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Contraceptive society morally harmful

Letter to the Editor | Monday, January 22, 2007

In Jennifer Burke’s Letter to the Editor (“‘But’ can be the most important part,” Jan. 18), she states that a politician may be required to put the good of our country above moral principle when the two come into conflict. This implies that there is no connection between what a person knows to be wrong and what is best for society – a truly preposterous suggestion if one understands the basis of Catholic social and moral teaching. That teaching as a whole is the outgrowth of a belief in the existence of a natural law: that God is the creator of humanity, thus God has written the manual for its optimal functioning in the world.

When the Church condemns an act as wrong, therefore, it does so because that act is detrimental to the functioning of humanity. The Church condemns contraception because it implicitly condones promiscuity, allows the removal of love from sex and permanence from marriage, and makes humans the arbiters of life’s beginning. It makes children an enemy to be avoided, and inevitably requires the option of ending a child’s life in the womb should the preventative action fail. (Some methods, such as the pill, can also end the life of a new human being at a very early stage of pregnancy.) It can also damage a woman’s reproductive organs and make her infertile. The practice of contraception erodes respect for human life and for its protection and nurturance in a stable, loving family.

One need not agree that this social teaching was handed down from God to believe that it is true; one need only acknowledge the sequelae of America’s becoming a contraceptive society: more abortions, fewer children, more divorce, more AIDS cases, and the list goes on and on. The state has long had an interest in protecting the lives of children and the institution of marriage; therefore, it ought to restrict practices that undermine that protection. A politician who recognizes the harm that contraception causes has no excuse for not taking that knowledge into account in his or her political work. Whether it’s God or history teaching the moral lessons, they are meant to facilitate the betterment of society, not to impede it.

Eleanore Strong

grad student

off campus

Jan. 21