Article ID: DE194 | By: H. Wayne House
Christian couples are pulled in different directions by people, movements, and circumstances on the issue of whether to have children. Some believe that no birth control should be used, whereas others maintain that a couple may properly choose never to have children at all. Most stand somewhere in the middle. The secular birth control movement glorifies small families while many Christians decry all use of conception-control devices or procedures. The Bible provides a balance. It exalts the bearing of children while recognizing that one’s duties in the world may limit the number of children borne or delay childbearing as husband and wife seek to fulfill the mandate of being stewards over creation.
The matter of birth control has been a concern of married couples for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In recent times, with modern technology developing easier and more sophisticated methods of birth control, it has become commonplace in most Western nations for couples to use birth control (which includes conception control and abortion) to limit the size of their families.1
Christians in all ages have generally practiced some form of birth control, whether through medical devices or by more natural means, such as restricting intercourse to certain periods of the month or through coitus interruptus. Though the Roman Catholic church declared birth control a violation of natural law in the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (1965), most Protestants have considered some forms of birth control morally acceptable. Recently, however, Mary Pride and other evangelical Christians have denounced such procedures as sinful.
In this article I will set forth a historical, sociological, and biblical analysis of the issue of birth control to discern what approach Christians should take in a world completely gone awry on moral and family issues. I also hope to give helpful advice to married couples considering whether to use birth control.
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON BIRTH CONTROLThe Ancient Mediterranean World
Contraceptive devices were known and used in the pre-Christian Mediterranean world. For example, five different Egyptian papyri, dating between 1900 and 1100 B.C., have recipes for contraceptive concoctions to be used in the vulva. Other papyri describe preparations aimed at blocking or killing semen. Legal scholar John Noonan, in his authoritative work on contraception, has provided abundant evidence that such formulas were also used in Christian Europe during the medieval period (A.D. 450-1450) and the premodern period (A.D. 1450-1750).2
The Old Testament and Judaism
In Old Testament times various social phenomena gave rise to the desire for larger families and may have led to a repudiation of birth control, as Bruce Waltke makes clear:
In contrast to our society a man living in the Old Testament world valued a large family because it provided both economic and national security. Survival demanded growth and expansion. [Richard M.] Fagley says: “Underpopulation, rather than overpopulation was the dominant reality.” In addition, men in the ancient society differed from Christians today in that they sought “social immortality”; i.e. preservation of their memory upon earth through their offspring. Christians, on the other hand, see “individual immortality”; i.e., the hope of life after death. In a word, Old Testament saints living in the structure of a rural society were much more favorably disposed toward large families than many Christian couples today living in overcrowded cities. For us, children tend to be a financial hindrance rather than help. In the light of these changed conditions we must raise the question: “How relevant is the obviously favorable attitude toward large families in the Old Testament for us?”3
Rabbinic literature makes several references to Old Testament practices of coitus interruptus, as well as various attempts by prostitutes and slaves to use contraceptive means to avoid pregnancy. Generally these were exercises to expel the semen, different absorbents to hinder the penetration of the semen, or potions to sterilize semen.4
The Patristic Period
In the postapostolic period marriage was generally viewed as being for procreation. Clement of Alexandria expresses this attitude when he says, “Intercourse performed licitly is an occasion of sin, unless done purely to beget children.”5 Such fathers as Clement viewed the sexual union between husband and wife as a sign of moral imperfection. Celibacy and continence within marriage were made the spiritual goal to which Christians should aspire. This self-denial was considered preparation for the life to come (in contrast to the “worldly” act of sex).6
History reveals that such notions owed more to Greek Stoicism than to the New Testament. As historian John T. Noonan, Jr., notes, “Stoicism was in the air the intellectual converts to Christianity breathed. Half consciously, half unconsciously, they accommodated some Christian beliefs to a Stoic sense.”7
In Stoicism, emotions were downplayed and self-control was exalted. This even became true in marriage, where passion was considered suspect. Marriage must have another purpose — namely, the continuance of the human race. In the words of the Stoic philosopher Ocellus Lucanus, “We have intercourse not for pleasure but for the purpose of procreation….The sexual organs are given man not for pleasure, but for the maintenance of the species.”8
Though much could be written on the early church fathers’ dependence on Stoic philosophy, Noonan sums it up well:
If one asks, then, where the Christian Fathers derived their notions on marital intercourse — notions which have no express biblical basis — the answer must be, chiefly from the Stoics. In the case of such an early and influential teacher as Clement of Alexandria, the direct descent is obvious; his work on the purposes of marriage is a paraphrase of works of Musonius. In the second century, Origen’s standard for intercourse in pregnancy is clearly Seneca’s. In the third century, Lactantius’ remarks on the obvious purpose of the generative faculties echo Ocellus Lucanus. In the fourth century, Jerome’s most austere remarks are taken from Seneca. It is not a matter of men expressing simply truths which common sense might suggest to anyone with open eyes. It is a matter of a doctrine consciously appropriated [from Stoic sources]. The descent is literary, the dependence substantial.9
The Middle Ages and the Premodern Period
During the Middle Ages, a holdover from the earlier period — in which many people condemned marriage itself and sexual relations in marriage were viewed as evil — served to decrease the need for contraception.10 Until the middle of the 1960s the Catholic church and its theologians responded to the above views by emphasizing that sexual intercourse was for procreation, and that as long as that purpose is not unnaturally thwarted, intercourse within marriage is moral. Roman Catholic scholar John Kippley summarizes the matter: “It is fair to say that in various ways the question of contraception has been with us since the beginning of Christianity and that for nineteen centuries the Church has provided a constant answer forbidding unnatural forms of birth control regardless of how the question was raised.”11
The Roman Catholic position has been fairly consistent, but even in Protestant circles artificial means of birth control have been condemned. The attempt to introduce condoms in the late nineteenth century was met by resistance. Anthony Comstock, an American evangelical, was successful in convincing the U.S. Congress (1873) to legislate against “the manufacture, distribution and sale of birth control devices, and most states passed similar legislation which became known collectively as the Comstock laws.”12
THE RISE OF MODERN BIRTH CONTROLMargaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood
The modern birth control movement is synonymous with the zealous efforts of Margaret Sanger (1879–1966). In contrast to the tumultuous life she actually led, the popular media in the past several decades have polished her image and made her “child,” Planned Parenthood, synonymous with sensible sexuality. After all, even though most married couples want to be parents, in our hurried and complicated society most prefer to plan and prepare for pregnancy rather than simply having children by “accident.”
Margaret Sanger was a troubled woman who developed a passionate hatred for spiritual things and became absorbed in radical politics, women’s suffrage, and unbridled sex. Sanger once said, “Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tyranny of Christianity no less than Capitalism.”13
When Sanger was on the verge of being convicted on charges of distributing pornographic materials, she fled the United States. While in England she became a student and a champion of birth control, building on the thinking of Thomas Malthus, who argued that population control was the key to solving poverty, hunger, sickness, and crime. His theory held that for Western civilization to survive, the physically unfit, racially inferior, and mentally incompetent had to be eliminated. While the Malthusians were theoreticians and philosophers, Sanger was an activist who began seeking ways to put these principles into action. Planned Parenthood was the result.
Sanger returned to America to open a birth control clinic in an area primarily inhabited by Slavs, Hispanics, Italians, and Jews. At one point she asserted that “the most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it.”14 Sanger had become enthralled with the Aryan/White Supremacist idea,15 but when Hitler’s holocaust came to light she found it necessary to retreat to another tactic. Though she was heavily driven by sexual libertinism, her campaigns among the middle class cleverly emphasized patriotism and family values.
The Eugenics Movement
Margaret Sanger played a major role in bringing the issue of eugenics (science that deals with the improvement of races and breeds) into the birth control argument. She did not originate this idea, but built on the foundation that had been laid by the elitists of Germany. There, doctors were spearheading a eugenics movement to root out the weak, handicapped, and elderly long before Hitler’s rise to power, as Robert Jay Lifton’s massive work, The Nazi Doctors, well illustrates.16 Many in England, Sweden, and America liked the idea of weeding out the less fit from society. As author Elasah Drogin observes,
The acceptability of eugenics spread very quickly in the university communities throughout the world — Germany, England, and the United States being in the lead. Eugenicists borrowed from Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest in nature and applied it to humankind, theorizing that the benevolence of society had thrown nature out of balance by keeping artificially alive, by means of charity, many people who would long ago have been eliminated by natural selection. These people lived in the slums and because of their animalistic nature bred like rabbits and would soon overrun the boundaries of their slum or country, contaminating the better elements of society with diseases and inferior genes.17
In 1933 the magazine for Planned Parenthood, known in Sanger’s day as Birth Control Review, actually published “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,” by Ernst Rudin, Hitler’s director of genetic sterilization and founder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene.18 Later that year it published an article by E. A. Whitney, entitled “Selective Sterilization,” which strongly praised and defended Nazi racial programs.19
Though praising eugenics, Sanger saw birth control as the best way to rid society of what she called “feebleminded” people (those whose mental ability was less than that of a 12 year old). She estimated that such people constituted almost 50 percent of the U.S. population.20
The Concern for an Overpopulated World
One of the major reasons that a push for birth control gained momentum in recent decades is the argument that the world is becoming overpopulated. Thomas Malthus, author of Essay on the Principle of Population (1789), is credited with the first emphasis on overpopulation, but even before Malthus people argued that “families and nations could have too many children to prosper.”21 Sanger biographer Emily Douglas sets forth the three postulates that Malthus used to establish his theory on overpopulation: (1) food is necessary for man’s existence; (2) the passion for sex is necessary and will continue to be so; (3) the power of population is infinitely greater than the capacity of the earth to produce food adequate for the population since, if unchecked, population increases in geometric ratio (e.g. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16) while subsistence increases only in arithmetric ratio (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).22
To Malthus and those who followed him,23 nature is able to counteract some of these problems through famine, but man himself also curbs the situation through his vices, thereby reducing the population. But man can solve the problem through other means since he, unlike the rest of the animal world, has reason and a conscience to help restrain his sexual passion. Malthus reasoned that a planned strategy of late marriage and abstinence could control the birthrate.24
The Influence of Planned Parenthood
Without question, Planned Parenthood exerts a greater influence on the public debate and private practice of birth control and abortion than any other private agency. By closely following the philosophy of its founder, Planned Parenthood has endeavored to curb the population growth of the United States and much of the world, but with limited success. It has sought to accomplish its goals by popularizing birth control pills, condoms, intrauterine devices, sterilization, and — if the previous means are not used or fail — surgical abortions. Planned Parenthood’s public relations campaigns speak of offering “women’s health services,” but its own 1991 annual report demonstrates that more than 90 percent of the pregnant women who entered its clinics had abortions, making it the world’s largest abortion provider.25
Despite its large multimillion dollar operation, Planned Parenthood’s efforts to curb conception rates have produced negligible results. Rather than decreasing births (other than by abortion) and sexually transmitted diseases, Planned Parenthood’s activities may have actually encouraged the spread of sexual disease.26 In seeking to promote its agenda, Planned Parenthood has advocated sex education among teenagers — yet the teen pregnancy rate is 50 percent higher among adolescents who have received comprehensive sex education courses than among their “unenlightened” peers.27
NONRELIGIOUS ARGUMENTS ON BIRTH CONTROL
Those who advocate birth control for purely secular reasons are able to adduce several concerns that limiting families would help to alleviate. The arguments generally involve overpopulation and birth defects.
As mentioned earlier, Malthus, the father of modern population concern, assumed the simple idea that “population, when unchecked…increases in a geometrical ratio” and “means of subsistence…could not possibly be made to increase faster than in an arithmetrical ratio.”28 In plain language, this means that the population tends to increase more quickly than the food supply. However, Malthus was wrong. Instead, the food supply of the world is outstripping population.29 Though Malthus’s ideas appear convincing at first glance, the theory behind them is flawed.
Eminent social economist Thomas Sowell says that any discussion of overpopulation is relative. He suggests three factors that must be evaluated: land, natural resources, and food. Based on the amount of space each person in the world actually has, it is obvious that there is theoretically enough room for many times the number of people presently on the earth (approximately six billion). The entire population of the earth could fit inside the state of Texas with each person having about 1,700 square feet of space.30 Another scenario demonstrates that the whole of humanity would cover no more than eight hundred square miles (the size of Jacksonville, Florida) when standing several feet apart.31 Evidence is also strong that the population of the earth is leveling off and that six billion will be the approximate number of inhabitants for many years to come.32
The problem with population is not the sheer number of persons alive but the distribution of food and natural resources, oppression by dictatorships, and the crowding of people into dense areas. As Randy Alcorn says,
Does this mean that there is no overcrowding and that our resources are infinite? Of course not. The world is full of problems, including poverty and starvation. But studies consistently show that plenty of food is presently produced to feed every person on the planet. The problem of starvation is a combination of many factors, including natural disasters, wars, lack of technology, misuse of resources, waste, greed, government inefficiency, and failure to distribute food properly. None of these have a direct cause and effect link to overpopulation.33
As to the second major argument, that inferior human beings must not be allowed to procreate and produce other inferior beings, such a view needs to be contrasted with the kind of attitude one observes in the life of our Lord. He had compassion on the sick, the weak, the infirm, the handicapped — those who Sanger would consider the “dregs” or “undergrowth” of society. Certainly the parable of the Good Samaritan — in which a person near death, of the “wrong race,” and of no great social importance is helped by a “neighbor” — shows the Christian ideal toward those in distress and need.34
CHRISTIAN ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST BIRTH CONTROL
Unlike Eastern Orthodoxy35 (which has spoken little on the subject) and most Protestants (who generally are not against birth control), Roman Catholicism has maintained a firm position against most forms of conception control. This primarily reflects the thinking of Augustine, who viewed contraception, both in method and intent, in negative terms. Condemning the sin of Onan in Genesis 38:8-10, he said: “Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it.”36
Augustine’s view was followed by the church and its theologians through the centuries.37 For example, the Roman Catechism of 1572 says, “Those who prevent birth violate the law of nature…the sin of those married couples…should be considered an unholy conspiracy of homicides.”38 In 1930, Pius XI summarized the teaching of the church on birth control in Casti Connubii: “Any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.”39
The Second Vatican Council continued this emphasis of the Roman Church on the generation of children as the primary purpose of marriage.40 Under John Paul II the church teaching continues to uphold this Roman view despite protests within the church, especially among many American Catholics.
Few evangelicals have publicly denounced birth control. An exception is Mary Pride, a home schooling advocate who came out of the feminist movement. Pride is critical of sexual relations between husband and wife unless the act has procreation as its purpose. She considers sex for pleasure “sexual gluttony.” Note her words: “The Bible teaches us that sex is only legitimate within marriage. It further teaches, as we have seen, that the natural purpose of marital sex is (1) physical oneness and (2) fruitfulness. Nowhere does the Bible say that the purpose of marital sex is climax, much much [sic] less climax at the expense of fruitfulness and oneness.”41
One of Pride’s more curious interpretations of Scripture is to equate sex acts apart from the intent to conceive children with the perversion described by the apostle Paul in Romans 1:26-27. She says that unnamed “theologians” understand this passage to teach that when God forsakes a nation, women then become lesbians and afterward men become homosexuals. She then claims that the “natural function” of the woman referred to in verse 26 is childbearing and nursing children, based on the idea that the word woman in Greek comes from a term that means the “nursing of children” and is unrelated to sexuality. The act “against nature,” then, is not homosexual relations but for women to act like men by not bearing children.42
This interesting analysis of Romans 1 is inaccurate for several reasons. First, who are these theologians who believe that women necessarily become lesbians and then men become homosexuals? I seriously doubt the accuracy of this statement. Second, there is no evidence that the Greek word for female (gune) refers to nursing babies as Pride asserts.43 In reality, the Hebrew word rendered “female” in Genesis 1:27, which serves as the basis of Pride’s comments, is a graphic Hebrew term for the “pierced.” It refers to the female genitals (in contrast to the male, “the piercer”)44 — not to the nursing of babies, but to the sexual union of the male and female. Third, the clear intent of the apostle in Romans 1:26ff is to depict the turning of men to men and women to women in sexual lust in violation of the created order set forth in Genesis 1:26ff. The idea that birth control is a perversion is nowhere in the passage but must be brought to the text.
A LOOK AT BIRTH CONTROL IN BIBLICAL TEACHING
The issue of birth control for the Christian is not specifically addressed in the Scriptures and thoughtful Christians have reached differing conclusions after examining the relevant biblical data. The findings presented here reflect my own research into the subject and are not meant to be taken as the official position of the Christian Research Institute.
The Old Testament expresses God’s desire that His people not be barren (Deut. 7:4). God rejected the common Near Eastern practice of sterilizing males (Deut. 23:1) as He also rejected sexual abstinence in Israel (Exod. 21:10). Only during the time of menstruation, the time of childbirth, and for men’s religious reasons were sexual relations to be set aside (Lev. 15:19–28; 12:1–8; Exod. 19:15). Though it may appear that the story of Onan is a condemnation of birth control, it really is about Onan’s unwillingness to bear children under his levirate responsibilities (“lest he should give offspring to his brother,” Gen. 38:8–10) after he had received his brother’s wife as his own.
No New Testament text prohibits birth control, though Paul does caution against refraining from sexual relations with one’s spouse other than for periods of religious devotion (1 Cor. 7:5).
Scripture presents various reasons for marriage. Woman was created for man because he was lonely, indicating that marriage is for companionship (Gen. 22:18). The woman and man find unity together, a unity expressed in its most physical form by sexual intercourse. Sex is also for pleasure — the husband is to “enjoy life with the wife [he] love[s]” (Eccl. 9:9; Song of Songs). But, importantly, marriage is also to bear children (Gen. 1:28). None of these purposes is to be set aside. It is not multiple choice; each is to be achieved as much as the marriage partners are able.
The primary place to develop a theology of marriage and its relationship to birth control is Genesis 1:26–28. Here we discover that man and woman are sexual beings and spiritually bear the image of God. Both the spiritual and physical dimensions come into play in understanding whether birth control is permissible. Based on their sexuality they are told to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Based on their likeness to God they are told to dominate the earth. These two concerns come into play within and outside of marriage.
Many are more than willing to enjoy sexual relations with no procreation responsibilities, yet the text indicates that childbearing is a very real part of the purpose of God in creating male and female. On the other hand, the text does not say how many children must be born to a given married couple or how frequently they must bear children. The wrong approach would seem to be in rejecting the child-bearing aspect of the marital union altogether.
For those who argue against birth control, Genesis 1 has a second part of the responsibility of the man and woman, based on their creation in God’s image, namely, taking dominion over the world. The matters of bearing children and exercising dominion may be a give and take and require timing considerations and limitations. Helmut Thielicke seems to recognize this tension when he writes of the family as being within the order of creation but operating in history:
This tension between creation and history, between the command of God and the situation which is inadequate to the command, also has a bearing upon the problem of contraception. For here the command of creation “Be fruitful and multiply” is confronted with concrete situations which resist its realization and can alter it in its application to concrete circumstances, especially since these situations are largely beyond the ability of the individual to change them. Among these circumstances are certain exceptional cases in life: “severe illness of the mother, numerous births accompanied by weak health or difficult living conditions, severe hereditary affliction, or economic circumstances which will not permit the rearing of another child even with the greatest frugality,” early marriages, among students for example, which delay the establishment of a larger family, housing difficulties, job situations, etc.45
To abandon the bearing of children seems to be a violation of God’s creation mandate for us, but to exercise wisdom in the timing and manner of childbearing seems in accord with our other responsibilities to fulfill our equally important duty to work in God’s world. Neither is to be set aside.
H. Wayne House is Academic Dean and Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Michigan Theological Seminary and Professor-at-Large at Simon Greenleaf University. He holds earned doctorates in theology and law and is author of almost 20 books.
1In speaking of birth control, I am not referring to birth control devices or abort-ifacients such as RU 486, IUDs, and certain control pills that really function as abortifacients. That is, in this article I am using the term birth control as an equivalent to conception control rather than abortion. 2John T. Noonan, Jr., Contraception (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966), 10-11. 3Bruce K. Waltke, “Old Testament Texts Bearing on the Problem of the Control of Human Reproduction,” in Birth Control and the Christian, ed. Walter O. Spitzer and Carlyle L. Saylor (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1969), 8; see also Richard M. Fagley, The Population Explosion and Christian Responsibility (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960), 113. 4Noonan, 10–12. 5Simon P. Wood (trans.), “The Fathers of the Church,” Clement of Alexandria (New York: Fathers of the Church, 1954), XXXIII, 175. 6C. W. Scudder, ed., Crises in Morality (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1964), 47–48. 7Noonan, 46. 8Ocellus Lucanus, text and commentary by Richard Harder (Berlin, 1926), quoted in Noonan, 47. 9Noonan, 48. 10John F. Kippley, Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality (Cincinnati: The Couple to Couple League International, 1991), 224-25. Such views, however, did not inhibit those who argued this way from involvement in nonmarital liaisons, which they regarded as permissible. 11Ibid., 225. 12Ibid. 13Quoted in David Goldstein, Suicide Bent: Sangerizing America (St. Paul: Radio Replies Press, 1945), 103. 14Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (New York: Brentano’s, 1920. Reprint. Maxwell Reprint Co., 1969), 63. 15The Birth Control Review — Margaret’s magazine and the immediate predecessor to the Planned Parenthood Review — regularly and openly published the racist articles of Malthusian Eugenicists. (See, for example, Warren Thompson’s monthly The Birth Control Review Series: “Race Suicide in the U.S.” extending from August, 1920 to March, 1921.) In 1920 it published a favorable review of Lothrop Stoddard’s frightening book, The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy. (The Birth Control Review, Oct. 1920, 14-16.) In 1923 the Review editorialized in favor of restricting immigration on a racial basis. (The Birth Control Review, Sept. 1923, 219-20.) In 1932, it outlined Margaret’s “Plan for Peace,” calling for coercive sterilization, mandatory segregation, and rehabilative concentration camps for all “dysgenic stocks.” (The Birth Control Review, April 1932, 107.) 16Robert Jay Lifton, The Nazi Doctors (New York: Basic Books, 1986), 16–17, 22–24. 17Elasah Drogin, Margaret Sanger: Father of Modern Society (New Hope, KY: CUL Publications, 1986), 12. 18Ernst Rudin, “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,” The Birth Control Review (April 1933), 102. 19Leon Whitney, “Selective Sterilization,” The Birth Control Review (April 1933), 85. 20Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization (New York: Brentano’s Publishers, 1922), 263–64. 21Thomas Sowell, The Economics and Politics of Race: An International Perspective (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1983), 208. 22Emily Taft Douglas, Margaret Sanger: Pioneer of the Future (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970), 65. 23See ibid., 64–69, for a discussion of the influential people who advocated Malthus’s ideas. 24Ibid. 25Planned Federation of America 1991 Annual Report. 26For examples and arguments, see George Grant, Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1988), 31, 306. 27Louis Harris and Associates, American Teens Speak: Sex, Myths, TV, and Birth Control (New York: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 1988), 19; Robert Ruff, Aborting Planned Parenthood (Houston: New Vision Books, 1988); William Marsiglio and Frank L. Mott, “The Impact of Sex Education on Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use and Premarital Pregnancy among American Teenagers,” Family Planning Perspectives, vol. 18, no. 4 (July/August, 1986). 28Quoted in P. J. O’Rourke, All the Trouble in the World (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994), 26. 29Ibid., 27 and Sowell, 215–17. 30Ibid., 209. 31Randy Alcorn, Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1992), 118. 32O’Rourke, 58. 33Alcorn, 118. For additional discussion of these points see Sowell, 208–17. 34See H. Wayne House, “The Parable of the Good Samaritan: Implications for the Euthanasia Debate,” Issues in Law and Medicine 11 (Fall 1995): 167, text accompanying f.n. 27 and 180. 35Fagley, 162–66. 36Augustine, Adulterous Marriages, II, no. 12, as quoted in Fagley, 171. 37Fagley, 172–88. 38Roman Catechism of 1572, II, ch. 8, q. 13, as quoted in Fagley, 181. 39Casti Connubii, para. 56, as quoted in Fagley, 180. 40Gaudium at Spes (Vatican II), “The Fruitfulness of Marriage,” section 50, as quoted in Kippley, 57. 41Mary Pride, The Way Home: Beyond Feminism Back to Reality (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1985), 27.42Ibid., 27-28. 43See Walter Bauer, William F. Arndt, and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1957), 361; and Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Sir Henry Stuart Jones, and Roderick McKenzie, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1843; 9th ed., 1940, reprint 1968), 798. 44Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1907), 666. 45Helmut Thielicke, Theological Ethics, vol. 3: Sex (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1964), 203.