The secular world certainly doesn’t understand it. But even evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, who agree with Church teachings on sanctity of life and marriage, can’t grasp Catholicism’s apparent animus toward artificial birth control.
A non-Catholic reader expressed the issue well:
“Sometimes, though, it seems the Catholic religion takes an odd stance (on contraception) that doesn’t seem to have a biblical reason.
I am sure you could point to a passage here or there that may support your argument, but I have personally never seen one.
I think if a man and his wife want to make love without the likelihood of creating a child, that they should be able to do so without condemnation from the church.
My wife and I decided we were going to have 2 children. At the time, I think it was the right decision, because we were not making a ton of money.
Now we make a good living and I wish we had more children, but I am still happy with the ones I have. And choosing not to have more allowed my wife to finish college and allowed us to make a good living. We may foster, or even adopt. I think there are many children in America who could use a good home.”
We asked Dr. Matt Halbach, Director of the St. Joseph Educational Center in West Des Moines, IA, if he could clarify Church teaching on the subject:
All that I would add to it is that while to many the Church appears to be attempting to control sexual behavior through its teaching against contraception, in reality it is only trying to preserve the sacredness of the sexual act, which is supposed to be uniting and fruitful.
By identifying contraception as a barrier to authentic couple intimacy, the Church is only trying to help people experience sex in its most fulfilling and meaningful (natural) form: the way God intended it to be.
And what is this way? Four words: free (uninhibited), total, faithful, fruitful love-making. In other words, no barriers. No fear. The two are free to embrace the totality of each other and face their future with a trusting confidence in each other and God.
Now, doing away with contraception is the first step to uninhibited intimacy.
What truly frees people to be themselves, to not feel like they have to protect themselves from each other or a potential child is . . . wait for it . . . marriage!
Who would have thought?
Marriage is the institution God has given us so that we can have the freedom to love (and make love) without fear. Now, of course, married couples do need to be responsible about their family planning, which is why the Church recommends various forms of NFP (Natural Family Planning).”
[This is Natural Family Planning Awareness week. Be sure to read our Women’s Reproductive Health Resource Book for more detailed info on the subject.]