You will sometimes hear the criticism that Catholicism (because of its stance on artificial contraception, for example) doesn’t like sex. The critic will often give the impression that this is because of a prudishness, or of a distaste for anything involving rushing blood and heaving flesh. Or, that being orthodox means a person isn’t much fun, sexually or otherwise.
I regret that this is sometimes true, but is only by a mistake of the opposite kind which I will now describe – that is, the mistake our critic is making.
The critic, if he believes what he is saying, has it backward – he does not like sex. Instead, it is the Catholic Church’s love of sex which is unsurpassed.
This is because the critic only likes a part of sex, and maybe two parts at best – that is, he typically likes only the pleasure (and here I include any of the risqué sensations which might accompany a sexual tryst).
Further on, among those who are stabler, sex is pleasurable and it represents a kind of crowning moment in a relationship. Here are two people (let’s deal with two at a time) who feel they have exhausted every . . . → Read More: Sex
I am currently reading “Heretics,” which is much more a romp than a trial, though it is still very much an indictment of some of the flawed habits of thought in Chesterton’s time. It seems that even the abundant sunshine of Chesterton’s thought could not fully disinfect our society from them; many of the “heresies” are alive and well today.
Chesterton’s usual tactic is to show that, while these heretics believe they are advancing a startling truth, the startling fact is that they have it all “topsy-turvy”. He notes, for example, that some in his day were taking an aggressive stand against alcohol, because the consequences are dangerous, though they made it a point to say that wine could be used medicinally.
He responds, “The one genuinely dangerous and immoral way of drinking wine is to drink it as a medicine. And for this reason, if a man drinks wine in order to obtain pleasure, he is trying to obtain something exceptional, something he does not expect every hour of the day, something which, unless he is a little insane, he will not try to get every hour of the day. But if a man drinks wine in order to . . . → Read More: Please read Chesterton
I question the logic of a man who believe that man’s disregard for the nature of things can change the very climate of the planet he lives on but would equally have no effect on the social fabric of which he participates in.
I’m afraid I can’t say, well enough, what I’m trying to say. It is ethereal, but of a definite color.
It is a shame that there is no authority to go around declaring the Church to be “the light of the world.” The Church does it as a kind of paradox – what seems a boast is actually a statement of great obligation and, we believe, of divine origin. But this remains as unconvincing to the non-believer as is the circular logic of Evangelicals, who will tell me that the Bible alone is to be trusted because the Bible says so.
I am no authority. (Think about all that that means, for a moment).
Instead, as one person, I give my testament – the Church is the light of the world. Moreover, I echo the words of Peter, when Jesus asks his Apostles whether they will also leave him: “Lord, to whom shall we go?”
I’ve looked. I was almost carried away, in a few instances, by lines of thought that would make me a god, or God, or else promised to unleash me from the bonds of my superstitions so that I might be free to chase every whim . . . → Read More: Light of the World
…to lead you to a longer one: Link.
This is a blog kept by William M Briggs, a professor of Statistics as Cornell University. I’m giving a talk on abortion soon, and found his blog while gathering information. He deals at length with the issue, leaning a particular way, and yet, I think, keeping the even tone of a good moderator. Sounds like a professor to me.
Would love to hear further thoughts, and the comments on this particular post are quite readable.