Conservative Colloquium

An Intellectual Forum for All Things Conservative

Rush Limbaugh, Divorce, and Contraception

Posted by Tony Listi on April 20, 2008

I’ve always been a fan of Rush, but nobody’s perfect. For quite awhile, I’ve vaguely sensed that he seemed to lean more towards the libertarian side of conservatism than the traditional, Christian side.

By Matt C. Abbott (06/21/04)

I couldn’t help but (figuratively) shake my head when I heard the news. Rush Limbaugh, famed conservative radio talk show host who has millions of listeners and millions of dollars, is getting another divorce. Number three, to be exact. Aye.

I’ve been listening to Rush for several years now, and while I don’t agree with him on every issue, I do agree with him on many issues. He’s pro-life, albeit not overly outspoken about it. He doesn’t subscribe to the homosexual agenda. And he seems to recognize the libertine nature of the mass media.

Not too bad for a soon-to-be thrice-divorced rugged individualist, no?

Yet, the fact that Rush can’t seem to get his marital life in order is quite troublesome, especially considering the multitude of liberals who now are accusing him of hypocrisy because he has defended the institution of marriage against the onslaught of homosexual activism. Not that these pro-homosexual marriage liberals have a leg to stand on, but still…

I obviously don’t know what caused the break-up of Rush’s marriage(s), but I do think there is an oft-overlooked, indirect factor in many broken marriages: the use of contraception.

So does Dr. Janet E. Smith, Chair of Life Issues at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. In a popular and published lecture titled Contraception: Why Not?, Dr. Smith discusses why the divorce rate doubled between 1965, when 25 percent of marriages ended in divorce, and 1975, when 50 percent of marriages ended in divorce (same as today).

Dr. Smith cites the research of social scientist Robert Michael, who concluded
“that as the contraceptive pill became more and more available, divorce became more and more popular.” In fact, Michael attributed “45 percent of this increase [in divorce] to increased use of contraceptives.” Why is this so?

There are three reasons, according to Michael. First, his statistical data showed “that those who use contraceptives have fewer children and have them later in marriage…those who have the first baby in the first two years of marriage and another baby in the next couple years of marriage, have a much longer lasting marriage than those who don’t.” (Rush has no children.)

Dr. Smith observes that married couples who have children “become better people…almost instantaneously.”

Secondly, Michael found that “since contraceptives have arrived on the scene, there is much more adultery than there was before.” Observes Dr. Smith: “People have been tempted, for the history of mankind. It’s easy enough to think about wanting to have an affair but wanting a child out of wedlock is another story. But if most every woman is contracepting, then most every woman is available in a certain sense and there is no real reason to say no. Adultery is absolutely devastating to marriages.”

The third explanation, says Dr. Smith, is “that women are financially more independent. They do have fewer children. They do go into the work place. And, again, when they have difficulties in the marriage, it’s much [easier] to say, ‘Take a walk,’ than it is to work it out because they need their husband for one fewer reasons than they did before.”

Dr. Smith also says that widespread pre-marital sex and cohabitation has contributed to the increase in divorce. Obviously, those who fornicate often use some type of contraception, and, if that fails, they can always have the unborn child killed through abortion.

“So contraception hasn’t made for better marriages,” concludes Dr. Smith.

Indeed. Now consider that the divorce/separation rate for married couples who use Natural Family Planning – that is, periodic abstinence from sexual intercourse – is less than one in eight, according to Brian Clowes, Ph.D. of Human Life International (

Sadly, many married couples are either ignorant of Natural Family Planning methods or have been duped into using contraception by the abortion industry, the pop-culture, and not a few “mainstream” doctors.

It boggles my mind, too, that so many health-conscious people will buy all kinds of “natural” products so that they don’t have to put “chemicals” into their bodies, but seem to have no qualms about using artificial and even poisonous means of contraception. Not to mention that most so-called contraceptives are actually abortifacients, that is, they can and do cause an early abortion by preventing implantation of the living human embryo into the uterine lining.

Look, I do realize there are several factors that can contribute to a divorce. But I would submit that if married couples would use Natural Family Planning instead of contraception, far fewer of them would end up in divorce court.

Perhaps even Rush would still be married.

(For more information about Natural Family Planning, see and

4 Responses to “Rush Limbaugh, Divorce, and Contraception”

  1. Anon said

    Do you believe that there are *any* good reasons for a woman to get divorced? Don’t you believe that a marriage without love, where the woman is only forced to continue because of economic necessity, may not be a good thing? Do you think it’s good for a child to be born into a state where his parents do not love each other, and are only married to look after him? This seems to me a much greater moral hazard than his parents getting divorced before having him, and going on to meet better partners.

  2. foospro86 said

    Family situation is probably the best predictor of women’s and children’s well-being.

    I believe there are good reasons for a woman to separate herself from her husband. If the husband is abusing her, then she should separate herself from him. But separation is not the same as divorce. One can only get married once, unless one’s spouse dies: “till death do us part.”

    To the Christian, marriage is not merely a relationship of convenience (pleasure, wealth, status, etc.) or social transaction. It is a sacrament, something made holy by God: “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
    And though this sort of conception of marriage requires faith ultimately, I think one can rationally see and measure its benefits for society when this ideal is achieved.

    Love, and especially marital love, requires commitment and sacrifice. The modern world seems to have forgotten what love really means.

  3. Craig Dennis said


    It is clear that your desire to protect women is the hinge point of your concern, and this is honorable and good. However, in the end, divorce is a rending of hearts, finances, homes, and lives, that stretches far beyond simply the married couple. As post 2 said, the Church allows separation, with the hope of re-unification. Annulments are declarations that the marriage never existed (usually if the vows were invalid for one reason or another). Much immediately dissolved marriage would fall in this category, and the scandal associated would be mitigated by not allowing people to marry at will, without the guidane of the Church.

    Divorce is always and everywhere a violation of God’s will.

  4. Sam Dobermann said

    There is a problem with this:

    Dr. Smith cites the research of social scientist Robert Michael, who concluded
    “that as the contraceptive pill became more and more available, divorce became more and more popular.” In fact, Michael attributed “45 percent of this increase [in divorce] to increased use of contraceptives.” Why is this so?

    The huge increase on the rate of divorce in the early 1970s was almost entirely due to divorces among people 50 years old and over. Therefore the use of contraceptives didn’t have much to do with it. By that time no one was planning to have or not have more children. Nor did most divorces occur in people without children; all types and sizes of families were affected.

    I was studying child development and marriage and family life at that time. In fact after finishing my MS I taught some classes. We were all stunned by the number of families with lots of children that were breaking up. Later studies found that children did ok but sometimes they did better. Not all marriages are good marriages. Without divorce you have a lot more murders. When women are killed it is most often by a husband, ex-husband, soon to be ex or other close male relationship.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: