Skip to comments.Our Gravest Moral Responsibility: Convert the Contraception Mentality
Posted on 06/09/2010 6:54:27 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
Our Gravest Moral Responsibility
To Convert the Contraception Mentality
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
It must seem strange to call anything our gravest moral responsibility. There are so many moral problems in the world today. How can any one of them pose our gravest responsibility. But so it is. In my judgment, the contraception mentality is the single deepest issue facing Western society.
I call it the contraception mentality. But we could just as well call it the contraception ideology. It was centuries in the making. It is devastating in its consequences. And it is at the root of the massive assault on the human family. Nothing less is at stake than the survival of Western, and with emphasis, American society.
The contraceptive mentality is the philosophy which claims that contraception is not morally wrong. It can even be morally good, for the welfare of those who practice contraception and for the welfare of the human race.
Immediately we must distinguish between two classes of people who defend contraception: the non-Christian world that has not been touched by the moral principles of historic Christianity, and those who profess to be Christians yet find nothing objectively wrong in the practice of contraception.
The Non-Christian World. Contrary to public opinion, contraception is not a modern innovation. It was practiced since the dawn of recorded history.
A single listing of books and monographs in Himes Medical History of Contraception gives over twelve hundred titles of scholarly works in English and German alone, excluding a dozen bibliographies of bibliographies on contraceptive customs through the ages.
As you study this phenomenon, one thing becomes clear. No doubt the practice of contraception is as old as the human race. But only within the last century do we find any organized, planned effort to, quotes, help the masses to acquire a knowledge of contraception. This development of whole nations into contraceptive cultures is one of the achievements of the communications media.
It was the rise of the Christian religion that gave the first large-scale impetus to checking a practice that historians show has been universal when, where, and insofar as the basic principles of Christian morality were inoperative.
Conversely the pressure of a strong Christian witness since the earliest times, served as a brake on what the Ephesian gynecologist Soranos (A.D. 98-138), who also approved abortion, considered a general custom among the Mediterranean people of his day. He gave no less than seventeen medically approved methods of contraception (atokion - motherlessness). His argument was that it is safer for the mother to prevent conception from taking place than to destroy, what was called the fetus, already conceived.
As long as Christian moral principles were still respected, contraception was not only frowned upon, but even forbidden by the civil. This was the case in the United States.
The best known person associated with anticonceptionist legislation was Anthony Comstock (1844-1915), a Protestant social leader. As an active member of the Young Mens Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.), he secured New York State and Federal laws against obscene matter, and to this day his name is associated with the Comstock Law which the American Congress passed in 1873 forbidding the dissemination by mail of contraceptive information.
Up to ten years imprisonment was provided for violation of the section on mailing contraceptive devices or directives, with lesser penalties for other pro-contraceptive acts. As late as 1918, the Comstock Law was enforced against Margaret Sanger, the feminist crusader for the abolition of all restrictions against artificial birth control.
By the turn of the present century, the attitude began to change. In one country after another, the clandestine practice became public knowledge. The first international birth control congress was held in Paris in 1900. In 1901 the Malthusian League, with the avowed purpose of promoting contraception, was organized in Bohemia, followed by similar groups in Belgium (1906), Switzerland (1908), and Sweden (1911). In 1912, Dr. Abraham Jacobi, Jewish immigrant from Germany, became the first president of the American Medical Association to espouse contraception. He took the occasion of his inaugural address to make the break-through.
Christian Reaction. With the increased publicity and growing practice of contraception, the Christian churches were called upon to declare themselves.
The Catholic and Orthodox bodies came out strongly against artificial birth control. In 1930 Pope Pius XI published the encyclical on Christian marriage. He stated that those who interfere with normal conception are openly departing from the Christian teaching which has been handed down from the beginning.
Until the opening of the Second World War, the Orthodox position was also clearly prohibitive. It was assumed that contraception was wrong, and writers made only passing reference to the Eastern Christian tradition which universally reprobated the practice. Already at the Council of Nicea (325), men who sterilized themselves were not to be ordained, or if ordained and married, were to cease functioning as priests. Sts. John Chrysostom, Epiphanius, and Cyril of Alexandria among the Fathers of the Church were cited as witnesses to the Christian teaching.
Contraception was officially banned by Protestant Churches until the first quarter of the twentieth century. In 1920 the Lambeth Conference warned all Anglicans against the use of unnatural means of avoiding conception.
Ten years later, Lambeth changed its position to say that, If there is a good moral reason why the way of abstinence should not be followed, we cannot condemn the use of scientific methods for preventing conception which are thoughtfully and conscientiously adopted. By 1958 the Anglican Conference raised the practice of contraception to the dignity of Christian virtue since the number and frequency of children has been laid by God on the consciences of parents everywhere.
Summary Analysis. Already before the end of the second millennium, it is simply assumed in much of the modern world that contraception is not only justified but actually prescribed by the moral law. The grounds for this widespread mentality, as we call it are mainly the professed priority of each persons conscience.
Conscience has been redefined to mean each persons own free will, independent of an objective divine law which teaches our minds what is morally right or wrong.
Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae identifies no less than nine devastating effects resulting from the contraceptive mentality.
I will simply identify these consequences without commenting:
Each one of these products of contraceptive ideology would be enough to explain what we see happening in the modern world. This ideology is a self-idolatry that should be called the New Paganism. The old paganism was polytheistic, a belief in many deities - gods and goddesses. The new paganism is monotheistic. There is faith in only one god but this god is the independent and autonomous Ego who is responsible to no one except Himself.
No wonder the so-called New Age movement is pervading countries like our own. At the core of the New Age is the Oriental non-Christian belief that there is only one deity, called Brahman. What we call the soul, these Orientals call Atman, the Self. Our destiny after many reincarnations is to discover that Atman is Brahman. This is Nirvana.
The Title of this talk is, Our Gravest Moral Responsibility is to Convert the Contraceptive Mentality.
This is not symbolic language. It is stark reality. We Catholics are in possession of the fulness of truth. Truth, we know is conformity of the mind with reality. The millions of our contemporaries who believe in contraception are living in a dream world of unreality.
This dream world is being fostered by the modern media of communication, which Marshall McLuen correctly said, are engaged in a Luciferian conspiracy against the truth.
For five years, I was on the faculty of a state university, teaching Catholic theology. When I finished my tenure I published a book, entitled, The Hungry Generation. The more than 2,000 students, mainly non-Catholic and even non-Christian, taught me something I want to share with you.
The people of our country are starving for the truth. They are hungering for the only food that can nourish the human mind, which is the truth.
Over the years, I have defined peace of mind as the experience of knowing the truth.
On these premises, we see that the contraceptive mentality is only tragic symptoms of a deeper malady - which is starvation for the truth.
What is our Catholic responsibility? It is painfully obvious.
The contraceptive mentality is a challenge to our zeal to re-evangelize a paganized America. Christ will use us as channels of His grace in this massive task of conversion on one condition: that we are willing to live a martyrs life and, if need be, die a martyrs death for the salvation of our beloved country; salvation in time and a heavenly eternity. Amen.
I just skimmed this but came away with the understanding that the author feels that Christians should not practice contraception.
I beg to differ. If one has decided that parenthood is not for him or her, what sin is it to make sure that doesn’t happen?
“If one has decided that parenthood is not for him or her, what sin is it to make sure that doesnt happen?”
Where in the world did you ever get the idea that you had the right to decide how many children to have?
One does not have to be Catholic to see the horror in birth control pills. The are not contraceptive at all. They do not prevent fertilisation. We mourn the tens of millions of abortions in the last 40 years, what of the billions of souls denied their lives because the pill prevented a fertilised ova attaching to the uterus. Human lives literally flushed down the toilet. Lord have mercy on us.
I’ll agree that hormonal contraception is anti-Christian. After all they are all abortificients.
However, rhythm or barrier methods are perfectly OK.
As long as sex is restricted to within marriage there are no biblical commands that every conjugal event must end up in a child.
Would you give those of us who had vasectomies a pass?
Until the 1930s, every Christian denomination opposed means of induced sterility.
Because "artificial contraception" is really chemically induced sterility, analogous to "binging and purging." Both acts represent a perversion of a natural act, because in both cases, the pleasurable aspect of the act was designed by God as an integral aspect of the act, designed to bring about the object of the act (nutrition or reproduction in the two cases). Simply stated, no one would engage in intercourse if it wasn't pleasurable. To accept the pleasure of the act while rejecting its overarching purpose is to reject the ordaining will of God.
This is the reason why God severely punished Onan in the Bible.
I am not in a position to give anyone a pass .Personally I do not consider the prevention of fertilisation a sin. If you snatch your daughter from the back seat of a steamy hot rod you are doing the same thing. Flame away.
I'll take my chances, sir.
You do understand that being the OLDPossum, all of this is in the past?
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. 21 Woe to you that rue wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits. [Of late, that's been my favorite Bible passage.]
That's why guys love contraception.
(Ever notice that its not the guys' bodies being polluted with these deadly human pesticides?)
Deadly not just to the babies, but the women - and the women are so blasted brainwashed they don't want to believe it.
Her only risk factor? Low dose oral contraceptives. She had a clot and died in her sleep.
Her husband and two young children are devastated. The four year old dialed 911, then my patient's number. His mom had just taught him the phone numbers the day before she died.
When I call hormonal contraceptives human pesticides, I don't just mean it figuratively.
Honestly, you hear the warnings on the ads and wonder why anyone would take the risk, let alone the class action law suits currently going on. Sit among women at a party and you find out how brainwashed they really are. Willful ignorance.
You are correct. They prevent OVULATION which in turn makes fertilization very difficult to achieve. No egg...very lonely sperm.
Hmmm... Do they also teach that stealing is wrong? And murder? Should I be concerned that I believe the same things?
My point is that the argument against induced sterility is a purely natural law argument, and is accessible to all men.