NFP is Birth Control (or is it?)

A good friend of mine asserts that birth control is anything that prevents a conception of a baby. So any Catholic person who is using NFP and thinks using condoms is bad is a hypocrite. Especially if a woman is familar with her cycle and doesn’t have sex when she is fertile, but then turns around and says the pill and condoms should not be used…she is a big hypocrite.

Any good arguments out there to help me with my friend to show that abstinance from sex is not “birth control”?

In Christ,

Tom

[quote=Tom of Assisi]A good friend of mine asserts that birth control is anything that prevents a conception of a baby. So any Catholic person who is using NFP and thinks using condoms is bad is a hypocrite. Especially if a woman is familar with her cycle and doesn’t have sex when she is fertile, but then turns around and says the pill and condoms should not be used…she is a big hypocrite.

Any good arguments out there to help me with my friend to show that abstinance from sex is not “birth control”?

In Christ,

Tom
[/quote]

Hi Tom!

What the Church opposes is ARTIFICIAL birth control. NFP is not artificial. Those who use NFP leave open the possibility of new life every time they are together. HUGE difference between that and condoms.

Scripture speaks of the practice of periodically abstaining:

1Co 7:5 Do not deprive one another–except when you agree, for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Your friend is free to assert anything she likes about the definition of birth control, but in so doing she seems to misunderstand the Church’s teaching on birth control. This is why she sees those who practice natural birth control yet disagree with artificial birth control as hypocrites.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:

There are plenty of arguments, but none of them are conclusive because at some point you get backed into a corner where you have to believe the Church’s teachings because the distinction is not well made in a logical sense. One can say what the church teaches, but as far as “convincing” it is an article of faith, not a matter of logic.

I assume, of course, that you mean “artificial birth control” because NFP obviously is “birth control.” The “artificial” is the gotcha. Your Protestant friend and I are likely to claim that using various scientific observations and becoming familiar with one’s cycle and regulating sex accordingly for the purposes of spacing births more or less frequency and no more or less “artificial” than using a condom. At that point, logic doesn’t get you the rest of the way; you either believe the Church or not.

Alan

[quote=AlanFromWichita]There are plenty of arguments, but none of them are conclusive because at some point you get backed into a corner where you have to believe the Church’s teachings because the distinction is not well made in a logical sense. One can say what the church teaches, but as far as “convincing” it is an article of faith, not a matter of logic.

I assume, of course, that you mean “artificial birth control” because NFP obviously is “birth control.” The “artificial” is the gotcha. Your Protestant friend and I are likely to claim that using various scientific observations and becoming familiar with one’s cycle and regulating sex accordingly for the purposes of spacing births more or less frequency and no more or less “artificial” than using a condom. At that point, logic doesn’t get you the rest of the way; you either believe the Church or not.

Alan
[/quote]

Good points to both of the previous posters. My friend and his wife are Catholic btw. They just disagree over the Church’s teachings because they assert that it is hypocritical since NFP is allowed.

BTW I didn’t say artificial BC because I was trying to suggest that even the types of BC which don’t use some artifica or device are still wrong (like coitus interuptus for example)…some people assert that that is a form of natural BC.

But you would class NFP as birth control then? We have to accept the Church teachings on faith that that is the only permissable kind then, right?

[quote=Tom of Assisi]A good friend of mine asserts that birth control is anything that prevents a conception of a baby. So any Catholic person who is using NFP and thinks using condoms is bad is a hypocrite. Especially if a woman is familar with her cycle and doesn’t have sex when she is fertile, but then turns around and says the pill and condoms should not be used…she is a big hypocrite.

Any good arguments out there to help me with my friend to show that abstinance from sex is not “birth control”?

In Christ,

Tom
[/quote]

Of course NFP is birth control. The Church does not prohibit birth control.

The Church prohibits contraception.

They are not the same thing, nor are they equivalent morally.

Your friend’s “hypocrite” argument is based entirely on a false understanding of what it is the church prohibits. The church does NOT prohibit one from spacing and planning children. The church does tell us there are moral and immoral ways to achieve this goal.

One can steal or buy a loaf of bread. Both methods achieve the same end of providing food for the person. But, the methods of achieving the end are not equivalent morally.

[quote=1ke]Of course NFP is birth control. The Church does not prohibit birth control.

The Church prohibits contraception.

They are not the same thing, nor are they equivalent morally.

Your friend’s “hypocrite” argument is based entirely on a false understanding of what it is the church prohibits. The church does NOT prohibit one from spacing and planning children. The church does tell us there are moral and immoral ways to achieve this goal.

One can steal or buy a loaf of bread. Both methods achieve the same end of providing food for the person. But, the methods of achieving the end are not equivalent morally.
[/quote]

That is a very persuasive and well-written post. Any web-links, books, or Church documents that would make that argument? The Pope’s book on marriage I suppose. Other really good ones that make the point as clearly as you did?

Thanks

[quote=1ke]Of course NFP is birth control. The Church does not prohibit birth control.

The Church prohibits contraception.

They are not the same thing, nor are they equivalent morally.

Your friend’s “hypocrite” argument is based entirely on a false understanding of what it is the church prohibits. The church does NOT prohibit one from spacing and planning children. The church does tell us there are moral and immoral ways to achieve this goal.

One can steal or buy a loaf of bread. Both methods achieve the same end of providing food for the person. But, the methods of achieving the end are not equivalent morally.
[/quote]

for when my friend asks: can you give me an exact and concise definition of contraception?

thanks again

[quote=Tom of Assisi]Good points to both of the previous posters. My friend and his wife are Catholic btw. They just disagree over the Church’s teachings because they assert that it is hypocritical since NFP is allowed.
[/quote]

The point is whether or not the couple is being open to new life every time they are together. With NFP they are. With other methods they are not.

It’s likely that your friend and his wife are Cafeteria Catholics because they are uninformed Catholics. Hopefully they will take time to learn about why the Church teaches what she does. I was on the pill myself until I understood that it was sinful and why. The Lord convicted my heart in a way I can’t even describe; it was an almost physical aching. I’m glad to be free!

BTW I didn’t say artificial BC because I was trying to suggest that even the types of BC which don’t use some artifica or device are still wrong (like coitus interuptus for example)…some people assert that that is a form of natural BC.

Even with coitus interuptus the couple is not being open to new life should God will it. That’s what makes it wrong and “unnatural”.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:

[quote=Tom of Assisi]for when my friend asks: can you give me an exact and concise definition of contraception?

thanks again
[/quote]

Contraception is any action before, during, or after the marital act (ie, intercourse) that frustrates (ie, attempts to render sterile) the natural consequence of the intercourse.

NFP is not contraceptive because there is no intercourse. It’s not a sterile act, because it’s not an act at all.

Abstaining is not the same thing as contracepting. The Church does not require couples to have sex with any specific frequency (or at all once the marriage is consummated). What it does require is that IF one engages in intercourse one takes no action before, during, or after that falsifies the act.

So, I can NOT have sex at all, and I do nothing wrong. If I HAVE sex, I must respect the act, its meaning, and its end.

NFP is an alternative to abstinence, not an alternative to contraception. It merely observes a woman’s natural signs and minimizes the days of abstinence.

[quote=Tom of Assisi]That is a very persuasive and well-written post. Any web-links, books, or Church documents that would make that argument? The Pope’s book on marriage I suppose. Other really good ones that make the point as clearly as you did?

Thanks
[/quote]

I picked up that analogy somewhere along the way, don’t recall where. As for the distinction between NFP and contraception (as opposed to birth control), I just found that to be an important distinction and an effective way of discussing the topic. Every time I talk to a friend who goes off about “not wanting to have 10 kids” I just want to slap them.

The idea of end and means is from moral theology and natural law. I’d recommend 50 Questions on the Natural Law, by Charles Rice; Sex and the Marriage Covenant, by John Kippley; Theology of the Body for Beginners by Christopher West; and the Tape and Study Guide “Contraception Why Not” by Janet Smith (available at www.omsoul.com).

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]The point is whether or not the couple is being open to new life every time they are together. With NFP they are. With other methods they are not.

It’s likely that your friend and his wife are Cafeteria Catholics because they are uninformed Catholics. Hopefully they will take time to learn about why the Church teaches what she does. I was on the pill myself until I understood that it was sinful and why. The Lord convicted my heart in a way I can’t even describe; it was an almost physical aching. I’m glad to be free!

Even with coitus interuptus the couple is not being open to new life should God will it. That’s what makes it wrong and “unnatural”.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:
[/quote]

My own approach is to focus the arguement on the psychological and spiritual reasons for either not using BC or only using NFP if any. Openness to life is part of it, but I don’t think the main part.

thanks

[quote=1ke]I picked up that analogy somewhere along the way, don’t recall where. As for the distinction between NFP and contraception (as opposed to birth control), I just found that to be an important distinction and an effective way of discussing the topic. Every time I talk to a friend who goes off about “not wanting to have 10 kids” I just want to slap them.

The idea of end and means is from moral theology and natural law. I’d recommend 50 Questions on the Natural Law, by Charles Rice; Sex and the Marriage Covenant, by John Kippley; Theology of the Body for Beginners by Christopher West; and the Tape and Study Guide “Contraception Why Not” by Janet Smith (available at www.omsoul.com)..")
[/quote]

THANK YOU VERY MUCH-- the info you provided is perfect…just what I was looking for.

thanks again and God bless you

[quote=Tom of Assisi]A good friend of mine asserts that birth control is anything that prevents a conception of a baby. So any Catholic person who is using NFP and thinks using condoms is bad is a hypocrite. Especially if a woman is familar with her cycle and doesn’t have sex when she is fertile, but then turns around and says the pill and condoms should not be used…she is a big hypocrite.
Tom
[/quote]

So does that mean they have relations every night?? —KCT

I guess that means that all people that don’t have sex, are using birthcontrol.

As for people who have sex everynight, people lie about their sex lives. I grew up in secular culture thinking everyone was having it but me. That somehow it was abnormal that a teenager was a virgin. They have an image that as long as the are having sex more then that national average, they are ok.

[quote=rayne89]I guess that means that all people that don’t have sex, are using birthcontrol.
[/quote]

Only if all people that don’t have sex are not having sex specifically to prevent pregnancy.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]Only if all people that don’t have sex are not having sex specifically to prevent pregnancy.In Christ,Nancy :slight_smile:
[/quote]

If only we could get teens to buy into this! —KCT

Janet Smith would ask, if your friends say that NFP is the same as contraception, why don’t they use NFP?

And, no. The distinction is NOT whether NFP is “natural” and other contraception is “artificial.” Mutual masturbation is not artificial. Coitus interruptus is not artificial.

[quote=mercygate]Janet Smith would ask, if your friends say that NFP is the same as contraception, why don’t they use NFP?

And, no. The distinction is NOT whether NFP is “natural” and other contraception is “artificial.” Mutual masturbation is not artificial. Coitus interruptus is not artificial.
[/quote]

The wife is on the pill to prevent her from developing ovarian cancer in the future. Shs has a family history of ovarian cancer. But morally they think if they wanted to be on the pill to prevent any more kids from being conceived they would be right to since the Church teaches hypocricy on the issue. I will show the husband this thread to see f it clarifies the issue for him.

[quote=Tom of Assisi]The wife is on the pill to prevent her from developing ovarian cancer in the future. Shs has a family history of ovarian cancer. But morally they think if they wanted to be on the pill to prevent any more kids from being conceived they would be right to since the Church teaches hypocricy on the issue. I will show the husband this thread to see f it clarifies the issue for him.
[/quote]

Medical use of the pill is acceptable. Have them consult with a knowledgeable person who can help them negotiate the medical AND moral aspects of their problem. There are lengthy threads on these forums that deal with just this situation. Godspeed.

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