In my mind, I can see an office somewhere in the Southern Baptist denomination’s complex. A person with a green eye shade looks up from his charts. “The Catholics are right. More birth control means fewer baptisms. Fewer baptisms means fewer members. Our theology needs to be against the pill.”
Early on, the conservative Christian leadership was in favor of abortion rights. At least the leading Christian magazines of the time had articles endorsing it.
Then, abruptly, a Protestant television personality decided to join the Catholics and everyone else fell into line. The same thing might be happening now with birth control.
Russell Moore, the new Chair of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said recently, he wants Baptists to “Outbreed Mormons…” The number of baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention has been declining. For some reason he did not say he wanted to outbreed Catholics, too.
There is a problem in this strategy, rural to urban migration. When families were on farms, more children made a couple better off because children produced more than they consumed. In cities, children make a couple worse off because the opposite happens. To raise a child to 18 years old costs about $230,000. There are fewer births as more people live in cities.
My guess is Southern Baptists will be just as embarrassed as Catholics by their lack of success in stopping use of birth control.