March 27, 2007

Erosia

LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to leo@leoweekly.com. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity. Naturally Wrong Reacting to Albert Mohler’s (of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) speculations on what if people are born gay and if they could be medically or otherwise treated, Carl Brown writes (LEO, March 21), “Now, let’s see if I’ve got this straight. Since the gay thing is biological, it stems from God …” — and by his implication, endorsed by God. I hear this argument a lot, and people seem to think it’s such a logical and obvious conclusion. Regardless of what side of the fence you find yourself on about the morality of homosexuality, the “since it’s natural, then it’s right” argument is really quite weak. Some things that are natural are wrong and are, at the very least, to be curbed. People have biological propensities for over-eating, substance abuse and a host of other undesirable traits, not to mention disease. Narcissism is natural for some people. Selfishness never needs to be taught, while charity often does. Carl, will you also argue using the logic in your column that gluttony, addiction and self-absorbed behavior are good and God’s will for those individuals? Christianity has an easy answer for this strain of logic as well. Christianity teaches that we are born with evil bents that need to be resisted, controlled and avoided, and from which there is forgiveness if one asks. If we’re born with it, it very well might be evil. What Mohler seems to suggest is no different than someone who wishes to quit smoking getting the patch or someone who wants to quit drinking attending AA meetings. Is using the patch tinkering with free will? Nonsense. Whether you agree with Mohler’s (and the Bible’s) prohibition on homosexual behavior or not, that is still up for debate. But the fact that a proclivity exists or is biological in nature (if that should be substantiated at some point) says nothing about its morality or God’s like or dislike of it. Ray Rieck No C-Section Guilt Regarding Judy P. Berger’s Guest Commentary on childbirth (LEO, March 21): Mothers in this country are already made to feel enough guilt about their child-rearing decisions by marketing campaigns, total strangers who think it’s ok to offer unsolicited advice to new mothers, and even each other. It saddens me to see mothers being attacked for making the decision to have a C-section as well. I scheduled my C-section for “convenience.” It was more convenient than continuing to carry my twins (with a combined birth weight of 13 1/2 pounds) one more day. It was more convenient than not being able to sleep because of back pain every time I laid down and having to pee literally every hour. It was more convenient than trying to vaginally deliver the first twin and then have an emergency C-section if the other twin (who was in a transverse position) decided she didn’t want to come out without a fight. My doctor (who I was satisfied with in every way, despite her not being a midwife or doula) gave me the decision to wait, or schedule the C-section, and I chose the C-section. As Berger pointed out, it was My body, and it was My perfectly legitimate choice. I also wonder why Berger cited lots of statistics about C-sections, but neglected to mention that one of the most common surgeries performed on women in the country is an episiotomy (a surgical incision made to enlarge the vagina in order to assist with vaginal child birth). Let’s be fair here, shall we? I don’t have a problem with Berger promoting natural childbirth; it is certainly the best choice for most women. I just wish she would stop trying to guilt women who chose a C-section (or induction), had an emergency C-section or are contemplating scheduling one. Just walk into a daycare center or an elementary school and see if you can distinguish which children were delivered which way. You can’t. We all bond with our children just fine. Amanda Clark Honor Deserted I am a former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger and overseas security contractor. I have served in conflicts all over the world, and in doing so have seen the horrors of war as well as the beauty of the indigenous peoples. I support our withdrawal from Iraq ASAP, in an honorable fashion. I know saints and heroes. I know dishonorable men, also, and I count all deserters among them. I have read of Darrell Anderson and his ilk in this and other media outlets too many times (“A Mother’s Love,” LEO, March 14). He has taken up the affectation of a damaged soldier but is a criminal, nothing more. He says he ran to avoid the war crimes he was ordered to perform in his seven months in Iraq. In nearly two years there, the only war crimes I observed were those committed by Sadr’s Mahdi Militia (killing men for listening to Western music, women for not being veiled) and groups like them. He says he joined the Army to get a better job, and the war began by the time he got out of basic training. Did he not know that we were at war already when he joined, or just assumed that he wouldn’t be called to honor his commitment? Perhaps his first exposure to media of any type was when his story went to the press. His mother says she helped him run because she was worried for him. So was mine, and countless others. Most pray or seek counsel from friends and family, not knowingly encourage and abet their offspring’s illegal act. I ask LEO and other media to stop pushing the stories of deserters on us as if they were courageous crusaders. It is an affront to all who served honorably, at continual risk to life and limb, until and beyond our responsibility was through. John P. Mudd