Note: What is often not considered when evaluating a nation’s religious freedoms is that the protection of separation of “church” and “state” is a protection from the religious proclivities of one political faction or leadership. For instance, under a Moslem president we would not be brought under “Sharia Law,” yet we have the freedom to elect a Moslem or a person of any faith to be president. The same freedom should be afforded a secular citizenry regardless of the personal faith of the nation’s leaders. The clarification below is not intended for the Torah observant who already know these things, but rather to those attempting to legislate morality … or render the people ruled by Caesar fit for the Kingdom of God apart from the Rule of Faith.
The Religious Right’s moral case against contraceptive use is based on one passage from Torah, Genesis 38:7-10, that has been misinterpreted or not understood completely.
In Orthodox yeshivas in Jerusalem the acts of Er and Onan, are taught as the same according to the oral tradition. (Rashi on Alshich, Niddah 13b) However, Er acted out of perversity and Onan out of hatred for his brother. Neither motive was “contraception” without other factors being present.
While the Orthodox frown on contraceptive use to prevent pregnancy, it is for much more esoteric and mystical reasons that are pure and without these other factors, plus the need to populate a nation.
But when the Torah is taught without its oral traditions that clarify what is taught — the blind leading the blind — all fall in a ditch, which is where the GOP finds itself today preaching an indefensible social agenda.
A more sane approach to the contraceptive debate is first to separate it from the abortion debate.
From the Torah, we learn in Leviticus 17:11, 14 and other Scripture that “ha-nephesh b’dam,” (the soul is in the blood). In more than 25 years of looking for another container for the soul besides blood in the human physiology, I have yet to find one. (The Quantum Kingdom: Insights into God’s Light Domain or subtitled, Why Blood?, unpublished, copyright 1986)
This means that if the blood is the container for the soul, then the soul may not be present until blood is present in the fetus. Fetal blood is not present until the 20-22nd day of pregnancy.
So there should be no moral objection to contraceptive use to avoid pregnancy; even the morning after pill especially if the logic is to avoid later abortions.
If this nation could be turned toward revival with a presidential social agenda, some of these social issues may be pertinent. But I see no King Josiah on the horizon and no move that will deter unbridled sexuality, which is itself a reason for contraceptive health care.
Further, the promise that one-third of humanity will die in the End Times events that lie dead ahead (forgive the pun), and the “full end” of America, (Jeremiah 30:11), offers no incentive to expose future generations to the fate of planet Earth. Jesus said as much when he warned that when the abomination that maketh desolate is seen spreading where it should not be, the people should flee to the mountains of Judea and “woe be those with child.”
Contraceptive use in third world countries has helped curb all manner of sexually transmitted diseases and has also helped reduce the spread of AIDS. Some women today must rely on contraceptives as a form of hormone therapy. To a very great extent, whether or not or when to use contraceptives determines a woman’s fate, her contributions to the family income and even her overall health.
All these factors considered, providing free contraceptive health care for all of the nation’s ladies is the sane and gentle-manly thing to do.
Maggid ben Yoseif