Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Obergefell as "Übercollapse" -- The failure of fornication as a path to happiness, two generations and counting ...

Guy Noir - Private Eye shot me an email 9 hours ago with the subject line: "Post-Obergefell Remedial Reading." Indeed. He writes: James Morgan at CRISIS has one of the better answers to the consternation surrounding the Gay Marriage decision. He offers a needed corrective to extended commentaries that engage the Constitution and Religious Liberty but the hardly touch on topic of sex. The greatest compliment I can pay his words is that they made me want to go find my old copy of Christopher Derrick's Sex and Sacredness: A Catholic Homage to Venus. And Peter Kreeft's Making Choices: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Moral Decisions. Both books seemed close to containing words on fire when I first read them. Yet I also recall Kreeft's pointing to Derrick, when he initially wrote 20 some years ago, and remarking even then that even as he himself assigned S & S as required book, his students would routinely register blank uncomprehension at its central theses. So the seeds of our present destruction had been strewn that long ago... But here is Morgan. I don't agree with every word, but there is this incisive commentary [Noir's emphases]:
...the true losers in Obergefell are the same as in Windsor: those experiencing same-sex attraction. The blessing is that, post Obergefell, there is no more political frenzy to cover over sadness of soul. Those in homosexual relationships will have to face the hard facts of their lifestyle. Many have already suffered under the normative lie that homosexuality can bring happiness, and many more will suffer now that this lie has been quite literally wedded to state power. Those now given the imprimatur of the federal government on the dead-end slavery of sin—and the children who are condemned to witness this slow-motion destruction of human dignity firsthand—are the true sacrificial victims in this war. If we were not praying for them before, let us start doing so today....

Hence, the fourth blessing: not only are we called to love, but we are now given the chance to demonstrate it in a very real way. The homosexual activists consistently ground their concept of love in two places: the body itself, and the way the body feels. The glittery bacchanalia that started in the Age of Aquarius and has now culminated in Obergefell thus has a very narrow conception of love. For the sensualists, love is an adjunct to the personality. Love gives our sexual identities purchase and heft. It dispels loneliness, assuages fear, and makes us feel better about ourselves. But does love do anything besides fill the vessel of the ego? One need but look at the Cross to know. Love is kenotic. It dies to itself. It lays down its life for the sake of the wayward other. It counts no cost, reckons no reward, holds no grudge. It pours itself out in unmerited bounty for all alike. Love dwindles to nothingness so that others might have eternal life. It is not the self, but the very negation of the self.

Seen this way, the Obergefell conception of love can never rise into the upper reaches of our beings. Obergefell love sinks like carbon dioxide in a room, huddling around the homely flesh and fleeting emotions that are the twenty-first century’s poor substitutes for the full promise of the human person. The homosexual activists find this sort of love so unfulfilling that they are forcing three hundred million people to pay homage to it in order to distract from its failure to bring enduring happiness. But regardless of how many hundreds of millions applaud the abstract idea, homosexuality is doomed to be love’s opposite: the tragic amputation of sexual desire from the deep wells of the soul—the mere mutual slaking of animal lust. This love will never satisfy, and we must not abandon our brothers and sisters to the hell they now festoon with the rainbow of God’s covenant. In their orgiastic celebrations, the homosexual activists are crying out for real, transformative love.

Fifth, Obergefell is a chance for repenting of the greatest sexual failure of our generation: not homosexuality, but fornication. For every lost soul searching fruitlessly for love in a gay bar, how many hundreds more are de facto polygamists or polyandrists, shuttling from one wrecked relationship to the next, and increasingly numb to the lies that he or she is telling with body, words, and heart? If there is any moral high ground in the debate over sexual ethics, I for one am utterly unworthy of approaching it. I will stand, instead, beside the gutter from which God’s Grace rescued me, the better to remember, at the very least, who is holy in all of this, and who is made holy thereby. In a very real way, those with same-sex attraction have been fighting, at least in part, for the right to be as flamboyantly promiscuous as all the rest of us. Let us see who among us will dare to cast the first stone.

New Life from Dead Liberalism

Sixth, the majority opinion in Obergefell was a stunning admission of the intellectual poverty of late-stage liberalism. Proceeding by breezy judicial fiat was the only recourse open to the United States Supreme Court, for in seeking to legitimate the paradox of homosexual marriage they could make no honest appeal to reason, truth, Scripture, tradition, common sense, biology, or the natural law. They simply had to harden their hearts and wave their magic wands. Obergefell makes shockingly apparent the impossibility of forming any sort of community based on what is, at the very best, finely-tuned mutual antagonism. Justice Anthony Kennedy therefore has the distinction of having written, not the most insidious or disingenuous opinion in the history of the court (Roger Taney, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Harry Blackmun, and Henry Billings Brown must all outdo Kennedy in this regard), but the silliest. The linty non-sense of the Obergefell decision is a tremendous boon for a United States now coming to the extremities of an unsustainable philosophy. By dint of sheer hokeyness, the Obergefell majority opinion should be enough to wake whole battalions from their intellectual torpor.

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