Reversal Of Positions, Catholics And Prostestants.

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.

57 Responses

  1. Henry

    Some Lutherans today appear to have the same position as Luther on birth control, therefore no reversal as Jon alleges in his broadbrushing.

  2. Wanna B Sure

    Another consideration in the time before Social Security, the children were considered to be a part of supporting their parents in their old age. The nuclear family had a strong element of generational help, both backward, and forward. Native tribes around the world relied on this synergism. The old provided knowlege and wisdom, and the young supported them. Not in a quid pro-quo basis, but in a cultural norm. Everyone benefited. When either end of the spectrum was denied, the clan/tribe/ “volk” suffered.

    1. Stan

      With government taking the place of family support and calling for smaller families because we are running out of food and space, many families took the bait. Now we do not have the means to keep Social Security viable as people retire because there are not enough young people to maintain it.

      Even after farming went mechanized larger family could be handy. Everyone of my brothers and sisters either worked beside dad when we managed business for others or when he was the owner. Raise the child right and you have the best workers you can find.

  3. Michael Ross

    The other day I saw 3 young women shopping at Wall Mart with nine children. These were welfare mothers. Intact working families can barely afford to support 1 or 2 if any children because they are working to support the welfare culture where the USGov is almighty provider. I like that bumper sticker that says “If you can’t feed’em, don’t breed’em”.

  4. Michael Ross

    If you’re rich you get a bailout. If you’re poor you get a handout. And if you’re middle class you get left out.

    1. Michael 3:48 “If you’re rich you get a bailout. If you’re poor you get a handout. And if you’re middle class you get left out.”

      If you are religious, the theology or your church will change so it doesn’t have to bail out.

      1. Wanna B Sure

        Jon; “…the theology or your church will change…” Glad you see there is a difference between theology and practice. Bad theology, (or emphasis), results in bad practice. That being said, the two are different subjects. Garbage in–garbage out. “Error” begets error, and and the potential for bad practice. Then remotely too, there is the hazard of the individual to mis-apply perfectly good theology on an individual basis, independently removed from the church the individual is a “member” or subscriber of.

        1. Wanna 3:12 It is an illusion to find, in retrospect, the change in theology was because of “bad” theology, or error. You seem to be saying Martin Luther’s opposition to birth control was an “error”. The illusion is it seemed like good theology at the time, only in retrospect does it appear as error.

          The illusion happens because people are unable to see the influence of contemporary economic circumstances on current mores and values and the influence of these, in turn, on religious values. A ban on working on Sundays was good theology until circumstances made it imparative, then it was bad theology. Temporance the same. Then, divorce, women working outside the home, cursing and so on.

          Today we are in the midst of current things seen as sin that, I predict, will be accepted as not sin in a while and will be considered “error” in retrospect. These are homosexuality and abortion.

          With abortion, when the evidence is overwheming climate change is exacerbated by a world population greater than the earth and its atmosphere can support with out current standard of living there will be two choices, lower the standard of living or reduce the population. There will be only one politically acceptable choice, the latter. The midevil godliness of no children will return.

          1. Henry

            Jon: “With abortion, when the evidence is overwheming climate change is exacerbated by a world population greater than the earth and its atmosphere can support with out current standard of living there will be two choices”

            Anthropogenic climate change (global warming for all you in Rose Creek who decided to build in a perfectly good slough for duck hunting) is not adequately supported. Perfectly good villages in Greenland with former gardens and fields of grain are currently iced over. Prior to the industrial revolution, it was quite temperate, quite the opposite of the claim of the adverse effects from industrialization and population.

            Scientists that claim anthropogenic global warming need to stop feeling bad about themselves and their fellow man. The message is clear. In order to get these Greenland villages repopulated and to bring the temperatures back to the old order, we need to raise the temperatures by creating more people.

          2. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; you are like a drunk. All over the road with no idea of where you are going. First it’s this, then it”s that, then you attempt to know what I “seem to be saying”. What I said is very clear, and again you read your own bias into something that isn’t there. YOUR illusion is that theology , (not practice) changes come about, due to “contemporary economics”. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Some “practices can and should be changed if it is revealed or finally understood to be contradictory with the Bible and theology. The same goes for the Creeds. You can’t seem to seperate the two, (theology and practice), and that is your first error. This whole topic goes back to The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, (What must I do and what has be done”.) This can easily be made, (and it has) into an entire college course, and this blog is not sufficient to cover even a small portion of it, nor is it convenient for anyone.

          3. Wanna 9:09 “The whole logic goes back to the proper distinction between Law and Gospel.”

            That’s clever out for the inconsistancy that occurs constantly. I like the old adages, “You are what you eat.” and “Who you are is what you think about.” The same goes for religion. What people practice is what the theology is. There are folks like yourself, and the monks that ponder all this on mountain tops, who think they see ultimate truth in the faith, “The Law”.

            If there was something of substance in the Law, we would see it in the practice. Since various groups cannot agree on the Law at anyone one time, and the same group sees the Law differently over time, I don’t see much in the distinction.

          4. Stan

            New research says it was warmer during the height of the roman era and the Renaissance then it is now. There was more death and disease during the mini ice age and the prolonged cool era in the 1900’s. Cold kills. Things cannot grow on ice and snow. Heat is sometimes just a matter of changes in plants used and learning how to irrigate.

          5. Stan 10:15 “Heat is sometimes just a matter of changes in plants used and learning how to irrigate.”

            I spent 18 years on the ND Garrison Diversion Board and heard endless lectures and commentary on irrigation and adapting plants to circumstances. I still don’t consider myself an expert on any aspect of it but the politics. The politics are taking water from one person and giving it to another is just like stealing money. Mostly, there are no new irrigation areas anymore. There are some things that require less water, corn is among the worst.

            I agree there can be adjustments, more on the consuming side than the production side would be my take. Many more people can live off of 1000 acres of farm land if they are all vegetarians. But, that would make us all liberals. 🙂

          6. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; Again your narrow mindedness fails to see the Law/Gospel. You speak only of the Law. No mention of the Gospel. Both are needed, and both must be applied. No wonder you fail to understand. Your world view prevents it. We have been here several times before, and nothing has changed, nor will it. Evidently you didn’t look up the word “bigot” in Wictionary, with a mirror in hand.

          7. Wanna 10:42 “You speak on of the Law.”

            Since I don’t see them as much different, I’ll take your word for it. My take on the faith is from listening to and reading from people who write about the faith. Included is the best selling author Stephen Prothoro. In a nut shell, the faith is all about the “law”.

            And, the trend of the faith is that it is growing more diverse. The law is meaning increasingly different things to different groups. The “Laws” should now be put in quotes as I just did.

          8. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; I also noticed you said “the whole logic”. I said “topic”. Entirely different. Reading comprehension Jon, reading comprehension. No wonder your logic is flawed.

          9. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; I just noticed. You just can’t spit out the word–Gospel!!! Is it like a hex, or bad omen for you? This is funny. It would be good for you to understand the subject matter before you make comments on it.

          10. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; Are you afraid you may move just a little bit towards the faith if you used the word “Gospel”, or you may be afraid to admit that there is a “Gospel”. Freudian? Fraudian?

          11. Wanna 11:24 “you may be afraid to admit there is a ‘Gospel’.”

            If the Gospel was important I might discuss it a little. It just doesn’t come up very often on the Christian sites I frequent. I’d suggest you follow all these sites carefully and when they discuss their favorite topic, sin, you should tell them to knock it off.

          12. Henry

            Jon: “I spent 18 years on the ND Garrison Diversion Board”

            It would have been nice to have not gotten screwed on that deal. We were promised 1 million acres that would be irrigated. In the end, when the irrigation is needed most in dry periods, the downstream interests get the water to float their moored barges sitting on the river banks. Instead, we have a ditch full of mosquitos, a democrat dynasty that continued through the charade and finally coming to an end, and debt to show for the effort expended.

            All because Jon is trying to advocate birth control.

          13. Henry 11:32 “a democrat dynasty that continued through the charade..”
            Milt Young, Mark Andrews and others who called themselves Republicans were Democrats? I did not know that.

            But, ND did get the ditch full of mosquitos and the New Rockford Canal, now with no use whatsoever. There is also the beautiful deep canyon on the McClusky Canal that caves in all the time because there was not enough money to purchase a wider right of way and is undergoing a long process of ripwrap installation.

            My guess is the only ND project which will match it in effectiveness will the the giant Diversion now being talked about. Well, maybe the Devils Lake outlet is a competitor.

          14. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; Re. your 11:54—As I said, you should hang out with a different crowd. Garbage in, garbage out.

            Rest assured, if I have the opportunity, I do share with them the “Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel”. This is an old and time proven approach. Unfortunately today, it has been lost to several “new traditions”, only to be rediscovered by some. Again check Christian Post, and Tullian Tchividjian. Like it or not, it is what it is. four dogs.

          15. Wanna 12:03 I did read that. Pretty dull for the average reader and/or person in the pew who heard his sermon. More to the tastes of the average reader was the CP article ranking cities on their smut. Fargo made the top 100, 96th. You’re talkin’ the real stuff there, sin.

          16. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; You don’t surprise me. Only one word fits: Shallow. You will see what you want to see. Today, you see only sin. I wonder why it bothers you so much. Re-read the article.

          17. Henry

            Jon: “Milt Young, Mark Andrews and others who called themselves Republicans were Democrats? I did not know that.”

            I didn’t either. More likely, they were tagger-alongers initially using the momentum of someone else’s issue, and as they became involved and immersed in it, likely actually believed in it. Additionally, in the political climate of the day, it would have been political anathema to be opposed to Garrison Diversion. Now, it seems like a dud, and truly was a Democrat ideal with some exception.

          18. Henry 12:29 I don’t see now you can say Democrats are more public works hogs than Democrats. Locally, the efforts for all the big public works projects are citizens who are active Republicans. Nationally, you start with the Hoover Dam. With Eisenhower, it was the Fed Interstate System. Both parties are full of big spenders, but when it comes to public works, it has always seemed like Republicans have the edge.

          19. Henry

            Jon: “There is also the beautiful deep canyon on the McClusky Canal that caves in all the time because there was not enough money to purchase a wider right of way and is undergoing a long process of ripwrap installation.”

            Riprap adds weight, making the liklihood of future “caves” high. Unless they made additional more expensive provisions, the same result will occur.

          20. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; your 12;32–Re.. being average—“Really, I have no choice”. WELL SAID ! ! More evidence of the will in bondage. The law has not yet done it’s work with you. The Gospel comes after that. Thank you.

          21. Wanna 12:49 One of the reasons “the Gospel” is not very interesting is that it was all stolen from older religions, the hero, the death of the hero, the hero comes back to life, etc etc. And, again, it doesn’t seem to capture the minds of the public.

            Sin, on the other hand, drives our country. Think how much time is spent during the Republican Primaries on sin. It facsinates people, it allows people to condemn others and what is sin changes all the time.

          22. Henry

            Jon: “Both parties are full of big spenders, but when it comes to public works, it has always seemed like Republicans have the edge.”

            Not so quick. The difference with the Republican’s spending is we get a tangible, usable product. The Demoncrats tend to trickle the money down their leg (not-so-Great Society) and in the end, nothing usable in sight.

            A side note to your digression from birth control inconsistencies, Hoover was the brains to getting the west properly developed so that it could be developed. He achieved the near impossible of cutting the red tape and getting the political agreements in line to build the dams. Impossible for an “average” man. I smiled as I once toured Grand Coulee dam observing the Democrat prop of FDR’s wheelchair behind a glass case. The piece was nearly some sort of religious shrine supported by tax dollars. It made me reflect at how the Democrat stripped Hoover from “Hoover Dam” and assigned “Boulder Dam” for the new name. Likely, Hoover was the impetus behind the Grand Coulee dam during the 20’s and Roosevelt arrived on scene in 1932 to assign his name and wheelchair to the project.

          23. Henry 12:59 “The difference with the Republican’s spending is we get a tangible usable product.”

            You encapsolate perfectly Republican Politics/Civil Engineering Politics 101. If only it were so. The New Rockford Useless Canal should have some Republican’s name on it.

            We burden future generations with the noble honor of maintaining and replacing….concrete. It’s always been my conclusion that when one goes to Republican heaven, whether you get in or not depends on how many square feet of the earth you covered with concrete during your life.

          24. Stan

            Hoover dam, water resources and electricity for millions. Interstate Highway system, the transportation system which helped make this country productive for decades.

            Garrison Diversion……….meh.

          25. Henry

            Jon: “The New Rockford Useless Canal should have some Republican’s name on it.”

            Jon, I have an idea. Being that you served 18 fine years on the Garrison Diversion board, I think the New Rockford Canal should be christened “Lindgren Canal”.

            Jon: “We burden future generations with the noble honor of maintaining and replacing….concrete”

            Jon, I do believe Obamba stimulusated the economy by setting up the orange cones. I noted some rather serviceable roads being replaced a little prematurely. Obamba is a (D) democrat. (or is that F?)

          26. Henry 2:35 “I noted some rather serviceable roads being replaced a little prematurely.”
            I’ve noticed that, too. And, lanes added where I drive all the time and have not seen any traffic delays.

            But, as you say, “we get a tangible, usable product”. What good it does is lost on me.

          27. Henry

            There is salvation available for Lindgren Canal. The thought occurred that Devils Lake water could have been gravity flowed out to a dam on the slightly lower Sheyenne River and possibly backflowed to Lonetree. This could serve the purpose of filling DL during drought with Missouri water and getting DL water out without all those fancy pumps that suck a lot of electricity. Lindgren Canal could serve a purpose, but its will is bound by artful and devious reasonings of slick politicians.

          28. Henry 4:08 Mixing the salt water of Devils Lake into the drinking water of the Sheyenne, requiring downstream cities (Fargo) to pay for removal–don’t want my name on that one.

          29. Henry

            Jon: “Mixing the salt water of Devils Lake…”

            You need to update your 20+ year-old water quality reports from the brackish slough of Stump Lake. The water quality has changed significantly over the years to the positive. It is no longer an issue. You sound like you get your talking points from the Save-The-Shyanne people. I heard nary a whisper from them (or you) when they (Vally City) were recently dumping raw sewage into the Shyanne for downstream consumption. For them, do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do seems to be an important concept.

          30. Henry 10:29 “You need to update your 20+ year old water quality reports…”

            I see the current State Engineer thinks a Stump Lake outlet would have severe environmental consequences.


            A year or so ago, there was a proposal to drain Devils Lake at Tolna. The State was going to pay for a water plant for Valley City so it could treat the salt. The same amount of salt would come to Fargo/West Fargo, but they would have to pay for their own, which is very expensive.(W. Fargo still uses wells but will have to use the Shyenne eventually). If somehow the salt water from DL vanishes when it flows into Stump Lake, that would be a miracle.

          31. Henry

            Pssst….Jon, I apparently have a secret to tell you. Valley City has been drinking Devils Lake “salt” water for some time already and apparently doesn’t know it or it mysteriously does not enter the talking points you are given. 600 cfs has been running all summer out of DL into the Shyanne. Therefore, the “salt” water has gone unnoticed. I would bet the “salt” water coming out of Devils Lake is better tasting than the raw sewer water coming out of Valley City into the Shyanne. Just a hunch.

            The state engineer was not specific on the “environmental consequences”. Qualitative or quantitative? I would guess quantitative due to the 600 cfs of DL “salt” water that VC has enjoyed this summer. Obviously the water hasn’t caused qualitative harm.

            Dilution is a wonderful thing.

            I have noticed one thing. The control structure seems to have been a bait-and-switch. My understanding is that outflow would occur through it once the control structure was in. That has seemed to have changed. DL made a deal too fast and got screwed.

          32. Henry

            Has anyone noticed? Valley City has 600 cfs running through town:

            Devils Lake this summer has contributed approximately 600 cfs to the Shyanne:

            I think a thank you is in order from Valley City to the State Water Commission and the residents around Devils Lake. Devils Lake helped save the Shyanne and thus Valley City. Instead, insults and legal action are threatened.

  5. Wanna B Sure

    Jon; your 2:07— Re. the Gospel,”…doesn’t seem to capture the minds of the public.. “Hmm, really? Where there are Christians, there is the Gospel. Some Christian traditions in the last few years even seem to ignore the work of the Law, and promote the Gospel almost exclusively. Groups that ignore the Gospel can’t be considered Christian.

    But you are right in the claim that sin fascinates people. You being one of them, and you use it as a tool to work denial and judgmentalism on those who admit being personally imperfect.

    1. Wanna B Sure

      Jon; The Stephen Prothoro article IN CONTEXT, was primarily concerned with those churches who preached the Gospel only, ignoring the Law completely, cheapening the vitality of the Gospel. There has to be a balance between both Law and Gospel. Both serve a purpose, and support the other. Bonhoffer coined the term “Cheap Grace”, which also supports the error of confusing Law and Gospel. The prosperity preachers and success “seminar” churches are also guilty of this. For them the Gospel is “a different Gospel”.

      1. Wanna 2:43 I was not referring to a Prothoro article, of which there as many. I was referring to his book which was about generalizations of how people in the pews of various religions see their religions.

        I realize most of the new popular preachers are about the gospel not the law. Then, you have the Southern Baptists who, in my view, are primarily about the law.

        There is much more in the press about Southern Baptist-type groups than about the growing emerging church. I don’t see any hope that the complex story of sin, the cross and the forgiveness will ever do much for people. They want to know who’s in and who’s out and they want to know now.

        1. Wanna B Sure

          Jon;———-And that’s why the necessity for “The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel”. It provides balance, normalization, and the extreme inventions of both ends of the spectrum.

          1. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; There is an old saying; “If you lift a persons soul, his pocketbook comes with it”. I feel uncomfortable with that, but it does contain an element of truth. It is again the result of, rather the purpose. It is a truism that churches that use the lectionary seldom or never preach on money, or giving unless the particular reading for the day contains the verses of the widow and her mite, (for example), and in that case, it isn’t the amount, rather the intent. Christian Post is a questionable resource (most of the time) for guidance, not sacred Scripture. Most of the time the emphasis is based on post-reformation principles and emphasis. Interesting, but not necessarily reliable. I can see why you use it so much in your dietribes.

          2. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; on occasion one can find a little gem in the mix, and that is why I reffered you to it with Tchividjian’s article. Peace out man.

          3. Wanna B Sure

            Re, my 2:39– Piper is a Baptist if I remember. Tchividjian is a Presbyterian, but sounds much like a crypto orthodox Lutheran in many of his posts. An interesting but unusual twist from the norm.

        2. Wanna B Sure

          Jon; “They want to know who’s in and who’s out and they want to know now”. Those who are of that mind should be more concerned about where they personally are, and mind their own business.

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