Archive for 2012

Onan, the Bible, and Contraception

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Wasn’t Onan’s sin just a sin of selfishness?
No.  The book of Deuteronomy describes the punishment for refusing one’s Levirate obligation (Deut 25: 5-10).  The prescribed punishment for such selfishness was only a public embarrassment, not the death penalty.  In Onan’s case, there were three people violating the Law of the Levirate—-Onan, his father, and his younger brother.  Only Onan, however, practiced a contraceptive behavior, and only Onan received an immediate punishment.  Clearly, Onan was slain for his contraception, and the text shows how seriously God regards this sin.

Does the Bible address other sexual sins?
Yes.  In alphabetical order, the Bible condemns adultery, bestiality, coitus interruptus (withdrawal), fornication, incest, masturbation, prostitution, rape, and sodomy.  That eliminates everything except the honest, non-contraceptive marriage act between spouses married to each other.  The Bible makes it clear that sexual intercourse is intended by God to be exclusively a marriage act.

What does the Bible say about having children? 
There is no question that the Bible is pro-child.  The first commandment of the Bible, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28) has not been cancelled.  Another translation is “Be fertile and multiply.”  Psalms 127 and 128 further exemplify the pro-family attitude encouraged in the Bible.  Children thrive best in a family of several children where they learn to give, share, and care.  (pages 7 and 13,  NFPI manual)

John and Sheila Kippley
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach

The Third Joyful Mystery

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Jesus is born in Bethlehem
The angels announced the birth of the Savior as “good news of great joy.”  In taking on our human nature, God the Son poured himself out for us, and from this we learn that joy comes from the giving of self.  Another message of the angels is that joy comes from personal acceptance of Jesus as our Savior.  The proud can never experience this joy, for they refuse to admit their need for salvation; or they pursue a futile quest for joy in pleasures and possessions.
We give thanks that the Son of God came to save us.

Our Father
1. [While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem for the census,] the time came for her delivery.
Hail Mary
2. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes.
Hail Mary
3. She laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
Hail Mary
4. There were shepherds in the same region, living in the fields and keeping watch over their flocks at night.
Hail Mary
5. And behold, an angel of the Lord came to them, and the glory of God shone round about them, and they were very much afraid.
Hail Mary
6. The angel said to them: “Do not be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all the people.
Hail Mary
7. “Today in the town of David there has been born to you a Savior who is Christ the Lord;
Hail Mary
8. “And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
Hail Mary
9.  Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God,
Hail Mary
10. And saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will.”
Hail Mary
Glory be
Reference: Luke 2:1-14

The Seven Day Bible Rosary by John F. Kippley is available for $5; 3 for $12 including shipping.  It is a great little gift and can be easily included in a card envelope for birthdays, confirmation, hospitality, ordinations, a special thanks, etc.

Effectiveness of Natural Family Planning—Both Systematic and Ecological Breastfeeding

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

How effective is systematic NFP for avoiding pregnancy?
We have no doubt that married couples who are properly instructed and motivated can practice the cross-checking Sympto-Thermal Method at the 99% level of effectiveness for avoiding pregnancy.  Various studies have shown that the “perfect use” of the method yields that result.  That means that the couples in the studies followed the rules.  A German study on the sympto-thermal method published in February 2007 showed an effectiveness of 99.6%.  On the other hand, fertile spouses who do not follow the rules and engage in the marriage act during the fertile time are going to become pregnant sooner or later.

It is important to realize that contemporary systems differ significantly from the Calendar Rhythm that was developed and taught in the 1930s.  Cars have advanced since that time, and so has systematic NFP.

Ecological Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing
Natural child spacing has been demonstrated in certain areas of the world where mothers at one time breastfed for an extended length of time.  Among the Canadian Eskimos, traditional breastfeeding kept the Eskimo family small—three or four children.   Conception occurred among the traditional breastfeeding Eskimo mothers at 20 to 30 months after childbirth.  The use of the bottle among breastfeeding Eskimo mothers, however, reduced the frequency and duration of breastfeeding, and these mothers were conceiving 2 to 4 months after childbirth.

Mother-baby togetherness is important for natural child spacing.  In a Rwanda study, breastfeeding mothers had different conception rates depending on their lifestyles, but the bottle-feeding mothers’ conception rates were the same, whether the mothers lived in the city or in the country.  Why the difference in conception rates among the breastfeeding mothers?  Seventy-five percent (75%) of the city breastfeeding mothers conceived between 6 and 15 months after childbirth, while 75% of the rural breastfeeding mothers conceived between 24 and 29 months after childbirth.  According to the researchers, the reason the country mothers conceived much later was due to the amount of physical contact these mothers had with their babies.  The country mothers remained with their babies while the city mothers were leaving their babies with others.

The frequency of breastfeeding, short intervals between feedings,  and night feedings, — all these factors have been proven to be extremely important for natural child spacing. Because the research is so substantial, we believe that those involved with natural family planning, the family, the health of our nation, and the Church should teach the important health and baby-spacing benefits of ecological breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding for all these reasons should especially be promoted among the poor. As Dr. Ruth Lawrence says:
Breastfeeding is the most precious gift a mother can give her infant.
If there is illness or infection, it may be a life-saving gift.
If there is poverty, it may be the only gift.

Why do many nursing mothers have an early return of fertility?
The primary reason is that they do not follow the frequent nursing pattern [or the Seven Standards] of ecological breastfeeding.  Many breastfeeding mothers offer early supplements and use pacifiers or bottles or baby sitters and strict feeding and/or sleep schedules; these practices have long been associated with an early return of fertility.   (page  110 of the NFPI manual)

For a better understanding of what shortens breastfeeding and natural infertility, review pages 113 and 114 of the NFPI manual and Chapter Six.  To achieve pregnancy, review pages 68-70 in Chapter 4 of the NFPI manual.  For natural child spacing, read The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor.

John and Sheila Kippley
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach