Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The sex sermonist and poor old Brother Ray

Christopher West reminds me of Brother Ray, an old teacher of mine from high school. Brother Ray meant well. He was earnest, he tried to relate to us kids and he tried to be hip. I thought him to be ridiculous. Every time he tried to "rap" with us, I think, "Oh man, Brother Ray's talkin' about sex again. Gag me with a spoon why don'tcha?"

Poor Christopher West says that the editors of Nightline used dicey editing to make him look bad with his Hugh Hefner and JPII as his muses quote. But West bungled into it by bringing Hefner up in the first place. Every time Christians try to look sophisticated and clever and make friends with the world they make themsleves look stupid. It's like Christian pop music. It's dumb, second rate and embarrassing at best.

Hugh Hefner is no liberator who went wrong. He didn't want to save Americans from prudery, the dude wanted and still wants to degrade women. Period. And that's what he's done.

Prudence has been given a bad name. It was a societal protection for the young. Once upon a time in the prudish past if a man looked too long at a 15 year old girl his decent friends would reprove him. Others, not his friends would just think that boy aint right. I better not hang with him or he'll get me into a mess of trouble. Now everybody laughs and a few may remind him jokingly that 15 will get ya 20, but most just laugh. They'd kill him if he were to mess with their 15 year old but otherwise it's okay. Is that an improvement?

Once a young man knew that he had to treat the girl next door with respect or society would make him pay for it. Hugh Hefner has successfully taught that the girl next door is a just whore at heart-- no different that the creatures walking the street in the red light district and that she really wants to be used and discarded. When Jay-Z sang about not trusting or needing women for anything more than sex he was reflecting the zeitgeist that Hefner wrought.

And folks we are not bound to study TOB anymore than we're bound to study the rythm of our fertility stages. It's not a sacrament. It's not a law of the Church. It was a hobby of JPII. When the pope is talking about the deposit of the Faith I'm there. But when he's talking about cooking, fishing or sacred sex I can go work on my stamp collection with a clear concience. As much as I love John Paul II, if you ask me if I know what he really said about sex I will cheerfully respond, (depending on how old you are or what your state in life is) that yes, I do but I really don't give a rat's ass.


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Exactly, Papal Audiences are not under the charism of infalibility!

There are major problems with the way TOB is taught as some glorified version of Christian version of the secular culture, which it's not.

I think it's apart of the personality cult of JP II, JP II did it, ergo it must be good...

Honestly, there are some things I like, some I don't.

But the canonization of JP II I'm not for.

Dymphna said...

I love JPII but as for the cannonization...? Not now. I think we need at least a decade to cool off and be rational. St.Therese had to wait about 20 years and miracles started immediately after her death. St. Joan waited for centuries. There's no need to rush.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Exactly :), he can wait just like everyone else.

Charlotte said...

Points taken, but I see more here the "it's not necessary because it's from JP II" rather than actually making specific criticisms of Theology of the Body.

Yes, Christopher West can get obnoxious, I admit. But who else do we have out there VISIBLY and PUBLICLY trying to tell people what's what with basic Catholic teaching on sex - and I mean basic stuff that existed long before Theology of the Body. He's doing both - the traditional stuff and Theology of the Body. I see West as the only one who is accessible to the "masses" and the only one who anyone might easily find if they are looking.

I'm 40, and I don't know how old you are Dymphna and Joe, but you have to remember that there are 18 and 24 year olds going to see West who are clueless. We discount that due to our age and since we know most everything we need to know on the subject. They have to start somewhere - and since their own parishes refuse to address basic issues like contraception and the RCIA programs are shit, West serves a needed purpose.

Charlotte said...

I moved your vomitorium post to my blog and have generated some good conversation!

Dymphna said...

Thanks Charlotte.

LeoRufus said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! This TOB stuff is non-magisterial and has need of being refined. Any man who has had a family and is worth his salt knows that the bond of marriage is far far more than what is done in the bedroom. The quiet time sitting on the porch with the wife watching the sunset reflecting on the snow capped mountains - complete silence - that is a closeness West and his porno version of TOB does not even come close to. West does not get it, and JPII, not having had a wife, is only theorizing - how could he possible know?

Lynne said...

I wish you played for the Yankees because you just hit another one out of the park...

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"Once upon a time in the prudish past if a man looked too long at a 15 year old girl his decent friends would reprove him."

Once upon a time before that*, her family would talk to her and if she found him somewhat attractive on not too ridiculous grounds (good looking, intellectual, funny), might talk to him about what his intentions were.

THAT kind of honour is better than prudery.

Including when that kind of honour leads to shot gun weddings.

But yes, there are occasions in which the prude response and the response most likely to keep young people from getting into too bad situations would coincide.

* Church for centuries allowed marriages at 14/12 limit (14 for male and 12 for female contrahent) and it was NOT "because marriages were not consumed immediately", often they were (at least on third night, when the couple had not been granted a dispensation from the cleric who had "jus primae noctis", the right to give that dispensation) and the setting or marital age was counting on that. Debatable if it was or wasn't the Church that raised the limit two years for either sex last century.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"And folks we are not bound to study TOB anymore than we're bound to study the rythm of our fertility stages. It's not a sacrament. It's not a law of the Church."

TOB = Theology of the Body, I presume?

Love and Responsibility had its attraction for me when I was a young convert, some doubts even then, but its central idea that the quality of love makes the act moral or not, however absense or presense of Church marriage (and presumably valid such) determines quality of love ... er, no.

One reason why, since he did not retract it, it should have been burned on his election to papacy (if it had been one), he can not be canonised.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"St. Joan waited for centuries."

To be precise : Pope Pius XI noted there were no longer any English Catholics around subscribing to the idea (as Shakespear, if he was Catholic, seems to have done) that she was rightfully executed.

Perhaps the heirs of the Stuart kings were consulted, since their official titulature involves Kings nnot just of England, Scotland and Ireland but also France, could they agree that God had given a sign France belonged to a non-Englisbh dynasty?

If they were taking the claim seriously, they would perhaps need to argue that St Joan was not a saint OR that some change had happened in France since her days, since she for an hour was Queen of France, made Christ King of France and in His name made the non-English claimant King of France.

So, Popes had taken very great care not to canonise her as long as her canonisation could offend one single serious Catholic.

That is NOT what happened in the case of Wojtyla or Roncalli.