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June 12, 2005

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J,

I am truly sad for you if the attitudes and opinions of a few dozen complete strangers commenting on two blogs on the Internet -- all of whom are a self-selected group who are not necessarily representative of the population at large, many of whom disagree with each other, some who have been cordial in their disagreements, fewer still at either extreme who have been especially shrill, none of whom has claimed to speak as an official teaching authority of the Church, and a uncertain number of whom across the spectrum of positions who are not Catholic -- concerning an issue that is not even an article of faith have "slammed the door on Catholicism" for you. Cyberspace tends to be a place where one can easily lose perspective of an issue such that all criticisms can too easily be taken as personal attacks, the more hurtful or stupid comments of a few can just as easily be imputed to the entire group or position they claim to represent, and our responses assume a tone that we would rarely take with someone we knew or whom we were addressing in a less impersonal medium. I can only urge everyone reading this comment, the author included, rise above such tendencies in the future.

I have closed the comments on this post after a mention of the long-term health effects of breastfeeding triggered a memorably splenetic reply. Diverging opinions are always welcome here; vitriol is not.

To the woman who wrote about leaving the Church: you're in my prayers. To anyone who is here after having bottle-fed a child: your perspective is welcome on my posts about breastfeeding. We now return to our regularly scheduled kids/books/food programming.

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