Friday, February 10, 2012

Humanæ Vitæ Was Right

Business Insider's Michael Brendan Dougherty and Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry argue that "the world's biggest and oldest organization," which "has buried all of the greatest empires known to man, from the Romans to the Soviets," might just be on to something when it "teaches that love, marriage, sex, and procreation are all things that belong together" — Time To Admit It: The Church Has Always Been Right On Birth Control. An excerpt:
    Today's injunctions against birth control were re-affirmed in a 1968 document by Pope Paul VI called Humanae Vitae. He warned of four results if the widespread use of contraceptives was accepted:

    1. General lowering of moral standards

    2. A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy

    3. The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men.

    4. Government coercion in reproductive matters.

    Does that sound familiar?

    Because it sure sounds like what's been happening for the past 40 years.
The authors also quote Slate Magazine's George Akerloff with this remarkable perceptive statement: "By making the birth of the child the physical choice of the mother, the sexual revolution has made marriage and child support a social choice of the father."

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Blogger Francis-Xavier said...

As a Conservative Catholic, Michael Dougherty must be tempted to want to see the facts as confirming his beliefs. And yet, at the very least, this article comes within a hair of being dishonest if not closer. Yes, society changed after contraceptive use became more widespread. But as first year logic student learns, correlation doesn't prove causation, as this article insinuates. The upper classes at least, had had access to contraceptives long before the pill.

There was another societal change at almost the same time that the pill was introduced that promotes the same changes that this article describes, and does so much more robustly I would argue. I am referring to the extension of the franchise in the US to the lower strata of society, who then helped get politicians elected who would subsidize the sort of behaviors that until then had been largely limited to the lowest strata of society.

Once illegitimacy and single mother households began to be subsidized, it is hardly surprising that there came to be far more of it. In very conservative societies where contraception is readily available and often used, but illegitimacy and single parent households are not subsidized, such as Saudi Arabia and many other problems, lower class families have not collapsed as they did in the democratic west. In other words, Dougherty's paleo-Catholic causation theory doesn't hold water.

I find it somewhat distasteful when Pope Paul VI, who allowed the many nuns who were raped during the war in Congo (many of them presumably by Africans) to get abortions is described as a die hard advocate of the culture of life. (Pope Pius Xii had repeatedly complained to the American occupation authorities that African-American soldiers were allowed to serve among the troops occupying Italy.) I need hardly comment about the very peculiar type of youth ministry that John Paul II and his closest advisers let flourish and protected to the point of letting priests who protested against the rape of the youth be fired.

Lastly the claim that China's problems are due to the one child policy are a damned lie; it was introduced after Mao's many child policy because the country was about to crack up.

February 12, 2012 at 6:13 AM  

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