Margaret Sanger, "Reply to the Views Offered by the Committee of the United Lutheran Church, Oct. 1926>," Oct 1926.
Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of CongressLibrary of Congress Microfilm, 72:727."
This response was written for the Fifth Biennial Convention of the United Lutheran Church, held in Richmond, VA between Oct 19-27, 1926. Sanger did not attend the meeting.
When one reads the twelve views to be offered by the Committee, one is at a loss to know how such inconsistent thinking can permeate so important a subject as marriage and its sanctity.
It is less than a year ago that the National Lutheran Council labeled a resolution condemning the practice of Birth Control because it was recognized by the majority of the Council that the practice of Birth Control is considered an economic rather than a moral issue. What has happened to make a change of front, Birth Control is still an economic issue. It is a health issue. It presses more and more upon the economic conscience of the community.
The United Lutheran Church surely is strong enough to stand upon its own feet and not need to echo the views of other Church bodies. I believe that the members of the Lutheran Church will oppose such inconsistency as offered by the Committee when the assertion is made that the chief aim of married life is the birth of children. This is dogma, pure and simple. With ninety-nine people out of a hundred the birth of children is the result and not the aim of marriage. That the limitation of birth by artificial means is anti-Christian is a matter of opinion. There are many good Lutherans who disagree with this point. In fact, I should like to take a poll of the number of children born to the Lutheran Committee, and I believe I would verify my belief that such a statement is hypocritical.
The attitude taken The pastors so consent to marry only the innocent party of a divorce is ludicrous. Like many other well-intentioned designs, it will drive people from the church and in many cases seek relations outside of marriage. The ban of Birth Control will be futile. It will be far better for the Committee in its aim to recognize that marriage is one of the most important problems of the home. To study these problems and to face the facts squarely that the greatest immediate problem of the home is to have unwanted children.
The Church would do a great service to bring scientific instruction to the poor, diseased, defective members in the Community, such as is already obtainable to the well-to-do and the intelligent parishioners of the Church.
Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project