more news from the anti-birth control movement

I am baffled BY THESE FOLKS.

Absolutely baffled.

They need to get more familiar with this VERY FASCINATING EVANGELICAL PREACHER who goes all over the country preaching that conservative Christian couples should be having hotter sex.

I assume he thinks birth control is part of that picture.


Sarada said...

I dunno, this (http://catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0109.html)
very facinating Pope preached that married couples should be having more and better sex. I'm pretty sure he didn't mean for them to use birth control.

Anonymous said...

So does the Pope think married couples should completely stop having sex when they have all the children they can afford? Should married couples who do not want children at all be allowed to have sex according to the Pope?

I am happily married but do not want children for some very good reasons. So am I allowed to have sex with my husband, whom I love, according to your Pope? Or am I denied this gift that people who want children get to have?

jon said...

I'm pretty sure the Catholic church preaches that sex is for procreation only. Um, but now that I think about it, Vatican II might have changed that somewhat (I think towards the so-called "rhythm method").

Anyway, it's common knowledge that that Catholic church doesn't like birth control. What's weird is fundamentalists now joining forces with them, because taking away birth control is aligned with their stance on abstinence and abortion (seems like a stretch to me).

Sarada said...

Sorry, here is a smaller url for the link I posted previously.

Anon, I said "this Pope" not my Pope.

The Catholic church allows the use of natural family planning for serious reasons to space children. Rhythm was used back when the diaphram was new. Modern methods of NFP are as effective as hormonal methods, but don't protect against STDs.

I think the article is confusing because most of the people quoted are well known Catholic apologists. So while saying something like "contraception is the root of abortion" sounds weird, they're referencing a pretty common idea among Catholics. That would be that the acceptance of birth control among Christians ultimately led to the sexual revolution and acceptance of abortion.

According to Planned Parenthood, fifty percent of unplanned pregnancies happen while couples are using a birth control method. Some of those will lead to an abortion. The Catholic way of thinking is that if people were not having sex outside of marriage, there wouldn't be any more accidental pregnancies and therefore abortion rates would plummet.

The evangelicals are getting on board because hormonal methods work, in one manner, by thinning the uterine lining so that if an egg is fertilized, it can't implant. If you believe that life begins at conception, as many of these people do, then that constitutes an early abortion. That's the beef with Plan B, as well.

A little clearer now?

britney said...

Why are you baffled? Probably because you (and I) have lived our whole lives since the women's movement. Not everyone was so psyched to see women gain control over their own bodies (with the pill, initially). This next step toward banning contraception doesn't surprise me. Lotsa people aren't so happy with the current state of modern society (lack of clear black and white guidelines causes lots of ambiguity that many can't tolerate) and would much prefer a return to the days of men being in charge and women knowing their place (in the kitchen, barefoot, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Check and see what the Arthritis Foundation says about hotter sex.


Leslie said...


I can assure you that the Catholic Church does not teach that sex is only for procreation. :-) Sex is described in Humanae Vitae (that's the birth control encyclical) as both unitive and procreative.

Catholics are encouraged to prayerfully plan their families and to use Natural Family Planning to do so. It's pretty darn scientific these days. www.ccli.org is one website that explains it if anyone is interested.

The "contraceptive mentality" argument is one that most pro-life Catholics would be familiar with. Part of that is the idea that by separating sex from procreation we have created the expectation to a right to sex without babies. Since contraceptive methods so often fail (through user error and method failure), this leads to abortions by people who feel justifiably cheated because things did not work out the way they were supposed to. Presumably, at least some of these people might have refrained from sex if they were thinking a baby was a possibility.

I find it very interesting that evangelicals are starting to think this way. I somehow doubt it will really catch on with the majority of them.

Sarada said...

But these people aren't interested in banning birth control, they just don't want to use it themselves. The article was wrong in that respect. Between quoting Catholics and implying they were evangelicals and creating a movement that doesn't exist, I found it rather below par for the Chicago Tribune. There's a blog called Get Religion that does a good job critiquing shoddy coverage of religious issues.

I'm not sure I would agree that the world is less black and white now than it used to be. When my suggestion that it might not be wise to trample on the religious liberties of people is met with "Get with the program or move to Iran" then I think it has just moved to a different set of black and white views.

jon said...

Leslie -

Could those be the changes Vatican II made? Just curious.

dancedivam said...

Totally off the current subject, but Joe is a good friend of my parents. I'm so glad I didn't know what he was teaching them when they went to his marriage counseling/seminar weekend right before they got divorced.

I mean, I'm glad he's sending that message (haven't seen him in a while so I didn't know) but I don't want to know too much about my parents' sex life.

Sarada said...

Vatican II was a teaching council. It didn't change any doctrines. The Catholic Church taught prior to Vatican II that sex was both unitive and procreative.

Casti Connubii, an encyclical released in 1939 specifically mentions "mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love" as ends of marriage.

Conventional wisdom on Catholic teachings are usually wrong, and especially suspect if you hear it from a former Catholic. Well, wrong is probably too strong a word. But Catholic teaching is usually more nuanced, and therefore hard to distill in a few sentences or headlines.

jon said...

I bow to your knowledge of Catholicism.

And I agree that most of what's usually said against Catholicism is based on a misunderstanding of it.

Anonymous said...

Quote by Jon:

"And I agree that most of what's usually said against Catholicism is based on a misunderstanding of it."

Absolutely, Jon, and thank you for your fair-mindedness. I think a lot of people lose their sense of fairness and objectivity when talking about Catholics and what they perceive their beliefs to be. Many are woefully ignorant of Catholic beliefs and often use certain selected teachings (usually having something to do with sex)to make global statements about Catholics in general. It's true that Catholics have a lot to say about sex, but with 2,000 years of history behind them, they have a lot to say about other things too. It really isn't all sex all the time.:)

I think it was telling that the blogger who was quoting Janet Smith, who really has studied the body of Catholic teaching about the sanctity of the body and the beauty of married love (although she could be criticized for idealizing things too much), was written off as a "cretin" basically because she has the gall to disagree with him. In many peoples' minds Catholic = stupid, moronic, backward, naive, you fill in the blank with other slurs you've more than likely heard from those who pose as sophisticated, intelligent people. I've heard my share of them being a cradle Catholic myself. I'm not saying that "cretins" don't exist in the Catholic Church or in "evangelical (whatever flavor that is)" circles, but that label doesn't apply to everyone in those camps. I guess my point is, if you disagree, disagree intelligently and without slinging a bunch of excrement to prove your point.

Stereotypes are easy to laugh at and ridicule, but once you meet the real people who really love the Catholic Church and you get to know them, writing them off as ignorant zombies who can't make decisions for themselves becomes less of a temptation I think.

For those of the secular mindset, I can completely understand why they would disagree or not understand why anyone would not want to use birth control. I think a lot of women (and men) have been burned in relationships and I sense that they look to birth control to somehow equalize the "battle of the sexes". Maybe, maybe not. But I am a little puzzled, though, that there is the perception that there is some mass conspiracy going on with the "anti-birth control movement" to rid the world of all forms of contraception in our time. That's kind of a strange way to spend one's day, if you'll pardon me for chuckling a little bit.

What would really be nice would to be able to come up with ways to free us all from the need to use birth control as a sort of defense mechanism from situations/people we perceive as being a threat to our well-being. If we could solve the problems that caused us to turn to birth control as one way to solve the inequities in the world, we'd have Heaven on Earth. I think that is what the Catholic Church is challenging people to do even though that task is more than likely not humanly possible.

My 2 cents worth,

Anonymous said...

I totally get what they are saying is the same mentality that leads to abortion ie that children are an impediment to be avoided got its root with contraceptives. BUT they make a humongous jump in black and white thinking by seeing this as all or nothing. either you have sex and if babies happen they happen (note most of these people have huge families. this is NOT for everyone, even most people) or you believe that anyone who wants to have sex should have it even if it is grossly irresponsible due to their life situations.
look up "full quiver" on the internet for more on this mindset.
they're right up there in my book with "attachment parents' for people who give others the message that whatever it is you are doing in the parental department it isnt quite good enough unless you agree with them.

Sarada said...

Anon posting at 8 pm, you aren't really clear who it is that you are speaking about. Quiverfull or providentialistism is a protestant movement. Like all things protestant, it varies by the individual, but usually feels that any sort of family planning is against God's will.

Catholics, as has already been said in the comments, feel that contraception is not to be used. However, child spacing is permitted for serious reasons prayerfully discerned, through the use of natural family planning. They don't feel that a couple would automatically have a large family any more than they feel you should automatically have two children.

Do all of you anonymous posters realize that you can just pick a name to attach to your post? Heck, just put Anon A and Anon B. It is easier in responding if you can differentiate between writers.

Leslie said...


Don't think there is any need for me to respond. I agree with everything said (very well!) by sarada and Margaret. :-)


Anonymous said...

okay I can see your point here. I can totally see dismissing certain forms of birth control as morally wrong (even before I was a christian I just could not believe that tampering with ones hormones was a good thing...now that I am approaching menopause and the whole HRT thing its come up again) that isnt the issue. in a way I think the catholic view then is more realistic. the full quiver thing is very deterministic. ANYTHING...including NFP is seen as 'controlling" something only God should control. what these people miss is that every day we make deterministic decisions that affect the outcome of things. that is not usurping "Gods will". part of the mystery of God is that somehow our actions and Gods interplay in a way we do not know. furthermore I dont think that God is as concerned about a lot of the non sin issues that a lot of christians agonize over as being "Gods will": (as in "should I go to school A or school B). the number of children would seem to be one of those when one is depending on what the motive is. as far as the catholic/protestant thing other than the pre vatican two throwbacks most catholic families I know dont have any more kids than anyone else...or if so its only a few more, say four or five instead of two or three. the ultralarge "litters" seem to be almost exclusively fringe-y protestants in the "full quiver" movement. I have absolutely NO respect for those people. their theology is flawed and it has lead to tragedy (as in Andrea Yates)

Sarada said...

as far as the catholic/protestant thing other than the pre vatican two throwbacks most catholic families I know dont have any more kids than anyone else...or if so its only a few more, say four or five instead of two or three.

True, you've got me there. :) It is easy to say "Catholics believe thus" because they have a Church structure with a set authority and it is all written down. But the Church in the pews is often different. I think that the standard statistic is that only 10% of Catholics agree with the church's stance on birth control. Although it is worth pointing out that as many Catholics as there are in America, ten percent would still mean more people than there are, say, Presbyterians. My feeling is that the number who agree is rising at the moment, and probably will for several years, but I doubt it will ever become a majority.