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Mohler in NYT: Evangelicals re-thinking “contraceptive mentality”

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–The development of the birth control pill has had a deeply negative impact on human sexuality and has effectively separated sex from procreation, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said in the cover story of the current issue of the New York Times Magazine.

The lengthy article, entitled “Contra-Contraception” and authored by contributing writer Russell Shorto, examines a growing debate among evangelicals and cultural conservatives regarding the propriety of birth control and reproductive technologies. In the article, Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., calls the birth control pill one of the most profound developments ever.

“I cannot imagine any development in human history, after the Fall, that has had a greater impact on human beings than the pill,” Mohler said. “It became almost an assured form of contraception, something humans had never encountered before in history.

“Prior to it, every time a couple had sex, there was a good chance of pregnancy. Once that is removed, the entire horizon of the sexual act changes. I think there could be no question that the pill gave incredible license to everything from adultery and affairs to premarital sex and within marriage to a separation of the sex act and procreation.”

Mohler explains the evolution of modern evangelical thought on birth control, arguing that evangelicals have become far more critical of the pill and more thoughtful regarding birth control as they have witnessed the pill’s devastating effects upon society.

The “contraceptive mentality” that has resulted from the widespread — and often unquestioned — use of the pill has raised deep concerns among younger evangelicals, he said.

“I detect a huge shift,” Mohler said. “Students on our campus are intensely concerned. Not a week goes by that I do not get contacted by pastors about the issue. There are active debates going on. It’s one of the things that may serve to divide evangelicalism.”
The entire New York Times article is available for a limited time online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/07/magazine/07contraception.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2

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  • Jeff Robinson

    Jeff Robinson is director of news and information at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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