Is it birth control?


#1

I got into an arguement with a coworker who said that NFP is birth control; anything that you do to keep from getting pregnant is birth control. Now, I don’t look at NFP that way because you aren’t doing anything to your body. He said that by using NFP you are trying to take God out of the picture. Of course this astounded me because I say that artificial birth control is what take God out of the picture. He says that I am not trusting in God’s providence. This from someone who doesn’t even go to church.


#2

I had a very good Catholic friend years ago who said that she felt that she was still trying to “outsmart God” by using NFP. But then I was using NFP trying TO get pregnant. So was I trying to “outsmart God” too??? http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon9.gif


#3

Birth Control — It Almost Cost Us Our Marriage

…NFP is not “Catholic birth control,” nor is it calendar rhythm. It is a concept of fertility awareness that allows the married couple to understand the biological signs of the wife and then determine if they have sufficient reason to avoid a pregnancy that month in accordance with the teachings of our Church. If sufficient reasons exist, then the couple abstains from sexual intercourse but continues to show their love in non-genital ways. If sufficient reason does not exist, the couple pours forth their love knowing that the result could lead to the creation of a child. What a powerful option!

more…


#4

**Birth Control and NFP: What’s the Difference?

** Tom and Jane have three children, and have determined that they cannot adequately provide for any more at the present time. They know that artificial means of birth control are morally wrong, and their priest recommended that they use NFP ( Natural Family Planning ). Yet they do not understand why NFP is OK if birth control is wrong. Don’t they amount to the same thing?

Actually, they don’t. NFP is very different form other methods of birth control. Here we will give some other reasons – but first, a word about what NFP is not.

NFP does NOT refer to the so-called “calendar rhythm method”, which was based on calendar calculations of a “normal” cycle. NFP, instead, based on direct observations of various signs that occur in a woman’s body (changes in the cervix, cervical mucus, and temperature) which tell her when ovulation occurs. These observations are relatively easy to make, take only a few minutes, and work even for irregular cycles. NFP is internationally known and practical and is extremely effective. The medical principles on which NFP rests are being used by more and more doctors for a wide range of purposes.

Morally speaking, then, what is it that makes NFP acceptable while artificial birth control is wrong?

more…


#5

**Q. Why can’t we practice birth control?
Q. Why can’t Catholics use artificial birth control?
Q. Why is birth control wrong?
Q. When the natural method (Natural Family Planning) fails and you have a huge family why is birth control wrong or is it?

more…**


#6

NFP IS birth control. NFP is NOT contraception. Get the difference?


#7

Well, it depends on what the correct definition of birth control is. If it is a way to avoid children for the time being, then yeah NFP can be used for birth control, yet it does not offend God (if used for the right unselfish reasons). The important thing is that it does not mutilate the sexual act like the different forms of ABC’s. You are not leaving God out, because God himself is the one that purposely created the woman’s cycle and made her infertile during certain days and fertile during others. Our Church in Her wisdom discerned that we can make use of this knowledge to be able to participate in the sacramental marital act even at times that the couple has carefully discerned that they have unselfish serious reasons to avoid having a child at that moment (as opposed to having to abstain completely). In ABC you are mutilating the act, you are no longer participating in the act designed by God, but it your own modified version of it.

BTW, there is a long thread with a very similar topic that was just closed, you can read more on there: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=98559 We were asked to go to Moral Theology to discuss the morality of NFP.


#8

Oh my! One forum gets closed and a new one opened on the same topic.

:rotfl:


#9

[quote=Marquette]I had a very good Catholic friend years ago who said that she felt that she was still trying to “outsmart God” by using NFP. But then I was using NFP trying TO get pregnant. So was I trying to “outsmart God” too??? http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon9.gif
[/quote]

I’ve never heard of anyone using NFP to outsmart God. That’s an interesting approach that your friend took since NFP is known to be the only approved method of planning children by the Catholic Church.


#10

[quote=mrs_abbott]I’ve never heard of anyone using NFP to outsmart God. That’s an interesting approach that your friend took since NFP is known to be the only approved method of planning children by the Catholic Church.
[/quote]

She was not TRYING to outsmart God. She was going by the Catholic church teachings. But in her heart she felt like in the end, that is what it amounted to. And in my case, using NFP in order TO become pregnant, what if God really didn’t want me having a child at that time? So that is why I ask if maybe in a way, I was trying to “outsmart God” in my own way. My friend only brought it up because she had such a tender heart for God and wanted to do the right thing. I was not Catholic at the time and was merely using it for my own means as wanted a baby really bad. At the time I didn’t think about the fact that maybe God had other plans and I should wait.


#11

To discern NFP properly one must have a fully formed conscience, not a conscience of convenience.


#12

[quote=buffalo]To discern NFP properly one must have a fully formed conscience, not a conscience of convenience.
[/quote]

Exactly, btw, some times if guilt is associated with using NFP it may be because the reasons for which the couple is using it are not the right ones, rather than it being because NFP itself is the problem.


#13

[quote=Marquette]She was not TRYING to outsmart God. She was going by the Catholic church teachings. But in her heart she felt like in the end, that is what it amounted to. And in my case, using NFP in order TO become pregnant, what if God really didn’t want me having a child at that time? So that is why I ask if maybe in a way, I was trying to “outsmart God” in my own way. My friend only brought it up because she had such a tender heart for God and wanted to do the right thing. I was not Catholic at the time and was merely using it for my own means as wanted a baby really bad. At the time I didn’t think about the fact that maybe God had other plans and I should wait.
[/quote]

Oh, I see. That sounds better. Your friend was trying her hardest not to offend God, something I need to strive at in more ways than one. :slight_smile:


#14

Thank you for all of your replies. I know there are about a million threads on the topic of NFP. I was just very upset and had to get it off my chest. I also wasn’t sure where to put the thread.

Thanks again…


#15

[quote=mrs_abbott]Oh, I see. That sounds better. Your friend was trying her hardest not to offend God, something I need to strive at in more ways than one. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Exactly. She was a wonderful Christian. I took her name for my first daughter’s middle name.


#16

[quote=RCCDefender]Thank you for all of your replies. I know there are about a million threads on the topic of NFP. I was just very upset and had to get it off my chest. I also wasn’t sure where to put the thread.

Thanks again…
[/quote]

He doesn’t even go to church? Is there any chance that this guy is not questioning NFP so much as provoking you by taking a snipe at the Church? That’s two fat birds with one stone, if one is the type that likes to stir people up for kicks. In that case, you’re going to get more trouble the more seriously you take him.

In any event, it doesn’t hurt to ask the guy why he’s bringing the subject up in the first place. Why do you care, he asks? Because the answer might reframe your answer and approach entirely. After all, a personal problem may be the real thing that has him going… maybe his wife wants to try NFP. One doesn’t have a degree in psychology to know that a real personal problem is something altogether different than a hypothetical one. Delicate matters deserve to be approached with some discretion.

You can tell him that people who know you take apologetics seriously have been known to engage you on these questions more for sport than for the sake of a real discussion. If that’s the case, you’d like to know up front. If he has a personal reason for wanting to know, that would make a difference, too. A sterile discussion might come across as uncaring, to someone struggling with the difficulties of NFP.

The thing is, if you step back enough to ask these questions and let him know that you are on the look-out for ulterior motives, you might find it easier not to get quite as worked up about the discussion.

Remember Our Lord’s admonition not to toss your pearls before swine. Your serenity and ability to treat others charitably is worth looking out for. You will not be short-changing your defense of the truth by opting out of an argument that has no chance of a positive outcome, especially if you are doing so in order to avoid cross words being exchanged for no purpose. Quite to the contrary! It is the Christian thing to do.


#17

[quote=RCCDefender] I got into an arguement with a coworker who said that NFP is birth control; anything that you do to keep from getting pregnant is birth control. Now, I don’t look at NFP that way because you aren’t doing anything to your body. He said that by using NFP you are trying to take God out of the picture.
[/quote]

Yes, of course NFP is birth control, the spacing and planning of a family. The Church does not teach that birth control is immoral. The Church teaches that contraception is immoral.

To space and plan a family with prayer is not to reject God but to work with God’s design of human fertility.

[quote=RCCDefender] Of course this astounded me because I say that artificial birth control is what take God out of the picture.
[/quote]

There are moral and immoral ways to space/plan a family. Periodic abstinence is not immoral and contraception is. They have the same end, they are different means.

Contraception is not immoral because it “takes God out of the picture”. It is immoral because it breaks the procreative element of the marital embrace. Each act of intercourse must be objectively unitive and procreative or it is a distorted marital act.

[quote=RCCDefender] He says that I am not trusting in God’s providence. This from someone who doesn’t even go to church.
[/quote]

The Church does not teach providentialism.


#18

I have read many of your posts on NFP and I am still struggling with this word “procreative”. Doesn’t this mean “capable of reproducing”? How can a marital act be “capable of reproducing” if a couple deliberately seeks not to procreate (reproduce) via NFP? I am not trying to be difficult, I really just don’t get it.


#19

[quote=MrIrish]I have read many of your posts on NFP and I am still struggling with this word “procreative”. Doesn’t this mean “capable of reproducing”? How can a marital act be “capable of reproducing” if a couple deliberately seeks not to procreate (reproduce) via NFP? I am not trying to be difficult, I really just don’t get it.
[/quote]

Objectively the act is procreative if it is completed in the way it was designed by God. God made sex procreative, but not every act results in conception. The act, the end to which it is ordered, is procreation. Anything that disorders the act is not procreative objectively, it is not ordered to its natural end. That is why contraception is not a procreative act, but unaltered sex at a (naturally) infertile time (infertile part of the cycle, post-menopause) is.

Do you see the difference between the objective nature and state of the act (procreative) and the subjective result of that individual act (might not result in conception)?


#20

[quote=1ke]Objectively the act is procreative if it is completed in the way it was designed by God. God made sex procreative, but not every act results in conception. The act, the end to which it is ordered, is procreation. Anything that disorders the act is not procreative objectively, it is not ordered to its natural end. That is why contraception is not a procreative act, but unaltered sex at a (naturally) infertile time (infertile part of the cycle, post-menopause) is.

Do you see the difference between the objective nature and state of the act (procreative) and the subjective result of that individual act (might not result in conception)?
[/quote]

You should have stopped at the first sentence, because I can’t get past it. You are using the words “objective” and “subjective” in ways I am not familiar, but of course I do see the difference between using an artificial method to avoid pregnancy and using a natural method. I also see that they both have the same consequence - no conception. I understand that the Church teaches that artificial means of avoiding conception are wrong, but natural ones are OK, provided sufficient reason to avoid pregnancy exists. What I don’t understand is why timing intercourse to avoid conception does NOT pervert the marital act.

Perhaps you could first define what you mean by “procreative”. I think that would help me.

Webster’s defines “procreate” as “to beget or bring forth offspring.” Clearly, a couple having relations during naturally infertile periods is seeking to avoid the bringing forth of offspring. Hence, they are not procreating.

m-w.com/dictionary/procreation

Webster’s defines “procreation” as " the process of coming or bringing into being" (given under the definition of “generation”). Again, if a couple is having relations during a period when they are least likely to conceive, they are by definition trying to avoid “the process of … bringing into being” a new person.

m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?va=generation

What am I missing? These definitions are plain as day to me. Sex outside the fertile time cannot be procreative since procreation/reproduction/conception cannot occur. I’m still confused.


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