Perhaps, for discussion we can look a bit closer at the question of what practical difference there is between Natural Family Planning (NFP) and contraception; or, as it has been put, what distinction may rightly be made between "natural" and "artificial." My analysis of Resolution 15 (Lambeth Conference 1930) was based on the assumption made by almost everyone, then as now, that the distinction is self-evident, and that the distinction is a moral one.
But, is it really? Can NFP be used the same way, or rather for the same purpose, as contraception? Consider that in terms of the second part of Resolution 15 itself:
"The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience."
The Roman Catholics consider the matter to be decided; but they would also have to accept the teaching that prolonged use of NFP to avoid having children cannot be justified anymore than use of contraceptives for the same purpose. I have, in my previous essays, simply put the matter in perspective, explained the reasoning made for the distinction, in many ways letting my "inner historian" guide the course of writing. But, it is only right to see this question in light of moral theology, and open the floor to discussion. Is method the only issue, or is intent every bit as important?
For further consideration, what has happened to human nature itself? The modern extreme version of feminism has been used by the current President of the United States as a reason to defend the Roe vs. Wade ruling. That is, abortion only makes the world fair for women, so that they have the same opportunities as men. In a very real way, this is evidence of how right Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon was in his now somewhat famous 2003 editorial, which was republished here as part one of the Contraception series. Contraception, for the modern feminist, plays very much the same role as abortion, which is its chief "back up".
The problem is, this is not a correction of man-made societal evolution, something in addition to human nature. The fact that the world is fundamentally unfair, in that men and women simply cannot trade roles, is a good thing. It is part of the creation, and essential to what we are as human beings. Every attempt to correct God's "mistakes" in the design of nature, or to even the playing field, is destructive of morals, and even of human personality. The psychological need of a man is fulfilled, generally, by being the provider, protector and leader. The pyschological need of the woman, generally speaking, is to be so valued and loved by the man that she is provided for, protected and (yes) led. This frees her to give in to her nature, and be a mother. By "mother" I do not mean simply that she bears children, brings them to birth, and then hands them off while she takes on the world as her primary occupation. Most women simply cannot "bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let Johnny forget he's a man." No one can be in two places at a time, and no one can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I say "generally speaking," because select individuals have callings that appear to be exceptions to many general rules, and the purpose of this essay is not to call for a restriction on freedom, or to eliminate opportunities for women who really might do better to have careers. But, the real problem today is not that women are barred from the professions; it is, rather, that the high calling of motherhood is not treated with the respect it deserves; and also that men are discouraged from taking their role. This thinking has created many single mother households that can never escape poverty, and in which innocent, helpless bastard children are in danger of abuse from men who are not their fathers at all.
In the name of human nature, as God made it, it is time for a new "women's liberation" movement; one that treats the traditional family and traditional sex roles with the respect they deserve, for the happiness they bring, and for the good of the next generation.