Our expert says:
For many people this would be a very touchy issue, and it goes well beyond the scope of ordinary psychiatry. But to me, when a religious leader chooses to impose rules that will be likely to cause psychological and physical harm, he makes it my business. Some would give precedence to religious tradition and the priest's commands, though I must admit I certainly would not do so.
I understand that some religions seem to have a psychologically weird fixation on fiercely encouraging their members to breed, as though it is morally wrong for someone who is physically capable of producing a child , not to do so, preferably within marriage, as often as possible. There may be many who would agree with that view. Personally, I consider it immoral in itself, especially as it ignores the individual human rights of the father and mother, and maybe even more importantly, ignores the human rights of the infant, who may necessarily be born with inevitable serious health problems, and/or into poverty and starvation, to live a short life filled with misery.
I find it hard to understand the position of this dictator-priest, which sounds so absolute. When he "told us we would not be allowed to get married if we weren't prepared to have children" does that mean that he would always refuse to marry a loving couple if one or both of them had health problems that meant they would be unable to conceive and have a child ? Does he believe that infertile people should not be allowed to get married in the church ? That doesn't sound very loving or spiritual.
Or does he mean that he refuses to marry couples who might be fertile but who, even for the most excellent reasons, do not wish to have children ? Does he see the purpose of marriage as simply a license to multiply, to generate infants, rather than as an encouragement to loving couples to remain loving through life, and to form a bond within which, if and when they choose, they will be able to be good parents ?
Your concerns seem sensitive and sensible. Your boyfriend's responses sound a bit immature. For the sake of your own mental health, and for the sake of the potential physical and mental health of any possible future children, I'd advise you to see a good lay counsellor / psychologist together, to fully explore all the relevant issues. An expert counsellor without their own prejudices or desires contaminating the availability to you of sound advice. Maybe you'd benefit from getting expert genetic counselling, if you so wish, as a skilled geneticist ( there may be some linked to your local medical school's pediatrics or gynae departments ) to assess the various factors that worry you, and more realistically assess them, and advise you accordingly.
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