As I am sure the majority of my readers that follow Cathofeminism on Facebook know, July 22-28 is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week. In case folks were unaware, I am completely, 100% against birth control. There! I said it! It feels good to see it in print. My reasons for this are as vast as the number of methods of birth control that are on the market. (You can find the gist of these reasons in this post.) This of course means that I will for sure be participating in spreading NFP Awareness. The Facebook page will have many really great links to the wonderful happenings in the Prolife/NFP world, and there will be a few blog entries as well. I will be personally attending some NFP presentations, so I urge you to check your local community and see if you can find any presentations happening in your area as well. Here is a solid comparison of the different methods of NFP so you know what I am talking about- click here for awesome.
Now, onto the next phrase in the title: Contraceptive Mentality. What does it mean? How is it applicable to NFP? DarwinCatholic (in a four part series on the subject) describes “contraceptive mentality” as
“The idea that having sex and reproducing are two activities with no necessary connection, that having sex in no way suggests a desire or willingness to have children with the person you are having sex with.”
These two words have spun my NFP world in circles the past year. I had never heard the phrase until I joined an NFP community online. As NFP has always been recommended to me by priests and I never considered that some would think it was not licit. Boy howdy, was I wrong. There are blogs upon articles upon blogs out there written by individuals calling NFP birth control and thus immoral. If you don’t mind, I won’t be providing links to those pages. Many reek of scrupulosity. NFP in short is the antithesis of a contraceptive mentality. NFP encourages ongoing, open communication between husband and wife about their family as well as any future members of said family. It is about understanding a woman’s fertility. It is always open to life. This is not to say that we do not at times become too comfortable with the status quo. This is not to say that NFP eliminates all struggles a couple may have with marriage, love and family. We all have struggles.
There is a lot of talk around what qualifies as “grave” reason to avoid pregnancy. I will again refer you to a post that is much more eloquent and thorough than I think I can be at this time. Simcha Fisher’s post “WhyDoesn’t the Church Just Make a List?” The purpose of this post is not to delve into these issues ad nauseum, it is meant to introduce these issues right off the bat: more along the lines of a disclaimer or a forward. They are certainly interesting topics to discuss though.
There is my version of a crash course on Natural Family Planning, complete with some Catholic issues to think about and discuss amongst yourselves.
Comments? Criticisms? Critiques?