Wednesday, February 14, 2007

You know it's an interesting Valentine's Day when...

...the first two things you read are on pornography and prostitution. And that it's completely by chance. To start off the romance of St. Valentine's Day, I read this article by Fr. Jonathan at Fox News where he gave his own micro Theology of the Body and linked it to pornography and the sexual entitlement culture:

In this light, the sexual revolution rightly rejected the idea that sex is bad. But, unfortunately, the revolutionaries themselves never understood why it is good. In their eagerness to free themselves from the shackles of traditional sexual morality, they dehumanized sexual love by stripping it of its unique dignity as the ultimate expression of interpersonal union. They turned it into a search for mere sensual pleasure. Given this premise, their conclusion was logical: the more pleasure, the more love.
Morality derived from natural law is paradoxical: while at times it may seem oppressive because it tells us “this is good” and “that is bad”, in reality, it is an arrow pointing to natural happiness. It tells us how things work naturally and work best. It is an owner’s manual, of sorts, which explains how we are wired. We discover the natural law through listening to the voice of a well-formed conscience. Following it may be difficult, but doing so allows us to reach our full potential.
Out of context, sexuality becomes disoriented and separates us from a true understanding of who we and others are. Pornography reflects a mechanistic view of the human anatomy and its functions. It focuses on a single aspect of the person — sexuality — and neglects the others. Viewing even a single person through such a narrow lens, changes our understanding of all people — including ourselves.
History, morality, natural law and theology all wrapped up in one. It was a good, albeit - err - interesting read. Then I next went to my backlog of First Things posts and picked up this one by Robert Miller about the disabled man in England who got himself on a BBC special for using and promoting prostitutes to enable disabled people to experience a more "full" life.
Mr. Wallis, quite naturally, tries to lead as full a life as possible, and when he went to university he had hoped to form a romantic attachment with a suitable young woman. This didn’t happen. So, convinced that he’s very unlikely to experience sexual intercourse in any other way before he dies, he recently hired a prostitute.
But there’s more to this story. We know about Mr. Wallis’ encounter with the prostitute not because it was somehow accidentally disclosed but because Mr. Wallis is willingly telling his story both on a BBC special about disabled individuals living in hospices and in an interview with the Telegraph.

“I suppose,” Mr. Wallis continues, “some people may be judgmental.” By judgmental, of course, Mr. Wallis means that some people might think that what he did was wrong. He’s right about this; I think what he did was wrong. But, to be clear, when I say this, I’m not thinking of his sexual adventure with the prostitute; that’s a natural, human, very understandable kind of wrongdoing that I think we should look on with compassion. I think he’s gone far wrong, however, in deciding to publicize this escapade and hold it up as something good and noble and worthy of imitation by others similarly situated. That is not a sin of the flesh. That is a deliberate, intellectual form of wrongdoing. It’s calling evil good and so leading others astray.

The saddest part of this story, however, is that Mr. Wallis seems to have no friends who were willing to speak the truth to him about this.
The last, highlighted, line is perhaps the most important. This good man has had enough tragedy in his life already - to have his friends and family add to it by encouraging behavior detrimental to both his psyche and his eternal soul is just another tragedy, albeit one that may take a long time for him to come to grips with. We should all pray for him, and anyone else he has convinced to follow in his footsteps.

Like I said, what an interesting start to the day.