In the comments to my post on Saturday, one of my friends’ daughters left her heartfelt insight and opinion.
I always love receiving heartfelt insight and opinion, whether I agree with it or not. If I agree with it I think “yeah! I’m not alone and may not be crazy after all.” If I don’t agree I get to spend time comparing, contrasting, discerning and honing my own opinion.
More than once in this life I’ve altered my opinions slightly based on disagreements with other people. In spite of what some would accuse me, that alteration is not because I want to be a people-pleaser but because sometimes the other fellow just has a very good point that needs to be considered.
In the vast number of cases where I have disagreed with others and NOT altered my opinion I have more and more found myself tempering the way in which I present that opinion to other people. No matter how much I disagree with anyone, be they Aunt B., NM, my brothers or Fred Phelps I think every person on this earth is entitled to be treated as I wish to be treated. Kindness is never a bad thing. And it is not kind to insult or degrade another person for her views. I try to remember that, even in the specific cases of one or two people who always make me want to smack them when they open their mouths.
As troubled as I was by the way Piper framed her position (we’ll get to that in a minute) I was equally troubled by someone else telling her she was a “messed up” person. Granted, since I opened that very post by calling someone a “twit”, I can hardly claim the moral high ground. But both of those comments served well to remind me of why I so very much prize courtesy in debate.
As for the comment that
The Pill liberates men to indulge themselves without the God ordained consequences of children.
I can only shake my head. I come from a culture similar to Piper’s, and so I know this language. It’s a sort of English flavoured by a type of religiousity. I completely understood “men” to mean “all people” and “consequences” to be of the more arcane meaning of “natural outcome” as opposed to the automatic negative we now assume the word to have. There ARE happy consequences, but modern speakers of English seem to no longer associate those two words. What Piper is saying is standard for the teachings of The Quiverfull Movement.
I myself have numerous places where I depart with the QF philosophy, but as far as I’m concerned it’s no skin off my nose for folks to practice those beliefs. As long as they extend the same courtesy to others. I begin to have more trouble with Quiverfull when they accuse the barren of being cursed by God, and when they seek to limit the access of others to birth control.
There are a lot of consequences in this lifetime. Some good, some bad. But in my book a child is not only a consequence but an individual entity with potential and purpose. I have no doubt that the Quiverfull folk I number among my friends and family are happy with the life they’ve chosen. Yet I do prefer that they consider that they were able to make those choices without interference and respect that others would like to enjoy the same basic courtesy. That’s pretty much how I feel about everybody, to tell the truth.