Book Plunge: The Sexual State

What do I think of Jennifer Roback Morse’s book published by TAN Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I want to thank Dr. J, as she prefers to be called, for sending me a review copy of this book. Dr. J’s book is about the sexual revolution and the damage that it has done. The book is definitely written from a Catholic perspective, but Protestant readers like myself will still benefit from it.

Dr. J starts with talking about many of the victims of the sexual revolution that have been silent. These are people who have been hurt by the tearing apart of the family, including the divorce culture. This isn’t to say that divorce should absolutely never happen, but when divorce is way too easy, it has led to people with their own fallen natures seeking to end a marriage easily. Even when Allie and I were still in our seventh year of marriage I was told by some people we had a “long marriage.” Very sad.

Dr. J contends also that all of this required the necessary involvement of the state. The government has been pushing much of this, which is definitely the case when we realize that Planned Parenthood is government funded. Many of our elites also have a great interest in the sexual revolution. Think about how many people got ousted in Hollywood and media by the MeToo movement.

Dr. J sees this built on three pillars. The first is the contraceptive ideology. This is the one that tries to separate sex and babies. As a Protestant, I didn’t agree with this one as much as the others. After all, even devout Catholics practice Natural Family Planning to be able to have sex without having babies.

There’s also the case of situations where the motive is entirely right to avoid childbirth. I know someone once whose wife had a serious bone condition. If she got pregnant, she could die. They have measures taken to make sure this doesn’t happen. Is that wrong? I don’t think so.

For this, I largely think it depends on the circumstances. I would definitely agree that anyone wanting to use contraception in order to have easy sex outside of marriage is in the wrong, but notice that in this case, it is the activity itself of sex outside of marriage that is wrong. Were we to live in a culture where sex was kept within the bounds of marriage, I don’t think this would be as much of a problem.

Of course, I definitely agree that abortion is an evil. The only possible exception could be if it is required to save the life of the mother and the baby would die anyway. Abortion is one of the greatest evils of our time and I find it repulsive to think that even many so-called faith leaders are accepting it.

From there, we move on to the divorce ideology. This one destroys the permanence of marriage. Again, there are times I think everyone agrees that divorce is a sad necessity, such as a highly abusive relationship, but even then, it is a tragedy because it means someone broke their promise before God and men.

On the other hand, I do know of some women who favor no-fault divorce because it allowed them to get away from abusive husbands where if things had gone wrong, they would have stayed in that situation and been punished by the husband. I am not a legal scholar at all, so I can’t answer what can and can’t be done, but I would definitely agree that divorce is too often done and too many couples go into marriage saying that if things don’t work, they can get a divorce.

Sadly, this can also lead to people assuming that moving in together before marriage to test out a relationship will work. In reality, this is something that increases your odds of divorce and puts you in a more dangerous situation and allows men and women to treat each other as test subjects. It’s especially bad for the woman. After all, the man gets all the rewards he wants, namely free sex, and he doesn’t even have to commit to the woman!

Finally, there’s the gender ideology. It first started with the goal to remove the gender requirement for marriage, but now it seeks to eliminate gender altogether. If we looked at how the feminist movement went down the path, it’s quite a development.

The first step was saying that women are equal to men. This wasn’t in an ontological sense but saying women can vote, drive cars, own property, hold a job, etc. Most of us today would have no problem with this perspective.

The second was saying that women are superior to men. This has led to men often being just sperm donors and having it be easy to cry out rape at any event. Women have tried to show they don’t need a man in anything. I often thought Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 could have just been “Vote for me because I’m a woman!”

But then the third step went somewhere most feminists didn’t expect and some have argued against. Now, thanks to the transgender movement, women are men. This has also led to some amusement from many of us men. Now men are able to compete in women’s’ sports. When they win, now men are no longer just superior at being men, but at being women apparently. Of course, there’s no risk also that many young men won’t use the new laws on transgenderism to be allowed to shower with the girls. Nope. After all, we’ve learned men have no interest in looking at female bodies.

Each of these chapters is followed with the Catholic response. Again, Protestants can get something out of this. I don’t agree with the Catholic Church on many issues, but they do some of the best work in moral philosophy today.

A final section also has Dr. J talking about the gift of grace and such. This is also how she ended her book Smart Sex and Dr. J I think is truly at her best when writing about the gift. She does not write as a highly sophisticated theologian or Biblical exegete. I would contend it is the simplicity of how she writes that makes it special and many of us who are Protestant Christians can stand up and cheer at this point.

While many people will have different levels of commitment, I think most of us in the Christian camp will agree the sexual revolution has been a disaster. If we could return to saving sex for the person you are married to it would help us out so much. (Just think of how much we would not have to spend in researching and treating STDs) No laws will ever give us utopia as long as we are fallen human beings, but we can say that some ideas make it worse, and that includes the sexual revolution.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters 10/5/2013 Robert Gagnon

What’s coming up this Saturday on the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Dr. Gagnon will be my guest and is an informed speaker on this area, having written the book “The Bible and Homosexual Practice.” This is one of the most thorough works if not the most thorough (And certainly the most thorough I’ve read) on the matter of what the Bible has to say about homosexuality.

Gagnon doesn’t even begin with Scripture but rather begins with the ancient society that the people of the Bible lived in. How was homosexuality viewed in their culture? What did the other societies do in relation to homosexuals or even to simple accusations of homosexuality? How did Israel behave in comparison to them?

Then, there’s the looking at the biblical texts and even texts that some people would think at the start have nothing to do with homosexuality. Does the story of Noah being shamed by his son have anything to do with homosexuality? It just might.

Of course, there is then time spent on accounts like Sodom and Gomorrah and looking at any argument against that being about homosexuality that can be found. Certainly, Gagnon takes us through the arguments of the holiness code in Leviticus and argues why it should be treated as a prohibition and explains why eating shellfish would not fall in the same category.

What about the writings of Jews outside of the Bible? Gagnon also looks at the positions of Philo and Josephus for instance to see what they say. Now some could say “Well Jesus never says anything about it?” According to Gagnon, Jesus in fact does say something about it and we’ll be definitely looking at that this Saturday.

Then we come to the NT and especially the passage in Romans 1. Is this a condemnation by Paul of homosexual behavior? Is it true that Paul knows nothing about loving and committed homosexual relationships? Do modern studies on sexual orientation change anything that Paul has said?

For those who want more, Gagnon also looks at modern discussion on the topic and even scientific studies on the matter. We’ll be discussing what the implications are of accepting the redefinition of marriage and why it is so important that we win this battle today.

I urge everyone to listen in and please be willing to call in and ask your questions, though I’m suspecting that some that champion tolerance in calling in might reveal themselves to be people who are in fact only tolerant of that which already agrees with them. In other words, intolerant. If you want to call in, the number is 714-242-5180. The time is 3-5 PM EST.

The link can be found here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Note: This blog entry is largely a copy of what I had back in August when unfortunately we had to reschedule so if some of you are getting a sense of Deja Vu this time, there’s a reason. The information he has is still just as relevant so please be listening.

Dr. J and Tyler Clementi

Has too much been read into a comment? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Yesterday, I found out that Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, known as Dr. J, of the Ruth Institute, was on the receiving end of some remarks from leftist homosexual activists concerning her supposedly misusing the suicide of a young man named Tyler Clementi. Dr. J is someone I consider a friend so I wanted to look into this since I have never known her to be anything but loving and respecting. I remember meeting her in NC one time and being introduced as her friend when we hadn’t spoken that much. I happily accept the title. I’m very proud of Dr. J’s commitment to marriage.

Still, I wanted to be as fair as I could. I talked to her and she said she would let me listen to the podcast without comment first so I wouldn’t be swayed by her. Fair enough. I listened twice. Then I questioned her about it. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of her response from what I heard, but later on, I looked back at it again and realized “Why yes. That makes perfect sense.” As it turns out, I had misinterpreted just as well. For that, I do offer my great apologies, but I want the reader to know that Dr. J was fine with me listening and coming to my own conclusions. That is her great character there.

So what is going on? At a talk, Dr. J spoke about how some people in the homosexual community get exploited. Okay. Let’s start there before we go on. Are we going to say this never happens? Is it the case that no one in the homosexual community could never take advantage of another homosexual in a sexual sense? There really doesn’t seem to be much controversial about that. You could be someone who thinks homosexuality is perfectly okay, and still agree with it. I think heterosexuality is what is right, but I am freely able to admit this happens. I would also admit this can even sadly happen in marriage when a spouse is treated as just an object of sexual pleasure and nothing else.

Let’s hope we’re agreed then. Sexual exploitation happens and it’s wrong.

In talking about this, Dr. J told Catholic students, who share her worldview, that she thinks chaste friendships should be what is sought. The idea I gather is that men need to form friendships with homosexual men and women need to form them with homosexual women. They need to be treated like men and women regardless of their sexual attraction. If I’m wrong on her stance, I’m open to correction.

Dr. J also said that in our culture, we sexualize everything. Will anyone disagree with this? You can’t go anywhere without finding sex being an active part. Now to an extent, this is understandable. I think that being too open about sex is a problem, but so is being prudish. I found the Ragu commercial during the Olympics absolutely hysterical and I think there is a fun and open way for Christians to maturely talk about sex, and no, I don’t mind the joke about it from time to time. It’s a funny topic after all!

Yet for us, any relationship is automatically sexualized and this can give us confusion in our society. Dr. J said that as a woman, she should have only one sexual relationship. As a married man, I am the same way. The only relationship I should have that has a sexual component to it is the one I have with my wife. In our society, too often sex is made a part of most every relationship.

Now in light of talking about sexual exploitation and the homosexual community, she told about Tyler Clementi. The story from GLAAD on Clementi is that he was a student at Rutger’s who committed suicide after his roommate recorded him kissing another man.

When this was brought up by Dr. J, she asked the students if they knew about this. Admittedly, on the recording, this part seems ambiguous. You can’t tell what the students say. Dr. J says she won’t go into it. My first impression was that that meant the students already knew about it. I have been told that that is not correct. What happened was no one had any clue and it would have been seen as a tangent and a long one to explain at a Q&A so don’t go into it while other people are waiting for questions.

Dr. J had said that people can be caught by activists in the homosexual group who might want to use them to further push their own agenda. Would anyone really deny that this is plausible at least? Don’t people in politics use other people on a regular basis to further their own agenda without taking into account the person?

Let’s state some things further that I don’t think would need to be stated, but I’m sure Dr. J would agree with.

First, that this happened to Tyler Clementi is a tragedy. Suicide is always a sad thing. I don’t know anyone in this debate who is looking at the suicide of Tyler Clementi as a good thing. It is something that we all wish to avoid.

Second, the action of the roommate was also wrong. In our culture of sexting and such, too often these kinds of incidents spread around the internet like wildfire. Yes. It is wrong for several young women to be sharing sexual pictures of themselves, but what we do with it is worse.

Third, bullying of anyone is wrong. This is also the case by the way for the homosexual activists on Dr. J’s facebook page. For all the time they spend talking about love and tolerance, they sure don’t show it. In fact, their comments are further confirmation of what Dr. J has said consistently. We can expect this kind of treatment when we speak against the party line. That they give Dr. J this treatment now is reason enough to suspect that if they gain power, they’ll do even worse.

In fact, GLAAD in a page complaining about Dr. J lists statements she’s made they don’t like. That’s their choice! They have a right to not like her statements and positions! What they don’t have on the page unfortunately is reasons why Dr. J’s opinions are wrong! Saying “I don’t like X!” does not count as an argument against X. It could be for the sake of argument that Dr. J is wrong. It is not enough to show she is wrong by having outrage.

So getting back to what was going on, in the worst case scenario, it was a statement that a young man could have been taken advantage of by someone in the homosexual community and the tragic ending of that was suicide. Who would deny that this is a plausible situation? Who would deny that this is also a possible situation?

The sad reality also is that exploitation will still sadly go on. There will be people who will use the death of Tyler Clementi to push their own agenda. The sad reality is that GLAAD could very well be doing the same thing. Does that mean that they are doing that? No. It means they need to be aware of that possibility.

As it stands right now, it’s my contention that this whole thing is being blown out of proportion. In fact, Dr. J has offered to meet with the Clementis. Personally, that sounds like an excellent idea. Let them meet and discuss the situation and see if they think Dr. J did something wrong. I do not doubt if Dr. J was given a convincing reason to show that something she did was improper, she would be the first to offer an apology. We would not need to ask her to. She is that kind of person.

Hopefully, we can move past the accusations that have been going on and try to sit down and listen to what is being said. We may not like it, but our dislike is not an argument in itself. No matter what position one takes in this debate, one needs to try to have a rational basis for what they think.

Let’s hope the apostles of tolerance and open-mindedness and diversity are willing to consider this approach. Somehow, I doubt it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

GLAAD’s page complaining about Dr. J as well as links to their position on Tyler Clementi can be found here: http://www.glaad.org/cap/jennifer-roback-morse