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May 06, 2005
Those who insinuated a few posts down that people without children have less than full lives can be proud of themselves: they have powerful allies.
The Scripture does not even envision married couples who choose not to have children. The shocking reality is that some Christians have bought into this lifestyle and claim childlessness as a legitimate option. The rise of modern contraceptives has made this technologically possible. But the fact remains that though childlessness may be made possible by the contraceptive revolution, it remains a form of rebellion against God's design and order.
Wait, I forgot. Only parents are allowed to have opinions about whether or not to have kids. Forget I said anything.
Posted by Chris Clarke at May 6, 2005 12:12 PM
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What a sad perspective on Christian child rearing this article puts forward.
So children are an opportunity to get in good with Jeebus. They are valuable , not for themselves, but as a way to prove that one can live as a good christian. The slave mentality of one's life "belonging to God" give tacit permission to have the lives of those under one belong to the service of one's chosen master in the way one sees fit.
Posted by: Raven at May 6, 2005 12:44 PM
Oh & the stress of childrearing is the price of the pleasure of sex.
Every joy must be paid for.
"Your father & I had you because it's our duty, don't think raising you wasn't a major pain in the ass that we could've done with out except the Lord commanded it, jr."
You know, this kind of thing makes me weep for my church. Not my beliefs, because they're not touched by this stuff, but by what people are going to believe about me until they know me better, and what they think of what it means to be a "Christian".
There are those whose answer is to leave the church. That leaves me with the mental image of people abandoning an individual who's overwhelmed by attackers. If I leave, if all of us who think the way I do leave, what is then to become of Christianity? The church I know and love will die, and what's left will end up looking just like the Taliban.
I'll stay and I'll push back. But it grows wearisome when I read this kind of interpretation of Scripture.Posted by: Vicki at May 6, 2005 01:26 PM
You're a better man than I am, Vicki.
But as I've told you before, if they were all like you I might be one too.Posted by: Chris Clarke at May 6, 2005 01:27 PM
All I have to say is this:
Rearing children is a shockingly difficult job that requires all of your emotional and physical energy, absurd amounts of patience, and the voluntary capitulation of Self to Other. If you cannot summon or accomplish all of those, do the world a favor and get a vasectomy. Religion be damned.
P.S.: I'm father of two.Posted by: carpundit at May 6, 2005 04:47 PM
Very well said, CP.
How old are your kids?Posted by: Chris Clarke at May 6, 2005 04:57 PM
Vicki - I understand your reluctance to leave the Church. At the same time, your comment brought to mind something I've been thinking about a fair bit over the last 20 years.
Religion arose in large part because people decided, for any number of reasons, that they were better off with a "middleman" between the intimacy of their lives and the vastness and sheer incomprehensibility of "God." And consequently, they abdicated their responsibility and turned to someone else who they believed better able to interpret and direct their interaction with The Creator.
While there are many valid paths that human beings can walk toward enlightenment, it's been my experience that at some point the individual in question has to bypass the constraints and impediments of scripture, theology, dogma, etc., and begin the process of recognizing and acknowledging that there is a spark of the sacred within all of us. And once this process begins, religion of any form becomes a crutch and a roadblock, holding us back from joy and freedom, and from fulfilling our true potential.
Posted by: tost at May 7, 2005 10:14 AM
Since the poem is newish and on this very topic, here's one of a series I'm calling "Imaginary Families". (It's all couplets except a last single line...formatting is hard to see on this thing)
"Imaginary Families: My Children"
My children I did not have
come and gather now. At last
I know this was not a mistake. They
comfort me. The grey silence comforts me.
All their neuroses. The battles over which of us
would be more self-involved. My despair over their
tediousness and bad thinking and good intending.
Theirs over mine. All of the none of it satisfies.
They come in the cool dusk
of an enormous planet I have barely begun to know.
With the ease of moonrise I bless and forget them.Posted by: David Oates at May 9, 2005 12:21 PM