090 Beyond Your Wedding Day Podcast-Contraception
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*What could possibly be wrong with contraception?
-the whole point of sex within marriage is to renew the wedding vows and part of that is openness to children
-“Sex is meant to proclaim to the world that God is life-giving love. An intentionally sterilized act of intercourse proclaims the opposite: God is not life-giving love”
*a couple may love each other in many authentic ways, but a couple having contraceptive sex can never be in an act of authentic love. We can’t just make up the definition of love to what we want it to be
*So is every couple supposed to just have 12 kids?
-if a couple has a just reason to space out their kids, then they can abstain from sex. It happens during other times of marriage (if one is sick or right after a wife gives birth). It’s what separates us from animals.
*Are you saying if a couple needs to avoid pregnancy, they have to wait until menopause to have sex?
-First of all: no. Using menopause as an example, would a couple who has sex after menopause be violating their wedding vows if they can’t get pregnant? No because they didn’t do anything to prevent pregnancy, it is God’s design.
-The same is true for Natural Family Planning, if a couple chooses to have sex during an infertile day, it’s nothing they are doing to prevent pregnancy, it’s God’s design.
*Isn’t that splitting hairs, what’s the difference?
-Is there a difference between abortion and a miscarriage?
-Is there a difference between suicide and natural death?
*Isn’t refusing to have sex even more of a contradiction of your wedding vows than having protected sex?
-Only if you were refusing to have sex out of spite for your spouse or for hatred of children of something would it be a problem
-If it’s agreed upon by both spouses to avoid pregnancy for a just reason, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with it
*What’s the difference between artificial and natural contraception?
-It’s actually contraception that the Church is against. If a couple is using NFP, they are not preventing anything at all and THAT is the definition of contraception.
*If God gave us the technology to control our fertility, we should be able to use it.
-The use of modern medicine should always to used to help the body function as intended. For example, it would be great to use technology to give sight to a blind man. It would be terrible to use technology to purposely make a sighted man blind. Medicine is used to cure disease, fertility is not a disease!
*I still don’t understand what the difference between NFP and contraception are?
1) A religious, nonreligious, and anti-religious person walk by a church. The religious person goes in and prays. The nonreligious person just goes by. The anti-religious person goes in and desecrates the church. Which actually did something wrong?
2) When deciding who to invite to your wedding, you simply choose not to send an invite to some people. You would never send them a dis-invite. There is a big difference!
-When you use NFP you are simply not going into the church or not sending an invitation. When you use contraception you are desecrating the Church or sending God a dis-invitation.
*Don’t couples using NFP and contraception have the same intention, therefore making both morally wrong?
-The moral end is the same, but the moral means are very different. A couple using NFP chooses to abstain from fertile intercourse, a couple using contraception choose to sterilize fertile intercourse. There’s a big difference once again. If 2 students want good grades and one chooses to study hard and the other chooses to cheat, there are not morally equivalent.
*Where does the Bible say contraception is wrong?
-Of course it doesn’t say specifically “contraception is wrong!”. There’s lots of things the Bible doesn’t say that we infer we shouldn’t do. It says love your neighbor, but doesn’t specifically say not to send him hate e-mails. It’s obvious they go hand in hand. The Bible does say “be fruitful and multiply” (Gn 1:28), and it also says that God slew Onan for “spilling his seed on the ground” (Gn 38:9-10). Scripture after Scripture tells us to receive God’s love, to love as God loves, and to choose life. Contracepted sex is saying you don’t want to do any of those things and that is not Biblical.
*Ok, so what would be just reasons for a couple to use NFP to avoid pregnancy?
-First of all, it’s once again all about the heart. If a couple sees children as a burden and wants to avoid children for selfish reasons, then they would be violating their wedding vows in their heart. Basically, the Church says that avoiding pregnancy should not be done out of selfishness, but out of a desire to be responsible parents. Only the couple can decide in their hearts and through prayer what their intentions are.
*It’s none of the Church’s business what my spouse and I decide in regards to contraception. Why can’t the church just let families decide and not make people feel guilty about using the pill?
-It’s very similar to a parent-teenager situation. Even if your teenage daughter BELIEVES going to a party with alcohol, drugs, and no parents is a good idea doesn’t mean it is. If we are truly part of the Catholic Church, the Church in many ways is our mother. She knows what’s best for us even if, we as adults, think we know better. Everything the Church teaches is out of love for us. Remember, it doesn’t force us to do anything.
*The Catholic Church is obviously out of touch. No other church teaches that contraception is wrong, doesn’t that prove right there that it has no credibility on this topic?
-Actually, quite the opposite. It gains credibility for being the lone voice that hasn’t caved to intense societal pressure. Until 1930, EVERY Christian denomination taught that contraception was wrong. That is the year that the Anglican Church broke from the traditional Christian teaching and said that it was ok. Many, many people of that time predicted the breakdown of society once that happened. People like President Theodore Roosevelt, atheist Sigmund Freud, Mohandas Gandhi, T.S. Eliot (British writer), the Washington Post, and on and on.
*How does contraception lead to the breakdown of society?
-A deterrent for adulterous and pre-married sex used to be the fear of unwanted pregnancy. If that deterrent was taken away: In a given society, incidents of adultery would increase which is one of the main causes of divorce. Also, incidents of pre-marital sex would be sure to rise. Pre-marital sex is also an indicator of later divorce.
Since no contraception is 100% successful, with a rise of adultery and pre-marital sex comes a rise in “unwanted” pregnancies. With that rise naturally comes a rise in abortions.
Not everyone will abort, which means some will keep their babies and raise them without a father. Fatherless babies are proven in study after study to be more likely to grow up in poverty, in abuse, etc. Then, to top it off, fatherless children are much likely to have out-of-wedlock births and to get divorced. What a nasty cycle that just continues to get worse and worse generation after generation.
*What about the societal benefits of contraception: the liberation of women, more equality between the sexes, and allowed married couples to enjoy sex without the fear of pregnancy?
-The liberation of women: If women are trying to be liberated from the oppression of men, contraception is certainly no way to do that. Men will tend to just see women as a means to get off once the fear of pregnancy is taken away. Feminists in the nineteenth century pointed to contraception as one of the worst things for the liberation of women. These feminists, along with Pope Paul VI and Ghandi, predicted that contraception would lead to the further degradation of women. Only now are some twentieth century feminists starting to realize they were wrong in encouraging contraception as a way to free women.
-Equality between the sexes: God created man and woman equal, but not the same. Attempting to use technology to falsely make man and woman the same is a sham. Men will appreciate a woman’s dignity when he understands that God made her beautifully unique.
–The joy of sex: the true joy of sex comes from loving as God loves in a free, total, faithful surrender that is open to life
*Isn’t the Church hypocritical in saying it is against abortion, but also against contraception?
-The problem with that is studies show that the more contraception is used in a country, the more abortions there are. It is a natural connection considering the attitude both procure.
*What if you’re on the pill for medical reasons? Is that still wrong?
-First of all, there are many alternatives to the pill for most medical issues. The Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction specializes in this. But, if there were no other options than the pill, then a husband and wife should abstain from sex in order to avoid the potential abortifacient effect.
*Since NFP isn’t 100% effective either, isn’t the Church increasing the chance of abortion with it too?
-The difference is in the hearts of the couple. If the couple was using NFP in the wrong way, out of disdain for having kids, then that would be true.
*Many doctors say that natural methods are only 80% effective?
-This may be true if you include the old rhythm method, or just guessing, etc.
-For those properly using NFP, it’s 99% effective
*What’s the difference between the rhythm method and NFP?
-the rhythm method was used by many Catholics in the mid-1900s by using the calender and past cycles as an educated guess on fertility
-this was not very successful, therefore it often gives people who think NFP is the same a bad name
-NFP uses many signs (cervical mucus, temperature, etc.) to determine exact fertile times
*How long do you have to abstain if you are using NFP?
-About 7 to 12 days per month in most cases
*Couldn’t abstaining from sex in marriage actually harm it?
–not if it is done for the right reasons
-this is proven by the 3% or less divorce rate among those couples who practice NFP
*What is acceptable regarding marital intimacy during the time of intimacy?
-this falls under the guidelines of chastity within marriage
*What if one spouse accepts what the Church teaches, but the other insists on contraception?
-You must continue to lead your spouse to the truth about Christ’s love.
-It may mean not having sex, but you must weight that decision very carefully
-The key is to continue loving your spouse!