Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another Take on the Childfree

This is a guest post by another young woman (pictured). This will create quite a stir for those who are CF, but I am proud of her and edified by her thoughts.
Here are my thoughts on contraception and gay marriage (stay with me for a while):

I think that eating has two purposes. There's the fun part about satisfaction and security, but there's also the nutritional part. Food is meant to fuel your body. Bulimic people separate the two purposes: they want the satisfaction of eating, but don't want to have the additional benefit/result of gaining weight or extra energy.

In the same way, to purposefully live "childfree" without a good reason or through contraception is to separate the two purposes of sex: to have and nurture children, and to further the love and bond between the couple. You only want the pleasure, so you throw up the consequences. Just like bulimia, its unhealthy and unnatural.

Plus, in both situations you are really denying yourself, either of the nutritious benefits of the food or children, and/or the acquisition of increased self discipline.

It makes me sad that people would hold back on what God wants to give to them. In being fertile in marriage, they've got the winning lottery ticket. They are just to afraid to go and pick up the prize... Or, in Catholic terms, the church is right down the street, but they aren't ready for the responsibilities of being a Christian, so they don't take the plunge and try for the benefits of grace.

I think if children were more valued, a lot of problems would be solved. Obviously, abortion would be out first. And when abortion leaves, I don't think it would take long for contraception to follow. Then out goes gay marriage, too. Maybe in a generation or so, divorce would fall. Parents would be willing to sacrifice their own personal comfort and feelings for the love of their children. Parents would quit leaving the family, and probably fathers would be more willing to work hard for their families... If only.... (And maybe some of that annoying environmental stuff would die down a little.)

Anyway, I think a childfree life would stink. I think that people who use contraception lack either trust (that God knows whats best), self-control, or confidence (that they can parent), or some combination of all of them.
 Brava, filia Ecclesiae.


  1. "Parents would be willing to sacrifice their own personal comfort and feelings...fathers would be more willing to work hard...some of that annoying environmental stuff would die down a little"

    You DO realise that you are not really selling the idea, don't you?

  2. It's funny because Jesus was childfree...

  3. What exactly are the nutritious benefits of children? Eating them is illegal in my country, so I don't really want to risk this just to find out that these benefits aren't really worth it.

  4. Want to outlaw menopause, too? I never wanted children, and I'm so glad this natural birth control now makes it permanently impossible for me to have any.

  5. So you see sex as analogous to food and not having children as analogous to throwing up?

    If having sex without having children is akin to bulimia, it stands to reason you think not having sex is akin to anorexia.

    Do you also think abstinence is unhealthy and wrong? If not, your viewpoint is utterly illogical and has no basis in reality.

  6. To all who have commented: I do not publish comments containing profanity, especially directed at a guest writer. This accounts for almost half of comments submitted.

    To those whose comments I have published: I apologize for my tardiness. The nature of some of the other comments and the demands of my schedule made it difficult to be faster. I've made our guest aware of these comments and she will hopefully be replying. In the meantime, I can offer some thoughts in reply to the comments I understand.

    @Anonymous#2: what is the definition of childfree? Depending on this, perhaps we may say Christ was childfree. But I hesitate, because this word is usually applied to people who are sexually active, while Christ was a virgin (celibate). The scriptural evidence for this is compiled here.

    @Jessica: you're really thinking about this. I agree that abstinence is not harmful like anorexia (none of us died in childhood because we weren't having sex!). However, remember that an analogy is never a definitive argument for a position. It's a suggestion and a teaching tool. Every analogy limps. My guest's analogy doesn't make a formal argument, only a suggestion; if her analogy doesn't correspond in every dimension, it does not invalidate her position.

  7. Waow, what a despicable view of bulimia. Bulimia is not about food, food is just the outlet. If the bulimia isn't dealt with but somehow the food aspect is fixed then the issue moves onto other areas (alcohol abuse, self-harm).

    It's also concerning that you assume people are missing out, or that God wants them to have children. God may have children in mind for you, but if everyone had children no-one would have time to look after the people in society that most of society likes to pretend don't even exist.

    If God has created you with the desire to have children and you find you cannot then you will be missing out, although you should (because God wants everyone to have a good life) make peace with the situation and enjoy your life fully anyway. If God has created you without the desire for children (which is how he made me) then you are not missing out at all and, indeed, it would be mad for you to have children. If you could remotely objectively view the having of children then you would realise that it is such a stupid thing to do that it is only the desire to have them that causes some people to have them. If they made their decision about having children based on logic, reason or any other sensible method they would never choose to have children.

    Children are over-valued in my society (the UK), that's for sure. What actually needs to happen is that the balance is redressed and EVERYone (regardless of age) is treated equally. Equally doesn't mean the same, but it does mean EQUAL. Since all children are born with the potential to become adults it is very strange that anyone would encourage a society where they become less valued as they get older.

    I have to admit, I find your 'reasoning' and your views incredibly weird, quite disturbing and far from anything resembling logic.

  8. You ask a question of another 'anonymous'. 'childfree' is used to describe someone who doesn't want children. They can be married, they can be single, they can be celibate, or they can be sexually active, the common thread would be the lack of any desire to have children.

    Personally I would go further and say it is really those that were born without any desire to have children. Some people reason themselves out of wanting children (but did previously want them), others find they cannot have them and make peace with that. Personally I think wouldn't consider them strictly childfree since circumstance has been a factor in their status of not having children. Childfree for me strictly means someone completely lacks the desire to have children. And often such people get on very well with kids, love children, even work with children, they just have no desire to have any. Nothing wrong with that.

  9. @Anonymous (3:06pm): I'm somewhat learned on bulemia and I can agree with you. Manipulating food is an outlet for built-up psychological damage, demanding power over something. But actually, isn't choosing to be childfree also the tip of a much larger iceberg?

    @your second thought (3:09pm): Jesus loved children. (Mt 19:14, "Let the little children come unto me...") The reason he did not father his own biological children was not a lack of fruitfulness, but a much deeper fruitfulness: spiritual fatherhood, not physical fatherhood. I don't think I can explain it to you, because I don't think you would like to hear it.

  10. Hi , some points i'd like to pick up on: you dismiss the childfree in much the same way as you condemn gays and gay marriage. Being gay is not a choice , it is a way of being, gay people are born as gay people. Also being childfree is not a case of just deciding not to want children, it also is a way of being. So to condemn either is similar to condemning people for being black, asian, jewish (bit like a nazi?)

    None of us asked to be born. If YOU have a child and he or she turns out to be non-christian then by YOUR OWN beliefs , you have created someone who is going to hell. Not something I would want on my conscious.

    Finally, Also you are selective in your use of 'Analogy' conveniently dismissing use of them when they do not support your argument, and deeming them 'education' when you use them yourself.

    Well here's one for you: Christians believe that those who 'rebel' and choose to do as they please rather than God's path for them are condemmned and are 'sinners'. This is like someone making a faulty hammer then blaming the hammer when the top flies off into someones face!


  11. I´d hadn´t intended to comment, despite the many people who seem to have misconstrued what I have said. However, I think the anonymous who replied at 3:08AM was the one who least understood my message, and for that I apologize for a lack of clarity.

    I never intended to say that those who choose a childfree life or those who choose a gay lifestyle go to hell. I don't know their circumstances or motivations, and so I of course can pass no judgement on them. But I can look at those actions in an of themselves and judge them to be wrong. I never intended to pass judgments on the people themselves, and if it sounded as if I did, I am very sorry.

    You may have noticed I said "choose" a childfree life or gay lifestyle. Though these people may have gay tendencies or a desire to life a childfree life, the choice to act on those wishes is, in the end, theirs. And (again, I apologize for a lack of clarity) having these wishes is not in and of itself wrong. I would contend that to act on them, however is.

    Thank you for your respectful and organized response.

    One last note:
    I apologize that the Christians you have met believe that non-Christians are condemned. As you probably know, there are certainly those who profess the faith that are not as holy as some who don't. I can't speak for other religions, but Catholic teaching leaves the judgement to God.

    Thank you!

    -Guest author

  12. Hello, so ...if someone is gay, say a man, and he is ONLY attracted to other men, what are you saying he should do if not act on his tendencies?

    Are you saying that he should have no intimate contact with anyone other than the opposite gender regardless? How do you assume this could occur???

    You display a total lack of empathy on this, if you dont mind me saying.

    I am not gay but even I understand this. What would you do if you were gay? You are what you are, and if you are born with gay, childfree etc tendencies surely this is what God intended, and to try and be 'straight' or 'child baring' is going against what God intended for you.

    You come across as someone very young with little life experience and having only interacted with a small range of people. Perhaps time for you to experience a bit more of life before writing material demonstrating such limited life understanding?

  13. Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you for your thoughts. Unfortunately, my guest is prevented from replying due to practical concerns, but I'm sure she shares my gratitude for the opportunity to see your worldview. Please do not be offended that we pray for all who have commented, just as we pray for each other. -mmmatins

  14. Everyone has a different personality; I'm a guy, but I'm "hardwired" to be married. The first 29, 'single years' of my life were the coldest, loneliest, and most difficult. Close friends, religious involvement, volunteering, work, etc just cannot fill the void. I had a relationship hole that could only be satisfied by my wife. Now married, I can say having a companion and helpmate has made my life 1000 times more enjoyable! There have been rough patches, but the good days far out number the bad.

    I'm also hardwired "childfree." I'm not comfortable with any aspect of children: The noise, the commotion, the lack of sleep, having to parent, guide, discipline, etc. There is absolutely no appeal to any part of raising a child from birth to age 25. My feelings were so strong on this that I got "fixed" in my mid 20's.

    To me, it seems really cruel to tell people "if you want a spouse, you must accept any and all children that come along." That's like saying "I don't care about your soul-crushing loneliness, if you want a companion you must also have kids: no matter how much you resent them."

    I have the best of both worlds; a wonderful wife and no kids, ever. Ya'll may object to this arrangement, but it's working great for us! :-)

    1. Hi, navy4ever. I let my guest know about your post. You're hitting the nail on the head by talking about how people are "hardwired." Also, I can empathize with the unpleasant parts of raising children (I have six younger siblings).

      And I was really touched to hear you tell about how lonely and difficult your life was before you met your wife. Your ability to articulate that "void" we all face without love really struck me! I hope I never coldly foist things on people who only want to get out of a heartbreakingly lonely life.

      I don't think of children (or anything) as as a penalty or toll that married couples should pay for their joy. Children are more like the dignities and duties that accompany an elected office. For example, the president deserves respect and honor befitting the dignity of his office and the power vested in him; at the same time, he enjoys the ability to shape a country and the responsibility of doing it well. Analogously, you and your wife have a special respect and honor (and unique love!) for each other befitting your beautiful relationship; at the same time, you enjoy the ability (biologically incontestable even if surgically different now) to shape a life and have the responsibility of doing it well. What do you think of this analogy?