When told that this is a waste of food, that they ought to eat only as much as is needed and no more, that throwing up good food is doing what is unnatural and unhealthy, they reply that they have a right to enjoy food without worrying about gaining weight. Surely everyone has such a right, they say, because as well all know, to gain weight is to risk general ill health and to decrease one's life span. It is far better to eat as much as one desires and then chuck up. Surely?
I doubt many people reading here today see the “right” of eating and chucking for the pure pleasure of food as anything less than sheer gluttony and lack of self-control. I’m sure many also will eat that cream donut at morning tea time, knowing full well what the consequences may be and quite accepting of them. After all, if you want to be regularly eating donuts, be prepared for waistline expansion.
However, when it comes to the pleasure of sex, it all becomes a different matter. We demand the right to have sex without consequences. For that reason contraception is very necessary, because without it, there would most definitely be consequences and we can’t have that. And let’s take it one step further, in a world where contraception is necessary, so is abortion. Because if contraception does not prevent the conception of a child, then abortion needs to step in and clean up. Abortion and contraception go hand in hand.
Our appetites for sex are so huge that many cannot fathom being without the right to engage. Why wait for a day when the woman is not ovulating (a couple of days a month), when with a condom sex can be had without restraint. One would think that sexual self-control is not a virtue to be aspired to. But, what does it matter, really? In a culture with falling birth rates and loss of respect for human life.
Consider the following consequences warned of by POPE PAUL VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae, released in 1968 during the pill revolution.
Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.Many of the consequences of what Pope Paul warned of have come to pass. There has been a major lowering of morality over that last several decades since the 1960s. To the point now where in NZ, the largest number of 11-14 ever have had abortions. Eleven to fourteen year old girls should not even be having sex, let alone having abortions. Hello!
I remember a conversation at Sir Humphreys a while back where a number of men admitted (not even grudgingly) that they “tried out” potential partners before committing to the “best one”. What was that about care and reverence for one’s wife that the Pope was talking about, rather just a sex toy that happens to do your laundry as well? And what about the explosion of porn, something mostly consumed by men?
The Catholic position on sex and contraception has been said to be best typified by the Every sperm is sacred song in The Meaning of Life by Monty Python. Please remember, this song is a joke – it mocks the Catholic sanctity for life, and reduces it to sacredness of sperm only. Certainly sperm is necessary for the creation of a new human life, yet so is an egg, and so is the creation of a soul. By itself, sperm is only sperm. It has no meaning except for what happens to it when it fuses with an egg.
The way sex is supposed to work is that each person, man and woman, gives themselves to the other in love. The act of sex itself is a renewal of marriage vows and allows for the creation of a new human life which means that God is involved. Using contraception slams the door in God’s face, it tells Him He is not wanted this time around.
It has been argued that contraception is needed so as to not create more children than the couple can feed. Except, there has always been a sure-fire way to prevent pregnancy that does not involve contraception. That sure-fire way requires self-control, restraint and respect for the other person. That way is abstaining from sex. Just like with eating where a person needs to exercise self-control so as to not become hugely over-weight, so with sex couples are expected to abstain when having more children would be an undue burden. After all sex is pleasurable, but it’s purpose is not to provide pleasure, just like eating’s purpose is not to provide pleasure – but the pleasurable aspect of eating sure does encourage us to do it to stay alive.
I wonder if someone will ever come up with a type of mouth condom, so you can eat all you want and then put the condom out and start again. Too far fetched?
This post was inspired by this conversation at TBR
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