catholic vs. protestant view on life


#1

I apologize ahead of time for the title of this thread. I wanted both Catholic and nonCatholic views but I am very bad at naming threads. My goal is not to start an argument but to begin a discussion on an issue that is bothering me.

I went to a friend’s house, let’s call her Sue, where I met an agnostic exCatholic. There was much said there that made me downhearted, especially the agnostic woman’s hatred of Catholicism but what disturbed me most was a discussion they had about handicapped children.

According to the agnostic, Neil Young–the singer and songwriter- has several handicapped children with the same mother. The agnostic said that before their conception, Neil and his wife were forewarned that any child of theirs might be either mentally or physically handicapped(she used the word deformed). She was angered that these children had even been created. What surprised me was that my friend, who is Independent Baptist and religious, agreed! She thought that Neil Young should have simply adopted children and not conceived these kids and she was outraged that he had biological children.

I was flabbergasted by their opinion. How does a handicapped child have less right to be born or conceived then a non handicapped child? Who decides whose existence is more worthwhile and by what right?Isn’t doing so akin to playing God? Does the fact that Catholics are against birth control make Catholics have a different view on life then those who permit birth control? Those of you who are Protestants, how do you feel about this?

Considering that Neil YOung is probably wealthy, these women’s outrage couldn’t have been caused by the thought that their taxes would go to support these kids, so I can only conclude that my friend and her guest were upset that these kids were created in the first place.

I am of Protestant background but I can not imagine ever holding the view that I could judge another person’s decision to have children who would be loved and well cared for. I am feeling somewhat down about many things that were said by my friend and this agnostic woman but the fact that they agreed on this really disturbs me.


#2

All right. I have to correct my previous post. I looked Neil Young up on the internet. I found much about his music but little about his personal life. It appears that he has one child with cerebral palsy-not several- and only three children altogether. It still doesn’t change the tenor of my friend’s conversation with the agnostic. If you all could have heard the disgust that the agnostic expressed at the thought of this child being born, it would have disturbed you also. The fact that my friend, who I have always thought to be a highly moral person agreed, bothers me.


#3

I don’t think your friends’ view was truly Christian at all - Protestant, Catholic or otherwise. Instead I think your friends have been fooled by the secular society’s notion that we have the “right” to make a judgment about which life has value and which does not. Ask them if they think Stephen Hawking should have been aborted? What about Helen Keller? Should we have euthanized Ray Charles when he lost his sight? Would it have been “kinder” to kill Ronald Reagan as soon as he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease - to save Nancy Reagan from all the difficulty that arises from the care of someone suffering from severe dementia? And even if we take the position that we should give people the “right” to make that call in their own lives - doesn’t that kind of thinking result in incredible social pressure to kill for economic reasons?

Just look at all the major moral issues of the day… Abortion, Euthenasia, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, the Death Penalty. All these issues have everything to do with human beings deciding that lives can be compared and given relative value (and, therefore, lives can be devalued).

These issues would disappear if everyone accepted the truly Christian (not just Catholic or Protestant) view that ALL HUMAN LIFE is sacred - the life of a pre-born baby, the life of a death row inmate, the life of a child with Cerebral Palsy, the life of an elderly person with dementia. All were made in the image and likeness of God. We are all called to protect life. Instead, our secular western society tells us that “for the good of the many” we have the right to kill the most helpless in our society. Jesus help us! Mary, pray for us! God forgive us!

Just my :twocents:


#4

Just an addendum to my prior post, so you may understand where I’m coming from…

When my wife was pregnant with our first child, we learned that one of his hands was misformed. (No fingers, just a partial wrist.) We were very upset. During the consultation, the doctor began telling us that aside from his hand, our son appeared to be perfectly normal, and that we should consider keeping the child. His *assumption * was that my wife and I would just want to “start over” because we did not have a “perfect” son.

I was stunned at the depth of feeling I had for my child - whom I had never seen except by ultrasound - after only 18 weeks of pregnancy. The thought of killing my own child because he had such a small problem made me physically sick. I still get emotional thinking about it. My wife (God bless her) felt exactly the same way and at the same moment we both told the doctor in no uncertain terms that abortion was simply NOT AN OPTION. He was very relieved. I can only imagine how many times he must have seen people abort babies under similar circumstances.

I can remember being moved to tears a short while later when -reading a newspaper article - I learned about how one woman “terminated several of her pregnancies” because her babies would be found - by ultrasound -to have a sixth finger. (FYI - babies born with extra digits is a fairly common occurrence that is easily corrected with surgery when the child is young.)

Can you imagine killing your own child for such a petty reason. This woman killed *all * of her children. According to the article she was upset because she “could not have the child she wanted.” What did she think her babies were? Were they just “tissue” to her? Or did she consider her babies to be something less than “real” children because they had three pinkies?

GOD FORGIVE US! How sinful and arrogant we humans can be. We have created a society in which we are encouraged to exercise the “right” to sentence our children to oblivion if they fall short of physical perfection by even the smallest of margins - an extra digit! Sometimes I think I can actually sense Mary weeping for us, and sobbing for our dead and discarded imperfect children.

BTW - My son will be three this Summer and he is perfect just as God made him. And his sister will be perfect too, when she arrives in August.

-Peace


#5

[quote=deb1]Those of you who are Protestants, how do you feel about this?
[/quote]

Hi deb1, I must say my outlook on life has sure changed since I became a Born Again Independant Fundamental Baptist. Now I grew up Catholic,…thinking everything is good…people are good…life is good…etc…etc…

Now, I see the world as a place being run by Satan…everything…from music, to movies, to TV shows…everything. It makes me sick even. The “advertisements” I see everything as “me” centred instead of “God/Jesus” centred. Everybody wants to make money, have bigger cars, houses…e.tc…etc…Look at the size of peoples RV’s now…they cost as much as small houses…ans people are homeless…people “worship the creation, not the creator”…

What I am trying to demonstrate now is I have two boys…15 and 12. They are not “saved” (from my now IFB Perspective)…and I grieve for them. I know that if I pray, the Lord answers prayers…but I read the Bible and I read allot of people going to Hell. Children of the Devil…your Father the DEvil,…and I think perhaps I didn’t do them any good if they end up in Hell…

But this is diferent as it has nothing to do with “handicapped” or anything…just that I thought perhaps it was “selfish” of me to have children…that now want nothing to do with church…that may end up in Hell. If that is the case I did them a disservice.

Just my thoughts.


#6

My post will be short - I don’t have the energy to write everything I’d like to say. You’ll know more about why I low on energy in a moment. I am Protestant and Pro-Life. I’m so Pro-Life that after finding out the true nature of BCP’s, I’m no longer taking them and I regret the many years that I did so.

I miscarried my first pregnancy and was sent for prenatal genetic testing for my second. My husband and I flatly rejected the notion of aborting an imperfect child, even before we knew what the imperfection might be, but we did want to be prepared. In that instance, our first daughter had a “not compatible with life” diagnosis and died in the womb. I still grieve for that child that we lost almost seven years ago.

I was able to give birth, finally, the third time around. My (second) daughter is 3 years old and has cerebral palsy. She had major spinal cord surgery on January 4 and has had daily physical therapy since then. She will continue to have PT for several months (estimated cost in excess of $20,000 and our insurance is now denying our claims, which we knew full well in advance might happen). Two days/week I drive her to another city 1-1/2 hours away for PT. I am physically exhausted, emotionally exhausted, and financially strapped and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My daughter’s disability is lifelong unless God chooses to heal her. She is beautiful, brilliant, and touches everyone she meets in a profound and lasting way.

Your acquaintances are dead wrong.

Peace and joy,
Andi


#7

God Bless you alsligh!

You have our thoughts and prayers.

Let us also remember those who have much less regard for human life in our prayers.

Rachel


#8

((((andi)))

Thank you and bless youl; and know you are held in prayer here


#9

Thank you all for posting.

I had made a promise not to post all Lent but I have felt so down about several things that were said Saturday night at my friend’s home. This is just one of the things. I have spent a lot of time in prayer trying to overcome just the saddeness that this conversation caused me.

I am so relieved that Catholics and Protestants aren’t as far apart on this issue as my friend made me think.


#10

[quote=deb1]I was flabbergasted by their opinion. How does a handicapped child have less right to be born or conceived then a non handicapped child? Who decides whose existence is more worthwhile and by what right?Isn’t doing so akin to playing God? Does the fact that Catholics are against birth control make Catholics have a different view on life then those who permit birth control? Those of you who are Protestants, how do you feel about this?

I am of Protestant background but I can not imagine ever holding the view that I could judge another person’s decision to have children who would be loved and well cared for.
[/quote]

I’m back after a night of rest, although on my way to physical therapy :wink: What these ladies don’t realize is that although having a “handicapped” child is incredibly difficult at times, it is also incredibly rewarding. My daughter, as I mentioned, is incredibly bright, and she is a perfect example of why being disabled can be both a blessing and a curse. I do believe that the Catholic view on birth control translates into beliefs about other things (i.e., this very subject). The ladies that you talked about disturb me not only in that they hold these beliefs about disabled people in general, but that they would even go so far as to judge those of us who would choose to have a disabled child. In the past three years, I’ve discovered how ignorant people truly are about special needs children, and about cerebral palsy specifically.

I can’t say that I speak for all Protestants, but I would hope that I at least speak for many of them. Many of the women in my church fawn over my daughter and comment on even the tiniest amount of progress that she makes (she is just learning to walk), but sometimes I wonder if they are really excited for her, or just thankful that they aren’t the ones with a disabled child…I am Baptist (Southern, not Independent), but a Catholic friend of mine told me just a few days ago (with a twinkle in her eye) that she was trying to convert me because it wouldn’t be very hard to do. This thread makes me think that she’s right…

Thank you to those of you who offered to pray for me. I really, really need the prayers these days!

Peace and joy,
Andi


#11

Andi;

Thank you so much for the brave decision you and your spouse made, not only for the sake of your child but for all our sake. I too believe it is important for there to be examples like you and your child in the world. I believe that there is a special grace that comes to parents like you, and it is reflected in your child I am sure. And I believe that somehow God’s grace shines brighter in our children because of their differences. It is strange - perhaps something about the paradox of strength from perceived weakness. Maybe God makes the soul more vital and more beautiful when the body is damaged by the world in which it has come to live? From my own experience, I know that having my son in the world makes the world a better place, and that I am a better person just because he is with us. I too wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ll keep you and your child in my prayers.

-Peace


#12

[quote=malachi_a_serva]Hi deb1, I must say my outlook on life has sure changed since I became a Born Again Independant Fundamental Baptist. Now I grew up Catholic,…thinking everything is good…people are good…life is good…etc…etc…

Now, I see the world as a place being run by Satan…everything…from music, to movies, to TV shows…everything. It makes me sick even. The “advertisements” I see everything as “me” centred instead of “God/Jesus” centred. Everybody wants to make money, have bigger cars, houses…e.tc…etc…Look at the size of peoples RV’s now…they cost as much as small houses…ans people are homeless…people “worship the creation, not the creator”…

What I am trying to demonstrate now is I have two boys…15 and 12. They are not “saved” (from my now IFB Perspective)…and I grieve for them. I know that if I pray, the Lord answers prayers…but I read the Bible and I read allot of people going to Hell. Children of the Devil…your Father the DEvil,…and I think perhaps I didn’t do them any good if they end up in Hell…

But this is diferent as it has nothing to do with “handicapped” or anything…just that I thought perhaps it was “selfish” of me to have children…that now want nothing to do with church…that may end up in Hell. If that is the case I did them a disservice.

Just my thoughts.
[/quote]

Is this a serious post or is someone trying to make fun of Fundamental Baptists? If it is serious I am sorry for you having been caught into a very strange and guild ridden religion. I also feel sorry for your sons. I will pray for all of you.

If this is simply a parody, then shame on you for writing such things about another religion.

CDL


#13

Robert and Andi,

God Bless you both and thank you for sharing your stories. I can’t tell you how much better I feel after reading your posts.

Re:the OP-- The Catholic view on the sanctity of life definitely has an effect on lay Catholic thought and action on this subject. The non-practicing or “former Catholic” probably was never that affected by Catholic teaching on a variety of subjects, especially teachings in those areas which are held by our society to be sacred to the individual, i.e. sexual activity and anything which impedes one’s own immediate desires. If asked, most former Catholics will give as a reason for leaving something along the lines of “I didn’t feel free” or “I didn’t believe in this or that teaching.”

Religious non-Catholics often face the problem of “is there a ruling on that somewhere?”. For a lot of Christians, there simply isn’t anything or anyone to set the boundaries on certain subjects and some decisions essentially become “I personally feel that…”

Still, I would hazard a guess that a good chunk of practicing Christian parents-to-be (regardless of denomination) would choose **life ** no matter the circumstances.
The people who sort of fake their way through faith are more apt to make a decision based strictly on what’s good for them…while boo-hooing about “what’s good for the child”. Much like so many women who murder a baby while dourly saying “I wouldn’t bring a child into this cruel world” ~sniff~sniff~ when all along their real motivation is the freedom to go on porking some stranger with no strings attached.

In Pope Benedict’s new book on the Stations, he says something to the effect of “The new paganism wanted to do away with God, but ended up doing away with man.”


#14

[quote=GregoryPalamas]Is this a serious post or is someone trying to make fun of Fundamental Baptists? CDL
[/quote]

Not a joke, this is how I see it. Not sure how you read into it a muse or joke?

I must admit I have a different outlook than when I was a Catholic…however - that goes with the Rebirth.


#15

[quote=malachi_a_serva]Not a joke, this is how I see it. Not sure how you read into it a muse or joke?

I must admit I have a different outlook than when I was a Catholic…however - that goes with the Rebirth.
[/quote]

As a mother I can empathize with the pain that you must feel over your children’s lack of faith and I will remember you and all the posters on this thread in my prayers. Your children’s disbelief must be a constant source of worry for you.

As far as the difference of outlook between Catholic and Protestant…unless it deals specifically with the view of life you might have to post a new thread just so this one doesn’t get to bogged down. If you do see a difference on how Protestants see the value of life and handicapped people please expound more on the subject.


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