Dr. Jay Boyd has a new book February 28, 2013Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, scandals, secularism, self-serving.
Dr. Jay Boyd has been a good friend of this blog, and I enjoy very much reading hers, as well. I’ve linked to it a fair number of times, probably not as often as I should have! She has a new book out on Natural Family Planning. It’s called Natural Family Planning: Trojan Horse in the Catholic Bedroom, a nice play on Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand’s classic title. I haven’t read it – yet – but here is the description from Amazon:
What’s wrong with Natural Family Planning? Taking a Catholic perspective on the subject, Dr. Jay Boyd explains that the use of NFP to avoid pregnancy is often promoted as “God’s family planning”. But is using NFP to prevent pregnancy really trusting God? If we take control of spacing births, how can be sure this is “God’s plan”, and that the children came “in God’s time”? [And how can people be really sure they aren't interjecting their own preferences into their decisions made regarding family planning? How many Catholics using NFP have GOOD spiritual advisers who they review this decision with to check for elements of self-interest?] And most people fail to “read the fine print” that says that NFP is to be used only when a couple has serious reasons for avoiding pregnancy. [A very grave reason, is how it used to be defined, and really still is.] The reason many people think of NFP as “Catholic birth control” is because that’s how it is used by many well-meaning couples. [And that is how it is promoted by many NFP advocates and certainly many in the Catholic media - I've even heard Teresa Tomeo and Pia de Sollenni talk about using NFP to have NO kids, using it for the entirety of the fecund period of a couple's life] Claiming that a couple using NFP is “open to life” while they abstain from sex during the woman’s fertile period in order to intentionally avoid pregnancy – well…that’s a contradiction in terms. It can easily be argued that using NFP to avoid pregnancy is an expression of a lack of trust in God’s will and provision. It’s an active effort on the part of the couple to second-guess God’s timing for the family’s new members. Dr. Boyd takes a close, objective look at NFP from the standpoint of the teaching of the Catholic Church. She examines the basic problems with NFP, along with its philosophical underpinnings; and she delves into the important concepts of marital chastity and trust in Divine Providence.
Wow. This sounds like a great book, a hugely important book. I’ve written on NFP a fair number or times, taking a rather critical view of how NFP is promoted and practiced by many Catholics, and I’ve never failed to attract umbrage from those who think I’m a great blue meanie for having the temerity to question their decisions. But, in reality, I’m concerned, very concerned, about the souls of those who use NFP, of making them aware that what has been presented to them as a wonderful, fully Catholic method of birth control may well be imbued with the same contraceptive mentality as those who use actual contraception, and that their use may not be as “fully Catholic” as they think it is. That’s not to say that NFP can never be used, but that there are very strict limitations on its rightful, moral use, and I fear many Catholics are perhaps acting more from self-interest than dispassionate, reasoned analysis of their situation.
Only God knows, but it is very important to make people aware of ALL the aspects of the moral use of NFP, and not simply rely on the promotional materials that are out there.
I am very gratified that Dr. Boyd has written this book. Now, for my free copy…….