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‘I’m expecting twins - and I feel like I ruined my family’: America’s most charming couple is back

John Jalsevac
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Yup, it’s them again. America’s most charming couple is back in the news.

You remember, don’t you? We were introduced back in May when Albert Garland (a pseudonym), published a piece on Babble with the charming sub-headline: “My wife’s expecting twins — and I’m not happy about it.” 

Things only went downhill from there.

Well, apparently the reaction to Albert’s piece was less than positive (who knew?), and now his wife has stepped forward to tell her side of the story in a follow-up piece on Babble

“Mrs. Albert Garland” patiently explains, in their defense, that she and her husband only ordered one child (they got pregnant through IVF), and it’s really, really unfair that they got two. And just to be perfectly clear, they’re really (really) not happy about it!

“The twins are coming fast, and I don’t feel a sense of joy. Instead, I feel responsible. We only wanted one,” she writes. (Did I mention how charming this couple is?)

She goes on to wonder how much “strain” having two more children will place on her marriage and her older son, and explains that “like any family” they have dreams of “going to Disney, college, etc.” and are worried that now they will need a bigger car and a bigger house. 

“Now, seven months into my pregnancy — and in therapy — I still feel remorse and am terrified of our future,” she writes. “When I chose to plant both embryos, I made a decision that forever impacted our lives, and not necessarily for the better.” (There’s that charm again.) 

"In my mind I had done nothing less than ruin our family," she confesses.

To be fair, Mrs. Garland does paint a picture of a legitimately difficult pregnancy. Carrying twins is a very challenging thing for any mother, and it would take a very remarkable woman not to sometimes get down and a little discouraged during the process. Add onto that the fact that the couple’s first son had colic, and you can begin to understand why the couple may feel daunted at the prospect of twins. 

But what this doesn't excuse is the choice to pen, and then publish in the public forum, a pair of such ridiculous articles. In the trials of their pregnancy, Mr. and Mrs. Garland may be excused for seeking pity and support - but it should be the pity and the support of each other, and of their close family and friends. What they hope to accomplish by airing their purile grievances for the world is unclear, except to re-affirm all of the most pernicious popular fallacies about parenthood.

Indeed, what is so fascinating about this story is that it illustrates, in a nutshell, how just about everything that the modern world teaches us about parenthood, pregnancy and childbirth - all that stuff about “control” and “choice” and “responsible parenthood” and “self-realization” - is absolute rubbish, and, rather than making us free and happy (as promised), leads only to misery and a truly breathtaking narcissism.  

The Garlands have clearly bought hook-line-and-sinker into these lies. They believed (because that’s what they were told) that they could have had absolute control over their reproduction. They thought they could put in an order for a baby, and have it delivered neatly wrapped with a bow on top. They thought they could have exactly what they envisioned as the "perfect" family. 

But that's not how it works. When you get married, when you have sex, when you open yourself up to the possibility of children, you are opening up a Pandora's box. You are opening yourself up to life. And life is not within our control. It is way bigger and more mysterious than our pet plans. Get all the scientists and screening technologies involved that you want. It doesn't matter. The only proper approach to parenthood is to simply open your heart and accept whatever comes as a gratuitious gift from God.

To become a parent is inherently to stretch ourselves. And if we sit back and allow ourselves to be stretched, we will find that our hearts are bigger than we ever knew. But if we hold on to our hearts, and say that they will stretch this much and no more, we only cause ourselves pain. And we will sink into self-pity.

To their credit (and I mean that sincerely), one big difference between the Garlands and millions of other couples around the globe in similar circumstances, is that when the Garlands found out that they were getting a child that they didn’t order, they found that they couldn’t stomach the notion of aborting that unwanted child. And for all of the jaw-dropping one-liners in their infuriating articles, we should at least give them credit for choosing life.

For that, of course, is exactly where all this talk of “control” has brought us – to more than 50 million aborted babies in the United States alone. To some 50 million heartbroken, spiritually scarred, empty-armed mothers and fathers, who believed that they could have their cake and eat it too, and who chose murder when, inconveniently, that didn’t turn out to be true. 

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Love does not seek to control. Love opens its arms and embraces. Love finds a way. By treating our children as a commodity to be bought and sold, when, where, and however we wish, we have closed our hearts to the spontaneity of love. And in so doing we have locked ourselves inside the narrow boxes of our own petty egos and desires.

If the Garlands would simply let go of that illusion of control, which has been hammered into them by the contraceptive, pro-abortion, “planned parenthood,” self-oriented culture, they would find the freedom to embrace their circumstances, to come out of themselves, and to find hope even in their most difficult moments. 

They would see that going to Disneyland is not an important part of being a family; that you don’t need a large house to love three children;  that while pregnancy is difficult, it is a difficulty with immense rewards; and that all of the hardships of parenthood are oriented towards one of the greatest things any human being can ever do – bring new life into the world.

This doesn't mean that pregnancy won't be hard. That having twins won't be hard. But what it does mean is that even within the hardships, they will find their happiness and their joy. 

The most hopeful part of Mrs. Garland's article is the last line: "For anyone who is worried about me and my husband, our son brings us a ton of joy. We are always amazed by how much we love him, and I’m sure this indescribable love will extend to his brothers. But for now, I’m having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel."

In the midst of challenges and uncertainty and suffering it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But fortunately for the Garlands, because they had a sufficient moral sense to reject abortion, they will be given the opportunity to see that light - to welcome their two children, and to learn how to love them as the treasures that they undoubtedly are.

And hopefully whenever (if ever) they unintentionally become pregant again, they will have learned their lesson, and won't write any more such ridiculous articles for ridiculous publications.



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Euthanasia activists: 'Depressed? Here, we can help you kill yourself.'

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Canadian euthanasia activists are mad…for the most insane reason possible

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Last week Thursday, I was driving to a speaking engagement I was doing on euthanasia—its roots, its dangers, and its resurgence across the West. I turned the radio on, and flipped the dial to the CBC. One of the hosts was speaking to a panel on the Liberal government’s proposed euthanasia law.

“My guests,” the host was saying, “are very disappointed in the proposed legislation.” I nodded to myself, and turned it louder. I was disappointed, too.

But then the host continued: “I’d like to welcome two representatives from Dying With Dignity Canada to the program.”

A society that permits, even pays for, suicide for those with mental illness, reduces them to the level of second-class citizens.

That, apparently, is what qualifies as “dissent” for the Canadian mainstream media. Canada becomes one of only a handful of countries to legalize a procedure that actively ends the lives of human beings and fundamentally transforms the purpose of medical practice, and the two guests invited to speak about it both want to complain that the legislation doesn’t go far enough.

It takes a lot to make me angry. But the two suicide advocates on the CBC did it. They were outraged—outraged!—that those under the age of 18 and those suffering from mental illness could not qualify for assisted suicide.

In fact, they actually had the nerve to claim that to deny people suffering from mental illnesses like depression access to easy suicide made these sufferers “less equal.” Less equal, because the medical system would recognize that they were in need of treatment, not a lethal injection.

"Political language,” George Orwell once wrote, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

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So many people are being sucked in by the smooth deceits being offered on mainstream radio programs and TV shows by the exit strategists advocating for a hasty and “dignified” death.

So let me explain something very important. Denying “assisted suicide” to those with mental illnesses like depression is the precise opposite of denying them a “right” (death cannot be a right, anyway). Instead, a society that permits, even pays for, suicide for those with mental illness, reduces them to the level of second-class citizens.

In such a society, I could walk into a hospital, and demand that a medical professional assist me in killing myself. The attending doctors would ask me a series of questions to determine if I qualified for this “treatment.” After discerning that I have no terminal illness, and do not suffer from depression, they could shrug and tell me that sorry, I do not qualify for a lethal injection. I’m too healthy. My life is worth too much.

But another person my age, suffering the black despairs of depression, could walk through those same doors, and request the same service. Once upon a time, our medical community would spring into action to ensure that this person could not harm himself. In the society desired by the suicide activists, however, this would no longer be the case. Instead, it would be discovered that the ravages of mental illness qualified this person for the final solution to their problem: death.

How can a system that can deny suicide to someone who simply wants to die, but offer it to someone who has mental illness and wants to die, claim that these two people are equal? When a society recognizes, in the most grotesque way, that mental illness in fact makes life not worth living and as a result will offer suicide, they are creating a second class of citizen, one in which many people are worth less. They, after all, are granted the “right to die.” Their condition qualifies them to be killed.

As I pulled into the parking lot of the church I was speaking at and I shut my radio off, one Bible verse, Proverbs 12:10,  popped into my head: “The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

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Vatican website misquotes Pope Francis on Communion for the divorced and remarried

John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

No one seems to agree about whether Pope Francis’ recent apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, changes Church discipline and opens the door to Communion for the divorced and remarried.

The now-infamous footnote 351 certainly appears to do just that, and this is the interpretation that Cardinal Walter Kasper - the cardinal behind the push to allow the divorced and remarried to receive Communion - himself clearly takes. But some have disputed this, pointing to clear canon law and established Church practice, as well as some of the ambiguities surrounding the footnote itself.

So it was with eagerness that many Catholics listened to a question on the matter posed to Pope Francis this past weekend on the flight back from the Greek island of Lesbos.

A reporter asked the pope, point blank, whether there are any “new concrete possibilities that did not exist before the publication of the exhortation” for the divorced and remarried, making specific reference to “the discipline that governs the access to the Sacraments.” The reporter’s complete question is provided at the bottom of this post.

The pope began his response saying simply, in Italian: “Io posso dire, si. Punto.” Translated into English, this means: “I can say yes. Period.”

In recordings of the pope's answer, the audio is completely unambiguous, as is the Italian itself. There can be no doubt about what the pope said, nor of how to translate those five straightforward words into English.

However, while those first five words - taken alone - seem at first glance like a stunningly clear response from the pope on a matter of enormous importance, the latter part of his answer reintroduces ambiguity.

"But that would be too small an answer," he continued, after which he encouraged journalists to refer back to Cardinal Schonborn’s presentation about the exhortation. "In that presentation your question will have the answer," he said.

On the question of the sacraments for those in "irregular" unions, Schonborn's presentation largely just refers back to the text of the exhortation itself - including the controversial footnote 351. That footnote says that the Church's help for those in irregular unions can "in some cases" include the sacraments. (Schonborn himself allows the divorced and remarried in his diocese to receive Communion following a period of discernment.)

And so journalists are now scrambling not just to interpret the exhortation itself, but the pope's answer on the plane. However, that process of interpretation has not been aided by the fact that the Vatican website clearly misquotes the pope – in a way that adds additional ambiguity.

The Vatican transcribes the pope’s remarks thusly: “Io potrei dire ‘si’, e punto.”

The important change here is the obvious alteration of the verb “posso” (I can) to the verb “potrei” (I could). Nobody who listened to the audio could have possibly heard the word “potrei.” It’s simply not what the pope said.

And the change, while small, is not of small importance. In grammar-speak, whoever transcribed the interview for the Vatican changed the first person form of the verb “potere” (to be able) from the indicative mood to the conditional mood. And, as any grammarian or student of language knows, the conditional mood is designed to convey the hypothetical or the uncertain.

But if you watch the video of the pope’s answer (below - start at 21 minutes and 40 seconds), he doesn't appear to be speaking with uncertainty. His cadence, his gestures, his wording – everything conveys certainty and clarity. Thus, for instance, his use of the emphatic word “punto” (period) at the end of the first sentence. “I can say yes, period.”

Now, it could very well be that this transcription error was an innocent mistake. Having listened to a bunch of the rest of the interview, in Italian, and compared it to the Vatican transcription, it’s clear there isn’t always a one-to-one correspondence. Occasionally the pope’s words are moved around to clarify sentence structure, some adjustments are made to improve his grammar (He's not a native Italian speaker, and sometimes uses unusual grammatical constructions), or words that the pope mumbled or seemed to imply are simply provided.

The “Italian method” of journalism, as we have often been told during this current pontificate, sometimes takes the form less of a science than of an art (just think of the Pope’s unrecorded “interviews” with the atheist Scalfari, which Scalfari openly confesses he reconstructs from memory). It could be that the (likely Italian) transcriber of the pope’s remarks either misheard him (hard to imagine given the clarity of the audio), or simply thought the pope sounded like he intended to use the conditional (a not totally unreasonable possibility), and therefore “fixed” his grammar.

But even if so, the issue deserves to be corrected for the sake of the public record, since this a case where even an innocent attempt to "fix" the pope's grammar clearly amounts to editorializing. Given that these words are one of the only keys we have to intrepret the exhortation, it's important that the debate at least starts with an accurate transcription - after which we can get into the murky waters of what the pope "intended" to say, or what it means. 

There are already online disputes about the translation. (Bizarrely, one leading Catholic news agency mistranslated the pope as saying, “I can say yes, many” – which he clearly didn’t say - while Vatican Radio for some reason leaves out the emphatic word “punto.”) In response, some are simply referring back to the Vatican transcription as the official account of what the pope said. However, the Vatican transcription is clearly wrong. It seems the only way to truly confirm what the pope said in some cases may be to obtain the video of what he said and listen with your own ears.

The reporter’s complete question: Some maintain that nothing has changed with respect to the discipline that governs the access to the Sacraments for the divorced and remarried, and that the law and the pastoral practice and obviously the doctrine remains the same. Others maintain instead that much has changed and that there are many new openings and possibilities. The question is, for one person, a Catholic, that wants to know: Are there new concrete possibilities that did not exist before the publication of the Exhortation, or not?

h/t 1Peter5



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Be encouraged: There is some surprisingly good news about porn

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 13, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - I’ve written hundreds of pages on the porn crisis, and the number one complaint I get from readers is that my columns are too depressing. This is a fair accusation, since I cover a lot of depressing topics. But today, I’d like to share good news with you: There is light at the end of the tunnel.

For starters, The Washington Post just published a full exposé of the porn industry, titling their article, “Is porn immoral? That doesn’t matter: It’s a public health crisis.” This is perhaps one of the most resoundingly anti-porn pieces published in a mainstream newspaper in years, replete with quotes like this:

The thing is, no matter what you think of pornography (whether it’s harmful or harmless fantasy), the science is there. After 40 years of peer-reviewed research, scholars can say with confidence that porn is an industrial product that shapes how we think about gender, sexuality, relationships, intimacy, sexual violence and gender equality — for the worse.…

Extensive scientific research reveals that exposure to and consumption of porn threaten the social, emotional and physical health of individuals, families and communities, and highlights the degree to which porn is a public health crisis rather than a private matter. But just as the tobacco industry argued for decades that there was no proof of a connection between smoking and lung cancer, so, too, has the porn industry, with the help of a well-oiled public relations machine, denied the existence of empirical research on the impact of its products.

The Post is not the only mainstream publication finally acknowledging the scientific consensus on pornography. TIME Magazine, too, published a front page story called “Porn and the threat to virility,” detailing the widespread evidence that compulsive porn use can lean to erectile dysfunction. “Porn,” the cover of the magazine announces, “Why young men who grew up with Internet porn are becoming advocates for turning it off.”

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It is encouraging to see that increasingly, pornography is not being treated as a “free speech” issue or a “sexual freedom” issue, but a health crisis. It is a very positive sign that publications which generally cheer on any new manifestation of the Sexual Revolution are beginning to recognize pornography for the cultural cancer it is. I was shocked when Utah recently decided to declare compulsive porn use a “health crisis,” and much of the media coverage was not scornful. Some was even thoughtful.

From FOX13, for example:

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, filed Senate Concurrent Resolution 9, which declares that pornography is creating a “public health crisis.” The resolution states that pornography is leading to hypersexualization of teens, addiction, prostitution and other problems.

“WHEREAS, because pornography treats women as objects and commodities for the viewer’s use, it teaches girls they are to be used and teaches boys to be users,” Weiler wrote. “Pornography normalizes violence and abuse of women and children; WHEREAS, pornography treats women and children as objects and often depicts rape and abuse as if they are harmless.”

“Whereas pornography use is linked to lessening desire in young men to marry, dissatisfaction in marriage, and infidelity,” the resolution states.

SCR9 asks the “Legislature and the Governor recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation.”

It’s not just Utah, either. Canadian Member of Parliament Arnold Viersen recently put forward Motion M-47, which would ask the House of Commons standing committee “to examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online violent and degrading sexually explicit material on children, women, and men.”

The Toronto Sun reported:

Statistics suggest the average age of first exposure to Internet porn is between 10 and 12 in Canada. This makes Peace River-Westlock MP Arnold Viersen worry about how it could affect his children. "They are growing up in a world that's completely different than the one I grew up in," he said…

Health professionals have been warning about the harmful effects of violent media on children and adolescents for decades. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, thousands of studies have "associated exposure to media violence with a variety of physical and mental health problems for children and adolescents, including aggressive and violent behaviour, bullying (and) desensitization."

And before you scoff and point out that Canada has a Liberal government that is sure to ignore such a motion, remember that when he was asked about violence against women, even Justin Trudeau pointed a finger at pornography, noting, “I think there’s probably an awful lot of factors that come together to shape societal behaviour — whether it’s certain types of music? There’s a lot of misogyny in, you know, certain types of music. There’s issues around pornography and its prevalence now and its accessibility, which is something I’m really wrapping my head around as a father of kids who are approaching their teen years. And there’s also just the shifting parental roles as well. There’s a lot of communities in which fathers are less present than they have been or they might be in the past, and there’s more need to have engaged positive role models.”

Great Britain has made moves against pornography, too, with some sources accusing Prime Minister David Cameron of a “war on porn.” From Fight the New Drug:

The UK government is proposing new legislation that will require all sites containing pornographic content to request age verification of visitors to their sites. Rather than porn sites putting an “18+ to enter” button that can be clicked just as easily by an 8-year old as a 28-year old, internet providers will access public information that will help to identify the age of the visitor. This is a huge step forward in protecting kids from the harmful effects of pornography.

The motivation behind this effort, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, is to keep children safe on the internet, preventing them from viewing material which is proven to be damaging to children. A press release from the Prime Minister’s Office states, “Viewing pornography at a young age can cause distress and can have a harmful effect on sexual development, beliefs, and relationships.”

A “war on porn”? Bring it on!

So to those readers who review the statistics on porn use and despair, take heart. There are some in our culture who are waking up to the reality of what pornography has done to our culture, and how many have been swept away by the avalanche of sleaze that the Internet has unleashed. There are now editors and journalists willing to cover this health crisis, and even politicians willing to call it that. We have a long way to go, but for today, at least, be encouraged.

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