This past weekend I was reading posts in a Facebook group when I came across a girl stating that she was elated to have learned that she is not pregnant. Her story was sympathetic at first, she’d experienced several miscarriages and so she did not want to try to conceive right now. She explained that she has been a “nervous wreck worrying myself to death” over the thought of becoming pregnant. Then she stated “I’m a christian, & my husband & I don’t believe in Birth Control. so we just use the pull out method to try to prevent. I know that isnt 100%. but it has been effective for us.” and this did not sit right with me. I attempted to reason with her, stating that pulling out IS using birth control, so she should simply get herself something truly reliable so that each month isn’t torture for her. This was when I was accused of attacking her faith just to push my agenda on her. She stated “Bringing something up. I obviously already know isnt attemping to do anything but push your beliefs on someone else…I’m aware its a form of BC. hense why I said WE USE THE P.O MEHTOD TO (PREVENT) We dont believe in condoms , NOR do we believe in other things.” We went back and forth a bit. I tried to get her to realize that what she was saying basically boiled down to “I don’t believe in birth control, so I use birth control.”. It wasn’t about attacking her religion, it was about getting her to see that if she can be OK with using this form of birth control, perhaps she could find something else that would help ease her mind more and thus take away some unneeded stress so she could heal. I was floored when I read what she wrote next.
“Thats kind of offensive. I clearly stated above we dont do that.. So why even bring that up? Thats kind of rude.. My reglion is taken very seriously. and while that may be true, denying your husband your body is also a sin.” It doesn’t shock me at all that she found my words rude. I was using logic and she was using faith. What did shock me was that she was choosing to emotionally torture herself each month because she cannot deny her husband access to her body. My initial reaction was, do people really believe this crap? I didn’t have to wait long for a response. Before I could even post my reply another woman chimed in and said “the pull out method is considered a form of birth control, how ever this is her life and she follows in her husbands foot steps as she should being a Christian woman.” . Well there you go. Don’t dare save yourself agony by having a partner who respects that you are trying to heal from multiple miscarriages, God said it is your job to serve your man. All I could do was shake my head and think, I’ve never been so thankful to be an Atheist.
All the while I was engaging another side of the conversation, presented by a Mormon who was getting her birth control information from the Catholic church. She wrote ” On a separate note, my husband and I practice something nicknamed the mucus method. You can call a local catholic church and ask about natural family planning classes. (you don’t have to be Catholic to take the classes. I’m Mormon and they were all really nice to me) But they say it’s 99% effective. Just in case you were looking for something in addition to the pull out method to ease your mind.”
As some of you know from reading my “A Uterus from Nothing” series, I have learned a lot about what you need to do to get pregnant. Tracking cervical mucus is a popular method of trying to determine ovulation “naturally” and though it can be very accurate for women with regular cycles it is not fool proof and certainly not a reliable form of birth control. The believer tried to justify that if you know when you are ovulating you know when not to have sex . This would be fine except that sperm can live in the body for several days, so unless you can predict which day your cervical mucus WILL be it’s strongest, you are putting yourself at risk for an unwanted pregnancy. On top of that, not all women are able to detect the changes in cervical mucus because their body just doesn’t produce the excess amount that is considered “normal”. Outside factors can also effect the amount of cervical mucus you produce, these may be things you’d never think of like common feminine products (soaps, douches, deodorizing spray)… one month can be different from another so while you are thinking it is a “safe day” you are really ovulating and potentially creating a life. So even though she was right that this would be more acceptable as far as not technically being birth control, she was not right that it is a truly effective way to put your mind at ease. All the believer had to say was “My goodness, don’t you like to argue. All of this is covered in the class. No further comment.”. Once again, I explained that it is not about arguing but simply about providing accurate information. Of course there are “natural” methods out there, but by utilizing what science gave us, such as pills and IUDs, you are able to give yourself a real chance to NOT have an unplanned, unwanted child and I will never understand what is so wrong with that.
Shortly after that statement I was kicked out of the group. I am hoping that I made an impact, but somehow I think my words fell on deaf ears. Just remember that we have real options out there and that there is nothing wrong with not wanting to conceive. Your obligation should not be to pull out for God, but rather should be to always make the responsible choice… especially when it involves another life.
10 thoughts on “Pulling out for God…”
Their absurd conduct doesn’t harm you in any way, so let them be. I think you should step in only when they step on your freedom by trying to impose their dogma on you or on your school children.
I appreciate your input and agree that many times it is unnecessary to speak up on the personal actions of others. However, when people are discussing a medical issue and giving advice that is potentially harmful I always feel the need to step in. Even if my comments did not change her mind it potentially helped someone who was following the thread and is on the fence about birth control. Also, though you feel it is none of my concern simply because it doesn’t directly effect me, in the case of children unborn or born, someone needs to look out for them if the parents won’t.
Isn’t the biblical argument against birth control literally against spilling your seed? Isn’t that EXACTLY what pulling out would be doing? With birth control, you’re at least not doing the exact thing that the bible tells you not to.
Yes, Genesis 38:8-10 discusses spilling seed “Gen. 38:8 Then Judah said to Onan, ‘Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her; raise up offspring for your brother.’ 9 But since Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to see his brother’s wife, so that he would not give offspring to his brother. 10 What he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also.”
I think it’s great that you didn’t take a shot at all Christians or group all believers into this. The problem with this lady’s belief is that she is putting her faith in man made traditions.
As Christians we are to look to God’s word when it comes to moral decisions. Unfortunately many people are too lazy or trust man made doctrines and traditions. Almost every outragous Christian story in this day and age is the result of a believer not following the word, or else a pastor who is twisting scripture for his own sinful reasons.
No where does the bible speak against birth control in a marriage.
It is not my place to generalize all believers, just as I do not wish to be lumped into a general Atheist category. If nothing else, I just wanted to try to open her eyes (and perhaps enlighten others who were following the thread) that weather it is pulling out or an IUD it is all birth control and it is OK. Taking care of your own well being is the most important thing you can do. She would be no good to a child if she wasn’t able to care for herself. I hope she is able to work out her conflicts and that when the time is right they are able to have a family.
I agree with most of what you wrote. I am not against birth control. However, I can also tell you that the “mucus” method (specifically the Craighton Model) has worked for me really well, and I am not one with a regular cycle (or anything, really! LOL) for sure. Those methods do involve consideration of many factors, it’s not as simplistic as counting days in the cycle. It was also used with the understanding it could not work and I was ok with that. It was more of a “I’d prefer not to have a child now, but if it happens I’m ok with it” sort of thing. And by that I mean that it would have not been the psychological torture this girl seems to go through on a regular basis.
On a different note, it is really sad how some people make those logical jumps, in this case from “this makes no sense” to “I hate your religion”.. Sorry.
I know many women who track cervical mucus in order to get pregnant, and they have relatively good levels of success with it. This being said, trying to use it as birth control is a slippery slope. If nothing else. just like with the pull out method, she would still be using birth control and with that should perhaps just move to something that is known to be truly effective. Thank you for reading the blog, you feedback is appreciated.
The so-called symptothermal method (combining measuring your temperature and evaluating your mucus and/or cervix position) is indeed, when properly applied, as safe as using the pill. Admittedly that needs a little amount of practice and discipline, but it works rather well for me (I can´t take the pill due to side effects). One important point though: Depending on your cycle length, regularity and other factors such as illnesses etc., you can declare only 30 to 50 % of your time as “safe”. Since I am completely fine with using barrier methods I really not care. But I have no clue how you would apply that method in a household where the wife is subject to her husband and his will…
It’s a sin to deny your husband your body. Wow. It’s like we aren’t even human beings with rights. Oh right, Christian men don’t believe we are.