Every now and then, folks on the left who regard Mahatma Gandhi as a hero and a kind of saint, stumble on to his writings about sexual morality and marriage. They are stunned to discover that their hero was a ferocious critic of the relaxation of traditional norms of sexual ethics, even going as far as to condemn the use and promotion of contraception. He vehemently opposed the efforts of early leaders of the birth control movement, such as Margaret Sanger. A recent example is from Salon earlier this year:
Marriage loses its sanctity when its purpose and highest use is conceived to be the satisfaction of the animal passion without contemplating the natural result of such satisfaction. I have no doubt that those learned men and women who are carrying on propaganda with missionary zeal in favor of their use of contraceptives are doing irreparable harm to the youth of the world under the false belief that they will be thereby the poor women who may be obliged to bear children against their will. Those who need not limit their children will not be easily reached by them.