Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, February 17, 2014

What I read about today

- Liam Neeson reportedly joins film adaptation of Shusaku Endo novel 'Silence' I haven't read the novel ... the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan, who endured persecution in the time of Kakure Kirishitan ("Hidden Christians") that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion. ... maybe I'll look for it at the library.

- Another podcast from Duke NT professor Mark Goodacre on historical Jesus research, with mentions of EP Saunders, JD Crossan, and NT Wright: NT Pod 68: Where do we begin Historical Jesus research?

- Another religious article about breastfeeding: The Beauty of Breastfeeding These have been cropping up especially since the pope told a lady to breastfeed her baby in church. Breastfeeding is a slippery subject in my view. On the one hand, one wants women to feel unembarrassed about doing it in public. But on the other hand, the male conservative wing has, I think, gone to the creepy place with their romanticizing of breastfeeding as almost religiously beautiful. As Carla Escoda writes ...

Why do otherwise intelligent, educated folk insist on romanticizing breastfeeding? It is no more of a "beautiful experience" than putting food on the family table -- which men do just as well as women. Profound "beauty" can be found in the way nature works to provide the right sustenance for newborns -- the efficiency and economics of which may appeal to Paul Tudor Jones -- but the delivery system is no reason to get all dewy-eyed. In fact, many modern mothers complain about the process as much as they revel in it: hellish feeding schedules, leaky breasts, mastitis, sleeplessness, teething babies, lack of appropriate public spaces for nursing, and so on. The fact is: breastfeeding is a bodily function important to the wellbeing of newborns, but not essential to bonding or any other social good.

I can't help thinking this romanticizing and religiocizing of breastfeeding is just another way to pigeonhole women - come on, guys: breastfeeding is simply a natural thing all mammals do, from three toed sloths to my cat Grendel :) ...


Blogger Tor Hershman said...

Doesn't The Pope say that nonhuman animals do not have emotions?

1:46 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

If he does, then he's mistaken.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Yes, the Pope may be a Catholic but definitley not a cat. Who knows what cats feel or popes for that matter(although Grendel and co. appear pretty contented.)

1:05 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Richard. It does seem strange he would say that, given he chose "Francis" (patron saint of animals) as his name. There's quite a wikipedia page on animals and emotions ...

2:04 PM  

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