Traditional Catholics/birth control
QUESTION: How can the Catholic church be prolife AND anti-birth control? Doesn't birth control PREVENT the need for abortion? Isn't this a moral contradiction?
ANSWER: Birth-control does not prevent the need for abortion, but instead is a primary cause of it. Superficially, that may seem rather paradoxical on account of the obvious fact that what is not conceived in the first place cannot be murdered later on. The purpose of both is the same, however, and the purpose itself is wicked. It is just a fact that abortion adds a murder to that wicked purpose. But as it turns out, the former also involves a murder in many cases.
The IUD, for example, works by preventing the newly-conceived embryo from attaching itself to the uterine wall, murdering the person it was meant to be and disposing of him or her with her next menstruation. The pill works (partially) the same way. Originally, the dose was much stronger so as to prevent the release of egg cells in the first place, but as that high dose was hard on a woman's body chemistry, the amount was reduced, and now the release of egg cells is merely "less probable" than if the pill were not taken. So other chemicals were added to the mix to provide a kind of "insurance" that it would work, basically by doing what the IUD does.
And then of course there remains the fact that all forms of birth-control can fail, and when they fail (which they inevitably do sooner or later for those who use them over a prolonged period), abortion is the most common "backup" plan. Granted, some might simply accept the rare instance of a child conceived during the use of birth-control and raise the child, and others might even put the child up for adoption, but neither of these alternatives is as common as abortion, at least where abortion is easily and trivially obtainable. When various "programs" and "agencies" hand out free birth-control whatevers to teenagers, what they really convey is the idea that they can do what they want with whoever, and so they do. Inevitably, some will then require an abortion when the birth-control fails, especially in the inexperienced hands of youth. How far better to have instructed them that there are limits that must be observed, and the growth and maturity needed to respect those limits. It is amazing how much one can grow and mature when that growth and maturity is needed, where it would not happen if it were not needed.
Behind all of this trouble is the real problem, that other wickedness I briefly mentioned above, which is common to both preventing a conception and destroying that which is already conceived. It is a whole mentality which treats those physical sensations (properly associated with impregnation) as though they were some sort of constitutional right. There are few things more destructive to the whole of civilization than teaching people that "if it feels good, do it." Lots of things "feel good," such as getting revenge for every time someone slights you, or stealing something you want but cannot afford, or shirking some unpleasant duty. If you don't like your boss or that nosy neighbor or that in-law, why not just kill them?
It won't do to claim that letting someone get their rocks off doesn't hurt anyone, because it does. It hurts the one getting their rocks off in that their desire to do what is right is not supported while their lazy selfishness is approved. In each of us there is that perpetual battle between what we nobly and ideally want, versus the selfish and often destructive things that we also want. The higher nature versus the lower, or the spirit versus the flesh. In the higher nature we want to share with others, but in the lower we want it all for ourselves. And there are few if any areas that more directly feed that lower aspect of us than finding ways to get our rocks off without acquiring that responsibility to raise the children that would naturally result. A person who has been taught to give in to that desire is always "on the make," and who would want to associate with someone like that, other than like-minded sickos and professional prostitutes? Birth-control can only be an alternative to abortion in the same sense that sex with one's own gender, or with animals, or with inflatable "love-dolls," or even with one's own hand, would be.
So the real goal of the Church is to call all to a higher and nobler form of life which serves others before self, obeys God in all things easy or difficult, and lives a life of honor, and with nothing to be ashamed of. The desires and sensations associated with continuing the human race were given to us by God for exactly that purpose. There are a lot of hoops one is meant to jump through before having earned the right to bear children (and all that goes with it). One must grow up, become skilled in things necessary towards parenthood, a career, domestic skills, personality skills, and so forth. Then one must find and court a marriage partner, which includes all of being attractive, of practicing etiquette and manners, and then all the numerous hassles involved with organizing the wedding. When all of that is accomplished, the couple may "make children," at last fulfilling the long-unfulfilled desire in the manner intended by God. But when one allows any release of these tensions that do not fit correctly in the context of that overall plan of human life, that whole process is short circuited. Even within a marriage, it is sheer nonsense to be working in the baby factory if you would not even accept the baby that may result. Wanting the pleasure without accepting the work and responsibility that comes with it is basically theft, and that cannot be good for anybody, no matter how much they may think they want it.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: 1.Yes, that's all very nice, but in the real world who's going to support all those children? The state? The Church? I certainly don't believe in sex outside of a committed relationship (I don't say marriage, because I've found marriages aren't always about commitment.), but how many children can a couple realistically afford? Not to mention needing to prevent STD's since you never know when the bastard may be cheating on you.
2. Do I sound jaded? Should a twenty-year old girl be this jaded?
Actually, marriage IS all about commitment, in fact in a way that no other contract we enter into in this life can ever be. The Church is quite serious about marriage being for life, which is why there is virtually no divorce. The problem enters in when people talk of marriage when they actually have no such intention. Perhaps they just want an excuse to engage in fornication, and when they get bored with whoever they do this with they can just move on to another, using the fiction of a divorce and second, then third, and fourth (and so on) "marriage." The rank absurdity of a so-called "gay-marriage" is only all the more obvious since homosexual relationships are by nature the most fleeting, and there is nothing that could ever render it the least bit sinful or wrong for anyone to leave their "homosexual partner" at any time (indeed, all who are in such a "situation" have a moral obligation to leave at once and never enter into any other like it, if they want to avoid Hell).
If, for someone, marriage is not about a truly permanent and committed relationship, that is not a person that anyone should ever marry, or get involved with romantically in any other way. As to children, and especially those who may be beyond the means of those who have them, what people are supposed to learn (and did in all previous ages) was self-control, not "birth-control." After all, what can the unmarried morally do? They can seek to be married. Anything else would be a short-circuit of the purpose for which our desires exist. And that is also how diseases get spread. How much could such diseases spread if everyone waited until marriage (avoiding it altogether if they never marry), and then remained in their one marriage for all their life, being utterly faithful? By simply having everyone do that, all the STD's that ever existed could be wiped out in a single generation.
But even the married must practice self-control, not only in being totally faithful to each other, but also respectful of what times it would not be appropriate, for example in public, or if one is ill. Most of life is not about getting one's rocks off but about achieving many other good and worthy things. People should only make children when they are in a position to raise them. And for those who make children "out of turn," so to speak, there is still the useful idea of putting them up for adoption.
But now I see something else here. I can see that you (or someone you care about) has been deeply hurt by some worthless guy. Whether the guy said "marriage" when meaning only an excuse to sleep together for a while, or "committed relationship" as a way to avoid all the legal hassles of marriage (and divorce), he obviously had no trouble cheating on the relationship, and perhaps even acquiring a disease thereby, bringing it back to the relationship. It is only proper to speak of one as being jaded when they come to think that is how things should be. Would you really claim some absolute right to cheat on a guy who sees himself as committed to you, perhaps even getting a disease from someone else so as to give to him? That would be jaded, and I don't see that in you. But frankly I cannot see why anyone would ever cheat on anyone else, though I know a lot of that goes on.
Can you not see that what the Church calls for is order in people's lives? If only people would follow that orderly manner of life a great many serious societal problems would be solved, just like that. But instead of helping people fix their lives and keep their affairs in order there are those who instead prefer to buttress people's disorderly lives with artificial means (birth-control gadgets, "protection" from disease, State welfare programs, abortions, "easy" divorce laws, and so forth), but that never can fix anything. All of those things are very costly band-aids on a bursting appendix, when the real solution is the Grace of God that the Church brings to the world. The orderly and honorable life is not easy, but it is totally good and beautiful, and what a shame that so few even bother to seek it.