VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, July 31, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two days after saying he found nothing sinful about sex-change operations, televangelist Pat Robertson said contraception is “a very important part of humanity” that would prevent the birth of too many Appalachian “ragamuffins.” He also said that Natural Family Planning violated the provisions of the Old Testament.

On today's episode of the 700 Club, a woman asked whether the use of birth control is sinful, something about which Catholics and Protestants disagree.

When Robertson's co-host, Wendy Griffith, said not all families could afford to have multiple children, Robertson replied, “That's the big problem, especially in Appalachia. They don't know about birth control. They just keep having babies.”

“You see a string of all these little ragamuffins, and not enough food to eat and so on,” he said, “and it's desperate poverty.”

“I'd say yes, birth control is absolutely an important thing for people to use,” he added, saying contraception “is a very important part of humanity.”

Robertson said that “birth control in the Protestant churches has always been permitted,” because they “feel that the care and rearing of children is a tremendous obligation.”

However, the 83-year-old host had negative words for the Natural Family Planning method. “Our good friends in the Catholic Church forbid the use of birth control but they allow people to use what's called 'rhythm,'” he said at the beginning of his answer. “If you read the Old Testament they were forbidden to have sex while women were having their menstrual period, and the Catholic Church is telling women to do just that, and it's OK.”

The Bible discouraged men from having sexual relations with a woman during her menstrual cycle – or touching her – in Leviticus 15:19-33, a provision taken up by Judaism and Islam.

However, Robertson went on to tell another writer later in the segment that eating pork, which is banned in Leviticus 11:7 and Deuteronomy 14:8, is not a sin.

“Where do people get all these things?” he asked. “This is ridiculous.”

The Protestant Reformers opposed artificial contraception, something not embraced by Protestants until the Anglican Communion's Lamberth Conference in 1930.

Pro-life activists point out that many forms of “birth control” – including the morning after pillthe IUD, and hormonal birth control pill – may cause a chemical abortion by blocking the implantation of a newly conceived child.

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