The above quote captures the sentiment of many pro-contraceptive women, as well as men, non-Christian and Christian.
The quote seems to make a good point. We do have the right to make decisions regarding our bodies. The problem is that its logic has one glaring problem. The author, as many who would agree with her often do, assumes that such control is gained through the use of birth control, presumably contraception.
Maybe I’m just stuck in Christendom as it existed from the first century until the mid-20th century, but I thought the way to avoid children was to not engage in the behavior that leads to children, or in other words, not have sex. For the above author, and many in our society today, such an option is no option at all. Sex is a given. Of course people will be having sex. For someone not to have sex is unhealthy, and worse, oppressive.
Sadly, evangelicals have walked like lemmings right along with the world, except for maintaining the caveat that sex is only for marriage. Many evangelicals consider sex for married people to be like food – it’s inappropriate, unhealthy, and even wrong to expect or encourage married couples to abstain from sex for any period of time.
And like lemmings, they have followed the world off a cliff.
Since when is sex something that we must have, especially married people? The world and our separated brethren think that birth control gives them control over their bodies, when all along what it really does is encourage them to have no control over their bodies. It’s all a big lie. What they call freedom is actually slavery. True control over one’s body is the ability to not have sex when one doesn’t want to have a baby.
In other words, the answer isn’t birth control, it’s self control. This is the true freedom.
But people in our society today have so little control that the option to abstain cannot even be considered. It’s not even entertained as a virtue to which we should aspire. In their minds the choice really is between all women being pregnant their entire reproductive lives, or the use of contraception, something that all Christians for millennia had deemed a grave perversion, until Protestants, even supposedly conservative evangelicals, decided to follow the world in the mid-20th century.
So it is now more than ever that our world needs the celibate witness. Celibate priests, monks, and nuns, even lay people who are living the single life – we need you to stand as witnesses to the world and to our separated brethren, and as a constant reminder to married couples within the Church, that we do not need sex, that sex does not lead to happiness. Unrestrained sex is not the answer. Lust will never be quenched. It is a black hole that leads only to hell, in this life and the next.
We do not need a pill that makes the woman’s body act as if it is diseased to be free. We do not need a piece of plastic to ‘protect’ the woman from the man’s seed. We need the grace of Jesus to help us all to have self-control over ourselves, especially the sacred gift of our sexuality. Our celibate brothers and sisters prove to us that sex isn't required for the happiest and most meaningful lives.
Some evangelicals have just recently started to reevaluate the Reformation’s almost total rejection of celibacy as an option. I encourage those that are feeling the call: look to the Church. It is a beacon. Although Protestants have lost their way, the Church has stood as the city on the hill. The Church has maintained the true teaching all these years. You do not need to reinvent a theology of celibacy. There is already a place, the only place where it can be truly lived, the only place where it has its full meaning, the Church, where you can join in and be, in an age of unrestrained sex, the celibate witness.