A Look Forward

  • Posted on July 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM

As the boys grow older, there are some things that are hard to ignore. Their bodies are maturing and we need to help them understand that. They’re heading for major life transitions and we need to develop a plan for what their lives will look like after school. There are choices to make, services to acquire, and things to set in motion.

These things are difficult in the sense that they consume time and energy. They need to be planned and those plans need to be led, not by Mark or me, but by our children who will be living those plans—for better or worse. These things are easy in the sense that there are choices, paths, and opportunities. We can do something about these things.

Sometimes thoughts sneak up on me that I did not expect. Earlier this week, as I was talking with our friend about her young children, it occurred to me that we might someday have a similar discussion about our children’s children. If scientists are to be believed, the human race—like every other species on earth—has a natural impetus to reproduce. The mating process encourages survival of the fittest. If all that is true, then there seems to be a lot of unanswered questions, like how “fitness” is decided and why social structures perpetuate qualities that do not seem to be in the best interest of the species.

Personally, I believe man-made science seeks to explain what God already understands, because God created a system that truly works. I know, despite our best efforts, we’ll never completely understand how the universe works, because we have finite minds and a system like the universe works on levels far beyond what we can grasp. As an example, what are the full implications of light that can act as both a particle and a wave? Why must light be both a particle and a wave to serve its purpose?

Whether or not my children have children of their own isn’t going to be determined by science or who is fittest, but by the choices they make and what God wills for them. That’s what I believe. Yet I think there’s something to that natural impetus. I’m too young for grandchildren, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want my children to be able to have children of their own. I think that should be between them and whoever they might conceive the child with. It’s not up to me, nor should it be. It’s not up to the government, nor should it be. It’s not up to society or any self-entitled group or person.

Unfortunately, human society has produced numerous people and groups that believe they should have the power to make those kinds of decisions. This results in dramatic, world-changing affairs like the Holocaust and the other genocides that have been committed in the name of various forms of purity—as if any kind of purity could be acquired by drenching the earth in human blood. This also results in less dramatic, but equally evil affairs like forced sterilization and denial of reproductive rights.

I can influence many things about my children’s future. I can fight with every ounce of my being that eugenics does not prevail. Yet I know that this silent, hidden enemy is alive and well and plays a very current, if less dramatic role, in contemporary society. I don’t want to look into the future and see this possibility, but denial doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

2 Comments on A Look Forward

  1. I read “social structures perpetuate INEqualities…” and it really got me in the gut. Perhaps if there was REAL equality – something I believe we share in the fight for – your concerns here would be unnecessary. I wish.

  2. Stephanie says:

    If there was real equality, then yes, I wouldn’t have these concerns. But real equality is something I see as an unattainable ideal. Human beings are flawed. We have limited capabilities. There are something like 7 billion people in the world. To honestly recognize all 7 billion as unique human beings who deserve real equality…I’m not sure that any one of us is truly capable of that. Let alone create social structures that empower those unique human beings to live freely.

    On the other hand, we can seek to become aware of differences that are targeted as being unequal. We can seek to be aware of social movements that use these so-called “unequalities” as reasons to take action. We can scrutinize the proposed actions and seek to judge them fairly or withhold judgment when we can’t.

    I cannot imagine that I will ever be able to agree or tolerate truly “free” love, for example. Homosexual love between two consenting adults makes me a bit squeamish. Love among multiple partners, especially when one man is married to multiple women, makes we wary, looking for abuse. A pedophile’s “love” for a child is completely and utterly intolerable and if I find such a person with a child (doesn’t even have to be one of mine) I’m going to lop him off where it counts.

    We all have our limits. We all draw our lines in the sand. The thing of it is that we should be actively thinking about the lines we draw, instead of passively looking to others to draw lines for us.

    As sympathetic as I am to the religious groups that seek to forbid homosexual marriage, I’m also sympathetic to the homosexual individuals who want to commit to the person they love–who happens to be of the same sex. I don’t have the wisdom to judge either party, and in the face of such ambiguity I believe that the state must be as open as possible and individual churches must have the freedom to make their own calls. When it comes to polygamy, I’m less open. I don’t think it should be illegal if all parties choose to live together, but I don’t think all parties can be involved in a legal marriage either. When it comes to pedophilia, yeah I’ve heard the arguments, but I don’t buy it. That’s one person hurting others for his/her own gratification without the informed consent of the ones being hurt–and that is not nor ever will be okay with me. It’s a socialized reaction, but one I’ve thought about and one I’m going to stick with.

    So, I don’t think I can fight for real equality any more than I can fight for real capitalism (i.e. unregulated commerce). Some things are just wrong and the people who do those things should be punished–cruelly and unusually if that’s what it takes. On the other hand, I do fight for thoughtfully widening our social boundaries and I fight for thoughtful social construction. We do too much out of reflex. We’ve “inherited” a lot of garbage. Whether it’s doors that are wide enough to walk through, but too narrow to wheel through, or whether it’s who we recognize as being “worth it,” there’s just too many calls society makes without serious, reflective thought. I don’t claim to have the answers, but at least I’m thinking about the questions. Too many people with too much power don’t.

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