Interesting and well-done story at the WaPo, which profiles a young woman who actually took the time to learn the Catholic position on our bodies and birth control and “fell in love with it”:
Ashley McGuire fell in love with the Catholic Church five years ago, after reading its teaching against artificial birth control.
McGuire, then a skeptical Protestant college student, initially saw the ban as a mandatory march to “domestic slavery.” But the more she read, the more she was blown away by the idea that sex — and women’s bodies — must be about more than physical pleasure.
Okay, that’s inartful but stick with it. President Obama and Sec’y Sebelius have opened a door, and young women with fresh perspectives and no old resentments or rhetoric playing like tapes in their heads are walking through.:
Yet the images the church uses to promote its own method of birth control freaked her out. Pamphlets for what the church calls natural family planning feature photos of babies galore. A church-sponsored class on the method uses a book with a woman on the cover, smiling as she balances a grocery bag on one hip, a baby on the other.
“My guess is 99 out of 100 21st-century women trying to navigate the decision about contraception would see that cover and run for the hills,” McGuire wrote in a post on her blog, Altcatholicah, which is aimed at Catholic women.
McGuire, 26, of Alexandria is part of a movement of younger, religiously conservative Catholic women who are trying to rebrand an often-ignored church teaching: its ban on birth control methods such as the Pill. Arguing that church theology has been poorly explained and encouraged, they want to shift the image of a traditional Catholic woman from one at home with children to one with a great, communicative sex life, a chemical-free body and babies only when the parents think the time is right.
The movement sees an opportunity: President Obama’s decision this year to require most religious employers, like employers in general, to provide contraception coverage. The move angered Catholics so much that it cracked open a discussion about contraception that has been largely taboo for decades because there’s so much disagreement about it.
You’ll want to read the whole thing, and consider what we’ve talked about before the paradox of negative-seeming stories that end up resulting in positives.