Great interview questions from Keri Lenartowick; highly long-winded answers from yours truly. One reasonably sensible part: Kerri asks about teaching millennials about NFP. My answer:
I think that people of that age are in the habit of questioning reality. When something is presented as true, they just automatically question whether it’s ‘really really true,’ or just ‘fake-true,’ so I think it’s very important to be very clear with people that this is not a trick – this is not some kind of illusion that we are talking about.
… It’s one thing to be a sucker if you’re sitting in a movie theater and you got tricked into thinking that that guy’s guts are getting pulled out or King Kong really is on the Empire State building or whatever, and then you realize, ‘oh that’s not really true, ha ha I got fooled,’ but if you’re a few years into your marriage and you realize, wow I got fooled – that is a whole other thing, and that is a really serious disturbance, especially when it’s being done in the name of religion. When people are presenting something as God’s teaching and it turns out not to be true, that’s incredibly damaging.
I would rather err on the side of scaring people a little bit, as long as you also present the beauty of it. I think that’s extremely important to present it as something that is hard but beautiful – and I think people are going to be up to that challenge, but people are not – and rightly so – going to be up to the challenge of being lied to and getting over it, because that’s too painful and humiliating and damaging.
I also make a comparison between “prosperity Gospel” Christians and NFP cheerleaders who promise sunshine and lollipops as your just and guaranteed reward for foregoing contraception — but I fail to come up with a snappy name. Anybody?
This was tons of fun to do, so I’m glad the’re rebroadcasting it. If you hear “Catholic radio” and think “borrrrrr-ing” then you need to listen to the live hour on WNGL. These guys are hilarious. There was shouting. Shouting about NFP.
The show I was on will air tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 7-8 a.m. CST and again at 9-10 p.m. CST. You can listen online here.
No paradoxes were created in the making of this interview, in which Jen Fulwiler of Conversion Diary speaks from the perspective of her past self. She introduces the interview this way:
Seven years ago, I found myself in a place of great upheaval. I was in the middle of a profound religious conversion and found myself in a no-man’s land, adrift from my old belief system, yet not fully integrated into my new one.
Now this is the part that makes me blush:
Around that time that I came across a small blog by this woman named Simcha. She was a brilliant, hilarious writer on par with the famous names of the secular world…yet she was religious, describing herself as a Hebrew Catholic since she comes from a family of Jewish coverts to Catholicism. Reading her blog never failed to brighten my day (usually by making me laugh until I gasped for air), and her writing transformed my view of everything from motherhood to what it means to have faith.
About once a week I would think, “This woman’s blog needs to be much, much bigger!” and “When is she going to write a book?!” Seven years later, I got my wish.
Tons of frank, funny (and really difficult!) questions from the point of view of someone who can’t imagine why you would go to all the trouble of charting and abstaining, especially when you might end up having — ugh — babies anyway. Check it out, if only to read the phrase “boinking machine” on a Catholic blog.
JoAnna Wahlund asked some killer questions. Here’s how the interview ends:
Are you and your family being pursued by albino monk assassins dispatched by the “NFP-Is-A-Heresy” Cabal?
Yeah, but I reminded them that self flagellation and the wearing of the cilice barely registers as suffering when you compare it with trying to figure out a postpartum chart. Ba bing!
So much fun. Click here to read the rest.
Great interview with Bonnie Engstrom of Ignitum Today is up today. An excerpt:
You talk a lot about how you and Damien have grown and overcome a lot of the struggles you had early on in your marriage. Was here a specific turning point for you? A moment where you said, “Aha! So this is what God wants me to do/say/understand!” If so, when was that moment, and what precipitated it?
No one specific moment, no. There were several “believe so that you may understand” moments, though — when we just decided we were going to grit our teeth and do our best to live with impossible situations . . . and then they cleared up in unexpected ways. It was a lot easier to see God’s gentleness and mercy after we had decided to bow to His law.
We also constantly work on making the shift from “my needs vs. your needs” to “what’s best for our marriage and family?”
I think that even when people do have startling, revolutionary epiphanies in their lives, they usually still have to follow up with a long, gradual process of putting that epiphany into practice.
Two quick things!
One, I just got through doing a live hour with the guys at Archangel Radio.
Honestly, I was a little nervous about doing an entire hour about my book, but it was actually wonderful to relax and have some space to really talk about things — about, for instance, how lucky I am to have a big family, but how foolish it is to think you know the state of someone’s soul based on their family size. These guys are a hoot,
and they asked really good questions.
If you missed it, they post the live hour segments on YouTube; my segment should be up at the end of the day.
Two, the intrepid Jennifer Fitz of Riparians at the Gate is giving away a copy of my book, which you obviously already own, but, as Jennifer says, “You’re allowed to enter and win for a friend instead. See? Thanksgiving present. Perfect.”
Okay, maybe, “intrepid” is not the right descriptor. Here is #4 of her “Seven Quick Takes” book giveaway post:
4. Here’s the scoop on the book, and why you need to reform your ways if you didn’t answer #2, 3, 3.5, or 3.75 correctly:
(A) You know how you hate NFP? You use it and all, or you would, but it’s maybe not the rapturous experience that you always dreamt of, when you first read the words “cervical mucus”? This book is about that. NFP Frustration.
(B) The book doesn’t talk about cervical mucus. It doesn’t have 10 Ways to Get a Better Temp Rise, Faster! Now! A Full 4/10ths of a Degree or Your Money Back!!
Most books are better if they don’t include that. –> Except if you’re trying to learn NFP. In which case the amusing way in which this contest is being run will help you with that.
(C) Every stupid thing about NFP ever. said. by some idiot who clearly has a Josephite marriage and prefers it that way (did Joseph? I’m skeptical.), REFUTED! Blammo! In YOUR PLACE crazy people. Done.
(D) Except charitably.
(E) Downright Theology of the Body, if you must know. Only, it’s not, “I drank the TOTB water, and now I drool unicorns and rainbows.” It’s more like: “Hey! TOTB Water! You can brew beer with that!”
(F) It’s a short book.
(G) There were points where I did not laugh out loud. I laughed so hard sound would not come out of my body. I would have rolled on the floor laughing, except that I was laughing too hard to fall out of my chair. I’m sure it was weird looking. There are certain chapters you might not want to read in public.
(H) We aren’t doing the whole alphabet.
(I) But I thought up another thing: This book is the perfect marriage book. So if you know somebody who’s married, or who is thinking of getting married, this would be a great gift. I’ve been married 47.5% of my life. I know what it takes. Simcha’s nailed it. On the head.
(J) It’s pronounced “Sim-ka”. Like the “ch” sound in “School”. Because Simka’s so chool.
(K) Yeah, I was saying it wrong too.
(L) I didn’t ask how to pronounce “Fisher”. We’re all just winging it on that one.
So there are — I was going to say three ways to enter, but there are actually three ways to enter just on her personal blog alone. You can also enter at Amazing Catechists, and she also talks a little bit on Patheos about how she read my book despite having just finished a 3.5 month-long exhaustive course on Catholic sex ed.
Thanks, Jennifer, for these great posts! Oh, and “Fisher” is pronounced “Potrzebie.” Hope that helps.
Brandon Vogt has delivered approximately eleventy million tons of helpful advice about writing and marketing, and he graciously put together this post about my book as part of his series of interviews with illustrious people, plus me.
In the interview, he gives me the chance to swat down a few myths about NFP, and to talk about why, if NFP is so effective, so many Catholic families have 15-passenger vans in their driveways. Check it out! Great questions.
And okay, color me easy to impress, but I just about died when I saw this graphic he cooked up:
Soon! Soon, I tell you! Any day now, the print book will be available for pre-order. In the mean time, I’m still all
I got interviewed by Brandon Vogt!!!! (Yeah, he made that graphic, too.)
I wrote this article about Dr. Paul Carpentier quite a while ago – glad they are running it for NFP awareness week! A great doctor and a good man.
Dr. Paul Carpentier, founder of In His Image Family Medicine in Gardner, Mass., said he doesn’t have an especially unusual mission.
“It’s just one of stewardship,” he said. “I intend to do the best I can with the skills God has given me, for the community that presents itself for care.” But something sets him apart.
On his website is this notice: “Please be advised that this practice does not provide abortions, sterilizations, contraceptives, artificial reproductive technologies or assisted suicide, nor do we refer for these services.”
“I’m not inflicting some kind of hardship on patients,” Carpentier told Our Sunday Visitor. These services are available everywhere, and Massachusetts health care covers most of them. When Carpentier tells his patients that he can’t perform certain practices because they are against his conscience, he said most people don’t object.
“In 23 years, I’ve only had two patients storm out,” he said. They were mothers who had taken the day off work to bring their daughters in for contraceptives. “I actually talked to the daughters,” he said. “I told the moms, ‘Talk to your daughters. They don’t want to be on the pill.’”