Western powers have been fighting jihad for more than 1,300 years — but for the American trained in cultural relativism and silly university ideals of diversity, reality can be so shocking that it’s simply easier and more satisfying to deny its existence.- David French
Western elites remain constitutionally unable to acknowledge that there are greater forces of evil in the world than the West itself. - Heather MacDonnald
The sexual revolution. . . is the centerpiece of a new orthodoxy and new morality that elevates pleasure and self-will to first principles. This has become, in effect, a rival religion. - Mary Eberstadt
Two years ago Bill Kristol interviewed Amy and Leon Kass, wise and well-read leaders of Great Books discussion-type courses at the University of Chicago and elsewhere. I found the conversation below worth my time listening to. (I just discovered that Bill Kristol has a whole list of interesting conversations available for viewing). Back in 2001 I remember President Bush chose Leon Kass to head up his Presidential Council on Bioethics. I greatly respected Leon Kass' high regard for human life and therefore his out-of-favor position on embryonic stem cell research. Consequently he has always loomed in my mind as one of the "good guys" of the modern era. (A few years ago I was intrigued to see that he published a "big book" onThe Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis(2006) in which he adopts a philosophical rather than a theological approach to Genesis. I am finding it rewarding as I make my way through it).
Below at the 43:50 to 1:19 spot one can listen in on a discussion of Amy and Leon's course on "courtship" They subsequently produced a collection of readings related to the course titled Wing to Wing; Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying(2000). It cemented in my mind the important role literature plays in the education of the sentiments.
“Reading this book is the next best thing to gaining a coveted seat in one of the University of Chicago seminars taught by Amy and Leon Kass. In an era when fashionable opinion speaks of courting and marrying in ironic tones or not at all, the Kasses do something unfashionable. They put us in touch with thinkers, past and present, who treat the task of finding and winning a marriage mate for what it is: a pursuit central to human life and happiness. At a time when young people are floundering and failing in their search for the right person to marry, this splendid selection of readings comes not a minute too soon.” —Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, author of The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and the Family (1997)
Not a single mainstream news outlet has identified the approximately 1,000 men who congregated by the main train station in Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve and raped and sexually assaulted hundreds of women -- or their counterparts who did the same thing in Zurich, Helsinki, and elsewhere -- as Muslims. But there is little doubt that they were indeed Muslim, since they have been identified as migrants and most of the migrants are Muslims.
Most importantly, identifying the attackers as Muslim leads directly to understanding the attacks themselves, because the attackers were acting in accord with Islamic teachings.
Sexual assault plagues all cultures -- but only in Islam is it given divine sanction.
In 2006, then-Grand Mufti of Australia Taj Din al-Hilali sparked a controversy when he said:
If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem.
He was referring to women who get raped:
If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.
Al-Hilali further complained that judges in the West were too tough on young Muslims charged with sexual assault and rape, since unveiled Western women “sway suggestively”:
What Duggar's sisters say may surprise you. I found it an eye-opener. It looks to me like the tabloids and media have hyped and distorted the story (out of a desire to smear a Christian family?) and not taken into consideration the victims, the subsequent remedies, and legal confidentiality. John Jalsevac has written, "Dear Duggar critics: You can stop pretending to care about the victims now." (This interview took place on 6/5/15).
In January 1944, German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer sat in a Gestapo prison. He passed the time by writing, and in one of many letters to his dear friend Eberhard Bethge, Bonhoeffer tenderly reflected on what Bethge meant to him.
Back then his missives didn’t raise eyebrows. They sounded like those of so many before him who, in moments of triumph and trial, had taken their greatest joy in the love of a friend of the same sex.
Of course, times have changed. Years after Bonhoeffer’s death, while speaking publicly about their friendship, Bethge found himself facing an awkward question:
Surely, said one audience member, your friendship with Dietrich “must [have been] a homosexual partnership.” How else could Bethge explain the startling affection Bonhoeffer had for him?
Bonhoeffer and Bethge’s friendship was not an isolated victim of this kind of revisionism. Modern readers seem to be on a virtual crusade to open every closet in history.
Thus, we’re told, the bachelor Abraham Lincoln was obviously gay because he shared a bed with his best friend (a practice that was common with both sexes at that time). Ditto William Shakespeare, who wrote love sonnets for an unnamed male friend. The biblical David, who lamented Jonathan’s death, calling his friend’s love “finer than the love of women” was plainly gay, too, the reasoning goes. And the Apostle John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” has sparked speculation of his own.
You see, to the modern eye, all close love is sexual love. Deep friendship, especially between men, gives us an uneasy feeling. This leaves modern men with a tough choice: They can risk being pegged as gay for forming deep friendships with each other, or they can give up on making friends and just have “bros.”
There are some Christians who, for understandable though mistaken reasons, believe that their fellow Christians should support or at least not oppose same-sex marriage.
Implicit in this position is the belief that supporting same-sex marriage is a position that can be held in isolation—that what you believe about the definition of marriage is unrelated to other issues regarding marriage and human sexuality.
Well, according to sociologist Mark Regnerus, that simply is not the case.
In a recent article at “The Public Discourse” Regnerus asked the question, “What is the sexual and relational morality of Christians who accept the moral legitimacy of same-sex marriages?”
To answer that question, he looked at data from a recent survey of nearly 16,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 60 entitled “relationships in America.” People responded to statements about viewing pornography, cohabitation, casual sex, divorce, adultery, polyamory, and abortion.
Regnerus compared the responses of five groups: churchgoing Christians who oppose same-sex marriage, churchgoing Christians who support it, the general population, and both gay and lesbian Christians and non-Christians.
What he found was eye-opening. A significant percentage of churchgoing Christians who supported same-sex marriage either agreed or strongly agreed with statements that approved of things like using pornography, cohabitation, casual sex, and abortion rights.
Over at the Public Discourse, University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus offers a preview of forthcoming data revealing how support for or opposition to same-sex marriage shapes a person’s larger worldview and beliefs about sexuality.
He asks: “What is the sexual and relational morality of Christians who accept the moral legitimacy of same-sex marriages?”
His data from the forthcoming Relationships in America Survey reveals an interesting, if not totally unexpected result: that church-attending Christians who support same-sex marriage look more worldly and less Christian. Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage also register support for other beliefs about sexuality that Christianity has historically considered taboo.
According to Regnerus, churchgoing Christians (who were comparably much fewer in number as a pool of respondents), register much higher support for pornography, cohabitation, casual sex, and higher support than the general population for abortion rights.
Regnerus’ sampling method is worthy of praise. In contrast to blithe surveys that merely report the opinions of all those who identify with a particular religious affiliation regardless of observance, Regnerus does the important work of determining what those in the pews actually believe. A political poll that didn’t differentiate between likely and unlikely voters wouldn’t be an accurate representation of the electorate, and for the same reasons, a survey should distinguish between someone who merely answers “Catholic” or “Baptist” when asked for a religious identity and someone who actually shows up on Sunday.
I didn't watch the Superbowl halftime program. In fact I just got in on the final 3 minutes of the game, the most exciting part. But knowing what I know of contemporary American culture, I have every confidence John Stonestreet got it right when he writes in Beyonce and the Super Bowl:
a blogger on the Today Show’s “Moms” site, described Monday how
watching the Super Bowl like millions of other families turned into a
“parenting challenge” when the halftime show began.
That’s putting the performance of Beyonce and her similarly
half-dressed dancers mildly. The hyper-sensual show left Mrs.
Campos-Duffy’s kids with a quizzical look on their faces. The
eight-year-old simply said, “She looks weird.”
If only all our kids were so confused. But sadly, so many of
them are thoroughly familiar with sexuality packaged as music and
performance. As Campos-Duffy wryly observed, “I half-expected a stripper
pole to pop out of the platform, which was actually staged to look like
a peep show.” Well, the commercial for the CBS sitcom “Broke Girls”
that immediately followed half-time featured just that—a stripper-pole.
I mean, this was the Super Bowl, for cryin’ out loud. CBS
and the NFL knew very well children and families would be watching. And
what they gave America with this performance and many of the commercials
was another chapter in the ongoing sexualization of American
culture—and of our kids.
The web is buzzing about an opinion article published by "The New York Times" last Saturday. “The Downside to Cohabitating Before Marriage” has been one of the most emailed and among the most viewed articles on the Times’ website this week, although it contains nothing new or groundbreaking. It merely confirms what most know or suspect: Living together before marriage increases the risk of divorce.
The Times article that Barber cites speaks of "Jennifer" who said she felt like she was on a “multiyear, never-ending audition to be his wife.” Meg Jay, the clinical psychologist and author of the Times piece, says
“Women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step toward marriage, while men are more likely to see it as a way to test a relationship or postpone commitment, and this gender asymmetry is associated with negative interactions and lower levels of commitment even after the relationship progresses to marriage. One thing men and women do agree on … their standards for a live-in partner are lower than they are for a spouse.”
Barber has more to say on the different ways men and women view "cohabitation" (the euphemism for "shacking up"):
No offense to the men in the audience, but honestly, is anyone surprised that men tend to view living together without the benefit of marriage as a way to postpone marriage? Or that women, with their romantic notions, tend to view living together as a sort of marriage gamble, or a foot in the door, so to speak?
Hmmm. "A foot in the door." Yes, that makes sense, especially for a woman with marriage on her mind.
Barber cites Dr. Laura Schlessinger, radio host and marriage and family therapist, who
gets irritated when women call in to her program to complain that their shack-up boyfriends are seeing other women or aren’t treating them well. Schlessinger asks: Why shouldn’t he see other women? There is no commitment. The caller is just the “shack-up honey,” an “unpaid whore.” Schlessinger speaks roughly to make a point: Two people living and sleeping together outside marriage should not expect to be treated as a wife or a husband. There are no vows to be faithful, to honor, or to cherish.
Tough words. Great point.
Then there's the matter of children:
[...] Children in cohabiting homes are much more likely to suffer abuse than children in intact, married families or single-parent families. Adults can play house, but children need intact homes and a mother and father who love them.
Me: Read the whole article. Commitment equals security, and represents the starting point in learning how to love, which is the whole point of the Christian life.
My friend Wintery Knight offers his usual tough-minded, realistic comments on the New York Times article. He says, first quoting the Times article:
I was sad to read this morning that Chuck Colson's family has been called to his bedside as he has taken a turn for the worse. What a valiant, dedicated, inspiring life Colson has lived. While Chuck has been in ICU after an operation to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain, Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet have been filling in producing Breakpoint radio spots. Eric Metaxes speaks well today on how easy it is to fall into a Pharisaical trap regarding opposition to same-sex behaviors. You can listen here- Download
On putting same-sex marriage, and heterosexual anarchy, and the destruction of society in proper perspective -
It isn’t completely true to say same-sex “marriage” will destroy civilization. Sexual brokenness and the collapse of marriage in any form destroy civilization. No-fault divorce, cohabitation, sexual addictions all undermine marriage. Heterosexual brokenness is just as dehumanizing as homosexual brokenness. As the old saying goes, “there are many ways to fall down, but only way to stand straight.” - Charles Colson
The wholesome image of yoga took a hit in the past few weeks as a rising star of the discipline came tumbling back to earth. After accusations of sexual impropriety with female students, John Friend, the founder of Anusara, one of the world’s fastest-growing styles, told followers that he was stepping down for an indefinite period of “self-reflection, therapy and personal retreat.” Seems he had a penchant for women.
Read the article for a summary of former high-fliers in the yoga world who have crashed.
It includes celebrities (Ellen DeGeneres, Ricky Martin, Clay Aiken), politicians (Rep. Barney Frank, Gov. Jim McGreevey, John Berry), and Christian artists like Jennifer Knapp and Ray Boltz. It is the growing group of high-profile people who have broken the silence about their homosexuality. Many of their stories share telling similarities. . . .
... Setting aside the moral arguments about same-sex desire, from physiological considerations alone, it is disordered because it is contrary to the function its “form” is intended to serve.
Human sexuality is uniquely designed to satisfy an essential biological purpose: reproduction. In a very real way, when a husband and wife come together they form a single biological unit through their “hand-in-glove” complementarity. It is a function that same-sex individuals are incapable of accomplishing. They can only transmogrify the sex act to indulge in sensual gratification.
Sex involves pleasure but, as C.S. Lewis once pointed out, that is no more the purpose of sex than it is the purpose of eating. In both cases, sensual enjoyment is the byproduct of functions that are indispensible to life and the continuation of the species.
In his combination of unctuousness, mendacity, mock-reasonableness, petulance, bullying, hypocrisy, overweening arrogance, brazen aggression, self-pity, victimhood, and bogus moral preening, it’s hard to beat Congressman Anthony Weiner. He’s the perfect face of the modern American Left in all its glorious pathology; why anyone takes these people seriously is utterly beyond me. . . (my emphases)
Here he is with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, doing what lefties do best: lie, equivocate, lecture, browbeat, and implicitly threaten, even when they’re caught red-handed:
Me: The chutzpah exhibited on the video (with text) linked above takes one's breath away. Go see it!
As I said back on Election Night 2008: ”This is an unlovely party filled with unlovely people, as America’s about to find out once the Obama pixie dust wears off.”
Me: Extraordinary and repulsive is the fact that Democrats, caught in shameful situations, don't resign! Jim Loft over at Gateway Pundit [a daily must read] expects Weiner to follow the standard Democrat precedent. Loft writes:
Weiner may have bared all, but he will likely survive the disgusting scandal. After all, he’s a democrat. And, Democrats don’t resign– Ever.
KKK-Murder-Slandering Troops-Prostitution rings- In scandal after scandal… Democrats don’t resign.
Did you hear about the guy busted with $90,000 in his freezer?… Yeah, he stayed in office. Democrats don’t resign.
Drunken manslaughter? Senator Kennedy’s car is dragged by a wrecker out of Poucha Pond. (Ytedk)
** Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) answered an ad placed in a Washington, D.C. homosexual paper, the Washington Blade, by Stephen Gobie, a male prostitute. Gobie became Barney Frank’s live-in sexual companion, and was soon running a male prostitution ring from Barney Frank’s condo. Last year Frank was chairing the Financial Services Committee.
** Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA) has sex with underage male House page. Studds turns his back on the House when he is censured. He continued to serve in House for six more terms.
** Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plagued by scandals: Abramoff Scandal, Sons who are lobbyists, boxing tickets and other perks, land deal that made him $1 million, etc.- Serves as democratic Senate Majority Leader.
** Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-IL) was indicted for sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse for engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer that began during the 1992 campaign. Despite the charges, he continued his campaign and was re-elected that November. Reynolds initially denied the charges, which he claimed were racially motivated. He was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography.
** Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) former Ku Klux Klan Kleagle (recruiter). Democrat Byrd was the longest serving member in the US Senate.
** Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt)- in a 1985 television appearance Leahy disclosed classified information that one of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s telephone conversations had been intercepted. The information that Leahy revealed had been used in the operation to capture the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and killed American citizens, and the Union-Tribune claimed that Leahy’s indiscretion may have cost the life of at least one of the Egyptian operatives involved in that operation. Because of his several leaks he was forced to step down from his seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Today he is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
** Democratic Iowan Senator Tom Harkin (and John Kerry D-MA) traveled to Managua, Nicaragua to assure Fidel Castro’s proxy Daniel Ortega that Senate Democrats were working overtime to thwart President Reagan’s efforts to bring Democracy to the region. Today he is head of Senate agriculture committee.
Are we starting to see the pattern??? Democrats don’t resign.
These compilations of articles from a variety of sources by the Family Research Council continue to offer interested people a gold mine. A new edition appears every two weeks. Readers will find in each a wealth of information not readily found elsewhere. For previous reviews I've posted, click here.
There are certain questions now pressed upon us that previous generations would never believe could be asked. One of these is thrust upon us by events in New York City, where a well-known Ivy League professor has been arrested for the crime of incest. What makes the question urgent is not so much the arrest, but the controversy surrounding it.
David Epstein is a professor of political science at Columbia University, where his wife also teaches. He previously taught on the faculties of Harvard and Stanford. Last week, he was arraigned before a judge in Manhattan, charged with a single count of felony incest. According to authorities, Professor Epstein was for several years involved in a sexual relationship with his adult daughter, now age 24.
- To tar as "hateful" and "bigoted" any person or organization that continues to define marriage as one man and one woman is disgusting. "Hate" is a word thrown around much too much, and especially as a tactic to shut down debate. Anyone using it must now be regarded with suspicion, for in 9 times out of 10, the one doing the accusing turns out to be the genuine "hater." Charles Colson spotlights the latest "hate" attack, this time by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Colson writes:
What’s the easiest way to shut down a debate? Well these days, just label your opponent a hate-filled bigot. . .
In its newly-released Winter Intelligence Report, the Southern Poverty Law Center labels eighteen Christian organizations as “anti-gay groups.” The charges? “Pumping out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities.”
And which Christian organizations engage in those activities? None other than the American Family Association, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Family Research Council! For heaven’s sake! The report also announced that 13 of these organizations will be added this January to its list of official “hate groups.” They join the likes of Neo Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan!
These compilations of articles from a variety of sources by the Family Research Council continue to offer interested people a gold mine. A new edition appears every two weeks. Readers will find in each a wealth of information not readily found elsewhere. For previous reviews I've posted, click here.
Here is a brief sampling from the current edition:
In northern Europe, two nordic countries strongly differ in their response to homeschooling. Finland provides a warm reception to parents who chose to educate their children at home, while neighboring Sweden continues down an increasingly dangerous path of ostracizing and persecuting families who seek to exercise their right to homeschool.
The “Saturday People” are, of course, Jews, today nearly gone from Muslim lands. Now the Sunday people”—Christians— are in the crosshairs, and they, too, are fleeing at an alarming rate. Both religions are unwelcome in many Muslim-majority lands for reasons of Islamist ideology—the declaration of jihad, or holy war, against infidels.
"This is the rare book that delivers more than it promises. Pick it up to learn about the true joy of sex: you will, and you'll also learn about the joy of God." —Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-chief, World; Provost, The King's College, New York City
"This book is a glorious start to forming a Christian mind that expresses delight in God's gift of marital intimacy-a Christian mind that so desires to delight in that which God delights in that it revels in rejecting the cheap substitutes pawned off on this passing age as true pleasure. Instead, it only finds satisfaction in what is purest and highest and noblest and best." —J. Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi; President, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
"Sex is a wonderful gift from God, but it makes a terrible idol, brutal and unyielding in the misery it inflicts. These authors are a breath of fresh air, because unlike our culture's self-proclaimed 'sexperts,' they respect biblical authority and warmly embrace the Lordship of Christ. Hence, they can lift up the torch of divine truth and expose the enemy's lies about sex that have penetrated not only the darkest corners of our culture, but of our churches."
TEDS recently announced the following essays can now be accessed on the internet. Trinity is one of the foremost Christian seminaries in the world today. The editorial team of CCI is led by Dr. D.A. Carson. Here are the essays published to date. More will follow.
This is another of the "lost posts" accidentally deleted yesterday. It's not the same post, which vanished into cyberspace, but the Lewis quote is the same. In a sex saturated society, it's useful to sample the thought of C.S. Lewis, one of the wisest of men, who is worth consulting on most any subject. (See his book, The Four Loves, and the chapters "Sexual Morality" and "Christian Marriage" in Mere Christianity). In answer to an in quiry on masturbation, Lewis writes:
"For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always
Glenn Sunshine's brief essay explains a lot. The excerpt below is only a small part of the argument. It is important to read the whole thing. (HT: Charles
Colson) Emphases in the original.
. . . Freud believed that psychological illness was a result of social
repression of our sex drive. Although Freud himself had a
generally conventional lifestyle and developed psychoanalysis as a means
of dealing with problems arising from sexual repression, the
implication of his theory was clear: to enable people to live happy,
fulfilled lives, society needed todrop restraints on
sexual activity. Hence the sexual revolution of the sixties and
This idea is deeply embedded in the American worldview.
This explains the vehement opposition to abstinence-only sex education
despite the studies that show it is more effective in reducing sexual
activity than “comprehensive” sex education. The real object isn’t to
reduce sexual activity, but to minimize the consequences. Why would you
even want to reduce sexual activity if that’s the route to freedom and
Unfortunately, Freud was wrong. Sexual “freedom” has resulted in an epidemic
of depression among young women, an explosion of sexually
transmitted diseases, rampant out of wedlock births and the associated
poverty that comes from single parent households, a sky-high divorce
rate, and on and on and on. And it has not made people happier or better
adjusted. None of which makes any difference, of course, because as is
all too often the case, ideology trumps evidence.
The primary human right
Since in this worldview salvation comes through sex, and since
personal fulfillment and happiness is fundamentally about sexual
expression, the freedom to express whatever you think
of as your sexual identity is our most essential human right. (more . . .)
Answer: Pornography among men. Men prefer their imagination to a real person. At least that's one explanation. The Family Research Council posts the following:
When a person's sex drive is properly channeled in the bounds of
traditional marriage, it's a powerful force for good. It bonds the
husband and wife to one another and gives life to a new generation. It's
the foundation of the family, which is why groups like FRC cannot
address issues of family structure without addressing issues of
sexuality, and vice versa. But when the sexual drive isn't properly
contained, it can be highly destructive--to the emotional and physical
health of individuals, and to the quality of relationships themselves. A
powerful illustration of how the elements of the "sexual revolution"
are all interconnected was explained in a recent article in the liberal
magazine Psychology Today. Dr. Leonard Sax wrote that
a recent survey showed young women are almost three times as likely to
consider themselves homosexual or bisexual as young men are.
Why? Well, for women, sexuality is much more "malleable" or "plastic"
than for men (so much for the "born gay" theory!). While Dr. Sax
doesn't address it, much of the trend lies with our culture of sexual
experimentation. This "anything goes" mentality is leading to a
disillusionment with traditional sexuality and, in turn, breeding more
experimentation. Also, a lot of women conclude that "all the guys she
knows are losers." Why are they "losers?" Because virtually all of
them use pornography, and according to Dr. Sax, they prefer the
fantasy world of pornography to relationships with real women. I don't
think that even FRC has ever suggested that heterosexual pornography
could lead to an increase in homosexuality--but when one part of our
culture of sexuality becomes degraded, every part does.
In the Psychology Today article referenced above, I found the statistics about young women surprising and sad:
Psychologist John Buss estimates that for most of human history, perhaps
2% of women have been lesbian or bisexual (see note 1, below). Not any
more. Recent surveys of teenage girls and young women find that
roughly 15% of young females today self-identify as lesbian or bisexual,
compared with about 5% of young males who identify as gay or bisexual
. . .
Washington D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC) released a new study today
comprehensively details the effects of pornography on marriages,
children, communities and individuals. Pat Fagan, Ph.D. authored the
serves as FRC's Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Research
on Marriage and Religion.
Dr. Fagan made the following comments:
is a ground-breaking review of what pornography costs families trying
to create a life together. Men, women and sometimes even children
are saturated by sexual content, and more significantly, are told that
it has no real effect. It's just a little amusement.
the conscience, promotes distrust between husbands and wives and
debases untold thousands of young women. It is not harmless escapism
relational and emotional poison.
When Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world. The Torah's prohibition of non-marital sex quite simply made the creation of Western civilization possible.
that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development.
The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the
sexual revolution initiated by Judaism and later carried forward by Christianity.
consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that
sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and
thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage),
and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.
is probably impossible for us, who live thousands of years after Judaism began
this process, to perceive the extent to which undisciplined sex can dominate man's
life and the life of society. Throughout the ancient world, and up to the recent
past in many parts of the world, sexuality infused virtually all of society.
Christianity Today magazine in its August, 2009 issue published a bombshell cover story on "The Case for Early Marriage." Gene Veith agrees with the article (here and here). Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, similarly agrees and offers extensive (favorable) commentary. He writes:
Shifts in a culture are often signaled by unexpected developments that
represent far more than may first meet the eye. The cover story in the
August 2009 edition of Christianity Today may signal such a shift among
American evangelicals. In this case the cultural shift is nothing less
than an awakening to the priority of marriage. At the very least, it
represents a public airing of the question of the delay of marriage
among evangelical young people. In that sense, it is a bombshell. [more. . ]
I am referring to Princeton University professor Robert George's article published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. (HT: Wintery Knight who regards it as the best single article he has read on same-sex marriage. I tend to agree.) The article needs to be read in full. For those who won't, some excerpts:
Opponents of racist laws in "Loving" ["Loving v. Virginia" which invalidated laws against interracial marriages] did not question the
idea, deeply embodied in our law and its shaping philosophical
tradition, of marriage as a union that takes its distinctive character
from being founded, unlike other friendships, on bodily unity of the
kind that sometimes generates new life. This unity is why marriage, in
our legal tradition, is consummated only by acts that are generative in
kind. Such acts unite husband and wife at the most fundamental level
and thus legally consummate marriage whether or not they are generative
in effect, and even when conception is not sought.
Of course, marital intercourse often does produce babies, and
marriage is the form of relationship that is uniquely apt for
childrearing (which is why, unlike baptisms and bar mitzvahs, it is a
matter of vital public concern). But as a comprehensive sharing of
life—an emotional and biological union—marriage has value in itself and
not merely as a means to procreation. This explains why our law has
historically permitted annulment of marriage for non-consummation, but
not for infertility; and why acts of sodomy, even between legally wed
spouses, have never been recognized as consummating marriages.
Only this understanding makes sense of all the norms—annulability
for non-consummation, the pledge of permanence, monogamy, sexual
exclusivity—that shape marriage as we know it and
Update 7/30/09 - Michelle Malkin lists National Endowment of the Arts "smut-ulus" projects, some of which are included in the original post below.
(Original Post) - You won't believe this. It gives a new meaning to Naked Politics. Drawing on Mark Kelly's research, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council reports:
Mark Kelly of the Heritage Foundation did some digging on where the
House Speaker funneled her District's dollars,
and the list of projects is enough to send taxpayers through the roof.
Let me put it this way: Nancy Pelosi is trying to stimulate a lot more
San Francisco's economy. While the average American is worried about
losing his shirt, Congress is funding actors who aren't wearing any!
to Kelly, $50,000 was sent to an initiative called CounterPulse in San
Francisco that just sponsored a "Perverts [Sleep Around]" event on
July 25, urging people to "Join your fellow pervs for some explicit,
twisted fun!" Another $50,000 went directly to an entertainment group
Frameline that concentrates on promoting the "lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender community" in the arts.
at "San Francisco
Cinematheque," organizers raked in $25,000 to promote documentaries
like "Thundercrack," of which a reviewer writes, "Witness if you dare,
only underground kinky art porno horror film, complete with four men,
three women and a gorilla." A company called Jess Curtis/Gravity, Inc.
receive $25,000, presumably to help boost their Symmetry Project, which
features nude couples in compromising positions.
are too crude and embarrassing to even mention. But shouldn't that say
something to the third most powerful leader in America? If these
too obscene to talk about, what business does the U.S. government have
funding them? This isn't just waste--it's reckless, indecent garbage
by Congress and paid for by you. If these are the priorities of
America's new leadership, then we should definitely get a second
opinion on their
vision for an issue as significant as health care. For more on Pelosi's
"waste" line, visit Mark's blog at markkelly.posterous.com.
I've been having a friendly little go-round with a recent post from Wintery Knight Blog. My latest reply is to quote a passage from G.K. Chesterton's St. Francis of Assisi in which GKC offers some astute observations on the "innocence" of sex. GKC writes:
“What had happened to the human imagination, as a whole, was that the whole
world was coloured by dangerous and rapidly deteriorating passions; by natural
passions becoming unnatural passions. Thus the effect of treating sex as only
one innocent natural thing was that every other innocent natural thing became
soaked and sodden with sex. For sex cannot be admitted to a mere equality among
elementary emotions or experiences like eating and sleeping. The moment sex
ceases to be a servant it becomes a tyrant. There is something dangerous and
disproportionate in its place in human nature, for whatever reason; and it does
really need a special purification and dedication. The modern talk about sex
being free like any other sense, about the body being beautiful like any tree
or flower, is either a description of the Garden of Eden or a piece of
thoroughly bad psychology, of which the world grew weary two thousand years
ago.” (From ch. 2, “The World St. Francis Found")
What is going on with Gov. Sanford and his continual "yammering" as Michelle Malkin puts it? He seems to be acting like a star-crazed teenager. Malkin suggests he buy a one-way ticket to Argentina already and be gone. Mark Steyn regards Sanford as a narcissist buffoon. But the man, by his own admission, remains in love. Unfortunately it's not with his wife. And that, coupled with a sincere (I think) confessional streak and a (perhaps sincere?) recognition of violating his own and God's ethical standards, means he remains in a state of verbal, mental and emotional disarray.
It could have been avoided if he had recognized what Sheldon Vanauken calls "The (False) Sanction of Eros." Vanauken writes about it in his book, Under the Mercy, currently out of print. I know of no better commentary on Mark Sanford's "inloveness" than this. Consequently, I have been sending google documents of the relevant pages to friends via e-mail. I urge you, gentle reader, to click hereand print out the pages for easier reading. You, or someone you know, will benefit greatly from Vanauken's insight. It's a "must" for all pastors and counselors.
[Note: I'm having trouble making the links work. Sorry.. For the quote, see Under the Mercy, pp. 143-49. If you e-mail me, I will send you a link to the google docs pdf pages for reading.]
I once asked evangelist Billy Graham if he experienced temptations of
the flesh when he was young. He said, "of course." How did he deal with
them? With passion he responded, "I asked God to strike me dead before
He ever allowed me to dishonor Him in that way." [more . .]
Update #2 - I think readers will also want to read Charles Colson's reflections on the Mark Sanford affair. Colson is disappointed, pained and angered.He warns and admonishes:
Nearly every grave moral failure begins with a small
sin. Because there comes a time, after we toy with sin, when one pull of the
flesh causes us to cross the line, to disengage from reason, and to follow our
appetites wherever they may lead. . . [more . . ]
Watching the collapse of a culture is wrenching. ABC News (Good Morning America) carries the story. Because it's so sickening and disheartening, not to mention degrading, I don't wish to provide excerpts. Unfortunately, I think it's required reading.
The National Marriage Project
at Rutgers University report in 2001 describes a social institution
under siege, and its updated statistics in 2008 clearly showed that
things are getting worse. Not only did the marriage rate drop by almost
half from 1960 to 2007, but also the percentage of divorced adults has
skyrocketed. The percentage of divorced adult women in the US went from
2.6% in 1960 to 11% in 2007, and for men, it went from 1.8% to 8.6%.
Both numbers are all-time highs.
In 2006, 64% of high-school boys and 58% of high school girls
believed that living together is good practice for marriage.Cohabitation has increased in this period from 439,000 people to well
over 6 million, despite evidence that couples who cohabitate are more
likely to divorce. Fifty-two percent say that they see so few
successful marriages that it causes them to question marriage as “a way
Marriages are less happy today than in past decades, and the damage
that divorce does to children has created a vicious cycle of
pessimistic expectations. From 1976 to 2004, the percentage of
high-school girls who said that childbirth out of wedlock is
Students who want to resist the "new norm" on college campuses -- the "hookup culture" -- need centers on campus offering support. So contend Robert P. George and John B. Londregan in their article surveying the need.
Me: The fact that promiscuous sex reigns as the "new norm" is utterly saddening, providing as it does, yet another indication of the extraordinary moral deterioration of America.
Dr. Witherington, New Testament professor at Asbury Seminary, says in a critique of Rob Bell's position,
. . . Rob then makes an argument from silence which is in fact misleading.
The argument is this--- "Jesus never said anything about
homosexuality". This is not quite true. Jesus took all sorts of
sin very seriously, even adultery of the heart, as Rob admits, and so
it is no surprise then
that we find Jesus telling his disciples in Mt.
19 that they have only two legitimate options: 1) marital fidelity
(with marriage being defined as a relationship between one man and one
woman joined together by God which leads to a one flesh union), or 2)
being a eunuch for the sake of the Kingdom.
The term 'eunuch'
here whether taken literally (as in a castrated person who is incapable
of normal sexual intercourse), or simply morally (as in a person who
never engages in sexual intercourse, remaining celibate in singleness,
though he or she is capable of such an act), makes very evident that
for single persons, any single persons, celibacy in singleness is the
standard Jesus holds up for the unmarried.
Nor, in view of the
way Jesus talks about marriage in the context with the discussion of
the original Genesis story about the creation order-- the creation of
woman for man (and their interdependency), could one ever imagine Jesus
redefining marriage to include same-sex sexual
One of my blog post categories is "Collapse of the West." (See the column on the right side of this blog for other categories). I think what L. Brent Bozell III reports fits that category. He begins his article by saying,
Daniel Bergner isn’t the devil’s advocate, but he is a pervert’s apologist. This author and contributor to the New York Times Magazine has a new book titled "The Other Side of Desire," which argues it is unfair to judge bizarre, harmful, and disgusting sexual attractions as bizarre, harmful, and disgusting.
Bozell says further,
It’s natural that a New York Times contributor would draw praise in the New York Times Book Review,
but the reviewer, National Public Radio commentator Lori Gottlieb, went
beyond the call of duty in her February 8 piece. She aggressively
touted Bergner’s literary and journalistic gifts, then took up the
banner of his libertine crusade to blur all lines between the decent
and the repulsive. [my emphasis]
Me: And that's my cue for categorizing this book and its favorable reception as yet another sign of the "collapse of the West." When a culture can't distinguish between "the decent and the repulsive," it is done for, barring some sort of supernatural Christian revival. "Repulsive" is a word one rarely hears. It's a good, strong word that needs to find its way back into appropriate usage.
- After posting the material above, I came across a symposium, "Islamic Terror and Sexual Mutilation," which expands the discussion of "repulsive"considerably. It probably deserves a separate blog post, but I'll just note the symposium for now.
During the horrifying siege of the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Islamic terrorists sexually humiliated and mutilated
the guests before shooting them dead. Why? Frontpage has assembled a
distinguished panel to discuss this question with us today.
I receive the Center's newsletter, Praxis (available at the website). An undergraduate student is quoted there as saying of Scruton's lecture, "The Abuse of Sex": "I thought it was absolutely amazing... Among professional philosophers alive today, he now is by far the one whom I respect most."
This is a story that GetReligon.org says never made it into the American press, but should have. Mollie Hemingway writes:
Here’s a bit from the Guardian, which covered the story and its reaction in the Vatican:
Roman Catholic leaders have pounced on a “confession” by
one of the inventors of the birth control pill who has said the
contraceptive he helped create was responsible for a “demographic
The assault began with a personal commentary in the Austrian
newspaper Der Standard by 85-year-old Carl Djerassi. The Austrian
chemist was one of three whose formulation of the synthetic progestogen
Norethisterone marked a key step towards the earliest oral
Djerassi outlined the “horror scenario” that occurred because of the
population imbalance, for which his invention was partly to blame. He
said that in most ofEurope there was now “no connection at all between
sexuality and reproduction”. He said: “This divide in Catholic Austria,
a country which has on average 1.4
. . . the National Center for Health Statistics came out with its latest numbers
yesterday (final data for 2006), and they aren't good. By population
subgroup, the percentage of children born out of wedlock is 70.7
percent for non-Hispanic blacks, 64.6 percent for American
Indians/Alaska Natives, 49.9 percent for Hispanics, 26.6 percent for
non-Hispanic whites, and 16.5 percent for Asians/Pacific Islanders.
Illegitimacy correlates with just about any social problem you can name
(poverty, crime, dropping out of school, substance abuse, etc.), and it
— not discrimination — is the principal cause of racial disparities in
all these areas. . .
Me: I am amazed at the lack of animated angst among cultural elites concerning these figures. How can they but further underscore the continuing collapse of our culture?