Skip to comments.A 'Culture' of Inverted Sexuality
Posted on 05/20/2002 5:43:35 PM PDT by JMJ333
ABSTRACT: The massive social and psychological disorder we see all around us is not the making of the "gay community." Our current problems including even the gay-rights" movement itself arose as a result of disorders that first became prevalent among heterosexuals. If we want to take the mote out of our "gay" brothers' eyes maybe we should first remove the beam from our own.
It is impossible to look at the changes in our culture over the last few decades without realizing the extent of the changes wrought by the new sexual mores. The thesis of this essay is that the strength of the present homosexual movement and the other radical sexual movements are rooted in these changes.
Major changes in thought on the nature of the sexual act began in the latter part of the 19th century, gathered steam in the early part of this century, and achieved a significant breakthrough in 1930 with the breakdown of the unified tradition of Christian religious-moral teaching on the nature of the sexual act.
By the late 1940s American married couples were contracepting in growing numbers. By the 1960s the children of these contracepting couples became the leaders of the sexual revolution, rejecting the need for marriage as the context for the sexual act a rejection logically based on their own experiences. By the 1970s the next generation, had enshrined a "woman's right to choose" abortion, thus making it legally possible to be rid of the natural fruit of the sexual act. A generation later, in the 1990s, we have seen the rise of the homosexual-rights movement.
All of these gradual "Slouchings towards Gomorrah" are the natural by-product of the severing of the sexual act from the prime end of that act, and from its fundamental natural function: the begetting of the child. That severance changes the focus of the-sexual act and in doing so changes the adults who so act, both in their own psychological dispositions and in their interpersonal relations. From being ultimately "other focused," sexual mores become "self focused"; from extroversion, sexual affairs move toward introversion; from hetero-focused they become auto-focused.
If one severs the possibility of reproduction from the nature of the sexual act, then it will be difficult to deny the "right" to engage in legally sanctioned sexual activities to be characterized those (homosexuals and others) whose sexual act always precludes the begetting of a child. If homosexuals further argue that they are deprived of an equal right to the pursuit of pleasure which they say they cannot derive from heterosexual acts-their argument takes on still more force. Consequently many churches and government bodies have begun to conclude that homosexuals have a "right" to sanctioned unions: to same-sex "marriages." Under the changed sexual mores that now dominate our culture, it is difficult to deny the persuasiveness of their argument.
THE NEW SEXUAL INVERSION
Contraception has radically changed the social function of the sexual act; that much, no one will deny. And this change in the social function has changed the way we think about our sexuality, thus in turn changing the whole of society. The social data on the heterosexual culture are now massively disturbing.
The fundamental contention of this essay is that American heterosexuals are now showing the symptoms of a disorder which is related to, and even more dangerous than, the inner psychological structure of the homosexual orientation.
A widely used psychoanalytic description of homosexuality as a psychological phenomenon states:
Homosexuality is regarded as one of the systems developed by individuals to organize experiences and expressions of conflicting and painful feeling, and the system serves as a containment of deeper anxieties, and offers for the individual a modus vivendi. The system is not just an object choice, but a longstanding way of relating, is part of a person's character development and far more complex than the notion of it being part of object choice. It is important to distinguish homosexual identity and homosexual behavior. The presence of homosexuality, if conflictual or repressed, could give rise to symptoms such as anxiety, social inhibitions, or to sexual dysfunction such as impotence or frigidity. This definition could be recast to describe the majority of married couples in the United States today, as well as a huge proportion of unmarried heterosexual individuals. Thus:
Contraception may be regarded as one of the systems developed by individuals to organize experiences and expressions of conflicting feelings and desires. The [contraceptive] system serves as a containment of deeper anxieties, and offers for the individual a modus vivendi. The system is not an object choice, [the choice of the one to be loved] but is a long standing way of relating, and is part of a person's character development. It is important to distinguish between heterosexual identity and this form of heterosexual behavior. The presence of heterosexuality, if conflicted or repressed, as is the case with habitual contraception, could give rise to symptoms such as anxiety, marital inhibitions, sexual dysfunction, divorce, rejection of children, and abortion. In the psychological conflict experienced by homosexuals, the threat to the integrity of the self stems from the demands of intimacy with a member of the opposite sex. In the conflict caused by contraception the threat to the self stems from the intimate attention demanded by a child.
Ismond Rosen, a leading British therapist specializing in sexual dysfunctions and deviancies, and the editor of The Oxford Book of Sexual Deviations, states:
According to my observation the homosexual lifestyle is learned, and if this becomes incorporated as part of the individual's sense of identity or self, the chances 6f that person changing to a heterosexual orientation become much more remote, due to the unconscious resistance aroused by the threat of an actual loss of identity or sense of self.
These insights on the development of the homosexual orientation can also be transposed to the contraceptive orientation and be reconstructed thus:
The contraceptive life-style is learned (there is now a massive educational and medical infrastructure devoted to that end), and when it becomes incorporated as part of the individual's sense of sexual identity and habitual practice the chances of that person changing to a "giving of self" become much more remote, due to the anxiety aroused by the threat or fear of a loss of self in the sacrifice involved in bringing a child into existence.
EARLY VIEWS ON CONTRACEPTION
The thesis of this essay is not new. It is anchored not in any religious doctrine but rather in a natural-law understanding of the power of the sexual act. For countless generations, wise men have recognized the ability of sexual attitudes and activities to orient or disorient not only the individual, but the whole of society. The present disorientation and dysfunction of our society, and of the individuals who people it, was predicted by many people who anticipated the widespread acceptance of contraception. The accuracy of their predictions give their underlying insights a serious claim to validity.
We can find many similar messages, coming from many different quarters. For example:
Theodore Roosevelt wrote, "Birth control is the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement."
Sigmund Freud no friend of religion pointed out that the separation of procreation and sexual activity is the most basic of perversions, and that all sexual perversions, are rooted in this philosophy. In The Sexual Life of Human Beings, he wrote: The abandonment of the reproductive function is the common feature of all perversions. We actually describe a sexual activity as perverse if it has given up the aim of reproduction and pursues the attainment of pleasure as an aim independent of it. So, as you will see, the breach and turning point in the development of sexual life lies in becoming subordinate to the purpose of reproduction. Everything that happens before this turn of events and equally everything that disregards it and that aims solely at obtaining pleasure is given the uncomplimentary name of "perverse" and as such is proscribed.
Mahatma Ghandi, despite having been vigorously lobbied by Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, outlined the deleterious consequences of artificial contraception:
Artificial methods [of contraception] are like putting a premium on vice. They make men and women reckless .... Nature is relentless and will have full revenge for any such violation of her laws. Moral results can only be produced by moral restraints. All other restraints defeat the very purpose for which they are intended. If artificial methods become the order of the day, nothing but moral degradation can be the result. A society that has already become enervated through a variety of causes will still become further enervated by the adoption of artificial [birth control] methods .... As it is, man has sufficiently degraded women for his lust, and artificial methods, no matter how well-meaning the advocates may be, will still further degrade her.
We cannot say, as a society, that we were not warned. Nevertheless, the practice of contraception has spread dramatically during the latter part of the 20th century. From being rare, it has become widespread in fact habitual.
And sterilization has become an increasingly popular form of birth control, especially for parents who have already had one or more children.
If we assume that there is only one partner sterilized in each marriage (an assumption which may be open to question, but still helps to put the data in perspective), a picture emerges.
The sex-education lobby which embraces most of our country's large non-profit foundations, their educational and social science counterparts in the universities, and their allies in the medical and nursing professions-has put enormous resources behind the effort to change the way young people think about the nature of the sexual act. They have made massive inroads into the ordinary culture.
Given the prevalence of contraception and the easy availability of abortion, one might expect that the proportion of out-of-wedlock births to young American women would have declined during the past generation. In fact the truth is quite the opposite. Among American women under the age of 20 who gave birth each year, the proportion who were married when the child was born has dropped steadily, from nearly 90 percent in 1950 to under 30 percent in 1990. There is no reason to expect any change in this trend.
THE REJECTION RATIO
The most fundamental change in society resulting from this radical change in our approach to the sexual act has been the emergence of the United States as a culture of rejection: an increasingly hostile place for children to live. The trend toward out-of-wedlock births, aggravated by the divorces which leave children without a married mother and father living at home, has resulted in a steady increase in the number of children living in broken homes.
The effects of these changes are incontrovertibly negative. Living in a broken home increases the child's risk of:
physical health problems;
retarded cognitive, and especially their verbal"
lower educational achievement;
lowered job attainment;
increased behavioral problems;
lowered control of impulses;
warped social development;
becoming involved in abuse of a spouse or child;
becoming involved in crime; and
being physically or sexually abused.
As broken homes become more numerous especially in certain communities such as the inner-city neighborhoods the results are still more devastating.. Sociologist Charles Murray has determined that when the proportion of broken homes in a local population reaches the level of about 30 percent, that community itself becomes a source of additional risks, rather than of support, for the child and the family. Many urban neighborhoods passed that statistical level long ago; now the entire nation has readied the same dangerous statistical point.
Among America's working-class families, the trends are ominous. But among those living at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, the stable family household has virtually disappeared. Corresponding to this disappearance is a growing trend toward child abuse.
A British study casts light on the connection between family structure and child abuse, showing that fatal abuse of children is comparatively rare in households where the child's natural parents still live together, but progressively more likely in households where the mother has remarried, the mother lives alone, the parents have never married, the child lives with a single father, and most dangerous of all the mother lives with another man who is neither her husband nor the child's natural father.
THE CONTRACEPTION-ABORTION LINK
The ultimate rejection of children, of course, is abortion. "It is apparent that nothing short of contraceptives can put an end to the horrors of abortion and infanticide," said Margaret Sanger, voicing a line which has been echoed and is still echoed by many others. But the increasing popularity and availability of contraceptives has not cut down the number of abortions, and most abortions today take place outside marriage-that is, among those who most radically claim the right to the inverted sexual act.
A booklet distributed by the National Abortion Rights Action League (before its name was changed to the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) shows how family-planning advocates have changed their perspective on the relation between contraception and abortion since the days of Margaret Sanger:
Of course contraceptives should be more widely available and promoted; however, in the present state of contraceptive technology, and given the continuing possibility of human error in the use of even the best methods, abortion is needed as a backstop; its use is not preferable to contraception, but once a pregnancy occurs, it is the only means of birth prevention. Abortion now occupies just one more place on a continuum of approaches, all of them aimed at preventing birth. The ultimate goal of the family-planning effort-to be achieved by whatever means are necessary-is to separate the act of sexual intercourse from the prospect of producing children.
Once we as a society eliminated the prospect of begetting a child from the popular understanding of the sexual act, we altered our notion of the role that sex plays within marriage. That alteration led naturally to another, and the work was accomplished in the 1960s by the children of the first "altered" marriages: the breakdown in the assumption that sexual activity should be confined to marriage. And then, having disposed first of the prospect that sexual activity might involve reproduction, and then of the assumption that sexual activity was a prerogative of marriage, our society next perceived a need to eliminate one more obstacle by arranging for the legal disposal of a child who might be inconveniently conceived, inside or outside a marriage. This was the work of the 1970s. Finally, having eliminated both the prospect of reproduction and the need for a marital commitment from the popular understanding of sexuality, our society has begun to perceive homosexual acts as just another set of variations on the new, self-absorbed version of sexual activity.
Notice, by the way, that all of the social and psychological disorders described above-the broken homes, the child abuse, and so forth are present within the "heterosexual culture." While it is true that the "gay" subculture shows even higher levels of dysfunction on comparable issues, the culture of sexual inversion is not confined to homosexuality. Among heterosexuals, too, the transformation of sexual activity into a self-absorbed process sustained by no commitment to children or to a spouse has produced disastrous social and psychological results.
In a traditional society adults take on social burdens and accept the blows of life, thereby protecting their children so that they may grow up in secure and undisturbed surroundings. Today it is the children of our nation who bear the burden all too often, by living in the insecurity of a broken home while parents seek their own ends. In fact, the psychological burdens on the rising generation can often be traced precisely to their parents' unwillingness and/or inability to make the lifelong marital commitment which was once a precondition for sanctioned sexual activity.
Children the rising generation, the next iteration of the nation are the chief reason for the family. But if consideration for children does not even enter into the thinking of the adult couple, the situation is irremediably changed, "People do not live together merely to be together. They live together to do something together," wrote Ortega y Gasset. He continued: "No social group will long survive its chief reason for being." Northern America and Western Europe, with their negative population growth rates, will soon be forced to come to terms with the observations of Ortega y Gasset and of Roosevelt. Can a culture that does not reproduce, and does not protect children, still survive?
DEFINING DEVIANCY DOWN
One of the public functions of religion is to shore up society's adherence to the natural moral law. When the institution of religion caves in on a moral issue, the other institutions (family, education, government, and the marketplace) cannot be expected to maintain the societal defenses. When the institutions of religion "define deviancy down" (to borrow the memorable phrase of Daniel Patrick Moynihan), other institutions are likely to follow. And that is what has happened on the issue of contraception.
The family-planning movement, the vehicle for the advancement of contraception, had its mots not only outside of Christianity, but among groups that were quite actively hostile to Christianity The attack on the traditional moral principles upheld by the Judeo-Christian tradition was already well advanced early in this century. By the same time, the birth-control movement had recognized the need to achieve some sort of religious sanction-and had even acquired a primary target for its lobbying efforts. In 1919 the Anglican divine C. K. Millard wrote in The Modern Churchman:
Although many Malthusians; are rationalists, they are well aware that without some religious sanction their policy could never emerge from the dim underworld of unmentioned and unrespected things and could never be advocated openly in the light of day. To this end birth control is camouflaged by pseudo-poetic and pseudo-religious phraseology, and the Anglican Church is asked to alter her teaching. Birth controllers realise that it is useless to ask this of the Catholic Church but as regards the Church of England, which makes no claim to infallibility, the case is different, and discussion is possible.
If a single date could be identified as marking the historical break from the Christian consensus on traditional, natural-law principles of sexual morality if one desired to highlight the West's very first official step down the slippery slope then August 15,1930 must be chosen as that unhappy date. That was the day when the Lambeth Conference of the Church of England, by a vote of 193 to 67, approved a resolution which read in part:
Where there is a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles. The primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipleship and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles. The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception-control for motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience." [emphasis added] With that vote, the traditional moral unity of Christendom on this issue was broken.
In the preceding years at the Lambeth Conferences of 1908,1914, and 1920 Anglican Church leaders had felt the pressure for a change in traditional moral teaching. But they had responded to that pressure by reiterating their traditional stand.
We utter an emphatic warning against the use of unnatural means for the avoidance of conception, together with the grave dangers physical, moral, and religious thereby incurred, and against the evils with which the extension of such use threatens the race. In opposition to the teaching which in the name of science and religion encourages married people in the deliberate cultivation of sexual union as an end in itself, we steadfastly uphold what must always be regarded as the governing consideration of Christian marriage. One is the primary purpose for which marriage exists namely, the continuation of the race through the gift and heritage of children; the other is the paramount importance in married life of deliberate and thoughtful self-control.
Similar debates were under way in many other religious denominations. Orthodox Jews held to the traditional moral norm, but Reformed Jews had already broken from the old consensus. The Central Conference of American Rabbis had taken a stand in favor of contraception in 1929.
The United States' Federal Council of Churches (which today is known as the National Council of Churches) had apparently been waiting for some other group to take the lead in "modernizing" the Christian stand on birth control. In March 1931, that group followed the Lambeth Conference and endorsed "the careful and restrained use of contraceptives by married people," while at the same time still conceding that "serious evils, such as extramarital sex relations, may be increased by general knowledge of contraceptives."
However, the statements released in the aftermath of the Lambeth statement by leadership groups in other Christian churches, and even by the secular media, vividly illustrate how differently the churches viewed the sexual act in those days. Quick on the heels of the statements from the Anglican Church and the Federal Council of Churches, there followed radically different statements from:
Dr. Walter Maier of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary:
Birth Control, as popularly understood today and involving the use of contraceptives, is one of the most repugnant of modern aberrations, representing a 20th century renewal of pagan bankruptcy."
Bishop Warren Chandler of the Methodist Episcopal Church South:
The whole disgusting [birth control] movement rests on the assumption of man's sameness with the brutes .... Its [the Federal Council of Churches] deliverance on the matter of birth control has no authorization from any churches representing it, and what it has said I regard as most unfortunate, not to use any stronger words. It certainly does not represent the Methodist Church, and I doubt if it represents any other Protestant Church in what it has said on this subject.
The Presbyterian (April 2,1931):
Its [Federal Council of Churches] recent pronouncement on birth control should be enough reason, if there were no other, to withdraw from support of that body, which declares that it speaks for the Presbyterian and other Protestant churches in ex cathedra pronouncements. The Southern Baptist Convention:
The SBC hereby expresses its disapproval of the ... bill, now pending before Congress of the United States, the purpose of which is to make possible and provide for the dissemination of information concerning contraceptives and birth control; whatever the intent and motive of such proposal we cannot but believe that such legislation would be vicious in character and would prove seriously detrimental to the morals of our nation. Even secular journalists were shocked by the new teachings emanating from some church organs. The Washington Post reacted to the statement from the Federal Council of Churches with a heated editorial, arguing:
Carried to its logical conclusion, the committee's report, if carried into effect, would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be "careful and restrained" is preposterous.
Two days later, reluctant to let the matter he, the Post added another helping of editorial scorn:
It is the misfortune of the churches that they are too often misused by visionaries for the promotion of .reforms" in fields foreign to religion. The departures from Christian teachings are astounding in many cases, leaving the beholder aghast at the unwillingness of some churches to teach "Christ and Him crucified." If the churches are to become organizations for political and scientific propaganda, they should be honest and reject the Bible, scoff at Christ as an obsolete and unscientific teacher, and strike out boldly as champions of politics and science as modem substitutes for the old-time religion.
The Catholic Church remains firm in her condemnation of contraception. Several weeks after the revolutionary statement from the Lambeth Conference, Pope Pius XI explained in Casti Connubi:
In order that she [the Catholic Church] may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, she raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.
While the doctrinal position of the Catholic Church remains clear, and has been frequently reiterated from Rome, the response of most Catholics in the United States has been muted at best; the actual practice of Catholic couples is similar to that of most other Americans. The most comprehensive study on the birth-control habits of Americans was the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth, which also gathered data on the religious affiliation of the respondents. In 1988,72 percent of all married Catholic women of childbearing age used artificial contraception. Of these, 55 percent said they relied on the birth-control pill, 22 percent on tubal ligation, 12 percent on vasectomy, and 11 percent on other methods.
CONSEQUENCES OF CONTRACEPTION
The change in the attitudes toward contraception involved a change in man's understandings of his relationships to God, to the opposite sex, and to himself.
As far as reason can know, God's highest creative act is the creation of man. In the sexual act the Creator makes man his "co-creator," as man and God join in bringing another human being into existence, to live for all eternity. In the Orthodox Jewish tradition the sexual act is compellingly described as comparable with entering the Holy of Holies in the Temple-meeting God where he is most especially present.
For the resolutely contracepting married person who goes to worship God on the Sabbath, an inherent contradiction has crept into his stance before God. In effect he says: "I worship you as my Creator, but I refuse to join with you as co-creator in conjointly exercising our highest acts . . . in bringing into being that next human creature you want to endow with existence for an eternity." The contradiction is profound, as are the consequences.
The practice of contraception looses man from his ontological and psychological moorings. The sexual act, as long as it is open to life, has the effect of keeping man, at a minimum, oriented toward "the other." Without that minimum restraint, man tends to transform the act into a totally self-absorbed one. The most pleasurable of acts is transformed from being other-centered to being self-centered. The rearrangement of psychological approaches, attitudes, and dispositions, quickly produces a changed relationship with the spouse, with members of the opposite sex, and with children. The results-so clear in the data-include divorce, out-of-wedlock births, abortions, and abused or abandoned children.
THE POLICY DEBATE
The future of society depends on the emergence of competent young adults. This emergence depends in turn on the efforts of loving parents. Loving parents are those who have generous hearts: a disposition to give of themselves. Contraception inverts the natural tendencies of parents, and hardens their hearts. This psychological inversion has inevitable effects on the children, who are likely to develop the same warped approach to sexuality, and convey the same attitudes to the next generation.
The current public debate on homosexuality is only the latest stage in an old conflict, which pits a Gnostic view of man against the natural-law view, in which the meaning of human life and human action is centered on the Creator. The struggle to control society's understanding of the meaning and purpose of the sexual act is at the core of this old conflict-one of the oldest and most far reaching clashes inhuman history.
At the same time, this profound dispute can be expressed in fairly simple terms. If heterosexual people cannot take on the responsibilities implied by heterosexuality, how can they ask the homosexually inclined person to take on the burden of his struggle for chastity? If heterosexuals distort the relationship between man and woman at its most intimate level, through their decision to avoid begetting new life, how can they reasonably ask those who are oriented differently to resist their own particular temptation to distort their own lives?
In fact, the mainstream of "heterosexual America" today is now perilously close, in its attitudes and its orientations, to matching the symptoms that lie at the very heart of the homosexual affective disorder: the inversion into the self. The United States has created a culture of rejection, which is incapable of providing the antidote to the homosexual culture. Heterosexuals cannot affirm the sexual humanity of husband and wife while denying its fruit. The child-fearing, child-rejecting heterosexual community cannot affirm the homosexual in his more complex cry for acceptance and love. Heterosexuals who insist on arrested sexual development for themselves cannot help but condone the same behavior when it is exhibited among homosexuals.
The massive social and psychological disorder we see all around us is not the making of the "gay community." Our current problems including even the gay-rights" movement itself arose as a result of disorders that first became prevalent among heterosexuals. If we want to take the mote out of our "gay" brothers' eyes maybe we should first remove the beam from our own. If we are to develop the attitude of love and affection that is central to helping members of the "gay culture" overcome their inversion, then we Americans must first recover our understanding of the relationship between love, sexuality, and permanent commitment to spouse and children. We must first acknowledge the children each of us has been called to "co-create" and to love, and we must show our love both for those children who are already in this world and for those who may yet come to be. Otherwise, if the two inversions heterosexual and homosexual continue to compound each other, the future is bleak indeed especially bleak for children, and for the society those children will be capable of building.
I am as critical of the sexual morality of the last nearl four decades as anyone on this planet. But simplistic and over-extended arguments such as the above are my worst enemy.
Then prove the author wrong. His arguments are neither simplistic nor over extended but 100% dead right on. This culture, even so called "conservatives" and "Christians" here on this "conservative" forum, are now so blind and so far removed from a proper understanding of Natural Law that they cannot grasp that the thesis in this article is the single greatest crisis facing mankind, period.
"The fruit of abortion is nuclear war."
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN
CONTRACEPTION AND ABORTION
by Professor Janet E. Smith, PhD
Janet E. Smith is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Dallas, Texas. She has edited Why Humane Vitae Was Right: A Reader and authored Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, and numerous articles on abortion, contraception, virtue, and Plato. This article was edited and reprinted with permission.
Many in the pro-life movement are reluctant to make a connection between contraception and abortion. They insist that these are two very different acts - that there is all the difference in the world between contraception, which prevents a life from coming to be, and abortion, which takes a life that has already begun.
With some contraceptives, there is not only a link with abortion, there is an identity. Some contraceptives are abortifacients; they work by causing early term abortions. The IUD seems to prevent a fertilized egg - a new little human being - from implanting in the uterine wall. The pill does not always stop ovulation, but sometimes prevents implantation of the growing embryo. And of course, the new RU 486 pill works altogether by aborting a new fetus, a new baby. Although some in the pro-life movement occasionally speak out against the contraceptives that are abortifacients, most generally steer clear of the issue of contraception.
Contraception creates alleged need for abortion
This seems to me to be a mistake. I think that we will not make good progress in creating a society where all new life can be safe, where we truly display a respect for life, where abortion is a terrible memory rather than a terrible reality, until we see that there are many significant links between contraception and abortion, and that we bravely speak this truth. We need to realize that a society in which contraceptives are widely used is going to have a very difficult time keeping free of abortions since the lifestyles and attitudes that contraception fosters, create an alleged need for abortion.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the US Supreme Court decision that confirmed Roe v. Wade [U.S. decision to permit abortions] stated in some critical respects, abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception for two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.
The Supreme Court decision has made completely unnecessary, any efforts to expose what is really behind the attachment of the modern age to abortion. As the Supreme Court candidly states, we need abortion so that we can continue our contraceptive lifestyles. It is not because contraceptives are ineffective that a million and a half women a year seek abortions as back-ups to failed contraceptives. The intimate relationships facilitated by contraceptives are what make abortions necessary. Intimate here is a euphemism and a misleading one at that. Here the word intimate means sexual; it does not mean loving and close. Abortion is most often the result of sexual relationships in which there is no room for a baby, the natural consequence of sexual intercourse.
To support the argument that more responsible use of contraceptives would reduce the number of abortions, some note that most abortions are performed for contraceptive purposes. That is, few abortions are had because a woman has been a victim of rape or incest or because a pregnancy would endanger her life, or because she expects to have a handicapped or deformed newborn. Rather, most abortions are had because men and women who do not want a baby are having sexual intercourse and facing pregnancies they did not plan for and do not want. Because their contraceptive failed, or because they failed to use a contraceptive, they then resort to abortion as a back up. Many believe that if we could convince men and women to use contraceptives responsibly, we would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and thus the number of abortions. Thirty years ago this position might have had some plausibility, but not now. We have lived for about thirty years with a culture permeated with contraceptive use and abortion; no longer can we think that greater access to contraception will reduce the number of abortions. Rather, wherever contraception is more readily available, the number of unwanted pregnancies and the number of abortions increase greatly.
Sexual revolution not possible without contraception
The connection between contraception and abortion is primarily this: contraception facilitates the kind of relationships and even the kind of attitudes and moral characters that are likely to lead to abortion. The contraceptive mentality treats sexual relationship as a burden. The sexual revolution has no fondness - no room for - the connection between sexual intercourse and babies. The sexual revolution simply was not possibly until fairly reliable contraceptives were available.
Far from being a check to the sexual revolution, contraception is the fuel that facilitated the beginning of the sexual revolution and enables it to continue to rage. In the past, many men and women refrained from illicit sexual unions simply because they were not prepared for the responsibilities of parenthood. But once a fairly reliable contraceptive appeared on the scene, this barrier to sex outside the confines of marriage fell. The connection between sex and love also fell quickly; ever since contraception became widely used, there has been much talk of, acceptance of, and practice of casual sex and recreational sex. The deep meaning that is inherent in sexual intercourse has been lost sight of; the willingness to engage in sexual intercourse with another is no longer a result of a deep commitment to another. It no longer bespeaks a willingness to have a child with another and to have all the consequent entanglements with another that babies bring. Contraception helps reduce ones sexual partner to just a sexual object since it renders sexual intercourse to be without any real commitments.
Carelessness is international
Much of this data suggests that there is something deep in our natures that finds the severing of sexual intercourse from love and commitment and babies to be unsatisfactory. As we have seen, women are careless in their use of contraceptives for a variety of reasons, but one reason for their careless use of contraceptives is precisely their desire to engage in meaningful sexual activity rather than in meaningless sexual activity. They want their sexual acts to be more meaningful than a handshake or a meal shared. They are profoundly uncomfortable with using contraceptives for what they do to their bodies and for what they do to their relationships. Often, they desire to have a more committed relationship with the male with whom they are involved; they get pregnant to test this love and commitment. But since the relationship has not been made permanent, since no vows have been taken, they are profoundly ambivalent about any pregnancy that might occur.
Sexual Promiscuity Increases
By the late sixties and early seventies, the view of the human person as an animal, whose passions should govern, became firmly entrenched in the attitudes of those who were promoting the sexual revolution. One of the greatest agents and promoters of the sexual revolution has been Planned Parenthood. In the sixties and seventies, many of the spokesmen and women for Planned Parenthood unashamedly advocated sex outside of marriage and even promoted promiscuity. Young people were told to abandon the repressive morals of their parents and to engage in free love. They were told that active sexual lives with a number of partners would be psychologically healthy, perfectly normal, and perfectly moral. Now, largely because of the spread of AIDS and the devastation of teenage pregnancy, even Planned Parenthood puts a value on abstinence. Yet they have no confidence that young people can and will abstain from sexual intercourse, so they advocate safe sex, responsible sex, whereby they mean sexual intercourse wherein a contraceptive is used. Sex educators assume that young people will be engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage.
Young people do not need sex education of the Planned Parenthood type; they need to learn that sexual intercourse can be engaged in responsibly and safely only within marriage. Rather than filling young peoples heads with false notions about freedom, and filling their wallets with condoms, we need to help them see the true meaning of human sexuality. We need to help them learn self-control and self-mastery so that they are not enslaved to their sexual passions. They need to learn that sexual intercourse belongs within marriage, and that with the commitment to marriage comes true freedom; the freedom to give of ones self completely to another, the freedom to meet ones responsibilities to ones children.
There are two cornerstones on which education for sexual responsibility should be built - cornerstones that are both corroded by contraceptive sex. One cornerstone is that sexual intercourse is meant to be the expression of a deep love for another individual, a deep love that leads one to want to give of oneself totally to another. Most individuals hope one day to be in a faithful marriage, to be in a marital relationship with someone one loves deeply and by whom one is loved deeply. One of the major components of that deep love is a promise of faithfulness, that one will give oneself sexually only to ones spouse.
Contraception severs connection between sex and babies
The other cornerstone for a sex education program should be the refrain that if you are not ready for babies, you are not ready for sexual intercourse, and you are not ready for babies until you are married. Most people want to be good parents; they want to provide for their children and give them good upbringings. Contraception attempts to sever the connection between sexual intercourse and babies; it makes us feel responsible about our sexuality while enabling us to be irresponsible. Individuals born out of wedlock have a much harder start in life; have a much harder time gaining the discipline and strength they need to be responsible adults. Single mothers have very hard lives as they struggle to meet the needs of their children and their own emotional needs as well. Those who abort their babies are often left with devastating psychological scars. The price of out of wedlock pregnancy is high.
Indeed, even within marriage, contraception is destructive; it reduces the meaning of the sexual act; again it takes out the great commitment that is written into the sexual act, the commitment that is inherent in the openness to have children with ones beloved.
Those who are unmarried do face a disaster, and abortion seems like a necessity since no permanent commitment has been made between the sexual partners. Those who are married have often planned a life that is not receptive to children and are tempted to abort to sustain the child-free life they have designed. I am not, of course, saying that all those who contracept are likely to abort; I am saying that many more of those who contracept do abort than those who practice natural family planning.
Contraception takes the baby-making element out of sexual intercourse. It makes pregnancy seem like an accident of sexual intercourse rather than the natural consequence that responsible individuals ought to be prepared for. Abortion, then, becomes thinkable as the solution to an unwanted pregnancy. Contraception enables those who are not prepared to care for babies to engage in sexual intercourse; when they become pregnant, they resent the unborn child for intruding itself upon their lives, and they turn to the solution of abortion. It should be no surprise that countries that are permeated by contraceptive sex, fight harder for access to abortion than they do to ensure that all babies can survive both in the womb and out. It is foolish for pro-lifers to think that they can avoid the issues of contraception and sexual irresponsibility and be successful in the fight against abortion. For, as the Supreme Court of the US has stated, abortion is necessary for those whose intimate relationships are based upon contraceptive sex.
For verification of the claims here made about Planned Parenthood, see George Grant, Grand Illusions: the Legacy of Planned Parenthood (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth and Hyatt Publishers, Inc., 1988), and Robert Marshall and Charles Donovan, Blessed are the Barren (San Francisco, CA; Ignatius Press, 1991).
Portions of this article are printed as portions of chapters in Abortion and Moral Character, in Catholicism and Abortion, ed. By Stephen J. Heaney to be published by the Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research Centre and Abortion and Moral Character, in Doing and Being: Introductory Reading in Moral Philosophy, ed by Jordan Graf Haber, to be published by Macmillan.
Permission given for reprinting portions from The Connection between contraception and Abortion, by Dr. Janet E. smith, published by Homiletic & Pastoral Review, April 1993, distributed by One More Soul.
"The Connection between Contraception and Abortion" by Janet E. Smith is available from One More Soul.
I am as critical of the sexual morality of the last nearl four decades as anyone on this planet. But simplistic and over-extended arguments such as the above are my worst enemy.
So what exactly is simplistic and over-extended about the above conclusion. The case was made very clearly and logically in the original article. It goes through, in great detail, the evolution of contraceptive permissiveness into today's homosexual advocacy movement. Did you even read the article before posting such a groundless critique?
I am not sure I agree with everything the author stipulates, but he makes a very good case. I want to read and think more before commenting further.
Nowhere does the article suggest that, but rather it focuses on where contraception has taken us in terms of breaking up the family and disintgrating society. It also takes the focus off "self" which is how families stay intact to begin with.
Gay advocates of "domestic partnerships" are in effect saying to other homosexuals, that it is only acceptable to be "gay" as long as other homosexuals conform to their hypocritical standard of monogamy. The general public discussion about marriage, homosexuality and "domestic partners," does not address the central issue - - monogamy is a sectarian establishment of religion in the law and violates the First Amendments prohibition "regarding an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
Various homosexual pressure groups that claim to support "equality" never address bisexuality and the idea that a bisexual is not allowed to benefit from relationships with persons of both sexes. Nor are they, the Left Wing Media, and Left Wing Educational Establishment willing to discuss polygyny or polyandry, which are, or have been traditions for Muslims, Mormons, Hebrews, Hindus, Buddhists and Africans, as well as other Pagan cultures. The two sides currently represented in the same-sex marriage debate both want special rights for monogamists. However, the proponents of heterosexual only marriages are willing to concede that a homosexual has just as much a right to marry a person of the opposite sex as any heterosexual does. [Incidentally, the desire to have children is a heterosexual desire.]
Nowhere in the religious texts of the above mentioned cultures is there a prohibition of polygamy and I challenge any scholar of theology, literature or history to refute it with proof from the Judeo-Christian Bible, Holy Quran, Mahabharata, Rig Veda, or Dhammapada. The ignorance of these historical and cultural facts is evidence of the failed public education system and the fig leaf covering the personal bias of certain staff members in the Left Wing Press and Left Wing Educational Establishment concerning facts, reporting them and/or teaching them.
To allow an institution of homosexual marriage in a monogamous form requires some sort of moralistic meandering to justify it and prohibit any form of polygamy. Upon what basis, if we are to assume it is discrimminatory to not allow homosexuals to "marry," can there be a prohibition of the varying forms of polygamy? Especially, since the First Amendment is specific in forbidding an establishment of religion in the law and is supposed to protect the people's right to assemble peaceably? The entire issue of "same-sex" marriage hinges upon the assumption that monogamy is the only form of marriage. I contend that it is based upon human biological reproduction and is outside of the government's authority to regulate in regard to the First Amendment...
To bolster some of my assertions:
"What gay ideologues, inflated like pink balloons with poststructuralist hot air, can't admit, of course, is that heterosexuality is nature's norm, enforced by powerful hormonal cues at puberty. In the past decade, one shoddy book after another, rapturously applauded by p.c. reviewers, has exaggerated the incidence of homosexuality in the animal world and, without due regard for reproductive adaptations caused by environmental changes, toxins or population pressure, reductively interpreted bonding or hierarchical behavior as gay in the human sense."
About the writer: Camille Paglia is professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
The issue: Polyandry, polygyny, open societal promiscuity versus societal sanctioning of monogamy for heterosexuals and homosexuals by establishing religion in the law with a creationist/moralist patent.
The issue of polygamy is an Achille's heel for both popular sides of the same-sex marriage issue. The religious cannot find a prohibition of it in their sacred texts. The advocates have to resort to a litany of moralistic meandering based upon the creationist philosophy they claim to oppose to justify it. Both want special rights for preferred groups and are not interested in the individual freedoms of free association. They both want an establishment of religion in the law no matter how much they will deny that.
Unless you like conforming to the religionist dictates, I suggest you and others re-examine the B.S. the guardians of political correctness on the Religious Left have been feeding you.
The First Amendment is very unambiguous. The creationist cultural patent of monogamy is an establishment of religion in the law. The idea that some people get a preferred status based upon their personal relationships goes against the idea of individual rights and the idea of equal protection before the law. What of the people's right peaceably to assemble? It does not take an advanced legal education to comprehend the very clear language of the First Amendment. I say the federal and state governments have no Constitutional authority to be in the marriage business at all, except where each individual has a biological responsibility for any offspring they produce. With "reproductive rights," there must be reproductive responsibilities.
In addition, prohibition of polygyny, polyandry and various forms of polygamy (which includes bisexuals) is not consistent with Roe v. Wade - - society has no right to intervene in private reproductive choices. The recent case of a polygynist being prosecuted in Utah is a great example. Do the women associated with the man who fathered those children have a "right to choose" who they want to mate and produce offspring with? Does the man have a right to choose concerning the production of his progeny? Roe v. Wade says societal intervention in private reproductive choices is a violation of individual liberties. What implication does this also have concerning welfare and public funding of abortions? The issue of polygamy tears down a lot of the sacred cows...
BEFORE YOU REACT TO WHAT I AM SAYING, THINK ABOUT WHY I SAY THIS...
The so-called empowerment of women and rights of women have been appropriated by a few to mean rights of the few and no longer means an individual womans right to equal treatment. Some would emphasize the "inalienable right" of women to decide whether or not to bear a child. This has the effect of defining women as reproductive units rather than as human beings. Real womens rights would emphasize greater opportunities for education and employment instead of emphasizing a cult of fertility which leads to economic dependency on men and the rest of society, including homosexual men and women who do not reproduce.
The inaccuracies concerning the political economy of sex as portrayed by pro-"choice" advocates deserve a thorough review: Reproductive "choice" is made when two heterosexual people decide to engage in adult relations, not after the fact. The desire to have children is a heterosexual desire. Provided it is a consenting relationship, no woman is forced to become pregnant. Modern science and capitalism (see: Ayn Rands Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and Camille Paglias Sexual Personae) have provided methods to give women pre-emptive power over the forces of nature. No woman has control over her body; only nature does. It is modern Western Civilization that gives women power over nature, not Roe v. Wade. [Incidentally, Roe v. Wade, if strictly interpreted, would prohibit public funding for abortion since public funding for abortion is a form of societal intervention in reproduction - - the very thing prohibited by Roe v. Wade.] One may reply Roe v. Wade is part of a larger good called "womens rights," but this is really a disguise, consigning other women (those who dont reproduce or those who oppose abortion) to second class citizenship.
This topic is applicable to homosexuality, both the male and female variety, as well as to sexual crimes. The choice to engage in any type of sexual activity is an individuals, provided of course, he or she is not victim of a sexual assault. It is absurd to claim the rapist has no control over his actions and it is equally ridiculous to say a homosexual does not have a choice not to involve him or herself with another. The same is true for heterosexual females - - being a woman is not an excuse for making poor choices. The idea that "the choice to have an abortion should be left up to a woman" does not take into account the lack of a choice to pay for such services rendered: The general public is forced to pay massive subsidies for other people sex lives. Emotive claims that the decision to have an abortion is a private one is refuted by the demands of those same people who want public funding for their private choices and/or mistakes.
An adult male or female can be sent to the penitentiary for engaging in carnal pleasures with a minor. One female schoolteacher had become the focus of national attention because she produced a child with her juvenile student. She went to prison while pregnant the second time from the very same child student. Courts allowing a minor female to have an abortion without parental consent or notification can destroy evidence of a felony (such as molestation, rape or incest). Those courts and judges therein have become complicit in the destruction of evidence and are possible accessories in the commission of a felony.
Another source of amazement is the concept of those who hold candlelight vigils for heinous murderers about to be executed, a large number of whom think it is acceptable to murder an unborn child without the benefit of a trial. Is the "right to life" of one responsible for much murder and mayhem more important than that of a truly innocent unborn child? Perhaps we should call capital punishment "post-natal abortion" and identify abortion as a "pre-natal death sentence" or "pre-natal summary execution." Your "reproductive freedom" is my economic and environmental tyranny.
I will disagree about the polygamy though. The New Testament gives us an example of the nuclear family in the make-up of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. It is the standard and basis of Christianity, upon which society rests. There is also the example of Mary's parents, Anne and Joachim, which gives another subtle outline of Christian marriage.
And here is a link you may find interesting about Christian marriage:
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