Jesuitical 4

Seattle University

Part of my ongoing series on the JesuitsHattip to Dawn Eden.  Yesterday, Ascension Thursday, Seattle University, a Jesuit Institution, hosted a panel on “reproductive justice”.  Here is the campus announcement:

“From: CampusNews
Sent: Wed 5/20/2009 8:05 AM
To: Faculty-Staff
Subject: Faith and Reproductive Justice

The Institute of Public Service invites you to join a thoughtful conversation about how people of different faiths and backgrounds perceive reproductive justice. The discussion will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, in Bannan Auditorium (room 102).

Panelists:

Vincent Lachina- state chaplain, Planned Parenthood

Amy Johnson- professional life and parent coach, UCC

Yohanna Kinberg- rabbi, Temple B’nai Torah

Dan Dombrowski- professor of philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences

Jodi O’Brien- professor and chair of sociology, College of Arts and Sciences

“…The decisions we make about our reproductive and sexual lives, but most especially, the decision to have a child, are among the most important decisions that we, as human beings, can make. Having a child is a precious responsibility that changes our lives forever. The privileged in this world, for the most part, have unfettered access to the reproductive health and education services to decide for themselves when and whether to bear or raise a child. The poor and disadvantaged do not. Thus, the struggle for reproductive justice is inextricably bound up with the effort to secure a more just society. Accordingly, those who would labor to achieve economic and social justice are called upon to join in the effort to achieve reproductive justice and, thereby, help realize the sacred vision of a truly just society for all.”

– Clergymen for Reproductive Justice

“Reproductive justice is the complete physical, mental, spiritual, political, social, and economic well-being of women and girls, based on the full achievement and protection of women’s human rights.”

– Loretta Ross

This campus announcement was issued by the University Communications office. For a complete listing of campus events, visit the campus calendar at http://www.seattleu.edu/go/calendar on the SU website.

For questions concerning campus announcements or the campus calendar, contact Mike Thee, 296-6135.”

A panel consisting solely of pro-aborts speaking about “reproductive justice” at a Jesuit university.  I guess next they’ll put together a panel on racial justice consisting of members of the Klan.

39 Responses to Jesuitical 4

  1. Matt McDonald says:

    reproductive justice?????

  2. Catholic Tyrant says:

    Yes, Reproductive Justice, you should read Glumpe who has done much work in the theology Reproduction Liberation. For example, he soundly refutes the anti-uterine prejudices and oppressive excesses of Pinckwerts who, as everyone knows, holds to that antiquated concept called nature.

  3. reproductive justice?????

    Yes, but before you blow your stack, keep in mind that “reproductive justice” does mean more than simply the question about the “right” to have an abortion (which I don’t think exists). It refers to the various ways that women have been dominated by men in the area of reproduction. The views of pro-life Catholics can in fact intersect with many of these concerns.

    That said, discussions of reproductive justice often include discussion of the “right” to abortion. This panel indeed looks inappropriate for a Catholic university.

  4. Tito Edwards says:

    Michael I.,

    which I don’t think exists

    How jesuitical and nuanced of you.

    As for me, I know that the “right” to an abortion doesn’t exist.

  5. Tito Edwards says:

    Iafarter,

    Foul language and nonconstructive comments will not be tolerated here.

    If you continue you will be placed on moderation or banned from this website.

  6. Matt McDonald says:

    Michael J. Iafrate,

    I acknowledge that you recognize the innapropriateness given the panel.

    Yes, but before you blow your stack, keep in mind that “reproductive justice” does mean more than simply the question about the “right” to have an abortion (which I don’t think exists). It refers to the various ways that women have been dominated by men in the area of reproduction. The views of pro-life Catholics can in fact intersect with many of these concerns.

    Is there a reference you can provide for the expression “reproductive justice” that does not focus on abortion or contraception?

    I don’t know how you could apply this term in any other way, if it’s referring to rape, I don’t believe it’s reasonable to call it “reproductive”, it’s principally an act of violence and control, any reproductive results are not part of the essence of the crime.

    Does this have something to do with the “gender norms” which are quite clearly part of Catholic teaching?

  7. Dale Price says:

    I’m on record as not being a fan of the lampooned subject, but come on: the “iafarter” post is way, way over the line and should be deleted. There’s no excuse for it.

  8. As for me, I know that the “right” to an abortion doesn’t exist.

    When I said “I don’t think a right to abortion exists” I was stating my strong conviction. I was not attempting to be ambiguous or to suggest that what I think might very well be wrong. But continue your witch-hunt if you must, Tito.

    Foul language and nonconstructive comments will not be tolerated here.

    Actually, nonconstructive comments are obviously tolerated because you did not delete the comment.

    Is there a reference you can provide for the expression “reproductive justice” that does not focus on abortion or contraception?

    Rape would be the extreme example of reproductive injustice. If you believe, as the Church does, that sex and reproduction are intrinsically linked, then rape is an abuse of a woman’s body, including her reproductive capacity.

    Other forms of sexual violence and control would be included under the concerns of “reproductive justice,” certainly. Treatment of women which includes attitudes that they are more or less baby-making machines would be another example. I suppose forced abortion would be another example, although I’m not sure if this is usually part of the discussion. But it should be.

    I guess what I am saying is that it is possible to distinguish “reproductive rights” and “reproductive justice.” The former is 99% of the time included as part of the latter by such activists, but the latter cannot be reduced to the issue of abortion. So I’d say it’s possible to advocate for “reproductive justice” within a pro-life framework, such that the rights of the child are recognized and protected, and such that abortion itself is recognized as an illusory demonstration of “rights” when it in fact is often a way for men to dominate women, not to mention unborn life.

    Of course, most of these “reproductive justice” movements would have none of this and would laugh my take on it right out the door. But that’s part of the Catholic pro-life stance: we should expect that our views will not really sit well with anyone.

    I hope that’s clear.

    That said, I reiterate that the panel is inappropriate at a Catholic university. This is the kind of thing pro-life Catholics should rightly be upset about, rather than commencement speakers, in my opinion.

  9. Tito Edwards says:

    Dale,

    I share your sentiments.

    I believe Donald is busy with a lot of casework today, so I’ve placed Iafarter in pending status so Donald can deal with that message since it’s his posting.

  10. Does this have something to do with the “gender norms” which are quite clearly part of Catholic teaching?

    I’d be careful here. We can’t simply say that the “Church teaches gender norms,” period, without talking about what those “norms” are, lest we give the impression that the Church’s teachings on gender have never changed or that the Church affirms whatever “gender norms” are part of this or that culture, etc.

  11. Tito Edwards says:

    Michael I.,

    When I said “I don’t think a right to abortion exists” I was stating my strong conviction. I was not attempting to be ambiguous or to suggest that what I think might very well be wrong.

    But continue your witch-hunt if you must, Tito.

    Michael, your comments will not be approved if you continue with your nonconstructive comments.

    …and speaking of which:

    Actually, nonconstructive comments are obviously tolerated because you did not delete the comment.

    This is Donald’s thread and his judgement to delete them or not. Besides, I have placed Iafarter in pending status for Donald to adjudicate.

    You keep this up Michael you’re on your way to being the Keith Olbermann of the Catholic blogosphere.

  12. You keep this up Michael you’re on your way to being the Keith Olbermann of the Catholic blogosphere.

    Say, is this “constructive”? Lead by example, brother.

  13. Tito Edwards says:

    Say, is this “constructive”? Lead by example, brother.

    Dan Rather?

  14. Sure. And you can be the Bart Simpson of the Catholic blogosphere. Deal?

  15. Tito Edwards says:

    Deal.

    Stay courageous brother!

  16. Matt McDonald says:

    By gender norms I mean that it is the role of woman to be a mother. Typically through natural offspring, also spiritually, to those around her. For man it is to be a father, again, naturally in most cases.

    The role of a mother is a nurturer, to maintain the milieu of love in the family. As the Holy Father recently said:

    women have an indispensable role in creating that “human ecology” (cf. Centesimus Annus, 39) which our world, and this land, so urgently needs: a milieu in which children learn to love and to cherish others, to be honest and respectful to all, to practice the virtues of mercy and forgiveness”.

    This role necessarily in MOST cases involves a focus inside the home with the care of the family. The role of men is to “harness creation” for the good of their family and for all, to rule and guide the family in love and kindness, to protect the family and lay down his life if necessary.

    These roles are taught in Holy Scripture (Ephesians 5) and in the teachings of the Church, most recently: Casti Connubi, Mulieris Dignitatem, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the collaboration of men and women in the Church and in the world.

    These roles are not “part of this or that culture”, they are ordained by God. The Church’s teachings on gender have never changed, though they apply differently in different circumstances.

    By the way, the word “norm” does not imply any sort of enforceable rule, but a standard which the majority of people should find themselves falling under.

  17. Obviously only women can be mothers. (I’m reminded of that scene in Life of Brian… nevermind.)

    What do you make of the Church fathers using the image of “Christ our mother”?

    These roles are not “part of this or that culture”, they are ordained by God. The Church’s teachings on gender have never changed, though they apply differently in different circumstances.

    Not really true. What “has not changed” is a very very general idea that women and men have some inherent differences and that there is a complementarity between them. Often there are characteristics like “nurturing” attached, but these are characteristics that are encouraged by the Church for both sexes. The Church has indeed changed its teaching as far as women working outside the home, for example. This is not a matter of different “applications” in different “circumstances.” It’s a fundamental change.

  18. What do you make of the Church fathers using the image of “Christ our mother”?

    I believe we already tread that ground some time ago, and your case for the Church Fathers using that image was very weak.

    The Church has indeed changed its teaching as far as women working outside the home, for example. This is not a matter of different “applications” in different “circumstances.” It’s a fundamental change.

    Really? To have a fundamental change the Church would have had to once have had a teaching that women definitely had no place working outside the home, and now change her teaching to saying that women do have a place working outside the home. I’m not at all clear that the Church ever held the former position absolutely, nor does it now hold the latter one absolutely.

  19. Matt McDonald says:

    As DC has pointed out, the Church has never taught that women must not work outside the home, nor does it now teach that women, generally, ought to work outside the home.

    The Church has always taught that women are equal in dignity to men, that their rights to self-determination must be preserved, that their dignity as women be respected, and that their first responsibility is the nurturing of their children.

  20. Iafrate:

    The only indication I recall of the Church formally having a “women saty in the home” mentality is in Rerum Novarum it says that a man must earn enough to support his family (I could look up the exact place later if you want). Now, even that seems like more a response to the working conditions of the time in which women coul not work in industry. Indeed during agricultural times the notion that women couldn’t work would have been absurd.

    Of course, part of the problem is the changes in how the Western world views work in the move from the agricultural to the industrial economy and figuring out how a healthy family can be maintained in those societies.

    Also, I do think it is kind of odd that you cite the Church Fathers in an argument to establish Christ as Mother. Regardless, I don’t think you can argue that image as a coherent one without going into a dualism of the body and soul, as Jesus clearly had a sex with does not include motherhood, as you said.

  21. I believe we already tread that ground some time ago, and your case for the Church Fathers using that image was very weak.

    Look it up, man. They did. Jesus as mother is also an image in medieval Christian spirituality.

    Also, I do think it is kind of odd that you cite the Church Fathers in an argument to establish Christ as Mother.

    Why? What else would I call the Church Fathers?

  22. Look it up, man. They did. Jesus as mother is also an image in medieval Christian spirituality.

    Last time we had this discussion, I challenged you to provide citations and the ones you provided did not constitute an image of “Christ our mother” but rather described Christ as having certain attributes that mothers are generally held to possess. As for the medieval Church, you provided only one example.

    Yes, people have used the image once in a long while, but it’s notable more for its novelty than not. But it’s not a predominant image by any stretch. If you have citations to show otherwise, feel free to provide them directly, but “look it up man” isn’t persuasive considering how badly your argument cratered last time around.

  23. Matt McDonald says:

    described Christ as having certain attributes that mothers are generally held to possess

    ah, that old canard, based I believe on such Scriptures as

    Isaiah 42:14
    I have always held my peace, I have I kept silence, I have been patient, I will speak now as a woman in labour: I will destroy, and swallow up at once.

    Any reasonable grasp of literary genres would see that this is simile, not a suggestion that God is mother.

  24. Darwin – I never said it was a “predominant” image. But it’s a legitimate image from the tradition, used by the Fathers, Saints, and mystics through the ages. It’s not an image we should ignore.

    Any reasonable grasp of literary genres would see that this is simile, not a suggestion that God is mother.

    A better term would be analogy. I’m not even talking about scriptural references, though. And of course it does not mean God is literally a mother, just like we do not believe God is literally a father.

  25. Gabriel Austin says:

    The efforts to change the sexuality of Christ are documented and illustrated [and mocked] in Leo Steinberg’s THE SEXUALITY OF CHRIST IN RENAISSANCE ART AND MODERN OBLIVION.

    Michael J. Iafrate Says:
    Friday, May 22, 2009
    “that abortion itself is recognized as an illusory demonstration of “rights” when it in fact is often a way for men to dominate women, not to mention unborn life”.

    And Margaret Sanger [can you imagine?] denounced abortion as an imposition by men with initials after their names.

    Can someone explain what is meant by “gender norms”? Is this a part of grammar? Does the neuter gender play a role?

  26. e. says:

    Iafrate,

    Would you kindly provide corroborating evidence for your assertions here?

    In all my personal studies of the midaeval period, I’ve never come across such a notion myself.

  27. Tito Edwards says:

    Michael I. said:

    But it’s a legitimate image from the tradition, used by the Fathers, Saints, and mystics through the ages. It’s not an image we should ignore.

    That’s the point Michael, there has been no “tradition” of referring to the Triune God as our mother. Just one or two obscure implications or similarities. Nothing explicit with a tradition behind.

  28. John Henry says:

    It’s not an image we should ignore.

    Michael,

    As I recall, last time we discussed this you indicated that you disagreed with Benedict XVI on this question, but I thought it might be useful for others to hear Benedict’s opinion:

    “Yes, why is this strictly limited to calling God Father?….I would in the first place hold on to the fact that the word ‘Father’ naturally remains an image. It remains true that God is neither male nor female, but is simply God. Yet at the same time we are talking about an image that was given to us authentically by Christ himself, and is thus non-exchangeable…”
    God and the World p. 102

    Notice, Benedict XVI seems to take it for granted that we are ’strictly limited to calling God Father.’ He goes on to explain what some of the reasons for this might be, but says we cannot come to a definitive answer.

  29. Matt McDonald says:

    Michael I,

    better term would be analogy.

    Actually not, simile is an expressed analogy, and accurately describes the technique used.

    http://www.etap.org/demo/grade7_8_langart/langart1/instruction1tutor.html

    I know you weren’t talking about Scripture you were talking about similar types of expressions by the father’s likening Christ to a mother in certain characteristics, which is decidedly different from portraying Him as one, which is what you did.

  30. e. says:

    Matt raises a good point.

    One of the most popular criticisms of the period is concerning this argument by analogy.

    Such arguments employed typically fail since they only provide a “likeness” to the object which such analogy seeks to make such comparison; however, this is far from making these two items immediately similar to one another (that is, to the point of identical equivalence).

    This point is even somewhat fairly demonstrated in a Monty Python skit concerning the burning of witches.

  31. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Well, I spend all day in court and come back to see that Jesuitical4 is the posting of mine that drew the most comment. I wouldn’t have predicted it. Thank you for putting the “IaFarter” comment in moderation Tito where I believe it will remain.

  32. The efforts to change the sexuality of Christ are documented and illustrated [and mocked] in…

    No one here is making an effort to “change” the sexuality of Christ. I never suggested such a thing. That does not make discussion of “Jesus as mother” out of bounds.

    Can someone explain what is meant by “gender norms”? Is this a part of grammar? Does the neuter gender play a role?

    I would prefer to discuss gender roles as opposed to “norms.”

    Would you kindly provide corroborating evidence for your assertions here?

    Which ones?

    That’s the point Michael, there has been no “tradition” of referring to the Triune God as our mother.

    Correct. The Trinue God is three Persons. But there have been references in the tradition to the feminine characteristics of each of the thre Persons of the Trinity.

    Just one or two obscure implications or similarities. Nothing explicit with a tradition behind.

    I don’t know what this collection of words means.

    John Henry – Thank you for reminding us of Benedict’s opinion, as expressed in his personal theological work (not as Pope). I side with Julian of Norwich here.

  33. Tito Edwards says:

    Michael I.,

    Correct. The Trinue God is three Persons. But there have been references in the tradition to the feminine characteristics of each of the thre Persons of the Trinity.

    We agree on that point.

    Excellent.

    I’m done with this thread.

  34. I’m done with this thread.

    Probably a good move on your part.

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