“Judah said to Onan, ‘Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.’ But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord, and he slew him also” (Gen. 38:8–10)…
It is a little known fact that until 1930, every Christian denomination condemned artificial contraception. Not just the Catholic Church. All of them. No exceptions. Even the Protestant Reformers condemned the practice -
* “[T]he exceedingly foul deed of Onan, the basest of wretches . . . is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest and adultery (emphasis mine). We call it unchastity, yes, a sodomitic sin. For Onan goes in to her; that is, he lies with her and copulates, and when it comes to the point of insemination, spills the semen, lest the woman conceive . Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed (emphasis mine). Accordingly, it was a most disgraceful crime. . . . Consequently, he deserved to be killed by God. He committed an evil deed. Therefore, God punished him.”
Luther doesn’t just equate Onan’s action with incest or adultery, he elevates it to an even higher evil than those two atrocities! He calls it ‘a most disgraceful sin’. Why? his words: ‘…lest the woman conceive.’ And ‘Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed.’
* “The voluntary spilling of semen outside of intercourse between man and woman is a monstrous thing. Deliberately to withdraw from coitus in order that semen may fall on the ground is doubly monstrous. For this is to extinguish the hope of the race and to kill (emphasis mine) before he is born the hoped-for offspring.”
Why does Calvin say that it’s wrong? Not because ‘semen may fall on the ground…’. He says it’s wrong because ‘this is to extinguish the hope of the race and to kill before he is born the hoped-for offspring.’ In other words, it’s wrong because it prevents the birth of a child. In fact, his choice of words sounds amazingly like the description of something else – Abortion… And, as we’ll see later, legalized abortion is one of the results of the change in teaching on artificial contraception that began in 1930…
* “Those sins that dishonor the body are very displeasing to God, and the evidence of vile affections. Observe, the thing which he [Onan] did displeased the Lord—and it is to be feared; thousands, especially of single persons, by this very thing, still displease the Lord, and destroy their own souls (emphasis mine). “
Wesley takes it as far as saying that those who follow in the footsteps of Onan ‘destroy their own souls.’ By doing what? by acting to prevent conception during the Marriage act.
* (You can find these passages, and many others by historic Protestant figures who recognize the evils of contraception, quoted in Charles D. Provan, The Bible and Birth Control.)
These reformers maintained the same belief and teaching that had been the historic Christian position since the very beginning of Christianity. And that was a continuation of Jewish teaching dating back to the time of Onan, way back in the old testament.
In short, this teaching on contraception has been around since God first made himself known to us.
So what happened to cause everybody to change their minds about contraception? And what are the consequences of that change?
As mentioned above, the condemnation of artificial contraception was the universal position of all Christian denominations until 1930. It was at that time that the Anglican Church, during it’s Lambeth Conference, acquiesced to social pressure and allowed artificial contraception in certain circumstances. Shortly thereafter, the Anglicans completely gave into continued social pressure and removed all objection to contraception and allowed it for any reason that a couple could come up with.
It was a true ‘Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile’ moment in Christian history. Sadly, that mile has become a light year today…
And from there, the slippery slope effect came into play and all other Protestant denominations soon followed suit.
In short order, denominations everywhere abandoned thousands of years of Divine Revelation in favor of the demands of a few thousand or million selfish individuals who wanted the the fun of sex without taking on the responsibility of children.
This is truly a new teaching within the boundaries of Christianity. And when this happened, a whole new world opened up – and it’s not very pretty…
Many a Christian evangelist will preach against ‘man-made traditions’ and doctrines, all the while promoting and encouraging what truly is the single most destructive man-made doctrine in the entirety Judeo/Christian history.
How destructive? Well, when Christian society adopted a contraceptive mindset – a mindset that removes the possibility of conception from the sex act, thereby making children an unnecessary hinderance to having a good time, we established a mentality that made it increasingly more acceptable to ‘enjoy’ sex lives outside the norms of society, Christian or otherwise.
The natural result of sexual relations is a child, and since you take the requirement for a baby out of sex, there is no reason to have a normal sexual relationship – they all become normal…
And here’s a short list of what’s become the norm, or is becoming the norm, since we started thinking this way…
- Rampant Adultery
- Ubiquitous pornography
- Mercy killing/Euthanasia
- High divorce rates
- Childhood sex
- Unchecked unwed motherhood
- Gay marriage
- Epidemic levels of sexually transmitted diseases
And that’s just a jumping off point – How many other things can you think of that could be added to this list? How many things can you think of that can be attributed to the the things on the list – subsets, if you will?
For the sake of brevity, I’ll stick with Abortion to start with and address the other things on the list in future articles.
- Abortion – If you want to end abortion, end the contraceptive mentality. Think about it – they both have the same end in mind – The pleasure of sex and the prevention of the birth of a child. They are two siblings in the same family, sharing the same goal and, often, the same methodology for achieving that goal – even if the practitioners don’t realize it.
Even Planned Parenthood and the media tangentially connect contraception and abortion, as evidenced in this piece from Lawrence O’Donnell:
In the video, a ‘friend’ of O’Donnell allegedly sends him an email decrying the movement to defund Planned Parenthood. One of the main reasons she gives for her request is that she won’t be able to afford birth control because she has just lost her job (and insurance). She also mentions her ‘unfortunate and devastating abortion’ in her email.
(Apparently, she was forced to have an abortion because she either didn’t have access to birth control, or it failed. Neither O’Donnell nor the email says. It is also not revealed if the woman is married.)
This is a perfect example of how the Contraceptive mentality has created what we have today in the areas listed above.
First, assuming that the woman is single, I have some observations…
Prior to the general acceptance of contraception as a way to avoid pregnancy, conception was universally recognized as a possibility when engaging in sexual intercourse. Additionally, society demanded that the bearing and raising of children take place within the confines of a committed marital relationship (marriage). With that understanding, sex was also generally expected to take place within the institute of marriage, and those (especially women) who participated in it outside of the marriage bond were looked on with much derision.
Derision does not begin to cover the perception of any woman who became pregnant outside of the marital relationship. Women who found themselves in this situation were strongly stigmatized, and that stigma stayed with them for the rest of their lives, or until they moved somewhere where they were not known.
With these societal norms in place, men and women may have wanted to jump into the sack together, but they had to weigh the possibility of pregnancy and the resulting circumstances and responsibilities that go along with it against the pleasure of engaging in the act. They had to decide whether sex was worth the risk of the consequences of creating a new child.
Those who took the risk and bet wrong paid a heavy price. And, if they were married to other people, those families paid an even greater price. Those families would have suffered even more humiliation, pain, loss of trust, possibly divorce and who knows what else.
Fear of the consequences of elicit sexual intercourse kept much of the religious, and probably non-religious, population in check. People were forced to exercise self-discipline and take responsibility for the way they lived their lives. They had to resist temptation, even if they really didn’t want to. And, when you compare society back then with the train wreck we have today, they actually did a fairly good job of it.
Now, what would happen if all of a sudden the ‘danger’ of getting pregnant while having sex appeared to go away?
Let’s see… What would that mean?
By removing the possibility of creating a new life from the sex act, you removed the the primary natural function of sex from the act itself – that of procreation. God didn’t give us the gift of children so we would be more likely to feel good during sex, he made sex attractive to us so we would procreate! Face it – if sex was painful, would we do it? And if we didn’t do it, there wouldn’t be any of us around to complain about it.
And, having removed conception from the sex act, you have changed the reason for sex from procreation to self expression or self fulfillment. This is NOT what God intended.
Remember: God did NOT say “Go out and have fun expressing and fulfilling yourselves and, if you think of it, make me 2.3 kids, but make sure you don’t mess up this nice planet with too many of the little ankle-biters.” He told us to “Be fruitful and multiply” and “Subdue the Earth”
Now that you have taken the possibility of pregnancy out of the equation, you have also done away with the fear of the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy. And when you threw out the baby, you started down the road toward the breakdown of self-discipline and the destruction of personal responsibility.
And you have opened the door to what, to millions of people, is ‘complete sexual freedom’. It destroys all self discipline. It obliterates any sense of personal responsibility for the consequences of our actions. It gives us the illusion of being the masters of our bodies and decision makers for God.
And this eventually led to the sexual free-for-all we have going on all around us today.
And, in millions of us, it has made us impervious to the destruction of little blobs of tissue growing inside millions of pregnant mothers around the world.
Back to the woman who’s email O’Donnell is reading in the video…
If she’s not married, she shouldn’t be having sex. BUT she is the ‘victim’ of the contraceptive mentality – that mentality says that “you are a sexually free woman, and you can do whatever you want. And if you slip up and get pregnant, you can just get rid of it because you are free to express yourself in any way that you want and you shouldn’t have to worry about the consequences of your actions. You don’t have to be responsible. In fact, you’re being responsible by aborting it. You should be able to have sex and not be punished with a baby because of it.”
Again, the contraceptive mentality discounts any self-discipline and responsibility on the part of the couple, especially the woman.
At this point you’re probably asking, “What are you talking about? Contraception is NOT the same as abortion!”
Well, artificial contraception often fails, and one big reason that there are not more unwed mothers is that when ‘protection’ fails, the baby is jettisoned (aborted).
- Induced abortions usually result from unintended pregnancies, which often occur despite the use of contraception (CDC).
- 54% of women having abortions used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users reported using the methods inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users reported correct use (AGI).
- 8% of women having abortions have never used a method of birth control (AGI).
- 9 in 10 women at risk of unintended pregnancy are using a contraceptive method (AGI).
- Statistics found at Abort73.com
- AGI: The Alan Guttmacher Institute (Research arm of Planned Parenthood)
- CDC: Centers for Disease Control
Nowadays we hear about the use of abortion as a means of contraception as if it was a new idea when, in fact, it has been used that way for thousands of years.
As K.D. Whitehead writes:
Yet there is one more consequence of the contraceptive mentality in our society today which must now be treated —abortion. The legalization of abortion in the United States, by the Supreme Court’s decision of January 22, 1973, has quite rightly evoked a wave of protest everywhere—and not only among Catholics. Abortion—the killing of a living though unborn child—may yet serve to turn our society back from the road down which we have been traveling. People do stop and ask: how is it that we are now permitting the legalized killing of around a million of our children each year? How is it that in supposedly civilized and Christian America we have killed more since the Supreme Court abortion decision of 1973 than in all the wars of American history?Nevertheless, even among those most horrified by legalized killing, there has been a great reluctance to accept the plain fact that we have social acceptance of legalized abortion today because we had social acceptance of contraception first.
I am acquainted, I think, with all of the arguments that will be levelled at this statement. After all, it is argued, abortion is not the same thing as contraception. Abortion is killing; killing is wrong. Contraception, however, is something else; it merely prevents conception; it doesn’t kill a child already alive and growing. So it is urged.
Most people see the evil of abortion and they see that its acceptance is already opening the way towards acceptance of positive euthanasia, or “mercy killing”, of the sick, aged, and “unfit”. Much fewer people see how the evil of contraception and its new ethic of untrammelled sex apart from possible procreation have in fact led to legalized abortion. For even if contraception as such is not as bad as murder, it is an evil; and Our Lord. himself teaches that “the bad tree bears evil fruit”: (Mt 7:17). It is in this sense that abortion—the idea that we may even go so far as to kill in order to make effective the “control” man has assumed over his own, “reproduction”—is one of the evil fruits of the contraceptive mentality.
How many of us were worrying about abortion in 1968 when Paul VI issuedHumanae Vitae? Only four or five States had tentatively modified their abortion statutes at that time (37). Or in 1930? The deluge has come in the past several years. But the encyclicalHumanae Vitae, like the earlier encyclical of Pope Pius XI, was already on the record as a truly prophetic witness of the plague of abortions that has since been visited upon the human race.
Actually, the American experience of seeing the acceptance of contraception lead to the acceptance of abortion was not the first time that the integral and consistent anti-life logic we have been examining here has worked itself out in human history. Consider this statement of St. Epiphanius, who was Bishop of Salamis, and who lived between 315 and 403 A.D. Writing of the contraceptive practices of the pagan society of his day, St. Epiphanius wrote against the idea that conjugal relations might be indulged in without any reference to their natural purpose: “There are those”, he wrote, “who when they have intercourse deliberately prevent having children… Moreover if a man should by mistake deposit some of his emitted seed and his wife becomes pregnant, listen to what further crime they descend. They remove the unformed fetus from the womb anytime they please and actually grind the aborted child (infantem) with mortar and pestle. Then to avoid nausea they use pepper and other spices or ointments” (Emphasis added) (38).
Again, the desired results of both artificial contraception and abortion are the same – the prevention of the birth of a child.
You might argue that, while the expected result of abortion is the prevention of live birth, the expected result of the pill is the avoidance of conception. Well, why would a person (or couple) want to prevent conception? So they don’t have a baby.
Both the practitioner of contraception and the practitioner of abortion have the same expectation: They expect the same outcome from engaging in sex – all fun, no baby. They even use the same reasoning for their respective methods of avoiding the responsibility for their actions…
- I/we can’t have a child right now because
- I/we can’t afford it
- I’m/we’re in school
- I/we have a career
- I/we am not ready to settle down yet
- I/we want to be responsible and protect the Earth
- I/we don’t want to bring a child into such a messed up world
- We just want to be with each other
- I just want to be free to express my sexuality and not have to worry about having a baby
- And the ubiquitous: We have all of the kids we want ** (See note below)
Because of the the natural progression of the contraceptive mentality, many women may not bother with ‘protection’ at all, relying on ‘after the fact’ methods of preventing live birth. That, after all, is what the ‘morning after’ pill is for. And if you miss the ‘morning after’ opportunity, you can always go to RU486 – up to 9 weeks into your pregnancy!
In fact, many forms of contraception act as abortifacients (the IUD, the Patch, the Morning After Pill – which is essentially a very strong version of the common Birth Control Pill, which can also act as an abortifacient – if they don’t catch it on the first go around, they will prevent implantation of the fertilized egg and cause a spontaneous abortion. A woman can abort her baby and never even know she was ever pregnant! How many women have unknowingly aborted their child or children who would never begin to consider intentionally having an abortion under any circumstances?
We hear about the nearly fifty-five million abortions that have been performed in clinics and hospitals since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land. That’s the number 55 followed by six zeros. That’s a lot of lives destroyed at the hands of so called doctors in so called ‘health centers’ around America. That’s an incredibly high number, but where abortion is concerned, the number ‘one’ is too high. You will not find a pro-life person who will dispute that.
But we don’t know how many unknown, spontaneous abortions have taken place through the use of various forms of contraception. It could be a lot fewer than fifty-five million. Or it could be a lot more than fifty-five million.
And when you take the number of intended and non-intended abortions in the United States and add them to the numbers in same categories from every other nation on Earth, what do you come up with? There is no way to tell, is there?
What we can tell is that abortion is the next logical step in the contraceptive mentality. When contraception fails, abort the ‘product of conception’.
Abortion is the contraceptive of last resort.
** (About “We have all the kids we want”, while I plan to address this in a future column, I would like to interject a couple of thoughts to ponder…
When a woman conceives a child, she participates, with God, in the creation of an imortal soul. That child, once conceived, lives forever. And as with everything else that God creates, which is everything, that soul belongs to Him.
Serious Christians consider children a gift from God. But have we ever given thought to the fact that every child is also our gift TO God? And when we purposefully reject God’s desired gift from Him, we also intentionally refuse to give God our gift to Him?
God may have given us all of the children we want. But how many children does God want from us? And who are we to decide for God how many souls He wants from us?
How many of us are competent to make God’s decisions for Him?
21 “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
24 “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die. (EZEKIEL 18:20-24)
Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood, Racist, Eugenicist…
The Contraception Deception…