Monday, August 11, 2008

Some Protestants find spiritual appeal in natural family planning

Taking a page from Catholic doctrine, Protestants are avoiding artificial contraception for religious reasons

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Phaedra Taylor abstained from sex until marriage. But she began researching birth control methods before she was even engaged, and by the time she married David Taylor, she was already charting her fertility.

Taylor, a fresh-faced 28-year-old who would blend in easily with South Austin bohemians, ruled out taking birth control pills after reading a book that claimed the pill could, in some cases, make the uterus uninhabitable after conception occurred. She viewed that as abortion, which she opposes.

"I just wasn't willing to risk it," she said.

Taylor wanted her faith to guide her sexual and reproductive decisions after marriage. Natural family planning felt like the best way to honor God, she said.

The Taylors are one of several couples at Hope Chapel — a nondenominational church where David Taylor, 36, was the arts minister for 12 years — who practice natural family planning. Christian scholars say they may reflect a growing trend among non-Catholic Christians who are increasingly seeking out natural alternatives to artificial contraception.

Natural family planning is frequently dismissed by Protestants as an outmoded Catholic practice that most Catholics don't even follow anymore. But 40 years after Pope Paul VI released Humanae Vitae, the document outlining the church's position on marital sex and procreation, the method and the theology behind it are earning respect among some young Protestants, according to Christian scholars.

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Anonymous said...

Natural family planning is a wonderful method to use to space and plan your children. It takes restraint, cooperation of both partners and has little or no side effects with the exception of a child 9 months later, as the method is only 65% effective. This study was done with a group of married, monogomous, well-educated couples. And by the way,89% of practicing Roman Catholics use a hormonal or barrier method of contraception.

Anonymous said...

It should also be mentioned that July was the 40th anniversary of Humae Vitae, the papal encyclical on birth control by Paul VI. In it, the pope ignored the recommendation to reverse direction by a commission he himself had appointed.

It was an encyclical which effectively ended the church's credibility on moral teaching and caused many Catholics to call into question other church teaching.