The Thinking 
Housewife
 

To My Sacred Father

January 28, 2011

 

IN VIRGIL’S epic poem The Aeneid, the hero Aeneas leaves the smoking ruins of Troy with his aged father on his back and his young son by his hand. His destiny is to found a second home for his remnant people in Italy and to give birth to a new civilization. Not long after the Trojan armada embarks, Aeneas’ father, Anchises, dies and is buried in Sicily. A year later, after a sojourn in Carthage, Aeneas returns to the shores of Sicily and there observes the anniversary of his father’s death.

Ever conscious of his place in the chain of generations, bidden to undertake a dangerous and daunting task, Aeneas finds beauty and meaning in his duty toward the dead.

He is not a mere warrior or adventurer. As he stoops to his father’s grave, he pledges to remember forever. The Trojans have lost everything. They have only their will to survive and their few ships. Even so, a new world will be founded on the old, intermingled with the past as spring earth with the dust of the dead.

Here is the scene from Book V of the Robert Fagles translation:

When, in the following Dawn, bright day had put the stars
to flight, Aeneas called his companions together,
from the whole shore, and spoke from a high mound:
“Noble Trojans, people of the high lineage of the gods,
the year’s cycle is complete to the very month
when we laid the bones, all that was left of my divine father,
in the earth, and dedicated the sad altars. And now
the day is here (that the gods willed) if I am not wrong,
which I will always hold as bitter, always honoured. Read More »

 

Motherhood Lost

January 28, 2011

 

HOW IS IT possible that we live in a world where some women, infertile after years of career advancement, arrange to have surrogates provide babies for them while other women, even married women who already have homes and husbands, abort their children?

One reason we live in such a world is that women are not told the most basic facts of fertility. They are routinely lied to about the consequences of delaying childbirth. What college teaches women that with every passing year after their mid-twenties, their fertility declines significantly? What college really impresses this information on the minds of the young?

The information that many thousands of infertile couples are eager for unwanted children is also withheld. The hopes of the infertile should be widely recognized and they are not. Supporters of abortion never state the obvious: that nine months of pregnancy is not a great hardship. It is painful to give up a baby for adoption, but not life-ruining. As a reader wrote in this entry, these simple facts “cut through all the intellectual meanderings that we are subjected to when faced with abortion.”

Our world is infused with hostility toward motherhood and life. No amount of focused childrearing nor the very real love mothers have for their children can hide this fact. 

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Daniel Mitsui

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Virtue is not Virtue if it is Compulsory

January 28, 2011

 

A READER, Bill W., at VFR also writes:

  …. [T]he forced nature of the welfare state colors everything. This form of “charity,” rather than really helping people, creates dependence, undermines thrift and hard work, and destroys people spiritually, both by undermining what is good, and also by creating a sense of wounded, resentful expectation–the idea that the world owes them something. I’m a doctor. And having worked with Medicaid patients in emergency rooms before, I can tell you that they are far more demanding, suspicious, complaining and overall “entitled” than any other group. Read More »