Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shouting from the Rooftops ... about Sex?!

Over at The Ink Desk, Dierdre Littleton has written a post that struck me as so utterly Westian and so well-meaning but utterly wrong, that I had to comment.

My comment has not yet been posted (I just submitted it and it is awaiting moderation) but once it is, you should read it, along with this young woman's article.

I will begin by saying that I admire any young person's attempt to recognize that sex has become degenerated in our culture, and it's good to know that the Ave Maria University students realize that college kids should do more with sex than just have it. Or maybe less with sex than just have it. At any rate, the event Miss Littleton relates - "love week" - sounds pretty weak on love and strong on some powerful misunderstandings about sex.

Note how sex in this article, and perhaps in the discussions at this week-long event, seems divorced from its context, with the students treating the issue as if it were something that could be grappled with outside of marriage and babies, or as if it were something we could ever get a handle on.

Note as well Miss Littleton's insistence that "ME and MY BODY are the SAME THING".

As I say in my comment, if this were true, I'd better get a gym membership.

The fact is that there is a dualism between the material and the immaterial. ME and MY BODY are not the same thing. If this identity between the two were true, then one could affirm either mere materialism (there exists only bits of matter in motion) or radical idealism (there exists only spirit). Only by recognizing the mind-body or spirit-matter duality can we stay sane. Indeed, even at the general resurrection MY (current) BODY will be gone, while ME will remain, in a body that resembles my current one as a plant resembles a seed.

In fact, the problem of sex is largely a problem of how to understand the fact that ME and MY BODY are not exactly one, and yet MY BODY and MY WIFE'S BODY sacramentally become one.

Well, in my comment I try to be encouraging of this young author and her peers at Ave Maria University. They are clearly being counter-cultural in their attempts to redeem sex from what it is at most American universities.

But I'm afraid in doing so under what appears to be the influence of Christopher West and his misunderstanding of the Theology of the Body, they are countering the culture with mere pop culture, and a pop culture against which fornication seems almost healthy by comparison.


Brian Killian said...

If you think that's bad you should check this TOB animation out. It features souls (I AM my soul) ordering bodies around like puppets.

TOB should come with a disclaimer. "Do not try this at home..."

Wade St. Onge said...

"Moreover, one of the results of the sexual revolution is precisely the pansexualism that surrounds our society. We cannot respond with a different kind of pansexualism, with a sort of 'Catholic sexual revolution,' which in the end promotes a similar obsession with sex, even if 'holy.'" (Fr. Jose Granados, Assistant Professor of Patrology and Systematic Theology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family; Coauthor Coauthor of 'Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II's Theology of the Body')

jvc said...

If it sounds like Westianism, that's because it is Westianism.

West constantly wants us to think that he is fighting some kind of Manichean beast. It's his own personal Moby-Dick, and he'll travel the world to take it down, even if it ends up consuming himself and everyone around him.

jvc said...

I appreciate the third review posted on that site, by a "David."

The end result of Westianism is identical to the culture, which Kevin amusingly noted by saying that he should get to the gym: the valuing of our personhood according to our sexuality and physicality. I, for one, reject the idea that a person is only as valuable or as attractive as s/he may appear physically. Does West?