Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Go Ahead and Have The Baby- but Don't Bring It to Church or Anything

The Fetus Fetishists (I'd call them prolifers, but, um, they're not) are forever telling women to have every baby they get pregnant with, no matter what. Not just telling, either, but passing every law they can mange to ensure that all pregnancies result in babies. Are you too poor to support a baby? Too bad, have it. Are you in an abusive relationship? Too bad, baby time. Are you too sick to have a baby? Die giving birth, bitch. Does the baby have a disability incompatible with life, or that would result in a need for medical interventions you can't afford? Deal with it. Is it the result of a rape? Won't that be fun, raising your rapist's baby.

The thing is, and the reason I won't call them prolife, is that once the baby stops being a fetus and is out in the world crying and making trouble and needing food and stuff, they don't want to be bothered, as evidenced by this screed:

Your precious sweet baby was the focus of attention today. I guess you
didn't notice. There you were, Dad, Mom, and sweet baby sitting in the front row.

The way she says and repeats "precious" makes me think she was replacing a word she wouldn't be allowed to use on that forum. Seriously, replace "precious" with "fucking" and watch the tone change not one bit.

It was time for the service to begin. Pastor introduced the very special guest speaker. He was a Jewish man who had studied for the Priesthood before becoming a Christian. He traveled three thousand miles to be with us on Palm Sunday. Later in the evening we would have the opportunity to sit down to a Seder dinner, with him teaching the meaning of the meal.

As he began to speak, you could tell, this was going to be an interesting and powerful message. He barely got started when your baby began making noise. True, precious baby wasn't crying; no, she was only talking, loudly.

So . . . doing what babies do, in other words.

Some minutes into the guest speaker's message, baby talks more and more. Interrupting and causing the speaker to lose his train of thought.

You know what? If you can't give your speech except in complete silence, don't give speeches. You aren't good at it. This is a baby being a baby. Calm the fuck down.

By now, I'm having a difficult time listening to the speaker, my thoughts are
directed to precious baby and Mom and Dad. Frustration sets in, and so now I'm thinking thoughts that are far away from Whom I came to hear about. Jesus. I'm thinking, please take your child out of here. You are being rude Mom and Dad, you are being rude to everyone in the room, but especially to the guest speaker.

You had a baby! And brought it into public! It's rude! Yes, I want you to have 12 babies each, which I am trying to ensure by making birth control and abortion illegal, but I don't want to actually see or hear those babies.

I can see that your own attention is on baby, not on the message. You are sitting in the front row, dealing with a noisy baby, not hearing the speaker, and subjecting us all to this.

Subjecting us all to a baby.

I began squirming in my seat, I'm unable to concentrate on the speaker. By now the speaker is having even more trouble concentrating on his message. Finally, the speaker can't take it anymore and asks you to leave, you force him to, in front of everyone.

The speaker's quite the rude little bastard, isn't he? Would you go back to that church? "Choose life!- and once you do, I will publicly humiliate you for that life being lively."

Everyone's attention is on you and only you. We watch you gather your things and walk to the back of the building and we hear the door close behind you. You chose not to go to the crying room. The special room built and equipped just for you, so that you can watch a live feed while attending to your precious noisy baby. You chose to show your displeasure by leaving the church entirely.


It is now halfway thru the hour. The speaker is standing up front feeling horrible. We his audience, are feeling very sorry for him. And embarrassed.

Sorry for him, huh? Well, he is bad at public speaking. I guess that is a bit embarrassing.

You Mom and Dad, deprived one hundred people of a powerful Palm Sunday message because you chose to sit in the front row with your precious noisy baby. Your noisy baby is simply impossible to ignore.

Darn right. That's why some of us choose not to have babies, you see.

I really thought this crowd would castigate the poster for such an antibaby message, but they don't.

Reality check: I come from a large Italian family, as does my husband. Between our two families, there are always babies and small children. We include them in everything: weddings, funerals, birthdays, whatever. If we're getting together, there will be babies. And you know what? Babies cry, toddlers talk loudly and run around and that's okay. We're not totally out of control at restaurants, but we've enjoyed weddings in which the background music was a wailing baby and nobody cared. That's what babies do. At one funeral, an 18 month old showed off her jumping skills during the eulogy. Whatever, the dead person loved children, what better way to celebrate their life than to let a toddler jump a bit?

So that's where I'm coming from. I'm atheist, prochoice and happily childless and entirely probaby and pro children being children. The uberright, christian fetus fetishists, not so much.

My aunt accused me of being a "Bridezilla" because I refused to allow the pastor's toddler to attend. I had seen too many weddings with a crying infant/toddler.

We had the wedding at 7 PM... and I just knew "But she's such a perfect little angel' would start acting up. She was 18 months.

We had a lovely wedding, small and quiet.

Children: not for weddings.

Sometimes parents just think that their kids are just too cute to be aggravating, but we all know better don't we? This was uncalled for and I agree with you. I feel absolutely terrible for the speaker and for the congregation. If the parents walked out of the church instead of going to the crying room, that was their selfish decision. What they did was not the way of God's children. This was a sad chain of events in which many people suffered. Sad! :-(

Selfish! So selfish! You must have your babies- and be exiled to the crying room. But babies, have them, just not around us, we don't really like them.

I have a very selfish SIL who refused to miss one moment of my daughter's wedding, even though she had a fussy, crying baby. I was never irritated with the baby because she was doing what babies are supposed to do. But I was highly annoyed with the baby's mother who always puts herself and her own interests first. My only daughter was having her only wedding and the gorom, an only son, was having his only wedding. Unfortunately, we missed much of the ceremony due to my SIL's selfishness. I will never understand why people refuse to be more thoughtful. Parents shouldn't have to be told that their sweet, precious babies are creating a disturbance and a distraction when they are making noise in situations like this. I'm sorry that, due to their own self centeredness, the parents were offended and I'm sorry that the speaker and the audience were all so distracted.

Only one wedding and a baby cried! Oh noes! At the Wedding O' the Century last year, the ringbearer was 2 years old. He made it all the way to the special vows and then threw down the pillow with the rings on it and declared, "I'm bored. I want SpongeBob!"

We could have gasped in horror. The bride could have cried over her wedding being ruined, and then it would have been. Instead, she laughed, picked up the pillow and told him to see if he could find a frog in the rocks (it was an outdoor wedding). It was a cute moment and so much more memorable than a "perfect" wedding- just like every other "perfect" wedding I have seen and can't remember one thing about.

One person does point out that Jesus had something to say about children:

There's no denying that these parents should have taken their baby out of the sanctuary. However, I don't believe that Jesus, who gently admonished that we suffer little children unto him, would have handled the situation in the same way.

But no, this doesn't mean that Jesus wanted children around, he was just getting rid of some overenthusiastic baby lover as quickly as possible. (What kind of freak likes a baby once it's born?)

If this is the scripture that you're referring to Matthew 19:13 & Matthew 19:14 I understand this to mean that parents wanted Jesus to pray for their children and so he did.

I love this:

Still there are some parents who think it is a good thing to have their kids with them through the service to the detriment of others because their kids often get bored and will do what kids know best and that is to make nosie to entertain themselves. Some even break free and run around the pews. It is these serial offenders that get me upset. Fortunately the new minister isn't a softy buy speaks to the parents(privately) and asks them to go with their children to the child care area next time. In the end if they ignore the minister's request they are asked to not come into the service at all but stay outside in a area outside where the sermon is broadcast on speakers.

It's parenthood as a contagion. Stay outside and listen to the broadcast, you parent, you.

Prolife: It has nothing to do with loving babies. Nothing at all.


  1. "But I was highly annoyed with the baby's mother who always puts herself and her own interests first."

    And where was the baby's dad during all this crying?

    Oh, right. Not Adequately Silencing Babies In Public is only selfish when women do it.

  2. my recovering-fundy-best-friend recently clued me in on a thing -

    see, it's a sin to abort and all - but there's the EQUAL sin of having a "baby out of wedlock". or, at least, ALMOST equal. resisting the "sin" of abortion doesn't grant one ANYTHING about the "sin" of having a "bastard child" [oh, and the CHILD is also sinning by BEING a bastard]

    i gave up trying to understand, at that point.

  3. Don't do it, denelian! It's like dividing by zero, there's no coming back!

    I have never understood, nor do I want to understand, how another person's mistakes could attach to their children. I didn't ask to be here, I'll make plenty of mistakes of my own, I don't need anybody else's to deal with.

    Not that I think that out of wedlock births are some great big deal.

  4. 30 years ago, when we used to visit my in-laws, 350 miles away, I used to let myself be bullied into attending church with them. Once we travelled down there with our infant sons, and I was appalled that I was expected to leave 2 six-month-olds in the "church nursery" in the care of people who did not know me or my kids.

    "No, thanks," I said. "I'll just keep them with me, and we'll leave if they make any noise." "But children aren't allowed in the sancturay," they said. "If you want to attend the services, you'll have to leave them here." --- Problem solved. I took the car keys and the kids and went for a nice drive in the country.

    I guess what Jesus meant to say was, "Suffer the little children to come unto me (as long as they're nicely dressed and quiet and dry and ideally have a little something for the collection plate.)"

  5. Personally, I'm not at all keen on babies. They have no volume control and loud noises make me flinch, not to mention that the noises they make at such volume are far from pleasant. A baby crying is right up there with fingernails on a chalkboard and dentist drills.

    Add to this the fact that I have no idea how to treat them. Kids I can deal with: I just treat them like miniture adults, like equals, and we get along fine. But toddlers don't have that same intellectual capability, so I can't treat them the same way. The only analagous behavior I can offer is to treat them the way I treat pets and animals: ie. with love and care, but as a creature incapable of rationalisation, not as a fellow human being. And that just feels wrong.

    Oh, and finally, unlike pets and animals, babies just aren't cute. I don't care what anyone says, they're gross and freaky looking.

  6. PF; *like* dividing by zero, i have found no way to understand. the whole thing makes no sense to me, not within my own framework of belief, and not withing my understanding of the *CHRISTIAN* framework. so, as i said, i gave up ENTIRELY on understanding - it take this whole OTHER type of insanity that's oddly reminiscent of insanity as discribed by the RPG Call Of Cthulu - no thanks, i have to make enough San checks as it IS!

    Mutzali; some people! "children aren't allowed" - what's next? "no children or n------"? or worse? i just ... as i said, i gave up understanding.

    Quasar; again, we are joined at the mind. i can see how older toddlers [3+, who are learning to talk and etc] are cute and can be fun [i treat them like adults who's language i don't always understand...] but babies? i think our entire CULTURE *LIES* - NO ONE but it's parents loves a crying or fussy baby, NO ONE. and i don't like them, either - they always, always smell [of sour milk, at MINIMUM], i can't hold one without pain, and i'm terrified i'm going to drop on because of that, etc etc etc etc/ they're non-internal parasites for the first couple years of life. and i the grand scheme i see how and why they are, and have to be - but i DON'T have to like them. i didn't like either of my nieces or my nephew until they could talk! why should i like a stranger's baby more than that? i DON'T - babies creep my out.
    plus, they all look like Winston Churchill.

  7. "plus, they all look like Winston Churchill. *shudder*"

    I found this reference to be more amusing than I by all rights should have. :D

    It was interesting when PZ Myers declared that he didn't consider a human newborn to be fully-human in the same sense that a grown adult is. Naturally, even many atheists responded instinctively with 'but it'z a baybee!', and yes: it is 100% genetically human, but PZ's still right: in terms of general intelligence and personality, which make a person a person far more than genetics, my pet birds have more going for them than a newborn human.

    I suppose the moral of the story is: human creatures have the potential to become people, but they don't start out that way. It takes time for them to become so, and all lines between one and the other, including birth, are arbitrary.

    Which doesn't mean we need throw out instinct, of course. We're still very protective of the baybeez, and there's no reason we shouldn't be.

  8. Yup. The ironic thing (unfortunately, fundies and radicals just don't seem to get "irony") is that after the fetus is born, they don't give a shit about it. Killed in a stupid war? Who cares?

  9. I gotta chime in (full disclosure, I'm a dad of 3) but I looooove babies! especially newborns. It's when they learn to talk and walk and get into things that I like them a lot less... ;)

  10. See, I don't like or dislike babies. I'm neutral on the subject of babies. They're like end tables to me: whatever, but what is it for?

    Now toddlers? Amazing. They have their own motivations and opinions, everything is new and shiny to them and you can play (simple) games with them. Since I'm the aunt, I can play with them and then hand them back to their parents when they start getting temper tantrumy, so toddlers are like little fun machines to me.

    I actually like teens and tweens, too. I mean, yeah, the self absorption and knowitallness is obnoxious, but again, they're people with opinions and ideas, and they still have ideals which is cute, so I like.

  11. I think people underestimate the amount of interaction you can have with very small babies. But it is a relationship that requires a lot more time and intimacy than a toddler or older kid. I will completely admit that i'm irrational on this subject. I turn into a big goofball around infants. I find little more satisfying in life than making a baby smile.


Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

I am attempting to use blogger's new comment spam feature. If you don't immediately see your comment, it is being held in spam, I will get it out next time I check the filter. Unless you are Dennis Markuze, in which case you're never seeing your comment.

Creative Commons License
Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at foreverinhell.blogspot.com.