Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Conflicting Opinions and Ongoing Struggles over NFP

An article I linked to a few days ago (about better "branding" for NFP) inspired some, well, inspired responses on several blogs. Among the remarks, I have to agree that even though I linked to the article (which highlights something I think important: that NFP not be presented in a dowdy way), I was not comfortable with its portrayal of NFP or the snide way it quoted Jennifer Fulwiler, identifying her first as the mother of five and then adding "who uses NFP."

Darwin weighs in, noting that NFP is hard, but rewarding, "a difficult and commitment heavy process, [in which] success and satisfaction depend on actually learning to embrace the process itself, not just the goals."

Emily Stimpson, author of The Catholic Girl's Survival Guide for the Single Years: The Nuts and Bolts of Staying Sane and Happy While Waiting for Mr. Right also commented on the article's implication that NFP is an easy, breezy, natural "birth control" that just happens to be okay for Catholics:
"Like passing up turtle brownies, NFP requires self-control, temperance, and prudence. Only, it requires a heck of a lot more of each—more self-control, more temperance, more prudence, plus a ready knowledge of how to make chastity within marriage work. (I may be single, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that. Besides, I live in Steubenville, and my girlfriends talk about NFP as much as my sister’s friends talk about “Jersey Shore.” So…a lot.) Regardless, temperance, prudence, and chastity aren’t virtues most people possess in spades anymore. Our culture, where instant gratification and over-indulgence are the norm, has seen to that." Read the rest here; it's worth it!

Here's Jennifer Fulwiler (on the National Catholic Register blog, not her own); she had clarified her own position earlier, and includes links to other responses, including the "why are we having this conversation" post on feminist site Jezebel.

And on yet another blog, this post from some months back generated so many comments it should be required reading in all NFP teacher-formation programs, as well as seminary programs. It shows the anguish of many couples who struggle with NFP, but remain heroic in their efforts to live their sacrament of marriage in full communion with the Church, and others whose struggles are not always successful, but whose efforts deserve so much recognition and support.

No comments: