Sunday, March 4, 2012

How birth control became intrinsically evil

Pre-formed humans depicted in sperm cells, known as "homunculi."

Ever wonder how birth control became "intrinsically evil" in the Catholic Church? Well, here's a fascinating post at RH Reality Check. In it, you'll learn why every sperm is sacred.

But even more interesting is this:
Let’s fast-forward to the 20th Century, and the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control. I have to admit that I was rather astonished to learn that there even was such a thing, and I was simply dumbfounded by its findings. After the advent of the pill, Pope John XXIII appointed six lay people, referred to as the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control, to study the morality of birth control and population issues. The pope died that same year, and his successor, Pope Paul VI, expanded the Commission, adding a substantial number of clergy, including Cardinals, bishops, and priests, and appointed an executive committee of 15 bishops to construct the final report. The commission voted overwhelmingly to encourage the Church to rescind its ban on contraception and declared it not “intrinsically evil.” The final votes included “yeas” from 30 of 35 laypeople, 15 of 19 theologians, and 9 of 12 bishops (3 bishops abstained).

Pope Paul VI, however, ignored the recommendation of his own pontifical commission, and released his encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which took the polar opposite position. I guess you get to do that when you’re pope.

So now the official position of the Church states that birth control is, in fact, “intrinsically evil.” When I think of that phrase, certain images come to mind, like Adolph Hitler systematically exterminating millions of people. I think of terrorist plots to blow up innocent civilians. I think of clergy victimizing their flock. I don’t think of my wife heading down to CVS to pick up a pack of Ortho Tri-Cyclen.

Maybe it is time for a new pontifical commission to study what is truly “intrinsically evil.” Personally, I wonder if holding up access to health care meets this standard.

Well, the Catholic Church is not a democracy. What the pope says, goes - no matter how crazy it might be. This is authoritarian rule, just like in North Korea. The ruler is the boss, period.

American Catholics, by and large, just ignore the pope on this issue. Apparently, 98% of American Catholics use birth control for family planning, similar to non-Catholics. Well, that's obvious, isn't it? After all, we don't see the huge families like we used to see before effective birth control. What, did you think that people had just stopped having sex?

But although American Catholics can ignore church teachings on this issue, that's all they can do - if they want to stay Catholic, at least. They have no power in the church. And women don't have any power in the church even if they're in the church hierarchy. The nuns who run the Catholic Health Association back Barack Obama's health care initiative, but they can't speak for the church.

No, only celibate old men speak for the church, even on such topics as women's health. The pope decides and the bishops lay down the law. It's very medieval. Well, the Catholic Church is a very medieval institution.

And although they no longer torture Jews and burn women and heretics alive, they're still living in the Dark Ages. It's time we turned away from faith, and towards reason and evidence. This situation is just one more reason why.

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