Thursday, August 22, 2013

Birth Control: Always winter, but never Christmas

Birth Control: Always winter, but never Christmas.
Birth Control: Always winter, but never Christmas. Picture credit: Winter in Owensboro, Kentucky, United States 16 February 2015 (CC: BY-SA 4.0).


In C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 2), a White Witch ruled Narnia for a hundred years, making it "always winter, but never Christmas." In this post, I would like to reflect on the phrase "always winter, but never Christmas" in the context of the demographic winter and the Birth Control.

The Birth Control Movement can be traced to Margaret Sanger when she published the monthly periodical, Birth Control Review, in 1917, three years after she coined the word "birth control."  Birth control is like winter.  Just as winter suppresses the growth of of new life in Spring, birth control suppresses the bringing forth of a new life, the baby springing from his mother's womb.  If Mary practiced birth control, either by contraception (by saying 'No' to Angel Gabriel's announcement that she'll be the Mother of Christ) or by abortion, then Christ would not have been born, and there would be no Christmas.  Thus Birth Control for women is a Long Winter, But Never Christmas--a long stretch of barrenness that never leads to birth.  It is an unnatural barrenness unlike that of Rachel, for Rachel despaired to have a child.  As she said to Jacob, "Give me children or I shall die!" (Gen 30:1).  Rather, women who practice birth control would rather say, "Give me not a child or I shall die!"  Isn't this the essence of the argument of Sen. Pia Cayetano when she argued the merits of the Reproductive Health Law by quoting the statistic that there are 11 mothers who die each day from giving birth? Sen. Pia Cayetano's solution to maternal death is not better hospitals or health care to women but simply the elimination of the "mater" or "mother" in the word "maternal": give women contraceptives so that they don't become pregnant, give birth, and become mothers.

It is now 2013. Next year, 2014, is the 100th anniversary of the word "birth control".  "Birth control" is such a deplorable word--a phrase in English, it is true, but, nevertheless, only a single word in German: Geburtenkontrolle.  In Narnia, the Kingdom of the White Witch, Jadis, was destroyed when she uttered the "Deplorable Word."  What that word is we don't know, but it has the power to lay waste an entire kingdom except the person who uttered it.  As Aslan the Lion explained to the children:
It is not certain that some wicked one of your race will not find out a secret as evil as the Deplorable Word and use it to destroy all living things. And soon, very soon, before you are an old man and an old woman, great nations of your world will be ruled by tyrants who care no more for joy and justice and mercy than the Empress Jadis. Let your world beware. That is the warning.

Birth control or Geburtenkontrolle was such a Deplorable Word.  As Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ said:
It must seem strange to call anything our “gravest moral responsibility.” There are so many moral problems in the world today. How can any one of them pose our gravest responsibility. But so it is. In my judgment, the contraception mentality is the single deepest issue facing Western society. I call it the contraception mentality. But we could just as well call it the contraception ideology. It was centuries in the making. It is devastating in its consequences. And it is at the root of the massive assault on the human family. Nothing less is at stake than the survival of Western, and with emphasis, American society
 And Fr. Hardon enumerated the ill-effects of contraception as listed in the Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI:


Consequences of Artificial Methods
17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Let's summarize Pope Paul VI's main points--prophecies, actually--regarding the disastrous consequences of contraceptives:
  • more marital infidelity
  • general lowering of moral standards
  • man forgets the reverence due to a woman
  • man reduces a woman to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires
  • intervention of the state in the promotion of contraceptives

The last is now true: Philippine government has enacted the Reproductive Health Law which makes it the business of the government to provide contraceptives to the poor and teach sex education to the young.  And its fate now hangs in balance in the Supreme Court, for many challenged the law's constitutionality.  But if we base it from the experience of Western countries, then we can conclude that the introduction of contraceptives have wreaked havoc on marriages and family through marital infidelity that leads divorce.  There is now a lowering of moral standards as seen from fornication between the unmarried that you always see in TV and movies.  The reverence due to the the woman has been lost and she has been reduced to a sex object in pornographic movies and magazines, especially in the internet.  Divorce, fornication, and pornography are the three great evils of society that arose from contraception.  We can add one more: abortion.  For what is abortion but contraception of the  last recourse when all other forms of contraception failed--condoms, pills, diaphragms, spermicides, etc.?  Pro-Life.org of Ohio listed the grim statistics:
  • Over 1.29 million people were killed through abortion in the United States in 2002.(1)
  • Over 48 million people have been killed through abortion in the United States since the Roe vs. Wade decision.(2)
  • Approximately 42 million abortions occur every year worldwide. (3)
  • Abortion killed 73 times more Americans than died in battle in our last 12 wars combined.(4)
  • To equal the average number of abortion deaths in one year, the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center would have had to have been more than 400 times more lethal.
  • Abortion worldwide kills more people every 2 months than the Holocaust did in 12 years.
  • 48 million people equals approximately 16 percent of the current population of the United States.
  • The number of people killed by abortions since 1973 exceed the current populations of each of the 50 states, including California.
  • Almost 1 out of every 4 Americans babies are aborted.(1)
  • This number is greater than the current populations of Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, and Denmark COMBINED.
  • It would have taken about 342 Hiroshima type nuclear attacks to kill as many people as abortion has killed since Roe vs. Wade.
In his book, Fr. John Powell, SJ calls Abortion the Silent Holocaust.


Our Lady of Fatima said:
"If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated."   
Various nations will be annihilated.  Think about this phrase for a moment.  This annihilation of nations may not be just be because of wars, even of nuclear wars that result to nuclear winter, where large amounts of soot and smoke will rise after the nuclear strike, blocking out the sun, creating winter for months and years.  The annihilation of nations can also be of something else: when entire nations commit suicide by not having children due to contraception and abortion. Take a look at the total fertility rate map by nations according to the CIA World Factbook's 2013 data.  The red to violet areas have 5 to 8 children per woman while those in blue areas have 0 to 2 children per woman.  Notice that there are more areas that are blue; only Africa is predominantly red and orange.  Philippines is yellow at 3 to 4 children per woman.  Since the replacement rate should be 2.1 births per woman, then most countries around the world cannot anymore replace themselves and will soon slowly grow old and vanish from the earth.  It is a cold, bleak future for humanity.  It is a demographic winter.

The children asked Our Lady of Fatima what kind of sins lead many souls to Hell.  Our Lady said: "More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason."  Sins of the flesh.  These are the offenses to chastity: lust, masturbation, fornication, pornography, prostitution rape, and homosexual acts (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Art. 2351-2359).  Thus, it should not surprise us that the remedy proposed by God to mankind are "Consecration of Russia to [Mary's] Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays."  The Sins of the Flesh vs the Ever-Virgin.  The Prostitute of the Apocalypse vs the Immaculata.  But let us be assured that Mary promised: "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph."

 A world map showing countries by total fertility rate (TFR), according to the CIA World Factbook's 2013 data.


The demographic winter: a world map showing countries by total fertility rate (TFR), according to the CIA World Factbook's 2013 data. (Wikipedia)

The Chronicles of Narnia (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe / Prince Caspian & The Voyage of the Dawn Treader / The Silver Chair)
The Chronicles of Narnia (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe / Prince Caspian & The Voyage of the Dawn Treader / The Silver Chair)
Disney The Chronicles of Narnia White Witch Action Figure
Disney The Chronicles of Narnia White Witch Action Figure
The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger
The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger
The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume 2: Birth Control Comes of Age, 1928-1939
The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger, Volume 2: Birth Control Comes of Age, 1928-1939
Catholic Dictionary: An Abridged and Updated Edition of Modern Catholic Dictionary
Catholic Dictionary: An Abridged and Updated Edition of Modern Catholic Dictionary
Humanae Vitae, a Generation Later
Humanae Vitae, a Generation Later
Intended Consequences: Birth Control, Abortion, and the Federal Government in Modern America
Intended Consequences: Birth Control, Abortion, and the Federal Government in Modern America
Abortion Rates in the United States: The Influence of Opinion and Policy (Suny Series in Health Care Politics and Policy)
Abortion Rates in the United States: The Influence of Opinion and Policy (Suny Series in Health Care Politics and Policy)
What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster
What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster