Bad Catholic: It’s Ok to Wear a Condom… Just Not During Sex

I love listening to Catholics explain why condoms are evil because their rationale is so out-of-your-mind ridiculous that they’re just begging people not to take them seriously. Like Marc Barnes at Bad Catholic (and 1Flesh):

We know that contraception works against the nature of love, which is total and life-giving, and thus violates the natural law. We can quite easily point out the damage the widespread embrace of contraception has done to our culture, to our perception of new life, to man’s view of woman, to our health, our relationships, our families, and our environment. But in our understanding of the evil of the act (an evil which I believe most couples are not entirely culpable for in this age of falsehood) we often mischaracterize the tool as evil. We think, “condoms are bad, always bad!

They’re not. Let’s establish our first premise as this, that contraception is the moral evil, and the contraceptive is merely a tool to that end. In fact, and forgive me for some necessary crudeness, the only time the condom allows us to perform this immoral function is at the moment of male orgasm. So we should feel free to wear condoms. We should feel free to wear four or five of them. Just not during sex.

At least Barnes says it might be permissible to use a condom if you or your partner has AIDS. Even then, he has to spend paragraphs rationalizing this incredibly simple decision.

It’s amazing to me that this is an issue at all.

If you don’t want children, then use contraception.

If you want to minimize your chance of getting a disease, then use contraception a condom.

If you’re not monogamous, then use contraception.

If you’re having sex and you want to protect yourself, then use contraception.

Look at how easy that is.

Life is so much better when the Pope isn’t your sex ed teacher.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Why stop at four or five condoms?  Normal when I leave the house not to have sex, I wear 40 or 50.  They make an excellent raincoat.

  • observer

    Stupid question: Haven’t these people ever thought that sex/reproductive organs isn’t merely for reproduction?

  • http://exconvert.blogspot.com/ Kacy

    I love his first paragraph because it’s such a textbook example of the ecological fallacy.  Correlation does not imply causation.

    Oh, and he also forgot to talk about how many people have been hurt by the Catholic teaching against contraception.  I think there is more of a direct link to human suffering as a result of Catholic policies blocking funds to womens’ health programs than there is to health problems caused by condoms.

  • The Captain

    “contraception works against the nature of love, which is total and life-giving, and thus violates the natural law” 

    I just want to point out that this sentence is utter bullshit gobbledygook.

    It would seem that Marc Barnes is the Deepak Chopra of condom use.

  • schnauzermom

    Well, isn’t there that fish in some tropical rivers that swims up your penis and has all those nasty barbs and causes some really unpleasant things to happen to you? Maybe wearing a condom when swimming in a tropical river is the REAL reason the Divine Creator of the Universe allowed condoms to be made!

  • jdm8

    Does this whole business about being against contraception originate from the story of Onan?

  • Guest

    I think it takes a bit of humor to catch that he was making a humorous point to illustrate the false characterization of his position.  The point being that condoms in themselves are not evil, but the way of using them makes them so.  Put it another way, a gun is not itself evil, but in that case how you use it makes it so.  If I get Catholic teaching correctly, it’s that the use of the condom is basically trying to play God with life, so to speak, to get the bang without paying the buck.  It’s actually a very consistent ethic regarding human life.  I can understand complaints about it, particularly in light of medical advancements.  But I think this looks more like a rush to take a point out of context, rather than dealing with the meat of the argument at hand. 

    Oh, and everyone knows condoms aren’t a guarantee against having children or getting any type of disease.  That’s like saying we can reduce the effects of drinking and driving by this or that method.  Nope.  The only sure way is to not drink and drive.  No birth control works all the time, and that legendary 1%, let’s not forget, is a pretty big number when you consider the lives involved.

  • Conspirator

    I have one quibble with your statements Hemant.  Specifically “If you want to minimize your chance of getting a disease, then use contraception.”  

    Now perhaps I have a misunderstanding of the terminology, but isn’t the pill considered a contraceptive?  Only certain forms of contraception, specifically condoms and other physical barriers, provide protection against STDs.  In order not to play into the hands of idiots like Marc Barnes you don’t want to provide inaccurate information on the subject.

  • allein

    “the way of using them makes them so”

    You mean for their intended purpose?

    No one is saying they are 100% guarantee, but they’re a hell of a lot better than 0%.

  • allein

    I was thinking the same thing. That line should probably be rephrased. (Though technically speaking, the pill does minimize the risk of some diseases, but in this context I’m not sure that’s relevant.)

  • Hemant

    You’re right. I amended the sentence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Reed/692599362 Paul Reed

     Great idea! But keep in mind that condom-raincoats only keep you dry, like, 97% of the time.

    ( http://youtu.be/VZmwEgK2AEA )

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    It’s just…insane. In their worldview, not wanting to get pregnant is evil. Not wanting to have children is evil. Thank goodness most Catholics in the real world aren’t like this.

  • Raavynn

    I just want to know what the hell else you’d use them for. I’m confused. lol.

  • http://therecoveringcatholic.wordpress.com/ Georgina

    I actually tortured myself by reading several of their “articles” and it just upsets me so much that this crap is the advice that they’re providing. All the science is either crap from religious institutions or selectively read existing peer-reviewed one off studies. I mean really. Blind them with science is just not a good approach if your science is so terrible! 

  • MargueriteF

    Everyone knows that they make good water balloons. I am personally extremely relieved to know that I can use them for this reason without going to hell. I’ve lain awake many nights worrying about this. Really.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I have to argue with him. 

    To me, one of the big reasons to use birth control is respect. Respect for yourself. Respect for your partner. Respect for the fetus that will develop into life you may or may not be ready to raise. 

    I don’t agree that love is necessary for sex. I don’t agree that sex should be confined to marriage, or to progeny producing. And that’s the control he’s trying to exert over people here. He’s trying to make people fear something they do naturally. 

    It’s sick. 

    Edit: Also, speaking as a woman, I much prefer the “horrible” view that birth control has given men of me than the view that the Church teaches where I’m a baby making machine and property of a man.

  • Glasofruix

    This post has so much bullcrap in it it’s hard to move around…

  • Glasofruix

    Wanting to have sex seems to be evil too…

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    But I think this looks more like a rush to take a point out of context, rather than dealing with the meat of the argument at hand.

     

    The meat of the argument is ridiculous, though. What they’re saying is that not wanting children is evil. That it’s not morally acceptable to be a married couple that doesn’t want biological offspring. Not all people want to have children, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There is absolutely no reason (aside from religious lunacy) that couples shouldn’t be able to have sex without fearing that they will have to bring an unwanted child into the world.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Well, it seems to be okay for heterosexual married couples, but only as long as they’re not closed to the possibility of pregnancy. Anything else is unacceptable.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/47IDX2QAR6VU6ZAILFU6I23ACQ Joseph

    I am constantly amazed and amused by the logical contortions people make to justify what is so obviously a ludicrous argument.  It’s a pretty simple matter, really. 

    William of Occam is rolling in his grave.

  • Reason_Being

    The first paragraph you quote is mind-numbing… “We know that contraception works against the nature of love”—What?  Contraception ruins love?  I would love to see his justification for that gem. “We can quite easily point out the damage the widespread embrace of contraception has done to our culture”…again What?  Yes tons of damage like preventing unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted disease, empowering women, etc…How can he possible ignore those colossal benefits to contraception? 

    Lastly, I am curious for what reason he would suggest people wear condoms if they are to not wear them during sex.  Does he randomly walk around wearing one? 

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I’m stealing utter bullshit gobbledygook.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    “No birth control works all the time…”

    Categorically bullshit. Men who have properly done vasectomies can’t make babies. Which is great, because they can get their freak on with their partners and not worry about how sacred every sperm is.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    River Monsters mentioned that fish during an episode. They even interviewed a man who had it happen to him. My penis cringed listing to him recite the story.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Get of the internet and go make me a sandwich woman.

    Yes, I’m joking.

  • RobertoTheChi

    If you want a good laugh then read through the comment section over there. Pure lunacy!

  • Baby_Raptor

    *walks back to the kitchen, sniffing*

    (Also joking)

  • Baby_Raptor

    Those aren’t benefits to him. 

    He sees forced pregnancy, disease as punishment and women as property as features, not bugs. 

  • Margaret Whitestone

    When you believe bullshit it skews your entire worldview.  This is just more evidence of that fact.  

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Let’s establish our first premise as this, that contraception is the moral evil, and the contraceptive is merely a tool to that end.

    Rubbers don’t kill people, people kill people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Felix-Hoefert/1034053621 Felix Hoefert

    They’re not supposed to think but obey a book.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Felix-Hoefert/1034053621 Felix Hoefert


    It’s actually a very consistent ethic regarding human life.”
    But it’s invalid because their concept of human life is incoherent.

  • onamission5

    Drinking and driving is illegal. Having sex isn’t. False equivalency.

    Other ways that DUI isn’t like healthy, consensual sexual relationships: There’s no safer way to drink and drive, there’s no way to get consent from the people you might run over, and oh yeah, it’s not forbidden in the bible so I guess that makes it okay.

    I’ll take a 97-99% chance of success with contraception over a 100% chance of never having sex again any day, or never having any control over what does or does not happen to my body, thanks.  

  • Doctor Jen

    If you can get to the end of Bad Catholic’s post without puking, you will be rewarded with the comments. There are many arguing that condoms should not be used by married couples, even when one of them has AIDS!! There’s even one guy who basically says if you truly love your wife, you’ll never have sex with her again. These folks are batshit crazy!!!

  • Guest

    So you don’t let little things like medical science and actual studies get in the way of what you call bullshit. How brilliant. If you are going to refute something, make sure you’re not using ignorance – willful or otherwise – as your main ammo.

  • Guest

    No, I was saying that was his point.  I’m shocked that folks have missed a far greater target on down in the post.  That’s what I mean.  Agree or disagree, this point was valid based upon the teaching.  What was a shock to read was in other parts of the post, and quite frankly, it shines a light on a growing problem in some Catholic apologetic circles.  But, focus on this is we must I guess.

  • Guest

    You mean Bad Catholic’s?   I’m shocked people here are missing the really, really big topic that could be focused on. 

  • pagansister

    Didn’t you all realize that a good, rule following Catholic use ONLY  NFP—-and when the female is fertile she is allowed to NOT have intercourse if she and mate wish not to have a child or another child.  Of course they are NOT using  ABC, and they still might have a pregnancy develop from their act if indeed someone calculated incorrectly.  BUT they didn’t use an artificial means (AKA condom, pill etc.) to prevent conception, thus hell isn’t in the cards or confession or whatever.  I haven’t figured out just how NFP is OK if the purpose is to NOT get pregnant, as is ABC.   The bugaboo is apparently a man made prevention method VS the GOD made one. :o)    I taught in a Catholic school.  I have a hard time believing all those 2 children Catholic families used only NFP?  In fact, the teachers I worked with who only had 2-3 kids most certainly were using some ABC.  I can’t imagine being married and having to calculate WHEN it was  “safe” to have sex so we wouldn’t have  conception for an entire marriage.  As to disease prevention?    How stupid to advise anyone that using a condom is wrong under any situation!  Especially when it is dictated by MEN who supposedly are prohibited from having sex at all.  Of course we know that many priests have/had a lovely sex life —with women (and men t00)  and unfortunately  with children too.

  • Guest

    And if we were talking about what is and isn’t legal vs. what is and isn’t the basis for an act being valid or safe, then you would have me.   Oh, and yes there can be safer ways to drink and drive, just not safe ways.  And as far as 97%, that’s all fine and dandy.  But there’s a 100% chance that someone always has to be in that 1-3%.  Are you willing for that to be you?  Or are you content knowing that it will have to be someone else?

  • mobathome
  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    No one’s missing it. We know his point is that contraception (not the contraceptive) is evil. I pointed this out in my comments. What is there to talk about, except to say how ludicrous and immoral it is to demand that married couples desire bioogical children, and if they don’t, to call them evil.

  • Guest

    If only failsafe,  sure ways when no other option is possible.  It would seem that many who do not hold to such views of life actually hold to yours: best way to avoid poverty, unwanted children, troubled youth: abort them.  But that’s obviously not the point.  One does not have to drink and drive, and despite all claims to the contrary, we don’t have to have sex.  It isn’t like breathing or eating.  When we choose to, according to the birth control/safe sex view, we are ensuring that someone must take their place at the 1% table.  And, let’s be honest, we are betting the farm on the hope that it won’t be us, or anyone we care about.  We are betting everything on the fact that it will be someone we don’t know.  If you were told go ahead, but I guarantee you that you will be the 1%, would you go ahead anyway?  That is the question.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    My boyfriend went to a Catholic elementary school where, mysteriously, all of the families seemed to have exactly one or two children. Of course very few normal Catholics take the birth control prohibition seriously.

    And NFP is kind of a dodge, anyway. If fundie Catholics were really serious about being open to pregnancy every time they have sex, they’d embrace the Quiverfull philosophy. Quiverfullers may be insane, but they’re not wimping out, LOL.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    So if a married couple doesn’t want children, they should never have sex?

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    We know that contraception works

    yup. and I don’t need to read any further than that. Thanks Marc Barnes!

  • onamission5

    I am the 3%. Twice. I’m still okay with it. Snide guilting attempt fail on your part.

    Unlike the catholic church I don’t expect other people to bear the real life consequencs of my opinons for me. Other people do what’s good for them, whatever their given circumstances, I do what’s right for me and mine.

  • pagansister

     Yes, Anna, there have been a lot of “NFP” children born to Catholic parents.   Modern Catholics, IMO, just do as they please regarding this situation, but the Pope must do his job and continue to spread the ridiculous nonsense regarding birth control, such as “continue to accept all children God gives you” or something like that said in Catholic marriage vows.  :o)  If not married  we all know that no Catholic is having sex, so the subject of birth control is not necessary. 

  • Stev84

     No. That’s the whole reason for their idiotic point of view

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    What is the Catholic position on an infertile person using a condom to reduce the risk of an STD? Yeah, I know they think it’s sinful for that person to have sex at all outside of marriage, but lets treat that as a separate sin. Can this person use a condom?

  • Conuly

    Do these people realize that the history of the world prior to effective contraception and abortion included a hell of a lot of infanticide?

    Much of this infanticide was of the sort that allowed people to fool themselves – they left their kids in the woods and hoped they’d be picked up by kind strangers, they brought them to orphanages and hoped they wouldn’t be one of the 90% or more of infants who died there – but there was plenty that was more deliberate, drowning and the like.

    I’d rather have the condoms.

  • observer

    Good point.

  • Moggie

    Having read the whole post, I fail to see a greater target than Bad Catholic’s advocacy of a position which is regressive, unrealistic and dangerous, i.e. that contraception = bad.  How can a point be valid if the teaching it is based on is so obviously, ridiculously, dangerously wrong?

    So what was the bit that shocked you – BC being rude about journalists?

  • kraken17

    I first heard

  • Mogg

    That would be called “risk analysis”, something we all do every day.  Every time I get in a car and drive I accept the non-zero risk of being injured or killed in a smash, but the benefits of my being able to use a car far outweigh the risk, so I drive.  Of course I am accepting of the knowledge that the rare failure of contraception could happen to me.  As with driving, the benefits far outweigh the risks, and like the consequences of a car smash many of the consequences of contraceptive (or physical barrier contraceptives used for disease prevention) are often easily dealt with even if they do occur.  In a car smash by far the more common consequence is that I am uninjured and only have to deal with the inconvenience of dealing with getting my car repaired.  Should barrier contraception fail there are ways of treating the vast majority of STD’s and even, if necessary, ways of preventing a viable pregnancy should I not wish for one.  Sure, it’s better to avoid the car smash/contraceptive failure, but avoiding driving or not having sex is an incredibly extreme avoidance method that makes life far less enjoyable, convenient and practical.

    Surely that teaching, in order to be fully consistent, would also involve Catholics not using any form of un-natural device in any part of their lives.  That would include medicine, farmed food, clothing, housing and so on – they should accept what God sends them, whether it be children or disease or starvation or freezing or dehydration.

  • kraken17

    Look up recanalization of the vasa deferentia. Basically you’re saying that if everything goes perfectly and nothing unexpected happens, ever, you’ll be fine. Good luck with that in reality.

  • Edmond

    I’m not so sure it’s even contraception that they see as evil.  Ultimately, contraception represents an interruption to the natural insemination process due to one thing: a free human decision to control our own biology.  THAT is the “real” evil here.

  • AAA

    My wife and I used NFP successfully for 6 years before deciding to have children.  There was a time of a few months with ABC due to a medical condition.  Of course, the whole time absolutely sucked because sex was only allowed when she was absoultely positive she wouldn’t get pregnant.  If that one time happened to coincide with being tired, well better luck next month.

    Anyway, if I remember, the whole idea behind NFP is that you can delay (indefinitely?) having children, but you are always open to the possibility of having children.  So it did work for us, although we were pretty rigorous about it.  I think the effectiveness is fairly high, if done properly, but that’s probably the case with anything.  Of course, if I had to do it again, I would say hell no.

  • allein

    Just skimming through them made my head hurt. At least I saw one comment from a sane person…

  • Glasofruix

    No, i mean yours…

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I feel kind of dumb for asking this, but is the blogger at Bad Catholic for real? I know there are people that have the same world views, but is he a poe?

  • Glasofruix

    Nope, he’s a real wacko.

  • Patterrssonn

    So what you’re saying is that since nothing in medical science is guaranteed foolproof we should abandon it in favour of religious woo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Chester/682538320 Adrian Chester

    Exactly, I think having a child should be a deliberate decision, not oops  forgot to use a condom looks like we are having a kid we didn’t want. 

  • Stev84

    The internet seems to attract the most insane Catholics imaginable. You hardly ever meet such people in real life. They are almost indistinguishable from Protestant fundamentalists.

  • Reason_Being

     Well said

  • pagansister

     Am glad the NFP worked for you for 6 years—-and I tend to agree with you that if done properly it’s effectiveness is fairly high.  I just can’t imagine my sex life being ruled by a thermometer etc.  May I say it seems your attitude on NFP has “matured” with your last statement.   :o)  

  • pagansister

     Anna!   You hit the nail on the head—if you are married and don’t want children, do not have intercourse.  WAIT!  You have to “do it” at least one time—at the proper time of month (HFP) just to consummate the marriage, if the marriage was in THE Church, RCC.  However, if you were actually married in another faith, perhaps it isn’t a requirement to consummate, right?   I ‘m kidding here—if you’re married, (or not) have sex anyhow and use all those really bad prevention methods.  Duh! 

  • Gawd

     That is EXACTLY the attitude Mother Church. That’s what “Will you accept children lovingly from God,…?” means at a catholic wedding. If you fuck, you’d better accept the consequences of your unprotected lust. That’s why catholic families 100 years ago had a dozen or more kids, most of whom died in infancy. That’s also why the modern catholic couple says this (and the fat idiot Marc Barnes) is nuts… “Bring on the contraception.”

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Not even a book, but whatever a bunch of old men wrote down long after the founding of their religion.

  • Raavynn

    Pretty expensive water balloons, I’d say.

  • Liberated Liberal

    They do.  According to Catholic … Doctrine?  Law?  Rules? Not sure how you would classify it, sex has to be every single time three things:

    1) Marital
    2) Procreative
    3) Unitive

    Eliminate any one of those three things, and sex becomes a mortal sin.  Which is fine, I guess.  I’m not going to argue their stance against contraception if they really don’t want to use it.  What I will never understand is how they argue that using NFP somehow erases the fact that they’re not having procreative sex.  Having sex in a way that ensures they don’t get pregnant is taking away the procreative nature of sex.  But NFP is fine.  Condoms “during sex” is EVIL.  PURE EVIL.

     

  • Liberated Liberal

    Antibiotics don’t work 100% of the time, either.  In order to be consistent, and making sure you aren’t ‘playing god’ by interfering with his plan (i.e., that you have a devastating infection), I suggest you not ever, ever use antibiotics again.  

    And before you tell me that I’m stupid and what I said is ludicrous, how is ‘playing god’ by using a condom any different than ‘playing god’ by using an antibiotic.  In either way, you are interfering with “nature” and biology in order to avoid certain outcomes.  

  • jdm8

    What, exactly does that prove? It doesn’t appear to prove (or even argue) that the use of condoms, The Pill, etc. are a sin. To restate, the existence of side effects is not a sin.

  • jdm8

    Someone replied to a previous thread on the discussion of 1Flesh here and said (paraphrasing) “whouldn’t it be great if condoms weren’t used for sex”, to which I replied (paraphrasing) what other use for it, they’re made for a specific use, there are better ways to do those other things.

  • Aacordate

     I believe his response was to the question of what harms not how to justify contraception is a sin.

  • me

    This is a little unfair as far as criticism of the position.  The post is obviously assuming the position y’all disagree with on contraception and just giving a very brief enthymematic argument merely intended to say: look, here’s what we have in common, let’s discuss this further issue that arises.  If you want to make fun of the case against contraception make fun of someone actually attempting to make the case.

  • AAA

    I was never too keen on the idea, but I was under the assumption that other activities would be performed in lieu of actual intercourse.  Boy, was I mistaken.

    My carpal tunnel syndrome is coming along quite nicely, thank you.

  • Hellbound Alleee

    Does he have an exception for women like me who are sick and would experience death from pregnancy? Or who would not likely carry a fetus to term anyway? surely they would not advocate knowingly having children who would not have a mother. /end sarcasm

  • Stev84

    They prefer women to die. It’s why they are also against emergency abortions to save women’s lives. Even if the pregnancy isn’t viable anyways. So much for “family values”

  • pagansister

     Welcome, AAA.  The longer we live, hopefully the more we learn. 

  • Miss_Beara

    There was a case in Arizona (I think) where, in a Catholic hospital, a nurse who happened to also be a nun performed a late term abortion on a woman who was most certainly going to die without one. The woman survived. The nun lost her ranking in the hospital. I don’t remember if she was excommunicated. When questioned about it, the hospital bosses never said that they were glad that the nurse saved the woman’s life. They just do not care.

  • RobertoTheChi

    Unfortunately I have a few bat-shit crazy catholics like that in my family and I stay the hell away from them needless to say. I dated a guy a while ago and he turned out to be the looniest catholic (I wouldn’t be shocked if he was one of the crazier commentors over there) that I have ever met and seeing that I know a lot of bat-shit crazy catholics that’s saying something. He was very good looking and seemed normal, but looks can be deceiving. He turned out to be a 40 year old virgin (I shit you not!) and was constantly bashing me over the head with the bible. I wish it was just online that I met crazy catholics like that, but unfortunately I run into them far too often in real life. 

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    You do know that it’s possible to double down on contraception, right? You can get the chance of pregnancy down to near zero if you use more than one method.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1379551677 Ullrich Fischer

     One more object lesson re the downsides of regarding as authorities on anything, people who know nothing about anything yet claim to know everything there is to know about everything because an invisible friend told someone something thousands of years ago.

  • Liberated Liberal

    Yes, the only choices they see are:

    1) You never have sex again.  Period.
    2) You take the chance of getting pregnant, and if you die, you die a noble death carrying a baby.  Nobody cares that there isn’t anyone to take care of that baby afterwards.   

    End of story.

  • Poundcake

    The Pope actually commented on this same issue… the problem Catholics have with condoms is when they are used for contraception. If an infertile person uses a condom to protect his partner (who is also infertile) from an STD, that’s not immoral, because the condom is not acting as contraception. Same with homosexuals using a condom to prevent the transmission of HIV. Regardless of the sinfulness of homesexual activity, the condom in that case is simply a tool and therefore not immoral. I believe that’s the gist of it, though I could be wrong.

  • Sarah E

    The Church doesn’t teach that… Argue and disagree all you want, but don’t misrepresent a position. It’s why our country is so polarized. Read instead (this is not an argument for why you should agree with us, but an explanation of what we believe so that you can stop misrepresenting it): (encyclicals always start off with the heavy theology stuff, so read the whole thing) 
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_15081988_mulieris-dignitatem_en.html

  • Stev84

    There was also a case in Brazil were a 9 year old girl was raped and got pregnant with twins. Physically there was no way she could go through with the pregnancy, so she had an abortion. The Church excommunicated the doctors and her mother, but not the rapist. And the Vatican fully supported the local archbishop:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/03/11/brazil.rape.abortion/
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7930380.stm

  • Sam

    wow they are FUCKING INSANE.

  • Sam

    I was a mistake. but that’s just the point… a stupid mistake… not a “planned” never-using-contraception-BS. 
    :)

  • Sam

    If sperm were an antidepressant (the 3rd article) everyone (including men) should be stirring it into their cereal. SICK.

  • Sam

    yeah, i don’t trust this NFP thing. catholics should just rape their wives. 

    i really hate catholics now.

  • guest.

    Okay, most of these comments and indeed this post are not using science, not using philosophy, not using logic as justification; but rather using the fallacious and random desires of your heart for justification. To view a moral question with a relative view as justification is disordered and rejected in the realms of high scholars. To think that in your 0-110 years of life, compared to thousands of years of study by billions and billions of people in the Catholic church, is enough study of moral truth; I would beg to differ. At the very least, even if you don’t agree with Church views. approach these moral subjects with respect and dignity; and I shall attempt to do the same (for I too am under-qualified compared to the history of the Church). Research your facts, understand the ground your opponent stands on, sympathize, unite, do not divide. Love, not hate, compassion, not rejection, self control, not ranting. An openness to truth is key, and just because we don’t like the truth doesn’t mean it is no longer true. I do hope that everyone has a great day. :)

  • http://twitter.com/DominicCooray Dominic Cooray

    Nope that’s not the Catholic worldview at all. You should read the Catholic argument more carefully before concluding that it’s insane otherwise there’s no dialogue, just useless chatter.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    To view a moral question with a relative view as justification is disordered and rejected in the realms of high scholars. To think that in your 0-110 years of life, compared to thousands of years of study by billions and billions of people in the Catholic church, is enough study of moral truth; I would beg to differ.

    And I would beg to differ with you. The people in the Roman Catholic church who made these rules are human beings. They are not special. They are not magical. They have no unique insight into morality. I am not going to treat them with deference. Their beliefs are not worthy of respect or dignity.

  • http://twitter.com/DominicCooray Dominic Cooray

    It’s ‘mind-numbing’ because once you read it your mind freezes, you run back to your talking point that ‘Catholics are insane and their teaching on contraception is a joke’. You refuse to ask yourself what that paragraph means, refuse to see sources outside of your own world-view. If you did, you might still disagree, but you wouldn’t mock, your mind wouldn’t be left so numb.

    Just in case you’re willing to un-numb your mind, here’s one example of some harms that contraception has led to – just the social harms, not the health risks:
    http://www.nd.edu/~afreddos/courses/264/popepaul.htm 

    You might disagree, but at least be honest and consider the opposing view in some depth first.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Marc Barnes believes that artificial contraception is evil. The Catholic church think it’s a moral evil for a couple to have sex without allowing for the possibility of pregnancy. I’m not misinterpreting that. I understand perfectly well, and I consider it insane. Just because the hierarchy of the Catholic church invents a rule, that doesn’t mean that anyone is obligated to take it seriously.

  • guest.

     And you think you do have a better insight into morality? You are a human being as well; with far less research and study than the Church has done into morality. If their beliefs are not worthy of respect or dignity then in turn, by the same logic, your beliefs are not to be respected either. However, it is fortunate that this logic is flawed. I never said the rules in the church were ‘magical’, but they are special because of the amount of history before arriving at each and every conclusion. Therefore, there is much more credibility to these conclusions than at first meets the eye– without even commenting on whether the Church’s conclusions are right or wrong; they still have the time and energy to back it up. (and lives! Billions upon billions of people have died for the up-keeping of morality within the Church)

    I respect your points Anna, but I do not agree. :)

  • Paul

    Yes.  Total and life-giving…if God so chooses.  Marital union should never be diminished by taking a self giving element away.  It is meant to be unitive and procreative…again if God so chooses.  By taking a pill (which many cause abortions) or wearing a condom, you purposely block the highest end of that union to begin with.  That, by design…means you only give part of yourself…thus making it an act of lust and selfishness.  Bullshit?  Not in the least.  Truth?  Absolutely. 

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Yes, I’m just as capable of forming opinions on morality as a bunch of old men. Again, they are human beings. They have no special or divine powers. They can make up whatever rules they want, but no one else has to take them seriously. I do not consider their beliefs to be worthy of respect or dignity because they are inventing them. These men are no more qualified to make moral pronouncements than anyone else, and they are basing them on what I believe to be pure fiction, mythology, in fact. Their rules are not only ludicrous; they are harmful and regressive. 

    Why do you blindly believe what these men tell you? Why do you think they are qualified to make pronouncements like this? What makes them special? Surely you don’t think that every religious worldview is valid. Billions of people have dedicated their lives to Hindu mythology. That doesn’t mean that Hindu priests have any special insight into morality, no matter how much research and study they think they have done. Again, they are human beings. There is no reason to blindly follow them. Why not think for yourself?

  • Liberated Liberal

    Your argument doesn’t make sense in the context of NFP vs condoms.  When you are intentionally having sex when you know a woman isn’t fertile, you ARE “blocking the highest end of that union.” It may not be a physical barrier, but neither is a birth control pill.  NFP users are putting tremendous time and effort into avoiding that “highest end,” as a matter of fact, way MORE time and effort than a condom user.    

    “If God so chooses” one to be pregnant, and wants it no matter what, birth control pills, condoms and even an abortive procedure shouldn’t be able stop him.  He is God, after all.  If you use that logic for NFP, it must also extend to all other forms of contraception.  If he can bypass NFP cycles, but not hormonal pills or condoms, then wouldn’t that make these contraceptive devices more powerful than God?  If so, that’s an awesome admission.

    No matter what, using NFP is “purposely” avoiding “the highest end of that union.”  You are intentionally avoiding pregnancy.   You ARE having sex without the intent of being procreative, otherwise NFP wouldn’t even be a consideration.  You can’t claim NFP is a highly effective way to avoid pregnancy and say that it’s “life-giving” at the same time.  It’s one way or the other, not both. 

    Just as an added note: I don’t like BC pills and I find no fault with NFP.  I have no problem with anybody choosing not to use birth control, with choosing to have a million children, or choosing to use NFP.  Even speaking about how wonderful it’s been FOR YOU is great.  But to say you’re speaking the “Truth” by saying that NFP is magically procreative while being actively NOT procreative while condom usage is morally corrupt and not life giving while ALSO being actively not procreative is, well, as somebody so eloquently said “gobbledegook.”  

    A recommended read by a Catholic:
    “Logical Fallacies of the Anti-ABC Critics”:
    http://revising.tripod.com/fallacies.htm 

  • Liberated Liberal

    I’m going to be a bit snarky, but I’m also serious.

    As you say, thousands of years of moral research, reflection, belief, and unfortunately, authority, have led the current Pope and his administration (as well as most before him) to the conclusion that it is perfectly fine to hide, aide, and support priests who rape and abuse children.  They think they have the right and duty to actively hinder outside investigations of this abuse.  They truly believe that it is morally superior to brush these abuses under the rug and make sure the public is ignorant in order to “save face” over letting the public see what is going on, because hurting the church’s reputation is worse than hurting a child. This, to the Pope, is more important than those children.  And yet, he has the nerve to claim that condom usage is immoral?

    And don’t claim that he’s doing everything he can for those poor victims, because that’s a bold lie, and I dare you to give me any evidence to the contrary.  Doing an “investigation” that concludes that homosexual men are to blame is a disgusting excuse, and only puts the moral standing of the church even lower.

    I’m sorry.  Years of research do not make right.  The research is biased.  The research is hindered by preconceived notions of what these men think your “God” wants.  It is based on a “God” and a bible that we don’t believe in and that happens to be so morally objectionable that even Catholics don’t follow 90% of it.  Billions of lives DO NOT MAKE RIGHT, either, by the way.  The lives should not have been lost, but the loss proves nothing.

       

  • Liberated Liberal

    I read that.  Hideous.  No excuse for that under any circumstances.  

  • cburton103

    This is correct. Roughly a couple years ago, the Pope was speaking about condoms and he said that a male prostitute deciding to use a condom out of the desire to not spread disease to his clients would be a step towards moralization. The media jumped all over it and claimed that the Pope was “lifting the archaic ban on condoms”, etc.

  • cburton103

    That is a significant part of the biblical basis for the Catholic rejection of contraception. Ultimately, the rejection of contraception as immoral comes from what we Catholics call the natural law. Natural law, in part, says that actions (among other things) have a natural end (as in a destination, more or less). Anything that is done to disrupt the process from reaching its natural end is therefore objectively disordered. The common analogy here is eating. Eating is both pleasurable and nutritional. In the case of a bulimic individual, nutrition is thwarted by throwing up, thereby disrupting the process of eating from its natural end. We can easily see the fact that bulimia is an objectively disordered state. So it is with contraception. Sex is for both pleasure (union of spouses) and for procreation. If we use contraception during a sexual act, we remove the potential for procreation while retaining the pleasure. Therefore, according to natural law, contracepted sex is objectively disordered. The negative social, health, environmental, etc., effects of contraception are secondary reasons for contraception being objectively disordered, and they also point to the fact that contraception is not in line with our nature as human beings.

    Thank you for asking a question instead of assuming you know the ins and outs of Catholic teaching. There has been an enormous amount of false information about Catholics on this post. That being said, most modern Catholics haven’t helped the issue much by learning, practicing, and defending their faith.

    Hopefully that helped!

  • cburton103

    You’re correct in pointing out faulty logic in Paul’s post here. Certainly, either NFP or artificial birth control can be used to avoid pregnancy. For Catholics, the essential issue is that the end doesn’t justify the means. As Catholics, NFP is seen as being consistent with natural law, and is thus a just means of avoiding pregnancy when a couple decides it’s not prudent to have a child. Contraception, on the other hand, is not consistent with natural law because it attempts to remove the procreative aspect from that sexual act and detriments the human person and society in the pursuit of pleasure. Many Catholics and non-Catholics are a bit confused on the logic behind the decision, so I just wanted to clear things up a bit here.

  • Jane

    Ugh…Marc Barnes, the Eustace Scrubb of Catholicism…

    Don’t lend any more credibility to this arrogant, ignorant, rude, ill-mannered, narcissistic little turd than he’s already being given by Patheos, please. 

  • Liberated Liberal

    I would still like to know how using NFP, which is actively avoiding procreation while having sex, ISN’T disordered then, while any other form contraception is?  

    And saying that it is “open to life” is nothing but a baseless lie.  You are working very hard to have sex during a time when you know (or desperately hope) that you are infertile and therefore, won’t get pregnant.  So, the sex act is no longer procreative.  

    I’m not arguing against your natural end argument (except that it’s stupid in that 99% of the food most people eat in modern society isn’t natural and leads to poor consequences, lack of exercise, driving cards, looking at TV screens, etc. are ALL things that prevent humans from functioning naturally and I don’t see any Catholic on a crusade against those things), I’m arguing that you have no foundation for arguing that NFP = brilliantly moral while ABC = EVIL.  None.

  • Liberated Liberal

    Right, but I’m arguing that NFP does not necessarily comply with “Natural Law” any more than a condom does.  They just say that it does, with absolutely nothing to back up the assertion.  

    I will argue that taking temperature, tracking mucous during every wipe, feeling cervix position and then having sex at a time when hormones usually dictate that a woman isn’t really interested in sex while hoping desperately that you read the signs correctly is not any more natural than waiting until a man and a woman are emotionally, mentally and physically in tune with each other and slipping on a condom.  Hell, use a sheepskin one if you’re not concerned about STDs, and you’re getting more and more natural.  

    If they’re trying to argue that the “natural end” of sex must be that sperm reaches the vagina/cervix/uterus, then birth control pills (which contain hormones naturally found in a woman’s body anyway) would allow that to happen.

    In either case, you ARE taking away the procreative nature of sex.  And when you get to the heart of it, sin is all about intention, and if you have sex intending to avoid pregnancy, well, then you’ve sinned.  Period.  And NFP aided in that sin.

    And until Catholics live their entire lives naturally, I won’t take it a bit seriously, regardless of how much justification they give.  Nothing they do in any other point in their lives is even remotely natural – not in the way they move, eat, drink and live.  Coffee and alcohol are not natural, but having volunteered for years to help set up for the Knights of Columbus meetings, I can tell you both were consumed like lives depended on it.  Taking medication isn’t natural, and actually prevents the body in taking the  natural course of fighting or giving in to the illness.  Either be consistent or nothing Catholics say will even matter.


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