There is one woman, an Episcopal priest married to an Episcopal priest, whose writing sometimes flat out scares the BeJesus out of me. She is pregnant with their fourth child, the youngest of whom is not yet one year old. They are using "Natural Family Planning" - letting "God decide" on how many children they will be blessed with and resigning themselves to gladly take whatever God gives them, giving God the praise and glory.
She gets lots of support from women who have made similar choices, all giddy with what they describe as Christian love and the Holy Ghost. Everyone seems positively ecstatic about this new pregnancy while this poor woman writes about how she doesn’t have the energy to clean her house or herself or her children whom, she muses with mild curiosity, might get their feet cut on the cereal bowl one of them smashed this morning which she simply hasn’t had the inclination to clean up.
The women commenting on this have nothing but giddy high praise for her. I can only read so much before I have to reach for some dry crackers. Apparently, you can experience "morning sickness" by proxy.
Umm . . .Can you say, "Irresponsible?"
Okay, then. How about "Madness"?
Don’t believe me? Think I’m overstating my case? Well, after reading a few of her entries, I have seriously considered calling the local authorities.
I swear to God, one of these days you are going to read about this woman loading herself and her six kids in her mini van and driving them all into a nearby lake. Or, drowning them, one by one, in the bathtub and then lining their lifeless little bodies in a perfect row on their perfectly made beds in their perfect suburban home.
Of course, she’ll say that "God told her" to do it. Postpartum depression will be the postmodern villain. From the days even before Lizzie Borden, female hormones have always been an easy scapegoat. If the writers of Genesis had known about them, PMS would have been specifically named as one of the results of "The Fall."
Neighbors and church members will appear on the five o’clock news and say what a "lovely family" they were and how shocked, (SHOCKED!) they all are. One woman will shake her head sadly and say how her husband was "devoted" to her and the children. Another will wipe a tear from her eye and report that they were such "committed Christians" who were dedicated to "home schooling" their kids. And I can guarantee that someone from her church will opine that there is so much pressure from "those feminists" to pull families like this apart.
At the precise moment at which someone says something about "the power of Satan" is exactly the point when I’ll throw up my hands and run screaming from the room. Let me tell you something: This woman doesn’t title her Blog, "an undercurrent of hostility" for nothing.
In fact, you know what? That hostility is the only thing that gives me hope. Right now, it’s misdirected against feminists and liberals and everyone in the Episcopal Church who doesn’t march, lock-step to "Onward, Christian soldier," but she’s smart enough to know better.
I know she is. She knows she is. I just pray she gets the courage to push through the heavy fog of the false sense of nobility which has become the warm-fuzzy blanket she pulls around her to ward off the insecurities whispered in her ear by her . . . um . . . "religion."
So being open to life is irresponsible? A sign of madness? Read her whole post and you will see that when her granddaughter said she wanted to grow up and be a mommy this Episcopal leader felt great disappointment.
When my youngest was about four, I took him to the dentist for the first time. My older children had seen this dentist several times so he knew I was a physician and my husband was an Air Force pilot. At the time I was working a couple of weekends every month at a local urgent care center. In the course of conversation with my youngest the dentist asked my son what his daddy did. My son proudly proclaimed, “He flies jets!” Then the dentist asked my son what his mommy did. “She does the dishes!” I admit that at first there was a tinge of disappointment. After all, wasn’t tending to lacerations, heart attacks, and broken bones just as cool as flying jets? But then I realized this was exactly the response I wanted. My son saw me as his mom, first and foremost. I’m just a mom who has a little more medical training than most.
I have to admit that words like those written by Rev. Kaeton can make my blood boil. I have had to fend off my share of comments about how I am wasting all that medical education by choosing to be at home with my kids. But rather than responding to Rev. Kaeton with anger, I will include her my prayers. I pray that she will someday see that humble obedience to God’s will and God’s plan is true liberation. I will also pray for the pregnant Episcopal priest that Rev. Kaeton maligns in her post. I know how hurtful it is when professional colleagues do not respect your response to a vocation greater than your career.