Until I had four children, I felt that the church’s stand on contraception was reasonable. I now feel that it is punitive, and an over-simplification of natural law. There is nothing in the Bible concerning it, so the church has to justify its teaching by relying on the natural law. Let us examine how we frustrate natural law every day in thousands of ways: we cut our hair and nails, cut down trees to make way for homes and make paper so that we have something to read, dam rivers to prevent floods, put roofs over our heads to keep from dying of exposure, etc. etc etc. In addition, since the sexual drive is strongest in the gender that does not have to bear the resulting children, women are often subjected to intercourse in spite of their fear of yet another pregnancy. This leads to an atmosphere of fear, recrimination and resentment in many marriages, on the part of both husbands and wives. Why is it so hard for the clergy, especially those in the Vatican, to understand the enormous pressure that they are placing on these marriages? It is because they don’t listen to married people, and also because too many married people are too timid or embarrassed to talk about these issues to the clerics in a realistic manner. Please, please, please open your ears and your hearts to these people in the pews, as their numbers are shrinking daily due to your intransigent attitudes. Do we really need to mention the burgeoning population? This problem along with climate change is, sooner or later, going to make our planet uninhabitable. Wake up and smell the coffee, reverend gentlemen!