Melinda provides her Catholic bona fides as follows:
I grew up in a Catholic home, and I am still a practicing Catholic. My mother’s great uncle was a Jesuit priest. I was very close with my great aunt, who was a nun, a teacher, and a principal. When I was little, she’s the one who sat with me and taught me how to read.
I attended Catholic schools every day of my life until I left home for college. At my high school, Ursuline Academy, the nuns made service and social justice a priority. In my work at our foundation, I believe I am applying the lessons I learned in school.
In the tradition of the great Catholic scholars, the nuns also taught us to question received teachings. One of the teachings most of my classmates and I questioned was the one saying that birth control is a sin.
Work with me here a minute, Melinda. This word “practicing” that you use: what does it mean? Weekly mass? Bi-weekly? Bi-monthly? Christmas, Easter, Palm Sunday, and Ash Wednesday? Funerals and weddings? When you’re touring Europe with Bill you pop in to some grand edifice to light a candle? Saying a prayer to St. Anthony when you misplace a million? I try not to be so vulgar as to judge a Catholic’s fidelity to their faith by the way in which they actually, y’know, practice it, but you brought it up.
And, trust me, there’s no better way to crack up a Catholic who actually works in the Church than to begin with the “I was raised a Catholic” routine. Catholics who know both “jack” and “squat” about the faith use that line all the time as if to say, “I am the second coming of Avery Cardinal Dulles.” It means nothing, particularly given your age. Catholic education from the 1970s to the 1990s was like being schooled in the faith by Teletubbies.
So most of your classmates and you questioned that contraception was a sin? You mean, a bunch of teenagers questioned a teaching that might interfere with their propensity to rut like wild dogs in heat? Me too! Shocka!
Except … odd thing: I stopped thinking like a horny teenager when I became an adult and you, obviously, did not. (And Bill is so happy about that.) It’s one thing to think like a child when we are children, but as some guy in some book said, we eventually put away childish things.
Let us continue with the wisdom of Billionaire Spouse:
I’d like to talk to you about a totally uncontroversial idea…which unfortunately has become incredibly controversial.
This year, well over a billion couples will have sex. This couple is one. So is this one. This one. This one, too.
My idea is this:
- All these men and women should be free to decide whether they do, or do not, want to conceive a child.
- And they should be able to use one of these birth control methods to act on their decision.
You’d have a hard time finding many people who disagree with this idea.
That was a nice sleight of hand there, Melinda. Contraception was largely uncontroversial until recently because it was only recently that Barack Obama, your partner in creating a better world through the magical healing powers of tons of consequence-free sex, decided that even people who wanted to quietly opt-out of the contraception culture would no longer be allowed to do so. I don’t really recall some great effort on the part of the bishops to have the United States government ban the sale or distribution of contraception.
As for the “You’ll have a hard time finding many people who disagree with this idea,” well, I guess that depends on what methods of contraception we’re talking about. Do you mean practicing self-restraint and using natural methods? Do you mean chemically breaking an otherwise healthy female reproductive system? Do you mean permanent surgical mutilation of said reproductive system? Do you mean abortion, which is de facto contraception for millions? Specifics are your friends, Melinda.
This is a life and death crisis. Every year, 100,000 women who don’t want to be pregnant die in childbirth. About 600,000 women who don’t want to be pregnant give birth to a baby who dies in her first month of life.
I know everybody wants to save these mothers and babies.
Actually, no, Melinda, “everybody” doesn’t want to save these mothers and babies. I want to save these mothers and babies, as does the Church, which is why we support intense efforts to improve medical care to the poor. You want to save the mothers, but as for the babies? Meh. You’ve already said that you’re fine with contracepting or aborting them out of existence, so clearly you don’t really want to save them. Your idea of solving the problem of infant mortality, poverty, and hunger isn’t healthcare, improved economics, or food for poor people: it’s “make fewer poor people.”
A huge wad of text at in the middle of Melinda’s talk was all about the marvelous curative powers of not having kids. It makes you successful! Happy! Rich! Healthy! Why, you may even marry the richest man in the world!
Just look at France! I mean, sure, they’ve contracepted their way into negative population growth so well that, if this trend continues, they will go the way of the woolly mammoth and watch Notre Dame converted into a mosque as non-contracepting Muslims continue to have large families, but in the meantime several generations of French people just get to experience the childless wonder of being French and buying cool Microsoft products with all that extra scratch they would have spent raising large families.
Melinda ends with a long list of just what the wonderful curative powers of contraception can achieve. Some of these are things that, quite clearly, are not tied to contraception. Better health, food, education: these are all things that can be achieved without reducing the population.
Melinda, your husband can’t even get the Windows registry to function correctly. Why in the name of St. Hildegard’s Spotted Garter Belt should I believe he can cure hunger, poverty, and infant mortality in Africa through the magic of contraceptives?