NFP: Birth Liberation Not Birth Control

John McNichol

“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.”

                                                           -GK Chesterton, “Social Reform vs. Birth Control”

I received quite a few comments and side discussions after my last column on why contraception is wrong. But one point I made in passing was surprisingly not discussed at all:

Isn’t NFP the same as the Pill?

For those not in the know, NFP stands for Natural Family Planning. It’s a means of spacing childbirths through natural means, monitoring a woman’s bodily signs of fertility to know when having relations would or would not result in the conception of a child.

But isn’t the same as the Pill? Or other forms of Artificial Birth Control (sometimes shortened as “ABC”)? No.

Why? As stated before, artificial, chemical means of preventing pregnancy are called contra-ception for a reason. These artificial chemicals and devices actively oppose the processes in a woman’s body designed to bless the world with a child. Contraception is thus analogous to the Romans’ practice of vomiting during a feast so as to make room for more tasty food.

Insisting on separating the unrestrained pleasure of eating from the purpose of eating leads to eating disorders. However, making a choice to restrain yourself from eating too much, exercising or eating smaller portions is not disordered, but considered healthy and virtuous. As such, rather than put chemicals or devices into the wife’s body, a couple who decides to work with a wife’s body typically attains the sexual, emotional and relational benefits analogous to a lifestyle centered around a good diet and exercise.

This is hard for many today. Much of our modern culture bristles at the thought of saying ‘no’ to any sexual activity at any point in time. Indeed, it is understandable if we consider that the modern world considers the sexual act as the supreme and only form of transcendent experience. Thus, many modernists are in effect addicted to a sensory experience, and thus anything impeding it is ipso-facto evil incarnate.

However, those who use NFP often find it a positive, if challenging experience. Several studies have found that regular, effective use of NFP leads to a higher stay-together rate among couples, with divorce rates ranging from 0.2% to 3%, depending upon the study quoted. Practitioners of NFP also report higher satisfaction in marriage, a greater sense of ‘doing well’ as a parent, greater emotional intimacy in marriage, and a host of other benefits.

This is not surprising. Imagine the difference in physical, spiritual and emotional health we’d witness between two people if one was losing weight by regular bouts of self-induced vomiting and the other was following the tougher route of self-control through diet, portion control and regular exercise. Plus, as I mentioned in my previous article, contraception brings about a cultural ethos in which children are seen as problems to be avoided, rather than a blessing to be celebrated.

Jokes about the Duggars aside (and we’ll look at them in a moment), working with an alongside nature tends to give one a love and respect for nature. Those who see nature or children as potential adversaries tend to curse the weather and feel sorry for women with large families rather than happy for them.

So, no. NFP and ABC aren’t the same. Aside of having different acronymic letters, they use different means to their ends, and have very different side effects as a result of those ends.

“Yeah, but aren’t you out to just have a million kids? Like the Duggars?” Nope.

I can’t speak for the Duggars. They are Protestant, and my degree and teaching experience is in Catholic belief and theology. Trying to pin down exactly what any Protestant group believes at any time is often an experience akin to pushing a hot air balloon into a director’s chair. The chair is flimsy, and the balloon keeps moving.
But to look at some of the basics: For those out of the loop, the Duggars are a protestant family with nineteen children. Quite unusual, considering how protestant views on contraception have completely changed since the first sect authorized it in 1930.

The Duggars, however, are part of particular sub-culture in American Protestantism called the Quiverfull movement. While charming on the surface, there are a number of issues Catholic should be aware of while they watch “19 Kids And Counting” on cable:

1)The Quiverfull movement openly espouses that any form of pregnancy spacing, artificial or natural, is wrong and it to be avoided. The Catholic faith instead says that non-contraceptive methods of family planning are acceptable.

2) The Catholic faith has held that ABC is wrong for millenias, based upon the nature of the human person and human sexuality. The Quiverfull movement by comparison was founded in the 1970s, and eschews all forms of family planning as a means to a political end: the foundation of both leaders and a follower population large enough to redirect the culture towards a protestant-Christian ethos, much as is practiced by orthodox Jews and followers of the Islamic religion.

So, once again: Does practicing NFP mean we will be the Duggars? No.

We’re not trying to raise an army. A Catholic family’s mission is to raise their spouses and children to Sainthood. As such, a Catholic family practicing NFP is more interested in raising a few Saints rather than a family of fifty little foot soldiers for the culture war. NFP practitioners tend to have large families, true. But that’s because they value children and all human life in general, not because they want to take over the world.

Natural Family Planning is the means by which a family can space their children in a way that is moral, healthy, and gives the greatest odds for marital happiness and constancy. NFP manages to avoid both the physical and emotional hazards of artificial contraception, as well as honoring timeless truths about the human person over short-term political and cultural goals.

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177 thoughts on “NFP: Birth Liberation Not Birth Control”

    1. Yeah, and without babies, there would ultimately be no people to love and be loved by.

      Way to be incoherent, Tom in AZ.

  1. “As such, a Catholic family practicing NFP is more interested in raising a
    few Saints rather than a family of fifty little foot soldiers for the
    culture war.”

    Well said.

    1. please allow me to ask this question and give a straight answer.
      don’t give me the cliche “end doesn’t justify the means” BS.

      for a married couple,

      – what is the purpose of making love/having sex outside the fertile period (using NFP)?

      – what is the purpose of making love/having sex using a condom?

      I find it hypocritical that the church allows NFP and people says it is “moral” while having sex and avoiding pregnancy and says it is immoral (SIN) when using a condom.

      If sex is only for pro-creation, then NFP should be a SIN as well as you are still having sex while avoiding pregnancy.

      i am a catholic but with all these hypocrisy going on I am leaning to be an atheist instead.

    2. If sex is only for pro-creation, then NFP should be a SIN as well as you are still having sex while avoiding pregnancy.

      But the Church does not teach that sex is only for procreation.

      Sex is ordered to procreation, which means that its ultimate, ontological end is procreation. This does not mean that we have to be trying to conceive every time we have sexual intercourse, but rather that sex and procreation are inseparable. Moreover, sex is also unitive, as well as procreative, and not either/or. The unitive aspect of sex binds husband and wife closer together, and there is nothing illicit in doing so doing the infertile period. The unitive aspect is also ordered toward procreation, even if one has intercourse during the infertile period: sex more closely binds a husband and wife, which contributes to the stability needed for the raising of families. Spouses who know how to sacrifice for each other also learn to raise children who respect the dignity of their spouses, and who are themselves are prudent and generous. Sacrificial love strengthens marriages.

      I find it hypocritical that the church allows NFP and people says it is
      “moral” while having sex and avoiding pregnancy and says it is immoral
      (SIN) when using a condom.

      There is no “hypocrisy” in avoiding pregnancy during infertile times, whereas it is immoral to separate sex from procreation: you don’t partake in an activity that ultimately comes with the possibility of conceiving children and then protest that you “didn’t sign up for this” if one comes along. There is a difference between frustrating the sex act itself and choosing to not take part in it at a particular moment. With NFP, there’s always the understanding that pregnancy is a real possibility, and not even those who use it to figure out the optimum times for conceiving necessarily conceive right away or even easily, which reminds us that ultimately, children aren’t entirely “up to us,” where their presence or absence are entirely at our discretion and convenience. They are also not something we ourselves “make.”

      Moreover, NFP does actually allow for the self-control needed to love sacrificially and to truly respect one’s spouse– sometimes, that sacrifice means training yourself not to think that you’re entitled to have sex whenever you want, because your spouse has their God-given dignity, and is not a readily available sex toy “for better or for worse.” At other times, it can mean offering yourself generously to your spouse at a time when you might be avoiding pregnancy (or not), or even when you’re “not in the mood,” but knowing that you’ve got this particular time to be with your husband or wife, that you might see as a gift and use wisely instead of complaining about “convenience.” NFP isn’t just about managing fertility or family size; it’s also about opening hearts and thinking differently about what it means to respect the other person and the gift of sex itself. Everybody says that they want a generous, loving, unselfish spouse. Are they, however, prepared to be those very spouses themselves?

      That’s a question we should all be asking ourselves.

    3. “i am a catholic but with all these hypocrisy going on I am leaning to be an atheist instead.”

      I would encourage you to read the Church’s teaching and to give it a fair shake before presuming “hypocrisy,” since your sense that “sex is only for procreation” is a gross misreading and misrepresentation of what the Magisterium actually teaches.

      The Catechism is a good source, and so is a book called “Catholicism for Dummies” (which has both a nihil obstat and an imprimatur, so it accords with the teaching of the Magisterium). I would suggest that you start with the latter. Moreover, pray as you study– put the Eucharist at the center, and how it is actually a nuptial sacrament that both sets the standard for and enables a sacramental marriage– and everything else will fall into place.

    1. No it’s that couples who use NFP find that their hearts are opened up and they’ll typically have 3 or 4 to the worlds 1 or 2.

  2. I believe GKC also said that the world was mad for thinking that “birth control meant no births and no self control-” In that, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with thinking that birth control should really mean “births and self control”. 🙂

    1. Self-control is necessary in marriage no matter what kind of birth control a couple uses. NFPers have no monopoly on self-control.

    2. To the World – birth control is about no births and no self control.

      With NFP – birth control is about, births and self control.

    3. Catholics obsess about “self-control”. Being in love and making love and both agreeing that the time isn’t right for children is not a crime. There are still many opportunities to practice “self-control”, for what it’s worth.

    4. Nothing wrong with most of what you said, except “the end does not justify the means”. The end of not having children at that time, does not justify the means of contraception.

    5. How presumptuous it is of you to claim that the end does NOT justify the means if the means is for my wife to take the pill. In that case, why does the end not justify the means. Who are you or anyone else to make such an all encompassing judgment. You don’t even know the circumstances. You just make a general denouncement of any contraception in any situation.

    6. The Church is very clear on this. Christ Speaks through His Church.

      It’s you who make yourself the judge, not me.

    7. I’m pretty sure that last time I checked, the Catholic Church is run by a bunch of celibate men and can be wrong just like any other institution. It is definitely wrong about contraception.

    8. It’s run by a bunch of celibate men, who are not perfect, and some were down right bad.

      However, the Voice of the Church is the Voice of Christ on earth. We have His Promise on that. “On this rock, I Will Build My Church… ” “whoever hears you hears Me.. ” “there are some things that you cannot bear now but the Holy Spirit will lead you into all Truth…”

    9. “However, the Voice of the Church is the Voice of Christ on earth. We have His Promise on that”

      Nobody but Catholics believe that. The man who wrote that statement supposedly made by Jesus knew what he was doing. He has pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes.

    10. Here is the problem. The stories about Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospel and the letters of Paul and the Apostles elevate Jesus of Nazareth to the status of Messiah and the Church has made him a god.

      Having accepted that, you think that the Catholic Church is something that reasonable people can disagree on.

      I am reasonable and I disagree. That the Church was started by Jesus and the Church calls Jesus God, and that Jesus is God and there is only one church started by Jesus is just a circular argument with no connection to reality.

    11. Faith is evidence of things unseen, but history is replete with evidence of being the True Faith. Take contraception that you do unfairly espouse, has it not brought with it fornication, abortion and sodomy? Is not the universal (catholic) church the “only” church that both claims to be founded by Christ and the only church that stands against global contraception and its attendant evils?

    12. “Take contraception that you do unfairly espouse, has it not brought with it fornication, abortion and sodomy?”

      My use of a condom has nothing to do with illicit practices of others. You can’t tell a married man making love to his wife that his use of a condom is creating all kinds of social ills. Those occurrences are independent of a husband and wife practicing contraception so as to plan a family. Only a devout Catholic would have a problem with that and they would be wrong.

    13. How will you teach your children to abstain before marriage if you can’t abstain for a week or two a month, and sex has nothing to do with babies and bonding -in marriage?

    14. …yes. Much the same way I denounce any moral wrong, in any situation.

      Feel free to argue with the Church, but you’ll find even the prot’s all felt the same way about contraception before they suddenly decided the Bible had changed its mind in the 1930s.

      For most NFPers, it’s no more a religious issue than abortion is. It’s a right or wrong issue. 🙂

    15. It’s a right or wrong issue? It is wrong for a man to wear a condom while having sex with his wife so she doesn’t get pregnant? If they want to have more control over the number of children they have, the only thing I see as wrong is telling them it is a mortal sin.

    16. “…yes. Much the same way I denounce any moral wrong, in any situation.”

      That is so judgmental. I really have to wonder about these “more Catholic than the Pope” commenters who have elevated legalism and in the process have lost all sense of compassion for people like Phil who have a perfectly valid reason to practice contraception. I don’t know why he even bothers with people who are not worthy to carry his jock strap.

    17. I do not quite see where:
      a) my comment was more Catholic than the pope; he’s actually the one I’m following,
      b) Phill S has any valid reason to contracept, as no one has a valid reason to contracept, any more than they have a avid reason to abort, engage in infanticide, or other wrong actions,
      c) why the folks who think they know more than the Church in this discussion have to keep decrying judementalism in one sentence, and then resort to it in the next, complete with personal attacks and vulgarity…or did I mention jock straps somewhere first?

      Next? 🙂

    18. “no one has a valid reason to contracept, any more than they have a avid reason to abort, engage in infanticide or other wrong actions.”

      See what you did there. You compared the most innocent of actions, lovemaking without impregnation, and you compared it ultimately to infanticide. So if Phil has a vasectomy and the woman next door kills her baby, those are comparable. That’s why you can’t carry his jock strap. For saying things like that. You’re not worthy. Phil is a higher life form than you are.

    19. Hi Bill.

      Really?

      I never said all were morally equivalent; I said they were all wrong.

      It is you, however, that stated that lovemaking without impregnation automatically is innocent. Is that always true? Think carefully….

      The world is moving in that direction, sadly. Sex without the possibility of reproduction does, unfortunately, lead to perversions, addictions to sexual activity, and other societal consequences….thus sath Sigmund Freud, Teddy Roosevelt and Gahndi, not just me or the Church, if you’d like a secular view on the subject:

      Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “Birth control is the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement.”

      Sigmund Freud, “The abandonment of the reproductive function is the common feature of all perversions. We actually describe a sexual activity as perverse if it has given up the aim of reproduction and pursues the attainment of pleasure as an aim independent of it. So, as you will see, the breach and turning point in the development of sexual life lies in becoming subordinate to the purpose of reproduction. Everything that happens before this turn of events and equally everything that disregards it and that aims solely at obtaining pleasure is given the uncomplimentary name of “perverse” and as such is proscribed.”

      Mahatma Ghandi, “Artificial methods [of contraception] are like putting a premium on vice. They make men and women reckless …. Nature is relentless and will have full revenge for any such violation of her laws. Moral results can only be produced by moral restraints. All other restraints defeat the very purpose for which they are intended. If artificial methods become the order of the day, nothing but moral degradation can be the result. A society that has already become enervated through a variety of causes will still become further enervated by the adoption of artificial [birth control] methods …. As it is, man has sufficiently degraded women for his lust, and artificial methods, no matter how well-meaning the advocates may be, will still further degrade her.”

      Plus: Again with the jock strap.
      See what you did there?

      I’m not going to pillory you as a person; I don’t know you. But I’ve noticed as this discussion has progressed that the pro-contraception side keeps accusing the folks faithful to the Church as being judgemental…all the while resorting to name-calling and (*gasp!*) judgement calls about their worthiness to carry jock straps…

      It might be advisable to take the issue to prayer, as many of us have, and see why those opposed to the Church keep being mean and crude, while accusing folks like li’l ole’ me of being mean and uncultured.

      🙂

    20. Ok. I should not have said that you are not worthy to carry Phil’s jock strap. Admittedly, that was uncalled for. However, let’s leave Phil alone. Instead, I will use my friend as an example. After his third child he decided that was it. He wanted no more children even if he divorced (or lost his wife) and remarried. So he had a vasectomy. Whoopdi freakin doo! My friend did absolutely nothing wrong and anyone who says he did is a religious fanatical idiot. And that goes for the pope and anyone else in the Catholic Church.

    21. Thank you for your point of retraction. Forgiven, forgotten.

      Now, your friend has a few things to be considered:

      -re. ‘leaving Phil alone’: Phil entered this debate of his own free will. While I can applaud anyone who cares for a disabled adult, If Phill chooses to comment, he chooses to have his comments answered. Since he brought his blog into play, for example, I may choose to address his apparent use of a psychic to try and communicate with his son after the young man’s injury, which he mentions on the blog entry he linked to.

      As for your friend:

      1) If he knew in advance that vasectomy was wrong but did it anyway, he is culpable and guilty of sin.Saying it was right because “he decided that was it’ is no basis for a moral decision. The theology of truth, not the theology of *want* ought to guide our steps.

      2) if he did not know, he has what the Catholic faith calls Invincible Ignorance.

      …unfortunately, you are making a blanket statement, insisting that it isn’t wrong despite all philosophical and historical evidence to the contrary, relying upon personal attacks [“religious fanatical idiot”] rather than actual reason.

      Do you have actual reasons to contribute to this debate, rather than invective, Bill?

      If you do, let’s hear it! (assumes Rocky stance, plays “Eye of the Tiger” in the background, ready to argue!).

      If not…well, you can keep doing the name-calling thing, if you want. That makes the position against the Church look quite weak, too, and is easier to knock down than a Sandra Fluke Straw man. 🙂

    22. “1) If he knew in advance that vasectomy was wrong but did it anyway, he is culpable and guilty of sin.”

      That is the nonsense that you buy into when you take your religion too seriously. My friend and I were raised in traditional Italian Catholic families. We both know the nonsense that people who take it too seriously fall into. He is one of the best fathers and husbands I’ve ever known. Nonsense.

    23. (Smiles) I did a fair bit of my growing up in my city’s Little Italy myself, Bill.

      I am glad you think your friend is a good father, But again, I am not judging how nice he was to his kids, but his actions with respect to contraception.

      Hmmm..wow, you’re suggesting people who follow the Catholic faith consistently are taking it ‘too seriously’, and fall into ‘nonsense’, huh….

      (see photo)

      also:
      “Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.”
      ~ Bl. Mother Teresa ~

      ….ummm….yeah. Odd. If Stephen Hawkings said we were wrong on physics, we’d defer to him, But if a Saint thinks diffently that us on Morality, we think they have the problem, hm?

      🙂

    24. Neither my friend nor I care if Mother Theresa thought contraception caused abortion and that abortion is the worst thing and the cause of all the problems in the world. She was not the Stephen Hawking of morality.

    25. Really? Both the folks in the Vatican and the folks who awarded her the Nobel Prize felt otherwise…I’d gently suggest you look at their reasons for both doing so before you criticize her. 🙂

      So, you’ve seen more suffering and helped more people than her? And you’re holier than her too?

      If not, perhaps she has something to teach you…especially about contraception.

      Ironically, people who touted contraception to her as a ‘solution’ to the ‘problem’ of the poor (Christopher Hitchens and cult leader Bagwan Shree Rajneeshee come to mind) had one thing in common:

      None of them were up to their necks in helping poor people the way she was.

      🙂

    26. Focus. Who is the most qualified to judge as to whether or not my friend should have had a vasectomy? Who has a right to tell him that what he did was wrong, or “sinful”? No one but him and his wife. Not the Pope, not the Church, not you, me or anyone else. Humans don’t have that kind of authority over one another. To each his own.

    27. Really?
      Well, if it’s true, it’s glue. It’ll stick regardless of the situation.
      Why is it that sexual matters are allegedly only the domain of the individual, whereas other maters are the domain of the state, and others are domain of the Church?

      Indeed, If Christ is who He said He was, He gave the Church full authority. Is there anything it *doesn’t* have authority over?

      Why, in the modern age, does sexual activity have a privileged position over all others? Couldn’t be that Humanae Vitae was right, and people are obsessed, could it….?

      Or, put it another way: God doesn’t have authority over….what again?
      🙂

    28. “Why is it that sexual matters are allegedly only the domain of the individual, whereas other matters are the domain of the state, and others are domain of the Church?”

      It is scary that people like you even have the nerve to ask a question like this. The Church has authority over those who give it that authority, the religious zealots. The rest of us take what the Church says with a grain of salt. Your god and your church have NO authority over me or anyone else who does not recognize that authority. You can’t seem to accept that.

    29. *chuckle*
      So you find me scary?
      Hee Hee Hee!
      BOO!

      Now, let’s be grownups:

      If Godid, indeed, God, He does have authority over you, just as a parent has authority over His child, whether that child acknowledges it or not.

      You can choose to ignore Him, true. Just like you can choose to ignore the “Don’t jump over this fence” sign set in front of a cliff.

      But the consequences of jumping the fence, like the consequences of societal or individual acceptance of sin, are not escapable by sticking out your tongue and saying ‘no!’ as you fall. It feels good falling down…but the stop is what hurts.

      And we’ve been feeling the societal ‘stop’ of contraception (abortion, euthanasia) for class to a century now.

      Again, you’ve offered no resin, only invective. “It’s scary! I won’t!”

      But you won’t say why, other than feelings and declarations.

      Do you have actual reasons why you shouldn’t listen to God, Christ, or the Church? I’ve stated logical positions in the A-follows-B format. Do you have anything, other than “I don’t have to! Nyah!”, because quite frankly, Bill, that’s how you’re coming across these days.
      🙂

    30. “He does have authority over you, just as a parent has authority over His child, whether that child acknowledges it or not.”

      There are no gods, angels, demons, etc. These are the things of myth. So if someone wants to get a vasectomy or practice any kind of contraception, that is between him and his family.

    31. Then, Bill, what I shall do is take a piece of common ground we share, and ask you why you are standing upon it.

      If, indeed, there is no God, no setter of standards, then what makes horrible crimes like pedophelia wrong?

      What makes the WW2 holocaust of the Jews wrong?

      What makes anything wrong, if indeed, there is no setter of the standards we follow?

      If, indeed, there are none, then all is permissible, if we can get away with it.

      And yet….

      For some reason, we all want life to be fair. At least for us.
      Mankind has always known there is a standard we ought to follow, and that none of us make it.

      So, Bill, is child abuse OK, then, if we as a society say it’s ok?
      Waiting….(whistles)…

      Sleep well… 😉

    32. “For some reason, we all want life to be fair. At least for us. ”

      Does that statement make it necessary that there be a god? We all know what we want and don’t want for ourselves. Wise men like Confucius and Jesus have taught us to do to others as we would have others do to us. When a toddler hits a sibling or playmate we ask them how they would like it if someone hit them? No gods are required for us to figure out how we should behave.

    33. Well, Bill, the Golden rule you’re alluding to came about from a God-believing person, and is followed by atheists who live in a civilization that still carries the vestiges of Christianity as its underpinnings.

      So…God, yeah. Being nice to the weak? Not in the perfect atheist world. Not in a place where atheism has no Christianity to oppose it ideologically.

      But don’t take my word for it…check out the guys in the poster below. They either persecuted authentic religious faith (esp Catholics…), or outlawed it outright.

      More specifically, Bill, I’d posit that the golden rule you are quoting came from Christ…who not only stated clearly that God existed, but that:

      a) He (Jesus) *was* God in human form, and

      b) a Church, founded upon Peter as the head of it (Matt 16:18) was indeed necessary for humanity to follow God. All other options were as a house built on sand, and falls when the first good storm comes along.

      We tell our kids not to hit each other because…it came from God.

      If you find another, non-godly source, love to see it. 🙂

      Confucious? Take a closer look at his writings…I teach them, among other things, to my students. Confucious was more about keeping order in society by making sure everyone stayed in their place.

      Want historical evidence that mankind’s solutions turn to poop in the face of reality? Well….

      (see pic below- the one with the guillotine)

      …exponentially more have died in the name of atheism than in the name of religion, Bill.

      Check it out (2nd pic below…go ahead, do the math):

      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-r8HfPPWqYTI/UFo1vD_jzFI/AAAAAAAAAhM/nyb-ulZBvtk/s1600/Imagine_atheism.jpg

      🙂

    34. “We tell our kids not to hit each other because…it came from God.”

      Really? Atheists don’t tell their kids not to hit each other?

    35. Where’d they learn it from?
      🙂

      As I said earlier, Bill, atheists I know haven’t really considered that the golden rule (“do unto others”) is actually a religious precept, with no logical basis for action in a purely darwinian universe, if indeed the universe runs the way they wish it did. 🙂

    36. It can be a religious precept or just a saying that people attribute to a man that they consider to be wise or whatever else they consider him to be. Other men have said it in one way or another. It doesn’t matter who said it as much as how much it resonates and is passed on to others.

    37. Yes, but a saying has to have something to back it up, No?

      I could say the flying spaghetti monster exists. Just because it resonates with a large group of people doesn’t mean it’s true, does it? 🙂

      Or, on a more serious note: I could say Jews aren’t people. If everyone suddenly agrees, does that make it good and true?

      If so, Bill, you’ve no right to criticize the Nazis for genocide, or the ancient Greeks for pedophelia or misogyny (women hating),

      Because there were Greek philosophers who advocated sexual activity between men and boys as a highest good, and philosophers like Zeno who tore down women.

      Without a higher standard than man to decide right and wrong, only the most powerful men shape right and wrong to suit them.

      And, inside, we know that’s not true.

      Why?

      Because there truly is a God, who put the laws of right and wrong in our souls.

      And because we’re flawed through sin, we break those laws, and make excuses for it.

      And to guide us, He left a Church on earth.

      And one of the things that Church has always said is that contraception is wrong.

      And one need only look at how society has deteriorated since the advent of “the pill’ in the fifties to see that.

      Your move. 🙂

      http://www.sfxforlife.org/images/BirthControlNoBirthNoControl.png

    38. My friend has three children whom he raised just about as well as one can raise their children. After the third we had a vasectomy. According to my friend and his wife (and moi) he did nothing wrong. According to the Church he did. Do you really want to argue who is right and who is wrong in this case? It isn’t even close. He is right. Ergo, the Church is wrong. This is proof positive that the Church can be and is wrong on matters of morality. There is absolutely nothing immoral about what he did. No one in their right mind that knows him would even think for a micro second that what he did was anything but right and responsible. Case closed.

    39. *chuckle*
      So, he’s right because you say he is?
      Really, Bill, is that the best you’ve got?
      We don’t do NFP because it makes us nice. Drinking enough beer does that for most people.
      The reasons why artificial contraception is wrong was laid out by the author int he article. Assuming your friend actually exists, you are using the logical fallacy of anecdotal evidence to prove your claim.

      The problem is, for every ‘friend’ you produce, I could likely produce another ‘friend’ for whom contraception led to eventual sexual dissatisfaction in and eventual dissolution of their marriage.

      Plus, for someone who doesn’t believe in God, you seem to have a) a lot of spare time to argue your point, b) a passionate desire to beat up those who do believe.

      May God, the real God, show Himself to you as He has so many others here, Bill. And may you see in His Church the beauty that we have seen as well. 🙂

    40. “The problem is, for every ‘friend’ you produce, I could likely produce another ‘friend’ for whom contraception led to eventual sexual dissatisfaction in and eventual dissolution of their marriage.”

      So. What is your point? My point is that no one can tell everyone that having a vasectomy, taking the pill, wearing a condom, etc. are intrinsically evil. People in their right mind laugh at such foolishness. Sometimes you just know that someone is right and the other is wrong. This is such a case. My friend is right. No doubt in my mind. A slam dunk.

    41. Certain sayings just become adages like “a stich in time saves nine”. Everybody gets it. “Do to others what you would have others do to you.” “How would you like it if I did that to you?” Etc. We don’t need a divine issuer of moral law to learn these memes as we go along in life.

    42. So, let me get this straight. It is wrong for Catholics to judge, but it’s okay for you to call Catholics “religious fanatical idiots” and judge that it is always acceptable to mutilate one’s healthy organs.

      That doesn’t seem altogether logical, Bill.

    43. I don;t think the author said they did.
      NFPers are just more moral than the folks who use ABC.

      Hee Hee Hee! Can’t change that one, bud. 🙂

    44. If, indeed, it’s the self-control of someone who says ‘no’ to something, rather than the whole vomiting thing. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Was Conclave Coopted to Elect Pope Francis? - BigPulpit.com

  4. (1) NFP and the RCC’s position on contraception are patently absurd propositions and (2) conflating the notion that NFP for the right reason is ok but not contraception is disingenuous and erroneous. Let me take each issue separately using personal examples to show that it is probably inhumane to believe that every act of sex be open to life.

    1. I am the father of a 28 year old son who in a near drowning summer camp accident was without o2 for 25 minutes. He is spastic, contracted, quadriplegic and not able to communicate. He bodily functions are totally dependent upon my wife and I. The accident happened when he was 12 so it has been 16 years of 24/7 caregiving to keep him alive. I mention this as background not for sympathy, adulation or prayers. We do what we do because it is right and worthy. Also, we have a daughter and granddaughter.
    If I would buy into the absurd notion of the evil of contraception and have neither the time, effort nor strength to use NFP…which has a failure rate if .4% if perfectly practiced to 7.5% if not perfectly practiced….I would have more kids whom I could not afford nor have the time to care for because my son is a full time Commitment. So, NFP with risk, no intimacy ever which would destroy our marriage or get a vasectomy which has a minimal failure rate maybe 10-25 out 10,000. I choose to have sexual intimacy and I choose not to have sex open to more kids. Would you have me be a celibate? Would a merciful compassionate God? I think not!
    In free moments between attending to my son I actively support groups of hundreds of parents who care for near drowns, cp, anoxic/hypoxic brain injuries. These people struggle to live and keep their kids alive daily. I help as best as I can. Would a loving merciful God actually have these people who never have a moments respite chance NFP or be ciebate? Would he deny them sexual intimacy with their partner … a momet of joy and respite without worrying about another mouth to feed or care for? Would he have them abandon their disabled kids to risk by bringing another life into this world. I think not!
    Speaking of disability communities, most fathers cut and run; so a mother has to divorce for sanity. Many of the cut and run fathers fail to pay support, so divorce is the only option to get economic support to survive through the courts. Should the women never re-marry and be denied sacraments? Should they pay thousands for an annulment when they are SSI and SNAP? Would they be adulterers is they find comfort with another man? Who am I to judge?
    Before calling NFP a sacred cow and contraception evil….walk in their shoes for a month…or 16 years?

    (2) Despite how people conflate ideas NFP and contraception have the same purpose: not to have kids when you cannot have kids, for a variety of reasons. Only 1-3% of women risk NFP and they are usually socioeconomically well off and in longer term stable relations. THAT is why the low divorce rates of NFP’ers. They have time, knowledge, resources just in case they have another child. Not all, in fact, most, have not the resources. Simply put NFP prevents pregnancy because the time for more kids is not right and if you a religious about charts, mucus monitoring and basal temps, you can preclude every sex act from being open to conceiving a child…not much different from hormone therapies or barrier methods.

    Sorry for the rant, but I know too many parents who CANNOT allow more children in their lives and do not have the ability to chance perfect NFP and cannot care for anymore people without offing themselves. It’s time we get real about real peoples’ lives.

    1. Your premise that modern science cannot assist us in measuring and indeed knowing when a woman is fertile and when she is not -is false. Your second premise that contraception (an act against the beginning) is morally neutral is also false.

      It is possible to measure on a daily basis and KNOW when a woman’s fertile time is past. The accuracy of fertility awareness is as good, or better then any contraceptive means. Once ovulation has passed, including the time in which a double ovulation has passed (fraternal twins) there is NO chance of a woman conceiving.

      Acting against the beginning of Life is not morally neutral, it’s a break in the first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth commandments. God is the Lord of Life, an anti life act is not permissible – the end does not justify the means, sex is not about mutual masturbation, no stealing of pleasure, no lying with our bodies.
      I know NFP can be a cross, but its a joy, and it is the narrow path -God would not ask us to do anything that was impossible My wife has physical aliments that would put her at a health risk if she became pregnant again, our youngest child was born 15 years ago.

    2. I never said that science cannot assist in determining fertile periods…I said that failue rates as as low as .4% with perfect observance of basal temp, calendar and mucous and that most cases failure rates are 7.5% because people are not that precise. I did say that a vasectomy had a significantly lower failure rate 10-25 in 25,000 cases.
      NFP is not a cross, it’s inhumane in cases of parents who care full time for disabled kids; for parents who have little income, etc. Sex is intimacy and a natural function…some men in positions of pseudo have chosen to say that intimacy must be linked to procreation. It’s wrong and God knows that men have made bad rules.
      You did not address my arguments, that God is merciful and compassionate. Compassion does not require doing the impossible. Live amid real people…caretakers of disabled children before you preach.

    3. Positions of pseudo? Might want to check your spellchecker there, Phil (*chuckle!*)

      In saying it’s ‘inhumane’ for parents of disabled kids to expect them to use NFP…pry tell, what is ‘inhumane’ about having humans?

      Once again, you illustrate the ethos wrought by a contraceptive mentality; the idea that a child is a burden to be avoided at all costs, rather than something to be celebrated.

      As for inhumane:

      If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids
      already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally
      retarded, and she had syphilis, would you recommend that she have an abortion?

      Yes?

      Ding! Congrats, buddy. You just killed Beethoven. 🙂

      Oh, and while you’re talking about the inhumanity of NFP, how’s about checking out the author’s website. His wife had a stroke last year, and they’ve been using NFP since then to hold back on more kids…quite successful, apparently…

      Sex is intimacy, and is a natural function. But if any man had sex whenever he felt (ahem) ‘intimate’, he’d populate a small village in no time (to paraphrase CS Lewis).

      We aren’t animals; we’re humans. And one of the things that make us human is our ability to override our instincts in the service of a greater good.

      On the side: You post here quite often. Phil. And I can’t think of a single time you’ve agreed with the Church. Any reason you keep coming back? 😉

    4. Also: Because ‘most fathers cut and run’? Really? No Dads I know do that. Not even in the face of a disabled child.

      But even if they do, that doesn’t make contraception right, or NFP wrong.
      I think you also illustrate another one of the author’s points: That the contraceptive mentality addicts folks to sex, and they ‘bristle’ at any thought of its restriction. Much like any addict would when someone tells them to put down the bottle/needle/laptop they are playing Candy Crush on. 🙂

    5. It would be, indeed it would mean a real consummation is taking place, which I think would even put them ahead of a couple who are using contraception in spite of a marriage license.

    6. “pry tell, what is ‘inhumane’ about having humans” I’m not alone in needing a spellchecker, pray tell? (lol)

      First the easy part, why do I come here? Because I believe that RC’s neglect Matt 25 almost universally! You know the sheep and goats and divert attention to matters of sex. I challenge the absence of Matt 25 (Parable of the Sheep and Goats) in the lives of a people who purport to be Christian and focus on areas which avoid meeting Jesus. I am here to repeatedly challenge.
      Second, also easy. I abhor the use of genetic karotyping and testing to use as a basis for aborting the disabled. Did you know that 8-90% of Down fetuses are aborted. I abhor this as a disability advocate. I also abhor the abortion of a fetus based upon sex selection as is prevalent in Eastern and Oriental cultures. I, however, do not equate the use of contraception which prevents a sperm and an egg from uniting with abortion.
      Third, parents who are shouldering decades of care for a disabled child should not be expected to shoulder more chronic sorrow. It expect a parent of one or more severely disabled kids to have more kids, chance NFP or be chaste is inhumane. And by the way we are part of the animal kingdom, bipedal primates…one chromosome short of being a dolphin. In my experience of 67 years, many animals demonstrate unconditional and unrequited love for their human friends than do most people.
      Fourth, I belong to five support groups for parents of near drowns, anoxic/hypoxics, caregivers, etc. The vast majority of fathers have split and run because they want life to be the same as it was prior to child injury and it isn’t ever going to be so. Mothers in 90% of cases stay and love and care for the child.
      Fifth, the greater good is to live a life which is one of unconditional, unrequited love for our fellow human and non-human friends. Remember “love one another as I have loved you.”
      Sixth, I do agree with the Church often, i.e. Matthew 25; liberation theology and it’s resurrection, welcoming the marginalized like Christ did, loving neighbor, etc. I confront poor scholarship.
      I guess I also drop in here because I see too many blog posts on contraception, abortion, gays, gay marriage, divorce (sex stuff) an NO emphasis on the corporal works of mercy where Jesus is clear that we meet him. I agree with Evangelli Gaudium which I often quote. Have a great Thanksgiving…..

    7. (*smirk*) I’m not the best speller either, guilty! 🙂

      Still, Phill, you’ve made a case why it’s hard for couples with a disabled child to have kids.

      You’ve not made a case for NFP to not be used to space said kids.

      In fact, NFP is MORE effective than artificial means at spacing children. Check the article. 🙂

      Does it have to be used effectively?

      Sure.

      Does it have to be done the right way?

      Yep.

      But just because some folks botch doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used.

      And, let’s say God opens the womb anyway; know something? Check the stay-together rate of NFP using couples:

      http://www.physiciansforlife.org/content/view/193/36/

      …Liberation theology? (*giggles*) Marxism isn’t Catholic, good man.
      And I don’t think that folks here are opposed to the Corporeal works of mercy. My guess is we’re all in agreement on that.

      But let me check…

      HEY! EVERYBODY! EVERYBODY READING HERE!
      HANDS UP IF YOU HATE THE POOR!
      HANDS UP IF YOU HATE THE DISABLED!
      ANYONE? ANYONE….?

      Well, Phil, maybe the foks you’re thinking about just stayed home. 🙂

      While I am sorry about single moms (I was by one myself), you’ve made a case for shaming bad fathers, not against NFP.

      Your move. 🙂

    8. The stay together rate for people using NFP is very high…if you read I said that above. Why is it high? Well because only 1-3% of couples practice it; because research shows that those couples already had stable relationships that data indicate they are of an upper socioeconomic level; that shows the are well educated above the norm. A text without a context is a pretext to have it say what you want….
      Also, it’s not about hating the poor, disabled, etc. It about getting off one butt and moving out of one’s comfort zone of indifference and feeding, clothing, caring, etc. It’s about moving from the pew to the street….and NO, most catholics and most people do not do that…that’s a fact.

    9. Phil, phil…posting on Thanksgiving? Dang.

      The high suces rate of NFP is not related to the allegedly small number of folks who practice it. Among those who practice it, the success rate is quite a tad higher than those who use artificial means.

      Basic statistical analysis, doncha know? 😉

      Most Catholics don’t help the poor, and that’s a fact, huh….

      http://catholicmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/10301202_310291615787254_5690577493419337696_n.jpg

      And…

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SEVHQe4Cu8g/URZLyZIAeoI/AAAAAAAASl8/NsfEw9sS_Kk/s1600/proud+to+be+catholic.jpg

      So, yeah. My daughter was just helping poor kids at the local NCO on Tuesday, so…..yeah. Try again. 🙂

      Research shows that all those NFP couples had stable relationships?

      Maybe those couples were stable…Because they practiced NFP! (Dum-dum-DUMMMMMMMM!)

      Seriously, us NFPers are all of an upper socioeconomic level?

      Really?

      The author is a Catholic schoolteacher with 6 or7 kids…ask him if he’s rich, whydoncha.

      Hey! NFPers….how many of you here are rich! Moneywisse, anyway…..

      (Crickets)

      O, well.

      Try again? 🙂
      This time, you may want to talk to a few faithful Catholics, Phil, to be sure your facts are straight. 🙂

    10. Who are you to question my posting on Thanksgiving? I take care of a non-verbal, spastic quad 28 year old son. So between changing adult diapers, cath’s, feeds, rom, suctioning, nebulizing, there really isn’t time to celebrate Thanksgiving nor prepare such a spread. A bit of blogging takes my mind off the task at hand…save your stream of consciousness and specious sarcasm for someone who cares.

    11. I was just surprised you had the spare time, and I was trying to keep the discussion light. I do not know your life, or even if the issues you mention are genuine; I’ve found all too often that folks opposed to the Church don’t mind making things up in an effort to shame the opposition into silence.

      If your life is as you say, kudos to you! Well done, and thank you (zero sarcasm) for being such a good father to your son. I have my own issues in life as well, though I’ve chosen not to drag them in here. So please, calm down.

      And if you don’t care, Phil, you certainly post quite a bit for someone with such a dedicated lack of concern…

    12. I haven’t had the chance to check your blog, Phil. I am at work.
      But I have no need to apologize, as I haven’t accused you of anything, nor have I called you any names, unlike yourself and those who support your positions.
      I am glad of any parent who cares for their children, an already offered you kudos for it.
      But if McNichol’s caring for his 7 kids and his wife after a debilitating stroke doesn’t alter you views on his positions, why should your life-circumstances make the Church’s positions invalid? That’s a question no one’s answered, as of yet….

    13. “I’ve found all too often that folks opposed to the Church don’t mind making things up in an effort to shame the opposition into silence.” Making presumption is making accusation and apology is in order. Life circumstances DO make Church’s positions invalid and inapplicable and the Church has no right to determine my method of contraception and gladly nearly ALL American Catholics agree.

    14. I didn’t presume upon you, Phil. You presumed I was presuming. Feel free to check my quote again.

      I never called you a liar, and have not used any form of ad-hominem attacks against you, certainly not the way those espousing your position have used them against me and others espousing the Church’s position.

      I attack arguments, not people.

      I do not deny that taking care of a disabled adult is quite challenging; I know a number of people doing so.

      However, personal pain and personal trials do not automatically justify an action.

      Now, to apply your argument consistently: if life circumstances do make Church positions invalid, would *any* life circumstances invalidate the Church’s position against, say, child abuse?

      No, of of course not.

      What if every American thought the Church’s position against child abuse was outdated and antiquated? Would that make child abuse right?

      No, of course not.

      What decides if something is right or wrong, then?

      The author of the concept of right and wrong.

      And He left us a Church on earth to guide and teach us (Matt 16:18), and would never leave off from guiding it (Matt 28:20).

      And a life circumstance does not give anyone of us a pass. I have a challenging life, too, Phil. It’s different than yours. But I know that God knows better than me. And it’s through my obedience to Him via the Church He founded, even when I disagreed, that I I’ve almost no regrets in the choices I’ve made.

      I won’t judge you, Phil.
      But that doesn’t mean I’ll be silent when wrong things are said, whatever place or point on your journey you are coming from.

    15. Oh, and as for the corporeal-works-of-mercy thing? And Catholics not helping the poor (other comment of yours:)

      ….and that’s just ONE continent….you should see the other 4…… 😉

    16. NO, not in America…1 out of 5 chidren do not know where there next meal is coming from while the “princes of the church” live in mansions, wear silk and lace and have drivers. Jesus would have been embarrassed at the vast income inequity.

    17. *chuckle* and you drive a car, and if you have more than 3k in the bank, you are doing better than half the world. Does this mean your views on Contraception are outdated?

      20% of kids do not know where their next meal is coming from? If you mean worldwide, chances are they’re not going to be fed by followers of Carl Sagan or Richard Dawkins…nope.
      Read the Meme.

      And let’s say for the sake of argument that every.single.priest.,bishop,.AND pope that disagrees with you through and through is evil through and through…

      Know What?
      You still haven’t made the case against NFP.
      You’re trying to do the equivalent of ‘proving’ democracy is bad because of pro-abort, perjuring presidents like William Clinton.
      Try again. 🙂

      And, while some leaders in the Church are bad…know what? I am too. You are too. We all are. That one of the many things that makes Catholics different from and better than other denominations: We aren’t following fruit of a man who thought we were poop covered by snow. We’re ALL sinners, and we ALL do it wrong!

      It’s only Christ who always gets it right, along with His Church’s teaching authority.

      And the Church’s teaching on contraception is quite clear…

      Unless, of course, you’re more Christlike than Jesus, and have more authority to decide right & wrong than Christ. If you try;y believe that, then we have to have another discussion.
      And we will, in between me chuckling and snoging my coffee. 🙂

      JDM

    18. You obviously have no idea how self-righteous, and repulsively authoritarian you sound. Moreover, that Beethoven point is irrelevant and silly. Non-abortive contraception can and is used in a godly, way with or without a disabled child. Who are you to tell anyone what method of birth control to use? Moreover, nothing is so easy as a rule your wife does most of the work to follow! No compassion, not nice. Your attitude does not give glory to God!

    19. Oh brother. I – never said – I was the Church….
      Contraception means in plain English “to act against the beginning”. Why? Simple, to have sex without consequences. I know of too too many women who have been the victims of an abortive culture stemming from a contraceptive culture for you and your kind, full of false compassion, to cull me. Anyone dealing with a disabled child, could certainly, certainly deal with the couple weeks of abstinence necessary with NFP.
      There are celibate priests and religious that deal with disabled children!

    20. http://www.awrsipe.com/Articles/Celibacy_is_a_Problem.html

      http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1990-10-22/features/9002210137_1_celibacy-sipe-priests

      https://books.google.com/books?id=5CcXgmzHmcAC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=percent+of+priests+who+are+sexually+active&source=bl&ots=mahdUVKHLq&sig=AcmHL35VfjmbgGhDvl5Mv7Y93_A&hl=en&sa=X&ei=alWHVPbCN4SSyQTZ8YL4AQ&ved=0CB8Q6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=percent%20of%20priests%20who%20are%20sexually%20active&f=false

      http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=861&dat=19900812&id=_YRSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=jDYNAAAAIBAJ&pg=7170,2259677

      https://books.google.com/books?id=OdVhrJvUXx4C&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=percent+of+priests+who+are+sexually+active&source=bl&ots=delR_lQoEx&sig=SCNxMHY7-jim66pZ6g41fdmkTz4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=alWHVPbCN4SSyQTZ8YL4AQ&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAzgK#v=onepage&q=percent%20of%20priests%20who%20are%20sexually%20active&f=false

      http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/04/13/world/catholic-priests-unmasked-god-doesnt-like-boys-who-cry/#.VIdWR1WJOuY

      https://books.google.com/books?id=VvwXWlrOvFcC&pg=PA100&lpg=PA100&dq=percent+of+priests+who+are+sexually+active&source=bl&ots=o9kC0AtNfq&sig=J5EHyx4oqyQz_xZK8EHwoqDAPEE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=alWHVPbCN4SSyQTZ8YL4AQ&ved=0CD4Q6AEwBjgK#v=onepage&q=percent%20of%20priests%20who%20are%20sexually%20active&f=false

      http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/print/042802_focus.htm

      https://books.google.com/books?id=WwAEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=percent+of+priests+who+are+sexually+active&source=bl&ots=SvL-Z9tCwG&sig=9dmwVXtRcDqar3XinQvGBCg5rjw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wFaHVI2KJoS2yASS14LYCQ&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBzgU#v=onepage&q=percent%20of%20priests%20who%20are%20sexually%20active&f=false

      https://books.google.com/books?id=0mtaB8gg-iAC&pg=PA188&lpg=PA188&dq=percent+of+priests+who+are+sexually+active&source=bl&ots=mh7-2ZeYUg&sig=I_p6zYNfeFCCd4ULXtKUcgYd_xQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wFaHVI2KJoS2yASS14LYCQ&ved=0CEsQ6AEwCTgU#v=onepage&q=percent%20of%20priests%20who%20are%20sexually%20active&f=false

    21. Doyle, Sipe and Cuzzins are the foremost experts on clerical celibacy; unless you want to rely on Fr Benedict Groschel who claimed that children seduced priests…..

    22. “Doyle, Sipe and Cuzzins are the foremost experts on clerical celibacy…”

      According to whom? Are they the same secular “experts” who, back in the 70s and 80s, told bishops that pedophilia could be “cured,” and all they had to do was send priests away for a treatment program?

    23. You are a noisy gong and a clanging symbol. The rules are made for people, not people for the rules!!! BTW using NFP is behavioral birth control, seeking sex without consequences, something married people need for most of their childbearing years. Nobody wants every marital act to be open to life; it is disingenuous to say so. Honest NFPers do admit this. Women especially cannot enjoy sex when they are worried about pregnancy. God understands this; so should you!!!

    24. NFP users aren’t doing something to prevent conception, they’re not having sexual relations during a fertile time. If you can’t abstain from sexual relations for 10 to 14 days, how are you going to teach your children to abstain from sex before marriage?

    25. Except when you are pregnant you are so miserable and feel so disgusting you have no desire to have sex.

    26. Actually, spacing pregnancies is perfectly acceptable in Catholic teaching. The Church just asks us to use moral means to do so, such as NFP. Sex always has consequences whether you want to recognize them or not, and people who use NFP are fully aware of and open to those “consequences,” should they occur. Also, how do you know what God understands? I’m sure God understands that life is hard, but do you really think He wants us to sin when life gets hard?

    27. Somehow, a lot of those NFP using moms seem to enjoy sexual activity…unless you think those large families all sprout up under cabbage leaves, or all those Catholic dads are evil, drooling, wife assaulting brutes… 🙂

      Moms, NFP using Moms? How many of you can’t enjoy conjugal love during your infertile times?
      Anyone?
      Anyone?
      (crickets)

      Um…yeah. So, God? You understand that women who obey you hate sexual expression with their husbands, and, well, you understand if they hafta break the rules you set so they could enjoy the thing you made for them to enjoy with their husbands….
      Umm….

      Yeah. I don’t get what that guy who won’t sign his name is saying, either.
      Oh well!
      🙂

    28. It would be the penultimate ingratitude towards God Himself, the author of life, for any husband to expect his wife to shoulder most of the burden of being a vessel of life – carrying to term, delivering, and raising children. In a mutually loving relationship, the husband fully recognizes his wife’s sacrifices of being pregnant, delivering, and caring for his children, and participates in the fullest possible extent that he is able, caring for his wife as that life-giving vessel. The healthier and more comfortable the mother, so will it go with the father’s children. It behooves a man both as husband and as father to care for his wife. The statement, “nothing is so easy as a rule your wife does most of the work to follow!” seems to be an anger against bad husband-support, or fathering, and not against NFP.

    29. “You obviously have no idea how self-righteous, and repulsively authoritarian you sound. Moreover, that Beethoven point is irrelevant and silly.”

      ….

      “No compassion, not nice. Your attitude does not give glory to God!”

      Are you talking about me or you? 😉

    30. Hi linred. Sorry I missed you before. 🙂

      I don’t tell you to do anything. Niether does Thomas or the author here. It’s God, via the Church He founded.

      ‘course, you could try reading Humane Vitae….

    31. *chuckle* took me a while, but I read this finally.
      Irrelevant and silly? Why? Babies are aborted and contracted out of existence all the time for lesser reasons.
      Sounds relevant to me.
      Unless you think Beethoven’s irrelevant.
      I don’t tell you what kind of B.C. to use. God did in Genesis 38, and then Christ did through His Church.
      You could try looking at the catechism a bit…you might find a lot you agree with. 🙂
      Obedience to a Father is a father’s glory through his son. If Thomas is obedient, he’s giving much more glory than someone extolling in his ‘right’ to disobey, no?
      🙂

    32. All are exempt from absurd practice….also ends and means is a foolish rhetorical statement. The end (stealing is wrong); the means (stealing is ok if its the last resort to feed your starving family). Being safe is an end, murder is a means and justifies and end to protect your family under attack. Trite sayings prove nothing.

    33. You’re right! in the absence of the rich feeding the poor (heard of income inequality?), let the hungry starve….quite an absolutist position devoid of mercy and compassion. You do what you have to do to live….

    34. Once again, your walking down the economics road, when you should be treading the ‘this is why NFP is right-or-wrong’ road.

      If you use money to justify the rightness or wrongness of a thing, then you go the route of the capitalist who uses the cost-benefit analysis to decide people’s worth as human beings.

      And we all know where that ends up, no…?

      (skip ahead to the 40th minute….)

      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1beihx_la-vita-e-bella-life-is-beautiful_creation

      🙂

    35. So let me be brutally simple: NFP is great if a couple chooses that path and has the time, patience and obsessiveness to adhere to it. Most people, and an overwhelmingly large percentage of Catholics don’t. To me, indiscriminate breeding is morally wrong, celibacy unsustainable, so the Church is WRONG, in my humble opinion, on the use of barrier methods or other means of contraception. It is wrong and it will change it’s position as you can tell by Francis’ newer appointment of “princes.” Childbearing, contraception and economics are all intertwined…there is no separation of issues.

    36. ….Thought you were done? 🙂

      Well, Phil, by what authority do you say that it’s morally wrong? Phil Dzialo’s?
      (*chuckle*)

      Maybe when you outlive a bunch of wanna-be, world dominating empires, the way the Church has. people will listen to Phil as much as they do the Catholic Church.

      But it’s been proven right time and again over the ages…that and Christ founded and backs it.

      But you? Me? nope. You don’t have the authority, experience, wisdom, intelligence or guidance sported by the Church, Phil.

      And if you don’t trust the pope, why should anyone (incl. you!) trust your pronouncements of right vs. wrong?

      Plus: What constitutes indiscriminate breeding? The author, IIRC, has 7 kids. Would you legislate how many kids he can have? How about the Duggars? Hey, what about the feeble minded? Or even just People Who Annoy Me? Let’s take down how many kids THEY can have, too.

      Why?

      Because you say so?

      Think again…

      Oh, and about the celibacy is unsustainable thing….

      Well, it worked for our mom [see pic and think a bit… 😉 ]

    37. Actually, Phil (and for the 2nd or 3rd time, thought you were done…), I don’t *have* any authority.

      I follow the authority of the Church. Because it was given by Christ.
      The God-man who died for me.
      Not from Batman.
      Not from Phil.
      Not from a clairvoyant.
      Only from Christ Himself.

    38. Wow Tom. You people just don’t get it. Phil gave a perfect example of the appropriate use of contraception that no one should have a problem with and you do. What kind of people are you?

    39. There’s never a real reason to act against the beginning of human life, it’s a great good eternal good. Contraceptive sex is nothing more than mutual masturbation, and IS an anti life act. The fruit of the tree of contraception, is abortion.

    40. “Contraceptive sex is nothing more than mutual masturbation, and IS an anti life act. The fruit of the tree of contraception is abortion.”

      That is an extremely fanatical view of contraception. I would venture to characterize it as psychotic.

    41. Just because it is the “Catholic view” reasonable Catholics don’t have to make it part of their worldview. They should think for themselves. (What a thought).

    42. Only those who have thought for themselves are able to recognize the voice of Christ on earth.

      Saying that I want to do what I want to do and that God should mind His own Divine business is not free thought -it is asserting our wills over God’s Will.

    43. That is exactly what being a free thinker is. It is not being led by those who claim to represent a deity.

    44. I don’t represent any deity because there aren’t any real deities. They are all imaginary.

      I do believe that there is an intelligence behind all this. The physical laws and constants that are perfectly fine tuned for us to be here and all the information encoded in DNA cries out for an intelligence in nature. Since that intelligence is not made up of any of the material in the natural universe it is beyond nature or supernatural. I wouldn’t call it a god because the gods are mythical imaginary beings.

    45. The Designer doesn’t have to be anyone’s god. Gods are mythical beings. The Designer is not a mythical being. It is a supernatural intelligence that has nothing to do with a promised people, forgiveness of sins or anything else of a religious nature. There is no connection between Nature’s design and religion.

    46. Yes, and are things the way they ought to be designed? Human beings have a mind and a free will, yet are not our minds clouded and our wills perverted? There must have been original justice, there must have been an original sin that broke our relationship with the Designer.

    47. There may have been a design for us that came into fruition through evolution. But we have not been corrupted. We are constantly becoming better and more advanced than we were before. What do you think that we started out perfect and became corrupt.

    48. Yes, There must have been original justice, there must have been a fall, a man can see this most clearly in the dawn of the morning in the garden when it’s realized that things are not the way they should be.

    49. “There must have been original justice”. There was no justice in the evolution process that led to us. The concept of Justice is constantly developing. We have become more just today than ever before.

    50. We have evolved physically from lower life, but only God can create an immortal soul in His likeness, with a mind and a free will.
      Chimps and otters may use rocks as tools, and birds build houses, that’s not amazing, what is Amazing is that they never get any further then that.

    51. So then you believe that we evolved from lower forms and at some point in our history we were given immortal souls by God?

      From a natural and material standpoint it has more to do with the development of the human brain and not us receiving souls that makes us so superior to other animals.

    52. The brain is a muscle, but we have a mind – BECAUSE we have a free will.

      You can CHOOSE not to believe that, but that is real and reality.

    53. The brain is more than a muscle. The heart is a muscle. The brain is who we are. We can live with another person’s heart. Not with their brain.

    54. So, free will separates humans from other living beings who have no choice but to act according to their nature. Does that mean we have a soul with a will and an intellect?

    55. Your statement actually proves my point.
      You’re using the phrase “birth control” but what you really mean is “contraception” and what that means in today’s world is no babies (and no self-control).

    56. There is nothing wrong with using BC to ensure no pregnancy and unwanted babies are the result.

    57. There is nothing wrong with birth control, meaning births and self-control. However the end does not justify the means, The Catholic Church is not against artificial birth control because it is artificial, but because all artificial birth control is either contraceptive or abortifacient.
      Healthy man is always fertile, healthy woman or woman of a certain age is only fertile for a short time during the month. Since abstinence is 100% effective the effectiveness of natural family planning is essentially the effectiveness of how accurately a woman’s fertility can be known. We have the understanding and science today to measure daily fertility and know with 99% accuracy better than any contraceptive or abortifacient.

    58. BC does not cause an abortion. Preventing a pregnancy from happening isn’t an abortion.
      NFP is in no way more reliable than real BC. It is the worst possible method of “birth control” besides maybe just having the guy pull out. And even if I had to pick between the two I’d have a hard time deciding which one to choose.

    59. The guy pull out? Are you married? It sounds like you want the pleasure but not any possibility of children quite frankly that’s not sex as designed by the creator and it is an anti-life act to use contraceptives. And that Anti life leads directly to abortion. One acts against the beginning with contraception and with abortion with what has begun. And nfp is very scientific and science can tell us when a woman is fertile and when she is not. The reason most NFP couples have more than one or two children is because they are thinking about having children not thinking of not having children. It must be very dark and gloomy where you are please come into the light.

    60. I NEVER want children at all. I do not care how your creator designed sex. The idea that a woman must gestate an unwanted pregnancy because she had sex is disgusting.

      NFP is not a good way to prevent a pregnancy for a woman who knows she will abort if her BC fails. It is not dark and gloomy where I am since I know I will never have to suffer the misery of pregnancy and the pain and humiliation of child birth and the misery of having a child.

    61. I just read your response, I first read the word misery to be the word “mystery”.

      CS Lewis’ book
      “The Great Divorce”….

    62. Excellent!!! Wish I had said it. There is nothing natural about NFP for lots of people. It should be considered one out of several methods to choose from. An all just , all merciful, and all loving God understands this, even if judgmental Catholics do not. It’s more than sad that some people regard those who choose contraception as being sex maniacs, totally lacking in self-control. This is slander! Moreover, the fact that NFPers have a low divorce rate does not mean they have good marriages. I’ve known many couples, some in my own family, who obviously had a bad relationship, but never divorced.

    63. NFP is simply: fertility awareness and appreciation.

      Sex maniacs?
      Actually, I think of those who use contraception over NFP as those who are either: ignorant of what the Church Teaches (some thru no fault of their own), refuse to trust God and His Design, seek satisfaction in the material, or just plain cowards.

    64. These words are more of the same, a noisy gong and a clanging symbol. So glib, so smooth. But then, you don’t have to be concerned about becoming pregnant, now do you!!!

    65. NFP is just asking for an unwanted pregnancy. I’d much rather use something that works instead of something known to fail.

    66. But you forget: THere’s not the stigma of divorce today that there once was…

      NFP results in a good marriage in many cases because it teaches husbands to use non-gential ways of showing affection. Wives don’t feel used, and that goes a looooooong way in any marriage ma-friend. 🙂

      Sex maniac? Didn’t see it in the article…nice try, though.

    67. “Would you have me be a celibate? Would a merciful compassionate God? I think not!”

      How Is celibacy inhumane or uncompassionate?

      My brother was the victim of a horrible car accident, he was dead for a considerable amount of time. Once stabilized he was comatose for a long time then once out severely disabled. In those days there was very little assistance even the PT fell upon my mother. She became pregnant with me soon after. My brother remained high maintenance for many years yet she chose to have another child very soon after me and never once did she regret that choice. She understood that the gift of the child was greater than the exhaustion she would know for many years and I am a better person for her example and fortitude not to mention the gift of my disabled brother. I like to think I am a gift to him as well.

      A decade later my father did leave. Their marriage was annulled yet my mother chose a life of celibacy rather than bring a man who was not our father into the house. She never knew sexual intimacy again. It was the greatest gift next to life itself that I ever received. But my mother knew love, joy, laughter and emotional intimacy as a result of her sacrifice that few of us will ever know.

      I share this because I find in the comments that we have come to value sex and comfort more than the life of people around us. God does call people to celibacy (not just priest or religious) for many reasons. Its not inhumane and it just may be the compassionate and merciful thing to do.

      Celibacy does not destroy a marriage if it’s agreed upon. If genital sexual encounters are what holds the relationship together than something is wrong with that relationship.

    68. Celibacy is in every case a way of life which is CHOSEN, for whatever reason. Some people are celibate because they have been taught that sex is bad or that sex was forced on them by abuse. Some choose to be celibate because they are frigid, physically or psychologically. Some choose celibacy because it is a condition of priesthood, being a nun or religious brother. It is always a CHOICE.
      I consider imposed celibacy because of some irrational view of contraception as sinful to be inhumane. To impose or expect celibacy of someone who does not choose it is inhumane. Genital relationships are not the singular bond of a martial relationship, but they are certainly a part of a healthy marital relationship.

    69. How is the Church’s view of contraception irrational? Is not the natural end of the sex act procreation? If I gave you a million dollars to care for your son and you used it to go on vacation is that not an illicit use of my gift? The same is true of the sex act. It is a gift with unitive and procreative intent. If we use the sex act in a manner absent of either its use is illicit. The gift of sex comes with a time of infertility, to utilize sex during this time does not violate the terms of the giver.

      ” To impose or expect celibacy of someone who does not choose it is inhumane. ”
      From your logic then celibacy for the unwed or the widowed then would also be inhumane.

    70. “Genital relationships are not the singular bond of a martial relationship, but they are certainly a part of a healthy marital relationship.”
      Nor are they essential as you implied elsewhere.

    71. Steve, sexuality is gift from the Source which evolved through tens of thousands of years, both as means of pleasure and release and as a way to pass on our DNA to future generations. They are meant for both ends, but not at all times. Each act of physical intimacy and union need not intend to produce fetuses. And yes, celibacy for the widowed and unwed is an inhumane expectation…thankfully that’s why contraception is here. Celibacy is a choice … not a mandate.

      Matt 19:11-12
      11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12″For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

      HE who is able to accept this, let him accept it! Hardly words of a mandate from Jesus! He was a man of common sense….compassionate and merciful and humane.

    72. “Each act of physical intimacy and union need not intend to produce fetuses.” Says you. True enough if there is no God and no purpose for man.

      “HE who is able to accept this, let him accept it!”
      It certainly does sound like a mandate. I don’t think he is making a suggestion I think it is a command. For the “Kingdom of heaven” Wouldn’t that mean “because God asked” or “for the sake of goodness?”. Isn’t God asking people to respect themselves, their spouses and the gift of sex? Isn’t it good to do so?

      I certainly don’t judge you because I know the teaching is hard. But you came here attacking the Catholic teaching. Now from your comment “And yes, celibacy for the widowed and unwed is an inhumane expectation” has revealed quite a bit.

      Christ has definitively taught that fornication is a sin. How do you maintain your admiration in light of the clear teaching against fornication which you consider inhumane?

      I can only assume that you like the teaching of what you consider a mere man. If indeed you do not recognize the existence of God then and are correct then neither side of the debate is correct because moral truths are relative and indeed no objective moral truth exist. If no objective moral truth exists then why are you trying to convince that your moral belief is true?

    73. An objective moral truth is one which is applicable to all people, in all cultures and through all ages. Contraception as sin is not accepted by the vast majority of Catholics, certainly not by all people, even non Catholic Christians, not be all cultures and through all ages. I believe in objective moral truth….contraception and sexual intimacy does not fit the definition. And yes, I accept the existence of God and I feel that I am in union with God. The Bible talks little about sex, much about corporal works of mercy, compassion and love. You focus too much about sex and to little about forgiveness, mercy and compassion in your dogmatic assertions..

    74. An objective moral truth does not need to be accepted by a majority or even a minority of persons.

      Phil regardless of the fact that the Bible speaks more of one than the other does not negate the latters importance. Our culture is fixated on the sexual and few would argue against the ideals of forgiveness, mercy and compassion. The great debate is on sexual matters.

      Its easy to get stuck in a spiritual immaturity if we only see the mercy of God.

      Love is a dogmatic assertion.
      You claim to believe in God and in Christ yet you did not address the inhumane demands of God that the unmarried remain celibate.

    75. “How is the Church’s view of contraception irrational? Is not the natural end of the sex act procreation?”

      The answer to this is simple: so what if the natural end of the sex act is procreation? Who says we are obliged to cooperate with nature? Where else in life do we allow ourselves to be subjugated to nature? I’m about to eat a meal that has a natural purpose of fueling my body to give me energy to hunt for more food. If all that happens is I just get fatter, that was not nature’s purpose if I don’t burn that fat usefully. Is it a sin for me to enjoy a meal if it is not serving its natural end?

    76. Given that there are limited resources yes the potential exists that eating can be sinful. Its called gluttony and it is a sin one of the seven deadly.. However that food is serving its natural end just not efficiently.

    77. Last time I checked, a woman using the pill has a 9% chance of getting pregnant every year. How does that help someone in a similar situation to you?

    78. With my vasectomy, the chances are 10 in 10,000 in the first few weeks then 0. By the way the stats for NFP are conditioned on strict calendar, mucous and basal temp. Given the fact that most people are not that religious about 100% adherence to NFP….the stats are lower. Pretty much as for inattentive use of the pill. There is no effect of inattention with a vasectomy.

    79. …and also quite wrong. The effectiveness doesn’t determine the rightness of the action.

      So, out of curiosity, do you know how one does NFP? Most of know the rudiments of contraception, but do NFPs detractors know the basics of carrying it out, and why it helps so many couples?

    80. Effectiveness can;t be the measurer of morality…shooting a 7 year old who steals bread will prevent 100% of his further thefts…but it ain’t right to do it, no?

    81. Castration is the same or better than NFP?

      If you can’t tell the difference between saying no to an extra desert and cutting off your tongue, I can’t help you…. 😉

    82. I’ve used both the Pill and NFP, Bill. I find NFP to be markedly more convenient. Good thing convenience doesn’t determine morality, though, eh? The whole point of morality is to do what is right instead of what is easy.

    83. “The whole point of morality is to do what is right instead of what is easy.”

      The whole point of morality is to follow your conscience and let me follow mine. Not for you to tell me what is moral and what is not moral. And you have a nerve even responding to one of my comments, Church Lady.

    84. That is not the point of morality, Bill. If you think it is you have a severe misunderstanding of what morality is, and what its purpose is, for mankind and in our individual lives.

      I am glad to see that I’ve struck a nerve with you (hence your name-calling). Progress!

  5. I’m not sure about that last point. When things seem especially bad politically, I remind myself how many years until my friend’s children can vote.

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