Many of those committed to sexual liberation will persist unto destruction

Abortion has much in common with transgenderism, for both are rooted in revulsion at the givenness and finitude of our physical being as male and female.

(Image: Aiden Frazier/Unsplash.com)

Vindication isn’t victory. For decades, Christians prophesied about the harms of the sexual revolution. And for decades, Christians were dismissed as puritanical killjoys. But Christian critiques of the sexual revolution have proven prescient. It is obvious that sexual liberation has not delivered the happiness we were promised.

But the accumulated misery accrued by abandoning Christian teaching has yet to turn our culture away from its course.

This stiff-necked commitment to sexual liberation should not surprise us. While Christians hope that the pain that results from rejecting God’s law will bring individuals and cultures to repentance, we know that some will persist unto destruction. There are many people and institutions who are too materially, socially, and intellectually invested in the fruit of the sexual revolution to admit error. Thus, when the wrongs resulting from rebellion against Christian teaching on these matters become undeniable, we should expect the continued allure of temptation, combined with pride and stubbornness, to induce bitterness and resentment toward those who have accurately critiqued the evils of our culture.

Two recent essays demonstrate how this dynamic can play out. The first, by Jonathan Chait of New York magazine, criticizes those who have tried to shut down debate regarding transitioning children. Chait admits that the pro-trans affirmation-only model is poorly supported, and that it is rushing children into major and irreversible body alterations. He even chides his fellow Left-liberals for shutting down dissent. He therefore urges more caution and acknowledges that, contrary to the claims of transgender activists, the science is not settled in their favor.

This is a welcome step in the right direction, and it joins other recent pieces in the legacy corporate media in questioning transgender dogmas. Hopefully, such articles will help establish a permission structure for left-liberals to voice their disagreements with, and concerns about, transgender ideology.

However, Chait does not disavow transition, even for children—he just thinks his side isn’t being careful enough in how it screens children for transition.

Because he won’t admit any fundamental flaws with gender ideology, Chait assigns conservatives much of the blame for the excesses of the transgender movement. He declares that Republicans refuse “to respect the basic rights of transgender people.” This, he argues, pushed transgender activists into a mindset in which “Any admission of doubt or disagreement within the medical community would give ammunition to Republican politicians to attack all forms of treatment for gender dysphoria.”

Chait’s excuses for transgender radicalism should fool no one. Republicans did not force trans activists and their Democratic allies into extremism. The exponential increase in trans-identifying children—and clinics medically transitioning them—began years before Republican politicians began to try to do anything about it. Furthermore, the supposed moderation he urges is incompatible with the radical claims of transgender ideology, which posits that someone can be born into the wrong body, and that the psychological distress this causes is best treated by radical body modification.

This mix of dubious metaphysics and dodgy medicine explains why transgenderism, in theory and practice, is nothing like the careful practice of medicine Chait imagines. Chait can blame conservatives and Republicans as much as he wants, but the problems lie in the imperatives of transgender ideology, which insist that children are born trans and that they must be medically transitioned lest they kill themselves. It is hard to establish guardrails when children’s subjective psychological claims are being treated with amputation and chemical castration.

Chait, in short, wants to walk back the most obvious wrongs of transgenderism, but is unwilling to repudiate their sources. With his side in too deep to back out, he tries to push a false moderation while scapegoating those who are actually opposing the source of the evils he identifies.

A similar dynamic is apparent in a long article in The Baffler, in which Emily Janakiram offers an extended critique of pro-life feminism. The piece alternates between denunciation of and concessions to abortion opponents, but whereas Chait urges an illusory moderation, Janakiram demands an even more illusory pro-abortion idealism.

The conclusion of the 6000-word article is remarkable in its despairing defiance. Janakiram writes that:

The language of the right becomes seductive when there is a real poverty of discussion surrounding the class politics of abortion and the limits of liberal sex positivity. But it cannot be stated strongly enough: the “pro-woman” promise of the right is an empty one. The nuclear family is touted as a refuge from the demands of capitalism, from the degradations of sexually disrespectful men: a loving bondage that ultimately sets you free. It is, in fact, a primary site of capitalist exploitation and gender-based violence. If the right promises the gilded cage of the nuclear family to women, they’re also the ones razing everything outside of it to the ground. So winning abortion rights truly does mean asserting that we can “have it all”: free abortion on demand, free childcare, free housing, an end to the police and prisons, and a totally different model of sexuality, one decoupled from male supremacy, rooted in love and care for others and ourselves.

In short, liberal feminism has failed, but pro-life alternatives are unacceptable, so it is Marxist-feminist utopia or bust. The author does not elucidate further on what that might be like or how to achieve it, or why any of it would have anything to do with real love, nor does she seem interested in those questions. Rather, she is content to demand a total revolution in everything from economics to sex, with no idea how to accomplish it. This amounts to a hopeless revolt against existence itself.

Abortion is at the center of this rebellion, for abortion on demand is based on a hatred for natural female fertility and the limits and obligations it imposes. It therefore has much in common with transgenderism, which is also rooted in revulsion at the givenness and finitude of our physical being as male and female.

This loathing of our embodied nature is destructive, both to oneself and to others, and the supposed liberation it implicitly hopes for is impossible. There is no escape from the body in this life. Human flourishing therefore requires reckoning rightly with the realities of our being as male and female, and therefore with sex and reproduction. Human well-being requires sexual restraint and norms. Confronting this truth may lead to despair or repentance, but it can also induce rage toward those who speak against the sexual revolution and its fruits, such as abortion and transgenderism.

Christians should still proclaim the truth in hope and love. But even, perhaps especially, when we are proven right, we should not expect that winsomeness will save us from being hated. Remember, they killed the prophets.


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About Nathanael Blake 18 Articles
Nathanael Blake, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His primary research interests are American political theory, Christian political thought, and the intersection of natural law and philosophical hermeneutics. His published scholarship has focused on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Alasdair MacIntyre and Russell Kirk. He is currently working on a study of J.R.R. Tolkien’s anti-rationalism. He writes from Virginia.

15 Comments

  1. An excellent article that correctly wraps all of it into the bundle it rightfully deserves: promoting the unnatural in the sphere of sexuality. When we screw up the fact that “God created them male and female”, each with their own distinctive role and purpose, then we wind up in the cultural mess we find ourselves in. But…

    The author states: “While Christians hope that the pain that results from rejecting God’s law will bring individuals and cultures to repentance, we know that some will persist unto destruction.” What will happen when the Catholic Church itself becomes part of the problem by its teachers subscribing to the same unnaturalness in the arena of sexuality? What will become of the Church in Germany? What will become of the hierarchy of the Vatican that sends confusing messages (at best) regarding sins against nature? What will become of the Church in America where some of its top prelates support politicians who promote this moral and cultural rot? Someone needs to answer these questions.

  2. Until “woke” ideology became acceptable to the intellectually and spiritually weak via the tyranny of the minority, transgender folk and others who fall into that category were generally considered to suffer from body dysmorphia. In other words they were thought mentally ill to some greater or lesser degree. I have seen nothing in recent years to convince me this is not the case. No matter how strongly secular society tries to award them kudos for “bravery” or whatever to affirm this abnormal view of themselves. If anything, those living sexually outside the envelope, often with the overt cooperation of school systems, have been aggressive in propagandizing acceptance of the idea that such abnormal sexual practices are perfectly normal, strong=arming children who lack the awareness to know better. Drag queen story time comes to mind where adults are taking egregious advantage of the innocence of children. I recall Jesus had things to say about that, none of it good. Then you have “men” in womens locker rooms, men competing on womens sport teams, all treated as though it is not only normal, but to be praised. In point of fact this is all ABNORMAL. What we need desperately are more people willing to stand up and say so, no matter what reaction we receive in return. We especially need some backbones arising from our clergy.

    I agree with those who wonder where the church is in all of this. Why do church Fathers not speak out more strongly against things like pro abortion politicians and the sexual indoctrination of children being encoded into law. And what indeed will happen to the church in Germany, which seems to be steaming full ahead into incorporating sexual abnormality into our marriage rituals? I have never disagreed with the idea that gays and others should be treated with kindness and respect as any other human being. That is a far cry from accepting or promoting their positions in these areas as perfectly ordinary. They are not.

    • Well said. We need our priests to give us direction from God’s word. Tree hugging and political correctness are found everywhere. It should be left aside when we enter church, let us learn of Jesus and God’s direction for our spiritual wellbeing and godly life.

  3. So called “sexual liberation” has actually enslaved people. Temptation comes to us all and sometimes we fall into sin.
    When God places a stop sign in front of us, it is always for our highest and best interest. However, a challenge that is insurmountable to us unless we use the power of God through our prayers. He not only saves us, He changes us.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

    Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

    1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

    1 Peter 2:16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

  4. Democrats, (all bad), vs Republicans, (all good? I think not! Are we not in Violation by discussing politics with religion?

    What party takes the high ground on identifying SIN? Biden tosses the catechism on most Catholic values. He deserves ex-communication. Trump continues his ego trip by incessant pathological lying where he falsely aligns with Pro-life, being Pro-Choice most of his life. Trump hates those who disagree with him, in some cases even threatenning opponent’s families. Moreover, his alignment with radical right orgs like The Proud Boys and the Oath keepers who he incited to an attempted coup on the US Capitol. He is a moral and civil criminal.

    Sorry for being so vindictive. God save us all!

    • I truly don’t care what Mr Trump held in his heart regarding the sanctity of human life before he was elected. I’m just deeply grateful for what he accomplished while in office. God bless him for that.
      You know,Christianity is all about redemption and forgiveness. I think that would go a long way in the comments section.

    • We notice the author’s research interests: Ethics. Culture. Political Thought. We are at the “Catholic WORLD Report” so that clues us too.

      Many prominent thinkers have understood culture to stem from religion. Even more people have understood that humans (stretching back to the history of the primitive) have sought understanding of their nature, their beginning, their purpose, and their why, and they’ve sought justice for themselves and one another. This has led most human groups and civilizations (even pagan ones) to the idea of God. God will not disappear. So long as men dwell on earth, so will culture, religion, and politics confront each other.

      Good luck in finding a safe space.

    • “he falsely aligns with Pro-life, being Pro-Choice most of his life.”

      You must really hate St. Mary Magdalen, St. Augustine, St. Mary of Egypt….

      As for Democrats vs. Republicans – here is part of the Democratic Party Platform:

      “Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. We will repeal the Title X domestic gag rule and restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides vital preventive and reproductive health care for millions of people, especially low-income people, and people of color, and LGBTQ+ people, including in underserved areas.

      “Democrats oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to reproductive health and rights. We will repeal the Hyde Amendment, and protect and codify the right to reproductive freedom. We condemn acts of violence, harassment, and intimidation of reproductive health providers, patients, and staff. We will address the discrimination and barriers that inhibit meaningful access to reproductive health care services, including those based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, income, disability, geography, and other factors. Democrats oppose restrictions on medication abortion care that are inconsistent with the most recent medical and scientific evidence and that do not protect public health.”

      And here is the Republican platform:

      “Protecting Human Life
      The Constitution’s guarantee that no one can
      “be deprived of life, liberty or property” deliberately
      echoes the Declaration of Independence’s
      proclamation that “all” are “endowed by their
      Creator” with the inalienable right to life.
      Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life
      and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental
      right to life which cannot be infringed. We support
      a human life amendment to the Constitution and
      legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth
      Amendment’s protections apply to children before
      birth.
      “We oppose the use of public funds to perform
      or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like
      Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or
      refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts
      rather than provide healthcare. We urge all states
      and Congress to make it a crime to acquire, transfer,
      or sell fetal tissues from elective abortions for
      research, and we call on Congress to enact a ban
      on any sale of fetal body parts. In the meantime, we
      call on Congress to ban the practice of misleading
      women on so-called fetal harvesting consent forms,
      a fact revealed by a 2015 investigation. We will not
      fund or subsidize healthcare that includes abortion
      coverage.”

      And you don’t see the difference?

  5. I wonder if one day soon there will be no other alternative for Christians who wish to live by the Commandments and teachings of Jesus Christ as understood for the past 2,000 years…than the Benedict Option. I know many of my fellow Texans would be just fine succeeding from the Union to get rid of this Woke yoke.

  6. It comes down to too many people putting themselves above God. They want to be their own Gods. From the German bishops to the pro-abortion politicians to those pushing policies against natural law and God’s law, may have responded by a hatred of themselves and what they are, rather than learning to live as God’s children. They claim that they do these things out of love but love would entail leading people away from sin, not being complicit in it. Compassion for sinners does not mean we condone their sin. As C.S Lewis said, “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in;’ aim at earth and you will get neither.” (Mere Christianity). See also, Mk 6:33 -“seek first the kingdom of God.”

  7. Transgenderism is a procedure straight out of hell, as it completely denies the existence of natural laws as ordained by God. It is a form of mutilation of the body, and for the young, a form of child abuse. Doctors performing these procedures are doing the work of Satin and are a disgrace to the medical field.

  8. I’m actually thinking “eugenics,” myself. Everything the global elite tries to pass off as a social movement seems to have some ulterior motive related to population control. Whether it’s hundreds of pedophilic Marxists men being inserted into the Catholic priesthood, in the 1930s, or adolescent gender fixation and bogus vaccines, in the 2020s, it’s well past time for people to start peeling the onion. That was a hundred years ago. We’re supposed to be a congregation of light. Complacency is nothing but a prelude to darkness.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Many of those committed to sexual liberation will persist unto destruction | Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph (FSJ) , Asumbi Sisters Kenya
  2. Many of those committed to sexual liberation will persist unto destruction | Passionists Missionaries Kenya, Vice Province of St. Charles Lwanga, Fathers & Brothers

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