Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Regarding artificial contraception:
We have before us the ongoing dichotomy between the Flesh and the Spirit, as Scripture points out in Matt 26:14; Mark 14:38; John 1:12-13; 3:5-6;8;37; 4:24; 6:63; 14:17; Acts 2:38; 20:28; Rom 7:5-6;14;18;25; 8:6, among other places. In proper context, the Flesh refers to the World, where Satan rules, and the Spirit refers to the at-hand and on-going Kingdom of God, which is not of this world. The Spirit, which the World does not recognize, has laid before us the choice between Life and Death, of the everlasting variety. The Flesh, which is solely of this world and divorced from the Spirit, lays before us temptation and worldly knowledge, which is falsely presented as worldly wisdom.
The World tells us that there are too many of us for a sustainable population and therefore we need contraception because of our human Population Problem. Further, the World insists, our human activity is dooming the Earth along with mankind, as shown in the Eco-Nazism page. As you will see at each of the above links, these claims are refuted even on the terms of the World.
I'm going to open and close this discussion with a question that you should consider and answer now, and then re-consider and answer later. Regarding the Scripture verses at Gen 38:8-10 -
QUESTION: What is the difference between a man spilling his seed on the ground and a man using a condom?
ANSWER: Nothing whatsoever.
The serious social consequences of the contraception decision made at Lambeth in 1930 cannot be over stated. It was a major change and turning point in the predominant international view of morality. It was arguably the single most significant widely accepted moral change in the history of Western Civilization. It could be argued that the long-term affects could be worse than the affects from the disaster of the Reformation itself. Prior to that change, artificial contraception was roundly condemned by Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and every single existing Protestant, i.e., Western-Culture non-Catholic denomination. But the contraception floodgates were first opened in 1930 at Lambeth by the Anglican Church.
Anglicans have periodic major Conferences or Conventions as do some other Protestant denominations. These gatherings are significantly different from the Great Councils of the Catholic Church, in major ways. Catholic Church Councils are generally called together to settle some doctrinal dispute, and the ultimate resolution always agrees with the Depositum Fidei. It must. A doctrine may be strengthened or even elevated to the level of a dogma, to settle the matter, but no teaching is ever changed, added, or deleted from the original Deposit handed down by the Apostles. Contraception fits into that category. But Protestantism is different, and their Conferences can produce new doctrine, change existing doctrine, and delete doctrine. That's what happened at Lambeth in 1930.
At the prior Anglican Conference in 1908, the Bishops of the Anglican Communion declared "The Conference records with alarm the growing practice of the artificial restriction of the family and earnestly calls upon all Christian people to discountenance the use of all artificial means of restriction as demoralising to character and hostile to national welfare."
That's what they said about contraception in 1908. Then, the Lambeth Conference of 1930 produced a new resolution, "Where there is a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, complete abstinence is the primary and obvious method" but if there was morally sound reasoning for avoiding abstinence, "the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of Christian principles."
By the time of the 1958 Lambeth Conference, contraception was just another accepted part of life among most Anglicans, and a resolution was passed to the effect that the responsibility for deciding upon the number and frequency of children was laid by God upon the consciences of parents "in such ways as are acceptable to husband and wife."
The Anglicans present an excellent microcosm of what happened regarding the teaching on contraception among all Protestant churches in the 1900s, with no exceptions. A constant Judeo-Christian teaching on contraception, thousands of years old, was completely undone among Protestants in a mere thirty years.
This brings up an unsettling choice, for Protestantism: either the Holy Spirit was not guiding Christians before 1930, or, Protestant Churches have been ignoring His guidance after 1960. One or the other.
Scripture has not changed.
Let's look at Protestant history on the subject of contraception.
Martin Luther on contraception (1483 to 1546):
John Calvin on contraception (1509 to 1564):
John Wesley on contraception (1703 to 1791):
Examining sermons and commentaries, Charles Provan identified over a hundred Protestant leaders (Lutheran, Calvinist, Reformed, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Evangelical, Nonconformist, Baptist, Puritan, Pilgrim) living before the twentieth century condemning non-procreative sex. Did he find the opposing argument was also represented? Mr. Provan stated, "We will go one better, and state that we have found not one orthodox theologian to defend Birth Control before the 1900's. NOT ONE! On the other hand, we have found that many highly regarded Protestant theologians were enthusiastically opposed to it."
So what happened?
It's the old story of Christians attempting to conform the world to Christ and the world attempting to conform Christians to its ways. Protestants fought bravely, but in 1930 the first hole appeared in the contraception dike (in the Anglican Church) and lead to a flood that would engulf the other Protestant Churches, too. In the next thirty years all Protestant churches were swept away from their historic views on contraception. The most terrible point is that just a few years earlier, in 1908, the Anglican Church condemned the very contraception that they would later embrace.
Today, only Orthodox Judaism and Catholicism in the West, and Orthodox Christian Churches in the East, maintain the ancient doctrines against contraception. Western Culture is now just as severely split on the doctrine of artificial contraception as it is on the teaching authority of the Pope, or on the Protestant dogmas of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide.
What about the Jews?
Classical Jewish commentators who know Hebrew language, customs, law, and biblical literary genres certainly saw in Gen. 38 a condemnation of both unnatural intercourse and masturbation. A typical traditional Jewish commentary puts it thus: "Onan misused the organs God gave him for propagating the race to unnaturally satisfy his own lust, and he was therefore deserving death." And this is undoubtedly in accord with the natural impression which most unprejudiced readers will draw from the text of Genesis 38.
The Encyclopedia Judaica (Vol.4,p.1054, article "Birth Control") states: "Jewish tradition ascribed the practice of birth control to the depraved humanity before Noah (Gen. R. 23:2,4; Rashi to Gen. 4:19,23)." The Encyclopedia article adds that on the basis of Gen. 38:9-10, "the Talmud sternly inveighs against 'bringing forth the seed in vain', considering it a cardinal sin (Nid. 13a) . . . . Strictly Orthodox [Jews, . . . . for religious reasons, refuse to resort to birth control." In the same Encyclopedia, under "Onanism" (Vol. 12, p.1495), it is stated that the act of Onan "is taken . . . by the Talmud (Yev. 34b) to refer either to unnatural intercourse or (cf. Nid. 13a) to masturbation.
What about secular and/or non-Judeo-Christian sources from within general Western culture, and even from other cultures?
Theodore Roosevelt on contraception:
Sigmund Freud on contraception:
Mahatma Gandhi on contraception:
Before looking at ancient and modern Catholic teaching on contraception, perhaps we should examine the pertinent Scripture a little closer.
A common modern Protestant pro-contraception argument I have heard in debate regarding this Scripture is that the real sin involves not so much the spilling of the seed as the failure to perform the brotherly duty. But the punishment for that is already established in Scripture, right here:
So the established legal punishment for failure to perform the brotherly duty, from Scripture, is public humiliation. His shoe is removed, his face is spat upon in public, and he is called the "shoeless one."
Note well that God didn't just humiliate Onan; He killed him.
The only other place in Scripture where contraception is noted is this:
Believe it or not, these were methods of contraception in those days. Once a principle is established in Scripture every possible variation of it need not be listed. Contraception was so obviously detestable that there was no further need to elaborate upon it in Scripture.
Now we can look at the Patristic era records regarding contraception.
From the Didache, believed to be the oldest existing non-Scriptural Christian writing:
(A “philter” is translated to be a magic potion. In those days the two primary purposes for magic potions (drugs) were abortion and artificial contraception.)
Letter of Barnabas 10:8 (A.D. 74) on contraception:
Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 (A.D. 191) on contraception:
Hippolytus: Refutation of All Heresies 9:12 (A.D. 225) on contraception:
Lactantius: (Divine Institutes 6:20 (A.D. 307) on contraception:
Council of Nicaea I: (Canon 1 (A.D. 325)) on contraception:
Epiphanius of Salamis: (Medicine Chest Against Heresies 26:5:2 (A.D. 375)) on contraception:
Augustine: (The Morals of the Manichees 18:65 (A.D. 388)) on contraception:
(Against Faustus 15:7 (A.D. 400)) on contraception:
(The Good of Marriage (A.D. 401))
(Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17 (A.D. 419)).
John Chrysostom: (Homilies on Romans 24 (A.D. 391)) on contraception:
(Homilies on Matthew 28:5 (A.D. 391))
(Commentary on Galatians 5:12 (A.D. 395))
Jerome: (Against Jovinian 1:19 (A.D. 393)) on contraception:
(Letters 22:13 (A.D. 396)).
Caesarius of Arles: (Sermons 1:12 (A.D. 522)) on contraception:
The very year of the Lambeth Conference, the Pope spoke, and infallibly declared in his ordinary magisterium, a universal teaching on faith and morals, in an encyclical published to the whole church, the definitive moral teaching that contraception is a mortal sin.
Pope Pius XI: (CASTI CONNUBII, 1930)
Vatican Council II: (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World - Gaudium et Spes: 1965) on contraception:
A second infallible Papal teaching, again through the ordinary magisterium, in yet another definitive universal moral teaching in a letter addressed to the whole Church:
Pope Paul VI: (HUMANAE VITAE, 1968) on contraception:
Paragraph 15 allows the medical doctor to do those things necessary for the health of the woman, even when they mean sterilization, so long as sterilization is not the primary purpose of the procedure. Removing a cancer or cancer-infected organ, such as the uterus or the cervix, or even complete hysterectomy, is not prohibited, so long as eliminating procreation is not the primary purpose of the procedure. In the exceedingly rare case of the ectopic pregnancy, removal of the fallopian tube containing the embryonic baby is allowed to save the life of the patient, and this not considered a willful abortion. Similarly, prescription of powerful contraceptive medicines to a woman as part of medicinal treatment of cancer, and not for the purpose of contraception, is not prohibited.
Catechism of the Catholic Church on contraception:
So, to this point, on the subject of contraception, we have Scripture, thousands of years of historical teaching, definitive teachings by the Church Fathers and by two popes (addressed to the universal Church,) which, in apparent agreement with Freud’s definition of sexual perversion, condemn contraceptive sex, coitus interuptus, masturbation, mutual masturbation, anal sex, oral sex, homosexual sex, bestiality, abortion, or any other act involving sexual gratification which in any way prohibits procreation.
Yet today, contraception is the norm, and appears to be the norm even among Catholics, or at least half of us, according to polls. Abortion is, and has been, throughout all of history, just another means of artificial contraception. As if sexual gratification were required by our nature, but the consequences of sex were not required by nature, and old fashioned self control were somehow pre-ordained to be beyond our natural abilities. Nature cannot be defeated.
We are at the place where the most often heard response to a pregnancy announcement is "What? Again? Haven't you two learned about birth control yet?" Methods of contraception are openly discussed, in public, in mixed company, everywhere. It has become a commonplace thing, a social norm, even expected. Not using it causes surprise. Not using contraception makes you inconsiderate, anti-environment, even a social pariah.
The development of slightly or somewhat safer and considerably more effective methods of artificial contraception coincided with the great social upheavals of the Sixties in America. Communists at the heart of what was supposed to be a total, violent overthrow of the government were dismally disappointed at the eventual outcome, because the only part of it that succeeded in any really big way was the part now known as the sexual revolution. But, for the most part, the revolutionaries took what they could get; it weakened America's moral fiber and brought attention to religion to a new low point.
But, look back at the wisdom of the ages, at Scripture, at the Fathers, at the Popes, even at Gandhi, at the prophetic things they said about contraception. They were right. Artificial contraception turns your spouse into an object - a pure, sexual playground, nothing more and nothing less. A sex toy. You loose respect for each other in the interest of the enhancement of pure lust.
QUESTION: Where is the most joy to be found, between the house full of children and the house with few or no children?
ANSWER: The house with the large family.
QUESTION: Are parents and other family members more or less likely to be cared for in their old age or infirmity by family members if the family contains few children, or many children?
ANSWER: If they have many children.
You could keep this up indefinitely. Contraception is tied to every single negative trend in society, including even the very things it was supposed to prevent. It's ridiculously easy to prove this statement.
For instance, contraception is supposed to prevent "unwanted babies." Yet unwanted births have rocketed since the social acceptance of contraception. This is easy to prove; just count the bastard children before and after the sixties. In fact, count up the times the term "unwanted baby" was ever even used in public discourse, before and after. Count the number of broken marriages, before and after. Count the number of times couples just shacked up rather than getting married, before and after. Count the number of times people just switched partners, before and after. Count the cases of spousal abuse, and even spousal murder, before and after. Count the number of single parent families, before and after. Count the divorces, before and after. Count the re-marriages, and re-divorces, and re-re-marriages, ad infinitum, before and after.
After the advent of "safe sex" provided by artificial contraception, count the venereal disease infections, before and after. In fact, count the number of known venereal diseases themselves. (Before, there were three; after over some fifty, with over twenty being incurable, along with new drug-resistant strains of the original three.) When half of the so called sexually active (meaning practitioners of illicit sex) population is already infected with incurable HPV, something no contraceptive in the world can protect anyone against, the preventative promise has been exposed as a lie.
The reason for all these dramatic increases in these "prevented" consequences is the jump in the practice of the causative activity, meaning, sex. People have gotten to a point where they cannot abstain; they are too morally weak to do so. They have even been taught that it is unhealthy to try to do so. And, despite what your teacher might have taught you, there is no such thing as a contraceptive method without a failure rate. There hasn't been one for thousands of years, and there never will be one.
The Leviathan State - excuse me, I meant to say the Global Village - has taken upon itself, without any representative legislation, the responsibility of spending tax dollars on sex education programs in public schools to teach other people's children the mechanics of "safe" fornication, and "protected" sodomy, and "responsible" promiscuity. American children who cannot recite their multiplication tables and who cannot read above three or more grade levels below their current grade, know and can properly demonstrate how to put a condom on a cucumber. And they're also diseased at higher levels than ever before in history. Isn't that nice? Note well that these are the same schools in which Scripture is religiously censored.
QUESTION: Why are these subjects even the proper domain of formative education?
ANSWER: Because these skills will look good on a résumé if the child one day seeks to become a Sexologist or a teacher, and carry on in the new tradition of spreading the murderous safe sex lie.
Even with legalized abortion - for which the social acceptance of contraception paved the moral way - the theoretically prevented consequences of unwanted pregnancy continue to boom. Marriage itself has dropped; why get married any more? The decline of the family - the primal social unit - is directly traceable to the social acceptance of contraception. Crime rates soar where families are weak.
I won't belabor it further; any normal thinking man should logically conclude the unnaturalness and immorality of contraception. Don't let it get control of you or yours. Teach and defend that ancient, old virtue, unheard of today, called chastity. The current popular teaching that chastity doesn't work is a murderous lie. Chastity has worked every single time it has ever been tried. Practice chastity before marriage, practice fidelity after marriage, practice celibacy if you do not marry. Untold millions have done these simple things and lived long, healthy, happy, fulfilling, disease-free and scandal free lives. There are thousands of years of statistics to prove that statement, involving all sorts of populations, including celibate populations.
There is no such thing as sex without consequences. There is no such thing as sex without responsibility.
In John 8:44 the two titles Jesus gave to Satan are liar and murderer. Those who knowingly spread the murderous lie of contraception put themselves in alliance with Satan. Is the bastard child the sinner, or the parents? The parents. Are the parents of the bastard, or the fornicators, the greater sinners, or their teachers? Their teachers.
Do not get caught up in this. If you are reading these words, you are old enough to properly reason and to apply some simple critical thinking to the matter.
Oppose all forms of illicit sex; avoid even the opportunity of illicit sex. Publicly and privately oppose illicit sex at every opportunity that presents itself. Practice and strongly recommend chastity at every opportunity. Become an example. No one is beyond redemption; if you have been caught up in the lie, repent of it, confess it, turn away from it and make amends by working for increased acceptance of chastity in society.
One final question.
QUESTION: What is the difference between a man spilling his seed on the ground and a man using a condom?
ANSWER: Nothing whatsoever.
Please God, and live forever.
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Sun Oct 11 18:38:48 2009
From: Michael B
Location: San Francisco, CA
I agree with you. It's too bad, though, the Church tends to teach as if she alone holds to certain moral and ethical beliefs, and thus the rest of the world comes to think that the Church is the sole "hold out" on artificial contraception. Most Catholics are probably not aware that many others outside the Church have had and do have grave reservations about artificial contraception. Why hasn't the Church enlisted the help of Gandhi, and others, in this matter? She should be making it clear that she is really standing in the historical mainstream. Paul VI could have cited hundreds of extra-Catholic sources to bolster his arguments, but he didn't. And the Church doesn't. Why not? Sometimes I think not doing so reflects a kind of conceit that somehow the Church alone is the total guardian of all truth. The Church tends to always "go it alone" on so many issues, especially those related to sexual morality, and that's just not a good way to go. She needs all the help she can get.
Date: Sun Oct 11 19:37:02 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Both Pius XI and Paul VI were addressing the universal Church in their definitive teachings regarding artificial contraception. These two definitive teaching encyclicals were broadly published in many languages and sent to the far corners of the world. Although, as papal encyclicals, they are thought of as being strictly “Catholic”, they are open letters to the whole world, and were openly published and made available for all readers of whatever faith.
So far as Western Christianity is concerned, meaning Roman Catholicism and the Protestantism that split off from it, the Catholic Church really does indeed stand absolutely alone in maintaining the Revealed Truth regarding contraception. Only the Eastern Orthodox Catholics still maintain the original teaching.
Whether any popes have broached the topic with non-Christian figures, I have no idea, but I would suspect that the matter has come up from time to time. When it comes to Revealed Truth, the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church may be expected to “go it alone” if need be in protecting it and keeping it unchanged, until He comes. That’s her job. She has all the help she needs in the Holy Ghost Who guides her. Until then, men will either gather with Him, or they will scatter. We are all blessed with free will; we are all called to use it appropriately.
Never forget who rules this world, and Who rules the world to come.
Date: Mon Oct 12 23:21:07 2009
From: Felix Moore
What about AIDS containment? The real world is just not as chaste as we would have it be, and in the real world there is a need to overcome ignorance of reality through education and the proper use of condoms to save countless lives.
Date: Tue Oct 12 05:59:18 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
It is true that the real world is not as chaste as we would have it be, but everything else in your comment is patently false. AIDS is not spread by sexual activity. The harmless HIV retrovirus is spread that way, but HIV has no real world relationship to AIDS. See the HIV=AIDS=DEATH Hoax page for details; HIV is merely a harmless “hitch hiker” retrovirus with no symptoms whatsoever in human beings. No symptoms, no disease.
This giant hoax has been used by the so-called AIDS Establishment and the Homo-Nazi Movement to inspire well meaning people, charities, governments and other entities to:
The same “establishment” forces that collect untold billions in charitable contributions and American tax dollars and push fear and unnecessary condom use on the whole world also push the notion of the normalcy, naturalness and “born-that-way” false views of homosexuality itself. To say that homosexuality is normal flies in the face of simple arithmetic. To say that homosexuality is natural flies in the face of elementary biology. To say that homosexuality is somehow inherited or an inevitable accident of birth flies in the face of simple common sense, and opposes the notion of free will in man. There is no genetic or other scientific evidence in existence showing that the homosexual practitioner has no choice in how sexuality is expressed. It is a false teaching.
In any event, chastity is available to everyone. No one who practices chastity has any need of condom usage.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Converted Page to SBI! Release 3.0 BB 2.0.
Date: Tue Aug 06 19:14:52 2013
From: Vic Biorseth
Today's email missive from http://www.churchmilitant.tv/ brought this webpage to mind. Pat Robertson is raising Catholic eyebrows again. The unresolvable question his words often raise is whether he might be a liar, stupid, or both. I once believed he was a good man; now I am not so sure. He is supposed to be, and is widely held to be, quite knowledgeable about Protestant / Evangelical / Whatever non-Catholic religion history, doctrine, teaching and so forth. Yet he has made statements concerning Contraception that are clearly, even glaringly false. If you have read this page then you know what Luther, Calvin and Wesley said about the sin of Contraception.
Take a look at the latest video from Curch Militant at this link
http://www.churchmilitant.tv/daily/?today=2013-08-06 and see what you think.
Date: Fri Sep 26 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
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