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Jan 10 2014

Evangelicals against contraception

R. Albert Mohler is a highly influential evangelical Christian theologian. He confirms what I wrote about earlier, that the new evangelical push to join the Catholics against contraception is not some random deviation from more pressing concerns but is definitely being pursued as a major component of a long term strategy.

He says that until now, evangelicals had been lax in not combating contraception and the reason was that they had not thought it through sufficiently carefully.

This is not a recent development, but a long-term evangelical reconsideration of birth control and the place of contraception within larger understandings of marriage, the family and human sexuality.

For evangelicals, everything changed with the advent of The Pill. And evangelical acceptance of the oral contraceptives (and, beyond that, other forms of birth control) also happened without any adequate theological reflection. Today’s generation of evangelicals is indeed reconsidering birth control, and theological concerns are driving that reconsideration. [My italics-MS]

All this ‘theological reconsideration’ strikes me as a façade because later he essentially says that it is all about religious concerns that it is too easy for people nowadays to have sex since the ‘punishment’ of pregnancy has been removed.

A good many evangelicals hope to do far more than sow seeds of doubt about the morality of birth control. Our concern is to raise an alarm about the entire edifice of modern sexual morality and to acknowledge that millions of evangelicals have unwittingly aided and abetted that moral revolution by an unreflective and unfaithful embrace of the contraceptive revolution.

So it looks as though evangelical leaders really are going to double down on their opposition to contraception, and join forces with the Catholic church in what has to be seen as one of the most retrogressive actions in recent times. I cannot think of a better way to become seen as irrelevant, especially with young people.

Onward to the past!

11 comments

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  1. 1
    karmacat

    So, essentially they are saying a child is punishment for having sex. It is fascinating and alarming to watch certain group’s obsession with sex. They seem to be more obsessed with sex than making sure children are cared for.

  2. 2
    raven

    R. Albert Mohler is a highly influential evangelical Christian theologian.

    Overstates the case.

    He is a wild eyed and rather ugly minded Southern Baptist leader.

    Under his leadership, the SBC has lost members for 6 years in a row. Their own numbers have them getting cut in half in a few decades.

    Mohler’s big accomplishment was taking over the SBC with other rightwingnuts and purging all the moderates. He’s a huge fan of Joseph Stalin.

  3. 3
    raven

    These guys are pretty stupid.

    This is a battle they are going to lose and lose big.

    Contraceptive use among US women in relevant cohorts runs around 99% according to the US CDC. And no one pays much attention to the Catholic priests and bishops. It’s 98% for the RCC.

    So why should anyone pay attention to a vaguely humanoid toad like Mohler?

    US xianity is losing 2 million members a year. And all they can think of is to double down on what is not working and become more extreme. Looks like they are going for 3 million ex-xians a year.

  4. 4
    raven

    Mohler is definitely one of the creepiest fundie leaders.

    He’s far more interested in political power than anything else.

    He spend decades calling the Mormons and Catholics Fake Xians who are all going to hell.

    His latest effort is to…forge alliances with the Mormons and Catholics. Because politics is more important than his religion.

  5. 5
    raven

    Albert the toad Mohler:

    Wikipedia. He is married to the former Mary Kahler. They have two children, Katie and Christopher.

    Al Mohler has two kids. What a flaming hypocrite.

    This is true of almost all fundie leaders. They don’t want to be breeders. They have better things to do with their time and money. They want their idiot followers to be breeders instead.

    It’s baffling how anyone could take a disgusting kook like Mohler seriously. My cat has more supernatural authority than he does. Or a rock. Mohler is in the negative numbers here. Find out what he thinks. Do the opposite.

  6. 6
    kevinalexander

    Al Mohler has two kids. What a flaming hypocrite.

    Maybe not. Maybe his wife has ‘had a headache’ for the past while. Who can blame her? Would you want to fork this guy?

  7. 7
    mnb0

    11th commandment: Thou Shalt Breed.
    Look, these guys don’t like abortion either, do they? Neither do I. Contraception made easily available decreases abortion numbers.
    One reason I dislike the abrahamist religions is their sick views on sex.

    “I cannot think of a better way to become seen as irrelevant, especially with young people.”
    I admire your optimism, but only will share it if the youngsters leave the evangelical churches en masse.

  8. 8
    Jenora Feuer

    For ‘theological reconsideration’, one of the classic discussions on that is by Fred Clark, aka Slacktivist, who wrote an piece The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal which noted that the staunch anti-abortion position of American evangelicals is entirely a product of the 1980s hard politicization of the Religious Right.

    They all now believe that the Bible teaches that life begins at conception. They believe this absolutely, unambiguously, firmly, resolutely and loudly. That’s what they believed 10 years ago, and that’s what they believed 20 years ago.

    But it wasn’t what they believed 30 years ago. Thirty years ago they all believed quite the opposite.

    Before it became a political rallying cry in the 1980s, anti-abortion activism was mostly considered a Catholic issue, and not something that good Protestants need care about.

    Contraception is just an extension of the same political rallying cry, lagging a few years behind as Falwell’s legacy of power brokering via extreme politicization continues.

  9. 9
    Marcus Ranum

    it looks as though evangelical leaders really are going to double down on their opposition to contraception, and join forces with the Catholic church in what has to be seen as one of the most retrogressive actions in recent times

    Doubling down is sometimes an effective strategy. It worked well at Stalingrad and Waterloo. Just not for whom it was expected to.

  10. 10
    smrnda

    I thinks it’s that being pro life (== pro forced birth, anti-woman) became a badge of honor among Xtians. The Protestants and Catholics were both against abortion, but the Catholics were also against contraception, so some Protestants figured they had to win the pissing contest by being against contraception too. I don’t think it’s really anything more than a juvenile pissing contest between people who aren’t really going to be following whatever rules they promote.

  11. 11
    lanir

    I think the real goal here is quite different than what is represented. Sure, it looks like they really want to do is outlaw contraception and abortion and then haunt everyone like boogeymen about their sexual choices. But I don’t think they really care one way or another about the first two and in fact they get more out of going through the motions to oppose them than they would out of actually getting their way.

    Every human has a sex drive. If you can influence this without actually having direct control of it (in other words you don’t tell people who to have sex with exactly, you’re just standing there in the wings to tell them they’re wrong when they do make a choice), you end up with power but no responsibility. This is EXACTLY what the religious nuts want. Power. Nothing else. No way in hell do they want to be stuck actually trying to provide realistic alternative options. They ONLY want to be able to tap into the power of the sex drive to guilt you into contributing to their causes, whether monetarily or lending them your voice by staying a silent member of their group so they can point at their numbers when they want some ridiculous nonsense passed to give them more power.

    Power without responsibility is always abusive. No exceptions.

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