On your site, you identify yourselves as “a group of college kids.” Do you all go to (or used to go to) the same school? How did you meet?
We didn’t all meet at one school. We’ve got folks from all over the country, from Texas A&M, University of Dallas, Franciscan University, CUA, some alumni from UVA, with more people volunteering their efforts every day. We’ve also got a lot of medical professionals — OB/GYNs and the like — fact-checking for us, so it’s not just a college party at this point.
1) Are all of the medical professionals you consult with licensed to practice medicine? What kind of practitioners, other than OB/GYNs, do you work with?
Not all. Aside from OB/GYNs and family practice physicians, we also take a lot of guidance from medical students (some of whom write for 1Flesh), nurse practitioners (especially those who teach the Creighton Method), and folks operating within the world of social science — sociologists and researchers.Where are you based?
Since we’re entirely an online community, at this point we’re not based anywhere. We are in the process of establishing ourselves as a non-profit, however, which is based out of Charlottesville, VA.
What prompted you to start this campaign?
A lot of things. Primarily, however, we’re not satisfied with the way our culture treats human beings. Women are terribly demeaned, men are thought of as uncontrollable animals, lasting relationships and lasting marriages are few and far between, we mistreat our bodies, and life is often thought of as a commodity. No one’s claiming any sort of direct causation here, but the widespread use of artificial contraception hasn’t been helping us. It works against our natures — by working against the nature of our actions — and creates all sorts of physical, medical, and sociological problems.
It seems your campaign is targeted to young people. Do you agree with that?
We are young people. Our average age hovers around 20. So the graphics and videos we make, the writing styles we use, these things are entirely natural to us. To your own self be true, that’s the only target we’re aiming for.
How would you describe your experience of these first months of this campaign?
Lots of fun.
Do you find the attention you’re getting to be mostly positive or mostly negative?
What do you think is the biggest misconception about your campaign?
That we secretly want teenagers to die from STDs.
You ask your supporters for contributions to be able to fund your efforts going forward. How did you get your original start-up money?
Just playing, our start-up money came out of our own pockets, from various dishwashing and on-campus jobs. We also got an 1000 dollar loan from parents. The sweet thing about our start-up was that when people heard what we were doing and were convinced with our message, they gave us incredibly generous discounts on their service, (medical advice, web design, legal work, writing skills, etc.)
Several things about your campaign imply a religious background. Would you agree with that? If so, how do you identify your beliefs?
1Flesh is an entirely secular organization. The closest thing we get to a religious argument is our argument regarding the philosophy of contraception. Our beliefs are many and varied. Obviously we’ve got a lot of Catholic kids, as the Catholic Church has never been down with contraception, but we make it clear to everyone working for us that we have a strictly secular policy. The risk of breast cancer associated with the Pill doesn’t just hurt religious people, so why limit our audience?
You say there is not a religious basis to your work, yet your “philosophy of contraception” is based in Christianity. If this is the main basis of your practice, how is there not an inherent religious basis to your message?
Our “philosophy of contraception” has no basis in Christianity. It certainly has a basis in Western philosophy, which we would concede as a bias. It takes Aristotle’s principle that all things have a telos, or an ultimate end, and applies it to the action of sex. If we are most fulfilled when our actions achieve their end, it follows that in order for sex to be fulfilling to the human person, it’s end must be discerned and sought after. This has no more basis in Christianity than the following: The end of eating is twofold, pleasure and nourishment. To seek the pleasure of eating without the nourishment (as in the case of a bulimic), does harm to the organism. We’d encourage everyone to read our basic philosophical argument.
In researching the term “one flesh,” I found several references to marriage (two people becoming one couple) and divorce (not separating who God has sealed together). I didn’t come across anything that talked about “one flesh” as a directive on how to have sex. Is this your own interpretation?
We’re not interpreting the Bible, we just like the buzzword and have thus stolen it.
Many people take the Bible’s teachings and apply them to their modern lives. Can you address the fact that modern contraception was not available in Biblical times and therefore could not have been commented on?
Again, we’re not too concerned with biblical arguments for or against contraception. We know they exist, but they aren’t what 1Flesh is about.
Part two tomorrow, party people.