Sex and the Christian

A reader, commenting on my blog post, Amazon Publishes A Handbook for Pedophiles writes:

Interesting take on things here. When I worked for a social services organization a few years past, the biggest troublemaker in the place was the church deacon–he liked to make sure everyone knew that about him, as it helped to give him some credibility, I suppose. Turns out he was molesting the people in service. As for schools promoting sex…I think it is probably more likely that they are trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies, for those who will have sex anyway, and ruin their lives by being saddled with children they are not prepared to care for…and their children probably end up being abused…but who cares about that, right?

Of course the first thing that those who oppose the Church refer to, no matter what the subject, is the sex scandals. Well at least my reader is original. It is a deacon instead of a priest. Of course I am assuming that the deacon is a Catholic. I could be wrong.

Anyway for the record, sexual abuse of children is EVIL. There is no excuse. Period. Especially if the pervert is a member of the clergy.

It is also true, however, that the scandal does not invalidate the Church’s truth claims. She is holy even though some of her members are downright evil. To silence the Church is to silence Jesus Christ.

Lets address her other points.

Schools don’t promote sex. They prevent unwanted pregnancies.

1. Well many of our nation’s public schools hand over Sex Ed to Planned Parenthood. And they most certainly do promote sex to even very young children. I know this for a fact. Several years ago, a priest asked me to investigate PP’s website called Teenwire. It was so bad that I could only read it in small doses. It is, at the least, soft porn. I am not going to go into detail here. Let’s just say that Teenwire advocated sex for all ages, with anyone or anything or any animal. If you are a parent and want to learn more please read the article The Young & the Hot-Wired, by Dawn Eden.

2.      Sex Education that is focused on safe sex does not prevent pregnancy. Neither does abstinence only—just say no does not work. What does work is teaching responsibility and Chastity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. 126 “Man’s dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end.”

All Catholics, all Christians, are called to live a chaste life. Outside of marriage between one man and one woman, chastity includes celibacy. This is difficult. It is a virtue after all.

We sell young people short when we tell them that they can’t control their sexual urges. We devalue people when we tell them that sex is just for sport and pleasure. Sex outside of marriage objectifies women and men.  It does real damage to individuals and society.

I have written about chastity in an earlier post, Chastity in the Age of Sex.

Pope Paul VI in Humane Vitae warned that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

At any rate, no contraceptive method is 100%.  Woman, even those who follow direction, do get pregnant. And we all know how responsible teenagers are. The only method that is 100% is celibacy practiced as an aspect of chastity.

3.      Unplanned pregnancies ruin lives and lead to child abuse

This is what my reader wrote, for those who will have sex anyway, and ruin their lives by being saddled with children they are not prepared to care for…and their children probably end up being abused…but who cares about that, right?

Wow. What a broken world we live in. Children, at least some children, are seen as burdens. Not gifts from God. Young people, it seems, are not capable of learning to take responsibility for their actions. I feel sorry for people who think this way.

The natural result of sex is children. To pretend otherwise is ludicrous; it is a lie. That is why until the 1960’s, sex outside of marriage was not condoned.

Sex outside of marriage and contraception have not given anyone more freedom. To the contrary it has enslaved people to their sex drives much like alcoholics are enslaved to alcohol.

Our young people no longer know the difference between love and lust.

As for the child abuse claim. I am not buying it. Wanted children are also abused. Many unwanted children are loved and cared for.

Oh and has the commenter ever heard of adoption?  Many unfertile couples are desperate to adopt. But because of abortion and contraception there are very few babies available. While foreign adoptions are possible, they are very expensive.

Finally, let me just say that we do care about abused children. The dignity of the human person through all stages of human life is inviolate. Christians are called to come to the aide of abused children, the poor, the sick, the marginalized. All human life is sacred.

Many Christians answer this gospel mandate. They just don’t advertise it.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry and I have been married 39 years. But the deacon’s wife gig is a new twist. Larry was ordained in August of 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren. The oldest grandchild is ten and the youngest is three. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
This entry was posted in Catholic Moral Teaching, Moral Theology, Virtue. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sex and the Christian

  1. Sue says:

    Very well written!

    I would like you to do a post on all those who were victims of pedophilia who found healing in the Catholic church. Most people who are victims of molestation are NOT molested by clergy. In fact, I know of dozens of folks who have been molested (public school teacher, we know these things) and NONE of them were molested by Catholic clergy. Many of them found the arms of Christ in a priest who held them as they wept or a priest’s wife who listened to them. (I’m from the Eastern church). Priests cannot discuss cases where this happens because they do not divulge private matters of others, but it is a very real and wonderful ministry that they do.

    The vast majority of Catholic clergy are downright saintly, but they are still sinners. We are all called to repentance and to reaching high and in the direction of Christ.

    If you go back 5 generation in ANY family, you will find some kind of sexual abuse. Does that mean that you disown your family because of one sin that has stained it? Certainly not. With faith, perhaps the fallout from such a sin might not have to go to the 5th generation, but there is always fallout. So it is with the family of Catholics.

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