WHO? ME? I AM NEVER TEMPTED! I HAVE TOTAL SELF CONTROL. NOT!

The Proposition (1872), William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) (from here)

In my last post, THIS WAS PREDICTED AND ENTIRELY PREDICABLE, we considered the wisdom of putting young men and women together in combat units. We noted the inevitable result.

Why do some people refuse to see the problem? Check out Wikipedia’s article on the subject, Seduction. The word “sin” is not in it. Neither is the word “ethics”. Christianity is mentioned, but that is with respect to seduction as a motif in literature.

Apparently, Seduction is a highfalutin academic article written in an ivory tower. Here is a relevant sample.

Seduction, seen negatively, involves temptation and enticement, often sexual in nature, to lead someone astray into a behavioural choice they would not have made if they were not in a state of sexual arousal. Seen positively, seduction is a synonym for the act of charming someone — male or female — by an appeal to the senses, often with the goal of reducing unfounded fears and leading to their “sexual emancipation”. Some sides in contemporary academic debate state that the morality of seduction depends on the long-term impacts on the individuals concerned, rather than the act itself, and may not necessarily carry the negative connotations expressed in dictionary definitions. (from here)

“Sexual emancipation”? Seducing someone is doing them a big favor, right? Well, that is the attitude some people have.

So what happened when Vice President Mike Pence made it publicly known that he will not eat alone with any woman except his wife. Well, those renowned for their tolerance denounced and ridiculed the man. Of course, Pence was being intolerant. Here are some examples.

What is the problem with Pence’s critics? It seems they don’t have the wisdom to accept things they cannot change. Instead, so that they can live as they choose, they insist the rest of us adopt their preferred moral standards no what it costs.

  • Don’t female officers want to advance in rank? Therefore, ALL women must be subject to a military draft.
  • Don’t female business people want to wine and dine with the boys so they too can do business deals that way?  Therefore, any man who doesn’t want to worry his lady is a sexist pig (Go figure that one out.).

Is it not foolish to regard sex as just a marvelous recreational pleasure without long-term consequences? Don’t we risk thinking of others as objects that exist for our pleasure? Isn’t the only person who is not subject to temptation the one who has already given in?

So what about those of us who regard our bodies as temples, places where we want the Holy Spirit to live? If we choose to unnecessarily subject ourselves to temptation, sooner or later we will give in. Sooner or later we will grieve the Spirit. Therefore, we should thank Pence for setting a good example for the rest of us.

We should also pray for the wisdom to withstand our critics.

Serenity Prayer

– Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Amen.

Update: It occurred to me after I published this post that some might think I blamed women for this problem. No. I think that men are equally to blame. Men have a responsibility for protecting their sons and daughters from temptation, but we have not done that. Yet by the time our children are becoming subject to sexual temptation, we certainly ought to be able to understand our own weaknesses and be able to anticipate their weaknesses. Yet instead of rejecting conventional wisdom and accepting a bit of ridicule, we have succumbed to the temptation to say nothing.