Promiscuity and the contraception mess
Question: My daughter scorns the Church’s view on contraception and blames the Catholic Church for the spread of AIDS in Africa. Are there ways I can answer her rebukes?
– Name withheld, New Hampshire
Answer: From ancient Jewish times and through two Christian millennia until the early 1900s, contraception was denounced by all Christian and Jewish denominations as contrary to God’s Law. In 1930, the Anglicans were the first to give qualified approval for contraception, and slowly the other denominations fell in line.
By the late 1960s there were demands that the Catholic Church also would fall in line and give approval for contraceptive usage. Proponents claimed it would reduce abortions to nearly zero, because every child would be a “wanted child.” Further, divorce would drop, because couples could have more sex without worries of pregnancy, and this would make couples happier. In addition, the dignity of women would be enhanced, because they no longer would be “slaves” to their bodies.
In 1968, Pope Paul VI declined to change the Church’s teaching despite widespread expectations that he would. He also predicted the opposite results from those of the proponents of contraception. Instead, he predicted that abortions would increase (as would divorce) and that the dignity of women would diminish, because they would be seen as sexual objects, not as wives and mothers.
Paul VI was right. Widespread use of contraception ushered in promiscuity and the lie of “sex without consequences.” Since contraception’s widespread use began, abortion has skyrocketed, as has divorce. Other consequences included an increase in sexually transmitted diseases (such as AIDS), teenage pregnancy and single motherhood, absent and irresponsible fathers, the breakdown of the families, and the poverty and dysfunction that goes with all of this. There is also a pornification of our culture that assists in spreading sexual confusion to include the celebration of homosexual acts and so-called transgenderism.
When sex no longer is about having children and thus belongs in stable, traditional marriage, sex becomes only about self-satisfaction, and people engage in harmful, unhealthy and self-destructive practices that manifest deep confusion about the fundamental purpose of sexual union. It is children who ultimately must pay the price. Either they are aborted (a gravely unjust act against them), or they survive but must often live in a confusing world of absent fathers and broken families. This is far from the stable family they deserve with a father and mother who manifest the masculine and feminine genius of being human. Simply put, we have made a huge mess of things.
Much of this dysfunction can be tied to the promiscuity that contraception has helped to promote. You will know a thing by its fruits. Through contraception we have separated what God has joined (sex, marriage and having children) and we are reaping the whirlwind.
As for AIDS in Africa, the Church is not spreading AIDS; those who break God’s commandments regarding chastity are spreading it. The only “safe sex” is within a monogamous, faithful marriage.
The Church is right to promote the best way to avoid AIDS. Condoms are not even close to 100% effective. And all the while those same condoms increase the very behavior that leads to AIDS, since the lie of sex without consequences is further spread. There is far more to the spread of AIDS than the Catholic Church’s view. Would that we were as influential as our opponents think we are and that all listened to and followed the Church’s teaching. Truth be told, if we all followed God’s law, which the Church teaches, AIDS and most sexually transmitted diseases would nearly vanish. Promiscuity is the problem, not the Church.