Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Little History, Please

I am a big fan of history. To be honest, in school through the 12th grade I found it to be one of the most, if not the most, boring subject around. In college I suddenly found myself interested, once I realized I was learning about real people like you and me. I still find it fascinating that widely held beliefs in one era can be the exact opposite of those held in a different era. I try to keep an open mind when considering beliefs of another period. It is easy to mock them, and think of ourselves as infinitely more intelligent and advanced than people in other times. In some cases, we do have advanced knowledge. In other areas, we are lacking and would do well to consider some older habits and beliefs. One subject that interests me is birth control. I find it incredible that the Christian church, across denominations, condemned it until less than 100 years ago. I used to think it was just the influence of newer technologies. However, there is more to it. How did our society change as much as it has? How did Planned Parenthood get started, and how did Margaret Sanger influence the church and in turn, society? Here is a gem of an Issues, Etc. radio program, called "Evangelicals and Birth Control". The guest is Dr. Allan Carlson. There is also a print article on the page I linked, if you would rather read about it than listen to it. Even though the title speaks of evangelicals, the program would be informative for anyone interested in American or church history. I think it is a wise practice to understand how and why a society changes. Sometimes we take our own beliefs for granted, and don't really examine why we believe as we do. Stan always says, "Know what you believe and why you believe it." That is good advice.

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