Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Makes Me Even Sadder...

It astounds me how cruel people can be.

I will not be linking to anyone's blog in this post, because I don't think that it is proper blog etiquette to direct my readers somewhere where a) they may get upset themselves, and b) the blogger whose post I direct to may receive comments that attack them, their beliefs, their loved ones, etc. No matter which side of the "debate" someone is on, I find it very immature to go to someone else's blog and insult them.

But additionally, I find it just plain mean-spirited to write an entire blog post about someone whom you've never met, calling the blogger all sorts of names, and rallying all of your readers against her.

And today, that is what I have witnessed. And today, that is what makes me sad.

The worst part of the whole thing (and I know that the woman who is being so attacked right now would agree with me) is not the hurt surrounding the personal affronts, but rather the confusion, misconceptions, and downright bashing that is taking place around our Catholic faith. Why it is that Catholicism takes a beating more than any other religion in this country is beyond me... and why it is allowed (or ignored?) is another thing I can't understand.

I would like to address one very important point about the recent "debates" (putting it mildly) circulating this particular situation. That is, the point that most people bring to light when they disagree with the Church's teachings on IVF: If God did not approve, then He wouldn't make IVF "work."

Let's break this down a little bit. So, basically the logic here is that if some sort of procedure, or action, WORKS (produces its desired end result), then God automatically must have had His hand in it, and approves of its use.
Can this same argument be used, then, for anything? (If not, why not?) If so, then we can say that God approves of, oh, just about anything... if it works. God must have wanted me to have bigger boobs if He allowed my boob job to "work," and He must have wanted me to be a man if He allowed my sex change operation to "work."

But I've seen this negation turned on its head by those who support IVF. No, it's not just that God approves of anything that "works," but of COURSE He would approve of something that ultimately brings life into the world! Right?

OK. Sometimes incest and rape brings life into the world. Does God, logically, agree with the ACTION or PROCEDURE that lead to that life being brought into the world??? Why not?

** (Important to note is that NO MATTER HOW a child is conceived, via rape, incest, IVF, marital embrace, etc. they are LOVED by God and are NO LESS of a human person. This is another common misconception of Catholic teaching.)

But let's take it a step further. What do you say to women who have failed IVF 1, 2, 6, 9 times?? If they have never implanted, or never brought a baby to term? If the logical "defense" of God's approval of IVF lies in the fact that He ultimately decides whether or not it "works," then does He just have it out for the women for whom it never and will never work? Is He somehow saying that He wants Mrs. Y to have children through IVF (because it worked for her) but NOT Mrs. X?

To fully understand the Catholic position on IVF may be (and most likely is) beyond the scope of most people's ability, unless they truly WANT to understand it. I just hope that in the future, people can respect the fact that there are women and couples out there (out here!) who do hold these beliefs, who will defend these beliefs when attacked, and who will try to inform and educate those who do not understand these beliefs. This does not translate to judgement. I will wholeheartedly be the first to say I completely and utterly sympathize with the woman who is told she needs IVF, is considering IVF, is currently going through IVF, or has gone through IVF. Because, if a woman is enduring this emotionally and physically (and financially) draining procedure, it must mean she is also enduring something even more draining: infertility. And if nothing else, I can connect and relate to women carrying that cross. Take a stroll through my "TTC History" and you'll see I've done things most REs haven't even heard of ;) Emotionally, physically, and financially draining treatments. I've been there. I'm still there. 4 years and 2 months later. I know and feel your pain.

But now I feel the pain of staying up past my bedtime... uggggghhh...
'til next time.

25 comments:

Complicated Life said...

I love you and this post. Seriously. I've had a difficult day and it is so hard for me to read those blog comments you're referring to, yet I do and I want to share our faith in the most loving way I can. But it is so draining and I just end up sad (moreso than I already was).

Thank you for addressing this portion of the confusion.

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

Thank you for making sense. It is balm for the soul.

Hebrews 11:1 said...

I know the post you are talking about, and I could not agree with you more. I found it very upsetting as well.

I would just like to point out how YOU were able to argue your point logically and respectfully, without insult or rudeness to others...while some people are clearly not able to do so. My mom always says--look at the two sides, and wherever there's the most anger, the most hostility and viciousness, that's the side that knows deep down that they are wrong. It makes sense--if they are so sure of their own rightness, why do they feel so threatened by what the other side has to say?

Anyway, thanks for another insightful, intelligent and thought-provoking post. I always love to read what you have to say!

dawn827 said...

I can never understand why people can't respect other peoples believes on certain subjects. Especially for religious reasons. As someone who doesn't have a moral problem with IVF(done responsibly of course) and a former Catholic I wholeheartedly respect your believes in why you don't. I have never felt judged by you for my decisions and I even may respect you more for sticking to your believes.. I've heard of so many girls changing their mind when they are told they need ivf.
I really don't understand how people can't realize that not everything is about them and if they have a problem with someone's beliefs.. that its THEIR problem not someone else's. :)

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

Wonderful post. The Holy Spirit worked through you with this one!

Chasing said...

Great post. I was upset by the viciousness of those comments too.

A Martha trying to be Mary said...

Great post TCIE! I needed to hear this after reading all the comments. I just was so draining reading all of it.

Thanks so much for writing this.

Jenny said...

Great post TCIE! I couldn't agree more. And I love your point Hebrews!

Patiently Waiting said...

Thank you for this. I was so disheartened yesterday and thought of not much else. Hebrews, I was thinking the same exact thing yesterday. I've noticed the same idea when discussing or listening to political debates. The loudest most angry debater that resorts to name calling and insults is obviously the one who knows they are wrong and has to fight harder to feel "right". Sad.

Megan said...

AWESOME post! This whole mess has made me so sad...
Hebrews, that is a great point! Some of those comments were downright vicious. :(
Thank you for making sense, TCIE!

Suzie-Q T-Pie said...

Great post! :)

Nicole said...

:-( let me just start by saying that I am not Catholic...I was for a time and then was baptized Episcopalian and have since dabbled in other Christian (whats the proper term?) faiths. I don't disagree with IVF but I also don't believe that God decides who it works for. What I DO believe is that God has a plan for each of us and no matter how hard we try to manipulate that plan it just is what it is and we may never understand. With all that said... I believe that it is SUPER important to be compassionate and understanding of those whose beliefs/faith is different than mine. Just because someone believes or feels something different doesn't make it wrong or narrow minded. Whoever among our IF community felt the need to bash another for her beliefs lacks compassion and understanding and that's just really really sad. We are all entitled to our own beliefs and or opinions on things but that certainly doesn't mean we should force them on another or make them feel bad for having them in the first place.

Sunshine said...

Great post TCIE- I wasn't able to comment on Sew's post as our computer is down for the time being but read through everything. I would say that this is our cross with suffering IF as a Catholic who struggles to be faithful to Christ and to the dignity of the human person. We need to be a light in the world and I think we can be a wonderful light in the darkness surrounding us even if the whole world thinks we're insane!

Christina @ Faith for Fertility said...

Great post! You make so much sense & I love it! I love what Hebrews had to say too.

Tridentine Wife said...

Yes the bashing has been draining and I'm glad you are standing up for the person(s) attacked through all of this. When you wrote "To fully understand the Catholic position on IVF may be (and most likely is) beyond the scope of most people's ability, unless they truly WANT to understand it." That's it. You put this perfectly. God gives us the free will to understand and do what we want to do and we alone have to provide the answers to God's questions in the end. Well put TCIE.

The Comeaus said...

"To fully understand the Catholic position on IVF may be (and most likely is) beyond the scope of most people's ability, unless they truly WANT to understand it."

COULD NOT agree more. It is very painful to be criticized for our beliefs as Catholics, especially when there is *deliberate* ignorance/misunderstanding involved.

I can't believe how beautifully you handled a very difficult topic. Really, it was done with so much grace and kindness. You put forth the Church's position clearly, simply and with relatively few words. I don't quite know how you did it. I admire anybody who can sum up something so difficult with such apparent ease; I lack that gift!

I also agree that while I am totally against IVF, I DO understand, to some degree, that a woman considering that path must be in a great deal of emotional pain from the infertility she is dealing with. I think that was a very compassionate thing for you to say.

And you are so right in saying that just because "it works" doesn't mean God approves of our actions. I have done things in my past that were absolutely not in line with God's plan (I don't mean about this, other things), yet He allowed me to go ahead and do it because, well, we have free will and He doesn't step in front of us to stop us. That doesn't mean He liked what I was doing.

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

Dawn and Nicole, thank you so much for your comments - and for showing that IVFer and non-IVFers can indeed be friends :) Thank you for being a witness to the fact that my Catholic beliefs, when shared in a public way, do NOT mean I am judging those around me. I respect you girls so much, and I very much appreciate your respect.

Hugs!

matchingmoonheads said...

thank you for giving the 'rape analogy'! i was wondering if i was the only one thinking it, but i really didn't want to get sucked in anymore to the debates (which i was already following avidly!).
also how someone can get mad and vile at people who they think are being mad and vile is beyond me. what does that prove?

Mary said...

TCIE thank you so much for posting this! It was very comforting to read.

Mary said...

Could you please let me know how I can email you? :)

Erin said...

TCIE-you can express yourself and your beliefs so beautifully and clearly. Thank you! I can't agree with you more. I also had the same thought as Hebrews. IF touches all of us at our most inner being. As women, we want to create and nurture life. It is how God created us. When we can't do this, then we experience extreme pain and we want to relieve that pain. God calls us to Him so He can heal us. But that doesn't mean that we need to act like Him. But, TCIE, can expressed this much better than myself!

WheelbarrowRider said...

Great post! I had never heard this flawed logic before until last week when my mom had someone tell it to her at her work-a social work that is pro abortion was using this logic. Sad. Misguided. Thanks for your beautiful explanation. I am going to share it with my mom and maybe she can find the right time to pass one or two of your points on to this women.

JellyBelly said...

You're a very wise woman TCIE. I do have friends and family members that have done IVF and while I know that it isn't a choice for us, I would never attack them for their choices.

All of the attacks on friends that I love and respect make me so sad. I hate it when ignorance and intolerance cause misunderstandings and hurt. Thank you for writing such a beautiful post.

prayerfuljourney said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

Ahh, little sis - you are WISE. So much of Catholic doctrine can only be fully understood when you open your mind and heart to understanding...truly WANTING to understand it. In some cases that requires putting our ego and our will aside to focus on God's, because they will be in conflict. Not an easy task, and society gives us millions of seemingly strong reasons and excuses not to. I think you're tremendously blessed to be able to see past them to the Truth. And the Truth will always be attacked in our world...in obvious and in hard-to-see ways - occasionally even by the well-intentioned.

I'm very inspired by and proud of you.
-J