If the intellectually honest, diverse and provocative PJ Lifestyle had a Catholic ”chaplain” for its culture wars, it would have to be Fr. Robert Barron, the new director of the largest seminary in the United States and producer of the movie series, Catholicism. Who wouldn’t be intrigued enough to at least have a “virtual beer” with the man who wrote the book on post-liberal Catholicism while calling Bob Dylan “one of his heroes?”
Fr. Barron brings his passion for the social implications and religious significance of cultural issues to those most impacted and excels at analyzing the complex shifting permanence that constitutes our human existence.
Baron’s video “Discussion of the Hook-Up Culture” dovetails beautifully with PJ Lifestyle Editor, David Swindle’s article, “When Marxists Make the Anti-Family Argument Honestly”. Swindle reviews a New Inquiry article by Madelaine Schwartz which affirms:
The potential diffusion of the family (emergence of teen motherhood, single motherhood and premarital co-habitation) is one of the most exciting things to happen to the American social pattern since the sexual revolution.
Swindle identifies this ”diffusion,” read rather “destruction,” as a chief element in the Marxist dismantling of the underpinnings of Western Civilization. Fr. Barron defines the “hook-up culture,” as the pervasive cultural attitude that unfettered sexual experience is normal and even beneficial.
In their analysis, both men point to unpublished consequences of these closely related attitudes towards ”liberated sex” and the resulting families. The New Left’s diffused family, for all its lofty promise, leads inexorably to poverty, the natural off-spring of self-seeking disorder. The hook-up sexuality drives women, as Fr. Barron substantiates in his discussion, to the campus-therapist’s office door.
Swindle and Barron argue that the family and family-centered sexuality are not simply conventions that can be swapped out for cooler upgrades, but are deeply rooted in our nature itself and produce specific consequences measurable by social and individual well-being.
Just as it does for the economic and medical facets of our lives, our Brave New World offers first a sexual “paradisum,” a Utopia of rapturous personal and social gratification, only to crumble and leave, in its wake, a human debris field.
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