Moral relativism is the new orthodoxy among our mind-molders in media and education. And almost all the justifications for the new moral relativism are sexual. No one wants a morality of "anything goes" or "different strokes for different folks" or "live and let live" or "don't be judgmental" when it comes to ecology, or economics, or penology, or terrorism, or even smoking. Only sex.
Obviously, this society is not overstocked with philosophical wisdom or logical consistency. But there is little hope of restoring these commodities simply by arguments, however unanswerable they are. Try proving to a pothead that he needs to unscramble his brains. His brains are already scrambled, so the message will find no soil. Sex addicts will not think clearly any more than drug addicts will.
Yet...thinking is...necessary. Thinking un-confuses things. We must find the essence of our confusion and then find the golden key to the way out of that confusion. The essence of the confusion is that we confuse sex with love. And Christ is the way out.
Here is the confusion: the Beatles sang: "All You Need Is Love." But it isn't. Someone wrote a romantic novel with the title "Love Is Enough." But it isn't. Not the kind of love they mean. On the other hand, it is true that 'all you need is love" and that "love is enough," for "God is love" and God is enough.
And here is the clearing-up of the confusion, the apparent contradiction: What kind of love is God? The answer is Christ. Do you want to know what love ultimately is? Look there. Look at Christ. There is love. The definition is not abstract but as concrete as a crucifix.
No one in Western civilization can ignore the wisdom we received from Christ that the greatest value is love. What we can and do ignore is how different that love is from all natural human loves, how challenging it is, how radical a change it requires. To explain it by an analogy, he called this change a "new birth," deliberately using as its image the single most radical change we have ever experienced in our natural lives. We confuse the love he was talking about (agape) either with sexual love (eros), or with subjective compassion and kindness, or with philanthropy, the objective deeds these feelings motivate us to perform.
Unlike all other forms of love, Christ's love is not easy, natural, or emotional; it is hard, supernatural, and an act of will, sometimes in the teeth of feelings. Was Mother Teresa's work of picking up the fly-infested, dying derelicts from the streets of Calcutta based on some sweet, cuddly feeling she had for them? Was she a necrophiliac? Did Jesus have the same feelings toward Judas that he had toward John? When his feelings changed, did His love change?
Christ revolutionizes the sexual revolution. How does he do that? Not by opposing religion to sex but by opposing real religion to false religion.
From Freud's point of view, religion is a substitute for sex; from Christ's point of view sex is a substitute for religion. It's a pretty good substitute. Of all the things God created, it is one of the very best, and a natural icon of supernatural love and our supernatural destiny. Only very good things can be worshipped. You can't make a religion out of plumbing or insurance.
Let's explore how close sex is to religion. The center of religion, the ultimate end of religion, the "holy of holies" of religion, is spiritual marriage to God. The last event in human history according to the Bible, at the end of the Apocalypse, is a wedding between the Lamb and his bride, his church. And the center of sex, and its greatest thrill, is the intimacy of intercourse, the almost mystical overcoming of separateness and egotism, the identification with the other, in body and mind, the fact that the beloved allows you into his or her 'holy of holies."
This is a natural icon, image, shadow, prophecy, appetizer, and foretaste of that infinite and unimaginable ecstasy of heaven that we were all made for. We are hard-wired for becoming one with God; that's why we are so thrilled at becoming one with each other. That's why self-forgetfulness, the transcendence of egotism, and the loss of control in sexual orgasm is so mysteriously fulfilling. It's not just the purely physical sensation; it's the mystical meaning. The higher animals experience the same physical pleasure (watch dogs!), but they don't write mystical, romantic love poems about it, and they wouldn't write them even if they could write.
Animal sex is only a remote image of human romance, and human romance is a remote image of Heavenly ecstasy. The earthly intimacy with the beloved is a tiny, distant spark of the bonfire that is the heavenly intimacy with God. Sex is a faint image of the Beatific Vision. The Age of Faith invested its faith, its hope, and its love in that heavenly ecstasy. Our Age of Apostasy has lost it, and therefore has become quite naturally attached to its image, human sex.
Religion is not a pale substitute for sex, but sex a pale substitute for real religion; because, as Thomas Aquinas says, "No man can live without joy; that is why a man deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasures"....The origin of the sexual revolution is religious. That's why its demands are so non-negotiable.
But when you have the real thing you are freed from addiction to its image. When you have a love (agape) relationship with God, you are freed from addiction to love (eros) relationships to creatures. And only then, only when we do not so desperately need them, we can enjoy and appreciate creatures freely. The alcoholic is not free to appreciate alcohol, and the sexaholic is not free to appreciate sex.
What does Christ have to do with this? Everything. For Christ alone gives us intimacy with God. Therefore Christ alone is the answer to the sexual revolution.