Friday, March 30, 2007

Love, Contraception, and All of Us Stuffy Catholics

Well, I have actually hated some bits of the past few days of blogging to be quite honest. Although I was able to tie things back to deeper realities than modern events at times, I still felt as though I had sold my soul and was beginning to sound like a political pundit. Today, I would like to use an earlier blog as the educational opportunity about which I spoke, namely on the subject of contraception.

Now, I am quite aware that many, if not most people, reading this wonder, “What about contraception? There is no controversy with it…. except with the Catholic Magisterium and the Mormons.” I would like to just breach the surface in this short reflection and talk about why the Church’s stand on contraception, while seeming stuffily anti-sexual, anti-love is nothing more than an affirmation of the true Form of Love.

I suppose we should begin by asking “Why is sex an act of expressing love?” The most blatantly obvious is the fact that showing one’s naked body to another is the removal of many barriers of protection. In a materialistic way, it is truly laying oneself bare before another, an act which should only be done before one who loves you. However, if you end here, there is not much left. Indeed, I would argue, at this point, that the act of sex, used with contraception only for itself, is not an act of love but only of manipulation and use of the other for pleasure. I am willing to hear the arguments, but to me, heaving and grinding don’t intrinsically bring two individuals closer together in love.

However, I must stress this heavily: I do not think that the act of sex is intrinsically evil, not in ANY way whatsoever. Nonetheless, this begs the question: What makes uncontracepted sex a true experience of love? In such an encounter, another element is involved, an element which is absolutely necessary for love to truly be itself: Time. Love always looks toward eternity: “You shall be my beloved forever.” Therefore, if a sexual encounter is to be truly loving, it too must look to eternity. In the case of uncontracepted sex, the sexual act is one that affirms, “I love you enough to mix our destinies. I am willing to have a child with you, even though that appears to limit my freedom. I am willing to take that chance, to bind our tomorrows, for I truly love you.”

The Catholic ban on contraception is nothing more than a protection on sex, an aggrandizement of sex, indeed the salvation of the sexual act. Without a gaze for the future, the sexual act becomes nothing more than a materialistic utilization of both parties involved. For sex to truly be itself, it takes an endless love, one which says, “You are mine and I am yours, come good or ill.” This is why sex is the restatement of the marital vows: “I do… till death do us part.”

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