Monday, January 16, 2012

Giving Our All

In a thread here critiquing the RC Church's teaching on contraception, in which we find mystery being opposed to morality - what we might call the "I feel your pain" wing of moral theology - the host says:

...the modern Christian Church needs desperately to recover its mystical focus, even at the cost of setting aside its focus on specific moral conflicts.

People break the Christian Laws because they cannot understand, cannot feel, the reason for these precise Laws - and without this feeling the Laws seem merely arbitrary.

To which Jim Kalb offers a defense:

...The general role of sex in human life, and the weight and orientation of institutions essentially connected to sex (like marriage), depends I think on its general tendency to make babies. The habit of intentionally interfering with that general tendency denatures sex and makes it something to manipulate rather than something that essentially involves giving our all and therefore naturally gives rise to an absolutely fundamental personal connection.

As to the nature of Christianity, it's a religion that says God created the world and its order, found it good, and became incarnate within it. So to be Christian is among other things to accept that the world is charged with meaning and value. That leads me to believe that Christianity should not be spiritualized to the extent of not taking seriously how people live concretely, especially with regard to something as basic as sex.

And from someone whose handle is Proph:

...In fact, having tried many, many times to explain the natural law basis of the Church's ban on contraception to people (probably on 40-50 different occasions, online and in person), the resentment of the teaching is not that it is irrational. (Superficially that is the claimed objection -- once I explain the teaching, the objection becomes that it is TOO rational). People, at least the ones I've spoken to on the matter, resent it because they feel entitled to participate in the great, dripping cesspool for carnal delights that the modern world provides. They want sex available to them all the time. They want oral sex. They want to be able to masturbate. All without consequence and with the approval of their consciences.

I don't think Catholics should apologize for natural law. Reason is a good, and one liberalism more or less denies. Of course it is vulnerable, but that is no reason to forego its use.

Neither commenter made any progress with his hearers that I could see. Mr. Kalb's website is here.

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