Francis Against the Dog Moms

Sometime in the summer of 1973, Dr. Keith Mano National review He made a trip to Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester County to make preparations for his aunt Sybil, who was (I hope, though Manu never said such words) a cat. Amid the surplus and pie of a gigantic animal graveyard, Manu grieved:

The slow and rhythmic work of the ovaries is thwarted. Jerry: “My mom’s only child.” Cleo: “You have added joy to my life.” We are cruel to the infertile, as if fertility is a moral example. Hartsdale has a guarded female presence: false pregnancy, false infant burial here. But there are also men and husbands. given last name: Grumpy Goldberg; Baby Blue Ribbon McArdle. It’s not racial: Jewish stars and the Virgin Mary are justly blessed. A matter of deep unity. Vital dates range from ten to 13 years: in that short period of trust, friendship arose. Hercules, 1901-1913, “never forgotten,” although the diary is buried in another cemetery. If we are so ephemeral, what is our little service?

However, Manu could not condemn Hartsdale’s imagination. At the end of the visit, in fact, he was immediately ready to celebrate it:

You hear it as a catchphrase: the American people spend more on cat food than -. He is clever, irrefutable, but somehow there is a refutation. On an absolute scale of values, human life and dog life cannot be balanced. I suppose there are no Heartsdales in Moscow; If there are even suburbs in Moscow. But there is a human quality of life that is not worth living under, where there is an intake of calories under which it is impossible. We insist, as a survival instinct, on some gross luxuries of feelings. “Modi’s lifelong friend.” crap. But it is an asset to our freedom to be, now and then, silly and impractical. And yes, selfish.

Although I doubt he would put much appreciation in the words of the Bishop of Rome (Manu, who was once an Episcopalian, converted to Orthodoxy before the weather was great), the writer may have benefited from the wisdom of Pope Francis.

The octogenarian pope came under fire this week by an army of 30-year-old dog moms over comments he made in his audience on Wednesday. The Pope meditated on the virtues of Saint Joseph, spoke of the social necessity of fatherly love, and lamented the fact that many couples today willfully give up on founding families. He was especially cruel to those who would substitute children for pets, and chose the easy-to-train affection of an irrational animal over the most demanding relationship with actual man; The Pope has described such police action as “selfish”.

We see that people don’t want to have children, or just one and no more. And many, many couples don’t have children because they don’t want to, or they only have one – but they have two dogs, two cats…. Yes, dogs and cats replace children. Yes, it is funny, I understand, but it is the reality. This denial of paternity weakens us and robs us of our humanity. In this way civilization becomes aging and dehumanizing, as it loses the richness of parenting. Our country is suffering because it has no children.

Alana Massey, who describes herself as “a writer who works, decorates, and cares for her collection of petty grievances in the High Woods of upstate New York,” repliedsaid: “A single childless wizard who enchanted the Parthenon said, [sic] He rented gods to the size of a teacup to keep him as pets to win favours with his god. (I can’t pretend to understand exactly what this means, but it does make Pope Francis look incredibly cool.) And Mrs. Massey was not alone in her anger at the Pope’s pastoral guidance.

Dana Nessel, the Democratic attorney general of Michigan, was stunningly wrong in her tweet:

An astonishing number of people jumped into the conversation to point out that the Pope himself, despite being 85, does not have a single child.

In a view that is only marginally more coherent ForbesScott Steinberg – who claims to be a “brand market expert and social media analyst” – gave up this insight: “Everyone has their own: after all, these days, pets are many people’s children, and more and more Adults wait longer and it takes longer to have children if they ever decide to have them. Also, the last time I reviewed the decision to have children—which changes my life and comes with countless responsibilities—is a personal choice.”

we will. It is a personal choice in the sense that any choice has to be made by someone. But beyond that basic, somewhat meaningless fact, the issue of procreation is a deeply social issue. At the most basic level, there is, of course, the biological determinism which states that we must have children; It would be very difficult for the human race to continue if they did not. Then there is the problem of cultural stability. When social, political, and economic structures operate at high capacities and on the assumptions of long-term growth, a sudden collapse in both the current population and prospects for future recovery can be devastating. This is what the Pope acknowledges at the end of the quote above (“the nations suffer this” in another translation). He also warns that we may be facing a “demographic winter”.

Even more disturbing, however, is what the Mother Dog Epidemic is doing to people’s souls: It “degrades us and kills our humanity.” Society suffers terribly when its adult citizens are not shaped by the experiences of parenthood, and when its great vision is not supported by the loving desire to preserve the good life for the next generation. The community of dog moms and cat dads is a community of miserable and half-made people, who are not expected to live their lives properly, let alone steer the ship of civilization. On this point, Francis has been consistent from the early days of his pontificate. In 2014, the Pope acknowledged that while it is easier to redirect parental instincts to pet ownership, vital family relationships are thus neglected. “Then, at last, this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness.”

Things have gotten worse since then. The Holy Father on Wednesday described our present moment as “the age of infamous orphanhood,” in which the bounties of family life are tested only by a privileged few, while the great mass of humanity is left alone and aimless, unloved and unfulfilled. Of course, we can’t completely blame dog moms for this. But it is the final stage of the degenerative process in which people are made for communal and family life, for the total gift of self to others, become self-absorbed decadents of the highest comfort is the grandiose child who will find himself in Hartsdale before long.

I suppose here I have to make a confession of some sort. A reader with plenty of time can attend easily enough that I, like the Pope, have no children. In fact, it’s much worse than that: I live alone in a studio apartment in Washington, D.C., with my cat, Thomas. It’s a very fun company. My girlfriend also has a chiweenie which I am very fond of. (This is half Dachshund and half Chihuahua; in addition to the fact that he never shuts up, he’s fun companions too.) I can’t say I don’t like my life. She is happy and happy. I have plenty of time, just enough money, and no real responsibilities once I’m down from today.

But I can’t imagine this going on for long. He’s good enough for 22. But by the time Thomas gets older, he should have a whole brood of real kids and humans to accompany them. If he didn’t – if I was thirty-five it was still me and the cat – I can’t imagine how miserable I must be. What’s worse, I can’t imagine how malfunctioning a Association Full of people like this would be. But I know it will be lonely and short-sighted and shallow and fun.

And yes, selfish.

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