The Fantasy of the Past Has to End

I wasn't going to talk about the Vatican's "Complementarity" shindig for a second time in two days, but I saw a quote that I just had to talk about.  It comes out of the mouth of Russell Moore, the President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Dr. Moore was a speaker at the Vatican conference, and he attempted to make the case that we have it all wrong.  Traditional Christian morality is not about patriarchy.  Instead, patriarchy is the product of that terrible, unfathomable evil--THE.SEXUAL.REVOLUTION.

Here's how Dr. Moore says it:

The Southern Baptist ethicist said the sexual revolution appeared to have imposed a new patriarchy that enabled men to "pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha male" for the pursuit of "power, prestige and personal pleasure."

Just in case you missed that, Dr. Moore is asserting that the "Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha male" who seeks "power, prestige, and personal pleasure," is a product of the sexual revolution of the 1960s.  By extension, prior to that, no men (or, at least, no Christian men) ever viewed women through the lens of "power, prestige, and personal pleasure."  No men prior to 1960 sought to sleep with as many women as they could.  No men ever exploited women in a callous manner.

Nope, all of that is entirely a product of the 1960s, in the same way modern electronics is a product of quantum mechanics.

The number of counter-examples to this thesis are so numerous as to be difficult to wrap one's mind around.  Where to begin?  How about with the Bible and King David, whose "Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha male" involved sending his friend Uriah the Hittite to his death so he could sleep with Uriah's wife?  Would that count as the pursuit of "power, prestige, and personal pleasure"?

Oh, you want Christian examples?  How about Henry VIII?  Trumping up BS charges of adultery to "clear the decks" of existing wives so he could replace them with new ones seems pretty "Darwinian" of the "Defender of the Faith" to me.  Lest one thinks that I am unfairly targeting Protestant heroes, how about the very Catholic Louis XIV of France, who had so many mistresses that a book chronicling them all is praised by the New York Times for "keep[ing] all these 'variegated' alliances straight through her lively descriptions of the features, accomplishments and appetites of the king’s lovers."

Or, would you like someone more modern?  How about Martin Luther King, who, for all of the immense good he did for the world, was notoriously unfaithful to his wife with several women.

The point is that it has always been the case that some men "pursued a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha male" by trying to sleep with as many women as possible.  That doesn't make it OK--it's very much not OK when (as it often does) it involves exploitation of the women involved.  But, and here is the key, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the sexual revolution.  If anything, the sexual revolution and the feminist movement has drawn more attention to the activity of these types of men, making it harder (and less socially acceptable) for them to practice their craft.

Quotes like those of Dr. Moore confirm what I have long suspected--all of this talk about the "crisis" of the family is a product of comparing to modern situation to an entirely fantastical past where everyone followed every jot and tittle of Christian teaching on sexuality and the family.  Pining nostalgically for that past makes no more sense than pining for the time when dragons roamed the Earth--neither of them ever existed.

We are never going to have a rational and productive discussion of these matters if one side insists in wallowing in this fantasy.


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