By KATHLEEN CARR
It seems that contemporary moralists argue solely from the book, applying canon laws set in stone by the teaching authority of the church. Reason and imagination are left behind, and no one uses his intuition to help him debate an idea or solve a problem. What’s the reason for this?
For teen-agers, it’s an inner conflict, a confusion of faith and secular culture. Human nature tells us what is right and what is wrong, but sometimes the effortless response to intuition is all too inviting. It has become too easy for strongly motivated teen-agers to just “give up” on their faith, background, and values. Instead of using logic and creativity to solve a problem or dispute a point, many teens simply use what has been written and accepted by the church to explain a particular side of a question about faith.
Take the abortion issue as an example. It has been debated many times, and as a result, many teens with the right idea have gotten too frustrated to continue the argument. This observation is not at all comforting. In fact, it’s scary.
The reason I understand the aggravation of these worn-out teens is because I am one of them. Sometimes I find that I am so outspoken that I encourage the debate of controversial issues among my peers. This can be a good thing, of course, but at the same time, it gets repetitive.
I think that sometimes my headstrong qualities limit me in my ability to argue a topic and effectively express my opinion. I realized this about a week ago in my religion class when I was trying to argue the issue of abortion with a person who disagreed with my personal, pro-life opinion. After discussing the topic for some time, I came to the conclusion that the only way to effectively make my point was to give an authentic, real-life example. This illustration happened to come from my own experience.
I’m 16, my brother is 8, and my parents are terrified. That’s right, they’ve been blessed three times, and we’re going to have a new addition to our family. My mother celebrated her 40th Thanksgiving last year, pregnant with her third child. My parents will have their 20th wedding anniversary this August with a 2-month-old on their lap.
Unexpected? Yes. A wonderful surprise, reminding us of God’s grace working daily in our lives? Absolutely.
This situation might not be the most uncommon thing you’ve ever heard of, but it certainly produced quite a change in my family, both physically and emotionally. Down to the last detail, we Carrs are planners. We manage to organize everything in our lives, and although at times this can get obsessive, it keeps our family focused and on top of the rigors of daily life.
To us, this baby is not only a miracle of life — it is the miracle we never formally asked for, but now can’t imagine living without. God saw that we were in need of a big reminder of his presence in our lives, and he gave it to us in a tiny way.
Every life, whether aged or newborn, is a challenge. I admire my parents so much because they were faced with a choice, and they chose life.
Watching my family grow to accept this new life has been an experience I will never forget. We’ve had to buy a new house, move into it, re-create our schedules, and change our plans for the near and distant future. But we do it gladly, because we are thankful for the presence of a new and blessed person in our lives. The baby is a gift to us that we have gratefully accepted and will love unconditionally.
I’ve narrowed down my problem: I’m stubborn, and I just can’t see the “other side” of the abortion issue. Maybe that’s a result of the way life has affected me.
Kathleen Carr is a junior at Bishop England High School and is editor of the student newspaper there.