Sin or Misery: Birth Control

Before anyone says I hate Catholics simply because I’m atheist… no I don’t. Really I don’t. I have some pretty pointed criticisms of “the church” as an institution, but I’ve known and liked plenty of Catholics in my lifetime. Pre-Jennifer I’ve even dated Catholics, fondled their breasts and found it pleasing. I disagree with what you believe in obviously, but I don’t have a pressing need to turn you to the dark side. I don’t team up with atheist buddies and go knocking door to door asking people if they would be interested in visiting the planetarium.

However…

If you write to me and say you’re a Catholic in a sexless marriage, primarily because your wife is terrified of having more children, that’s when I start experiencing a pain in my right temple that travels behind my right eye and makes it twitch a little. Then I’m going to say something like “Ahhh… have you considered birth control?”

When I suggest birth control, please then don’t explain-to-me-more-slowly-that-you-are-Catholic-and-cannot-use-birth-control-and-need-a-different-answer-that-you-can-actually-use. I know that, I was purposely suggesting that you stop being miserable and start sinning a little. I know, I know, that’s clutch-the-pearls-immoral for me to suggest isn’t it. (I’ll let you into a secret, the devil and I do a session together on Sundays to discuss ways of being more evil. I’m not going to say how much I charge him though.)

Look being completely objective about this, if you have a religiously based cockblock stopping your sex life from being happy, then that’s the cause of the problem. Your options are either to do some fancy bible study to find a way to approve what you want to do sexually, dump that particular aspect of religious belief (which is exactly what 98% of Catholics in America do on the birth control issue), or dump the religion completely. But more religious activity, more church attendance, more prayers, more giving, more pleading to God to make the misery end, isn’t going to solve your sexual problem. More of the cause of the problem isn’t going to be a solution.

Look I want to help, really I do, but I can’t fix this sort of problem. I’m also not going to pretend to you should just trust in God to provide and say you’re well overdue for a little bareback doggystyle either. Because from my point of view, suggesting that would be immoral. I just want everyone to have an enjoyable sex life and married people to enjoy being married. When your choices are either sin or misery, and sinning makes you miserable, you’re miserable either way. Is that not a terrible cruelty to have programmed into you?

 

Comments

  1. Hello Athol – I get very upset over this issue as well. So many people have ruined their lives by not knowing how to innovate to get by without birth control. I actually have a solution – natural fertility control! Google Billings Method. Measure mucus (and temperature). Stop sex which can get you pregnant when the fertile mucus appears. Resume sex 3 days after the fertile mucus stops (and also 3 days after the temperature ). If allowed under the religion, during the fertile time practice forms of sex which can’t get your pregnant, If there is any demand I can write a post on this being somewhat of a practicing expert. :-) C

  2. Capt Mack Daddy says:

    She can’t get pregnant if she swallows it.

  3. feralfelis says:

    Athol, the estrogen level at this site has really risen over the past year! (yes, I am a woman) I used to read to get a male perspective on things and now it’s still good, but it’s a decidedly mixed audience.

    But I digress…

    I love you because you don’t take shit off of anyone and you’re not afraid to talk about the tough topics. I was raised a Catholic. It’s not just the birth control cockblock; I am from the old-school where it was shameful (if not downright sinful) to practice anything but procreative sex on an as-needed basis. This little Catholic girl loved her some masturbation and I refused to believe that there was some Dude up in the sky who would throw down lightning bolts of destruction while I was bringing on a little electricity of my own!

    Thanks for pointing out to the Emperor that he’s naked; it’s a real talent you have and I appreciate you very much.

    It’s not so much as an estrogen increase as being able to cover more sexual topics in depth. Besides, I quite like women.

  4. I have a hard time understanding this problem. The problem I face is much different — getting a woman who built up years of resentment toward me (due to a decade of unforgivable beta-ness) seeing me as the sexual dynamo that I have become. My problem is stoking the flames of her desire, not tip-toeing around religious rules.

    So, I have a question about how these religious rules are typically applied — isn’t the rule against birth control part-and-parcel of a larger rule that says you’re supposed to have as many children as you are biologically capable of having? That God will tell you when you’re done having kids?

    How can someone say, on the one hand, “We must obey the No-Birth-Control rule,” but at the very same time say, “We are going to disregard the Never-stop-being-fruitful-and-multiplying rule”?

    It seems to me that the No-Birth-Control rule exists for the purpose of ensuring that a couple produces the maximum number of children they are biologically capable of producing. I’m no theological expert, but I’m fairly sure that the No-Birth-Control rule was NOT devised in order to produce 1.5 children (because that’s what’s personally and economically convenient), then have the wife turn off the sex-tap until menopause.

    If you are going to religiously follow the No-Birth-Control rule, shouldn’t that also mean that one follow the Maximum-Offspring rule as well? It seems highly inconsistent to adhere to the strict application of rules when declining birth control, but to disregard rules altogether because you don’t feel like having more kids.

    Either rules are rules, and they all have to be followed, or one can leave all of the rules behind and do what you like. I don’t understand how someone can expect to have it both ways — to pick-and-choose which rules you’re going to follow. If you do that, then it’s pretty clear that it’s not actually a problem with following moral rules; this so-called “rule” is merely being used as a pretense and justification for never having sex.

  5. Athol, from the “red-pill” perspective, isn’t the wife’s refusal to use birth control/fear of pregnancy her “body agenda/rationalization hamster” saying to her husband “you don’t attract me enough to either want to have your babies or to otherwise lay you”? Wouldn’t the solution to the problem be less liberalization of religious practices and more “MAP”?

  6. Google “Lady Comp Fertility Monitor”.

    It’s pricey–runs about $485.00–but it’s worth it. When used correctly it’s about 99.3 % accurate. Your wife just takes her temperature every day and then presses a button to say if she’s menstruating or not. The Lady Comp responds with either a green, yellow or red light, telling you if it’s safe to have sex or not.

    It gets more accurate the longer you use it. You have to wait at least a month before it has enough data to give you green and red instead of yellow.

    My husband and I used one as birth control for three years, then as an ovulation predictor when we were trying to conceive. Had two babies–totally planned, no surprises :)

  7. Caveat: This comment is directed at Christians. If you’re not a Christian then most of my “argument” is going to be irrelevant to you.

    The real issue I see here is “Religion.” Religion, not God, is what hurts people and forces laws on them that make them miserable. I’m not going to get into a spiritual debate but I would like to encourage those who are Catholic to look outside the church for answers. Seek God and His Word, not the priest or pope, they are merely men and are sinful by nature just like you and I. At the end of the day, we all sin. Would you rather sin with your wife or sin by lusting after other women because you aren’t getting any at home. I don’t particularly believe that birth control is a sin, but if I did, I’d rather sin by using it and banging the shit out of my wife then sin by not using it and rocking a hard-on because the waitress smiled at me and I have been laid in days or weeks. Both sins are forgiven by God because all of our sins(past, present and future) have been paid for by Jesus Christ so that we don’t have to. That’s what Christianity is all about so embrace it and live the best life you can but realize that you will fall short somewhere so choose wisely which battles you fight.

  8. Athol – generally love your website and writing! However, this particular article is bad marketing mojo and I think you’re missing a big opportunity. Those of us Catholics that know our faith and what our church actually teaches (versus all of the common false beliefs that people often rail against) recognize that what you often advise does indeed help men become more authentic to their natures. I certainly don’t expect you to know what we believe nor do I hold it against you in the slightest or think your advice any less relevant for it, but, the moment you advise people to violate their beliefs you lose your audience. Promoting artificial means as the solution to being more authentic/natural sounds, on the face of it, silly (yay for Candace above for figuring this out!) and so obviously not the solution to the original guy’s problem.

    If there is a positive religious solution to his problem, isn’t it up to the religion to provide those answers? I’m non-religious, thus my non-religious answer.

  9. My Catholic wife is afraid of birth control for the hormone problems it has on weight and mood. We practice the “Play and Spray” method. It’s pretty simple.

    Now obviously I am here so there was a problem in the recent past that caused sex to be less than often. I would be damned if I let the ovulation sex go by when it was available. My only concern is, and I am serious, how do I get her addicted to my sperm of it doesn’t deposit in her vagina.

    In any event, during our Catholic pre wedding required course the instructor talked about birth control. She said intamacy was important and that attitudes have changed on a families ability to have and care for the children they had in the healthiest and most caring way we all could. It was more important to provide what we could to those we could. The rythem and pull out methods were discussed openly. And she ended the chat admitting that there were times when birth control was her answer because it was a balance between ending intimacy with her husband or birth control (pills and condoms etc) during times when they simply would be risking too much for the family they had at the time to have another (she has 5 kids). There was a priest in the course the whole time who said he had limited experience in this area (he was being funny but deferential about it all) but that there are times that a family has to make the best call they can with the situation life gives them. Cue the story about stealing bread to feed a starving family not being the greater of two sins one has to choose between. From the mouth of the priest.

  10. Reader – are you willing ot have sex when she’s on her period? I mean that’s pretty much a full week that you’d at least get SOMETHING. Also, how bout oral? I know this isn’t exactly a SOLUTION cause it’s not exactly what you want, but again, it’s stop gap… Also, how bout take Candice’s strategy a bit further – buy a digital ovulation predicter kit. They’re very reliable. They look expensive on the onset, but they’re really not to bad cause you don’t need to do it as much as they say on the packaging… It predicts an FSH spike which comes about 24-48 hours post ovulation. I think a kit costs about $60 ish and there’senough strips in there to test DAILY for a month, but in reality, you can look at a calenar and then like maybe 5 days before (just to be safe), start testing, and you can quit a few days afterward. So one kit will last you about 3 months. Honestly a copay for birth control is not a whole lot cheeper than that…. Then you’re just buying the refil kits after that anyway so it’s even cheeper as time goes on….

    I would highly recomend reading some of Shmuley Boteach’s work to anyone interested in religion and sexuality. He’s jewish, but I think most of the same religious books are used in judism and catholosism? In the jewish religion a strong sexual bond is of the upmost importance, so much so that on your wedding day, the husband will sign an actual contract stating that he will keep his wife sexualy satisfied and if he doesn’t, she can leave him. A lot of Boteach’s work centers around biblical references that indicate how important EROTISM is to GOD and that it is your duty to cultivate that with your spouse. He is a proponent of lots of things that most religious folk probably wouldn’t agree with; examples that jump to mind are oral sex and creating pornography for each other (included is alway religious text indicating clarifications like – looking at porn in general would be unacceptable, not because it’s really WRONG per say, but because it detracts from your sexual bond with your wife- which is worng – and focus your energy elsewhere; instead, make porn WITH your wife and mastubate to that if your apart etc. because that strengthens your bond etc) Anyway, everything is backed up with religious text and there’s really a lot there if you’re religous and looking for a way to reconcile the two. Jews ARE allowed to use birth control though, so I’m not sure if that particular aspect is in there, but I’d really bet that it is. But regardless, it’s really great reading – jives a lot with Atol’s stuff, but from more of a religious frame….

  11. *24-48 hours PRE- OVULATION…sorry, that was an important typo…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Whatever you do, do not use “natural birth control”. Your wife was designed by God to want sex _the most_ at a certain time of the month – when she is fertile. If you do not regularly have sex with your wife when she is ovulating, she will be increasingly attracted to other men. Natural birth control, or the “rhythm method”, is a recipe for marital disaster. Very few people use it successfully – notice how many happily-married couples have six or more kids?

    To those of you who are men and who don’t have six kids and think you have successfully used “the rhythm method” for years: your wife is cheating on you.

    To those of you who are women – honey, they don’t make a lot of girls like you. You are pretty special. God bless. Either that or you are a fat, ugly harpy and you know that you can’t get a man other than your husband to look at you.

    On the subject of Catholicism and birth control…bear in mind that the Church has a multi-century history of opposing birth control because until the 20th century birth control was pretty much synonymous with “abortion”. The sheep-intestine-over-your-shizzle thing might have worked okay to prevent syphillis, but when most people in 1626 talked “birth control” they meant “getting rid of the baby”. So obviously the Church is morally opposed to murdering unborn children.

    On the other hand, Humane Vitae (this is the encyclical banning birth control, among other things) is definitely NOT ex cathedra. Some scholars will try to claim that it is still “infallible” because it reflects a long history in the Church despite only being declared in the 20th century; see previous paragraph. These scholars are ignorant of this issue and do not understand basic Catholic doctrine, and I don’t care where they went to seminary. There are a large number of Catholic authorities (including at the Cardinal level, and not just the more liberal members) who disagree with the current ban on all forms of “unnatural” birth control and it is highly likely, probably inevitable, that this ban will be overturned at some point. The Church’s present position on Humanae Vitae has more to do with the abortion issue, and in particular the practice of “selective birth” which some cultures use to select male fetuses and get rid of the girl babies.

    Bottom line: there are plenty of methods of birth control which do not involve abortion. Even if you define abortion as “preventing implantation of the ovum in the uterine lining” there are options. Using a condom is also a bad idea: semen contains chemicals which increase feelings of love and sexual attractiveness when absorbed into the female bloodstream through capillaries in the vagina and uterus. (Swallowing does not have the same effect: stomach acid is pretty strong.)

    Basically if you are not regularly filling up your wife’s reproductive tract with your semen while she is ovulating (fertile), she is biologically designed (by God, if you are believer) to seek out someone who will do so.

    Use birth control and go to confession. Realizing that confession is not a “get of jail free” card; you’re a sinner anyways, so suck it up. Guaranteed you don’t live up to pretty much everything God demands, let alone the Church: if you get hung up on this minor detail and let it ruin your life and your marriage, you’re an idiot. Again: don’t blame your wife when she tells you she’s leaving you for a real man who can satisfy her.

  13. hello Jane – thank you for mentioning the kit that is available to test fertility. In my fertile days they were’nt available and I used a thermometer and charts. I soon was able to pick my fertile times from the way I felt. I was also able to track my hormone cycles or lack thereof during perimenopause in the same way.

    Another key point to understand is that fertility only lasts a relatively short time – and after menopause one is free to have sex as much as one wants without birth control (so keep the relationship going to enjoy sex then). Even during the last years of fertility, one is relatively less fertile and being able to pick the odd times when one is fertile (ovulating) is useful to avoiding pregnancy and enjoying the last few times of ovulation sex! With this technique vascectomies can be avoided among well meaning men who realise the difficulties their wives are having with birth control.

    Overall, I’d recommend that any lady, married or not, track her cycles to understand what is happening inside her body.

    :-) C

  14. “My only concern is, and I am serious, how do I get her addicted to my sperm of it doesn’t deposit in her vagina.”

    Rob, women get addicted to orgasms, not semen. Thank goodness, because condoms are a necessity for many. Try lube if you want more slip-n-slide, which is what semen accomplishes for women.

  15. mmaier2112 says:

    Jaz71, IIRC, our host has posted articles on hormones that show semen deposits affect moods and such and make her sort of addicted to semen.

    That would be one reason to NOT tinker with hormones via chemical BC. That, and science isn’t nearly as advanced as folks like to think. Pills almost never fix anything.

  16. mmaier2112, I understand that Athol has posted these articles of sort-of addiction. But semen deposited without her orgasm is just a dump, and if I were a guy, I’d be a lot more concerned about getting her to the moon to release all that oxytocin (SP?) for that bonding experience. Plus, fear of getting pregnant will trash any libido she may have, so Rob’s concerns about semen are not even an issue here.

    For Catholics: how is the pull-out method any different from wearing a condom? I mean, this would also put blow jobs in the same category of “wasted seed.”

  17. I’ve seen this go wrong so much. Young couple, very devout. Not married but still want to have sex (And who can blame them?) but refuse to use birth control as they have religious reasons not to.
    She got pregnant within half a year. Marriage within half a year after that.

    So far, they seem content and are dealing with it, which I find quite a task being a couple of 20 year olds in surroundings that are filled with students whom might be intelligent but are immature when it comes to life-long commitments and children. That stuff is “supposed” to come later.

    Asking them about it, they admitted that birth control would have been preferable. Of course you love your children. But life would have been easier for them if they had.
    If you read this, and are considering not using birth control due to religious reasons, please have a good chat with a couple whom had kids early. Then think about it again. But don’t have unprotected sex and hope for the best. Those one-in-a-million chances happen nine out of ten times.

  18. Also responding to that whole addiction to semen thing:

    I believe the point was that semen which is absorbed in the vagina functions as a mild anti-depressant, basically making a woman feel slightly happier and better.
    But there are lots of things that have a positive effect on your mood; Physical exersice, feeling loved, the sun on your bare skin, physical intimacy, plain having fun and great orgasms.

    Good sex in general is just great. Let’s keep the semen as the proverbial icing on the cake, shall wel?

    Good thing we have sex ;)

  19. The wife is using religion as excuse as demonstrated by many knowledgeable Catholics here, there are church approved methods of preventing pregnancy.
    This not different than “I’m too tired, I have headache…” the only difference is that the guy is eating it up because she uttered the G word. MAP for him and ultimatum (he has actual church and bible quotes to use if he needs to) as prescribed on every other case.

  20. @Phinn

    >isn’t the rule against birth control part-and-parcel of a larger
    >rule that says you’re supposed to have as many children as you are
    >biologically capable of having

    No. The rule is that it is immoral to take an action that renders the sex act infertile.

    @Cadice, natural family planning is misnamed. It should be called NFO, for not fracking often. It’s not a good solution, and especially not when the woman gets older and her periods are irregular.

    If the wife insists on following Catholic teaching on birth control, the husband should get a vasectomy.

  21. Crowhill – three points ptovided with respect and the knowledge that some couples don’t like to put in a lot of effort with birth control and some are really not into the innovation that I believe is necessary to make it work. It’s good to have critics as well since well presented criticism tends to spark innovation.

    ANYWAY …
    1. People should do what suits them best and make their own decisions based on solid information etc.
    2. Tracking one’s fertility using mucus signs and temperature is especially good during perimenopause because one can detect irregular fertile times – been there done that! Periods are not needed for those people skilled in tracking cycles. it’s not a matter of counting from the first or last day of the period. I was using pretty low cost and minimalist tactics to track my fertility. As another reader mentioned, there are high tech solutions.
    3. If a couple is motivated and innovative, they can have frequent and great sex using natural methods with the added advantage of no one having to get their bodies chemically or surgically altered. Condoms can always be used during fertile times if allowed or you can have oral sex or something more innovative. You just need to stop the sperm finding an unbroken pathway of mucus to the egg. Just imagine, you come home and your wife is wearing a cute outfit and serves a lovely dinner over which she announces she is ovulating and would like to try something new. She’s been planning this event ahead since she knows when she is fertile and she’s sent the kids to grandma’s. There are heaps of reasons for sex to run down in marriage and its easy to blame natural family planning…. nevertheless, people need to do what is best for them.
    :-) C

  22. Candice, I agree completely that NFP + condoms is a great option. But if the wife wants to follow church teaching, condoms aren’t an option.

    In a situation where the wife wants to follow Catholic church teaching on birth control, the husband should get a vasectomy.

  23. Stargate Girl says:

    “For Catholics: how is the pull-out method any different from wearing a condom? I mean, this would also put blow jobs in the same category of “wasted seed.””

    Not addressing the Catholic part, but we found pullout completely ineffective the one time it was used. I have a beautiful, now 5 year old daughter from that escapade. Condom would be WAY more effectual….

  24. @Crowhill
    >>> The rule is that it is immoral to take an action that renders the sex act infertile.
    >>> If the wife insists on following Catholic teaching on birth control, the husband should get a vasectomy.

    Thank you for helping to explain the basis for the rule against birth control. I’m not religious, but I grew up in South Texas, where religion was spoken of and discussed freely, and also around a heavily Catholic constituency, so I am somewhat familiar with the precepts, although I tend to be a little fuzzy on the details. I believe some of the Protestant sects tend to emphasize the importance of having the maximum number of offspring one can.

    Unfortunately, I’m now more confused than I was before. Wouldn’t having a vasectomy qualify as an “act that renders the sex act infertile”? How is the morality of a vasectomy distinguished from using condoms?

  25. @Phinn
    A vasectomy is not morally following Catholic teaching, the suggestion was a way to get around the wife not wanting to use condoms or hormonal birth control because she wants to follow Catholic teaching. I don’t know how effective this would be. If she’s very serious about her beliefs, it could mean she stops wanting to have sex with him. I have heard of similar situations happening with a husband who believes very strongly in the rule and a wife who doesn’t want to have any more kids. If she rejects the teaching by using birth control, he rejects her sexually.

    As far as just running the MAP to erase her objections, that’s not likely to work. Most women’s objections to having sex with their husbands fall into the emotional category (don’t feel like it, you don’t do enough housework, etc) and the MAP addresses her emotions. If her objection is logical (don’t want more kids), you can’t erase that by appealing to her emotions. At least not consistently. NFP is a decent compromise, but it doesn’t completely address the fear of pregnancy and also forces her to give up sex when she is most likely to be interested (ovulation).

  26. Yes, Phinn, a vasectomy is also against Catholic teaching for the reasons you say.

    My point was that a vasectomy is the best option if the wife wants to obey Catholic teaching but the husband doesn’t care. She is not responsible for him going and having a vasectomy. I suppose you could ask whether she’s responsible if he chooses to wear a condom, but that is looked on differently.

  27. Catholic church accepts non orgasmic sex, forgot the Latin name for it. No sperm no baby

  28. Nick Steves says:

    The actual window for pregnancy around ovulation is about one to two days prior, depending on how vigorous the little swimmers are, and one day after. The idea behind fertility awareness methods is to pinpoint a woman’s ovulation… and thence to avoid sex to avoid pregnancy OR have sex to get pregnant. To impugn the Catholic Church or its teachings (specifically the one that sex has a telos) with making marriages miserable is therefore either stupid or mendacious. A three to five day time apart is not an overwhelming burden, and in fact provides some very profound benefits. (Athol himself suggested one in the post right above this.) There may be any number of reasons that certain Catholic marriages are miserable, but the Church’s teachings on human sexuality (the actual one’s, not the doltish myths that people may in fact believe) is not one of them.

    I didn’t suggest time apart. I suggested multiple days of edging. Vastly different.

  29. Nick Steves says:

    It [NFP] should be called NFO, for not fracking often.

    We use the CCLI daily chart. It has a little box for coitus. At the end of each lunar cycle, it’s fun to see “how we did this month”. Typical months for us are between 35 and 40 fracks… and that’s after having taken 3-5 days off. I pity the poor contracepting folks who are only having sex once a day. One’s mileage may of course vary… but NFP (fertility awareness) is no barrier (heh) to having great creamy globs of (Church approved) sex.

  30. Hello Candice again – actually Doe, with some innovation one can have great sex during ovulation without unnatural birthcontrol. The key point is that the sperm must not find an unbroken path of fertile mucus (produced by the lady, the sticky egg white like stuff) leading to the egg. Thus, unprotected penetrative sex during the fertile time is not a good idea as even with the withdrawal method, some semen may have seeped out into the vagina. This leaves manual and oral sex, toys and other innovate tactics . I won’t go into all the details, sufficient to say be careful where the semen lands and ends up. Clean up immediately before cuddling to make sure accidents do not happen. I have no objections to condoms, so my preference was to use them during ovulation and again clean up carefully. Really, all this lack-of-sex-suffering is mostly an inability to think outside the box! :-) C

  31. Nick Steves says:

    I didn’t suggest time apart. I suggested multiple days of edging. Vastly different.

    Well multiple days of edging is multiple days of not cumming in the approved orifice. What you suggested is a) unlikely to lead to pregnancy and b) perfectly licit under Catholic teaching.

  32. I’m aware of the other things that can happen during ovulation. The biggest unaddressed issue with this method that I see is that it places most of the burden on the female half of the couple to know when she is fertile and act accordingly. This is the area where Game must be applied, because I imagine it would be difficult to convince a woman who already rejects her partner for sex to jump through all the proper hoops so that they can have sex again. I absolutely don’t think there’s anything wrong with using the symptothermal method provided that’s what works best for the couple, and I know some people think it’s beneficial to know what your body is doing regardless of your contraceptive method. I just don’t know if I would want to go through all the rigamarole when I could just pop a pill every morning and be available for any kind of sex any time of the month. (clearly I’m not Catholic)

  33. I am not Catholic, nor particularly Christian for that matter, but I do believe in God. I also believe that one’s religious beliefs should be a source of great comfort, if not then one should find a set of religious beliefs that will be a source of comfort. I believe that all religions are inspired by God and all have been corrupted by the hand of man. Alan Watts spoke of God being like the top of a mountain, there are many paths to top, some easier, some more difficult, but there is no one path that is any more correct than the other. So now that I have certified myself as a new age flake shall we get to the question at hand.

    I have never quite understood why natural family planning is acceptable to the Church. From a couple’s point of view, what is the intent of natural family planning? To enjoy sex without conception? What is the intent to using artificial birth control? Any different? Nookie without kids. If the rules regarding murder operated the same way, it would appear to me that using a 357 magnum would be sinful, but death through withholding food and water would be perfectly acceptable because it is natural for people to die without food and water where as a bullet is artificial.

    So here is the thing, I believe that there are God made rules, and there are man made rules. God made rules are those rules that do not require attendance to a religious instruction class to know that you have broke one. Your conscience will flail the hell out of you. Man made rules have to learned in a class. Rules are rules, no doubt. But when deciding how important a rule is one should consider who will be displeased. How many people feel guilty about running a stop sign when they can clearly see no one is coming? Yet if a policeman is hidden in the bushes, will you get ticket? Of course, but was it sinful not to stop at the stop sign? Have you disappointed God by not stopping at the stop sign when clearly you are not endangering anyone? Of course not. So let’s consider birth control again. If it was God’s rule do you suppose that there would be any escape clauses? Would God be concerned with a method or with intent? Would not God simply have said thou shall not have sex with the intention of avoiding conception. Nice and simple. No if ands or buts, no thermometers and calendars required. Which by the way, what the hell is natural about a thermometer? If God was all that horrifically concerned with conception, would we not have an estrus and an extremely high ratio of pregnancy to copulation as most animals have? Why do we have on the average of a 1 in 100 chance of pregnancy? Did God screw up our design? Or does sex serve some other purposes for human beings? By the fact that these rules have escape clauses, they concern themselves with method not intent, I smell the corrupt hand of man. God would have made it much simpler.

    If your intent is to enjoy sex without conception, the method employed is insignificant. The intent is what counts. There is no doubt in my mind that Catholicism, like all religions, is inspired by God, and there is no doubt in my mind that the tenets against effective birth control is a corruption by the hand of man. One should not play God for a fool, the joke will be on you. Pick and choose your beliefs to provide you the most comfort. Catholicism is a beautiful religion. It provides comfort to millions of people, but then it has its quirks–God is not quirky, man is. There is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water. Pick and choose what provides comfort and shit can the rest. BTW, no body goes over to the municipal building with their checkbook in hand to confess running 17 stop signs. If you are not sinning against God, I see no need to be telling a man about your contraception. In fact I would make it a point to let him know that what goes on in your bedroom is between you, your spouse, and God. Mind your own damned business.

  34. This is the first post I have ever had a real issue with.

    No, it’s not because it has incorrect assumptions and statistics about the Catholic Church, I’m rather used to that. I do find that to be a great shame, but the practice is so very rampant that all I can do is sigh.

    No, my real issue is this. I have always respected Athol because at heart, he always claimed that the MAP was about “being a better man”. How can denying the core beliefs of you and your spouse possibly be considered being a better man? What the heck is either alpha or beta about that? It neither says you are in control, nor is it supportive in any way.

    There are clearly issues that need to be dealt with in this marriage if the sex life to be nonexistent, and I’d be the first to say those issues need to be worked out. I also believe there is much that can be said within the scope and context of this site.

    But stomping on the core beliefs of your family simply is an unmanly answer.

  35. Shadow_Nirvana says:

    It is ridiculous how easy to find answers for questions when you take religion out of the equation.

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  1. […] really glad that he’s finally able to support himself doing it. However, when it comes to Catholics and birth control he’s wrong: wrong on his advice, wrong in his approach, wrong in diagnosing the problem, and […]

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