As I talked about in my last post (here), my argument against the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception was already beginning to fall apart. I learned that God’s kingdom has no room for sexual relations outside of marriage due to the fact that such relations amount to no more than one person using another for their own personal pleasure. It is the objectification of one of God’s creatures for the purpose of our own self gratification – unacceptable. As for the use of contraception inside of marriage, there is also no place in God’s kingdom for this. This takes the complete giving of one to another and reduces it, holds something back. Due to the loss of the procreative nature of the relationship, the sexual act can once again be reduced to sheer self gratification, even inside marriage.
I am not giving up quite so easily, however. My next question was, if this God really exists, would He really want us to just keep on reproducing without any regard to what our financial or personal capacity may be? The answer to that, of course, is no. Which is exactly what I thought. Hah! Finally I was right about something! If you don’t want to have twenty kids you must use contraception, right? Nope, wrong again. The Church teaches that each married couple prayerfully consider the appropriate size of their own family, and execute it through the practice of Natural Family Planning and self control, not by holding back a part of themselves in the marital act by contracepting. The reason, of course, is all the reasons I listed above.
No one said that what God would ask from us would be easy. Even if 98% of Catholics were using birth control (as has questionably been reported in the media), it doesn’t make it right, or God’s way. It just means that some people have a hard time living up to what God, and God’s Church, requires. This should come as no shock, as even the Apostles themselves so often fell short of the expectations of Christ, just as we all do. The call, however, is to be holy. To be “set apart” and live our lives not for this culture, but rather with the sole purpose of spending eternity with God. And what we do in this life is what will decide how we spend our eternity. Jesus tells us that the gate to heaven is narrow, and the path that leads to destruction is wide. If you are a believer these should not be idle words, they should be a stern warning.
Of course, at this point in my journey, I was not a believer. I still had many arguments to go against the Church, but the one I thought would be the easiest had gone down in flames. If God exists, he demands perfection of us. He knows that we will fall short, but it doesn’t change the expectations. Luckily for me, I still had many more objections to rely on. Needless to say, they all would eventually go down in flames as well, and my life has never been the same ever since. Thank God!