May 29, 2015

Editorial

Christianity vs. sexual revolution

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the middle of a war between Christianity and the sexual revolution. It has been going on since the 1960s with the development of oral contraceptives, which allowed women to engage in sexual activities with less fear of becoming pregnant.

In more recent years, of course, the emphasis of those who want license to do anything sexual has switched to homosexuality. Advocates who want to change the definition of marriage want more than just legalization of “marriage” between people of the same gender. They want approval of the homosexual lifestyle.

It’s surprising that gay activists haven’t protested “Dancing with the Stars” because on that program a man and a woman dance together instead of two women or two men (although some dances do include three people together).

As gay activist Mitchell Gold told New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, Church leaders must be forced “to take homosexuality off the sin list.” How will they be forced to do that? Perhaps by charging them with “hate speech.”

Of course, Christian churches don’t “hate” homosexuals any more than they hate heterosexuals. As the Indiana Catholic bishops said in a statement during the brouhaha over the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, “The Catholic Church is convinced that every human being is created in the image of God. As such, each and every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”

But Christianity has also taught from its earliest existence that certain sexual acts are sinful, whether performed by heterosexuals or homosexuals. And it will continue to do so despite efforts to force it to take those acts “off the sin list.”

Fornication is on that sin list, too, despite the wish of teenagers and young adults from time immemorial that it wasn’t. The difference today is that most of those young people have given into the sexual revolution, and have decided that fornication really isn’t a sin.

How else can you explain the fact that many couples these days live together before getting married, if, indeed, they ever do get married? We’ve seen the spread of the “hook-up” lifestyle on college campuses wherein students have sex without any kind of commitment. There are debates in magazines read by young women over whether it’s “proper” to have sex on a first date.

Our secular society has decided for itself that there’s nothing sinful about any kind of sexual activity as long as it’s consensual. Meanwhile, our churches will continue to teach that sex outside of marriage is sinful and that marriage between people of the same gender is impossible.

It’s undoubtedly more difficult these days for young people to obey those teachings. Early marriages that were common 60 years ago don’t happen as offen today. If young people bother to get married, it happens after they’ve completed their educations and have good jobs. It’s understandable that those with higher education tend to marry at a higher rate than those who don’t go to college and beyond.

However, the Catholic Church has always been ready for that, too. It has always been composed of sinners, which is why Jesus gave the Apostles and their successors the power to forgive sins. So we have the sacrament of reconciliation, or confession. Those who succumb to temptation, whether they’re homosexual or heterosexual in nature, can be reconciled with God and the Church by going to confession.

The trouble is, most of our secular media are busy convincing young people that there’s nothing sinful about any consensual sex acts. Look at how vigorous they were in trying to defeat the Religious Freedom Restoration Act here in Indiana because there was an unfounded fear that it could be used to discriminate against gays.

Christianity will continue to fight against sexual libertinism just as it has fought against the legalization of abortion and against being forced to pay for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization. Coming up quickly will be questions about what it means to be male or female with many people changing their genders.

Those on the side of the sexual revolution would like to see changes in the doctrines of the Church concerning sexual sins, but that’s not going to happen. There might, though, be more emphasis on the Church’s teachings regarding mercy toward sinners.

—John F. Fink

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