Onan’s Onus by David Mills

Onan’s Onus

A sidebar in W. Bradford Wilcox’s “The Facts of Life & Marriage”

by David Mills

Though opposition to contraception is now widely thought to be a “Catholic thing,” the great Reformers rejected it as strongly as any modern Catholic. For earlier Christians, children were such a great gift from God and sterility such a curse that the evil of willed sterility was self-evident. As Martin Luther wrote in his Lectures on Genesis, in Genesis “fertility was regarded as an extraordinary blessing and a special gift of God,” but

we do not regard this so highly today. Although we like and desire it in cattl . . .