Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Attacking the Tools....

My old vicar and teacher Rev. Christopher Esget has been doing an interesting series of blog posts dealing with Contraception and Homosexuality.  I did decide to reply to one of them with a nuance I think is important.

See, I think the battle against “contraception” is slightly off. If we will allow that there are times when one might wish to “plan” having children via natural family planning, then I think arguing against the use of tools in assisting that planning is just plain silly. It’s sort of like saying we can plant fields (instead of just gathering what grows wild), but using machinery is evil.

The bigger problem isn’t the limited use of contraception – it’s the disdain of children or procreation in general.

But this parallels so many other problems in society. Guns are not the problem – it’s a disdain of your neighbor that is the problem. Credit cards aren’t the problem – it’s greed and selfishness that is the problem. Facebook and blogs aren’t the problem – it’s lack of care for your neighbor and respect for the 8th commandment that is the problem.

We can attack and blame the tools all we want… but that does nothing to get at the heart of the problem.

This is my fundamental qualm with the hubabaloo over Contraception.  It is a debate about the morality of... a tool.  Oh, sure, there are things that deal with what is right and wrong and how we ought to use the gift of sexuality, but it so often boils down to "if we can just outlaw the tool, then people will respect God's gift of sexuality properly.

This... from Lutherans?

Do we ever think that the Law gives life?

This from Conservative Lutherans -- who generally would explode if someone suggested that limiting the 2nd amendment would make the world better or the idea that "Screens and projectors" will "grow" the Church?

We need to work on teaching what marriage is for - to serve your spouse, to serve your family, to sacrifice.

The problem isn't "contraception" - it's this idea that marriage is about love and personal fulfillment - and if it's about love and personal fulfillment, why shouldn't Chuck and Steve express their love and be personally fulfilled?

Contraception, when it comes to fixing society, is a red herring.


Tom Lemke said...

100% right on. And to your point about, "The problem isn't 'contraception' - it's this idea that marriage is about love and personal fulfillment": one could say that the "Disney Princess" gallery has more to do with it than contraception...

Robert said...

The purpose of marriage, as clearly taught in the Scriptures, is to establish a one-flesh union of husband and wife in order to increase God's human family reborn through Baptism.

Your definition of marriage: "to serve your spouse, to serve your family, to sacrifice," could be utilized by a homosexual couple.

Sexual difference has a purpose, a telos: procreation. Take that away, and gay marriage is the result.

Robert at

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Then let us forbid the elderly from marrying, since their days of procreation are beyond them.

Interestingly, the Japanese slang for being pregnant is "Dekimasu" - or "completed, finished". I think you are actually making a natural arguement here rather than a Scriptural one. Eve was created to be a helpmeet.

... also, while I appreciate the tie to baptism, um... Adam wasn't baptized, neither was Abraham, or David, etc. You strive for a bridge too far.