Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The M Word

Morality has become a great big giant negative M word.

It may have had something to do with the “Just Say No” campaigns of years ago that relied on guilt to decry the unchaste. I suppose that “Say yes to chastity” didn't have the same ring to it.

Plenty of blame to spread around, however, between the fractions who equate pleasure with happiness and place sexual lust in the place of, or confuse it with love.

We, as a culture, seem at ease with handing over our freedoms and our responsibilities to, ...well, anyone and anything else - as if being driven largely by sexual impulse and remaining slave to base instinct is somehow desirable.

Morality has become a term defined by those who are characteristically immoral. And we accept their definition. We politely back off in submission as if we didn't have the right to think and feel for ourselves. Those "unchaste" claim that chastity is impossible, improbable, idiosyncratic and several other “i” words.

If I may be so bold, how on earth would they know? Sex is a need. Sex is the end. Sex is the only way for a large group of people who choose not to say say “No” to our ultimate physical sensual pleasure that is meant to empower and envelope. The matter with drop-of-the-hat-sexuality is one of self focus, gratification and satisfaction that may confine us to a prison of our own making – a prison because it keeps us from making more important and more evolved emotional and spiritual connections.

The Fire & Brimstone approach of promoting moral chastity may have had its place in our history. I think, as a people, we have traveled passed the prissy and through neurotic to a point where punitive threats of hell and pain no longer function as an effective barrier against the proposed sexual freedom.

I don't think threats ever effectively worked on me except as a youth. Don't cross the street or you will die. That was a big one for me. Don't smoke or you will die. That too. After a while I learned to dismiss the “Or you will die” pylosphpy to better behavior. Surely there was reasoning behind these admonitions. Do not self gratify or you will die! Or go blind! Or will suffer great psychological damage and walk with a limp!

The “Or you will die” campaigns of adolescence had their place. I myself have used them on my children when small to keep them out of danger. But, after the initial danger has passed and when I feel more information is appropriate, I expound. I do this in part because I remember wanting more information myself when I was younger. I never got it. Once I decided that, from experience, that I wouldn't actually “die” if I crossed the street or picked my nose, or... other things, and once I perceived that the promised physical harm did not materialize, then the guidelines lost their sting. This turned into "Don't force your moral value judgments on me!"

Many were of this same opinion. If the consequences ended up not being accurate, then was there any value to guidelines? We quickly have gone from “there is no real consequence” to “we cant help our behavior”, to “we don't need to help our behavior because everything is acceptable!” "All is well" as it were. We have no responsibility because we have no choice. It's genetic. Its nurture. Its not my doing. I'm just dancing, I didn't pick the music.

How demoralizing. Are they saying that I don't have a choice in the matter? That I am a slave to ...whatever I am incapable of mastering in a week? For whatever causes, we men have been deemed to be such moral midgets, ethical eunuchs and perpetual adolescents that we're incapable of transcending our sexual kicks.*

Do we really have any other alternative but to sleep in a bed that someone else made? Human nature rules, and there ain't nothing I can do? I learned to make my bed years ago, which isn't really true because I haven't made my bed for years. Lets try again.

Somewhere along the line I made the decision to rudder my own ship. (better!) It has not been perpetually calm sailing – though I would like to end this happily with one of those “ever-after” or “into the sunset” things. There is so much that I am not in control of, but I take great joy in what I can do.

I can choose how to react. I can act. I can deal with what I have with grace and style - as any man can.

If I believe in God, and that He made me in his own image, then I accept that I may have untapped powers and abilities. Choice is one.


  1. Smart essay. Who would have thought that this would have come frome you. JK BW

  2. I was going to cut and paste a clip of a part I liked, and tell you I liked how you said it. But then I saw another part I liked, and figured there were many more. So I'll just tell you that I enjoyed your essay, too. Thanks for what you stand for.

  3. good blog thanks