That is a point often missed by evangelical Christians even today. The idea that sex would be severed from childbearing is a very modern concept — and a concept made meaningful only by the development of the Pill and its successor birth control technologies. The severing of this relationship represents a quantum change in human life and relationships, not to mention morality.
Nancy Gibbs is fair and accurate in her use of my words and arguments. I do indeed believe that the development of the Pill “has done more to reorder human life than any event since Adam and Eve ate the apple.” Why? Because sex, sexuality, and reproduction are so central to human life, to marriage, and to the future of humanity.
The Pill turned pregnancy — and thus children — into elective choices, rather than natural gifts of the marital union. But then again, the marital union was itself weakened by the Pill, because the avoidance of pregnancy facilitated adultery and other forms of non-marital sex. In some hands, the Pill became a human pesticide.
Christians must not join the contraceptive revolution as mere consumers of the Pill or other birth control methodologies. Finally, many evangelicals are joining the discussion about birth control and its meaning. Evangelicals arrived late to the issue of abortion, and we have arrived late to the issue of birth control, but we are here now.
We’ll see if Evangelicals “are here now.” I think that much of the church supports the idea that God gave human the job of controlling reproduction. I will be interested to see if anything changes now that “TIME magazine’s current cover story puts the issue of the Pill and birth control front and center in our cultural conversation.” I’m not holding my breath.