17 September 2008

Please to the explaining

A number of strange assertions were made back in June during the antipenultimate and ultimate presentations of the CCA conference, but the one that sets me a-head scratchin' the most was that contraceptive use is never ok for unmarried people.

Huh? If contraceptives are not inherently immoral in the procreative schema of Our Beloved Synod's resident bioethicists, how does using them in an illicit context make them wrong? If you're a felon, and you engage in a morally neutral act like walking downstairs, the fact that you're a felon doesn't affect the moral status of stair usage. Since pragmatism seems to be the determinitive force in all their arguments, wouldn't unmarried people be the main constituency Our Beloved Bioethicists would want using these highly practical, morally neutral (by their definition) items? These people are a walking commercial for the Trivium.

The LCMS: promoting pregnancy out of wedlock, seeing little need for it within.


Susan said...

"contraceptive use in never ok for unmarried people."

The statement isn't so much about the use of contraceptives, but that it is immoral for unmarried people to engage in the activity for which they might want/need contraception. The statement assumes that fornication is wrong and thus contraceptive use would be irrelevant to any single person who was living a chaste life. I think that's all they were getting at.

Joy said...

There's usually a red flag when absolutes (always/never) are used. There are some women who are on the pill or other 'contraceptives' simply to correct their own hormone imbalances, not because they're committing adultery.

Elizabeth said...

"Simply to correct their own hormone imbalances"

How can it be an imbalance when God is in control of a woman's body all the time?

It's been said here over and over that the pill disrupts a woman's normal body functions.

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

"How can it be an imbalance when God is in control of a woman's body all the time?"

Well that gets Epicurean really quick. There are illnesses that throw hormones out of whack -- and in guys, too. :)

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Let me explain that last Epicurean comment.

Epicurus you may recall is credited with stating the Problem of Evil. Either God is all-powerful or all-good but not both. I didn't mean the dictionary definition of Epicurean. :)

Pr. H. R. said...


What the presenter(s) said, though, was that contraception was OK for sex in marriage, but that it wasn't OK in sex outside of marriage. Everybody in the room agreed that sex outside of marriage is a sin. What the fellow at the podium added, however, was that contraception added to that illicit sex act would somehow be extra special wrong.

He may have meant something else, but that's what he said. . .


Reb. Mary said...

Susan: That's doubtless what the dudes in question were intending to convey...but the repeated assertion of that point weirded me out too, and I think Rebekah has drawn out some interesting implications.

Regarding some of the other strange assertions in the conference...never mind. Later, maybe :P

Reb. Mary said...

Just saw HRC's comment. It might as well be added: there seemed to be a number of issues with conflicting or obfuscating words/meaning and statements/intent.

Rebekah said...

I also agree with Susan's analysis that the intent of the statement was to say that fornication is not ok. But the statement itself is superfluous (the church already prohibits extramarital sex and, until recently, contraception), facile (what impact could this possibly have on people already engaged in illicit behaviors?), and potentially misleading and counterproductive. Prohibiting extramarital contraceptive use on its own merits is rhetorically ill-conceived (in addition to being logically flawed within the speaker's own framework). The prohibition, understood as it was presented without an explicit prohibition of fornication, can easily have the effect of seeming to endorse fornication as long as contraception isn't used. Circumlocutions protect the sheep poorly.

Fornication was a red herring which simply afforded the speaker an excuse to make some statement against contraception to appease certain listeners. "No extramarital contraception" is a bad line to take, as are most talking points manufactured for transparent political purposes.

Susan said...

Pastor C said, "What the fellow at the podium added, however, was that contraception added to that illicit sex act would somehow be extra special wrong."

Do you have the exact quote? I'd like to check on what he actually said, because I do not believe that anybody said what you heard. And if somebody did I expect that he stumbled in his words, because I seriously doubt that any of the speakers would even attempt to defend the position that "fornication is bad, but it's extra-bad if you use contraceptives" (unless possibly we're talking about the difference between pre-meditated versus "sin of passion).

Rebekah said...

Susan, I and the people with whom I was sitting could certainly have misunderstood him. But . . . we all seemed to have the same misunderstanding. When the recording becomes available from CCA that could be explored.

I think we were sitting immediately to your left, but I'm not sure since I only know you from your profile pic and I was too shy to introduce myself. ;)