Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Greener Sex

Green Sex folks. That's what it's all about.

I presented the case for eco-friendly nookie last week at FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) New Staff Training, and I received a warm - albeit somewhat aghast - reception.

Green sex is, in a nutshell, the idea that contraceptive use is in fact seriously deleterious to the environment and may indeed be harmful to the human person - physically, psychologically and emotionally. (Notice I didn't use the other "G" word to prove my point - God.)

And that's the point, at least as I was explaining things to the 90 first year FOCUS missionaries who had unwittingly entered into a hotbed of controversy when they stepped into "missionary practicum 101" that morning.

Because "green sex," for all it's shock value and buzz-worthy appeal, isn't exactly catching on like wildfire. Cosmo hasn't run any features exposing the rampant estrogenic pollution of our streams and waterways, thanks to the disposal of human sewage laden with prolific amounts of artificial hormones. The White House hasn't introduced any sweeping initiatives to enact protective measures for transgendered trout whose sexuality has been swayed by human interference...

But the consequences of contraceptive use on the environment - both externally and internally, within the human body - are staggering.

From an excerpt from an Ortho Tricyclen drug information page: "Taking the Pill at a younger age may increase your risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Particularly if taken for five consecutive years prior to a woman's first pregnancy"

Let's break that down:

1. Taking the Pill "may increase your risk of being diagnosed" loosely translates to "might give you cancer" Sounds a little more ominous that way, no?

2. "...at a younger age." The average age of onset for hormonal contraceptive use in the U.S. is between 15 and 22 years of age. Let's say a 17 year-old, high school junior obtains a prescription from her general care practitioner and remains on the Pill for the remainder of high school and then continues through college and grad school. That puts her at around age 25. She's now been on the Pill for 7 years... Hmmmm....

3. "prior to a woman's first pregnancy" Let's presume the young lady in our above example marries around age 28 (average) and waits 12-14 months to conceive baby number one (pretty quick by today's standards.) She has now been taking the Pill for 9 years prior to conception of her first pregnancy...

So, transgendered trout aside, there are plenty of humane reasons to think before popping those little pink Pills - humane in the fullest sense of the word.


  1. I think you're on to something. My only hesitation is the first thing some will think of is a scene from the new Star Trek movie.

  2. The subject of contraception has, like the pantomime script, become a case of "Yes, I can" and "No, you can't". In other words stalemate!
    Most people, even Catholics, believe that Church teaching on contraception has no basis in Scripture and is rather based on the natural law but here it is:

    The things that are God’s: God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” “…God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis Ch 1). “Know that the LORD is God! It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalm 100) “Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus Ch 19) Scripture therefore makes clear that from the beginning God retained ownership rights in respect of human beings for Himself alone. It follows that it is contrary to God’s law to appropriate to ourselves ownership rights in respect of human beings or the process through which human beings are made or to deny that God made us male and female.

    Unfortunately the Church does not take this declaration to its logical conclusion when it condemns some modern “medical procedures”

  3. Father, ewwww...

    Eddie, I would like to understand your point... but it is evading me. Are you condemning or condoning the Church's stance on the use of contraceptives? It's not terribly clear, nor are your scripture citations.

  4. Dear Jenny,
    Thanks for asking me to elaborate because I am a lazy person.
    The question is why is contraception wrong?
    We cannot just say the Church says so because if the Church says it is wrong it can also say it is right. We cannot say it is contrary to natural law because contraception uses the natural law to do what it does.
    The only reason we can say it is wrong is if it contrary to the Law of God and the Law of God is written in Scripture. So where in Scripture does it say contraception is wrong?
    To put it simply those who practice contraception assume ownership rights over human beings and the process through which human beings are made (think about property rights and what they confer and deny) therefore denying ownership rights to God.
    But this is contrary to the Law of God. According to Scripture God gave us dominion/ownership rights over the rest of creation to use for our benefit but He specifically did not give us dominion or ownership rights over human beings. That is why I quote the passages of Scripture above to show that in fact Scripture makes absolutely clear that we belong to God alone.
    Therefore contraception is contrary to the Law of God and we must answer to God.
    Best wishes
    Edward Leane

  5. I love this! I've been thinking alot about this lately, and how all those hollywood superstars would react if we told them to lay off the hormomes for a greener world. :) Could get interesting.

  6. Colbert even had Nic Kristof from the NYT on a few weeks ago talking about sexual disorders in fish and frogs because of water pollution..... and he even admitted that runoff from contraceptive hormones are one of "many contributing factors."

    So, even the main stream media is gradually catching on. Even without mentioning the theological & moral problems behind "barrier" methods, there are still hippie-ish reasons to avoid condoms and other barriers- waste products, aerosols, etc.

    Without the Pill (gasp!) or barrier methods (no!), all that's left is sterilization or periodic abstinence (surely you jest? Say it ain't so!). It will be interesting to see where this goes.

    Just an interesting note- there's a parish about thirty minutes from me that's very orthodox in their theology and liturgy, and next door to this uber-traditional parish is.... a hippie co-op. This arrangement was planned, not accidental. Both St. Peter's and the co-op work together because they both teach NFP.

    It's so cool.


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