17 May 2011

Contradiction and paradox

I'm finally reading Orthodoxy. It was free on my Kindle. Yes!

There's this section where old GK talks about how his doubts about Christianity were ruined by doubters of Christianity and their contradictory arguments. Eg, Christians are bloodless wimps and also bloodthirsty monsters; Christianity oppresses women and is only believed by stupid people like women; Christianity is obsessed with celibacy and obsessed with reproduction; etc.

This called to mind a conversation in which I found myself trapped a while ago. I don't know how often this happens to other CSPP types, but somehow the Duggars seem to come up when I enter a room. Because, you know, I'm pregnant with our sixth kid and that makes us the Duggars. Anyway, this person brought up the Duggars to inform me what egocentric people they must be to have so many children.

Yup, egocentric. So parenting is the most demanding job in the world which requires us constantly to say no to our wants so that we can say yes to our children's needs, and we're all huge heroes for doing it. AND you'd have to be selfish and arrogant to have that many kids.

It's so hard to know what to do, isn't it?

(The funny thing is that if this person would read Orthodoxy, she'd find out she was right, but in a totally wrong way.)


Leah said...

I've managed to pick through my Orthodoxy book from time to time over the years (even though it sits om my bookshelf and not in the drawer by my bed where my Kindle rests with all my other "priority" books, mostly undisturbed for the time being *sigh*).

I do love the way GKC has a way of pushing certain unquestioned assumptions to the extreme until we see how unfounded and rather ridiculous they are when put up against the truth on the other side.

And yes, I'm so egocentric these days that even a few moments taken on my back porch for some fresh air and sunshine are a rare treat! (When there is sunshine that is.)

Anonymous said...

Dear CSPP,
I enjoy your blog - thanks. I have the Duggar book and I have watched the Duggars on Netflix (in front of children! Gasp!).

The thing about Lutheranism - you're not supposed to be on birth control, but you're not supposed to have too many children, either.

-Jane Seyboldt

Katy said...

I haven't read Orthodoxy since college; it's probably one of those books to be read in each phase of life. Being young & married with 4 kids probably qualifies as a different "phase"....

I think (from my experience) the Duggar comments start when someone sees/hears how close together my kids are (of course, I don't have six. Six is closer to 19(?) than four :)

Rebekah said...

Leah, I'm super selfish and read more postpartum than any other time. I claim it's for my sanity. Nursing and reading are inextricably connected for me.

Jane, nice to meet you. :) I think the thing about Lutheranism is that it really believes the Gospel, which leads to the problem you cite in all areas of life. Everybody gets to pick their pet antinomianisms and legalisms, and then has the other term on hand throw out when challenged. :/

Katie, the person who sought to educate me did say that 4, 5, or 6 kids were OK (we were still at 5 at that point; I'm sure she thought she was being generous to me). So don't worry, you're not egocentric yet.

DestinyP said...

We haven't had to deal with the comments yet (although when we were pregnant with #3 I did get a few, "but you already have a boy and a girl" remarks) We just found out we are pregnant with #4 and my family was excited but wanted to know if we were finally going to stop now. I would if I wasn't such a narcissist. ;)

Heather Best said...

I didn't know other families were having Duggars! We are having Duggars too!
We have 5 and I have been asked if we are trying to be like the Duggars more times than I can count. I now respond, "Who?" To which they explain about this family that has 19 kids... LOL

BTW, I really really love you guys! The sarcastic, light hearted support makes my day! I always pop in when I need some cheer.

Rebekah said...

Destiny, congrats! :)

Heather, why didn't I think of that? :D

Elizabeth said...

Hooray! I just got a Kindle for Mother's Day (sometimes I do bless my husband for his occasionally impractical and unnecessary - but often wonderful - "love language" of gift giving, not that I buy into love languages or anything...) and I had just written myself a note to look up Chesterton and see if there were any cheap or free books by him, and then I read this post. Guess what I'm going to do after I post this comment?? :) Also, I'm looking for some Anthony Esolen.

There's a family in town (Catholic, of course :) who already have 7 with their 8th on the way or 6 with the 7th on the way, so I think I might be safe for a while from Duggar comments, but we'll see. :)

lisa said...

Destiny, No way! CONGRATS!!!

Jane, I don't even know you and yet you made me snort. Thank you :) Right you are.

Heather, nice to meet you. I looked at your blog and liked this, "I couldn't imagine sub-contracting someone else to hold them during the day..." Yup. My husband and I have decided we're just really greedy people and willing to make our children suffer our greediness for them. Some people like chocolate, others cars; I like hanging out with my babies. Umm...for the most part :)

Truly my favourite contradiction:

You're "wasting" your "talents"


You poor wretched idiot to be browbeaten by your husband into staying home as his maid. You don't know better do you? Bless your heart.

On a totally different note - Are you ever going to post your chili starter recipe on here or the CSPP Cooks thingie?

Amie said...

I started getting "Duggar" comments when I was pregnant with #4 (which is all that we have been blessed with at this point). I was also getting "are you LDS or Catholic"? We also homeschool so that adds to the freak show.

I am "recently Lutheran" if that makes sense. I think that there is different attitude on this blog though then some of the quiver-full blogs out there. I would love to hear your thoughts on that sometime.

I really appreciate your blog, and am glad that I have found someplace that mixes my two favorite things, family and theology :).

Rebekah said...

Elizabeth, I wouldn't believe in love languages either except that it seems to actually be true. :D

Lisa, that old thing isn't even a recipe. I just strain my tomatoes when I'm canning sauce and can the juice because I'm too lazy to wait for them to cook down and too cheap to throw it away. Whatever tomatoes you've got plus canning salt.

Amie, we're not exactly Quiverfull proper around here. Lutherans are really never anything proper except Lutheran. :D I wrote about Quiverfull a while back:

lisa said...

Maybe it's not chili starter then...the green chutney looking stuff? I thought it was cucumber and pickling salt and some mystery ingredient(s) (onion & sugar)?

I put it in with beef and noodles and then ate three bowls... (what's worse/better, an hr or two later I stood at my kitchen sink and ate the leftovers cold).

THAT'S an endorsement.
Either that or I'm pregnant... (kidding, kidding...) :D

Anonymous said...

I think that the Duggars are indeed selfish and narcissistic. I don't know you, so I can't say anything to you. However, lots of people (erroneously) do equate religious-large-families with Duggar-type traits. There is an assumption that women with huge numbers of kids can't care for them all and dump the work on their oldest daughters (the Duggar 'Buddy System.') They also resent the perceived loss of control of people in these situations. They feel that the girls are being groomed for motherhood and nothing else. They feel that the boys are being taught to take command over women without reason.
I'm not saying it is right- I am just saying how it is.

Rebekah said...

Lisa, now I'm tracking. I put it up but I can't remember how to get it in the sidebar now. Here's a direct link:


Hi, Anon. This probably isn't the blog for you. :) XOXOXO!!

lisa said...


Velicus said...

(I think Anon was just commenting on how some people view ALL large families; she/he only thinks that--or some of those things--about the Duggars).

"I'm not saying it's right"--the pronoun refers to thinking those "bad" things about large families.

You are probably right, Anon, that many people get their large family experience from this reality show, for better or worse.

Anonymous said...

Rebekah, you're right.

Lisa - you're welcome! LOL

Jane S.

Anonymous said...

Velicus is correct. +10 for reading to end of my post

Rebekah said...

My only objection to the Duggars is their theology, which isn't on the show in any meaningful way at all. The rest of the ordering of their personal life, "reality" show evidence notwithstanding, does not lead me to categorize them as selfish or narcissistic.

Rebekah said...

Or am I still not getting this comment? Please, people: make use of quotation marks, italics, emoticons, etc. to designate verbal irony. I dumb.

Untamed Shrew said...

I've noticed how the older Duggar girls are mothering the younger ones. But shoot, I only have 4 kids and that's true in my house too. What would they be doing instead? Blogging like us? :D

Untamed Shrew said...

oops. Blogging like we (are)? Blogging in a fashion after our likeness? I dumb to.

Anonymous said...

Blogging AS we do

DoRena W. said...

I've gotten Dugger comments from several different people . . . when I was pregnant with baby number TWO. (#1 was born 9 mo and 1 day after our wedding, and #2 was born 13 months after #1. Obviously this means I'm *trying* to be Mrs. Dugger.)

Of course, the fact that I am the oldest of 10 just gives them more fuel for their fire. "Trying to beat your Mom, huh? You're off to a good start!" Well, no, it isn't really a contest. Anyway, I think my Mom gets enough beating from my six brothers.

Rebekah said...

DoRena, you're an inspiration to us all. Really, though.