Sometimes societal norms change slowly. It took milennia for slavery to be considered the barbaric practice it is. Women fought for decades to gain the right to vote in our country.
But sometimes, societal norms transform almost instantly. Such is the case with the acceptance of artificial contraception. Although forms of artificial contraception have existed since ancient times, it was not practiced on a widespread basis until very recently, and now it is accepted as normal (and moral) by almost everyone in Western society. In fact, announcing that you believe artificial contraception to be immoral at a party would most likely result in the same reaction as announcing that you are an alien from the planet Zaron (which of course is ridiculous as everyone knows that native Zaronites cannot breath in our environment).
Yet I firmly believe that falsehood cannot become a permanent fixture in any society. Even slavery, which existed for so long, eventually was seen to be evil by mankind. We are created with an innate sense of what is right and wrong (what philosophers call the Natural Law), and deep down men and women know that sex is created for more than just personal pleasure, and trying to reduce it to only that undermines the truth and beauty of the sexual act.
Currently, it is only the Catholic Church which recognizes the immorality of artificial contraception (even many Orthodox Churches sadly allow for it within marriage now). In order to begin to change the culture, Catholics will need to first convince our natural allies on this issue, which I believe are Evangelicals and Environmentalists. Two articles I recently saw should help in this process:
Should Evangelicals stop using contraceptives? is written by an Evangelical and he reminds his co-religionists that many contraceptives – such as the pill – are in fact also abortifacients, meaning that in some situations they can cause an early abortion. This argument does not address the more fundamental issue when it comes to artificial contraception, but it is a good start to address the mindless acceptance of modern birth control by Evangelicals.
A tough pill to swallow is an article that shows the destructive nature of flooding our environment with all these pills: male fish can actually become “feminized” from hormones found in the pill being dumped into wastewater. Environmentalists preach against the destructive nature of man in this world – yet artificial contraception might end up being one of our most destructive legacies to our environment.
Hopefully, both Evangelicals and Environmentalists will begin to recognize the harmful effects of articifical contraception both on the soul and our world. Then the tide might turn and the societal norm which accepts artificial contraception as moral could be rejected as quickly as it was accepted.