What Happens When A Woman “Sculpts Her Universe?”

Ed Raymond

 Roman Catholic Sister Joan Chittister of the Benedictine Order should have been called by Pope Francis to lecture the recent Vatican synod, composed of about 400 bachelor bishops and cardinals and seven married couples, on what role women should play in the church. She is a graduate of Notre Dame, has a Ph.D from Penn State University, served as the prioress of her order for 12 years, leads a world-wide organization for peace, has been awarded 11 honorary degrees and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Penn State, has written 30 books and is a reporter for the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper. She is classified as a social psychologist. Perhaps the bishops and cardinals might have learned something about what the women’s role in the Vatican hierarchy would be from her description of the value of women in society: “The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence, an artist of her life, a sculptor of her universe, a person with rights and responsibilities who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins.”  She brings intelligent thought to the other-half dogmatism of the Vatican. She has a great line about the Vatican’s inability 400 years ago to accept the fact that the earth was not the center of the universe: “When Galileo offered his little telescope to the Pope and said, ‘Look, we’re not the center,’ the Pope wouldn’t even pick up the telescope.”
   Her reaction to the pro-life movement in the United States is illuminating: “I do not believe that just because you are opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is really lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”  Personally, I have not seen a sign among pro-life protesters at an abortion clinic stating, “I’m willing to spend $245,000 raising your child. I will adopt your child. I will pay all expenses of your prenatal care. I’m willing to pay more taxes for a more adequate safety net for you. My telephone number is 107-653-0497.”

Should The Russian Mother Of 69 Children Have Had Reproductive Rights Of Her Own?

   The average female today reaches puberty before 12—and menopause at an average 0f 51. With a yearly pregnancy she could possibly have 39 or more children. The world’s official record of 69 for live births from one woman is held by the wife of Feodor Vassilyev of Shuya, Russia over a span of 40 years between 1725 and 1765. This record is verified by the Nikolsk Monastery which recorded every birth, according to church records. She had only 27 “confinements” but birthed 69, having 4 sets of quads, 7 sets of triplets, and 16 sets of twins. Only two children died in infancy. I know this sounds like beyond anything in Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not,” but Russian authorities support the monastery’s records. As a matter of fact,  the potent Feodor was married twice and had 18 children by his second wife—6 sets of twins and 2 sets of triplets!! At the age of 75, Feodor had 82 children alive out of the 87 born to him. An English merchant working in St. Petersburg at the time also verified the total. If true, it’s an absolutely amazing record. However, Russians are known for very tall stories…
   I wonder if this “Go forth and multiply” story is what Republicans and Bible-Thumpers want. Although abortions are legal, Republican legislators at the state and national levels have tried to pass hundreds of laws restricting a woman’s productive rights with the vocal and physical support of Bible-Thumpers. They have attempted to close down abortion clinics and women’s health facilities across the land—and often succeeded. The various campaigns against Planned Parenthood have been particularly vicious. At the same time the pro-life crowd votes against live children by advocating cutting school and family lunch and food programs, is opposed to universal health care programs and aid to homeless families, and is against free college tuition. Pro-life positions? What nonsense! They just seem to want to control women, their bodies, their families, and their futures in the now dead American Dream.

 A Little History On The Attempt Of Men To Dominate Women

   In the beginning of Boobus Humanus the male dominated the female with physical size and upper body strength although the brains were comparable in size, with the female possessing one with greater intuitive qualities, superior anger management, and often greater intellect. Over time men dominated the seven great religions with masculine strength, energy, and campfire BS. Men have certainly dominated Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and spread the male gospel that women are inferior and evil. The male reader of the Talmud thanks God every day that he was not born an inferior and evil woman. The Old Testament guys tell their fellow men that women were created for their sexual use and physical comfort. The Talmud, Bible, and Quran continue to foster the primitive fear that half the human race is sinful, defiled, and terribly unclean—and they are all female. Females have only one duty: to produce offspring and serve men in their lives. They are not trophy wives but are simply property. That’s why after thousands of years women did not get the vote until the 1920’s. And God decided to punish women because Eve ate of the delicious apple by giving her physical pain at each childbirth. As if a male would not have pain while passing something the size of a watermelon while having his ankles shackled.
   The great Bible writers and philosophers—all men—kept hammering away at their much better half: 1 Corinthians 11:7-9: “For a man is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels (!?) the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head” (Perhaps like a bottle of salad dressing with “Keep refrigerated after opening”), or the musings of Saint Thomas Aquinas in the 13th Century: “As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex, while the production of a woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence” (He says man is like God and the angels, woman is really ugly from some female disease), and Lutherans follow this guy called Martin Luther, who was rather plain-spoken about women: “If they become tired and even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth, that’s why they are there.” Is it really true that women are more religious than men?  Maybe it’s because they know that man loves to preen his feathers, flex his muscles, do fifty one-handed pushups, brag about his conquests on the battlefield and bedroom, and look in all the mirrors while thinking a lot about his religion--himself.
   Islam certainly has one provision in their “commandments” that is more attractive to men than anything offered to Christians or Jews. If martyred while conducting “jihad,” the male Muslim gets to cavort with 72 virgins in Paradise. I can’t find anything about the rewards offered female suicide bombers and “jihad” fighters when they enter Paradise. Do they get 72 male virgins who can’t remember what the sex manual directions say about foreplay and afterplay?  Christian theologians seem completely confused about Heavenly sex, although some of them admit human sexuality goes way beyond reproduction. Sex is intercourse of spirit and soul as well as body, some say. People have sex way beyond childbearing years. That’s news. Animals have sex only during mating seasons, but humans have sex all the time. According to the Bible, Jesus was asked by a woman who had had four husbands in her lifetime what she should do if all four were in Heaven with her. The answer was somewhat muddled, but the jist was there was no marriage in Heaven. Does that mean there is no sex in the golden streets? Inquiring minds want to know. So do Christian martyrs.

The Results Of Having Sex All The Time
  According to the World Health Organization there are about 210 million pregnancies a year in the 21st Century, with an estimated 40 to 50 million abortions performed around the world, some legal, some illegal. Also one in four pregnancies are miscarried, and that is considered a low estimate. The United States has about 6.7 million pregnancies a year—with almost half unintended. Four in ten end by miscarriage or abortion. One would think that our society would come up with some medical answers to the problems of pregnancy. Teaching abstinence has lost out to the powerful natural forces of sex during our constant mating season. Vatican Roulette has been ruled a failure by about 90% of Catholic women. The new Liletta intrauterine device has proved to be over 99% effective in Europe and the United States, but the Vatican and their Christian Bible-thumping brothers continue to fight the contraceptive and abortion battle they lost decades ago. How many abortions could be eliminated through thorough sex education programs at the proper age with the use of effective contraceptives? How many 11-year-olds raped by their fathers or relatives would be forced to give birth if abortion laws were changed?
The U.S. Supreme Court will make a monumental decision about abortion within a year that will either seriously shrink the ability of poor women to get an abortion or prompt us to get some real answers to reasonable procreation to maintain our society. With our current practices, one-third of all American women will get an abortion in their lifetime. The rich, of course, can fly anywhere to a first-class hotel and hospital to get an abortion. About 95% of women who have had abortions say they made the right decision. By the way, the death rate from Viagra is about ten times the death rate suffered by women having abortions. Shouldn’t we also ban Viagra? The case before the Supreme Court originated in Texas, which had come up with the most restrictive regulations in the country. A recent headline: “Hundreds of Thousands Of Texas Women Attempted Self-Induced Abortion.” Too numerous to list in a column, suffice to say that restrictive regulations will force many abortion clinics in the country  to close if the Court supports the Texas law. More than 20 clinics in seven states will have to close immediately. Texas at one time had 40 clinics spread across the state. With this law enforced it could have as few as six left, with poor women having to travel up to 400 miles to reach a clinic. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures in a list of thousands. As an example, it is 40 times safer than having a colonoscopy. Forcing clinics to follow hospital construction and equipment regulations and requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges to hospitals within 30 miles does not make medical sense at all. Those rules only limit access to safe abortions. These rules are, no doubt, an undue burden. It’s time for the “choice” supporters to eliminate 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 from the lexicon of pro-lifers: “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says, if they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”