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Author Topic: Artificial Insemination (WAS: Theological Closet...)  (Read 3120 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 14, 2004, 10:46:00 PM »

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Adding, “We have married priests, practice birth control, and can get divorced and remarried” scores points with Protestants and all but the most conservative Catholics.

Not all Orthodox practice birth control, or advocate it as an a-okay thing. I believe most Orthodox priests would forwn upon it if you were using it for selfish reasons (enjoying the actions of making a baby, but without the consequences) rather than practical ones (cannot financially support a larger family, etc.,).

Basically, I dunno that pointing out such things to score points with protestants and Catholics who don't "follow the rules" in regards to bc and pissing off the ones that do is such a good way to advertize your faith.

Why not point out the positives of your faith, like how the Orthodox faith has made an impact upon your life, etc., and how it differentiaties from the Catholics and Protestant beliefs without talking about the "stuff that you can get away with" and making it the focal point.

Just an idea and my two cents.

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2004, 11:41:19 PM »

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We have married priests, practice birth control, and can get divorced and remarried” scores points with Protestants and all but the most conservative Catholics. I also asked “Have you ever seen The Deerhunter?” until “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” came out. Both movies help provide a “visual.”

timotheou I hope you are being facetious because this is terrible if you aren't! I don't want to be mean but I am shocked that anyone would even joke about this, but maybe I don't have a sense of humor.

Since when is birth control okay? Sexuality is for the purpose of love and family! Read the Fathers!
Since when can Orthodox just get divorced and remarried? People make mistakes but Marriage is a Mystery of the Church. It is never to be taken lightly and divorce is a great tragedy. In our sinful anti-family times it is terrible to say such a thing!

"My Big Fat Greek Wedding," is one of the worst portrayals of Orthodoxy I have ever seen. A blind eye is turned to pre-Marital sex! Baptism is equated with becoming Greek! Pascha is made out to be a time for drunken revelry rather that the Joy and Praise of the Resurrected Lord! It may of been slightly humorous but it does nothing to promote Orthodoxy!

"The Deer Hunter," was not about Orthodoxy and having a father who is a combat vet of Vietnam I can say that the movie is about a pain and depression of having part of yourself die in war if not all of yourself. If all you're using it for is the Orthodox marriage scene you have really betrayed the message of the movie.

The point is Orthodoxy is not a joke.
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2004, 11:45:47 PM »

Oh my...we do not practice birth control as if it were OK!  If it has to be used for a damn good reason, it is with fear and trepidation, not a matter of course!

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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2004, 07:25:08 PM »

Chief among sinners that I am, I do not think I take my religion as a "joke" but rather as my only hope of eternal salvation, or I would not have risked alienating my family and friends by becoming Orthodox.

I WILL say that one of the things that distinguishes the Orthodox as people is their sense of humor --- yes, EVEN about their religion. Sadly, my experience has been this is more true of cradle Orthodox than converts, and Greeks than Russians.
Wink

Yes, I AM only bringing up "The Deerhunter" for the wedding scene. I doubt most people remember much else about it. It takes up 1/3 of the movie, according to one critic. And while I found "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" to be a charming LITTLE movie, and an accurate, loving portrait of Greek-American families, I did not say I was using either movie for catechesis. Like, DUH. The blind eye to premarital sex is NOT compatible with Orthodox Christian values, but I think everyone assumes that. No one ever asks "Do you people REALLY turn a blind eye to premarital sex?" They ask "Do you REALLY spit on the bride?" and "Do you REALLY put Windex on cold sores?" (The answers are NO! NO! and NO!)

Unfortunately, "The Deerhunter" and "MBFGW" are the ONLY visual image most Americans have of an Orthodox church and/or service, and a light usually goes on in their heads when you mention either movie, which is ALL I am using them for. Saying "We're the people with the onion domes" would not mean I equate the Faith with onion domes, much less with onions.

And no, thankfully, Orthodox Christians do not "just get divorced and remarried" willy-nilly. According to the 1993 National Survey of Religious Identification (NSRI), we have the lowest divorce rate of any religious group in the US, and I rejoice in that. Divorce is never to be taken lightly, and always represents a concession to human weakness and sin --- something to be agonized over rather than rubber-stamped --- but our Church DOES permit it as such, and that honest, compassionate approach DOES distinguish our Church, so, when I tell people we're "Catholicism without the Pope", yes, I am "proud", if I may use that word, to throw that in. Ditto for birth control. (And for the record, artificial insemination, as long as the husband is the donor.)
Wink

At least no one jumped on me for telling people we have married priests, or should I hide that and not try to "score points" with it? I'm sure it scandalizes... somebody. Must I go over "The Orthodox Church" by Despota Kallistos line-by-line with everyone who asks "So, where do you go to church?"

When people ask "WHY did you become Orthodox?" I mention our beautiful Liturgy, iconography, and music, esp. the theological depth of the hymns and prayers; our continuity with the past; the profound thought of the Fathers; and the examples of the saints.
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2004, 08:13:32 PM »

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Ditto for birth control. (And for the record, artificial insemination, as long as the husband is the donor.

I don't think that artificial insemination is ok (even with the husband as the donor)--articifical insemination has some serious flaws. First, you normally have to create many embryos and not all of them are ever implanted--hence the rest are murdered. Second, how do you get the semen? The man usually has to masturbate to get that; strike two. Third, you are conceiving a child outside of the act of procreation--strike three. All in all, it is NOT something that the Orthodox Church should condone!

Birth control is allowed if the life of the mother is at risk but it is still a sin. And the birth control pill is never allowed, because it is abortofacient.

This really isn't a thread about life technologies, though, so if you want to discuss this further, please find one of the older threads on these topics and take it up there.

Anastasios
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2004, 11:47:39 PM »

timotheou I am just curious as to where you ever heard the Orthodox Church has ever supported birth control? As I am a convert, know many on this site are converts, and I cannot recall anyone being told that the Orthodox Church teaches birth control is okay. I agree with anastasios that this is not the place to discuss these issues seriously but I would just like to end this by asking where you were told this. I certainly never heard this from any Orthodox. I've heard of slackness on fast rules, prayer rules, going to confession only a few times a year, but never something this 'liberal.'
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2004, 03:36:44 PM »

I don't think that artificial insemination is ok (even with the husband as the donor)--articifical insemination has some serious flaws. First, you normally have to create many embryos and not all of them are ever implanted--hence the rest are murdered.  Second, how do you get the semen? The man usually has to masturbate to get that; strike two.  Third, you are conceiving a child outside of the act of procreation--strike three.  All in all, it is NOT something that the Orthodox Church should condone!

Apologies for a tardy response, but sometimes a post is made to which I am tempted to make a quick response but do not do so. Later I find the topic haunts me, nags my mind when it is idle (a too often state, I'm afraid). Hence I am taking some minor issue with our esteemed seminarian.

Anastasios, is this your personal opinion or is this taught outright at seminary? 'Serious flaws' has the sound of dogma.
First, I think you are meaning invitro fertilization, a form perhaps of artificial insemination, but not exactly the same thing.
To your first issue, I guess that only ONE ovum could  be obtained and so avoid 'murdering' embyros (if all ova taken are indeed fertilized at one time and then preserved. I could find out but prefer not to.) Of course, to my direct knowledge, these procedures more often require multiple attempts - very costly attempts. May couples fail.
To your second issue, I am not certain that the procurement of the father's sperm would be termed 'masturbation' in the lustful, self-fornicating sense that 'spilling one's seed' on the ground' implies. Indeed, I am told that it is a most humiliating experience.
I guess what is bothersome to me about an outright condemnation is ignoring that an Orthodox couple might actually do this under the guidance of their priest. And that perhaps you might be missing a key element - intent. Surely a couple forced to this alternative are doing so in the sanctity of their union and with Love.

...just the musings of a grumpy old Orthodox guy.

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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2004, 03:49:57 PM »

Demetri,

Normally I am inclined to agree with you, but on this I think our paths differ.

I agree with anastasios on the topic of artificial insemination and I will explain why.

We live in an age of selfishness where parents want to have the 'perfect' baby.  They regard it as going to the mall, picking out the qualities they want, and then presto, having the baby delivered according to desired specifications. Instead of involving God in the process of creating life, couples involve only themselves.

In vitro fertilization(IVF-ET), as I understand it, is one of the means utilized to implant a genetically modified embryo.  Due to law of diminishing returns, one cannot just simply use a single ovum.  In fact, I believe somewhere along the lines of 10-15 must be fertilized at once and as you stated, they do not always succeed in implantation. If these fertilized embryos are alive, as I believe the Orthodox Church teaches, then you have just lost 10-15 people. Add this up times the number of women who utiilize in vitro fertilization, and you have quite a number of lost lives.

Just because intent is proper doesn't make the means right.

Robert

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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2004, 03:50:33 PM »

Demetri,

No we are not taught this at seminary. And that makes me mad. I think that true Orthodox teaching on marital chastity and relations has been totally thrown away in the United States by people who want to be of the world. Contraception is accepted, abortion is condemned but then there are always more and more "reasons" why it "might" be "tolerated" being thrown around, people think it's ok just to have one or two kids (assuming they are financially able to have more), new birth technologies are just accepted unequivocably, etc.

Add to that the related but very different situation of parents who cannot conceive and want the best for their children, who may succomb to the temptation to use extraordinary means to conceive--means which originated from the above type of situation, and it is explosively dangerous.

Where do I get my ideas? From traditional Orthodox clergy, from reading the Fathers, and yes, I will admit, that sometimes I think the Catholics are right on morality issues as compared to some of the modern Orthodox. I think that many Orthodox just simply do not think twice about the issues I mentioned above, and that scares me.

Quote
I guess what is bothersome to me about an outright condemnation is ignoring that an Orthodox couple might actually do this under the guidance of their priest. And that perhaps you might be missing a key element - intent. Surely a couple forced to this alternative are doing so in the sanctity of their union and with Love.

The issue comes down to whether one views these technologies as inherently sinful. I am not an ignorant person so I will not claim that everyone or even the majority agrees with me in Orthodoxy on this issue. It seems to be under debate. But I firmly believe that my position more reflects the patristic consensus and the Orthodox Church's own teaching prior to the 1960's (even Athenagoras himself rejected contraception, for instance), and that it will eventually win out. I don't think it's wise to leave these issues to just the spiritual father because in my opinion, it doesn't matter what the intent was--the ends do NOT justify the means, and the EFFECT of these technologies in my experience many times leads to breakdowns in marital unity over time.

I am sure I will be accused of being insensitive to those who cannot conceive children, but before that happens, let me make it clear that people do not know all the details of my life or my family's life and take a moment to think that maybe I am not talking from a theoretical perspective on this. But I will elaborate no further. Certainly I think that any technology that furthers natural conception of children should be encouraged, as well as adoption. But I cannot sanction technologies that separate conception from procreation, because no matter what the intent, I believe the EFFECT of doing this stuff is far more pernicious.

And yes, you were right and I was wrong about the IVF versus AS lable. I wrote hastily.

Anastasios
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2004, 04:07:31 PM »

To you both, no problem!

The embryos are not genetically modified by the way, however.
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« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2004, 11:11:10 AM »

We have three children, born over a space of seven years. We had to have a caesarean for each, because they were all so big. I remember the tremendous rush of feeling when James was born-- it is impossible to express the elation. Then a bit less than two years later, we had a miscarriage. It was very early in the pregnancy; another woman, decades ago, might have chalked it up to a late period, but these days we find these things early, and find the problems early too. I grasped at straws; my wife was devastated. Fortunately, the next year Catherine was born.

And then came Thomas. There's a test they do now, the AFP test, to detect spina bifida. It also can detect Downs, but inaccurately. For us, the results did suggest Downs. So naturally amniocentesis was suggested. We turned it down; we know a woman who lost a baby that way. A woman at the office helped me through the rest of the pregnancy, for she had a false positive on one of her children (all of whom were normal). And when Thomas was born, he appeared at first healthy and normal.

Nonetheless, he failed to gain weight at first. So my wife practically forcefed him at the breast, and he begin to gain weight. But he continued to lag, and when he was a year and a half old, or doctor sent us to the geneticists at the University of Maryland hospital in Baltimore. We had a diagnosis as soon Dr. Wulfsberg there had finished examining him; a chromosome count merely confirmed his conclusion.

Dustin, you say "Contraception is accepted, abortion is condemned but then there are always more and more 'reasons' why it 'might' be 'tolerated' being thrown around, people think it's ok just to have one or two kids (assuming they are financially able to have more), new birth technologies are just accepted unequivocably, etc." Well, you know, everyone is able financially to have more. You're able to right now; you just have to put that fertility ahead of your ambitions or your lifestyle or whatever justifies limiting childbearing. Now, my wife and I have two big issues: (a) we're neither of us young, and it's questionable whether I should be sending children to college when I'm closing in on retirement and my wife is pushing seventy; and (b) it's now likely that we would have another child with Downs. How much weight does the potential unborn child have?

I don't know that we have to have another go-'round with NFP; I hold it condemned under the same judgement as other contraception, and anyway, at my wife's age, it stops working. Maybe you're willing to have a sexless marriage for half a decade, but I am not.

On one level, there is no justification for contraception possible. Every married couple who can should be connubialling away in the interest of fruitful multiplication, whether the children produced are healthy or not. Financial considerations are utterly beside the point-- that is a modernist, American, upper middle way of looking at the problem. After all, look at nature: the fertility of beast and plant is profligate. The difference, though, is that (as it says in Genesis) we along are given power to regulate nature-- and our own nature, at that. So is it better that, having brought disease under sufficient control, sane people understand that humanity simply must check its fertility. And radical calls for celebacy are not, I think likely to succeed. Hence, contraception becomes the unavoidable means.

As I grow older, I'm increasingly concluding that the Church is far too ready to supply answers to every moral question. There has to come a point where the abundant supply of such teaching indicates a severe reduction in its value. THere needs to be a lot less confidence in one's teaching, and a lot more fear and trembling.
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2004, 11:40:28 AM »

Keble,

Quote
Well, you know, everyone is able financially to have more. You're able to right now; you just have to put that fertility ahead of your ambitions or your lifestyle or whatever justifies limiting childbearing.

My Hispanic friend's mother has four children and makes eight dollars an hour, with a sometimes-present husband who is often unemployed. She cannot afford more children. Smiley

Your case is tough and as I said in another thread, I think the only reason that one could even think of using contraception is for the mother's health but I should have added that also in the case where you KNOW the child is going to get a genetic defect. Sorry for not being clear.  As a priest I suppose by economy I might allow someone to do that as a lesser of two evils thing.

You know that I cannot agree with you that NFP is the same as artificial birth control, but we have argued on that point for years so there is no point in bringing that up again. Smiley

You say that NFP wouldn't work for your wife as she is older (she doesn't look older! Smiley) but I am not sure how that can be generally true, as I know older Catholic women who use it....is it because of hormonal changes that occur later in life can throw off the temperature measurements?  I wonder what "conservative" Catholics who are NFP only do then? Hmmm, I will ask them on one of their boards.

I can see your point about the Church teaching being too freely offered (I think it's cute how you fit it into an economic theory he he) but I think it's better to have it all layed out and sometimes we won't reach the ideal, than to have people have to sit around and reinvent the wheel.  I think that people who are able to have children, are not at risk for health, and who just don't want more, are sinning (the MP document on social issues says that explicitly).  To use contraception then would be evil.  In a case like yours, I still think contraception is wrong-- because I believe it is intrinsically wrong--but pastorally you provide the "one exception" that always seems to arise in such discussions, and I am pretty sure that an Orthodox priest would counsel that it's a lesser evil to stay on your chosen track and to keep with it.  I am sure you are praying about these decisions and not taking them without consideration for Christ, but just make sure that you are not making the decision in his stead.  Howver, to say that because some people like you have a tough choice to face that the Church should step back a bit is a disservice I think, because not everyone is a thinking man like you are; also, people tend to discover any way to justify their own situations as difficult (which takes away truly from those who DO have a difficult situation!)

Thanks for your input, Keble.

Anastasios
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2004, 10:51:33 AM »

Two Orthodox Principles on Contraception:

   1. Contraception is never something to be "promoted" as a good. If the couple after serious spiritual comtemplation and prayer deems it necessary to avoid children, it is always with great regret. It always remains sinful and a miss of the mark of marital unselfishness and openess to life. It is regretful becuase it is used as a result of our continued "fear of death." We, as Orthodox Christians, are supposed to be delivered of this fear through the power of Christ's Resurrection. "He himself likewise shared in the same [humanity], that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb 2:14-15). When we employ Contraception, it is a sign that we have not fully accepted deliverence of this bondage to the "fear of death." It demonstrates that our trust in Christ is still lacking and in need of greater faith. This, with repentence, should be prayed for as we acknowledge that we miss the mark for which Christ calls us to strive as man and wife.

   2. The deliberate avoiding of children in marraige takes on a greater sinful nature when it is against the wish of one of the spouses. To engage in marital relations while deliberately denying one's spouse the natural fruit of that marital embrace is on a par with the evil which Onan was condemned for in Holy Scripture. "And Aunan (or Onan), knowing that the seed should not be his, it came to pass when he went in to his brother's wife, that he spilled it upon the ground, so that he should not give seed to his brother's wife. And his doing this appeared evil before God; and He slew him also. (Gen. 38:9-10 LXX).

Therefore, no one should ever say, "Contraception is sanction by the Orthodox Church."  Such an affirmation betrays a serious misunderstanding of the economia involved in allowing -in certain circumstances- the use of contraception among Orthodox faithful.  Allowance of contraception, much like the allowance of divorce, is meant as a sad deviation to the rule and is not the norm.  If used, it should be with much regret and trepidation by the couple with repentance.  This is not something to ignorantly and triuphantly rejoice in.  As the V. Rev. Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir Orthodox Seminary, writes in the catechetical series The Orthodox Faith:

"True love in marriage supposes the bearing of children. Those who truly love in marriage will naturally have children as the fruit of their love and the greatest bond of their union. Those who despise children and refuse to offer them care and devotion do not truly love."

"Of course there are those whose marriages will be childless because of some tragedy of nature brought on by the "sin of the world." In such marriages perfect love can exist, but the mutual devotion in the service of God and man will take on other forms, either the adoption of children or some other good service for the sake of others, The childless marriage, either by voluntary choice or natural tragedy, which results in self-indulgence is not a spiritual union."

"The voluntary control of birth in marriage is only permissible, according to the essence of a spiritual life, when the birth of a child will bring danger and hardship. Those who are living the spiritual life will come to the decision not to bear children only with sorrow, and will do so before God, with prayers for guidance and mercy. It will not be a decision taken lightly or for self-indulgent reasons. ...For the Christian marriage is the one that abounds with as many new children as possible." -The Orthodox Faith, v.4, p. 168

If interested, I have a treatise on Contraception in the Orthodox Church at:

http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/tradition.html
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2005, 05:56:42 PM »

Please forgive me if I am interpreting this wrong.  So what you are saying is that it is ok for a couple to use contraception, but it would still be a sin, and they can just later say they are sorry to God?  Or am I interpreting this wrong? 
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2005, 05:59:32 PM »

No what some Orthodox are saying is that a priest might allow a lesser of two evils scenario, and during that time the couple may either a) not be allowed to go to communion or b) be allowed to commune but not as often or c) be allowed to commune but have several penances attached, etc.

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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2005, 06:19:12 PM »

As to that aspect of it, I often think of the words of St. Gregory the Theologian...

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It is better both to attain the good and to keep the purification. But if it be impossible to do both it is surely better to be a little stained with your public affairs than to fall altogether short of grace; just as I think it better to undergo a slight punishment from father or master than to be put out of doors; and to be a little beamed upon than to be left in total darkness. And it is the part of wise men to choose, as in good things the greater and more perfect, so in evils the lesser and lighter.

Wherefore do not overmuch dread the purification. For our success is always judged by comparison with our place in life by our just and merciful Judge; and often one who is in public life and has had small success has had a greater reward than one who in the enjoyment of liberty has not completely succeeded; as I think it more marvellous for a man to advance a little in fetters, than for one to run who is not carrying any weight; or to be only a little spattered in walking through mud, than to be perfectly clean when the road is clean.

To give you a proof of what I have said:- Rahab the harlot was justified by one thing alone, her hospitality,(Jos. 6:25; James 2:25) though she receives no praise for the rest of her conduct; and the Publican was exalted by one thing, his humility, (Luke 18:14) though he received no testimony for anything else; so that you may learn not easily to despair concerning yourself. - St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 40, 19
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2005, 07:46:46 PM »

Looking at the heart of the matter, why do we even practice (as a society) birth control? Unwanted pregnancy has become a near obsession with the media and the yonger population because of what wasdoen in the previous decades. The "free love" movements of the 60's and 70's truly damaged the landscape of family view and the view of the holiness of the sexual act. I'm not going to say that infidelity, fornication, adultery and contraception did not take place before this age, but it was not as widely spread or glorified as it is now. It seems encouraged to "do it when you feel, as long as you have a Trojan in your pocket" (when I heard of such things as a kid, I thought it to be impossible, because Troy was decimated by the Athenians, there were no Trojans living to my knowledge, and if there were, I would think it impossible to fit them in my pocket Grin. Then I entered Junior high and it all made sense. Roll Eyes). Sexual immorality seems to be the norm. A virgin is seen as a prude who probably has something wrong with them. Schools are handing out condoms to kids under the rational that they know better than the parents about the subject of sex. And litigation is leaning more and more towards eliminating the influence of the Church from the schools, making a proper view of sex and marriagemore an more impossible to find.

It is little wonder that children and young adults seem frightened and aprehensive toward marriage and any opinions agianst contraception. They figure "Were gonna do it anyway, why not just go ahead" without knowing the consequences of their actions, both physically and spiritually. It seems to me that they are guading their right to "have pleasure without the guilt". Well, if a child is seen as a consequence instead of a blessing, then we have lost our senses.

Alot of people are under the impressions that a condom or a diaphragm guarentees success in preventing childbirth and disease. This is simply not the case. In one example, the pores of a condom are 1/1000th of a micron long. The average HIV viral molecule are half tht size. So, where indeed is the protection? It seems more like gambling. The pill is not always effective, and neither is the implant, and they dont gaurd agaisnt VD's. Again, it seems like playing poker ( I know, bad example. Only thing I can think of).

The only solution is abstanence befroe marriage. How many times have we heard this? How many times has it been ignored with bad consequences? We must look at what bears good fruit and what bears bad fruit.

Just my thoughts.

Peace.

Ian Lazarus :grommit:
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2005, 11:11:55 PM »

Dear Ian,

There is much wisdom and obvious truth in what you right.  Not only this but some artificial contraceptives are also abortifacient in their effect (i.e. if they fail to prevent a pregnancy, they are scientifically proven to sometimes kill the newly conceived child).  The Pill is the most obvious abortifacient contraceptive.  But I believe the primary focus of our recent posts was in reference to married Orthodox couples to using contraceptives.
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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2005, 10:08:32 PM »

As to that aspect of it, I often think of the words of St. Gregory the Theologian...




I like the quote from St. Gregory, and how it is even backed up with a biblical reference 
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« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2005, 02:19:22 PM »

As a mother of five,ordered by her cardiologist never to have any more children (had to get special permission from the head nun at the hospital to get the tubal during the c-section for the twins) I find this topic fascinating. Personally I think that if it comes to the point of having to try artificial insemination because you just cant get pregnant, then why not? I think trying one or two eggs to see how they go would be fine, twins isnt too horrible :'( and we are built for them...it is when you hear about the people that have six, eight at a time because they harvested so many, or when they already had a child or two and then used fertility drugs? that doesnt seem right, ethically, morally or financially. I get enough flak as it is from having 5 spaced out over 13 years! Optimally children are brought about by love in a healthy marriage, but sometimes that is not the case, and perhaps in those relationships where there is abuse or great hardship God could understand a little judicial use of contraception? I dont know, does the Church have a position on this?

Dont really now where i am going with this, it is a difficult issue. I must say that having four brothers and sisters is probably the best "birth control" my 15 year old daughter can have...she knows it is work to raise kids, and i dont think she is in a rush to be doing anything to get herself in that condition for a long long time. So she says. *cross your fingers*
« Last Edit: January 31, 2005, 07:17:18 PM by aurelia » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2005, 11:23:54 AM »

Aurelia,

Quote
As a mother of five, ordered by her cardiologist never to have any more children (had to get special permission from the head nun at the hospital to get the tubal during the c-section for the twins)

Not to sound like a complete twit, but what authority does a nun (even if she's the "head nun") have to exempt people from pretty standard Roman Catholic teaching (I assume you're talking about a tubal ligation) on the subject of surgical contraception - particularly when as far as I know, not even a Bishop can do such?

Though, given the state of things in modern day Catholicism, (particularly in the case of female religious) it would not at all surprise me to see a nun presuming to have just these kinds of faculties.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2005, 11:25:40 AM by Augustine » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2005, 11:39:04 AM »

I believe it was more of a hospital administration sort of thing.á I am not Catholic, i just happened to be at a Catholic hospital, and since I already had five, and there was a chance i wouldnt make it though the delivery of the twins as it was, (major heart problems that we didnt know about until after I was pregnant) I was told that to get pregnant again would probably kill me.á I am sure she weighed the facts that if i did die in the future five kids would be without a mother, and the fact that I was going to be opened up anyway, and the fact that the doctor (also not Catholic) was ready to do it in any case.á One way or another either my husband or myself would have had a sterilizaion procedure, either then or some other time.á

This attitude however was uncalled for. imo. Though, given the state of things in modern day Catholicism, (particularly in the case of female religious) it would not at all surprise me to see a nun presuming to have just these kinds of faculties.á I dont believe she "presumed" anything. But then, I'm not Catholic.

On the topic of birth control, I ran onto that last ngiht in my readings...let me refer you to pg 140 in Introducing the Orthodox Church which states under the subheading birth control heading Holy Matrimony: a statement madeby Fr Stanly Harakas " the couple is understood to be co workers with God not only in the perpetuation of human life...but also in the more profound sense of the spiritual nurture of new members of God's kingdom.  that is why birth contro methods which frustrate this purpose of marriage deliberately are not approved byt the Orthodox Church.  But there are other purposes to marriage besides this.  The emphasis on mutual support, assistance and fufillment is strongly made by the Orthodox...that is why many Orthodox theologins believe that birth control methods may be used by Orthodox Christian couples when the other purposes of marriage are also respected."
« Last Edit: January 27, 2005, 01:00:04 PM by aurelia » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2005, 10:19:10 PM »

Thank you aurelia,

Your story underlines the Orthodox teaching that it is the "fear of death" which compels us to do many things like employ contraceptives and sterilization.  We actually have six children (seven counting the one we lost through miscarriage).  We get the looks and the attitudes all the time.  My wife is shocked at the difference when she only has one grocery shopping with her as compared to having all of them (and our kids are extremely well behaved).  The world hates life.  Its an honor to be looked down on for allowing more children into this world to know and love their Savior.  So I try not to let the world influence my family size.  It is God I seek to please not the world.

Secondly, one of the biggest problems with artificial insemination which has led Christian Ethicists to reject it is that in the process making the test-tube babies, multible "spare" human embyros are conceived and either murdered or handed over for research and then destroyed.  Is it worth it to conceive and murder several of one's own children in order to have a child or two?  Better:  is it moral?

Finally, I examine some of Fr. Harakas' conclusions on contraception in a work entitled "Is Contraception Orthodox."  If interested it is available on-line at:  http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/tradition.html
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2005, 12:49:20 AM »

Secondly, one of the biggest problems with artificial insemination which has led Christian Ethicists to reject it is that in the process making the test-tube babies, multible "spare" human embyros are conceived and either murdered or handed over for research and then destroyed. Is it worth it to conceive and murder several of one's own children in order to have a child or two? Better: is it moral?

This mistake was made earlier as well.  I think this is IVF you are talking about, and not artificial insemination? 
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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2005, 04:03:26 AM »

Dear Phil,

You could very well be right.  I will look deeper into this.  Untill I read otherwise, I will assume that I stand corrected.  Thanks for pointing this out.  Of course there are other objections that are raised about artificial insemination.
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« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2005, 02:48:00 PM »

Dear Phil,

You could very well be right. I will look deeper into this. Untill I read otherwise, I will assume that I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing this out. Of course there are other objections that are raised about artificial insemination.

Of course, Bill.  I agree with you on the objections to artificial insemination, I just didn't want people getting the two confused.
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« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2005, 11:22:38 AM »

I totally, understand my brother.  Please check out my upcoming post on the Severus thread.
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