So I read that the Biden Administration is bracing for violence around the country in the event that the Supreme Court overturns Roe. This should not surprise us given the lack of response to, and even encouragement of, violence by governors and mayors in blue cities and states in the wake of the George Floyd horror two years ago. A Christian might suggest that one of the mercies God ordained for mankind is government whereby the worst impulses of human nature are subdued by law enforcement. Without this blessing, societies crumble into anarchy as barbarians pillage and loot—but for the cause of social justice, of course.
Now we must prepare for the same savagery, only this time for the sake of women’s rights. And what right is denied them? The right to make decisions over their own bodies, they tell us. Forget the case of the—twelve year old…with Down Syndrome…who was raped…by her grandfather—you know, those one per cent of one per cent of one per cent of cases they usually trot out to pull our hearts’ strings. Now the knives are out: “It’s about a woman’s body, curse you!”
As I’ve said in other posts, the feminist movement has taught three generations of women that they should be as predatory and promiscuous as the most lecherous of men—and they have largely succeeded. Promiscuity is a matter of social justice now. The problem is that women get pregnant and men don’t—(well, up until a couple of years ago, but we are told that has now changed; biology is just funny that way, you know). Oh, as a Christian man, I look with utter disdain upon a wretch who would use a woman in such a way. But now both men and women seem to think that if the “malady” of pregnancy should occur, the cure is just a Planned Parenthood clinic away. Abortion allows a man to say, “You’re a willing partner who knows what might happen, and you have the means to fix the problem. It’s on you.” It’s despicable, but that’s what happens when despicable beds despicable. Sex as pleasure has conquered society.
And how did we arrive at this unfortunate juncture? It didn’t happen overnight. (I recommend Carl Trueman’s, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, as the most definitive analysis of our social pathologies.) But as a churchman I must point the finger at…OURSELVES. And it is certainly NOT that we have been Pharisaical or judgmental or intolerant. On the contrary, the problem is that we have been COMPLICIT. How so? Are you ready to listen?
Many years ago, we (evangelicals) embraced the idea that sex is first and foremost for pleasure. That this change of perspective was simultaneous with newer and better methods of contraception can hardly be viewed as accidental. Then we pointed to Bible verses which allegedly justified this position. I do not deny that within the context of marriage between a man and a woman that pleasure is one of the blessings God grants Christian couples, but I do question that pleasure is the primary purpose of intimacy, which idea did not originate but with urbanization and the Pill. One need only witness the declining birth rates in developed nations to draw the obvious conclusions. And to make matters worse, when one combines this pleasure-seeking understanding of intimacy with no-fault divorce and serial monogamy (all of which evangelicals have readily availed themselves), well then the slide to where we are now becomes both predictable and inevitable.
To sum, when the primary purpose of sex is pleasure and the natural fruit of procreation is intentionally cut off by those who are supposed to live the purest sexual ethic—when those who are supposed to live the purest sexual ethic turn sex into a hedonistic venture and justify that venture solely because they are one man and one woman in holy matrimony—it becomes extremely difficult to argue against—for example, same-sex (pseudo) marriage—because even though sodomy is plainly unnatural given its fruitless outcome due to its confusion over the function of certain body parts, LGBT’s have every right to say to us, “We learned from you heterosexuals a long time ago that sex has nothing to do with making babies. Having children is merely a lifestyle option, so our brand of sex is okay.” Thus, they, too, may marry and enjoy fruitless sex. And what’s better, they don’t even have to use contraception!
Though some may say that I am contradicting myself, I do not see Natural Family Planning as contraception as these are willingly denying themselves the periodic pleasure others enjoy. (Natural Family Planning would more accurately be labeled “birth control,” per se.) Nor do I condemn all reasons for using contraception. I simply assert that our wholesale embrace of contraception for the singular purpose of pleasure has unwittingly segued into the current “contraceptive and abortive mentality” that now dominates our culture.
Most evangelicals will disagree with me while their grown children even CHOOSE to be childless—something which would have horrified previous generations who thought married couples (even non-Christian) were supposed to welcome children as gifts from God. We have been fooled by our fallen culture and then complicit in the moral downfall of our nation as that concerns exalting pleasure-seeking, fruitless sex. Yes, I was fooled as well, and it is one of my greatest regrets. But I’ve started connecting the dots and am cheered that some young Christian couples have done so as well.
Even pagans see the hypocrisy of it all. And if they see it, how can we miss it? Because it’s all about sex—and sadly, just as much for us as it is for them. God help us!