Not So Random Thought: Contraception

Contraception has been in the news a lot recently and I’ve been questioned concerning the United Methodist Church’s stance. It would take days to track down every reference in The Book of Discipline and The Book of Resolutions, but here are the two that I believe to be the most relevant:

From The Book of Discipline:

Since the growing worldwide population is increasingly straining the world’s supply of food, minerals, and water and sharpening international tensions, the reduction of the rate of consumption of resources by the affluent and the reduction of current world population growth rates have become imperative. People have the duty to consider the impact on the total world community of their decisions regarding childbearing and should have access to information and appropriate means to limit their fertility, including voluntary sterilization [e.g. a vasectomy].

From The Book of Resolutions:

Each couple has the right and the duty prayerfully and responsibly to control conception according to their circumstances. They are, in our view, free to use those means of birth control considered medically safe. As developing technologies have moved conception and reproduction more and more out of the category of a chance happening and more closely to the realm of responsible choice, the decision whether or not to give birth to children must include acceptance of the responsibility to provide for their mental, physical, and spiritual growth, as well as consideration of the possible effect on quality of life for family and society.

To the best of my knowledge, the Church doesn’t have an official position on the current controversy regarding whether or not religiously affiliated organizations should be compelled to include contraception in the coverage provided by their health insurance plans. I’m not even completely sure about my own feelings on the issue.