Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Bastard people..." - Corky Sinclair, "Waiting For Guffman"

(Pictured, my favorite unwed mother, Rachel from "Friends")

Kids out of wedlock.

Who doesn't know people; either relatives, friends, co-workers - or their kids, who live together without benefit of marriage, have children out of wedlock, or happens to be a single woman who simply wants a kid - and goes and has one.

These children were once called "illegitimate"; their status having been noted upon their birth certificate. While the more ancient appellation "bastard" indeed was used in regard children born of an irregular union. It is definitely not politically correct to use these terms today. Kids shouldn't be labeled because of the sins of their parents. Although they are affected by the parents lack of morality. I saw this piece in the news today:

37 Percent of U.S. Births Out of Wedlock

Out-of-wedlock births in the United States have climbed to an all-time high, accounting for nearly four in 10 babies born last year, government health officials said Tuesday.

While out-of-wedlock births have long been associated with teen mothers, the teen birth rate actually dropped last year to the lowest level on record. Instead, births among unwed mothers rose most dramatically among women in their 20s.

The overall rise reflects the burgeoning number of people who are putting off marriage or living together without getting married.

The increase in births to unwed mothers was seen in all racial groups, but rose most sharply among Hispanics. It was up among all age groups except youngsters ages 10 to 17.
"A lot of people think of teenagers and unmarried mothers synonymously, but they are not driving this," said Stephanie Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics, a co-author of the report. [snip] -Brietbart.com

If you're a poor woman who got pregnant, someone will take care of you, such as welfare, the Church, or some pro-life agency. If you are rich, or have a great job, you can have your cake and eat it too. Thankfully, unwed mothers are no longer turned out on the street. Childless couples will find them in order to adopt their babies, oftentimes paying all their expenses and more. Pro-life workers will do anything to help the woman carry the child to term. That's a good thing, to be sure. But are we somehow encouraging illicit births in the process? Is it so bad morally that we just give a blanket blessing to everyone, no matter the circumstance? Are we so held hostage to the threat of abortion and infanticide that we give up moral imperatives and direction? It seems rather irresponsible.

Being a bastard isn't a fun thing. My mother, because she had been divorced and remarried outside of the Church, referred to my little brother and I as bastards when she argued religion with my dad or got angry with us. It didn't do much for my self-image. On some levels, there is still a stigma a kid suffers, I don't care what anyone else says. Kids need two parents - male and female please, and a regular family life - with a moral compass - and love.

I've been in a workplace situation where a single woman announced she was pregnant - actually, the same single woman announced it twice in two years. The entire office got all excited and congratulated her effusively, they encouraged her and just carried on with attention and gifts. The woman was not married, the pregnancies were by two different dads - what's the deal? Something is wrong with this picture, don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. Terry: Intriguing point: that we may somehow encourage single parenthood. What can you do? I hate to see us return to the day of outright stigma.

    The Church is not doing its job. How often do I hear, from the pulpit, that celibacy is good, cohabitation is bad, sex outside of marriage is bad? I can't think of one instance.

    Look at the high numbers of Hispanics. I assume most of them are Catholics.


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