29Oct

In the wake of the sexual revolution

friendship

The sexual revolution has caused great damage to humanity by stripping us of much that was good. Consider a type of friendship which no longer seems to exist now that sex is no longer contained within the marital union. A cause of dismay for many lonely people.

Prior to the sexual revolution men could forge incredibly very intimate friendships with other men, and women with women. These were entirely innocent and platonic yet solid and life giving. How they ensured that celibate people need not be lonely. How they enriched society as a whole. A fierce love detached from eros. 

An example would be Blessed John Henry Newman who desired to be buried with lifelong friend Ambrose St. John. A man he clearly loved. Or take Abraham Lincoln who shared a bed sporadically with best mate Joshua Speed. When Speed married Lincoln wrote an amusing letter stating he would feel quite lonely from now on! This type of friendship existed in literature too, prior to the sexual revolution. We might think of Samwise Gamgees and Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings. How close the two of them are! 

But today such friendships are impossible because no two people can share a bed, or any degree of intimacy for that matter, without the insinuation of sex. Little wonder, for once the genie was out of the bottle, once sex existed in the mind outside of marriage and not just within it, logic requires a degree of suspicion whenever two people are alone or demonstrate clear love one for the other.

Google “Frodo and Sam” and tens of thousands of articles will claim the existence of homosexual love between the two. This despite the fact that Sam is married to a woman  and that the author, being a devout traditionalist Catholic, would have found the notion detestable.

Google Newman and see how a man who exercised extraordinary self control in priestly life and took celibacy seriously, is now assumed to be have been involved in an active “gay relationship” because of his love for Ambrose St. John. The modern world will just not accept that love could have existed without sex or a desire for sex with that person. How much loneliness for single people now that all friendship is viewed through a sexual lens?

And in the bible the vile suggestion creeps in too. David and Jonathan cannot possible have been anything other than gay, apparently… A conclusion that would not even have entered the consciousness of the generation he lived in. And, of course, Jesus love for the disciple John is also mistaken today for something it cannot have been.

And it isn’t only centred on same sex attraction. Consider how men and women could be true friends in a bygone era in a way that just could not happen today. Again nobody would believe a young man and young woman were going camping for a night together in innocence today. Everyone would simply assume a sexual dynamic.

The point being that when you view everything through a sexual lens, so that you even identify people by their orientation alone, then innocence becomes fantasy. Chastity fallacy. And platonic friendship a thing of the past. What a  loss to humanity caused by the revolution. What a loss especially to those not married but who wish to live by the teaching of the church.

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13 thoughts on “In the wake of the sexual revolution

  1. You claim not to be homophobic. David and Jonathan may – or may not- have had a sexual relationship. If they had, you describe it as a “vile suggestion”. This would imply that had you counselled someone like, say, Alan Turing he would still have killed himself after you called his relationships “vile”.

    1. No you have missed my point. I do not find it vile that two men might be in a sexual relationship. What is vile and tragic is a society that is now so obsessed and defined by the sexual act that it feels a need to project onto sacred scripture sexual acts that do little to put forth the message of faith.

      What is clear is that you use the term “homophobic” very, very frequently. Simply to label as unacceptable those whose view differ from your own. Increasingly your message seems to be “give me consent to have sex with men or be damned” How is this an example of what you claim to be- open minded and more tolerant than me… a wretched traditionalist Catholic?

    1. I have shared a bed with quite a few men as it happens, on rugby tours etc… keen is not a word I would use. Most have been incredibly snorey and farty

  2. I am old enough to be a pastor to many who lived before the revolution you describe. Your painting of some idyllic innocent time is far from the stories I hear in confession, discipleship and counsel. What I hear is marital rape, often violent. Young people cruelly taken advantage of often with illegitimate outcome in which the girl is blamed. Hidden and secret homosexual relationships for which people were cruelly stigmatised, bullied and shamed. Loveless marriages which went on for decades because no one was able to call a halt or help. I am sorry I know nothing of such a time as you describe.

    That true friendship is possible now and then I can attest as real. That people will think the worst of such “brotherly” and “sisterly” love has always been true, no more so now than then. I also accept that this generation is much more likely to use sex to besmirch but not that this or any generation is more capable (or less) of abusing our sexual selves. In fact I think the sexual revolution has forced us to confront some of the unspoken horrors of the past. It may have planted a whole load more in our lap but there was no “green and pleasant land” where all was well.

    Lastly, you supposition that the relationships you describe were pure is simply that , supposition. There is no proof one way or the other. Who cares? Who honestly cares? At this point I would have to say that in overly focusing on certain areas of “sexual sin” (while ignoring others) seems to be a issues in the Roman Catholic Church and even at times your blog.

    1. I never claimed there was an idyllic innocent time free from sin and shame. I merely claimed there was a more innocent time in which the virtues of purity and chastity were more evident than in the sex saturated culture caused by the sexual revolution. As to miserable people in unhappy marriages-certainly they must have existed in a fallen world- but I stand by the point that there are many more miserable people today due to quick and easy divorce and the assault on the family. But like unwanted children in the womb the stories of jilted spouses get washed away down the drains as the “fiction” of happy liberated people rolls on…

    2. Gwen, thank you for this. This to me sounds far more like the compassionate voice of Christ than does the rigid adherence to outdated Victorian era domga espoused by Fr Ed.

      1. Certainly it is outdated to the world- that is the whole point being made. But not to Christ I suggest…for mercy is linked to truth.

    3. Thank you, Gwyn. I grew up in the ’50’s and ’60’s and can recall many examples of “silent suffering” of the type you describe. I find it ironic that it was “hippy culture” (not quite the oxymoron the phrase might appear) that enabled someone to say “I love you, man” to a friend without instantly being accused of “batting for the other side”. They were times of great societal change – both for good and ill. The blessing of friendship is that is impervious to the winds of change.

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