One of the more insidious parts of religious dogma, is the belief that contraception is wrong. Anyone outside of this destructive belief system can see how shortsighted, dangerous, immoral and downright evil it is to withhold contraception from others.
But, I’m not going to talk about the population explosion in Africa, followed by the rampant spread of AIDS and starvation, all of which could have been mitigated by education and use of condoms. I’m not even going to mention the ludicrous position of campaigning against abortion, while at the same time telling people that they cannot use contraception. And I’m certainly not going near the idea that somehow abstinence will save your precious virginity, since that idea didn’t even work for Mary herself. And as for the idea that “every sperm is sacred“, and that an unfertilized egg is really a person – No, I’m not going to talk about any of that today.
Instead, I am going to tackle the reasoning behind this bizarre taboo. what is it exactly, that is so bad about contraception, from a religious point of view?
The first, and most obvious answer of course, is that without contraception, there will be lots and lots and lots of children born into your faith. And since virtually everyone assumes the religion of their parents through simple osmosis and childhood indoctrination, it is an extremely effective method of ensuring that your religion continues to grow and become bigger and more powerful. One need only glance at the Pope and the wealth of the Vatican to witness the sucess (and staggering hypocrisy) of this approach.
But how do you convince responsible people that contraception is a “bad idea”, in the face of all the evidence that says otherwise? Simple – you tell them it is “Gods Will”, and that terrible things will happen to them if they make God unhappy.
But how do we know it’s Gods will? How can we be certain that he wants His Creation to be overpopulated with starving millions, while we rape the planet for resources to feed and clothe them all? Well obviously, it says so in the Bible!
The first passage that could be used to reinforce this idea, is Genesis 1:28-30 – “Go forth and multiply”. At the time, this statement actually made quite a bit of sense, considering that the entire population of the Earth consisted of two people. In 2012, when we recently celebrated the birth of the six billionth person, it might be time to reconsider the wisdom of following this command to the letter…
Another passage that is often used is Genesis 38:8-10, where Onan was commanded to impregnate his dead brothers wife, but instead chose to “spill his seed upon the ground”. Curiously, this is yet another example of Gods morality falling short of superior human morality, since Onan clearly felt that sleeping with his dead brothers wife was not really something that a decent person should do – but God was displeased with this show of free-thinking and killed him for his decency. Never mind the “fact” that it was not even God himself who requested that Onan impregnate his brothers widow, it was Judah – a man whose actions in much of Genesis 38, do not appear to be particularly moral or divine in intent…
However, this passage is generally regarded as the trump card in the contraception debate, because clearly to go against Gods Will (and “waste” sperm) would displease him very much, therefore contraception, along with masturbation, is bad. But there are so many holes in this argument, that to even call it an “argument”, is giving too much credence to a terrible idea.
In this overpopulated, overburdened world, it is morally reprehensible to insist on a practice that destroys lives in so many ways, from unwanted children destined for a life of poverty and welfare assistance to a plague of AIDS and starvation in less developed countries.
But one final question remains: How do you really know that contraception is against Gods Will? It doesn’t say anything in the Bible that even vaguley resembles “Thou shalt not use rubbers or hormonal birth control pills”, so you are making a gross assumption about what God really wants. How do you know he didn’t want science to discover hormones and latex, and then use these advances to slow the rate of human growth once we had reached a critical population mass..?
Once again, by sticking rigidly to a word-for-word interpretation of ancient texts and the assertion that anyone truly understands the Will of God (the argument for his very existence aside), religion is actively working against scientific and social progress. Humanity takes one step forward and is dragged back two steps by blind religious dogma and a complete and total lack of foresight, thought or reason.