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Posts Tagged ‘Contraception’

I Told You So

In 13 History on 2014/02/07 at 12:00 AM

PAUL-VI-243x300A recent perusal of any social networking site has probably led you to realize that that Pope Paul VI has again been justified in his predictions about contraception’s impact on society and culture. Especially when he stated,

Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” (from Humanae Vitae)

No, it wasn’t Miley and Robin’s “performance” at the MTV Video Music Awards (although that’s a pretty good sign of the “general lowering of moral standards”, too).

It was a very sad piece from a blog dedicated to “heterosexual, masculine males” who represent a “small, but vocal collection of men in America today who believe men should be masculine and women should be feminine” ironically called, “Return of Kings.”

National Catholic News Agency

The title of the article?

“How To Convince A Girl To Get An Abortion”

That’s right. There’s nothing that defines a dude as a “masculine male” like someone who impregnates his girlfriend, “long term booty call”, or “ONS” (one-night-stand – as the author so tenderly puts it) and then lies and uses manipulation to force her to kill their child.

The author suggests a few tactics for the poor, oppressed bro-choicer who, unlike women, lacks “reproductive rights in opting out of being a parent.” Since the male version of the Pill doesn’t exist yet, the author explains, he’s left with no option to maintain his lifestyle but abortion. (In another post the author reveals that he’s undergone a vasectomy, so he no longer has to worry about the natural result of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman interfering with his game, but before that, these tactics worked for him).

I won’t bore you with any more of the sociopath-esque tactics or even link to that particular article – it’s already received a bump in web traffic because of all the controversy – but what I will mention is how pleasantly surprised I was when I read the comments from some of the readers who’d most likely found the page because of a post on a like-minded friend’s Facebook or Twitter account.

The first comment that caught my eye was from a man who said, “Everyone has the right to live, ideal conditions or not. Even a child born into poverty can make a huge impact in society. They deserve an opportunity.”

Others chimed in below with some great thoughts like, “A ‘masculine man’ does not deceive. Does not cheat to get his way. Does not disrespect a woman. Does not abuse or belittle the disabled.”

(Part of the article suggests lying to the woman by telling her that although he would “love to have children” it would be unfair to the child because he is the carrier of “a rare genetic disease that is common” in his family.)

Another commenter expressed regret over having taken his girlfriend to get an abortion 15 years ago and that the decision “still haunts me til this day.” Another agreed with him saying he also made that decision and, “It ruins so many lives. Not just the unborn.”

A couple commenters even linked to post-abortion help websites like Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More, encouraging those men to seek healing and forgiveness for their decisions.

One commenter replied to the article saying, “Any man who does not understand the joys of having a child in marriage and how children are a real blessing, watching them and knowing that they are part you and part the woman you love and care for (which make for far better intimate life) really does not know how to live.”

Some of more of my personal favorites were the following:

“We were never meant to kill our children.”

“Everyone will experience suffering in their lifetime, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to murder them.”

“I know plenty of men and women who weren’t wanted as children, some were abused. They grew to be happy, well adjusted adults. This excuse is a cop-out and quite frankly, a lame and desperate stand for abortion.”

“Learn something beautiful about human life and sexuality. This culture is killing you.”

“How about someone write an article about how to convince your girlfriend to give up your unwanted child for adoption?”

“Good relationships are built on trust and mutual respect. Abortion requests destroy that trust!”

I wouldn’t recommend reading the article or diving into the comment board (it devolves into name-calling and crass language pretty quickly), but I would recommend being a witness to life on the internet when things like this hit the mainstream.

If you’re really looking for something to explain the reasoning behind this article, you should click here. Apparently these “kings” would like to take down all the “white knights” (men who treat women as more than sex objects) because upstanding men are “a worm that eats at the apple of masculinity.”

Sadly, this too is not satire. Again, Paul VI was right.

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Response to article of 7/19/13 Life in a Mirage

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2013/07/26 at 12:00 AM

We recently received this comment via e-mail from a friend re the article: “I don’t think contraception is evil.”

Here is what I responded: I thought I would elaborate a bit on the matter of contraception. Just thoughts, not proselytizing! This is why I think it is wrong and always wrong.

1. It is unnatural. The first divine command to man was increase and multiply.  There was no mention of “unless you’re on the pill” or the like. This a command, not a suggestion, because it involves the welfare of the human race. Contraception introduces an alien element into a divine plan. Contraception is a man-made invention which was not meant to be part of a divine plan. Unnatural actions have consequences; between abortion and contraception, the Western world is depopulating itself out of existence, and this is unnatural in itself. The statistics are horrifying. Any activity contrary  to nature exacts punishment at least eventually. That’s a law of nature too.

2. Contraception sees sex as an end itself, rather than a means. Its goal, too often nowadays, is simply personal pleasure and gratification.  It’s certainly true that pleasure accompanies sex, but more as incentive than goal. Pleasure is not meant to be the main goal; otherwise, sexual activity would not produce new people.

3. Men, by nature, have a more casual attitude about sex. Family is far more the domain of the woman; it is almost a part of their being. Initially, men can take it or leave it. This is why adolescent boys (of all ages) can approach a girl  and speak about “love” while hoping for sex.  Adolescent girls (of all ages) can agree to sex hoping for love. Guess which one always loses?

4. Contraception means using another person for one’s own ends. How many times have I heard of women on the pill for fear the man involved would leave otherwise? What about a family’s economic circumstances that, by any objective  calculation, simply do not have sufficient income to produce unlimited numbers of children? There is no law, divine, Church or human, that requires any married couple to have children at all. It is a free choice.  But to engage in the activity that produces children while thwarting the laws of nature is wrong. Natural laws are divine laws and man has no authority to subvert them. A basic rule in any aspect of human life is  that if  we do not want the EFFECT, we should not operate the CAUSE. If we don’t want to die, we don’t eat poison, jump off tall buildings, or drive at 100mph. Moreover, sex is the one natural drive (like food, water and sleep) that does not have to be satisfied. When God planned the Incarnation of Christ, he did not include sex in it.

5. On balance then, I personally do not think contraception has been any kind of boon to mankind. “They are going to do it anyway.” That may be, but we don’t repeal laws just because they will be broken. Laws are for the good of society, not just deterrents. Many will not break them. Contraception leads to the widespread promiscuity in our contemporary culture. It can also lead to abortion when it fails at its usual 20% rate.

6. Just as we have no authority to change any of the 10 Commandments, (although it is widely attempted), we have no authority to alter, deny, repeal, or ignore any other divine plan.

The problem with all this presumptuousness on the part of humans is that while humans may declare a divine law repealed, it is not ratified by God, and it still in force and still expected to be obeyed.

Temperance by Donald DeMarco

In 13 History on 2012/02/17 at 9:11 AM

In January 1936, a meeting took place between Mohandas Gandhi and Margaret Sanger.  The subject of their conversation on that auspicious occasion was contraception.Gandhi had a different understanding of birth control. For him it meant temperance, or self control.Mrs. Sanger was, at that time, the high priestess of the birth control movement. For her, as well as for her legion of followers, “birth control” meant contraception.

During their meeting, Sanger tried to convince Gandhi of the moral legitimacy of contraception. She wanted people to rely on contraceptive technology. Gandhi, who regarded the use of contraception as sinful, wanted people to rely on human virtue. He offered, therefore, a more human and less technological remedy for avoiding unwanted pregnancies. The great Hindu leader proposed a method in which the married couple would abstain from sexual union during the wife’s fertile period.

On Opposite Sides of the World

It may be that no two more utterly disparate world figures of the twentieth century ever met to discuss a moral issue of such critical and global significance. Sanger was a libertine whose religion was pleasure. In a letter to her sixteen-year-old granddaughter, she advised that “for intercourse, I’d say three times a day was about right.” Gandhi, known as Mahatma or “Great Soul,” was an ascetic who dedicated his life completely to truth and peace. He led his people in India to their political independence, and both his example and his philosophy have continued to inspire others who labor for the same goals, including Reverend Martin Luther King jr. and his fight for civil rights.

It is not an exaggeration to compare this meeting between the voluptuary and the ascetic with that between Satan and Christ after the latter had fasted for forty days in the desert. Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood in 1939 and later became honorary president of International Planned Parenthood. Drawing from her second husband’s wealth, she established the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau that financed the development of the birth control pill. Gandhi, a man of God, was entirely self-effacing. He advocated natural family planning and preached that virtuous temperance should be rooted in love. “If love is not the law of our being,” he declared, “the whole fabric of my argument falls to pieces.”

He called the particular form of temperance he practiced and preached, brahmacharya, a Sanskrit word referring to perfect control over the appetites and bodily organs. In 1924, Gandhi stated that, fully and properly understood, temperance, or brahmacharya, “signifies control of all the senses at all times and places in thought, word, and deed.” It includes, yet transcends, sexual restraint. It rules out violence, untruth, hate, and anger. It creates a state of even mindedness that allows for self-transformation in God. Gandhi saw in the use of contraception the potential for man undoing himself. The virtue of temperance or brahmacharya is needed, he felt, for man to be truly himself and to allow God to work through him. Therefore, contraception, which divorces the sexual act from it’s natural consequence, divides man, separating him from the meaning of his own actions. For Gandhi, contraception “simply unmans man”:

I suggest that it is cowardly to refuse to face the consequences of one’s acts. Persons who use contraception will never learn the value of self-restraint. They will not need it. Self-indulgence with contraceptives may prevent the coming of children but will sap the vitality of both men and women, perhaps more of men than of women. It is unmanly to refuse battle with the devil.

Rome Has Also Spoken

Pope Paul VI echoed many of the thoughts that Gandhi expounded concerning the evils of contraception. Gandhi stated that, “As it is, man has sufficiently degraded woman for his lust, and artificial methods, no matter how well-meaning the advocates may be, will stillfurther degrade her.” Pope Paul VI wrote:

The Many Faces of Virtue
by Donald DeMarco

It is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of anti-conception practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.

Gandhi advised people to use that particular part of temperance called “self-restraint” to achieve “self-transformation.” Pope Paul VI underscored the importance of “self-mastery” in matters of sexuality (cf. Catechism, 2346). They both spoke of the importance of education and the cooperation of external agencies. Neither was hesitant in identifying the use of contraception as an evil and a disorder. Both saw contraception as an enemy to marriage.

Separate Paths

The distinguished British journalist, Malcolm Muggeridge, long before he became a Roman Catholic, offered a comment in praise of Humanae Vitae that may be taken as an apt comment on the 1936 discussion between Gandhi and Sanger:

One of the things I admired the Church for so much was Humanae Vitae. I think it’s absolutely right that when a society doesn’t want children, when it’s prepared to accept eroticism unrelated in any way to its purpose, then it’s on the downward path.

The paths of temperance or brahmacharya and eroticism most assuredly do not move in the same direction. As current history has indicated, the former leads to a culture of life, while the latter leads to a culture of death.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Donald DeMarco. “Temperance.” from The Many Faces of Virtue (Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing, 2000): 43-46.

This article is reprinted with permission from Emmaus Road Publishing and Donald DeMarco.

THE AUTHOR

Donald DeMarco is adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut and Professor Emeritus at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo Ontario. He also continues to work as a corresponding member of the Pontifical Acadmy for Life. Donald DeMarco has written hundreds of articles for various scholarly and popular journals, and is the author of twenty books, including The Heart of Virtue, The Many Faces of Virtue, Virtue’s Alphabet: From Amiability to Zeal andArchitects Of The Culture Of Death. Donald DeMarco is on the Advisory Board of The Catholic Education Resource Center.

Copyright © 2012 Emmaus Road Publishing


Reprinted with permission from CATHOLIC WORLD on line.

The Major Threats to Life

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2011/10/08 at 1:00 AM

While there are many topics that can be included under the banner of “threats to life,” there are two right now that stand out as the most dangerous to our society: abortion and same-sex unions.

Of course when it comes to abortion, it’s very easy to see why this is a threat to life. The good news is that an increasing number of Americans believe that abortion is wrong in every circumstance, and abortions are decreasing in our country.

Some states like our own are now enacting stricter abortion laws, and many abortion mills in the U.S. are experiencing financial difficulties. These are all reasons for us to be optimistic.

But the war on abortion is far from over, and as a Pro-Life community we must keep up the pressure through programs such as 40 Days for Life and by voting only for pro-life politicians.

Why same-sex unions are a threat to life, however, is not as easy to understand. And sadly, Americans are increasingly relaxing their attitudes toward this grave evil.

Before I go any further on this topic, I want to make it absolutely clear that the Church makes a distinction between those who suffer from same-sex attraction and homosexual acts. Certainly the Church teaches us to love the sinner yet hate the sin.

Experiencing same sex attraction is a disorder, but it’s not a sin. To be sure, there are many types of disordered attractions that humanity is subject to. But acting on this disordered attraction and engaging in homosexual activity is always gravely sinful.

Same sex unions are a threat to life because they change and pervert the very act by which new life is created. And they are a threat to our society because they undermines God’s plan for the family, which is the very building block of our society.

As Catholics we know that all human life is sacred because we are created in Gods’ image and likeness, and thus the act by which life is created is also sacred and is not to be misused.

When we use our free will to misuse the gift of procreation, we rob ourselves and others of our God-given human dignity. We become less than who we are called to be.

You see, the conjugal act is sacred and holy only when directed towards its purposes established by God: first, for the procreation and education of children, and second for mutual up building in love of a married couple joined together in a permanent covenantal relationship. Any conjugal act that is not open to these two purposes is intrinsically evil.

The very first chapter of the Bibles teaches us that: “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). God did not make them male and male, but male and female.

Thus, this passage teaches us that there is a necessary complementarity that must exist in the marital union, a complementarity that can only exist between a male and female.

The next verse continues: “God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply.’” Because they lack the complementarity necessary for true union, homosexual unions are not fertile and cannot multiply, and therefore they can never be open to the gift of life.

To the contrary, homosexual unions distort the marital act, destroying the procreative aspect of it as well as the unitive good, for love not rooted in Truth is not authentic love.

By legalizing same sex unions, we are not only consenting to grave sin as a society, but we are also changing the God-given nature of marriage. Salvation history teaches us that when we willfully turn away from God’s will, we set ourselves up for disaster.

Therefore, contrary to all the rhetoric we hear from the media, banning same sex unions is not a discriminatory act. It’s preventing the legalization of evil. It’s not a matter of denying someone happiness; it’s a matter of trying to save souls.

While I could talk for hours on the evils of abortion and same-sex unions, there is one evil that underlies and makes possible an acceptance of both abortion and same sex unions, and thus, it’s important to address this topic too. This root evil that has produced the rotten fruits of abortion and same sex unions is contraception.

Again, as with abortion and same sex unions, I have no intention of judging or condemning anyone who is caught up in this sin or has been in the past.

I know that many of you here right now are probably a bit uncomfortable. Well, I’ll tell you a secret: I’m uncomfortable too! Honestly, I don’t like talking about these topics. But considering the state of our society today, I can’t not talk about these things.

So I stand here today as both your spiritual father and your brother in Christ – as someone who loves you. And because I love you, I want you to have a fuller understanding of why these issues are evil so that you can make a more informed decision about them.

As I’ve said so many times before, truth is objective. It’s real and independent of us whether we like it or not. We don’t determine truth for ourselves. It simply is. And part of cooperating with God’s salvific grace is conforming our lives to Him Who is Truth!

In the parable of the landowner and tenants, Jesus tells us today of the consequences awaiting those who refuse to follow God’s will, and who instead do violence to those who represent Him: they do not inherit the Kingdom of God.

As Catholics, we are blessed that the fullness of truth has been revealed for us in Jesus Christ, who has enshrined this fullness of truth in the teachings of His Catholic Church.

As for contraception, we know that it is evil because it willfully sterilizes the marital act. By willfully eliminating the possibility of procreation, it distorts the purpose of the marital act.

By its nature marital love is meant to be fruitful and boundless. It’s like an intimate language in which spouses speak to one another and say: “I give myself to you fully.” When couples use contraception, it’s as if they are lying to each other when they engage in marital intimacy.

By contracepting we make the conjugal act something less than it was intended to be, and we take God out of the picture. This is why the Church teaches that using contraception is intrinsically evil and gravely sinful.

In essence contraception makes couples the arbiters of God’s plan for life rather than the servants of that plan. It’s an inherently selfish act and a refusal to accept the responsibilities that come with marital love. It’s a refusal of the fullness of marital love.

More than anything else, it is the widespread acceptance of contraception in western society that has led to the ill-begotten belief that the marital act can be about something other than the procreation of children. This is a terrible lie that has led to terrible consequences for us.

Pope Paul VI predicted that with the widespread use of contraception, there would be a general increase in promiscuity, adultery, and illegitimate births, as well as an increased divorce rate and the eventual acceptance and proliferation of abortion. Sadly, he was right.

This is because contraception teaches us that we can engage in the conjugal act without love and responsibility. It teaches us that we can use each other for our own gratification without consequence. This same mindset of using the conjugal act for our own selfish ends is now leading to an acceptance of same sex unions.

My brothers and sisters, look around at our society. We are drowning in an ocean of disordered sexuality. Every form of sexual perversion and impropriety is readily accepted and defended in our society as long as the people involved are consenting adults.

But we are mocking that which is sacred in God’s eyes. We mock God Himself. And it’s time that we Catholics fully embrace our faith and say “ENOUGH!” It’s high time that we rise up, speak out, and defend our society from these evils that are afflicting us.

I know that having children can be a scary proposition, and it’s often because of this that people turn to abortion and birth control. I also understand that embracing a life of celibate chastity can be lonely, which may lead those with same sex attractions to sinful unions.

But please remember that you will never find the peace and freedom we all desire apart from God’s will. And engaging in these evils is never part of God’s will for any of us.

Let us pray today for the courage not only to follow God’s will in all of these matters, but also to speak up and make these truths known for the good of our country.

10/2/11   Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC