May 20, 2008

Food, Sex, and Drugs

I heard something on NPR about the uneasy co-existence of teen abstinence programs in sex ed programs that also preach "a condom in every pocket".

One could've easily predicted such tension given that sex is now perceived as something somewhere between food and drugs: that is, food is necessary to survival, while sex is not, but sex is a natural impluse as a means to an end, procreation, while drugs have no such utilitarian end a desire for them is derived secondhand.

When sex was no longer seen as a mystery and something holy and sacramental, it became reduced to a bodily urge and thus became fodder for sex ed programs which focus on the less important since the sacred does not obtain. (It strikes me as teaching abstinence without teaching grace might be akin to teaching desert dwellers to snorkel, although I hear the programs have some success so what do I know?)

Well I know that we see what things are like now when we see Bill O'Reilly, the self-described voice of the traditionalist, arguing against prostitution on liberal terms - "it is unhealthy" he says on his television show, unable or unwilling to make any moral claim.

His argument may be weak or strong (weak, in that people do unhealthy things all the time, or strong because we live in a culture where Health is our god) -- but it's certainly not traditional given America's Christian heritage.

No comments: