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Posts Tagged ‘contraceptives’


There is a place for “bite-sized” reflections on ethical issues. Al Mohler provides just that in Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America.  I suspect this book is taken from his blog posts from 2001-2005. I read the expanded edition which contains some newer chapters from 2010-11. The chapters are short enough to read in less than 30 minutes. Mohler interacts with events and controversies, so these pieces are not abstract. As John Piper notes, he is clear-headed.

While he tackles some complex issues, I never got the sense I was in over my head. He makes the material accessible to ordinary people. He has 3 chapters on Public Law, first laying out 3 secular arguments, then 3 secular myths and finally 5 theses. Many of these chapters are still relevant, like his chapter on Offendedness. There are chapters wrestling with 9/11, the Tsumani, abortion, Darwinism and more. These are things to think about. At times you can see how perceptive he is.

“Instead, Saletan argued that the pro-abortion movement should coalesce around an agenda of lowering the total number of abortions and increasing the use of contraceptives.”

This, for instance, has been the rhetoric of our President.

But he looks not merely at personal sins, but at structures. This is not as common for conservatives. This is part of the tension between conservatives and progressives today. The one sees personal morality as the main issue, and the other public morality as the main issue so sin is found either in the individual or the structures. For a Christian, we should recognize both. And both need to be addressed.

“Sin is so interwoven in our lives and institutional structures that we often cannot even see it.”

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Both the media and the social media have been abuzz with the mandate to provide contraceptives as a part of health care, and the “compromise” plan made by the President. There has been plenty of heat over this subject. I’m not sure how much light there has been.

One issue that has been cloudy is whether or not this contraceptive care includes abortion. The President said it does not. If one limits this to abortion as a medical procedure, he is correct. Roman Catholic spokespersons say it does. If, by that, they refer to the Pill they are sort of right. The Pill is intended to prevent ovulation and therefore pregnancy. If the egg doesn’t drop it can’t be fertilized. But sometimes it fails. In that instance, the egg may be fertilized. The Pill creates an environment in which the fertilized egg has a difficult time implanting on the wall of the uterus. This can and does happen for women who don’t take the Pill. But in this case, the Pill produces an unknown number of chemical abortions. This is why some Protestants oppose the use of the Pill (the Church of Rome prohibits all use of all contraceptives).

But the larger issue is that of whether or not the government mandating such coverage is a violation of the U.S. Constitution with regard to the free exercise of religion.

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