Several years ago a president got caught in an extramarital affair. It consumed much media time. It was a confusing time because the man lied under oath as well. Of course all of this passed, but it set a lot of precedents regarding our country’s regard for religious morality. Perhaps the most important precedent was that religious morality really does not matter. Now we are faced with another scandal which has a bit of humor in the last name of the person, which I am told can be seen somewhere on the Internet. Oddly, he lost his seat in the House of Representatives when his pictures were widely circulated in the media thanks to the Internet. Now he is caught a second time as he tries to run for public office again with another cyber affair which began a short time after he left his first office. There is a new nuance to this affair which should put us all at ease if you accept the new morality.
Now that homosexual marriages are ok, there is really no need for blackmailing anymore. But one “righteous” cyber partner of ten, in conscience, has come forth to sabotage this man’s up coming election anyway. While Ms. Pelosi calls his behavior “reprehensible; it’s so disrespectful of women.” It reminds me of the woman caught in adultery where the men were not accused. Well, the cards have changed. What about the women? Are they not reprehensible and disrespectful of men?
When this candidate resigned from office in 2011, he vowed to learn from his mistakes, reconcile with his wife and seek therapy. After lying to the public, he once again is seeking professional help, but he did not believe he had an addiction. One of his supporters said that this affair is completely irrelevant to his ability to be mayor. And to his rescue comes the American Psychiatric Association which has purposely removed “sexual addiction” from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This is the same group that ruled that same-sex parenting did not present any significant disadvantage to children of heterosexual parents in 2005 – of course without any studies of its own to prove this. Is this science or is this politics?
I mention all of this because of a serious problem that I have noticed among our older children regarding not only sexting, but also viewing all kinds of pornography on the Internet. Does it give us any comfort that the American Psychiatric Association does not see it as an addiction? No matter how those in authority want to neutralize it, we Catholics can certainly refer to pornography not as freedom of speech, but rather enslavement to sin.
Ecclesiastes is a very sobering book. The wise man, Qoheleth, sees everything as futile because we die just like animals die whether we are good or bad. He has no knowledge of the afterlife. Yet he ends his book with, “To sum up the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for that is the duty of everyone. For God will call all our deeds to judgement, all that is hidden, be it good or bad. (12:13-14)” Qoheleth raises an important observation: why has God given us the ability to reflect? While he almost seems to be an agnostic, his belief in God changes his behavior and interests toward seeking the Truth. In the Gospel, Jesus rejects a man who wants Him to be his judge and arbitrator of the things of this world. Jesus, as God, does not want us to see possessions as the goal of life. After all, you cannot take it to the grave with you! St. Paul urges us “to seek what is above.” Love is not a matter of possessing people or things. St. Paul tells us what is earthly: “immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.” While the American Psychiatric Association chooses to put science aside, it is a boost to the Judeo-Christian ethic. What brings us happiness is making our self a free gift to others, with no strings attached, for the love of God. The Father shows us what life is all about by giving of His Only Begotten Son. He wants us to be like little Christs and not enslaved to sin. So “stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices” – or are we enslaved to sin?