You’re Not Benefiting from the New Sexual Order, Are You?
Is being asexual okay?" my young friend Sami asked me by text.
How do you answer that? I met Sami through a college ministry I'm connected with, and the more I get to know her, the more I marvel at her sweet disposition and childlike faith. Born to a teen mom, a sex-abuse survivor, and the victim several times over of a broken foster care system, she became a Christian at age eighteen through a hairdresser friend. I'm not her mom, but sometimes I put on a mom hat and field her questions.
"I think so," I texted back. "What is meant by asexual?"
"When you feel attraction but, like, don't want to act on it sexually," she said.
Ahhh, I sighed to myself. My young friend is not just the victim of a broken family or a broken system. She is also the victim of a broken set of ideas. Just by dint of her life's milieu to date, she is a victim of the sexual revolution.
"Yes, Sami," I texted back. "To be honest, that's what used to be called being chaste. It means you're being moral with respect to your sexuality." In the short span of two sentences, I explained the God-created design for sex and reassured her that being "asexual" is more than okay. It's actually good. She seemed relieved.
What manner of crime has been perpetrated when a young single woman who prefers not to act indiscriminately on sexual feelings wonders whether something might be wrong with her?
No Respecter of Persons
Family advocate Jennifer Roback Morse opens her latest book, The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along, with several snippet profiles of people who are victims of the same broken system:
• Elise, a six-year-old who lives with her grandmother, who never sees her father, and whose mother has gone on to make a life with a new baby and boyfriend.
• Todd, a thirty-something pipe-fitter whose wife left him and their three small children without a word, then four years later showed up and sued for custody of the children while living with her new boyfriend. She won, and he was ordered to pay child support.
• Ben, a thirty-something man whose father took up with another woman and her family over Ben, his mother, and his siblings.
• Lynette, a fifty-something single, childless lawyer who aches because she will never be a mother.
The list goes on, but you get the picture. Chances are that many casualties of this revolution are as bewildered as Sami over the reasons for their painful and chaotic life circumstances. What do they have in common? They, or someone close to them, says Morse, have accepted certain ideas about sex, the primary one being that sex is about freedom and fun more than about babies and bonding. This is the new sexual orthodoxy, and we have several generations of revolutionaries and their apparatchiks to thank for it.
Sexual Ideologies at Odds with Human Realities
Morse identifies and traces the societal acceptance of three ideas about sex—that a good and decent society should:
1. separate sex from childbearing: the Contraceptive Ideology;
2. separate childbearing from marriage: the Divorce Ideology;
3. eliminate all distinctions between men and women: the Gender Ideology.
According to the Contraceptive Ideology, people need and are entitled to sexual activity without it resulting in a live baby. As this idea took hold, children became relegated to an optional, add-on feature of sex. But as sex became primary and children secondary, the "old" structure that sought to corral sex within lifelong marriage for their benefit lost a lot of its significance. Moreover, it became a potential hindrance to sexual happiness, which ostensibly required "liberation" to flourish.
Non-marital sex, cohabitation, and no-fault divorce are all lived-out instances of these first two ideas, but notice all the separating going on. The very relationships that bring children into the world are no longer binding and transcendent but are reduced to unstable, consumer-oriented negotiables. Moreover, consider the unstated assumptions lying in the background: (1) children don't really need enduring relationships with their parents, and (2) adults do not have certain responsibilities toward their children. Any system constructed on these ideas has prioritized adults' sexual proclivities over the well-being of children.
The Gender Ideology is arguably even more destructive, as it separates men and women from their own embodied existence. How much more disassembled can a system get?
The Sexual Coup d'État
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines ideology as "a form of social or political philosophy in which practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones. It is a system of ideas that aspires both to explain the world and to change it." Broadly speaking, ideologies are what Western civilization has ended up with whenever it failed to maintain its transcendent, foundational understanding of reality.
Certainly, these ideologies have changed the world, but how exactly did they come into ascendancy in the U.S.? The liberal, Progressive narrative says these norms merely represent the inevitable forward march of history. But to that, Dr. Morse argues emphatically, Au contraire!
Consistently she argues that none of these ideas arose as a grassroots movement. Instead, they were the preferred doctrines of elites. "The Sexual Revolution . . . is and always has been a movement of the elites justifying their preferred lifestyles, imposing their new morality, and, in the process, allowing them unprecedented control over others," she writes.
How do the elites impose their morality and exert control? Primarily through the coercive power of the state, but they are helped and sustained by a steady diet of propaganda and misinformation. One especially insidious strain of this manipulative campaign is the conspiracy of silence regarding its victims. When ostensibly non-judgmental terms like "alternative family forms" or "modern family structures" are substituted for "family breakdown," hurting children are robbed of explanatory paradigms for understanding their pain.
Take my young friend Sami. When she was born, her mother was fifteen, and her grandmother was thirty-one. She has five younger siblings by three different fathers, and her mother just got married to yet another man. All she can say about this is, "I don't know how I feel about it." Honestly, who can blame her?
Cui bono? is an ancient Latin phrase connected with the Roman statesman Cicero. It means, "Who benefits?" and it's a key forensic question, asking who stands to gain from the crime under investigation. Morse identifies several categories of people who get something from this perverse new order. She loosely calls them "the managerial class," because they seem to fancy themselves qualified to manage society. Among them are:
• Men in power—political, media, corporate, or other kind—who prefer sex without paternal responsibilities.
• Lawyers and jurists, for whom no-fault divorce reduces alimony burdens and provides a steady stream of income from perfunctory divorce proceedings.
• Corporations and business leaders, for whom young, childless women provide unencumbered labor.
• Politicians, for whom this workforce provides a steady stream of tax revenue and enables expansion of the state into realms formerly governed by parents.
Who loses? Mostly women and children.
A Better Sexual Country
The sexual revolution has been a totalitarian movement with a blind commitment to implementing its tenets, regardless of the human cost. Its drivers need the state to enforce their agenda, because their premises are false. "Overriding nature," Morse drily observes, "is no small task."
Like all revolutions, it has produced countless casualties, but the good news is, dissent no longer ends in a gulag. Within the "old" structure, sex actually can be about freedom and fun as well as about babies and bonding. Even better, it benefits everyone involved—the men, the women, and the children. Think of it as dissent with benefits.Terrell Clemmons
is Deputy Editor of Salvo and writes on apologetics and matters of faith.Get Salvo in your inbox! This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #48, Spring 2019 Copyright © 2024 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo48/sexual-dissent