adventures in dysthymia

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Triviality

Most folks -- Catholics included -- misunderstand the Church's teaching on contraception. They seem to think it is somehow tied into the whole respect-for-life anti-abortion stance. Peripherally, perhaps, but that is really a separate issue. The Church considers neither an unfertilized egg nor a sperm to be human life and does not extend any such protection to it.

The teaching, rather, has been that contraception trivializes the act of sexual congress. We certainly see enough of that in our world today, don't we? Readily available means of contraception have no doubt contributed -- technology shapes culture, as ever.

But let's face it, it's a technology that's here to stay. People have sex and they will protect themselves, both against pregnancy and disease. It can also be argued that contraception is the number one preventative measure against the need for an abortion.

The Catholic mandate against contraception is not an article of faith, just a rule. It could change; indeed, there have been a few indications of it doing just that since Benedict became Pope (such as suggesting that condoms are acceptable for preventing the spread of disease).

However, the Church will always consider the act of sex to be spiritual as well as physical, a part of the sacrament of marriage. It will continue to teach against its trivialization, the idea that it is meaningless and without responsibility. On that we can depend.

Now, if only a culture that made 'Two and a Half Men' one of the most popular shows on television over the past decade would listen.

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