Good Question: Why Are Catholics Against Birth Control?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Obama Administration’s decision to force all employers to provide birth control coverage in their insurance plans, including religious-affiliated institutions like hospitals and universities, is creating incredible controversy.

“The Federal Government does not have the power to force religious organizations to pay for things that that organization thinks is wrong,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican.

The nation’s 300,000 churches are exempt from the rule, but religious-run hospitals, nursing homes, and colleges will no longer be exempt.

“The church doesn’t think it’s wrong for Catholics to use contraception, the Church thinks it’s wrong to use contraception,” said Dr. Steve Heaney, a philosophy professor at University of St. Thomas who serves on several boards and advises the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

“So when we put things into our bodies, or snip parts out to make them not work right, we’re attacking ourselves. Not just our bodies — ourselves,” said Heaney.

The Catholic Church essentially stands alone on this policy, with most other Christian churches allowing at least some types of artificial birth control in some circumstances starting in the 1930’s.

Catholic popes have always been opposed to anything other than natural birth control, whenever the Popes have spoken on the topic.

It doesn’t come out of the Bible, rather, “It’s a philosophical tradition known as natural law,” said Jim Laine, Director of the religious studies program at Macalester College. Laine said he’s also a Catholic.

“Natural law suggests any conjugal act, any sexual act, should be open to the transmission of life,” said Laine.

Basically, the theory is that God made our human bodies with parts that are designed to create life, and so having sexual intercourse and artificially blocking that process is wrong.

The church crystallized its position in 1968, when Pope Paul VI asked a commission to analyze the issue of birth control. Many American Catholics hoped that the Church would change its position, as it has on other topics over the years.

Two groups issued reports to the Pope: the majority opinion was that the church should leave the decision about birth control up to individual married couples.

“Already from the very beginning of this, in 1968, it was clear there were differences of opinion,” said Laine.

The minority opinion argued that church tradition required the Pope to stay the course, and not allow artificial birth control. The Pope landed on the side of the minority, against birth control, but his reasoning was based not on tradition, but on the concept of natural law.

“It doesn’t make sense to say with my body I give myself totally to you, but I’m withholding something. So it turns sex into a lie. It’s fraudulent,” said Heaney.

A recent Guttmacher research report found 98 percent of sexually-active Catholic women said they have used artificial forms of birth control — like the pill or condoms.

Only 2 percent of Catholic women rely on the church-endorsed natural family planning (NFP), which used to consist of the rhythm method.

Today, Catholics generally teach the Sympto-Thermal Method for determining fertility. It looks at three signs that a woman’s body gives: waking temperature (called “basal body temperature”), cervical mucus secretions and physical change that occurs in the cervix.

Heaney said the church isn’t opposed to having people plan their lives; rather, the belief is that every time there’s sex, people must leave open the chance that God will intervene with a child.

He said that women are made with a space in time where biologically they are unable to conceive a child.

“You can make use of that space as long as we’re open to the possibility and you’re living in the truth,” said Heaney.

More from Jason DeRusha
  • The Catholic Church essentially stands alone on this policy?????

    Where did you get your info on this story? Every faith stands against this!! Poor story!!

    • Kind of Catholic, kind of pregnant ;)

      Really, what other religion bans birth control?? The Catholic church is rigid on this policy they made up in the 60’s by a tyrannical Pope going against the majority decision. It’s a joke that they can make a change like this and yet not change other things they protect as ‘tradition’. Traditions such as no women priests, no marriage/partners for priests. It has become a place for child molesters to hide and be protected, and to be placed close to our most vulnerable.

      These are the reasons that young people are deciding not to join the church. The Catholic church is sealing it’s own fate, and this decision will speed it up. What does it tell you that 98% of all women ignore their mandates anyway??

      • sue

        yes, and the Muslim faith is fighting for the rights of woman daily!!! LMAO @ U

        • @ sue

          Yep, point out one more obscenely wrong religious extreme, and you’ve restored the image of the Catholic Church. Typical politics, pathetic. You can’t defend your beliefs any other way than pointing out a more pathetic organization and saying ‘well, at least we’re not as bad as extremist muslims”.

          • Tom

            @ Sue

            Yes the Muslims in the Middle East have their group of Radicals just like we group of Radical Catholics in this country. Radical Muslims don’t believe in womens rights just the Radical Catholics dont believe in womens rights either.

      • mark

        Honor K I L L I N G for not giving me a son said the Muslim

    • Tom

      @ The Catholic Church essentially stands alone with this policy

      You must live in small bubble and you haven’t heard the facts on this one. That about 98% of woman who consider themselves catholic are on birth control. The same policy that Obama wants to inact into law is already law in 28 other states. There are many catholic run colleges like Georgetown, DePaul and many others that already offer this type of coverage. The Catholic Church and a couple of other areas are except from this, even though they are making it sound otherwise. John Boehner and many others in the GOP fought to make this same issue into law many years and now he is againest to score brownie points. The Catholic Church is trying make a non-issue into a major issue. So how do they not have problem with this same issue in 28 other states and many catholic colleges for so many years and now they have a problem with it? And it is funny for the church to say that gov’t has no right telling them what to do, but yet they turn around and ask the same gov’t to involved in their issue?

      • dan

        I stopped reading you post when you state that “98% of catholic women are on birth control”. Think about it…………..My wife, mother and 2 daughters are not on birth control. 98% percent really?

        • The Truth

          Obviously what the article neglected to say is “of childbearing years”.

          • dan

            I did a quick word search in your 10 page article and the word Catholic never came up.
            Anyways, it could be true but for anyone to state such an obvious misfact really discounts the rest of his blog.
            Just my 2 cents

          • Marie

            Didn’t Jason say 98% of sexually active women? That would explain Dan’s situation.

      • annetaberkatz

        I could have sworn that I heard that the Catholic Church accepted birth control some time ago. If it hasn’t, I wonder whether it is a mortal sin or a venial sin
        to take birth control medication, use condoms, or have a vasectomy. “Bless
        me Father for I have sinned, I take birth control pills….”

        Birth control prevents abortions; that should be our goal.

      • Mikwilly

        Figure That 98% of Catholic Women Use Birth Control Debunked
        That is 98% of women of child bearing years, who don’t want to get pregnant (if they did they were excluded from the study – if they were not sexually active they were excluded from the study) stated that they had used some form of birth control (could have been condums and they may not still have been using them). Also less than 1/3 were actually Practicing Catholics – meaning actually going to church – so that would explain why a scewed sample of unpracticing “Catholics” are doing things that are against the Catholic faith. Since they are not practicing – they may have no idea what values and morals the faith the claim as thier own has.

        CBS – shame on you for using this 98% “Fact” figure on your news cast!!!!!! Do your reseach before posting twisted and tained garbage. Shame, Shame, Shame!!!!

        • taylor

          Even if this study includes non-practicing catholics it still is true that 98% of those who call themselves catholic use birth control. If anything it also reflects poorly that so few catholics are actually practicing Catholics.

    • David Cain

      “So when we put things into our bodies, or snip parts out to make them not work right, we’re attacking ourselves. Not just our bodies — ourselves,” said Heaney.

      Every medication we take fro everything from Cancer to the common cold doe ssomething to make teh body not ‘work right” in teh purely natural aspect th Catholic Church applies her.. so are tehy against everything.. Nope .. just teh things that could limit their membership.. The Church is interested in more followers.. Birth control interferes with that .. hence they are aginst it.. even i poor countries they would sooner see a child born into starvation that have a mother use birth control .. the evil lies within

    • vinny

      where’s your data to back up your statement. provide the details before commenting on how poor something is

  • mark

    Keep Government out of our faith!!!!

    • smb

      Keep your faith out of my government.

    • Tom

      @ mark

      It is amazing that you say keep gov’t out of our faith, but apparently you dont mind when those in faith ask the gov’t to get involved in social issues!

    • Me

      Keep your faith from decisions between women and their doctors.

  • I. K. Barbaridad

    Seperation of church and bedroom please.

    • Why does WCC0 always attack Catholics?

      Seperation of Government and my bedroom please…

    • ineedtowipemyrear

      Easy question…..cuz it causes less altar boys

  • angus

    Comments are right. Women have no control or say about themselves. They must do what the men say. Men are in charge and women must obey at all times. The whole trouble started when they got the right to vote.

    I hope people realize I am being sarcastic but some idiots won’t realize it.

    Perhaps you should keep your faith out of our government. We could also consider removing tax exempt status from churches. There were conservatives in favor ot telling churches to pay taxes when they were against the Bushie Boys. Funny how their stances change

    • youknowitstrue

      why…..cuz they take it in the ( )*( ) at the altar

      • Good or Bad?

        Wait is that bad or good? By taking it in the ()*() they are supporting gay rights…right?

  • Tommy

    Or, in other words, the Catholic Church is crazy.

    When the Catholic hospitals stop taking Medicare money, then they can whine about gov’t intervention.

    • mel

      @Tommy, but a hospital can’t turn anyone away for treatment, including those on medicare, so how is your point valid? I could see if this were a nonprofit providing a service that could be selective, but this is a hospital, not a foodshelf.

  • Sue

    I love these hate crime comments against the Catholic Church!!! But who runs to help first, who stands out to collect money at the red kettles, who gives the most to the homeless, who raises the most money for charities I.e. Basilica Block Party, yes we are a bad bunch

    • @ Sue

      Once again Sue, 1 good thing does not negate the bad things, i.e. protecting child molesters. Just like your pathetic attempt at pointing out another bad point of a different religion does not make yours OK.

      • @ @ sue

        One bad thing does not negate the good things…..
        You see, going in circles is fun!

        • @@@ Sue

          It sure can. Protecting child molesters, and moving them from parish to parish, negated a lot that the church had done for the community. Also see the examples of murders, rapists, and other violent offenders that had work in areas of public ‘service’. Your statement is grossly incorrect. I hope a Catholic priest ‘circles’ your family and you see how ‘fun’ they can be. i acknowledge that all groups have bad apples, but protecting them at the expense of their victims is inexcusable.

          • @@@@ sue

            Not worried about that, I’m not catholic, and I’m a supporter of the “Castle Doctern” law that was in the news yesterday.

            • @@@@@ sue

              I am a supporter of both the right to use birth control, the “Castle Doctrine”, Death Penalty, right to bear arms, etc,; and I’m Catholic. I like all my Freedoms our military fights for.

          • Barbara Burr

            you know i bet if little boys could get pregnant how quick would they want birth control ? agreed ? i am catholic but i have not been to church for years. i think they pay for viagra maybe so the older child molesting priests can have a go at little boys a lot longer. do you know that in the bible moses had women and boy children killed by the thousands and he gave over thirty two thousand little girls virgins to his troups ? read numbers chapter 31 and spread this truth.

      • Tom

        @ Sue

        That is true! Instead of trying to fix their own problems they choose to concentrate on gay marriage, abortion, birth control, etc. I guess in their minds if they fix those problems then their problems will be fixed so that they can claim their problems were not from their own doing but from others.

    • AmberK

      I stand out at the red kettles and I am not Catholic. I am not religious at all matter of fact….I don’t understand how you can say that Catholics do that more than others….where are your stats?

    • Me

      Gee, I rang the bell twice for the Army last season. Even did while dressed as a Christmas tree. The Sal Army is Christian,not specifically Catholic.

  • smb

    About 22% of the US population is Catholic. Why, exactly, should the other 88% live by their rules?

    Also….How many people would be standing up for a Muslim hospital that was fighting against a federal mandate?

    • Ha Ha ha

      That’s some good math my friend.

    • Turk E

      Our President will gladly stand up for a muslim hospital fighting against a federal mandate….including sharia law.

      Also, your figures add up to 110%. Check your math prior to showing the world how ignorant you are

      • smb

        So, I mistyped. Your entire comment shows your ignorance.

        Plus, I didn’t ask if the President would stand for a Muslim hospital. I asked if you would. Would you show the same fight for any other religion? Or does only yours deserve special treatment.

        Besides, if you add in the number of people who have left the church and those catholics who actually use birth control the number of people telling church leaders to mind their own business would be well over 88%

        • Mikwilly

          And you know that how?

    • RalphMalph

      The people who are employed by Catholic hospitals and universities already don’t have coverage. They chose to work there, and they accepted the current insurance plans. If people don’t like the insurance plans, that they don’t cover morally evil things, then they can choose to work somewhere else.

      I would stand up for a Muslim hospital if their religious liberties were being violated. But I would not stand up for their unjust Shariah Law if they were trying to enforce that.

      • Reader

        Would you stand up for a religion that wanted to practice ritual human sacrifice or throwing virgins into a volcano? Or believes in sex with children? That has been done throughout history. You see, quite often government laws do indeed supersede religious practice and interferes with “religious freedom.”

        • RalphMalph

          That is why the United States is a Republic based on the moral law and has established courts to decide. In this case, the government has no right to restrict religious freedom. A woman’s inability to afford birth control is not a threat to another person’s rights. Your argument is a red herring.

          • Reader

            @Ralph. And what is moral law based on? Religious teachings….And the government has no right to establish a state religion–it has plenty of power to regulate the various religions–including taxing them if they fail a apolitical means test. Denying funding of women’s medications related to reproduction while funding the insurance for male medications related to procreation is just plain discriminatory. Is your Church lawsuit proof?

            • RalphMalph

              The moral law is based on commandments from God. Is this a religious teaching? Perhaps, but I think most people know inside when they see an injustice. I believe that God has placed his moral law on people’s hearts. And our country was based on the idea that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights”. That is, our rights come from God, including the free practice of religion, which the government cannot justly take away, nor can they grant anything correctly called a “right” if it is not from the Creator. Like it or not, our country has a Judeo-Christian foundation. Birth control is not a right. Freedom to practice religion IS. I’d like to see the government or anyone else sue the Catholic Church. Then we can let the Supreme Court decide once and for all who is right. The Supreme Court has always, always defended the freedom of religion. It is their duty and they have fulfilled it thus far.

              Like I noted elsewhere, the Catholic Church is equally opposed to sterilization for men. Its going to be hard to prove that the reason for refusing to provide is based on men vs. women. It is obviously based on their constant moral doctrine.

              • Reader

                So, Ralph, does the insurance pay for sterilization for men since it does pay for Viagra? Yet, denies insurance coverage for women? I will repeat that churches get taxed and sued when they can’t pass the means test for being apolitical or exempt. You are starting to sound like a paid lobbyist for the Catholic Church.

                • RalphMalph

                  No, the insurance does not pay for sterilization for men. Weird huh? Not really, because the church is not pro-man anti-woman as you believe it is.

      • smb

        Actually there are already many Catholic hospitals and universities that do offer this coverage.

        It is the law in 28 states–where has the Republican outrage been.

        And 8 of those states do not offer churches and exemption.

        • RalphMalph

          That may be true, but they should not be. There are Catholic hospitals disobedient to the Catholic faith who truly should not be called Catholic.

          • Saint

            @Ralph. Kick out all the heretics not following “your” doctrines–see how many parishioners are left…..or hospitals….or charities.

            • RalphMalph

              Saint: a hospital cannot be a heretic. It is a business. If the hospital is not following the tenets of the faith in its practice, it should not be called Catholic. It has nothing to do with excommunicating people.

              • Saint

                Good! If a hospital or business can’t be called Catholic, the government can tax them and help balance the budget.

                • RalphMalph

                  A hospital or business that is not profit are not taxed in general regardless of whether they are religiously based or not.

  • penelope

    Back in 1968 when the Pope was speaking about birth control, a small Italian woman stood up on a platform, began shaking her finger at the Pope, and loudly repeated “You no playa da game, you no makea da rules!”

    • RalphMalph

      She is right. God makes the rules, the Pope was just helping her to understand them.

  • Reader

    The reason Catholic organizations and hospitals have to obey federal regulations regarding employee insurance is because those organizations and hospitals receive federal funding. You don’t want to obey the law? Quit taking the government’s money. You DO want the government’s money? Obey the law. That was easy. You don’t want ANY employers to be beholden to what medical coverage their employees want? Then vote in single-payer universal health care, and cut the cord between employment and health insurance once and for all. That last option would, in the long run, save us a ton of money and bureaucratic red tape because we would have a healthier, wealthier, more productive society that doesn’t have to choose between seeing a doctor and paying the rent. The number one reason for bankruptcy in this country is due to medical bills, and that includes people WITH insurance. We’d get rid of those costs too. EVERY other country with socialized health care has a much higher standard of living than ours because their citizenry doesn’t have to worry about going broke paying for health care. It’s time we demanded the same for ourselves. We’re ALREADY paying more for our health care than those countries do. We should actually get what we pay for: COVERAGE! We should not be letting big business *or* religious organizations tell us what insurance we can and cannot have.
    From a poster for the Feb. 9 Star Tribune

    • RalphMalph

      Sorry, Reader, but the law applies to even those who don’t take the government’s money.

      You should be thankful for the efforts of the Catholic Church to serve the poor. They do it much more efficiently than the government does. If you eliminate Catholic charities, your taxes are going to go sky-high. The country saves money by the government supporting religious charities, which often are run entirely or partially by volunteer labor.

  • move over

    This article does not cover all of the reasons why birth control is not advised. One really huge reason is that all Christian churches believe that life occurs at conception. Many forms of birth control do not prevent fertilization but instead end up killing the fertilized egg before it can implant. That means you are killing a conceived child. Many people do not know that birth control does this. I’m not personally a catholic but am a Christian and I do not believe in killing a conceived child and I don’t believe in standing in Gods way. I was not on any form of birth control for many years and had to make serious efforts to get pregnant. How anyone can think this is an extreme religious view, is beyond me. Perhaps they that don’t believe in anything are the one’s living in extreme. I truly feel sorry for you.

    • Reader

      Earth is already populated to the extent of practically being a human feedlot. Almost a quarter (perhaps more) of the planet’s citizens live in abject poverty and hunger, many live in a state of eternal warfare and subjugation in their countries. The planet needs no more population growth–especially in a country such as the U.S. which already consumes the lion’s share of natural resources and energy. Your viewpoint harkens to another century when there was no access to family planning and large numbers of children were born to die early, and women died early. Guess that is what the GOP and the Catholic Church want to return to, as do you.

      • move over

        @ Reader you sound very cynical about life. I believe there is nothing better than life. And I believe that every life is a blessing. Even in grief and hunger and poverty, there IS love and happiness. Life is not all about money and food and stuff. It’s so sad that you cannot see this. And I strongly disagree with the US taking the lion’s share of resources and energy. Have you been to China? Do you know anything about their conservation laws? It might be because they’re almost non-existent. I’m not knocking China; they have the right to do what they want. But not everything is America’s fault. Focus on your own life instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing. The Catholic Church is only standing for what they believe. And the government should have no right to tell them what to do. The fact that they take medicaid is irrelevant; that is what many seniors have for health insurance and it’s a way for them to provide them care. If they didn’t take it, they’d get knocked for that too.

        • Reader

          @move over. I am cynical when I read inane posts such as yours. Nothing better than life? Tell that to the citizens of Somalia or the Sudan. Tell that to someone suffering in great pain during a terminal illness. If you are a Christian, death is your great reward, so how can nothing be better than life? Death is supposed to be a Christian’s salvation and reward, so if you value life so much, you are not a Christian. See your hypocrisy? Probably not….

        • Courteney

          @Move Over – you are so naive. It is a FACT that the Eart is over populated. Reader is just being realistic, not cynical. And what you don’t realize is that we need to start controlling the number of births in order to protect life. Our population is out of control and is actually hurting people. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

          • Ace

            Do they want wall to wall people with standing room only? Cut down every tree and turn land into farms so there are no forests? Lose your job and are homeless? have a baby. What is the matter with the Catholic church? Absolutely no common sense and they want to foist their nonsense on everybody else.

            • Reader

              @Ace. The pope once stated publicly that Earth could hold 40 billion people–not an earth I want to live on. Not sure how he expected them to be fed and watered.

              • Ace

                According to the bible and I’m no expert, there were only a few people on earth when God said to increase and multiply. He gave us a mind and brain to reason things out. Even animals have more sense than to reproduce when there’s not enough food or shelter. Some people don’t want to be parents. That’s their right too.

    • Alt2ning

      Move over – Incorrect. Not all Christian churches believe that abortion is murder. In fact, many believe that the woman who is pregnant is the one best positioned to determine whether a pregnancy should be continued. That decision is supposed to be made in love, but it is her decision to make, and not that of the government, or the church or anyone else besides her and God. I am sorry that you seem to be unable to comprehend another way of understanding.

  • Enough is Enough

    @SMB – agree but for some reason one denomination seems to think they are more important than anyone else and can dictate to everyone.. The Roman Catholic church is lobbying for what they want and they want to impose their narrow views on everyone. If they want to lobby government and get laws passed for their viewpoints, they should be taxed. If they don’t want to follow government rules, but want government money, provide the insurance but only hire people who will swear not to use birth control and have a screening (like random drug test) to enforce your idiotic requirements. If someone uses the birth control benefit make sure they understand they will be fired. See how many competent employees they could find under these rules. Some religions seem to be trying to make everyone follow some rule(s) they want, not what the general population whats. The few extremist out of all voters are the ones who vote and allow these people to behave the way the do. What the sane people need to do is vote, encourage everyone they know to vote and get rid of this minority. The direction these people want the country to go is frightening.

    • move over

      You are so totally way off base it’s ridiculous. The Catholic Church is in no way attempting to impose their views on anyone other than those who CHOSE to work for them. No one is forced to work there. I don’t plenty of things covered by my health insurance but it’s my choice to stay. No company should be forced to provide anything. I’m not even Catholic but you are so far off base I had to comment. In addition, your comment is far more frightening than what the Catholic Church is doing. The direction it appears you want this country to go is frightening! Government intervention is rarely a good thing. Read your history books!

      • Reader

        @move over. No, you are off base. If the Catholic Church businesses want exemption, they need to refuse federal money–that simple, or play by the same rules as all businesses and be taxed, to boot. Plenty of legal precedent for a church that oversteps into lobbying to be taxed. You, move over, do not have to use birth control just because your health insurance offers it. That is your individual right of freedom of religion.

        • move over

          @ Reader: So they should refuse Medicare so you can blast them for that too? Just because someone accept Medicare or any federal funding for that matter, doesn’t mean they should be subject to everything that goes with it. And since when should the government be involved in dictating family planning. Choosing to use it and offer it are two different things. Many people are uninformed about the science of birth control. The Catholic Church knows this and should be forced to offer it. Making them offer it is like making them agree with it. No one is forced to work there. Again, I stand by the initial commenter being way off base. They Catholic Church is only standing by what they believe and that commenter sounds very extreme when they say they are trying to impose their beliefs on EVERYONE. Don’t like it? Don’t work there.

          • Wrong

            Umm, that’s exactly what it means. If you accept Medicare, you MUST accept all of their rules. You don’t get to pick and chose once you accept their contract. You can only decide to accept Medicare or not, not which parts. What the Church believes and what it’s followers believe are 2 different things. 98% of the followers are intentionally disobeying the Church’s mandate not to use BC. What does that tell you?? Sounds like the parishioners need to step up and set the high and mighty pope straight. He didn’t follow his own council in deciding this ‘belief’. No man is that important, none.

      • Enough is Enough

        I do not want any religion to dictate what is legal. I do not want any religion to overtake the public schools. I do not want any religion to determine health care. I do not want any religion to force their view of social issues on all the the population (marriage equality as an example). Not all religions are attempting this, some are and should be stopped. Plus the religions that tell their members how to vote, call you congressman type thing and lobby should be taxed (Catholic church seems to be the main player in this area). ENFORCE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. Freedom OF religion also means Freedom FROM religion. Stop forcing your beliefs on me. I can think and reason for myself. Religion has no place in government, education, science or any other field or area that is not directly related to religious followers in a religious setting only. I’m not telling you what to do, you do not have the right to tell me.

        • Courteney

          @Enough is Enough – Well said! I don’t care what religion anyone is, just keep it out of the government! Too bad that is not the reality. It’s in our policies, our politics use religion to make laws, it’s in our schools, it’s in our healthcare, etc. It’s sickening to think about how much religion is in our government.

          • Why does WCC0 always attack Catholics?

            I agree with you courtney. Since our country was founded on Christian beliefs, we should go back to before Christianity. Where women were Subserviant, much like the Muslim faith where we did not have divorce, a man only has to accuse his wife of something and then kill her honorably. We need to go back before the Christian churches taught that all men were equal (slavery) and remove their influence on our society. Of course it was the Christian churches that also said that women should be allowed to vote and work and have a voice, lets remove those influences as well. When is dinner?

            • Reader

              @Why. How about we go way back to prehistoric times when women were worshipped and religion was pagan and centered around women? I believe women were the creators and a man was a companion. Interestingly, most more modern religions are male-centered and dominated.

              • Enough is Enough

                Well said. Check out the history of Roman Catholic church in the past and how much damage a male centered organization founded on wealth and power for the few treated the general population, dictated who could be educated, who you could marry, even had “rules” for how big the rod was that you beat your wife with. Gave the Celts an option, convert of die. Much could be learned from Wiccan, Pagan and Native American cultures that exist(ed) in “western world” and the eastern philosophies (Buddhism for one). There is room for many beliefs, and the knowledge gained from them. Roman Catholic church does not seem to have respect for others, just want to be the bully and get their own way without regard for anyone or anything else.

  • Reader

    @Enough is Enough. What is really happening is that the GOP wants to use faith, Christianity, values, etc. to whip up the population into voting GOP come November. Of course the GOP is so totally bereft of the very values they purport to believe in, as to be laughable. But, it never fails to amuse me that the very population the GOP seeks to exploit is the population that should absolutely not vote GOP–ever.

  • Frank N Beans

    Why is it that the poor stupid people are so darn fertile and the intelligent hard working people have a tougher time conceiving? Is it natures way of dummying down?

  • Foremost

    In my own opinion the Catholic church is made up of a bunch of ignorant outdated man made customs that have nothing to do with Christ the savior. But they keep doing them because their parents did and their parents did, fools not to question.

    • Alt2ning

      Foremost – Hmm, maybe that’s why there was a Protestant Reformation. That, and the Roman Catholic Church was selling forgiveness (the mechanism was a little more obtuse, but the result was that if you wanted to get into heaven, you needed to pay off the bishops and cardinals. Martin Luther thought that was a bad idea.)

      • RalphMalph

        Alt2ning, your understanding of what an indulgence is is faulty, and it has nothing to do with being saved.

  • Jeremy

    Lets just leave the catholic church or any church out of any political debate and try reality for a change. Why do people make up fake gods to make their lives complete? Why do people have such a hard time with reality?

  • RalphMalph

    Its not just condoms, but also the contraceptive pill, which has an abortifacient effect, meaning that one of the ways it “contracepts” is by causing an extremely early term abortion, causing a fertilized ovum (life begins at conception) to not be able to be implanted, not even to mention the “morning after” pill. The Catholic Church is also against sterilization procedures and also holds them to be an objective evil. All of the things I mentioned are being MANDATED by the government, that every institution be forced to pay for insurance plans that provide for such services. This is against the beliefs of the Catholic faith, and thus it is a direct attack on RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.

    The problem today in America is that Americans fail to recognize that freedom of religion is a CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED RIGHT. The HHS mandate forces a religion to violate their religious beliefs and thus it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. But Americans want license, they want to have whatever they want, even if it means stomping on the rights of others, and by “rights” I mean legitimate rights, like the 1st Amendment, not the misnomer of “right to marriage” re: Gay Marriage, which is not a right at all, and in fact is illegal in the state of Minnesota.

    • Give it up

      Yeah Ralph, says one man in 1968. We’re not talking about a protected belief that Catholics have followed for centuries, we’re talking about a new concept that one man concocted. What’s next, tomorrow the Pope decides, by himself, that healthcare and education are against the Catholic religion, therefore they are exempt from that? Please Ralph, defend that logic.

      • RalphMalph

        Actually, we are talking about the constant belief of the Catholic Church. New inventions by men simply meant that the Catholic Church had to expound.

        The Pope would not decide that healthcare and education are against the Catholic religion, because the Catholic religion never reverses its teachings. Prove me wrong.

        • @ Ralph

          Condoms were invented over 400 years ago. It took that long for the church to adapt and make a ruling. Also explain how it is that the majority of the Pope’s commission ruled in favor of BC, if it is against the religion’s ‘constant belief’?? Is the Pope that high and mighty, and they rest of his scholars are just buffoons?

          • RalphMalph

            The way the Catholic Church works is when there is a threat to beliefs previously held, including those with regard to morals, then the Church acts. Prior to 1930 Lambeth conference, not one single Christian denomination ANYWHERE held that birth control was moral. The Catholic Church merely toed the line and continued their long tradition of opposition.

            • @ Ralph

              Yes, so they silently sat by and let millions ‘sin’, by using condoms. It is only when one of their many businesses is involved that they defend their (new) position. Sounds like separation of church and state is convenient for them, when it’s convenient for them.

              • Mikwilly

                The Church doesn’t let people sin…People choose to sin of their own free will. When the situation in the world is such that it begins forcing people to sin as in the HHS regulation (not even a law) than the Church speaks up on behalf of it’s people.

    • Alt2ning

      Wrong. I love the First Amendment. So does Obama. That is why churches are exempt from the rule. However, when churches leave the protected shpere of running a church, and start to run businesses (colleges and hospitals), and accept government money, then they are no longer a “church.” They are a business, subject to regulation like any other business, and are required to respect the faith traditions of everyone they hire. NOT just the 2% of catholics who elect not to use birth control. Let me get the math right here – 22% of the US is Catholic, and 2% of them abstain from birth control, so 2% of 22% means that 0.0044% of the US should control what everyone else does in the bedroom?? Not in my lifetime.

      • RalphMalph

        The free practice of the Catholic religion, like the ministry of Jesus, does not now and has never been limited to worship services on Sunday, but rather going out and serving all people regardless of religious affiliation. Read the first amendment, and you will see that it states “the free practice of religion” not “the free practice of church services” is what is protected. And just as Jesus did, we are to minister to all people, not just those who currently are already Christian.

      • Mikwilly

        If you really believe the 98% number is real, than you are real dumb. Figure That 98% of Catholic Women Use Birth Control Debunked
        Of cource you love OB so that does demonstrat your IQ level as well as your willingness to drink whatever koolaid they give you – like imaginary facts and figures. – go figure

    • Week-Minded Zealot

      Your feeble mine doesn’t seem to be able to realize that IT”S NOT ABOUT YOU! The law makes it so that If *I* go to work for your crummy Catholic Hospital, *MY WIFE* can have birth control and *MY FAMILY* doesn’t have to follow your idiotic, stone-ages thought process! YOUR FAITH is the one trying to control the lives of its EMPLOYEES, which is illegal. Not only are you blind in your faith, you aren’t able to think for yourself either! Sad

      • RalphMalph

        If you don’t like that the insurance plan doesn’t cover pills that kill babies, then you can work somewhere else. But maybe you are desperate enough to work somewhere in spite of it. If the mandate goes through, you won’t get the chance, because they will start closing and your taxes will go sky high and there will be a real crisis for lack of hospitals, charities that care for the poor, and universities in this country.

        Your wife can have all the birth control she wants. You can buy it for her with your own money. Your “crummy” Catholic employer can’t and won’t stop you.

        • Reader

          @Ralph. Perhaps if the secular employees started boycotting working at Catholic Hospitals/Charities/etc. the doors would close for lack of qualified employees. That boycott thing does work both ways. Perhaps will get a petition started to tax all those Catholic businesses, who, because of the aggressive lobbying I see, should pay taxes as no longer being apolitical and exempt.

          • RalphMalph

            Be our guest. Perhaps then our hospitals would become more Catholic as many more Catholic doctors would start working there. 22% of the population is Catholic, so there are plenty of people to fill these jobs, and Catholics are typically more educated than other groups.

            One good way to get Catholics burning for their faith is to try to take it away from us. Even liberal Catholics are fired up at the thought of their Church not being able to serve the poor and sick.

            • Reader

              @Ralph. Then your church should not support any of this right-wing dialog being initiated by the GOP about Obama’s health insurance ruling because the GOP is mostly interested in NOT HELPING the poor, elderly, children, or anyone who is not in the 1%. I seriously doubt that your church wants to ramp up and take over all charitable works in the face of a GOP that wants to eliminate all government services for the above-mentioned groups–some of which are probably of your “faith.”

              • RalphMalph

                You are right, there are aspects of the DFL which are in accord with our faith. The Catholic Church is not synonymous with the GOP. But these days, the GOP is the only legitimate party standing up for the unborn, which is more important than governmental care for the poor. We as Christians can care for the poor without the government. When severe injustices such as the genocide against the unborn are happening, then it needs to be stopped, and so as long as the left supports abortion, then we as Catholics have an obligation to oppose them. Hopefully more will take up the mantle because Obama has stirred us up.

                • Reader

                  My guess, Ralph, is that most people want as much health insurance coverage as possible. After all, condoms help prevent STD’s and AIDS, and birth control pills are used much more than for just contraception. And how does your church pay for Viagra for men and then discriminate against exclusively women’s drugs and health issues? My guess would be most Catholics will not see this issue as you do–especially since 98% of your women use birth control.

              • Mikwilly

                This is to Readers comment below – could not reply to that one.

                If you really believe the 98% number is real, than you are real dumb.
                Figure That 98% of Catholic Women Use Birth Control Debunked
                You are too willing to drink whatever koolaid they give you – like imaginary facts and figures. – go figure

  • Joe

    Catholicism is going the way of the dinosaurs. You might say we are EVOLVING to leave you dimwits behind! Bunch of hypocrites

  • Tom

    I remember about 3 years when the Catholic Church in the twin cities named a new archbishop and he was asked why are catholic schools in dire shape and he said because you catholic woman are not having enought babies. So he was saying get off the pill and start having babies.

  • RalphMalph

    @Reader (February 10, 2012 at 10:39 am)

    Whether people want coverage for birth control or not is immaterial. The issue here is the government is forcing a religious institution to violate its moral tenets. That is the reason why the Catholic Church is riled up.

    Condoms can be useful against preventing STDs, true, but they also create the false belief that they are 100% effective against it, which they are not. Only extra-marital abstinence followed by marital continence is 100% effective against STDs. And there are a whole raft of other moral evils that condoms enable, first and foremost fornication and adultery.

    Birth control pills, whether they are used for contraception or not, still provide a contraceptive affect that can cause abortions.

    How can you say that condoms and birth control pills are “women’s” healthcare? You and I know that they are as much for the men as for the women. And the Church is equally against sterilization procedures for men as well as women. Viagra has a real purpose, and that is to counter ED, and it is not morally evil, but rather helps provide for the marital act, which is an inherent good. To try to paint this as a “Catholic Church helps men, not women” issue is rather dishonest.

    • Reader

      Oh, Ralph. Sounds to me as though ED, like pregnancy, follows from God’s will. Does the Catholic Church allow women priests yet? The Catholic Church is a great bastion of male supremacy, domination, and discrimination. Bravo to the Catholic Churches that offer a full range of health insurance benefits regardless of sex and obey thet state laws of the 28 states who mandate total insurance coverage regardless of sex.

      • RalphMalph

        The Catholic Church teaches that we have recourse to medicine to overcome illnesses. One could debate whether a particular non-life-threatening dysfunction is God’s will or not, but in any case that should be brought to prayer. God is a healer and sometimes he works through modern medicine.

        The Catholic Church have always believed that God has only granted the Church the authority to ordain men to the priesthood. Male and female is more than skin deep. The priest is a reflection of Jesus Christ, who was male. Women have plenty of positions of power within parishes and in missions and throughout the Church. The Catholic Church teaches that the most perfect human person ever made by God was a woman. The Church upholds the dignity of women. It is radical feminism and artificial birth control that degrade from that dignity.

        And rather, shame on the government for violating the right to free practice of religion, our first listed right in the Bill of Rights.

        • Sinner

          @Ralph. It is endless childbearing, subjugation to men and your church that degrades women.


    Can someone explain to me why anyone should be forced to pay for someone elses birth control or an abortion when these same people never want to be responsible for themselves. Its not about helping the poor or under priviledged but taking full responsibility for your personal lives. How about growing up and do the right thing for once in your lives without expecting everyone else to cover your lazy behind. Repeat this line as ofTen as needed til it sinks in. “I WILL BECOME A RESPONSIBLE PERSON”

  • TL

    Catholics are generally against time moving beyond the 12th century.

    It isnt prudent for the world to have families with ridiculous amounts of kids.

  • chris

    Good Question: Why do so many Catholic priests molest boys???

    • RalphMalph

      Answer: Very few Catholic priests have ever molested anyone.

      • Saint

        Ralph is in denial.

        • RalphMalph

          What percentage of Catholic priests have been accused or convicted of molestation? Very few, like less than 4%, certainly not an insignificant number, and truly a terrible crime, but that I believe constituted “very few”, especially now that all of those priests have been removed from ministry. Yet, the general public has been brainwashed into thinking this is an ongoing problem.

          The real problem today is in public schools, and the media reports on it from time to time, but it has never developed into a frenzy.

          • @ Ralph

            I agree with you Ralph (for a change), there is a very low rate of offenders, but that’s not the problem. The problem is the cover-ups, the lack of accountability, the fact they knowingly moved offenders to positions they would reoffend. They hid these sicko’s, to protect the institution, instead of protecting the innocent children. If you can sufficiently defend that point, I will come to your side and fight for you. It’s inexcusable, and undeniable that they did it.

            • RalphMalph

              I agree, the Catholic Church should have done more. They complied with the law and modern psychology teachings at the time, but they should have held themselves to a higher standard. The internal practices have changed now and everything they should have done is now official church practice. The crimes were heinous and inexcusable, but after awhile people have to deal with the fact that this is not a present problem. It is time to move on.

      • The Truth

        Maybe so, but of those that have molested boys, the Catholic church has not a magnificent job defending them and making sure they don’t get in trouble for it.

        • RalphMalph

          Yes, the Church could have done more, and made mistakes in handling these cases, and it is very tragic. We must also keep in mind that the statute of limitations prevents most of these cases from being prosecuted. Also modern psychology of that era taught that pedophilia could be cured, and so the Catholic Church believed psychologists and put rehabilitated priests back in ministry. No more. Finally the law failed the victims, due to the fact that these crimes were NOT required to be reported to police in the days that they occurred, a law which has now been changed.

          All being said, the Catholic Church is doing everything it can, reporting crimes, removing priests from ministry, and paying out damages to victims and even to some claims of abuse that were hardly feasible and probably false, and has publicly apologized and put measures in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

          All of this is not at all related to the question at hand, which is the violation of our constitutional freedom of the practice of religion. No matter how many mistakes have been made in the Church, how many crimes certain ministers of the Church have committed, it doesn’t matter, because freedom of religion is not a freedom granted only for those religions which contain no sinners, whose members never commit crimes, etc.

          • Turk E

            Good question: Why do Catholic priests get such a bad rap about molesting children wwhen statistically more teachers, relatives and parents molest children and sytematically cover it up?

            • Paul Solinger

              Teachers don’t molest children and cover it up to the same degree as Catholic priests.

              • Turk E

                How do you know that? Are you a teacher who got caught? I think if they weren’t doing such a good job, from top to bottom (no pun intended) of covering it up, we’d be hearing about a lot more teachers messing with our kids.

              • RalphMalph

                That’s right, they don’t do it to the same degree. They do it MORE often, and it is still happening today. Even in this day and age, the school system is still shifting teachers around. I’m not making this up. A school teacher position is a magnet for child molesters.

                Rightly priests are held to a higher standard, but the crime is no different. People should be more incensed about this problem in our public schools.

  • CSS

    I don’t think anyone should be forced to pay for contraception, as that is an individual choice, not a required treatment like an annual checkup or something.

    As far as the Church goes, they have the right to have their opinion. It doesn’t mean any other religion, any Catholic, or any one of us posting here has to agree with it. If someone of the Catholic faith wants to practice contraception, that is still their choice and if they have a moral dilemma about it, they can choose to stop or just understand that they have decided to do something their Church doesn’t endorse. Nothing anywhere (including the Church) says they’ll go directly to hell for doing it.

    The last time I checked, the Bible says “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” The Church states they are against it, not that they’ll be casting everyone who uses birth control into hell. So anyone of any Christian faith on here should perhaps re-read that part of the Bible and realize how judgmental you’re acting on here.

  • Michael O

    Jason: It appears to me that you have not adequately answered your stated topic. “why the Catholic Church is against birth control.” My understanding is that it is indeed in part based on a biblical premises. (Genesis 1, “Be fruitful and multiply, Genesis 1:28) I question the wisdom of using Laine as a source: ‘It doesn’t come out of the Bible, rather, “It’s a philosophical tradition known as natural law,” said Jim Laine, Director of the religious studies program at Macalaster College. Laine said he’s also a Catholic.’ I would have interviewed the Bishops or Archbishop and not dissident liberal Catholic sources who by definition don’t regard the Bible very highly. The weakness of the Catholics’ public teaching is that they don’t base it enough on biblical support. Nevertheless it is grounded in the teachings of the Bible.

    • RalphMalph

      I agree, why go to Macalester? Its a secular college. The Catholic teaching IS biblical, and it stems from the story of Onan in Genesis /as well as/ the natural law. Natural law is what we use only when helping non-religious people or those who don’t accept the Bible understand our reasons.

  • Enough is Enough

    @ RalphMalph – I Goggled your name and it is a character on a sitcom that was based in the 1950s. The character was a comic foil and considered a “doofus”. The sitcom was suppose to be about life in the 1950s, and you are advocating that out-of-date thinking. Are you for real or just a running joke?

    • RalphMalph

      Enough is Enough: RalphMalph is not my real name, and my use of it has nothing to do with being a doofus or the 50s, but rather was the name of a D&D character I played when I was a child (raised secular, after all, Catholic by choice).

      I am a real person and I really truly love my Catholic Church, have practiced its teachings and found them very good, and have learned the reasons for them and they make rational and moral sense through and through. My goal here is to help people to understand the attack on our Constitutional freedom of religion, rather than defend the Catholic Church.

      • Enough is Enough

        @RalphMalph –

        I have tried to leave this twice but is has not appeared as a reply to your post.

        Thank you for the respectful reply. We will never agree on religion, but you are entitled to your beliefs and the right to practice them. I just do not want them to infringe on my beliefs and my rights. I was raised Roman Catholic but can not believe or understand what they stand for.

        • RalphMalph

          Thanks. There are good resources out there if you are still curious as to the full reasoning behind the Catholic faith these days.

          I am glad to stand with you on the belief in free practice of religion!

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