There are complaints that the Catholic Church is framing the current situation over contraceptives as an attack on religious liberty, while downplaying its opposition to birth control. This is false. While the Catholic Church is opposed to birth control, the outrage comes from the fact that the government is forcing them into a situation where they have to pay for products and/or services that violate their teaching. God’s teaching. The fact that it’s birth control is actually irrelevant to the argument. The government could proclaim that the Catholic Church has to start performing marriage for members of the same sex, and the response would be the same. Birth control just happens to be the message of the moment.
And since it’s the message of the moment, let’s look at birth control for a moment. Birth control, or contraceptives, have been framed as a woman’s health issue, but this is a very misleading way to characterize it. I also believe that this was intentionally done in order to make it easier to defend. Like abortion, an attack on contraceptives, is an attack on women.
But contraception isn’t a health issue, it’s a sex issue.
Conception is the fertilization which results from a male and female having sex. Contraception is prevention of that fertilization. Contraceptives are those products designed to prevent conception. In other words, they are used to prevent fertilization of the females ovum from the males sperm when a male and female have sex. Contraceptives are products designed to prevent the natural consequence of having sex, which is conception. In order for conception to occur there needs to be a male and female. No male. No conception. No female. No conception. It takes two members of the opposite sex.
Contraceptives aren’t used when a couple is trying to have a child through in vitro fertilization or other unnatural means. Contraceptives are used to prevent fertilization through sex. Contraceptives aren’t used to prevent fertilization between members of the same sex. Contraceptives are used to prevent fertilization through sex between a male and female.
Because both a man and a woman are involved, it is not solely a woman’s issue. But it’s not solely a man’s issue. The reality is, is that contraceptives are a sex issue.
I shouldn’t have to go through this, but for those who don’t know, the Christian Church teaches that sex outside of marriage is a sin. Period. Yes, this includes sex between unmarried men and women. Yes, this included sex between teenage boys and teenage girls. Yes, this includes sex between members of the same sex. Next time you’re with someone and you’re thinking about sex, answer this simple question: Are you married? If the answer is no, sex is a sin. Don’t do it.
The Catholic teaching is that contraceptives are always wrong. Not all Christians agree. Many, myself included, believe that contraceptives are fine for a husband and wife. They are not fine for anyone else. Why? No one else should be having sex!
Sex, itself, is not a health issue. Obviously, there are consequences to having sex and some of those consequences can be health issues. Pregnancy is not a health issue. It only becomes an issue if something goes wrong. Since pregnancy is not a health issue, prevention isn’t a health issue; it’s contraception and it’s a choice. While there can be issues related to pregnancy, the pregnancy itself is seldom the issue, and if it is, it’s certainly not normal. Of course, another consequence of having sex is the susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases. Again, the sex itself isn’t the health issue, it’s the STD. I wonder what would happen to sexually transmitted diseases if people waited to have sex until they were married, and never had sex with anyone but their spouse.
The fight over contraceptives is not a war on women. It’s not a health issue. It’s a fight over the ability to have sex while simultaneously reducing the consequences. There are a lot of people who aren’t happy that the Catholic church doesn’t pay for its employees to purchase contraceptives, including members of the Catholic Church. But this is a religious argument whether the Church wants to pay for products used by people to reduce the consequences of having sex, particularly, those out of wedlock.
It’s not a war against women. It’s a war against sex outside of marriage.
As a Christian, I agree that the Church should not pay for products used mainly by people who don’t want to take responsibility for their action. As a taxpayer, I also don’t think the government should be paying for them; the government should not be endorsing sex without consequences. But most importantly, the government shouldn’t be forcing the Catholic Church to pay for products that go against its teaching.
While I don’t agree with many teachings of the Catholic Church, I do know that their teaching isn’t based on the wants of man, but on their best understanding of God’s Word. It also doesn’t matter if ninety percent of Catholics think the Catholic Church should cover contraceptives, just as it wouldn’t matter if ninety percent of Catholics thought the Catholic Church should change its stance on lying. God’s Church doesn’t conform to the will of the people, the people are to conform to the will of God. THAT is what is truly important.
And finally, the government doesn’t have the authority to overrule God, morally or Constitutionally.