AFTER BEING IN LARAMIE FOR THE PAST TWO DAYS, I reluctantly soon leave people and conversations I have grown to love as I head for Jackson Hole through the Great Divide Basin. Symbolism abounds in this last leg. These people have truly become part of the fabric of my soul. While some of us don't always agree on everything, it's clear we respect each others principled stands enough to have broad, and more importantly, deep repartee on human sexuality as a part of the collapse of the family and also the relativism now so rampant in every aspect of our modern, post-Christian society.
Truly, if you're a social conservative, as I am, you are witnessing the pulverization of the rocks of civilization into the shifting sands of anything goes-isms. Everyone I talk to here knows a day of reckoning is coming and is deeply concerned. It won't be pretty.
I know that the decline of the family began decades ago with the so-called sexual revolution (abortion, no fault divorce and sexual permissiveness), and that gay marriage became a fait accompli years back. Still, I continue to mourn both our collective and individual follies and look for new, creative ways to go forward.
My new favorite writer on much of this is Rod Dreher whose book, How Dante Can Save Your Life, I have bought, read and given to several others and also linked to him recently on Webutante at The American Conservative.
Today Dreher writes on a column by David Brooks on Sexual Chastity, a concept our fallen world deems as madness. But it's not and never will be. An excerpt:
Christianity, properly understood, takes a more holistic view of the human person. David rightly causes us to think of how few conservative Christians consider the role that economics and economic policy plays in breaking apart families and communities. But liberals, Christian and otherwise, fail to appreciate the extent to which abandoning sexual restraint results in broken families and broken societies. “Different beliefs about the universe lead to different behavior,” Lewis writes. The Sexual Revolution teaches something different about sex, the body, desire, and identity. Christianity opposes it — and Christian chastity cannot be isolated from the overall Christian conception of what the body is and who we are as incarnated eternal beings.Please read the whole thing. Next up, my friend John Tamny of Real Clear Markets and Forbes has a piece today on Greece. It's one of his best and, as always, he goes against conventional group-think and hand-wringing:
The point is, there is no way for Christians to undertake the task of nurturing stable families, as David correctly wishes for, without making the teaching of Christian chastity part of the mission. This is the one thing the world cannot accept — and in fact, finds a form of madness, indeed of bigotry.
I’m writing this moments after finishing a seminar discussion of Canto V of Dante’s Inferno, which is about lust as a distorted version of love. Because Francesca and Paolo construed lust as love, their sin led to violence — Paolo’s brother, discovering that his brother and his wife were sleeping together, killed them both — including the breaking of the family, and to the damnation of them all. Lust is one of the least bad of all sins in Dante’s conception … but it is enough to earn hell all the same.
The romanticization of sexual love is no new thing. But it continues to seduce us and to confuse us, and, along with economic individualism, has become on of the two dominant ideologies of our civilization. This bad idea has consequences. The destruction of the family and the sundering of social bonds are among them.
ites on Sexual Chastity, a concept our fallen world deems as madness. But it's not and never will be. An excerpt:
That Greece has been in default mode at least half of its modern existence reveals as silly the view that its debt troubles are scaring markets. If anything a default would be healthy in a normal world for it forcing investors into real ideas over government consumption. Instead, Greece's troubles scare investors due to bank exposure to the debt, Greece's anti-growth response to what is a slow-growth problem, and then the comically obtuse idea that the near-term answer to Greece's troubles is a departure from the euro. Not only will Greece never fully exit the euro, to do so would be as silly as Arkansas exiting the dollar in favor of a local Peso. RealClearMarkets.