Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Conjugal vs. commercial view of marriage and children / adoption/ in-vitro/ pets

A couple of posts ago we linked to a story of human rights and marriage and made a few comments.

Over the weekend I did have a chance to talk to my husband about it, and it threw up the predictable point about being adoptive parents, and then also in-vitro fertilization.  Personally, having gone through the fertility mill and having felt the full gamut of emotions associated with it, I would still say that I would not participate in in-vitro fertilization for the simple fact that the extra embryos have to be dealt with somehow.  Who or what are they?  Are they not also my children?  But they are good for disposal?  I want a child so badly that I will throw several out?  I couldn't do it.

In terms of adoption, I mentioned already that the adopted person has a right to an origin story better than "Oh, we wanted a child so badly and  God sent you to us."  The adopted person does not exist to make his or her parents happy.  This is not good enough. Similarly, gay couples who just have to have children in their lives, must have a better story than: oh well, so and so helped us have a  baby, how loving and caring of him or her. It is not human enough.  It disregards basic human nature, creation and need for meaning and attachment.

On the radio, today, I listened to several authors interviewed on the topic of attachment to pets.  One of the speakers believed that the current language and understanding of human to animal care is too often couched in language of "baby" or even "lover";  in any case, everyone seems to look for unconditional love.  As individuals mature they need to accommodate themselves to others and sometimes also get their ego's bashed in.  This does not happen with a dog. It is easier to love a dog.  People took different points of view on this and pointed out that dog love does not preclude human love and mature relationships.  Granted that, but the question is with our changes in family structure, everyone working, 50% divorce rates, etc. are we looking to love from pets rather than other sources?  And what does it say about our view of children and pets in comparison?  Do we view children as pets?  And do we view dogs as children?  It can happen and I think we would all say that this is disordered and we perhaps need to analyze our relationships a bit more deeply.

My point, our relationships to parent, spouse and children are fundamentally not like our relationships to pets.  There can be "love" and affection in these relationships, but "love" has to be more than a feeling.  "Love" has to have a story.  Love has to have sacrifice.  Love has be designed by the maker.  Love can never be a commodity.  And a new person needs to know the conjugal relationship that created him.

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