Monday, January 28, 2008

Et Tu Jen? -How I Became Pro-Life

Et Tu Jen?- who is also a convert to Catholicism and the pro-life message- has an awesome post on this subject today. Here's a brief quote:

"The message I'd heard loud and clear was that the purpose of sex was for pleasure and bonding, that its potential for creating life was purely tangential, almost to the point of being forgotten about altogether. This mindset laid the foundation of my views on abortion. Because I saw sex as being closed to the possibility to life by default, I thought of pregnancies that weren't planned as akin to being struck by lightning while walking down the street -- something totally unpredictable, undeserved, that happened to people living normal lives.

Being pro-choice for me (and I'd imagine with many others) was actually motivated out of love and caring: I just didn't want women to have to suffer, to have to devalue themselves by dealing with unwanted pregnancies. Because it was an inherent part of my worldview that everyone except people with "hang-ups" eventually has sex and sex is, under normal circumstances, only about the relationship between the two people involved, I got lured into one of the oldest, biggest, most tempting lies in human history: to dehumanize the enemy. Babies had become the enemy because of their tendencies to pop up and ruin everything; and just as societies are tempted to dehumanize the fellow human beings who are on the other side of the lines in wartime, so had I, and we as a society, dehumanized the enemy of sex."

Go check it out the full text in person and leave her a "that a girl" comment. Even better, write your own essay on the subject. (I'd be really interested to read some cradle Catholics trace how their families raised them to "always be Pro-Life")

2 comments:

Jennifer F. said...

Thank you!

MMQ said...

Hello, Abigail. I am late to this thread, but wanted to respond to your query of 'cradle Catholics' regarding being 'always raised prolife.' I am one of those. I was born in 1963, so when Roe v Wade came to be, I was nearing junior high age, and the topic was occasionally discussed/debated in biology in my public school. I always seemed to be the loan person speaking from the prolife stance, I guess which could have been more about the fact that few of my friends probably ever discussed it in their homes. But we sure did in mine. Raised in the south, I was not 'in the majority,' being Catholic, that is. There were no parochial schools in my town, so there were a handful of Catholics in my school, but the vast majority of my classmates and friends identified themselves as Protestant. I would guess they did not all go to church, though. Few knew what abortion was, really. Therefore, few even had opinions. The one exception was a friend who was Presbyterian, and the more liberal faction of that denomination, at that. We are still friends to this day, and were in each other's weddings, interestingly. However, she always took the pro-choice side of the argument while I always took the prolife side. And unless there was another vocal Catholic in my class, I was consistently out-numbered when the abortion topic came up. Always.

I attribute this to the fact that, at the time, the Catholic Church was the 'voice in the wilderness' on the subject, and because I was being raised by devout Catholic parents, it was discussed in our home. I wish I had some distinct story to share where I explain the 'recipe' or 'process,' but I simply have no memory of thinking or believing any other way. I now have a 14-yr-old son, and since he is currently in an orthodox Catholic school, the topic is never 'debated' (only the Church's teachings are taught, so he is not ever in the position of having to defend the stance to classmates like I was.) He will be going to public high school, so I suspect this will soon change. Part of me dreads this, but part of me believes the experience will make him stronger, as it did in my case. Like me, he has witnessed his parents being part of the prolife 'movement,' and this is the greatest teacher of all.

While he's vehemently anti-abortion, he is pro capital punishment. I felt the same at his young age, but my husband and I both had epiphanies on this topic, and we came around to the Church's teaching. I pray he will do the same someday. I believe God's grace will change his heart, but I want him to think this through and reach the conclusion on his own.