[culture|religion] Children - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2007-07-16 10:44
Subject: [culture|religion] Children
Security: Public
Tags:culture, politics, religion
Out in the Genre car today, BBC's World Have Your Say was on, talking about a book that covers the downside of parenting. There was a woman on from (I believe) the American Family Association, who was righteously indignant about the "fact" that the excuses women give for not having were just selfish. Apparently, it's in the AFA worldview that if you can have children, you should.

Now, righteous indignation is what the AFA is all about. It's one of the benefits of being a certain kind of conservative -- that warm feeling you're correct and everyone else will burn in a merry hell. But this strikes me as just nuts. I don't understand why it's even theologically defensible, let alone culturally defensible.

Since when are people obligated to have children? By any rational or even reasonable measure?
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User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-07-16 17:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"By any rational or even reasonable measure?"

Well, looking for that...that's your problem right there. :-)

More seriously, I guess they take seriously the charge to "be fruitful and multiply."
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S. Boyd Taylor
User: sboydtaylor
Date: 2007-07-16 18:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As with any cult, the AFA requires you to leave your common sense and ability to question at the door. If they tell you, "Have babies," you say, "How high."... or something like that ;)
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Laura Anne Gilman: pandora's not impressed
User: suricattus
Date: 2007-07-16 17:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:pandora's not impressed
Not ALL people. Just THEIR people. Gotta outnumber the heathens and the hellbent, yanno...
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España Sheriff
User: cmdrsuzdal
Date: 2007-07-16 17:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Well, I can understand the religious/tribal/genetic/whathaveyou roots of that belief, but it's a cultural appendix in this day and age.

And anyway, groups of that type generally don't want *everyone* to have more children... really they want their own kind to have more children. I bet they have different opinions when it comes to gays having kids, for instance.
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User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2007-07-16 18:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
so, if I converted to them at this stage of the game, they would help me getting that pesky hysterectomy reversed to replicate?
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dragonkal: my peeps
User: dragonkal
Date: 2007-07-16 18:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:my peeps
I grew up in a small Mormon town (though my immediate family was not Mormon). We got to know a Mormon couple well enough that we inquired as to why they only had two children, since it's the Mormon norm to have quite a few. The wife had become infertile after the second child. My mom, being an inquisitive sort who could get away with these kinds of questions, asked what happened to the couple's sex life, since procreation was no longer feasible and the church is rather strict about these things.

The wife's reply: "Every time we have sex, we pray first for a miracle to happen."

I agree with the other comments about folks such as the AFA only wanting "their" folks to propagate as much as possible. I remember when I came to the sudden realization, in my teens, that all of the local initiatives and ballot measures I believed in would never pass because, by and large, people who were going to vote like me tended to have 1-2 children, and people who didn't vote like me tended to have 5-6. It's really a rather cunning plan when you think about it.
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User: lordofallfools
Date: 2007-07-16 18:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My mom, being an inquisitive sort who could get away with these kinds of questions, asked what happened to the couple's sex life, since procreation was no longer feasible and the church is rather strict about these things.

What do you mean, "the church is rather strict about these things?"

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User: bram452
Date: 2007-07-16 18:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Ooh! I know that one. Hold on. Where was it . . .

Ah. Here. Genesis 1:28

[Sam Jackson]Be fruitful and multiply, motherfucker.[/Sam Jackson]

Seriously. That's where is comes from.

Following this teaching on marriage, Jesus blessed the children and warned adults not to stand in the way of the children coming to him.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-07-17 22:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
if we're going to get technical about it, doesn't the New Covenant release Christians from the laws of the Pentateuch? (Setting aside the usual picking-and-choosing in favor of actual internal consistency, I mean.)
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User: djonn
Date: 2007-07-16 19:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We're supposed to be having children so that the AFA and its minions can scoop them up, brainwash, er indoctrinate, um teach them to follow the One True Path, and thereby rule the world secure the next generation for themselvesGod....
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User: tsheehan
Date: 2007-07-16 19:59 (UTC)
Subject: This drives me bonkers
I deal with this all the time because I'm recently married, both I and my husband are young and we're never having children.

People are totally irrational about reproduction. We've been yelled at, called selfish and patronized so often we've developed coping mechanisms for it. Now my husband and I tell people that we can't have kids. Feigning polite confusion when people ask delicate questions about my reproductive health is great fun. Alternatively, we tell people that we're busy raising a zombie army and just haven't got the time. Maybe after the apocalypse.

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lt260: WWFSMD
User: lt260
Date: 2007-07-16 20:26 (UTC)
Subject: Beware
This type of thinking may be the coming wave of enforceable laws. Can't have children? Then you can't get married. At least that was part of the excuse the Washington State Supreme court used to uphold a Republican backed ban on gay marriage in this state.

Never underestimate the willingness of religious people to force their viewpoints on everyone else. Christians are a particularly demented class. Muslims are merely catching up, and rather clumsily at that. If you think that I am being overly critical or harsh, check out and see what I mean. This website is meant to be humorous but the thought patterns behind a lot of the statements indicate to me that:

A) logic and reason are lost on these folk.
B) I am outnumbered (breeding like rodents is bad enough -- producing hordes of narrow-minded bigots is worse).
C) while I can tolerate people with diverse religious viewpoints, their tolerance of me may be limited at best.
D) we still have about another 18 months of people in power that support this kind of thinking.
E) it will be years after 21Jan2009 before things are balanced again, if ever.
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User: sheelangig
Date: 2007-07-16 21:16 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Beware

Oh come now. Things were never balanced. Probably never will be. It's a pendulum swing, it's in motion. As much as I'd like to freeze it my perfect spot, it doesn't happen that way.
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User: burger_eater
Date: 2007-07-16 20:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Brain Overload!
See, if going childless-by-choice becomes socially acceptable, more and more young people will be "recruited" to join in. The institution of marriage parenthood is threatened and must be defended!
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User: sheelangig
Date: 2007-07-16 21:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Oh, that's so that we're so busy raising the kids that we cannot analyze too closely any of the other rules.

It's a meta-smoke screen.
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Phil Smith
User: dungeoneer
Date: 2007-07-16 21:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Why? Because the Muslims are breeding, that's why.
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User: seventorches
Date: 2007-07-16 23:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Be fruitful and multiply" is the first commandment. I picked that tidbit up at Brandeis, a very Jewish school. (It might be the second, actually, after "I am the Lord your God", or some such, but it's been awhile since I looked it up). Religious Jews take it seriously--for a husband and wife to have sex is a mitzvah, and doubly so on Shabbas. I never found out whether they get extra points for actually conceiving on that day or what.

The AFA are wingnuts regardless.
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User: jtdiii
Date: 2007-07-16 23:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Godless heathens should stop breeding!

The people of god on the other hand need to populate the earth.
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Eva Whitley
User: wouldyoueva
Date: 2007-07-16 23:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The only explanation I can come up with is that the woman from AFA came into contact with the militantly childfree and she's trying for revenge.

This whole mindset of sex is for procreation is bizarre. I remember reading a Christian marriage manual that warned against oral sex, and the argument was "you can't praise god if your mouth is full." Hey, *I* manage to talk while getting oral sex, and sometimes I even mention god, even if I don't believe in a Diety. These people are wussies.

And some of the reasons people have for not having children *are* selfish. So what? If someone doesn't want to have kids because it means they can't go to Europe every year, I'd rather have them go to Europe and not make some innocent kid miserable.
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User: mojave_wolf
Date: 2007-07-18 19:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I remember reading a Christian marriage manual that warned against oral sex, and the argument was "you can't praise god if your mouth is full." Hey, *I* manage to talk while getting oral sex, and sometimes I even mention god, even if I don't believe in a Diety.


I have this sudden vision of "Oh, yesss! Thank you God! Thank you for my partner's mouth! And their tongue! And their lips! And the way they --ooooh, yesssss . . . "
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