“No Chastity Retreat For You!” Exclaims the cynical liberal who presumes that ‘they are just going to do it anyways, so let’s give them all artificial contraception.’
This is the line of reasoning of many progressives, imagining themselves to be grounded in reality. I believe that they are trapped in a past world, where they believe that any challenge to sexual promiscuity can only result in shaming and hurt feelings. I believe that they imagine themselves to be a in world where sex is something hidden and shamed, and not part of every billboard top single, every MTV music awards performance, every major motion picture comedy. Finally, I also believe that many of them had not had an actual conversation with an adolescent that has had to go through the emotional trauma that results in teenage sexual activity. My experience, is that most old liberals who refuse to discuss chastity and abstinence think ‘they are just going to do it anyways,’ are no longer in touch with the modern adolescent and the world that they inhabit.
In the past few years or so, a friend of mine who was involved in a parish youth ministry, was not supported in putting on another chastity retreat. I don’t know the full details of this, and this post is not meant to address this particular situation, as much as it is to address CLOSED-MINDED CYNICAL LIBERALS WHO PRESUME THAT CONTRACEPTION WILL SAVE THE WORLD.
Miley Cyrus, an American Golden Girl
The mythical non-existent world that many old people live in, is one where Miley Cyrus did not Twerk Robin Thicke on national television. The mytical world that they inhabit is one, where an All-American good girl like Miley Cyrus (or Britney, or anyone else), never becomes an icon of sexual promiscuity, unapologetically is backed by the entire entertainment media industry (from record labels, radio, MTV, & iTunes). The non-existent world that closed-minded liberals who think contraception will save the world is one in which Billboard chart-toppers have lyrics synchronized to the speech of rapists.
Rape Culture’s proponents & Contraception’s Proponents
This scares me. People who are making an effort to expose Rape Culture, have found this popular maxim: Men are so sexual, and they are just going to do it anyways. When High School & College Athletes and systematically protected by their coaches from the legal consequences of the crime of rape, they always say “Boys will be boys!” Cosmopolitan magazine tells girls that men think of sex several thousand times a day, implying your better off throwing away your sexual hang-ups, and giving in.
Most reasonable people will probably pinpoint the issue of consent, and that contraception can allow for mutual consent. Yet, nobody who wants to put an end to rape, and the culture that supports it, will deny the fact that young men need to accept that they are morally responsible free human persons capable of making the right decision. People who deny Chastity & Abstinence promotion to youth fall into the same disgusting mindset as those who perpetrate Rape Culture: That young people are not free responsible human persons capable of doing good.
Rape Culture, and even Consensual Sex Hook-up does a lot more shaming of people who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid. There was a time in this country where Consensual Sex between Adults could get one kicked out of the family. Family is too fluid a concept in the modern western mind, and unmarried couples living together is more acceptable than not having a sex life. People who are not engaged in regular sexual activity, whether hooking up with multiple partners, or tentatively committed to a non-binding relationship (outside of marriage), do not typically find themselves ostracized from their families. Whether we still hold an ideal of children within marriage, the mores of socially acceptable sexual activity has broadened widely.
While Liberals will applaud this, they still pretend like nothing has happened, and that any challenge to our unregulated sexual appetite could endanger our immaculately sensitive little souls from experiencing even the most minute bit of shame. They live under the impression that people who engage in sexual activity are always in danger of being shamed, and desperately require the moral protection of having contraception always available, while stubbornly refusing to observe that people who do not conform to enslaving themselves to the worship of the sex-god in our culture are actually more in danger of public shaming.
What About the Church?
I did not need to launch into a polemic on faithfulness to Church teaching on this matter. I did not arrive at my convictions simply by accepting Church Teaching on the matter. I grew up instinctively sympathetic to the progressive perspective on things, and have repeatedly found the conclusion of previous generations woefully inadequate in giving me the kinds of answers that will inspire me to be the best person that I need to be.
Sure, I could even put Church Teaching aside, and discuss the sort of peace of mind and focus that young people have who practice some sort of Chaste or Sexually Abstinent behavior. I could get into other scientific studies as well. Much has been written on either side of the issue, and people know where to find what the Church teaches on the matter.
Finally, I could not go on about the countless young people who I have talked to, who have experienced some sort of emotional or psychological pain as a result of the sexual activity that they have always been encouraged (if not pressured) to do.
I can just make it simple for the sake of this post.
I have been told most of my life by adults, who think that condoms and contraception will make my life easier and better, that I am not capable of controlling my genitals. I have been told most of my life, by magazines, by television, by pop stars, by movies, by the media, by teachers, politicians, and parents, that I am not capable of making good moral decisions, and better come up with a back up plan, for what will happen anyways. Concurrently, I have also been told that I am not any good, and not worthy of any admiration, unless I conform to the oversexualized culture, and subdue women to gratify my sexual desires, or at least coerce them. I have been told that I can merit respect, and avoid shame, by engaging in unhinged sexual activity.
Sometimes I wish that I was not always protected from self-disatisfaction. Sometimes I wish I could be allowed to experience some self-disatisfaction, some shame of some sort, so I could strive to always be better, and never sell myself short.
Church Teaching is true, independent of what I think or feel about the matter. The Church is not needy for me to defend it’s True Teaching, it can speak for itself. All I can do, with my experience, give weight to that which is always True. The Poison of Deception has been hazardous to me, and to many more people my age and younger.
You Are Valuable, and Capable of Much Good.
You are infinitely and irrevocably valuable, regardless of your sins, your sexual past or orientation, because God’s love for you does not change, nor can you change that you find your origin in him. God, who is all good, created you to be good, and gives you direction, so that you do not become enslaved to your pettiest passions, but also because you are capable of much good. When you can have the courage to accept that profound truth, then we can start talking about being Chaste.