Essay / Culture

No-Fault Sex in a Paris Hilton Culture

Attractive teachers having sex with students. Pedophiles getting light sentences from liberal judges. Sexual predators caught on Prime Time television. Gay couples exchanging vows in San Francisco. “Virginity” is a dirty word. Internet pornography is an epidemic. What in the world is going on here? How on earth did we get into this mess? Why are we “slouching towards Gomorrah” as one author described it? Bottom line: We now live in a Paris Hilton culture addicted to no-fault sex. If you get pregnant, have an abortion. If you have sex with a child, it’s your genes and broken childhood. If you’re gay, who’s to judge? You get the idea. Two things have happened to us.

First, we are secular relativists when it comes to sexual behavior. As a result, we invent values for ourselves, morality is reduced to arbitrary custom like driving on the right side of the street, and there is no principled way to distinguish appropriate from inappropriate sexual behavior. However, if the Christian God exists, then natural moral law (God’s revelation of absolutes in nature) and scripture provide a rational, objective moral order within which such distinctions can be drawn: sexual intimacy is for the purpose of pleasure, procreation, and celebrating caring love within the boundaries of monogamous heterosexual marriage. Everything else is wrong and harmful to human flourishing.

Think of it like this. When a carburetor malfunctions, it doesn’t work the way it is supposed to work. And that means it doesn’t work the way a designer made it to function. You don’t drive a car on the bottom of the ocean because that is not the way the car was made to function properly and flourish as a car. Without a designer, there is no way a carburetor or sex was designed to function, no way it is supposed to function. So arbitrary convention follows.

Second, when we gave up a worldview that makes sense of moral truth, we had to find a new absolute—the immediate satisfaction of bodily desire. The greatest evil today is telling folk they can’t have sex anyway they want. Virgins are considered geeks. Abstinence is ridiculed. Many adults can no longer present themselves as chaste role models to our youth who so desperately need an adult world that can authentically say “Follow my example.” How can an adult community be surprised by the sexual perversion cited above when it tolerates addiction to pornography, accepts as appropriate the trash on Desperate Housewives or Sex in the City, and is enslaved to sexual titillation in our literature, music, and movies?

You may say, “I don’t think the things you cite are perverted.” I doubt that, if you’re really honest with yourself. Ask yourself this question: Would I want my mom, dad, grandmother or grandfather to be doing x (and fill in the blank)? Would I want my daughter or son to grow up preoccupied with sexual practice x? I doubt that you would say “yes” if the practices cited above were used to fill in the blank. Even if you would say “yes” to one or more of these practices, here’s the deeper question: What standard do you use to draw a principled line between morally acceptable and immoral sexual activity? In a relativistic culture, how would you justify your answer in a persuasive way? Sadly, providing solid answers to these questions is pretty hard today in our secular relativist milieu in which you are not to “judge” anyone as being wrong. The popularity of Paris Hilton is the tip of the iceberg of secular relativism and sexual perversion is just below the water line. What else would you expect in a culture that has abandoned the only principled way there is to draw the right boundaries around the true nature of the gift of sex that answers to human flourishing according to our design?

Share this essay [social_share/]