This morning I was considering a remark from my combox comparing those who uphold the sacrament of marriage with, for example, supporters of the KKK. The comparison was made in the context of some charitable and thoughtful arguments, however erroneous I found the reasoning to be. What struck me: How have we come to this?
How have we gone from recognizing the various forms of unchastity as the sins that they are, to comparing the virtue of chastity to the worst sorts of depravity? If I find sex to be a sacred thing, the act between husband and wife that engenders a new and eternal human being, and I wish that act to be treated as the sacred thing it is . . . that makes me like Hitler?
Quite the opposite.
But before you lay into the misguided soul writing a letter to the editor today, sit down and have a chat with your Catholic grandmother, or great-uncle, or elderly cousin three times removed. I have spent long hours in conversation over dinner with this and that graduate of the golden days of American Catholic schools, when nuns were everywhere, and the Mass was in Latin, and you didn’t eat meat on Friday, ever. I’ve heard all kinds of heresy. Namby pamby wish-wash.
These aren’t the Vatican II generation . . . these are the good Catholic parents who reared the generation that gave us the sexual revolution. Whose children enrolled in Catholic school at age six, and at age 26 protested for steady access to contraception, divorce, and very, very bad music.
The decay of American society did not come out of nowhere. Statistically speaking, that is, if we look at percentages of Americans who were Catholic at this time and that, and the way self-identifying Catholics vote today, we can conclude this revolution came not out of nowhere, but out of the Catholic Church. Crazy people may have proposed these ideas, but Catholics voted them into reality.
It is tempting to try to predict the future by surveying the present. We look at the current cultural momentum, the surveys, the voting patterns, the number of children from this sort of family or that kind, and propose that the future lies this way or that. If statistics were God, it might work.
They aren’t. God works through His Church. God, a Person (technically: Three Persons, One God), seeking intimate relationship with each individual human being, one eternal soul at a time.
Cultural reform, when it comes — next decade, next century, next millennium — will come through the Church.
That was my thought this morning; thus with pleasure I saw this e-mail in my inbox this afternoon:
Hello, Friends of Family Honor,
In case you or anyone you know is interested, this is a good way to find out more about Family Honor’s online course and ask questions …
Family Honor is hosting a free info webinar tonight, Monday night, April 7 from 7-7:45 pm East Coast time and also on Tuesday, April 8 from 12 noon –12:45 East Coast time for anyone who might be interested in taking the Summer Session of our online course, The Truth and Meaning of Sexuality, Love & Family: Cultural Implications, which begins later this month. To sign up for this FREE webinar, contact Vincent Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Family Honor office: 803.929.0858.
This is a good course. My husband and I took it last summer, and while it is a lot of work, I can attest that it was one of the best things we as a couple have done for our marriage. I’m appalled that anyone is allowed to teach upper-grades religious education without first completing some course of this nature. When I find myself in the confessional admitting that I’ve lost my temper, again, at this or that person in authority somewhere in the Church, my thoughts are typically along the lines of Why isn’t that !@#$%^& coward teaching this stuff!
People are literally dying of STD’s, botched abortions, depression, pill-induced strokes, perforated IUD’s . . . because no one will speak up. Because very few people even know how to think about the questions surrounding sexuality, let alone how to answer them. Even if you don’t care about your fellow men’s immortal souls, you might at least have a little mercy on their bodies?
FYI for those working on a degree right now, the course can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit, so make inquiries about that if you have an elective to fill. The Family Honor staff are also quite creative in suggesting ways to drum up financial aid if you need it — my husband and I were beneficiaries of that line of inquiry, so I know it’s possible. And finally, if a college-level course is beyond your ability (doubtful for most who read here), you can phone or e-mail and get suggestions on other general-audience courses and reading material that can scratch your itch.