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Married, without children: Finding fulfillment with no kids
Rocky Mountain News ^ | 1/3/05 | Mark Wolf

Posted on 01/03/2005 8:31:56 AM PST by qam1

Nita and Ken Eaton hit the stores last month, as they do every Christmas, to find just the right gifts for the youngsters on their shopping list.

The carefully chosen presents weren't for their youngsters but for their nieces and nephews.

The Eatons are part of a small but growing segment of American couples who have chosen not to have children.

"We spend a lot of time thinking about what we're going to get our nieces and nephews for Christmas. We want to get them something meaningful," said Nita Eaton, 38.

The Eatons, married for five years, never had the desire to become parents.

"People used to always say: 'Your clock is ticking. You'll change your mind. It's different when they're your own,' " Nita said. "When I worked in a law firm, we were all in the age group to have kids, and I'd go to baby shower after baby shower, and I'd have to say honestly that it never hit me."

Many childless couples say they find themselves drifting away from friends once children are added to the mix.

"We started feeling sort of socially isolated," said Andrea Wenker, 33, of Colorado Springs. "Our friends started having babies and their lives changed. It revolves around the kids, and for good reason. The kind of things you used to do with your friends aren't an option anytime.

"They're talking about childbirth and diapers. It's important to their lives, but you start feeling, 'I'm still here, I'm still a person.' You start to feel kind of invisible."

She and Peter, her husband of 13 years, are childless by choice, and she is the coordinator of Denver Metro NO KIDDING!, one of 101 chapters of an international social group of more than 10,000 couples and singles without children. The Colorado group has about 200 members, 10 to 20 of whom typically attend the monthly get-togethers.

Jerry Steinberg, of Vancouver, British Columbia, calls himself the founding non-father of NO KIDDING! He started the group in 1983, he said via e-mail, because he was losing friends as they started to have children.

"They were no longer available for phone conversations, getting together for coffee or lunch, going to see movies, or much else," he said.

"Most people who have children seem to understand why I felt the need for a social club for child-free people, since people usually like to socialize with others who share at least some of their interests and have a similar lifestyle. After all, most, if not all, of (parents') friends were made through their kids' activities - the soccer moms get together, the softball dads meet, the school parents become friends, etc."

The number of childless-by-choice couples can't easily be determined, but anecdotal evidence indicates that their ranks are growing.

The Census Bureau doesn't ask whether couples are childless by choice, but the bureau projects that the percentage of families with children under 18 will decline from 47.7 percent in 1995 to 41.3 percent by 2010.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 6.6 percent of American women said they were voluntarily childless in 1995, the last time researchers asked the question. The number was up from 4.9 percent in 1982 and 6.2 percent in 1988.

The State of Our Unions, a 2003 report by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, reported Census Bureau projections that families with children will make up only 28 percent of U.S. households by 2010, the lowest number in at least a century.

"The underlying reason that there are fewer children is basically that women have other things to do," said David Popenoe, sociology professor at Rutgers and co-director of the National Marriage Project.

"Child-rearing in modern times is expensive and can be onerous, especially after you've been living as a single person or a couple without children for a while."

The decision to choose children, however, ultimately is very rewarding, he said.

"Over the long term, it's people who have children who are the happiest," said Popenoe.

Childless couples are used to hearing that their choice is either selfish or motivated by a dislike of children.

"I think it's being honest about what your priorities are and how you use them," said Wenker. "It doesn't mean everything's about you all the time. People don't decide to be parents because they're being philanthropic; it's because they want kids."

Nita Eaton works with children as a school psychologist.

"I like kids a lot and work with them in school," she said. "I see kids out there who don't have parents. That really played into my decision. If I decided to have kids, I'd go adopt one."

Population issues drive some decisions about whether to bear children.

"Whether or not I want to have kids is not the only consideration," said Wenker. "I believe there's a problem with population, serious issues with the environment, and I believe I have to be part of the solution."

Would-be parents should carefully consider their choice, said Ken Eaton, 42.

"It's a big decision that needs to be well-thought-out. There are a lot of unwanted kids out there. People didn't take the time to think about whether they would take the time to raise them."

Couples without children say they have more time to spend with their spouses and for volunteering.

The Eatons have three greyhounds and are board members of Rocky Mountain Greyhound Adoption, which they doubt they could do if they had children.

"They take a lot of time, energy and motivation. One has various autoimmune issues, one had a leg amputated, the other had a viral infection and has pretty bad arthritis," said Ken Eaton.

Having siblings who have children, say childless couples, tends to turn down the heat on family expectations to produce grandchildren.

Nita Eaton has three brothers with children, and all three of Ken's siblings have children.

"If I were an only child, I think, the pressure would be pretty great," Nita said. "I've always been pretty outspoken. My mom's pretty much backed off."

In a culture where parenthood is the norm, those who choose to bypass the baby boom often have their decisions questioned.

"Nobody's deliberately nasty," said Wenker. "From men, I get an odd reaction. The reaction (Peter) gets is, they get this look in their eyes that he's lucky. They like to get me to admit it's possible I'll change my mind. What I have to say to that is 'It doesn't seem likely' and 'It's just not an option.'

"I like my life. My husband and I have a very close relationship. We value the time between the two of us and can't imagine that interrupted. I've never regretted it."

Nita Eaton said she felt like an outsider when they moved into a neighborhood filled with young children.

"The woman who sold us our house said the neighbors had been asking how many kids we have," she said.

There is no cultural celebratory template for women who decide not to have children.

"I've thrown baby showers for girlfriends, and it's kind of this rite of passage," said Wenker. "We're going to buy you presents to get you started and treat you like Queen for a Day. It doesn't occur to anybody to celebrate a child-free woman in that way."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: abortion; breedyoumustbreed; childfree; childlessbychoice; childlessmarriage; culturewar; darwinaward; darwinnominee; deathofthewest; genx; ifeellonely; ifeelunloved; isthatallthereis; lookatme; myownprivatearmy; noscreamingkids; rccdoesntruntheusa; selfishadults; selfishnessatroot; swingers; whatsthepoint
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To: Abigail Adams
God created Eve for Adam, because "it was not good for Adam to be alone." So the primary purpose of marriage is companionship.

How would marriage defined primarily as companionship be differentiable from friendship?

651 posted on 01/04/2005 8:58:22 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Bon mots

I agree.


652 posted on 01/04/2005 8:58:57 AM PST by cyborg (http://mentalmumblings.blogspot.com/)
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To: KevinDavis
I wish no one invented Birth control.. Trying to convince wife to start a family. She is being stubborn. She wants to wait however she is 33 and will turn 34 next month. Time is a wasting...

Yup. And getting pregnant isn't as easy as it looks, especially as a woman gets older.

Pray for her.

653 posted on 01/04/2005 9:00:12 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Sam Cree

"My mother, who was quite religious, often said that our main reason for being on earth was perpetuation of the species. I personally don't argue with that. "

I think our reason for being on earth is to do God's will. And his main goal on earth is to bring people to himself. Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all people.

If having children is so important to God, how come Jesus never said anything about it? He did tell us to love our neighbor as ourselves. I think that's what is important to him.


654 posted on 01/04/2005 9:01:51 AM PST by Abigail Adams
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To: Aquinasfan

"How would marriage defined primarily as companionship be differentiable from friendship?"

Well, isn't your marriage different from a friendship?

It seems some people think that the only reason for sex is to procreate. This is likely the belief of most Catholics, from what I understand. The Song of Solomon talks about a physical relationship between a man and a woman (as well as between Christ and the Church), and it's obvious that sex is a very enjoyable activity, created and blessed by God.


655 posted on 01/04/2005 9:04:48 AM PST by Abigail Adams
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To: EternalVigilance

I know. I was just making a lame attempt at being a grammer cop. I had to post something and if I hadn't taken the grammer to task, I may have lost control on some of the posters on this thread. I can't begin to comprehend some of the comments that are being posted by "conservatives".


656 posted on 01/04/2005 9:28:29 AM PST by CSM
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To: Aquinasfan
If they're Catholic, their marriage is non-sacramental. It's even arguable whether this is a valid natural marriage.

So couples who have infertility issues don't have a "valid, natural marriage" either?!

657 posted on 01/04/2005 9:37:02 AM PST by Tamar1973 (Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats-- PJ O'Rourke)
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To: wardaddy
I did not see it, until you pinged me. But the theme is not at all uncommon, today.

It is not really subject to argument. That is, the feminists and those who disparage motherhood, either directly or by implication that some of the transient activities of the moment are equally important, have no creditable argument to make. Obviously, anyone who can see beyond next week, or a month or two longer, knows that motherhood is the role for which woman was designed; the role for which she is most qualified. Anyone who can see beyond the year after next, knows also, that motherhood is the one absolutely essential role that woman can play in her family and in her community.

You can find a substitute for any of those career pursuits. The family and society go on. You can let women vote or not vote; drive or not drive; be lawyers and doctors, or stay in their kitchens and bedrooms; and the consequences effect only those immediately involved. A mere century hence, only the students of history will even remember whether women three + generations earlier voted or not, drove or not, were allowed in the professions or not. But there is no next century for any family, community, race or nation, without motherhood.

That is my perspective on the subject. I realize that people who have made sad choices will need to rationalize their importance. But rationalizations are not reality; nor are they a substitute for real analysis.

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

658 posted on 01/04/2005 10:31:57 AM PST by Ohioan
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To: Publius
Some people just shouldn't have children.

I heard a woman describe her terrible childhood. Her father walked out on the family very early in her childhood and was never heard from again. The woman vividly remembers her mother crying every day. They were poor and life was difficult.

By the grace of God, the woman became a sister. That woman is Mother Angelica. Her mother eventually became a sister and joined Mother Angelica in her convent. Mother Angelica affectionately recalls her mother addressing her as "Mother."

We shouldn't sell God short. Good can come out of suffering. Just look at the Cross.

659 posted on 01/04/2005 10:49:57 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Abigail Adams

I think there is something about going forth, being fruitful and multiplying. But clearly doing those things is unhelpful and harmful if not done virtuously and honorably. Not to mention that there wouldn't be anyone to do God's will without some of them doing some multiplying.

But I am not faulting those who don't have children or even disagreeing with you, merely wanted to say what it meant to me personally.

Yes, different folks take different journeys, one can be as worthwhile as another.


660 posted on 01/04/2005 10:50:04 AM PST by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: Modernman
Ever seen "Scrooge"?

Yeah. Why do you ask?

He had a lot of the same ideas. "Excess population" and all that.

661 posted on 01/04/2005 10:56:26 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Modernman
I'm much more concerned with what happens to children in this world.

Why?

662 posted on 01/04/2005 10:57:15 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Aquinasfan
He had a lot of the same ideas. "Excess population" and all that.

Other than the aforememtioned social security/welfare state reasons, is there any rational reason why the US needs to increase its population?

663 posted on 01/04/2005 10:59:22 AM PST by Modernman (What is moral is what you feel good after. - Ernest Hemingway)
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To: Abigail Adams
Well, isn't your marriage different from a friendship?

There are things I do with my wife that I don't do with my friends, including having children. 8-)

664 posted on 01/04/2005 11:00:33 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Aquinasfan

Because that is something that society, government etc. can deal with in a concrete matter. Whether or not a child makes it to heaven isn't something government can do much about.


665 posted on 01/04/2005 11:00:51 AM PST by Modernman (What is moral is what you feel good after. - Ernest Hemingway)
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To: Tamar1973
So couples who have infertility issues don't have a "valid, natural marriage" either?!

The difference is intent. Infertile couples aren't infertile by choice.

There's also the category of people past the child-bearing age who get married. For some of these people, it's better for society, and for them, to get married rather than to become "dirty old men" (or women). As St. Paul said:

1 Corinthians 7:8-9

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.


666 posted on 01/04/2005 11:07:32 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Abigail Adams
It seems some people think that the only reason for sex is to procreate. This is likely the belief of most Catholics, from what I understand.

The Catholic position is that the purpose of intercourse is two-fold, the unity of the couple and the generation of children.

Observing the Natural Law

11. The sexual activity, in which husband and wife are intimately and chastely united with one another, through which human life is transmitted, is, as the recent Council recalled, "noble and worthy.'' (11) It does not, moreover, cease to be legitimate even when, for reasons independent of their will, it is foreseen to be infertile. For its natural adaptation to the expression and strengthening of the union of husband and wife is not thereby suppressed. The fact is, as experience shows, that new life is not the result of each and every act of sexual intercourse. God has wisely ordered laws of nature and the incidence of fertility in such a way that successive births are already naturally spaced through the inherent operation of these laws. The Church, nevertheless, in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life. (12)

Union and Procreation

12. This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.

The reason is that the fundamental nature of the marriage act, while uniting husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also renders them capable of generating new life—and this as a result of laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman. And if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called. We believe that our contemporaries are particularly capable of seeing that this teaching is in harmony with human reason.

Humanae Vitae
Pope Paul VI

If you click on the link you'll find a full explication of the Catholic position. It's quite beautiful. You'll also find that the pope's predictions regarding male/female relationships in light of the widespread use of contraceptives to be prophetic.
667 posted on 01/04/2005 11:16:45 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Abigail Adams
Some women have brilliant minds, special skills, wonderful ideas. And it would be a shame if we returned to the days were women were relegated to the kitchen and nursery.

Those days never existed. Women were always welcome in the professions, the arts, etc. It's just that very few ever bothered, back in the old days. So says my mother, who was indeed one of those few. She was never sexually harassed, she never ran into a glass ceiling, was never discriminated against. But when she had a baby at 43, she knew enough to stay home with me.

The glass ceiling, so called, is NEW, and it was created to keep hostile, ideologically driven feminists (who entered the workplace for all the wrong reasons) from ruining things by their bad attitudes.

668 posted on 01/04/2005 11:25:17 AM PST by Rytwyng (we're here, we're Huguenots, get used to us)
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To: Modernman
is there any rational reason why the US needs to increase its population?

On a economic level, people are wealth. Any conservative or libertarian economist will tell you that. So the question becomes, why does the US need wealth?

But the most rational reason of all is because God has commanded us to do so.

Incidentally, "overpopulation" is a myth.

Lets say we give all 6 billion people on the planet 1,000 square feet each, did you realize that they all would fit very easily into the state of Texas (with over 1,300 billion square feet left over!).

• Texas has 262,015 square miles of land
Which equals 7,304,558,976,000 square feet (262,015 x 27,878,400*) in Texas
• Each person gets 1,000 square feet of land
• The world population is currently almost 6 billion people (as of 1999)
• 6 billion x 1,000 square feet per person equals
6,000,000,000,000 square feet needed

669 posted on 01/04/2005 11:27:20 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Xenalyte
Further, they have no idea why my brother and I don't think the grandchildren are THE coolest things ever to hit the earth.......

________________________________

Grandchildren are the coolest things to ever hit the earth.

670 posted on 01/04/2005 11:30:21 AM PST by wtc911 ("I would like at least to know his name.")
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To: Aquinasfan
We shouldn't sell God short. Good can come out of suffering. Just look at the Cross.

You're preaching to the wrong choir. I'm an atheist.

671 posted on 01/04/2005 11:42:50 AM PST by Publius (The people of a democracy choose the government they want, and they ought to get it good and hard.)
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To: Rytwyng

"The glass ceiling, so called, is NEW, and it was created to keep hostile, ideologically driven feminists (who entered the workplace for all the wrong reasons) from ruining things by their bad attitudes."

Well, what kind of "ceiling" or barrier is there for men who are ideologically driven and can ruin things by their bad attitudes?

I am really amazed at the kind of discrimination I have seen posted here. If you were to say the same thing about African Americans, would you not be labeled a bigot?


672 posted on 01/04/2005 11:55:15 AM PST by Abigail Adams
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To: Abigail Adams
So, I hope you're happy with your God. I sure am happy with mine.

I understandable that you might be upset but you should not say things that you don't mean. People who don't get married and/or don't have children merely because they just don't wanna are missing out. I try not to judge because some can't and others have good reasons but I don't believe that anybody (with or without) is happy with God all the time, it's not natural.

673 posted on 01/04/2005 11:57:52 AM PST by Theophilus (Save Little Democrats, Stop Abortion)
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To: Abigail Adams
Well, what kind of "ceiling" or barrier is there for men who are ideologically driven and can ruin things by their bad attitudes?

Men don't enter the workforce for ideological reasons. Men enter the workforce because they HAVE TO. And bad attitudes in men are economically punished, sooner or later.

I am really amazed at the kind of discrimination I have seen posted here. If you were to say the same thing about African Americans, would you not be labeled a bigot?

Telling the truth isn't bigotry.

674 posted on 01/04/2005 12:38:46 PM PST by Rytwyng (we're here, we're Huguenots, get used to us)
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To: Aquinasfan
The difference is intent. Infertile couples aren't infertile by choice.

I would submit to you that those couples who are "infertile by choice" are doing the world a favor and rather than being called names such as "selfish", they should be thanked for not bringing children into the world who would be treated as an inconvenience or even resented. The last thing this world needs is another neglected, resented child growing up to be a mass murderer or something. No child deserves to be raised like that.

675 posted on 01/04/2005 12:47:24 PM PST by Tamar1973 (Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats-- PJ O'Rourke)
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To: wtc911

If they're yours, I'm sure that to you, they are. To me, they're just children. They may be cute and smart, but they're just children.


676 posted on 01/04/2005 12:48:33 PM PST by Xenalyte (Your mother sells hot dogs.)
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To: qam1

Right. I'm so special that I simply MUST pass on my genes...

Whatever.


677 posted on 01/04/2005 12:49:48 PM PST by StoneColdGOP (Name a shrub after me - something prickly and hard to eradicate.)
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To: Xenalyte

Of course grandkids are best if they're yours. The point is that without first having and raising kids you don't get to find out how coll grandkids are.


678 posted on 01/04/2005 1:43:39 PM PST by wtc911 ("I would like at least to know his name.")
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To: Abigail Adams
If having children is so important to God, how come Jesus never said anything about it?

It's important not to get a big rock and hit yourself over the head with it until your skull is fractured. Jesus neglected that instruction.

Just conjecture here, but, it's part of the freedom that He gives us. We are free to turn our back on what is natural - marry the other sex, not have children and not hit our heads with rocks until our skull is fractured.

Then we can reap what we sow, with a fractured society and our brains running out our ears.

679 posted on 01/04/2005 3:48:40 PM PST by don-o (Stop Freeploading. Do the right thing and become a Monthly Donor.)
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To: don-o

Okay, well you've all convinced me. I'm going to quit using the marketable skills that God gave me and not work anymore. And I'm going to ignore the fact that I don't want kids, and that my husband doesn't want kids, and just have them anyway. Then I'll be doing my duty to society. I won't be annoying anyone with my career goals. I can then be as self-righteous as all of you parents. I'm sure God will like me better, too.

(I'm not usually so sarcastic, but you people have driven me to the brink!)


680 posted on 01/05/2005 9:17:59 AM PST by Abigail Adams
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To: Abigail Adams

Ignore the self-righteous crowd. Most of them can't see beyond their limited world-view. It's your life and you don't have to justify to anyone how you choose to live it.


681 posted on 01/05/2005 9:57:16 AM PST by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: Aquinasfan
Thanks for the post. I will have to address it in parts, I think.

God's commands based in natural law (like the Ten Commandments) are eternal and eternally binding. Pastoral commands were provisional, as pastoral commands are provisional today.

I agree the Moral Law (part of which is "Do not murder", for instance) is eternal. I'm not sure what you mean by pastoral commands. Are those things taught by church leaders that are not taken from the Bible?

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished...."

Excellent Scripture selection, but I'm not sure what your point is. Yes, Jesus has fulfilled the Law, in every meaning of the word, because He was and is the only perfect person to have walked this earth.

Again, because of Christ, we do not live under the Old Testament law anymore:

In the same way, after the supper [Jesus] took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."

- Luke 22:20


682 posted on 01/06/2005 9:41:10 AM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: k2blader
I agree the Moral Law (part of which is "Do not murder", for instance) is eternal. I'm not sure what you mean by pastoral commands. Are those things taught by church leaders that are not taken from the Bible?

Kind of. The same principle would apply to both Catholics and Protestants, but I'll give you an example from Catholicism. At one point in time the Church instructed Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays as a form of mortification in order to bring to mind, in honor of, and in unifying ourselves with Christ's sacrifice on the Cross on Good Friday. But since for some cultures meat is a rarity, abstaining from meat on Fridays did not represent a sacrifice. So the Church changed the discipline, instructing Catholics to choose their form of mortification.

In other words, pastoral commands are provisional and contingent upon temporal exigencies. We can see in the Old Testament a clear distinction between divine commands related to the eternal, natural law, and divine commands that were provisional and pastoral. Perhaps the most famous example of the latter would be kosher dietary requirements.

Excellent Scripture selection, but I'm not sure what your point is. Yes, Jesus has fulfilled the Law, in every meaning of the word, because He was and is the only perfect person to have walked this earth.

Again, because of Christ, we do not live under the Old Testament law anymore:

In the same way, after the supper [Jesus] took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."
- Luke 22:20

We certainly do, except that Christ's demands for us are now greater. Not only are we prohibitted from doing bad things (the Decalogue), but we are obligated to do good things. "Love your neighbor as yourself." "You will know a tree by its fruit." We will be judged by what we do.

Matthew 25:31-46

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”


683 posted on 01/06/2005 10:51:35 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Xenalyte
Further, they have no idea why my brother and I don't think the grandchildren are THE coolest things ever to hit the earth.

Grandchildren are your way to get even with your kids. You can spoil the hack out the the grandkids, then give them back to their parents, and let them deal with the problems!

Even better, you can give them gifts like chemistry sets (that includes instructions on making "stink bombs") and drum sets!

Mark

684 posted on 01/06/2005 11:06:03 AM PST by MarkL (That which does not kill me, has made the last mistake it will ever make!)
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To: MarkL
you can give them gifts like chemistry sets (that includes instructions on making "stink bombs") and drum sets!

Someone gave me a drum set when I was a kid. They must have hated my parents. Anyway, even I didn't like the noise that I made, and it fell quickly into disuse, and then mysteriously disappeared.

685 posted on 01/06/2005 11:09:47 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Aquinasfan

I just read through the rest of your post and think we will just have to disagree that only people who want children should get married.

And I don't want to offend you, because I like you and think you've very well-intentioned, but such a view is a Catholic viewpoint. I'm fairly sure most Protestants do not share that belief. And we read our Bibles too.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Catholics allowed to use the rhythm method of birth control? Why is that? It's still birth control, and it still means they would be trying to not have a baby.

And I remember what Dr. Keyes said in his argument against homosexual marriage. Here's a snippet:

"KEYES: No, you don't understand the difference between incident and essence. Homosexuals are essentially incapable of procreation. They cannot mate. They are not made to do so. Therefore the idea of marriage for two such individuals is an absurdity."

I thought it was interesting that throughout the interview he made sure to emphasize the *capability* of procreation rather than the actual execution of it.

To my knowledge, Keyes has never made any public statements directly addressing the issue of birth control, which I find interesting since he has taken such bold, righteous stands against abortion and homosexual marriage. He's obviously not spoken about birth control on purpose, and the only reason that seems to make any sense is that his beliefs on the subject are somehow different from yours.


686 posted on 01/08/2005 1:39:49 AM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: Aquinasfan

Argh. I was trying to preview my reply to your #683 when the webpage timed out and my entire reply disappeared into nothingness. I'll try to retype it later this weekend.


687 posted on 01/08/2005 2:23:13 AM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: k2blader
I'm fairly sure most Protestants do not share that belief. And we read our Bibles too.

Luther

"[T]he exceedingly foul deed of Onan, the basest of wretches . . . is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest and adultery. We call it unchastity, yes, a sodomitic sin. For Onan goes in to her; that is, he lies with her and copulates, and when it comes to the point of insemination, spills the semen, lest the woman conceive. Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed. Accordingly, it was a most disgraceful crime. . . . Consequently, he deserved to be killed by God. He committed an evil deed. Therefore, God punished him."

John Calvin

"The voluntary spilling of semen outside of intercourse between man and woman is a monstrous thing. Deliberately to withdraw from coitus in order that semen may fall on the ground is doubly monstrous. For this is to extinguish the hope of the race and to kill before he is born the hoped-for offspring."

John Wesley

"Those sins that dishonor the body are very displeasing to God, and the evidence of vile affections. Observe, the thing which he [Onan] did displeased the Lord—and it is to be feared; thousands, especially of single persons, by this very thing, still displease the Lord, and destroy their own souls." (These passages are quoted in Charles D. Provan, The Bible and Birth Control, which contains many quotes by historic Protestant figures who recognize contraception’s evils.)

Lambeth Conference (1930)

Anglican bishops formally declare that couples are free to decide for themselves which methods of contraception they wish to use for purposes of family planning. They also condemned the use of contraceptives for "motives of selfishness, luxury or mere convenience."

Lambeth on Contraceptives

By Charles Gore, D.D., D.C.L., LL. D.
Bishop of Oxford (1930)

The Conference, while declining to lay down rules which will meet the needs of every abnormal case, regards with grave concern the spread in modern society of theories and practices hostile to the family. We utter an emphatic warning against the use of unnatural means for the avoidance of conception, together with the grave dangers—physical, moral, and religious—thereby incurred, and against the evils with which the extension of such use threatens the race. In opposition to the teaching which, under the name of science and religion, encourages married people in the deliberate cultivation of sexual union as an end in itself, we steadfastly uphold what must always be regarded as the governing considerations of Christian marriage. One is the primary purpose for which marriage exists—namely the continuation of the race through the gift and heritage of children; the other is the paramount importance in married life of deliberate and thoughtful self-control. We desire solemnly to commend what we have said to Christian people and to all who will hear.

Here we have a refusal to go into detail about abnormal 'hard cases,' but a quite general condemnation of contraceptive methods. The recent Conference, on the contrary, has given a restricted approval of them. To be quite fair we will analyse the Resolutions 13—18...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Catholics allowed to use the rhythm method of birth control? Why is that? It's still birth control, and it still means they would be trying to not have a baby.

That's a tougher question. The pope criticizes using natural methods of birth control if done with "a contraceptive mentality." My understanding of this phrase is that he opposes the use of natural means of contraception if done for convenience.

However, there is a real difference between natural and artificial means of birth control. God designed periods of fertility and infertility into a woman's cycle. Naturally, not every act of intercourse will result in pregnancy. Intercourse during infertile periods serves only one of the two ends of intercourse, the unity of the couple.

The natural purpose of intercourse is two-fold: procreation and the unity of the couple. If the possibility of a pregnancy threatens the unity of the couple and the marriage itself (i.e., grave medical dangers or grave financial hardship), the couple may make use of infertile periods to prevent pregnancy, but the couple must at the same time be open to the possibility of pregnancy.

An interesting and informative intra-Catholic dialogue on the subject.

To my knowledge, Keyes has never made any public statements directly addressing the issue of birth control, which I find interesting since he has taken such bold, righteous stands against abortion and homosexual marriage.

I read the speech he gave in Faneuil Hall about a year ago regarding homosexual marriage, and he traced the root of the problem to birth control, the separating of the marital act from procreation.

He's obviously not spoken about birth control on purpose, and the only reason that seems to make any sense is that his beliefs on the subject are somehow different from yours.

He may not want to bring it up in Catholic/Protestant audiences for prudential reasons, but his speech at Fanueil Hall was to a general audience.

The issue came up in this interview with Sean Hannity.

688 posted on 01/10/2005 6:07:33 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Aquinasfan

Sorry for the late post. My original one was probably worded better, but I'll try to sum up here briefly.

Thank you for your explanation of pastoral commands. I'm familiar with the concept of provisional law--I've also heard it called ceremonial law.

Reading the Bible, it's clear that God set down all of the laws, which would include the Moral Law, ceremonial law and civil law.

When I said "We do not live under the Old Testament law (note the small 'l') anymore", I was referring to the ceremonial law, which Jesus as High Priest has made obsolete.

Also, I do not believe the commands God gave to specific people to be fruitful and multiply are any part of the Moral, ceremonial or civil law. They are not laws. They are separate covenants God made with those specific people at those specific times.


689 posted on 01/12/2005 9:41:10 AM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: Slyfox

There are even more people in those homes who have children and grandchildren that don't visit than there are those who do. I would think that's a far more depressing feeling.

And having children with the assumption they will care for you when you are old is selfish. Some people do choose not to have kids because they are aware they are selfish people...but not all childfree people are. Everybody has their reasons as to why they do or don't want kids. Children are a never-ending responsibilty and even the best of parents have moments where they resent their kids.


690 posted on 02/06/2005 7:44:43 PM PST by Spacey
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To: Raycpa
My hubby and I don't not have any children, and this is deliberately by choice. We don't really care about other people's rash responses to that, and how others see us. The fact is that we lead very fulfilling lives and rationally understand that having offspring does not make one whole. We also realize that children can be rewarding if childrearing is approached in a realistic and rational way. It's just that we have no desire to take on that wonderful challenge. We prefer others. And just for the record, we both voted for Bush, because unlike wavering Kerry, he appeared to have more substance and we felt he was certainly the better candidate of the two. His views on abortion, homosexuality, etc are irrelevent to us, as long as we feel he would get the job done better than the other candidate. We don't belong to any groups, see them as a waste of productive time, (ANY group where folks unite for a common cause is counterproductive in our view). If there is a desire to make a difference, then start out by being the best individual one can be. As far as us being self-centered: Selfish yes, self-centered , no as we do not believe the world revolves around us.

Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing wrong with being selfish. It's a very good way to better yourself as a human being and as a result, others around you will benefit from it. Being selfish simply means looking after ones own needs and interests (being responsible for them, not placing the burden on others to fulfill them). Self-centeredness on the other hand, is the attitude that everything revolves around one, and believe me, there are countless people (parents as well as non-parents) that bask in self-centeredness.
691 posted on 03/05/2005 6:28:54 AM PST by Andijazz
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To: Spacey

Well said, Spacey!! And you are so right about folks in homes that have children/grandchildren who don't get visits, or at least very minimal.


692 posted on 03/05/2005 1:37:12 PM PST by Andijazz
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To: k2blader

I have to say ... reading this post make me very sad. I have been married for 15 years, we have been trying to have children for the past 7 years to no avail. We are now at the age where it looks like we are destined not to have children. We do not want to go the scientific route, and in some ways, whether I am projecting onto myself or not, I feel extreme sadness and trepidation about a future without children. Somehow the path of life seems less certain. Anyway ... I am saddened by how many people responding to article would see me as some sort of freak. =( Saddened is not the correct word, “hurt” is more appropriate.


693 posted on 12/15/2009 11:31:04 PM PST by dunpok
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