Birth Control: The Movie

Fred Clark has been writing a lot about evangelical Christians’ growing opposition to birth control.

Just five years ago it would have been unthinkable for American evangelicals to rally against contraception. Religious opposition to contraception was strictly a Catholic thing and evangelicals, as Protestants, did not accept the baroque theological arguments supporting that Catholic teaching.

That has begun to change. White evangelicals have begun adopting Catholic language and Catholic teaching regarding contraception. This change has not occurred due to any new theological or biblical understanding, but due to a political change — due to white evangelical opposition to President Barack Obama.

This is deeply weird. Five years ago I would not have imagined that this strange development could even be possible. Five years ago, the very same white evangelicals now denouncing contraception could not themselves have imagined such a thing.

He’s right. If you want an illustration of what he’s talking about, take a look at the trailer for Birth Control: The Movie.

Let me offer a description from the documentary’s website:

We live in a culture where there is no fundamental difference on the issue of child prevention between the church of Jesus Christ and unbelievers. The fruit of our contraceptive culture is rancid and  many voices are calling for a restoration of the church. …

This engagingly fast-paced documentary takes a historic look at the modern church’s public embrace and overwhelming acceptance of child prevention as biblical theology. The reinterpretation of Scripture and rejection of our church history in the mid twentieth century allowed for responsible planned procreation.

No longer was the raising of godly seed seen as the primary purpose of marriage; but now marriage was redefined as a union “intended for companionship and mutual spiritual aid”. This new view, brought on by the European spread of eugenics, brought rise to a departure from centuries of universal agreement among all branches of the church. In essence, the church was complicit in championing “privacy in marriage” to allow the liberty of responsible planned parenthood, heedless of scriptural authority or precedence.

Our follow up documentary … will theologically and philosophically prove that birth control and family planning is truly not up to us, but up to God to control. Using logical argumentation, we will provide evidence for, and tackle the objections to, some of the greatest arguments for a life without contraception; a life where God is in control of our womb.

So, what is going on here exactly?

For one thing, there is currently being bleed from the Quiverfull movement, which holds that fertility should be left up to God and that birth control should be rejected entirely, into mainstream evangelicalism. Now don’t take that for more than it is—the individuals interviewed for this movie include Doug Phillips, Kevin Swanson, Geoff Botkin, R. C. Sproul Jr., and Nancy Campbell, not exactly your mainstream evangelicals. However, the flap about birth control over the past year has created an environment conducive to the spread of their message. The anti birth control fringe of evangelicalism is hard at work moving the entire paradigm in their direction—and as the Slactivist points out, they’re having some success.

Over the coming couple of weeks, I’m going to be talking more about this issue. I’m going to look at evangelical leaders’ positions on birth control and I’m going to talk about evangelicals’ growing fixation on the concept of a “contraceptive mentality,” which was originally a Catholic idea. To give you a hint of what this concept is all about, I’ll quote from the movie’s director: “Contraceptives are the cause of abortion. In fact, if we did not have contraceptives in this country, we would not have anywhere near the abortion rate we do now.”

More on this to come.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Nea

    if we did not have contraceptives in this country, we would not have anywhere near the abortion rate we do now

    No, we wouldn’t. It would be *higher.*

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      They actually think they have a case for contraception leading to more abortions, which I will lay out in a latter post. I mean, it’s nonsense, but it’s not just an assertion, they back it up with actual reasons (however convoluted they may be!).

      • Michael Busch

        By “actual reasons” do you mean “willful disregard of reality” ?

    • attackfish

      Perfect.

  • http://republic-of-gilead.blogspot.com Ahab

    “Child prevention” … “Eugenics” … I’m seeing a lot of anti-reproductive rights buzzwords in there. Something tells me this documentary will contain lots of emotional rhetoric and distortions of science and history, but little fact.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      That guy doesn’t even know what eugenics was. It did NOT necessarily involve “slaughtering lesser races.” That would be eugenics taken to its ultimate extreme and that’s not what was supported by Margaret Sanger and many other people of her generation. Generally, eugenics meant encouraging and incentivizing reproduction among “desirable” people and limiting or preventing it among “undesirable.” This is still really, really fucked up but they should at least get their facts straight. Although I guess I should expect that from people who lie all day long.

      Also, Margaret Sanger believed a lot of messed up things when you look closely at her life but her embrace of eugenics came later and was most likely a pragmatic move to make birth control more socially acceptable. Not that this makes it okay but it’s important history.

      • Steve

        Not a lot of people know that the US had a very extensive and popular eugenics movement. “Undesirable” people were sterilized against their will and/or without their knowledge as late as the 1970s. In fact the Nazis took their inspirations from the American eugenics movement, and leading American eugenics advocates praised Germany for realizing their ideas so well in the early to mid 30s.

      • Karen

        Most everyone in the middle and upper classes in the early 20th century believed in eugenics. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in Buck v. Bell that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Teddy Roosevelt frequently ranted about white “race suicide” by which he meant Anglo-Saxons. It was still an appealing idea, but Sanger was in good company.

  • http://thewordsonwhat.wordpress.com/ Rob F

    The synopsis here sounds like it’s the sort of propaganda films that would be one of the few films extremely sheltered QF/CP types would be allowed to watch. Other sorts of magnum dopuses would be Indoctrination, Demographic Winter and Monstrous Regiment of Women. IIRC, the last one definitely and probably the middle one are discussed in the Joyce book.

    LIbby Anne (and everyone else here), were you made to watch these sorts of propaganda films?

    • http://republic-of-gilead.blogspot.com Ahab

      Ah yes, the right-wing Gunn brothers. I’ve heard of those films and their connections to the San Antonio Christian Independent Film Festival (UGH!), but I’ve never seen them.

  • Nebuladancer

    White evangelicals have begun adopting Catholic language and Catholic teaching regarding contraception … due to a political change — due to white evangelical opposition to President Barack Obama.

    I have to disagree that this is a very recent phenomenon. I was taught in the mid nineties by a very normal, average evangelical, a graduate of Johnson Bible College, (which is part of the Christian churches/Churches of Christ movement – not known for being extremely fundamental) that oral birth control actually caused abortions before you even knew you were pregnant. Their assertion was that at least some forms of birth control, such as the pill as well as the IUD was murder. Their suggestion was to look to scripture and come to the understanding that god would never give you more than you could handle and that conception was really in his hands, not ours. This was in the 90′s. It was partially in response to this that my Dh and I became quiver full early on in our marriage. We were trying to be scripturally consistent.

    • AnotherOne

      This is exactly what I was going to say. I went to an evangelical college in the mid-90s, and I saw this trend beginning then with my friends who were getting married during and just after college. They were mainstream, middle-of-the-road evangelicals, and their reasoning was based on the birth-control-causes-abortions line, not on the broader “children are a blessing” quiverfull philosophy I had grown up with as a homeschooled child on the very conservative fringe of evangelicalism. So yeah, while this may have been exacerbated recently by all the hoopla around Obama and Obamacare, it’s a trend that’s been in the works for some time.

      • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

        33 years ago when this was a live issue for me (being at the time 1: evangelical and 2: engaged to be married) the anti-contraception school already existed in evangelicalism, though it was not the only or loudest voice. I recall Christian marriage books that frankly surveyed the all the options, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each, some even recommending the Pill as best. And I recall others (eg. the Trobisches, who AFAIK are Protestants) who advocated using only NFP methods, and even a few “Leave it all to the Lord” types. Sounds like the latter end of the spectrum may be gaining ground (or maybe just getting louder).

        BTW: What’s your definition of “extremely fundamental”? I was CoC from 1973 until 1980 (my wedding being the last time I darkened the door of the place), and doctrinally at least, they’re straight-up inerrantist and all the other standard dogmas.

  • John Small Berries

    “Contraceptives are the cause of abortion. In fact, if we did not have contraceptives in this country, we would not have anywhere near the abortion rate we do now.”

    I’m not terribly surprised to discover that the facts don’t bear out his claim.

    Abortion rates reached their highest in the early 1980s, and have been declining steadily ever since. In 2007-2008, before the right wing really jumped into their offensive to eliminate abortion, figures had come down to the lowest point they’d been at since the first full year of reporting after Roe v. Wade, both in relation to the total US population, and in relation to the number of live births.

    If Peeples’ claim were true, one would expect to see an uptick in abortion rates with the introduction of each new form of birth control, but there isn’t; per capita abortion rates have trended downwards since 1981, and declined every single year since 1990.

    Norplant became available in the United States in 1991. No uptick. Essure and transdermal contraceptive patches both became available in 2002. No uptick. “Plan B”, approved prescription-only in 1999, approved nonprescription in 2006; no uptick for either date.

    And even the raw number of abortions (not just per capita) has trended downwards since 1990; despite the population having increased by fifty million people since 1990, the number of abortions performed annually dropped fairly steadily from 1,608,620 in 1990 to 1,212,350 in 2008 – a reduction of nearly 25%.

    You would think that with more contraceptives being on the market and a steadily increasing population, the numbers would rise if Peeples’ claim were true. Instead, they have fallen. I don’t know if he’s deliberately lying or genuinely ignorant of the actual facts, but in either case his claim is false.

    (Sources: Abortion and live birth statistics by year, population statistics by year)

    • Alison

      You are so right. I read that quote and I thought, to borrow Rachel Maddow’s word, “Bullpuckey”. On its face, the claim is entirely disingenuous, and once one looks deeper, as you have, it completely falls apart. I wish I could understand what goes through the minds of some of these people, other than religiously-motivated anti-woman propaganda whenever they make claims like that. Clearly, they have not (in many cases) made best friends of reality.

      Oh wait, who am I kidding? I forgot that reality has a liberal bias. /snark

  • Stony

    I’m nominally Methodist at this point, and I sincerely doubt the UMC would go down this path. However, I can think of few other things that would drive me out of the church faster than the idea that I am a brood mare, up until menopause. This anti-contraception premise leads to one thing: dead women. Dead by pregnancy complications. Dead by back-alley abortions. Dead by starvation, poverty and privation. Very very dead.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    “There was a time when birth control was unthinkable.”

    Er no, there was a time when birth control was impossible. I’m pretty sure people THOUGHT about it plenty and would have really liked it a lot. Parents feeling the strain of having more children than they want or can afford, or women feeling the physical strain and health effects of having more pregnancies than they can handle isn’t anything new. Also, it’s called coitus interruptus: they knew about it. Not hard to figure out.

    • http://lyricalpolyphony.blogspot.com Mary

      Actually, birth control is, well, not new. My great-grandma swore by certain methods that I would consider icky, but it worked. 3 kids. And this was in the 1930s-40s. I’m pretty sure certain cultures have been using contraception since the dawn of time, particularly those who didn’t have the luxury of supporting large families. We just have safer, more effective birth control now, and we’re not excommunicated for using it. Personally, I love birth control. Of pretty much any variety as long as it’s safe and practical. I do see the trend to demonize it, though, and that bothers me. I also see fundamentalists giving an inaccurate picture, and a manipulated set of data, of/for recent history.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        You’re right, of course. Instead of saying that birth control was impossible, I probably should have said “more difficult and less reliable.” But the point is controlling reproduction is something people have been attempting for a long time. We’ve just gotten more successful at it recently.

      • Steve

        Before rubber and latex condoms became available people used ones made from leather, linen or animal intestines. This goes back to the 17th century and even earlier. By the early 19th century they were widely available. It was only that widespread use that then led to laws against contraception.

    • Anat

      And herbal management of fertility also goes back to antiquity. The methods weren’t as effective as modern hormonal methods, but they helped with spacing births and keeping family size more-or-less manageable.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

        Indeed. Goldenrod tea is a fairly effective herbal contraceptive if drunk every day. The Romans used silphium, but it’s extinct now- as someone put it in a previous post, the Romans “fucked [silphium] into extinction”. There’s a few other herbal compounds that also have contraceptive effects, but as Anat said, they aren’t nearly as reliable as modern methods.

  • Phatchick

    The pill may be a recent thing but birth control is not. Since bible times, women have used one form or another to prevent or end pregnancies. The producers of this junk (and I use the word generously) need to do a little more history research.

  • Katherine A.

    I only got to 1:15 before I couldn’t watch anymore. I got so angry. I got feed a lot of this crap when I went to Catholic school. I started to research about birth control sometime after I left Christianity and I learned that they lied about this. If God thinks all children are such blessing why does he turn his back on poor children? There are so many children in the world starving, suffering, and dying because their parents can’t pay things we take for granted. Parents struggling to feed a family with low level jobs. Kids that can’t get good medical care and dying from easily-preventable causes. Why does God gives so many of his “blessings” to people-he should know- can’t handle so many children? Doesn’t he care that so many of them will die? In the video someone said something about birth control allowing adult pleasure without responsibility. Responsibility is NOT about having children. Responsibility is about the kind of parent you are to these kids. Also knowing when to stop is responsibility to all your existing children.

    • http://republic-of-gilead.blogspot.com Ahab

      I’ll wager that the Catholic Church opposes contraception and abortion because (1) lack of access to either means more unintended pregnancies, more births, and more future tithers, and (2) unending pregnancies are an effective means of controlling women. Evangelicals among the American Religious Right may be turning against contraception for similar reasons. I doubt they’ve thought about (or care about) the emotional distress, wasted potential, poverty, medical problems, and pregnancy-related deaths linked to this anti-contraception stance.

    • ako

      In the video someone said something about birth control allowing adult pleasure without responsibility. Responsibility is NOT about having children.

      I’ve noticed that in both anti-abortion and anti-birth control arguments, “responsibility” gets rather oddly redefined as “having babies”. Because apparently responsible people don’t go “I need to think about whether this is appropriate circumstances to bring an entire human into the world!”, they just focus on making sure they don’t get away with sex without babies.

      • thalwen

        Also it’s a very anti-child view from people who claim to be pro-child. I can’t imagine it makes a kid feel wanted and loved to know that they were born because they were a “responsibility.”

  • http://ripeningreason.com/ Rachel Marcy (Bix)

    Yeah, people have always tried to prevent and space pregnancies, we’re just way better at it now. And there were lots of folk remedies for “bringing on one’s bleeding”–aborting during the early stages of pregnancy–such as drinking teas made from toxic herbs. This isn’t a new “mentality,” we just have contraceptive methods that are safer and more effective.

    I’ve read that Margaret Sanger received more mail than anyone in history, at least up to that point. I read a letter to her from a woman in Montana who had multiple children and had suffered an obstetric fistula with her last delivery. The injury would have required surgical repair, which she didn’t have access to, because she lived in backwoods Montana. And she was pregnant again–which was Very Bad News-and absolutely terrified. (What the hell was wrong with her husband? Sex must have been excruciating for her.) I don’t know what happened to this woman, but I can only imagine that she lived in incredible pain and fear–if she survived her next birth.

    People wanted and needed contraception. When I hear that it’s about convenience, I want to scream. For some people, it’s about the bare minimum of survival. This is what lives looked like before modern contraception, and what lives still look like in areas of the world where people don’t have good access to contraceptives and medical care.

    • Katherine A.

      One of the things I learned when I researched birth control is that it goes back to Ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians would do pessaries (a device that is put into the vagina) made from crocodile dung. In Ancient Rome, there was this plant- silphium, that prevented pregnancy very well. It was so in demand those Old Romans lead it to extinction!

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Yeah, I’ve also read that silphium was used as an abortifacent.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

        Medieval women used pessaries of sheep wool dipped in oil, too.

  • butterfly5906

    Only tangentially related question: Kevin Swanson has popped up on multiple feminist and atheist sites repeatedly in the last week or two for saying stupid things, but I had never heard of him before. Who is he, and do people take his opinions seriously?

  • http://salami-orchids.blogspot.com PlumJo

    I’m curious to get opinions from those who’ve lived in an anti-birth control world about my birth control situation: due to a medical condition, I take a birth control pill medicinally– without it I’m completely non-functional for about 3/4 of the month because of the pain, the literally crippling pain. Without the “contraceptive” I’d be bedridden. Before the pill I’d spend 10 to 14 days lying in bed, in the fetal position, unable to move, unable to eat (the pain brought on nausea), crying for so many reasons. If I was lucky I got a few hours to be upright and among the living, but it didn’t last long. I could do nothing. The other 10 or so days in those 3/4 of the month were spent getting that sick and getting better. I literally had one normal week a month.
    My condition is not uncommon, even if my symptoms are severe. What do women like me do in that world? The pill allows me to *live*. What do they do? How do they take care of their families? Work at all, even if they don’t work outside the home? Can they even be married off, as it were? Are they locked in closets? Hidden away? Beaten?
    And, somewhat ironically, for a lot of reasons (none of them religious) I’m a 25 year old virgin– so its contraceptive abilities are basically side effects for me.

    It breaks my heart to think there are women in pain like me who can’t get treatment because of the non-existent deaths of non-existent babies…is that what happens? Is it seen as punishment for sins? Is it just okay that these people suffer?

    • KristinMH

      In another time you would have been a permanent invalid and lived with one relative or another until you died. If you were lucky enough to be part of an upper- or middle-class family, that is. I don’t know what happened to working-class women with your condition.

      As for what modern anti-contraception activists would have to say about you, at least some of them (I’m.thinking of Rachel Scott, for one) would tell you it was caused by either your own sins or those of your ancestors, specifically abortion, contraception, or just a bad attitude towards their reproductive functions. No, I’m not kidding. You have this debilitating condition because your GRANDMOTHER resented her menstrual cramps.

      • http://salami-orchids.blogspot.com PlumJo

        Yeah, the modern anti-contraception attitudes is more what I’m looking for, especially since, from what I know about medical history I probably wouldn’t have survived infancy– but that’s another story, haha. I got away from my point a bit– what I meant was modern contraception makes me a functional person, so would the anti-contraceptive movement find it okay medicinally? If not, then, what would my life be if I were in a Quiverfull family? Or followers of the Pearls? Or believed in courtship? Complementarianism? If these people had control of my life, what would it be?

        That’s really interesting, though, that even the modern idea of the cause would be not just my sins or ancestors’ sins, but so specifically the women’s attitudes toward their own cycles. It makes sense now that you say it, because aren’t women essentially being punished for being women in the first place? So resenting that making things worse, what better punishment? Wow.

    • Rootboy

      I’m mostly familiar with the Catholic world. Anti-birth-control Catholics have a few different routes for a situation like that. A few would say what you do is okay, because you’re taking medicine for your pain, and the infertility is just an (in their view, unfortunate) side-effect. If there was a treatment you could take that would spare you the pain but leave you still ovulating they’d say you should do that instead.

      The more hard-line attitude would tie it in to the whole Catholic suffering fetish and tell you the pain is just your cross to bear and the right way to deal with it is prayer. Heck, a woman who puts up with a lifetime of debilitating pain to avoid the sin of hormonal contraception sounds like a candidate for sainthood to these lapsed-Catholic ears.

      • Anat

        Of course, the majority of Catholics ignore the teachings about birth-control in the first place.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        It is true that there those even among the shrinking ranks of Catholics who follow the Church’s teachings on birth control who would make an exception for women who are using it for other health reasons besides contraception. But the fact that the political policies they support (re: insurance coverage etc.) don’t take these situations into account seems to trouble them little.

      • http://salami-orchids.blogspot.com PlumJo

        Too true, Petticoat– the political insurance battles over contraception terrify me.

      • Christine

        If there was a treatment that existed that spared the pain but still let women ovulate, the Religious Right should be pushing it left right and centre. It would make oral contraceptives much less attractive to market, driving the price up and therefore punishing people who used them. It would also sell really well with women who want to start families.

  • Sophie

    I was raised Catholic in the UK, and whilst I was aware from an early age that Catholics weren’t meant to use contraception, I’m not all that sure where I learned that. I went to a Catholic secondary school (age 11-18), my government-mandated sex education was as minimal as the school could get away with. One PSHE (Personal Social Health Education) lesson in first year which was sex is for married people and making babies, one science lesson on the biology of intercourse and pregnancy in 2nd year and then another PSHE lesson in third year which was STIs come from all the gay people. My school was partly funded by the church and so was able to avoid parts of the laws relating to sex education as it was classed as a faith school.

    I studied biology at A Level, and in the second year my non-Catholic teacher had the choice of two optional units. He chose to teach us the one that included a section relating to human reproduction and contraception. At that time he had been the head of science for 5 years, when the head teacher found out we were being taught that unit my science teacher was informed that his contract would not be renewed! Anyways my group turned up for our first lesson of that unit, and our teacher said that he had just had the other half of our class (a time-tabling error meant that for one lesson a week our class of 20 was split into a group of 15 and a group of 5, which meant our poor teacher taught the same lesson twice in a row) and he was absolutely horrified by our lack of knowledge regarding sex and that instead of his planned lesson we were going to ask him questions about sex. It was a great lesson! I happened to be in the group of 5, and by this point we were all very comfortable with each other. He also went over everything the other group had asked, and some of it was both terrifying and hilarious. For example one of the boys, who had the reputation of being very experienced, had not known you could catch STIs through oral sex. To be honest our lack of knowledge was hardly a surprise, by this point my year group already had the highest pregnancy rate the school had ever seen and the youngest teen mother (age 14).

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    “child prevention”???

  • smrnda

    I think the change is that being ‘pro life’ has turned into a pissing contest. You get someone who says “I’m opposed to abortion, exception for rape and incest.” So the next person, wishing to boost their pro-life credentials, goes “I’m more pro life than you! No abortions even for rape and incest!” They find out that some people are against birth control, and so, in the interests of winning this ridiculous pissing contest, they decide that they can’t possibly let Catholics be more pro-life than Evangelical Protestants, so they go ‘we’re just as pro life as Catholics! We’re against contraception!” (I’m guessing the next step is to argue that as the Catholic church values celibacy, that they aren’t as pro-life as the Quiverfull Fundamentalists.)

    I know that birth control was associated with eugenics, but the idea of eugenics is that someone else is going to say who gets to reproduce and who does not. It’s anti-choice, in the same way that demanding that nobody use birth control is anti-choice, so I don’t get the whole ‘pro-choice = eugenics’ slam that people want to bust out with. The issue with contraception in the present is choice, which is the opposite of what the eugenics movement was about, to the best of my knowledge.

    • Hilary

      “Pissing match” snort that made me laugh. And I think you are right.

  • http://AztecQueen2000.blogspot.com AztecQueen2000

    There’s another side of this issue. While the pro-life movement goes on and on about “teh pweshuss widdle baybeez,” how many women are having kids later in life, thus leading to problems? It would be interesting to study the rates of Down syndrome and other genetic and chromosomal anomalies associated with late childbearing in fundamentalist communities.

    • http://salami-orchids.blogspot.com PlumJo

      Sorta tangential, but Flora Jessop (ex-FLDS) has filmed and spoken about an infant graveyard on the outskirts of the FLDS community in Colorado City. Makes you wonder.

    • Christine

      Bear in mind that a study of problems associated with late childbirth in these communities would be complicated by the large number of birth defects already present in some of the communities. The Amish are the ones everyone knows about, but they’re hardly the only group to have married within the community for so long that they have high rates of anomalies. Even marrying second cousins is likely to cause problems now, because they’ve been doing it for so long.

  • Shari

    What I will never understand is the never-ending agenda to try to force everyone to go along with their beliefs. If they don’t like birth control, why can’t they just not use it? Why does everyone else have to conform to their beliefs?
    I’m starting to think a lot of these fundamentalists would really prefer living in another country, where women have no rights and the whole government is a religion.

    • Anat

      … preferably their own religion. Second best is someone else’s religion – they get brownie points for martyrdom. But the worst is a secular country with separation of church and state because in order to get those brownie points they have to come up with the idea that not being allowed to force their lifestyle on others is the worst persecution.

  • Katerina256

    **longtime lurker, first time commenter**

    This reminds me of how one of my friends had to use birth control to help treat her ovarian cyst and her father was having an outright fit about it because it somehow goes against Christianity, or something. I believe they are evangelical, though I’m not entirely sure, as many people I know are Church hoppers.

    When I told my parents about how some oppose birth control due to religious reasons, they were baffled. My mom seriously didn’t believe that anyone was opposed to birth control in this day and age. She thought my friend’s situation and how her father acted was weird. They are both are Presbyterian and also work in the health care field.

    I’m even baffled by it. Maybe I’m just ignorant about certain sects in Christianity, but I seriously thought we were past this whole contraception is bad thing, or rather, I didn’t even know anti-contraception people existed. I always knew sex was a big no-no before marriage in Christianity, but I figured many married couples used birth control to have a managable-sized family for them.

    I think the main thing I worry about these people is that they’re just going to keep getting more and more extreme in their views, and on top of it, trying to force everyone else to live by their extremism. People who just listen to “authority” especially those who aren’t even qualified and knowledgable about whatever they are for/opposing and just accept without ever researching anything to see if it’s even true, worries me. It keeps a lot of people ignorant and having lots of ignorant people is quite scary.

    (I apologize for the long comment. I tend to ramble a lot).

    • Hilary

      Don’t apologize when you have something to say that’s worth saying. Speak up and join in!!

  • http://badatheist.wordpress.com/ Bill Robinson

    Given that those of the Catholic faith use birth control at the same high rates as everyone else, I do not think the evangelicals are going to be able to change their flock’s behavior. At least not through preaching and the use of biased and idiotic propaganda movies.

    However I do worry that they might reduce birth control usage through the political process and by aligning themselves with the Catholic church on this issue. So far they have had some success in cutting back funding for Planned Parenthood which is the number one provider of contraceptive care for poorer women.

    I hope though that with the number of people who use and support birth control that eventually there will be a backlash against these evangelicals and the party that supports their goals.

  • http://badatheist.wordpress.com/ Bill Robinson

    Pardon me for doing two posts, but I just remembered a story that I thought relevant and humorous.

    I am currently in graduate school and taking a course about Hispanic America. My professor has a friend who, during his time in the Peace Corps, fell in love with Guatemala. So much so that he went to seminary school and became a priest and took over a church in the back of the back woods of Guatemala.

    The families there were having a severe problem. About every 18 months they would have another child because they had no access to birth control. They were not stupid, they knew that every child born was another mouth that they now had even less money to feed. My professor showed a picture of one young family with seven kids. They wanted birth control, but, as I said, they had no access.

    One problem at this time was that it was illegal to ship birth control into Guatemala unless it was for personal use. My professor’s friend, the priest, would occasionally travel back to the states and elsewhere. When he did he would always buy large boxes full of contraceptives to bring back to Guatemala to distribute to the people in his area.

    On coming through customs they would look at these large boxes of contraceptives and then back at him. He would shrug his shoulders and say “Personal use.”

  • Becca

    This is frighteningly voiced by old white men. I know that those are the only voices of the conservative right, but don’t you think with the devastating voting voices of women of all races and male African Americans and Hispanic Americans in this last election, they might have followed the Republican Right’s current example and at least added the legitimizing voice of women in a piece on Reproduction? Your earlier posts on the erasing of women in anti-abortion adds complement this film. Outside of the stock photos and a ten second female voice citing a statistic, the firm instruction and fatherly what’s-best-for-you knowledge of at least this clip (and i’m sure the whole film) are old white men. I’m sorry, after 8 years of Christian High School and College I’ve heard what you have to say. Let’s give someone else a voice.

  • Caitlin

    In almost any other forum, a bunch of middle aged, funny looking white guys spouting revisionist history and made up information like this would be a comedy show. I realize that some people take stuff like this very, very seriously, but it really rattles me that they can.

  • gimpi

    One historical tidbit I remember, in the past it was considered “high class” to give your wife “a year or two off” after the birth of a child, in order to recover. Of course, these “classy” men didn’t abstain. They patronized prostitutes. It was considered normal and reasonable, and no one cared about any child borne or aborted by “fallen women.” In fact, the “fallen” part often happened at birth. If a girl was born out of wedlock, she would likely be forced into prostitution, in the unlikely event she lived to grow up. This was one of the big arguments the Mormons used to portray polygamy as more moral than “gentile” marriages, if I recall correctly

    People who think the past was much more “moral” generally don’t know much about it.

  • http://lapalma-island.com Sheila Crosby

    We live in a culture where there is no fundamental difference on the issue of child prevention between the church of Jesus Christ and unbelievers.

    [Sigh]
    We live in a culture where there is no fundamental difference on the issue of washing up liquid between the church of Jesus Christ and unbelievers. Buddhist and Hindus wash up as well! The fruit of our washing up culture is rancid and many voices are calling for a restoration of the church. Stop washing your dishes now! Throw out your Fairy liquid!
    [End snark]

    Seriously, this argument boils down to, “Everybody else in the world thinks this is reasonable, therefore it must be wrong.

    WHAT?


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