The Pope, The Rabbi and Condoms

April 6, 2009

I rarely post an entire article on this blog but this article is worth reading. It was brought to my attention by someone in my homeschool support group. You can click on the title below to see the original article.

The Pope, The Rabbi and Condoms

DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER

During his recent African trip, Pope Benedict XVI said that the distribution of condoms would not resolve the AIDS problem.

The Pope has made it clear that abstinence is going to be the best way to fight AIDS. Google “Pope” and “condoms,” and you’ll never run out of reading material excoriating the man for his observation and opinion. Many health advocates have gone ballistic in their criticism of his comments. They feel it is one thing to promote abstinence as part of the Catholic religion, but that it is an entirely different thing to preach it to the world.

On a person-by-person basis, wearing a condom does, of course, offer some protection against contracting various venereal diseases and (of course) unwanted pregnancy. It is also true that condoms sometimes break, slip, or are put on incorrectly. Everything has its limitations…except abstinence.

I remember listening to a rabbi describing a situation that occurred to his kosher family. His 7 year old child was invited to a birthday party for a classmate at one of those fast-food hamburger establishments. When he came to pick up his child at the end of the party, one of the mothers — clearly annoyed — chastised him for the pain he caused his son. “All the children had hamburgers, chicken nuggets, french fries and dessert, and your little boy had to sit there and eat none of it. Imagine how terrible your son must have felt? How could you do this to him? Food is food. There is nothing sinful about food. What you are doing to him is just cruel.” Just about at the end of her tirade, his son bounded up to him, gave him a huge hug around the waist, and said “I had a great time. This was a fun party.”

The woman blanched and walked away. The rabbi followed her and gently told her the following: animals will eat whatever is around, even if it will make them unhealthy. Humans are to rise above animals and become masters of their urges. Imagine my son in a dorm room where harmful illicit drugs are being passed about. We already know that peer pressure and urges will not force him to relent and give in to the impulse. Learning at his early age to control impulse and desire is not a harmful trait — many times, it might be a life-saving one. Look at him. He enjoyed the company of your son and the rest of the children without giving up his values. He looks happy and satisfied. We really need to bring up our children to be masters of their instincts, not slaves to them, don’t you think?

The woman scowled, but listened to him.

Yes, in any one instance, a condom could protect, but in the overall scheme of humanity, why do so many people wish to push away the enormous protective power of moral values?

When the Pope suggests that human beings are best off saving their sexual passion for the stability of a covenant of marriage, he is making a statement that the act of sexuality is elevated by the context, and ultimately protects both man and woman from a myriad of hurtful consequences from venereal diseases to unwanted pregnancies (complete with abortions, abandonment, single-parenthood, and homelessness to name a few).

The naysayers all have one thing in common: they refuse to believe or accept that human beings can commit to a higher spiritual state of thought and behavior. The Pope believes in us more than that.

I am not Catholic, so this is no knee-jerk defense of my spiritual leader. The truth is that he is simply correct and too many people don’t want to hear it, because they want to live lives unfettered by rules. It is sad that they don’t realize that this makes them a slave to animal impulse versus a master of human potential.

The point Schlessinger makes is significant. It can be applied to all areas of our lives. Are we like animals, slaves to our impulses, fleshly cravings and appetites. Or, are we something more, created to be more–a people created in the image God and called to be slaves to Him and His righteousness?

So, what enslaves you? Are you a slave to people, your need to please others, your need for their respect and recognition. Or perhaps you’re a slave to money or to your appetite for sex, food or drink? The list of masters we may choose to serve is endless…St. Paul has this to say about our choice:

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when offer yourselves to someone (something) to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to one you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads righteousness? (Romans 6: 15-16)  

My prayer for today: Lord, by your grace, help me to be a slave to the obedience that comes by faith and leads to righteousness. Amen


My Story, Chapter 2.5 – Not My Will, But Yours Be Done

May 2, 2008

***

After about a week of studying the subject of artificial birth control (ABC) and why the Catholic Church teaches it’s not God’s will, I finally got up the nerve to share what I’d read with Scott. 

Why was I so hesitant about sharing with Scott? Well, tt had nothing to do with Catholicism and everything to do with:

1) The fact that the Holy Spirit was convicting my heart about my own use of artificial birth control. 

2) Scott had only recently come to terms of with some of his fears about being a father and having children.  How would he respond to my new found conviction that God’s plan for sex didn’t include ABC? I really couldn’t see him being open to these teachings on birth control.

 

Still, I couldn’t hide my heart from him. So, I told him about what I’d learn. I told him I was scared about what this might mean for us. Then I gave him a few articles to read, (which included Scripture verses on the subject and the writings of the Church Fathers) along with some other writings on the subject. I decided to leave Scott’s response in God’s hands. I figured that God has brought us together this far on our journey, He’d continue to lead us. Meanwhile I continued to study the subject and seek God’s will for us in this area of our life.

***

 

The more I studied the more God revealed to me the beauty of the Catholic Church’s teaching against artificial birth control. Instead of seeing it as some archaic doctrine or form of control the Church wanted to exact over the Body of Christ I saw it as a beautiful affirmation of who God created men and women to be. We’re created in His life-giving image. We’ve been give the awesome privilege of having bodies that participate and share in His life-giving love. 

The gift of sexual union between man and woman was well-thought out by our Creator. In God’s plan, through the sacredness of marriage and the marital union, two become one. Through cooperation with God and through the “life-giving” power of sex, this one flesh, made of two, can create a third being (not just a physical being but a spiritual being). It’s miraculous. It’s a mystery. Kind of like the Trinity–one God in three “persons.” Marriage and the life-giving power of sex are a glimpse of the mystery of the life-giving, selfless love of our Triune God.

Contraception, by it’s very definition, works “against” the pro-creative nature of our bodies. It opposes the life-giving nature of sex and marital love. Which means it’s in opposition to the life-giving image in which we’ve been made. Choosing not to contracept, to remain open to the pro-creative nature of sex, honors God, THE LIFE-GIVER, the image in which we’ve been created.

I thought a lot about this and then I thought about how our world, Satan and our flesh have grossly distorted and perverted the powerful gift of sex and it’s purposes. Instead of honoring all three of the God-given purposes for sex our world has exalts pleasure as the primary purpose of sex, denies that sex belongs within marriage, and it radically opposes the pro-creative and life-giving nature of our bodies. Like a lot of Christians I’d unknowingly bought into that opposition. I believed that it was my right to alter my fertility and the God-given purposes of sex according to my will, my plans, my desires.

I soon realized that what this boiled down to for me was whether I was going to conform to the image of the world or have my thinking about sex, children and my fertility as well as my actions transformed by God.  It didn’t take long for me to come to the conclusion that I could no longer, in good conscience, use artificial birth control. 

You must remember that I wasn’t Catholic. This was not something I felt guilty about because of some man-made rule or law of some Church. I saw the truth and beauty of this doctrine and I couldn’t ignore it. It was obvious that this teaching was based on love–the love of God for us, our love for God, love for the natural order of His creation, love of neighbor and self, and love of marriage and family. This of course made me wonder, what other doctrines of the Catholic faith had I misunderstood? Could it be that the doctrines of the Catholic Church that I saw as legalistic and controlling were just misunderstood and in actuality were rooted in love just like this one? Those were questions I would have to answer later. At that moment I knew what I had to do. The question on my mind was, “How would Scott feel about this? ”

***

 

I have to admit that this whole thing made me shake my head. Only a week before I’d told my parents “not my body.” And now here I was ready to announce to my husband that I didn’t want to use artificial birth control. I gave Scott a couple of days to digest the material he was reading and then sat down for a heart to heart. Given the fears of fatherhood that he had to overcome before having Claire I fully expected him to have some real problems with this teaching. So you can imagine my surprise when he said that he couldn’t argue with what he read, that “it made sense.” I was floored! It was one of those moments when you just know that God had moved. Anyone who knew Scott and “his story” would have never believed his quick assent and response. But, he too couldn’t deny the logic, cohesiveness and Godliness of this teaching. It had God’s fingerprints all over it.

So we made the decision to stop using artificial birth control. Because we had a five month old baby we chose to rely on Natural Family Planning until we were ready to have another little one. This decision was not made without some fear or concerns about God’s plan for our family. It was a decision made despite our fears. We knew it was God’s will for us and so we took a step of faith. At the time I was taking a birth control pill that had to be taken at the same time everyday. My stop watch would go off every day at noon to remind me to take it. When we stopped using ABC I left the alarm set on my watch so that it would still go off each day. But whenever the alarm went off instead of taking the pill I let it be a reminder to pray. Each day I prayed the words Jesus prayed when he submitted his will to Father, “not my will but yours be done.” I’m still praying those words regarding our family and its growth.

***

 

I said in my last installment of this story that at that time this was not a “Catholic” issue for us. And it wasn’t. We didn’t stop using ABC because the Church told us to. We stopped because the Catholic Church had preserved the teaching and truth of the Christian faith on this matter and the Holy Spirit convicted us of this truth. Had I never become Catholic I’d still believe that God’s plan for marriage and His creation does not inlcude ABC. In my studies I was surprised to learn that there are some Protestant sects and invidividuals that stand in agreement with the Catholic Church on this subject. But, their numbers are few. If you’re interested in learning more on the subject there are many resources available. Here are a couple:

 Christopher West and Theology of the Body articles and books

Life Giving Love by Kimberly Hahn

Natural Family Plannning

 ***

God sure has a sense of humor. We weren’t even Catholic and here we were choosing to follow what many Catholic couples find to be one of the toughest teachings of the Church. It was only fitting that what He had in store for us next would make us laugh and shake our heads once again…


My Story, Chapter 2.4 – Why not?

May 1, 2008

[This is the next installment in “My Story.” To catch up see “My Story” page.]

***

I accessed a number of articles on the internet regarding the subject of artificial birth control (ABC). I discovered that many of the the reasons why the Catholic Church believes that ABC is against God’s plan for us can be linked to this observation: Artifical birth control goes against natural law or rather against the God-given nature of our bodies and God’s purposes for sex. Here are two points made in the articles I read:

1) Fertility is the natural state of a healthy body. It’s not an illness or disorder for which you need to take a pill or alter the functioning of your body with chemicals, physical devices or through surgery. [The Bible makes it clear that fertility is a gift not a curse.] 

2) The sexual relationship between husband and wife has three natural purposes: Pro-creation,  marital unity/bonding, and pleasure.

Part of the Catholic position on artificial birth control is based on this proposition: When you intentionally deny and do not respect these natural purposes of sex you distort the God-given and natural purpose of the sexual relationship between husband and wife and do harm to marriages, families and ultimately society.

***

This discussion of natural law and the natural purposes of sex intrigued me. One article I read offered an analogy that really made me think. Here’s my summary of that analogy:

 

If I were to ask “why do we need to eat?” The number one reason given would be for nutrition and sustenance. It’s a law of nature that our bodies  must take in calories in order to survive. Now as someone who enjoys good food my next answer would immediately be because food tastes good. Pleasure is indeed a natural part of eating (unless of course, we’re talking about Brussels sprouts!).

 

There are natural, God-given reasons for eating. So, what do we call it when we distort or try to deny the natural purposes and consequences of eating? For example:

  • What’s it called when someone who wants to enjoy food but deny their body the natural consequences of the calories they just took in by binging and purging? It’s called bulemia and it’s known as an eating “disorder.”
  • What’s it called when someone denies the body’s natural need for calories by not eating enough food in order to be thin? It’s called anorexia. It too is known as an eating “disorder.”
  • Finally, what’s it called when someone takes in more calories than necessary by elevating the pleasure of eating above the natural limited number of calories needed in order to be healthy? It’s called gluttony and it too is “disordered” in relation to our nature and God’s purposes for our bodies. 

 

*** 

 

I could see where this analogy was heading and it scared me because it started to make sense. And it begs the question: What happens when we distort the God-given purposes of sex? What does this disorder or distortion look like?

 

When it comes to certain distortions or disorders with respect to sex there is one that most Christians can agree upon: Illicit sexual relationships outside of the covenant of marriage. Illicit relationships obviously deny or distort the unifying nature of the marital sexual relationship. It is safe to say that of the three natural purposes of sex, the illicit sexual relationship is most often for the sake of pleasure (emotional and physical).  This, we know, is out of order from God’s plan for sex, our bodies and our relationships. 

 

Most Christians, Protestants and Catholics alike, see the damage done to individuals, families and society as a result of this disordered use of sex when it occurs between two people who aren’t married to one another (think broken families, children born to single moms and raised without a father, promiscuity, STDs, abortion, etc.).

 

Protestants and Catholics also agree that sexual behavior between two people of the same sex is a distortion of the natural, God-given purposes of sex. It’s obvious that homosexual behavior inherently denies the union of marriage between a man and woman and the pro-creative nature of sex which leaves pleasure to be exalted as the primary purpose of sexual behavior.

 

In addition, many Christians and non-Christians alike are appalled by other cultures that perform procedures known as “female circumcision” in which the woman’s body is surgically altered so she can’t experience any pleasure during sex. Why? Obviously because of the inhumanity of this act, the pain and harm it does to the women. But at the root of this is the fact that this too goes against the God-given nature of our bodies. It goes against the natural law of things. God created our bodies in such a way that pleasure is to be part of the sexual union between a man and woman.

 

All of these distortions Christians can agree upon. However, what’s interesting is that there is one distortion of the God-given purposes for sex that most Christians have come to accept. That distortion is with regard to the procreative nature of sex. Most Christians believe it’s perfectly acceptable to take the gift of sexual union and whenever they see fit artifically alter their bodies or the sex act itself so that the procreative nature of sex is rendered sterile.  

***

 

The question these articles asked was how is this any different than distorting one of the other natural purposes of sex? Aren’t all three God-given natural purposes for sex? We know that when we distort the  marital unifying nature of sex it leads to all kinds of problems. We also know that when we don’t respect the mutual gift of pleasure in marital sex there can be problems in the relationship. Wouldn’t it “naturally” follow that distorting the God given pro-creative nature of our bodies might cause some problems too.

 

At first glance most people don’t see the problems with artificial contraception. I sure didn’t. My thinking went something like this, “So, what if people want to avoid having a child, isn’t that their God-given right? Shouldn’t we be prudent and not have more children than we can “afford” (whether that means affording it financially or emotionally)?”  

 

The answer, according to the articles I read, was that people should use wisdom and prayer when growing their families. And if there is a need to avoid pregnancy then God has provided them with a reliable means of doing so, it’s called abstinence.

 

Interestingly one gentleman pointed out that the real motivation for ABC isn’t avoiding pregnancy. If the goal were to simply avoid pregnancy then the couple could avoid sexual intercourse during times of fertility and experience the bonding and pleasure of sex during natural times of infertility. But the real motivation behind ABC is to have sex whenever one wants it without the possible result of a pregnancy.

 

Instantly my mind argued that artificial birth control allows for the natural purpose of bonding in the marriage without worrying about becoming pregnant. But I quickly realized that distorting one purpose of sex for the sake of another is akin to saying God made a mistake when He gave us the gift of fertility and sex and we must rectify it by altering our bodies or the act of sex. But did God really make a mistake when He created our bodies and made us fertile?

 

The articles I read pointed out that abstinence can actually strengthen the bonds of marriage. The argument goes like this: When a couple wants to avoid a pregnancy and chooses abstinence and self-control during times of fertility, instead of ABC, their bond is strengthened because it requires open discussion, self-control and mutual respect. It requires a willingness to die to self for the sake and benefit of the family. If abstinence can strengthen the marital bond then it speaks volumes about the true purposes and motivations behind ABC and sterilization. Because there are other ways to strengthen the marital bond then ABC (including sterilization) isn’t about being able to have sex whenever one wants in order to strengthen the marital bond. Instead, ABC is about being able to have sex whenever one wants for the sake of pleasure.  That really made me think.

***

 

My mind was racing. The logic of this natural law argument was beginning to take hold in my heart and in my head. How could there not be a problem with artificial contraception?  It’s goes against the natural order, the gift of fertility and God’s intention for our bodies.  It literally requires some kind of distortion of our bodies (i.e. chemical, surgical, invasive implants) or the distortion of or interference with the act of sex in order to avoid the natural procreative consequences of sex.

 

I realized that contracepted sex is a lot like the disorder of bulemia. The bulemic wants to enjoy eating all of the food she can without experiencing the possible natural consequences of ingesting so many calories? Contracepted sex is really no different.  But how much more disordered is contracepted sex given the life-giving creative power of sex. The effects of disordered eating are obvious. Eating disorders, left untreated, can lead to death. So what are the consequences of distorting the pro-creative purpose of sex? 

 

Some might and have argued that ABC is actually a good thing for marriages. I sure thought so. But as these articles pointed out we really only have to look to the advent of the birth control pill and the coinciding sexual revolution to see one of the most obvious effects of ABC. 

 

One of the little discussed effects of birth control in marriage is the fact that sexual temperance or self-control is no longer necessary nor expected. This is true within marriage and outside of marriage. With the risk of an “unplanned or unwanted” pregnancy done a way with, pleasure is for the having whenever one wants. And often this happens at the expense of what one spouse might want or might need in the relationship (either emotionally or physcially). How often do we hear about women who feel sexually used even in their marriages because of their husband’s uncontrolled desires?  This speaks to the issue of respect and self-control. 

***

 

One article I read asked, “Is it any wonder that the message of abstinence and self-control is lost on this generation of youth?” Many adults want to make sure that teens have access to ABC because in they don’t believe that the youth can/will control themselves and abstain from sex. In our society, when it comes to sex, humans have been reduced to mere animals without the ability to reason and have self-control over their bodies. 

 

Now this may not be the case in Christian circles but as a single woman, I can remember on more than one occasion hearing single Christian men (and even some women) comment about how they couldn’t wait to marry and have sex whenever they wanted. It was as if the fruit of the spirit, self-control, was applicable to single men only or to married men who might be considering an adulterous affair.  Otherwise, all bets were off. These articles pointed out that ABC puts the desire for pleasure above the self-control necessary to abstain when a woman is fertile and a couple wants to avoid pregnancy.

 

Other points made in these articles about artificial birth control:

  • The fact that the pill and IUD can cause abortions.
  • The harmful effects of the pill on women’s bodies.
  • The way in which pregnancies and children are viewed and talked about (planned/unplanned, wanted/unwanted).  
  • The increased acceptance of abortion (especially after the advent of the pill). The motivation for which is not far removed from the reasons people are using artifical birth control [i.e.” no one is going to tell me what to do with my body,” financial security, career planning].

 

It was at this point that I turned off my computer. I turned it off and told God I didn’t want to know anymore. [As if turning the computer off would somehow make the truths I was reading go away and no longer be true.] It lasted for a day or two. I tried to avoid this topic but the Holy Spirit just wouldn’t let go of me on this one.

***

 

You may be wondering why I’m spending so much time on this topic in my story. There are several reasons:. Two of which I’ll share here:

1) I want my girls to have a record and understanding of this part of our journey. This is a huge topic and teaching and I want my girls to know their parents did not take it lightly. I also want them to seek to understand this teaching as they grow up. 

2) It was becoming clear to me that this was no longer a “Catholic” issue that I was studying. It wasn’t about whether the Catholic Church was right or wrong. And it wasn’t about whether some old celibate man in Rome was going to tell me what to do with my body. It became clear to me this was about knowing God’s will for my life, my body, my marriage and my family. It was about what the Holy Spirit was speaking to depths of my heart about God’s design for sex.

 

As it turns out I’d only just begun to understand why the Catholic Church was against ABC. The natural law argument and eating analogy showed me the disordered nature of using artificial birth control. To me this arugument was compelling in and of itself. But there was more to learn about the Biblical and theological truths as well as the beautiful affirmation of marriage and sex found in this teaching.

 

Although I was slowly giving mental assent to this teaching on artificial birth control my emotions were slow to catch up. If I truly accepted this teaching that meant there would be real change for my life and there was someone else involved in this decision too, Scott. And I had no idea how he would react to this information…

 

Coming soon…Scott’s reaction and where God would take us next on this journey.


My Story, Chapter 2.3 – Not my body

April 30, 2008

[I haven’t written an installment of My Story in a long time. Here’s the first of a couple I’ve had in the pipeline but hadn’t had time to finish…]

***

A week or so after my emotional after Mass reaction to our visit to the Catholic Church Scott and I attended one of the We Believe classes taught by the associate pastor, Fr. Palka. In this class Fr. Palka taught directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) paragraph by paragraph.

 

Now I know what some of my Protestant friends who read this might be saying to themselves. It probably sounds something like this:“Well, there you have it. That’s the problem with those Catholics. If they’d just study the Bible then they’d know they’re wrong. But no, they go and study some book written by men.” 

 

Believe me, that thought even crossed my mind. But the time I spent examining the doctrine of Sola Scriptura taught me something. I knew that the Catholic who studies the CCC is in many ways no different than the non-demoninational church member who sits underneath the teaching of their pastor or the Presbyterian who studies the Westminster Confession. That person is learning how that pastor or leaders of their church interpret the Bible and what that church believes about salvation, baptism, communion etc. 

 

In a real sense all of the pastor’s sermons make up his own little catechism that he uses to teach his church members how to interpret the Bible and what to believe on matters of faith and morals.  The Catholic who studies the CCC is learning how the Church interprets the Bible on such matters. One big difference of course is that the Catholic Church unabashedly tells it’s members that this is the teaching of Christ’s church and it’s not up for debate or personal interpretation and what one may think is God’s special revelation to them. This of course is based on it’s belief that God never intended for each individual to study the Bible alone and come up with their own personal theology or truth but instead desired for His Church to be the “pillar and foundation of truth” (I Timothy 3:15).  

 

With this in mind I came to class ready to hear (not necessarily agree with) what the Catholic Church taught from a Catholic priest who was teaching not his own personal interpretation of scripture but instead the official teaching of the Church. I was both curious and cautious in my approach to this class. I was genuinely interested in hearing answers about the Catholic faith but I found myself carefully scrutinizing everything this priest said. I’m a somewhat expressive person (don’t laugh too hard at the understatement Dad!).  I’ve been told that sometimes what I’m thinking is written all over my face. I have no doubt that Fr. Palka could see the scrutiny in my expressions. Especially when it came time for the week devoted soley to questions and answers.

***

The first class was rather benign in it’s subject matter. Nothing was addressed that was controversial or really any different than what I believed as a Protestant. It was the second class that ruffled more than a few of my feathers. Scott couldn’t attend this class because of work so I went with my parents. At one point the subject of birth control came up. Because it was outside the scope of the subject matter for that class Fr. Palka really didn’t fully address the topic. I’m not sure I heard much of the teaching after that point. All I could think about was how some old celibate man who lives in Italy is not going to tell me what I should do with my body.

 

I had no problem expressing this opinion to my parents once we were in the car and headed home. In retrospect my thoughts sounded a lot like the thoughts of all those pro-choice women who claim no one should tell a pregnant woman what to do with her body. But at the time, I didn’t have the knowledge or understanding to even make that connection. I just remember feeling like “how dare this Church or anyone think they could control this area of my life.” My parents were wise enough not to say anything except something about going home and studying the subject. 

 

I knew I wasn’t alone on my views on birth control. I could have polled any one of my married Protestant girlfirends and I guarantee they had used or were using some kind of birth control. It just wasn’t a question or issue for us and our Protestant faith. Afterall, it was my Protestant pastor who sat down during pre-marital counseling and awkwardly asked about our “family planning” measures (in others words, were we planning to use birth control for a while?). There was no discussion on the morality of this decision. It was a given that artificial (unnatural) birth control was an acceptable practice.  

 

So there I was, at a place where I’m questioning many of the assumptions I’d made about my faith over the years. The morality of birth control was one assumption I would have been fine with leaving alone. But once again the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me just accept what I’d been taught. So, I reluctantly studied this subject.

 

***

One of the first things I read really surprised me. It might surprise you too:

 

Up until 1930 when the Church of England held it’s Lambeth Conference, no organized Christian church had every formally permitted the use of unnatural methods of birth of control. In other words, up until this time the universal teaching among Christians had been that unnatural birth control was immoral and against the will of God.

 

That fact alone made me stop and wonder…How does a behavior go from being immoral to moral overnight?

Does this mean that for all those centuries Christians had been misled by the teaching against unnatural birth control and denied some right to control their bodies? Or, could it be that in 1930 the relativistic nature of the doctrine of Scripture Alone had finally had its impact on this moral issue? I’d seen the ramifications of “Scripture Alone” on doctrinal “truth” as it’s taught in different denominations. Was this just the logical extension of that doctrine applied to a moral issue?

 

After the decision at the Lambeth Conference it was only a matter of time before the acceptance of artificial birth control (ABC) became the norm for most Protestant churches.  In most churches today it’s just not an issue that is discussed.  Artifical birth control methods, including sterialization methods like vasectomies and tubal ligations, are all pretty much accepted.  The one church to hold on to the belief that these methods are not the will of God for men and women was the Catholic Church. But why?

 

Or, as I wanted to know, why not? Why not permit artificial contraception? What’s so wrong with it? Afterall, isn’t it my right and my husband’s right to control our family planning? What right does the Church have to try to tell us what we can and cannot do with our sex life? And hasn’t modern medicine given us great advances through artificial birth control and sterilization procedures?

 

In many ways I was ignorant. I’d never heard anyone in the Protestant churches I attended talk about the morality of birth control. And, while I’d always known the Catholic Church was against artificial birth control, I never knew why. All that was about to change.

 Tomorrow…The “why” behind the “not”