The Cahtolic Church And Birth Essay, Research Paper
The Catholic Church is the world’s largest, and oldest, Christian religion. The churches over 860 million members count for almost one-fifth of the of the Earths population. Such a large religion is open to be interpreted in many ways, to avoid having the Churches views distorted they have the Catechism .
The Catechism is the place to go for information about Catholic belief. This book attempts to explain a Catholics Questions like Why is the Catholic Church opposed to birth control? Where in the Bible is birth control condemned as being contrary to the Will of God? I as a non-Catholic Christian do not agree with the Churches views on birth control or abortion. But by reading the Catechism and researching these subjects on Catholic web sites. I will attempt to show the basis of the Churches views.
The Catholic Church is not opposed to birth control when it is accomplished by natural means, by self-control. It is opposed only to birth control by artificial means, by the employment of pills, condoms, IUD’s, foams, jellies, sterilization, non-completion of the act of sexual union. ( Terwilliger, Web ) God slew Onan for practicing contraception (Gen. 38:9-10 Bible); the word “onanism” derives from Onan’s deed. In Genesis 38 there is a reference to birth control where Onan spills his seed on the ground, coitus interruptus. In the story of Tamar and Onan, Tamar was married to Er, but Er died before they had any children. Following a custom called the “Law of the Levirate”, Er’s brother Onan is commanded by Judah (their father) to have intercourse with Tamar. (38:8 Bible) Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother”. (38:9 Bible) But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother.
In the New Testament, there is only one instance where sin is punished by God with immediate death, this was the fate of Ananias and Saphira, a husband and wife who went through the motions of giving a gift to God but fraudulently kept back part of it. The Bible says they lied to the Holy Spirit. (Acts 5: 1-11 Bible). The church believes that in contraception, two people go through the motions of an act of self-giving, but obstruct the results of the union, i.e., the conception of children, which is, they believe is the ultimate purpose for which God created sexuality. Sex is thought to be a gift from God to the married, but with contraception, married couples are accepting the pleasure God built into the act and yet denying Him its purpose. The church believes that artificial birth control is a violation of the Natural Law. The use of contraception by a couple my make sense to them, but would they have wanted their own parents to use it. Worst of all, many “contraceptives,” such as the IUD and most if not all birth control pills, work by actually causing an abortion early in the pregnancy; thus, this so-called “contraception” is in reality abortion–the killing of a human being–rather than the preventing of conception.
In our history there are examples of sins which are accepted by Christians; in our times the “acceptable” sin is contraception. Basically it is gaining pleasure without producing children. The true Christian couple, on the other hand, will realize that God desires them to have children so that these children can come to know Him and love Him and be happy with Him eternally in Heaven. Marriage is God’s plan for populating Heaven . (Terwilliger ,Web) In class we have found that there have always been selective following of the law and religious guidelines
It can be argued that human life begins at conception, taking the life of an unborn child could be considered murder. Almost all society in the world considers the murder of a child to be a heinous act. Abortion was so unthinkable among Hebrews that no special mention of it was necessary in the Old Testament criminal code. God said “You shall not murder,” and that was enough. Abortion rights have been the cornerstone of the feminist agenda, yet legalized abortion continues to be a highly controversial issue. We have created words like fetus, conceptus, or POC (products of conception) to feel better about the elective extermination of unborn children. Some feminists argue that the unborn child is not a person because it cannot live apart from the mother. The church views abortion as a way for a pregnant woman to get rid of a problem instead of a participating in the miracle of life
Family planning is becoming more acceptable with Christian couples. If some precautions are not taken, a couple will normally produce about one child a year. Too many children creates other problems about which the Bible speaks. The Apostle Paul says in I (Timothy 5:8), “If a man provide not for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” It can be argued that having two children as opposed to twenty simply makes sense. In today s world it takes a great deal of time and money to properly raise a child. Having as many children as humanly possible is not usually realistic or even healthy. Some also blame the existence of birth control for increased promiscuity. Although there is probably a correlation, widespread misuse of birth control does not mean it is inherently evil. People have misused many good things–including airplanes, telephones, and even the Bible-and will continue to do so . (Terwilliger) The Catholic Church, however, prohibits all forms of contraception, except for natural methods under certain circumstances, and abstinence.
I believe that God has purposes for all of us. God might give children to a couple that did not plan on having any. A couple that planned on a family may be infertile. Any intelligent person should not engage in sex without considering the consequences. Birth control methods, such as combined oral contraceptives (the pill), estrogen-free pills (the mini-pill), Depo-Provera (the shot), Norplant, and the IUD all prevent the implantation of an embryo after fertilization as one of several major mechanisms of action. These drugs and methods cause depression, weight gain, and menstrual-cycle disturbances–if not complete cessation of periods. These and other “Serious” health hazards include stroke, heart attack, and cancer. Catholic or not, before any one decides on a birth control method they should educate themselves. Asking the church and researching the subject will help the couple make the right decision for their lives. Safer birth-control methods, like the condom, diaphragm, and sponge, tend to be about as effective as withdrawal or the rhythm method . The Catholic Church is now accepting natural family planning (NFP), an improved form of the rhythm method. Unlike other methods, NFP has no health risks, is completely natural and mutual, and costs next to nothing. If properly adhered to, NFP is as effective as the Pill.
The notion that the bearing of children is the only God-given purpose for marital relations is wrong. The Bible stresses the true purpose; that God made man and woman to complete one another and to fulfill each other’s needs. The following reading from the New Testament, I (Corinthians 7:2-5), summarizes these teachings. “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Not every command given to every individual in the Bible applies today; we are not to build an ark because Noah did, neither are we to stone adulterers because the Jews did. If we insist that couples neither deny themselves sexually nor take precautions against conception, but simultaneously insist that the children be supported, we are (for most couples) insisting both on an impossibility and upon a contradiction of plain Bible teaching.
Marriage is the first covenant in the Bible, therefore, every sexual act is intended by God to be a renewing of the marital covenant, the pledge of total self giving that was made by bride and groom in their offspring; the second is for the bonding of mates .(Colombia, Web) I believe somewhere between what the church teaches and what today s society practices there is a moral and right way to use birth control that God would want, but I would not be able at this point to understand this subject. Basicly the more I read the less I understand my own views.
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