Monday, October 27, 2008

Birth Control Methods Pt 1

So I guess I should start to explain why Sarah D and I chose to use a birth control method known as NFP or Natural Family Planning since I said I would in an earlier article. We, like most young married couples, had to choose in the year or so leading to our wedding a method for controlling when we began our family (i.e. had kids). We did want to defer having children for a few years so we could get some experience under our belts as a married couple, and just to enjoy our new married-ness. We thought sex sounded like something we'd be including in our marriage, so abstinence was out. So the possibility of conception was there. Hormonal Contraception- commonly known as birth control pills, patches, and rings- was an option for sure, were the most common one for our age. Natural Family Planning, a foreign concept to us was also open, as were barrier methods such as condoms and the like. Abortion was out. Like most orthodox Christians we thought this practice was inconsistent with what The Bible, and church history teach.
So really we had to choose between the three broad categories: Barrier Methods, Hormonal Contraceptives, and NFP methods. We knew we'd support, morally most NFP methods, but didn't know if we trusted them, I mean who wants a baby when they're not planning on one? For one economics aren't easy, and it kinda cuts down on your time together with a child to care for. From what I'd learned in pop culture some of the barrier methods weren't exactly so comfortable to use, so we decided Hormonal Contraception was a good one to look into first.
Being from a Catholic background, I knew there may be some moral issues with this form of BC, since Catholics are heavily criticised for not supporting the use of it. So we began to read about how it works, and quickly realized that our first priority would have to be to decide where life begins. What makes the baby alive?
And I'll finish this later, because Den says my post are too long, and that I'd be kicked off the blog if I continued with these novel length post.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Great Video

So I ran across this video this am and realized that it related to my last post. If you watch the clip (it's quite long) at the end of it Ron Paul describes that he thinks it was a bad idea to go into Iraq in the first place, and Hannity in his usual fashion berates him about being unpatriotic and blaming America for 9/11, which Paul wasn't even doing. Anyhow this relates because as Ron Paul says in the clip, America doesn't have to always police other nations, and really we only do this selectively when it serves our interest and then claim the moral ground as the reason for the decision. The problem then is that we stay out of so many conflicts that should gain our attention- Darfur is a prime example. Though we've supported some movement in abating this genocide- yes GENOCIDE- we've not gone all in like we did in Iraq.
What struck a chord with my last post and this issue is this- we can use our booming economy as a weapon. If we see countries with disparaging human rights records we should restrict trade with that nation. We should take our business elsewhere, just as we do with local stores. If a store in your area treated workers horribly and exploited them, we would want to avoid the store and support it's competitors so it would be forced out of business. All the while as a community we would support the store's employees, because they are not the problem the employer is. If we approached our foreign policy more in this manner we would save some of the wars in our past, and I think this is the angle Ron Paul is hitting. We can intervene in problem areas without using military force. We're America, when our banks begin to head downwards, the world worries as well because we're so tied in to the rest of the world. So let's use this power of our economy in less exploitative and more positive ways.

Economic Warfare

Recently Sarah Denley sent me an email. The email was about child labor. The email was about an Indian child whose brother got sick and his mother could not pay for the medicine. The $100 dollars was borrowed with the child's ability to make soccer balls as collateral. The child now had to work 10-15 hours a day to make soccer balls in order to repay the loan. The loan has an interest rate such that the child cannot work his way out of it anytime soon, so he is trapped making soccer balls for our amusement so that he could save his brother's life. This story is not uncommon- parents unable to pay wages for medical or living expenses with their jobs, so they must force their children into labor so their family can make ends meet. There are very few people in America who can stomach this practice, but many who support it- unintentionally. We like our cheap Walmart and Target products, such as soccer balls, this way we can balance our families budgets and use our money wisely as God would have us do.
The problem with all of this is that while our cheap goods save us money in the short term- money saved that we can give to local and international organizations (churches, independent ministries, and even food aid organizations)- in the long term our search for cheap goods could be defeating our noble goals. For example, let's say I buy cheap goods from Target and with the money saved give it to a group that seeks to provide education to poor Christian children in Indonesia. Some of this money is going to go to the organizations administrators, some of it will then go to the local operators in Indonesia that provide the education. The money will partly be lost in this, which is a must that's what we're paying for. Some of the money will also go into supplies for the children, and the rest will be used to booster the education provided at the school. Now we've done something noble, but now the organization in Indonesia must get children to attend this school. Some of the children will attend in the area of the school, but some will be trapped in a cycle of near slave labor making soccer balls or plates or garments so that we can save money on these items to donate it to their communities to build them. This cycle, while noble ideals are involved on many sides, has wasted much capital in trying to reach it's goal. We aren't able to reach all the people that we want to reach for education or whatever our mission is because we've unknowingly exploited them in other ways.
This is not something we do purposely, it's something we do incidentally. It's a product of our capitalist system going global with corporations who do not hold to the same values that we do. This is not to say that capitalism is an immoral system, but that we, the people must hold the companies we support with our money accountable to our personal values systems. The problem is that when capitalist corporations went global in operations, we were not able to see what affect they had on other communities, so we didn't notice the problems we were causing. It was much easier when we saw the impact of cheap labor in our communities, but we can't see it in India.
This reality has been harder for me, because it means that I actually will begin to support some of the companies that Sarah Denley likes that maybe charge me a little more for their plates and home decor. But it's easier on my conscience for me to know where their factories are (ex. Gail Pittman). And so by buying things like Gail Pittman's plates and just having less of them I am still able to donate the money to charitable causes that further Our Lord's impact in this world of His. I can still build up the economies in third world and developing nations by investing in companies (i.e stock, mutual funds, 401k) that seek to build up these regions with good labor and environmental practices; and by giving micro loans with my money ( I'm sorry for the rambling nature of this post, but I got off on a bit of a tangent, maybe later I'll go into why I believe in investing and micro loans, but this is a long enough post for today.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Busy Weekend

Well, I changed our blog design for about a day and then changed it back. It was sooo much cuter, but I couldn't get the links right and it just didn't work. Anyway, it seems like things have been so busy. I don't know why it seems so crazy! I think I am still recovering from Saturday. Friday we hung out with my parents and sister who was home from college. Saturday afternoon we went to a wedding, then to eat Japanese with friends and then went to see our friend Patrick play guitar at benefit for domestic violence. I was exhausted when we got home! I didn't even make it to church Sunday, but I did watch Galloway on the TV. One thing I need to add to my to do list this week is to watch our wedding video which I still haven't watched from start to finish! Another exciting thing is that our new camera should be in tomorrow so I will be able to post pictures on the blog. I still need to learn to print from my laptop. We have several picture frames in our house that are naked because I still haven't printed the pictures from our honeymoon, ect. Peyton hooked up his printer to my computer a few weeks ago; I've just been lazy! Speaking of our house it is really starting to FINALLY shape up and not look like a bachelor's come a long way! Pretty soon it will be time to start on the nursery! Hopefully, I won't neglect the blog for so long!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thank You Senators

A great thing happened two days ago, though overall a tragedy occurred. Both of Mississippi's senators turned down the economic stimulus package- but the senate (and house) ultimately passed it. I've never been much of one in the realm of politicin', but lately I've had to get more involved. I've really become quite a supporter of Roger Wicker in all this. He not only stood against the bailout package, but earlier this year I emailed him asking his support for a medicare bill that would hurt my patients (and maybe me) if it wasn't passed. He not only voted for it, but responded to my email, with a point by point response. He (or an intern of his) even explained the reasons he turned down an earlier version of the bill. I could tell it wasn't a form letter by the direct addresses to my concerns, and honestly it got me excited about politics. So Senators Wicker and Cochran deserve a shoutout for being 2 of 25 brave senators, next time you get a chance, email them to thank them:

Just follow the above link, select a senator, and select contact senator.