NFP the same as forms of contraception?


#1

Sorry to bring up the issue yet again… but it is NFP awareness week here on L.I. and I thought this was a good list to reference in this forum:

TOP 10 Reasons to Use NFP, by Steve Pokorny:

tob.catholicexchange.com/2010/07/21/2068/

I’ll have to admit the title of this thread is a bit misleading because I actually believe the difference between NFP and contraception is profound, and I would like to throw a question out to my non-Catholic brothers and sisters and those who think the two are the same:

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines the word the ‘same’ as:

1 a : resembling in every relevant respect b : conforming in every respect —used with as
2 a : being one without addition, change, or discontinuance : identical b : being the one under discussion or already referred to
3 : corresponding so closely as to be indistinguishable
4 : equal in size, shape, value, or importance —usually used with the or a demonstrative (as that, those) in all senses
(see citation source below)

Yet NFP can be used exclusively to achieve a pregnancy. The very practice of NFP gives couples the equal ability to postpone pregnancy or specifically have a child.

yet… all forms of contraception only prevent a pregnancy. The prevention of allowing God to bless a husband and wife with another human is build into the framework of what contraception is. It is also build into the mentality of couples that use contraption.

How then can one say the two are the same?

I suppose there are those who would say one could achieve a pregnancy by merely ending the use of the contraception… yet this response would predicate both means of achieving pregnancy were synonymous… and obviously they are not.

One is a *act that two individual knowingly commit with a willingness to let God influence the outcome, its very nature is open to new life. The other is merely an in-action.

Thus one cannot honestly call the two ‘the same’, there are obviously distinct differences. Heck, if one could consider the two as synonymous than I would challenge their ability to recognize differences in anything else. Here again, I presume those questioning the difference are truly informed as to what NFP is and how it should be used.

Let me pose a few scenarios here - I’ll let the audience decide which two are innately ridiculous…

  1. A couple wants to have a baby, they learn about NFP, and correctly using NFP they share the marital embrace during the woman’s fertile days.

2)* A couple wants to have a baby*, they start using the barrier method.

3)* A couple wants to have a baby*, the husband has his wife hormonally neuter herself every day of the month with chemical pills.

I would go on with other forms of contraption, but the point should be pretty clear.

Finally, there are those who use the idea that since the end results are the same (for those trying to postpone pregnancy) then they must be equal.

I think this analogy should suffice in un-blurring the distinction:

What’s the difference between letting an old person die naturally of old age & suffocating them to death with a pillow? Common, you know the ‘ends’ are the same!

And of course there is the sad reality that those who use the pill experience all sorts of un-healthy side affects. (ie dumping all those hormones into a woman’s body makes it act as though it is pregnant resulting in her experiencing many of the effects associated with pregnancy, although she is not actually pregnant). That of course is a key difference, that the article above highlights and is apparent with most woman who openly share how they feel when using the pill. On the other hand, NFP is void of those of those effects. The same…? Not even close.

What do you think?


same. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved July 30, 2010, from merriam-webster.com/dictionary/same


#2

IMO, NFP is only knowledge. Knowledge can be neither good nor bad. It's all in what you do with that knowledge.

If a couple uses NFP to avoid pregnancy for selfish reasons, they are sinning.

On the other hand, if one member of a couple uses NFP or the culture that surrounds it to pressure the other spouse into having more children than he/she honestly feels the couple can support, educate, and nurture; that is also sin. Using your partner to get babies is just as bad as using them for any other purpose.


#3

Hi, my first post. I am a Catholic trying to understand the issue.
I guess we can agree that NFP is different from contraception in many ways and so are different ways of contraception different among themselves. The crucial difference I reckon is the fact that NFP is natural and allows control from nature and God. Also it is promoted by Church that counts contraception bad and others should respect that. therefore we should not call these two methods equal. However, I understand non-Catholics who would put them under the same category.
NFP would be called contraception by many Catholics themselves if it was used incorrectly - if a couple did not have any babies and did not want any babies in future. would you agree?


#4

I think NFP vs. Contraception is the most debated/argued/misunderstood of Catholic teachings. I'm not even saying my opinion on it, but just throwing in my 12 cents.

I also think it's one where we must be very, very careful in lecturing/teaching Catholics on. It's a touchy subject.


#5

[quote="Rascalking, post:4, topic:207268"]

I also think it's one where we must be very, very careful in lecturing/teaching Catholics on. It's a touchy subject.

[/quote]

I like your attitude :). I think many Christians often assume themselves to be smarter without trying to understand the position of others. Have to say, I do not quite understand this issue myself - I have read and heard a lot about it. I Imagine how non-Catholics may feel


#6

[quote="ExDeoVita, post:1, topic:207268"]
Sorry to bring up the issue yet again.. but it is NFP awareness week here on L.I. and I thought this was a good list to reference in this forum:

TOP 10 Reasons to Use NFP, by Steve Pokorny:

tob.catholicexchange.com/2010/07/21/2068/

I'll have to admit the title of this thread is a bit misleading because I actually believe the difference between NFP and contraception is profound, and I would like to throw a question out to my non-Catholic brothers and sisters and those who think the two are the same:

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines the word the 'same' as:

1 a : resembling in every relevant respect b : conforming in every respect —used with as
2 a : being one without addition, change, or discontinuance : identical b : being the one under discussion or already referred to
3 : corresponding so closely as to be indistinguishable
4 : equal in size, shape, value, or importance —usually used with the or a demonstrative (as that, those) in all senses
(see citation source below)

Yet NFP can be used exclusively to achieve a pregnancy. The very practice of NFP gives couples the equal ability to postpone pregnancy or specifically have a child.

yet.... all forms of contraception only prevent a pregnancy. The prevention of allowing God to bless a husband and wife with another human is build into the framework of what contraception is. It is also build into the mentality of couples that use contraption.

How then can one say the two are the same?

I suppose there are those who would say one could achieve a pregnancy by merely ending the use of the contraception... yet this response would predicate both means of achieving pregnancy were synonymous... and obviously they are not.

One is a *act that two individual knowingly commit with a willingness to let God influence the outcome, its very nature is open to new life. The other is merely an in-action.

Thus one cannot honestly call the two 'the same', there are obviously distinct differences. Heck, if one could consider the two as synonymous than I would challenge their ability to recognize differences in anything else. Here again, I presume those questioning the difference are truly informed as to what NFP is and how it should be used.

Let me pose a few scenarios here - I'll let the audience decide which two are innately ridiculous...

1) A couple wants to have a baby, they learn about NFP, and correctly using NFP they share the marital embrace during the woman's fertile days.

2)* A couple wants to have a baby*, they start using the barrier method.

3)* A couple wants to have a baby*, the husband has his wife hormonally neuter herself every day of the month with chemical pills.

I would go on with other forms of contraption, but the point should be pretty clear.

Finally, there are those who use the idea that since the end results are the same (for those trying to postpone pregnancy) then they must be equal.

I think this analogy should suffice in un-blurring the distinction:

What's the difference between letting an old person die naturally of old age & suffocating them to death with a pillow? Common, you know the 'ends' are the same!

And of course there is the sad reality that those who use the pill experience all sorts of un-healthy side affects. (ie dumping all those hormones into a woman's body makes it act as though it is pregnant resulting in her experiencing many of the effects associated with pregnancy, although she is not actually pregnant). That of course is a key difference, that the article above highlights and is apparent with most woman who openly share how they feel when using the pill. On the other hand, NFP is void of those of those effects. The same....? Not even close.

What do you think?


same. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved July 30, 2010, from merriam-webster.com/dictionary/same

[/quote]

You will find very few people who think they are the "same" using the strict definition you are putting up. I think "similar" is the word you are looking for, and just how similar they are. Those who think they are the "same" are really likely saying that they are similar enough to fail to see any meaningful distinction.

And the "grandma killing" analogy is just a horrible analogy. Just awful.


#7

[quote="Kasirpatiesiba, post:5, topic:207268"]
I like your attitude :).

[/quote]

That's very nice of you to say. Thanks.


#8

[quote="meltoine, post:2, topic:207268"]
IMO, NFP is only knowledge. Knowledge can be neither good nor bad. It's all in what you do with that knowledge.

[/quote]

Likewise, hormones are medications with both ethical and non-ethical uses. For instance, it is ethical for a woman to use hormonal medications which have the side-effect of suppressing her fertility (and which may even be abortifacient) when there are sufficient medical reasons indicating their use for her condition. In these cases, even pro-life physicians will prescribe medications of that nature.

Even condoms have ethical uses. You should hear the stories from ultrasound sales people who use them as disposable covers for ultrasound probes. (To find out for yourself: try, as a thought experiment, to travel through airport security as a lone female, carrying enough condoms to fill a grocery bag.)

Keep in mind, too, though, that some hormonal birth control methods do not only suppress fertility, but also work as abortifacients. That puts the ethics of those methods of artificial birth control on a different plane even than artificial means such as barrier methods or spermicides.


#9

[quote="PassingThru, post:6, topic:207268"]
You will find very few people who think they are the "same" using the strict definition you are putting up. I think "similar" is the word you are looking for, and just how similar they are. Those who think they are the "same" are really likely saying that they are similar enough to fail to see any meaningful distinction.

And the "grandma killing" analogy is just a horrible analogy. Just awful.

[/quote]

I wish I could say I've spoken with a majority of people that recognize at least some sort of difference or as you say 'similar', but most commonly I meet people who believe there is no distinction between the two. But perhaps the tide is changing and more people are beginning to understand the difference and the blessings NFP has to offer when used correctly. In either event I don't believe the difference is minor, and I don't agree that we can compare the two by using the word 'similar'.

Regarding the analogy: it may be more analogous than it appears. As EasterJoy mentioned, some forms of contraption cause early abortions. While that fact alone serves to further distinguish contraption form NFP, the moral implications cannot and should not be down-played. One can quite honestly contrast the two ways a couple spaces a birth as a life or death decision. Again the 'ends' (no children) may be the same, but the couple practicing chemical contraption may have one or several aborted sons/daughters on their hands. In fact, I have heard testimonies of woman who express the profound sadness that comes with knowing they may have aborted their first child and not even known it - and I sympathize with them.

What also needs to be understood here is that the contraceptive mentality is deadly. Weather a couple is using NFP as a means of contraption, or if they are using the barrier method really doesn't matter if a baby is conceived and the couple is not ready to parent. All our young people walking into abortion mills across this country are not doing so because they correctly used NFP within their marriage. To do so would preclude the 'correct' use of NFP. Yet, one could say, and this is the obvious situation in most cases, that a couple was using the barrier method or chemical pills 'correctly' and having become unexpectedly pregnant, ended up at an abortion mill. It stands to reason, as we are discovering more and more, that the intention of abortion lobbyists is to first establish contraption in a country to 'soften them up' before they push for legalized abortion. Fr. Paul Marx wrote extensively about this correlation and we can now see it plain as day: the legalization of abortion has never happened in a country where contraption was not already flourishing.

In response to meltoine, I agree that almost anything can be used incorrectly or for reasons opposite the inherent nature of something. My comments assume the correct use of NFP (both in intent, practice, and mentality), for to use NFP for selfish reasons would merely make it a form of natural contraption.

I suppose the good news is that I haven't come across anyone using NFP for selfish reasons & I give our Church credit for that, including those who instruct NFP courses - as pretty much everyone I speak with about this understands how the mentality of being open to life is not an optional component of NFP.


#10

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