Absent Grown-Ups: Over-sexed and Material-Worlded to Death

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com

My column at First Things today is about what creates grown ups in the world, and what happens to the world when we resolutely refuse to be raised into it:A psychotherapist friend once confessed to me that she still makes each of her five grown children call her on rainy nights, to tell her they are safely at home. “So many mothers run away from their children or put them in nurseries or go out to work,” Dorothy Day noted, “because they can’t stand . . . the suffering that such love entails … [Read more...]

Dissecting Bodies, Sex, Sin, Selves: Catholic, Muslim and Plasticine

shutterstock_564530_kissingbodies

A couple of days ago Muslimah Media Watch examined the way the media indulges in reductive stereotyping of Muslim women, whenever sexual issues are discussed:Thank you Jezebel for your groundbreaking work in this field and for using phrases like “Islam, surprisingly…” and “All of which may make many a Muslim woman blush,” because that’s not reductive at all – particularly when discussing Muslim women and their intimate lives, completely missing the point that sexuality is a normal part of Is … [Read more...]

Catholic Bloggers Refute Resurgent “Sex is Dirty” Narrative – UPDATES!

dirty-water

If you look around our landing page today, it might seem like we've got sex and abortion on the brain, here at PatheosCatholic.It's not true; we also talk about music and tv and baseball and gardening and books and politics, of course. But Calah Alexander, who is dealing with pneumonia, managed to write a barn-burner of a post yesterday about the ill-advised trend in abstinence-only education, that equates a teenage girl's imperfect chastity with filth and worthlessness:You can’t tell a … [Read more...]

Like Nixon in China: Married Priest’s Credible Case for Celibacy

father longenecker with hawg

You know the saying, right? Only Nixon could go to China and be credible because no one would ever accuse him of being a secret communist?And perhaps only a married priest who has also been a celibate priest can give effective voice to the value of the disclipine in an age where, as Fr. Dwight Longenecker writes here, "everyone is expected to be copulating most of the time..." because no one would ever accuse him of being "sexually immature" or repressed or defensive on the matter.I … [Read more...]

Priestly Celibacy and Earthbound Thinking

Fr Emil Kapaun carying GI

Father Emil Kapaun is going to receive a posthumous Medal of Honor, and that's a very good thing. His cause for sainthood has been opened, as well, and that's a good thing, too, for all of us and for the Catholic priesthood, which being pelted and sometimes willfully misunderstood, by many, especially those who cannot see a priest without thinking, "that person is not having sex. How weird, and unhealthy."There is great power in celibacy, which is why Taoists and Buddhists practice it to … [Read more...]

The Fruit of Chastity

vertumnus and pomona

Max Lindenman has a good post up, on how to write about sex, when one is Catholic.Since we Catholics tend to do that a lot (one of the frankest bit of Catholic writing on sex I have ever read -- and appreciated -- was Elizabeth Duffy's essay on the subject, included in Hallie Lord's Style, Sex and Substance), I appreciated Max's very honest take on his own evolution on the issue:A few weeks ago, Joanne McPortland wrote a piece comparing Catholics to BDSM submissives. In sharing the … [Read more...]

Sacred Sex: is a Doorway to the Eternal

The Kiss

Tim Muldoon winds up his five-part series on the "McDonaldsization of Sex" with some splendid theology:Here's God's proposal: "if you choose to enter into a lifelong relationship with a person of the opposite sex, and choose to love that person in every moment of every day for the rest of your life, you'll come to know who I am and how I love the people I've created. It will demand all of you; it will demand sacrifice and conversion and transformation. It will demand forfeiting all your … [Read more...]

Why do Catholics Talk about Sex so Much?

sexx

The headlines, of course, are all about the HHS Mandate and response of the Catholic Bishops to last Friday's blusterfest by Obama. The accepted narrative on Catholics and sex is, of course, that Catholics are mostly repressed, want to keep women enslaved to pregnancy and deep down they just don't "get" sex the way the rest of the world does.All of that is false, of course, particularly the last bit. Catholics "get" sex -- they understand it more fully, more deeply and more ecstatically than … [Read more...]

Muldoon's Sex and Christianity

Tim Muldoon has begun a series in his column space, Culture at the Crossroads, on the huge subject of Christianity and Sex:From Part I:What I will propose is the idea that authentic discernment of desire means recognizing that not all kinds of freedom are very life-giving. Discernment is the careful sifting of goods from bads: so, for example, it will be important to discern how in the modern/postmodern world women can discover their vocations, while rejecting ideas that make both men and … [Read more...]

Gay Marriage, Eden & Our Constant Illusion – UPDATED

My column at First Things this week completes the journey I began three weeks ago, and I have to say the timing of the whole thing seems oddly coincidental, to me. I've had the idea of discussing homosexuality and God, otherness, nature and nurture and calling and depth of longing and marriage for a while, but never felt like it was the right time to bring it up, and then -- even though I wasn't paying much attention to the headlines when I began -- it all seems to have landed at the same time … [Read more...]


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