As I was saying…
A week or so ago, in this space, I was saying that the only logical place for our culture’s sexual obsessiveness to go was right over our kids’ dead bodies in a tank. We’ve made a fundamental commitment to hedonism and that has expressed itself in the “right” of anybody to do pretty much anything sexual so long as “nobody gets hurt”. So, of course, when kids get hurt by our sexual obsessiveness, there’s only one solution: redefine “hurt” out of existence.
At the moment we still have what sane people call a “principle” against sex with children and what insane people call a “taboo.” Our culture has a major inner conflict. We know we are profoundly sinful in our approach to sex but don’t want to admit it. So, at present, we are doing what sinful people do: focusing our wrath on the utmost disgusting people in our midst (see Shanley, Paul) and (with sly self-congratulation) saying in effect, “See! I’m a good person! I’m not like that disgusting worm Shanley! Oh sure, I have no problem with the right of people putting hamsters where no hamster ever wanted to go and I think partial birth abortion is a solemn civil right. But I’m not a bad person or anything. No, I am outraged–OUTRAGED–at the Truly Bad People Over There.”
But there’s a collision coming. It is summed up in this: The culture that despises virginity and worships sex is the culture that hates children. Why? Because children are virgins. We’ve seen that principle lived in Paul Shanley. But Shanley is simply the flower of the sexual libertinism that our culture advocates in a million voices. Read him. He sounds no different than any other cutting edge dissenting priest in his rhetoric. And his spineless bishops, God forgive them, sound no different than any other lickspittle prelates in their refusal to challenge him.
And so, sooner or later, in order to preserve the right to sexual pleasure at all costs from those who say (dimly) “Say! Aren’t the overwhelming preponderance of these abuse cases homosexual in nature? Maybe there are limits to sexual gratification.” it will be necessary for somebody, in order to protect the culture’s complete license on sexual license at all costs, to redefine what it means to “hurt” children. This is Judith Levine’s pioneering work. There will be more of her ilk. Her soon-to-be-mainstream question is “What’s so bad about sex with children?”
It will be fascinating to see the media simultaneously embrace her and her minions in the coming years while still heaping scorn on the bishops for not staunchly opposing those who have acted on her principles. Mark my words: watch for adult/child sex to be labeled a “taboo” and gradually welcomed by the very people on the utterly unprincipled Left who are screaming loudest at the Church right now. It’ll be the sure sign that the chattering classes are abandoning the principle in order to defend the hedonism.
Can’t happen here, you say? Heh! I wonder if the NY Times will oppose the UN’s Child Sex “How-To” Manual with the same fervor that they attack the disastrous actions of the bishops.
No sir. Nothing wrong with our culture. It’s all pervert priests and bishops who are the problem, not us. Fr. Richard “Stand Back and Let Me Grace the Lower Orders With My Superior Chromosomes” McBrien is dead right. Confession is for weaklings and the Less Advanced, not for Americans who are Beyond All That. We’re all right, Jack.