The murder, abuse, and suicide of a NFL player has brought all kinds of emotions into our national discourse.
Some blame the “violent game of football,” but studies don’t seem to confirm that players are made more violent off the field.
Some blame our “gun culture,” but the increasing rates of violence in the United Kingdom, which has strict gun control laws, and many other studies seem to challenge that idea.
So maybe, but isn’t there another possible cause?
What I have not heard, and what does seem to be supported by reasonable evidence, is any challenge to the culture of sex and babies outside of the context of marriage. Our popular culture does not, for the most part, condemn the hookups that produce out of wedlock babies and the drive-by relationships that come at a cost. Google the evidence on whether “boyfriends” are more likely to violence than biological fathers and husbands.
Watch a good bit of television and movies and sex acts are just recreation: first comes sex, then love, then marriage. One of my favorite shows, Castle, has taken that line and in Castle money and screen writers smooth everything out.
Isn’t the evidence pretty conclusive that everything from violence and other social problems are related to (let’s be old fashioned here) fornication?
Isn’t it really a great idea for pop culture to be allow judgmental statements about gun control or football, but avoid discussing irresponsible sexuality?
Perhaps, society should discourage sex outside of marriage and making babies outside of marriage as ideals. We all admit that many will not live up to the ideals, but that would not make them worse. Social pressure does have some impact after all.
Recently I saw a slogan: “my love, my way, my business, get over it.”* If a person plans living on an island by themselves or with their partner, I can see the value of this statement, but in a highly interconnected culture I don’t get it. If my choices will lead (over all) to more babies without Daddy or Mommy, then my choices are harming culture. If my choices make it more likely that I will harm my marriage, then I am harming culture.
We need not make an action illegal to condemn it. We need not return to double standards, where men were allowed sexual natures and women were not in order to say that fornication and a libertine sexual culture may have played a role in the evil actions of this man. Of course, all evil is complex as is all love. The causes of this particular evil are known fully only to God.
But this we do know: God wants me to be faithful in my heart, my mind, and my actions to my wife. God wants me to love my children and do all I can not to provoke them to anger. God has connected sexuality to childbirth and building families.
Where I deviate from that ideal, and I do, I must repent and change. Most of us are not likely to murder or act on our anger or lusts. We are, fortunately for society, just good enough not to do those things, but my “small sins” of covetousness, lusts, and materialism can be destructive multiplied over years. May I turn from them without discouragement, because Jesus will help me be a better man, son, husband, father, and citizen.
May the Lord have mercy on the departed, but also mercy on me a sinner.
*I don’t remember the exact phrase, but that was the meaning of it.