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Showing posts from May, 2012

Birth Control and Power Politics - The Reluctant Psychoanalyst Continues to try to Understand

The Jesuit Priest who is the President of the University where I work wants to align the University’s policies with Roman Catholic teachings and he is doing so by changing the health benefits of the employees of the University.In particular he intends, if Obama care doesn’t prevent him, to restrict employee’s use of their health benefits so that they cannot use them for birth control.This week, a group of faculty met with a member of the theology department to learn more about the church’s position on birth control.I found the conversation fascinating.
The faculty member from theology started the presentation by noting that the theology department is supportive of the president’s intent to align the functioning of the University with Catholic values as that is an important component of being a Jesuit Catholic University.She then went on to talk about the relatively recent history of the church’s position.
In the 1960s, Pope John XII convened Vatican Council II which reviewed the church’…

American Pastoral Redux - The Reluctant Psychoanalyst Ruminates:

A couple of weeks ago I posted about American Pastoral, Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel.I wanted to revisit it – I have been haunted by a passage that I hunted down.In it, The Swede, the All American protagonist, is remembering a series of brief essays that his daughter wrote when she was ten.The first question, “Why are we here?” she had answered by asking, “Why are apes here.”This did not please her teacher.Nor was the teacher pleased by the answer to the tenth question, “What is life.”Both The Swede and I found her answer, “Life is just a short period of time during which you are alive,” to be profound. I have always felt that I must accomplish something with my life.This has not always led me to engage in behavior that would eventuate in my doing that, but I have consistently expected that I would get there (such as watching sitcom reruns when I have work to do).I have also done things that do, in fact, lead in that direction.I have pursued a great deal of education, and…