Although I hadn’t as yet read any headlines about it, I understood Father Dwight Longenecker to be pulling a taut string of satire on this “Hollywood director coming out for man/goat love.
And then I saw the actual article and realized that Longenecker hadn’t, perhaps, stepped far enough away from reality to make it truly satirical!
So, in the course of a week, we see advocacy for incest and as well as a sort of apologia for pedophilia suggesting that some people are “born with” the urge to destroy children’s lives, and so an amount of sympathy ought to be rendered their way.
To all of which, Mark Shea wonders, with wide-eyed sarcasm, Jeepers, who could possibly have foreseen this? and then pretty well sums up my feelings:
If by “sympathy” one means the sort of sympathy one has for a raging drunk in his wretchedness and ruin as a result of his capitulation to his fallen human nature, that’s one thing. All sinners deserve sympathy, even the most wretched. God sympathizes with us in our abysmal sinful wretchedness and sent his Son to die for the worst of us–even Hitler. But if by “sympathy” you mean “Whatever inclination you happen to feel deserves to be indulged because you feel it” then you are a fool and an enabler of monstrous evil.
You’ll want to read Mark’s whole piece which calls for a return of the Catholic understanding of the fall and redemption.
Incest and adult/child “love.” Those of us who have lived with the life-long after-effects of these destructive deviancies find ourselves feeling concerned and disgusted but also inclined toward jeering disdain. That’s all you are? The big boogey-monster of countless nightmares is finally some sniveling creep too ill-informed and self-oriented to feel embarrassed by coming out and making exactly the arguments the Catholic church predicted they’d be making, once the gay marriage argument became politico/media-normalized?
I mean, how cool and edgy are you when all you are doing is precisely the thing that someone you hate predicted you’d be doing? Doh! Mortifying, man, mortifying!
This recaptures the moment when an adolescent realizes that his annoying parent’s warning about following through on a bad idea was both prophetic and correct. A smart adolescent considers the insight a gift and begins to think his parent might know a thing or two — and he begins to grow up; he attempts to conform some of his life to the reality that it’s not always full of “yes”. A dull or prideful adolescent resents the parent’s wisdom and doubles down on the deed.
I mean, I can feel a great deal of sympathy for that sort of stiff-necked, stubborn entrapment in one’s sins; I’ve managed to entrap myself through pride many times. But there is a way beyond them. Unfortunately, it is a narrow way, and that makes it — as Chesterton said — “difficult and left untried.”
Meanwhile, Father Dwight follows up satire with a very straightforward look at Dawn Eden’s excellent book, My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds With the Help of the Saints.
Max Lindenman writes on a purer and non-satirical animal love
Leah Libresco on the distinctions between religion and science
Frank Weathers: Searching for Truth is that arrogant or audacious?
(Image courtesy of shutterstock.com)