First off if anyone wants to use the letter, go right ahead. No need to credit me by name just as a sympathetic sister in Christ. Just please don't edit or change the content.
How do I go about addressing all the salient arguments in the comment from the last post? It'll be random.
I completely disagree that the Archbishop didn't devalue the marriage of infertiles. By calling infertility, "a challenge and a disappointment that some husbands and wives have to go through" means he doesn't understand infertility at all. And nothing I've read from Leila lets me know she understands it either.
It's hard to express profound grief and trauma in a letter and I probably failed in that regard. To call the most significant event that is continually happening to you, a disappointment is profoundly insulting. When anti gay marriage advocates both secular and religious choose to rest their argument against gay marriage on procreation, they failed to consider how they would address infertility. I cannot properly format all the sections of the Supreme Court transcript on the gay marriage case (Hollingsworth v. Perry) that I want to refer to but, Justice Kagan asked:
In reading the briefs, it seems as though your principal argument is that same-sex and opposite -- opposite-sex couples are not similarly situated because opposite-sex couples can procreate, same-sex couples cannot, and the State's principal interest in marriage is in regulating procreation. Is that basically correct?Cooper, the lawyer advocate for Proposition 8 said, "I -- Your Honor, that's the essential thrust of our -- our position, yes."
The Church, despite saying in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered'. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.They've got to pair up with the secular argument because the Supreme Court won't listen to biblical reasoning. The Church, instead of emphasizing the 'grave depravity' of homosexuality and it not being genuinely affective and sexually complementary, they rest their argument of procreation.
And because of USA Today and several Supreme Court Justices, anti gay marriage advocates forced themselves into addressing this little inconvenient problem called infertility.
I've got a big problem with that.
Why? Because Cooper thought infertility is "very rare." Cordileone called it "a challenge and a disappointment" and implied that the only people that are infertile are old. That's why I made a point to tell him I am only 35.
If the most traumatic experience of your life was called very rare and only affected old people wouldn't you be upset?
And on Leila's blog she took the time to say that infertility was due to "the Fall." And that meant that I was defective, diseased, old, decayed. I'm not sure any of these adjectives are mutually compatible or exclusive because she didn't use 'and' or 'or'. Sarah (and I'm sorry, I can't remember where she said this) said that cancer was the result of the Fall. Skin cancer runs in my family. And that's because of sun exposure. My very good friend Renuka Sharma died of non-smokers lung cancer. I wasn't a Catholic when she was dying but if I were I suppose it would have been faithful of me to tell her she had terminal cancer because of the Fall. I'm sure that would have been helpful and comforting to her.
I don't need bloggers to regurgitate what the Church teaches. I can look that stuff up myself. If the reason you write is to cut down debate and women exercising their brain, I don't see any value in that.
And Sarah, I don't write to get the reaction I want. I'm not insecure. I don't care if the Archbishop doesn't respond to me. My parish pastor didn't respond to me when I took Made for Another World's brilliant letter about Mother's Day and not asking mothers to stand up and leaving out the childless. And that guy knows me. I'm not bothered. It makes me work harder.
I live in a place that has three Catholic churches for 600,000 people. And it's not urban. I worship where my in-laws were married, where I was confirmed, and where we were married. I'm not moving churches. I've accepted that I worship in a place where people are deathly worried that it took them three months of trying to get pregnant.
I agree with the Misfit that I feel a deep connection now with gay Catholics. Ah, the irony.
Did I say, "that it is wrong to emphasize the role of procreation in marriage?" No I didn't. I said that argument is "half-baked" and that the argument against gay marriage shouldn't "hinge" on procreation. If the validity of opposite sex marriage hinged on procreation, I'm not married.
I sometimes wonder why Catholic superstar Leila got involved in the infertile blogs. I hate to judge knowing what I know but since she loves to, I'll go ahead. Until you know what it's like to love a man and take the very serious step of marrying him and work very hard to make your marriage a good one in a society that loves to tell you to get a divorce if you're unhappy when everybody is unhappy sometimes, and make love with that man during the time of the month that almost everybody seems to get pregnant and still get your period two weeks later month after month, and face a life knowing you will not know the joy and sorrow of raising and loving your husband's children, you will never understand what drives me.
I am a faithful Roman Catholic. However, I will not be a mouthpiece for the Church and I will not stifle debate. I won't let bullies bring me down.
I didn't muddle anything. I stand by my letter.