Monday, August 3, 2009

Today on Kresta - August 3, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on August 3

Humanae Vitae Special Broadcast

3:00 – 6:00 – Humanae Vitae Turns 41

Last week, on July 25, we celebrated the anniversary of the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI on the regulation of birth. The last 41 years have shown us just how prophetic that encyclical was with the degradation of society through widespread acceptance of artificial birth control. We take the opportunity to go in-depth with the document and its impact – or lack thereof. Our guests include Pat Fagan, Mark Johnson, John Kipley, Janet Smith, and others.


  1. Re Paul Gondreau, Humanae Vitae, the "inseparable connection" between procreation and unitive love, bonbons, and roller coasters.

    This is a case of over thinking.

    St. Thomas Aquinas, according to Paul Gondreau, "gets to the heart of the matter well. He defines the human being as a composite: a unity of body and soul."

    Paul goes on to say, "And just as you must always have body and soul, so must the two dimensions always be respected. No act can be employed so as to directly subvert or dismiss or reject either the procreative or the unitive. ... Humane Vitae is holding up the beautiful view of the human being, because what it's saying is that you cannot separate yourself off as a human person from your body. You are your body and your soul. Your body, therefore, must be integrated, must share in everything that you do as a human person. And to treat it as like a recreational plaything is really to have a disdain for it and to imply that it's not really a part of who you are as a human being."

    The essential connection between human sexuality and human life is obvious. But so also is the essential connection between human nutrition and human life. No nutrition, no life. The same can be said of human mobility. No mobility, no life.

    Therefore, the moral imperatives described above for human sexuality must also apply to human nutrition and human mobility. God instilled within us sexual desire and pleasure to ensure the propagation of new human life. Likewise, God instilled within us desires and pleasure in the nutritive realm to ensure that life goes on. If we did not have hunger pangs and had no taste buds, we might just say "to hell with it." The same goes for human mobility. Mobility is vital for life, yet we get pleasure from mobility per se: a simple walk, a bicycle ride, or an invigorating swim.

    So, natural law tells us that it is wrong to sever the life sustaining nutritive dimension of eating from it's pleasurable dimension. Therefore, no bonbons for you.

    Likewise, natural law tells us that it is wrong to sever the life sustaining motive dimension of mobility from it's pleasurable dimension. Therefore, no roller coasters for you.

    I can see a similar argument for the arts. Listening to music, for example, separates the pleasurable aspect of sound from it's necessary life sustaining function.