I Call Bollocks: “Contraception: A Psychological Prostitution”

Oh, Catholics… Some of you never fail to entertain disgust me.

Made aware of its existence by bigots on Twitter, I recently came across an article at ‘catholicstand.com‘ entitled ‘Contraception: A Psychological Prostitution‘. So here’s that…

It began with a quote:

Gee, how reputable. A Doctor!

This ‘Edith Stein Foundation’ (an organisation I cannot be asked to put the time into researching just to sigh at) puts him down as a “devout Catholic”, founder of the “Christian Cardiovascular Institute”, and a “missionary medical provider”. The fact that he’s presumably provided medical care in the past is a good thing – but his subsequent views are far from healthy.

He starts off, obviously falsely, with a “scientific  interpretation” of what it means to be a woman:

“Here is my own speculative TOB-enabled scientific  interpretation: the gift of  bearing new life belongs uniquely to the woman. In God’s plan for the woman, in particular, to be truly happy in the conjugal relationship she must be able to be fully and unconditionally loved for who she is; that is, accepted fully for the unique person she is, without any compromises.”

The very first sentence may be basic biology (*slow clap*), but notice the jump to “God’s plan”. Fuckery ensues.

So, presuming the article has something to do with the title – as I feel we can safely assume – then what the author is implying is that the mutual decision to use contraception is some sort of love compromise. Of course, for a woman, love’s only focus is to have children, so anything done without that intention is degrading, insulting, and saddening, no?

What bullshit.

Plus, if a woman doesn’t want kids herself, is she then self-degrading, inwardly insulting, and an instant depressive? Is this ‘God’s plan’? Of course not – and I’m sure there are millions (I would hope billions) of women who’d vocally back me up on this.

Next:

Because her identity is more mysterious on account of this hidden life-giving power (than, say, the man’s is), she of necessity and without being able to do anything about it must communicate her life-giving identity as part of her person when in the conjugal act she communicates her whole being. This existential nakedness (“apocalypsis”, “unveiling”), though only remotely hinted at by the more obvious, physical nakedness of the conjugal act (remember John Paul II said the body is the sacrament of the inner mystery of the person) is the place for the deep and intimate self-revelation the woman will express in this act.

“Because her identity is more mysterious…” – translation: I don’t understand women.

And just look at the part in bold. There is an imperative there – a woman must pop out babies, or else she is being untrue to her identity as a ‘life-giver’ when having sex. Bollocks.

What if she’s infertile? Is she then not allowed to copulate as she has no ‘life-giving identity’ in that respect? Ridiculous.

Moving on:

“This is dangerous territory! It is a dangerously intimate self-revelation but also self-exposure. In fact, affirming love and the need for authentic procreative self-actualization appear to be so important that they constitute the only reasons sufficient for nature to permit this intimate and dangerous core self-exposure.

Huh? English please!

Ooh, ‘nature’ only permits sex if it’s for making babies, eh? So it’s impossible for a couple to ‘do it’ if one of them is, say, a woman as well? I understand ‘nature’ wishes only of the continuation of collections of genes, but I hadn’t realised  guys like you have a direct line to what ‘nature’ thinks. You may think you do, but that’s all part of the madness I’m afraid.

And hold up: “intimate and dangerous core self-exposure“? In what way is it ‘dangerous’ if it’s consenting and protected? Fool.

To readers now: I really don’t wish to blind you all with the entirety of this idiocy, so I’ll only share one more paragraph… Here’s the icing on the turd, people:

Contraception introduces the diabolically clever arrangement whereby the woman – more so than the man aware of the anxiety-prone integrative challenge posed by her procreative dimension — is deceived into thinking this core challenge to self-integration need not be faced boldly, indeed can be eliminated altogether. But this is a betrayal by the man, a kind of psychological prostitution, where her deepest self is repudiated, her greatest dignity trampled.

It was the opening quote, but here’s some much-needed context… And, as it turns out, it’s still utter crap.

In what way are women “deceived into thinking” that having children is unimportant, or undesirable, simply because they may not want kids at present? And why the implications of pregnancy-free sex being some sort of personal cop-out on the woman’s part? She’s not being untrue to herself, she’s just sick of men like you telling her that she’s only as good as the sum of her babies.

Your archaic, offensive, and ultimately dangerous views are a nice little slice of what’s wrong with humanity, sir. You need to stop participating in the guilt-tripping of millions into unnecessary suffering because you’re afraid that women might actually enjoy sex, that they might not actually always want babies, and that they might just be able to decide for themselves whether or not their ovaries equate to more of their person than, say, the career they wish to follow.

In other words: fuck your opinion.

Carnun :P

___

Note: I don’t quite know how I came to directly address Dr Pedulla there, but hey…

18 thoughts on “I Call Bollocks: “Contraception: A Psychological Prostitution”

  1. Contraception is a liberation for women that stops them from being viewed and used as baby making incubators by men that wish to devalue and invalidate female identity. This just seems to be a perverted way of tricking religious women into their subordinate place by by veiling yet another human rights abuse in god. It’s physically sickening.

    • Well said.

      It did make me feel a bit queasy, yes… Time and time again I see religion being used to subdue, and it tends to mostly be women who’re put down. It’s disgusting.

  2. Pingback: My Abhorrent Childless Life (a cathartic self-portrait) | Koko

    • Wow, to know that I’ve ‘inspired’ someone is amazing, Koko. Thank you :)

      It’s well worth a read people: go and check it out!

      “And I can see how many intelligent, happy women could be convinced that they are lesser people for denying themselves (or their husbands) children. Our society still belittles women for making this choice. It is still adamant that women can’t be fulfilled without a child on their hip.”

      http://wp.me/p2JKNN-S

  3. What boggles my mind, as a Christian, is how both Catholics and Protestants repeatedly gloss over the Apostle Paul’s encouragement of young people to *not* marry or have families if they could help it. In his view, chaste singleness enabled Christians to devote themselves more wholly to God’s work, such as preaching or serving the poor. Yet we have countless ministers and priests telling young women that they *have* to marry and have as many children as their bodies will produce or else they betray both their God-given biology and their spiritual calling. NOWHERE does the Bible state that childbearing is a woman’s sole purpose, or even the purpose of marriage. (This coming from a woman who is married and has a child.) I honestly think men teach this stuff to keep women out of the workplace.

    • On that I’d say this: encouraging chaste is admirable, but it simply doesn’t work (especially with teens). Sure, there may be some who successfully abstain to ‘devote their lives to God’, but those who are lead down this path experience a higher risk of unwanted pregnancy than the greater, contraception-using, sex-educated population.

      Also, your bold claim that there is not a single reference to childbearing in the Bible is simply wrong. One clear example:

      “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” – 1 Timothy 2:11-15

      Now, while it does not state that childbearing is the woman’s ‘sole purpose’, it does seem to suggest that a woman must bear children to be allowed into heaven – surely a goal of Christians, no?

      “I honestly think men teach this stuff to keep women out of the workplace.” – They may very well do, yes. But their motives, I assure you, are rarely secular.

      • I never said there wasn’t a biblical reference to childbearing. And there’s a problem with the verse you quoted, mainly this: it is not so easily interpreted. First of all, the Bible makes clear in many other scriptures that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone. So the salvation through childbearing that the Apostle Paul is referring to here can’t possibly mean from hell. (Some scholars have argued that Paul is referring to the salvation of women’s reputation through the birth of Christ.) Also, what about women who are infertile, or who can’t find husbands, or who die before childbearing age? If I thought my God were so petty and cruel as to base the eternal salvation of women on popping out babies–while men do nothing–I’d stop following Him right now.

      • Reading back on what you wrote, it seems you’re right. What you said was that “NOWHERE does the Bible state that childbearing is a woman’s sole purpose, or even the purpose of marriage”, and I simply tried to address your point with what I felt was an example of the contrary being true.

        “it is not so easily interpreted.” – the verse was pretty clear. Eve sinned, and so the only way for a woman (living thousands of years later perhaps) to undo this shared wrong is to have children. I understand that there may be a greater ‘context’ or an alternate ‘interpretation’, but any old misogynist could quote that work for word to justify his views, context or no.

        “So the salvation through childbearing that the Apostle Paul is referring to here can’t possibly mean from hell.” – why not?

        I’m glad that you say this of your God, as such things would surely make him petty and cruel… But I ask you, is his allowance (and often recommendation) of people suffering for eternity – for finite petty ‘sins’ and finite genuine crimes – anything other than wholly evil?

  4. I just explained why Paul couldn’t have meant that. Because he and other various writers in various other books of the Bible (including those who claimed to be directly quoting Jesus) say over and over that salvation is by faith in Christ alone. That his work on the cross was for all people, male and female, and the only means by which anyone can be saved from judgment. So it makes no sense that Paul would contradict his own numerous writings on salvation AND the writings of ALL his fellow apostles by claiming that women are saved through childbearing. He had to mean something else (or he had an aneurysm that no one knew about).

    Also, if it were true that women are individually saved from judgment through childbearing (an issue that would be of obvious great importance), then why does he never give this teaching to his other audiences? Remember, Paul’s writings were letters, and the book of Timothy was a personal letter to his personal trainee. No such similar statement can be found in any of his other letters to whole congregations.

    Just because you say the scripture is clear does not make it so. There are New Testament scholars who have devoted their lives to studying these things who say it isn’t clear. The original personal context of the letter is lost to us. When someone writes a personal letter to a friend, they have a shared understanding of context. Paul’s purpose in writing this letter to Timothy was to instruct him (and him only) in the faith. That Christians have been able to find a broader application for its contents testifies to the passion and depth of Paul’s writing. But to boldly claim “It means this, first and foremost, and nothing else” is intellectually dishonest. Unless you had a personal relationship with Paul and Timothy that the rest of the world is somehow woefully ignorant of…

    And as for infinite judgment for finite sins, not every Christian subscribes to that particular theology. Some believe that punishment for the wicked will be finite, after which they will be allowed into heaven. Some believe the wicked will be destroyed instantly, rather than suffering for eternity. Others believe the wicked will simply sleep forever in their graves while the righteous are resurrected to eternal life. Still others think that every person will have an opportunity to accept Christ after seeing him face-to-face upon death. I’m not sure what I personally believe in this area; I think it may be too mysterious to know. But I do believe in a merciful God and no longer belong to the “turn or burn” crowd.

    • The Bible, in case you haven’t noticed, is full of contradictions. I don’t mean that to sound offensive, it’s simply a comment on the fact of the words in a particular book.

      I’m glad you pick the nicer bits too. The idea of women’s only chance of avoiding ‘hellfire’ being to serve as a baby-making factory is disgusting… However so is the idea of those who reject Christ burning for their non-crime (even if they get a chance to say hello before they do, the suggestion is still barbaric). I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell of course, but it’s the fact that people entertain the spirit of these thoughts I balk at.

      “No such similar statement can be found in any of his other letters to whole congregations.” – That may be the case, but there’s nothing in the way of modern-day congregations having those verses read to them (even if the chances are slim). I understand that the writings were supposedly intended as a personal letter – but this ‘personal letter’ is now part of one of the most heavily printed books in history, for all to see. Whether or not it’s unclear what Paul was referring to, my point stands that bigots can simply pick up their copy of the Bible, turn to their favourite page, and quote the hell out of it – perhaps to an audience.

      There is no intellectual dishonesty. Very few believers are Biblical scholars (or even remotely Biblically literate), and so the claim of deeper meaning has the potential to be lost on many, even if it is stressed.

      Good. That you reject the idea of infinite punishment makes you a nice person. And, like you say, there are many interpretations… But how do you square this-world suffering off with your newer take on God and his morals?

      • I’m glad you asked. First of all, I don’t believe God is the author of our suffering. All suffering is the result of sin, and the temptation to sin originates with Satan. If you recall in Genesis, God gave dominion over the earth to man. When man sinned, he invited suffering into the world. By sinning, man was saying, “I believe the lies of Lucifer over the truth of God.” Lucifer claimed that mankind would not perish by disobeying God. If man had disobeyed and then *not* faced the suffering of death, Lucifer would have been proven right and worthy of our allegiance. I think God *allows* us to feel the painful consequences of our sin to draw us closer to him, illuminate the superiority of his wisdom, and show that we need him.

        And what is sin? It is a trespass against another borne out of a lack of love. You don’t steal from people you love, or lie to them, or betray them, or abuse them. If you love your body, made in God’s image, you don’t abuse it or use it for evil. When a person really, truly loves, they don’t take any action without first considering how it will affect others and their own health. There is suffering in the world because we refuse to love as Christ has called us to love.

        The Bible says that all good things come from God. So anything you consider good–food, trees, light, air, mountains, flowers, comfort, physical beauty–all originate from God…not just originally, but also continuously. The fact that beauty and kindness still exists in this world is evidence that God is still here, reaching out to us. Now, if all good things come from him, then how can they exist apart from him? They can’t. And that’s why hell is a terrible place. It’s where God’s presence and nature is totally absent. And when someone says they have no use for love and desire to hurt or oppress others, they choose that separation. Would we consider God loving if he forced everyone to worship him for eternity, whether they wanted to or not?

        But then there’s this: The Bible also says that every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord. So I think at some point (perhaps upon death), everyone will come face-to-face with God, who is, at his core, pure love. And when they do, they will know the truth of their transgressions and desire his redemption. And I think that God, being both love and the father of mankind, will respond to that desire in a way that is both just and merciful. If it is true that God created us and imbued us with his sense of justice, then it is impossible for anyone to be more moral or just than he is.

      • And as to bigots misusing texts, it happens all the time with all kinds of texts, both religious and secular. The Bible is hardly unique in that aspect.

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