With all this issue of the RH Bill getting hotter by the day, I'm thinking about doing a great service by clarifying there what the Church's teachings are about contraception, but most importantly, about why the Church is decidedly pro-life. I'm not planning of giving out my opinions and reflections on the matter, but rather on going to authoritative and clarificatory documents and studies concerning the matter. To open this bold and brave new series (since we can't but be these days), I'll be posting an article from a newsletter of the Human Life International. This following piece is quite long (for which I'm cutting it into parts) but it's really very enlightening. It's about something that concerns us all, since it refers to the milieu in which we are currently living in, a culture whose mentality has often been described as being "contraceptive" to a good measure.
THE "CONTRACEPTIVE MENTALITY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES"Brian Clowes, Ph.D., Human Life InternationalA mentality or mindset is a set of beliefs or assumptions which directs and informs the moral aspects of a person's life. Especially in our age of mass communications, mentalities of entire populations can be manufactured, propagandized and then adopted and lived out by large numbers of people--even without their being aware of it.
An example of a beneficial mentality is one where people live with an ever-present attitude that they are willing to sacrifice comfort, possessions, or even life itself in order to achieve a higher goal such as the good of another or the good of society. A "service-mentality", likewise, can define a person who consistently places the spiritual and temporal needs of others, especially those less fortunate, before his own desires. Both of these praiseworthy mentalities will prevail throughout a truly Christian civilization.
On the other hand, a negative or harmful mentality is the habitual attitude that is based on error or selfishness, and which can then disregard truths or realities that conflict with one's customary and unreflective behavior. Harmful mentalities lead to dangerous and disordered behavior; in such instances, long-term consequences are usually ignored--even when pointed out--as the person is mainly concerned with short-term needs and situations.
Harmful mentalities have been manufactured today on an unprecedentedly large scale and they continue to be increasingly disseminated with deliberate intent, at every level of society, and with catastrophic consequences. This is particularly true with the lies of the massively-funded "culture of death" (so named by Bl. John Paul II)--whose malicious propaganda now permeates just about every country on earth. Due to the numerous methods of mass communication, large numbers of people have become so saturated with falsehoods and half-truths that very harmful attitudes and mentalities have resulted. One important example of a dangerous and erroneous mindset that is seriously undermining and deconstructing contemporary civilization is the "contraceptive mentality"
The Contraceptive mentality relentlessly spreadsOne of the identifying marks of any moral evil is that it can spread effortlessly, like a bucket of filthy motor oil poured into a pristine pond. Because of our wounded nature, we must continually guard and fight against the world's seductions that appeal to our own sinful tendencies, or else we easily fall into these without even realizing our slow descent into error and corruption. This vigilance also entails making sure we are aware of the errors and evils all around us.
The "contraceptive mentality"has been increasingly drilled into the hearts and minds of people everywhere. In fact, the entire world is swimming in a sea of contraceptive advertising and propaganda: in magazines and newspapers, on television, at the movies, on the radio, on billboards, and in our schools. Sex education classes in public schools usually cover all the contraceptive methods in detail. The message that we are being insidiously and relentlessly indoctrinated to accept is the following enormous lie: "Contraception is an integral and important part of the modern lifestyle. Everyone is doing it and it is your obligation to do it if you are a responsible person".
Contraception, and the mentality that accepts it, is absolutely essential for sustaining the "culture of death" that is undermining Christian civilization particularly through the corruption of sexual morals and the destruction of the traditional family unit. As contraception has become more universally accepted, a corresponding and terrible downward spiral has occured.
In countries where contraception is common, generations have grown up aware of the fact that their parents use contraception; and unfortunately, contracepting parents tend to beget unchaste teenagers, as Father Paul Marx, the founder of Human Life International, liked to say. And especially since the unleashing of "the Pill" on the world in 1960, the disintegration of moral values on every level has been astonishing.
The contraceptive mentality has inflicted its poison deep into family life and into the Church through vocal dissenters and those who are ignorant. If young people know that that their parents have separated the sexual act from procreation (which is what contraception does) why should they not do the same? If the faithful rarely (if ever) hear from their priests that the use of contraception is seriously sinful and physically dangerous, how will the people ever hear the light of truth?
Amidst such and atmosphere of nearly universal error, and propaganda at every turn, our children grow into adulthood increasingly molded with the false mindset that using contraception is "being responsible". The tendency has developed where married (or many times unmarried) couples thus become accustomed to using contraception, and even eventually see it as an integral part of their "lifestyle"---which will always be irresponsible and selfish as long as they are contracepting. Unfortunately, most "modern" couples in the Western world would no sooner give up contraception for natural fertility regulation than they would give up their cars in favor of bicycles, even though the latter course in both cases is healthier for both the society and the individual.
coming soon: Catholic Church Teaching on Contraception...