Mohler in New York Times: Evangelicals re-thinking “contraceptive mentality”

Communications Staff — May 10, 2006

The development of the birth control pill has had a deeply negative impact on human sexuality and has effectively separated sex from procreation, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said in the cover story of the current issue of the New York Times Magazine.

The lengthy article, entitled “Contra-Contraception” and authored by contributing writer Russell Shorto, examines a growing debate among evangelicals and cultural conservatives regarding the propriety of birth control and reproductive technologies. In the article, Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, calls the birth control pill one of the most profound developments in human history.

“I cannot imagine any development in human history, after the Fall, that has had a greater impact on human beings than the pill,” Mohler said. “It became almost an assured form of contraception, something humans had never encountered before in history.

“Prior to it, every time a couple had sex, there was a good chance of pregnancy. Once that is removed, the entire horizon of the sexual act changes. I think there could be no question that the pill gave incredible license to everything from adultery and affairs to premarital sex and within marriage to a separation of the sex act and procreation.”

Mohler explains the evolution of modern evangelical thought on birth control, arguing that evangelicals have become far more critical of the pill and more thoughtful regarding birth control as they have witnessed the pill’s devastating effects upon society.

The “contraceptive mentality” that has resulted from the widespread—and often unquestioned—use of the pill has raised deep concerns among younger evangelicals, he said.

“I detect a huge shift,” he said. “Students on our campus are intensely concerned. Not a week goes by that I do not get contacted by pastors about the issue. There are active debates going on. It’s one of the things that may serve to divide evangelicalism.”

To view the entire New York Times Magazine article, please see:

In the article, Shorto calls Mohler “one of the leading intellectual figures of evangelical Christianity in the U.S.” and also quotes a portion of Mohler’s December 2005 commentary on the question “Can Christians Use Birth Control?” which is available at

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