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decrees of any Church organization. The answer to those who urge that
"Birth Control is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church" is:
"Well, what of it? if you are not a Catholic!"
The force of the above objection to Birth Control becomes important when
we find that those who are opposed to Birth Control merely because their
Church condemns it do not content themselves with letting alone the
subject, but would also endeavor to fasten the rule of their Church upon
the rest of society. While such persons are undoubtedly acting in good
faith, and inspired by motives which seem good to them, they should stop
to remember that general society refuses to accept the rules of their
Church in the matter of Marriage and Divorce, and is likely to refuse a
like attempt to fasten upon it the rules of the Church in the case of
Birth Control. The general public, here and in the first mentioned
cases, will insist upon entering a plea of "LACK OF JURISDICTION."
In the cases of persons outside of the Church in question who may
consider Birth Control to be contrary to their religious convictions and
teachings, there is to be made the same answer given above, namely, that
the advocates of Birth Control are not trying to force anything upon
those who entertain such religious or conscientious scruples--they would
leave such persons free to follow the dictates of their own conscience
or the religious teachings favored by them. But at the same time they
would demand the legal and moral right to follow the dictates of their
own conscience and reason, and would insist upon their right to receive
legal protection for the dissemination of their scientific teachings.
All that the advocates of Birth Control are claiming is the right of
free speech and free knowledge concerning this subject which they deem
concerned with the future progress and well-being of the race.
The argument against Birth Control which is based upon the claim that it
is "irreligious," arises from the general tradition based upon the
Hebrew conception of a Deity who bade the legendary first families of
the race to "increase and multiply." According to the scriptural
narrative this authoritative command was addressed to a world inhabited
by eight people. From such a point of view a world's population of a few
thousand persons would have seemed inconceivably great. But the old
legendary command has become a tradition which has survived amid
conditions totally unlike those under which it arose.
Under this old traditionary conception reproduction was regarded as a
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