Let’s get that ball rolling, shall we?
Expressing even the mildest opinion on the internet opens one up to the possibility of being misunderstood–or worse, understood quite well, even when attempting to obfuscate. I get emails from readers and drive-by web surfers asking my opinion of weighty issues a lot more often than I should think I deserve. I’m just a third-rate mommy blogger. Why are you asking me? I assume it’s because I have a lovely blog header and matching buttons (from this wonderful web design gal) and it makes me look more professional than I can ever hope to be. Whatever the reason, I never write anything without trying to anticipate how it’s going to affect readers, because it’s obvious that people are taking my words to heart.
Questions I get range from “When are you going to die, you filthy breeder, because I’d really like the chance to spit on your grave while it’s still fresh?” to “Do you think I should stop using birth control?” The trolls don’t keep me up at night (they never demonstrate enough intelligence to make me think they even understand why they’re angry at me), but the questions from real people with real lives who could suffer real consequences from putting too much stock in my words certainly do. With the warning that any credibility the reader gives me is at her own risk, I often answer these emails with my opinions on what people should consider when making these decisions. The one thing I haven’t done, to date, is tell anyone that birth control is a sin.
Long ago (in blog years), I mentioned that I think birth control is one of the biggest tragedies ever to befall humanity. I’m not alone in that belief. The man who, along with two others, invented the birth control pill isn’t exactly proud of his accomplishment, either. Between that and the fact that I’ve arranged so many pixels in the shape of pro-child, and pro-large-family thoughts, it should be obvious that I do think there is something wrong with birth control, even though I’ve never addressed the subject directly.
Now, maybe that something wrong is wrong in the sense that corn syrup is what’s wrong with the American diet. Or maybe that something wrong is a great moral failing that needs to be corrected. Maybe it’s somewhere in between, in the no-man’s-land where it’s impossible to please anyone. I’ve never said (yet) one way or the other. Since I’m not Catholic, I don’t have the luxury of pointing to the Pope and saying “There! He made me think it!” I wish I did, because it would be a lot easier to say that my religion says it’s a sin and call it a day. No noodling required!
Lacking that easy out, I’m left with only two resources, one fallible, and one infallible. The Bible is the only place one can go to find out what is and isn’t a sin, and it is completely correct. My brain, on the other hand, fails me at least hourly—and that’s only the times I notice it. I can, and do, consult other, better thinkers than myself (yes, including Catholic ones), but–compared to God, at least–they’re as dumb as I am, so they’re not much help.
So what do I think of birth control? Well, I’m not going to tell you today, because one blog post isn’t going to be enough space, and you probably don’t care that much anyway. I will answer the question, though, since it is so often asked of me.
First I want to lay out this teaser and open up the comments to your opinions. Not that I’m likely to be swayed by them, at this point, but lay ‘em on me. Just know that any comment you leave me could end up pulled into a subsequent post (respectfully, I promise), so go anonymous if you’re thin-skinned or don’t really believe in the strength of your position.
Ready? (Read the comment policy.) Set? (Really think about what you’re about to say.) Go! (Leave a comment.)