The Fox or the Child

The enemy standing between modern man and his un-moralized sexual expression is not the Catholic church but the invisible child crying to be seen.

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An excellent article explicating the basis of Catholic sexual morality.

It is a good article, but the old teachings are insufficient in this age where we’ve ‘hacked’ sex. Reliable contraception completely changed everything and you can’t put the Jeanie back in the bottle.

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I noticed this comment:

“Our sexuality necessarily includes pleasure, otherwise humanity would have ceased to exist shortly after it had begun.”

That never had to be the case. God could have made it pleasurable only when offspring were guaranteed. We didn’t have to follow basic animal instincts. It was God’s call to allow the sexual urge in Man to be the strongest of all the passions.

No. Easily available contraception changed some things. It did not change the fact that artificial contraception is morally wrong.

The old truths remain true. Contraception was wrong a thousand years ago and it’s wrong today. Making a sin easier to commit doesn’t make it not a sin.

The sexual urge is not the strongest of the passions. Modern belief exalts it above other urges, but that doesn’t change its nature, nor the nature of other passions.

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I have read that one of the things lost in the Fall was mental/physical integrity. Before the Fall human passions were under the control of the intellect, rather than the other way around.

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Reliable includes available and effective. Don’t put words in my mouth, I never said it was morally acceptable.

How we teach the old truths much change though. Youth don’t see the same action and outcome as all through recorded history.

We fundamentally hacked sex, different/additional approaches are required to get the young to abstain till marriage.

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You said it changed everything. That was the statement I was disputing. I’m sorry if I misunderstand you, and I don’t mean to misrepresent you.

Our methods of teaching may have to change. The truths we must teach remain the same.
I fear that ‘changing how we teach’ puts us at risk of changing what we teach. We need to take care that we don’t adapt ourselves out of teaching the truth.

Very much so. In the distant past people followed sexual norms as a means of survival. Having children out of wedlock meant economic hardship and censure. The risk of children from sex was also great. Instead, large percentages of the population used prostitutes as an outlet… it is believed almost 1 in 5 young women in London in the 18th century were prostitutes. So, people in the past weren’t pure of heart by any means, but immorality was much more under the table.

Many Catholic apologists note how awful the approach to sex was by some well-meaning Christian groups in the 2000s, 1990s, and earlier, including in the Catholic Church. Parents don’t want their kids committing these sins so their “strategy” is to tell their children ridiculous, exaggerated, and inaccurate things about sex. The problem is: kids aren’t stupid. It is highly ineffective and sometimes even makes matters worse because then as a young adults the children can mock their parents and their religious education as being clueless and reactionary, and unfortunately there might be a lot of merit to it.

For a wholesome religious education, the positives need to come first. The attractive attributes that make living the faith authentically a joy and an honor. And of course, if they don’t see that joy and authenticity in their parents’ marriage, then that is a serious danger to the future decisions of the children. “Do what I say, not what I do” simply doesn’t work.

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Contraception is not abstention. The change we need in response to contraception being available is to tach our children to not contracept.

Are you distorting his words on purpose? Theo is a Catholic poster.

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True.

A bit like saying that killing only became wrong when guns were invented.

Or somehow became less wrong for the same reason.

@TK421

No. I don’t intend to distort Theo50’s words, and if I got him wrong I’m sorry. I responded to what I think he was saying.

People in the past followed certain sexual norms for economic and societal survival. It wasn’t (necessarily) because of virtue. Those norms have changed with the industrial revolution and the invention of the pill and those societal and technological changes are largely what then led to the sexual revolution.

Catholic instruction has to focus on the positives of the married vocation and give young people a reason to take joy in their faith. It is the same with the priestly vocation. Aleteia.org noted that encouragement from others was the #1 factor that led young men to answer the call.

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I haven’t heard that one before, but one should be careful in running away with a fact like that.

Firstly, London was much more important then as a port than it is now and so the clients would have included many sailors. This doesn’t justify anything of course but it shows that it was not necessarily the local population that was involved in that business to the degree being implied. On the contrary, there were many more churches in London then than there are now. Probably the women of that profession also came from far and wide and so were not extracted from the local population to the degree implied.

Secondly, many of those women may have been held and forced to work against their will, or at least suffered some level of intimidation. At the time it was much more difficult for a woman of such a profession to walk away or speak up or go to the police or otherwise be taken seriously or ask for help, as this was very much a taboo topic and people automatically assumed the women were evil and shunned them. The people responsible for the business used intimidation and corruption to buy the police and keep away unpleasant questions.

So I don’t think this statistic can be used to prove low levels of overall moraility in the broader population.

Supply and demand.

The second paragraph in your post strengthens what I’m saying further, so I’m not sure why you were using it to rebuff what I said. If people want something bad enough they will find a way to get it and that includes putting young women between a rock and a hard place.

People otherwise followed norms for proper behavior, but then there were dire consequences if they didn’t. Unless you were an aristocratic, you couldn’t just get away with having children out of wedlock without suffering a heavy price. If you were born into privilege, you could, and that is why it was the norm of Christian monarchs to keep mistresses around. In the day and age that we live in, the common person can get away with the stuff that only highly privileged people could get away with in the past.

And that is why Theo was saying that we need a new approach to inspire young people, because the pill changed a lot of things in society.

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