Moral disconnects regarding sex exist between God and man as a result of individualism, autonomy, secularism, and concupiscence. Today, we are bombarded from all four fronts; fighting a moral battle within. Let’s start this discussion by first defining the four terms:
“…there is a tendency to grant to the individual conscience the prerogative of independently determining the criteria of good and evil and then acting accordingly. Such an outlook is quite congenial to an individualist ethic, wherein each individual is faced with his own truth, different from the truth of others.” 1
“…the right to determine what is good or evil. Human freedom would thus be able to ‘create values’ and would enjoy a primacy over truth, to the point that truth itself would be considered a creation of freedom.” 2
“…people think and live ‘as if God did not exist’. We are speaking of a mentality which affects, often in a profound, extensive and all-embracing way, even the attitudes and behavior of Christians, whose faith is weakened and loses its character as a new and original criterion for thinking and acting in personal, family and social life. In a widely de-Christianized culture, the criteria employed by believers themselves in making judgments and decisions often appear extraneous or even contrary to those of the Gospel.” 3
…the tendency to sin, as a part of human nature, resulting from original sin.
Where’s the Moral Disconnect?
Let’s unpack these terms and relate them to the moral disconnect regarding sex. We’ll start with individualism. If you can determine your own truth, and I can determine my truth, then how can “truth” be truth? Truth by its nature is unchanging, undeniable, consistent and factual. From a scientific perspective, the only way to procreate children is when a sperm from a man unites with an egg from a woman. This is truth by God’s design. The moral truth is God’s Word on the matter. Sex should be between a man and a woman who have entered into a covenantal relationship, according to God’s design (Gen 1:28).
With autonomy, we take the obscured truth of individualism and make moral judgments on what is good and what is evil. Because sexual activity is pleasurable, we tell ourselves falsehoods; that it is okay to engage in sex outside of marriage; that no one will get hurt. However, in actuality, God reserved sexual relations to occur within the covenant of marriage because He knows that people who do otherwise get hurt; especially when one person’s obscured “truth” differs from another’s. For example, when two people fornicate, and one of the two is finished with the other, one gets tossed aside while the other moves on. The lens of obscured truth would say that person A sees person B as something to be objectified for person A’s own pleasure. Person B sees person A with a different lens of obscured “truth” foreseeing a lasting relationship. Person B gets hurt.
With secularism, our society moves away from moral truth; away from chastity. As we de-Christianize our American culture and widely endorse what God has declared as sinful behavior, we move away from God and toward sin; we act as if God does not exist; as if His Truth and opinions do not matter. When we lose our moral compass through the embrace of secularism, we lose our faith. We lose our good character.
All of these sexual sins occur because of our concupiscence; our tendency to sin; our inability to resist temptation. When we put our own wishes and desires above God’s Truth, we embrace individualism. When we think we know what is best for us, and do not defer to God, we embrace autonomy. When we, as a society, find acceptable what we know God finds as sinful, we embrace secularism.
If we were to adhere to God’s Commandments, defer to God’s omniscience, profess God’s existence and resist the temptation to sin, we would no longer have the moral disconnect regarding sex pervading our society today. We would be chaste individuals living in a morally upright society.
- John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, Veritatis splendor. n. 32, The Vatican. The Holy See, 1995. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.
- Ibid, n. 34
- Ibid, n. 88.