Saturday, February 26, 2011

A sad reminder that the Pill was never designed to improve a woman's health

A wonderful blogger emailed me recently, telling me of a terrible medical emergency unfolding in her extended family. She wanted to let others know about the circumstances of this upsetting situation without posting it on her own blog. I offered her this forum, and here is her story:

We got a call a few days ago from my husband's aunt. His cousin "Jane" was in the hospital with blood clots in her lungs. Jane is 21.

Jane has been on the Pill since shortly after her 16th birthday because her mother believed that sex was a natural thing for young people to want to do. Since Jane was going to sleep around, it was her mother's responsibility to ensure that her daughter was safe. She has repeatedly informed us that our standards of no sex before marriage are unrealistic and that we "need to come into the modern age."

The modern age caught up with Jane last Saturday when she began having a sharp pain in her chest. She called 911 and told them that she was sure she was having a heart attack. The ambulance responded and whisked her to the hospital. Testing revealed that the pain was not from her heart but from the blood clots in her lungs. She had 6 large clots and numerous smaller ones spread throughout both lungs. Blood thinners were started and she was sent for further testing. A full body scan showed diminished blood flow in one of her legs and almost non-existent blood flow to her uterus.   

After several days in the hospital, the clots in her lungs looked better and the blood flow to her leg was at a normal level. Circulation to her uterus is better but is still at a level that causes concern.

The doctors determined that her condition was caused by her use of the Pill.

She was such a healthy person. She didn't smoke, ran regularly, and ate a mostly vegetarian diet (she just couldn't walk away from the occasional steak). She had no risk factors for blood clots except for those birth control pills that were meant to keep her safe.

Jane will be on blood thinners for the foreseeable future. She will have to give up running. She won't graduate in May as was planned, but may get her diploma in December if she is well enough to attend class by then. There is a good possibility that she is now infertile. She is on bedrest until the clots are dissolved and she is out of immediate danger. As of tonight, there are still clots present. She could still die.

Her mother is devastated that her child is in danger, but maintains the stance that this was the right decision because she would "do it anyway."

The slick TV ads and magazine pictures show the sexual "freedom" that the Pill has come to represent in modern society. These ads always include a blurb that the Pill has been linked to blood clots and death. Young women like to think that they are immune to such things. They are not. 

The medical community will tell us that these things happen to such a small percentage as to be statistically insignificant. The problem is, there is no way of predicting which 1-2% of women will die or be affected by medical calamity. They could be fine, or they could be like our cousin, Jane. Last week she was planning her graduation party and had just accepted a new job starting in June. Her life was full of possibilities.

Tonight she just hopes that she won't die.


  1. I wanted to be the first to throw in my own comment. Almost two years ago, my community was shaken by a heartbreaking story: The wife of a well-respected public figure had died in childbirth, and their infant son -- their first child -- was clinging to life. The baby died three days later. We soon found out that the cause of death was

    Hepatocellular adenoma (a rare, benign liver tumor), which is almost always associated with long-term use of the Pill. In this happy expectant mother, the tumor ruptured, killing mother and then baby.

    The couple, leaders in the community (and strongly pro-life), had waited thirteen years to have their first child. No one has officially confirmed that she had used the Pill, but the local TV news, print media and medical community all began to report on the link between this kind of tumor and the Pill, in conjunction with her story.

  2. My best wishes to "Jane" and her family.

    That being said, all medications carry risks. Even something as seemingly benign as aspirin carries with it the chance of hemorrhagic stroke and gastrointestinal bleeding. If you search hard enough, you will be able to find a family with a sad story about the side effects of any drug.

    I think you are lending extra weight to this story because you take moral issue with the use of this medication, and so actively look for ways to vilify it. This can be misleading to readers.

    Certain oral contraceptives (those that are estrogen based only) carry a 3- to 6-fold increased risk of thromboembolism. This is similar to the risk you assume when taking a long plane flight. Contrary to what the blog post says, only 0.0003% of women on birth control will develop a clot this year. It is unfortunate that one of these women was "Jane" but to imply that such a result should have been anticipated when she started taking the pill is irresponsible and illogical.

  3. Keeping Jane in my prayers.

    Anonymous, you are correct that most of us who read Leila's blog are likely to take moral issue with oral contraceptives. I was given them when I was a teenager to regulate my periods and to control my heavy and painful menses. My migraines and heart problem weren't considered part of the equation - nor was all the codeine for my migraines. As soon as I was old enough to make the decision for myself, I took myself off of the Pill. I always saw it as a medication - not a form of birth control - so I educated myself. I am told that I have a high risk for stroke - this should never have been prescribed for me - so, readers, I'll leave the morality out and here's some info.

    from WebMD:
    SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of the birth control pills include nausea, headache, breast tenderness, weight gain, irregular bleeding, and mood changes. These side effects often subside after a few months' use. Scanty menstrual periods or breakthrough bleeding may occur, but are often temporary, and neither side effect is serious. Women with a history of migraines may notice an increase in migraine frequency. On the other hand, women whose migraines are triggered by fluctuations in their own hormone levels may notice improvement in migraines with oral contraceptive use because of the more uniform hormone levels during oral contraceptive use. Uncommonly, oral contraceptives may contribute to increased blood pressure, blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. Women who smoke, especially those over 35, and women with certain medical conditions, such as a history of blood clots or breast or endometrial cancer, may be advised against taking oral contraceptives, as these conditions can increase the adverse risks of oral contraceptives.

  4. So sad. So unnatural. So unhealthly. So unnecessary.

    Prayers that women take back their fertility and stay away from these unhealthy hormones.

  5. I'm very proud of this blogger that came out and told this story that's so close to her. Thank you for allowing her to post it on your site, it's important for people to know.

  6. How awful. I'll be praying for Jane at Mass today.

  7. The point really is: there are other ways to control fertility that doesn't include drugs that can ultimately be dangerous to your health. There are enough reasons we HAVE TO take dangerous drugs. Let's not make this one of them. And yes, morality plays a part in my response. How can it not?

  8. We had a very, very dear friend of the family die a year and a half ago due to a blood clot which dislodged to her brain---all related to the pill. It was absolutely devastating. She was in her late 20s.

  9. oh, and I'd also like to comment that after this occurred I was speaking with my college roommate's sister who is an ER doc. As I was telling her the story she immediately said, "Was she on the pill?" This doc went on to say that any time she has a young girl come in to the ER complaining of chest pain her first question is... are you on the pill? And then she immediately orders chest xrays. Now, this doc is nominally Catholic, doesn't practice. I say this in response to Anonymous-- there is really no religious-driven reason that this doctor looks out for young women on the pill. Her vigilance is related to a pattern she is seeing in her medical practice--so, maybe serious side effects of the pill aren't as rare as the pharmaceutical companies would have us think!

  10. So so sad and very tragic!! I will pray for both mother AND daughter today at mass!!!!
    I was going thru my shelves this morning looking for a DVD for a friend I will meet at mass this morning and happened upon an old friend....Alice von Hildebrand. she is a philosopher and true feminist and very Catholic. A women who travels and lectures and is in 70's. Her book is entitled "The privilege of being a woman".

  11. Anonymous, please consider that "medication" is used to treat an illness or a pathology. Fertility is not a disease or a pathology. Jane was healthy, and her body was working exactly as it should have, before she went on the Pill.

    It bothers me when people refer to the Pill as "medication" when it was actually designed to derail healthy functioning of a woman's body, not cure a disease or pathology.

    I can't say it enough: Fertility is not a disease. Why are women at war with their own biology? And why do we accept that men have designed a Pill to destroy our fertility, so that we can be sterile and objectified at will?

  12. DD is absolutely right. There are other ways to do pretty much everything the pill can do, without the harmful side effects. And if you can avoid the side effects, why wouldn't you? We wouldn't do this with any other medication, why is it done with the pill?

    Doctors toss the BCP at people rather than figuring out what's really wrong. In that case, it solves nothing, and what's really wrong just keeps getting worse.

    Take my own case for example--my first doctor told me to go on the pill, instructions I ignored. Good thing I didn't take it--the pill would have done nothing but mask the symptoms of my severe endometriosis, while the endo would have just gotten worse and worse inside of me and in the end would have completely demolished my reproductive system, on top of whatever other problems it may have caused.

    Even considering the terrible shape the endo's left me in now, I know it would have been infinitely worse had I gone on the pill for a few years. So where the pill would almost certainly have aided my irreversible infertility, Napro technology has made my fertility almost within my reach again.

    I also think Shannon is probably right--these things probably aren't as rare as we are made to believe.

  13. I was on the birth control pill for what a misled MD. told me was endometriosis, trick is I don't have endometriosis, and I probably never did. I apparently have a hormonal imbalance which was worsened because of my use of the pill for so many years before I got married. Sadly today's gynecologists want us to believe that "The Pill" is a medication for almost anything that affects young women and it's not. In fact it doesn't help with almost anything. It covers up medical conditions which can be hazardous to the woman's health when not treated properly. Now I'm very upset that I was not informed of the side effects of the pill. I was not on the pill for birth control reasons but now it seems that it might have affected my fertility forever and who knows what else. If you want to read more regarding my experience, I have a post on my blog.

  14. Leila is absolutely correct: fertility is not a disease. Infertility is. Fertility does not need pills; infertility does. I think that is the issue. It's like a healthy person deciding to take a medication for a condition they do not even have. No sane person would do that. And, if they tried, I am sure their family and friends would have a lot of caution filled words for them.

    I find it surprising that today we are all concerned with health. We try to buy organic when possible, avoid harsh chemicals when coloring our hair (opting for all natural plant dyes), etc yet when it comes to our bodies, young girls and women choose to fill it with synthetic hormones without a second thought. We have totally lost sight of our fertility as a gift.

    I say all of this as someone who has stage IV endometriosis and PCOS. I too was prescribed the pill at 14 years old. Never mind how it affected my mood, the migraines I got, or the nausea I felt. And, it never helped my PCOS or endo. So, just like the previous poster above, I took myself off it as soon as I could realizing it was making things worse.

    I'll keep Jane and her family in my prayers.

  15. Hebrews, Baroness, thank you. You are so right, and it's hard to hear about how women are treated. "Just stick 'em on the Pill". That happened to me, too, after I had a ruptured ovarian cyst. They just stuck me on the Pill. Didn't even think to ask why I had the estrogen level of a post-menopausal woman. I even knew then it was because I didn't feel like going to campus to eat my meals, and never went grocery shopping for my apartment. I was underweight and that is why my periods were scant and I probably wasn't even ovulating. He could have told me to start eating more and gain weight! But no, the Pill was the answer, and I was fine with that because then I could continue to have sex with my cheating, pot-head boyfriend without my parents thinking anything of it. Mind you, I had been on the pill as a teen, thanks to Planned Parenthood, which puts girls on the Pill before their bodies even have stopped growing.

    Anyway, don't get me started... You know how I get. :)

  16. Meghan, exactly! And, I don't mean to put this on par with the death and destruction left in the Pill's wake, but I was also on the Pill as a married women, and one crazy little side effect is that it kills the libido. I was not interested in sex in the way that I should have been. When I went off the Pill and my body got back to being a woman's body, I had a whole new desire for my husband. It was like night and day! For that alone, I would never have thought to go back!

  17. The exact same thing happened to my sister-in-law. She was hospitalized six months after the birth of her daughter due to blood clots in her lungs. She had just gone on the Pill, and her doctors told her that the Pill was the cause of the clots and that she could never go on hormonal birth control again.

    They also found remnants of old clots and speculated that her pregnancy had caused those, so they also told her she should never get pregnant again (she did, and went on heparin injections, but sadly miscarried and then got her tubes tied -- she is a lapsed Catholic).

    The medical community does such a disservice to women by presenting hormonal birth control as low-risk. It's really not.

  18. Also, like you, Leila, I was on the Pill for the first two years of my marriage, and I would never go back. I never had any medical issues while on it (thank goodness it was for a relatively short period of time!) but it TOTALLY killed my libido. I have more of a sex drive now, thirty years old, working full-time, and running around after three kids under six, then I did while as a twenty-one-year-old married college student on the Pill! How sad is that?

  19. O.k. morality aside, why the Pill? Why not condoms? The pill doesn't protect against STD's
    I think STD's would be a lot worse than pregnancy. The mom's biggest concern was "protecting" her from pregnancy. I don't understand the logic.
    Even if stories of Jane are few and far between, it was so unnecessary for her to be on it and the risks certainly don't outweigh the benefits.

  20. oops, I mean benefits certainly don't outweigh the risks. Need more coffee.

  21. Prayers for Jane-

    "Her mother is devastated that her child is in danger, but maintains the stance that this was the right decision because she would "do it anyway.""

    That struck a chord with me. I've got a blog post on "expecting chastity" rolling around in my brain. So sorry for all the Janes out there...

  22. Anonymous: "If you search hard enough, you will be able to find a family with a sad story about the side effects of any drug."

    Sure, but most of those drugs are NEEDED to cure or ease the pain of a sickness or disease. The difference with the Pill? It's COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE!!! No one NEEDS to be on the Pill for anything, as evidenced by many of the commenters. Jane's situation is so especially sad because it could have so easily been avoided.

  23. Oh my goodness, my heart breaks for her! I can't believe her family still stand in support of the pill after this horrific event. But, that's society nowadays...we are numb to just how bad the pill is.

    I'll say a prayer for a speedy recovery.

  24. Prayers for her.

    Leila, you are one of the most audacious and courageous bloggers I have yet encountered. I think you have been called to be a modern prophet. I am so grateful to Jennifer Fulwiler for introducing you to me. God is not abandoing us women and leaving us to ourselves in these difficult times! He is sending us fellow women like you two (and so many others who are speaking the truth and fighting the good fight).

    Thank you so much. I am sick in bed today but wanted to thank you.

    Nina :)

  25. Anonymous... almost every woman I know how has been on the pill long-term has had some complication from it. I know one woman who had to be taken off due to a clear increase risk of stroke for her. Most of the women I know are not at a point where stroke is the biggest concern but they are suffering from awful migraines, lowered libido, weight gain, etc. Long-term use of the Pill also changes your pH levels which gives you increased risk of infections. I was just talking to a secular phys therapist last week who mentioned the number of women who come in complaining that EVERY TIME they are intimate with their husbands they get a yeast infection and this medical professional attributed this issue to women who use the pill long-term. So, so, so many women suffer for what? As Leila said, they are not sick when they go on the Pill. They are healthy. This is not a "treatment" for an illness where the risk factors outweigh the opportunity to restore health.

  26. Also, since the biggest risks seem to be associated with long-term use, the last thing we should be doing is putting our teens on this.

  27. It sure sounds like complications from the Pill are not rare. Maybe this is similar to the claim that abortion is very safe, and yet ask Nicole C or any other person who works in the right-to-life community, and your hair will curl with the reports of injuries and butcheries and deaths that go on all the time. But everyone keeps thinking it's so safe for women (largely due to the pro-abortion media's complicity).

    Nina, you are too kind! Thank you! I think it's amazing how powerful the simple truth is. It resonates with every human heart. It sure knocked me on my keister!! As Charles Spurgeon said, “The gospel is like a caged lion. It does not need to be defended, it just needs to be let out of its cage.”

    I'm just letting the truth out of its cage. :)

    I hope you feel better soon, my friend.

  28. At a conference I once heard a (pro-life) doctor say that if there was a pain medication like aspirin that had all of the side effects that the birth control pill has, it would be pulled from the market so fast your head would spin. Sadly, there is a double standard when it comes to patient safety: they'll tolerate the pill's serious side effects just because it allows sex without "consequences." The number of lawsuits against the pill is increasing though so people are becoming more aware of the serious risks. Sadly, it's at the expense of women like the one in this story. Thanks for sharing this, Leila.

  29. Leila - good point. I can't help but feel like the stats reported don't match what the everyday woman experiences. And I also think doctors fail to mention that risks may increase over time, you know? So, yes, perhaps there's little to worry about on year 1 or 2 but as you get to 6, 7, 8 -- the doctor keeps prescribing and never mentions that maybe it's time to take a break from the hormones. Thanks for sharing this story... SO sad. I hope she beats this and comes out okay.

  30. I haven't read the other responses yet, so I may be repeating someone here.

    I find it so sad that our culture views women's natural bodily functions as something to "medicate" away. The pill encourages ignorance and irresponsibility. Don't like the natural consequence of sexual activity? Don't altar your sexual behavior....rather, take a pill that will do away with your monthly cycle. Sperm is welcome...your own eggs, 'medicate' away.

    This is pro-woman??

  31. looks like an IUD is the safer way to go...

  32. Yikes. The IUD is EXTREMELY harmful to women, not to mention they cause very early term abortions. First of all, there's a foreign object implanted into your uterus. Clearly that's not natural and begs for serious problems.

    Instead of reinventing the wheel here, I'll just copy & paste what ALL has to say about it:

    The IUD, (intra-uterine device), is an object that is placed inside the uterus (womb) by a physician. There are two different kinds of IUDs manufactured in the United States today. ParaGard®, manufactured by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, is made of plastic and uses copper as its active ingredient. Mirena®, manufactured by Bayer Health Care Pharmaceuticals, releases the hormone progesterone.

    Although doctors claim they aren’t quite sure how the IUD works, it is clear that the IUD does not prevent ovulation, which means that the woman’s body will still produce an egg during her monthly cycle. When the IUD is put in place, it and the chemical it contains alters the fluids in the womb and the lining of the womb. Even the presence of the IUD irritates the lining. This is not necessarily painful to the woman, but it can have deadly effects on a tiny human being.

    After this new life begins, the tiny boy or girl must travel to the wall of the womb and implant. Because the IUD alters the wall of the uterus, this tissue becomes inhospitable to the new human being. The tiny child cannot attach to the wall of the womb and get nourishment, so he or she dies. This is abortion.

    WARNING: You may be told that the IUD cannot cause abortion, but that statement is based on the incorrect notion that pregnancy begins when the baby implants in the lining of the womb (about a week after his or her biological beginning). This is dishonest and scientifically false. Don’t be misled.

    The IUD is NOT safe! Side effects of the IUD include:

    - septic abortion—infection that can cause high fever, endometriosis and other complications
    - continuation of pregnancy— dangerous for baby and mother
    - ectopic pregnancy—may be fatal if not discovered in time
    - ovarian cysts (Mirena)
    - pelvic infection, which can lead to sterility
    - embedding the IUD in the uterus, which is very painful
    - perforation of the uterine wall or cervix
    - perforation of the urinary bladder
    - heart injury
    - spontaneous abortion
    - backache
    - anemia—decrease in red blood cells causing weakness and lack of energy
    - localized pain that persists each time ovulation occurs

    The IUD also offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases —including AIDS.

  33. Thanks, Nicole. You know, just instinctively, it makes me (a woman) queasy to think of putting a foreign object into my uterus for years at a time (putting aside the fact that it's probably abortion my children). People freak out when they hear on the news that some doctor left a surgical sponge in a person's body... I mean, we all sort of cringe and shudder. But a copper or plastic object lodged in a woman's reproductive organs? It's okay, as long as you get free sex with no consequences. Man alive. Why are we women falling for this crap?

  34. JoAnna, oh my gosh. And I can't believe the doctor's answer! It's almost like "yawn, yeah you were lucky (so far), and ha ha, here's a funny story of a baby who survived it!" Right. What a cute little anecdote.


  35. The response is from a lawyer, not a doctor -- but yeah, I hear you. What chills me his is first line: Migration of an IUD, any IUD, is not uncommon.

    Eeeek! Not uncommon? I sure as heck haven't seen that on the Mirena commercials...

  36. Thanks for the correction! And you are so right... why don't we hear about that migration a little bit more? Hmmmm....

    Women, take back your bodies! Your bodies are just fine the way they were designed!!

  37. I find it a little hypocritical that many of you condemn birth control for altering a woman's fertility and natural cycle yet you decry telling a teenager or young adult to "wait until you feel ready to have sex." Birth control is "bad" because it alters the natural cycle of the body, but following the natural urges of hormones and attraction that may lead to premarital sex is also bad.

    -miss g

  38. Miss Gwen, birth control is unhealthy. So is a teenager following his "urges". We are humans, and we have free will. We also know that self-discipline and self-control is necessary in every part of our lives. Even secular folk can see that. A teen on birth control and following his "urges" are now two unhealthy things. I just have a higher view of human dignity than that.

    Can you imagine a world where the all the wives can act on their "natural urges" to sleep with the neighbor's husband?

    Do you really want to assert that people act healthily when they simply "follow the natural urges of hormones and attraction"? That conjures up about a million disturbing scenarios.

    Interestingly, contraception has facilitated many of those disturbing scenarios, in addition to untold health issues and even death.

    I honestly am responding quickly here, so I may have to think more about what you are saying. I truly have never heard this analogy presented before.

  39. Miss G, do you care about this young woman, Jane? Why doesn't this make you very upset? You didn't seem upset about the PP child sex trafficking tapes, either. I don't get it. We are women. We are supposed to care. I know you must care, but you are just not showing it. I know you must care.

  40. Miss G, forgive me, but is that a serious argument? "but following the natural urges of hormones and attraction that may lead to premarital sex is also bad." Really? As Leila explained, what would happen if we all followed our hormonal urges and desires?

    What would happen if all pedophiles followed their sexual desires towards young children? Is this OK? I mean, they're natural, hormonal urges, after all.

    Do you see the breakdown in logic?

    Birth control is a foreign substance used to unnaturally alter the chemical make-up in our bodies. It's dangerous. It's never DANGEROUS to NOT follow sexual urges (ie: NOT have sex).

  41. "What would happen if all pedophiles followed their sexual desires towards young children? Is this OK? I mean, they're natural, hormonal urges, after all."

    It's very scary, but there are more and more people who openly advocate for that:

    But what really shocked me was the universite de Montreal professor, Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem, who showed up to tell MPs pedophilia was a sexual orientation just like heterosexuality or homosexuality.

  42. JoAnna, unfortunately I'm not surprised. The whole sexual revolution was a slippery slope. When morals become relative, where do we draw the line?

  43. And speaking of this whole mindset that altering hormones with a foreign chemical substance is perfectly normal, now abortion is safer than the natural process of childbirth! Who knew?!?

    SICK and ridiculous.

    (I linked that particular analysis because KJL highlighted this comment: "if individual safety really were the top priority, our society would be seeking to reverse the disastrous doctrine of ‘lifestyle choice’ which has produced this rampant sexual promiscuity and catastrophic rise in teenage abortion." Brilliant. Speaks perfectly to Leila's last few posts.)

  44. Pedophiles can reproduce too. So can serial killers, and drug addicts. All three types of people can really hurt, or even kill their kids. They are already hurting themselves, and others, why add another, innocent person to the mix.
    Another way to look at this is how much care that can be given. If there are less kids, they can be taken care of better. Now I am not talking about families with lots of kids that can take care of them. But the 500,000 kids in the foster care system. I once read by someone on this blog (I forget who it was) say that it is the adults that make them unwanted. But it seems like not enough adults are wanting the kids!
    I do feel bad for Jane, I hope that she has a speedy recovery. I think every women who takes any pill should now the affects. But for some, they would be willing to risk it. You can die of childbirth too.
    ~Chelsea T

  45. Chelsea, most of the 500,000 kids in foster care are from broken homes, drug addicted parents, abusive parents, etc. That is a lack of virtue on the part of adults, not the result of "too many children." Many kids in foster care are only children or have one sibling. Number of kids makes absolutely no difference.

    The abuse of kids in America is a moral problem, not a problem of "too many children."

    Also, with "family reunification" being the goal in many states, there is often no parental termination of rights when their should be. Sometimes the kids languishing in foster care for years and years is not the fault of people not wanting them, but that they are released for adoption waaaay too late, if at all. It's very sad.

    Yes, some people are willing to risk the effects of the Pill and other things that are unhealthy for them. But we should in no way encourage that, especially in children.

  46. No, I'm not an advocate of pedophilia-that's why I'm not part of a religion (Methodist, Protestant, Catholic or other) that allows it's high officials to get away with it so easily : )

    And sadly, I have known two women with severe complications from the pill: one a healthy young woman in her mid thirties who developed a blood clot in her leg; another woman in her early 40s who suffered a heart attack and had been smoking for many years in addition to taking the pill. They've both thankfully recovered and have happy unmarried relationships and no children so I can only speculate on how they manage their fertility now. So yes, I do think this story of Jane is tragic. But perhaps, the real problem is the mega-powerful pharmaceutical companies that could make birth control safer and don't because there is nothing in place to make them do it.

    -miss g

  47. Miss G, your sad examples of your friends goes to show that these problems really are quite common. So sad that we put our daughters on these horrible drugs. I guess if the feminists screamed a little louder and told its followers to reject the Pill, maybe the pharmaceutical companies would change. Lord knows we Catholics are on record against the carnage. :)

    No, I'm not an advocate of pedophilia-that's why I'm not part of a religion (Methodist, Protestant, Catholic or other) that allows it's high officials to get away with it so easily : )

    Shucks, you always forget to include the biggest offenders: Public school teachers and administrators. Darn. :)

    By the way, I think the only group that actually teaches sexual purity all the way around, and that pedophilia is worthy of hell, is the Church. Unless there's been a change at Planned Parenthood? ;)

  48. Wait a sec... Miss G, does this put you on record as being opposed the Pill? Are you admitting it's harmful to women and girls?

  49. Chelsea - as a wife of an attorney who has done quite a bit of pro bono child advocate work, I can assure you that Leila is right. The foster problem isn't the fault of "too many kids" (how sad a thought) but of a broken bureaucratic system that despite what it promises, does not always act in the best interest of the children.

    Your argument teeters dangerously close to an argument for forced sterilization. Maybe I'm reading it wrong.

    Miss G: " But perhaps, the real problem is the mega-powerful pharmaceutical companies that could make birth control safer and don't because there is nothing in place to make them do it."

    I think the problem is not an underground conspiracy to not make birth control safer. If there was a way to do it, I'm sure they would, to avoid lawsuits, bad reputations, etc. I think the problem is that in any form, altering the body's chemical makeup with a foreign substance for no therapeutic purpose is just plain dangerous. There's no safe way to do it.

  50. Chelsea said: "You can die of childbirth too."

    Tragic. But childbirth is a natural human occurrence. Altering body hormones with a man-made chemical is not.

  51. all of us are at risk for blood clots and strokes. some of us are at low risk, some at medium risk and others at high risk. for example, a healthy woman has a low risk for blood clots and stroke, a woman taking birth control pills has a medium risk and a pregnant woman has the highest risk of blood clots and stroke. many people are not aware that pregnancy can be dangerous for women. most women don’t think of pregnancy as risky. although it is “natural”, unfortunately pregnancy can cause illness and death. once a woman determines her risk group she can make an educated decision. the more estrogen that's in a pill the higher the risks are. i have been on birth control since i was 17 and in about 3 months i will be turning 20. over a year and a half ago i switched to ortho-tricyclen-lo and i have nothing but positive feedback for it. of course every birth control pill has risks, but i don't plan on staying on the pill for the rest of my life. i'm getting off of it before i turn 30

  52. MB, you are exactly my daughter's age!

    It's hard for me to hear that you are so young and have been on the Pill for so long. I'm out the door, but I hope to come back and respond more tonight....

  53. ha, don't worry, i don't have sex as often as you may think. i'm also extremely healthy

  54. One, I was not suggestion forced sterilization. I was only saying that there are some people who should not be denied birth control.
    Leila, you said;
    "Most of the 500,000 kids in foster care are from broken homes, drug addicted parents, abusive parents, etc. That is a lack of virtue on the part of adults, not the result of "too many children."
    If certain parents do not have the virtue necessary to be parents, maybe the should not be parents...
    I know a bit about the foster care system myself. There are plenty of kids that cannot have families becuse no one wants to open there home. Partly because everyone wants a baby and not a child. When my parents were adopting, they gave us a whole book full of children that needed homes, whose parents had already given up rights. Now, if adopting was considered an option more often maybe this would not be a problem, but it is.
    ~Chelsea T

  55. MB, yes, pregnancy IS natural. But comparing the risks of pregnancy to the risks of being on the Pill is apples and oranges. A more accurate analogy would be as follows:

    Not being on the Pill while not being sexually active is as risky as being pregnant (both natural, with a chance of unavoidable and unforeseeable consequences, but for the most part healthy).

    Being on the Pill while being sexually active is as risky as smoking/drinking during pregnancy (both unnatural and risky with avoidable consequences and for the most part dangerous).

    I hope that makes sense. I tried to make it coherent!

  56. i wasn't making a comparison or an analogy lol

    you're making it seem more dangerous than it really is. yes, it has many risks, but many people do benefit from it. the way birth control will effect someone depends entirely on the individual, as i've said before

    i'm going to continue staying on the pill until i get married or until i'm 29

  57. I think this is a very important topic. Most of the girls I know, sexually active or not are on birth control. I think it is an incredibly over prescribed medicine for any girl, thinking about having sex, having irregular periods or bad skin and I do not believe women and girls are aware enough are aware of the possible consequences.

    However the reason that many ‘anti-birth control claims aren’t taken seriously is because they seem anti-sex and not pro-health. Telling young women that birth control is harmful to women IS something we should talk about it! It is something that would be listened to! However many women myself including myself would want to focus on developing a better pill, developing a pill for men, or at least advocating condoms which are not unnatural and do not use foreign chemicals. However many of you don’t support the use of birth control at all, and its unclear whether or not your comments are rooted in the problems of the pill or the free sex attitude it breeds (probably both). Basically what I’m saying is that you bring up some great points about the dangers of the pill and it’s a shame that many women will never listen to them because they are followed by the .."well you shouldn’t be having sex anyway attitude" which is pretty condecending ....

  58. College student,
    Catholics are against the Pill because it is unhealthy, body and soul. We talk about the physical dangers of it here, and on some of the other posts, we have talked about the emotional and spiritual dangers as well. Holistically, contraception is anti-woman, anti-good sex, anti-health.

    I think to properly evaluate the two sides, you would have to first give the Catholic view of sexuality (which is breathtaking) a complete and fair hearing. I recommend The Good News About Sex and Marriage by Christopher West for starters, but I also will keep doing posts on it.

    I don't think it's condescending to tell you another side of the story that you (and most of the country) have never heard before. I lived the worldly way of sex, as did most of the Catholics here. And then we lived the Catholic way. The difference, as I have said, is like stepping out of the darkness and into the light. We want you to have what we have. I hope that is not condescending, but rather the actions of people who care about you. There's nothing in it for us, being so counter-cultural and talking up our view of sex, except to show you a different way that can never hurt and only heal.

    I remember a great line about chastity, and how it's not a great big "NO" to sex, but it's waiting for sex that is better. Remember, Catholics look at it this way: We treat a Renoir like a Renoir. The Planned Parenthood uses the Renoir as lining for a birdcage.

    The Catholic view is not "no, no, no" it's "yes, yes, yes!"

  59. I see it as a no, no, no to the things that interfere in the bigger, better yes, yes, yes - sex the way it was intended. It's sacred.

  60. Hi MB,

    I think you did make a comparison, pregnancy being risky vs. the Pill being risky.

    You said: the way birth control will effect someone depends entirely on the individual, as i've said before

    But that's the problem. Nobody knows how the Pill will affect any individual woman. Look at this post. Jane had no idea. When Planned Parenthood was happy to put me on the Pill when I was 17, I never knew that my risk for breast cancer would go up. I have a history of breast cancer in my family. So, not cool. I was on the Pill for years (like you plan to be), and the longer you are on, the greater the risks become.

    The design of women's bodies is perfect and beautiful. It's something that we shouldn't derail and alter. Why should you, a beautiful young woman, use steroids to trick your body into thinking it's pregnant for years on end (because that's what the Pill does)?

    I remember being a teen, thinking I was being responsible. Now I look back and I am angry at the adults who were so willing to help me mess up my system. It's just nothing any of us would ever accept if it weren't for sex, which seems to be our new god.... we kill for it (abortion) and we die for it (AIDS).

    Now I'm just babbling..... :)

  61. sweet jane, exactly!

    college student, I think the Church has to do a better job of making sure that people don't see our view of sex as a negative one. We love sex! Catholics are pretty amazing that way, ha ha. But sex as it was designed is the best sex of all. Why settle for less?

    Chelsea, I agree that people (many of them) prefer to adopt an infant. It is actually a huge undertaking to adopt an older child who may come with many problems due to abuse, etc. It's not for everyone. Some people are not equipped to handle it, so we have to understand that. And many foster kids are in sibling groups, so that's hard to take on as well. I love that your parents adopted!! We have several bloggers and many Catholics at my parish and in my "bubble" who have adopted foster kids. Some had been terribly abused. It's not easy, but thankfully adoption is huge in the Church. Many, many, many people I know have opened their hearts and homes to older kids.

    It's never the kids' fault. It isn't a matter of, "This child should not be in existence." It's more like, "These adults sinned against these poor kids, shame on the adults."

  62. Miss G.

    I find you quite an intelligent, thoughtful individual which is why I'm disappointed to see you stoop to the Catholic version of Godwin's law.

    Also I think you've set up a false example of hypocrisy here. Catholics don't reject the natural, hormonal sex drive, on the contrary they believe it is a sacred. What they do promote is actually healthy, responsible stewardship over it, preserving it for the highest possible good: an expression of self-giving love between two people linked together in a lifelong sacramental union and the creation of new human life.

    There's more continuity than disjuncture between Catholic sexual ethics regarding birth control and chastity. Both are a reflection of the belief in the sacredness of the body. Sacredness is as much about creating boundaries around something as it is about revering it. A sacred chalice isn't used to drink rum and cokes, although there's nothing wrong with rum and cokes. Consecrated hosts are left in a tabernacle, not in a cookie jar, though there's nothing wrong with cookies and cookie jars. Sacred sexuality isn't used for mere pleasure alone, although there's nothing wrong with pleasure.

  63. Leila,
    I was not intending to criticize catholic sex and I was agreeing with you about many facets of birth control. My doctor (a very good gynecologist) put me on birth control to help with my anemia and my depression! She said that because my overly heavy periods were harming my fertility, being on bc would help preserve my fertility and decrease my chances of getting breast cancer! I say this because there is SOO much opposing science out there and I think you are right that women NEED to investigate the pill.

    I also like many of the attitudes you have towards sex. I personally think they make sense. But I understand many people do not, I think that’s okay too. I just wonder, because literally over 90% of Americans have sex before marriage if there is a problem with telling people to do away with contraceptives all together? Again, I know you are catholic and my intention is not to attack your beliefs. You and the women on this forum have been very kind and encouraging to me. But as a (sort of) sexually active young adult who is not in a relationship, do you not think it matters if I use contraceptives (condoms?) I understand your feelings about marriage, but I very earnestly want to know if you think sex with or without contraception in my case is equally bad.

  64. College student, great questions. I first of all appreciate all that you have brought to the discussion. And I like your mind. You are a smart young woman.

    The question about using contraception during unmarried sex is similar to what was talked about on this post about the Pope and condoms:

    It almost doesn't matter either way in my mind (as a Catholic), for a few reasons:

    1) sex outside of the marital bond is a serious sin.
    2) contraception is a serious sin.

    So, does one serious sin lessen another? Maybe only in intent? (i.e, the intent not to give your partner a disease). If the intent of using the contraception was completely unselfish, I could see that it is (as the Pope says), a baby step, morally speaking, to a more human way of understanding sexuality. But it would still be sinful. And the problem is, if you use sexuality in a way in which it is not intended (separating the unitive part from the procreative part... all separated from marriage), it is still damaging, on more levels than just the physical. You may be physically protected (and that is highly debatable!), but that's only a fraction of who we are as humans.

    How would I argue it from the secular perspective? I guess I'd say this:

    If you try to take away the consequence of a risky behavior, there will be more people doing that risky behavior (especially in something so strong as a sex drive), and then more people getting hurt. So, contraception gives this grand illusion of providing safety, but we know that is not exactly true. In fact, we know that 54% of the women coming in for abortions were using birth control that month. We know that human nature makes us prone to "get caught up in the moment" and forget contraception (especially if we are drinking). So, contraception is a promise that can't deliver. If contraception worked as we've been told, we would have fewer STDs and fewer abortions and fewer out-of-wedlock births than before the 1960s, but in fact, all of those stats have skyrocketed. It's pretty clear that contraception is not the answer.

    I guess I'm rambling again....

    My hope is that we would teach virtue again to children, and self-control, and the right order of things. I think people will always sin, and always make mistakes, but not on the scale that we do now, because it seems like we've given up on moral training. We aren't even trying to teach our kids the right way anymore. It's like we have forgotten how, and how much is at stake.

  65. college student, I will try to make it even more clear (as I am talking it out in my head)....

    I could never hope that the whole country would wake up and see the danger and sinfulness of contraception (as all walks of life in America did pre-1930s). It would take a miracle (truly) to put that genie back in the bottle. All I can say or do, is talk about the truth and beauty of human sexuality as it was designed, and speak to one heart at a time. My heart was changed, and it changed my whole life. That in turn changed my kids' lives, etc. So, I can't ever give "permission" (for lack of a better word) for anyone to use contraception. It's the whole misuse of sexuality that I oppose.

    If that makes sense.

  66. I know that it was by the grace of God that I never used birth control, or got pregnant before I got married and had an abortion. It wasn't until after I got married that I made my reversion to Catholicism and I can see how these were graces granted to me.

    Moral relativism is the house I grew up in, and birth control, sex, and even abortion were always things that were okay with my parents, the birth control and sex being advocated for. Catholicism was just a barrier to the things they thought teenagers and college kids should be doing, or also an insult to the way they live their lives?

    My mom always tried to get me on the pill, and for some reason I never ended up on it. My excuse was always 'I don't want to gain 10 pounds' which, vain as it was, is true. Vanity, in this case, led to a good decision, despite the faulty logic behind that decision.

    My 18 year old sister is on birth control and has been for years for her 'acne' and 'period pains', neither of which have gotten any better in the last 2-3 years. She is not sexually active, and I have clearly spoken about the Church's view on contraception with her. However, this past fall when she started her college field hockey team, she blacked out while running and had a lot of random health issues, the pill was the first thing I thought of and researched. I believe the doctor mentioned it could be the root cause, yet nobody would tell me if that was said because I'm soooo Catholic and it would just prove me right, and also, more importantly, the Church.
    I get so discouraged because, of course, my parents label me as an extremist or crazy religious nut when I bring up topics like that (regardless of the fact that I didn't even use religion as an argument!). It is scary though, and always in the back of my mind making me worry about my sister.

  67. Jessica, that is just so sad! I will pray for your sister and your family.

    I will never understand how or why a mother would insist that a child go on the Pill and encourage sexual activity. It jars me every time I hear it, but I know it's common.

  68. Leila - Actually, I do like the Catholic view of sex (with a few minor caveats as to where the seed is spilled, masturbation and the morality of homosexual sex). It's also a nice ideal where no one gets hurt emotionally or physically, fake hormones aren't coursing through anyone's veins, STDs aren't spread, NFP works perfectly and all pregnancies are wanted because of this. What a lovely concept! (I am not being sarcastic in the least, honestly.)

    This is the epitome of married, child-ready, heterosexual sex. It is the apex of where you have come from. Of course it is the best and most amazing thing you ever had - my husband, too, is the best and most amazing thing I've ever had! Why? Because I am older now, open for him and in deeper love than I ever could have been with the (few) people I slept with in college. I am open to bearing children (just had #3!) I am an adult now and life is so - wow - it's just so much more after you bring people into this world and see them out (adults, miscarriages - not abortions) I have done both. And the love that I feel now is ground-shaking compared to when I was younger. I would never get an abortion, we do not use synthetic birth control, etc.

    But you know what? I had to go through my youth and learn those lessons for myself. Just being told "wait for better" means little when your compass for "being in love" is fresh out of the box. You got to learn your lesson, too, with that "pot-smoking" dude from college (ha ha) and the initial years with your husband before you were sure about being open to life. You may wish you never went through that, but the truth is that your feelings on the matter would be much emptier without the experience.

    Also, something to consider is not everyone is heterosexual and not everyone wants to get married. While you may not be able to fathom this because your life is so fulfilled the way you live it - not every girl is cut out for a husband and 8 kids. Some have mental illness, substance abuse issues. Some are simply happier single and on their own. Some are lesbians. Some women are terrified of pregnancy and children. Some simply do not feel a maternal instinct at all.

    So while your average, heterosexual family-desiring woman would benefit from much of your advice, many others are disenfranchised. And lesbians can't get married, so they can't wait for that.The pill helped me for two years not to get pregnant by my (now) husband before we were married. I went off of it the summer before we were and found out we had our first bun in the oven on our honeymoon! But I was so ready by then. It was awesome. I can't say I would have felt as good about it a year prior.

    I have 2 daughters myself. I hope they wait for being in love to have sex and I hope they are out of High School. I hope they don't sleep around and I will not encourage sex by keeping condoms in the house or anything like that. If one of them got pregnant as a teen, I would encourage her to keep the baby and do all I could to help her raise it and complete her education.

    But I know they need to learn their own way, otherwise it's just empty rhetoric.

    So how about that NFP article, anyway?


  69. L, excellent comment, thank you! The NFP article should be out in the next week, God willing. :)

    You said a lot here, and I want to give it the attention it deserves. I have two daughters as well. One is 19 and a sophomore in college (in Italy for the semester) and one is 16 and a sophomore in high school. The experience they've had as teens is 180 degrees from mine, and just as soon as I can, I will tell you why.

  70. Hi L! Can't wait for Leila's NFP post either! :)

    You said: "You may wish you never went through that, but the truth is that your feelings on the matter would be much emptier without the experience."

    I have to say, I take issue with this comment. As someone who waited for a man who waited for me, I can honestly tell you that I don't regret NOT having been promiscuous in my high school/college/young adult years and never having used birth control. In fact, I think our views on marriage and sexuality are stronger because of having waited - not emptier! We have no baggage, no comparisons, no "exes!" We just have each other and always will!

    So please don't assume that people who DO wait until marriage are somehow emptier because we have some void of sexual sin. Not the case. And certainly not something I'd teach my kids!

  71. Yes Leila, please do the NFP post soon. I am learning how to "chart" so as to avoid pregnancy.

    @Nicole-never trust a billion dollar pharmaceutical company that stands to make huge profits from selling you chemicals and encouraging your provider to "push" medications on you.

    @Barbara-I admit I sometimes enjoy breaking (?) the Godwin rule.


    miss g

  72. Leila,
    Thank you for being so honest and clear in your response. Again everything you’ve said makes perfect sense to me and I feel I do understand why you think the catholic view of sex is so wonderful.

    I suppose what bothers me not necessarily in this conversation but in the dialogue in general are the very extreme attitudes I feel culture feeds us about sex.

    One side says “your going to have sex, with multiple partners, use a condom use birth control”. I agree with you that this is an extraordinarily unhealthy attitude! Not because I'm judging sexual morality but because having sex with multiple partners is objectively risky. And condoms are not infallible and they are sold as such!

    On the other side of the spectrum is: the wait until you marriage idea. This is a pure idea but it is somewhat unrealistic, not because people can’t do it but because many of them don’t want to. Something they have a right to do as adults

    However what I find alarming is how no one talks about how there is middle ground. I understand, wholeheartedly why you do not Leila as all unmarried sex goes against your religion. But I think its sad how no one else mentions it! There is something between having one nightstands and only having sex with your husband! The fewer partners you have the less dangerous exposure you have to STD’s! I would hate for people to think ( as some do) “oh well I had sex outside of marriage is doesn’t matter if it was with one man or 100!” All unmarried sex is not created equal (in practical terms not religious terms) and this is something the pro-contraceptive movement ignores.

  73. Miss Gwen, that's awesome about charting!

    L, I agree with the sentiments of Nicole. Yes, it's true that "God writes straight with crooked lines" and that my sins led me to my life today; however, I now hate sin, and I wouldn't ever want to be wounded (or wound others) like that again. It's like saying, "I murdered someone and ended up in prison for 40 years, but I found God." Well, praise God that He penetrated that sinner's life and brought good out of bad, but how much better would the whole world be (and all lives affected) if the man had never murdered in the first place. Virtue makes the world richer, not sin, even though God can work around our sins and still call to us....

    College student, you and L have given me some inspiration for my next post. I will say this quickly: I totally get what you are saying. However, I would say that the "middle ground" is not what you describe but rather the Catholic view. The "extremes" would be the Planned Parenthood view of sex, and the puritanical, "sex is dirty, body is bad" view of sex. Those are both the extremes, with the Church's view in the middle.

    However, I would even go further and say that instead of talking "extremes and middle", we should frame is as "ordered and disordered". So, the "ordered" view of sex is the Catholic view, in which everything is lived out as it should be, and no one is wounded. You said yourself that it's a wonderful view of sex and makes sense. I would say that the human heart sees order and is attracted to it, which is why you think the Catholic view is compelling and good. So, I would say that Planned Parenthood's view is a disordered view of sex, and a puritanical, "sex is dirty" view is a disordered view of sex.

    I hope you will stay tuned for my next post, which I hope to have published by late tonight....

  74. Leila,

    My mother also is a big advocate of the Pill and assertively encourages sterilization. I have had a very difficult time swimming against the stream, especially when there are so many "reasons" one could cite for it, in my case. It makes me truly a fool for the Lord and I just cling to Him (and to my husband) and beg God for the grace to persevere! My children, with all that they have experienced in a large family with many crosses and special needs....beg me every day to have a 10th baby, they so long for another little one! (It's not me, guys---talk to the Lord!!!) ;)

    It is NOT true that all kids from large families end up bitter, resentful, rebellious, or deformed. There is almost always something else going on there in those situations..... My kids are way more blessed and peaceful and balanced than I was being raised in a sexually open and permissive environment. Keep on fighting the fight for Truth even though it is unpopular, L.


  75. Nina, wow! I couldn't agree more. And bless you for teaching your kids to cherish life.

    I'm not kidding you, my kids are the same way, every single one! They are trying to bribe and beg us in every way to have baby number nine. I remind them that I'm 44 this month and baby number eight is only 12 months old!! This very day, I told my husband something so cute that happened with my four-year-old son as we were driving to pick up my other kids: From his car seat, my son told me we needed to have another baby. Then he kept asking if we could. I told him that would be so wonderful, but right now we do have a baby (Matthew)! He thought about it and came up with this solution: "Well, Daddy could take care of Matthew and you could take care of the new baby!" I thought that was so adorable. Right now, my husband and I are the only hold outs in the family when it comes to a new Miller! :) :)

  76. I think the Catholic view does some harm, though, especially in regards to homosexuals.I know you believe their sex is sinful, even if they were chaste until their "civil union," then monogamous thereafter. Even though you may feel compassionate to "love the sinner, hate the sin," I believe that attitude (and the worse ones out there as well) have caused a lot of emotional and psychological harm to people. A few who I know and love dearly.

    I also believe it is harmful to make sex a guilty sin outside the confines of "married, open to life." Sure, Catholics think sex is GREAT, AWESOME.... but only your kind of sex, which one kind of Many many many.

    I think it is harmful to have people think there is something wrong with masturbation. That is the first signal that the sex drive is to be withheld and frowned upon.

    Many old-school Catholics have sex guilt, whether the big church teaches it or not - their church and community instilled it in them. Many people fled the church because of it. Look at Kinsey - he was the most famous one I guess. It's why he dove into the deep end of sex and sex research anyway.

    Not saying your sexuality is wrong, but it is incorrect to say your beliefs aren't hurtful in any way.


  77. L, that's a lot to cover, but before I respond, can you tell me if this concern about hurting those who have different sexual orientations only applies to those who are homosexual? (Or who advocate for masturbation?) Are you worried about Catholic teaching harming others, too? Such as man/boy love or any other such inclination? Or even polygamists? Or those who believe in adultery?

    I'm not being sarcastic, truly. I'm asking sincerely. Are you worried about the psychological harm to those groups as well, if the Church speaks her truth about sex within marriage only?


  78. My doctor prescribed the pill and told me the good and the bad. He was very forthright about the risks. He even said it could kill me. How's that for being blunt? I then made an adult decision to fill the Rx, but at least I knew what I was doing.

    Years later, I was at another gyne's office and telling her of my depression. Even though I was being treated for depression, she suggested I go off the pill because the pill could lead to depression. At the very least, the pill was NOT helping me. So I went off the pill.

    Then a year later she asked how I felt about going back on the pill. I told her I didn't want to risk it, and that now that my body was finally cycling like a Swiss watch (it wasn't acting that way when I was 24), I appreciate my body. She said that's great, and she was happy to hear it. I think it's amazing how my cycle works like a clock. However, I do think God could have come up with a better plan instead of painful, messy menstruation.I guess I can ask Him when I get to Heaven, or maybe by then I won't care anymore.

    Do I still get depressed? You bet. But at least I am NOT worrying about blood clots.

    Every drugs has its risks. We women must educate ourselves. Mothers (and fathers) must also educate themselves when caring for their daughters (and sons).

    Read books, go online, ask your doctor, or ask your neighborhood pharmacist about any pill or medication you are taking.

  79. Leila - it only applies to consenting adults. man/boy love would not fit that bill (children are not able to consent in that regard.) Adultery would not fit that bill (as the one being cheated on would not be consenting). And polygamy? I don't advocate for it, but if all involved are consenting and happy adults, it is none of my business. My personal feelings on the matter is there is too much jealousy and too many children to take care of with scant attention given to each. (and before we revisit "sketchy" amounts of children - LOL - I am talking 20-30 with different moms all vying for a speck of attention from Dad who is too busy juggling all these people and their needs to give them more than a quick pat on the head.I believe - as you do - children benefit best from having two devoted parents.)

    So, in short, I am concerned with good, moral people who do no harm to others (pedophilia, adultery, some polygamy all cause harm) but their sex happens to be a no-no in your book.


  80. PS - it also applies to people who do not want children. (Not everyone does) I think it is ineffective, to put it mildly, to expect those people to remain celibate their whole lives because of it, instead of finding a birth control method that works for them.

  81. I have another thought.

    We need catchy slogans to tell people that if you have sex outside of marriage, you are likely to get your feelings hurt. At least girls/women are likely to get our feelings hurt. Who wants that? Who wants to sit around with a broken heart, read He's Not That Into You, eat a gallon of ice cream, which makes you gain weight, and feel like a piece of garbage though someone said no one but you makes yourself feel like garbage)?

    Okay, we want to eat ice cream, but do we want to feel so sad that we cry for weeks, become bitter and angry and depressed by sleeping with guys and getting dumped?


  82. I wish I could edit my post and fix the error.

  83. L.,

    Why is consent the sole criterion of the good?

  84. Also, L., I'm curious -- what are your thoughts on incest, assuming that both the participants are above the age of consent?

  85. Oh my described my life. Except I am 43 this year, and my baby is almost 3! Boo hoo. I was ADAMANT about not being able to handle another after #9 was born. Isn't it interesting how if we just wait, time heals and things CHANGE. How wise our Holy Mother Church is to warn us not to shut ourselves off, or drop out in fear. Courage returns and strength is renewed and grace is given for the new day. We will ONLY have peace if we stay open to life. The Truth will set you free, not the Pill.

    Now I long for another baby and see how it would only bless a multitude of people's lives at this juncture. Would it be EASY? NO! NONE of it has been easy. I'm not doing it because I think it's easy; I'm living it because I think it's *right*. If God wants it, He'll make it possible. But He doesn't promise it without suffering. He didn't SAY our lives on earth would be where it's all at. Look at His! But He did say that we would gain a mysterious peace, and I do believe that is possible in suffering.

    He said: Look to the Big Picture, Serve one another, live in my Love, and in my Peace, and wait for what is to come. Not that it wouldn't be difficult and at times, excruciatingly so. It has been excruciating for me, truly. I also have had my times of unfathomable joy. That is why what you are doing is so important on this site: EDUCATING and giving the Truth. We have not been given the Truth and we have been sold a bill of goods-----especially women, I think today. Most people don't know how much better things could be. It is scary when first having to chip away at the hard shell and false edifice. There is so much hardness and pain. I pray for all of your readers and ask you to pray for me as I do my best to struggle along this road!

  86. Nina, thank you! That is so beautifully stated. I couldn't agree more.

    I am so pleased to be able to speak freely about the Truth on this blog (God bless America for freedom of speech!), and I do believe that "truth comes with graces attached". We all long to hear it. We are all like thirsty men in a desert, aren't we?

    If you like what I am doing on this blog, the best thing you can do is to tell a friend about the Bubble. I feel like there are so few places where we can get truth in this culture that it's necessary for me to blog till I drop, ha ha! I wish someone had told me the truth a lot earlier. I'm just so grateful now.

  87. Lena, great points! God's law is not there for us to suffer, but for us to be truly happy. To live as we were made to live. I am glad that there are some doctors who are that forthright about the Pill, by the way!

    L, I get what you're saying, but it seems so subjective. You say homosexual sex is a moral type of sex, and I don't. You say that man/boy love is immoral sex, but some don't. You say that adultery is immoral sex, because the other spouse doesn't consent. But sometimes the other spouse does consent. And, what if the parent doesn't consent to her daughter having sex with her boyfriend? Many people see blood ties (mom/daughter) as closer than a "piece of paper" (marriage), so why not say premarital sex is wrong if the family doesn't consent? I know it seems silly, but everything you set out is arbitrary, really.

    I am very interested in your answer to JoAnna's questions. Especially, "Since when is consent the sole criterion of the good?"


  88. JoAnna - consent isn't *sole* criterion, not harming someone would rank up there, too.

    How do I feel about incest? Well, I don't live in the south so... just kidding. I feel that Parents should NEVER have sex with their children. NEVER. Even if the child is now a consenting adult. The emotional balance is not even and it would always result in psychological and emotional damage. As for siblings, it would be wrong for them to reproduce as we all know that inbreeding comes with a myriad of physical and mental issues that just "ain't right" as they say. If both parties were sterile, however, the only crime they'd be guilty of is grossing me the heck out. Cousins? I feel the same way (though to a slightly lesser degree) as brother and sister.

    I think most of us are born with an instinct to NOT be attracted to members of our family and this prevents incest from being the norm.

    What are YOUR feelings on incest JoAnna?


  89. Leila - you cannot consent for your daughter, just as your daughter cannot consent for you. Could you imagine? "Eeew. mom, I do not give my consent for two old people to do it. Gross!"

    LOL - and btw, you are NOT old - it was part of the joke.

    And what I was saying is most certainly not arbitrary. I said CONSENT, ADULTS, NO HARM TO OTHERS. All of my scenarios fit that. The other ones do NOT. So for "open marriage" type adultery, I feel the same way as polygamy. It is none of my business, but I do not think it is good if jealousy and hurt feelings are involved. I cannot imagine my husband having sex with another woman, but that is me.


  90. L - even "CONSENT, ADULTS, NO HARM TO OTHERS" is arbitrary. Do you consider a 12 year old a child? Sometimes even girls that young consent to sex with 30-something men. Is that ok with you? There are SO many situations that fit your description that I think many/most, even secular people would consider NOT ok.

  91. Nicole, you took the words out of my mouth. Consent? Arbitrary. Adult? Arbitrary. No harm to others? VERY arbitrary. In fact, I think that homosexual sex is a dangerous, harmful lifestyle and it harms those who are involved in it. For example (from Lauren's Marriage Mondays!)...

    The Gay & Lesbia.n Medical Association warns gay men of ten common issues:

    Increased risk for HIV/AIDS. (Also reported by the CDC.)
    Substance abuse- commonly marijuana, Ecstasy, and amphetamines.
    Higher rates of depression and anxiety- particularly adolescents and young adults.
    Increased risk of hepatitis which can be potentially fatal.
    STDs occur in sexually active gay men at a high rate.
    "Gay men may be at risk for death by prostate, testicular, or colon cancer."
    Higher alcohol use in the gay community.
    Much higher rates of tobacco use (nearly fifty percent).
    Fitness and obesity.
    Anal Papilloma- increased rates of anal cancers in gay men. "The rate at which the infection can be spread between partners is very high."

    So, gay sex is healthy? That seems not quite right.

    Also, what if two adults agree to "cut" themselves? There is seemingly "no harm to others" but does that make the act moral?

    Again, it seems very arbitrary, these lines you draw. So, what now?

  92. Me too, actually. Consent seems to be the single hinge pin that separates good from bad in liberal thought, but consent on its own seems too weak a boundary to separate good and evil, at least without the backing of solid information and moral formation. Consent has its place, indeed the Catholic faith places a high value on it, the Virgin Mary is revered because she consented to being the handmaid of the Lord, and marriages are only considered valid in the Church if full consent is given without evidence of coercion (such as parental pressure or pregnancy)

    However, as I've said before. Having chosen something doesn't make it good, and not having chosen something doesn't make it evil. Many people find the choices foisted on them by circumstances to be the best thing that could have happened in retrospect, while how many times do people willingly choose actions that turn out to be self-destructive.

    CBC recently featured a forum on Euthanasia featuring several prominent academics including Margaret Somerville, a courageous Canadian bioethicist who always swims against the tide of lefty academic opinion on life issues such as IVF and doctor assisted suicide. One of the commenters took her to task about the issue saying "Why shouldn't I be able to choose the way I die?" to which she answered "You are not just choosing the way you die, you are choosing the way your great-grandchildren will die as well". The commenter was going by the assumption that his choice was his own and sacrosanct. Somerville was taking the longer view, looking three generations into the future and seeing the dangerous precedent that lies in changing the fundamental role of the doctor "do no harm" to include killing patients, even if at their request.

    Choices have consequences that we can't even begin to fathom. We can't see three generations ahead to look at how using condoms, or engaging in homosexual activity, work to push society even further along towards a place it doesn't want to go. A stalactite is formed by droplets of water and molecules of calcium, falling over time.

  93. L, I would still like to know your thoughts on this:

    Yes, it's true that "God writes straight with crooked lines" and that my sins led me to my life today; however, I now hate sin, and I wouldn't ever want to be wounded (or wound others) like that again. It's like saying, "I murdered someone and ended up in prison for 40 years, but I found God." Well, praise God that He penetrated that sinner's life and brought good out of bad, but how much better would the whole world be (and all lives affected) if the man had never murdered in the first place. Virtue makes the world richer, not sin, even though God can work around our sins and still call to us....

  94. Barbara, wow! That was well said!

    And this is incredible: "You are not just choosing the way you die, you are choosing the way your great-grandchildren will die as well."

  95. A couple of years ago, a pro golfer gave up his chance to play in the 2009 PGA Tour by admitting that he'd accidentally used an unapproved ball for 2 strokes in a qualifying tournament. He reported the mistake to PGA officials and was disqualified. There are dozens of reasons why he could have and should have ignored the mistake. But honesty is the only RIGHT option.

    As parents, we can tell our kids that if they're going to lie, it should only be in little things, or they should just make sure no one gets hurt by it, or they should weigh the pros and cons of the lie vs/ the truth, or heck - we can even tell them lying isn't that big a deal since there are far worse things a person can do, and EVERYONE lies at some point. Lies can even benefit us tremendously in this life.

    My daughter lies sometimes. I still maintain that honesty is the ONLY right choice, and any lie, big or small, is wrong, is hurting her, and is hurting society. What a disservice I'd be doing her if I didn't keep making this an issue, despite her continued habit of lying when it's convenient for her, and even her occasional situation when a little lie seems the only decent option she has. It's HARD to be honest ALL the time!! And probably unrealistic.

    Same with pre-marital sex and birth control. To stop making a clear distinction to her between RIGHT and WRONG would be a huge disservice to her. She may keep lying as a teenager. She may decide the reasons to have sex outweigh the reasons to wait for marriage. But my voice will remain, urging her to keep striving to be right - to be chaste - to be honest - even when it's very hard, and even if for not other reason than she wants to do the right thing. No birth control options. No "these lies aren't that big a deal" discussions. Just BE RIGHT.

  96. Sweet Jane, oh my gosh, that is perfectly correct. You nailed it. It's our job as parents, to form our children in virtue and YES virtue is hard. But isn't there an old saying (now long forgotten) which says, "Virtue is its own reward." It's so true! The peace that comes is amazing!

    I have done the "this is truth, truth is real, truth cannot compromise with error" formation with my own kids to amazing results. They get it, because it is not confusion, it's not a mixed message, and it's a message of integrity, which they respect. Even if they should fall, they see the truth of it.

    Thanks, sweet jane! Your daughter will be blessed because of your efforts.

  97. L. -

    Leila and Nicole have already made good points about consent and "harm." As they have said, they're arbitrary.

    As to incest between consenting adults, I think it is a disordered inclination. I'm curious, though, what your response would be to this incestuous couple, who say, "[We] are in this relationship as consenting adults. We are just asking for a little bit of respect and understanding."

    It seems to me that by your criteria, these two should be allowed to have their relationship, since they both consent and are not (in their view) causing harm. Do you still think their relationship is wrong?

  98. I know that you are against the Pill so I'm not going to argue for it's use; however, there are pills that are a greater risk than others. The patch is one of the dangerous ones. I actually had a friend who had a blood clot in her arm which needed to be watched so it didn't go to her heart. There are also certain brands of the pill that pose a greater risk than others where the side effects are absolutely ridiculous. I hope Jane gets better soon, that's really unfortunate.

  99. Oh jeez.

    NicoleC - of course a 12 year old is not an adult. (s)he is a child and a 30 yr old with a 12 yr old is what I would consider pedophilia to boot. I never said that would be cool, just because of consent alone - thought I answered that to JoAnn.

    But hey if we want to split hairs and say "what about this scenario?" How about arranged marriages? How about marriages of convenience and friendship instead of romantic love? How about marriages between heterosexual people who do not want children at all? Are those marriages okay? They're heterosexual after all. Would you force them to fall in love instead of being arranged? Be in romantic love as well as friendship love? Force them to have children or abstain from sex their entire lives? I guess the event of heterosexual marriage can be kind of "arbitrary" too if this is how you want to pick things apart.

    Leila - homosexual men are at higher risk for disease because of the orifice sometimes used (many hetero people use it too)- it tears easily & full of blood vessels. They aren't at more risk as a moral punishment. Personally, I think this sex was forbidden in the Bible for that reason - infections could kill 2,000 years ago. Also, think for a second as to WHY the young homosexual men are at higher risk for depression and drinking problems? Maybe because as soon as they know how they were made - there is a Christian based religion telling them they are wrong, immoral, disgusting sinners. So - thanks for proving my point that some religious thought does cause harm.

    As for your quote... you are comparing MURDER to sleeping with a boyfriend before marriage? And you expect me to take that seriously? Do you believe you might as well have murdered someone instead of smoking some grass and taking the pill in college? Woa - then we are on different planets.

    And NicoleC - I already told you. If there are children involved, it is WRONG. If not, it is none of my business. It's wrong for me. It makes me queasy. But I cannot be their judge according to how I lead my life.

    And don't say "what about pedophiles and murderers??" Because these two are only affecting each other.

    Anyway - none of this has to do with the pill, so topic derailed. Sorry.


  100. One last point - I believe the rampant promiscuity in the homosexual male community is largely due to a rebellion against their sexual repression. If no one thought it was a big deal, most homosexuals would act like everyone else. But they are disenfranchised and condemned, so they react by acting out. -L

  101. PS * incest Comment was made to JoAnna - not NicoleC - sorry!

  102. One last point - I believe the rampant promiscuity in the homosexual male community is largely due to a rebellion against their sexual repression. If no one thought it was a big deal, most homosexuals would act like everyone else. But they are disenfranchised and condemned, so they react by acting out. -L

    L, what evidence do you have for this?

  103. * Meaning, I agree that there is "rampant promiscuity" in the homosexual male community, but what evidence that do you have that if we all accept homosexuality, they would "act like everyone else" (whatever that means --as heteros are pretty promiscuous, too)?

  104. Leila - homosexual men are at higher risk for disease because of the orifice sometimes used (many hetero people use it too)- it tears easily & full of blood vessels. They aren't at more risk as a moral punishment.

    L, let's be very blunt here: Do you believe that the anal cavity, where the waste comes out, was designed to receive a penis? And receive sperm? Is there any evidence that the whole situation is ordered? Or does it seem more a disorder? We go back to "what is the nature of a thing" and ask, what is an anus for, what is a penis for, and what are the sperm "looking for" (for lack of a better term)? I didn't say God punishes gays with AIDS (Catholics treat AIDS patients with utmost care and respect), but Mother Nature herself is unforgiving when things are not used as they were designed. Again, Natural Law.

  105. And don't say "what about pedophiles and murderers??" Because these two are only affecting each other.

    What about cutters? What if I agree with a friend that we will "cut" each other? Is that a moral act, simply because it affects only each other?
    As Catholics, we believe that sin affects everyone, and there is really no private sin.

    As to the comparisons of murder and sex outside of marriage: Both are serious (mortal) sins. Sexual sins are always serious because this is the mechanism which transmits human life. It's not a plaything, it's life-giving, therefore extremely sacred and holy. Murder is certainly worse on the hierarchy of mortal sins, of course, but they are both sins that, if done with full consent of the will, knowing they are serious sins, can break friendship with God.

    Arranged marriages.... if the bride and groom consent to the arranged marriage, I don't think it's a matter of sin or immorality. Now, forced arranged marriage? That would be considered an invalid marriage, and it would be sinful to force anyone to marry.

    Couples who don't want children? Actually, since the purpose of sex (which is a privilege of marriage) is the procreation and education of children, then going into a marriage with the intent to block children, would be grounds for annulment in the Catholic Church. Part of the marriage vow in the Church is to "accept children lovingly".

    Before you jump on my about the purpose of sex being children, remember that the meaning of sex is love and the bonding of the spouses. We embrace both of those aspects of sex, because to artificially separate them would diminish the nature of the act. Union and procreation were designed to go together.

    As for marriages of "convenience" or "friendship" instead of "romantic love", may I ask you to be more specific? My blanket answer is if two people who are free to marry come together before God and wanting to live as man and wife, welcome children lovingly and otherwise fulfill the marriage vows that they take at the altar, then they have a valid marriage. "Romantic feelings" are fabulous, but they are not the linchpin of a good marriage (they do tend to come and go in a marriage, and their absence doesn't make the marriage invalid. Marriage is based on love, of course, but not on a "romantic feeling").

    But clarify if I am not understanding.


  106. L, I keep coming back to this:

    But they [homosexual men] are disenfranchised and condemned, so they react by acting out [sexually].

    Can you tell me if there are any other groups you feel are "disenfranchised and condemned" and if they also act out? I just haven't before heard that as a reason that gay men are so promiscuous.

  107. Leila - do you know any gay men? Better yet, do you personally know and are friends with more than one? Have you ever been to a party full of homosexual males and/or females, for that matter? I do, I am and I have. Their testimony is my evidence.

    There are just things you will never understand, Leila - living in your Catholic bubble. And things you will never accept, even if you understand them. I am not saying this in an angry or condescending way - it's just a matter of fact.

    I feel at this point I am wasting my breath and nothing productive will come of this particular conversation. You draw a thick line between what is moral and immoral and that is fine for you. Like I said, I do agree on some levels with your view of sex and sexuality, but our lines are drawn in different places. I receive my husband's sperm in other places than where it was meant (not in the butt, though - that seems painful).

    Now, while you would never do such a thing, would you try and stop me from doing these things? That's the point. Would you advocate for blocking other people from living as they see fit (assuming they are not breaking the law or harming others)? Or do you feel simply that you need to live life to your own standards and hope to turn hearts by evangelizing?

    Oh well, forget it - you are two posts ahead already and I am busy today. Take care - I'll be looking for your NFP post!


  108. L, I appreciate that you are frustrated, but you didn't answer my questions. I think I answered yours, but will you answer mine? Please?

    Leila - do you know any gay men? Better yet, do you personally know and are friends with more than one? Have you ever been to a party full of homosexual males and/or females, for that matter? I do, I am and I have. Their testimony is my evidence.

    Yes, I have gay friends, but what does this have to do with the question? What is their "testimony"? Do they say, "We will be wildly promiscuous until we our sex is accepted as normal, and then we will be monogamous?" Can you be really specific?

    You draw a thick line between what is moral and immoral and that is fine for you. Actually, it's not I who draws a line or decides my own morality. It is God's moral law, and all I have done is received and accepted it. The moral law is not there for punishment, but so that humans can find true happiness by living in the way they were designed to live, according to virtue and human dignity. Sin never brings true happiness or interior peace.

    There is a saying, "The Church proposes, never imposes." If you think I am out to force you to live a virtuous life, you are wrong. One cannot force a person into virtue. One can only propose it as the best way to live, the way that God intends for us, for our own happiness. The Church proposes, but cannot force. I hope that helps you understand that no one is "coming after" anyone. Do we hope to influence public policy or cultural norms? Of course! That is what everyone does. The liberals hope to push their views and legislate their way, for the worldview they think is best, and Christians do the same. Someone's ideas have to come out on top in every given era, and of course I'd love my Catholic values (which used to be held by all folks) to win the day. But force? Never. Everyone has free will which cannot be violated, even if they use that free will to sin, or to promote error. (Although if the sin or error is dangerous, I'm sure you and I can agree that we are to protect the citizenry with laws against it.)

    I hope that clears things up a bit, but I still hope that you will answer the questions I posed before?

    And, the NFP post is in the works! :)

  109. L, one more thing. Because I know that you are concerned with the feelings of gay folks, and don't want them feeling rejected (by the way, me too!), I would ask you to please read Jennifer's post on that issue. She and her husband had/have very close gay friends. She went from atheist to devout Catholic, and she wrote a post on what her conversion meant as far as her gay friends, and what would she tell them? Here it is....

    I hope it helps you understand.

  110. Okay, L., I'm confused. On one hand, you say, "I feel that Parents should NEVER have sex with their children. NEVER. Even if the child is now a consenting adult. The emotional balance is not even and it would always result in psychological and emotional damage."

    Then, when given an actual example of a parent/child incestuous couple who wish their relationship to be accepted, you say, "If there are children involved, it is WRONG. If not, it is none of my business. It's wrong for me. It makes me queasy. But I cannot be their judge according to how I lead my life."

    So.... which is it?

  111. JoAnna, it's a good question.

    And L, here is another link from Jennifer (former atheist with good gay friends), about the topic:

  112. I noticed that your comments moved away from the pill, but I wonder if Serena Williams health scare is linked to the Pill- a healthy young woman with a pulmonary embolism.

  113. Leila - their testimony often went something like this, "They made me feel like I was bad, sinful, going to hell... so I did "x" to flip them off." Not all homosexuals do that and I believe some of the promiscuity is due to the fact they are all men & men have a higher sex drive than women. Not all homosexuals I know went this route, though. Many of them remained pretty mild, but they were usually the ones with a supportive family & good friends. In short - their self-esteem prevented them from selling themselves out/short.

    JoAnna, WHOOPS! I never read the post, sorry. I've been nursing a cranky newborn all day & didn't have the time. My bad! If they are parent/child it is wrong. So what do you suggest we do to/with them? I can't change them or intervene.

    I guess Leila answered my question. We can say what is right and wrong and try to change hearts, but we cannot force (unless harm or law-breaking is involved).


  114. Debbie, I hadn't seen that! I will check it out....

    L, you said:
    We can say what is right and wrong and try to change hearts, but we cannot force (unless harm or law-breaking is involved).

    So you think it's okay to say what is right and wrong and then try to persuade people? If so, then we agree on that principle (a good thing!), but maybe not on what constitutes right and wrong? Because you don't see homosexual sex as disordered in any way, right?


  115. "They made me feel like I was bad, sinful, going to hell... so I did "x" to flip them off."

    Wouldn't you say that's like an adolescent reaction? It doesn't seem a mature reaction of a reasonable person. It's sad to me.

  116. Leila - correct. we're on the same page. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs & expressing them. But no one should force their way on anyone else.

    I see homosexual sex as a genetic trait of some sort - not hereditary - that does not help procreation, but is not necessarily "disordered."

    It's a reaction to other's reactions. Instead of hashing things out and agreeing to disagree, most folks spit venom at homosexuals and you get what you give more often than not.


  117. I see homosexual sex as a genetic trait of some sort - not hereditary - that does not help procreation, but is not necessarily "disordered."

    I really want you to dive into this a little bit more. Forget the religious aspects, let's just talk about biology and science and health, and Natural Law. We can agree that there are diseases associated with gay sex, correct? And we can also agree that there are many STDs associated with promiscuous sex, right? Why do you think these types of sexual practices are associated with such high rates of disease?

    Also, do you really and truly think that it's "ordered" for a penis to be inserted into another man's anal cavity (which is designed, not as an entrance, but as an exit for waste)? You think that is an example of "order" in the biological world? I'm truly asking.

    If it's a genetic trait to be homosexual, could it also be a genetic trait to be a pedophile? Or to be an alcoholic? Or a kleptomaniac? If so, are those types of genetic traits "not necessarily 'disordered'", too?

    most folks spit venom at homosexuals and you get what you give more often than not.

    "most folks"? Do you really think that "most folks" (meaning most Americans) "spit venom at homosexuals"? Can you give me an example of what "most folks" are doing that makes you say that in such strong terms?


  118. Okay -

    Homosexuals don't have to put it in an anal cavity. Lesbians usually don't. Some gay man don't either. Some heterosexuals do the anal thing. While an anus was not designed to host a penis (which I 100% agree with, the thought of it scares me & I'm glad it's not something my husband is in to), many people of all persuasions have done it. So perhaps the act is disordered, but BEING homosexual is not. It is just something that occurs in nature.

    This does not include victims of sex abuse who may be gay because that's what they know or in the case of women, they are now afraid of being with men. Those instances, where by nature someone is not gay, but they present that way because of an outside influence, is disordered.

    My mouth and hands weren't designed to handle a penis, but they do. Is that disordered? Even if the sperm eventually gets where it is intended?

    STDs are associated with promiscuity, not simply homosexuality. Lesbians have very low rates of STDs because women tend to be more monogamous and there isn't anal involved. So anyone who is promiscuous is at higher risk for STD's & STI's. Anyone who engages in anal sex is at higher risk for diseases such as HIV and hepatitis because of the exposed blood vessels.

    I think these are associated with promiscuity in the same way the common cold is associated with schoolyards. Viruses and bacteria are organisms trying to survive and we are good warm, wet hosts who depend on being social - perfect for spreading around!

    Don't get me wrong - I do not think promiscuity is a good thing - I have already said that. But I do see a difference in having premarital sex and sleeping with 20 people in college.

    Okay, well you can start with Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" campaign. Dan Savage is (in my opinion) a fantastic sex advice columnist who has been around a long time and he set this up in response to the recent string of suicides by young gay teens who had been made to feel so bad about themselves that they thought the big sleep was a better option than getting through High School. Dan wanted to reach out to kids and tell them it gets better as you become an adult. Don't just watch that one, watch a bunch of them if you want to know how "most folks" get treated.


  119. Hi, L! I'll take the last part first and then get to the rest.

    I know that homosexuals and homosexual youth have been treated badly, and yes, abused. It is horrible, and the Catholic Church teaches that to do so is wrong, wrong, wrong. You may have seen this:

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    #2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    You said earlier that "most folks spit venom at homosexuals." I asked you if you really thought that "most folks" are doing that to gay people? Most folks? I don't buy it, not in the least. Americans are highly tolerant of homosexuality. There is a minority of people who are abusive and sinful in their treatment of gays, but you said that "most folks" are venomous toward them, and that is what I hope you will correct.

    More to come....

  120. I agree with you, L, that many homosexual people were victims of sexual abuse as a child, both men and woman. I know that boys who are raped by men do have a stronger tendency to be very confused about their sexuality and even become gay. And you are right that women abused by men as children tend to turn to women. So, you are right. And all of that is tragic. Those are crimes against children and it's all disordered and horrid. So, it's not "ordered" for those folks to be homosexual, it is the result of being violated in some horrific way.

    As to disease: I agree that the viruses and bacteria spread when one has multiple partners. So, promiscuity is a bad thing, because nature rebels against it, in a way that it does not when two virgins marry and have faithful sex. There is "warm, wet hosts" in faithful marriage, and yet there is no spreading of venereal diseases. So, nature prefers that we go from virginity to lifelong monogamy, wouldn't you say? That's a way to see what "order" is, via Natural Law principles.

    Do you agree with that? I hope that made sense.

    More to come....

  121. My mouth and hands weren't designed to handle a penis, but they do. Is that disordered? Even if the sperm eventually gets where it is intended?

    No, this is not disordered, as long as the sperm gets where it's intended.
    Your hand is designed to handle about a zillion different things. That's what hands are for. Two spouses making love are permitted to use hands to touch all over. Why would that be disordered? I'm not seeing it, and I've never heard any Christian make a case that hands are not designed to touch or hold a spouse's body parts? Have you?

    As for the mouth... The mouth is designed for kissing, and kissing can be done on a spouse's body parts. We can kiss our beloved "all over" if we want. Can you kiss hands? Can you kiss feet? Can you kiss cheeks? Then why not kiss private parts? Husband and wife are free to kiss and caress all over. No problem. (Unless one of the partners is uncomfortable with oral sex or certain acts... then it should not be forced on a spouse, as that would not be loving and self-giving; it would be selfish.)

    But I do see a difference in having premarital sex and sleeping with 20 people in college.

    I see a difference, too, even if it is nuanced, or an issue of intent, but what do you see as the moral difference? If one is a virtue and the other is a vice, what is the salient point that differentiates the two?


  122. By the way, do you really think that most gay men do not have anal sex? And you have said that anal sex is "perhaps" disordered. So, what now?

    I agree that homosexual persons have the exact same human dignity that everyone else has. We are equal in dignity, because we are made in the image and likeness of God. Yet, we all have certain disorders that are our crosses to bear in this life. An inclination to homosexuality is a disordered inclination. But I would not say that the person is "disordered."

  123. L, I asked, If it's a genetic trait to be homosexual, could it also be a genetic trait to be a pedophile? Or to be an alcoholic? Or a kleptomaniac? If so, are those types of genetic traits "not necessarily 'disordered'", too?

    When you have time, I'd like to know your response. Thanks!

  124. L.,

    Congratulations on the birth of your baby! I've been there with the cranky newborn. :)

    You said, "JoAnna, WHOOPS! I never read the post, sorry. I've been nursing a cranky newborn all day & didn't have the time. My bad! If they are parent/child it is wrong. So what do you suggest we do to/with them? I can't change them or intervene."

    You're right in that sin will exist to matter what we try to do to stop it. My suggestion would be not condoning their relationship, either in our laws or in our hearts. Beyond that, there's not much we can do to stop people from sinning.

    By the way, regarding the treatment of homosexuals - in addition to the CCC quote Leila posted, there is also this document:

    "It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law."

  125. I'm just going to add to what JoAnna said about this comment: " So what do you suggest we do to/with them? I can't change them or intervene."

    I hear this argument all the time from pro-aborts. "You can't force your morality on me." First of all, all laws are someone's morality being forced onto society.

    But more importantly, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "I can't make people like me. But I can keep them from lynching me."

    So what we can do is create laws that prevent (or criminalize) people from having sex with their children. And we can protect the sanctity of marriage with laws that do not allow same-sex marriage. That's not to say that we should criminalize homosexuality, by any means - I'M NOT SAYING THAT. But just because we may not be able to change people's minds, doesn't mean we can't have laws that protect them.

  126. From a reader named Janet, who tried to post this but couldn't get it to go through:

    my husband's wife took the Pill, and unbeknownst to her she got a blood clot in her lung. She was told the reason she was tired and couldn't breathe was probably pneumonia. As she rapidly declined, was hospitalized, they gave her more and more antibiotics. She had to have a breathing machine breathe for her (so she could no longer talk), complained of being so cold, she scribbled a note to him saying she almost died that night. The next day she went into cardiac arrest. The autopsy showed the section of the lung died from lack of blood from the blood clot, and gangrene had set in. She was 44 and otherwise in good health. So yes, people die from the Pill. Whether her death was reported as a statistic of complication from the Pill, we doubt it….


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