This is not necessarily a blog about politics, I have others which deal with that, but sometimes it can be hard for politics and religion to be separated. There is an overlap, especially when the Church, whether it be the Catholic Church which I belong to or another denomination, teaches something which goes against what has become the norm. This can cause problems for those who want to follow the teachings of their church, but also want to make a difference in society.
In my last post I talked about the dilemma faced by many Catholics about contraception and the endless cycle of teen pregnancy, where unwed teens, who more than likely were born of unwed teen mothers, continue to have babies. The problem for Catholics, at least those who try to remain faithful to the teachings of the church, comes when you realize the only way to stop this cycle is to provide contraception. Certainly there are other ways to not get pregnant, abstinence for one, natural birth control methods for another, but for the majority of those teens we are talking about there is one thing missing: Positive Role Models.
If we look at where most of the teen pregnancies occur it seems it is mostly in what I’ll call the “entitlement” class, those who are living off public assistance programs. Unfortunately this is where the politics gets involved and I won’t get into the argument as to whether or not the various entitlement programs actually contribute to the problem. The logical Catholic answer would be to educate these teens, to teach them about alternative methods, but how can you teach them when this kind of life is all they know? The church can teach them about the Catholic “view” of how the world should be with abstinence and natural methods to birth control, but the real world is different, especially when there is no reinforcement from the role models.
As I mentioned earlier these teens were probably born of unwed mothers themselves, and more than likely so were their mothers. It is an ugly fact of life that this cycle isn’t something which happened overnight. They have learned, whether intentionally or unintentionally, that having a baby is a way to receive public assistance. Most of these babies aren’t looked at as a blessing from God, but rather a blessing from the endless piggy bank in the sky. And again this is where the moral dilemma comes in for Catholics, should a child be brought in to this world when we know there is a chance it will be neglected, unloved, possible abused and hasn’t much of a chance to succeed and therefore will continue the cycle?
I don’t have an answer.