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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
                 Monday, June 23 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterChristians and the sexual revolution

In my daily search for headlines to link to on my other website, Xnmp—the Christian news and media portal—no topic has been more abuzz for the past two weeks than controversy in the Protestant churches over aspects of what, since at least 1963, has been known as the sexual revolution. That year marked the introduction of birth control pills and, as a spinoff, the term "sexual revolution" began to make headlines in major news magazines and network news shows. So motivated, I've decided to make some short discourses on this revolution and its remifications for Christians (presuming that they care more about it than other segments of the population) for several of these Jonal entries. Non-Christians and/or those who think the topic should be beyond the controversial stage are welcome to come along, if for nothing more than some clues as to why some of us still think otherwise. And as always, feedback is welcome, to the list or to me individually (jrk@nantyglo.com).

First, some thoughts on the revolution in the larger sense. It's axiomatic that all sorts of sexual practices and perversions have existed from time immemorial, and perhaps in the depth of the depravity of the Roman Empire (think Caligula) what was commonly known and widely practiced makes today's "revolt" seem tame in comparison. But certainly in the lifetime of today's grandparents (like me), there has been a great turn-around, and it's still revolving. Our weekly listing of births in Blacklick Valley is one indicator that that turning is no less noticeable there than it is here in California where I live, considering how many are born to unmarried parents. None of the mothers of our generation (our mothers, not wives—or am I too naive?) would have admitted in casual conversation to bedding a man she wasn't married to; now even I am not scandalized when women my age admit to having "tried" this or that man.

Another generally obvious aspect is pornography. Every day spam emails jam my computer inbox with junk mail, some of which not only uses language that polite people never used in the '50s, but even full-color photos that could only be purchased under the counter in the '60s or bought in sleazy "adult bookstores" in the '70s and through the '80s. Hugh Heffner's dirty dream of 1953 has been so wildly "successful" that his one-time virtual monopoly on men's sleaze has been described as showing signs of collapse under the weight of a deluge of "adult" material so explicit that he doesn't compete with it.

The devolution of "abortion" from a word reserved, in the 1950s, to describe only the most despicable medical practitioners to an industry taking the lives of 1.5 American infants, legally, every year, and its acceptance in Cambria County to such an extent that Democratic candidates there don't hesitate to cold-call potential voters to warn that their "abortion rights" are threatened if this or that Republican is elected, also attests the depth and width of this revolution. Abortion is without doubt one of the most widely used forms of birth control in the United States and other "first-world" countries, and the fact that politicians proudly run on pledges to preserve it is a major part of the sexual revolution. Also, the devolution of decency on network television programming ("Friends," "NYPD Blue," "Becker") and the church sex scandals (especially in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese*, in my opinion, but not limited to that or not limited either to the Catholic Church) are more fruits of the revolution.

Last but not least for this introductory piece, the gay movement has become almost as public in greater Johnstown as it is in San Francisco and New York, as attested by the controversies over gay bars in the metropolitan area and the "mass" arrests at Babcock State Forest several years ago. The gay "cause" is the aspect of the sexual revolution that still stirs up most of the controversy in churches, especially Protestant denominations, and seems to me to be making more progress every month, recently, than it made in a decade when it first became a topic of general-public discussion.

On that note we'll continue next time.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

*Especially after reading here that Bishop Adamec could not be dissuaded from permitting proabortion candidates to advertise in the diocesan newspaper, the Register. If the bishop is ambivalent on abortion, how could anyone expect his priests to be consistent in the area of sexual morality?

Rules to live by

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

— Sent by Judy Rose

Thought for today

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.

— Samuel Ullman
Sent by Trudy Myers

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