Monday, June 4, 2012

An obvious point that bears repeating

The simple fact is that for as long as Christianity has existed, from the moment of its conception to the present day, it has with all its authority and all its might stood for a certain doctrine of sexuality and sexual morality, a doctrine that has at many times dramatically distinguished it from the beliefs and practices of the world at large.  This doctrine is itself an elaboration of the sexual morality of Judaism, which has been maintained by the Jewish people from the time of Moses up until the present day in the face of opposition from hundreds of different societies without any substantial alteration.

Likewise, the simple fact is that these doctrines have never been considered peripheral to their respective moral systems, but from the very beginning have formed some of the most distinctive, most important, and most tenaciously held tenets of their respective faiths; one of the things that most distinguished the Christian or the Jew of the first century from his pagan neighbor, and which the Christian or Jew held to most strongly and was most unwilling to part with or compromise on, was his sexual morality, his complete, holistic doctrine of what sex is and what it is for.   Thus, people who reject this morality by appeal to Christianity or Judaism are simply historically and doctrinally indefensible--they are guilty of far worse than merely taking words out of context, but of something very close to deliberate obfuscation of plain and obvious facts.

The fact is, if one wishes to dissent from this doctrine of sexual morality, one is not merely dissenting from the "current beliefs" of the Church--one is dissenting from and rejecting the entire 3000-year-plus Judaeo-Christian tradition at perhaps one of its most basic and dogmatic points.

If one wishes to dissent from Christian sexual doctrine, one is of course free to do so--but let there be no pretense about it.  You are rejecting the dogmatic teaching of Jesus, of Paul, of Peter, of John, of James, of Augustine, of Athanasius, of Aquinas, of Luther, of Calvin, and of almost every faithful Christian or Jew for the last 3000 years.  You do not like or agree with what Christianity and Judaism have to say about sexuality and sexual morality, and so you reject it.  I respect honesty far more than I do agreement.

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