Sunday, November 10, 2013


Love, Sex, and Marriage are pleasant subjects to think about, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about them right now.

A society that encourages sexual promiscuity is committing suicide.  A society that successfully dissociates sex from love, faithful and permanent marriage, and from child-bearing, will dwindle and disappear. This is because sex is powerfully attractive.  A few tips:
If sex is separated from marriage, a substantial number of people will tend to pursue sex, not marriage.  Marriage has a lot of complexities; sex, not so much. 
If sex is separated from child-bearing, a substantial number of people will tend to pursue sex, not child-bearing.  Sex is more fun. 
If sex is separated from love, a substantial number of people will tend to pursue sex, not love. Loving another person is one of the most complex and difficult things human beings ever do.  It is also the most rewarding.  Sex is simple and easy.  A lot of people will choose simple and easy over complex and difficult.
Rejection from a person with whom one has been sexually intimate is a grave and often irreparable wound.  It is possible to heal from such wounds, just as it is possible to survive a badly fractured skull, but we were not built for this.  Some people recover, but many never do. 
Children do best, in every measurable way, when raised by two loving, faithful, permanently married, biological parents. There is no reasonable dispute about this in the scientific literature. If the question is "what is best for my child?" there is no other answer.
The difference between a society surviving and dying off is very thin.  It is the difference between bearing enough children to replace our population, and going slightly below replacement level.  Slightly below replacement level is like slightly below the surface of the pool.  You stay there and you drown, even just a few inches from the surface.  When a large and growing number of people choose not to reproduce, or not to reproduce enough to replace the population, it is cause for alarm.  Such a society is asking itself "why live?" and is answering "I don't know."  Such a society is broken.

Right now most of Western and many Third World societies are not replacing themselves.  That is a polite way of saying these societies are killing themselves.  Part of how we are killing ourselves is that we have separated sex from traditional marriage.  So separated, sex becomes merely a kind of addiction, maybe the strongest.  Sex becomes a powerful end in itself, divorced from having children.  In the end, like every addiction, it winds up destroying us.

We are killing ourselves, just one generation after the publication of Humanae Vitae, written by Pope Paul VI in 1968. The Pope taught that separating sex from love and having children was wrong. Turns out he accurately prophesied what would become of us if we insisted on separating Love, Marriage and Sex.

He was right, and it was good of him to warn us.  It was a very loving thing to do, despite the fact that it made a lot of people, including many Catholics, very angry.  If you read his essay, you will see that he is appealing to us in reason and in love.

The fact that it is common now for people to disdain traditional marriage, fidelity and child-rearing does not mean that these attitudes are healthy.  That someone can no longer feel gun-shot wounds does not make shooting people healthy.  While we love and care for people with gun-shot wounds, and see lots of them in the ER, it does not mean that we embrace shooting people as "normal."  However common it may be, we can see its ill effects and reject shooting people as a way of life.

Traditional marriage is not just a convention or a fashion, to be tossed off by humanity when it gets bored or tired, like an old pair of shoes. Traditional marriage is the foundation of human society. Without it, society dies.

Just look around.  We recognize some addictions for what they are, and we see the wreckage they create.

Sex, not so much.  But what Johnny Cash had to say, as he was dying, about his own battles with addiction and infidelity resonates powerfully with me as I examine my own life.  God saves us from many things, but most dramatically, from ourselves. The name "Jesus" meant, in Aramaic, "God saves."  It is moving to see Jesus on a cross at the end of this music video.  No matter where we are, there he is, saving us.

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel.
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything.

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt.

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here.

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt.

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way.

- by Trent Reznor, as performed by Johnny Cash