Dispatches > News

Strange bedfellows

"Strange bedfellows" Continued...

Issue: "2012 Books Issue," July 14, 2012

News reports noted that result as evidence that the debate over contraceptive use by the unmarried is over, since even evangelicals favor it. This was the second time the Campaign's grant to the NAE had paid off propagandistically. In 2010 the NAE used some of the grant to commission a Gallup poll with a key question worded to make it seem that 90 percent of evangelicals favor contraception generally-and the Campaign then trumpeted that finding.

The Campaign's "Facts About Contraception" policy brief states, "A Gallup poll of evangelicals found that 90% supported contraception." The Campaign, unsurprisingly, did not distinguish between married and unmarried use of contraception-but neither did the NAE when it used the Campaign's grant to pay for the poll.

(Another question on the poll asked about sex between an unmarried man and woman. Three-fourths of evangelicals said it was morally wrong. Also, when asked an open-ended question about "the best way to prevent unplanned pregnancies," three times as many evangelicals chose celibacy over contraceptives. Both those answers went unreported by the Campaign and the press.)

The Campaign's chief program officer, Bill Albert, expressed no dissatisfaction with what the $1 million to the NAE has produced: He said the Campaign and the NAE are now negotiating a new grant that would "continue the work started under the previous grant."

NAE President Leith Anderson acknowledged to me (worldmag.com/webextra/19631) his group's involvement with the Campaign, but placed it in a pro-life context. He cited a 2010 NAE board resolution: "The Church is understandably reluctant to recommend contraception for unmarried sexual partners, given that it cannot condone extramarital sex. However, it is even more tragic when unmarried individuals compound one sin by conceiving and then destroying the precious gift of life."

True, and the NAE seems to be overcoming its reluctance. My column "Turned" from this issue raises questions about the NAE's position.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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