Contraception

Up until 1930, all Christian churches rejected contraception. That changed with the Anglican church (hmm, the usual suspect it seems) allowed its use, and the rest followed. Since then, the Catholic Chuch has become the only church to still stand firm in its stance against contraception.So, what’s the big deal?It’s intersting to see that many young Protestant couples are now rejecting contraception, and rethinking its use and the meaning of sexuality.Being Frank had a post the other day, provocatively called The idiot’s guide to dumb sex. The poster’s point was that we human beings would do anything to get pleasure out of sex, even though it obviously goes against our best interests (acquring trans-generational side-effects, including “seriously increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, ovarian and other cancers, early onset dementia, and a multitude of other serious conditions”).Not to mention that contraception is harmful to marriage. It’s not hard to see how this might be, when you think about what contraception does; it allows on-demand sex. What this does is to reduce the spouse into an object to be used, rather than a person to be loved. Love gives, receives and reciprocates – and this is what love making should be, not “me”-centred taking. No wonder NFP couples stay together: “Two statistics tell the whole story: the divorce rate among couples who use NFP is under three percent, while the divorce rate among couples who use contraceptives is well over 50 percent.”Unfortunately, anything in this area – even among Catholics – is met with fierce opposition because it touches on what our friend Universal calls the “Pantology” (theology of the pants!). Alas, if only we could think with our pants on.

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5 thoughts on “Contraception”

  1. Paranoia Agent in the house and he is one horny man.

    That said, there is nothing wrong with thinking rationally and with reason. The only flaw is that humans are weak. They prefer to sway horns with a low profile than whats upstairs.

    In addition, if kids want to have sex thats their business, ya know honey bun?

    Yeh, you know.

  2. I was just listening to a talk on Mere Christianity today. Let me quote a bit from the famous book by C. S. Lewis:

    “Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from it: the old Christian rule is, “Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.” Now this is so difficult and so contrary to our instincts, that obviously either Christianity is wrong or our sexual instinct, as it now is, has gone wrong. One or the other. Of course, being a Christian, I think it is the instinct which has gone wrong.

    But I have other reasons for thinking so. The biological purpose of sex is children, just as the biological purpose of eating is to repair the body. Now if we eat whenever we feel inclined and just as much as we want, it is quite true that most of us will eat too much: but not terrifically too much. One man may eat enough for two, but he does not eat enough for ten. The appetite goes a little beyond its biological purpose, but not enormously. But if a healthy young man indulged his sexual appetite whenever he felt inclined, and if each act produced a baby, then in ten years he might easily populate a small village. This appetite is in ludicrous and preposterous excess of its function.

    Or take it another way. You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act-that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you came to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us?”

    I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty insightful… and funny :mrgreen: .

    And the funny thing too is that everyone knows deep in their heart when things aren’t quite right. That’s why the sexually licentious are often called “perverts” – perversion meaning to corrupt what is good. Insightful, really. For the same reason, people would snicker at any jokes with sexual overtones. So, I won’t bother putting forward rational “arguments” (save quoting others much more enlightened than yours truly) since, really, that’s not where the point of disagreement lies – it’s more the point of choice most of the time, I feel.

    PA, when you say that we are “weak”, I presume you’re saying that the thing itself is bad but it should be tolerated because of human fallibility – I think that’s pretty close to the truth. As G. K. Chesterton explains in Paradoxes of Christianity, there must be a knife to separate the act from the person:

    “Charity is a paradox, like modesty and courage. Stated baldly, charity certainly means one of two things–pardoning unpardonable acts, or loving unlovable people. But if we ask ourselves (as we did in the case of (pride) what a sensible pagan would feel about such a subject, we shall probably be beginning at the bottom of it. A sensible pagan would say that there were some people one could forgive, and some one couldn’t: a slave who stole wine could be laughed at; a slave who betrayed his benefactor could be killed, and cursed even after he was killed. In so far as the act was pardonable, the man was pardonable.

    That again is rational, and even refreshing; but it is a dilution. It leaves no place for a pure horror of injustice, such as that which is a great beauty in the innocent. And it leaves no place for a mere tenderness for men as men, such as is the whole fascination of the charitable. Christianity came in here as before. It came in startlingly with a sword, and clove one thing from another. It divided the crime from the criminal. The criminal we must forgive unto seventy times seven. The crime we must not forgive at all.

    It was not enough that slaves who stole wine inspired partly anger and partly kindness. We must be much more angry with theft than before, and yet much kinder to thieves than before. There was room for wrath and love to run wild. And the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.”

    So really, Christianity is a wild religion, a fighting religion. “Peace” is attained not through indifference to or elimination of desire but through an equilibrium of extremes. If it’s true of charity, it’s true of anything, since all is about charity in the end (“love, and do what you like”, says St. Augustine). The only reason we disagree with anything – take this “sex before marriage” issue for example – is because it’s against charity – and that equilibrium – in some way. It would do well for the society as a whole to maybe reflect on this a while… ya know. 😉

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