Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 27, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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October 27, 1991

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PAGE 2 ARKANSAS CA'IHOUC OCIOBER ?7, 1991 J With the state's Old Gray Lady shutting down at the hands of its enemy (the Demo- crat or Gannett- pick one), the worst homi- ride spree in history (and they keep getting worse) happening in Texas, and a pre-con- difioned Mideast peace talk coming up, the news that Native Americans aren't happy with the war whoop and "Tomahawk Chop" used by baseball Rms was less than urgent. People have dressed up like priests and nuns in the name of harmless comedy for who knows how long, without too many Catholics getting bent out of shape. Sometimes it seems our sensitivities get in the way of common sense and even human communication. But there may be more to the "Chop" complaint than somebody's hypersensitiv- ity grabbing some slow-news media space: during the coming year, Native Americans will have plenty of reason to speak out. For the next 12 months, we'll be re- minded, again and wrongly, that Columbus discovered America in 1492. There are three items in need of clarification: 1) Columbus discovered nothing except that he had landed in the wrong place. He was after riches, not historidty. 2) There ks no such thing as "America," without qualification. There are "Americas" - North, Central and South. The U.S. is but a part of that triumverate. 3) "Evangelization" of what is, now the.._ U.S. very often spelled misery and death for Native Americans. The Tomahawk Chop used by Atlanta Braves fans can't rate with international peace events and unspeakable humml di- sasters, but the haunting melody of the war chant won't quite leave the air. Perhaps the spirits of the Native Ameri- can dead aren't quite ready to rest. DKI-I ARKANSAS CATHOLIC i Arkansas= Catholic is published weekly (except the first Sun- day in Jan., July, Aug,> and the la.~ Sunday in Dec.) for $15 per year, by the CathoBc Diocese o| Little Rock. Arkansas Caffiollc, tnc. P.O. Box 7417, 25C0 N. Tyler St.. Little Rock. AR 72217, (501) 664-0340 [FAX 664-9075] P"-LISHERuu Most Rev. Andrew J. McDonald, B|shop ~r MANAGING EDITOR ,~'A",~- Rev. Albert J. Schneider = I CDG I~:: EDITOR ,i :e .'~: ~. . ~. ~1~ Deborah K, Halter ~ CIRCULATION MANAGER ~I~--~, ........ADVERTISING MA" NG 'N W PRODUCTION MANAGER Flev, dames M. Schratz potage at ume ~ter: ~ el'~: 0~ adcb'~$ ~o~: AOaim~m~::cathollc t~ Box 7417~ L~le R~ AR 722~7. Business hours: 8:30-4. Mo~,:ex~ H0~ ~ys and na~o~ ho~a~ : To ~dlm,::mmd $*tS wltli your name,:addrotm and parish to ttw: a, ktr~:~..::: ~::~: ~:~ t was an impress'we sight. On Oc- tober 6, returning from a greater distance, I passed through Fort Smith and saw the Life Chain, people lined up along Rogers Ave. holding large placards with the bold message, ABORTION KII_LS (MILDREN. Along the seven miles of this Life Chain, I waved my support and many waved back. It was a peaceful and orderly statement in favor of life. There was no violence or blocking of abortion clinics, but a sinaple and strong statement by thousands of people in favor of the lives of the unborn. Surely there were some who objected to this display of convictions shared by thou- sands, but they seemed very few on this occasion. I wondered if it raised a ques- tion they didn't want to face. But then I wondered about something else. I wondered how many of those people would stand in a Peace Chain and hold placards with the message WARS KILL CHILDREN, WOMEN, AND MEN, or some similar message. Some who are to war seem indifft rent to abor- tion or are explicitly "pro- choice;" and some "pm4ffe" advocates seem to be lence many maaet raging from the death sentence to lmTfitary actio I'm sure I wished that all advocates of human life would "get their acts together." Cardinal Bernardin and Archbishop Weakland, among many U.S. citizens, and several magazines, have tried to show the link between all life efforts. But still some who are opposed to war seem indifferent Fr. David Flusche, OSB to abortion or are explidtly "pro-choice;" and some "pro4ife" advocates seem to be pro-violence in many matters, ]anging from the death sentence to military actions. There is the urge to say to all ' ome on, are you really for human life?" There seems to be an international lack of concern about many di- mensions of life. I'm now looking at the "Perspectives" page of the Sept. 30 Newsweek The first item quotes an uni- dentified senior Pentagon official saying, "If we let people see that kind of thing, there would never again be any war." Tiffs was in explanation of the refusal to release video footage of Iraqi soldiers being cut in half by helicopter cannon fire. It might be a good idea to show this kind of thing on video- tape at the beginning of peace conferences; or maybe such film could be released for prime time viewing. Another reference on the same page gives the name of a Peruvian Labor Minis- try offidal commenting on reports that jungle gold miners have enslaved thousands of children: "Here at the ministry we have other, more urgent situations to deal with." It might be idle to suggest that there are many places in the world, as well as at home in the U.S. of in abortion clinics, where Dolores Curran Why don t you ever address the feel- hags and issues of expectant fathers, a man asked me. '.'My wife's first pregnancy was one of the worst dines of my life. I flaink a lot of men have feelings and fears at this time but I never read anything ahout them." Actually, there is quite a bit pub- fished for new clads but one has to dig harder for it in li- braries and bookstores. One of these books, in fact, might make a fine baby shower gift. What are the feelings and fears that at- tack first-time fathers during and after preg- nancy? There are the obvious fears about theh" wife's safety, their child's nonnality, and their ability to be an adequate parent, similar to fears of pregnant women. But there are other feelings which are less often expressed because they're diffi- cult for men to admit in our culture. The first is a feeling of being excluded. Everyone's attention centers on the mother- to-be, her health, emotional well-being, and baby. Dad sort of stands on the sidelines looking on, nodding and smiling. Her friends and their families focus on her and he begins to feel miimportant. Often, but not always, a first-time expect- ant mother plays into this neglect by be- coming egocentric. Everything is viewed in light of the pregnancy and coming baby. Other issues like work, home and mutual interests suddenly become unimportant. The baby is all. Predictably, this engenders re~nlanent in the father. Is theh- couple relationship no longer important, he wonders. Can't she talk about anything besides the coming baby? Is that the reason she married me? Is life ahead going to be relegated to the baby or will we be able to resume ore" former closeness? If they think of it in terms of being pregnant, too, they will survive the nine months more These are very deep feelings, and most clads don't have a forum or friends with whom it's socially acceptable to discuss them. Somehow, in our sodety, it's considered unmasculine to own these feelings. In addition to feeling excluded, a new dad often inherits a feeling of guilt when his wife suffers morning sickness, weight tittle thought is given to war victms, chil-, dren or oppression of people. Probably not many have heard of Timor, for ex- / !: Karen Callaway/Northwest Indiana CatholidCN$ Three-year-old Down's Syndrome victim Rachael Ortiz protests dur- ing a "life chain" in the Diocese of Gary, IN. But few people protest other causes of death -- oppres- sion, war, poverty. ample. There arises the feeling that politi- cal, economic or personal considerations far outweigh human rights or life in all areas. (Ft. David Flusche writes fimn New Subiaco at ,yO gain, discomfo~% abstinence fi'om coffee a0d alcohol, and prenatal moodiness, as if, some how, it's his fault. At the same time, he is expected to be empathetic and nurtm-haff Wwes feed into this guilt by exaggeOt" ing nptoms and saying things like, '1 hate my body," and "Oh, how I'd love to have di'ink light now." Naturally, he's going to feel guilty because he doesn't have these restrictions. Some fathers deal well with these feel" ings, others don't. They come to resent #e baby before it even arrives. And when it does arl-ive and the new mother's thne and attention is ahnost totally focused on tlae baby, his worst fears are realized. He's beefl replaced. Men who handle this difficult transitiorl well tend to recognize it ,as temporary and are willing to give up control. Loss of coil" trol is their most basic fear. Men like to be in control of their lives and when this coO" trol is threatened, they react. They doo't have control over their pregnant wife'S moods, over their child's gender and healtla, or over the sleeping patterns of the neW" born. This loss of control can be terribly tmset" tling for the new dad, especially one wb0 has engineered a life in which he and work are cenual. But once life settles into a routine, husbands find that they essential to their wives' well-being again. It s just a matter of patience and support. 1991 Alt Co.