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January 17th, 2011

SEX AU NATUREL

While I was writing my recent post titled Seminal Thoughts, I learned that earlier this year Patrick Coffin of Catholic Answers had published a book – Sex Au Naturel.  Perhaps because Mr. Coffin is from Canada it was natural for him to choose a French title but I liked it so well that I seriously considered appropriating it for that post since, really, that was what it was all about.

Because I was impatient to read Coffin’s book, I ordered it as a Kindle selection from Amazon (my first Kindle book ever!) and read it on my PC.  It comes with endorsements  from such sane people as Peter Kreeft who writes that Patrick Coffin has done for Christopher West what Christopher West did for John Paul II.  Bernard Nathanson, M.D., says that his research has been plainly prodigious and the scope of his work is encyclopedic.   On top of that, we have an Imprimatur from Bishop of San Diego, Robert H. Brom.

“Never in history has a papal document of thirty-one succinct paragraphs set off such a maelstrom,” Coffin writes.   He admits that early on he personally didn’t like the Catholic Church’s teachings on sex and didn’t see the difference between birth prevention through contraception and birth regulation through Natural Family Planning.

In his first few chapters Coffin describes the cultural shift from a society in which birth control and abortion were dead wrong, to the current time when both are not only accepted but encouraged.  He gives the biblical background concerning both birth control and contraception and reasons for accepting the Catholic church’ teachings on them.  Chapter Nine deals with sterilization (why not?) and Chapter Ten with Natural Family Planning (why?).  “Human beings have a right to come into existence the way God has ordained, which is through the bodily union of father and mother…Rich is the irony that an over-sexualized, anti-baby culture should excel at producing technologies aimed at making babies without sex!”

This is an easy-to-read study of why the Catholic church still teaches such old-fashioned stuff, with references galore — an excellent go-to handbook.   I find little in it on the psychological and physiological reasons why Sex au Naturel is best, which is the main thrust of  my aforementioned post on Seminal Thoughts.




August 2nd, 2008

THE POPE AND THE PILL: A SATIRE

Dear Holy Father,

Because I love you, I have to tell you the truth. You are a voice crying in the wilderness! You are sitting there on your papal throne, making pronouncements and writing encyclicals, but apparently you don’t know where it’s at. You are using all the wrong words. You are saying all the wrong things. You are wasting your breath and ink. Nobody is listening, least of all Catholics.

Take, for instance, the recent poll that said over 90% of Catholic couples in the United States practice birth control using contraceptive practices forbidden by their church. According to “America’s Most Quoted Catholic Magazine,” many good Catholics have thoughtfully and prayerfully decided in favor of using the Pill and it is time that the Church stopped telling them they are not good Catholics. The Church has to listen to the people, according to the magazine, and the people, good people, are pro-Pill. (Well, I know a few who aren’t, but they are hung up on living “naturally” and I don’t know if that’s very realistic.)

To get back to the Pill, popping the Pill is what you might call a grass-roots Catholic movement. The people are saying, “The pill is easy; the pill is safe; we can’t take a chance on having more babies.” And what are you saying? You are still talking openness to life and self-discipline. Do you know how long it has been since I’ve read anything in favor of self-discipline? Now that’s really obsolete. Self-realization is the important thing. What you have to do is get in touch with your inner self and do what feels right. No more pronouncements from on high. It’s look into yourself, be yourself, do your thing, form your own conscience.

Now I will grant you that in forming your own conscience it is very easy to rationalize so that what you want to do becomes what is right. Just as an example, I have known of people who were very much anti-abortion because it is killing a human being, taking an innocent life. Until– UNTIL– it was their own unmarried daughter who was pregnant. .THEN there was another side to abortion. It was the easy way out. It spared them social embarrassment and the bother of a baby. People are like that, you know. They think something is wrong until it is more convenient to think it is right. Then they switch. You could take a lesson from your people.

To get back to the Pill again. More and more of late we are hearing medical warnings against it. It causes blood clots and strokes and fifty other side effects. It changes your whole body metabolism. You should not take it if you are over forty, or have migraines, or if you smoke, etc., etc. People are beginning to turn away from the Pill so it’s really too late for you to start being for it. Maybe when you opposed it as being unnatural, you were wiser than you knew. The I.U.D.’s have also caused problems. The upcoming thing now is sterilization.

It is not too late for you to come out in favor of sterilization. I realize that your predecessors felt that individuals are not free to mutilate their God-given bodies and render them unfit for natural functions. But surely you can see that it is so much easier to have a little operation and be done with it. Then married couples can have sex whenever they want to and never worry about babies. Not to mention unmarried couples. And we could sterilize the retarded and other people who are not fit to propagate. We could have one big happy love-in, with no kids as a result. No need to try to educate people to act responsibly and consider the consequences of their acts. There won’t be any consequences. (Perhaps an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, but we’ll find better drugs for those.)

It puzzles me a little that folks should so easily part with their freedom to have children when they hang on so grimly to their other freedoms. Do you suppose sex will lose something if there is no possibility of it accomplishing what it was designed for? I mean it is obvious, even to me, that the main purpose of sex is the propagation of the human race. I get this weird picture of a world full of sterile zombies, endlessly going through the actions of sex with never a chance of achieving its goal!

I hear that Russia is encouraging mothers to have more children and the same is true of Japan. I guess the birth rate fell off too much. Malthus said long ago that if an effective method of birth control was ever found, populations would decline because people were too selfish to have babies if they had a choice. So what’s wrong with a little selfish? We only live once and babies are expensive, time-consuming, and a real drag. I read once that babies make adults out of parents. Whoever wrote it seemed to think that babies helped the parents to grow up as much as the parents helped the babies grow up. But you have to admit that the things babies do for parents are very intangible–-so intangible, in fact, that you have to experience them to believe it. And everyone knows you an get a lot more tangible things without babies.

Holy Father, I seem to be rambling a bit. Just thinking out loud. But I hope I’ve given you something to think about. While you’re at it, you might let up on priestly celibacy. Obviously the world thinks that that is too much to expect from anybody. When a priest breaks his vows and swings a little or gets married, he becomes a real hero and is praised by the media for being true to himself. Being a renegade priest is one of the best ways to get on talk shows. Years ago he would have been considered a man without honor, whose promises are worth nothing. Things are different nowadays, Holy Father, and all those things like honor and integrity, chastity and fidelity, self-control and Christian heroism are really old hat.

Marriage is another example. People are still getting married “till death do us part” but these are just promises to be jettisoned when the going gets stormy. People are weak, Holy Father, and you have to meet them where they are. Stop trying to raise them to saintly heights. As Ann Landers would say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.”

I’m sure you mean well, Holy Father, but you have to stop insisting that Catholic doctrine is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The fact is that things change, and more people would pay attention to you if you said what they want to hear. Really, if you stopped paying so much attention to Holy Scripture and the ten commandments and the church fathers, you’d get a much better press

With love, from your devoted follower,

Dorothy

P.S. You can talk all you want about Love. Love is very “in” nowadays.  Just make sure it is Love without Sacrifice.

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For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…….. John 3: 16

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