The Cultural War Heats Up
IN her September 26 column in TIME magazine, Barbara Ehrenreich, wrote in "The Bright Side of Overpopulation":
The first thing one notes about Ehrenreich's column is that the word, overpopulation, is used a total of 5 times, almost once per two short paragraphs, and this does not include the sentences in which "population" and "problem" etc., appear. She merely quotes mostly anonymous scientists' claim that we are in a population "crisis", without offering any evidence to support it. She repeats this over and over, so as to render the notion true by mantra. Most of the alarmists, who conveniently use "overpopulation" as a rationale for their own totalitarian and or pan sexual ideas, employ the same strategy. Five years ago a number of acquaintances of mine professed to not believe that there was such a thing as "overpopulation". Today, without any research undertaken by them through reading, these same people now accept that "overpopulation" is real and at a crisis point, although the world's population is on a steady downward spiral. Japan, for instance is attempting to outlaw abortions so as to ensure that more babies will be born. Yet a decade ago we heard about the population "problem" in Japan. What is really happening is that these elite planners and "thinkers" are really saying to us is: We need to reject the natural law because it is an ecological imperative. The new determinism. In this case, any behavior, as long as it violates God's Commandments. Let's look at what Ehrenreich is actually proposing or not proposing, especially her speculations about "potential" benefits to children as yet unborn:
She begins astutely by sizing up her audience, composed of a good number of nominal Christians and Catholics [why we still subscribed to TIME when this piece first appeared, is beyond me], which make up the majority of Americans, and so she acknowledges that human beings are being degraded by the Cairo mentality, going so far as to insinuate that the Pope and she are in agreement over the dignity of man. Well, not quite, Barbara, not quite. He knows and believes that human beings exist from the moment of conception. You cannot postulate that "every moral system starts with the proposition that each human life is precious (although we may not agree on when that life begins) ..." and still maintain that life is precious. If, after all, you have no inkling when human life begins having value [for you], then that life has no intrinsic value, simply because, if a person's worth and dignity is measured subjectively, that is, takes on value when whoever decides that a person becomes a person, then by definition the value is extrinsic and not intrinsic. The Holy Father teaches us that the value attached to each person is intrinsic and immeasurable. Too, if we do not know or cannot agree when life begins, and if every individual has to make that determination for himself [you and the Pope separately and differently by implication], then we in theory have a world of human beings walking around who may not even be living or if they are, may not merit the designation of persons. A baby in the womb moves, requires nourishment, etc. Medicine and science have proven this beyond any doubt. Mothers know this without medicine and science. They can feel their babies move and respond to external stimuli. Medicine and science have demonstrated this occurs even before the mother can feel her child move within her: the baby is a growing, living, separate human life from the moment of conception. That is why in those abortions where a sonogram or ultrasound is used to aid the murder technique, it is imperative that the abortive woman not be allowed to view the scan; Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former abortionist, has testified that if the woman saw the evidence of the child in her womb she would refuse the abortion! Years ago, my college biology and developmental psychology texts pronounced that life begins at conception boldly. And since then we have learned even more wondrous aspects of the baby in the womb. LIFE magazine did an entire issue that clearly showed that it is a baby, alive and developing, and nothing less. Every year the medical specialty of fetology learns more about the littlest patients.
So, if we do not know at this point that a baby exists from the very beginning, then how can we ever know it? And if every determination of when life "begins" is equal, then anyone could decide to arrive at the conclusion that a three-year-old child was not a human being because he is not independent enough or by any other criteria he prefers to use. That is, in fact, what has already occurred. In at least one medical journal a doctor proposed infanticide for two-year-old children, saying that at the time of the child's second year, the parents could decide whether the child was worth keeping or not. No shock waves throughout the country when that was revealed. None! Barbara, we are there. And we live [are you a person, Barbara, or just living but not a life] in a nation where human life has lost its intrinsic value. First, mothers killing babies, then grown babies killing their mothers, now children killing children.
What we are really talking about, although few are prepared to publicly concede it, is that we already know that the baby is a baby, and that the notion that we "can't determine when life begins" is a fiction employed so we can have it both ways while attempting to soothe what is left of our consciences. And we use this fiction so as to devalue the life in the womb for the convenience of others. A life based on utilitarian "value" alone is not "precious". There is no more moral proposition agreed on as you indicated, except for the moral propositions proffered by the Catholic Church through the Pontiff, which propositions you utterly reject from that sentence on.
Second, you state "surely there are other philosophies ... but they cannot claim the label moral." How so? By asserting that one philosophy of life is better than another, one moral according to you, and one not moral, you have admitted in so many words that man can determine moral value objectively speaking. So, if there is a hierarchy of value, then there must be a naturally occurring deposit of moral certitudes from which to make that declaration of value judgment, or else, your claim that one system is immoral, is meaningless and entirely subjective. That naturally occurring deposit is the natural law, Barbara, and you just employed it as a rationale for your determination about the dignity of man.
You cannot have it both ways, either there is moral good and evil or there is not. And since you admitted that there is good and evil, you cannot then dispense with those two ontological entities by proposing that any and all sexual behavior is fine and dandy and useful to mankind. Our sexual natures are subject to the same natural law, and when we abuse that nature we abuse ourselves and contaminate that intrinsic dignity you claim man has. Again, you cannot have it both ways, claim that you have the right to determine what is good and evil, and that the Pope and society in listening to him, cannot or must not have the same right to determine good and evil. If you attempt to do this as you have in this column, you are, in effect, claiming to be "God". And a "God" who does not reveal her intentions to her creatures through an authoritative, visible agent, the Church. This is the summary ethic you propose in the phrase, "not even a Pontiff can tell women".
Third, you speak of the "potential" for future children with fewer or no siblings. This is one of the most loaded sentences in your piece. So let us examine it under a microscope and in context of the paragraph:
Contraceptive, and or non-marital sex [all sex that is contraceptive is disunifying, is thus non-marital, even in marriage---"they shall be as one flesh"---dissolves with any barrier, chemical or otherwise that separates the natural bond of man and woman, their child or the openness to one] demeans both the man and woman. It renders the woman a virtual prostitute without the respect and care of the man, who seeing her not as the mother of his children, but the object of his desires and venereal pleasure, is affectively and effectively denying his manhood, then learns to be irresponsible and thus, unmanly. He raises unmanly boys if he has any at all and homosexuality rises. Of course, homosexuality is more complicated than that but it is the punishment for abandoning the inherent nature of sex as a baby-making enterprise, albeit an enjoyable one.
Homosexual sex is the ultimate masturbatory act. Since the purpose of sex is union through creation (the willingness to cooperate with God is the only necessary condition, not the actual conception) any act that frustrates that purpose is masturbatory by definition.
Your reduction of the marital act to one of a playful interlude is really masturbation masquerading as adult sex. All masturbatory acts are infantile and adolescent. In the adult as with the adolescent not only are they mortal sins in almost every case, but they are pathological developmentally speaking. As we have seen, any extrinsic act that deliberately and definitively obstructs the natural sexual union of a man and woman married in a Sacrament renders the act masturbatory and unwhole. All contraceptive acts are mutually masturbatory, period. The sexual act then becomes "sex 'for one' with 'two". Your playfulness about sex is the ugliest part of your Sermon on the Slope. It mocks the very seriousness of human sexuality and its grave responsibility---one which you characterized as "all too serious"---by appealing to sinful man's inherent tendency to prefer venereal pleasure over self-control. Like Fr. Richard McBrien, your "religious" co-operator in crime, you cloak your evil propositions in the veil of "morality" and empowerment and hope that like Eve, we women will partake of the forbidden fruit. You close by stating, "if the essence of morality is respect for life," and conclude that homosexuality is the solution to rampant reproduction." You have it backwards. We have homosexuality because we have refused the gift of children [your rampant reproduction attitude]. While homosexuality has always been with us, its ascendancy, its power to instill fear of social and political reprisal, rather than loathing for what it really is, its growing acceptability, is the just punishment and not the reward for our apostasy! Where there is no respect for God as the Creator and Initiator of Life, there is no respect for life that can be upheld. Approval of homosexuality is not respect for life any more than it is moral because it denies the life-giving purpose of our sexual natures in the first place. It is disorder as the "New Order". It is as old as sin itself. The only thing new about it is that you have turned sex, a most serious undertaking, into a playful sport.Even the older pagans acknowledged the singular importance of sexuality and gender roles, as it acknowledged a god or gods who created. This at least resulted in some kind of reverence for life of a hierarchial nature. The new paganism substitutes man and his desires for the gods of the old paganism and renders that which is transcendent as immanent. It is the worship of death, not respect for life. The power of homosexuality is more than its ability to intimidate and dictate, it is the power to destroy what God has created, and its "respectability" will not bring us posterity anymore than contraception and abortion will bring us prosperity, as divorce has not. Man, left to his own whim and self-importance always finds himself staring into the abyss of Abomination. Only this time, it will be Hell let loose on earth.
Republished 1994 GUARDIAN Editorials, by Editor Pauly