Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It's been awhile, hasn't it?

I should be working on my doctoral dissertation right now. I had planned on an early start. Ester, Joe and I hit the hay with an episode of NCIS at, get this: 19:53 hours yesterday. That was right after homemade Chinese dinner. It was, as Joe says, “Dee-licious!” I was at the computer by 04:41 hours.

That’s when it happened.

I checked my e-mail and found the following argument offered in an advertisement that arrived via forwarded e-mail: abortion is actually a social good, because it provides a means for guaranteeing that every child is a wanted, loved child.

Feminists for Life president, Serrin Foster is wont to point out in her many, many speaking engagements, that “child abuse has risen.” Now, I do not know whether statistics will bear out a rise in rates of child abuse: I do know that it is extremely difficult to measure our improvement as a society in terms of our care for and tutelage of children, whether ours or others’ in our charge. Statistics may not be the best way about it.

When, however, New York City 2nd graders are read, “Heather has two Mommies,[1]” and Catholic Charities of Boston is forced to close its adoption operation over its refusal to place children in gay households, we have lost sight of what “caring for children” really means. In the first case, what passes as an attempt to reduce the psychological stress on a child growing in an “alternative family” situation, by soft-pedaling ideology under the guise of prejudice removal/prevention education, actually goes to trump parental supervision of children’s moral and social education. The second case is a more brazen example of moral insanity passing under the name of equality: courts refusing to allow a century-old religious charity to place children in adoptive homes based on a prudential judgment regarding the best interests of the child.

This brings me back to my point. Love is the identification of one’s own good with the good of another, or the refusal to distinguish one’s own good apart from the good of another, so that the good of the other effectively becomes one’s own good. Love is an attitude of the will. As emotion, love is primarily a disposition to sacrifice.

The idea that only children desired by grown-ups ought to be brought into this world is an idea that can only arise in a mind unformed to love and incapable of it.

I love most when I do what I know to be truly good for another, regardless of the consequences to myself. There are a very, very few chances in life to show true love (though there are still more than appear at first glance): choosing to keep an “unwanted” child is one of them.

Now, it’s past 05:30.

[1] New York City School Curriculum Sparks Controversy, NPR - All Things Considered, 1/26/1993, Show #1009, Seg. 11.

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