Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Herodias Syndrome: Women, Contraception and Priestly Timidity

Herodias knew the kind of carnal shame that is intuitive for women, one to which men may well be oblivious.  Like Lady Macbeth, she resorted to violence to force her husband to see her shame.  In the 80 years since the first Christian church body allowed the use of contraception for married couples (Lambeth, 1930), we have seen study after study about the ill effects of birth control on everything from a woman's long term health, to her choice of marital (or not) partners -- extending even to widespread effects on the natural environment because of the flood of hormones being flushed down our toilets on a continual basis.

In the face of this unnatural practice, women are resorting to violence (abortion, unilateral divorce) to place their shame before the face of their husbands and paramours.  And yet our pastors rarely preach on this, our elders rarely teach us about the evils of contraception.  Is it ever mentioned in marital counseling?  Ever counseled against in marriage preparation classes?

Our pastors and elders must not shy away from excising the shame -- for only then can repentance and true reconciliation be effected.

read the original article here.


Anonymous said...

I entirely agree and have just left a similar post on the LAF website "Can Contraception make America Better".

I am not "quiverful" and we do use NFP but I believe it is entirely wrong for women to use contraception or in marriage to do anything other than submit to their husbands and God in fertility.

To be blunt our purpose is motherhood it is not a matter of choice.

Anonymous said...

All agreed and it is clearly the hope that couples deal with these issues in a mutual and loving way and that the husband behaves responsibly.

But whatever the circumstances (with the possible exception of where a husband is being wholly irresponsible in terms of his wife's health - where it is acceptable for her to deny him intimacy) I do not think it is up to a women to use any method to influence the result in terms of whether conception will take place (by using contraception). Any more than it is for her to exercise 'choice' as to whether that conception leads to the birth of a child. Because the failure of one inevitably leads to the other.

Our choice is to marry or not but if we are sexually active (even outside marriage) we must leave the consequences to God.

Anonymous said...

"Our choice is to marry or not but if we are sexually active (even outside marriage) we must leave the consequences to God."

I can't say I agree with that. In fact it seems irresponsible to keep producing children one can't afford to care for. It's very easy for non-sexually active people to try to tell everyone else how to manage their sex lives. 'Quite different if you're in the trenches with two, three, or four children. The worst thing I could do for my existing children (and we have a large family) would be to have another baby.

Anonymous said...

Since babies live FOREVER, it seems pretty poor planning to avoid them based on temporary, temporal circumstances.

Seven of my eleven children were either conceived or born when their father was unemployed, most of them _both_.

That's hard. But 10,000 years from now I don't think it will be called a foolish decision. We will see Christ, and they will be singing His praises for all eternity.

We have to grasp what it means that life is a vapor, that all flesh is as grass. It means that we don't wisely base eternally consequential decisions on a desire to eliminate or avoid immediate discomforts.

God always provides for every last thing that his faithful people need in order to accomplish what he has called them to do. Sometimes in astonishing ways, sometimes in common ways, but it is always from His hand to theirs.

Anonymous said...

Personally I am not Quiverful and as a mother of three I know how difficult motherhood can be - so II cirtainly do not believe in letting my family grow endlessly - and as a result I practise NFP and although as we have a Catholic marriage we cannot use contraception I have no issue with couples doing so (just as I respect those who believe it should be left entirely to God).

But what I do believe is that we as women can only choose whether to have sex or not (before marriage) and agree when to with our husbands, or consent to whether or not he acts contraceptively (uses a condom, withdraws etc) nothing more - not make ourselves chemically infertile.

Anonymous said...

A really thought provoking piece. Reading through the comments I was struck by the language ´sexually active´ ´have sex´ ´condom´ ´withdraw.´ It reminded me of an inteview I saw where one of the actresses from that "...and the city" show said that her grandmother wouldn´t even say the title. Something to reflect on as we all strive to be more ladylike (and I have the longest way to go myself) .
It all goes together, doesn´t it? With the ideal being a woman whether married or maiden who embraces her femininity in the original order of love created by her Creator.

A-F said...

I agree with The Brave Lass that pastors and priests should preach on this subject as it is written in the Bible. I agree with Lavender Luck as well. And yes, God will provide and yes, God has a plan for each one of us. We (all) are called to be faithful and true to Him.

I struggle daily with the fact that I am a 40-something married woman that has no children. Children are a blessing. It took me a long time to figure that out and a long time to come to Christ. But now that I am a Christian, I can see how terribly wrong I was in the past about so many things. Every day, by reading and studying His Word, I learn more and more. Every day I learn more how to be a woman after God's own heart.