For two years, I’ve been a member of Girls Ask Guys, or GAG for short, a website on which guys and girls ask questions about dating and relationships. I’m starting a sub-series here based on discussions I’ve had and ideas I’ve seen there. This new series shall be entitled (drumroll, please)…The GAG Files.
I recently asked why some Christians support contraception. I stated that the Church’s most basic objection is that it violates natural order. One user countered by asking if putting up sandbags in order to stop a flood would do likewise. What follows is my case (at least it would have been. She didn’t respond to my response). By her logic, this is the debate she would have to have with herself.
Nature and Instinct vs. Will
A flood is a natural occurrence and pregnancy is the natural result of sex. By that reckoning, stacking sandbags and using contraception are therefore violations of natural order. This, however, is where the similarities end.
What is the potential result of sexual intercourse? Pregnancy. Why does a woman use contraception? She doesn’t want to get pregnant. Why doesn’t she want to get pregnant? So the couple won’t have children. Why don’t they want children? They want to live a certain lifestyle. Why do they want to live a certain lifestyle? I’d say selfishness. Pregnancy is natural, but the sexual urge is subject to will and consent.
A flood is natural, but doesn’t have reason and will. It depends on when and how much it rains. A river is subject to the natural bends of the Earth. It can’t say “This ‘river’ thing is lame. I’m out of here!” The mayor can’t say “Do you mind? I’ve got a city to run” and expect the flood to obey if it threatens his city. He would have sandbags emplaced in order to stop or redirect the flood because it threatens to human life and those things which sustain it: food, shelter, and sources of income.
The Necessary Self-Debate
With this established, let’s go deeper (pun intended). Let’s say that this flood is worse than usual, so the dam and sandbags have failed. You come across an 80-year-old woman who can’t walk on her own anymore without a walker, let alone run or swim. The flood waters are three minutes from their limit of advance, where the citizens are safe. You are able-bodied and two minutes from safety, while the woman is five minutes away. You could rescue her and still have time to spare. Will you rescue her or will you think “She must not be able to move on her own. We all die sooner or later. Why delay the inevitable?” The flood is natural, but so is her condition. Does rescuing her violate natural order?
How about a slightly different situation with the same time windows? You see a six-month-old child. He depends on everyone around him and doesn’t have reason or will. His father is out of town and his mother is trying to reach him, but is hindered. She will break free and MAYBE get to her son and save him. She’s screaming “Someone, please! Save my baby!” Will you rescue him or will you think “He hasn’t contributed to society yet. He depends on everyone around him. He doesn’t even know he exists. Give it a few months and his parents will get over him and have another baby”? The flood is natural, but so is this child’s place in life right now. Does rescuing him violate natural order?
When you return and your town is more or less destroyed, are you sad or do you tell everyone “It’s flood season! This was bound to happen, so don’t be sad. This is nature!”?
Maybe I’m getting too specific here, but regardless, flood season and sex are two very different instances. Neither result is guaranteed. They are simply the appropriate conditions. Therefore, the pro-contraception counter-argument doesn’t fly. Better yet, it’s washed away by a flood.
NEXT TIME ON THE GAG FILES…Hitler and Moral Relativism.