Archive for 2012

Natural Family Planning: Who Should Practice NFP?

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Who should practice ecological breastfeeding?
Both national and international health agencies urge that all babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months.  Ecological breastfeeding offers the best opportunity for maintaining a good milk supply for the first six months and beyond.  That’s why we believe that every couple with a new baby should try to practice ecological breastfeeding.  It offers significant health and psychological advantages to mother and baby alike.  Eco-breastfeeding usually provides a lengthy time of infertility, and many couples are ready to seek pregnancy when fertility returns.

Ecological breastfeeding requires close mother-baby contact, and this is good for both mother and baby.  It is the kind of care that best helps babies to thrive.  We like to think of it as God’s own plan for baby-care and baby-spacing, but it generally precludes working outside the home or being excessively busy with a home-based business.  The proper care of babies takes time.  The combination of mothering and homemaking is a full-time job. You need certain conditions to justify additional spacing of babies with systematic NFP, but you do not need any sort of “spacing” reasons to breastfeed.  With ecological breastfeeding, you are doing what is best for your baby, and it is your baby’s frequent and unrestricted suckling that postpones the return of fertility.

Is it okay to hope for extended infertility with eco-breastfeeding?
Certainly. The extended infertility of ecological breastfeeding is a normal, God-given side effect of following God’s plan for baby care, and it is good and proper to hope for this along with all the other normal good effects of breastfeeding.

Who should practice systematic NFP?
We need to be clear.  Systematic natural family planning is not “Catholic Birth Control.”  Christian marriage is a sacrament in which the spouses are called to be generous to each other and to be generous with God in having children and raising them in the ways of the Lord.  Marriage is for family.

Children are gifts from God.  Most Christian married couples can assume that much of the time, perhaps even most of the time, God is calling them to be generous and to invite another child to share family life on this earth and to share eternity with Him.  The knowledge of systematic NFP is also a gift from God, and couples should use it generously, not selfishly. (above from page 6, NFPI manual)

John and Sheila Kippley
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach

Arguments for Contraception

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

From a reader:  “My wife has received the following arguments for contraception. Could you help me provide solid responses to these arguments? I need to help her. I need to help our marriage.”

The wife’s comments are in italics followed by my [John’s] response.

Sex is not just for making babies, it also makes a couple closer and brings enjoyment.
I agree, but that’s not an argument for contraception. Sexual union is intended by God to be exclusively a marriage act.  Within marriage it ought to be a true marriage act, a renewal of their marriage covenant and commitment of love, for better and for worse.  In God’s plan, the marriage act is both for bonding and babies.  It is God Himself who put togethr in one act what we call making love and making babies.  What Jesus says about marriage applies also to the marriage act: What God has put together, let no one take apart.  Contraception takes apart what God Himself has put together, and that’s wrong.

Contraception allows responsible family planning.
The morality of an action is not determined solely by a person’s intention.  See more below.

Contraception avoids unwanted pregnancies.
Again, because it takes apart what God has put together, it is an immoral way of achieving that goal.

God made people in his own image, wanting them to be in control and make rational decisions (such as when to have children).
If you want to know what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God, look at Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the saints.  If you want to know what it means to act contrary to being in the image and likeness of God, look at Adam and Eve and Jezebel and Herod and Herodias etc. We are not made to be in total control.  We are called to be stewards of the gifts God has given us.  St. Paul wrote: “You are not your own; you were bought with a price.  So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 9-19-20).

Christians should think of the well-being of existing children and the effect that another pregnancy would have on them.
That is an argument for using natural family planning.

There is no fundamental difference between contraception and NFP since the motive is the same in both cases – i.e. avoidance of pregnancy.
Completely false.  The end does not justify the means.  A good motive does not equalize the various ways of achieving that goal.  Contraception remains the immoral taking apart of what God Himself has put together.  Natural family planning respects the God-given meaning of the marriage act.

The sin of Onan isn’t about contraception but about lack of fraternal charity.
Not true.  Three people — Onan, his father, and his younger brother — violated the so-called Law of the Levirate, but only one of them was killed.  Namely, Onan, who was the only one to engage in the contraceptive act of withdrawal and spilling his seed.  Furthermore, the punishment for the violation of the Levirate is clearly spelled out in Deuteronomy (25:5-10).  The aggrieved widow can take off the shoe of her offending brother-in-law and spit in his face.  Embarassing but hardly a death sentence.

John: I have replied above to the one-line “arguments” with some very short arguments.  You need to read my article dealing with the Sin of Onan at our website.  You would also do well to read and reread Chapter 1 of our manual,  Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach, listed on the home page.  To go further, read my Sex and the Marriage Covenant, also listed on the home page.  You and your wife both need to read The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor.  Also on the home page.

Seven Day Bible RosaryGreat stocking stuffer for Christmas!

John F. Kippley

The logic of contraception

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

One of the great evils of contraception is that it establishes as a working principle that modern man and woman can  take apart what God has put together.  That’s what contraception is all about — taking apart what God has put together in the marriage act.  Once a culture accepts that “philosophy,” it cannot say a firm “No” to any imaginable behavior between consenting persons.  In that way of rationalizing, all that counts is mutual consent so adultery, fornication, sodomy, prostitution become logically permissible.  The natural law is abandoned.  One dissenter wrote that his rejection of Catholic teaching on birth control also involved his rejection of the natural law, and that meant he had no way to say no even to bestiality — humans having sex with animals.  That is the logic of contraceptive birth control.

John F. Kippley
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach
Sex and the Marriage Covenant
Battle-Scarred: Justice Can Be Elusive