Traditional sexual ethics vs. Christian morality

I happened upon a book by a former student of mine, Matthew Rueger, now a pastor in Iowa with a Ph.D.  The book, just out from CPH, is Sexual Morality in a Christless World.   Matt (if I can still call him that) tells about being put in the position of defending Christian morality in an Iowa State college classroom, whose professor was teaching pretty much the opposite.  He became a regular guest lecturer, up against great opposition, but his input grew to be respected, if not appreciated.  Those experiences became the basis of this book.

The Rev. Dr. Rueger includes a fascinating treatment of sexual morality in the Greco-Roman world.  The wide practice of homosexuality in that classical culture–specifically, pederasty, the sexual use of young boys–is particularly illuminating.  He also treats sexual morality in the ancient Hebrew world, which was not without problems of its own (such as easy divorce).   The Christian perspective on sexual morality, he shows, has always been counter-cultural.  It took its shape from consideration of our identity in Christ.   [Read more…]

Now sexual orientation is seen as “fluid”

Now that gays have won the right to marry, the tune is changing.  Instead of the view that homosexuality is a fixed, permanent, non-alterable state, the word now, including among gays, is that sexual preference is “fluid” and exists along a continuum.

Kinsey’s scale, ranking people somewhere along the continuum of exclusively heterosexual (zero) to exclusively homosexual (6), has come back, with everybody in between to some degree or another being bisexual.  (Watch for a new trend of people sharing their numbers in this sense.)

A study in the UK, using this continuum,  found that 49% of British 18-24 year- olds consider themselves bisexual!  With three times as many as other age groups saying they are gay.  The study has other age groups at 19% on the bi-continuum.  (But when asked if they are  clear-cut gay or bi-, only 1.5% of men were the former and 0.3% were the latter.)

How could young people have such high rates if sexuality is genetically or biologically determined?  Could a hypersexualized culture have something to do with it? [Read more…]

Recovering Friendship

The decline in the size of families–from 3.5 to 2 children in 50 years–has also meant fewer cousins, fewer children in neighborhoods, and fewer relationships in general.  That means, according to Ted C. Fishman, that we need to recover friendships, which are also in decline, even though having friends is important on all kinds of scales of well-being.

I would throw in that part of the problem may be the way friendship, which is often a same-sex relationship, has been sexualized by the homosexual movement.  So called “queer theorists” in academia are interpreting virtually every close friendship on the part of historical figures is evidence that they are gay.  And the counseling and support groups in schools often encourage young people who have the intense friendships often characteristic of adolescence to think they must be gay.   But one of the most beneficial qualities of friendship, according to the classic authors, is that it is a close personal relationship that specifically is not sexual.

In fact, some Christians are seeking to channel gay feelings into non-sexual friendships.  See, for example, this and this.  Wesley Hill has written a book on the subject, Spiritual Friendship. [Read more…]

Evolution vs. liberalism

In the course of a discussion about an article by a feminist attacking transgendered folks like “Caitlyn” Jenner, saying that these men can never know what it is to be a woman, Andrew Klavan makes the point that evolution and feminism are incompatible.  Which made me realize that evolution is incompatible with lots of other ideas of the liberals who believe in it.

UPDATE:  I do not intend to confuse “what is” with “what should be” or to try to deduce from evolution any moral conclusions.  I do see the problem with that, but let me frame this differently.  If behaviors limit reproduction, aren’t those less likely to contribute to natural selection?  Wouldn’t there be natural selection against them?   Wouldn’t ideologies and policies that result in individuals not reproducing be an evolutionary deadend?  I am not asking whether this would be good or bad, and am quite willing to be instructed on the matter.

The original post was not so much about evolution but about liberalism, so perhaps we could ask this:  Isn’t it true that “traditional family values”–that is, beliefs and practices that result in more children being born and cared for–have an evolutionary advantage over “progressive values” such as those supporting feminism and non-reproductive sex?  Not as a moral position but as a “what is” description?

[Read more…]

Family synod’s final statement is more conservative

The initial statement from the Roman Catholic synod on the family was hailed for its welcoming language for divorced Catholics and same-sex partners, but the final version emphasized more traditional moral teachings.  But votes on the sections show a very divided group of bishops.  The deliberations will continue next year with a broader selection of participants. [Read more…]

What percentage of Americans are gay?

According to the first large-scale study of the question, only 1.6% of American adults identified themselves as being gay or lesbian.  Almost half as many, .7%, said they were bisexual.  It had earlier been assumed that the percentage of homosexuals in the population was at least twice this number. [Read more…]