Contraception: The Bacteria Devouring America’s Soul

Having seen an inordinate number of eloquent commentaries delineating the moral evils of the recent United States District Court decision nullifying the will of California voters on Proposition 8,  which banned same-sex marriage, I am nonetheless left wondering why none of the commentators was able to connect the dots.

Obviously, same-sex “marriage” or even same-sex “civil unions” are a bad idea, particularly if legitimized by a court system that previously put its stamp of approval on contraception and abortion. But why isn’t anyone pointing out the obvious root cause of this latest moral and legal debacle? Why isn’t anyone hammering on contraception?

In April of this year, months before this decision, Jenn Giroux, executive director of HLI America, explained to readers that the public acceptance of contraception has led to (among other things) “[s]maller and more broken families, rampant homosexuality, pornography, and China’s coercive one-child policy.”

Earlier, wise teachers such as Professor Janet Smith emphatically linked a rejection of Pope Paul VI’s profoundly wise encyclical Humanae Vitae to a wide acceptance of homosexuality. In her 2003 comments, she pointed out what I believe is the real problem—one that very few will admit: “Rather than holding to the Christian and common sense view that sex belongs within marriage between a male and a female committed to each other for life and open to children, our culture thinks that sex is quite simply for pleasure—and that almost any combination of consenting individuals may morally seek that pleasure without any commitment, without an openness to children.”

In 1998, Father John Hardon, SJ, who is sorely missed by many of us who were his students, pointed out in “Contraception: Fatal to the Faith and to Eternal Life,” “The spectacle of broken families, broken homes, divorce and annulments, abortion and the mania of homosexuality—all of this has its roots in the acceptance of contraception on a wide scale in what only two generations ago was a professed Catholic population.”

Clearly, many wise people have understood—and warned us about —the cost of contraception. But not everyone is on this page.

For example, rather than setting forth facts regarding the nature of sexual sin and its tragic consequences, many members of the Catholic clergy have either been totally silent or have said things that not only confuse fact with fiction but further marginalize Catholic teaching. This, in turn, makes Church doctrine less palatable to a sexually saturated culture, even though Catholic teaching is now and always will be worthy of belief and obedience—because it contains the fullness of truth.

During their November 2006 meeting, for example, the U.S. Catholic bishops “acknowledged that most married Catholics—96 percent, according to their own estimate—use birth control, and the bishops said they recognize that the [C]hurch’s teachings on homosexuality are contested in American society.”

Excuse me, but those percentages do not change truth. In fact, they should drive more bishops back to boldly teaching their people instead of gauging the content of their message on public acceptance of what they have to say. It’s the type of posturing that perhaps led to Cardinal Francis George, current U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops president, saying (in response to the judge’s decision allowing same-sex marriage), “Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of any society. The misuse of law to change the nature of marriage undermines the common good.”

He did not say nor did he make reference to the obvious fact that this very sad state of affairs would not exist in the first place if contraception had been rejected long ago. He was simply silent on the point.

This is why I recommend that rather than dialoguing, as a whole, every Catholic bishop and every Catholic priest should be teaching, preaching and exhorting. Nobody really knows what America or its court decisions would look like today if the Catholics of this nation had been properly catechized for the past 42 years on matters pertaining to human sexuality.

What we do know is that today America and, most importantly, Catholics, are sliding toward a moral hell.

It’s high time many more Catholic leaders in the U.S. stood up and clarified the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, sinfulness and sinlessness. Why? Because the only treatment for the deadly bacteria raging through the veins of this society is a very strong dose of the same message Christ gave to His disciples a very long time ago: “Try your hardest to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed” (Luke 13: 24).

The narrow door is always open, and frankly, anything less than fighting tooth and nail to get there will not heal this ailing body politic we know as America.

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  • Most Americans don’t see the “obvious root cause” of our moral decay because it isn’t obvious. “On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations” (Isaiah 25:7). The reality of sin in the world is revealed to us, and people who are not living the Christian life typically will not see it. They are, in a word, “veiled” from seeing by the work of the devil.

    This leaves the bishops and priests of the Church, and all faithful Catholics, with no excuse as Judie points out. It is our job to help destroy this veil with the light of Truth. In my whole life I might have heard one homily on contraception. Given the magnitude of the evil that this practice causes, this is inexcusable.

    Many good priests who aren’t afraid to point out other evils are nevertheless afraid to talk about something that 96% of their parishioners are doing. With all due respect to our good Fathers, contraception won’t stop until we start hearing about it from the pulpit, and that’s going to mean alienating some.

    Even homilies on NFP, pointing out its manifold advantages over artificial contraception, would help and would not have to alienate anyone if it was done sensitively. I think we all can encourage our pastors along these lines.

  • Carol

    How satans’ bactaria corupts the seeds of faith: my Mom second youngest of eight telling me how much “better” life for women would be having only “a few kids” and how i better make sure i “proctect my self from a life of drudgery like my Grandma…” i replyed had grandma had birth control you would not be here neither would I or my 5 siblings…moms reply THAT NOT THE POINT…this conversation has haunted me for 20+ years! even to today this bactaria lays dormment in my soul waiting for a moment of weakness to come festering out of my mouth to some young pregent single mother or even to my own children

  • eucharisted

    So where are the scientific studies on contraceptives?

  • GaryT

    There are many and varied scientific studies on the effects of contraception.
    – effects on womens’ bodies
    – effects on the water supply
    – effects on how contraceptives affect pheremones and ability to choose a mate
    – effectiveness for preventing conception
    – effect on marriage. I recently read of a 20 year study of 1400 couples practicing NFP. No divorces among them.
    – effect on population growth/decline

  • wgsullivan

    Population Research Institute (PRI) had a myriad of studies cited in it’s most recent PRI Review. I have passed on my copy to another and am wishing I had it back to spread world wide. PRI doesn’t have the latest article, mentioned above, on their cite as of yet. They appear to be several months behind.
    The article is all about the effect of oral contraceptives and their devastating part in helping spread STDs. Namely HIV.