"When was the last time anyone heard a sermon that condemned the evils of fornication, or adultery, or cohabitation, or divorce, or bearing children outside wedlock (let alone homosexuality)? Controlling these sins is a core Christian value. At one time a preacher could be expected to devote extended attention to these sins. And he could be expected to condemn them unequivocally. Yet today, even as the social and economic fallout from precisely these practices becomes ever more glaring and serious, pastors and priests seem ever more determined to avoid discussing them.”
. . .
“Yet ever more conspicuously, it is precisely these sins that are wreaking havoc throughout our society.” crisismagazine.com/2015/can-christianity-survive-sexual-revolution
Ultimately, unmitigated sexual license leads to social breakdown and tyranny.
Yet Christians in general seem to be afraid to rock the boat on these matters, letting the breakdown continue unabated.
This is only my (not so humble) opinion, but priests are counselors to their parishes and understand what issues need to be stressed. I’m lucky to attend a huge Jesuit parish with four priests. Our weekly homilies are awesome and thought provoking. Some of the time the subject comes from current events, but mostly they are derived from the Gospel readings. Topics recently have included racism, forgiveness, helping the poor and the harm we do our kids by stressing them out with activities. If Father got up and preached about the evils of contraception or, especially gay issues, many would just walk out and others would think that he must have grabbed an old sermon from the 1960’s! In order to be a great homolist, you need to understand your primary audience. Do you really believe that standing up in front of the Parish and preaching fire and brimstone concerning sexual ethics will make any difference to a group where 80% are college graduates? Living out and teaching the Corporol Works of Mercy and the Holy Gospels should be the emphasis as is advocated by Papa Francis.
The author of the article asks whether Christianity can survive the sexual revolution; but I believe tha the more pertinent question is whether our society can survive the sexual revolution.
Christians and their pastors seem to have either laid down their arms or gone over to the enemy, with the result that the disastrous results of the sexual revolution continue to permeate society, destroying individuals and families.
Families have been the undergirding and basic unit of civilization throughout history. As they are destroyed, our society descends into chaos and anarchism, followed by tyranny, which inevitably steps in to fill the gap.
So, rather than preach about fornication, cohabitation, divorce, and abortion, we are content to let the schools teach kids how to have safe sex while universities prosecute ‘sexual assault’ following consensual drunken hookups.
Can there be any social justice in a society in which families have been destroyed, and out of wedlock birthrates range from 41% to 71%?
So, if the priests understand what issues need to be stressed, I take it that there is no problem with any sexual sins at this parish. Everyone reserves sex for marriage, and families are intact. I wish that this were the case everywhere. In other places, sexual sin has so ruined families that a Synod on the Family will take place later this year.
In my country a layperson called into the healing ministry and charismatic renewal was told by Jesus;
“I want you to be like John the Baptist. A reed crying in the wilderness.
No one is speaking up for Me. No one.”
And this person often says in his talks; “When was the last time you heard mention that something was a mortal sin?”
He speaks out very strongly about the commandments.
That which takes place in your house, in your bedroom is not for me to speculate about or for anyone else to take a interest in. As far as I can ascertain, no fault divorces are more to blame for the decline of the nuclear family than contraception and free love. If you were posting this in 1966, it would be better understood. It was my (probably flawed) understanding that the synod this fall will discuss streamlining the annulment process and helping those affected to feel more a part of the Church family instead of living on the fringes without hope of sharing the Body and Blood of Jesus. If our Dear Holy Father has his way, LGBTQ individuals will also be welcomed without being made to feel like Typhoid Mary. Do I think that he will support gay civil unions? OF COURSE NOT! What I do speculate is that he will try to move away from the blame game that many uneducated play when they refuse to acknowledge that in a majority of cases, gay people were born gay, it’s not a choice. There are rad trads in the Church that do not want divorced or gay people to have any comfort our love from the Church - thank goodness Papa Francis isn’t one of them.:rolleyes:
kozlosap - And why should those priests be concerned if someone walks out simply because he preached the truth? Preaching and defending truth, if done charitably of course, is something that we as Catholics should never, EVER apologize for.
You think divorce is more the cause of the decline in the nuclear family than the contraceptive mindset? It is clearly the other way around! Why do people think that divorce is okay today in the first place anyway? Isn’t it primarily because they are not taught to love properly? Isn’t it because our society, which is steeped in the contraceptive mindset in the midst of the culture of death, believes love is all about sex? That sex is not sacred and that it is simply something people who might sort of like each other do? No doubt about it, it is this contraceptive mindset and the casual attitude about sex in today’s society that has in turn led to an increase in divorce and indeed, thinking that divorce is always okay.
Also, it does not follow that just because the Church is against divorce and gay marriage, it does not welcome or love these people. Disagreement is not equal to hate. If gay or divorced persons have been treated badly by members of the Catholic Church, it is the fault of the people who are treating those persons badly, not the fault of the Catholic Church which preaches the truth.
I do agree that homilies about such topics might have been better received in an earlier age, although I doubt that they were ever really well received.
The fact of the matter is that Catholics and other Christians never really put up much of a fight against the sexual revolution. When children started having sex, we said, ‘well, let’s just teach them to be safe.’ When children started living together but not marrying, we said, ‘well, at least they are sort of committed.’ When middle schoolers figured that oral sex wasn’t really sex, we sighed and said ‘well, it’s not really intercourse, after all.’ When divorce became easy, we didn’t fight it, we took advantage of it.
But it started with contraception. Nobody wanted to preach against contraception. It broke with 2,000 years of teaching by Catholics and with 400 years of teaching by Protestants, but it took hold because it promised sex without responsibility. It detached sex from marriage, detached marriage from children, made children into optional commodities.
Now the sexual revolution feeds the welfare state, feeds the abortion industry, leaves children fatherless, splits up families, and has made new generations believe that marriage is useless. Anyone who has read “Adam and Eve After the Pill” can read the sad statistics.
Yes, the Church survived Roman persecution, and overcame it. But it has not overcome the sexual revolution. In has in fact, pretty much caved in to it. Contraception guaranteed gay marriage, and now we’ve arrived at that point. It won’t be the ending point.
Thank you so much for this conversation! I still believe that divorce is more of a detriment to family life. I taught High School for 35 years and the number of pregnant sixteen year olds has dropped dramatically in the past twenty years or so, which is awesome. ABC is not going away, it is a part of life for most women between ages 16 and 50. I think that with education about child development and emotional stability that divorce rates might start to fall in the next generation.
That is good news, and I do hope that the rates of kids having children will continue to decrease. Some parts of the counter-sexual revolution are having an effect—most specifically pro-life efforts opposing abortion. A grea many people now recognize the humanity of the unborn child.
Sexual activity among children and the unmarried may still be high but I don’t have stats handy at the moment. It’s been awhile since I read Mary Eberstadt’s book “Adam and Eve After the Pill,” but she did have a lot of statistics in it.
I do believe that divorce has been and remains a serious driver of family disintegration, but I think that divorce itself was driven in part by easy contraception, which made extramarital affairs and sex without responsibility easier and more attractive.
Speaking as an old curmudgeon myself, I can recall a time when divorce was so uncommon as to be somewhat of a scandal. My school peers, whatever other problems we had, simply never considered the possibility that divorce might split us from one of our parents. It was quite unthinkable.
Now, I’ve heard of one child telling another something along the lines, of “well, you never know—you just don’t know if we will have both parents with us or if they might divorce.” Adults seem to believe that divorce does’t affect kids, but I think it does. Even if it never occurs to their own parents, it’s always present in the back of their mind, like a possible inevitable disaster lurking, about which they can do nothing.
A few days ago, when I saw an article titled Neo-Victorianism on Campus, it sounded encouraging. But after reading it, it just means that men (but not women) can get charged with sexual assault and be expelled after having consensual sex. They don’t have to listen to homilies about sex, but now they will be subject to the campus sex tribunals and be deprived of due process and representation. It seems that when religion doesn’t do its job, the bureaucracy steps in, and the results are much worse without actually solving anything.
There are Jesuits, and there are Jesuits. Not all of them are reluctant to talk about sexual sin and the consequences of sexual sin. Here is Father John Hardon’s take on the devil and sexual sins from his essay “The Strategy of the Devil in Demonic Temptations.”
*Take the tragic instability of family life in America. The annual average is now over one divorce for every two marriages. In the future, it will be even worse as the children of broken homes reach marriageable, and -we have to coin a word- divorceable, age. Yet always divorce and remarriage seem to be the easy way out. It looks like a quick solution to a deep problem. And the press, radio and television sustain the falsehood by telling married people of the benefits of divorce. The laws of our country abet the conspiracy by making it next to impossible to save a marriage if one of the partners wants to be released, as they say, from the tyranny of a husband or wife.
The evil spirit tries to seduce not only the human mind but also the human will. He entices our wills by releasing our passions. He wants to arouse the passions of the flesh and, what is less obvious, the passions of the soul. Why should he want to do this? What connection is there between passion and sin? The connection is that of cause and effect. Sin always leaves its mark on the sinner. It is like throwing a bottle of nitric acid into a person’s face and burning out his eyes. Every sin we commit weakens our powers of reason and intelligent perception. The more serious the sin and the more often committed, the greater is this induced darkening of man’s most precious possession, which makes him most like God, his ability to think. Sinners do not think, they emote, and then write learned volumes defending their irrationality.
How otherwise explain the crimes of a Stalin or a Hitler, who sent millions to their death in the cold deserts of Siberia and the gas chambers and hot ovens of Germany? How otherwise explain the mania of abortion?
No human beings, unless inspired by the devil, could be so cruel as to murder millions of innocent children. Only demonic hatred or lust for power and pleasure could explain what we are now witnessing in one once civilized country after another.*
Hi kozlosap, going by your original statement about divorce’s effect on the family life, which was the following, I still disagree with you.
As far as I can ascertain, no fault divorces are more to blame for the decline of the nuclear family than contraception and free love.
However, with your statement above, which is slightly different, I can see perhaps what you mean. If all you meant to say was the second statement, that divorce is “more of a detriment to family life”, then I can agree with you in the sense that divorce is a more direct detriment. But my whole point is, why is divorce even so prevalent today? I was trying to make the claim that the whole reasoning behind why divorce even happens so often is strongly based in, or at the very least linked to, the contraceptive/free love mindset. In other words, that the contraceptive mindset was what came first, and this is at least one factor that led to the sexual revolution. Didn’t contraception become widely accepted long before what we would call the beginning of the visible sexual revolution? Wasn’t it in like the 1920s or something that every church (except the Catholic Church) began to condone contraception? I don’t know, when do you believe was the beginning of the sexual revolution? I was assuming it was in the 50s or 60s was when it really took off, but perhaps I’m wrong.
Also, not to undermine the efforts of pro-life groups, because I know they do much good and I think that in some sense we are making headway in the matter of abortion at least. But one of the reasons for the decline in teenage pregnancies is simply because ABC is so readily available today. As you mention, it is “a part of life” for today’s women, which is terrible. As long as we have this attitude that we “need” birth control, that we can’t control our own sexual urges and be truly responsible, I can basically guarantee that divorces will continue to destroy families and therefore continue to wreak havoc in society. After all, didn’t a pope (Pius XII? I’m really bad at this, it was in the 50s or 60s I think) predict the downfall of marriage and family life and destruction of the idea of true human dignity at the advent of the sexual revolution, before divorce became common? But when the contraceptive mindset had already taken root in society? Divorce is a huge problem today, but problem goes deeper - into the mindset of our society, and until this is fixed, and until marriage and family life in the truest sense is restored, our society will continue to go downhill.
““Re: Can Christianity Survive the Sexual Revolution?””
Perhaps a subtitle to this question is as follows:
“Will Christians ever learn to properly express Christian morality?”
This very conversation illustrates the problem well.
There is a false dichotomy between the expression of Christian morality and beating people over the head with judgment. They are not one and the same.
Christian morality promotes the good of every person. Christian morality proposes good news, not words of condemnation and death.
Theology of the Body is a wonderful example of how good Christian morality can be for human beings. And I think that as John Paul 2’s way of expressing sexual morality gains ground in seminaries, we will see priests begin to express it well from the pulpit. This is already happening with some of our younger priests.
As Christians we are not in the business of telling people how bad they are, and where they will end up for eternity. Christ gives us words of life that promote the existence and flourishing of every human being.
To answer the question, In my opinion Christianity will survive, western Christian culture will not survive, in my opinion. The decay of sexual morality will continue to have tragic consequences. Western Christian culture is slowly contracepting itself out of existence, physically and spiritually.