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Confronting the sexual revolution

It is based on a lie and weakens all of society

iStock.com/Marcelle Aguiar Mineiro

Confronting the sexual revolution
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The sexual revolution lost a key plank in its platform a few weeks ago when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on abortion. In the coming days, weeks, months, and years, pro-abortion advocates will likely exert themselves to preserve, expand, and otherwise champion abortion through legislation and other means. And they will have ardent supporters. Why? Because abortion serves the cause of sexual immorality, and people love sin. The availability of abortion—the killing of an unborn human life—provided an essential safety net that secures “consequence-free” sex.

Now, with the mythical “constitutional right to abort” revealed and reversed, an important social divide has become clearer than it has in many decades. Progressives see sex as recreational; traditionalists see it as procreational. In the recreational view, when a woman conceives a child, it often means something has gone wrong. In this view, sex serves to bring adults pleasure. Pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing carry their fair share of unpleasantness to be avoided.

In the procreational view of sex, when a woman conceives, something has assuredly gone right. One of the natural ends of the conjugal union is new life, and when a woman becomes pregnant, it means nature has correctly run its course. Obviously, God designed this, and even nonbelievers used to assent to this universal reality. Marriage before sex—true commitment with various legal protections, social expectations, and religious guidance—is not only ethical but logical. In the procreative view, fornication proves not only immoral but stupid. Babies and mothers need the safety and security of matrimony. Of course, this view would also see the utter chaos involved in no-fault divorce policies, in which one party can unilaterally abandon the family. The procreational view harmonizes with nature. But technology and technique have worked to hide and suppress what humanity has known before recorded history. And a slice of that hellbent mission of forgetfulness includes murdering inconvenient people instead of taking care of them.

But care for people we must. We assuredly have obligations and duties to our neighbors. As a culture, we no longer laud the fulfillment of these things as we should, nor do we properly dishonor their neglect. This gets to an important point. Who will care for expectant mothers?

Fatherhood must be idealized—men must desire to be husbands and dads.

As Catholic philosopher Edward Feser brilliantly observed on Twitter, “Nature provides supports for pregnant women. They’re called fathers. When fathers fail there are extended families.” If a man knows he has impregnated a woman and then goes on to neglect or abandon her, he is obviously the root cause of grievous injustice. While government policy certainly can help women, the family issue remains absolutely foundational. To address this, fatherhood must be idealized—men must desire to be husbands and dads. They must work, plan, and exert themselves in pursuing that goal. Likewise, society must stigmatize fornication.

Sex must become “expensive” rather than “cheap,” to use Mark Regnerus’ terminology. This concept of plentiful, easy sex is a lie. Biologically, a child in the womb must be carried by his mother for the course of pregnancy. That’s a costly burden, as well as a blessing that deserves the security, legitimacy, and provision that traditional marriage provides. In other words, women should deny sex to men who aren’t willing to marry them and raise their kids. Men ought to oblige and accept the honorable script of marriage before sex. Fathers, mothers, and children all deserve these clear boundary lines.

Interestingly, all of this turns marriage into quite a productive, involved, cooperative enterprise—because it is. Too often, the modern script for young people is that of an atomized individual squarely—solely?—focused on his or her career. Obviously, this profile is ideal for big government and big business because various sorts of solidarity found in “makeweights“ weaken the sway that enormous entities can have on a lone person. But nature throws a monkey wrench into this streamlined script, especially in the form of pregnant mothers, babies, and childhood. Our forebears knew how to work with the grain of nature. They believed in the importance of the household. Households—like sex—should be productive rather than merely recreational. A man and a woman come together in matrimony to create, build, and manage a most important enterprise, ideally cooperating with their extended family and close neighbors.

This was the norm, and it must become the norm once again if our society is to flourish. The sexual revolution must be renounced. Its vision is a mirage. It embraces a fundamental unreality at war with nature. Christians know that God has wisely designed His creation and provided a good moral order to govern us as His creatures. This is undeniably the wisest and most compassionate way for our culture to pursue and conduct itself. It’s time to kiss hookup, shack-up culture goodbye.

Barton J. Gingerich

The Rev. Barton J. Gingerich is the rector of St. Jude’s Anglican Church (REC) in Richmond, Va. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Patrick Henry College and a Master of Divinity with a concentration in historical theology from Reformed Episcopal Seminary.

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