Tag Archives: abortion

Christianity and Contraception: Strange bedfellows?

Christian doctrine has a very strange relationship with contraception.

According to Genesis, the very first order man ever received from God was to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” This is in Genesis 1:28, literally a single verse after mankind came into existence.

Then we have Hell. Hell is a place where “the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:47-48) I’ve been told by Christian apologists that there is supposedly an “age of reason”, defined by the Bible, at which point a child can be blamed for its sins, and thus before this point the child is guaranteed a spot in Heaven. It seems to me that the logical conclusion of a belief in a literal Hell of this sort, combine with the idea that life (and thus, soul implantation) begins at conception would be to kill your children at as early a point in their lives as you possibly could!

And yet, we see great resistance from (mostly conservative) Christians on the subject of abortion. The idea is that every fertilized egg is a potential life, and that snuffing it out would be violating that first order from God. Forget that doing so would ensure that the fetus had a place in Heaven. Somehow, it’s more important to allow a child to be born, reach the age of reason, and decide to become a follower of Jesus. It’s apparently more important to allow for the possibility that a soul be damned to suffer in Hell.

All of this is based on a specific definition of “contraception,” of course. Among conservative Christians, there’s little differentiation between “preventing pregnancy” and “terminating pregnancy.” This is why you’ll frequently see “abstinence-only” education promoted; for these folks, abortion and condoms are pretty much the same thing. Any options you choose that would prevent a baby from being born are essentially the same thing.

From a secular perspective, it’s easy to understand why a religion would be so strongly in favor of creating as many children as possible. They’ve got to grow their numbers, and the easiest way to do that is through reproduction. No surprise, then, that Mormon churches tend to be about 50% children…