by: Fr. Nicholas A. Marziani, Jr., D.Min ~ Pastor Emeritus, St. James Church
Well, now among the other things to fight about during the Christmas Season in our cockeyed society we have to add Frank Loesser’s 1944 hit song, allegedly another example of a guy hitting on a lady when she doesn’t want the attention.
My, my. As it turns out, however, at least according to British historian Tom Holland (as related by Stanford University’s Hoover Institution executive editor and Wall Street Journal columnist Tunku Varadarajan), this particular incarnation of the #MeToo dustup simply highlights what Dr. Holland calls “the paradox that lies at the heart of the culture wars in the West.”
Holland’s thesis has actually been articulated before, namely that the insistence that men should actually behave honorably among women derives not so much from “Enlightenment” values (Voltaire’s – or even Ben Franklin’s – appetites for young women are legendary) as, wonder of wonders, early Christian morality especially as expressed by St. Paul, the ever pugilistic “13th Apostle.”
Morality, especially sexual morality, turns out to be an interesting subject for dispassionate analysis. According to Holland, “Liberals, too, when they survey the world, view it through a prism that has been fashioned out of Christian glass.” The recent appropriation of the word “WOKE” contains a curious harmonic overtone of traditional Christian teaching, albeit applied to the denigration of that very teaching in pursuit of religion-free social justice.
In effect, in Dr. Varadarajan’s words (and by the way, I hate the way “big press” journalistic standards will only allow the title “doctor” to medical practitioners, as though academics who have certainly paid their dues are somehow “unworthy” of the appellation) men today have been “released” by the 1960’s sexual rebellion to become “Roman” again – freely accessing women’s spaces at will such as was common two millennia ago.
At least before that nasty St. Paul, supposedly a supporter of slavery and repression of women, in actual fact did more to liberate both men and women of all classes of society from sub-human treatment than anyone in the ancient world (just read his letter to the Galatians, and it becomes very clear!).
And so, dear reader, I wish you a very happy holiday season, and would simply encourage you to eschew the hype and excesses of our contentious world. And God bless us all – EVERYONE!