St Paul's comments and teaching are based on a secular pattern. St. Paul rememdies the secular pattern though. The secular pattern was a typical greek one in which the man was the sole mediator of sexual realtions and other household decisions. What St. Paul is saying is "No, men AND women must respect EACH OTHER." He does not include a caveat of "Unless your wife disagrees with you. Then she is right."

The reality is that every single exerecising of the marital act should be a mutual decision. This precludes the idea that a wife can withhold the marital embrace from a man and vice versa.

I am well aware of what rape is. Funny, I don;t recall you mentioning anything about women who manipualte men. Or should I just assume that it is always the husband that might force his wife to have sex with him? I mean seriously, Presbytera, don't you realize the lack your discussion what women do to men?

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #152 on: January 16, 2008, 12:43:59 AM »
Yes, you're right.  Although a great number of bishops were married up until the 6th century the ones whom we count as Church Fathers are the unmarried ones in the main.  You'll have to forgive me for being sloppy.  It's 3:40 in the morning in Wellington and I shouldn't be playing pingpong with you when I can hardly keep my eyes open.


I do recall quite a few having foster children, and then those whom they raised as disciples.
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Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #153 on: January 16, 2008, 01:15:58 AM »
Quote
The plain and simple fact is that reproduction is an intensive biological investment and does damage the body.

So does living life and dying.

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #154 on: January 16, 2008, 01:27:06 AM »
Accept your arguing the dominance of the opnion of a woman over a man if they disagree about when to enjoy marital realtions. It's really this simple: a married couple should make those decisions together.

The context of St Paul's comments and teaching are based on a secular pattern. St. Paul rememdies the secular pattern though. The secular pattern was a typical greek one in which the man was the sole mediator of sexual realtions and other household decisions. What St. Paul is saying is "No, men AND women must respect EACH OTHER." He does not include a caveat of "Unless your wife disagrees with you. Then she is right."

The reality is that every single exerecising of the marital act should be a mutual decision. This precludes the idea that a wife can withhold the marital embrace from a man and vice versa.

I am well aware of what rape is. Funny, I don;t recall you mentioning anything about women who manipualte men. Or should I just assume that it is always the husband that might force his wife to have sex with him? I mean seriously, Presbytera, don't you realize the lack your discussion what women do to men?

If the wife does not want to have sex the husband has no right to force it on her and by the same token if the husband does not want to have sex the wife has no right to force it on him. It's not a double standard, it's pretty straightforward and seems to be a pretty fair agreement. You seem to be saying that you should get to decide when to have sex and that you should get to decide if your wife uses the pill...I hate to be the one to break to news to you, but that ain't mutual. ::)

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #155 on: January 16, 2008, 01:30:19 AM »
So does living life and dying.

So you wouldn't care how young your wife died, just so long as she keep popping out kids? :o

I must admit, you've made me speechless.

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #156 on: January 16, 2008, 01:34:06 AM »
In light of this statment I made:

Quote
The reality is that every single exerecising of the marital act should be a mutual decision. This precludes the idea that a wife can withhold the marital embrace from a man and vice versa.


I am totally at loss as to how you can quote me one this and still say this:

Quote
You seem to be saying that you should get to decide when to have sex and that you should get to decide if your wife uses the pill...I hate to be the one to break to news to you, but that ain't mutual.


Did you even read what you quoted me on? ???

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #157 on: January 16, 2008, 01:37:39 AM »
I can thankfully say that the decisions my future wife and I have made about our future children (God-Willing) have been something we both studied, prayed and sought lots of advice on, both together and independantly. Thanks be to God, we are of one mind on these issues.

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #158 on: January 16, 2008, 01:45:01 AM »
Oh, what is so difficult about the concept of 'mutual' that precludes you from understanding it? Fortunately, I have the trusty OED here: Mutual, adjective, 'Of relations, sentiments, actions: Possessed, entertained, or performed by each (of two persons, things, classes, etc.) towards or with regard to the other.' I added the boldface for emphasis. For a decision to be mutual, BOTH PEOPLE must agree to it. So, since you said, and I quote, 'every single exerecising of the marital act should be a mutual decision' this means that everytime a husband and wife have sex, they BOTH have to agree to do so, that's what 'mutual' means.

So, this does NOT 'preclude the idea that a wife can withhold the marital embrace from a man and vice versa'; because, if one partner does not agree to have sex there can be no mutual decision (remember from the OED, mutual means that both have to agree, not just one or the other), thus there can be no sex. So by not agreeing the concept of a mutual decision is undermined, thus one partner can effectively withhold sex.

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #159 on: January 16, 2008, 02:02:20 AM »
This is one of those threads that bothers me to no end and makes me regret co-founding this website. Sometimes I wonder if God's will is being accomplished by letting some of the clearly anti-Orthodox opinions I am seeing here be expressed. I believe generally that allowing free discussion lets the true position defeat the false opinions in open debate, but this thread strikes me as allowing truth and falsehood to co-exist on equal terms as "valid opinions."

Abortion is always wrong--it is never a pastoral view to suggest it is ok, it is never ok, period. This *is* a matter of dogma. Abortion is murder, every time, period, no matter what the circumstances. And the Church has every right to be "in the marriage bed" because she blessed the marriage in the first place. It is NOT a private affair--there is no such thing as blatant individuality in the Orthodox Church--we exist as a group, and whatever we do affects the rest of the body.

Turning to contraception, while abortion does an actual evil on another soul, contraception does not directly danger an innocent soul, so it is not as clear cut of a case.  It is always missing the mark and not living to one's potential, although in the case of the mother's health it might be the lesser of two evils, although abstinence would be the preferable discipline.

On top of this I think people in this world are just way too obsessed with sex. People can go a few weeks or months without it. They will survive. There are other ways of being intimate with one's spouse, and those ways are often more fulfilling that carnal relations.
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Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #160 on: January 16, 2008, 02:07:10 AM »
This is one of those threads that bothers me to no end and makes me regret co-founding this website. Sometimes I wonder if God's will is being accomplished by letting some of the clearly anti-Orthodox opinions I am seeing here be expressed. I believe generally that allowing free discussion lets the true position defeat the false opinions in open debate, but this thread strikes me as allowing truth and falsehood to co-exist on equal terms as "valid opinions."

Abortion is always wrong--it is never a pastoral view to suggest it is ok, it is never ok, period. This *is* a matter of dogma. Abortion is murder, every time, period, no matter what the circumstances. And the Church has every right to be "in the marriage bed" because she blessed the marriage in the first place. It is NOT a private affair--there is no such thing as blatant individuality in the Orthodox Church--we exist as a group, and whatever we do affects the rest of the body.

Turning to contraception, while abortion does an actual evil on another soul, contraception does not directly danger an innocent soul, so it is not as clear cut of a case.  It is always missing the mark and not living to one's potential, although in the case of the mother's health it might be the lesser of two evils, although abstinence would be the preferable discipline.

On top of this I think people in this world are just way too obsessed with sex. People can go a few weeks or months without it. They will survive. There are other ways of being intimate with one's spouse, and those ways are often more fulfilling that carnal relations.

Well said, Anastasios.
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Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #161 on: January 16, 2008, 02:11:29 AM »
Quote
Turning to contraception, while abortion does an actual evil on another soul, contraception does not directly danger an innocent soul, so it is not as clear cut of a case.  It is always missing the mark and not living to one's potential, although in the case of the mother's health it might be the lesser of two evils, although abstinence would be the preferable discipline.

The saad fact that all orthdox churches do not espouse this is basically the only reason I have never converted to Holy Orthodoxy. If I ever became Orthodox, it is increasing clear to me that I'd have to be part of a "traditionalist" Church.

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #162 on: January 16, 2008, 02:12:27 AM »
The saad fact that all orthdox churches do not espouse this is basically the only reason I have never converted to Holy Orthodoxy. If I ever became Orthodox, it is increasing clear to me that I'd have to be part of a "traditionalist" Church.

You're welcome to join us. Contact me for more info ;)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 02:12:40 AM by Anastasios »
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Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #163 on: January 16, 2008, 02:14:43 AM »
Don't think for one minute I haven't and don't consider it!

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #164 on: January 16, 2008, 02:23:41 AM »
Quote
So, this does NOT 'preclude the idea that a wife can withhold the marital embrace from a man and vice versa'; because, if one partner does not agree to have sex there can be no mutual decision (remember from the OED, mutual means that both have to agree, not just one or the other), thus there can be no sex. So by not agreeing the concept of a mutual decision is undermined, thus one partner can effectively withhold sex.

A mutual decision is one made by both spouses; one made together. If either spouse tries otherwise, it DOES undermine a mutual decision. This is not what the Mystery of Holy Crowing sets us up for. Honestly, husbands and wives should make all family decisions together, at least in the sense that they do not disregard their spouse. To purposely disregard your spouse is an offense against the Holy Mystery. Besides, the two become one flesh. This basic relationship of husband and wive is foundational for the relationship of parent and child. It's all connected and has major consequences on these realtionship.

Frankly, any woman who disregards her husband and vice versa commits an offense against the Holy Mystery. What is needed is Charity. In the context of marriage, this requires mutual love, respect and decisions. Husbands and wives must harmonize thier thoughts, actions and feels on these issues. It's just that simple. That's what wew are calledd to. That is what it means for a husband's body to belong to his wife and a wife's body to her husband.

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #165 on: January 16, 2008, 02:26:58 AM »
Quote
If you've done your homework apart from this forum, you will know very well that the opinions of those here who "justify the killing of the innocent" obviously do not represent the ancient Tradition of the Orthodox Church.

How true! This is exactly what IrishHermit and Anastasios pointed out.

Besides, it is indeed true that one can sadly find many in the Holy Catholic Church that dissent on abortion and Her teachings on the use of contraception. Most orthodox Catholics would quickly point out that those who dissent do not represnt the Church's teachings.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #166 on: January 16, 2008, 02:36:40 AM »
And how many nappies did these Fathers change and school lunches did they cut, and school uniforms did they wash and iron? How many sleepless nights did they have nursing colic? How many jobs did they have to work to support their kids?
Oh please!

I really don't follow this line...first of all, many Fathers were highly involved in establishing schools, charities, distributions for the poor and widows, etc...

Secondly, does it mean that if someone doesn't have children, they can't say abortion is wrong, but if they do, they can say it is wrong?

Thirdly, what does one's state have to do with the fact that from the moment of conception, each soul exists, and by aborting it a person is denying this soul a) baptism and b) a chance at life on its own? How can choosing to end a child's life ever be better than any alternative?

And finally, if it is pastoral to counsel abortion, what will the parents say on judgment day to the child they aborted? When it asks them why it was murdered and not allowed baptism, what will their response be? Has the priest counseled them on this?

I can understand fully the point expressed in your other post: if someone has already done the deed, we need to look at why they did it and be compassionate. The Roman Catholics have a group called Project Rachel that does a good job at that.  But if it is before the deed is done, I can't see how it could ever be suggested.

As far as the argument that some people know they should not be parents so they use contraception, if you are talking about non Orthodox that is one thing, as they do not have an Orthodox worldview, but in an Orthodox worldview, those who know they would not make good parents should not get married in the first place. You can't consent to an Orthodox marriage, hear all of the prayers for children, and say "nah, I am not good parent material, I think I will pass."  There is such a pressure in the modern world to be married, and yet we have such a floundering of vocations and people who should have been celibate being pressured into marriage and relationships...if people know they will not be good parents, they might consider monasticism or some other alternative.

I am sure you will become perturbed at my blanket prescriptions; however, I am speaking of ideals here, the mark we should be aiming for. I am sure we all fall short, but substituting a lower bar for the mark is not in my opinion the way to solve this problem.
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #167 on: January 16, 2008, 02:47:14 AM »
In a case as mentioned by Riddikulus above, to me it would seem that if a woman did that and then went to confession, the utmost compassion would be warranted. I am all for compassion after someone commits a sin or questionable deed. What I think I and some others object to is the idea of an Orthodox priest counseling someone to take the action beforehand.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #168 on: January 16, 2008, 02:50:51 AM »
I must have lost track of this thread because I haven't noticed anyone advocating the '"freedom" to kill the innocent via abortion'. What I have seen is an attempt at understanding that abortion might be a consideration; however rarely.
Actually, my intent in that reply was not so much strict faithfulness to what has or has not been said on this thread as it was to speak to lubeltri in words that he himself used.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 02:52:05 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #169 on: January 16, 2008, 02:56:30 AM »
A mutual decision is one made by both spouses; one made together. If either spouse tries otherwise, it DOES undermine a mutual decision. This is not what the Mystery of Holy Crowing sets us up for. Honestly, husbands and wives should make all family decisions together, at least in the sense that they do not disregard their spouse. To purposely disregard your spouse is an offense against the Holy Mystery. Besides, the two become one flesh. This basic relationship of husband and wive is foundational for the relationship of parent and child. It's all connected and has major consequences on these realtionship.

Frankly, any woman who disregards her husband and vice versa commits an offense against the Holy Mystery. What is needed is Charity. In the context of marriage, this requires mutual love, respect and decisions. Husbands and wives must harmonize thier thoughts, actions and feels on these issues. It's just that simple. That's what wew are calledd to. That is what it means for a husband's body to belong to his wife and a wife's body to her husband.

Marriage is about sacrifice and martyrdom. You sacrifice your wishes, desires, and needs for the best interest and health of your spouse. If you truly love your spouse you will not want to hurt her. You will love her body as if it was your own.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #170 on: January 16, 2008, 02:57:55 AM »
Actually, my intent in that reply was not so much strict faithfulness to what has or has not been said on this thread as it was to speak to lubeltri in words that he himself used.

Lubeltri merely took the opportunity to take a swipe at the Orthodox Church. It was worthy of ignoring, I thought. ;D
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #171 on: January 16, 2008, 03:06:42 AM »
Lubeltri merely took the opportunity to take a swipe at the Orthodox Church. It was worthy of ignoring, I thought. ;D
I would ignore it if I could, but I wear multiple hats around here. :police: ;)
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #172 on: January 16, 2008, 03:14:35 AM »
I would ignore it if I could, but I wear multiple hats around here. :police: ;)

LOL - That's true. Those multiple hats bring much responsibility with them.  ;D
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #173 on: January 16, 2008, 11:07:57 AM »
Being a confused pacifist, George, I really have no answers. I object most strongly to the death penalty. I hate the "just war" stance taken by Christians. And though I try with all my strength to follow Christ's example of loving an enemy, I know in my heart of hearts that if anyone forceably entered my home and tried to harm my grandchildren I would do anything in my power to stop them. I simply wouldn't be thinking of their right to life.

Please pray for this sinner.



It's you who should pray for me. You've shown the greatest honesty.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 11:08:11 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #174 on: January 16, 2008, 11:12:58 AM »
It's you who should pray for me. You've shown the greatest honesty.

I see wonderful character and strength in your posts, George. Let's agree to pray for each other. :)
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #175 on: January 16, 2008, 11:54:29 AM »
Accept your arguing the dominance of the opnion of a woman over a man if they disagree about when to enjoy marital realtions.
I am not arguing the dominance of a woman's opinion in the marriage, but I am saying that both parties must legally consent, whether they are married or not.  You are making the two different statements into one statement.  

It's really this simple: a married couple should make those decisions together.
And this is exactly what I said.  But let's be realistic... I am married, and can tell you from experience that there are nights when I don't feel like "it," and there are nights when he doesn't feel like "it."  But neither of us would ever dream of forcing the other into relations when they don't want to.  THAT is what I am saying.  THAT is a mutual decision- one of us doesn't feel like "it," so the other automatically concedes out of love and respect.  What I am saying about consent is that in the case that I don't feel like "it" (I'm trying to keep things a little less graphic by using the quotations), he would never dream of forcing me.  It's not just a matter of when we're fasting, or sitting down and having a conversation to decide when we want to have relations.  It's a matter of on a day to day basis, one of us may be tired, one may be stressed out, one may be sick, etc.  These are the times, when one party does not wish to participate, that consent becomes an issue.  My husband would never violate my consent.  In the case where a husband insists on having relations when the wife doesn't want to, then it is an issue of consent and is tantamount to rape.  There are plenty of men in prison who are there for this exact reason.  I have read accounts and seen interviews with women who were raped by their husbands for years upon years, because they violated their consent and forced them to participate against their will.  And the majority of the time, it began with "I don't feel like it tonight, honey.  I am tired."  And he said "too bad."  I think we could both agree that this is not what St. Paul had in mind, yes?

The context of St Paul's comments and teaching are based on a secular pattern. St. Paul rememdies the secular pattern though. The secular pattern was a typical greek one in which the man was the sole mediator of sexual realtions and other household decisions. What St. Paul is saying is "No, men AND women must respect EACH OTHER." He does not include a caveat of "Unless your wife disagrees with you. Then she is right."
I am well aware of St. Paul's context.  "Respect" is the key word there, not "each other." If either the husband or the wife disagrees, the other should respect that opinion.

The reality is that every single exerecising of the marital act should be a mutual decision. This precludes the idea that a wife can withhold the marital embrace from a man and vice versa.
If either the huband or the wife does not wish to participate, then it is not mutual, is it?  It is the responsibility of one to voice their disagreement, and the responsibility of the other to respect that.

I am well aware of what rape is.
Really?  Cause it sure doesn't read like you do.  Rape does not just happen with strangers.  It happens with people women know too- like their husbands.

Funny, I don;t recall you mentioning anything about women who manipualte men. Or should I just assume that it is always the husband that might force his wife to have sex with him?
The percentage of women forcing men is minuscule.  You try forcing someone who has six inches or a foot and 100 pounds on you into having sex.  Be realistic, please.  Obviously men force women into sex far more often than women force men.  This argument is ludicrous.

I mean seriously, Presbytera, don't you realize the lack your discussion what women do to men?
First of all, there is no need for a patronizing tone.  If your argument can't hold up, that's just too bad.  Patronizing me is not going to make it stronger.  Secondly, I have been very consistent throughout in saying that the decision should be mutual.  Mutuality, however, is dependent on the consent of BOTH parties.  But statistically, it is the woman's consent that is more often in question, as it is far more often the woman who is forced to have relations against her will.  Sorry if that doesn't jive with your worldview, but look up the statistics.

Here are a few links for you:
http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm  See bottom: sexual abuse
http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/ipv_factsheet.pdf
http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32701
http://www.star.ak.org/Library/files/maritalrape.htm
http://www.asafeplaceforhelp.org/maritalrape.html
http://www.kcsdv.org/maritalrape.html
http://www.voicesandfaces.org/survivor_victoria.asp
http://www.pandys.org/intimatepartnerrape.html
http://www.partnerrapebook.org/
http://www.fijiwomen.com/index.php?id=873
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spousal_rape

And these are just a few links.  You tell me how many accounts you find of marital rape where the wife raped the husband.  Honestly, maybe like three?  

I seem to recall that the arguments you are using (in getting defensive) are the same ones used by many of the guys and some of the girls in my women's studies class at UGA.  I will never forget... our (award-winning) professor's response was, "there is no place for shame or guilt in this room (or defensiveness); only enlightenment and change."  Denying that women are far more often the victims does not change the fact that it's true.

In Christ,
Presbytera Mari

Typo corrected per GreekChef's request.
Veniamin
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 10:31:09 PM by Veniamin »
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #176 on: January 16, 2008, 12:53:34 PM »
While I would share your disdain for anyone advocating abortion as a "tragic necessity in some cases," you probably know that the traditional Orthodox teaching is against abortion since it is murder. I could go to one of your Church's message boards and find people advocating non-Catholic teachings.  I could also make stupid comparisons of your Church's teaching on divorce and the fact that half of people in Central America are now living with people they are not married to, many because "they will only be able to get married once, so they better try it out first" (actual quote from several of my friends and even a RC priest I know).

I abhor your triumphalism. Praise God I am not...never mind, I will not idolize God by praising him for my preconceived notions.

It was a mere rhetorical flourish. Of course I know that is not the official EO view. But, like I wrote, IF it were, then I would be thankful to God that I am not a member of such a communion.

Do not worry, I am fully aware of the dissident Catholics. I feel much closer to traditional Orthodox than I do to them.

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #177 on: January 16, 2008, 12:59:29 PM »
If I ever became Orthodox, it is increasing clear to me that I'd have to be part of a "traditionalist" Church.

Ditto for me!

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #178 on: January 16, 2008, 01:02:42 PM »
So, you're going to conclude that because some on this board advocate "freedom" to kill the innocent via abortion, that this is the "Orthodox Christian view"?  Especially considering the posts others have submitted to show how the Orthodox Church has always and with the utmost clarity condemned the practice of abortion as murder?  I'm sorry, but this strikes me as more of a triumphalistic attempt to "stick it to the Orthodox" than any real attempt at intelligent discussion.  If you've done your homework apart from this forum, you will know very well that the opinions of those here who "justify the killing of the innocent" obviously do not represent the ancient Tradition of the Orthodox Church.

I know that, Peter. "If this is. . .then I am glad. . ." is a form of rhetoric. I didn't actually mean it. I apologize for not being clearer.


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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #179 on: January 16, 2008, 01:05:20 PM »
How true! This is exactly what IrishHermit and Anastasios pointed out.

Besides, it is indeed true that one can sadly find many in the Holy Catholic Church that dissent on abortion and Her teachings on the use of contraception. Most orthodox Catholics would quickly point out that those who dissent do not represnt the Church's teachings.

Indeed. And if our Pope said what Bartholomew said in 1990, he should justly be admonished for it. Nobody can change this teaching on abortion.

Offline The Iambic Pen

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #180 on: January 16, 2008, 01:13:24 PM »
It really bugs me when people pontificate like this. It must be nice to be a fundamentalist living in a black and white world where "the ancient faith" says that a woman who is beaten by her husband can never find happiness with someone else......
Life just isn't like that, nor is Christianity. Christ often stood where difficult decisions had to be made. The Law He came to fulfil said adulterers must be stoned to death, so He challenged the one without sin to be the first to uphold the Law.
The Orthodox position on contraception does concern me, and the pro-abortion statements of some on this board have led me to make the connection between the Church's support of contraception and the pro-abortion beliefs of some of its members.  Now, I do not wish to judge anyone, nor do I think myself to be superior to anyone.  As it happens, I am not even convinced that contraception is sinful.  My "slippery slope" post was more of a speculatory nature.  I am very grateful for those Orthodox here who have clearly stated that the Church's teaching is that abortion is murder, plain and simple.  Some things are black and white; when it comes to the murder of unborn children, I struggle to see the gray area.

You referred to the incident where Christ showed mercy to the woman caught in adultery.  This is truly a beautiful story.  It shows that we should all be careful in our judgments, and it also showed Christ's mercy to the sinner.  The important thing, however, is that Christ told her to leave her life of sin.  I don't believe the woman's adultery was in a gray area.  In the same way, the Church (Catholic or Orthodox; I'm not yet ready to make any sort of decision between them) is absolutely ready to forgive those who have sinned by having abortions.  However, the Church still says quite clearly that the individuals did, in fact, sin, and they do, in fact, need forgiveness.

I have no desire to sit on high and "pontificate."  However, if abortion is an open question in the Orthodox Church (and, as it happens, I believe it is not), then it is a great concern, particularly as I am trying to find and enter the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

God bless!

Offline Sophie

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #181 on: January 16, 2008, 02:42:30 PM »
As far as the argument that some people know they should not be parents so they use contraception, if you are talking about non Orthodox that is one thing, as they do not have an Orthodox worldview, but in an Orthodox worldview, those who know they would not make good parents should not get married in the first place. You can't consent to an Orthodox marriage, hear all of the prayers for children, and say "nah, I am not good parent material, I think I will pass."  There is such a pressure in the modern world to be married, and yet we have such a floundering of vocations and people who should have been celibate being pressured into marriage and relationships...if people know they will not be good parents, they might consider monasticism or some other alternative.


As far as contraception goes, I do agree with you. But I have an issue with the above statement in more than one points. Marriage is not for procreation purposes. Procreation is one of its blessings. This should not excuse someone consciously avoiding having kids within marriage for just any reason in the same way having children because it is the Christian way should not disguise the natural urge or need of many women and men to have them. Let me explain the latter. I have heard many times in this forum and outside it the statement:" I have always wanted to become a father/mother". Fair enough, it is not exclusively a Christian virtue either. But it is something one feels inside and acts upon it whether Christian or not. And there are people who are not born with this urge but still wish to marry. 1) If one does not feel that, it still does not make one, IMHO, less capable of loving another person and of self-sacrifice in the interests of a sound marriage. It is indeed in a way psychologically more difficult to love and sacrifice for a grown adult who does not need you or does not depend on you than  it is for your child. 2)Who says that one who consciously does not want children can make a good monk/nun? What does monastic call have to do with it? This is a different issue. The Apostle Paul asked those who could remain celibate to do so, not those who did not want to have children. 3)I do not see in the modern world any more pressure to get married than in the past, and nowadays, even less, socially speaking. The grade of pressure depends on the individual circumstances of each person. Perhaps, you meant to say our modern world is too secular as opposed to encouraging other ways of life as well, such as monasticism. Still, monastic life is a call, is it not? The only woman I know who has become a nun, actually wanted to have children and a family up to the last moment before she left it all behind.

Anyway, I do not want to create a new thread. My point is statements as the above are rather off-the-mark.I hope my tone does not sound polemic or anything.
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #182 on: January 16, 2008, 02:50:11 PM »
As far as contraception goes, I do agree with you. But I have an issue with the above statement in more than one points. Marriage is not for procreation purposes. Procreation is one of its blessings. This should not excuse someone consciously avoiding having kids within marriage for just any reason in the same way having children because it is the Christian way should not disguise the natural urge or need of many women and men to have them. Let me explain the latter. I have heard many times in this forum and outside it the statement:" I have always wanted to become a father/mother". Fair enough, it is not exclusively a Christian virtue either. But it is something one feels inside and acts upon it whether Christian or not. And there are people who are not born with this urge but still wish to marry. 1) If one does not feel that, it still does not make one, IMHO, less capable of loving another person and of self-sacrifice in the interests of a sound marriage. It is indeed in a way psychologically more difficult to love and sacrifice for a grown adult who does not need you or does not depend on you than  it is for your child. 2)Who says that one who consciously does not want children can make a good monk/nun? What does monastic call have to do with it? This is a different issue. The Apostle Paul asked those who could remain celibate to do so, not those who did not want to have children. 3)I do not see in the modern world any more pressure to get married than in the past, and nowadays, even less, socially speaking. The grade of pressure depends on the individual circumstances of each person. Perhaps, you meant to say our modern world is too secular as opposed to encouraging other ways of life as well, such as monasticism. Still, monastic life is a call, is it not? The only woman I know who has become a nun, actually wanted to have children and a family up to the last moment before she left it all behind.

Anyway, I do not want to create a new thread. My point is statements as the above are rather off-the-mark.I hope my tone does not sound polemic or anything.

Very well said, Sophie.  I would just like to add that there is a distinct difference between monasticism and celibacy.  Not to diverge too much from the topic, but celibacy does not equal monasticism.  As you said, monasticism is a call- it is a call not only to celibacy, but to a type of lifestyle.  There are plenty of celibates who are NOT monastics.  My husband and I, Cleveland, FrChris, etc are friends with several celibate priests who are not monastic, as well as several celibate laymen who are not monastics.  Monasticism is a specific call, as is celibacy.  And we should be careful to distinguish between them.  Sorry if this was terribly tangential.  I just wanted to point that out.
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Offline Sophie

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #183 on: January 16, 2008, 03:05:38 PM »
Very well said, Sophie.  I would just like to add that there is a distinct difference between monasticism and celibacy.  Not to diverge too much from the topic, but celibacy does not equal monasticism.  As you said, monasticism is a call- it is a call not only to celibacy, but to a type of lifestyle.  There are plenty of celibates who are NOT monastics.  My husband and I, Cleveland, FrChris, etc are friends with several celibate priests who are not monastic, as well as several celibate laymen who are not monastics.  Monasticism is a specific call, as is celibacy.  And we should be careful to distinguish between them.  Sorry if this was terribly tangential.  I just wanted to point that out.

Right, I agree. I have been told though - by my priest for one - that the best way to go is marriage, whether to a spouse or to God, as it protects from various kinds of temptations and I was left under the impression that secular celibacy is not really a life-time option for an Orthodox, that is to say one should not choose it consciously as a path instead of marriage or monastic life. Could I have got it wrong somehow?
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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #184 on: January 16, 2008, 06:26:03 PM »
Quote
And this is exactly what I said.  But let's be realistic... I am married, and can tell you from experience that there are nights when I don't feel like "it," and there are nights when he doesn't feel like "it."

This is the crux of the whole discussion then. I simply do not see "it" as primarily something a married couple does because they do or do not "feel like it". This has always been a very bizarre and basic view to me.

In biology class, we weren't taught that the procreative organs were used by humans "because we feel like it". Rather, procreative organs are used for procreation. The fact that Holy Orthodoxy has been infiltrated by this left over idea of the sexual revolution is very sad.

It's really simple and obvious what the marital act is for. I don't recall any prayers for Holy Crowning about the marital embrace for fun or for the sake of pleasure.

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #185 on: January 16, 2008, 06:44:09 PM »
Quote
The percentage of women forcing men is minuscule.  You try forcing someone who has six inches or a foot and 100 pounds on you into having sex.  Be realistic, please.  Obviously men force women into sex far more often than women force men.  This argument is ludicrous.

Yes. Ludicris. Women never manipulate men. There is no such thing as feminine wiles.

And why do you assume that it's always sex anyways. Is it so hard for you to imagine that there are women who take advantage of men emotional or in even sexual manners that aren't necessarily rape.

So what, since men are on average larger than women, then obeviously only men take advantage of women. Did you ever stop and consider the numerous men in the world who have been the subject of manipluation of women in matters that effect a man's sexuality?

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #186 on: January 16, 2008, 06:46:34 PM »
Quote
I seem to recall that the arguments you are using (in getting defensive) are the same ones used by many of the guys and some of the girls in my women's studies class at UGA.  I will never forget... our (award-winning) professor's response was, "there is no place for shame or guilt in this room (or defensiveness); only enlightenment and shame."  Denying that women are far more often the victims does not change the fact that it's true.

Of course! That's it. Only men and those women oppressed by men and the patriarchal system need to be enlightened.

Thanks for putting me in that category! Perfect fit!

 ::)

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #187 on: January 16, 2008, 06:54:50 PM »
This is the crux of the whole discussion then. I simply do not see "it" as primarily something a married couple does because they do or do not "feel like it". This has always been a very bizarre and basic view to me.

In biology class, we weren't taught that the procreative organs were used by humans "because we feel like it". Rather, procreative organs are used for procreation. The fact that Holy Orthodoxy has been infiltrated by this left over idea of the sexual revolution is very sad.

It's really simple and obvious what the marital act is for. I don't recall any prayers for Holy Crowning about the marital embrace for fun or for the sake of pleasure. 

Yes, but in Biology class you're also taught that one must be stimulated in order to continue with the procreative act.  Whether or not one feels like "it" many times has nothing to do with pleasure, but with physical condition, emotional stressors, etc. 

And as for "it" only being for procreation - I'm going to ask you to read St. John Chrysostom.  Read the collection by SVS Press called "On Marriage & Family Life."  He goes so far as to say that procreation is not the primary purpose for sex anymore.
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Offline AMM

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #188 on: January 16, 2008, 07:00:41 PM »
And as for "it" only being for procreation - I'm going to ask you to read St. John Chrysostom.  Read the collection by SVS Press called "On Marriage & Family Life."  He goes so far as to say that procreation is not the primary purpose for sex anymore.

I'm going to give that a read myself cleveland.  Thanks.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #189 on: January 16, 2008, 07:09:51 PM »
The Orthodox position on contraception does concern me, and the pro-abortion statements of some on this board have led me to make the connection between the Church's support of contraception and the pro-abortion beliefs of some of its members.  Now, I do not wish to judge anyone, nor do I think myself to be superior to anyone.  As it happens, I am not even convinced that contraception is sinful.  My "slippery slope" post was more of a speculatory nature.  I am very grateful for those Orthodox here who have clearly stated that the Church's teaching is that abortion is murder, plain and simple.  Some things are black and white; when it comes to the murder of unborn children, I struggle to see the gray area.

We have gone from accusations of pro-choice to pro-abortion? If ever there was a slippery slope this thread certainly seems to be on one.
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Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #190 on: January 16, 2008, 07:32:05 PM »
Quote
Yes, but in Biology class you're also taught that one must be stimulated in order to continue with the procreative act.  Whether or not one feels like "it" many times has nothing to do with pleasure, but with physical condition, emotional stressors, etc. 

Uncle! Uncle! I admit that I agree 100%.

Let's move on to my point which is that the couple need to make the mutual decision everytime to engage in the marital act. They need to also admit that the marital act and the procreative organs are given to man for procreation. God created us so that this experience is pleasuable, just like many actions we take and things we experience as a human being.

The couple should decide together when they want to attempt to create a life. Otherwise, the marital embrace becomes this an object of overconsumption. This modern ideas that you choose to enjoy the marital embrace first because you feel like it or want to do it and/or second because you aren't tired/don't have a headache/for pleasure are results of the "empowerment" of the sexual revolution. Silly really.
 
The procreative act is for procreation first. If it isn't, then it is for whatever the couple decides it's for.

Quote
And as for "it" only being for procreation - I'm going to ask you to read St. John Chrysostom.  Read the collection by SVS Press called "On Marriage & Family Life."  He goes so far as to say that procreation is not the primary purpose for sex anymore.

I have seen this book. I have meant to pick it up. I'd have to read it to see exactly what you are talking about. I'd be really interested to see what Saint John is saying.

I can see that idea that Marriage is not primarily for procreation. First and foremost marriage is for leading each other to Christ and spouses helping each other to get to Heaven and Deification.

Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #191 on: January 16, 2008, 07:42:11 PM »
This is the crux of the whole discussion then. I simply do not see "it" as primarily something a married couple does because they do or do not "feel like it". This has always been a very bizarre and basic view to me.
Gimme a break.  Besides the fact that both men and women have hormones which produce very natural swings in sexual desire, haven't you ever had a romantic date, or has it ever occured to you that a husband and wife might want to engage in relations because they feel like expressing their love for eachother in the way that has been blessed by the Holy Church?


In biology class, we weren't taught that the procreative organs were used by humans "because we feel like it". Rather, procreative organs are used for procreation. The fact that Holy Orthodoxy has been infiltrated by this left over idea of the sexual revolution is very sad.
It has nothing whatsoever to do with the sexual revolution.  I think you should read a little of St. John Chrysostom.  As Cleveland already told you:
Quote
And as for "it" only being for procreation - I'm going to ask you to read St. John Chrysostom.  Read the collection by SVS Press called "On Marriage & Family Life."  He goes so far as to say that procreation is not the primary purpose for sex anymore.
Please don't try to tell the readers on this forum that Holy Orthodoxy believes that sex is for only procreation.  Here are a couple other sources for you as well (just the ones that were at the tips of my fingers):
  • Grube, George W.  What the Church Fathers Say About Volume I.
      Light and Life Publishing, Minneapolis:1996.
  • Wesche, Kenneth Paul  “Man and Woman in Orthodox Tradition: The Mystery of Gender.”  St. Vladimir’s Quarterly 37/2&3 1993.
  • St. John Chrysostom HOMILY XX: EPHESIANS v. 22-24. *Edit* He goes on in his homily on the subsequent verses as well.

It's really simple and obvious what the marital act is for. I don't recall any prayers for Holy Crowning about the marital embrace for fun or for the sake of pleasure.
The marital embrace is not for lust, which is what you make it out to be.  But lust and love are two different things, my friend.  St. John Chrysostom makes it more than abundantly clear.  Try reading those, and then we'll have this argument again.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 08:36:42 PM by GreekChef »
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #192 on: January 16, 2008, 07:45:15 PM »
Yes. Ludicris. Women never manipulate men. There is no such thing as feminine wiles.

And why do you assume that it's always sex anyways. Is it so hard for you to imagine that there are women who take advantage of men emotional or in even sexual manners that aren't necessarily rape.

So what, since men are on average larger than women, then obeviously only men take advantage of women. Did you ever stop and consider the numerous men in the world who have been the subject of manipluation of women in matters that effect a man's sexuality?

This is ridiculous.  First of all, there is a world of difference between "feminine wiles" as you say, and rape!!!!  Of course there are women who manipulate men, no one ever said there weren't!  I was responding specifically to what you said!  Geez, could you possibly get more defensive? 
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #193 on: January 16, 2008, 07:47:09 PM »
Of course! That's it. Only men and those women oppressed by men and the patriarchal system need to be enlightened.

Thanks for putting me in that category! Perfect fit!

 ::)

Hey, if the shoe fits...  ;)
I can only respond to what you say on this forum, not knowing you personally.  If you think that this is what I'm saying, and that's a problem for you, then I suggest you read back over what you have written to provoke such a response from me.
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #194 on: January 16, 2008, 07:51:38 PM »
And as for "it" only being for procreation - I'm going to ask you to read St. John Chrysostom.  Read the collection by SVS Press called "On Marriage & Family Life."  He goes so far as to say that procreation is not the primary purpose for sex anymore.
Saint John Chrysostom wrote about this in the 4th century.  He is quoted by Paul Evdokimov in "The Sacrament of Love: The Proper Aim of Marriage."

"In the fourth century, St John Chrysostom further declares:

"There are two reasons for which marriage was instituted...to bring man to contentment with one woman and to have children, but it is the first reason that is the most important. As for procreation, it is not required absolutely by marriage...The proof of this lies in the numerous marriages that cannot have children. This is why the first reason of marriage is to order sexual life, especially now that the human race has filled the entire earth."
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 07:52:16 PM by Irish Hermit »

Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #195 on: January 16, 2008, 07:56:19 PM »
Saint John Chrysostom wrote about this in the 4th century.  He is quoted by Paul Evdokimov in "The Sacrament of Love: The Proper Aim of Marriage."

"In the fourth century, St John Chrysostom further declares:

"There are two reasons for which marriage was instituted...to bring man to contentment with one woman and to have children, but it is the first reason that is the most important. As for procreation, it is not required absolutely by marriage...The proof of this lies in the numerous marriages that cannot have children. This is why the first reason of marriage is to order sexual life, especially now that the human race has filled the entire earth."


Thank you, Fr. Ambrose.  That's not one I have had the opportunity to pick up and read, but I'll have to...

It is exactly that order which I am talking about.  Order implies mutuality, and if that mutuality is not there FOR ANY REASON, then the marriage suffers.  But neither spouse has the right to force sexual relations on the other, am I correct?
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #196 on: January 16, 2008, 08:11:28 PM »
This is the crux of the whole discussion then. I simply do not see "it" as primarily something a married couple does because they do or do not "feel like it". This has always been a very bizarre and basic view to me.

In biology class, we weren't taught that the procreative organs were used by humans "because we feel like it". Rather, procreative organs are used for procreation. The fact that Holy Orthodoxy has been infiltrated by this left over idea of the sexual revolution is very sad.

It's really simple and obvious what the marital act is for. I don't recall any prayers for Holy Crowning about the marital embrace for fun or for the sake of pleasure.

Is it your opinion that there should be no marital intimacy between husband and wife, when the wife has reached menopause and no longer in her child-bearing years?
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #197 on: January 16, 2008, 08:40:10 PM »
::) I can't believe you are playing the "let's see what you think in ten years" card. Gimme a break. To be fair, you could wake up tommorrow with a complete change of heart and agree with everything I have said. What does any theoretical "changing of the mind" have to do now?

Besides, if you must know, it what my future wife's comment, not mine. I guess would could all dismiss her on similar grounds considering she's never even given birth, right?  ::)

Neither has the poster you quote.  No offense, but if you haven't had a child, a woman knows as much about it as any man.  And less than any father.
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #198 on: January 16, 2008, 08:48:47 PM »
Neither has the poster you quote.  No offense, but if you haven't had a child, a woman knows as much about it as any man.  And less than any father.

Tell that to my gynecologist, with whom I have had plenty of discussions about childbearing and the risks.  I have also sat at my sister's bedside through two pregnancies, gone to the doctor with her, and done plenty of the reading about childbearing myself for my own case.  Now, as I said before, I'm not going to air my personal circumstances on the internet, but it suffices to ask the following of either of you:  How many periods have you had?  How many times have you suffered through cramps, sciatic pain from a period, or any other type of womanly pain, especially that which had to be explained to you by your doctor?  How many times have you looked a gynecologist in the face while she told you that you have only a small chance of bearing children, and then graphicly laid out the details as to why?  Need I go on?  Sorry for the graphic nature, but do not judge how much I know until you have been to my doctor appointments with me, and experienced the things that all women experience.
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #199 on: January 16, 2008, 08:54:28 PM »
Neither has the poster you quote.  No offense, but if you haven't had a child, a woman knows as much about it as any man. And less than any father.

I would disagree. A woman is somewhat prepared for the unpleasantness that can accompany pregnancy when she experiences her monthly cycle. Even the establishment of a regular menstrual cycle itself is a painful time for most young girls. Continued side effects include painful cramps, bloating and nausea.  I think the childless woman knows a little more than any male.  ;)

 
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Offline Veniamin

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #200 on: January 16, 2008, 09:01:30 PM »
I would disagree. A woman is somewhat prepared for the unpleasantness that can accompany pregnancy when she experiences her monthly cycle. Even the establishment of a regular menstrual cycle itself is a painful time for most young girls. Continued side effects include painful cramps, bloating and nausea.  I think the childless woman knows a little more than any male.  ;)

 

And this particular male has no desire to find out. ;)
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #201 on: January 16, 2008, 09:04:13 PM »
I am not arguing the dominance of a woman's opinion in the marriage, but I am saying that both parties must legally consent, whether they are married or not.  You are making the two different statements into one statement.  
And this is exactly what I said.  But let's be realistic... I am married, and can tell you from experience that there are nights when I don't feel like "it," and there are nights when he doesn't feel like "it."  But neither of us would ever dream of forcing the other into relations when they don't want to.  THAT is what I am saying.  THAT is a mutual decision- one of us doesn't feel like "it," so the other automatically concedes out of love and respect.  What I am saying about consent is that in the case that I don't feel like "it" (I'm trying to keep things a little less graphic by using the quotations), he would never dream of forcing me.  It's not just a matter of when we're fasting, or sitting down and having a conversation to decide when we want to have relations.  It's a matter of on a day to day basis, one of us may be tired, one may be stressed out, one may be sick, etc.  These are the times, when one party does not wish to participate, that consent becomes an issue.  My husband would never violate my consent.  In the case where a husband insists on having relations when the wife doesn't want to, then it is an issue of consent and is tantamount to rape.  There are plenty of men in prison who are there for this exact reason.  I have read accounts and seen interviews with women who were raped by their husbands for years upon years, because they violated their consent and forced them to participate against their will.  And the majority of the time, it began with "I don't feel like it tonight, honey.  I am tired."  And he said "too bad."  I think we could both agree that this is not what St. Paul had in mind, yes?
I am well aware of St. Paul's context.  "Respect" is the key word there, not "each other." If either the husband or the wife disagrees, the other should respect that opinion.
If either the huband or the wife does not wish to participate, then it is not mutual, is it?  It is the responsibility of one to voice their disagreement, and the responsibility of the other to respect that.
Really?  Cause it sure doesn't read like you do.  Rape does not just happen with strangers.  It happens with people women know too- like their husbands.
The percentage of women forcing men is minuscule.  You try forcing someone who has six inches or a foot and 100 pounds on you into having sex.  Be realistic, please.  Obviously men force women into sex far more often than women force men.  This argument is ludicrous.
First of all, there is no need for a patronizing tone.  If your argument can't hold up, that's just too bad.  Patronizing me is not going to make it stronger.  Secondly, I have been very consistent throughout in saying that the decision should be mutual.  Mutuality, however, is dependent on the consent of BOTH parties.  But statistically, it is the woman's consent that is more often in question, as it is far more often the woman who is forced to have relations against her will.  Sorry if that doesn't jive with your worldview, but look up the statistics.

Here are a few links for you:
http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm  See bottom: sexual abuse
http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/ipv_factsheet.pdf
http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32701
http://www.star.ak.org/Library/files/maritalrape.htm
http://www.asafeplaceforhelp.org/maritalrape.html
http://www.kcsdv.org/maritalrape.html
http://www.voicesandfaces.org/survivor_victoria.asp
http://www.pandys.org/intimatepartnerrape.html
http://www.partnerrapebook.org/
http://www.fijiwomen.com/index.php?id=873
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spousal_rape

And these are just a few links.  You tell me how many accounts you find of marital rape where the wife raped the husband.  Honestly, maybe like three?  

I seem to recall that the arguments you are using (in getting defensive) are the same ones used by many of the guys and some of the girls in my women's studies class at UGA.  I will never forget... our (award-winning) professor's response was, "there is no place for shame or guilt in this room (or defensiveness); only enlightenment and shame."  Denying that women are far more often the victims does not change the fact that it's true.

In Christ,
Presbytera Mari

That explains things.

Fact is that as jurisdictions put mandatory prosecution of domestic calls on the books, the suprise is the number of woman perpetrators: 20%, 30%, some places over 50%.  The problme is most men won't call (it's usually the neighbor), and many police don't take it seriously.

And the matter of strength is nonsense. There are many other ways to control someone, and quite in the reach of women.  Threat of divorce is one.  My son wasn't a month old when my ex told me "If I divorce you the judge will give me him, so you better do as I say."

And there are many who nag or manipulate their husbands into another child for whatever reason.

So this lopsided picture that is emerging, I don't know what universe it's from.

I take that back.  I used to have my office next to the Women Studies Center.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #202 on: January 16, 2008, 09:05:34 PM »
And this particular male has no desire to find out. ;)

LOL
I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #203 on: January 16, 2008, 09:06:22 PM »
I would disagree. A woman is somewhat prepared for the unpleasantness that can accompany pregnancy when she experiences her monthly cycle. Even the establishment of a regular menstrual cycle itself is a painful time for most young girls. Continued side effects include painful cramps, bloating and nausea.  I think the childless woman knows a little more than any male.  ;)

 

Oh, I'm afraid that ain't gonna work.  My ex wife was always was amazed how I could tell exactly when her cycle was coming and going, when she couldn't.

It was a defense mechanism I developed.

And when the children came I had to figure that into the equation too.  There were times when it was dangerous, even deadly.

And menstruation is rather the antithesis of pregnancy, no?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 09:09:58 PM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #204 on: January 16, 2008, 09:32:48 PM »
Oh, I'm afraid that ain't gonna work.  My ex wife was always was amazed how I could tell exactly when her cycle was coming and going, when she couldn't.

Yes, mood swings and irritability are part of pregnancy, too. Some woman are quite irrational due to hormonal imbalance; if left unchecked it can be very damaging to relationships.

Quote
And menstruation is rather the antithesis of pregnancy, no?

Are you determined to miss the point?

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)

Offline Fr. Alexis

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #205 on: January 16, 2008, 09:44:31 PM »
ialmisry,

The last few posts have been very interesting! Thank you.


Presbytera Mari,

I don't have anything to add to this thread anymore, every constructive point seems to be made, with all sides represented. We will have to agree to disagree, though I not even sure what we agree or disagree on.

I will take two things from this thread, This post:

Quote
This is one of those threads that bothers me to no end and makes me regret co-founding this website. Sometimes I wonder if God's will is being accomplished by letting some of the clearly anti-Orthodox opinions I am seeing here be expressed. I believe generally that allowing free discussion lets the true position defeat the false opinions in open debate, but this thread strikes me as allowing truth and falsehood to co-exist on equal terms as "valid opinions."

Abortion is always wrong--it is never a pastoral view to suggest it is ok, it is never ok, period. This *is* a matter of dogma. Abortion is murder, every time, period, no matter what the circumstances. And the Church has every right to be "in the marriage bed" because she blessed the marriage in the first place. It is NOT a private affair--there is no such thing as blatant individuality in the Orthodox Church--we exist as a group, and whatever we do affects the rest of the body.

Turning to contraception, while abortion does an actual evil on another soul, contraception does not directly danger an innocent soul, so it is not as clear cut of a case.  It is always missing the mark and not living to one's potential, although in the case of the mother's health it might be the lesser of two evils, although abstinence would be the preferable discipline.

On top of this I think people in this world are just way too obsessed with sex. People can go a few weeks or months without it. They will survive. There are other ways of being intimate with one's spouse, and those ways are often more fulfilling that carnal relations.

And this:

Quote
God bless you and your future wife in your journey together.  I pray that you may see your children's children like olive shoots round about your table!  

With love in Christ,
Presbytera Mari

If I insulted you or anyone here, please forgiver this sinner!


Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #206 on: January 16, 2008, 09:52:36 PM »
Since Chrysostom's opinion on the purpose of marriage was brought up, I thought I'd post an important quote from his treatise 'On Virginity', of which there a high quality english translation, but it can be hard to come by:

'So marriage was granted for the purpose of procreation, but an even greater reason was to quench the fiery passions of our nature. Paul attests to this when he says: "But to avoid immorality, every man should have his own wife." He does not say: for the sake of procreation. Again, he asks us to engage in marriage not to father many children, but why? so "that Satan may not tempt you," he says. Later he does not say: if they desire children but "if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry." At the beginning, as I said, marriage had these two purposes but now, after the earth and sea and all the world has been inhabited, only one reason remains for it: the suppression of all licentiousness and debauchery.'

Chrysostom. 'On Virginity'. Trans. Sally Rieger Shore. John Chrysostom: On Virginity; Against Remarriage, Studies in women and religion, vol. 9. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1983. (Page 27)

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #207 on: January 16, 2008, 09:56:57 PM »
I seem to recall that the arguments you are using (in getting defensive) are the same ones used by many of the guys and some of the girls in my women's studies class at UGA.  I will never forget... our (award-winning) professor's response was, "there is no place for shame or guilt in this room (or defensiveness); only enlightenment and shame."  Denying that women are far more often the victims does not change the fact that it's true.

I'm guessing you meant to write 'only enlightenment and change'. If so, excellent quote.