Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NFP is harmful to a marriage.

But NFP can, and sometimes should, be used to prevent a greater harm to a marriage.

Like with other medicinal devices, NFP is a necessary evil that can be used to prevent a greater harm to the marriage from occurring. Similarly, chemotherapy is harmful to the body, but it too is a necessary evil that can be used to prevent a greater harm to the body from occurring.

NFP is not natural to the daily life of marriage, just as chemotherapy is not natural to daily nutrition. And just as chemotherapy is understood and treated as medicinal, so likewise should NFP be promoted and treated the same as any other medicinal device. We thank God we have these medicinal devices to use because they can save us from a worse fate, but nevertheless, they are not natural to daily life, but instead natural as medicinal.

The medicinal is natural as medicinal and should be treated as natural according to its actual nature.

NFP is harmful to marriage when used properly as medicinal even though it is natural as medicinal, but at least it serves to prevent a greater evil. On the other hand using NFP when it is not medicinal can be destructive to a marriage such as when it is used improperly to reduce family size to a tiny family.

The error typically made is to treat NFP as if it was intended as natural for the daily life of marriage because using it as if was intended for natural daily life is to use it for a purpose it was not intended for. And when we use a device for a purpose other than how God intended, we can harm ourselves beyond even the harm that comes from using it as a necessary evil.

Super sized families are not only not a mark of the Faith they can be harmful, and thus the need for using NFP as a last resort. Likewise tiny families can can cause harm when the method of causing them is using NFP as a daily part of marriage.

In modern american society it can happen that NFP is required to be used in the daily life of the marriage, but the reason for its use remains medicinal and is because american culture for whatever reason makes natural child spacing virtually non existent.

NFP is natural as medicinal child spacing, but it is not natural as daily life marriage child spacing. It is not natural to the daily life of marriage to use NFP.

In contrast to NFP, Ecological breastfeeding is ordinary to daily married life child spacing. Ecological breastfeeding is helpful to marriage because it is natural to the daily life of marriage. Extended breastfeeding, like the family bed and other aspects of attachment parenting, bond the family into a solidarity.

In contrast, NFP does not cause this same solidarity, but in contrast to attachment parenting causes a further breakdown of this same solidarity. Artificial birth control is of course far more destructive to marriage than NFP, but the difference is variation of degree, not a difference of kind. And so while the argument in the linked to article above is not a good one for proving the intrinsic evil of A.B.C. it is a good at explaining why NFP is an evil, albeit a sometimes necessary evil.

It likewise is a good argument for why what needs to be done is not using NFP which simply masks the error, but instead changing our culture to preclude the need of NFP.

It should be noted that it's proper to the medicinal that the evil caused by use of the medicinal is of the same nature as the greater evil prevented. And that causing an evil which is not of the same nature as the evil intended to be prevented is not morally licit. From which it follows that unlike artificial birth control which causes some form of barrier, NFP is licit because it does not change the nature of the act.

More to come. And as always, this article like all my others is a work in progress, read it at your own risk.


This is of course a Catholic blog and so it goes without saying that artificial birth control is simply evil and not even a consideration.

But if A.B.C. is considered by some, it should be noted that A.B.C. causes far greater harm than NFP. NFP. is natural to us, A.B.C. is not. The harmfulness of A.B.C. may not be apparent, but God gives us what we need, i.e. NFP, and through his Church protects us from our wandering into greater harm to ourselves by giving us guidelines that are natural to us.


  1. +JMJ+

    This seems to be a lice of the same pie I just had two pieces of.

    The first was an article I read about the first time a girl learned how dysfunctional her family was. Her father couldn't control his temper and everyone else dealt with it by basically shutting normal life down until he got over it. Then she spent some time at a friend's house and was amazed when the father came home ranting after a bad day at work, and nobody panicked. It was the first time she realised that when someone is having a bad day, it doesn't have to be your problem, too--that, in fact, if it is turned into your problem, then all your efforts are the equivalent of chemotherapy on a body with Stage 4 cancer. (Okay, that was me applying your metaphor to her takeaway.)

    The second slice was my own frustration with Metro Manila traffic. I have dashed in late for work more often than I care to say, and my manager's helpful tip was: "Try leaving the house two hours early." Now, I live a little over five kilometres away from my office. If I were walking there, I could leave my house an hour and a half early and totally get there on time. Where in the world can you get someplace faster by walking than by taking a vehicle? Leaving the house two hours early is necessary because nothing else can be done, but it's a band aid on a tumour.

  2. I appreciate your comment.

    A slice is a rather apt description of what my commentary is.

  3. +JMJ+

    How kind of you to read "slice" when I had such a terrible typo in the first line! #facepalm