Thursday, September 28, 2006

guest article

This is a response my wife wrote and submitted to the local paper after they published a hatchet piece on "religious conservatives".  His supposition was that religious conservatives' rejection of birth control was really an "assault on the pursuit of happiness."  This article wasn't posted online, so I can't give you a link for reference, but my wife did a marvelous job in response.  And as a mother of 6 and an NFP teacher, she has some credentials in this field.

I was taken aback after reading the Guest Opinion by Keith Lockitch on birth control.  He seems shocked that conservatives endorse “abstinence only” sex-ed.  This philosophy is the only one where there is a 0% chance of pregnancy, STD’s, and promotes an environment of true freedom for teens to make decisions about relationships that are not skewed as a result of sexual attachment.  As a parent, I expect my child to rise to a high standard of character.  What parent would say to their teenager, “OK, we’re going out for the night, the fridge is stocked full of beer, your friends are due over in an hour and we won’t be back until 4:00 am.  Oh, by the way, we think underage drinking is wrong, so do not drink the beer.”  It makes no sense.  And neither does telling our teens we don’t believe in premarital sex, but at the same time handing them condoms.

Mr. Lockitch also stated that there is overwhelming evidence for the safety of the “morning-after” pill.  My questions to him are: Safe for whom?  Where is the evidence? We know it’s not safe for the newly conceived human, and as for the mother…

Well, Keith was right about a few things.  First, it is true that conservatives are against irresponsible sexual indulgences and mindless promiscuity. Second, there IS something deeper underlying the antagonism to birth control, but all of his assumptions are either partially or completely flawed.

In order to fully understand Christian sexuality you have to realize that Christian marriage is based on sacrificial giving.  This means that it is an indirect reflection of the Trinity where as the love between the Father and the Son is so great that it is manifested in a third person, the Holy Spirit.  God blesses man with this indirect image of Himself by allowing a husband and wife to be partakers in the creation of a new life.  This is further reflected in Christ’s love for His church. So the marriage covenant mirrors Christ.

Christ gave Himself to us freely (without coercion), totally (not withholding any part of Himself), and was life-giving (through his cross and resurrection we were granted salvation).  So as a husband and wife come together in marriage. They come together freely, totally (not withholding any part of themselves including their fertility), and are life-giving (open to new life). 

So, the attitude in Christian marriage is not one of selfish pleasure, but is one of self-giving pleasure.  Is it not virtuous for a husband to be patient with his wife and put her needs above his in the marital embrace?  Is it not virtuous for a wife to give herself to her husband, to put the wanderings of her mind aside to focus on him?  Believe me, giving is much more rewarding and is the root of happiness. 

Keith ignores the fact that we are both spiritual and physical beings.  If you neglect one part or separate one from the other, disorder erupts.  If you see sex as just a function of the human body resulting in selfish pleasure and a possible clump of developing human cells, you can justify any heinous act from rape to abortion.

What Christian conservatives ARE concerned about is discerning to what extent Keith’s pursuit of happiness will violate the right to life of tiny human beings.  For example: one component of the birth control pill is to make life inhospitable to a newly conceived baby.  The IUD will cause an early abortion if implantation occurs. Most of the hormonal forms of birth control have abortifacient properties.  When in doubt ask your physician for a copy of the section of the PDR (physicians desk reference) pertaining to the particular type of contraception you’re using.

Keith was right about one more thing.  Sexuality is a response to personal values whether they are of a Godly religion or a religion of no God (Ayn Rand Institute).  His quote is palatable with inserts from me: “for a couple (man and wife), in a serious committed (permanent), romantic (not essential, but a bonus) relationship (marriage covenant), sex is a celebration of their love, an expression in the form of intense physical pleasure of the joy that each partner (scratch “derives from” add “gives to”) the other.

Mr. Lockitch, I must disagree with you on one last point.  Our war on contraception is not a “declaration of war on the pursuit of happiness”, it IS a declaration of war to defend the right to LIFE, then liberty, then the pursuit of happiness, because without life, the other TWO do not exist.


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