Here is your starter question for 10 points. In 1972, which court convicted a man for handing out a contraceptive device to students at a lecture about contraception? Answer: the Massachusetts Superior Court, later confirmed by the State Supreme Judicial Court.
How is this possible? Isn't Massachusetts the most liberal state in America and hadn't the US Supreme Court quashed Connecticut's ban on contraception five years earlier? Maybe some kind of residual Catholic influence was at work, what with all those Irish Catholics in Boston. Yes, that's right, it was those horrible Catholics again.
For 20 points, who described contraception as "an unforgiveable crime"? Answer: John Calvin.
Martin Luther condemned the use of contraception as worse than incest or adultery.
How is that possible? Haven't Protestants always approved of contraception?
It seems not, but we can still rest easy because Calvin and Luther lived hundreds of years ago.
But wait, just 100 years ago the Lambeth Conference of Anglican leaders described contraception as "demoralising to character and hostile to national welfare".
So even in recent times, Protestants have opposed contraception.
Very well then, what about those nice Hindus the Beatles used to visit?
Sorry to disappoint, but here are the sorts of things they were saying back in the 1920 and 30s: Contraception is "detrimental to the spiritual progress of the human family"; it is "an insult to womanhood"; "any large use of the methods is likely to result in the dissolution of the marriage bond and in free love... birth control to me is a dismal abyss."
And it wasn't just any old Hindu who said these things. Oh no, it was the most admired Indian of our times, the Nelson Mandela of his day. Yes, that's right, none other than Mahatma Gandhi himself.
The horror, the horror. Et tu Gandhi?
Now, why in the world am I bringing up all this old stuff? The answer is that this very day is the exact 40th anniversary of the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, the papal encyclical that reiterated the Church's age-old ban on artificial contraception. This is the encyclical which supposedly saw the Catholic Church definitively take its leave from the modern world and which caused ordinary Catholics to lose faith in its teaching authority.
It's as well to remind ourselves, therefore, that opposition to artificial contraception wasn't peculiarly Catholic, or Christian, or necessarily even religious and that arguments against it could be made without any reference at all to God.
The Massachusetts case quoted above is a good example. By 1972, the State of Massachusetts was no longer in the grip of the Catholic Church. But of course, it never was. This is the home of Harvard University and the ultra-liberal Unitarians, for crying out loud. The reason it convicted the man in that case is because it believed that making contraception widely available was harmful to the greater good.
The reason it was still possible for the Superior Court of Massachusetts to do this, even after the US Supreme Court had quashed Connecticut's blanket ban on contraceptives, is because that decision did not outlaw placing some restrictions on their availability.
In fact, as late as the 1960s, two-thirds of American states still placed restrictions on the sale of contraceptives and those laws were only dropped as a result of rapidly changing sexual norms.
Was Gandhi wrong about what the consequences of widely available contraception would be? Was Pope Paul VI?
Judge for yourself.
Both men predicted that there would be a huge increase in marital infidelity, and there was. Of course there was.
Forgetting for a moment the Catholic Church's blanket opposition to contraceptives, the fear of people like Gandhi, and many Protestants, was that making them freely available to unmarried people would lead to a huge increase in sex outside marriage and, therefore, to marital infidelity.
Both men also predicted it would lead to a lessening of respect for women by men. Certainly, trust between the sexes has been hugely eroded and, if surveys and endless anecdotal evidence are to be believed, women in particular complain that many men are only interested in them for sex.
One thing is certain, however: freely available contraception means it is much easier to have sex with someone you don't know and who doesn't care for you, meaning the exposure to emotional exploitation is huge.
As for the notion that in an age of widely available contraception every child would be a 'wanted child', we now know that this is a lot of baloney.
Once you separate sex from love, marriage, commitment and children, when a pregnancy does result, it will be seen as a huge inconvenience, hence the massive rise in abortion and the huge numbers of fathers who want little or nothing to do with their children.
So condemn Humanae Vitae if you will.
Laugh at it if you will.
But read it, and then look at the evidence around you and admit that at the very least it was not entirely wrong.
And if you won't believe Pope Paul, then believe Mahatma Gandhi instead.