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Contraception: The Bitter Pill
Inside Catholic ^ | October 20, 2010 | George Sim Johnston

Posted on 10/20/2010 2:24:53 PM PDT by NYer

Each month, to test our courage, my wife Lisa and I stand before an auditorium full of couples about to marry in the Catholic Church and explain to them the Church's teachings about sexuality. The crowd is generally not happy to be there. Many are not Catholic and few, needless to say, want to hear what the Church has to say about sex and contraception. They've heard it already on the afternoon talk shows from renegade nuns. This is, moreover, the upper east side of Manhattan, a tough market for Humanae Vitae.

 
We tell our restive audience that what they are about to hear is counter-cultural. We try to pique their curiosity: What arguments can there possibly be against using the pill? Proof texts are lacking in Scripture and we wouldn't use them anyway. The last thing you do with a crowd of post-baby boom Catholics is argue from the top down. What we have to do is persuade them that getting rid of their pills and diaphragms will actually make them happier. Then, gently, we can slip in a few natural law arguments about sex and babies.

 
The challenge is to put the cultural coordinates back to where they were seventy years ago. Until 1930, not only did every Christian denomination teach that contraception is wrong, but even the mainstream of media and politics did not approve of it. The ubiquitous state laws against selling birth control devices were the work of Protestant, not Catholic, legislatures. When, at the Lambeth Conference in 1930, the Anglican Church became the first Christian body to change its mind about contraception, the Washington Post was as indignant as Pope Pius XI. It seemed self-evident to at least a plurality of Christians that the deliberate obstruction of the life-making potential of sex is a gravely disordered act.
 
 
Disrupting Marriage
 
The use of contraceptives did not really take off until the advent of the pill in the early '60s. At the time, the pill was heralded as a great boon to married couples because it would remove from sex the fear of pregnancy. The divorce rate in America was 25 percent. It proceeded to double quite rapidly. While there were a number of reasons for this general breakdown of marriage, the pill certainly contributed. One obvious reason is that it makes infidelity easier by taking babies out of the picture. It also turns premarital sex into a recreation like tennis or bungee jumping, so that many enter marriage with a consumerist attitude toward sex that is easily bored and dissatisfied.
 
But there are more profound reasons why the pill is so disruptive to marital happiness. It has to do with the nature of sexuality itself. Sex, we tell our audience, is a mystery that can never be reduced to mere biology. It has a meaning far beyond the physical act of love. In The Graduate when Mr. Robinson confronts young Benjamin Braddock about his adultery with Mrs. Robinson, Benjamin defends himself by saying that it was no big deal: "Mrs. Robinson and I might just as well have been shaking hands." Mr. Robinson gets even more upset, and rightly so; because behind Benjamin's statement is a gnostic separation of spirit and flesh, of heart and body, which even the dimmest of cuckolds can sense is utterly wrong.
 
Our culture has been able to turn sex into a casual activity because it has separated personhood from the human body. Most people have the idea that their real self is somewhere inside the proverbial ghost in the machine and that what they do with their bodies doesn't make much difference. But this has never been the view of the Church, which teaches that the body is not a mere appendage, but is as much a part of us as our soul. After all, we don't say in the Nicene Creed that we believe in the immortality of the soul, but in the resurrection of the body. In a very significant way, we are what we do with our bodies.
 
The Old Testament uses a very interesting verb for sex: to "know." One of the things we surrender in the act of love is knowledge about ourselves that only our spouse should have. Nobody has written about these aspects of sex more profoundly than John Paul II in Love and Responsibility (1959). In that book, the future philosopher-pope argues further that each person is an irreducible subject "a person, not a thing," who ought never to be used as an object. As we know, sex is an appetite which has a tendency to do just that: to treat persons as objects. A couple can easily slip into treating one another as objects, as things to be used in bed, rather than as persons giving and receiving the spousal gift of love. And this may be why so many couples are bored by modern sex: You can tire of an object, while you can never tire of a person.
 
There is also the matter of babies. God's first command to humanity was to be fruitful and multiply. For those made uncomfortable by divine injunctions, the most elementary biology textbook will explain that sex is for making babies. And since sex is such a deep part our identity, it may be that when you sterilize the baby-making potential of sex, you are doing damage to yourself.
 
Artificial contraception is wrong because it violates the gift of self that ought to be at the center of every act of physical love. When you take the pill or use a foam, diaphragm, condom, or whatever, you are, in effect, saying to your spouse, "In this, the most intimate act of our marriage, I am going to give myself to you, but only up to a point." Or, conversely, you are saying, "I want you in this act to make a total gift to me of yourself, except that part of you which so deeply defines you as a sexual being, your fertility."
The body has its own deep language, and when we add chemicals or latex to the act of love, when we deliberately destroy its potential for making new life, we falsify the nuptial meaning of its actions. We hold back the full gift of self which during the wife's fertile period must include an openness to new life.
 
A couple who use artificial birth control are not only falsifying the meaning of sex, they are also behaving immaturely: trying to extract gratification from an act while getting rid of its natural consequences. It is not unlike certain eating disorders.
 
Chesterton put it well when he said that birth control "is a name given to a succession of different expedients by which it is possible to filch the pleasure belonging to a natural process while violently and unnaturally thwarting the process itself."
 
 
Child Spacing and NFP
 
At this point, an obvious objection appears on the faces in our audience. Is the Church telling us that we have to have one baby after another? What about my career? And my health? But the Church recognizes that there are legitimate reasons for spacing children. All that is asked is that a couple be generous and not put selfish motives first. And besides, the best thing you can do for a child is to provide siblings. It is, paradoxically, more difficult to do a good job bringing up one or two children than three or four.
If the arrival of children needs to be spaced (a job once done quite effectively by full-time breast-feeding), there is a morally acceptable way of doing it: Natural Family Planning. NFP is one of the best-kept secrets in the Catholic Church (and the medical profession), and most of our pre-cana audience is no doubt hearing about it for the first time.
 
The general ignorance surrounding NFP is a real tragedy, because couples who use it almost universally report what a boon it is to their marriage. NFP is not "Catholic birth control." Nor is it the calendar rhythm method, which has a 15 percent failure rate and went out the window decades ago. It is a method whereby both partners exercise restraint during the wife's fertile period, which is determined by a few simple symptoms. Used correctly, it is more effective than the pill. And it ought to be noted that the more effective an artificial contraceptive is, the more potentially harmful side-effects there are for the wife.
 
An obvious question occurs to our audience, one that is a stumbling block for any number of otherwise clever theologians: Since artificial contraception and Natural Family Planning have the same goal -- to postpone the arrival of a child -- what is the moral difference between them? Why should a little piece of plastic or a small dose of hormones be such a big deal?
 
But NFP and artificial contraception do not, strictly speaking, have the same goal, since NFP is used by couples to help conceive as well as to space children, while artificial contraception is used only to block conception. (A dividend of the sexual revolution is that one in six couples now have trouble conceiving, which gives NFP additional marketing appeal.) And even when the goal is the same -- the postponement of a child -- everyone would agree that the means used to achieve a goal can be either good or bad. For example, if you need a hundred dollars, you can either rob a bank or earn the money.
When it comes to spacing children, there is all the difference in the world between sex that is nonprocreative, because it takes place during the infertile part of the wife's cycle, and sex that is antiprocreative. The couple using NFP is accepting their fertility as it is: a great good, but a good which they are not going to use at this time. The husband respects his wife's cycle and does not try to manipulate it.
 
But a couple on artificial birth control is treating their fertility as though there were something wrong with it, something that has to be gotten rid of by medication or barrier. (The latter is a revealing term: "I want to make love to you, I want to give myself to you, but first let me put in my barrier.") A pill is what you take when you have an illness: couples who use contraceptives are treating their fertility, whose depth and mystery they ought to revere, as a defect in need of a technological fix.
 
 
The Fork in the Road
 
The Church does not teach that an act is evil because it makes people unhappy, but it does affirm that evil acts will inevitably have that result. Women who use contraceptives often complain that they feel like they are being used as objects and that their sex life is flat. Couples who use NFP never seem to have this problem. In the latter case, the wife, whose sensitivity in this area is usually keener, has the assurance that her husband loves her enough to practice self-control. And besides, abstinence is the best of aphrodisiacs. There is nothing like periodic continence to keep one's sex life interesting. It's like going on a honeymoon twice a month. A Jewish rabbi once told New York magazine that orthodox Jewish women, who have to abstain from sex for a period after menstruation, universally report that periodic continence keeps their sex fresh and entertaining.
 
In the end, couples who use NFP and those who use contraceptives are living two radically different versions of physical love. One accepts the gift of sexuality exactly as it is stamped in the human person by God; the other rejects it. And this severing of life and love is not healthy for a marriage. In fact, a void can open up in the love life of a contracepting couple, a void that is usually first noticed by the wife. Two statistics tell the whole story: The divorce rate among couples who use NFP is somewhere between 1 and 3 percent, while the divorce rate among couples who use contraceptives is well over the 50 percent national rate.
 
This is the message of Humanae Vitae that nobody gets: When you try to short-circuit the procreative end of sexuality, you also hurt the unitive. There is simply no way of separating them.
 
There is another unseemly aspect of the pill that is only now getting attention: its strong causal link to abortion. In one respect, "contraceptive" is a misnomer for the pill, because it sometimes does its work after conception by preventing the fertilized egg from implanting in the mother's womb. In other words, it is an abortifacient. But the link to abortion goes further. The essence of the contraceptive mentality is to drive a wedge between sex and babies. Once a society does this and goes on a spree of sterilized sex, it has to have abortion as a backup in case a contraceptive fails or (as happens with teenagers) isn't pulled out of the pocket at the critical moment.
 
The Church's insistence on the link between contraception and abortion occasionally gets support in surprising quarters. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey the U.S. Supreme Court, on its perennial search for the most plausible-sounding sophistries to uphold legalized abortion, stated:
 
[F]or 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.
 
In other words, we need abortion so that people can continue their contraceptive lifestyles.
 
 
Not Animals
 
The clash over contraception in the final analysis involves two irreconcilable views of the human person and sexuality. Humans are not brute animals; we are created in the image of God. We do not reproduce, we procreate; and the place to look for an ethics of sexuality is not in the rest of the animal kingdom, but in the other direction, at the three persons of the Holy Trinity in the act of eternal, mutual self-giving. The entire Christian world once understood this, and Protestants who think that this is no longer an issue ought to examine their own heritage. Luther and Calvin both taught that artificial birth control is intrinsically evil. So did Karl Barth, who wrote Paul VI a warm letter of praise after the publication of Humanae Vitae. The modern world has evacuated the marital act of its mystery and sanctity and it is sad that most denominations have gone along, hesitantly at first, only to proceed enthusiastically.
 
Much of the official Catholic apparatus also goes flopping along with the contraceptive culture. Many pre-cana programs actually promote artificial birth control, which means that they indirectly promote abortion. The pope, as usual, has a deeper insight than his middle management into the centrality of contraception in the array of life issues. In Evangelium Vitae, the first institutional step he proposes in the battle against the culture of death is the establishment of teaching centers for natural methods of regulating fertility. Unfortunately, the laity get little encouragement in this area. This is partly because the progressive wing of the Church, which controls most of the chanceries and seminaries, has never focused on Natural Family Planning. They consider it part of the baggage of Humanae Vitae, a document they shun like a vampire avoids sunlight.
 
Still, there are reasons to be optimistic that contraceptives will someday go away. At the end of each of our marriage preparation sessions, couples who seem to have little use for most Church teachings come up and say that NFP actually sounds like a good idea. Women, in particular, may decide on purely feminist grounds that artificially thwarting their fertility is demeaning. And, so far as the intellectual debate goes, Chesterton, our guide and mentor, made the amusing observation that "the more my opponents practice Birth Control, the fewer there will be of them to fight us."
 
Or, as a friend of mine once put it: "Be optimistic, the readership of the New York Times is not replacing itself."


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: contraception
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1 posted on 10/20/2010 2:24:55 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

A tough topic in any parish.


2 posted on 10/20/2010 2:28:41 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

There is no greater sign of reform and renewal in the Church at present than the recapturing and reasserting of the Church’s teaching on contraception.


3 posted on 10/20/2010 2:29:11 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: NYer
I was invited to give a pre-Cana talk on this issue to a local parish once.

Once.

4 posted on 10/20/2010 2:30:37 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: NYer
Artificial contraception is wrong because it violates the gift of self that ought to be at the center of every act of physical love. When you take the pill or use a foam, diaphragm, condom, or whatever, you are, in effect, saying to your spouse, "In this, the most intimate act of our marriage, I am going to give myself to you, but only up to a point." Or, conversely, you are saying, "I want you in this act to make a total gift to me of yourself, except that part of you which so deeply defines you as a sexual being, your fertility." The body has its own deep language, and when we add chemicals or latex to the act of love, when we deliberately destroy its potential for making new life, we falsify the nuptial meaning of its actions. We hold back the full gift of self which during the wife's fertile period must include an openness to new life.

I'm sorry, but this sounds like crazy talk to me.

Isn't it more likely that a church would discourage contraception for business reasons - to grow the flock?

5 posted on 10/20/2010 2:37:08 PM PDT by Walts Ice Pick
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To: NYer
I wish someone would have talked me out of getting married like that.
6 posted on 10/20/2010 2:37:49 PM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it freedom has a flavor the protected will never know .F Trp 8th Cav)
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To: NYer
Women, in particular, may decide on purely feminist grounds that artificially thwarting their fertility is demeaning.

Indeed, the concept that there is something deeply, fundamentally wrong with women - because their bodies can produce those terrifying babies - is profoundly demeaning. "Just be a toilet." I don't know why woman would accept it.

7 posted on 10/20/2010 2:39:27 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I love the smell of napalm in November. Cue the Wagner music ...)
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To: NYer
A tough topic in any parish.

Not among the trads.

8 posted on 10/20/2010 2:44:01 PM PDT by mas cerveza por favor
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To: Walts Ice Pick

What’s “crazy,” specifically? The concept that a human being is an integrated whole, body-soul, so that actions done by the person have physical and spiritual meaning? Or that rejecting something integral to the person, such as his or her capacity to produce a new life, is contradictory in a relationship (marriage) that is supposed to create the One-ness of two people?

Or do you just think Christianity in general is crazy?


9 posted on 10/20/2010 2:45:07 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I love the smell of napalm in November. Cue the Wagner music ...)
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To: Tax-chick
Well, the paragraph I quoted just doesn't sound convincing to me. It just doesn't sound authentic. Rather, it sounds like some sort of a cover explanation for a policy that actually serves a different purpose.

And, I suggested a different purpose, a more functional purpose that might make more sense.

10 posted on 10/20/2010 2:50:58 PM PDT by Walts Ice Pick
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To: Walts Ice Pick
Read the OT story of Onan. He was struck dead for "spilling his seed" by way of the withdrawal method. Once the contraception lifestyle became established, abortion had to follow as a necessary backup.

A couple that is intimate but uses contraception is very much like a homo couple with regards to procreation. If (intentional) DINK's can get married, why not homos?

11 posted on 10/20/2010 2:52:55 PM PDT by mas cerveza por favor
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
I was invited to give a pre-Cana talk on this issue to a local parish once. Once.

NFM is not very popular. Everyone wants the easy way out. Good for you in upholding church teachings, albeit the least popular one.

12 posted on 10/20/2010 2:54:08 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: Walts Ice Pick

God has told us all along to be fruitful and multiply. I do not attend a catholic church. I wonder if any believers actually ponder that “family planning” is not biblical.


13 posted on 10/20/2010 2:56:08 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: NYer
“If the arrival of children needs to be spaced (a job once done quite effectively by full-time breast-feeding), “

My son is living proof that it isn't always that effective :).

My husband and I have decided to let God determine our family size. As my last pregnancy had serious complications, we don't say this lightly. God was merciful and all went as well as it possibly could have. I must confess to some fear, but God is sovereign over all...even my womb.

14 posted on 10/20/2010 2:56:59 PM PDT by Spudx7
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To: NYer
The general ignorance surrounding NFP is a real tragedy, because couples who use it almost universally report what a boon it is to their marriage. NFP is not "Catholic birth control." Nor is it the calendar rhythm method, which has a 15 percent failure rate and went out the window decades ago. It is a method whereby both partners exercise restraint during the wife's fertile period, which is determined by a few simple symptoms. Used correctly, it is more effective than the pill. And it ought to be noted that the more effective an artificial contraceptive is, the more potentially harmful side-effects there are for the wife.

Seems like birth control is birth control.

15 posted on 10/20/2010 2:57:46 PM PDT by Netizen
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To: Walts Ice Pick

I notice you didn’t answer my questions. What do you find erroneous or irrational in the statements you quoted?

Naturally, if you don’t believe human beings have souls, or that the life of a human being is of any intrinsic value, you would not find arguments based on those premises convincing. However, most Christians would agree with the premises, I believe, even if they don’t follow the reasoning all the way to a categorical rejection of contraception.


16 posted on 10/20/2010 2:59:13 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I love the smell of napalm in November. Cue the Wagner music ...)
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine
I don't see any contradiction between being fruitful and multiplying and using contraception to prevent unwanted multiplying.

I don't think there's anything wrong with a church designing and advocating policies in order grow its flock, either. Churches that don't concern themselves with the business end of things don't last too long.

17 posted on 10/20/2010 3:00:19 PM PDT by Walts Ice Pick
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To: Spudx7
My husband and I have decided to let God determine our family size.

In faith we truly believe that if this be the will of God, He will provide. The Duggars are an excellent example of how christian faith works. Good for you and your husband!

18 posted on 10/20/2010 3:00:30 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

The birth control pill saved my sanity-——way back in the sixties.


19 posted on 10/20/2010 3:01:15 PM PDT by Mears
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To: Tax-chick
Well, I think that one can give oneself while attempting to discourage pregnancy as a result. If you disagree with that, I don't know how to resolve our difference of opinion on that question.

I will say on your behalf that I consider your opinion to be more persuasive than the opinion of a church leader who doesn't participate in the activity at all, if that helps. Beyond that, I just think we disagree.

20 posted on 10/20/2010 3:07:16 PM PDT by Walts Ice Pick
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To: Walts Ice Pick

I am more interested in what God has said verses man’s wisdom on these issues. I wish more people would ponder this issue and look into what God has said about children and procreation.


21 posted on 10/20/2010 3:08:57 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

Well, maybe you’ll be happy to learn that I did “multiply” and now have some grandkids. :)


22 posted on 10/20/2010 3:11:00 PM PDT by Walts Ice Pick
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To: Walts Ice Pick

I am glad for your sake, this is an important topic for the church as a whole to genuinely debate. It is nice to be able to dialogue without throwing each other under the bus.


23 posted on 10/20/2010 3:13:12 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: Walts Ice Pick; Tax-chick
Isn't it more likely that a church would discourage contraception for business reasons - to grow the flock?

This proposition is problematic because it takes a deeply-held, philosophically and theologically sound moral and ethical proposition that has been steadfastly considered and held by the catholic church since the advent of modern anti-conception technology and asserts that all they're really trying to do is increase their coffers.

It also ignores that even Catholics are commissioned and charged to be evangelists. Children are more likely to stay in the religious faith of their parents, but Christianity is an evangelistic faith in which members sin by failing to communicate the gospel to the lost. The church grows by evangelism to both family members and to the unsaved.

And this next statement is more apropos of the fact that I'm about to leave work for my personal evangelism class at church and is not related to my above critique, but do you consider yourself to be a good person?

If God were to judge you for how you've lived your life, do you think you'd be innocent or guilty?

The bible says that anyone who has violated any portion of God's law -- told a lie, stolen anything, looked at another person with lust -- is guilty of sin and the punishment for that is death and hell. Christ, however, by living a sinless life and dying on the cross as a sacrifice for sin paid the penalty for my sin and everyone else's and that by accepting his propitiation of our sin we can be set free of God's judgment.

Thanks in advance for letting me get that out. Best regards, FATC

24 posted on 10/20/2010 3:13:36 PM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: Walts Ice Pick

Are not you aware that contraception is the killing of the union between an egg and a sperm?

It is just as eveil as
abortion,
invitro fertilization that wastes many eggs,
embryonic stem-cell research which hasn’t proved fruitful (adult stem cell research is doing very well, thank you.)
or euthaniasia.


25 posted on 10/20/2010 3:14:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

Can we point out before this thread gets too far along that nowhere does the church teach that infertile couples must abstain from marital relations? It always comes up, and completely misses the point that fertility is an aspect of marriage that must remain in God’s domain and not man’s. There is a big difference between a man or woman withholding that aspect of sex for their own ends, as opposed to God withholding it for His.


26 posted on 10/20/2010 3:14:28 PM PDT by Eepsy
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To: Eepsy

Wow I had no idea that anyone holds that belief.


27 posted on 10/20/2010 3:15:55 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: Tax-chick

Yert God instructed the people of the earth:
(both Adam and Even and Noah and his wife and their sons and wives)

:Go forth, be fertile and multiply.”

LOL! — can you tell I am leading a Bible Study on Genesis right now?


28 posted on 10/20/2010 3:16:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

Natural Family Planning does not thward the conception process. It is a program of abstinence.


29 posted on 10/20/2010 3:18:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I studied Genesis inductively a few years ago and it changed me, the Word of God teaches us and insructs us. I pray that more professing believers would dig into the world and know what it says. Blessings!


30 posted on 10/20/2010 3:18:19 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine; Walts Ice Pick
Read up on Natural Family Planning:

Divorce Rate Comparisons Between Couples Using NFP & Artificial Birth Control

'Amazing Grace for Those Who Suffer'
Natural and Unnatural (father of 5 shocks mother of 1)
NFP — It Ain’t Your Momma’s Rhythm
Responsible Parenthood in a Birth Control Culture, Part Two [Open]
Responsible Parenthood in a Birth Control Culture, Part One [Open]
Contraception v. Natural Family Planning — Part 5 of 6 [Open]
Journey to the Truth (Natural Family Planning) [Open]
Enslaving Women One Pill at a Time (Birth Control Pills and Natural Family Planning)
New Study Shows Natural Family Planning Technique More “Effective” Than Contraception
Fargo) Diocese set to require pre-marriage course in natural family planning

Making Babies: A Very Different Look at Natural Family Planning
Clerical Contraception (Important Read! By Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer)
(Fargo) Diocese set to require pre-marriage course in natural family planning
Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, July 25, 2004
IS NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING A 'HERESY'? (Trads, please take note)
Thanks Doc: More (and Younger) Doctors Support Natural Family Planning
Couple say Natural Family Planning strengthens marriage
Reflections: Natural family planning vs sexism
British Medical Journal: Natural Family Planning= Effective Birth Control Supported by Catholic Chrch
Natural Family Planning

31 posted on 10/20/2010 3:19:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I would disagree, withholding intimate relations from each other for the mere purposes of not getting pregnant is not biblical.


32 posted on 10/20/2010 3:20:00 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

and I am obviously talking about married couples.


33 posted on 10/20/2010 3:21:10 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: Salvation

**Yert God instructed the people of the earth**

Oops
Yes, God instructed the people of the earth


34 posted on 10/20/2010 3:22:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thanks for the info, I will certainly read it a time permits.


35 posted on 10/20/2010 3:23:54 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

Didn’t you mean “dig into the Word”?


36 posted on 10/20/2010 3:23:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Spudx7

We’re struggling with this too - I am 41 and my youngest of 5 is 1. I am completely against artificial contraception and I struggle with NFP for similar reasons...still struggling with it - its a trusting in God issue, I think.


37 posted on 10/20/2010 3:24:29 PM PDT by jacjmm
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To: Salvation

LOL, thanks for the correction. I think we all dig into the world a little too much.


38 posted on 10/20/2010 3:25:06 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

With the help of God.

It doesn’t mean that they can’t be intimate.


39 posted on 10/20/2010 3:25:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

I’ve never watched that show. What does he do for a living?


40 posted on 10/20/2010 3:28:47 PM PDT by Netizen
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To: Tax-chick
Indeed, the concept that there is something deeply, fundamentally wrong with women - because their bodies can produce those terrifying babies - is profoundly demeaning.

It works both ways.

Chemical contraceptives treat wives' fertility as a "disease" which must be "treated" with "medicine.

Barrier contraceptives treat husbands' fertility as a "poison" or "contagion" which must be contained to prevent "contamination" or "infection".

It's all very queer.

41 posted on 10/20/2010 3:29:11 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Salvation
Are not you aware that contraception is the killing of the union between an egg and a sperm?

Well, I guess I'm aware that "the union of an egg and a sperm" can be prevented by a condom, by a hysterectomy, by abstinence and by a whole lot of other things that aren't crossing my mind right now.

I think there is a "time and place for everything."

42 posted on 10/20/2010 3:29:35 PM PDT by Walts Ice Pick
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To: Netizen
I’ve never watched that show. What does he do for a living?

Find out for yourself here.

43 posted on 10/20/2010 3:38:27 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

How about narrowing it down a little? Top half, bottom half, or you could just tell me.


44 posted on 10/20/2010 3:40:04 PM PDT by Netizen
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To: NYer

Saw some mention of a business, but not what that business actually was. He makes his living writing a book and reality tv show?


45 posted on 10/20/2010 3:44:16 PM PDT by Netizen
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine; Salvation
I would disagree, withholding intimate relations from each other for the mere purposes of not getting pregnant is not biblical.

Scriptural references below .

Scripture on Contraception

46 posted on 10/20/2010 3:52:27 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: Tax-chick
Indeed, the concept that there is something deeply, fundamentally wrong with women - because their bodies can produce those terrifying babies - is profoundly demeaning. "Just be a toilet." I don't know why woman would accept it.

"Toilet"? Interesting that you seem to equate semen with urine and feces, as if there is something deeply, fundamentally wrong with loving men unless they are literally in the act of procreation.

I don't know why any man would accept a woman who thought of him in that way.

47 posted on 10/20/2010 3:55:48 PM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on its own.)
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To: Eepsy; ThisLittleLightofMine
Can we point out before this thread gets too far along that nowhere does the church teach that infertile couples must abstain from marital relations? It always comes up, and completely misses the point that fertility is an aspect of marriage that must remain in God’s domain and not man’s.

Pope John Paul II explains this with what he calls the "language of the body." He observes that in the sexual act, man and woman implicitly give themselves totally to one another. That is what their bodies are saying, both symbolically and literally. Sexual expression, by its very nature, implies total gift of self to the other. The language of the body says, "I give myself to you completely, without reservation or condition.

This does not mean that sex can be truly self-giving only during fertile parts of a woman's cycle. The Church has never taught that couples must have as many children as possible. Rather, it means that interference with fertility both arises out of spousal selfishness and increases it. The Church approves natural family planning, in which couples abstain during fertile periods when they prayerfully have determined that there is a need to avoid pregnancy. In these cases the spouses are not separating the unitive and procreative.aspects of a sexual act; they are simply refraining from performing the act. Similarly, sex after menopause or when suffering from other forms of infertility do not divide the unitive from the procreative. The couple's act is still ordered toward procreation; it is simply that procreation will not occur.

48 posted on 10/20/2010 4:04:52 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Yes, you’re right. My comment was one-sided and not all that well-cogitated.


49 posted on 10/20/2010 4:07:30 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I love the smell of napalm in November. Cue the Wagner music ...)
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To: Talisker

You’re right - that was badly said. The comparison doesn’t do justice to the topic.


50 posted on 10/20/2010 4:10:20 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I love the smell of napalm in November. Cue the Wagner music ...)
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