Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fulfill thy desires. . .

Anthony Esolen, always a good read, said that there is no rational reason why pedophilia is condemned "when the first commandment of the sexual revolution: Fulfill thy desires.”   His point is that nearly everything that has accompanied the so-called sexual revolution and the liberation of behavior from constraint by morality has turned children into victims.  Evil is now paraded as good, the desires that once were not allowed the light of day are publicly flaunted, and the end result is that our children are the casualties of our unrelenting quest to fulfill our desires -- no matter what.

Read Esolen here:

We might point here to divorce. Unless it is necessary to remove oneself and one’s children from physical danger and moral corruption, the old wisdom regarding divorce should hold, if children themselves have anything to say about it. Parents will say, “My children can never be happy unless I am happy,” but they should not lay that narcissistic unction to their souls. Children need parents who love them, not parents who are happy; they are too young to be asked to lay down their lives for someone else. It is not the job of the child to suffer for the parent, but the job of the parent to endure, to make the best of a poor situation, to swallow his pride, to bend her knees, for the sake of the child.

We might point to births out of wedlock. The child has a right to enter more than a little nursery decorated with presents from a baby shower. He should enter a human world, a story, a people. He should be born of a mother and a father among uncles and aunts and cousins and grandparents, stretching into the distant past, with all their interrelated histories, with his very being reflected in all those mirrors of relation, not to mention his eyes and his hair, the talents in his fingers and the cleverness in his mind. This belonging to a big and dependable world can be secured only in the context of the permanent love of his mother and father, declared by a vow before the community and before the One in whom there is no shadow of alteration.

Most parents grow reticent when the time comes to tell their children about sex. That reticence is right and natural, as is the quiet of a man’s voice as he brings his son to a holy place, the grave of his grandfather who died in the war, or the little old house where his grandmother was born. Sex is not about the mechanics. The parent must tell the child about the love that brought him into being; and therefore sex is about the past and the present and the future, and about all those who share in the great family network of begetting and of love.

Then along come the Planned Predators, with a cadre of—what shall we call them? What would we call them if they had no “credentials,” no initials after their names? What would we call the old man down the street, wheezing and giggling, who likes to show little kids pictures of people masturbating? I believe the technical term is “creep.” So then, along comes Planned Predators with their creeps, lubriciously introducing children to the delights of meaningless sex, with cartoons of talking penises and vaginas, of a girl bending over with a mirror to inspect her anus, or a boy in his bedroom abusing himself.

It is the terrible pattern of the ages in which children become the casualties and victims of the predilections and pursuits of adults.  It is the path of sin, of unrestrained desire, in a culture which cultivates and lauds such desire no matter what.  Those who question or challenge such elevation of adult happiness of the most noble goal of all are condemned as prudes, as bitter and judgmental folk, and as those in whom unnatural modesty and goodness have stopped up the natural, unfettered flow of desire.  But this is not about that at all.  It is about the unintended or perhaps even expected consequence of making happiness and desires the gods at whose altars we worship with our lives.  Children are the unwitting victims -- from the unborn to those farmed out to day care centers to the adolescents dressed up as miniature sexual adults to the over scheduled lives of those through whom their parents live their goals and dreams to the sexual predators.

We have told ourselves often enough that desire should never be checked, that children should never have to enter a world unwanted, unwelcomed, or unloved, that consensual agreement renders every behavior legitimate and salutary... well, we have come to believe it.  Even in some churches.  It is nothing less than the lack of shame.  Our immoral desires and behavior, always there but hidden in the past, have now become the ways in which we define, identify, and make known who we are to each other.  Before anything else that might mark us, we define ourselves by gender of choice and sexual desire.  It is no wonder why we struggle when even our baptismal identity takes second place to this.

We make no distinction between natural in the sense of our creation by God and the fallen nature of our sinful state.  Confusing and refusing to distinguish them, what is natural becomes automatically good, right and true.  That is why confession and repentance are so necessary for in them we acknowledge that our nature is constrained by sin, our desires contaminated by sin, and our wills no longer perfect and free to either discern or choice that which is good. 

What is worse than this is when the very Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified becomes instead the freedom from guilt to pursue this corrupted path, when in the name of Jesus we encourage people to fulfill their desires and do what is right in their own eyes.  When the Church has nothing to say to family, culture, and personal desire except do what you want, we have surrendered our distinctive character as the children of God, set apart in baptism, to live in but not of the world.  Yet this is exactly the path of liberal Christianity.  While many (and perhaps rightly) complain that some churches have nothing to say but "no", other churches have nothing to say but "yes" and not even a qualified "yes" -- simple and free permission to do what you want, hurting as few people as possible but children do not really count.

No comments: