It’s time the anti-poverty Pope blesses birth control.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis and birth control

It’s not easy to criticize the coolest Pope, ever.

Pope Francis smiles for selfies, Tweets, says yes! to the Big Bang and evolution, waves from his popemobile and against tradition, washes (oh the horror!) the feet of women on Holy Thursday.

I’m not Catholic but when this Pope speaks, I listen. I don’t expect to agree with everything he says but by God, he makes me want to.

Still, Pope Francis’s command to end world poverty doesn’t square holy with me when the church still insists artificial contraception goes against the “natural laws of God” to go forth and multiply.

What’s natural about nuns feeding starving belly-bloated children in remote villages while helping malnourished mothers push out baby number 6,7 and 12?

Simple compassionate math says when you make more kids you make more mouths to feed. Never mind couples who don’t want a houseful. Plenty opt out altogether which Francis in his wisdom of raising a family, lovingly calls a “selfish choice.”

Scolding birth control is an archaic man-made patriarchal mandate that commands women to be involuntary breeders and over populate the planet…..

No contraception makes sexy time better?

Of course most modern Catholics don’t believe every sperm is sacred. “They’re well aware of the Vatican’s pronouncements,” wrote Frank Bruni in his piece, “Be Fruitful, Not Bananas,” They just prefer to plug their ears.”

Some wishful thinkers think the church offers wiggle room for married couples to use their “individual conscience” about family planning but the reality is, contraception is still a mortal sin and an act of “individual disobedience.”

So when the sympathetic priest counsels a couple he’s forced to speak out of two sides of his mouth, “Sure, go ahead and pop on that condom, take birth control, but just so you know (smiling sadly), I’m obligated to tell you you’re headed for eternal Hell.”

I’m a former Methodist, now a Unitarian Universalist (your basic heretic) so I don’t grapple much with doctrine. If a teaching doesn’t jive with common sense and Golden Rule 101, I balk.

In the article “Contraception, Conscience and Church Authority” George Sim Johntson reminds that the good Catholic doesn’t just grin and bear His will, she heroically conforms to it.

“The implicit message is: God’s will is something you deal with while gritting your teeth.”

“But since gritting your teeth is not fun, and God doesn’t want us to be upset about the choices we make, then follow your conscience. There are so many fallacies here; it would take a book to address them. A short response is that saints not only heroically conform their lives to the will of God, but also love that will. Are we not called to imitate them? If we do, even the sex might be better. As Benedict XVI points out in Deus Caritas Est, eros is most fully itself when governed by agape.”

Wow, that’s quite a stretch. Unprotected sex as an aphrodisiac.

I’ve never met a woman who says she gets turned on by the thought of an unwanted pregnancy at the end of her partner’s orgasm. Making a baby when you don’t want a baby isn’t titillating, it’s terrifying.

But religion is masterful at managing cognitive dissonance. You just think you don’t want a baby or you can’t afford a fourth, but yield to God’s will rather than your own selfish needs and the blessings will appear.

Full post at: Huffington Post

 

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