Thank you, Mommyof02green, for starting this thread. I wish to respond to the JW from the other thread, Ganyemede, on this subject as well. The account that is referred to here is in Genesis 38:6-10.
Nope this is not true. He was put to death for spilling his seed. The punishment for being unwilling to provide offspring was not death but to be spit in the face and stripped of his sandal. Take a look at Deut. 25:7-10
Did you know that even until 1930 contraceptives were condemned by all churches? The Anglicans were the first to relax their stance and all others have followed suit. The Catholic Church stands alone in her insistance that it is sinful.
The story of Onan was discussed, I believe, on a Catholic Answers show…maybe by Jimmy Akin? He said that to say that Onan was killed only because he didn’t want to provide his brother’s wife with a child was ridiculous because there are other instances of men in the OT refusing to do that and not being killed. But those men didn’t spill their seed like Onan did.