Yesterday, I had an interview–actually, it was more like nuclear warfare–with Eddie Fingers and Tracy Jones, hosts of the #1 afternoon drive time show in Cincinnati. They had me on to discuss my book, Holy Sex, in light of the NY Times article on the Hook-Up Culture . It turns out I wrote the book that shocked the shock jocks.
A couple of weeks ago, in light of the US News and World Report article on how devout Catholics have the best and most frequent sex, my publisher hired a publicist to book interviews for me on secular and Christian radio. Overall, its gone well with most interviewers being patronizing at worst and actually interested at best. These guys were another story altogether.
One of them, I think it was Tracy (it was hard to tell them apart but he identified himself as a former pro-ball player so I suspect it was him) decided that I had some kind of mental illness for suggesting that 1) anyone should wait to have sex until marriage and 2) monogamy was a good thing. Worse, he acted as if I was personally insulting him for saying the same.
When I shared that the more sexual partners one has before marriage the more difficult it was to make satisfying, lifelong sexual bonds later in life, he went ballistic.
It’s hard to describe how vicious, mean-spirited and vitriolic he was. He accused me of being a “nerdy joyless ‘doctor’ who just couldn’t get any” and just wanted to inflict my miserable joyless ways on the world. And that was the friendly part of the interview. Of course, some of Jones’ credibility, especially regarding my point on the lifelong bonding issue, was undermined when he had to admit that he was on his second marriage and, in response to my direct challenge to his assertion that lifelong monogamy was impossible, he admitted that he would probably cheat on his second wife, “if it came up.” But y’know, why let facts, reason, and personal experience get in the way of narcissistic ant-religious bluster?
I deal with a lot of angry people in my line of work and I’m not easily intimidated by drama so I think I managed to make some solid points despite being taken by surprise. I’m not sure why, but they seemed genuinely shocked when I told them how happy I was in my life, my marriage and my family. In response to Jones’ harangue, ”Do you know how few people like you there are?!?” I said that there are very few billionaires too, but very few people think that being one is a bad thing. I then told him that I thought he was peddling a sad message that told people they should settle rather than pursue the lifelong, faithful love everyone craves. That was one of the few times they got quiet.
Regardless, the reason I’m even bothering to share any of this on the blog is to remind us all of how shocking and disturbing the Gospel is even today. I talk to a lot of Christians who feel guilty after an encounter like this. Guilty that they weren’t as self-possessed or perfectly composed as they imagine they ought to be, as they imagine Jesus would be. Let me just say that there is no reason to ever feel guilty for standing up to a bully. Whether it’s your brother-in-law, husband, or a narcissistic, former pro-ball player who doesn’t know how to keep his zipper up and hates you for not being similarly challenged.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. (Matt 5:11). The world still hates us. Not because our message is bad, but because our message is so good that they don’t believe it’s possible for them. They hate us because we stand as a witness to the life and love they could have if only they would give their lives to God. Keep witnessing. Don’t be discouraged.
You want to know the really funny thing? At the end of the interview, Tracy’s partner said he wanted to have me back. I look forward to Round Two.
Pick up your copy of the book the shocked the Shock Jocks– Holy Sex! A Catholic Guide to Toe Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving.