Doublethink: Am I a Grandpa or Not?, and Other Questions

Doublethink is on the rise, as the Western world collapses into rampant individualism, thought control under the guise of tolerance, and soft totalitarianism. “Doublethink” is a term coined by George Orwell in his dystopian masterpiece, 1984. In his bleak vision of a totalitarian future, Orwell defines doublethink as the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind without any sense of tension between the two. Doublethink formed a crucial component of the  totalitarian regime that 1984 envisions.

In Western culture, nowhere is doublethink more evident than in the area of sexuality. This is no surprise. The sex drive is (news flash!) quite powerful. On the one hand, if we want to be clear and consistent in our beliefs, we need to exercise restraint in our sexual activity. Even apart from religious considerations, there is a truckload of evidence that contraception, abortion, cohabitation, and all of the other trappings of unlimited sexual freedom have fed the disastrous collapse of marriage and the family in the Western world. But given the choice between exercising restraint below the waist or being fuzzy above the neck, human nature will go with the cognitive fuzziness. This inevitably leads to greater and greater logical contradictions. So if I want to have no limits on my sexual behavior, I must become skilled in doublethink .

In this line of thinking, that sex has something to do with making babies is unfortunate. So I need not only to break that link, through contraception and, if that fails, abortion. I need to deny that the link even exists.

Hollywood has so propagandized us in this area that we hardly notice it. When the hero and heroine inevitably have sex, that she could get pregnant doesn’t even cross our minds. Sex is purely recreational, until we want it to be reproductive. Just as I have the right to have sex when I want to, without consequences, I have the right to have a baby when I want to. There’s a whole fertility industry to address that right. It’s a hotter industry than ever, because delaying pregnancy to later and later ages has led to more difficulty conceiving, once one is “ready” to. The high hormonal levels in the Pill that linger for months after discontinuing it also hinder conception.

If contraception fails, as is fairly common, I still need to deny the link between sex and making babies. So, what’s in the woman’s womb cannot be a baby. It is a “product of conception”. It is a hostile or inconvenient presence. Nobody knows how it got there. She got pregnant the way one “gets” a cold or the flu. She needs to have the complete freedom to get rid of it. It is her fundamental reproductive right.

But if she wants to be pregnant, then “it” becomes a baby. She lavishes care on her unborn baby. She has baby showers, gets the right car seat, lovingly decorates the nursery, eats properly, gets the best prenatal care, and plans for the baby’s college education. I remember a Child Psychology textbook from a course I was a teaching assistant for. The author celebrated how very child-centered Western culture is. We treat our children so well. Yes – those we don’t abort. (Yes – those we don’t put through divorce. Yes – those we don’t leave as orphans to their electronic devices. The list goes on. Sigh.)

Not that all women who have abortions do so freely. Part of the abortion industry mythology is that all or most women who abort are exercising their right to choose. They abort as part of their freedom to be who they want to be. Planned Parenthood doesn’t mention the boyfriends or parents or grandparents who don’t want to be inconvenienced. They don’t mention the threats of being disowned or beaten. They don’t mention the doctors who pressure to abort because no woman would want a child with Down Syndrome or some other birth defect.

I have had some of those women as clients. They mourn their lost baby or babies. They wrestle with remorse. They see past the “product of conception” lie. Unfortunately, mental health providers as a group are overwhelmingly secular and in favor of “abortion rights”. So, such victimized women have precious few therapists who will validate their grief. Hardly any will offer them the opportunity to heal: to receive forgiveness from God and from their aborted children.

SO – what triggered this post is – I am delighted to report – that my son and daughter-in-law are expecting. The baby is due at the end of September. They very much want this baby. So do the prospective grandparents. I realize that people  don’t normally call themselves grandparents before the baby is born. But the baby is there, in my daughter-in-law’s womb. He’s a boy. They have his name picked out. If she miscarried, Heaven forbid, she would be losing their son and our grandson. So, I am a grandpa.

But not in our doublethink culture. If a mother changes her mind and decides she doesn’t want the baby, the baby ceases to be a he or a she. What’s in her womb reverts to being an “it”. What would be murder becomes pregnancy termination. The father or father-in-law is not even a prospective grandpa. He is the father or father-in-law of someone who decided not to go forward with the pregnancy. He cannot grieve or be angry, because his grandchild has ceased to exist – never did exist – because babies in the womb are babies only if their mothers want them.

Can history be rewritten like that? One of many chilling scenes in 1984 has the protagonist, Winston, on the verge of incinerating a slip of paper. It is part of his propaganda job at the Ministry of Truth. The slip is the only remaining evidence that a person that the government has eliminated has ever existed. Once pushed through the incinerator slot, there will be no trace left to verify that the person ever was. Winston wonders, as he inserts the slip: does eliminating all traces affect the fact of the person’s existence?

Can a baby become a baby, then an “it”, and then maybe a baby again? Can I love you one moment, then kill you the next? Or vice versa? Does reality change according to what I decide it should be?

In The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare has Petruchio test his wife’s complete submission to his will. If she will not, he threatens to cancel their journey to her sister’s wedding. The following dialogue takes place:

Good Lord, how bright and goodly shines the moon!

The moon! the sun: it is not moonlight now.

I say it is the moon that shines so bright.

I know it is the sun that shines so bright.

Now, by my mother’s son, and that’s myself,
It shall be moon, or star, or what I list,
Or ere I journey to your father’s house.
Go on, and fetch our horses back again.
Evermore cross’d and cross’d; nothing but cross’d!

Say as he says, or we shall never go.

Forward, I pray, since we have come so far,
And be it moon, or sun, or what you please:
An if you please to call it a rush-candle,
Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me.

I say it is the moon.

I know it is the moon.

Nay, then you lie: it is the blessed sun.

Then, God be bless’d, it is the blessed sun:
But sun it is not, when you say it is not;
And the moon changes even as your mind.
What you will have it named, even that it is;
And so it shall be so for Katharina.

Back to the 21st century. On the NPR program “Fresh Air”, the host is interviewing an actress she greatly admires. The actress’s daughter is pregnant. The host expresses congratulations. The actress makes sure to note that the decision to have the baby is her daughter’s. If her daughter had decided to abort, the actress would have completely supported her decision. But the daughter is going to have the baby. So the actress will love that baby. The host gushes admiration. The actress is so supportive of her daughter’s freedom to choose.

I can’t join the lovefest. I am revolted. I imagine the following conversation, sometime in the future, between the actress and her grandchild. Actress: “Hey, honey, you know how much I love you. But I just need you to know that if your mother had wanted to abort you, I would have driven her to the clinic in a heartbeat.” Child: “Thanks, Grandma! I love you, too!”

Although the focus of this blog is the inherent contradictions in abortion rights ideology, doublethink extends to sex and gender issues in general. Transgender ideology is the most glaring example. Our increasingly totalitarian culture requires the same absolute submission to the mind-blowing contradictions of gender-as-social-construct. Petruchio vs. Katharina pales by comparison.

In this regard, Canada is currently more extreme. But the U.S. will be there very soon. There,  a case involved a father whose 13-year-old daughter is taking hormones, against his will, to transition to male. The father was charged with family violence for refusing to use male pronouns when speaking to or about his daughter. The judge issued a gag order, forbidding the father to speak to his daughter or anyone else about the fact that she is a girl. The link is here In another Canadian court case, a man who considers himself female is suing a homebased waxing salon for refusing to wax his testicles. He is charging the salon with transgender discrimination. If it loses the case, the salon must submit, or lose its license. The link is here…/jessica-yaniv-transgender-from-bake-my…

How to conclude? Stop the world, I want to get off? Yet God’s plan includes just this time in history. We were born for just such a time as this. We need to speak the truth, in love. If we don’t, who will? The West’s current course cannot be sustained indefinitely. It must fizzle, or correct, or self-destruct. We can pray and fast and keep vigil to minimize the collateral damage and to call the lost to sanity.

And in the meantime – I am a grandpa. All prayers for the little one, his mom and dad, and all concerned, are most welcome.

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About admin

I am a Catholic clinical psychologist with a solo practice in Omaha, NE. In the Franciscan seminary, I completed about 2/3rd of an M.Div./MA in Scripture. In my 3rd year of temporary vows, I discerned a call to the married life. My lovely wife Mary and I have a son, Michael, as well as a number of children preceding us to Heaven through miscarriages. We are delighted to be in the Omaha archdiocese and love the Heartland.
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