In our brave new world, in which the only criterion of morality, with regards to sex, seems to be mutual consent, with a nod in the direction of protecting children given by the law on the age of consent, we find some puzzling anomalies.
The Irish case, in which a boy with learning difficulties is being prosecuted for statutory rape of a girl of his own age (both 16 - the age of consent being 17 in that jurisdiction) highlights these.
Why is it the boy who is deemed the rapist? Because the girl has parents who complained to the Gardai, whereas the boy is in care?
Likewise, we repeatedly hear of cases in which both parties were incapable of proper consent through drink or drugs. Is that mutual rape? If not, why not? But typically, it will be the man who is deemed the rapist. But surely that is a hangover from those dark days when we thought there was some difference between the sexes...
The current moral consensus (if such it be) is clearly not working. Having abandoned all other criteria, in our collective hedonistic desire to justify whatever we feel like doing, we find ourselves exposed to base forces that we do not know how to deal with.
And notice how that came about. People always decry 'slippery slope' or 'thin end of the wedge' arguments. But the progression is fairly clear. Firstly, contraception which had always been attempted by the depraved, but always reviled by the majority, was deemed acceptable within marriage.
So the separation of sex and reproduction was begun. That has gathered pace, with abortion its natural consequence. That then, of course, opened the door to all sorts of other aberrant sex, including between people of the same sex, multiple partners, and so on.
But always in the name of love, of course. 'But if two people love each other...' was always the plea. But now even that pretence has gone. What's love got to do with it? If two (or fewer, or more) people desire physical gratification is all that remains: as long as there is consent, all is good.
And the results: physical sickness (soaring STDs, AIDs etc), mental sickness (it is no secret that those with aberrant sexual lifestyles are disproportionately high users of mental health services, and have high suicide rates), huge social harm, with broken families now so common that we have a growing and potentially catastrophic social problem on our hands, as we struggle to raise a civilised younger generation; and of course, worst of all, the carnage of the abortion industry, leading also to the barbarity of human embryo experimentation, the butchery of IVF pregnancy reductions, and the commodification of human life.
As we approach Passiontide, let us redouble our prayer, our almsgiving, and our sacrifices: for that is the only way some devils can be driven out.
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