There were many thoughtful responses to my post about conservative Protestants turning against birth control. I'm very skeptical of the argument that it shows a lack of trust in God. By the same argument, is it a sin to wear seat belts?
Michael Daniel wrote:
The Catholic opposition to birth control, which I happen to agree with, seems to say that artificial birth control denies the reality of the responsibility that comes with sex, that sex is not simply a means of self-gratification or a competitive sport.
No, abortion denies the responsibility that comes with sex. If a couple uses birth control and then becomes pregnant anyway, they have a responsibility to that child. But avoiding the conception of that child in the first place avoids no responsibility to any presently-existing child.
And what's the matter with sex serving self-gratification for the couple involved? Why is that such a bad thing? Is sex just morally icky and therefore to be avoided unless absolutely necessary? What we're seeing is two opposing views of the moral nature of sex.
My mouth hung open at the church dinner last Sunday night as I listened to one mother explain what her daughter had been learning at her (conservative) Christian middle school.
The topic was, "Is it sinful for women to accept epidurals or other drugs to ease the pain during childbirth, since God told us we were to bear children in pain?"
After much discussion, the teacher revealed that she personally had concluded the answer was yes, it is a sin. The Bible said so.
I am still stunned. To be teaching something like this to girls in the beginnings of puberty... another example of some very bad theology out there that could have major guilt consequences for people in the future.
Bizarre. I wonder how much of this movement really is about patriarchal control.