Author Topic: Contraception: an observer's view  (Read 89900 times)

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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.

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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.
"Thoughts are like airplanes flying in the air. If you ignore them, there is no problem. If you pay attention to them, you create an airport inside your head and permit them to land!" (Priestmonk Christodoulos Aggeloglou, Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain Mount Athos, Greece, 1998,pp. 29-30, 48)

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?
"Thoughts are like airplanes flying in the air. If you ignore them, there is no problem. If you pay attention to them, you create an airport inside your head and permit them to land!" (Priestmonk Christodoulos Aggeloglou, Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain Mount Athos, Greece, 1998,pp. 29-30, 48)

Offline Fr. Alexis

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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.

Offline Fr. Alexis

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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?

Offline Fr. Alexis

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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!

 ::)

Offline Fr. George

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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...  ;)
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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.
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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
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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;
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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. ;)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 09:57:17 PM by greekischristian »

Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #208 on: January 16, 2008, 10:13:12 PM »
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.
I'm sure that's true, but I'm specifically talking about marital rape, not just domestic violence.

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."
Nonsense?  Tell that to any woman who has ever been raped and had no chance of fighting back or getting away because he was twice her size.

You are absolutely right about the control thing.  You certainly won't hear any argument from me about that.  And I'm very sorry (honestly, not sarcastically) to hear that your ex behaved that way.  It's terribly unjust when women take that kind of stance, taking advantage of the fact that they are women to control their husbands.  That is tragic.

And there are many who nag or manipulate their husbands into another child for whatever reason.
Again, no argument here.

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.

LOL.  I have to admit, Women Studies was NOT my favorite class, because I HATE politically motivated classes.  They are, as you say, lopsided in the picture they present.  I'm just trying to present the female point of view so as to keep the balance, not tip it in the female direction.  I hope I've made that clear.  If not, I do apologize.
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Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #209 on: January 16, 2008, 10:17:25 PM »
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.

This is a good point, while women certainly constitute the vast majority of people subjected to domestic violence, they are not the only ones victimized by the propagation of a patriarchal culture and society, these men are victims as well.

To quote my favourite playwright, Oscar Wilde, 'Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things.'

Quote
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.

Nag or manipulate? Nothing like trying to make a point using extremely sexist stereotypes. ::) Is it just me, or are you a bit bitter?

Regardless, there is a universe of difference between physical violence and 'nagging' or 'manipulating', I don't see how you could even try to compare the two. If someone nags a bank teller trying to force the bank teller to give them money, should they be treated the same way by the law as they would if they were to put a gun to the bank teller's head and demand the money? That's essentially your argument.

Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #210 on: January 16, 2008, 10:21:16 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:

And this:

If I insulted you or anyone here, please forgiver this sinner!



No need for forgiveness, you haven't done anything wrong.  I'm sure that both of us have personal circumstances that color our points of view.  I know I do, as evidenced by the "without airing my personal circumstances..."

And I was quite sincere in what I said in the quote you referenced...

You know, funny thing is, I think we actually agree on almost everything, we just have different ways of presenting it.  I think the original point of our discussion was that these issues should be discussed and agreed upon mutually, right?  Let's just agree on that, since it is the most important thing, and call it a day.

Again, I hope I was clear in trying to present the female side to balance what was being said.  If not, I apologize.  And I certainly apologize if I offended you or anyone else.  It was not my intent.  I get very passionate about women's health and violence against women because of my own experiences.  Guess sometimes these little discussions hit too close to home and I get worked up about it.  :)

Again, God's blessings and love be always with you and your family.  And "kala stefana" to you and your future wife.  May you have many many happy years together, and beautiful, healthy children!

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

Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #211 on: January 16, 2008, 10:25:09 PM »
I'm guessing you meant to write 'only enlightenment and change'. If so, excellent quote. ;)

Yikes!  Oops!  Yeah, Dr. Johnson-Bailey wouldn't like that little misquote, would they?  My bad!!!!

Mods, a little help please in making that change?  I'd appreciate it!
Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
Matthew 18:5

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #212 on: January 16, 2008, 10:31:58 PM »
Yikes!  Oops!  Yeah, Dr. Johnson-Bailey wouldn't like that little misquote, would they?  My bad!!!!

Mods, a little help please in making that change?  I'd appreciate it!

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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #213 on: January 16, 2008, 10:45:08 PM »
You are absolutely right about the control thing.  You certainly won't hear any argument from me about that.  And I'm very sorry (honestly, not sarcastically) to hear that your ex behaved that way.  It's terribly unjust when women take that kind of stance, taking advantage of the fact that they are women to control their husbands.  That is tragic.
Again, no argument here.

Sometimes the problem is that a women has only nagging and manipulation to fall back upon. Would a happy marriage produce a nag or a manipulator - of either gender? Perhaps the only reason a woman has to harp on about the same thing constantly or resort to manipulation is that her unhappiness with the situation isn't being heeded.

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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 #214 on: January 16, 2008, 11:20:45 PM »
Sometimes the problem is that a women has only nagging and manipulation to fall back upon. Would a happy marriage produce a nag or a manipulator - of either gender? Perhaps the only reason a woman has to harp on about the same thing constantly or resort to manipulation is that her unhappiness with the situation isn't being heeded.



Or she's a nag or a harpie.  I agree most men have more "forceful" ways of taking out their frustration (although the number of women who exercise this option are not inconsiderable).

In psychology there is the question on whether borderline personality disorder (overwhelmingly diagnosed as depression before recognized as a distinct disorder) and antisocial  personality are the female and male versions of the same disorder.  Having this in mood disorders (which are episodic) might explain these extremes that being portrayed.

Getting back to the OP, we've been talking about disfunctional couples as if this was the norm.  I don't know (I haven't read all the posts) but I don't know if the men of the OP have plans to having kids every year.  It could be (and I've see it first hand) that these men are the tame member of the couple on this issue. :o
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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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #215 on: January 16, 2008, 11:46:56 PM »
This is a good point, while women certainly constitute the vast majority of people subjected to domestic violence, they are not the only ones victimized by the propagation of a patriarchal culture and society, these men are victims as well.

To quote my favourite playwright, Oscar Wilde, 'Despotism is unjust to everybody, including the despot, who was probably made for better things.'

Nag or manipulate? Nothing like trying to make a point using extremely sexist stereotypes. ::) Is it just me, or are you a bit bitter?

Regardless, there is a universe of difference between physical violence and 'nagging' or 'manipulating', I don't see how you could even try to compare the two. If someone nags a bank teller trying to force the bank teller to give them money, should they be treated the same way by the law as they would if they were to put a gun to the bank teller's head and demand the money? That's essentially your argument.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you've never been married.

I say that because even if you have a perfect marriage (so I'm told) you are not your own man, as it should be (I mean, you belong to your wife).

Essentially my argument?  You make it sound like "if you don't put that money in the bag,...blah....blah...blah" 
How about "put the money in the bag, or you won't see your children." 
"I have your personal information, and will use it if you don't put the money in the bag," (a coworker just had her identity stolen.  She was apologizing because how upset she was.  I told her "you SHOULD be upset."  "I feel so violated," she said.  "You WERE" I replied).
etc.

That's closer to my argument. Btw, I say that as someone who has had a gun pointed at him (true, not the head.  The belly, and the chest).

Anyway, I don't think we have ever heard from the better halves (or is that too sexist?) of the men in the OP.  For all we know, they are of like mind, in which case it is good they found each other, and it's none of our business.  In fact, if they (and mind you, I say they, not he) want to give themselves up totally to each other and pour themselves out into a whole brood of children, is that something we should condemn?
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 GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #216 on: January 17, 2008, 02:31:05 AM »
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you've never been married.

I say that because even if you have a perfect marriage (so I'm told) you are not your own man, as it should be (I mean, you belong to your wife).

Well, I know of some marriages where this is true and others where it is not...but in any case it's a personal choice (granted, various biological reactions are invovled, but I'm going to assume that we're all rational human beings and not senseless beasts, thus reason should prevail over all else) as mere words cannot usurp one's life or personal freedom in the manner that physical violence can.

Quote
Essentially my argument?  You make it sound like "if you don't put that money in the bag,...blah....blah...blah" 
How about "put the money in the bag, or you won't see your children." 

The latter may still be a crime, but unless they actually use physical violence to act on this threat it is a lesser crime than the former.

Quote
"I have your personal information, and will use it if you don't put the money in the bag," (a coworker just had her identity stolen.  She was apologizing because how upset she was.  I told her "you SHOULD be upset."  "I feel so violated," she said.  "You WERE" I replied).
etc.

Blackmail still isn't tantamount to armed robbery...if someone tried to blackmail me in this manner I'd probably tell them to **** off, if they put a gun to my head I'd probably comply.

Quote
That's closer to my argument. Btw, I say that as someone who has had a gun pointed at him (true, not the head.  The belly, and the chest).

Well I haven't, thankfully, and I don't know how you responded but I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't try anything too rash.

Quote
Anyway, I don't think we have ever heard from the better halves (or is that too sexist?)

YES! ;D

Quote
of the men in the OP.  For all we know, they are of like mind, in which case it is good they found each other, and it's none of our business.  In fact, if they (and mind you, I say they, not he) want to give themselves up totally to each other and pour themselves out into a whole brood of children, is that something we should condemn?

Well, I'd still say yes...but for reasons completely unrelated to this discussion so I won't get into it. You can always join us over at the 'Overpopulation' thread. ;)

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #217 on: January 17, 2008, 05:36:23 AM »
Or she's a nag or a harpie. 

Why would anyone man marry such a person?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 05:50:20 AM by Riddikulus »
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #218 on: January 17, 2008, 06:03:23 AM »
And how, exactly is this relevant?

People may have some degree of a right to live, but not at the expense of another. If I need a kidney, I can't force you to give me one. If I need a kidney to survive and you are the only one who can give it to me, you are well within your rights to refuse...my 'right to life' does not extend to allowing me to violate you and force you to give me a kidney. Furthermore, your right to life does not extend to even a violation of my property rights, if you're freezing outside and are about to die of hypothermia you still can't enter my house against my will to get warm; if you did enter my house without my permission I would be within my rights to (and might very well) shoot you. Your 'right to life' is limited, it is only valid so long as you don't violate my rights...and vice versa. The same must be applied to any fetus' 'right to life'.
Phew, I think you should change your signature to something more appropriate:

cessante caritate legis cessat ipsa lex

I would think that Orthodox Christians are bound by the teachings of Christ and the Apostles rather than their "property rights" and their "right" to freeze a poor man to death or club him to death if he wants to be warm..

As Saint Paul says to the Corinthians: "quia caritas non quaerit quae sua sunt" -  "because charity does not seek those things which are its own."  In other words, love does not seek and insist upon its "property rights" and to insist on it seems, to me at least, to be at serious odds with the Gospel.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 06:56:23 AM by Irish Hermit »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #219 on: January 17, 2008, 06:26:03 AM »
Why would anyone man marry such a person?

I hesitated to answer, getting off the OP, but maybe shouldn't leave this hanging:

Some men have no sense. (and women for that matter.  I've seen enough of this: one wedding I was at everyone was basically talking about how much the marriage was a mistake in the making.  They divorced I think 6-7 years later. Real nasty, international child abduction etc.).

Others get into the relationship and are manipulated into it (one such case was the only time I tried to get someone who was legally married but not yet in church, to divorce instead. "Getting pregnant" was the method of choice in this case: with the man in question there would be no question of him doing teh right thing, and thinking first about any children he had).

Others have other issues that only come up later.  Such would be the case with someone with a borderline personality: such people have severe abandonment issues, and are quite pleasant and loving until the relationship impresses on them that the other person will not be leaving.  Then it spirals into ceaseless "testing" of this loyalty, and the unstable anger aspects of the disorder come out (such was my situation).

To get back to the OP: one of the best maxims on the pre and post wedding problems some couples have was expressed by a Greek priest (I don't know if he coined it).  A man marries a woman, thinking she won't change.  A woman marries a man, thinking she will change him.

I can easily see it within reason that the couples of the OP could be falling into this trap, and in a sense you can't predict that with 100% certainty.  Life doesn't come with such guarentees.  Hence the "for worse part" of the vows (if you do that sort of thing: I had it stricken from our service in Church).  One would think that a topic as germane as children would be thoroughly discussed before marriage, but part of the problem is that the reality is quite different from theory.  As such, the disposition of the persons involved should be paramount, not what decisions the person has made on theoretical situations, but how they approach situations.  If the men are bullying their spouses to be into endless pregnancy (or the women manipulating their intended into repeat fatherhood) will show in actions across the board, and they should consider their wedding plans accordingly.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 06:30:56 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,
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 Carole

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #220 on: January 17, 2008, 11:42:57 AM »
*
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!

100% - 3% = 97%  = True

However, using chemical/barrier contraceptives and practicing NFP are not the only two options.  There are a number of people who don't do either one.

So to say that 97% of married couples (young or old as it isn't just young married couples who deal with this issue) is likely to be incorrect.


Regarding the original post:

I think this is complete supposition based on facts not in evidence.  You have no way of knowing what the cause of their health issues is.  I know people with very large families who eat well, exercise regularly and are astoundingly healthy.  I know people with no children who eat horribly, exercise not at all and are very unhealthy.  And I know of many many people that fall between these extremes.

Unless you can post a study that directly links multiple pregnancies to autoimmune diseases then you cannot blame rheumatoid arthritis on large families.  Nor can you blame hormonal imbalances and anemia on large families.  Nor are stress-related illnesses the exclusive province of large families.  It is an absurdity to post what you did without any citation for reference to back up your rather absurd claims.

Oh ... and before anyone asks.  I have no vested interest in defending large families.  For reasons known only to God, we have been blessed with only one child.

Oh and I suffer from iron deficiency anemia, osteo-arthritis in my spine, a chronic pinched nerve, mild clinical depression (a hormonal imbalance), and I have some wrinkles and a ton of gray hair at the ripe old age of not-quite 39.

I have friends with 4, 5, 6, and 12 children.  I wouldn't say that because I have only one child my life is less stressful.  In fact in some ways I am more stressed that my friends with "many" children.  In some ways I am less stressed.  But overall my life is not more or less stressful.  It is simply stressful in different ways.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 11:53:11 AM by Carole »
Carole

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #221 on: January 17, 2008, 01:01:30 PM »
100% - 3% = 97%  = True

However, using chemical/barrier contraceptives and practicing NFP are not the only two options.  There are a number of people who don't do either one.

So to say that 97% of married couples (young or old as it isn't just young married couples who deal with this issue) is likely to be incorrect.


Regarding the original post:

I think this is complete supposition based on facts not in evidence.  You have no way of knowing what the cause of their health issues is.  I know people with very large families who eat well, exercise regularly and are astoundingly healthy.  I know people with no children who eat horribly, exercise not at all and are very unhealthy.  And I know of many many people that fall between these extremes.

Unless you can post a study that directly links multiple pregnancies to autoimmune diseases then you cannot blame rheumatoid arthritis on large families.  Nor can you blame hormonal imbalances and anemia on large families.  Nor are stress-related illnesses the exclusive province of large families.  It is an absurdity to post what you did without any citation for reference to back up your rather absurd claims.

Oh ... and before anyone asks.  I have no vested interest in defending large families.  For reasons known only to God, we have been blessed with only one child.

Oh and I suffer from iron deficiency anemia, osteo-arthritis in my spine, a chronic pinched nerve, mild clinical depression (a hormonal imbalance), and I have some wrinkles and a ton of gray hair at the ripe old age of not-quite 39.

I have friends with 4, 5, 6, and 12 children.  I wouldn't say that because I have only one child my life is less stressful.  In fact in some ways I am more stressed that my friends with "many" children.  In some ways I am less stressed.  But overall my life is not more or less stressful.  It is simply stressful in different ways.

I can see I should have started this thread out in different way (my mistake). But I did say these were my own observations and I still stand by what I observe. Yes, you can get any of the diseases without having any children or with only very few children. But from what I have OBSERVED, my friends with large families, tend to be in poorer health than my friends who have smaller families. Many of the illnesses have become more obvious as these women have hit perimenopause (a time of reckoning in women's health). If one hasn't had time to care for one's own health then various illnesses and conditions tend to show up when women hit their mid to late forties.

This thread has touched on so many different subjects which had very little to do with the original message but what I was hoping would happen with this thread was to get people thinking about a woman's health in regard to pregnancy because some single men (not all men!) were making statements about not using birth control and I wanted to get these men thinking. I was hoping other women would chime in with their own experiences of pregnancy and
related health issues. Instead, a few men became defensive and accusations began to fly. I tried not to get upset but when one woman poster privately emailed me that she was dismayed to see the thread being taken over by single men I decided to jump back into the thread to try and encourage other women to participate. Greek Chef wrote some excellent posts through out. Thank you Presbytera for all of your insights and perceptions. All I can say is, dear ladies, don't be afraid or intimidated to post your thoughts. Your experiences and observations are valuable whether you agree with me or not. I don't care. I won't try and force you to think a certain way. Every woman has something of value to bring to the discussion.

I also am thankful to belong to a faith (Orthodoxy) which is not legalistic. It allows humans to be humans. And when we might get off the path the Church gently, like a mother, helps us to get back on. I am more appreciative of this aspect lately as I see this is not something seen in other places.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 01:05:48 PM by Tamara »

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #222 on: January 17, 2008, 01:29:37 PM »
Here is one study on the subject. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6202707.stm

   
Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 01:37 GMT

Large families 'bad for parents'
 
The more babies a woman has, the higher her chance of dying early
Having a large number of children is bad for parents' health - particularly that of mothers, a study suggests.
US researchers looked at 21,000 couples living in Utah between 1860 and 1985, who bore a total of 174,000 children.

It was found the more children couples had, the worse their health and the more likely they were to die early.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science study is historical, but the experts say it helps explain both the menopause and modern family planning.

   
 Menopause appears to allow mothers to live longer and rear more offspring to adulthood 
Dr Dustin Penn and Dr Ken Smith
In other species, the high physical costs of bearing and raising offspring explain why having as many offspring as possible is not ideal - even though it might appear to be the most successful way of continuing the species' existence.

Research had not concluded whether or not the same was true for human reproduction.

Physical costs

The researchers, from the University of Utah, analysed nineteenth century data from the Utah Population Database.

They found that the couples had an average of eight children each, but family size ranged from one to 14 or more children.

The data showed that the more children a couple produced, the higher their risk of early death.

The situation was worst for women, because they were affected by the physical costs of bearing the children.

Fathers' mortality risk increased the more children they had, but never exceeded that of mothers.

The team looked at deaths after the last child was born and found mothers were also more likely than fathers to die after the last child was born.

They found 1,414 women died within a year of the last child's birth, and another 988 by the time the child was five.

In comparison, 613 men died in the first year after their last child was born, with another 1,083 dying within five years.

And the larger the family, the more likely children were to die before the age of 18, particularly if they were among the youngest.

Reproductive control

The team, led by Dr Dustin Penn and Dr Ken Smith, say the findings do shed light on human reproduction which are still relevant today.

Humans are one of the few species where the female goes through a menopause which ends her reproductive years.

The researchers say: "Menopause appears to allow mothers to live longer and rear more offspring to adulthood, and this unusual life history probably evolved in our species because, as we found, offspring so extremely depend on their mother's survival."

They add the findings also suggest why women now tend to have fewer children.

"If women have generally incurred greater fitness costs of reproduction, this could explain why they generally prefer fewer offspring than their husbands and reduce their fertility when they obtain more reproductive autonomy."

Offline lubeltri

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #223 on: January 17, 2008, 02:00:53 PM »
Hello Tamara,

Here is what I can't get around. Is not justifying artificial contraception effectively denying God's provident role in the creation of every human being? Fertilization is a mystery. It does not always happen, and many eggs and millions of sperm never make it. Is it random chance or is God's hand in it? "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you," reads Jeremiah 1:5.

By taking it upon ourselves to restrict or block this miracle of new life, are we not denying God's authority in this?

-

Another thing I can't get around: This liberal view of birth control is a novelty of 20th-century vintage. Is this an EO "development of doctrine"? How can something so condemned for so long be finally accepted?

Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #224 on: January 17, 2008, 02:12:12 PM »
Hello Tamara,

Here is what I can't get around. Is not justifying artificial contraception effectively denying God's provident role in the creation of every human being? Fertilization is a mystery. It does not always happen, and many eggs and millions of sperm never make it. Is it random chance or is God's hand in it? "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you," reads Jeremiah 1:5.

By taking it upon ourselves to restrict or block this miracle of new life, are we not denying God's authority in this?

-

Another thing I can't get around: This liberal view of birth control is a novelty of 20th-century vintage. Is this an EO "development of doctrine"? How can something so condemned for so long be finally accepted?

It's random chance, they should have covered that in the genetics unit of Biology 101.