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    The Tantrum: A PG-13 Commercial

    July 11, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    This commerical was drawn to my attention by my father over the weekend, hence my Tantrum Tales over the last two days. I must confess that I was grieved when I saw it. As I watched the boy, obviously older than my own son, put on such a display, I expected some sort of comic relief to follow. But the tag at the end {Use condoms.} was not at all what I would have predicted.

    I’ve already discussed my opinions on tantrums, that they are to be dealt with and gotten over {and should be in the past at the age of the child in the commercial}. I’ve already mentioned that sometimes tantrums just happen {and even Mommy feels like throwing one}.

    But now, here we are, with a tantrum being used to advertise a form of birth control. This commercial aired in Europe, but America is never far behind Europe, so I can only assume this sort of mentality is coming our way, if it hasn’t already arrived.

    The “mentality” I speak of is two-fold. First, we have the child-hating issue. The commerical implies through the explicit message at the end and also the father’s body language that the child should not exist, that perhaps, in that very moment, the father is thinking back to when he created that child and wishes he had taken the time to prevent the child’s existence.

    Let’s let that one settle into our brains for a minute.

    The father is wishing the child was not exactly dead, but at least never given life.

    It is an interesting observation to note that such a simple commercial can reveal that birth control is, in some senses, an act of passive violence. It is an act of the will that stands in opposition to life. You and I both know there are some exceptions, but let’s just think about this in terms of what is normative.

    The second aspect of this mentality is utter selfishness. I know that most of the world considers children an inconvenience, but now instead of sending them to daycare, Sunday School, and a zillion after-school activities in order to get rid of them temporarily, it is apparently superior to have enough foresight to prevent their existence in the first place.

    The Bible calls childlessness a curse on a culture.

    Ephraim’s glory shall fly away like a bird–
    no birth, no pregnancy, no conception!
    Even if they bring up children,
    I will bereave them till none is left.

    Woe to them
    when I depart from them!
    Ephraim, as I have seen, was like a young palm planted in a meadow;
    but Ephraim must lead his children out to slaughter.
    Give them, O LORD–
    what will you give?
    Give them a miscarrying womb
    and dry breasts.
    {Hosea 9:11-14}

    Apparently, Europe wishes God would curse her in this way. A mere glance at the birthrate reveals this to be true.

    I have faith that, one day, the hearts of the fathers will turn toward their children, and the hearts of the children will turn toward their fathers. In the meantime, it is my earnest prayer that my family, no matter how many children we have or how bad of a day we have experienced, is never ever a walking advertisement for birth control.

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  • Reply Crunchy_Conservative June 13, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Regarding the assessment of birth control as a “passive act of violence,” my husband pointed something interesting out. This might be accepted on a macro level, inasmuch as one generation does this to another. However, comma…

    My husband grew up in the Mormon church. They teach that spirits have a premortal existence and are waiting in heaven until they receive bodies. If you don’t give that spirit a body by getting pregnant, than that soul never gets to be born. The Bible, though, says nothing about a premortal existence. Indeed, from what I can tell, like Adam, mankind is imbued with a spirit/soul at the moment the body begins to live (conception). My husband had an astute observation – you cannot commit an act of violence against someone who does not exist. In this case, a couple’s motivation for choosing birth control is irrelevant. You cannot assault a being who does not exist. In truth, I’m not sure whether this means that I must also disagree with the statement on a generational level or not. My gut says that you are correct in this respect, but my brain has yet to provide a logical argument or disproof for my emotions.

    • Reply Brandy @ Afterthoughts June 13, 2012 at 5:25 am

      Especially when viewing this through the Mormon doctrinal lens, I’d have to agree. At the same time, I’d offer the idea that Jesus said that hatred in the heart was akin to murder. This is why contraception inevitably led to abortion, even though only a select few actually intended it that way. And now it is really hard to put all the creatures back inside Pandora’s box!

      With that said, like everything the issue really comes back to the heart. The father who wishes to eliminate his inconvenient child is altogether different from the husband who gets a vasectomy because he believes he is protecting the life of his wife.

  • Reply Brandy July 19, 2007 at 6:10 pm


    Thanks not just for your comment, but also I noticed you linked my post on your own blog. 🙂

    I keep going back and forth on whether what I said in the “passive act of violence” comment is true. I think I’ve decided that it is true on the macro level, but not necessarily on the personal level.

    What I mean is, someone can decide to use birth control or get a vasectomy for personal reasons that have nothing to do with animosity toward children. I am thinking of a woman I know whose lupus cannot handle childbearing. Or another woman I know who has gotten cancer with each pregnancy (it is a reaction to the hormones). These women long for more children, but have decided (with their husbands) that they cannot rightly deprive the existing children of a mother.

    However, comma…

    The overwhelming acceptance of birth control as a normal course of action has nothing to do with these sorts of exceptions. It has to do with what I called the passive act of violence: doing violence to the next generation by depriving them of the right to exist in the first place.

  • Reply Gombojav Tribe July 18, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Excellent thoughts! I appreciated, “Birth Control is a passive act of violence.”

    Thanks for the food for thought today!


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