Thursday, May 8, 2014

Christopher West, Hugh Hefner and the Domestication of God

Cupid in a Cage

Father Brian von Hove writes ...

The danger in West’s approach, as it could be misunderstood at least, is in its domestication, intended or not, of the mysterious. He and Hefner want to get it all out there, so to speak, as if to overcome the mystique of the forbidden.  He is not so much forgetful of concupiscence as he is of that which is awesome, the tremendum ... 
Our sexuality is anything but “harmless.”  As Donald Keefe has said, there is no common ground between yes and no. Sexual love in marriage, he would note, is the occasion for blissful joy, not simply the elements of fun.  Any attempts by West or Hefner to domesticate the beautiful, to make the holy into something manipulable, even manageable, will be about as successful as rap music has been in lowering the crime rate.

Nudists make a similar mistake.  The naked body is shrouded with clothing because it is shrouded in mystery.  To walk around naked has no power to remove the veil of that mystery, it only has the power to make you a tad bit chilly.

And so to dispense with custody of the eyes and "Look at her butt!  Her breasts!" as Fr. Loya urges us to do, in order to see a woman's "magnificent femininity" (yeah, right) is not simply wrong because it's heedless of concupiscence, it's also wrong because it assumes that we can pierce this veil, that we can make use of something that ought to be treated with a kind of awe and reverence.

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