19 July 2009

Sad and tired person tries to explain herself once more without any hope of it helping.

I don't know if this is even worth writing or posting, but whatever. As I've said before, the main person to whom I write is myself. So here you go, self. I'm sorry about how this is bound to make someone cry and someone angry and someone hate me even more. I'm sorry I exist.

The contraception question is one of interpretation. Both sides claim that Scripture supports their position. Those who see no problem with contraception say that it's not addressed in Scripture. Those opposed to contraception appeal to catholicity: for nearly all of its history, the church interpreted various passages of Scripture as saying that sexual intercourse which deliberately avoids conception is unchaste and sinful. Pointing to chapter and verse does not help in this argument, because the disagreement is over what chapter and verse mean.

This also means the matter of procreation is not a purely Gospel question. If contraception is not ok, well, that's Law. And the Law of God is good and wise, and it always accuses. That's why people on both sides get really hot whenever this question comes up: each is accusing the other of sin. It's no better to be a binder of consciences than it is to violate the marriage bed or be a tax collector or whatever. So those who believe that contraception is prohibited in Scripture cannot just put smiles on their faces whenever a family with a bunch of kids walks by and leave it at that. If it is under normal circumstances contrary to God's will for a married couple to avoid having a child, that must be openly condemned by the Church.

There is nothing I would love more than to be Done. I am tired and and pained in body and mind and soul, not least by the ongoing animosity and passive aggression and thuggery, of which I am chiefly guilty, among my brothers and sisters in Christ over this topic. The vision of enjoying my 30s with my five super kids and not bringing any more crying and hunger and whining and fighting and sewage into this house looks like such a blessed relief. My flesh and the world tell me that it would feel great to tell my daughters, "Thank God women's lives have gotten so much easier!" But for me and, moreover, my husband, catholicity is persuasive. God help me. God help us all.

I'm going to make pancakes, wake up the babies, and go to church. See you there.


Gauntlets said...

What's more, the contraception question is answered, really, with the question: Is Christ coming back or isn't He?

Because if He is, then there is no such thing as too much life.

Hey. I just want people to hate me, too. More. I want to be hated more.

Rebekah said...

I broke one of my blog rules: don't blog sad. Now it just sounds like I was being an even bigger jerk when I said I'm sorry I exist. I said it feeling sad, not jerky. Forgive me again.

Megan said...

As one who is on the fence in the contraceptive debate, but leaning strongly to the other side, I can say I don't hate you in the least. I think you are a courageous Christian woman, doing what she believes is right, and for that you have my respect and admiration. Blogging about the difficulties of the Christian life does not make you sound like a jerk, at least not in my book. It makes you sounds like a sinner, just like me, and I'm thankful to understand that we are all sinners, and it is through Christ's sufferings for our sake that we are saved.

The Law is indeed something nobody wants shouted at them, but sometimes it need to be. I don't pretend to know the answer here. But I do know that I have learned a lot from you three, and if nothing less, I now have more compassion and understanding about my Sisters in Christ whom I may not always agree with. But then what family ever agrees on everything?

Liz said...

Nonsense about sounding like a jerk. Here's the sweet irony about those who frown upon large families: they say something like, "Well, I should be able to decide what to do with my body and my family," yet they socially deny you the same right. Here we are, all of us, sinfully looking at each other, "What will they think of me if..." and we forget about what God thinks.

Please forgive us all, Father, for our cattiness and refusal to take on the burdens of others. And, ladies, please forgive those of us who cannot be CSPPs for not taking on your burdens.

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

I received an email this morning, from Rebekah saying that she had seen my post "From Support to Clique" from May, and she wanted to apologize and to be shown where I had thought the blog had turned into a hate-the-world-and-everyone-who-doesn't-understand blog.

I did not have time to comply with her request, so I wrote back, saying that she was forgiven, so that she could continue on to worship without the need to make up to anyone. It would appear that my note did not have the intended effect and instead the short reply made things worse. I am sorry.

Now I really am going to annoy you, because I am incredulous as to how you pop out this post while I don't really have time to pull out a think piece unless the kids are in bed or I'm on the road. :)

I have a high amount of sympathy with you guys -- not because my family is huge but because the responsibilities with my family also have a major disconnect with the common culture. Not every parent is subjecting their kid to occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, supplements out the wazoo, CAT and MRI scans, in an attempt to find answers, and in the meantime avoiding certain bathrooms, loud noises, pools, lawn chemicals, etc. If we don't have the patience to explain, we sound loony. So I really feel for you guys in this regard. We will be explaining our actions to those unfamiliar with our situation until we die. That is what is given to us.

That is part of what I meant in my original post. We bounce our ideas off the same people over and over again and get to know each other, then someone comes in (as happens when you're running a public blog) and wonders what is going on. Your life is not a soap opera, and people cannot catch up in a couple of days' worth of episodes.

Let me research and answer your question fully. Be patient with me, please, and forgive me if I have in anyway caused you any grief.

Thank you for your understanding.

Gauntlets said...

Oh, Wow. I hadn't noticed that article over at your place, Dan.

Well, thanks for pointing it out. My friend Rebekah, who is anything but a passive aggressive jerk but in fact one of the dearest people currently alive, is a lot better at keeping track of things. Reb. Mary, too, a kind, charming, and thoughtful woman, will sure enjoy another chance at looking that article over. In comparison, I'm something of a brute--I'd rather not know when people think I'm a bore--but these girls hang with me anyway.

Your article wasn't the first of its kind regarding this blog. Several people have made it crystal clear that they hate our guts. We all three of us genuinely dislike being disliked; neither do we wish to make anyone miserable. But, look, this is a BLOG. It isn't an ultimatum. It's just a blog. If people hate us because of the things we write for the sake of our friends, they are, in my opinion, wasting a lot of good energy that could be spent at a shooting range. Or something.

Solidarity by nature alienates. The CSPP live the way we do because we have studied, prayed, cried, shed blood, and thought our way into this way of life. And all that after we were inexplicably called into it in the first place. This is what our faith dictates we do. This is what our lords each declare is best for our respective families. This is not a line in the sand or a political platform.

For my part, I'm not convinced God calls all people with normal fertility into a life of perpetual parturition. So there's that; I've still got a lot of thinking to do. But really, thinking isn't paramount; we are each of us going to DO our confession. God speaks, we become. Like it or leave it.

All that aside, I'm sorry, too, I really am, and I hope we can all be friends come the Eschaton. :) I'm not in this to make anyone hate me. I'm not in this to make anyone sad. I'm not in this to convert anyone. Ha! I'm not in this for those "anyones" at all. I don't even know who those dear people are.

You've hit the nail on the head, Dan. Life is really hard and we're all just trying to make sense of what it is we're doing here. No man is an island, right? We use the tools we've been given to keep contact with our friends.

If this makes no sense, my additional apologies. I've a lot of noise about me at present.

Gauntlets said...

PS, Dan: I'm not trying to be a jerk. I'm really not. What I'm trying to say is, I really don't get it. And I don't think you're nuts for getting your kid help, even though I know nothing about you, your kid, or your life. I think you're a good dad. And I think your blog, which I've never seen before today, is funny.

The end.

Rebekah said...

Thank you, Gauntlets.

Thank you, Megan and Liz. I really appreciate it.

Dan, as for logistics, I experience considerable insomnia while I am uncomfortably pregnant and spend a lot of time avoiding my own insipid thoughts during the silent nights. This is how I ended up reading for the first time a months old post and the comments it garnered at your place last night. Then I felt terrible and slept poorly after writing to you and a few others. I got up when my husband did several hours before church this morning and wrote this post. Then I made pancakes, woke up the babies, and went to church. And that's how it happened.

And you have not made things worse, and I am not mad at anybody. I am just confused and tired and sad and continuing to try to accept the fact that I can never win and someone will always misunderstand me and someone will always be offended. Please do not feel like you need to waste any of your or your family's time replying to me here or personally unless you really want to for some reason. I thank you for your good faith and your word of forgiveness.

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Thank you, Gauntlets and Rebekah.

Rebekah said, "I am just confused and tired and sad and continuing to try to accept the fact that I can never win and someone will always misunderstand me and someone will always be offended."

We never win. If we win, it isn't us, but Christ in us.

In some of my wife's autism circles, people have made cards with a brief explanation of that their kid has autism and their kid may not show generally accepted behavior and it would be really nice if you would spare them the mean looks and "advice" because they are embarrassed enough already.

That would be easy, but it wouldn't be right.

Each person is worth our time, because we are all God's children, or because they may convey a more open opinion about the issue to someone else because of our charitable attitude, or for some other God-known reason.

Thank you for checking out NR, both of you. I hope you come back more often, and I hope you have the opportunity to check out the Time Out podcasts. They are just scripture and hymns. They may even cure your insomnia. ;)


Cheryl said...

"I'm sorry about how this is bound to make someone cry and someone angry and someone hate me even more. I'm sorry I exist."


Recently both my husband and I have had difficult experiences in cyberspace. So I can really relate to your sentence above. It got to the point with both of us that no matter how hard we tried to make ourselves understood all we were doing was making things worse. I guess most of us who write online have been there. Sometimes you just have to move on. The thing about a blog, though, is that it is your space. Yes, it is public. But it is yours. In my case, it made sense to discontinue a conversation that was not helping either me or the other person. In your case, though, if there are non-CSPP's who do not care for what you say here or how you say it, the answer is simple: don't read anymore.

I think you know I'm not a CSPP. I won't get into what I am. But I love your blog and I love the way you and Reb. Mary and Gauntlets write and think, so I keep coming here. If I ever get to the point that coming here upsets me I will self-exclude*. I'm a big girl and if I need to protect myself I'll do what it takes. It's not your worry. As much as I love your blog, it is not here for me. It's for you and other CSPP's.

*By the way, I'm not at that point. Not even close. :-)

Rebekah said...

Thank you, Cheryl. I have to say I have been rather bewildered by the etiquette of people who also communicate online and might be expected to get how these things work.

I'm glad you and others who aren't necessarily in the CSPP "clique" (NB: a clique is a group of which one is not a member) come here and comment and demonstrate that people don't have to be walking in lockstep to be friends. If that were true, none of us would have any friends.

Gauntlets said...

See, Cheryl? You're alright. For many reason on top of your gentle treatment of the topics here. :)

Cyberspace, man. Spacy.

Joy said...

I guess I took it the wrong way when I was dubbed unconfessional and unbiblical a couple months ago. Mea culpa. Again.

Rebekah said...

Not sure I follow, Joy. Please email if there is something that needs to be resolved.

Reb. Mary said...

Wow, looks like I'm late to the party.

Dan--I just stopped by your place, and whew, that there post and them there comments were indeed a bit of roughness, the necessity of which are apparently debatable ;O. Thank you for your clarifying comments here, and I do look forward to stopping by NR again in the future.

Thanks to Gauntlets for all that stuff you said. Good stuff. Hear hear. Ditto ditto. Couldn't have said it better myself &c.

Thanks also to Cheryl (& Megan & Liz & many others) for exemplifying genteel, Christianly charitable readership & good reading comprehension :D.

Since this particular fiesta seems to be winding down, I'll think I'll just thank everyone again for coming and for making the evening such a success. Because if everyone else goes home now, I, as one of the hostesses (albeit a negligent one) get to finish all the leftover margaritas myself ;)

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

As you get closer to the newer articles of NR, you'll found out that I'm not a big fan of leftovers.

Pass the shaker! :)

Gauntlets said...

Wait, there were margaritas!?! Why do I never learn about these things until too late?!?

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

All I have to say is, boy, can I relate!