Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gosnell, Abortion, and Sex

There is a good piece about the Gosnell trial at the CatholicVote site today.  Written by Steve Skojec, the title of the essay says it all:   

How America Created a Monster: Gosnell & Our National Sex Obsession

An extended excerpt:’s appropriate for the President to comment on significant tragedies within the country he leads, even unsolved or unconcluded ones.
Of course, we know why he won’t talk about it. It throws his own voting history into question. It highlights, in a very unflattering way, his position on human life.
As the pressure stays on, and the story comes to the attention of more Americans, some are no doubt asking how the Gosnell situation happened. How have we, as a nation, reached a point where something so horrific was taking place right under our noses?
I have a theory: we created this problem through our collective, national obsession with sex.
This condition afflicts people without concern for race or creed, and it dehumanizes us. It starts by disassociating sex from procreation through contraception. Whereas marriage as a social institution was once predicated upon the idea of family-building, providing a stable environment for the raising of those children that were considered the proper fruit of the conjugal act, there is now only state-sanctioned sex, accompanied by a handful of legal rights. Of course, many have wised up to the fact that the commitment of marriage is overrated if they can just as easily have sex in whatever adult, consensual arrangement they wish to enter into.  Freed of the stigma of out-of-wedlock birth, sex has shrugged off its social taboos that once confined it to marriage. Fornication is the new normal. Virginity before marriage is increasingly considered cause for pity, even scorn.
The upshot of all of this is that people have, by and large, ceased to be lovers, though they may feel something akin to love. They have instead become “sexual partners” — objects for the provision of pleasure, merely to be discarded when boredom sets in, or when someone new, more exciting, younger, or more attractive comes along. Sex isn’t for family anymore, so it certainly isn’t for keeps. We have decided it’s better to keep our options open.
And so we continue to objectify and devalue each other with bacchanalian abandon. Our casual views on sex have lead, unsurprisingly, to a society that is riddled with free, easily accessible pornography, which afflicts even those trying to live good lives and have healthy marriages. Talk to any priest about the sin he hears confessed most, and that one rises to the top of the list. Talk to those who have struggled with it, and the shame and helplessness that they feel in their encounters with this incredibly powerful appetite and the ease with which it can be fed, seemingly consequence-free, is apparent. But we know all too well that an erasure of web browser history does not similarly wipe clean the consequences for our souls, or, perhaps, for our humanity. Something inside us knows, even as our entertainment, educational institutions, and medical professionals try to assure us that porn usage and masturbation are healthy and normal, that something about these things is deeply wrong.
Still, in line with our national embrace of prurience, the FCC is now seeking to loosen decency standards for television and radio content. According to The Hill‘s Brendan Sasso, “The commission asked for input on how it should handle expletives and brief non-sexual displays of nudity. The rules only cover broadcast TV and radio stations—not cable, satellite or Internet content.” The needle moves, gradually but constantly, toward depravity.
As we become increasingly comfortable with viewing other human beings as sex objects, we should not be surprised that human sex trafficking, too, is an enormous problem in the US. It is widely reported that the Superbowl is ranked as the single biggest sex-trafficking event in the world. The nation that is world-famous for fighting a war about slavery remains one of the biggest consumers of slaves — of which, there are an estimated 27 million worldwide, an all-time high.
Orwell knew when he wrote 1984 how important licentiousness was to the building and maintaining of a totalitarian society. Aldous Huxley showed us the same thing in Brave New World. From grammar-school “erotic play” to the pornographic “feelies,” from the widespread distribution of contraceptives to the complete biological and psychological separation of sex and procreation, we were warned by these early-20th century literary prophets that it is sex, not religion, that is the opiate of the masses. As our liberties are taken away, we become increasingly sexually libertine, in seemingly direct inverse proportion. But who cares about religious liberty or the 2nd Amendment if the fleshpots are free?
If consequence-free sex is the norm, there are bound to be…consequences. Abortion and sex are inextricably related. You don’t have the former without the latter. What happens when, despite our best application of scientific barriers to conception, nature still finds a way? What happens when, horror of horrors, a girl actually gets pregnant? We don’t want them “punished with a baby,” do we? Let’s not kid ourselves: once we are accustomed to looking at people as objects, it’s a whole lot easier to kill them.
This is how we arrive at the present moment. This is how we have come to Gosnell, and a media unwilling to talk about the nauseating evil he was capable of. As Charles Krauthammer recently said, “the fact that it’s not covered is very easily explained. It puts the pro-abortion forces in a very bad light. It brings the issue of late term abortion starkly into relief.” And our President, and most of the mainstream media, are abortion promoters.
We have suppressed decency for so long that we have effectively killed it. We have so accustomed ourselves to the selfish pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of difficulty and inconvenience that we objectify human life without hesitation.  We have so powerfully numbed our consciences to the reality of abortion that we can live with it, and in many cases, even embrace it. Even those of us who abhor abortion have no choice but to spend every day living, working, and continuing on as normal in a country that has eradicated the equivalent of roughly 17% of the current US population. 54,000,000+ children have been murdered since Roe. To put that in perspective: that’s more than all the American soldiers killed in every war, conflict, and military operation we’ve been involved in since the American Revolution — by a factor of forty...

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