Beware laxism

by John F. Crosby

Just one thought on your excellent piece on NFP. Regarding those who think that the criteria for spacing births by means of NFP are stricter than they really are, I would not want to say that they are all tainted by a judgmental spirit and are resentful of the freedom that is proper to spouses. They may honestly have a wrong understanding of these criteria and may honestly perceive us as laxists. All we can say—and I suppose all you really wanted to say—is that the stricter view of NFP lends itself easily to a judgmental spirit. But then it has to be acknowledged that our position lends itself equally easily to laxism. You know what happened when the old Friday abstinence was replaced by the new regime of leaving it up to the conscience of each believer to do his or her own Friday sacrifice: most lost sight entirely of the duty to make some Friday sacrifice. When one stresses the legitimate place of conscience in spousal decisions about family size, the same kind of moral slide becomes a real danger.

John Crosby, FUS Professor of Philosophy