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June 2, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – When I first became pro-life, the solution to ending abortion seemed fairly obvious: just give people condoms so that there won’t be accidental pregnancies.
I chuckle when I think about that now. But at the time it made perfect sense. I had yet to realize the deep relationship between the bioethical issues surrounding sex, procreation, and the human person.
The phrase “seamless garment” to most people means the “consistent life ethic,” a philosophy that equates moral issues like abortion and euthanasia with war and poverty.
I would like to propose a different kind of “seamless garment”: the garment by which abortion, contraception, pornography, and distortions of human sexuality are all woven together.
Typically, shortly after a country legalizes and spreads contraception, it legalizes abortion. Why? Contraception can fail, but it gives couples the impression that they’re “protected” from the natural result of sex, offspring. If contraception fails, abortion is a back-up.
Why are couples contracepting in the first place? Perhaps they’re unmarried and uninterested in a long-term future together.
Why are they hooking up? Well, why not? Perhaps their sex ed classes, or parents, or friends and favorite television shows and magazines and celebrities told them sex is rather meaningless. If you feel like it, just go ahead.
Of course, these lessons weren’t complete unless they included instructions on how to best eliminate the chances of pregnancy.
“Here’s how babies are made, but don’t worry, we’ve got a great way to prevent that from happening.”
Is it easy for anyone who’s undergone years of public (or sadly, perhaps “Catholic”) school sex education to even imagine sex that is “safe” unless it involves latex or hormonal distortion? No, of course not. And it’s not their fault. It’s something they were taught their entire lives, something reinforced by the media, the abortion industry, and many who think they’re doing good by promoting contraception.
It was difficult for me to fathom that there were actually people out there who had sex without some form of contraception on purpose. But, it turns out there are lots of those people (and I’m grateful to the one who argued with me about contraception long enough to eventually change my mind).
Such people have usually learned, either from a solid foundation, personal experience, or friend or loved one’s experience, the pain and emptiness that so often accompany such a sterile view of sex and the human person.
The world basically says:
- Your mind and body are separate, and there’s no real meaning to your body.
- It’s important that sex be procreation-free and consensual.
- Contraception and abortion are necessary for a sexually active society.
- No one is harmed if you watch a girl be subject to sex that would make E.L. James blush, because you’re just watching it on your computer. In fact, this is probably better than going out and trying that on someone in real life (and there’s no risk of an assault charge either).
- Since your body has no meaning, it doesn’t matter if you castrate yourself or “marry” someone of the same sex.
- Freedom means having the right to be able to do whatever you want.
All of these notions support each other, and each one persists because the others persist.
For example, contraception, which attempts to remove the procreative purpose of sex, fuels abortion, pornography, and same-sex unions. They all remove the procreative purpose of sex in one way or another. Pornography distorts sex, just like sodomy and contraception do.
Countless marriages have been wrecked, young children robbed of their innocence, girls and boys pressured to do things they don’t want to sexually, babies aborted, and souls deeply wounded due to this prevailing ideology.
The antidote to it is simple: the beautiful teachings of the Catholic Church and the healing power of the Sacraments.
To the world’s culture of death ideology, the Church responds by saying, essentially:
- You are body and soul.
- Sex is beautiful and awesome and so meaningful. You are made for love and to be loved, not to be used by someone or to use another. Your body was designed to be a gift to another. God made fertility for a reason; it doesn’t need to be suppressed. Of course sex needs to be consensual – in fact, it needs to be way more than that.
- Abortion and contraception aren’t necessary for a sexually active society. But they certainly help make society miserable.
- Turning in on oneself closes us off from God. You don’t need pornography to be happy.
- Your ears are for hearing. Your feet are for walking. Your body is designed the way it was for a reason.
- Freedom means the capacity and ability to choose what is good and right.
Coming to understand this “seamless garment” is a process. Many people begin this when they experience horror at the injustice of abortion, and then gradually come to agree with Church teaching on other issues. Anti-abortion beliefs are a gateway that can lead to chastity, greater respect for self and others, and authentic human freedom.
With God’s grace, may we realize that the Church teaches what it teaches because it’s true, and because it wants what’s best for humanity, and that the culture of death teaches lies because it wants the worst for humanity.