I'm doing this post for Terry because she was brave enough to ask me what I really felt about birth control and why. Please understand that I am not a biblical or ethics scholar, nor am I an expert on historical matters. Everything I say is open to interpretation and disagreement. (If the disagreement is on my blog, however, it WILL be polite disagreement, or it will be deleted.) So, here we go... I think birth control is "bad," generally speaking, because...
It has a bad history.
Usually when we think of "eugenics," we think of Adolf Hitler. He was a bad guy and wanted to rid the world of the Jewish race and other ethnicities he considered inferior. We have people like this everywhere, in all times and in all places. Why it is that we think usually of *just* Hitler is a bit beyond me when we discuss topics like these. But, in any event, "eugenics" or "racial cleansing" or whatever name it goes by presumes that some people are better than others. Get rid of the people who aren't as great and we can breed the super-race with less disease and other problems.
Wouldn't it be nice to be rid of alcoholism from the gene pool? Homosexuality? Cleft lip or club foot? How 'bout autism? Yep, just kill 'em all and we'll do better next generation. Keep killing off the infirm or disabled and eventually the gene pool will improve. We'll just breed people like puppies!
Do you know what the real evil is in my opinion in thinking along these lines? It's that Hitler was not alone. Hitler had a nation behind him. Today's "Planned Parenthood" was actually founded by a eugenicist named Margaret Sanger. We don't want those underclass, infirm or Negro to have too many kids. Let's help them so they don't breed so much and muck up our country. Now, of course, Planned Parenthood wants to distance itself from its history, but it is history nonetheless. Birth control becoming readily available is thanks in large part to people like Sanger. I just have to point that out as one of several reasons I personally find birth control repugnant... as the mom of two autistic children, when a doctor tries to foist birth control on me, I am personally offended. I wonder at their getting into my personal life when it was NOT requested, and I also wonder if they don't think I shouldn't go off and have more "defective" autistic children. Either way, the doctor needs a good smack, but I don't want to go to jail because I have too many kids at home who need me. ;]
There are also some methods of "birth control" like abortion and the IUD which actually kill living children, but for the purposes of brevity I'm not discussing those here. I will close by saying that you can't judge every product or position on a political subject by its history... I like Volkswagens and think they're cute... but the historical context DOES matter.
Deception: lack of "consequences" (pregnancy, disease, emotional)
Unfortunately or not, sex is all bound up with pregnancy, disease, emotions and morality. I feel that birth control, especially as it is discussed in public school, seems to give the idea that "consequences" like pregnancy can be avoided through its use. Most teens have good brains in their heads, but they're receiving some very conflicting messages from peers, media, school, parents, etc. Throw in some overwhelming hormones and there's bound to be a problem every now and then. Pregnancy is the least of them! I have to wonder if birth control weren't as available if we wouldn't see fewer teens having premarital sex.
Just think of the diseases and emotional heartache teens can get into. I've heard somewhere that about one in four women has the HPV virus that can cause cervical cancer. There are people who have DIED from cervical cancer. People aren't perfect, and even if *some* were, their husbands or wives might not be. I'm concerned that an overabundance of birth control, readily available without even asking (like I said, it's almost forced during every doctor visit!) is leading us to no longer seriously consider the consequences of sex outside marriage. Within marriage, I believe this leads people to believe they can time their babies perfectly as they wish... and we all know stories where this is NOT necessarily the case!
No mention of it in the Bible
Ok, like I said, I think Volkswagens are cute. Just because they aren't mentioned in the Bible doesn't necessarily make them evil. But I do see verses about many children being a blessing, verses about being knit together in a mother's womb and verses about children being like arrows in the hand of a warrior. What kind of warrior goes into battle with just one or two arrows? Thinking out loud here.
I'm not militant
I'm not militant about it, though. I can't say anything like, "Mrs. X is not following the will of God because she had her tubes tied!" Hopefully I never came across like that. I'm just sharing some of the reasons why *I* don't think that birth control is God's ideal for marriage, based on my limited understanding of God's will and the Bible. My getting into someone else's marriage or second-guessing person X or Z is just as bad as the doctors and their pushiness at my appointments. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I know some folks that think that if you prevent a child from being there in the first place by NOT trying for a child when you think you MIGHT be fertile, it's just as bad as aborting a child because you're limiting the will of God and the child that "should" have been there. Which I don't follow. Actually, we're not planning to have any more children but of course God has sovereignty over all our lives. We're just not using birth control to prevent them.
So we'll end the post by saying that folks who believe birth control should be used by almost everyone at some point are probably angry at my post, and people who think you should NEVER stop trying for more children are probably mad, too. Sorry to disappoint everyone. :]