Sunday School: Every Sperm Is Sacred?

Our good friend The Other McCain draws our attention to a persuasive article by Kathryn Lopez in which Lopez discusses the war between conservative Republicans and Planned Parenthood. This is the heart of her message:
We've come to expect less for and from ourselves, and for and from one another. In part, it's the fruit of the contraceptive pill. New York magazine recently observed in a cover feature: "The pill is so ingrained in our culture today that girls go on it in college, even high school, and stay on it for five, 10, 15, even 20 years." That, of course, has had all kinds of fallout: a false sense of freedom, security. And it has ravaged women's fertility, as it seeks to mute exactly what women's reproductive power is all about.

That's why I want to turn back the clock -- to a time when we valued love and marriage and didn't expect, support and even encourage promiscuity. Life and history don't work that way, obviously, there is no actual rewind. But we do have opportunities to learn from our mistakes.
Kathryn Lopez makes several good points in her Town Hall piece on contraception, so go read the rest.

The Other McCain takes K-Lo's argument a big step futher:
The very name Planned Parenthood expresses the idea that they are offering something somehow superior to unplanned parenthood, that there is something wrong and inferior about letting nature take its course in matters of reproduction or — as Christians would say — recognizing God’s sovereignty as the Author of Life.

If God’s will is involved from the beginning in our lives, if God has known us even in the womb, as the Psalmist says, then at some level we must acknowledge that contraception involves a rejection of God.
This, to me, is not persuasive.

Sexuality blossoms very early in life these days. Am I thwarting the will of God if I don't marry off my daughter at puberty so that she can let nature take its course?

I'm not sure how one can fully "recognize God’s sovereignty" and avoid "a rejection of God" by McCain's standard without marrying during childhood so as to capture every moment of sexuality within the context of holy matrimony.

If two fertile high school kids "fall in love" and decide to remain perfectly chaste outside of marriage and decide that they will delay marriage until they can afford to have sex without contraception, have they chosen to prevent nature from taking its course?

Getting the the heart of the matter with rhetorical questions: Isn't abstinence a form of contraception? As the only form of contraception that is 100% effective, is post-pubertal sexual abstinence the most complete rejection of God's sovereignty?

Memeorandum thread

*Update: This post underwent minor changes for purposes of clarity.


  1. Are you trying in this post to rationalize excuses for pre-marital sex by teens?

  2. @FelixAndAva

    No. My argument is precisely the opposite. My argument is that we would expect that if young people are serious about pre-marital chastity, they're going to be interested in marrying early. But they may not be ready to support children financially. I don't think that those young married couples are necessarily "rejecting God" by choosing a form of contraception other than abstinence.

  3. Your post seemed to be asserting that delaying marriage if one is chaste until marriage is "rejecting God's will" by not jumping right into procreation, a power God has told us is sacred and only to be used within marriage.

  4. @FelixAndAva I was asking a lot of rhetorical questions in the post.

  5. I have friends who married early and used birth control until they were ready to have children. No matter where you are socially on this issue, we all agree for various reasons that federal tax money shouldn't go to planned parenthood. If individuals were the only one donating to planned parenthood, it would go broke. Of course, if abortions weren't free, people wouldn't cavalierly make unwanted babies because THEY would be responsible for them. When the attitude is why pay for a condom when we can go to the clinic for free, the act of getting an abortion becomes no different than getting a checkup. Anything given for free (or in this case removed for free) loses it's value, only this case human life is what is losing value. Is that really a good thing?


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