Great Minds Think Alike
Just hours before I wrote “A Quiver Full,” Ryan T. Anderson blogged about the Quiverfull movement in First Things. Andersen informs us of other similar movements in the protestant and secular worlds. I find this one particularly intriguing:
But have you heard about the students at Princeton? Frustrated with the sexual chaos on campus, they founded the Anscombe Society, named for the Cambridge philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe, author of the famous essay “Contraception and Chastity.” Without appeals to revelation or authority—that is, by human experience and reason alone—members of the Anscombe Society are making the case on the Princeton campus for chastity, authentic feminism, and traditional marriage. And I believe that thinking through the case for traditional marriage may be a key element in the reevaluation of attitudes toward sex even within marriage.
Anderson makes a good point. If the procreative element of marital love is neither important nor required for authentic self-giving, then what is wrong with homosexual sex, bestiality, sodomy or a myriad of other sexual perversions? He contends the recent brouhaha over same-sex marriage may spur more understanding and accepting of the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception. I hope so.
Back to the issue of NFP, Anderson is careful not to endorse Quiverfull’s complete rejection of all family planning methods, natural or otherwise:
Some Christians will undoubtedly take issue with [Quiverfull’s] understanding of trust in God’s providence (describing their attitude as presumptuous) and wish they would place emphasis on discerning God’s will for family size and come to see Natural Family Planning as a responsible way to avoid conceiving when spouses have good reasons to postpone pregnancy. Be that as it may, the Quiverfull movement does embody a powerful reaction against a contraceptive mentality that views children and childbearing as inconveniences in adult life, to be planned around adult desires, using whatever means necessary.
Notice his careful wording. NFP is a way to “postpone” (as opposed to “avoid”) pregnancy. Part of responsibly using NFP means being open to life.