Thursday, March 05, 2009


Rhythm and Blues

Hey! If Republicans think that appropriations for volcano monitoring and tattoo removal are wastes of Federal money, what do you think they'll make of this?

The director of the Natural Family Planning Institute at Marquette University in Milwaukee hopes to recruit 650 couples over the next two years to test the effectiveness of two methods of natural family planning and the couples' satisfaction with each method.

With a $595,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the couples will be randomly placed into a group using the sympto-thermal method of natural family planning -- which involves monitoring of the woman's daily waking temperature, changes in cervical fluid, cycle length and other signs of fertility -- or the ovulation method, based on changes in cervical fluid.

Wait a minute! The Discovery Institute keeps telling us that there is a difference between something which is "natural" and something that is the result of "intelligence." All that planning and temperature taking and mucus measuring sounds like it depends on intelligence ... so why is it called "natural family planning"?

And poor Dr. Egnor must be having a fit, what with so many pressing problems in medicine and other sciences that remain unsolved, here we are spending money on something which is the subject of "consensus science" and as scientifically settled as the birds and the bees.

But I digress ...

Here we are with a perfectly fine and government-sanctioned method of birth control ... abstinence ... and the Federal government is spending money on working out ways that people can ... gasp ... fuck without the consequences that God has seen fit to impose on the women who do so. Worst of all:

[S]ome people were offended that the study at a Catholic, Jesuit-run university is not limited to married couples. But because the study is federally funded through HHS' Office of Public Health and Science, it must be open to all scientifically valid participants ...

Federally financed illicit fucking! At a religious school! John McCain should be having palpitations about now!

After all, if ordinary people are going to get screwed, that's the Republican party's job!

As you may or may not know, both these methods of NFP are approved by the Church. The logic by which NFP is considered to circumvent the prohibition against "separating the unitive and generative aspects" of sex is...entertaining. My information on this bit of doctrine comes from a devout Catholic friend who is well-informed on theology -- she even has a M.Div. She also has seven children, none of whom were exactly planned.
Oh, yeah, I got a dose of the theology back in the day. It never made sense to me then either. The main purpose, I think, was to give local priests an excuse not to ask questions about why Catholic couples weren't performing as baby factories.
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