Once upon a time, there lived a ten-year-old. He was fat and hungry. One day, as he plodded through the house, he saw a piece of cake on the kitchen counter. He reached, grabbed, and was about to introduce it to the inside of his face, when an old man burst into the kitchen and yelled, “Stop!” The ten-year-old fat boy stopped. “You shouldn’t eat that,” the old man said, “for if you do your legs will fall off, your hair will turn gray, and you’ll become a mean, bitter little boy, cursed to spread misery wherever you go.”
The boy ignored the man and ate the cake. The man groaned and left.
A few days later the boy’s legs fell off, his hair turned gray, and he grew — rather understandably — very miserable. The old man visited him again. “Drink this,” he said, handing him a glass, “and your legs will grow back, your hair ungray, and your misery cease.” The boy looked into the glass. “No,” he said, “I will not. You do not know what is best for me, old man.”
In 1965, contraception was legalized in the United States. In 1968, to the dismay of the world, the Church reaffirmed its teaching against the use of contraception. She said, in Humane Vitae, that:
Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
The world ignored the Church, mocked Her, and put their women on contraceptives. Today, we have the highest divorce rate we’ve ever had, more broken families than social programs to take care of their kids, and it is estimated that 30 to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage. Women are more devalued than ever, as evidenced by the steady rise of pornography use — what with 72 million visitors to pornographic websites every month, 90% of kids 8-16 having viewed hardcore pornography on the Internet — and the general corporation of the woman’s body for the purpose of selling, well, just about everything. Despite having been liberated from their wombs and thus able to work like men, mate like men, and live like men, women are more miserable than ever. Big surprise.
It would be one thing if we were content. If we were content, I’d understand the continued rejection of the Church’s teaching on contraception. We could be happy heathens then, reveling in our culture, joyfully rejecting the Boring Old Buzz-kill Church. But we are miserable. Our relationships suck. Our marriages suck. I mean, for goodness’ sake, if we’re teaching middle-schoolers our perverted and desperate attempts to bring back the excitement of sex, we’re clearly unaware of it having any awesomeness.
By the way, it is such a joy to to be against the culture in this matter. As Chesterton said: “A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”
Till next time.