Church Control or Birth Control: A Book Review
A friend of mine, Nicholas Kaminsky, just finished writing a book titled “Church Control or Birth Control: Margaret Sanger’s Propaganda Campaign Against the Catholic Church.” He analyzes the history of the birth control movement in the United States as led by Margaret Sanger. For those of you who don’t know, Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood and one of the key players in getting laws that outlawed birth control repealed across the United States. This book is an easy read at just under 100 pages with plenty of documentation, citations, and footnotes which explain in further depth the point that he is making.
Mr. Kaminsky begins by explaining the history of anti-Catholicism in America. Protestants founded the United States because they were unhappy with England’s staunch Anglican stance. Thus, they fled across the sea and founded America. When Catholics began emigrating to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Protestant majority made sure to keep the Catholic minority at bay by refusing them education and giving them low paying and sub-par jobs.
While the majority of the country and most Protestant churches were against birth control, Margaret Sanger launched a full-fledged assault on the Catholic Church and led the American people to believe that the Catholic Church was behind the ban. She argued that as Americans, it was our right and part of our freedoms to be able to use birth control. While the Catholic Church was the biggest voice in opposition to birth control, she used every blockade the Church made as examples of how the Catholic Church was limiting the freedoms of the American people.
I won’t go into further detail as Mr. Kaminsky does a very good job detailing these events by citing Margaret Sanger herself. You should consider adding this book to your shelf.
It is intriguing to see how Margaret Sanger used the argument that Americans are American first before their religion. To further illustrate this argument, she argued that freedoms come first. I found this rhetoric to come at an interesting point in history, as many American Catholics who are considered otherwise faithful are so quick to argue that the American freedoms and liberties trump the laws of God and the Catholic Church. The evil tactics that Margaret Sanger employed are now tactfully used by the members of the Church to push for “religious liberty”, allowing the divorced and remarried to receive the Holy Eucharist, and other issues that do not coincide with Catholic theology or doctrine.
If you are looking for a book which details Margaret Sanger’s racism, her work with Planned Parenthood, or abortion, in general, this book does not touch on these topics at all. This book details how Margaret Sanger used the Anti-Catholic rhetoric of the time in which she lived to pit birth control in a power struggle with the Catholic Church. This book is a great read, and I highly recommend it. If you’d like to pick up a copy, you can on Amazon. This book would make a great gift or read for anyone wanting to learn more about how America quickly changed its mind on birth control.