Monday, March 18, 2013

Yet another reason Catholics oppose artificial contraception...

...is that all Christians until 1930 did the same.

Take a peek at Genesis 38:8-10. A fella named Onan has a brother who died. The custom at the time was to take your brother’s widow as your wife and have children with her so they may continue your brother’s line of descendants. Onan took his brother’s widowed wife and slept with her but used withdrawal to avoid getting her pregnant. The penalty for not providing children in this case should have been public humiliation (Deut 25:7-10) but instead God killed Onan. Why?

Here’s what Martin Luther had to say: “Onan must have been a malicious and incorrigible scoundrel. This is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest and adultery. We call it unchastity, yes, a Sodomitic sin. For Onan goes in to her; that is, he lies with her and copulates, and when it comes to the point of insemination, spills the semen, lest the woman conceive. Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed.”

John Calvin isn’t a fan of Onan’s actions either: “It is a horrible thing to pour out seed besides the intercourse of man and woman. Deliberately avoiding the intercourse, so that the seed drops on the ground, is doubly horrible. For this means that one quenches the hope of his family, and kills the son, which could be expected, before he is born. This wickedness is now as severely as is possible condemned by the Spirit . . .. When a woman in some way drives away the seed out the womb, through aids, then this is rightly seen as an unforgivable crime. Onan was guilty of a similar crime”.

Sources for these are in the Comments below.

This extremely strong condemnation of attempts to separate sex and procreation come from the fathers of the Protestant Reformation in harmony with the Catholic Church. They rejected contraception out of morality; not because they didn’t have the pill or condoms. Between 1930 and 1965 virtually every Christian denomination went from moral objection to contraception to neutrality or acceptance of it. Catholics believe morality doesn’t change; even when technology does.

That all Christian denominations rejected artificial birth control before 1930 for moral reasons is yet another reason Catholics reject it today.

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