Friday, December 17, 2010

From the Pill to Incest in Three Easy Steps

The prophecies of Pope Paul VI made in the encyclical Humanae Vitae continue to come true. Women are treated as sex objects. Promiscuity continues to increase. Marriages fall apart and many dispense with marriage altogether and just mate like animals.

The National Post is reporting that Switzerland, which has already sunk into the culture of death by legalizing abortion and euthanasia, is now considering a change to the law which would decriminalize incest between consenting adults. The momentum is building on the slippery slope and Western culture continues downhill.

Al Mohler points out something very interesting in discussing the issue of the Columbia professor who committed incest with his own daughter. Referring to an article by William Saletan in Slate, he writes:
Though the story was ignored by much of the mainstream media, it quickly found its way into the cultural conversation. William Saletan of, who remains one of the most relevant writers working on the issues of bioethics and human nature today, jumped on the story with a very interesting essay that openly asked the question many others were more quietly asking: “If homosexuality is OK, why is incest wrong?.”

After reviewing the various legal arguments used to justify criminalizing incest, Saletan comes to the conclusion that genetics cannot be the fundamental basis, since incestuous sex could be non-reproductive. Similarly, the basic issue cannot be consent, since no one is arguing in this case that the sex was non-consensual.

He gets the liberal response just about right: “At this point, liberals tend to throw up their hands. If both parties are consenting adults and the genetic rationale is bogus, why should the law get involved? Incest may seem icky, but that’s what people said about homosexuality, too. It’s all private conduct.”

What I want to point out is how direct the link is between the acceptance of homosexuality and the inability to say why incest is wrong. This is so in two ways.

First, the societal acceptance of homosexuality renders us mute when confronted with other forms of sexual perversion. How can anything shock us now? As Saletan says, the "ick factor" is no longer relevant.

Second, and more importantly, note the reference to how incestuous sex can be non-reproductive. This is important. It is the decoupling of sex from reproduction that is the root of the problem. Homosexuality is accepted because it so closely resembles sex that uses artificial contraception to sever the natural link between procreation and sexual intercourse. Western society found it difficult to specify in what way homosexual sex was really different from heterosexual sex using contraception.

And so we moved from the Pill to Homosexuality to Incest in only "Three Easy Steps." And we are just getting started on this journey into darkness.

Procreation could not be the key to what makes sex moral if artificial contraception is morally acceptable. So as long as they use contraception (with abortion as a backup), how can we say that incest is evil? If non-procreative sex is morally good, then a lot of what we have always known as "perversions" must be considered in a new light and given moral approval. And, of course, in a godless world people crave moral approval from the State, so the State must pronounce it good.

What this analysis should tell us is not that the sexual revolution is just fine and that we must gradually learn to accept bestiality, sex with children, polyamory and a general "anything goes" approach to human sexual behavior. Rather, what it should teach us is that the whole rush to embrace artificial contraception was perhaps a much more tragic mistake than it seemed at the time.

To the question: "What could possibly go wrong?" we are learning a whole series of horrifyingly ugly answers.


Amy said...

Dr. Carter,

Do you think that Christians ought to desire and seek to re-implement the Mosaic Law? So, for example, in Leviticus chapters 20 and 24, God decrees adultery, blasphemy, etc. to be punishable by death. Now, certainly some of the Mosaic laws are no longer relevant (e.g. Christ's death has removed any further need for sacrifice; we are no longer required to keep kosher laws; etc.), but what about the rest? What (if anything) would lead us to conclude that sins like those mentioned above do not fall under the state's jurisdiction? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this!


Alice said...

Dr. Carter,

Your slippery slope argument infers that the average man is unable to discern what's good for himself (and society). In another post you suggest that Obama and the progressives (based on Peter Berkowitz's misleading screed) are guilty of the same thing. Do you consider that inconsistent?


Craig Carter said...

The answer to your question is no. The NT teaches that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and to be in Christ is to be led by the Spirit. The person who is filled by the Spirit lives a life that fulfills and exceeds the demands of the Law (and thus fulfills the law's intention).

However, this is not to reject the idea that principles of law found in the OT can be enlightening to those who are considering how to reform civil law in a democratic society in which the majority is Christian. I willingly affirm that the moral law of the OT is relevant, although I would not go so far as to try to make the Mosaic code the civil law code for a modern, pluralistic democracy.

Craig Carter said...

Everybody agrees that ordinary people are clouded by sin and often make moral mistakes. But there are two key differences between me and the progressives.

1. They say the problem is ignorance and can be fixed by progressive education. I say it is the lusts of the sinful nature (caused by original sin) that are the problem and these can only be fixed by virtue. Education is insufficient to fix our problem.

2. They say that the ordinary people are trapped in ignorance while they, the enlightened ones, have the knowledge that can set them free. I say that all of us including the educated, cultural elite and the ordinary folks have the same flaws and need the same remedies. Vice is common to all of us - not just the ordinary people.

I trust this makes the difference clear.

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic!