As Western culture’s faith in the Triune God has receded, our sexual ethic has been completely transformed. Whereas heterosexual marriage used to be a clearly defined parameter for sexual intimacy, now our only rule seems to be “Do no harm.” As long as all parties involved are consenting adults, the sexual behavior has the blessing–or will soon have it, once we mature beyond our “yuck” impulses–of our culture.
Premarital sex? Check. In fact, if you aren’t involved in this, something must be wrong with you.
Random hook ups? Check.
Homosexuality among consenting adults? Check.
Polyamory among consenting adults? Check.
Incest? Not quite ready for that yet, but there is nothing in principle that keeps us from giving culture-wide approval. Give it time.
Adultery? Frowned upon. Why? Because not all parties involved (notably, the betrayed spouse) have given consent.
Rape? No! It is non-consensual, harmful, and therefore criminal.
Pedophilia? Absolutely not! This may be the greatest sin of our society, because it involves harming innocent children. If you commit this sin, you will be locked up and/or permanently labeled as a sex offender. The protection of children is too important for us to play around here.
Personally, I am thankful that as a culture we still manage to have an instinctively harsh reaction to pedophilia. Although the lines have been blurred across the board in our sexual ethic, at least on this point we have maintained clear moral boundaries.
But I fear we recently crossed a threshold that may undo this moral consensus. I am referring to stories like this one, where it is obvious that the “Do no harm” principle will not always be applied when it comes into conflict with subjective identity concerns of sexual minorities. None of the usual voices on the left who decry the abuse of women have made a peep about the undeniable trauma we are imposing on women and girls with our bathroom/locker room insanity. Their pain is a small price to pay for the forward march of society toward The Right Side of History. The rallying cry of the new sexual orthodoxy may be morphing from “Do no harm,” to “Get out of the way!”
How long before we sacrifice our children to the forward march of pedophile rights? How long before pedophiles establish the link between their orientation and identity, not in the “sex offender” sense, but in the “born this way” sense? How long before they become a protected class, a sexual minority before whom society must cower in order to atone for our past transgressions against them? Penn State University actually removed a statue of Joe Paterno because of his association with a pedophile, Jerry Sandusky. Will there come a day when a statue of Jerry Sandusky himself will stand in a civil rights museum, where he will be hailed as a pioneer for sexual minorities everywhere? I shudder to imagine it, but do we really have the moral resources in our culture to rule out the possibility?
We have already demonstrated for decades that we are willing to do anything–and I mean anything–to keep children in the womb from standing in the way of our sexual preferences. Why should we think that our desire to protect children out of the womb from sexual predators will last?
Come, Lord Jesus.