Aug 13, 2009


I've just learned that young 'Joe' at work was asled by a young co-worker, 'Joan,' if she could rent a room in his apartment. Of course, he seemed quite interested in being the roommate of this young, intelligent, and beautiful college graduate.

Why is it unwise for unmarried persons of the opposite sex to live together? This question would have been laughed at with ridicule fifty years ago when I was about the same age as the two young persons described above! My college dormitory classmates knew the reasons why they shouldn't sleep in the same apartment with a man--it wasn't necessary to inform them why it was a bad idea. But in the past 30 years, I've known several young women who moved in with young men, and all of them ended up sleeping with their new boyfriends. Only one seemed not to have rued her fornication.

I knew of only one college classmate who become pregnant "out of wedlock", the term used for illegitimate parenthood. Naturally she married the young father of her child. [BTW, most of the girls in our hall claimed to be virgins and almost all ended up in stable marriages).

I had intended to present some of the reasons why "Joan" should not rent a room in "Joe's" apartment (i.e., why fornication is bad). But John C. Wright (my favorite blogger) has provided more information (some sentences are mischievously written) than I could ever imagine.
"The question confronting me was whether one’s eventual spouse, even before you ever meet him, even before you know if he exists, has an interest in your sexual behavior and misbehavior, and in the condition of your habits of virtue, which law and custom ought to protect?"
See Wright's recent series comparing the Libertine outlook with the Christian logic on marriage, fornication, third partners, GLBT, etc. Wright's four-part blog on APOLOGIA PRO OPERE SUIS, may become chapters from a new book that will make him (in my opinion) a worthy successor of the great Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis (who also was an atheist):
Anyone knowing my history knows that I came to the Christian religion [Wright entered the Catholic Church in 2007] after I became convinced of the logic of chastity (or intolerance, as it is called in the anti-conceptual jargon of PC), not before. I did not become pro-marriage (or homophobic, as it is called) because I am a Christian; I became a Christian because I am pro-marriage.

I made the claim that I used to be a member of the Sexual Revolution, like them, and had believed for most of my life that whatever two consenting adults did in the privacy of their bedroom (or on their kitchen floor, depending) provided it harmed no other, was no concern of their neighbors, and not a proper object for either legal sanction or social disapproval. All harmless sexual acts were licit.

Over a period of years, and very much against my natural inclination, I was driven by logical arguments out of this position and into a more conservative and traditional view of sexual morality. Neither my motives were religious, nor was the argument. I was not merely an atheist at the time, I was a vituperative, proselytizing, bitterly zealous atheist. To call my motives Christian is beyond untrue, beyond comical, and deep into the territory of being absurd.
Now begin at the beginning of Wright's series, "Preliminary Comments" in Part I.

How a System Collapses

My nephew emailed me an insightful comment on the failures of many institutions in our times-- economic, cultural, educational, legal, moral/ethical, etc. How very different and scary is this new world from the one in which I grew up, and I'm not referring to technological change.

When I see another subsystem of civilization breaking down, I know Peter is right.
Everything will happen in concert. The successful compromise of each sub-system provides a cascading "critical mass" that degrades the structural integrity of every remaining sub-system... compromising the macro-system with maximum destruction and the smallest "debris" possible. Being an American is not going to be easy.
A broken-down house is a good example of subsystems failing until the entire house is unlivable. The roof leaks and is not repaired; painting is not done; faucets begin to leak; windows are broken; the grass and trees are not taken care of; etc.

Civilization is the house that needs to be maintained by every generation so that we do not descend into barbarism.