Purging the inner Puritan, part two

“Better to give birth to eight children you can’t afford than to abort one you can.”

Four hundred years after their arrival in America, the sexual mores of the Puritans live on.

In fact, they have metastasized into an anti-life, anti-sex, anti-child, anti-woman and anti-earth view held by a sizeable number of noisy, busy-body fringe fanatics who call themselves pro-life. The truth is, they are suspicious of pleasure, distrust women and are frightened by sex. Pregnancy within their narrowly defined view of marriage is a blessing; otherwise, it is punishment for sex.

The above example of this attitude comes from a letter to the editor of a newspaper based in Merrillville, Indiana.

In this view, it’s better for children to suffer poverty and homelessness than for their mothers to make responsible birth-control decisions which might include abortion. This is pro-breeding, not pro-life.

Why do so-called pro-lifers lose interest in the quality of a child’s life as soon as it is born?

Probably because, in this Puritan-influenced view, only the afterlife is worthwhile. Life on earth is something to be suffered through, rather than celebrated and enjoyed. Birth is seen as the beginning of sin and the start of temptations, the event that separates the innocent from the tainted.

This belief would be pitiable, if it didn’t have so much power to distort normal human behavior with the stunting, fearful reactions of shame, guilt and condemnation.

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