I am here, Jesus:I wish to write on the subject of birth control.
In the Old Testament Onan was believed to have been punished by God for refusing to impregnate a woman having become his wife through a levirate marriage.
It occurred at a time when life in barbarous time was precarious, with death a very frequent visitor due to wars and disease.
The Hebrews needed every birth as a means of keeping their community alive against the ravages of human and natural enemies and for Onan to spill his seed on the ground was considered a crime against the Hebrew people.
In your day, when the birth rate is expanding at a rate that may in time produce great troubles on earth, for population may outstrip productivity, the act of Onan is considered, by many religious groups, a form of birth control that is, otherwise, unsatisfactory sexual expression, but certainly not a crime against the national group.
The Catholic Church picked out the passage about Onan as proof of God's wrath and disapproval of birth control, but like other views of the Church, particular passages were culled from the Old Testament without thought, knowledge or reference to the current problem that gave rise to them, or the historical events or development, or the underlying principles involved.
In ancient times, the situation for human survival requires birth to the point of a religious demand, whereas the present situation requires a lowering of the birth rate to prevent a terrible Holocaust to make room for other generations.
The Catholic Church considers sinful the prevention of birth by use of any chemical, mechanical or other artificial means. They are oppose to any form of birth control, which they consider a violation of the natural purpose of sexual intercourse.
They make a distinction, however, between this and natural periodic method which makes use of knowledge when conception is not likely to take place. They fail to realize, or do not wish to realize, that practice of this periodic method has the same intent and purpose as use of a contraceptive, and that the results will be the same.
Here, then is nothing but a hair-splitting distinction and a de facto hedging to permit the faithful to prevent conception and at the same time for the church itself to save face, for as constituted, the Church cannot confess to being in error, although very much aware that it is a failure in this area of imposing standards.
I should also like to state that while the natural purpose of intercourse is, of course, to perpetuate the race, this natural desire resurges so frequently in man that if mortal, legal, economic or other restrictions were not placed upon this function, pregnancy would be the constant condition and fate of womankind.
It is pertinent to state that in this aspect of living, natural man, like all natural growths, partakes of nature's way of insuring propagation, a profligate expenditure of organisms, for in reproduction as witnessed by all forms of living things, including plants, and in man himself, vast amount of sperm cells are lost even when one individual cell causes conception to take place.
Also to consider is that sexual union need not be specifically for the begetting of children as on the natural level, but on the higher level as the fulfillment of the expression of love between two people who by their legitimate marriage have made know this love to the community, and the physical and psychological benefits derived from their acts of union, where propagation is not at all involved, are part and parcel of this higher marriage relationship.
Birth control is not, therefore, an unchaste lust and a sex perversion as wrongly stated by the catholic spokesmen, but a very legitimate exercise of free will on the part of married people as given to man by the Father.
This Free Will is a great gift of God, and He leaves the begetting of children to the voluntary acts of the married as one of the prime functions of this Free Will.
If a contracting party, however, enters into marriage with no intention of having children, then the other party has recourse to the proper authorities to have the marriage annulled.
I am therefore now affirming that I am in favor of, and strongly support, the declaration of the Lambeth Conference of 1958, representing the Anglican Churches, stating that the responsibility for deciding upon the number and frequency of children has been laid by God upon the consciousness of parents everywhere.
I am also in agreement with the 171st. General Assembly of 1959, of the United Presbyterian Church endorsing birth control and I also wish to refer to the statement by Bishop James A Pike of the California Episcopal Diocese, to the effect that State Laws which prevent Protestants and other non-Catholic from obtaining planned parenthood information are a violation of the principle of religious freedom, and indeed I say that they are in violation God's gift of free will to mankind; and the legislators who exact and bring these laws to bear against their fellow man are guilty of aggression against God's will and against mankind will eventually pay the penalty of their wrongdoing in the Spirit World, just as others in past ages, and with more brutal method, have paid, and some still paying, for their offenses through the working of the law of compensation.
AbortionLastly, I wish to consider abortion.
This act does not simply prevent conception, but destroys the life of the unborn child.
Abortion is a great sin where practiced as a social or economic convenience or to prevent birth when conception took place out of ignorance and out of pride to prevent the reshaping of the female figure, and I believe, with the Catholic Church, that this is a crime, but where the death of the mother will result, if, because of structural malformations or other internal difficulties, to pregnancy is allowed to continue, then the question resolves itself into whether the mother or the unborn child shall be permitted to live.
On religious and humanitarian grounds I say that the woman shall be saved in preference to the unborn child for, religiously speaking, deliberately permitting the mother to die is murder, whereas the unborn child has not been in the world at all and cannot miss what it had never possessed.
In such a case the death of the infant may be attributed as due to the operation of those different laws which cause death by accidents or disease, as some defect of the mother's generative system, or possible medical error or miscalculations.
On humanitarian grounds, also, the life of the mother must be safeguarded because other lives are bound up with hers, the deprivation caused the husband and the dislocation of their home and other previous children, if this were the case, bringing about a tragedy far grater in depth and proportion than that caused by the unborn infant's death, and because frequently organic defects may be remedied and other children brought safely into the world.
On the other hand, a child born through the sacrifices derives from a cruel and heartless act, for a motherless child is a pitiful object which no amount of religious rationalization can atone for, and the loneliness, rejection, despair and brutality to which this unfortunate child is usually subjected is a terrible experience which, if that choice were applied to them, those responsible for such an enactment would scarcely wish to go through it themselves.
I believe these observations are sufficient as the guiding lines for our attitude towards marriage and many of its related problems, and I shall stop now and close, affirming that I am:
Jesus of the Bible
Master of the Celestial Heavens
Master of the Celestial Heavens