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The Pro-choice Mantra is “Every Child, a Wanted Child.”

April 25, AD2015

baby, prolife, pro-life, family, marriage

Man, that implies so much. That those who survive the Rubicon of the womb, they were desired,while those who did not, were not. Except it isn’t true. If you look at this world, there are plenty of children who suffer from neglect, from abuse, from the long tentacles of pain of parents who for whatever reason, do not “want” their children. If all children could only exist as long as their parents “wanted” them, most would be dismissed at some point during the ugly years. Some people like Dr. Peter Singer bio-ethicist at Princeton (cough, cough) have gone so far as to advocate this position, that those children deemed lacking in sufficient personhood, i.e. wanting, by their parents, can be legitimately disposed of up through the age of, at last check, two. But I’m sure the number is negotiable if you can make the case.

Want is insufficient. Want does not last forever. Wanting does, but not the want itself. Wants change. Wants fade. Wants are met. New ones take their place. And wants even when sated, do not satisfy forever. You may want a child, but do you want this one…the one you get? What do you Want the child for? If children are only tolerated while they are wanted, what happens when wants fade or change?

Children are the natural byproduct of sex. If we think of ourselves as soil, the seed sometimes falls in soil where there are weeds that choke it off eventually, or are scattered and trampled by the world, or are lost because the roots are too shallow. The difference between the plants which yield 10, 30, 100 fold, is love. Wanted is not what is required, welcome is. Wants are temporary, wants change as life unfolds. Welcome is a state of receiving. Welcome means room has been prepared, come sit, rest, be. Welcome means we will serve. Welcome means, we know these people are not ours, but ours to care for up until adulthood and to love always.

Love demands sacrifice. Children require love, ergo, children require sacrifice. Bad parenting is the absence of correct ordering by the parents, of the sacrifice, placing the demands of the soul on the child or others, rather than the self out of selfishness, ignorance or the misplace of wants over welcoming. Welcoming guests demands a stretching of the home, of the heart. Wanting does not.

But our society has swallowed the myth of wanted children over welcoming.

In the past 60 years of prolific birth control use and 40 years of abortion, has the rate of neglect and abuse gone down? No. Have we ceased as a society to treat children as accessories to our glory? No. Have the children of subsequent generations since the liberating of sexuality to choice and a woman’s empowerment and control of her biology felt awash in love, all wanted? No.

Indeed, Jesus tells us not simply to allow children to come to him, but that whoever welcomes a little child, welcomes me. Not wants. Welcomes.

We suffer from a two-fold problem in this society because of the agitation against the existence of children.

First, we become more infantile in our own tastes and preferences as a society as we no longer have the demand placed upon us as a whole, to grow up. We pad every experience to avoid all actual possibility of pain, our art, food, music, entertainment seems permanently stuck in a mode that requires no growth, no acquiring of refinement, practice or sacrifice. If there’s a drink that personifies the modern world sensibility, it’s the Venti Caramel Cappuccino with whip and a dash of chocolate that substitutes for a cup of Joe straight. It’s not that we don’t trust anyone over forty, it’s that as a society, we refuse to grow past 14. If you are confused on this point, google anything without a filter, and watch your computer melt from the solicitation of appetites. Our culture is designed for the adolescent brain and that level of responsibility.

Second, as we only want as a society, we become less capable of dealing with children, of tolerating their curiosity, their existence, be it in restaurants, parks, malls or museums. They are to be bubble wrapped with 24-7 Sprout TV until they reach an age for school such that we can drop them off for breakfast and pick them back up for dinner and bedtime. We no longer allow for down time or free time or ordinary time, there are activities and quality time and play dates. Everything requires a snack and a stimulus, nothing is in and of itself, sufficient. We define our time, our relationships with our children in terms of wants, rather than welcomes.

We do not allow our children to simply be, because we are uncomfortable ourselves with merely being. They were wanted. What were they wanted . . . for? This question was not asked at their creation, nor is it asked now . . . so we have a world peopled with children who do not know their purpose, only that they want, and like their parents, think wants should be satisfied. They also want satisfaction, and do not understand why they never feel full, never feel satisfied.

Indeed, if we want to know how we are to parent, we need only look at the father in the Prodigal son, his response to his children is always to welcome them in, to give them what they need, what they ask, and more. It is when the children feed only their wants, that they rob themselves of their ability to enjoy the gifts of their father, but the gifts are given in abundance readily none the less.

So the response to “all children, wanted children” is “welcome all children” all the days of their lives.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

I am a Catholic writer, happily married, and mother to ten children. Past publications include the Catholic Digest, Faith and Family Live, National Catholic Register, the Catholic Standard, East Texas Catholic and the Washington Post. I have a regular column at www.catholicmom.com and also a blog, Chocolate For Your Brain, with the I don't know what I'm doing blog address of http://www.sherryantonettiwrites.blogspot.com. My first foray into fiction is slated to hit the internet in May of 2013, The Book of Helen.

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  • Jennifer Hartline

    Bravo, JoAnna. This is exceptional.

    • (psssst… I’m not the author) 🙂

    • james

      Sacre bleu ! And I came so close myself to unmasking Bill S only to be upstaged by JoAnna Wonderkind. But he does seem a bit kinder
      gentler p.d.c.w.o-c.t.

    • We’ll see how long that lasts. He’s been quite rude (again) at the Little Catholic Bubble blog.

    • Cynthia Millen

      What I don’t understand is this: If someone doesn’t like what the Catholic Church teaches, why don’t they just leave us alone? Ignore us! Go about your own way and find a church that you like. Don’t worry about trying to change us or criticizing our doctrine. Just go away.
      I think that deep down they all know that the Church is correct and it bugs the crap out of them.

    • SclrHmnst

      “If someone doesn’t like what the Catholic Church teaches, why don’t they just leave us alone?”

      Because a well run Catholic Church could be just what this world needs. But it is not well run and I feel compelled to point out where it is wrong. Afterall, it is a human institution that is very fallible even if Catholics think it is not.

    • Ven. Fulton Sheen said it best:

    • Cynthia Millen

      Excuse me, but who are you to tell a 2100 year old institution full of hundreds of saints, scholars, humble and brilliant folks who have thought about all of these things and written millions of pages about it what they should do?. Thanks for the Fulton Sheen quote!

    • SclrHmnst

      The Catholic Church has lost its appeal with those who it could otherwise influence. But it has to join the 21st century. It is out of step with the real world. Its attitude to some of the more contentious issues like abortion, contraception, gay marriage, etc. kills its credibility as a truly useful moral authority.

    • “Christianity is always out of fashion because it is always sane; and all fashions are mild insanities. When Italy is mad on art the Church seems too Puritanical; when England is mad on Puritanism the Church seems too artistic. When you quarrel with us now you class us with kingship and despotism; but when you quarrelled with us first it was because we would not accept the divine despotism of Henry VIII. The Church always seems to be behind the times, when it is really beyond the times; it is waiting till the last fad shall have seen its last summer. It keeps the key of a permanent virtue.” – “The Ball and the Cross” by G.K. Chesterton

    • SclrHmnst

      I enjoy reading G. K. Chesterton. Once one accepts the existence of God, Chesterton makes an excellent argument for Christianity, and especially Catholicism.

    • His works are good reading regardless of one’s beliefs. And the quote I just posted is absolute truth.

    • SclrHmnst

      I have a collection of his works on Kindle. I liked “Orthodoxy”

    • SclrHmnst

      My favorites from reading GKC:

      Moreover, a man with a definite belief always appears bizarre, because he does not change with the world; he has climbed into a fixed star, and the earth whizzes below him like a zoetrope.

      The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.

      The principle is this: that in everything worth having, even in every pleasure, there is a point of pain or tedium that must be survived, so that the pleasure may revive and endure.

      the success of the marriage comes after the failure of the honeymoon. All human vows, laws, and contracts are so many ways of surviving with success this breaking point, this instant of potential surrender.

      I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable. For a man and a woman, as such, are incompatible.

      …(in primitive cultures) the woman does not work because the man tells her to work and she obeys. On the contrary, the woman works because she has told the man to work and he hasn’t obeyed. I do not affirm that this is the whole truth, but I do affirm that we have too little comprehension of the souls of savages to know how far it is untrue.

      It is quaint that people talk of separating dogma from education. Dogma is actually the only thing that cannot be separated from education. It is education. A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.

      Now most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities.

      ‘From the earth we come and to the earth we return; when people get away from that they are lost.’ Bohemian Waiter in NYC to GKC

      The best we can say for ourselves is worse than the worst that we can do.

    • SclrHmnst

      I actually was very nice on Leila’s blog. Had she not taken offense to me calling Paul VI an old celebate Italian man, I’d still be debating with Nubby about the source of moral values.

    • If you think that behavior was “nice,” then you are being delusional. And, once again, it’s celibate, not celebate.

    • SclrHmnst

      Autocorrect does that. Sorry. I most certainly was being nice. All was fine until I made that comment. I was even being nice to the person to whom I made the comment. Cut me some slack, will you?

    • No, autocorrect substitutes one valid word for another valid word. Celebate is not a valid word, so it isn’t an autocorrect mistake.

      You are not being nice, Bill. It is not nice to come back to a blog from which you were asked to leave and masquerade under an assumed name until your insults give you away. In the real world, that is the opposite of nice.

    • SclrHmnst

      I misread the word. I thought you were saying that I put “celebrate” instead of celibate. So, actually autocorrect changed my “celebate”, which is wrong, to “celebrate”. I see the problem now. Thanks.

  • SclrHmnst

    I am all for contraception and abortion as a means of controlling the size of the family and controlling population growth. Unfortunately, those who we most need to keep from multiplying seem to be hell bent on having as many children as they can and relying on public assistance to raise them. The most alarming example has already been mentioned by another commenter. Muslims are multiplying and spreading like a cancer throughout Europe. I don’t know what can be done about it.

    • “Unfortunately, those who we most need to keep from multiplying seem to be hell bent on having as many children as they can and relying on public assistance to raise them.”

      Interesting, Bill. Do you think we should kill everyone on public assistance?

    • SclrHmnst

      Who is Bill?

    • A psychologically disturbed commenter with obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Otherwise known as you.

      Care to answer my question, Bill?

    • SclrHmnst

      What I meant was that the people who probably should have more children aren’t and the ones who shouldn’t are. Muslims taking over Europe and people on welfare keeping pumping kids out while the more productive members of society are limiting the sizes of their families. That is not good.

    • Again, doesn’t answer my question. Do you think we should kill everyone on public assistance?

      Who made you the arbiter of who “should” have children and who “should not” have children?

    • SclrHmnst

      Of course I don’t want to kill everyone on public assistance. I am only bemoaning the fact that single mothers on welfare have so many kids. That is one problem. The other is Muslims having kids at a much faster rate than Europeans to the point that Europe will eventually be all Muslim. You might not see those as problems but I do. That’s all.

    • Why don’t you want to kill everyone on public assistance? Seems like it’d be the perfect solution to the “problem” you speak of. Why do you think that is not a good solution?

      Also, who made you the arbiter of who “should” have children and who “should not” have children?

    • SclrHmnst

      First, as to why I do not want to kill everyone on public assistance, it is because I am not completely without compassion for people.

      Second, if I were an arbiter of who should and who shouldn’t have kids, I would insist that women on welfare be provided contraceptives and the right to a free abortion. But, in answer to your question, nobody has given that authority to me. I would reverse that question and as who gave Catholics any say in whether women should have abortions or use contraceptives? They certainly act as if they should have some say I’m the matter. They don’t.

    • Well, you could have fooled me. You seem utterly without compassion given your thoughts about people on public assistance (most of whom have jobs, by the way). Why do you feel that way, though? Seems to me you think the world would be better off without people on public assistance. Why not kill them? Shouldn’t practicality outweigh compassion?

      Since you admit no one has given the authority to you to decide who can and cannot have children, why do you presume to try and make those decisions?

    • SclrHmnst

      JoAnna,

      You are ideologically driven to take exception to anything I might say about controlling population growth. People on welfare are bleeding the system dry by having so many children and Muslims are taking over Europe by doing the same. I am merely pointing out these problems and you are getting on me for calling them problems. You would shoot down any attempt to control population growth anywhere in the world, probably even China, all because you, as a Catholic, must do everything you can to fight against abortion and contraception. Fortunately, there are people who have a more pragmatic outlook on these overpopulation problems in various parts of the world.

      Forget that I told you I would talk to you on Catholic Stand. That was a big mistake on my part and Stacy is probably going to block me again because of you. You are an instigator and I need to get free of you so I can continue to converse with others in a more civil manner. You bring out the worst in me wherever we cross paths.

    • Funny, I haven’t mentioned Catholicism at all. I’m simply asking questions. Why can’t you answer them?

      As to being an instigator… well, we’ll let Stacy et al make that call. It’s funny, though, how I’m not the one who keeps returning to stir up trouble after being banned repeatedly. (Plus you tried to lie about your identity here, initially.)

    • SclrHmnst

      I am misunderstood. I’m really a good person in general. I have a love-hate relationship with Catholics and the Church. It’s like what they say about women: you can’t live with them; you can’t live without them. Where would we be had the Church not taken over the crumbling Roman Empire when Constantine made Christianity the state religion? And Jesus taught us how to live a better life than we ever would have. Yet I have major disagreements with today’s Church. Plus, I don’t believe in the supernatural so anything anyone tries to claim about the Church being divinely guided and incapable of being wrong In matters of faith and morals is blatantly false. I got booted off Leila’s blog again for saying that an old, celibate Italian man, Paul VI, is no authority on whether my wife and I have given fully of ourselves to one another or not. I desire to state my views freely and without censorship. I was half kidding about you being an instigator. Believe it or not, I like you.

    • Your actions speak louder than your words, Bill.

    • SclrHmnst

      Yes. I know. I’ve been told that many times. I’m impulsive. I don’t want to be defined by my impulsiveness but I often am.

  • SnowSong

    “..so we have a world peopled with children who do not know their purpose, only that they want..” That is one of the best sentences I think I’ve read in a very long time, it really says it all!! Amen!

  • Guy McClung

    Ironic that so many countries now – facing demographic winter and the annihilation of their centuries-old cultures-are desperately in an a-theistic a-moral effort trying to make folks “want” more chidlren-and the “want” is induced with the carrot of some of the country’s tax money. But -using language from China-they have raised several generations now of Little Emperors and Little Empresses in one or two child families who cannot be troubled with the care and concern of a parasitic child who hampers the satisfaction of their me-me-me now-now-now lives and a little resources sucker who impinges on their autonomy, freedom, and “equality” [women equal with men who can have no consequences hook-up sex every day of the week and thrice on Saturdays]. This is the implicit point of the so-called “Abortion Celebrations” all around this country. [google abortion celebrations for more info]. And Islam takes over Europe and many other countries without firing a shot-simply by having children. Guy McClung.

    • SclrHmnst

      “And Islam takes over Europe and many other countries without firing a shot-simply by having children”.

      That is so true. The Scandanavian countries will soon be overrun. They are to giving and not having enough children to sustain their national identity.

  • “Some people like Dr. Peter Singer bio-ethicist at Yale (cough, cough) have gone so far as to advocate this position, that those children deemed lacking in sufficient personhood, i.e. wanting, by their parents, can be legitimately disposed of up through the age of, at last check, two.”

    Let me be clear on two issues: (1) I am very informed on Singer’s bioethics and ideation of personhood, especially as his thinking is influenced by Mary Anne Warren, and (2) I generally abhor Singer’s ethics especially regarding infanticide of the disabled newborn because they lack personhood which he defines as the ability to choose if one wishes to live or die coupled with a degree of rationality. Warren has a slightly different take on personhood.

    I have, however, never read that being wanted by one’s parents is a significant criteria of personhood in Singer’s eyes, nor that infanticide is permissible until the age of two. These mentioned statements are without attribution and I would really like to know the specific primary source from which you draw these statements.