I did not watch many of the Olympic events but I found this article to be disturbing. The article attempts to make a connection between the success of our Olympic athletes and birth control. The article is quite silly really but when you understand the obvious motive of the author, it becomes sad.
The author says, “Without the IUD, implant, pill and other methods, many of our athletic heroines might have been home changing diapers or packing school lunches instead of scoring soccer goals and setting swimming records.”
The word Asceticism comes to mind. Asceticism comes from the Greek meaning “exercise” or “training.” It is a type of lifestyle “characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures.” The object of the ascetic lifestyle for us Catholics is the “subordination of the lower appetites to the dictates of right reason and the law of God, with the continued and necessary cultivation of the virtues which the Creator intended man to possess.”
The typical Olympic athlete benefits from abstaining from things like cheeseburgers and fries, recreational drugs and all night parties. This discipline, or self-mastery, is a type of training for the body and mind. However, to this author, these Olympic athletes are able to master control over all aspects of their minds and bodies except for their sexual impulses. To this author, self-mastery of our sexual impulses is just too much to expect. So, these girls must have birth control.
When I read about the author, I see that she is a big advocate of reducing teen pregnancy. Very good. But, she believes that teaching teens sexual abstinence (which is self-mastery) is unrealistic and that birth control pills, IUD, emergency contraception and abortion-on-demand are the only way to reduce teen pregnancy.
I actually agree that abstinence programs are lacking and instead believe Chastity programs to be more effective (more on this in a future blog).
But, the flaw in this author’s method is that those drugs, devices and procedures don’t always reduce teen pregnancy. They often only reduce the birth rates. That is why it is called birth control and not pregnancy control. Babies are created but not birthed. They are either killed in the womb with abortion or prevented from implanting due to the pill. You see, pregnancy happens with the birth control pill but the baby is often aborted through the abortifacient nature of the pill.
One of the many things I love about Chastity is that it encourages us in true self-mastery. Chastity teaches us that saving sex until marriage allows us to live with our body, mind and soul in harmony. The virtue of chastity brings our sexual appetite into harmony with reason, and creates purity in mind, heart and conscience.
For those that are married, there is the very effective option of Natural Family Planning (NFP). NFP allows for delaying and spacing pregnancy and it is hormone free. It is more effective than the pill at preventing pregnancy. Only 1 in 250 NFPers (versus up to 9 in 100 pill users) will have a surprise pregnancy. More impressive is the success rate of marriages for those that practice NFP (99.8%) compared to those that use contraception (50%).
For those that are not married, I believe, and the Catholic Church believes, that self-mastery in all areas of their lives, including their sexual impulses, is possible and healthy for their minds, bodies, hearts and souls.
Olympic athletes are trained by both abstaining from what is harmful and exercising what is good. Chastity, through the practice of asceticism, is achieved in a similar fashion. Abstain from what is harmful (toxic relationships, near occasions of sin, pornography, self-gratifying endeavors, media that glorifies fornication) and exercise what is good (Mass, receiving the Sacraments often, prayer, scripture, like-minded friends, service activities, media that glories God).
Oh, I know people are still going to have sex outside marriage. But, sadly they will never know the benefits of chastity. They will only know what they have been sold by the sex-absorbed culture. They will miss out on the benefits of superabundance and will set themselves up for failure instead of success in their marriage.
This article was written by a man who reviewed a study done by Brigham Young University that revealed that waiting until marriage to have sex resulted in greater marital stability and satisfaction. The man went into the analysis seriously doubting that Brigham Young could produce a study that was without motive, namely promoting abstinence.
However, the author was quite surprised that “the study has also been peer reviewed by the academic community and the results are statistically shown to have been controlled for the religious background of the participant.” In other words, it was done without bias and they may be on to something. The author concludes:
“On first glance, the study surprised me a bit. But once I thought about it, I realized that perhaps the authors are onto something. Those who start their relationships without the powerfully-distorting drug called “sex” are likely to make more rational relationship choices. They may also be more likely to choose a partner who stimulates them in other ways, leading to a stronger and more lasting relationship.”
Yes, the “powerfully-distorting drug called sex” makes self-mastery difficult because it distorts the mind, the body and reality.
You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to be strong and excel in self-mastery. Commit to chastity and all its benefits. You won’t regret it.