SBC Leader's Wife Says Oral Contraceptives are Abortive
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Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 04:28:36 PM EST
Little by little, with painstaking slowness, the Fundamentalists controlling the Southern Baptist Convention are revealing the full implications of the 2000 addition to the Baptist Faith and Message that declares Baptists "should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death." Previously, only Roman Catholics held such a rigidly defined position.

If Southern Baptists knew that they were voting to condemn the use of birth control pills and keep people like Terri Schiavo on artificial life support, they would not have accepted these changes in the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message so passively.

If fundamentalists had an ounce of integrity, they would have been forthright in explaining their beliefs and convictions and would have spelled out their implications before the convention voted to affirm the 2000 BF&M. They knew that few Southern Baptists are opposed to birth control and that most Southern Baptists who plan their parenthood use oral contraceptives. So, they have been unveiling the agenda that they hid within the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message in piecemeal fashion.

The latest piece to emerge is a statement by Dorothy Patterson, wife of takeover architect and Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson, that the "function of the pill is not contraceptive but abortive."

Patterson also said, "taking an oral contraceptive is certainly not equal to purposely getting an abortion." This statement is uncharacteristically timid and reserved. Fundamentalists like Dorothy Patterson and her husband pride themselves on speaking boldly and plainly. They do not hesistate in the least to declare that aborting a fertilized ovum is equivalent to murder.

Why is she afraid to use the same kind of incendiary rhetoric when describing the use of oral contraceptives? Could it be that Southern Baptists, like many Roman Catholics, would balk at equating the use of birth control pills with murder?

Southern Baptists like Dorothy Patterson know that if people realized that they want to bestow eight-cell blastocysts with a sanctity equal to that of fully developed infants, they might be more likely to reconsider opposing stem cell research and first trimester abortions.

You can't have it both ways Dorothy. Either taking an oral contraceptive is equal to purposely getting an abortion, or it is not. If all abortions are murder, all use of oral contraceptives is murder.

This blog is cross-posted from the Mainstream Baptist weblog.

(my wifely duty prevents that) - I just play one on TV.

Dorothy and her husband, Paige (see below), have two children. Paige is 65, and I imagine that Dorothy is past the menopause, so it's all theoretical to her now. Her quiver never got very full. Assuming Paige is not a closet case who did the deed just to get her pregnant, and not one time extra, this is not average non-contracepted fertility in the USA . Either she got chlamydia from hubby or extramarital fling (common cause of infertility), had ginormously bad endometriosis, or has a balanced translocation of a chromosome. She's not a PCOS(polycystic ovary syndrome), if the kids are of her own eggs and a decent-quality Paige sperm.

by NancyP on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 07:09:51 PM EST

She obviously didn't follow the quiver-full movement's prescriptions.

by khughes1963 on Thu Mar 01, 2007 at 09:32:10 PM EST

I notice when I visit the ultra-orthodox Catholic web sites that they are starting to parrot fundamentalist views on creationism and other matters concerning science. Conversely, I'm noticing fundamentalists more and more buying into ultra-orthodox Catholic notions of natural law.

I wonder how much of this is the work IRD and their Platonic desire for a generic orthodoxy.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 07:18:56 PM EST


I've noticed the same thing.

As a grad student, I've noticed that quite a few younger Southern Baptists have become fascinated (if not obsessed) with natural law.

These SBCers have likely never heard of the IRD but they are all active in the ultra-conservative Evangelical Theological Society.

by Big Daddy Weave on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 10:39:14 PM EST


I am convinced that at the root of it, is this idea that we have to get rid of the Pill or anything else the rightists think will make sex less likely to result in pregnancy, or less fraught with danger. They want sex to be painful and full of negative consequences so they can say "we told you so." That is also what is behind their opposition to Gardasil, although I think the vaccine is too expensive for many who could benefit from it most, as cervical cancer is largely a disease of the poor and uninsured. Poor and uninsured women often don't get exams and Pap tests done.


by khughes1963 on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 10:44:15 PM EST

Could a this be the beginning of a unity movement among certain orthodox types?

by Frank Cocozzelli on Thu Mar 01, 2007 at 07:31:30 PM EST
They have more in common than not, and they enjoy being against things rather than for them.

by khughes1963 on Thu Mar 01, 2007 at 09:29:36 PM EST

as I point out in my post below, "Religious Rightist Blows Smoke, Changes Subject."

Tim and Beverly LaHaye -- Baptists both, have always taught the contraception, including the pill are acceptable.

by Frederick Clarkson on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 10:53:17 PM EST

One other not-as-common cause of infertility - cancer of ovaries or of endometrial lining (not too common in young women). At any rate, I am not saying that Dorothy DID contracept, just that absent these less common conditions, affecting about 10-12% of reproductive-age women, it sure looks that way.

by NancyP on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 07:17:58 PM EST
sometimes a precise cause of infertility is just plain unknowable. The pronouncement is wacky enough by itself, no need to get caught up in an unwinnable battle about her personal status.

by marykk on Fri Mar 02, 2007 at 09:36:20 PM EST

I think it's another example of the fundamentalists not following the advice they presume to give to the rest of us as to how we should live our lives.

by khughes1963 on Thu Mar 01, 2007 at 09:34:54 PM EST

As a college student, I took a class called "Christian Sexuality" with the late Joseph Mangan, S.J. Fr. Mangan had been one of the ghostwriters of the encyclical "Casti Connubi." Even he didn't say the pill was an abortifacient - in fact, he specifically made that distinction between the pill, which prevents conception, and the IUD.

by marykk on Fri Mar 02, 2007 at 09:32:33 PM EST

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