The Contraceptive Age: Bearing its own fruit

One brother took knee-jerk offense yesterday to a claimed connection between contraceptives and abortion. Let me then offer a another claim about the contraceptive age that will add insult to injury.

Contraceptives have been instrumental in the rise of divorce and the denegration of marriage in the last 40 years - while contributing gravely to many other social woes.

Here are two articles to read on the topic.

W. Brad Wilcox, writing for Touchstone Magazine, writes an article entitled: 'The Facts of Life & Marriage'.

Matt C. Abbot also writes in an interesting article entitled: 'Rush Limbaugh, Divorce, & Contraception'.


Eric Phillips said...

Of course contraception has been a factor in increasing divorce rates. Children bind a husband and wife together in a common cause, so more childless couples will lead to more divorces. However, as with your last post, proving the connection does not imply that contraception is wrong.

For instance, women's lib has also been a factor in rising divorce rates. And I don't mean NOW-style feminism (though that's been a factor too, no doubt), but just good old-fashioned early-twentieth-century women's-suffrage-style feminism. How many divorcing wives would think twice about it if they had to depend on their husbands for material support? How many divorcing husbands would think twice about it if their wives truly depended on them for food and shelter? But I'll bet you aren't going to post THAT argument, and imply that women shouldn't be allowed to vote or work outside the home now, are you?

It is a fact of life: often times good or indifferent changes lead to unintended bad consequences. Showing the connection does not suffice to prove that the change was a bad one.

Oh, and one more thing. If you really want this to be a place for "thoughtful, reasonable, confessional Lutherans to discuss, consider, talk, and wrestle," you might want to treat those who take you up on it with a little more respect than you just treated me, by calling my first post of yesterday a "knee-jerk" response when you hadn't even bothered to engage it substantively first.

Caspar said...


Discussions with you are rarely thoughtful and reasonable. I'd hope things would be different face to face, as they often are, but I must say that you are one of the most disrespectful guests I've ever witnessed in the blogosphere. Have you considered that you might attract all the "disrespect" you receive?

I think you would find this blog more respectful if you chose only to be a reader rather than a commentator. I believe the respect level would go way up immediately if you made that choice. Better yet, with all the time you spend badgering people on all the other Lutheran blogs, why don't you start your own blog instead? I'd like to see what kind of "respectful" environment you would create.

I have little hope that you will take any of my advice, so borrowing a phrase from Bunnie Diehl, "if you don't like it, just go away!"


Caspar ;-/

Eric Phillips said...

Love you too, Caspar.

Lauren said...

As far as I can tell, Eric is the only person that posts his opposition to what is set forth on this blog. Please don't dismiss him because he disagrees with you.

Tina said...

This may be totally un-pc to say, but my husband and I have actually had the discussion of what this country would be like if women didn't vote. Unless she's a head-of-household, I don't think we should be voting in church either. I basically consider my vote as a doubling of my husband's. I trust him in his leadership of our family.

And I do believe that women should be at home with their children. Titus 2 spells it out pretty clearly. Obviously, there may be circumstances where this is impossible, but it is the ideal. I think in the cases of single mothers, our churches should be doing a LOT more.

The problem is, with only 2 children spaced 2 years apart, it's only about 7 years (less if they go to preschool) until both tykes are off to school, and then what is that woman to DO all day at home? Motherhood has become somewhat irrelevant in our society. The churches certainly weren't defending motherhood. The women of the 60's contracepted themselves out of job. They bought into the 'housewife as drudge' mentality and taught their daughters to avoid it at all costs. My plans were, college, career, marriage and 2 kids. Going back to my job after each birth. Once I found the man I wanted to marry, however, he was pretty firm on a wife staying home with children. I'm so glad!

Once I was confronted with some of the indoctrination I'd been exposed to, I realized I LOVED being a stay at home mom. I didn't NEED 'me time' (it's a wonderful luxury when I get it, but certainly not an entitlement), I needed to learn better to be a servant to the people God had blessed me with. I learned about biblical submission of wife to husband, and our marriage (and my contentment) has never been better.

Basically, I threw off the chains of feminist dogma that say it is all about me-my wants, my needs, my comfort--and found a sweet, peaceful life that centers around husband, children and home. And whereas before, I couldn't see how I could possibly have found the strength to care for one more child, I now find myself longing for many more.

Not sure if this is applicable to this post, but I think our attitudes to children and how many of them are acceptable stem deeply from the cultural revolutions that occured in the 60's and 70's.

Pr. David Rufner said...


I am mystified that today you agree so matter-of-factly that "Of course contraception has been a factor in increasing divorce rates" when just yesterday you responded to the claim of a connection between the contraceptive age and the age of abortion by lumping the latter connection together with all other “BS connections”. Thus, if I understand you correctly, the connection between the contraceptive age and the age of abortion in your book is bogus.

How is the one connection so obvious and accessible to you while the other (from what I read to be the demeanor of your inaugural comment on this blog) seemed more worthy of a sarcastic, abrasively stylized comment by you than a cordial, well reasoned refutation of the connection? I ask this question in all sincerity.

The fact of the matter is that abortion is clearly against God’s will (We all agree concerning this). Furthermore, God in His wisdom wrote the knowledge into The Natural Law. This is demonstrated by that fact that a woman need not be a Christian to wrestle with the stinging aftermath of having had an abortion.

Yet, even as the Natural Law is clearly discernable to all we live in a time when so many champion abortion. Their consciences’ should speak otherwise to them yet somehow don’t. How is this? Certainly we can allow that the answer to this question is multifaceted. That does not, however, stop us from naming the elephant in the room. The pro-abortion crowd understands their right to a ‘Termination of Pregnancy’ as an extension of their right to have sex without getting pregnant in the first place. Hence a connection. (An accusation that this line of thought is a slippery-slope argument that would take us back to questioning the reasonability of the 4th Amendment appears quite suspect.)

Now, you are right to discern that this author does believe that “contraception is wrong” - to use your words. Yet that was not the scope of yesterday’s post. It was intended to challenge all who are concerned about the “credibility of the pro-life witness” to consider a connection between contraception and abortion.

This is spade-work. Why is it needed? Because many wonderful, fervently pro-life Christian people have never considered this connection. I believe I am correct about this. I do not say this condescendingly. It is a statement that describes me less than 4 years ago. It is a statement that I would guess describes a great number of my parishioners whom I care deeply for as an under-shepherd of the flock.

Furthermore, if we wish to understand the position of the pro-abortion crowd and how they hold a view that is contrary to the Natural Law written on the heart – and if we wish to understand a significant cause for why they view pro-lifers as dimwitted people holding a less than credible position – then it is a connection that needs to be brought before us even if we don’t like it and it causes us to squirm.

Caspar said...


I hope that Eric will stay also, but not if he continues his mistaken methodology of argumentation. If you can't agree on the first principles of an argument, the argument is going nowhere.

Please understand. My problem is most certainly not that Eric disagrees with me; just about everybody in this broken world does! The reason I am here is that I believe in engaging those who disagree with me. Bob Waters, who has also posted on this blog, disagrees even more than Eric, but he accepts the terms of argument and does not give and invite disrespect.

I have had a lot of experience arguing with Eric.


Eric Phillips said...


Ah, I see. It occurred to me last night that you might have read my first post that way, and then found a contradiction between that one and the next day's. It also explains the "knee-jerk" comment.

I didn't communicate as clearly as I should have in the first comment I posted. When I said "BS connection" I didn't mean that there _wasn't_ a connection; I meant that the connection was ridiculous and could not be held against contraception. There is societal cause-and-effect, but Blackmun's legal "reasoning" in Roe v. Wade was just idiotic. You are correct, that is, in citing the fact that Griswold led to Roe, but your insinuation that this was a _logical_ connection, and therefore something that we should hold against Griswold, does not fly.

Imagine there is a madman who hates and attacks the color orange. I do not know this, and I wear an orange shirt walking past him, and he attacks me. In his mind, his attack is justified because I provoked him by wearing that evil color, but he's INSANE. It is a _real_ connection in the sense of basic cause-and-effect, but it is not a _good_ connection. It is not the kind that could ever be traced back to me in such a way as to implicate me in the blame for what happened. In any discussion of praise or blame, it's a BS connection.