Sunday, July 17, 2011

Refusing To Seed



Yes, I've touched on this issue here and here- but some defence of Calvin now seems to be in order.
Some comments that I couldn't attach to a recent Triablogue post-
A post that was very quickly swamped with comments- and very quickly closed.
 
 Urbani said: 
 
   "It is a horrible thing to pour out seed besides the intercourse of man and woman. Deliberately avoiding the intercourse, so that the seed drops on the ground, is double horrible. For this means that one quenches the hope of his family and kills the son, which could be expected, before he is born. This wickedness is now as severely as is possible condemned by the Spirit, through Moses, that Onan, as it were, through a violent and untimely birth, tore away the seed of his brother out the womb, and as cruel as shamefully has thrown on the earth. Moreover he thus has, as much as was in his power, tried to destroy a part of the human race. When a woman in some way drives away the seed out the womb, through aids, then this is rightly seen as an unforgivable crime. Onan was guilty of a similar crime" - John Calvin
 
Well... here we have Urbani failing to take Calvin figuratively (Onan's seed was not exactly his "brothers seed").
And Urbani failing to provide the entire context.  The operative context would be apparent in the concluding sentence of the above.  Yet, Urbani only provided part (at least he didn't add a period).  The remainder of which... would have critically disabled Urbani's  argument.
As would have Calvin's comments on the preceding verse.  As you may see for yourself.
 
But let's continue with Calvin- since Urbani (and Warren in a subsequent thread) seems so insistent that Calvin's commentary be deferred to-
 
Now, isn't Calvin actually saying in the above quote that, "deliberately avoiding intercourse" was actually quite "horrible" as well?  Perhaps not quite as horrible.  And not quite as "criminal".  Certainly not the "heightened criminality"  which he condemns here.  And certainly not quite as contemptible as Rome's actual promotion of avoidance- which he condemns here.  Yet surely Calvin remains to be saying- that avoidance remains a 'criminal offence'.  And a pretty "horrible" one at that.  
As does Exodus 21:10.  And 1 Timothy 5:8.
         
And is this not what Urbani's/Rome's- Natural Family Planning is actually committing?  A 'criminal offence' by endorsing an actual avoidance of intercourse?
An endorsement of avoiding intercourse at a time when it should least be avoided?  At a time when avoidance is more likely to frustrate a woman's heightened  sense of passion?  
 
 Yet, Urbani suggests that we are not being "consistent Calvinists"- when some actually employ a 'latex-means' to achieve a desired end. 
And he repeatedly asks,  "Can a child be born unless God wills it"?  
As if Calvinists think that God cannot possibly... punch His way through a wet penis bag. 
And Calvinists respond, 'A child will certainly not be born- if God provides the means to that end'.  
 
And they respond to Rome's dullards- that avoidance 'is also a means'.  
And emphasize that Rome's 'is a horrible means'.
Not a 'loving means'- by any means.  And that 'their desired end doesn't justify their means'.
Now what does this all mean, you ask?

It means... to govern your wife [and life] with love.  
And not to govern her with the overbearing yoke of Rome.  
 
"How reluctantly does a woman submit to the yoke!" exclaims Calvin. 
And how reluctantly ought men to compel them to.

So... in love do not refuse your wife.
Do not refuse to seed her.
 
And may she not "drive away" your seed-
even if it's yoked by latex.