Can you imagine a time when Protestants were united in lock step against contraception and abortion? Martin Luther’s position was just that.
When Martin Luther broke ranks with the Catholic leadership, one of his beefs was Christians were not having enough children. According to the attached article, what we now would call the Catholic Church thought the celebate life was an ideal. That so took the minds of Europeans a third of adult Christians lived in orders.
Luther took seriously ”go forth and multiple” and was very against birth control/abortion. But the 1940′s, several U. S.Protestant denominations had abandoned Luther’s position. The Catholic Church had become the champion of big families.
How did this reversal come about? When I read explanations steeped in theology and influence of leaders at that time, I don’t see much about who paid the bills and its influence on why things happened.
In economics, children are referred to as “producer goods” when they contribute more to the family’s revenue than they consume. They are “consumer goods” when they consume more than they contribute.
Perhaps mideveil church orders did not need children because the standard of living was so spartan. Children would have been a drag, consumer goods. Martin Luther’s church needed donations from the peasant public, children in peasant families were producer goods.
By the 1940′s, mechanized agriculture in the U. S. made children into consumer goods. Most Protestant denominsations adjusted. The Catholic leadership did not.
Looking at Catholic family size, it appears children are seen as consumer goods.