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Anything less is only sexual friendship


It seems to me that Donald Trump, the United States president-elect, might not be as thoroughly inconsistent as your Nov. 25 editorial suggests, when he says he wants new members of the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the ruling which legalized abortion on demand although he is willing to accept the Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is legal.

Especially, anyone who believes the law should “evolve” according to public sentiment ought not to deem Mr. Trump egregiously inconsistent there, since one of those two rulings was much more recent than the other, even if it were not possible to deem the earlier one more important.

Legalizing same-sex marriage essentially lets people fall (even far) short of a right regard for the use of organs of which the most worthy purpose is to produce creatures capable of appreciating rightness.

If we use for a lesser purpose a means which can fulfill a purpose far more worthy, we ought not to use it so as to actually defeat that higher purpose; that is the main argument against any form of contraception, and there may be many who do not appreciate that sort of “abstraction.”

But anyone can see that it is vastly wrong to destroy creatures capable of grasping what is right, after we have done what we know produces them. That is why so many who want abortion generally approved are reduced to saying that simply choosing it must justify it, or to claiming that those who disapprove of it are not “tolerant.” It seems to me that a woman’s “right not to reproduce” entails a duty not to do what will cause reproduction; every pregnant woman has already reproduced.

Humans ought not, though, to have children just because they want to “have sex.” Being rational, we ought to “have sex” for a real reason: in order, for instance, to maintain in our material universe an abundance of rational presences which can be glad to deserve what they deserve by doing what they do, which is the kind of gladness in which true happiness consists.

We tend to neglect that kind of reason for “having sex,” because our entire economic system disregards our natural duty to do the kind of deeds which would actually effect what we desire to get.

Growing food to eat and so to maintain a rational presence in our world, and making what people need in order to grow food and to be content to grow it, are that kind of “deeds of deserving.” When men no longer insist on performing these duties for themselves, it is to be expected that mankind’s presence in its home grows dim. (No sane woman would risk childbirth chiefly to help the wealthy pursue their hobby of acquisition, in which the chief interest of the inordinately wealthy lies; these latter would rather continue getting more and different things than put what they have to worthier use; using what you have to get more is the proper verbal definition of “capitalism,” since “capital” is wealth used for gain rather than direct enjoyment.)

Your editorial, like the CBC report I heard about the Pope allowing priests to absolve (repentant) women who have had abortions, also might leave the uninstructed with a false impression that the Catholic church had previously denied women absolution for having abortion.

The truth of the matter, I believe, is that previously the giving of absolution for abortion was reserved to bishops, because having an abortion automatically incurred excommunication and only a bishop was allowed to lift an excommunication.

Further, while the Catholic church allows its members, when they have grave reason not to reproduce, to use “natural family planning” so as to “have sex” without having children, I believe that to be consistent the Church ought to make it clear that Catholic couples ought not actually to be glad that coition is sometimes sterile, but only to be glad that “expressing marital love” in that circumstance is not wrong.

For marital love rightly defined is approval in principle of having children with a particular partner. Anything less is only sexual friendship.

Colin Burke, Port au Port

Especially, anyone who believes the law should “evolve” according to public sentiment ought not to deem Mr. Trump egregiously inconsistent there, since one of those two rulings was much more recent than the other, even if it were not possible to deem the earlier one more important.

Legalizing same-sex marriage essentially lets people fall (even far) short of a right regard for the use of organs of which the most worthy purpose is to produce creatures capable of appreciating rightness.

If we use for a lesser purpose a means which can fulfill a purpose far more worthy, we ought not to use it so as to actually defeat that higher purpose; that is the main argument against any form of contraception, and there may be many who do not appreciate that sort of “abstraction.”

But anyone can see that it is vastly wrong to destroy creatures capable of grasping what is right, after we have done what we know produces them. That is why so many who want abortion generally approved are reduced to saying that simply choosing it must justify it, or to claiming that those who disapprove of it are not “tolerant.” It seems to me that a woman’s “right not to reproduce” entails a duty not to do what will cause reproduction; every pregnant woman has already reproduced.

Humans ought not, though, to have children just because they want to “have sex.” Being rational, we ought to “have sex” for a real reason: in order, for instance, to maintain in our material universe an abundance of rational presences which can be glad to deserve what they deserve by doing what they do, which is the kind of gladness in which true happiness consists.

We tend to neglect that kind of reason for “having sex,” because our entire economic system disregards our natural duty to do the kind of deeds which would actually effect what we desire to get.

Growing food to eat and so to maintain a rational presence in our world, and making what people need in order to grow food and to be content to grow it, are that kind of “deeds of deserving.” When men no longer insist on performing these duties for themselves, it is to be expected that mankind’s presence in its home grows dim. (No sane woman would risk childbirth chiefly to help the wealthy pursue their hobby of acquisition, in which the chief interest of the inordinately wealthy lies; these latter would rather continue getting more and different things than put what they have to worthier use; using what you have to get more is the proper verbal definition of “capitalism,” since “capital” is wealth used for gain rather than direct enjoyment.)

Your editorial, like the CBC report I heard about the Pope allowing priests to absolve (repentant) women who have had abortions, also might leave the uninstructed with a false impression that the Catholic church had previously denied women absolution for having abortion.

The truth of the matter, I believe, is that previously the giving of absolution for abortion was reserved to bishops, because having an abortion automatically incurred excommunication and only a bishop was allowed to lift an excommunication.

Further, while the Catholic church allows its members, when they have grave reason not to reproduce, to use “natural family planning” so as to “have sex” without having children, I believe that to be consistent the Church ought to make it clear that Catholic couples ought not actually to be glad that coition is sometimes sterile, but only to be glad that “expressing marital love” in that circumstance is not wrong.

For marital love rightly defined is approval in principle of having children with a particular partner. Anything less is only sexual friendship.

Colin Burke, Port au Port

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