I am concerned to read about Calderdale Council’s “Think Contraceptive” campaign which I imagine is aimed at reducing unplanned pregnancies, especially among the young.
Even as a last resort measure, it betrays a trivialising of the miracle of procreation entrusted to us fallible humans; and insults our responsibility unless we make it a minor part in a four-square approach to morality based on the “four Cs”.
Celibacy, the first, is for a select few, but chastity, the second, is for everyone.
The widespread “condom culture” wrongly makes for the assumption that our strong sex drives cannot and need not be controlled, notwithstanding the work of authors including Leslie Weatherhead, minister at City Temple in the later 20th century whose book The Mastery Of Sex won much attention.
Christians traditionally limit mating to make male-female marriage as securing an optimal society for child nurture, all else falling foul of Jesus’ listing of fornication at Matthew 15 Verse 19 among the flaws of the human heart.
Unless the partners pledge lifelong unity they are open to the charge of reserving the right of selfish desertion. On the other hand, I feel that churches that deny the right of physical modes of family planning to married couples exceed their role.
Contraception for them is the “third C”; and for the unchaste is at least better than nothing!
Fourthly, we need to be a caring community when things go wrong, so that young children don’t suffer.
Coun Simon Young rightly says it is important that young people have somewhere to go for help and advice on health issues.
Here in Todmorden the counselling centre in St Mary’s Church is open 10am to 4pm every Thursday.
The service is available to all, not only Christians, and is free although donations are invited for regular counsel (telephone 07532 381366).
We can also be contacted at the Youth Cafe in the crypt every Friday evening from 8.30pm, and other members of Churches Together can help.
Coun Frank McManus,
Longfield Road, Todmorden.