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Janet E. Smith-Sexual Common Sense


dairyfreelife

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I discovered this woman, a professor in Seminary of Moral Ethics. She's written some books and apparently her best selling one was Contraception: Why not. I found her randomly on one of the links of the Barefoot and Pregnant blog. She has two doctorates, but I'm not sure in what and does not mention a spouse or children, yet she talks a lot about sexual health. It's...interesting.

janetesmith.org

I would love the same people against contraception to discuss male enhancement pills as well and why the Catholic church is against paying for insurance that would cover the pill, but not against paying for insurance to cover ED pills. ED pills are nothing more than sexual pills v birth control that does far more than preventing pregnancy. I believe they have been trying to make a birth control pill for men too. If they end up making one, would the same people complain if it was asked to be covered by insurance?

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She's a Catholic theologian.

Re the doctorates: Her website says:

"She is serving a third term as a consultor to the Pontifical Council on the Family. She received an honorary doctorate in Christian Ethics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, an honorary doctorate from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and the Veritas Award from the St. Thomas Aquinas Institute at Ave Maria University."

An honorary degree from a Catholic seminary does not make you an expert on contraception. It just confirms that you have mastered the ability to parrot the official teachings of the Catholic Church on the subject.

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http://www.janetesmith.com/contraception-to-treat-hormonal-issues-is-bad-medicine/

Argh. Look, ok, just because something can be used for MORE THAN ONE THING does not mean that women are getting a 'raw deal'. FFS. We use aspirin for pain relief and as an antiplatelet drug. Diuretics for high blood pressure and heart failure. Lots of therapies for immunological diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are also used to treat cancer. Are the people with rheumatoid getting a 'raw deal'? What about people who are prescribed antidepressants because it actually helps their chronic pain? Are they getting a raw deal? I am sure someone somewhere is doing research on PCOS and trying to find better treatments for it.

I also don't understand why the Doctrine of Double Effect does not apply here - if you are taking contraceptive medication to treat your medical condition, then why does that make it wrong?

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Just skimmed this article: janetesmith.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/WhyNaturalSexIsBest.pdf

She seems to argue that only procreative sex is "godly" sex, contraception leads to "unnatural" sexual practices, especially homosexuality. "Sexuality has a purpose designed by God, and [...] we must live in accord with that purpose" and "God's Grace is available to assist us in being healed of such a condition, or of learning to live morally with such a condition by avoiding sinful behaviour". In other words: take contraceptives and you're causing teh gay.

:shock:

WTF?!? I'm not even going to...I can't...excuse me, while I go to quietly weep for her students, and the whole of humankind somewhere. :cry:

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She's a Catholic theologian.

Re the doctorates: Her website says:

"She is serving a third term as a consultor to the Pontifical Council on the Family. She received an honorary doctorate in Christian Ethics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, an honorary doctorate from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and the Veritas Award from the St. Thomas Aquinas Institute at Ave Maria University."

An honorary degree from a Catholic seminary does not make you an expert on contraception. It just confirms that you have mastered the ability to parrot the official teachings of the Catholic Church on the subject.

:oops: I misread that as her working there. My bad. Honorary degrees aren't real degrees to my knowledge, just given. Maybe I'm confused though.

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:oops: I misread that as her working there. My bad. Honorary degrees aren't real degrees to my knowledge, just given. Maybe I'm confused though.

You're right - honorary degrees have nothing to do with knowledge, and are just a way for an institution to say "we like what you do".

Pretty much every argument she has is flawed.

1. There is far more to contraception than just the Pill. Condoms, spermacides and diapragms, however, are largely ignored since they aren't scary enough.

2. I don't see how the existence of fertile myrtles means that nobody should use contraceptives. It's like saying that the existence of house fires means that no one should have smoke detectors. There's also no discussion of using backup methods or permanent sterilization.

3. Feminists do, actually, advocate for women's health. Most support health care reform so that a woman earning minimum wage isn't forced to go broke as she seeks specialist care.

4. Every doctor I know who prescribes the Pill reviews the risks and benefits. Blood clots and breast cancer are specifically mentioned.

5. The package insert with every package of the Pill talks in depth about the risks and benefits. Yes, benefits. Not ovulating reduces the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers.

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Honorary degrees are usually given in recognition of exceptional achievement/career success/academic success/standing in some field. So yeah, not real degrees in the sense that you didn't actually do the PhD... but they are a significant honor and usually given to people with a lot of knowledge, not just joes off the street. Just writing that to clarify, don't take that to mean I admire this person or the particular institution that awarded her the degree :evil: Obviously political in many cases...

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Just skimmed this article: janetesmith.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/WhyNaturalSexIsBest.pdf

She seems to argue that only procreative sex is "godly" sex, contraception leads to "unnatural" sexual practices, especially homosexuality. :

????

She does realize gay couples have no need for contraceptives, doesn't she?

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????

She does realize gay couples have no need for contraceptives, doesn't she?

I would think they would still use condoms to protect from STDs, but preventing pregnancy wouldn't be a concern in gay or lesbian couples. Contraceptives are wide and varied. I think she's going for NFP, which statistically has the highest failure rate according to Planned Parenthood, but of course, I have a feeling these types of people would claim that PP is lying about its success and the pill and male condom being the most successful at preventing pregnancy and STDs together (pill can't protect from STIs, but condoms can).

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Honorary degrees are usually given in recognition of exceptional achievement/career success/academic success/standing in some field. So yeah, not real degrees in the sense that you didn't actually do the PhD... but they are a significant honor and usually given to people with a lot of knowledge, not just joes off the street.

Mm honorary degrees are usually given to people who have contributed to society in some important way. There's a man, with a honorary degree in social work, who I admire - mostly for his work. His work is about empowering the most vulnerable in our society.

Alec started this enterprise called Basta Arbetskooperativ, which helps the most vulnerable members of society to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Basta is a 100-strong workers’ cooperative in Nyqvarn, whose members have overcome their addiction and now run a self-supporting business. After ten years, Basta has not only proved the original model, but has transferred it to a second location near Sweden’s second city, Göteborg. It has also developed new training models that have been taken up nationally and internationally.

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????

She does realize gay couples have no need for contraceptives, doesn't she?

And there's no procreation possible, which us "moderns" - her words, not mine- are fine with. She seems to think that the use of contraceptives devalued sex, - because you don't procreate, hence don't do god's bidding- and made "deviant" sex acceptable, so people engaged in all sorts of sexual behaviours, leading to homosexuality. Hence, contraceptives cause homosexuality, which is sinful.

The mind boggles.

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I wonder why the Catholic Church doesn't come out against tighty whities, laptops, and hot tubs for men since they also limit fertility?

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Ugh. Why is it wrong for me to enjoy sex with my husband and not want umpteen babies? I have neither the patience nor the financial ability to care for more than two children. I also love my husband and want to be intimate with him. In my opinion, contraceptives have made people better parents because they're more likely to have children they want rather than be forced to have children they don't want. I would think that would make God happy.

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Ugh. Why is it wrong for me to enjoy sex with my husband and not want umpteen babies? I have neither the patience nor the financial ability to care for more than two children. I also love my husband and want to be intimate with him. In my opinion, contraceptives have made people better parents because they're more likely to have children they want rather than be forced to have children they don't want. I would think that would make God happy.

Because you shouldn't BE enjoying sex! Lay back, think of England and remember that sex is only for procreation! Get thee to the prayer closet at once you harlot!

/humour

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Ugh. Why is it wrong for me to enjoy sex with my husband and not want umpteen babies? I have neither the patience nor the financial ability to care for more than two children. I also love my husband and want to be intimate with him. In my opinion, contraceptives have made people better parents because they're more likely to have children they want rather than be forced to have children they don't want. I would think that would make God happy.

Fully agree with you. You'd think that a kind and loving deity, would be happy to see children wanted, rather than becoming a burden, because there's no contraception and too many hungry mouths to feed! But some of the "gems" I heard in my Catholic upbringing concerning women, was that painful, horrible, gory childbirth was women's punishment for Eve causing the fall from grace. Because, apparently, it makes total sense to punish all women! One of the things I absolutely detest about this reasoning is that it's not in the remotest concerned with what happens to the children. No, it's all about labour being painful and horrible, because women are wicked and need to be punished. Another logic-fail from a male-led, celibate organization, who seem obsessed with sex?

And Janet E. Smith plays right into it all, because, you know, sex is all about the consequences - have sex, suffer the consequences. Taking those consequences away makes sex too worldly. ZOMG, we might enjoy it too much, and it might actually be about people, and not about some greater divine purpose! And that totally means that St Augustine is rolling about in his grave, rattling bones and all, trying to clutch his pearl necklace between his skeletal fingers. (Actually, I don't remember if it was St Augustine she kept quoting, I just dislike him immensely.)

Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant. Wonder if it shows that I left the RCC in a huff. :oops:

ETA: What Sola said.

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Yes, Janet E. Smith, contraception DOES sometimes fail. So, IMHO, it would make more sense to take strides to improve it than to reject it altogether.

But then, I just sit here being bitter that the available forms of temporary contraception essentially haven't changed in over forty years: hormones that can mess some people up, barrier methods made of substances inimical to some users, and IUDs that work by irritating the uterus.

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