Cynthia L. — a.k.a. Sister Blah 2, will be guest posting with us for the next little while.
June 7 marks the 43rd anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the SCOTUS decision holding that contraceptive use by married couples is protected by a constitutional right to privacy. So, is anyone planning on holding a big party today to celebrate? My guess (feel free to correct me) is that the answer is no.
One might be tempted to attribute this to the fact that celebrating any SCOTUS decision would be, well, hopelessly nerdy. But witness the public and even ritualistic celebration of 2nd Ammendment rights among the US Mormon populace–bumper stickers galore, just to name one manifestation. Will we ever see members of the church raising their condoms or birth control pills to the sky and proclaiming, “from my cold, dead hands!!” a la Charlton Heston?
Certainly part of the difference comes from the larger merger of LDS culture with the conservative movement, thus LDS are merely plugging into an existing vibrant cultural infrastructure for celebrating gun rights–and not celebrating contraceptive rights. But suppose LDS were to hypothetically divorce ourselves from the larger conservative movement for a moment–would it then make sense for us to celebrate Griswold?
Griswold says that choices about what goes on in the marital bedroom, when and how many children to bear, are private ones. This is virtually identical to the church’s official position. So, bring out the balloons and streamers? My read of our church culture is that although the policies match up almost exactly, many would say that celebration isn’t quite exactly the right stance. Why? Are we to merely accept that Griswold is the law of the land, but view it as unfortunate in some way? In some “ideal” parallel universe, would LDS be fighting to overturn it? What are the parameters of that parallel universe? I feel like we are in a kind of funk, where just about everyone uses contraception at some point or another, yet we feel that we should be wringing our hands and fretting and feeling at least vaguely guilty about it. Is that doctrinal?