Apologetics · CEC · History · Philosophy · Religion

Insert [Name] Here… thoughts about contraception, abortion, and the like…

Today, my brother sent me a link which discussed the statistics of abortion rates in countries where abortion is legal – http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2504499.html. For instance, for every 1000 pregnancies, roughly 2.5% have ended in abortion since Roe v. Wade. Also, in the United States, and other developed countries, birth control methods are available, and abstinence is not the only means of “protection” that is being taught. In other words, even though abortions do occur, the rates are not only low, but have decreased in most developed countries fitting these criteria. In contrast, “In Uganda, where abortion is illegal and sex education programs focus only on abstinence, the estimated abortion rate was 54 per 1,000 women in 2003, more than twice the rate in the United States, 21 per 1,000 in that year.” – http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/12/world/12abortion.html

So, my question is not whether abortion is right or wrong – I believe it is wrong myself, but whether a single minded approach should be made in dealing with pregnancies that are unwanted, etc. Should birth control, and the use of condoms not be considered? Should abstinence be the only way taught?

First, people have been “copulating” since the beginning of time, married, unmarried, extra-marital, pre-marital, post marital, and so on and so on (and so on). Its a historical fact. In fact, the very nature of sexual activity is mandated by God – “Be fruitful and multiply,” and the only way to do that is to have sex (unless your the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary). To tell someone not to have sex is, in essence, telling that person to go against there nature. Now through cultural development, both through the Judaic and Hellenistic codes of culture, the with who, and with how many have slowly, through the course of history, become defined. For example, as Christians, we receive the idea of marriage from the Old Testament. On the other hand, we receive the idea of the number of spouses from the Hellenistic side of things (Greek then eventually Roman). But even with all of the cultural, and even moral growth, the simple fact of the matter is that men and women have sex, and one could argue that a majority of them due, regardless of being married or not.

Now, the point of the article is not to establish proper mating rites, nor to argue the sinfulness of pre-marital sexual relations, but ot make a point that maybe the foundation of those trying to prevent abortions, unwanted pregnancies, and so on, might need to shift slightly. To me, the two biggest arguments against the use of birth control (i.e. pills, condoms, “pulling out,” etc) is that a. it “spills the seed,” and b. that is kills the life that is in the sperm – which of course, goes back to the spilling of the seed. The second argument is that its “playing God,” but to me that side of the argument lacks any foundation due to the fact that once you wake up, you play “god” all day long, freely making choices… freely choosing to sin or not to sin, and therefore lacks any fortitude as an argument, but the spilling the seed, thats were I would like to go.

The argument, simply is, life is in the sperm… generations are held within the sperm, etc. Now, keep in mind, scientifically, there are millions of sperm in a man’s reproductive organ. These sperm do not stay still, in fact, even without intercourse or some other sexual experience, can, and do leave the body, even with out the provocation of the said man in which the sperm reside. So, even without sexual activity, the “seed will spill.” Again, the man, married, along with his wife, decide to try and “make” a baby. So, as men and women due, the try, and try, and try again, but, alas, she does not get pregnant. The sperm, along with the eggs from the female, eventually get flushed from her body… is this killing the seed? Again they try, and to no avail, she still does not get pregnant. Again, flushed. So, they go to the doctor, and they discover she is not able to have kids. So, the dilemma is… now that THEY KNOW they cannot have kids together, is the husband simply “spilling/killing his seed” just to have a pleasurable experience. I mean, they are not having sex to follow the mandate from God to be fruitful and multiply… his seed is dying by the millions each time… so, is this wrong? On the other side… when I man uses a condom… its the same process, the sperm die in the same way (except one is in rubber), or when a woman uses birth control… which most pills do not kill the sperm, they just make the eggs inert… which is possibly the same condition woman mentioned above had… whats the difference? Now, you could argue that in the last mentioned instances, they were preventing a pregnancy for the sake of pleasure… and that the God mandated sex drive is for reproduction, not pleasure, but if thats the case, if one cannot reproduce, then what the point of sex? And if the only point of sex is reproduction, then all sexual activity not for reproduction – married or not – would be sin. And any seed killed by such sexual activity should be considered killed.

Now, I seriously doubt you would consider the fictional married couple to be killing the man’s seed and living in sin… but all I ask you to do is think about it. Abortion is a great atrocity… if not the greatest of our time. We should not be single-minded in our approach to stop these murders, and we should also not be naive and think that people will stop having sex because we tell them to, or show them pictures of venereal diseases, or scare them with AIDs… or even worse, the fires of hell… All people have sinned and fall end short of the glory of God, all men (and women) are human… the majority of which will succumb to the desires of the flesh, and yes, they will suffer consequences, and yes, they, as well all, need to repent, but please, open you minds, and get your heads our of where ever they are.

JZ Holloway

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6 thoughts on “Insert [Name] Here… thoughts about contraception, abortion, and the like…

  1. This is a response I got on Facebook from a dear friend. They chose to remain anonymous, since their views are a minority in the denomination they attend.

    Jared,

    I’m writing here rather than the wall because I agree with you and as clergy don’t want to piss anyone above me off. I really liked your wall-posts on the single issue voter topic. I’m a disillusioned slightly left of center non-single issue voter who believes tat in a pluralistic republic that somehow has to find ways to get along. Unfortunately Roe v. Way is settle law in this country and will not be overturned by anyone on the current court, even Justice Roberts in his confirmation called it “settle law” and he is one of the most conservative voices on the court. The question is how do you mitigate it and do what you can due to ensure that it doesn’t happen by caring for people and presenting viable options to abortion so mothers don’t do it. I don’t get the single issue stuff, even with abortion which I think of itself, is a sin, but still believe in God’s grace even to those that support it. I also find it hard to conceive that bombing nations that have done nothing to us as somehow pro-life and justifiable just because we are “Americans” and have bought the mythology of the Puritans and others of American exceptionalism. Somehow I have a problem with those who think that Christians can willy-nilly support anyone who will screw the poor, exploit poor nations, and bomb those that we disagree with into submission. The fundies have driven me out of the Republican Party and I worked for ********** campaign before I could vote. I abhor the things that have been done in the most recent campaigns (especially the vilification of Barack Obama) by supposed “conservative” Christians who know not the meaning of conservative and would use the police power of government to implement what they could not do through the church. I don’t believe that everyone has to agree with me or what my church teaches nor did the founding fathers of the United States. Unfortunately I don’t think that many have thought through the political and moral implications of their stand when they lose an election after playing dirty, they are seen as a political interest group rather than the church and will suffer for doing so. Unfortunately even Christians who oppose Obama without engaging in this shameful behavior will get the “guilt by association” label stuck to them and Republican leaders are only interested in the votes and not the values of Christian voters. This probably makes me a minority in the ****** [Church I attend] though I know a couple of others who think the same way I do even if they are a bit to the right of me. I guess to some that this would make me a liberal. Oh well, I’ve been to war recently, and most of them haven’t. Keep up the good work my friend.

  2. From Scott Looker – from Facebook

    Jared, I think that i agree with you, to an extent. One of the problems the CEC has, speaking as a CEC priest, is that while we have been STAUNCHLY pro-life when it comes to abortion, we have been THOROUGHLY INCONSISTENT when it comes to other pro-life issues. Our position (or lack thereof) on birth control has undermined our teachings on the issue. This is a complicated issue…

    There are two purposes for sex: procreation of children AND the drawing together of a couple. The consistent RC teaching is that whenever you have sex, there should be the opportunity for God to operate and conceive a child. Anything that tries to prevent God is, in essence, idolatrous. It tries to raise methods of birth-control over God. A couple who cannot have a child is not trying to steal away control from God; they are simply enjoying the OTHER purpose for which God intended sex.

    As to our culture, I agree that it promotes pre-marital sex by postponing marriage til the mid to late twenties. Nowadays a couple must graduate high school, finish college and get established in a career before they can begin looking for a spouse. BUT, they are supposed to be dating that whole time? How do you expect anyone to go that length of time with all those hormones raging (passing through a man’s sexual peak) without expressing themselves.

    Touchstone had a great set of editorials recently about arranged marriages that suggested that we go back to arranging marriages for our children. I’ll see if I can find the link. Maybe out young people should marry the one they are called to marry and the “find themselves” together? Maybe they should grow up committed that whatever they happen to find, they will discover it together and remain that way for the rest of their lives.

  3. Just a quick question… if having pre-marital sex is a sin…. and so is using a condom/birth control… should I feel safer if I have “unprotected” (i.e. without a condom) sex, and should the woman feel better if she is not using birth control? Honestly… what is the real sin here… the use of “protection,” or the actual act of copulation? Should we add sin to sin? Is it sin0, and then sin1 if one person uses some form of control, and then sin2 (squared) if both use?

  4. From Facebook – From my good friend (and neighbor) Sarah.

    So without trying to push any buttons, is it essentially being said that all “good” christian couples don’t use condoms or birth control and, so, keep popping out babies until there are too many kids to count? Or [should] they just stop having sex? Or perhaps use birth control and repent after every act? I don’t understand, and I guess I will never know everyone’s personal lives. It seems to me that many people don’t “practice what they preach” (no pun intended), but there’s no way for me to know. Sorry to butt in on this conversation, but there are a lot of questions and skepticism that I hold for a lot of issues, this being one of them.

    I’m also not very sure where I stand when it comes to God and religion. If you asked me, based on what I have learned throughout life, what is and isn’t a sin when it comes to sex, I would say that pre-marital sex is a sin. I also feel, though, that if you are using birth control, how does that truly stop God? If he wanted a woman to get pregnant, wouldn’t he have control over that? Whether protected or not? Is it a sin simply because one is trying to stop God’s plans with birth control?

    I feel like I’m rambling now. I’m done.

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