The Protestant logic of non-procreative hedonism...

(Tim) From Joe Sobran's latest column celebrating the fortieth anniversary of "one of the most prophetic documents of the last century," Humanae Vitae:

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Strange as it may seem, nearly all Christians used to agree that contraception is contrary to God's law.  This began to change in 1930, when the Church of England decreed at its Lambeth Conference that married couples might licitly use contraceptives in cases of hardship. Other Christians were shocked, discerning that the floodgates had been opened by this first fatal concession.

One might mention countless baleful results, such as the current demand for sodomite "wedlock." The real sexual revolution, however, occurred not in the noisy or flamboyant homosexual precincts, but quietly, in the marriage bed. Everything else is an offshoot, a byproduct of the compromise of the marital act, a perversion that has become the norm in the "advanced" countries of the West. In view of this, the perceptive homosexual advocate Andrew Sullivan has gloated, "We are all sodomites now," and he is not far wrong. Gay activists are merely acting out the logic of non-procreative hedonism...

Despite their radical affectations, they are winning easy acceptance from conventional people who see nothing amiss or morally dubious in sensual pleasure for its own sake.

Most people merely drift with their times, and they readily accept evil so long as it wears the guise of normality and convention. "Satan's cleverest wile," said the French poet Baudelaire, "is to convince us that he doesn't exist." And this purpose is half-achieved as long as we picture him as a cartoonish figure with horns, trident, and red tights.  If he were that obvious, whom could he ever deceive?  But he and his legions seem to be holding their own with Jesus' disciples as fishers of men; at least I do not think their nets are often empty.

The chief beneficiaries of the sexual revolution have always been lecherous men, eager for irresponsible self-indulgence without the duties of fatherhood.  The funny part is that when the Catholic Church simply repeats the balanced morality she has always taught, largely inherited from the ancient Jews, the modern world accuses her of being "obsessed with sex."


Tim -

I am amazed that you would post this today. I've been involved in a lengthy email conversation that arose out of Dr. Peter Toon's essay linking the decline of the Anglican communion from this decision at Lambeth in 1930. It's hard to believe we've careened down the slope so quickly - but then not surprising at all that we Protestants were so slow on the uptake when Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were handed down (not to mention the prior case of Griswold v. Connecticut)!

I find this post of yours so fortuitous because I have also just caught (early this morning) Christopher West's initial lecture on "Created and Redeemed", derived from his work teaching JPII's "Theology of the Body". In that lecture he said, "If you want to know what is most sacred in this world, look at what is most violently profaned" and "The Bible tells the story of marriage from beginning to end, The book ends of the first wedding and last are the lens thru which ALL of Scripture should be read."


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