This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Love and Life in the Divine Plan: An Invitation from the Catholic Bishops
Posted on Monday, December 07, 2009
I've already made it clear that I love this letter by the US Catholic Bishops. As I begin to write about this, a couple of notes. First, all page numbers refer to the internet version linked here.
Second, don't let anyone tell you this document is about same sex unions. The internet version is 60 printed pages. Of these, less than 3 full pages deal directly with same sex unions. That is, less than 5% of the document deals with same sex unions. That is about the correct proportion.
Third, the bishops are hopelessly romantic: they actually believe all human persons are meant for communion with others, and that lifelong love is possible. Some people probably believe the bishops are unrealistic in their aspirations for lifelong married love as the proper context for both sexual activity and child-bearing. But is the alternative offered by the modern world either realistic or appealing?
The secular view of sex offers us this vision. Do what you want. As long as you use a condom and don’t deceive or force anyone into sex, you can pretty much do whatever you want. No one is in any position to offer you rules, guidance or even educated suggestions. Figure it out for yourself.
Perhaps you already know from experience what this amounts to in practice: Broken hearts, insecurity, jealousy, sexually transmitted diseases, jadedness, withholding of the self. Then there are the "social pathologies." These sanitized terms don't convey the real woundedness that people experience. So let's list them: divorce, multi-partner fertility, out of wedlock childbearing, abandoned children, overstressed mothers, irresponsible fathers, single mothers by choice, fathers pushed out of the family, cohabiting women who can never get their boyfriends to commit to marriage, serial polygamy, fertility delayed so long that it is impaired.
The Bishops are inviting you to come up out of all that. Won’t you at least consider the alternative of life and love offered by Christianity?