Better Conversations


Open books

Powered by TypePad

« Aspen and lavender | Main | Jaki and the wilderness »


"I suggested in the comment box that one of the reasons why we have sexual offenders is because of the heightened prevalence of pornography and lust-arousing stimuli in the media "cloud" of consciousness."
You need go no further than your local mall where you can witness the daily, much better on weekends, teenage cleavage parade. It's like a contest under the heading of bigger is better, with even the prepubescent allowed to enter. And, oh yes, the parade begins only after homage is paid with a brief visit to Victoria's Secrets, with Mom leading the parade and Dad parked on the nearest bench scanning the contestants.

Tropar of the age, among other pop tunes and appropriately done by The Doors:

Thomas, check out my next post on Stanley Jaki for more about leaving those fortified hills.

S-P, you should be happy to know that +Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky (of blessed memory) is in agreement with you:

"... did you not seek out those books and companions who could destroy even wha remained of your faith? Why did you begin to find [your faith] burdensome, and when? Wasn't it when you lost your chastity, or wished to lose it, but faith and your conscience prevented you, and you began to hate them just as a mischievous schoolboy hates the person in authority over him? It is not reason, but unchastity which is the enemy of faith, as the Lord said: 'Whoever shall be ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation,' and so on. He did not say: 'in this lazy or self-interested generation,' but 'adulterous generation,' for He knew where and whence enmity against God begins."

This is on page 32 of the good bishop's sorely neglected book, simply titled "Confession."

Kind of frightening, n'est-ce pas?

I recall reading somewhere that all atheistic apologetics (and psychological approaches) have at their roots the defense of sex without "morality". The author wrote about all the sexual peccadillos of various famous atheists and how the conversations eventually get steered to sexual freedom. It makes one wonder if people are atheists out of intellectual conviction or passionate necessity.

"We have the evangel, but we are not in Jerusalem or Athens, certainly not Rome. We are in Philistia, where the vapid Moloch is god now (and it may not even matter whether he is entity or construct), and torpor is the ethos."

Makes me think of the famous words: "Europe was built on the three cities of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome" (or: the three hills of Zion/Golgotha, Akropolis and the Palatine hill).

I think our civilization has "finally" left the safety of these fortified hills...

I think we agree here. You are right, of course, that popular sexual morality does not condone rape or pedophilia: that is what I meant in my sarcastic way when I wrote that such a claim (to the contrary) is unfair.

The point I was making was that rape and pedophilia are produced at greater frequency by pornography and other lust-stimuli (of which our media-society is chock full).

Fr. Jonathan,

Despite the lack of agreement between popular sexual morality and traditional Christian teaching on certain points, I have found no evidence that the former implicitly condones rape or pedophilia. The same kind of moral difference between a Christian and non-Christian on homosexuality is the same kind that exists between a Catholic Christian and a Protestant Christian on birth control. The argument between the secular ethic and the Christian ethic with regard to sex concerns not whether there *are* values that should be imposed, but where precisely the line between norms and preferences needs to be drawn. Secularists regard the presence of free and informed consent (not thought to be possible until a certain age) and mutual respect as sufficient for sex to be morally licit, and Christians add to those two conditions the presence of a certain type of commitment, on the grounds that God said so and that such is optimal for human flourishing.

I, for one, do not endorse at all the popular movement that involves the use of purity rings, chastity vows and formal dinners and rituals in convention halls.

Amazingly, there are RC churches in the Pittsburgh area who are leading the way in the importation of protestant pseudo-ritual: they forget that they are sacramental and should not need protestant innovations such as chastity pledges.

Your point is spot on, of course. No chastity vow is going to work unless the person is committed to a persistent lifestyle of repentance, the fight against passions, and the practice of replacement virtues.

I fear that the use of chastity programs (i.e., rings, vows, public pledges, dinners and gold necklaces) are only going to make the little ones stumble.

As do all pseudo-sacramental rituals.

Regarding your brave comment on the "left-leaning site" (something I've never been able to do): I attended a seminar with a certain well-known, "left-leaning" evangelical named Tony. He informed us Neanderthal pastors that we were hypocrites for criticizing homosexuality while condoning divorce, because -- after all -- Jesus spoke about divorce on several occasions and homosexuality not at all. No one said anything, and so in the spirit of Elihu I spoke up and said, "You're correct, but isn't homosexuality simply the next step in a culture that is succumbing to its sexual passions?" (It sounded something like that.) Tony repeated his point with scorn, quoted from the KJV, and moved on.

Lately I've read an article from one of the evangelical leaders of the "Love Waits" abstinence campaigns (I forget who and where I came across the article). He acknowledged the widespread failure of purity rings, chastity vows, and similar well-intended evangelical techniques to forestall the cultural tide. He said the campaigners failed to address the cultural influences teenagers were imbibing while making their promises. They were doomed to fail because they were only promising to "just say NO" to sex -- but not to sexual titillation.

The responses to your not-so-"foolish gambol" merely illustrate how far into the wilderness we have been pushed. So be it.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

August 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31