The World, um, Created by Contraception

From a Catholic News Agency piece about a recent online debate between Ross Douthat, author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, and Slate magazine author William Saletan:

Douthat also urged Saletan, and others who dismiss the Church’s teachings on sexuality, to take an honest look at the consequences of contraception.

“The world that contraception has made is a world that de-emphasizes the moral weight of the sexual act, while insisting on the centrality of a perpetually-fulfilled libido to human contentment,” he observed.

Contraception, he said, has created a world “characterized by steadily declining marriage rates, steadily rising numbers of children born out of wedlock, birthrates that have fallen well below replacement levels across the developed West … and millions upon millions upon millions of abortions.”

“In general, the sexual culture that contraception has created is a culture that treats the stuff of human life and even life itself as a commodity to be bought, sold, mass produced, experimented upon and kept on ice when necessary.”

In his final installment, Douthat thanked the religiously-skeptical Saletan for his respectful tone. But he critiqued the Slate author’s liberal viewpoint, for its unconscious reliance on principles drawn from the faith it rejects.

“When I look at your secular liberalism, I see a system of thought that looks rather like a Christian heresy, and not necessarily a particularly coherent one at that,” Douthat remarked.

Read the entire piece

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About Carl E. Olson 1200 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.