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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Reading and Contraceptives -Part 1

           When I was in school, I was hardly much of a reader.  I was that kid who would skim (I was too lazy to even read) Spark Notes for the test or quickly review the chapters that counted.  I remember in elementary school, to get the free Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut, I had to log 40 minutes of reading every day.  I counted the 15 minutes of reading the comics while I sat on the toilet in our downstairs bathroom.
            With that said, I don’t know what’s gotten into me this year.  I’m reading one, two, three, sometimes four books at a time.  This is mostly because I probably have a little ADD and choose what I read on how I’m feeling at the moment.  Probably my favorite thing I bought earlier this year is my book stand that I found in a garage sale.  This baby holds my books up for me.  This may seem like another point of laziness, but it’s actually great for meal times.  Since I was a kid, I always had to read something at the breakfast table, and it started with the back of cereal boxes.  But after solving the puzzles of Toucan Sam for the twentieth time, I would get bored, so it moved on to the morning comics.  Then soon it was the sports page. 
            Now today, because a lot of what I do is online, there’s only so much time I can stare at a screen before I get an eye/head ache.  Why would I want to look at another screen like the TV or Facebook during my lunch break when I’m constantly online during the day?  I need the break and I love how I have my bookstand to hold my books and just be still for a moment with words on real paper.

My dear book stand

            Now I’m a slow reader, so I remember after several weeks (maybe months) of reading both Point Man: How a Man Can Lead His Family by Steve Farrar and Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus by Sherry Weddell (both great reads by the way), I finished them at the same time, and I didn’t know what to do.  So I picked up another book and another and another.  I picked up Matthew Kelly’s The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic which has great insight but there’s only so much Catholicism I can take at one time. So I picked up Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell which is fascinating, but I also need some humor candy so I re-picked up On Writing by Stephen King, which is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read back in high school.  Finally, last night, still unsettled, I picked up Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn (all of these books just happen to be on my bookshelf by the way, people just give me books to read) and before I knew it, I read thirty pages in one sitting, which was a record for me.
            Rome Sweet Home, which reads very fast, is about Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s, both previously devout Protestants, and how they converted to Catholicism by finding out about its truth in scripture.  The part I read last night that caught my attention was Kimberly’s decision to find out about the truth about contraception. 

She writes, “Being a Protestant, I did not know any friends who did not practice birth control.  I’d been counseled to practice birth control as reasonable, responsible Christian behavior.  In premarital counseling, we had been asked what kind of birth control we were going to use, not whether or not we were going to use it.”
I was shocked.  Actually, for someone who claims to know his faith, I’m ashamed to find out that I didn’t know teachings on contraception were solely a Catholic thing.

Encouraged by his wife, Scott began to read up on it, too.  With lament he writes: “I grew disturbed.  The Roman Catholic Church stood alone as the only “denomination” in all the world with the courage and integrity to teach this most unpopular truth.” 
            Now I know here on Catholic Fried Rice I write a lot about manhood, pornography, but I have yet to even scratch a topic I am also very passionate about: contraception and contraceptive mentality.  This is where I have to put my tact-goggles on because, if I’m quite honest, I have been afraid to write about it knowing that many people, even Catholics, even family, would disagree with me.  I’ve been afraid to disrespect anyone’s opinions. People argue that women should be able to decide what to do with their bodies and who are old, non-married men in Rome to tell us what or what not to do in our bedrooms.  Well, I will tell you that I am a man who used to use contraceptives all the time back in high school.  I’m now married and experiencing the real thing without them, and I have A LOT to say about the subject.

And that’s where I’ll cliff hang into tomorrow.  My editor (i.e. the lovely Mimi Aujero)  and I would like to take some more time on this next section that partly pertains to us and our decision to be a contraceptive-free home.  Stay-tuned for part-two tomorrow!


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