By Tom Quiner
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops promotes Natural Family Planning Awareness Week to help people like me better understand the beautiful underpinnings of natural family planning as well as the consequences of artificial birth control.
I was profoundly moved reading a book by Christopher West a number of years ago titled, “Heaven’s Song, sexual love as it was meant to be.” (You can purchase it in Des Moines at Divine Treasures Book Store.) And what exactly is Heaven’s Song? It is a foretaste of Heaven revealed in the marriage act between a man and woman who give themselves totally to the other, holding back nothing.
Sacramental marriage is meant to be an image of Trinitarian love. Through this we unveil the love of God to the world. The act of life giving love in the marital act is meant to be a mirror of the love Christ has for his Church.
In the marriage act, we are able to participate in creative, life-giving love, which is what the love of God is. This is a profoundly beautiful gift we should not say no to.
On the other hand, contraception is a deliberate violation of the design God built into the human race, also known as the “natural law.”
A foundation of barriers
Artificial birth control is built upon a foundation of barriers. As someone born into a mainline Protestant religion, I was raised believing that there was nothing wrong with artificially holding back the potential for God to fully reveal Himself through this marriage act.
I didn’t fully understand that God is Love, and that Love is creative. I didn’t understand that artificially denying the potential for God to be creative in the union between a husband and wife is working against God’s will, not with it.
What I also didn’t understand is that society’s acceptance of artificial contraception is the root cause of legalized abortion.
As background, I became pro-life while still Protestant. Pro-life positions struck me as simple matters of justice. Arguments that presented the pre-born as being less than human were simply illogical. Assertions by abortion rights advocates that suggested there was a difference between a human being and a person were simply weak straw man arguments.
It took me three decades to realize that when contraception fails, as it inevitably does, the resulting pregnancy is a ‘mistake.’ In fact, our previous president made it clear that he wouldn’t want his daughters saddled with such a mistake. He embraces the view that the human person in the womb is simply disposable if inconvenient.
Pope John Paul VI warned of the consequences of unfettered contraception half a century ago. He was right. Sixty Million abortions later, here we are.
Natural Family Planning benefits
By contrast, Natural Family Planning is safer (because it truly is natural), more effective than artificial birth control, and more affordable ($0). You can learn more in Iowans for LIFE’S “Women’s Reproductive Health Resource Book.”
I wish I had read “Heaven’s Song” before I got married instead of after my wife and I were beyond child-bearing years. It’s not too late for you.