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A Look at Some Biblical Texts in Opposition to Contraception
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | April 17, 2013 | Msgr. Charles Pope

Posted on 04/18/2013 3:15:23 PM PDT by NYer

In the following post I seek to lay out a few of the biblical texts related to the Church teaching against contraception. This is not a post intended to give a full defense of the teaching against contraception. I have done that elsewhere, e.g. HERE & HERE & HERE

This post is intended only to set for the kind of biblical logic and background for the teaching which comes to us from antiquity. In fact, no Christian denomination prior to 1930 ever taught the contraception was anything but sinful. The first denomination to depart from this received teaching was the Anglicans, who at the 1930 Lambeth conference set aside more than 5000 years of Jewish and Christian wisdom and embraced the modern contraceptive notion that there is no necessary connection between procreation and sex. One by one the other Protestant denominations fell, such that today, only Catholic and Orthodox Christians, as well as some Orthodox Jews, are left holding the light of ancient antiquity.

These biblical texts display that ancient and beautiful light which reverences and rejoices in new human life, and with God seeks to diffuses this blessed gift far and wide. It is a light which sees human life as a blessing, not a burden, as full of hope, rather than simply being a hardship.

Some proponents of contraception declare that the Bible has little or nothing to say about contraception. And to some extent, they are right. Contraception just wasn’t part of the biblical worldview. People then, loved children, and wanted many. Barrenness was a curse. Fertility, pregnancy, and childbearing were some of life’s greatest blessings. Why would the Bible speak extensively about something that wasn’t even going on? In a certain sense, the Bible’s relative silence on this matter, should shame And startle us, showing how far we have departed from the Biblical norms, and worldview. To a large degree the texts that follow show us how steep has been our fall, and how deep the darkness has become.

Let us then looked at these lightsome texts that show for the biblical case against the contraceptive mentality. The texts are in bold black and italic, in my own comments are in plain red text.

Genesis 1:27-28 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.

And thus, having established marriage, God gives them their primary directive, “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it!” It is clear, the God loves human life, and is eager to see this first couple not merely replace themselves, but to multiply, yes, to fill the whole earth.

God is love, and seeks to share his love and diffuse it far and wide. God loves life, especially human life. Here then is a great testimony of the sacredness in the beauty of human life, in the God’s joy at the existence of every human person, and his eagerness to see human life growing and prospering.

It is true, that in biblical history, God will sometimes have to prune, and discipline the magnificent vine he has planted. But His most fundamental demeanor is for life and if he does punish or prune, it is only to foster better growth.

How different is God’s expressed mentality from our own modern mentality, which often sees human life as a problem, which frets over apparent overpopulation (a common modern myth we have discussed. More of that, here Are We Really Overpopulated?). How peevish, how small, and selfish we moderns have become, thinking that every new human life somehow gobbles up resources that I would rather have for myself. There’s little sense of God’s expansive providence or bounty. Having largely dismissed God for our culture, there is no one to trust. And thus we worry of our own resources.

Yes, we are very far from God’s hopeful and joyful proclamation to be fruitful and multiply. Everywhere birthrates are plummeting, our social networks are failing, economies are stagnating, and our selfishness turns back to bite us. To the modern contraceptive mentality God has one thing to say, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Fruitful, faithful and full families are the answer.

Exodus 23:25-26 Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.

Note that, listed among the top blessings of God, is the fruitful womb. Notice here that God ties it to the blessing of food and water and a fruitful land. We moderns tend to oppose these concepts. Thomas Malthus this and other Malthusian doomsayers have long predicted that we would not be able to produce enough food to feed an increasing population. Time and time again they have been proved wrong.

But note too, they do not have God in mind when they think this way. They think only of diminishing human capacities, but not of God. For a believer, the same God who produces the fruit of the womb, can also bring greater abundance to the land. What seculars separate God joins. God never fails, He sends life, he sends resources.

That there are famines in the land at all this due more to human greed and selfishness. There’s more than enough food in this world, food in abundance. Sadly, in this country we pay farmers not to plant since food is so abundant, it is cheap and has a low profit margin. In other parts of the world, where famines do sometimes occur, We have food to send them but, corruption and war make it difficult to get the food to them.

Deuteronomy 7:12-14 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb….You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young.

See that children in abundance are considered a great blessing from the Lord. Israel will be blessed more than any other nation with many, many children. How different this mentality is from the modern contraceptive age, anxious of of overpopulation even as we close schools see our populations age.

Psalm 127:3-5 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

Psalm 128:1-4 Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.

Again, something of a striking contrast to modern times is expressed in these Psalms. In the biblical world, children are very great blessing, they are to be desired in great numbers. Oh the blessing of a fruitful life! Oh, to have many children like arrows in a quiver, like fruitful olive plants around the table. The joy of new life in abundance. Such a blessing to be sought!

Compare this to the modern disdain, even scoffing and harsh criticism for any family that dares to have more than two children. Yes there is even a kind of dismay over how someone can possibly enjoy life with “so many children!

1 Chronicles 25:5 Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shubael and Jerimoth; Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti and Romamti-Ezer; Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir and Mahazioth. All these were sons of Heman the king’s seer. They were given him through the promises of God to exalt him. God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters.

1 Chronicles 26:4-5 Obed-Edom also had sons: Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, Sakar the fourth, Nethanel the fifth, Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh and Peullethai the eighth. For God had blessed Obed-Edom.

See in both these passages what a blessing it is considered for these two families to have so many children. One has 17 children, another 8. Apparently these ancient Jews never got the memo that these children are going to “be a burden and inhibit the enjoyment of life’s pleasures.” Many moderns would consider such a family size to be downright irresponsible. Thus what the Bible calls light, the modern world calls darkness, and what God calls blessed the world calls burdensome.

Hosea 9:10-17 When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved. Ephraim’s glory will fly away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception. Even if they rear children, I will bereave them of every one. Woe to them when I turn away from them! I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place. But Ephraim will bring out their children to the slayer.” What will you give them LORD? Give them wombs that miscarry and breasts that are dry. “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I loathed them there. Because of their sinful deeds…. Even if they bear children, I will slay their cherished offspring.” My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations.

Here is, our first dark passage. In effect, due to her infidelity of sleeping with other gods, Israel will lose for a time her fruitfulness. Embracing the darkness of idolatry and turning away from the light of God, Israel has sinned mightily, even going so far as to offer her children in sacrifice to the Canaanite gods.

If Israel will desecrate life and treat it as fodder for false gods, her punishment is that she will not be blessed with life at all. The punishment ancient Israel my have considered among the worst punishments of all, God decrees, namely, that at least for a time their wombs will be barren and their breasts dry.

And what of us, in the decadent West who have also turned to the dark side, offering our children, through abortion, in sacrifice to the false goddess of sex and the false god of greed. What of us who no longer love life?

In effect, God says fine, you will not have it. And thus, in many places the birth rates of some of the most decadent populations has gotten that they risk nonexistence. God’s message is clear, that we should love life, seek to foster its growth, and treat all human life as sacred.

Genesis 38:6-10 Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death. Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.” But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also.

The word “contraception,” is a modern word. The biblical word, and the word used by Christian antiquity to describe what we moderns call “contraception” is Onanism. The word comes from this passage wherein Onan “spills his seed on the ground” and God kills him for it.

Some argue it was the breaking of the Levirite Law that was wicked and thus God slew Onan. But if this is so, why were his brothers, who did the same not killed by God? Onan is uniquely killed by God for the unique thing he did, namely spilling his seed on the ground.

Further, death is not the prescribed penalty for breaking this Law (a custom really): For we read in Deuteronomy 25:5-10 of the true penalty for breaking this law: If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel. However, if a man does not want to marry his brother’s wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He will not fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to me.” Then the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, “I do not want to marry her,” his brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, “This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother’s family line.” That man’s line shall be known in Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled.

Hence the sin of Onan for which he is killed is not the non-observance of the Levirite duty, but of spilling his semen on the ground. Ancient moral manuals until 20th Century see the sin here for what it si and thus termed what we call today “contraception” as Onanism.

Luke 23:28-31 A large number of people followed him (on the way to Golgotha), including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then “ ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Here is a stunning passage where the Lord Jesus points to a time that would be so dark and miserable, that people would actually say “Blessed are the wombs that never bore, and the breast that never nursed.

While some argue that he was speaking of the events of 70 A.D., Scriptural texts which may have historical references, also point beyond themselves and the first Century. And the Lord’s words also prophetically describe our times, when so many say “Blessed are the wombs that are barren, that are sterilized, blessed are the breast that never nursed.”

The Lord is saying that times can get so dark that people actually think like this. So, welcome to the dark times of the 20th and 21st centuries where people are terrified of children, fear fertility, and call God’s greatest blessings a burden.

The Lord tells us to weep regarding times like these, times which get so dark that God’s blessings are perceived as burdens. Yes weep for times like these when contraception is held out as a virtue, when being against what God is for, is called good and responsible. Weep for yourselves says the Lord and weep for the few children you do have. For in sowing the wind, you are reaping the whirlwind.

The following texts all center on the use of the Greek word “Pharmakeia” which many (rightly argue) is associated with, among other things contraceptive and abortafacient drugs used among prostitutes and libertines in Greek culture. Hence in the passages that follow I indicate the Greek term in the body of the scriptural text and then comment on it below the three passages.

Galatians 5:19-20 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and sorcery ( φαρμακεία (pharmakeia); hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 9:20-21 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts (φαρμάκων (pharmakon)), their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Rev 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts (φαρμάκοις (pharmakois)), the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

In each of these texts the word φαρμακεία (pharmakeia) is used. It is from pharmakeuo (where we get the word pharmacy) meaning the use of medicines or potions, drugs or spells. Such drugs where often used by sorcerers to induce ecstatic states. But pharmakeia were also used by prostitutes and libertines to suppress fertility and to induce abortion.

Some will argue that pharmakoi can refer to a wide variety of things, and while many modern translators prefer to couch their use in witchcraft and magic arts, note that each time the reference to pharmakoi is made in the verses above, it is in a verse that also directly references sexual immorality. Hence the more ancient manner or seeing them as references to contraceptives and abortafacients seems more plausible.

Here then is a setting forth of the Biblical logic against contraception. We can see, in reading texts like these how 180 degrees out of phase the modern world is with the biblical wisdom, a wisdom that loves life and seeks this gift in abundance. We moderns, despite, or on account of our affluence, fear life, and see children as a threat to our enjoyment of “better things.” Perhaps it is best to end with the advice of the Lord, “Weep for yourselves and your (few) children.”

We are a sad and shrinking lot from any biblical perspective.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: birthcontrol; contraception; msgrcharlespope; naturallaw; prolife
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1 posted on 04/18/2013 3:15:23 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 04/18/2013 3:15:46 PM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: NYer
How peevish, how small, and selfish we moderns have become, thinking that every new human life somehow gobbles up resources that I would rather have for myself.

He's absolutely right about that. I feel it intensely when I'm expecting a baby myself ... that having a baby is an imposition on everyone else in the world, and they're all upset about it.

3 posted on 04/18/2013 3:20:07 PM PDT by Tax-chick (His mercy endures forever!)
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To: NYer

I think people would have a much different attitude towards children if common sense parenting and religious upbringing was the norm again. It’s hard to regard children as blessing when they are running in feral packs and shooting up each other and innocents that get in the way. It’s hard when you see the growing up without and self control and the parents do not discipline them at all but beg and trick and appease them into being maybe being tolerable for a few seconds until the ADD behavior kicks in and the next episode begins. It’s hard when they aren’t being instructed properly about God, and you know they aren’t because the parents aren’t acting like biblical parents and the kids are disrespectful to their parents and they are allowed to get away with it. When dad isn’t there. When dad and mom aren’t around.

I think if we were back to the way kids were raised, even just 60 years ago, we’d all be better off and we could see where people could begin to consider them as blessings. Many, many kids are out of control with no real correction by anyone. They are going to be tomorrow’s self-centered liberals, ie they will be everyone’s problems as they get older, and then hit legal adulthood.


4 posted on 04/18/2013 3:33:24 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: NYer

“One by one the other Protestant denominations fell, such that today, only Catholic and Orthodox Christians, as well as some Orthodox Jews, are left holding the light of ancient antiquity.”

I think at least some Orthodox say contraception within marriage is OK if they get permission. Amish still teach that BC within marriage is wrong to my understanding, maybe old order Mennonites too.

Freegards


5 posted on 04/18/2013 3:38:42 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: Tax-chick

Julian Simon and others have long argued that humans are the ultimate resource. Given our origins I think he’s right and history has proved as much.

That said, I don’t understand the Catholic prohibition on contraceptives. It’s not Biblical. Is it considered a revelation by God through a particular Pope?


6 posted on 04/18/2013 3:48:03 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Ransomed

Orthodox Jews have the nations highest birthdate , but some may practice contraception for medical reasons with permission .
Unfortunately the posting has some flaws . All the OT citations (other than the be fruitful and multiply ) are obligatory only on Jews. Hence it becomes easy for liberal church denominations to ignore them.


7 posted on 04/18/2013 3:51:22 PM PDT by hecht (america 9/11, Israel 24/7)
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To: NYer

So..... Hmmmmmm...

Where are all the Catolic families with12, 13, 14, 15, 16 kids, like my Amish neighbors?

Or the Gothard “quiver full movement”?

How is this teaching playing out in the lives of members?


8 posted on 04/18/2013 3:55:27 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international, gone independent. Gone.)
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To: Ransomed

There are several branches of reformed christians that reject bc.


9 posted on 04/18/2013 4:02:01 PM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: NYer

I LOVE Psalm 128.....makes me tear up.


10 posted on 04/18/2013 4:05:19 PM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion.....the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: hecht

Sorry, I should have said some ‘Orthodox Christians’ say bc is ok within marriage if they get permission from their priest. I was talking about the Orthodox Christians.

Freegards


11 posted on 04/18/2013 4:07:13 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: freedomfiter2

What are they? I have read several articles where individual evangelicals reject bc within marriage, I take it more and more are doing so.

Freegards


12 posted on 04/18/2013 4:08:43 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: 1010RD
It’s not Biblical.

Did you read the article?

Is it considered a revelation by God through a particular Pope?

It was the consistent teaching of all Christian Churches until the 1930s. The early Protestant Reformers believed contraception was worse than homosexual sodomy, precisely because it says (through action), "God got it wrong when He created human beings."

Homosexual activity is just gross, like screwing sheep, but contraception is a categorical rejection of God's design of man and woman.

13 posted on 04/18/2013 4:35:39 PM PDT by Tax-chick (His mercy endures forever!)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

The big families are in my parish. We’re considered the “small” family with ONLY six kids so far. Most of the families have 9-12+ kids.


14 posted on 04/18/2013 5:22:44 PM PDT by samiam1972 ("It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."-Mother Teresa)
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To: Tax-chick
contraception is a categorical rejection of God's design of man and woman

We're not just sex organs. God did give us brains and we have our free will.

15 posted on 04/18/2013 5:33:13 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: samiam1972

Glad to hear their is some congruence between what is taught and what is lived out.

As an aside, a friend who worked for an Amish farmer one summer, was riding back in a horse-drawn wagon after a hard day of work.
“Amos, how many kids do you have anyway?”
“12”
... pause...
“No, 13!”

True story.


16 posted on 04/18/2013 6:24:47 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international, gone independent. Gone.)
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To: NYer
Yay Msgr Pope!

And a memo to my pastor: We're ready for that anti-contraception sermon now...

17 posted on 04/18/2013 7:46:48 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Dies irae, Dies illa, / Solvet saeclum in favilla, / Teste David et Sybilla.)
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To: NYer

Great article. Thanks for posting it.


18 posted on 04/18/2013 7:57:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Ditto to my pastor too.


19 posted on 04/18/2013 8:00:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: 1010RD; Mrs. Don-o
We're not just sex organs.

That's right. We are distinctive as male and female in a wide variety of ways which are relevant to many aspects of life.

God did give us brains and we have our free will.

We can use our brains to discern that our created nature includes the fact that, by design, the "cause" of sexual intercourse produces the "effect" of new human beings. We can use our free will to reject that truth and engage in the "cause" behavior while acting to prevent the "effect."

In a similar way, we can engage in the "cause" behavior of eating, while rejecting the "effect" of nutrition, by vomiting the food. This is simple scientific observation, and even the ancient Greeks and Romans understood it. They also understood that a society collapses when enough people live "in the moment" of sexual pleasure while denying the future.

20 posted on 04/19/2013 3:27:59 AM PDT by Tax-chick (His mercy endures forever!)
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To: 1010RD; Tax-chick
I's relevant, though, that a healthy, normal, natural body is good in itself; and to choose against normal form and function is to choose against the good.

This is where contraception differs from ethical healthcare. The purpose of ethical healthcare is to restore health: "duh", you're thinking, but let me specify: to cure disease, to heal injury, to repair a defect or deformity, to strengthen weak or failing organs and systems, with a view to bring the body back towards full functionality.

That's what justifies drugs, devices, and surgery: the real definition of medicine as the "healing arts."

The purpose of contraception is obviously to temporarily or permanently destroy function. It is just as immoral as a non-medically-indicated removal or an eye or a nose, a castration, amputation, or female genital mutilation.

It shows a seriously perverse rejection of the human personal design --- it's "anti-humanistic" --- and, if you believe in God, also anti-divine.

21 posted on 04/19/2013 9:01:44 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (When you see a fork in the road, take it. - Yogi Berra)
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To: Tax-chick; Mrs. Don-o

So if I choose not to have sex on the six days or so that pregnancy can occur, am I practicing contraception?


22 posted on 04/20/2013 4:59:36 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD
No. By definition, contraception is engaging in sex while preventing conception.
23 posted on 04/20/2013 5:38:26 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I think amnesty is deader than a Chechen bomber." ~ LS)
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To: Tax-chick

Well, you’d be engaging in sex while preventing conception by avoiding the six day window, no?

I understand that you are defending a Catholic belief, but the majority of fertilized eggs don’t end up being babies in the first place. For my part it is more logical to believe that at implantation or the formation of the nervous system a baby becomes a living soul.

Having sex for reasons other than childbearing isn’t contrary to God’s plan. If it were we’d have a strict breeding season like animals, only we’re made in an outline of God.


24 posted on 04/20/2013 6:14:50 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD; Mrs. Don-o
No. You are not "preventing conception" by engaging in sex in the natural way, with no impediments. It's a simple matter of science ... which your speculations about how and when a conceived human being "becomes a living soul" are not.

Having sex for reasons other than childbearing isn’t contrary to God’s plan.

One's motives for engaging in sex are a separate issue from having sex while interfering with the potential for conception. However, it's interesting that just about all the differences between men and women are aspects of our capacity for motherhood and fatherhood. Not just "sex organs" at the most base level, but the entire reproductive systems, both in physical design and in chemistry. The entire endocrine system and all its functions, not only in conception and childbearing, but in long-term childrearing and family formation. Even our differences in size and strength are oriented toward our complementary roles as parents.

Our capacity for procreation is not simply a peripheral aspect of our human nature as male and female, it is central. This is only logical when we consider that God, in whose image we are created, is a community of three Persons, interacting profoundly in life-affirming love. One might even say that our capacity to "have sex" is the peripheral element, just one little thing in the big picture of participating in God's plan to fill the earth with living and loving beings in His image.

25 posted on 04/20/2013 6:27:00 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I think amnesty is deader than a Chechen bomber." ~ LS)
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To: 1010RD
"So if I choose not to have sex on the six days or so that pregnancy can occur, am I practicing contraception?"

No. Contraception = contracepted sex (a more accurate term.) Contraception is the choice of an act of sex which has been altered, spayed, disabled, changed or impaired in some way so that conception won't occur. You are not choosing any act of sex at all if you are abstaining for 6 days, therefore, you are not practicing contracepted sex.

Plus, you can;t reasonably say that abstinence is a form of contraception, because then all chaste abstinent persons (virgins, chaste widows, celibate nuns, monks, priests, the young and the elderly that are not sexually active, etc.) are are therefore contraceptors; which obviously they are not.

Here's an example which should make it clearer: in the 1960's there was a political/military crisis in what was then called the Belgian Congo, with a race war breaking out against whites. The militants employed rape against white women as well as other forms of violence.

There were some Catholic Medical Missionary nuns there who felt it would be wrong to abandon their sick patients at remote medical/clinical stations, but didn't want to get pregnant from rape. Therefore they were advised to wear diaphragms if their mission stations were overrun. Diaphragms are a kind of internal female contraceptive.

However, this was not the sin of contraception, since they weren't choosing any sex at all. Since they did not choose sex, therefore they did not choose contraceptive sex. And the (justifiable) purpose of the diaphragms was to defend against aggression --- the deposit of sperm in their reproductive system being an element of the aggression/invasion of their attackers.

In short: if you didn't chosen sex, you didn't chosen contraception.

26 posted on 04/20/2013 2:02:40 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (asdfgh)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I like your new tagline!


27 posted on 04/20/2013 3:27:22 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("I think amnesty is deader than a Chechen bomber." ~ LS)
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To: 1010RD; Tax-chick

Abstinence vs Contraception


"Well, you’d be engaging in sex while preventing conception by avoiding the six day window, no?"

No.

If you're avoiding sex, say, the first 6 days of May because you have reason to believe you're fertile, you're not engaging in a contracepted, impaired sex act.

If you ARE having sex on May 7-30 in the wife's natural infertile period, you're still not engaging in contraception, because you're practicing normal, natural sex.


Avoiding Pregnancy Can be Good


The moral objection to contraception is not because you're "not wanting babies" or "trying to avoid conception." It can be morally OK, it can even be morally obligatory to avoid conception under some circumstances. Female fertility cycles are intelligently designed to function in both ways: to achieve pregnancy or to avoid pregnancy. That's not a bug, it's a feature.

That could be the motto here: "Normal female sexuality is not a bug: it's a feature."

It's a GOOD thing. It's splendid, delightful, terribly clever. It's not a BAD thing. It's not a disease. It's not something that needs to be doctored, altered, or fixed.


Catholic belief and/or Natural Law?
I understand that you are defending a Catholic belief..."

OK, this is part of the Catholic ethic, but not in an exclusive or distinctive way. It's part of the "human" ethic. Not one Christian Church on earth approved of contraception before the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930, which broke what was then the solid consensus of worldwide Christianity.

Moreover, the objections to contraception come from both Biblical worldview and Natural Law. Anybody --- Christian or non-Christian, religious or non-religious --- should be able to see that the natural and logical consequence of contraception is the destruction of respect between men and women, the destruction of marriage as an institution, and the destruction of human societies. (The-thing-that-used-to-be-Europe will be gone in another generation.) It is so much more obvious now, than it was in Margaret Sanger's day 100 years ago.

Abortion acceptance results from from contraceptive acceptance. LGBT unnatural sex (for the 2%) is deemed acceptable because contracepted sex (for the 98%) is deemed acceptable.

(There's no reasonable way to be for contracepted sex but against sodomitic sex --- unless you really are just reacting on the basis of homophobic prejudice.)


Ripping Huge Chunks Out of a Finely Calibrated, Integrated System
Human sexuality is a synergistic whole, consisting of a brilliant and intricate design: male/female complementarity, affection, desire, satisfaction, fertility, bonding, union, commitment, fidelity, and the emergence of human civilization.

Sin (brokenness) enters in when we split this wholeness up into garbled fragments: gender here, generation there, affection over here, excitement over there. The most maiming split, is the split of fertility away from sexual union. Pretty near every other part of the deconstruction of sex--- I could say "decomposition" --- starts from that.


Eggs, Part I


"... but the majority of fertilized eggs don’t end up being babies in the first place."

We all know that. We passed our Sixth Grade Health class. :o)


Fertilized Eggs vs Babies, Part II


"For my part it is more logical to believe that at implantation or the formation of the nervous system a baby becomes a living soul."

Actually, for this discussion, it doesn't matter. The moral offensiveness of contraception is not because it is the rejection of the ensouled/embodied unborn person. (That's what abortion is.)

What contraception is, is the rejection of the ensouled/embodied female person. It's seeing women-as-we-are, as a problem. It's seeing real sexuality as being inherently defective, because pregnancy can occur. It's seeing a woman's unaltered body as a problem. One which can be "solved" by drugs, devices and surgery, which is to say, by disabling the very functions that make her, distinctively, a woman.

It says in a kind of Body English: "It's so aggravating that you're a whole, healthy and functional female. Grr. (Gnashing teeth.) I wish you were more like a boy. A boy with a vagina and tits."


Sex for Reasons Other Than Childbearing


"Having sex for reasons other than childbearing isn’t contrary to God’s plan."

Of course not. We're not planned for "just childbearing" in some animal-reductionist sense. We're planned so that love-giving and life-giving are intricately related. The Song of Solomon in particular focuses on the desire-longing-you're-wonderful-comfort-body-fulfillment-pleasure part. Childbearing while not mentioned, is never surgically excised or rejected either. Nobody in all Scripture ever puts his semen in a baggie, throws it away, and is called blessed!


How We're Made


"If it were we’d have a strict breeding season like animals, only we’re made in an outline of God."

Yes. Think of that. We're made in an outline of God. That means the way we're made is both Revelatory (shows us something about God) and Providential (it provides for our real needs, it shows us something about ourselves.)

If that's really true, then the human persons are not just meat bags. We are living Signs. Signs of God's Design.

Real human sex is about connecting and coupling. Contraception is about disconnecting and de-coupling. It's taking sex apart, removing some Godlike things about it, and then putting it back together with disabled functions, a chosen sabotage of the Design, and calling that good.

Contraception is not, by the way, immoral when practiced on animals as a legitimate part of Veterinary Medicine. There's nothing wrong with spaying and neutering pets and livestock, nor, conversely, of artificially inseminating and breeding pets and livestock.

The reason it's OK for Veterinary Medicine and Livestock Breeding is because it was never said that they are created in the Image and Likeness of God. Sex for them is "animal" but is not truly "personal".

But we are persons, divine images, and thus sacred. One of the implications of "sacred" is, "Do not sabotage. Do not disassemble. Something transcendent here.".

That is why we are not to mess with our own design. It's messing with the Image and Likeness of God. It's messing with the Designer.

28 posted on 04/20/2013 4:24:22 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("I give you thanks, O God, that I am fearfully, wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Since they did not choose sex, therefore they did not choose contraceptive sex.

Interesting. I had not heard of this situation in the Congo, although I remember reading about the horrible war there in Fr. Werenfried Van Straaten's book, among other sources.

When my violent and sarcastic daughter was researching the armed services, it was mentioned that young women often used hormonal medications to prevent periods while in situations where having periods would be really horrible. We discussed the difference between that and contraception, although ultimately she decided against this prescription because of the greater health risks, especially after she began smoking.

29 posted on 04/20/2013 4:54:49 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("I think amnesty is deader than a Chechen bomber." ~ LS)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

It almost seems as if you’ve incorporated some phrases and concepts from my self-absorbed rants of the past year ... or am I just flattering myself and you thought of it all when I was still in elementary school?


30 posted on 04/20/2013 5:00:07 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("I think amnesty is deader than a Chechen bomber." ~ LS)
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To: Tax-chick
Ummm... umm. I'd like to think that true things can just be observed by anybody who's paying attention. Whether you read it in the Bible or read it in your bones.

And: one reason I write so --- much -- is that sometimes I don't know what I think until I read what I wrote.

31 posted on 04/20/2013 5:23:08 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("I give you thanks, O God, that I am fearfully, wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Did you see this?

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/04/the-human-egg-rush


32 posted on 04/21/2013 4:16:56 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I think amnesty is deader than a Chechen bomber." ~ LS)
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To: Tax-chick
Now I did. Thanks, Tax-chick.

They'll take care of the more troubling aspects by removing human ovaries from trannies (who are glad to be rid of them!) and transplanting them into pigs, so they can get eggs with unparalleled efficiency and convenience; and if the pig dies you get pork chops on the side.

But, ruh-roh, what would PeTA say?

33 posted on 04/21/2013 8:47:40 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("I give you thanks, O God, that I am fearfully, wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works!)
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To: 1010RD

You are talking about Natural Family Planning which is endorsed by the Catholic Church. It’s not the OLD rhythm method, however.


34 posted on 04/21/2013 8:59:39 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Look at Some Biblical Texts in Opposition to Contraception
The Pope Was Right All Along (Pope Paul VI) Secular sources now agree with him!
'Humanae Vitae' author Pope Paul VI moves toward sainthood
How Protestants Learned to Love the Pill
A "Humane" Abortion
The Campaign for Humanae Vitae
Bachelorettes and Humanae Vitae
Contraceptives and the Environment - What the Pill Is Doing to Our Water Supply
Melinda Gates: I’m Catholic and contraception is not controversial
Catholics Urged to Imitate St. Thomas More in Contraception Battle
Essays for Lent: Contraception

The Differences the Pill has Made
Pastors Preach Against Contraception From Pulpit
Catholics and Contraception: Boston, 1965
Abortion, Contraception and the Church Fathers (Catholic teaching unchanged for 2000 yrs)
Contraception and Catholicism (What the Roman Catholic Church really teaches)
6 Reasons Why Contraception is Sinful and Contrary to God's Will
Time To Admit It: The Church Has Always Been Right On Birth Control
Paul VI: “danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities ...”
The Truth about The Church's Teaching about Contraception.
Letter from Archbishop John G. Vlazny on the matter of freedom of conscience and decisions by HHS
Bishop Olmsted's Letter to Catholics [Catholic Caucus]
Liberty for the Amish & Quakers but not Catholics. . .
Contraception mandate prompts Peoria bishop to instate St. Michael Prayer (Catholic Caucus)
Phoenix bishop (Olmstead): defy feds on birth control
A letter from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr concerning HHS edict
Speak honestly: abortion is ‘the killing of tiny human beings in the womb’ – Denver bishop
Bishop [Daniel Jenky] Blasts Secularist Intolerance, Calls For ‘Assertive Action’ to Defend Church
(Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik comments:) HHS delays rule on contraceptive coverage
Dolan: Natural law, not religious preference, dictates all life sacred
Religious leaders blast HHS over contraception mandate

Mandated Contraception, Sterilization: Caesar Demands Church Violate Conscience
OBAMA’S CONTEMPT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (mandates coverage of sterilization & contraception)
Obama Admin Decides to Require Religious Institutions to Cover Free Contraception
Jews and Evangelicals stand with Church against contraception mandate
Obama Supporters Worried He May Grant Contraception Exemptions to Catholic Hospitals
Catholic college sues HHS over contraception mandate
Children of the Reformation: A Short & Surprising History of Protestantism & Contraception
Implications of Obama Admin move to force Cath hospitals to provide contraception and sterilizations
Catholic doctors’ group launches petition against contraception mandate
Contraception mandate tramples religious freedom, US bishops say
Planned Parenthood Cuts Contraception, Not Abortion After De-Funding
Contraception underlying cause of breakdown of family, sexual morality, says expert
Contraception: The Reason Catholics Have Abandoned Confession
U.S. Bishops’ Publication Urges Priests to Preach on Contraception, Sterilization, IVF
Contraception: The Bitter Pill
Catholic Bishops Warn of ‘Civil Disobedience’ Over Contraceptives [Philippines]
Relationships Market After 50 Years of The Pill
Contraception: The Bacteria Devouring America’s Soul
Christians examine morality of birth control [Ecumenical/Orthodox Presbyterian]
The Cost of Contraception: Women's Health - Response to CNN

The Connection between Contraception and Abortion
Baby Bust: The Demographics of Global Depression
The Surest Sign of a Decadent Culture
Protestants and Birth Control
The Protest of a Protestant Minister Against Birth Control
Contraception: Why Not?
The Bible & Birth Control
Our Gravest Moral Responsibility: Convert the Contraception Mentality
Contraception and Conversion
Evangelical Leaders are Ok with Contraception
The pill and 50 years of misery [the pill kills!]
The dawn of demonic deception [the birth control pill]
Researcher finds strong link between contraception and HIV
The Birth-Control Riddle
Social Science Proves Humanae Vitae
"Contraception Is Wrong. Now Here's How You Use It . . ."
Suit claims birth control warning not enough
Natural and Unnatural (father of 5 shocks mother of 1)
Planned Parenthood Uses Teens to Distribute Injectable Birth Control in Rural Ecuador
Study: Low-Dose Birth Control Pills Decrease Bone Density in Young Women
Spanish drug agency confirms grave effects of morning-after pill

Another Woman Dies of Hormonal Contraceptive in Switzerland
Study Finds Half of Women on "Birth Control Shot" Suffer Bone Problems
The Re-Birth of Population Control: Human Life Seen as a Carbon roblem
Radio Replies First Volume - Birth Control
Abortion, birth control pill linked to breast cancer, surgeon says
God before contraception (Australia)
Fighting the 'contraceptive mentality'
Birth control pill creator regrets population decline
Polluted Water, Polluted Culture (one more consequence from contraception)
Abortifacients -- The Other Forbidden Grief
NFP and Contraception: What’s the Difference?
Wisconsin requiring Catholic institutions to provide contraceptives coverage
Contraception: The history you may have missed and would rather not know
Why does Pope Benedict talk about Humanae vitae in the new encyclical? [Catholic Caucus]
New Evangelical Documentary Exposes Abortifacient Qualities of the Birth Control Pill, Promotes NFP
In Quiverfull Movement, Birth Control Is Shunned
Press in a Dither Again over Pope’s Reaffirmation of Catholic Teaching
How Birth Control Changed America for the Worst
If You Are Contracepting, You Are Part of A Very Big Problem

Vatican and Italian government criticize sale of RU 486 in Italy
New Condom Ads Target Catholics, Latinos
St. Padre Pio, Humanae Vitae, and Mandatory Abortion
Responsible Parenthood in a Birth Control Culture, Part Two [Open]
Responsible Parenthood in a Birth Control Culture, Part One [Open]
Humanae Vitae and True Sexual Freedom — Part 6 of 6 [Open]
Contraception v. Natural Family Planning — Part 5 of 6 [Open]
Sex Speaks: True and False Prophets — Part 4 of 6 [Open]
Contraception and the Language of the Body — Part 3 of 6 [Open]
Does Contraception Foster Love? — Part 2 of 6 [Open]
Contraception and Cultural Chaos — Part 1 of 6 [Open]
Priests still suffering from effects of Humanae Vitae dissenters, Vatican cardinal says (Must read!)
"Provoking reflection" (Contrasting views on Humanae Vitae)
Humanae Vitae The Year of the Peirasmòs - 1968
Catholics to Pope: Lift the Birth Control Ban
[OPEN] The Vindication of Humanae Vitae
Catholic Clergy Challenge Colleagues to Reacquaint Themselves and Their People with Humanae Vitae
White House proposes wide "conscience clause" on abortion, contraception
THE EX CATHEDRA STATUS OF THE ENCYCLICAL "HUMANAE VITAE" [Catholic Caucus]
“A degrading poison that withers life”

Australia Study: 70 Percent of Women Seeking Abortions Used Contraception
[Fr. Thomas Euteneuer] In Persona Christi: The Priest and Contraception
A Challenging Truth, Part Two: The Day the Birth Control Died
A Challenging Truth, Part One: How Birth Control Works
Ten Challenges for the Pro-Life Movement in 2008
The concept of the "intrinsically evil"
Pope Tells Pharmacists Not to Dispense Drugs With 'Immoral urposes'
Massive Study Finds the Pill Significantly Increases Cancer Risk if Used more than Eight Years
Birth Control Pill Creates Blood Clot Causing Death of Irish Woman
Seminarians Bring Church’s Teaching on Contraception, Sexuality to YouTube
Abortion and Contraception: Old Lies
History of Catholic teaching on Contraception
Pope: Legislation "Supporting Contraception and Abortion is Threatening the Future of Peoples"
Contraception: Why It's Wrong
On Fox News Fearless HLI Priest Takes on Sean Hannity (may be indebted for saving his soul)
VIDEO - SEAN HANNITY vs REV. THOMAS EUTENEUER (must see!)
The Early Church Fathers on Contraception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Pope on divine love vs. erotic love
Conjugal Love and Procreation: God's Design
Being fruitful [Evangelicals and contraception]

35 posted on 04/21/2013 9:02:36 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Steven Brust has written a series of novels in which the (alien) characters are divided into clans based on which animal’s DNA was mixed into their “base” stock. (The human characters are Hungarian.) In a few generations we could end up with people’s introducing themselves by mentioning which barnyard animal sourced their ova, perhaps ...


36 posted on 04/21/2013 12:20:36 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("I think amnesty is deader than a Chechen bomber." ~ LS)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Your definitions are very Catholic, but they're also ludicrous.

If my husband wants a child, but I carefully ensure sex outside of the six day window am I not practicing contraception? I think the catechism definition doesn't match the dictionary defintion of contraception.

Celibacy is a form of contraception. The Catholic position is a throw back to a time of greater ignorance about human sexuality. You may agree with it, but it doesn't make sense.

Your arguments on the philosophical effects are more interesting, but don't hold water. I think they do make sense as applied to abortion, but that's murder.

37 posted on 04/23/2013 1:57:31 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

celibacy is contraception?

That is just whacked


38 posted on 04/23/2013 2:12:54 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: 1010RD; Tax-chick
I am glad you brought up the matter about the definition of the word "contraception", because that's the very thing that so often causes confusion in discussions of this sort:

"Contraception" dictionary links

As you can see, "contraception" is defined by the dictionary as a method of using drugs, devices, surgery or some sex practice (such as withdrawal) which deprives sexual union of its inherent fertilty, that is, to avoid pregnancy.

For that reason, contraception is an ACT.

It is to be distinguished from natural infertility, which results from several natural factors: age (before menarche or after menopause); time of cycle (a woman's ovulatory cycle has fertile and infertile periods); pregnancy and lactational amenorrhea, and so forth.

The moral difference between, say, using an endocrine disruptor like "the Pill" and and using NFP, is that the endocrine disruption impairs or disables the natural design of the body, whereas NFP reverences and cooperates with the natural design of the body.

There is other moral factors to consider: is the avoidance of pregnancy from a serious reason (maternal health, serious poverty, inability to care for a child) --- or is it from self-serving lifestyle considerations, i.e. we don't ant to get pregnant because we don't want the hassles involved with pregnancy and childbirth, we're going on a cruise in 6 months and I want to look good in my bikini, etc.)

IN the first category (serious need) pregnancy avoidance can be not only allowable, but might be even morally required. In the second category (childless or nearly-childless lifestyle preference) the decision to avoid pregnancy is ungenerous to the God-proclaimed GOOD of new life --- treating a very great good as an evil --- and exemplifies the moral fault of selfishness, even if they did it via NFP.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make these important distinctions.

They are not particular to me nor particular to the Catholic Church. A stance against artificial contraception was common to all Christian denominations, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant/Evangelical, for the first 1900 years of Christianity. As I pointed out, it flows from Divine and Natural Law, as is becoming more and more clear with every passing day.

39 posted on 04/23/2013 7:12:46 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness fo rtlight, and light for darkness.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; Tax-chick

You misunderstand the definition and I expected that. It’s why I included the example I did. Let me include it again:

If my husband wants a child, but I carefully ensure sex outside of the six day window I am practicing contraception.

Your definition ignores this important and oft used method of contraception: not having sex at all or avoiding those times that a woman would be fertile.

There are moral implications to all those decisions, including whether to use pills, condoms, IUDs, etc. I understand that you are dutifully working to present your beliefs - NFP, anti-contraception and celibate priesthood - but the facts don’t hold.

You may believe as you like, though.


40 posted on 04/25/2013 5:15:06 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD; Mrs. Don-o
but the facts don’t hold

Which "facts don't hold"?

The Bible facts, as presented in this article (or in the writings of myriad Protestant commentators, if you prefer)?
The physical facts of healthy human biology?
The dictionary facts of the definition of "contraception"?
The historical facts of what all Christian confessions consistently taught until the 1930s?
The historical facts of what has happened to churches and societies since the acceptance of contraception?

It seems as if *mentally drawing a diagram of a set of scales* all these facts would have some weight ... but for our society, on the other side of scales is the "brick" that reads, "We like contraception, because then we have sex on demand without children." And that ends it.

41 posted on 04/25/2013 6:24:09 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I think amnesty is deader than a Chechen bomber." ~ LS)
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To: 1010RD
What we have here is a definition disagreement. You are not persuaded by looking at the dictionary definitions. Or I may have expressed myself confusingly. (Always possible!)

So let's clarify by Looking at different aspects of sex.

Overall, which best matches your point of view: A or B:

A: Natural, healthy, normally-embodied sexuality is a good thing. Man-woman sex is the way it's supposed to be. Therefore

Or:

B: There are no givens as to what is "natural, healthy, or normal" in sexuality., It's all about what I want. Therefore

Which position comes closest to the way you see it?

42 posted on 04/25/2013 9:43:35 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Garden of Earthly Delights.)
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To: Tax-chick; Mrs. Don-o

Msgr. Charles Pope is a Catholic and is trying to sustain the Catholic belief and teachings on contraception.

Here’s the dictionary definition of contraception:

http://machaut.uchicago.edu/?action=search&word=contraception&resource=Webster%27s&quicksearch=on

There isn’t one from either the 1928 or 1913 Webster dictionaries.

It is a modern word, first recorded in 1891. Our knowledge of when human life begins has rocketed forward since that time. You may believe that contraception is wrong or immoral, but that doesn’t make it so. Nor must it naturally lead to homosexuality, adultery, fornication or abortion.

Clearly it happened long ago as well and is not a modern disease:

http://bible.cc/galatians/5-19.htm

This site is very good for understanding the Bible and what it really says in the NT Greek or OT Hebrew.

Compare what Msgr. Pope infers and what the original really says. All the verses he quotes are available.

Here’s Matthew 5:19 which he doesn’t quote:

http://bible.cc/matthew/15-19.htm

Here is Rev 21:8:

http://bible.cc/revelation/21-8.htm

My experience with Catholicism is that its adherents understand the Bible only less so than their priests. The interpretations are bent so as to buttress a doctrine with little or tangential Biblical support. If it is by divine revelation to a Pope, then so be it.

http://bible.cc/genesis/1-28.htm

Genesis 1:28 is an express command to marry and procreate. It would have been simple for God to also command that we may take no action to avoid procreation, but He didn’t. We, as a part of the natural world, may choose. That is not unnatural.

Not marrying is unnatural and against God.

You may believe as you see fit. It is, as always, your choice.


43 posted on 04/26/2013 4:15:30 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD; Mrs. Don-o

You have a nice weekend. It’s been stimulating.


44 posted on 04/26/2013 4:32:51 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("I think amnesty is deader than a Chechen bomber." ~ LS)
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To: 1010RD; Tax-chick
Dear 1010RD (Ten-Tennardy?) (I hope you don't mind my playing with your name -- I do it in a friendly way!)

You make the point that homosexuality (acted out as sodomy) was an ancient vice, well-known in the ancient world; very true. And so was contraception. The first act of contraception was done in Genesis 38; and in (dis)honor of the man who thus offended God, the word "Onanism" was used, through the 16th-19th century, by both Catholics and Protestants, to describe the sinful practice of deliberately turning sex away from procreation, Luther and Calvin, and many others, preached on the contraceptive implications of the sin of Onan.

All the violations of sex-as-God-created-it --- violations of the unitive and procreative aspect--- are sins. Contraception is a sin because it is perverting the act of sexual union by turning it against its own nature.

But you are mistaken, if you think that contraceptive perversion is comparable to chaste celibacy. You wrote:

”Genesis 1:28 is an express command to marry and procreate. It would have been simple for God to also command that we may take no action to avoid procreation, but He didn’t. We, as a part of the natural world, may choose. That is not unnatural….Not marrying is unnatural and against God.”

To reach this conclusion, my dear friend, you would have to reject a lot of New Testament wisdom. Marriage and procreation are indeed holy --- very much so, since marriage was established in Eden by God, and “Be fruitful” was one of His very first commandments and blessings.. But celibacy for God’s sake, has its own excellence and is in some cases even more suitable for His purposes.

I would have you take a good look at 1 Cor. 7:25 and Matt. 19:11. In 1 Cor. 7, St. Paul clearly teaches the advantages of the celibate state to the married state, providing a powerful refutation of any suggestion that being abstinent is against God.

1 Corinthians 7-
“Now concerning the thing whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband… But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment.

For I would that all men were even as myself [unmarried]: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I…

If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no obligation but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.

St. Paul clearly identifies the state of virginity or celibacy as a state that is better than the state of marriage. We also see this in the words of Jesus Himself:

Matthew 19: 11-12

Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others ---and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Those who can accept this, should accept it.”

Jesus is clearly speaking here, not of eunuchs (castrated men) in the literal sense, but of those who live singly and chastely for the sake of the kingdom of God. There are such who are not best suited to marriage, but for leading a single and chaste life, in order to serve God in a more perfect state than those who marry, as St. Paul clearly shows (above, 1 Cor 7: 37, 38).

The Church does not claim to understand these things by means of a special revelation to the Pope. This was he common understanding of all Christendom for well over a millennium.

The teaching about celibacy is right there in the text, quite explicitly: it is not for everyone, but for those who can do it, who have the gift for it, celibacy is of great spiritual worth.

The teaching on contraception is supported by what we can reasonably know about human nature, what is good for persons, families, and societies. The evidence, and reasonable inference from evidence, shows that contraception drastically reduces the "opportunity cost" of fornication: it makes women cheap and fornication easy. When that happens, we know what behavior lamentable human weakness will dictate. Contraceptive societies are in the process of killing off marriage and are in self-inflicted demographic collapse.

Non-contraceptive societies will simply expand to fill the vacuum. And we know who they are.

Imagine a crisp-around-the-edges Margaret Sanger in hell, saying gleefully, "Inshallah."

45 posted on 04/26/2013 11:39:20 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.")
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To: Mrs. Don-o; Tax-chick
All the violations of sex-as-God-created-it --- violations of the unitive and procreative aspect--- are sins. Contraception is a sin because it is perverting the act of sexual union by turning it against its own nature.

That's a nonsense argument. "Sex-as-God-created-it" is as goofy a term as you can get. Those reproductive organs are attached to souls with brains. They've got the brains that God gave them. They also have agency and choice. We're made in the outline of God.

Sex for pleasure and pleasure only is part of the sex-as-God-created-it package.

But you are mistaken, if you think that contraceptive perversion is comparable to chaste celibacy.

Whatever. You've not proven that contraception is a perversion of anything. God doesn't contravene sex for pleasure in marriage. Ask any Orthodox Jew what the OT says about sex, procreation and pleasure in marriage. It's the same in the New Testament. The sin is fornication or adultery.

Celibacy can only be chaste, so stop misuing the word. Someone who's celibate and not chaste is a pervert and that's my point. Celibacy is unnatural and contradicts God's teaching.

I understand that you want to defend Catholicism and your Catholic faith and please believe what you want, but the Catholic teaching on contraception and priestly celibacy is wrong, harmful and unBiblical.

You may not be aware of it, but every translation is a transmission. A transmission of the times, culture and perspective of the translator. The chosen words in the Bible are important and so is the context. Your two examples actually buttress my point.

Who is the audience for Matt. 19 and what is the context? Go reread it. Your interpretation of 1 Cor. 7 is utterly laughable.

What makes you think that Paul is unmarried or never married? Paul's own words tell us that he was an observant Jew (See Acts 22:3, Acts 23:6 and Gal. 1:14). He must have been married at some point as this is a principle tenet of Judaism.

In 1 Cor. he may be widowed, divorced or simply away from his wife and abstainig from outside sexual relations to satisfy himself, i.e. he's practicing self-restraint, something the Corinthian saints weren't doing.

I mean do you know what the first letter to the Corinthians said? No, because we don't have it. The Corinthians (all of them or just the leadership? Check v. 29-33) then reply with a series of questions, but we don't have their epistle to Paul, so we cannot be certain of what they wrote or the context of it. "It is good for a man not to touch a woman," is part of the Corinthian question and the Greek text makes clear this is a statement of the Corinthians.

Please read the entire verse as Paul clarifies what is right and correct in marriage. You might follow up with Paul's teaching in 1 Timothy 4:1–3. It's highly unlikely that Peter, John or any of the Apostles never married. They were Jews and OT/NT Jews marry.

If your Popes have revelation from God telling Catholics that their clerics should be celibate, fine and believe as you like, but the Bible doesn't support that position. Nor do the biological sciences. Catholic teaching on contraception is wrong and harmful as public policy. It gives the devil a wedge issue where none need exist.

Imagine a crisp-around-the-edges Margaret Sanger in hell, saying gleefully, "Inshallah."

That's witty and an ironic image. Thanks.

46 posted on 05/04/2013 4:48:42 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD
"Sex-as-God-created-it" is as goofy a term as you can get."

I don't want to over-interpret or mis-interpret you, but you seem to be denying that God made human sexuality in such a way that it has conjoined unitive and procreative aspects, precisely because reproductive organs are "attached to souls with brains". Of course we have freedom to choose, if by this you mean the power to choose-- not being robots --- but not everything we choose is good.

I'm interested in your point of view. Let's say that I think I would be more satisfied as a man than as a woman. Therefore I alter my body with hormones and surgery to remodel my sexual/reproductive organs, acquire a pseudo-penis, and make myself what is now called a "trans-man". Turns out this pleases my husband, and now we like to have sex for pleasure and for pleasure only. We didn't want babies, anyway. Have I a moral right to do this?

Why or why not?

"God doesn't contravene sex for pleasure in marriage."

I never said He did, or anything like it. If you are construing that as my belief, you are mistaken.

"Celibacy can only be chaste, so stop misuing the word."

This shows a confusion about words. The primary meaning of celibacy (Link) is simply "the unmarried state." The primary meaning of chastity (Link) is simply "sexual virtue," meaning, living according to the sexual moral standards of one's state in life.

Therefore celibacy can be chaste, but only if it involves abstinence from sexual expression. It is possible for a celibate to be unchaste: i.e. a person who is unmarried, but does not practice sexual virtue. A porn consumer/ wanker (Link, ok?) would be one example of many.

One hopes that all married people would be chaste (i.e. practice the sexual moral standards of their state in life.) This does not mean abstinence. This means fidelity: using their sexuality as a gift of exclusive self-donation to each other.

This sort of discussion often, very often, gets derailed by people using the same words, but with divergent meanings. Nothing but confusion can result.

"Celibacy is unnatural and contradicts God's teaching."

Your argument here is with St. Paul. He argues his case for it better than I do.

The Jews, interestingly, starting in Biblical times, used periodic abstinence as a means of achieving pregnancy. If you abstain from sex during menstruation, and then count 7 days after the last show of blood, then have a mikvah (purifying bath) and resume relations, you have just done 12-13 days of abstinence which puts you on the 12th or 13th day of the cycle, so the man's sperm count is high and the woman is just on the very verge of ovulation. This is the time of absolute maximum fertility.

That is, precisely, using NFP to optimize the likelihood of conception.

So. You want to do it the Biblical way? There you go! Mazel tov!

"The Catholic teaching on contraception and priestly celibacy is wrong, harmful and unBiblical."

You have asserted this repeatedly, but assertion does not constitute proof.

If the teaching against contraception is wrong, were all Christians of all denominations in the wrong about this for roughly 1,930 years? Because it was only in 1930 that any Christian Church --- the Anglicans meeting at Lambeth, England --- approved of contraception. Before that, it was considered Onanism by all Christian churches.

If the celibacy (the state of being unmarried) is wrong, at what age does it become wrong? Puberty? 18? 21? 40? Is a widower wrong if he does not remarry? Or is celibacy wrong only for priests, but OK for laypeople?

"Who is the audience for Matt. 19 and what is the context?"

First Jesus is debating with the Pharisees about divorce and remarriage, and this serves as a launch into the wider question of God's intention for marriage. At this point Jesus refers back to the very beginnings of marriage in Genesis. He concludes that if a divorced man remarries, both he and his "new" spouse are committing adultery. The disciples find this a hard saying and object that if this is the case, it would be better not to marry.

Jesus immediately refers to the example of eunuchs (men who were incapable of marriage) and says there are people who are born incapable of marriage, or who are made incapable of marriage, but there are also those who live like eunuchs for the Kingdom of God; and those who can accept this, should accept it.

It's not so surprising that the disciples thought this was a hard saying! Yes, in fact, says the Lord, for some it would be better not to marry!

Check out, please, what St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:8 (here's 5 different translations,in parallel format: Protestant, Catholic, contemporary and Reformation-era -- LINK) Obviously Paul was single, and was recommending singleness to others.

What I write has its foundation in Scripture and in the belief and practice of good Christians, including non-Catholic Christians, and including Christians of the Reformation era 500 years ago. You could go on insisting that just about all Christian churches have been wrong about sex and marriage, just about all the time; but such assertion, on the basis of the evidence you have so far shown, is dubious.

Thank you for continuing on this dialogue. Mutual understanding has not always been easy, but I believe we are making some progress. I appreciate your efforts and your good will.

47 posted on 05/04/2013 6:45:53 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all.)
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To: Tax-chick

Ping to discussion above.


48 posted on 05/04/2013 6:47:04 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Thanks!


49 posted on 05/05/2013 4:20:59 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Sarah is right.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Let's say that I think I would be more satisfied as a man than as a woman.

You have a bad habit of conflating two unrelated things. You describe a mental illness above. Using contraceptives isn't, in itself, a sign of mental illness.

We're Christians and within the Christian meaning of celibate is abstinence. Otherwise, you're accepting fornication as not a sin. It's another nonsense argument. See your own definitions in your own link. The Catholic prohibition on clerical marriage is unBiblical. If it is a Papal decree via revelation from God, fine. Believe as you will, but don't pretend that it's Biblically based

Christ's and Paul's arguments are consistent. Marriage is the highest and expected state. That's consistent with the OT teaching. There is no need for clerical celibacy to serve God. Christ is pointing out the moral terpitude and vacuity of the apostate Jewish teachings on marriage. The world of the NT was much like our own today, morally bereft and selfish. As for other "Christians" practicing the misinterpretation of Christ's and Paul's words, keep in mind that Protestantism as a whole is made up of schizmatic Catholics. Protestants are a Catholic subculture. If Catholic's got it wrong, it's likely that the offshoots of Catholicism would as well. You've hung your hat on the wrong verses. They don't mean what you think they mean. Take a look at the Bible as a whole. Protestants do the same thing you're doing. Hang on to a verse for dear life, to rationalize an irrational belief.

I respect your right to conscience and you can believe what you like. But conflating contraception with moral depravity is nonsense. Can contraception lead to moral depravity? Yes. Must it lead to moral depravity? No. Human choice, as you've pointed out, is the difference. We can choose good.

50 posted on 05/08/2013 4:13:41 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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