The 1960's-19070's


#1

So I was wondering where did the sexual revolution come from? Was it when people quit going to Mass and things like that?

I guess it had to do with the hippies. I’m only 33 so I wasn’t alive back then.

So what acutally caused that sexual revolution? Was it the public schools?

By the way, I went to public schools all my life and I regret it! I would’ve loved to have went to Catholic schools from preschool to high school!!!

So this might be a big subject, but go ahead… oh… maybe it had to do with the moral relativism. But, where/how did moral relativism become mainstream and infect us-our society/culture???


#2

It was caused by the repressive attitudes regarding sex through the 1950s coupled with a increased political teaching of the self, eventually creating a dichotomy between the two and the self won out.

Think of it this way... most people in the 1940s and 1950s are still taught not to have sex before marriage another standard Christian principles that affect not only the self but also the community.

At the same time during the 1950s we have a backlash of community. Communism (well it wasn't really communism it was a dictatorship) from the USSR causes the Government to constantly champion complete individualism. Anyone promoting a social type awareness is frowned upon and some even rounded up and accused of being commies. The children of that age are taught that they shouldn't do certain things but at the same time taught that they are in complete control, they don't need anyone else, they and they alone are key to their happiness.

As those children get older and truly have the ability to chose they take the self father than it was meant. The Government wanted to protect it's people from communism (which was a good thing) yet I believe the end result was a generation that was confused in regards to political and moral responsibility.

That's my 2 cents...

Joe


#3

It was caused by the wide-spread use of the hormonal (and abortafacient) birth-control pill. It divorced sex from procreation and turned it into recreation.


#4

[quote="Gem, post:3, topic:225660"]
It was caused by the wide-spread use of the hormonal (and abortafacient) birth-control pill. It divorced sex from procreation and turned it into recreation.

[/quote]

Which, along with abortion, turned women from being viewed as wives, mothers, partners worthy of respect for their responsibilities and role in families to sex objects/toys to be used and discarded.

Just my .02


#5

[quote="jasonsdec77, post:1, topic:225660"]
So I was wondering where did the sexual revolution come from? Was it when people quit going to Mass and things like that?

I guess it had to do with the hippies. I'm only 33 so I wasn't alive back then.

So what acutally caused that sexual revolution? Was it the public schools?

By the way, I went to public schools all my life and I regret it! I would've loved to have went to Catholic schools from preschool to high school!!!

So this might be a big subject, but go ahead.... oh... maybe it had to do with the moral relativism. But, where/how did moral relativism become mainstream and infect us-our society/culture???

[/quote]

The real sexual revolution occured at the end of the Victorian period, if I recall. I'd recommend reading about that and then the philosphers of the late 19th century. Usually ideas begin in a more academic setting and slowly are embraced by larger and larger numbers of people. Once its down to being embraced by a large percentage of the general public, the ideas are much more loosely formed and inconsistant, but you can still see how individuals like Kant, Decartes and Humes influenced later generations indirectly.

The thoughts a particular generational culture embraces, especially in a world with such mass communication and mass transit is basically the result of mixing a lot of ideas together and stirring it up. This is why knowing philosphy is so important. Today we live in a world that talks about free thinking, but most people just follow the cultural trends and go along with mainstream thought. They conform to it like any other generation conformed to their own culture. Philosophy however allows one to really look deeply at those ideas and truly teaches you how to think. Granted, I was just reading a book by Peter Kreeft about Hume and so far what I've gotten out of it is that Hume sort of set the stage for rejecting philosophy. Kreeft says that when you read Socrates, its about realizing you're in a cave and looking only at shadows of things and finding your way out, while Hume puts you back in the cave insisting that everything you think philosphy revealed to you is still just shadows in a cave.

BTW, I'm not saying that the invention of the pill, or the influence of individuals in the 50's and 60's had no influence on the changes that occured in the 60's and 70's. But I do think its important to acknowledge that this had been building up for decades.


#6

[quote="Gem, post:3, topic:225660"]
It was caused by the wide-spread use of the hormonal (and abortafacient) birth-control pill. It divorced sex from procreation and turned it into recreation.

[/quote]

Yes, that was the start of it. The pill was pushed as an ideal contraceptive, and among various elites the buzz was that the pope would approve of it. He didn't. Then most protestant denominations came to accept contraception as morally OK--something they had previously opposed. It was only a matter of time before schools began handing out condoms. The mantra was, "if it feels good, do it."


#7

Amen to all of the wise opinions that precede this one. I was born in 1959, so I grew up and attended Catholic schools during the period in question and I wholeheartedly agree - particularly with the introduction of “the pill” into the poisonous mix.

To respond to your original post, JasonS, I think that your lack of 1-12th grade education in Catholic schools was a real blessing. Perhaps you don’t see it as such, but let me explain. Not to step on anyone’s toes, but… I know many people of my age who received their education in Catholic schools during the period in question. Their teachers were mostly all members of religious orders - mostly nuns, or sisters if you prefer. A few went to high schools run by the Christian Brothers or a few other male orders, but the overwhelming majority teachers in elementary, high schools, and beyond were nuns.

I can only speak from experience, but most of the nuns who taught in these schools during the period of time in question were not a positive influence on anyone’s catholicity. On the contrary - they did far more to damage rather than to strengthen the Faith of their pupils. Women religious were reached and infected by the “spirit of Vatican II” in a way that is almost impossible to understand unless you lived through it. It was as if a tidal wave had washed up on the beach taking away everything as it receded. What was left was a militant feminism that rejected everything that had gone before. In the place of solid Faith based upon incontrovertible Truth, you got only questions without any black-and-white answers; this is the relativism you’ve already heard of. Sisters in the full habit with religious names (Sister Mary Fill-in-the-Blank) who returned to their motherhouses at the close of the 1965 school term, returned the next Fall in dowdy clothes, sporting very short haircuts, many with guitars and wearing peace symbols around their necks, and wanting to be called simply “Marge”, “Mary Joe”, “Suzy” or whatever their given name might have been prior to entering the convent. This was shocking to the Catholic laity, and all the more so to the young and impressionable children in their charge.

You couldn’t ask them anything and no explanation was given for what was so obvious a dramatic shift. To the young and impressionable mind this was not only confusing but, I believe, dangerous. Daily Mass attendance and weekly Confession (Reconciliation as it is now called) was replaced with once-per-week Mass if you chose to attend. As for Confession, that was left between you and God. And the catechism they adopted reinforced this laissez-faire attitude. The result was a generation (or two) of young people who no longer saw their Faith as true, necessary, and of supreme importance but rather as a mere choice that’s on a par with all other options. This doctrine extended to all sorts of choices about everything from the sanctity of life to the authority of bishops and of the Pope himself.

I was blessed to have had nuns who did not embrace all of the madness that categorized the turbulent years of the 60s and 70s. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Dominicans of the Congregation of St. Cecelia or the “Nashville Dominicans” as they are popularly called. Their leadership (and so the Congregation) didn’t stray from their traditional apostolate of teaching. As further witness to the way in which they are “different” from lay people, they never abandoned the use of religious names and their distinctive way of dress - or the wearing of the habit. They modified the veil slightly, but the rest was unchanged.

A lot of Catholics (lay people and religious) will loudly assert that it doesn’t matter how a religious sister or brother or priest looks or acts, but that’s simply not true. You have only to look at the fruits of the dramatic changes that were made under the guise of “conforming to the teachings of Vatican II” or aggiornamento as they called it. That was the mantra of those communities which today have very few members whose median age is about 75 or older. The sad handwriting is on the wall for such congregations, their institutions and the wonderful and positive impact they once had on generations of the Catholic lay population. This is a good thing in my opinion, as they will die out and will be replaced by communities such as the Nashville Dominicans, who either remained faithful to the Church or were recently founded as authentic communities with a unified apostolate, recognizable religious habit, and a daily life centered upon communal prayer and contemplation. Time will tell the wisdom of such practice and I think you’ll see that I was correct in my categorization of what happened to the Catholic youth of the 1960s and 1970s. But for the grace of Almighty God I would be among that number. Just FYI, I"m not a follower of Msgr. LeFebre or any of the sects that are known as “irregular” because of their refusal to accept the various changes in the Mass that followed the 2nd Vatican Council.


#8

[quote="MrVincent, post:7, topic:225660"]

A lot of Catholics (lay people and religious) will loudly assert that it doesn't matter how a religious sister or brother or priest looks or acts, but that's simply not true. You have only to look at the fruits of the dramatic changes that were made under the guise of "conforming to the teachings of Vatican II" or aggiornamento as they called it....

[/quote]

Very good points here. But I'd like to add that "aggiornamento" was the noun used by Pope John XXIII in describing his early plans of the 2nd Council to his bewildered superiors several years beforehand. In Italian, it means "update," but I just wanted to clarify before its actual meaning and history become misconstrued here.

I'd like to add that moral relativism has really eroded the things the OP has lamented the loss of. All of that "I'm ok, you're ok" stuff from 30+ years ago is still around, but multiplied and manifested in many other ways. Anyone who points out the amoral behavior and ideas of others as being "wrong" is considered "uptight," "judgmental," "hypocritical" and at worst, a "bigot."

Also, faculties at many universities in those years suddenly became "liberal," in order to keep up enrollment for fear of losing the Boomer crowd for being too "conservative" and "establishment."


#9

I attended Notre High School in Scotland 1959-64.I guess it was the start of the “revolution”.Whispers of the "pill"being used were rampant but only by women who needed it to regulate menstrual difficulties,none admitted the side effects were contraception.This was hypocritical as men could go to any pharmacy and obtain condoms ,embarrassment may have led them to a big city nearby where they were unknown but they still did it and their wives were aware of it.Do any of you remember the horrible way young women were treated by great Christians for becoming pregnant while unwed.It amounted to physical ,emotional and psychological abuse .everything from having their babies arbitrarily torn from their arms, to slurs ,spite ,refusal anesthetics during some terrible deliveries , often banned from their homes and ostracized by their families ,so she would learn a lesson ,forced adoptions all done in the name of a loving God and no doubt made some hypocrites feel good and holy ,I know women to this day who are still searching for their children ,while the perpetrators ,some of them are on their third marriage and have no problem when their g/daughters decide to abort because that can be kept secret and the family name is not slurred.By the way the men often walked away Scot free.The uproar in the sixties and seventies was that until then men had control of birth control and it was unthinkable that any woman would not suffer terrible punishment for out of wedlock sex ,much the same attitude when women got the vote .I don’t support AFB but I can see why women took to it , for many families an unwed pregnancy was enough to banish their own daughters to the other side of the world, I know my cousin was sent toAustralia by her own mother in 1961 and never met her child till five years ago … Christianity at work HUH?


#10

[quote="jamanne, post:9, topic:225660"]
..... Christianity at work HUH?

[/quote]

No, I would say just the opposite. Pride, vanity and the ego of people at work- hypocrisy is the antithesis of christianity. Hiding behind religion as a rationale for being unchristian is not practising the religion of christianity.


#11

OP, that is a very big question, and it does not have a simple answer.

Europe went through two World Wars in the 20th century. These visited unprecedented brutality and some grave privation on the civilian population during the early part of the century. This had the effect of weakening the faith in Europe. The spread of certain humanist philosophies also weakened the faith.

In the United States, young people growing up in the 1930s and early 1940s learned to live in frugal circumstances, in a society that was in frugal circumstances. On this group of young people fell the demands of World War II.

During World War II, there was a great deal of work that needed to be done for the war effort that had traditionally been considered “men’s work”, but that had no male laborers to do it. This work fell on a generation of women that had grown up during the Depression, a time when you coped with whatever fate fell upon you. Consequently, women stepped up and worked outside the home in traditionally male occupations: welding, driving truck, and so on. Where the job could not be done with the physical strength of a female, ways had to be found to do the job without it. Do I need to tell you that once women realized they were fully capable of doing the things they had been told they could not do, that this genie was not going back into the bottle? Similarly, blacks and Japanese men had served their country well, had shown that they could fight and die for their country as well as men of European ancestry. That genie was not going back into the bottle, either. The men who had gone off to war would find everything changed when they got back.

As for the men, a great many of them, young married men with young children, did not come back. Their widows had to go to work as single mothers to raise their children, sometimes without re-marriage (who would they all have married?) The men who came back were deeply changed, going into war as a teen or twentysomething and seeing their closest buddies die in horrific ways, seeing cities in ruins, and found their world totally changed when they got back. Yet the returning men were regarded as heroes and the attitude was, on the surface, one of unmitigated triumph. This, after all, was a generation and a nation capable of great things, a world power! Very few of the men could talk to anyone who had not been in those battles about what they had been through. It hardly needs to be said that the parents of that age came out of the war with a maturity unusual for their age, but also with inner wounds that they never talked about. This had effect on their relationships, including their relationships with their children.

Their children grew up in a totally different atmosphere. They knew little want and many opportunities. They knew few of the privations and demands their parents had known. Because of the GI bill, college had become a middle-class expectation. For this generation, the world was their oyster. It was the first generation with a middle-class “intelligentsia”. They went home from college full of new ideas, but not ideas welcomed by their parents. In their young adulthood, they did not see optimistic movie house news reels of a war being won, with the gore censored out. They saw the full gore of war, in their living rooms, gore that included women and children, and from a war whose aims could not be easily articulated, in which it was far more difficult to show the freedom that the blood of the young was buying. Viet Nam was also a war in which the young were aware the upper classes were not fighting. Harvard and Yale and other universities sent many young men off to fight WWI and WWII. The same wasn’t true of the Viet Nam conflict.

All of these things drove a wedge between the old and the young that was unprecedented. Many people born after the war lived by the mantra “Never trust anyone over 30.” They accepted nothing of what their parents tried to tell them at face value, but questioned everything. They thought that for the good of the world they ought to re-invent everything, including ethics and religion. They thought they knew better. Suffice it to say that although they did usher in many good things, such as civil rights, they also threw out the baby with the bathwater, discarding the true wisdom their parents knew, too.

As others have pointed out, their lives were also changed in unprecedented ways because of modern medicine. The birth control pill, yes, but not just the pill. Vaccinations, antibiotics, and other advances made huge changes in childhood mortality rates. Death was fought tooth and nail, with the expectation that medicine might one day defeat it.

The list can go on and on. Suffice it to say that the 20th century was a very difficult one, a century of unprecedented social upheaval. It had its advances, but there were also profound set-backs that are only being appreciated now, by the children of the baby boomers. People will blame this on many things, but I think it is clear that there wasn’t an easy way through that century.

IMHO, it isn’t our task now to criticize the 20th century, but to revive those worthy institutions and wisdoms that it tried to bury. We’ll make our own mistakes and have our own failures in this century. If we are humble when we consider the mistakes that came before us, perhaps we will have fewer of them.


#12

What I mean to say, OP, is this: The electron was discovered in 1897. The nucleus of the atom was discovered in 1911. Can you even start to imagine how many changes took place in the last 100 years? It is little wonder that when the world began today's pace of rapid change, there would be some vertigo.


#13

"Revolutions" such as this usually start when there was oppression of some sort before. In this case, there was sexual repression.

I have had many older adults tell me that when they were growing up back in the 50's and were in their early adult years in the 60's and so, they were always taught "don't do it before marriage" but never why. Now, most of us who are young-ish and grew up during the 80's and 90's will think "well DUH!" but we were given reasons-- lots of them. People back in the day were usually given "don't do it before marriage!" or "it's wrong, don't!" given in frightened attitudes and "you better not think about it" tones. This contributed to a lot of issues with sexuality.

Many older adults have told me that they were raised with "Catholic guilt" and attitudes toward sexuality was part of that. I mean even today, many churches and church leaders throughout Christianity teach that the very fact that one has sexual desire for the opposite sex is sinful, and having the desire to hold someone of the opposite sex's hand, kiss them, hug, and be within very close proximity is enough to send you straight to you-know-where. I think these are still residual results from the early repression of the 1950's, and even much earlier than that.

Strangely enough, I've seen stats that show that people still had premarital sex at comparable frequencies as they do today, except people are starting younger and younger today. Ironic.


#14

It all started in the early 1960's when the US Supreme Court declared pornography as "Protected Speech" covered by the 1st amendment. Then came accepted and easy access to the birth control pill. Then came the 1970's, Roe v. Wade and abortion on demand was in play allowing 14 year old girls the "right" to dispose of an unwanted baby, and now we have gays expecting the same marriage rights as hetrosexual couples. Along the way we have had prayer kicked out of public school, Vatican II and all of it's misinterperted craziness, Watergate, welfare removing the husband/father as head of house, coed dorms, the feminist movement, the ACLU telling us what to, blah, blah, blah. America is circling the drain, if we don't pull ourselves out VERY SOON it will be too late.


#15

[quote="jasonsdec77, post:1, topic:225660"]
So I was wondering where did the sexual revolution come from? Was it when people quit going to Mass and things like that?

I guess it had to do with the hippies. I'm only 33 so I wasn't alive back then.

So what acutally caused that sexual revolution? Was it the public schools?

By the way, I went to public schools all my life and I regret it! I would've loved to have went to Catholic schools from preschool to high school!!!

So this might be a big subject, but go ahead.... oh... maybe it had to do with the moral relativism. But, where/how did moral relativism become mainstream and infect us-our society/culture???

[/quote]

A tidal wave of young, hot and bothered baby boomers + the pill = Sexual revolution.

A young baby boomer generation who wanted to change the world and thought they knew how to do it. They thought they knew how to do it because they were young, rebellious and educated, compared to their parents who grew up in the depravation of the Great Depression and WWII.

Of course, in previous generations, the method of birth control was a wedding ring on the finger while dear old Dad stood in the background with his shot gun cocked at the young Mr. who just knocked up his daughter. My dad was the "oopsie baby" in a scenario like this one! Lots of babies were born a very very short time after marriage took place in the so called "good old days". (There is no such thing, in other words!)


#16

[quote="jwashu, post:2, topic:225660"]
It was caused by the repressive attitudes regarding sex through the 1950s ...

Joe

[/quote]

I would hardly call the laws of God 'repressive.'


#17

The roots for this started around the turn of century with more and more young men and women entering college. If you look at the research, the number of people having sex before marriage began to skyrocket somewhere around 1915-ish (I don't remember the exact year). Indoctrination had begun. There are a number of books going into this topic in detail with dates, figures, and sources.

Fast forward to WWII and you have the so-called Greatest Generation dealing with the war. They conquered an external evil, but lacked the resolve to deal with the cultural and intellectual challenges at home. They had kids in the 40s. Add 18 to those years and the kids, without any antidote/moral instruction to deal with the progressive culture and schooling, are now 18 and entering college in the 1960s. Cue the sexual revolution.

All grown up today, those kids have infiltrated universities and public institutions thoroughly. Your kids go there to learn knowledge and wisdom; they receive it from these people who claim relativism but simply substitute religious dogmas with their own ideology. Your kids become indoctrinated and argue with you because they, after all, have been educated by the brightest and the parents must be mildly ignorant. Rinse and repeat.

I was watching a John Wayne movie a month ago (it's the one where his daughter and her boyfriend come back from a fancy college back east and Wayne's wife is angry with his rowdy ways). The interesting thing is that the film reflected this reality. After a long time apart, the college daughter arrives by train and ends up lecturing Wayne and the other frontiersmen about the primitive nature of of their ways (i.e. they are God fearing, value direct confrontation, etc.). Wayne even remarks that the college taught her many large words but absolutely no sense. This is the reality we are living in today. The only difference is that the John Wayne characters are nearly gone and the Obama-college-ideology runs everything and infects everything, including our churches. Even our bishops and priests, whose sole task is to shine the light of God in the face of evil no matter how great, are impotent.

I am well versed in this reality because I teach at the college level.

What is particularly demoralizing is that so many "traditionalists" pretend this isn't happening and then respond with the standard "you're looking at the past with rose colored glasses" mantra. At some point, that argument just becomes absurd as what was once wrong now has become right (i.e. abortion, homosexuality, sleeping around).


#18

Carl Rogers devastated religious orders:

ewtn.com/library/PRIESTS/COULSON.TXT


#19

Winking at the “indiscretions” of college men, in other words, changed into a removal of a double standard. The problem is that the new standard did not expect virtue of both men and women, but expected that both would naturally and, more wholesomely than if they were virtuous, be inclined to vice. “Frankness” and “honesty” about sex became reasons to excuse bad behavior as normal because bad behavior was purported to be the average, if not the universal norm, and anyone who thought differently was either naive or hypocritical. It is a Gospel that tells the story of the woman caught in adultery, but leaves out the part in which the Lord said: Go, and sin no more.

I think there is also the issue of publicity. An earlier poster mentioned Watergate, and I initially thought: “Watergate??” That scandal, however, was indicative of an age when the vices of the rich and famous were no longer hidden. Again, instead of being called vices when that is what they were, the behaviors were normalized. Performers who chose to be promiscuous, for instance, were not marginalized (as happened when someone’s “indiscretions” got out in slightly earlier times). Instead, they put their misadventures into the popular music and romanticized their behavior as honest.

Consider this song by Billy Joel:
*Come out Virginia, don’t let me wait
You Catholic girls start much too late
aw But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one

well, They showed you a statue, told you to pray
They built you a temple and locked you away
Aw, but they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done…
Only the good die young
thats what i said
only the good die young, only the good die young.

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain’t too pretty we ain’t too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
aw But that never hurt no one

So come on Virginia show me a sign
Send up a signal and I’ll throw you the line
The stained-glass curtain you’re hiding behind
(you know)
Never lets in the sun
darlin only the good die young
woah
i tell ya
only the good die young, only the good die young.

You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation
You got a brand new soul
mmmm, And a cross of gold
But Virginia they didn’t give you quite enough information
You didn’t count on me
When you were counting on your rosary
(oh woah woah)

They say there’s a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it’s better but I say it ain’t
I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
the sinners are much more fun…

you know that only the good die young
thats what i said
i tell ya
only the good die young, only the good die young

well your mother told you all that I could give you was a reputation
Aww She never cared for me
But did she ever say a prayer for me? oh woah woah

Come out come out come out: Virgina, don’t let me wait,
You Catholic girls start much too late
Sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one,
You know that only the good die young

I’m telling you baby
You know that only the good die young
Only the good die young…*


#20

I just realized in that Billy Joel song - sounded like he only wanted to "laugh" with Virginia. Yeah right.

I'd like to add the Kinsey Report (trying to normalize the perversions of a prison population to the general population). And Freud (although he thought masturbation was disordered and wrong, people used his ideas like they were slaves to unconscious drives and not responsible).

And car dating (unchaperoned). Unprecedented in human history.

I so believe in the 1884 vision of Pope Leo XIII.


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