Morally Diminished: It All Boils Down to Immoral Sexual Practices

Morally Diminished: It All Boils Down to Immoral Sexual Practices December 6, 2017

Yes, we are morally diminished.  That is exactly what has happened. We are morally diminished from the top down.

I keep thinking that this all comes back to sex: can anyone who embraces immoral sexual practices be a morally-adept leader?

The morally diminished person must hide
Lying means hiding

Every morning, I read the “Republicans can do no wrong” Wall Street Journal, as well as the Democratic-leaning and “We hate everything Trump” New York Times.

Many mornings, I find myself in two different worlds. I see graphically how our prejudices and our preconceptions color everything we see. The same event reported in both newspapers can read as though they are two entirely different happenings.

Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Fox “Trump, the best thing ever” news source also owns the WSJ. But today, as I read it, I wondered if Murdoch had taken the day off, and rogue reporters had temporarily taken over.

I saw articles ranging from acknowledging that the Trump family may have shady business dealings with the money-laundering Deutch Bank to an editorial saying that Trump’s leadership of the US has squandered our former place as a world leader. William Galston writes:

In 1776, at the threshold of American independence, the Founding Fathers espoused a “decent respect to the opinions of mankind.” Today, citizens of countries around the world regard the U.S. as morally diminished under Mr. Trump’s leadership. He shows no signs of caring, and he probably doesn’t.

The WSJ even acknowledged that Roy Moore is an unacceptable candidate for the Senate, despite the fact that he will likely win the seat.

They also featured the story of James Levine, music director of the Metropolitan Opera, now exposed as a voracious pedophile. The revelations may bring the entire opera down with him.

Yet it is no less indisputable that rumors that Mr. Levine is a pedophile have circulated for the whole of my adult life. I first heard them in Kansas City in the ’70s. I have yet to meet anyone in the world of opera who was unaware of these rumors. In that sense, everybody really did “know” about him—and now, the whole world knows it as well.

We are morally diminished

Just one read of that newspaper today absolutely affirms this fact: We are morally diminished.  That is exactly what has happened. We are morally diminished from the top down.

I keep thinking that this all comes back to sex: can anyone who embraces immoral sexual practices be a morally-adept leader?

I’m thinking not. An immoral sex life, whether it be pedophilia, coerced sex, adulterous sex or any other variation of sex that reduces sexuality to little more than scratching an itch destroys the human soul.  It also inevitably means that a big part of a person’s life must be hidden. The massive lying necessary to maintain the public persona sucks energy away, energy better used in more productive ways.

When some of Bill Clinton’s sexual scandals were exposed, people asked, “Can an immoral man still be a good President?” Many gave a tentative “yes” to that question because Clinton was so personally popular and because most of his rampant immoralities stayed hidden. But it was a wrong answer. In retrospect, Congress should have removed him from office.

A truism: one lie always leads to another lie. Furthermore, leaders who lie always hurt their followers. Always.

I know that there is much concern now that the revelations of egregiously misused sexuality may end up bringing us to a new Victorian age where everyone is utterly repressed. That’s no solution, simply because such repression also results in massive lying.

What I am suggesting, however, is that here, above all, the worlds of faith in all its forms can step up. Ultimately, the core of all life-changing and holy religions come down to this: Love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.

The love of God demands that we respect and treat with care our bodies as manifestations of the creative energies of God. The love of neighbor demands we treat all with equal respect and refuse to see others only as objects to fulfill our personal desires.

With these understandings, all walks of faith can create well-grounded theologies of sexuality. These are not unhealthy repressions full of the kinds of negatives that inspire rebellion. Instead, they offer a well-internalized morality that recognizes both our biological urges and the need to bring those urges until the umbrella of healthy self-control and within covenantal, mutually loving partnerships.

But that’s a long-range goal, one I shall be writing more about in 2018 in collaboration with an expert in holy sexuality.

Right now, we have a short-range crisis on our hands. The best thing that can happen is already taking place: a full-forced exposure of that which has been hidden for so long. Time Magazine has stepped up here: We don’t have to put up with this anymore.

Next week, I predict that (alleged) pedophile Roy Moore will be elected to the US Senate. He will have been put there by the endorsement of a lying, sexually-predatory, morally-challenged President.

The US stands on the brink: we will go ahead and move to complete degeneration? Or, will we take a step back and rethink who we are and what we are about?

The US is a uniquely religious nation. It’s time for all religious leaders to step up and help all leave behind our morally diminished state. We can do this.

Photo credit: ID 98111866 © Elnur | Dreamstime



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  • Etranger

    One always has to wonder what a sexually moral person would look like. Christians will always come at that question with a certain ideology and it usually doesn’t include most folks I would consider moral.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Yes, we are morally diminished. That is exactly what has happened. We are morally diminished from the top down.-Christy

    No, actually we are morally uplifted.
    These revelations, along with the subsequent actions taken leave us morally enhanced.
    You, Christy are just in shock.
    In time, you will see.

    • Martha Anne Underwood

      Really, Chuck? I think I will have to agree with Christy on this one.

      • Chuck Johnson

        The secrets are no longer a secret.
        And this morally diminishes us?
        You have it backwards.

  • Dan

    Well, if I criticize other of your posts, then, to be fair, I have to compliment you on this one. Since sex is such a primal, God given urge, the Bible has a lot to say about its use and misuse, just as it has a lot to say about the use and misuse of money and the abuse of the poor. If it’s difficult for a rich person to get into heaven, imagine how much more difficult it must be for a rich, sexually immoral person!

    I have not read the archbishop’s book, but I hope he discusses that sexual union as a part of marriage is an allegory for Christ and his bride, the church. When we think of how deep a connection, both physical and spiritual, is made by becoming one flesh, and then consider how much greater is the union of Christ with his church, we see that the great gift of sexuality given to us by God and when properly used, is just a foretaste of the eternal union that the elect will have with Him.

  • Reese

    I find liberals so amusing! Millions of babies murdered, the ugliest being the “late term”, and that is just fine, but mere accusations of bad behavior from 38 years draw apoplectic hysteria and even intellectual writings that our country is “morally diminished.” Liberal ACLU will fight any and all attempts to curb pornography or control “strip clubs”, but let a baker refuse to bake a special custom cake for a gay wedding (he told them to buy any cake on the shelf) and take it to the Supreme Court. Let the Methodist church cave to “progressives” and ignore the Book of Discipline which has served us for our existence and the judicial group says go ahead. So, ol’ Roy might be less of a moral icon than I would like, but in the fight to Make America Great Again vs. continued liberal, socialist policies or the Clinton crime family, I’ll take Roy because we need his vote. It is an imperfect world, and numbers make the big difference.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Are you suggesting that “Progressives” will ever stop venerating Martin Luther King, Jr. because of his adultery? Or Ted Kennedy for leaving Mary Jo Kopechne to drown at Chappaquidick?
    Face it: “Progressives” have their pathetic evasions nearly as much as the Fundiegelicals.

    • Judgeforyourself37

      You, sir, are very judgmental. and judgment is up to God, not you.

      • Ivan T. Errible

        “You, sir, are very judgmental” is itself judgemental.
        But irony awareness does not seem to be a strength of the primly censorious.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    A sexual union between two consenting adults in a committed relationship is wonderful.
    The conservative UMC disparagement of our LBGTQ sisters and brothers is unchristian, and if the church does split, the more conservative branch will soon wither and die. Younger members will not see their loved family members and friends disrespected.
    As for abortion, even with Roe still the law the anti choice groups have been chipping away at that law, making abortion more difficult to access every year. Now, there are underground clinics to help women through the maze of anti choice groups in this nation.
    If you do not want an abortion, do not have an abortion.