View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Day - moral blindness

I was listening to National Public Radio on the way home yesterday.

They had various people calling in with Inauguration Day observations and reflections.

One man called in obviously excited and happy. He said Inauguration Day would always be special for him because it was linked with his fiance and him seeing the ultrasound of their unborn child for the first time. He also gleefully announced that they estimated the child was conceived election night back in November. (Ironic, eh?)


Two months pregnant.

Not married yet.

Now maybe their wedding day is right around the corner. Maybe as I write he's heading down to pick up his tux.

And I am happy that he and his fornication friend - um, fiance - chose not to abort (though there is still time and you never know), and that they are still together.

But there seemed a strange moral disconnect to me. He saw nothing wrong with publicly proclaiming his sin on a national radio program. In fact, he seemed pleased and proud.

We all sin. I've got enough sins on my soul to have me nervous, even after confession. But I would never proudly publicly proclaim my sins. I might cite them as a prelude to pointing out my sinfulness and maybe to urge others not to do some of the stupid and wrong things I've done. But I would talk about them with shame.

Sadly, his story seemed to me emblematic of the moral blindness that surrounds this past November's election and the stated goals of this new administration.

I pray for him, his fiance, and their child.

I pray for this administration.

I pray for us.

Lord, open our eyes.


Anonymous Todd said...

Well ... not unlike Governor Palin's daughter.

I find it hard to get yanked off on puff stories like this. Sure, the best choice is to get married before conceiving a child. But it's also not the worst choice: that the woman got pregnant as a result of promiscuity and the parents of the unborn child are marginally committed to the baby and not at all to each other.

The vocabulary you're using, Lee, needs some refinement.


12:58 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

At least the Palins had the good grace to admit it was wrong.

And the daughter/father didn't call in specifically and proudly to proclaim it. They got outed publicly because of the girl's mother's decision to run. (Had one of my daughters been in that circumstance, by the way, I would not have run. I fault Palin for a poor choice in accepting the nomination.)

As for vocabulary - the only words I see that might hit some people the wrong way is "fornication friend." Well, they fornicated, and they appear to be friends.

Actually, I find too many people using "fiance" as a word for somebody you're sleeping with/living with as a way to make it sound more acceptable.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Promiscuity" is another poor word choice, which implies the relationship involves more than the two individuals. For all anyone knows, there may be legal reasons the couple is not married which have nothing to do with faith and morals.

Weren't you guys just talking about the dangers (or sins) of calumnity and slander?

3:06 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

"For all anyone knows, there may be legal reasons the couple is not married which have nothing to do with faith and morals."

No matter the circumstances - one of them married to a third person? - having sex and producing a child when you are not married to each other IS a moral matter (whether they recognize it or not).

5:27 PM  
Anonymous The somewhat legalistic MexFiles said...

I was thinking more along the lines of situations where one gets only a religious ceremony without a certificate... and is, in law, a "fiance". Typical was a friend of mine whose first husband was killed in Vietnam and could not legally marry while his children were minors. Or, where one partner is a foreign national, and our painfully slow bureaucracy hasn't issued the paperwork that's been the bane of so many marrying an "overseas spouse" since 1992. A several states, one needs a permanent residency certificate to obtain a marriage license, and you don't even know if both partners in this case are citizens or permanent residents.

As I've said before, the U.S. is one of the very few places on the planet where the religious ritual and contractual agreement -- which are both called marriage -- overlap.

10:21 PM  

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