Repost: Kill Your Conscience, Kill Your Reason


(Note: This really should be a topic for “That’s Too Catholic.”  So look for a “that’s too catholic” post about contraception (or the lack thereof.)

Once a man has killed his conscience in even a single point, natural reason brings forth nothing but error.

This is an article about contraception from a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod theological journal published in 1917. It’s interesting to see the certainty that the Missouri Synod possessed about contraception, even though now we “don’t have an official position.” I guess at that time, less than 100 years ago, all Christian Churches had an “official position” on contraception, whether they were Baptist or Episcopal or Lutheran, or Roman or Eastern. The position was, “it’s a sin.”

The quote above is also instructive. Why do we consistently fail to convince anyone that Christian opposition to homosexual “marriage” is something other than bigotry? Over time it’s easy to start to recognize that nature puts sexuality, conception, and marriage/fidelity together. But try to explain this very simple moral point in a college setting, and you’ll be blacklisted, laughed out of the room, ostracized. Why are otherwise very intelligent people so unable to follow a very simple train of thought with regard to moral issues? Because once you’ve martyred your conscience in regard to one thing, you lose the ability to reason. I suppose this is connected to Paul’s argument, that God gave people over to a “reprobate mind” that is no longer able to perceive basic things like, “An image made to look like a snake or a dragon” can’t be the true God.

It explains very well why otherwise intelligent people show themselves so incapable of making correct judgments about facts like the one above. Natural reason tells you that the true God can’t be a reptile or a bird, since He is omnipotent and eternal. But once we reject the light of simple moral truths which even the pagans understand, we get to where we are unable to reason morally. That’ s where we are now.

Lehre und Wehre (1917), p. 138

More dangerous still than the shameless “birth control” movement is the slogan preached for years in so many American newspapers: “Fewer children and better ones.” The Congregationalist Advance shows in a recent lead article the deception on which this hypocritical proposition of the eugenicists is based.

“The families where there are fewer children have on them the burden of proof. Are there better children in those homes where there are fewer? The contrary is the experience of many homes. The one child is a petted and spoiled child. The men and women who make their mark in the world have largely come out of large families. The reasons are partly apparent. The child who has grown up in a large family has already met a considerable number of life’s social problems and adjusted himself to them. In the large family there must be give and take. There must be adjustment and division and compromise. There must be the constant measuring of one’s own desire against another’s right. A child so reared has met the world, and settled some of its essential problems before he leaves the home.”

Not only is restricting the number of children according to the principle “fewer children, but better” immoral and godless; it is untenable even when judged according to reason alone. How unreasonably the case is made in favor of child-impoverished families is evident from a statement in the Brooklyn Union Standard from 1908, which recently came into our hands again. It was argued at the time that, since the era of protracted warfare is behind us, homeland defense is no longer a contemporary problem. For that reason we can safely limit the number of children! We let the words follow:

“It is now recognized in this day of universal education that it is better to raise three children, so their minds shall be reasonably equipped for the battle of life, and their bodies strong, so as to withstand the hardships of adversity, than to bring five children to the age of maturity in a condition which foretells their filling the ranks of the lower strata of society. With frequent and protracted wars a thing of the past, with the questions of national defense less pressing than ever before, with the conquering of plagues, which in other centuries claimed their thousands yearly, the common welfare does not demand families with eight or ten children, particularly if their parents are poor.”

Is it necessary to repeat more of this today? [At the time this was written the US had recently entered the first world war, by far the most bloody conflict the world had ever seen up until that point.] Even the first sentence with its reference to the sinking down of children into the lower strata of society when their number in the family rises above five is complete nonsense and goes against daily experience.

Once a man has killed his conscience in even a single point, natural reason brings forth nothing but error. G.

  1. September 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was recently involved in a relationship with a young man who insisted that if we were to marry, we needed to make sure I wasn’t having babes “too often, or close together.” He also didn’t want to have any babies until after the first two years of marriage.I didn’t see how the Scriptures supported that idea. Eventually, he broke everything off for more than that one reason. But he told me that anyone who believed as I did was naive and irresponsible. It seems that I am in the minority even in my own church. So, it is always encouraging to hear this message from other Christians beside myself.

  1. November 7, 2012 at 9:46 am

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