I remember Herman Wouk’s This is My God, a marvelous testimonial work on his Jewish faith, written sometime in the fifties. Describing a young girl’s protest against conformity, he says he had to smile as he listened and observed the slight folds in her sweater placed so correctly, the sleeves pushed up so correctly just below her elbows, in perfect conformity to fashion.
I’ve been reminded of that passage many times over the years, teaching teenagers and young adults. Youthful rebellion is sometimes called “a rite of passage”; actually, it’s psychologically necessary for maturation, and more than that, it’s biologically necessary to prepare young people for parenthood. A young man (or woman) must vacate the father (or mother) “slot” in his (her) mind in order to fill it themselves. This requires rebellion against parental authority, which often extends to authority at large. It doesn’t last. Once adulthood arrives and a good, healthy, decision-making ego is formed, parents and their adult children are friends, with inequality no longer a condition of the relationship, but a choice made in love and respect.
The gentle irony in the protesting young girl’s placement of the folds in her sweater becomes a bit more poignant as a young adult slowly realizes that his anti-establishment stance has become his own establishment, and anti-authority fades as he becomes authority. The maturation process is as old as our species. There are numerous scriptural counsels on the subject, some of them straight from Sinai.
Of course, some people never grow up. You can see them on the evening news – women in their sixties with purple hair and tattoos, ranting about a “right” to abort children (as if that were relevant in their lives). Some of them are quite famous celebrities, stuck in adolescence. Fearing old age and death, they cling to the personae of angry youth. It doesn’t take much thought to know what they’re really angry about. The rage is too intense and too irrational. No one has taken from them their treasured privilege of killing their children. Clearly, the rage has nothing to do with pregnancy.
I’ve wondered whether these are the “walking dead,” that peculiar bit of pop culture so omnipresent these past several years. Perhaps they are the zombies, those who believe they can avoid death by rebelling against life. It may be difficult to take them seriously, but it’s necessary, for there is nothing so fearsome as the fearful. Desperate to avoid the fate that nature decrees, they would destroy nature in its most threatening form—their own “replacement” in the womb. Thus, they diminish nature by re-naming it “environment,” a term that signifies what surrounds us, and not what is in us, what we are a part of, whether we will or no. The “environment” means only clean air and water, stable temperatures and such, where we may live forever and not die as we do in nature.
Pregnancy is for them an accident that happens while they’re having sex. They do not see that sex is the reproductive expression of nature. They do not know or acknowledge that their attraction to sex is a natural drive to reproduce; that the motive of synthesis is thesis. Without that motive, synthesis ceases to be. That may be why they make sex genderless now, as demand increases for remedies for sexual dysfunction, and as interest in sex must be constantly stimulated by an ever-increasing variety of forms. A friend who gets to the heart of things quicker than anyone I know exclaimed as he watched the rage against the Supreme Court’s ruling, “Don’t they know how babies are made?”
But it’s because pregnancy is part of the life cycle in nature that it must be destroyed. We live in an antibiotic age, an age of anti-nature, an age of zombies. They may burn churches, but it’s secular science that has told us antibiotics are killing us.