Thursday, June 19, 2003

Imagine that you were an alcoholic

that you had a real addiction to alcohol. You've done a lot of work in order to manage this addiction, and through prayer and support you've stopped drinking. Now you move inside a bar.

Sound silly? Of course. But this is the situation that every man in America is in. All of you male readers know what being a teenage boy is like. The sexual urge is quite strong and almost unmanageable, much like an addiction to alcohol. It can be managed, with prayer and support and training in the virtue of chastity. But we all live in a whorehouse, where sexual images and temptations come from every side. The internet, for example, although a wonderful tool for research and communication, is mostly (by volume) a device for the efficient distribution of pornography. Television is similarly bad--just try to flip channels past E! on a Friday or Saturday night. It is the pixellation station.

This is the world we live in, the world we have made. The thing about television and the internet is that we get what we want. As Mark Shea points out, the typical punishment that God inflicts on us is to let us have what we want. Our society wouldn't be as sex-obsessed if we didn't want it that way, since there wouldn't be any profit in it unless we bought what they were selling.

So, it is the height of hypocrisy for Catholics to complain about bishops and priests who take part in the Culture of Sex (a suburb of the Culture of Death, right next to the Culture of Contraception) while these same Catholics cheerfully partake of the prevailing culture. "But bishops and priests are supposed to be better!" Bullspit. They are given a different office, but everyone is supposed to be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect.

We'll get good bishops when we deserve them. Now get to work sanctifying your family. You can start by getting rid of the TV.

(In the interests of full disclosure, and so that you, my faithful readers, can be a support to me, yes, I have a television. I watch lots of it too. This is a vice I am trying to cure--I gave up television for Lent, and am attempting to leave it off most of the time. It is a struggle, but one worth fighting.)

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