Saving Graces

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TOB Tuesday: Is TOB practical in todays world?

Mar
09

image_thumb9_thumb_thumb_thumb So we had our last pre-lent TOB session last night and it was fun. We had a debate. Yes, a debate.

MA noted that most sessions we always touch on how we actually want to live the ‘TOB life’ and how that can be difficult as we are in the world – not of the world but in the world. So we split up into groups, one for TOB and one against it being practical in our lives. And of course I was for TOB – blegh – against would have been so much easier. For todays TOB Tuesday, I am just going to highlight some of the points brought up by people (super edited of course) admittedly some were hilarious and said in jest but in today’s world, people are actually crazy like that. Against:

  • pornography  hurts no one, is healthy and helps to support poor porn-stars, it’s an economy that will always be there
  • sex before marriage is like a test drive – one needs to have sampled the merchandise, and it ensures the couple is sexually compatible, thereby balancing the emotional and physical aspects of a relationship
  • and we are going to get married anyway
  • it’s ok to explore one’s sexuality and in a committed relationship its ok because it’s a safe environment to explore one’s sexuality
  • the world is overpopulated and as such NFP is wrong and irresponsible as it depletes resources and it’s un-natural to abstain
  • its ok to use contraceptives to stop the spread of disease, especially if you are prostitute because soliciting is your job
  • God gave people the means and ideas for contraceptives and after all it is ‘my body’
  • people are happier when they live together and a verbal commitment is just as good as a written one, it also has less hassles if they decide to separate as they do not need to go through the process of divorce, and this is good for the children who then will not go through the trauma of a divorce
  • we cannot condemn homosexuality because we all need someone to love and if one is made that way who is it for Christians to condemn, because God says we must love not judge
  • there is no harm in dancing or dressing provocatively, it’s just expressing yourself, just to feel good and to be self confident. It’s not a girls fault if a guy can’t keep his eyes to himself or control his base urges. We should not be ashamed of showing what God created
  • and we need to move with the times, what worked long ago does not work now
  • we want womyn priests, because they would be less likely to molest and abuse little kids
  • masturbation is just by yourself and frequent ejaculation is good to reduce testicular cancer, it does not harm anyone and is a good stress reliever

and For:

  • TOB is the truth and no matter how difficult it is it leads to happiness, deep down in everyone’s heart is a desire to love and be loved authentically
  • it speaks to the dignity of our bodies
  • the pornography industry feeds human trafficking and child pornography which does affect our society
  • overpopulation is a myth, with a few societies using up the bulk of the world’s resources. Some western societies will soon be facing underpopulation
  • pornography objectifies women and men, which translates to lack of respect for one’s dignity e.g. who wants their mother, daughter, sister treated as dirt? Then why treat other women that way?
  • sexual attraction is normal and a gift but it has its time and place where it can be truly transcendently beautiful,
  • contraception, masturbation and porn have destroyed the fabric of society, where prostitution becomes a valid job and yet half of these women have to be stoned to carry out their ‘job’, where divorce and lack of commitment are the norm, where children do have parents but adult parental units who want to be their ‘friends’
  • how does premarital sex contribute to one’s happiness as a person, in light that no true commitment is there and love may not even be present? most people delude themselves that they are happy in this situation whilst their hearts cry out for true love
  • abstinence is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases
  • the Lord tells us to do a lot of things which we ignore or we listen to the devil, just because we can do something does not mean it is from God and even good things can be used in an evil way, whilst science in itself is not evil, what it can be used for may be evil
  • the priesthood is about fatherhood and engendering life so by natural law women can not be fathers, and hence cannot stand in persona-Christi and become priests
  • relationships are made stronger with common goals, priorities, communication and understating, not with premarital sex
  • going through adversity and challenges strengthens relationships and builds character, such as abstaining together for a greater good
  • we do not live in a bubble were our actions do not affect others, so dancing and acting provocatively will affect others and is not just about you, and the message it sends is that you are available and want all eyes on you, whether that is your intention or not
  • NFP is all natural and does not introduce poisonous chemicals into our bodies, it follows the natural cycles of a women’s body and strives to understand better how our bodies work
  • artificial birth control has been known to cause depression, obesity, blood clots and even death
  • even condoms cannot prevent disease a hundred percent
  • research has shown that a husbands semen may be beneficial to a woman pre – during and post pregnancy – nature working at its best

OK so I have to admit that the ‘for’ side was not well articulated and it just seems difficult to put into practical terms everything about our dignity and the deep hunger within us and morality.

MA gave us a précis highlighting that when talking to non-Christians it is possible to impart TOB principles by focusing on morality dignity and respect. As Christians though we need to focus on where we are headed not where we are. We need to learn that pain and struggle are a part of life.

She noted that one of today’s main problems is a lack of parenting, that parents do not allow their kids to wait or be denied so as adults that have not learnt any restraint. It’s the life of a junky, what makes me happy now, I want that, I get it… oh no a low is coming what’s next to get me that high again?

It’s about instilling morality, just because I have a ring on my finger will not stop an affair, my conscience has to have been formed by some morals for me to know that that would be wrong. And how do we form our consciences, they have to be formed in the Truth, the mass, catechesis, scripture and prayer. If this is not in place the next question would be what was my intent, for instance, what is the moral code of self-defence. MA then sent a little note per email that I thought summed it all up:

“Just as a last word:   instead of trying to answer in a self-righteous way in defence of TOB which puts others off, we can try to work from a moral framework that encapsulates just what John Paul is saying. (he uses the framework – or hermeneutic – of GIFT) What is  this framework: (bearing in mind what I said about Morality as choosing between good and evil and what is meant by ‘good’) We are all made for love – we are all looking / searching for love;  very often what we think is ‘love’ is the counterfeit i.e. it doesn’t grant us the happiness and joy we thought we’d get from it – instant pleasure, maybe, but lasting happiness – not usually. How do we love?  By making a total gift of ourselves because if we don’t, we risk objectifying the other or being objectified and who wants that? So with all the issues  that the no.2 team brought up last night, in light of this framework,  can you think why they are ‘not right’ or why they are not fulfilling and don’t lead to true happiness?  Give this some thought!”

Next week we have a guest speaker Dr Heinz (every time I say his name I think of baked beans)  who is an NFP fundi, and he will give us an NFP talk. See you all then.

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2 Responses to TOB Tuesday: Is TOB practical in todays world?

  1. well, nice post 🙂 has a lot of depth in it 🙂

  2. if only it was my depth… this is all stuff the group said at one point or another 🙂

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