Saturday 29th August 2015

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Dizzying World Of Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review”

August 27, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By BRIAN CLOWES

(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of 900 of the best quotes from The Birth Control Review, which is more than 300 pages long and is organized by topic, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)

+    +    +

The most common themes of Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review (BCR) were eugenics and contraception, with hatred of the Catholic Church running a close third.
Planned Parenthood’s loathing of the Catholic Church is nearly a century old, and springs mostly from its realization that the Church is its primary opponent.
As one editorial in The Birth Control Review revealed, “Our experience of the last ten years of constant fighting has been that of all the reactionary groups in the country the Roman Catholic Church is the most politically pernicious and menacing to any progressive movement.”
Another writer asserted: “Religion, in its organized forms, is the archenemy of the birth control movement throughout the world. . . . That they are out of touch with current opinion and modern thought, seldom if ever occurs to them, as they wave their venerable superstitions in our faces.” Margaret Sanger herself said that “today the chief warfare against Birth Control is waged by the Roman Catholic clergy and their allies.” She recounted that “very early in childhood I associated large families with poverty, toil, unemployment, drunkenness, cruelty, quarreling, fighting, debts, jail — and the Catholic Church.”
Then, as now, the people who demanded tolerance for their own views accused the Catholic Church of “fiendish cruelty,” forcing women to “choose between perpetual adoration and perpetual pregnancy,” plotting to “apply the thumbscrew and the rack to all those who believe in a woman’s right to practice voluntary motherhood,” and that the Church demanded that “women shall be bent and broken on the torture rack of ignorance.”
Frequent BCR contributor and science fiction writer H.G. Wells raved that “Rome is the source and center of Fascism. . . . Why do we not bomb Rome? Why do we allow these open and declared antagonists of democratic freedom to entertain their Shinto allies and organize a pseudo-Catholic destruction of democratic freedom?”
Such nonsense was warmly welcomed in the pages of The Birth Control Review not once or twice, but hundreds of times.
Many of these statements were simply the result of profound and blinding ignorance, which allowed people to make blanket statements that made no historical sense. For instance, one doctor alleged: “All religions have always considered woman as a breeding machine and nothing else.”

Conspiracies Galore

The anti-Catholics who wrote for The Birth Control Review perceived the Catholic Church as the root of all their troubles, and feared a papist conspiracy lurking around every corner. They were every bit as paranoid then as the “pro-choicers” are now.
One writer claimed that the Church wanted to rule the world by making everyone live by Catholic teachings (sound familiar)? Another hoped that the Church’s “dastardly attempt to destroy our liberties” would fail and complained that she was trying to “deprive Americans of the right of free speech and the free discussion of their laws.” George Hallett was convinced that Church leaders “have most of the legislators enslaved.” Finally, Margaret Sanger griped that “the influence of the Roman Catholic Church was seen everywhere…the Church apparently dominates American courts of justice and political life today.”
One writer for The Birth Control Review wrote that “the Catholics are directing our legislators to act according to their will. We have all been troubled by the fear that this Catholic threat to our free institutions would materialize if Catholics were given positions of power in our government.”
Imagine the reaction if the word “Jew” appeared in the above quote instead of “Catholic.” But somehow, such anti-Catholic bigotry seems perfectly acceptable to Planned Parenthood.
Frequent contributor Norman Himes claimed that the Pope ran Massachusetts and that “we shall soon have the iron heel of Romanism upon our throats even as it treads upon the freedom of Italian citizens today.” Himes also believed that Catholic “stock” was inferior to that of Unitarians, Universalists, and Freethinkers, and that all rights (including the right to life) are bestowed by the state and can be revoked at any time.
Of course, the Catholic Church was attacked by Protestant denominations that had surrendered in the fight against birth control. One submission from the magazine The Protestant said that “it is limitation of the birthrate, and not the means by which the limitation is accomplished, that the Papacy is fighting. Its demand is for large families and large Roman Catholic voting populations. It is the fact, not the methods, of birth control that angers it.”
There were charlatans and turncoats then as there are now. One minister claimed that birth control was “good religion.” Another alleged that “the eugenic ideal may become a distinct aid to Jesus’ dream of His kingdom on earth, and may well be integrated as a general religious concept.”

Here We Go Again

One of the worst afflictions of the Church over the past century is failed priests who soothed their own guilty consciences by attacking the Church. Former priest L.H. Lehmann wrote articles that are almost identical to those that appear in Catholics for (a Free) Choice literature today:
“At the bottom of the Papacy’s attitude towards sex, as in its attitude towards everything else in the domestic and public life of men and women, is its unceasing reach after supreme control of the bodies and souls of all men. . . . Although universal power and dominion be foreign to the mind of Christ, history is writ large with the record of shame brought upon the fair name of Christianity by this unceasing reach of the Roman Church after undisputed dominion over all men and nations.”
Writers for The Birth Control Review used exactly the arguments that CFFC and other pro-abortion groups use today. One editorial claimed that “the coercive attitude of the National Catholic Alumni Federation protest is far more serious, threatening as it does the American principle of freedom of opinion and the separation of church and state….The real issue centers in the Catholic disregard of the principle of freedom of conscience upon which the country was, supposedly, founded.”
Another charged: “Instead of separation of church and state with equal rights for all religious denominations, they are asking that the religious tenets of one church shall be by law binding on all the men and women of America….Let the Catholic Church guide its own people, but let it not dominate the lives of those who are not in its fold.”
Another editorial proclaimed that “the Roman Catholics say that Birth Control is immoral. We claim that for us Birth Control is of high moral value. We do not ask to constrain their consciences, let them cease to attempt to constrain ours.”
The Culture of Death thinks that “separation of Church and state” really means “where the state advances, the Church must retreat.” And so, we have constant efforts by pro-abortion groups to force Catholic hospitals and doctors to perform abortions and sterilizations and distribute contraceptives.

What Will Replace Religion?

One book review in The Birth Control Review said that “the main argument is a simple one, that many features of orthodox religion in themselves are bad and that the old religious culture pattern is hopelessly inconsistent with modern science and with a progressively secularized culture. Crush the infamous thing and away with the rubbish.”
If this “infamous thing” is to become “rubbish,” what will replace it? Francis B. Summer says that “science now aims at nothing less than the establishment of a new religion, without priest or dogma, the sole aim of which is the happiness and ennoblement of humanity on earth, and Neo-Malthusianism, though not the whole, is the chief factor in that religion.”
Another writer called science “the only possible savior of mankind.” Science as savior hasn’t done too well for itself, has it?

Who Wins In The End?

Although the editors of The Birth Control Review preferred articles submitted by dissenting “Catholics,” they were kind enough to occasionally allow authentic Catholic writers to submit opinion pieces. Seen from a vantage point nearly a century later, these articles are eerily prophetic.
For example, one Fr. Fulton Sheen commented on the Federal Council of Churches capitulation on birth control, writing that “since a week ago last Saturday we can no longer expect them to defend the law of God. These sects will work out the very logic of their ways and in fifty or one hundred years there will be only the Church and paganism. We will be left to fight the battle alone — and we will.”
Fr. Sheen was absolutely correct. Since 1960, the membership of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States has risen 43 percent, and the memberships of all pro-life churches has increased by 38 percent. Meanwhile, the combined membership rolls of pro-abortion churches in the United States have plunged 34 percent. Most interestingly, those timid and lukewarm churches that have proclaimed that they are “neutral” on abortion have lost 81 percent of their members since 1960.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Russians to construct ‘the tallest statue of Jesus Christ in the world’

Towering 80 meters monument to ‘Christ the Teacher’ by Zurab Tsereteli to find home in Vladivostok, Christian Telegraph reports according to RISU. The statue was cast in 2013 by Tsereteli, the famous Georgian-Russian sculptor, known for his gigantic projects such…Continue Reading

If You Still Support Planned Parenthood, You Are Simply Not A Decent Person

Another Planned Parenthood video has been released. I promised I would write about every new video that comes out, so here is my write up on the latest. Please read and share. I don’t usually ask you to share things…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Group Sends Cakes to Thank Planned Parenthood Staff After It Sells Aborted Babies

Apparently, Catholics for Choice want their friends at Planned Parenthood to know how appreciated they are since they will be “harassed” tomorrow at the protests across the country regarding their organ harvesting business.  As LifeNews previously reported, tens of thousands…Continue Reading

Facebook’s very (very) suspicious ‘trending’ Planned Parenthood story

Update Aug. 20, ’15 at 7:54 AM EST: I woke up this morning, and lo and behold, the “trending” news topic had changed. It now reads, “7th video critical of organization released by anti-abortion group.” That’s more like it. I…Continue Reading

Questions raised after pro-life activist Twitter accounts suspended without warning: one now restored

ONTARIO, August 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-life activist campaigning against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s abortion extremism as well as a pro-life organization on a mission to show the violent reality of abortion through large graphic billboards had their Twitter…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone thankful for San Francisco teacher contract agreement

San Francisco, Calif., Aug 23, 2015 / 06:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Efforts to promote Catholic culture in the San Francisco archdiocese’s high schools and to agree on a contract acceptable for the schools’ teachers concluded on Wednesday with a new…Continue Reading

Catholic Priests’ Forgotten Flock: Catholic Men

The New Emangelization Project has documented that a key driver of the collapse of Catholicism in the U. S. is a serious and growing Catholic “man-crisis”.[1] One third of baptized Catholic men have left the faith and the majority of…Continue Reading

Shortages in Venezuela mean priests are running out of Hosts

Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 15, 2015 / 03:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis has hit the Church in a unique way: the production of Hosts fell 60 percent during the past month, affecting three states in the South American…Continue Reading

Do We really need a new day dedicated to the environment?

The Pope has decided in the wake of his well received encyclical on the environment to institute a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This day will take place on 1st September. At present the 1st September…Continue Reading

There is no equivalence

Here’s a simple exercise in basic reasoning. On a spectrum of bad things to do, theft is bad, assault is worse and murder is worst. There’s a similar texture of ill will connecting all three crimes, but only a very…Continue Reading

Syrian Bishop: on kidnapping of Christians from Qaryatain

(Vatican Radio) The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo in Syria, Antoine Audo says he believes the so-called Islamic State fighters are seeking to push Christians out of Syria and spread terror everywhere. He also warned that if the war continues, as…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cupich will attend synod, Vatican source says

Vatican City, Aug 7, 2015 / 12:35 pm (CNA).- Originally selected as an alternate synod delegate, Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago will in fact be an attendee at the Vatican gathering on the family this fall, a Vatican source told…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Didn’t Bless ‘Gender Theory’ Children’s Books

pope725

Holy See Denies Any Papal Endorsement of Children’s Books Promoting Same-Sex Relationship Italy, August 28, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Luca Marcolivio Once again Pope Francis is being “used” by those in favor of promoting the same-sex lifestyle. The latest case arose this morning following news of a letter sent by an official in the Vatican Secretariat of State to the author of children’s books that promote “different family types.” The Guardian reported the letter with the headline,…Continue Reading

Pope Francis Recalls Feast of St. Monica

Vatican City, August 27, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Deborah Castellano Lubov Pope Francis has recalled the feast day of Saint Monica, mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. Toward the conclusion of Wednesday’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square in his remarks to Italian-speaking pilgrims, Pope Francis recalled that today, August 27, is the feast day of St. Monica. To the intercession of her and her son, Francis said, “We entrust newlyweds and Christian parents so that, like…Continue Reading

Lex Cordis Caritas – The law of the heart is Love

God’s greatest and most beloved treasure is human life by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki The Bible points us to the truth of what lies at the heart of every moral teaching of Jesus Christ and his church. In the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, we hear him warn the people to “[w]atch carefully how you live” (Ephesians 5:15). He does this not because he wants to control their lives, dictating what they can…Continue Reading

Pope to parents: find time for prayer in busy family life

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday continued his reflections on family life, focusing especially on the importance of finding time for prayer. Greeting visitors from many different countries, gathered for the weekly General Audience in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said families often experience difficulty in devoting time for prayer. But he said a heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or small gesture of devotion into a moment…Continue Reading

One Catholic Congressman … Prepping For The Pope’s U.S. Visit

By MATT HADRO WASHINTON, D.C. (CNA)— As the nation’s capital works to get ready for Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. this fall, one Catholic congressman is preparing by reading papal encyclicals. “I say as a Catholic, I’m pretty excited,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.) told CNA of the upcoming papal visit. He added that…Continue Reading

ACLU: Force Catholic Hospitals To Abandon Catholic Faith

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY The woefully misnamed American Civil Liberties Union is launching a crusade to force Catholic hospitals to act against Catholic moral teachings and the natural law. This is an un-American attack on religious liberty. The ACLU’s intentions came to light this week after it threatened to sue Mercy Medical Center in Redding,…Continue Reading

Kenneth D. Whitehead, RIP . . . A Personal Tribute To An Outstanding Layman

By JAMES LIKOUDIS Last April, the Church in the United States lost to cancer one of its most dedicated and well-informed laymen. His life was dedicated to defending the faith from the major errors that have afflicted the Church in the postconciliar period. I had the great privilege of working with Ken Whitehead when for…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Same-Sex “Marriage” And The Crisis Of Leadership

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bi-monthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Carry On The Fight With Faith

By ANNE W. CARROLL Robert C. Cetrulo, J.D. On the Gift of Life, From Eden to Eternity. Northern Kentucky Right to Life Educational Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1202, Covington, KY 41012, 2015. 189 pp. $10.00. “I tell you not for your comfort, yea not for your desire,/ Save that the sky grows darker yet, and…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Episcopal College And The Pope

By DON FIER When Jesus founded the Church, as we saw last week, “He gave her authority and mission, orientation and goal” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 874). With the overarching objective to ensure that the ministry He introduced during His time on earth would be carried forward until the end of time, Christ organized her along hierarchical…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. The Supreme Court has a history of immoral decisions, such as declaring black slaves as property, permitting credit card companies to charge usurious interest rates, allowing the public sale of contraceptives, okaying the killing of unborn babies, and approving sodomy. What’s next? Polygamy? Incestuous “marriage”? Person-animal “marriage”? It would appear that we are on a par with Sodom of…Continue Reading

A Blindness In The Heart

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 35:4-7a James 2:1-5 Mark 7:31-37 In the first reading God speaks through the Prophet Isaiah telling the people that those whose hearts are frightened should be strong and not afraid because God is with them. He then says that on that day the eyes of the blind…Continue Reading

Novena To Our Lady Of Knock . . . The Family Is Reason To Give Thanks

By MOST REV. KEVIN DORAN KNOCK, Ireland (ZENIT) — Here is the homily given Sunday, August 16 by Bishop Kevin Doran for the 2015 National Novena to Our Lady of Knock, which lasted through August 22. The theme was “Always and Everywhere Giving Thanks — The Gift of the Family.” Bishop Doran heads the Diocese of Elphin, Ireland. ZENIT News…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Our Persecuted Faithful Desire Leadership In Tradition

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Many of our Catholic people today are very insecure in their faith and thus needlessly fearful because they are without the experience of the presence of God in an abiding way. Whether because of Islamic terrorism which is committing genocide against Eastern Christians or attacks through a newly re-paganized society and our unjust and anti-Christian…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aidan

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Church names many saints as patrons of certain professions, troubles, or countries. St. Benedict is the patron saint of Europe. As the father of Western monasticism, he is credited with building Western civilization. St. Catherine of Siena is also a patron of Europe since she played important roles in settling both civil and ecclesiastical disputes. St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernard Of Clairvaux

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Gospel of John, during the Last Discourse at the Last Supper, our Lord prays for unity. Jesus said: “that they may be one even as we are” (John 17:11). During the most challenging times of Church history, God has sent men to restore peace to His Church. Certainly St. Bernard of Clairvaux should be counted…Continue Reading