The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

4 December 2004

Inclusive, not conclusive

The other day, I left this bit of small-scale snarkage at Andrea Harris' place:

[T]here is no higher goal in life than to get laid without facing the wrath of Christendom Assembled — a notion which persists in the American left to this very day.

Motivated by something other than that sentence — by this, in fact — Ms Harris has now expanded greatly on the premise therein:

This is where everyone goes off the rails, because modern Western society has been obsessed for decades now with the notion that the sex impulse in all its manifestations and above and separate from the reason for its existence is the All Good and must in no way be thwarted or denied.

A deity in its own right, even. With its own consequences:

As C.S. Lewis pointed out in, I think, Mere Christianity, when you worship anything other than the actual God that thing, no matter how good it may have been in the beginning, becomes a demon. It seems to me that whether you believe in God or not this observation is as true of human psychology as anything.

And this is why, she says, that television spot for the United Church of Christ is not likely to produce any worthwhile results:

One of the basic tenets of Christianity is that one must actually stop sinning, not that one must have never sinned before being allowed to be a Christian. Of course gay people can go to any mainstream Christian church they please; they just can't flaunt behavior that their own religion condemns and expect to get a pat on the back any more than adulterers or murderers can expect to get approbation for their acts of adultery or murder. The United Church of Christ, in its desperation to entice warm young bodies into its churches, has sold out to the sex worshippers. I don't think that this will have the salutary effect they seemed to think it will.

I reread John 8, in which Christ meets the woman charged with adultery, for context, and the scribes and Pharisees were saying: "Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned." I leave for the theologians the question of whether the forgiveness of this particular sin in this particular instant constitutes the invalidation of the whole of Mosaic law, but it seems pretty clear to me that the woman would never have been forgiven had Christ determined that she would go forth and do it all over again.

Now I don't buy the argument of various TV networks that the UCC spot is "too controversial"; it was run here as a test earlier this year and barely raised eyebrows. Nor do I believe that because almost everyone has had more sex than me, I have some claim to the moral high ground.

But one thing bugs me. The decision in Lawrence v. Texas effectively invalidated the nation's laws against "sodomy," and good riddance, say I. But while the Supreme Court has spoken, I missed any similar statement from the Supreme Being. Maybe I'm just out of the loop.

Posted at 11:46 AM to Immaterial Witness

-- But while the Supreme Court has spoken, I missed any similar statement from the Supreme Being. Maybe I'm just out of the loop. --

Indeed, Charles. One must listen with a different kind of ear to hear those opinions. Nor is one guaranteed to get them loud and clear. Letters of fire in the sky are considered passe.

Seriously, yes, the laws ought to have been struck down, and it was well that they were. There are behaviors that are sinful -- self-debasing and contemptuous of the laws of nature -- which the laws of Man have no authority to punish. They're vices, not crimes, and so they must remain. Lysander Spooner was most eloquent on the subject.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 6:49 AM on 5 December 2004

"Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned."

The perfect defense. "I wasn't sinning when I committed adultery because I was stoned when it happened."

Posted by: triticale at 12:38 AM on 6 December 2004

Well, I would not feel so all alone.

Posted by: McGehee at 7:05 AM on 6 December 2004