Woman Who Believes Church Has No Respect for Women…

Woman Who Believes Church Has No Respect for Women… February 12, 2015

Can’t Wait to See Fifty Shades of Grey.

Garrison Keillor once remarked that Puritans came to the New World seeking the freedom to be harsher with themselves than English law allowed.

The apostate Puritans of today continue that noble tradition by seeking the liberty from Catholic oppression and bourgeois tradition in order to be brutal and self-degrading. Instead of bearing the onerous yoke of hearing “You are precious in God’s sight and he loves you” and “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” postmodern Americans (and roughly 500 million readers) long for the freedom of bondage. Smart.

Greg Popcak has an interesting diagnosis of how this sick dynamic has emerged in our post-Christian culture. I think he’s on to something.

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  • Artevelde

    I’m simply not buying the argument that this particular perversion – and
    a perversion it certainly is – is 1) in any way a result of modernity
    or 2) necessarily detrimental. Point one doesn’t need much
    argumentation. De Sade digs much deeper into the blackness of the soul
    than this little lovers romance would even dare, plenty of medieval
    poetry is filled with pictures of married life where violence and
    passion can hardly be separated and I’m sure the Greeks and the Romans
    had their own share of perverse bed activities. If the worst cases of
    degradation are nowadays mostly found in print instead of in a slave
    brothel, I say we’ve made progress.
    The second point is harder. No doubt this stuff can be detrimental to a healthy marriage, but I think the danger is not so much in the ”kink” itself. I don’t see any unavoidable gap between a mutual submission in reverence to god and being always open to the gift of new life … and the use of leather, high heels , roleplayed scenes and what’s more. Of course fifty shades of gray is not your standard catholic guide to marriage, but neither are less kinky romance novels. Almost all of them display a sense of hedonism where sexuality is seen as separate from love, faithfulness and marriage. This is the real danger.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Good thing no one has advanced such an argument, but if they did, and I wished to challenge it, I’d not invoke the 19th century French Revolutionary Marquis de Sade as my primary counterpoint.

      But then, one who imagines arguments can’t be expected to refrain from making said imagined argument’s point, I suppose.

      • Artevelde

        I’ll take up this gauntlet then. Noone has advanced the argument that the behaviour in this novel .. or the desire to experience it is a result of modernity? The main argument Mr. Popcak makes starts with ”our prevailing culture’s secular-feminist ethic”. Perhaps you think that doesn’t equate ”modernity” and in such case forgive me for using hasty shorthand, but I think I was giving arguments against a claim being actually made in that article. More to the point, whatever your objections to De Sade or the French revolution in general, my definition of modernity includes a more recent date. I gave counter arguments of a much older date as well.

        • jroberts548

          Your definition of “modernity” is not the definition of modernity. Modernity is what follows the middle ages. De Sade was after the middle ages. De Sade was a modern.

          • Artevelde

            I’ve been using the word for too long in a more strict art history sense, I think. When you take the end of the post-classical period as a starting point, my mentioning De Sade makes no sense indeed. He’s hardly part of ”our prevailing culture’s secular-feminist ethic” though.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              You should read more of the academics shaping OPC’s S-FE. When you follow back who inspired whom, you find many paths head back straight away to the Pervert of Lacoste. He is regarded by some as the first and best postmodern, by others as the first principled socialist. Simply by virtue of his influence on Foucault alone, he is a foundational part of OPC’s S-FE.

            • antigon

              According to Camus in l’homme revolte (The Rebel, usually, in English translations), M. de Sade is the father of the modern age. The Marquis’s hatred of God sought expression through murder & sex as torture & perversion, which may be why his books – like his age – are without pun so lifeless.
              Haven’t read either 50 Grades of Shea nor its better selling anagram, but wonder if this predilection to turn ladies into sexual zombies isn’t fairly seasonal. Story of O was the chin & not impossibly other anatomical stroker when I was a kid.
              Bonking compliant zombies is meanwhile easier than having to put up with a woman no doubt, if arguably not as engaging.

    • MarylandBill

      While I suppose high heels and leather can be consistent with Catholic teaching of sexuality, I think I would argue that roleplaying often is. When one role plays, you essentially are telling your partner that you want to love them not as they are, but as somebody else, or in another circumstance.

      I would also point out that the existence of this perversion in the past does not prove that its current cultural popularity is not the result of modern forces. Medieval Poetry might depict violence and passion as being virtually inseparable, but then most Medieval Literature was targeted at a group that essentially had replaced the Christian Doctrine of marriage with one where marriage was a means of cementing political and economic alliances.

      • Artevelde

        Thank you Bill, those are very interesting points. I was already aware of the fact that roleplay didn’t quite fit into the little list I gave, for precisely the reason you mention. Trust me, I fully see the dangers in all that I mentioned, but I still maintain that there is no *necessary* moral wrong in either. It’s just very hard not to frame any thought on this topic into a picture we would both find undesirable. It’s a big step from ”you look gorgeous when you wear a tie” to ”I can no longer desire you unless you consistently dress as Michael Jackson”. The slippery slope argument might have some validity though.
        As to the modern forces part, I’d agree to a point, but I’d argue that the modern forces at hand are mostly those of democracy, spreading of literacy and a liberty of thought and action that is no longer restricted to one particular sector of society.

        • MarylandBill

          With respect, I think intent is everything. My wife telling me I look good wearing a tie is not role playing. On the flip side, if my wife wants me to wear it because she can then pretend I am someone else, then it has crossed the line. This is not a slippery slope argument because it is not a question of degree but of what the intent of the action is.

          • Newp Ort

            A bit of kink can draw couples closer. It is a giving thing to do something for your spouse that you wouldn’t necessarily enjoy otherwise. In that way it is like wearing a tie, doing chores, etc.

            I don’t think that act draws the line, it’s the seeing the person as other than a person, or another person. Is lingerie too far? Black lingerie?

            Catholic rules on sexuality seem to limit things quite a bit. I can’t say more without getting too blue for this blog.

          • Artevelde

            I agree and I did not accuse you of making that slippery slope argument.

    • Agnus Dei

      Don’t justify this filth. This money-making, degrading g-a-r-b-a-g-e is of the Devil & nothing else. We humans are sexually depraved & deep down crying out for a Savior. Let Jesus heal our sexually broken & confused humanity with His loving touch, do not trample His work by justifying garbage from the devil.

      • Artevelde

        Of course it can be argued that sowing confusion by deliberate misreading and misrepresentation of any text is an old strategy of the devil. But just in case I have been guilty of that myself, I see no merit in Fifty Shades of Gray, neither as a book, a movie or a guidance to sexual behavior. My remarks were aimed at the second link Mark provided.

      • Faithr

        Wow, you totally misconstrued what he said.

  • Elaine S.

    C.S. Lewis addressed this issue somewhat obliquely in “The Four Loves” when he said that Venus (sexual passion) sometimes elevates the man to the status of a “conqueror” while provoking in the woman “an extreme subjection and surrender”. He described this as the “pagan sacrament” of sex — a symbolic portrayal of forces larger than the couple themselves. With regard to the “pagan sacrament” aspects of sex, Lewis felt it was OK for couples to enjoy it as long as they understood it for what it was — a bit of play-acting or a ritual that does NOT carry over into other aspects of their relationship. He then goes on to say: “The sternest feminist need not grudge my sex the crown offered to it in either the Pagan or the Christian mystery; for the one is of paper and the other of thorns.”