Did you know that if you or your lover use birth control that you are a murderer?
Yep, in the latest example of Bible Banging zealot-ness run amok, it seems that in the heart of the bible belt, one Thomas White, the vice president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary told his students that "birth control is murder". What the ...?!?
No, not abortion, no not plunging a knife into the chest of an otherwise innocent person; but simply taking a birth control measures, like the Pill, is the "murder of a life".
Besides his obvious absence of medical (and, uh, pregnancy) know-how, this would typically be a laughable side bar. Except there's more.
In digging deeper, his bio says that he is "A systematic theologian by training with a focus on the doctrine of the church, he can relate to seminary students on many levels." How comfortable Baptists must feel that this dude is so far out in left field (or right field as the case may be) having had such a strong systemic background on the church's doctrine.
Oh, but wait a minute. Perhaps they didn't really mean that he was that focused on the doctrine. Perhaps he was a tad cloudy that day during his own seminary training? One would think that even the Southern Baptists would want to step back from this bit of lunacy, right?
Southern Baptists have had their share of silliness through the years. Back in 1997, remember when they boycotted Disney's AND all of it's subsidiaries - ESPN, ABC, etc. - because they allowed gay people into Disneyland in Florida? How did that work out you ask? Well during the 8 years that the Southern Baptist's 'maintained their boycott, Disney's earnings nearly doubled. I guess even Southern Baptists can't live without Extreme Home Makeover and Sportscenter.
In the 'lesson' that he gave to his students, White mentioned his own guilt in family planning that while he was working on his career as a
small minded bigot man of the cloth, he and his wife held off having kids by using birth control themselves. An important feature to his position I think is that he and his wife never did conceive and later adopted a child. For folks who typically have a football team worth of kids, not conceiving on their own couldn't possibly be the Lord's fault, so therefore his choice in making his wife take The Pill seems like a logical target. In trying to explain this guilt to his students, White says this:
"The reason that we did it was my own selfishness, I wanted kids, but I wanted kids -- not in God's timing, but in my timing."
Selfish timing? Because the world has sooo much extra room for kids that are born into unwanted environments, right? When a reporter sought to clarify his position, he eventually replied in a curt email that he was busy. No retraction, no attempt to clarify. Nothing. Just a 'leave me alone', 'I'm busy'.
To most free thinkers, his is a ridiculous premise. God has a timing for when we are supposed to have kids, and therefore to have sex? Talk about pressure! But this is not as ridiculous to some apparently.
One of the proponents of this peculiar position is a dude named Mohler. Wanna guess where he's from? Yep, the den of biblical oddity itself, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Perhaps he is a
“If a couple sees children as an imposition, as something to be vaccinated against, like an illness, that betrays a deeply erroneous understanding of marriage and children. Children should be seen as good by default.”
Well it is not hard to figure out what the theologians are saying there now is it? For those of us that have ever tried to control a birth, these elitists presume that we think of children - or our children-to-be, as contagions (teenagers notwithstanding I presume). Since they can't possibly know what goes in your house or my house, perhaps that says more about them and their attitude on children? Hmmm.
Furthering their efforts to promote their total omniscience over all things, Rick and Jan Hess make their own case that God controls our health, not the other way around. Really. In their 1989 book, A Full Quiver: Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ, they argue that God, as the “Great Physician” and sole “Birth Controller,” he opens and closes the womb on a case-by-case basis. Women’s attempts to control their own bodies–the Lord’s temple–are a seizure of divine power. So, if we dare to control our own bodies, then we are improperly seizing God's power. Astonishing.
These are no doubt the same type of parents as those of 11 year old Madeline Neumann that earlier this year watched her increasingly suffer from nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness over several months without ever taking her to the doctor. Eventually family members intervened but Madeline died a terrible death anyway (diabetic ketoacidosis). To render aid, these parents of three were only willing to pray for young Madeline and hadn't even taken her to a doctor in 8 years. In the end, they acquiesced that their daughter died because "apparently they didn't have enough faith". The "Great Physician" doesn't make house calls apparently and now Dale and Leilani Neumann are facing second-degree reckless homicide charges.
Holy Nut Job Batman.
Which is one of many reasons why pre-planning a birth - by not having one if you are not properly equipped, for instance - is a rational idea. Duh, again.
The Pill Popeth
After nearly 10 years of development The Pill aka Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)was approved by the FDA in 1960. Within a year of its release, over 1/2 a million women took it and currently nearly 15 million American women and over 100 million women worldwide take The Pill.
The Pill has been proven to be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and it also reduces several forms of cancer in regular users by nearly 50%. Me thinks The Pill-ith has doth caught-uth on.
Yet the right wing sees The Pill as a form of homicide? Let's look at their position a little closer.
The most common Pill in existence works in three stages (triphasic):
Phase 1 - The Pill inhibits ovulation
Phase 2 - The Pill prevents sperm penetration and survival (contraceptive)
Phase 3 - The Pill disrupts the growth of the endometrium so that it is not capable of nurturing an embryo
It is this last phase that has the fundamentalist's bloomers in a bundle. It seems that they believe that if a sperm and an egg are in the same place, that conception occurs. And therefore, disrupting that meeting is abortion and therefore The Pill is murder.
So, if a Southern Baptist Man and a Southern Baptist Women meet in a swingers bar, does that mean that they will automatically get married and become bigots?
If a red Chevy and a green Honda meet at an intersection, does that automatically mean they will ram into each other?
If a logical, fact based thought and an irrational, mythical based thought meet in the blogosphere, will the logical thought automatically trump the irrational one?
But I digress...
The problem is that while a woman is on the Pill during Phase 3, an egg and a sperm being in the same room is no closer to being pregnant than me being elected president just because I am in the same room as a polling booth.
Since The Pill makes the endometrium incapable for an egg and sperm to implant, fertilization does not occur so there is no conception in all but 1% of cases (in which The Pill becomes a non-issue since now there is a pregnancy). So why don't they acknowledge that medical fact instead of dramatizing falsehoods to our youth?
But then perhaps therein lies their perverse, double-dipping advantage in their logic: In the same breath, they can condemn those heretics which do not conform to their misinformed, elitist and chauvinistic doctrine while at the same time continue to cultivate the next generation of "systematic theologians".
"Hey, can you take the wheel for a second, I have to scratch my self in two places at once."
- Homer Simpson
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