Does this threaten democracy?
What poses the greatest threat to global peace, the basic meaning of the U.S. Constitution, the national economy and the environment? If your gut reaction was to say George W. Bush you were wrong (well, at least not for the sake of this poll). The correct answer is Sarah Palin’s womb. Yes, her womanly parts. Her very fertility has become a source of mockery, and because she followed a God-given commandment to exercise that fertility, some folks would have you believe she must be fatally flawed as a modern woman and a potential leader.
My whole rant started this weekend when I watched a few minutes of Bill Maher on HBO and he referred to Sarah Palin’s family as “that polygamous compound”. What an ass. Then I turned on Saturday Night Live and got really pissed off when their idea of humor was to link Todd Palin and incest, as if their daughter’s problems were this nation’s warped remake of the movie Knocked Up. Totally, over-the-line asses.
I’ll be honest; I’m a conflicted Democrat with Crunchy Con leanings. I don’t think she’s even as qualified as Obama (which isn’t saying much) and I do believe she’d gladly follow McCain into a second Cold War or a Third World War with the whole Middle East. If someone could only find me a pro-life Democrat for president, I’d be happy. Given my feelings though, I actually like Sarah Palin as a wife and mother, and as a truer image of what a “feminist” should be than anything out there right now. She has ridden a populist tsunami precisely because she reflects who the real American feminists are. They aren’t NOW and NARAL supporters. They don’t need graduate degrees in women’s studies to know the real meaning of feminity. They are hard-working, average women who buy their designer clothes at Target, and they believe the true meaning of choice is how you choose to respect life at all its stages: pre-born, adult, elderly and dying. Feminism is not the right to be the same as a man, but to be valued for your gender uniqueness – and that includes your role as a mother. Unless you’re called to a religious or celibate life, God didn’t give you special parts for ornamentation or to fund your OB-GYN’s 401(k) with annual exams of aging, unused equipment.
So how did we get to the point where large families are ridiculed or marketed as freak shows for cable TV? There are a lot of factors – better health care, legalized abortion, market economics, the development of reliable birth control, yata, yata, yata and just the plain old self-centerdness of a culture that wants it all and has forgotten that the only enduring thing you leave behind is your descendents. The national fertility rate steadily declined for decades until reaching a 1.7 child per family low point in the 70’s and 80’s according to National Institute of Health Statistics and the U.S. Census. That had increased to 2.1 by 2006, but that is only a fraction over the replacement value for total births. Thank goodness for the countless godly families, both Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical and others, who traditionally put into effect the phrase “be fruitful and multiply”. (If you want an instruction on the blessings and importance of children to a marriage, read the Orthodox Church’s marriage Service, where no less than seven prayers and intercessions are made for the bearing of children.) In these faith groups, family sizes of five or more were common just a generation ago. And, anectdotally, there seems to be an increasing trend across America, towards familes of three or more as reminders to the rest of us that large is not weird, no matter what Bill Maher says.
Grant them of the fruit of their bodies, fair children, concord of soul and body. Exalt them like the cedars of Lebanon, like a luxuriant vine. Give them offspring in number like unto full ears of grain; so that, having enough of all things, they may abound in every work that is good and acceptable unto Thee. Let them see their children’s children, like olive shoots around their table; so that, finding favor in Thy sight, they may shine like the stars of heaven, in Thee our God. For unto Thee are due all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.
From the Orthodox Marriage Service