What Would C S Lewis Say about Our Present Moral Panic?

Just when I think that we’ve ventured into new territory and that there is no going back, or that things presently are so hysterical that we will never return to normalcy, a gift (in the form of a YouTube) finds its way onto my playlist.

The gift in question comes from C S “Jack” Lewis, the foremost Christian apologist of the mid-twentieth century.

In this discourse, Lewis is talking about a sex-addled society. (Believe it or not, this was given back in 1942!) Now, some might object that our present moral panic has nothing to do with sex but only to do with power, more specifically the use of it by powerful men to procure sexual favors from weaker women in their employ.

That of course is part of it but it misses an important aspect, which is that sex and power are inextricably linked. Always have been, always will be. The broader (in my view more important) question however is not asked: and that is how did we get to this evil juncture? For this to be answered, one needs to realize that the proper bounds of sexuality have been sundered for many decades now. The women of my mother’s generation (and all the ones previous to it) didn’t have to deal with sexual predators or the sex-saturated pornographic culture that produces such monsters in the first place. At least not to the extent that we endure it today. I imagine that we’d have to go back to the days of Babylon to experience such depravity.

I’m not going to say that there weren’t any imperfections in the previous generations’ arrangements or that there weren’t any predators at all. Nor am I going to say that there weren’t any loose women or homosexuals or sex-fetishists, or that hypocrisy didn’t abound. This side of heaven, there will always be imperfections in every society and every generation. Regardless, we have clearly lost our way; we have forgotten the true meaning of sex and thus we find ourselves distracted in our own fetishes and lifestyles, thereby disordering civilization itself in order to accommodate our personal defects. I fully believe that this is the reason that we have arrived at the present crisis involving all things sexual. Predation by powerful males (such as Harvey Weinstein who otherwise possess no natural sexual attraction for females) is merely the end-result of this moral anarchy.

It took C S Lewis to point this out to me. I hope that you take the time to watch this short, highly entertaining lecture by Jack. After watching it, I have hope in that I see a silver lining, mainly because we are in crisis, which is really more chaotic than we realize, which is not a bad thing. Chaos it not without its benefits in that during such upheavals, the time horizon is shortened and our sensations become intensified. The burning of deadwood, of ridiculous assumptions and shibboleths occurs –to the consternation and outrage of many. Nonetheless, all this is necessary for an old order, one which has been corrupted (as ours has), to pass. We see this in the political sphere and so to in the cultural sphere.

Is it therefore possible that with this possible overturning we can return to a more normal –which Lewis calls authentically Christian and thus sane–view of sexuality? One can only hope.

P.S. As for myself, I’d like this to be the last word on prurient matters on Monomakhos. I need to apologize as well to some of the correspondents on this blog (specifically Saunca) because of the flippant tone in which I’ve engaged her arguments. That being said, I’m under no illusion that dissenters will abide by the same rules. This being the case, I bid you peace and will no more proffer any counter-arguments as we are all sinners. Instead, I will simply refer those who disagree with me to this video. As usual, Jack Lewis hits the nail squarely on the head. I can do no better.

Comments

  1. Joseph Lipper says:

    From the video: “Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues”.

    Good stuff, great video, thanks George!

    • George Michalopulos says:

      You’re welcome! Boy, do I cherish Jack Lewis.

      If any of you ever get a chance, try to catch Through the Shadowlands (the version with Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom). I wish someone would do a miniseries on Lewis and Tolkien and the other Inklings. Those nights at The Eagle and the Child must have really been something.

      • Dear George,
        It is a subject you are very passionate about. I understand and accept your apology. Forgive me if, due to my own fear and frustration, any of my responses towards you were too strong.
        Please pray for us.

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Pray for me as well.

          Please, all I’m saying is that we are all broken. Myself, just as much as your friend. I am probably much older than her and thus I see things from a different time horizon. At my age, I look back and realize that I could have lived a libertine lifestyle and be far wealthier had I not married and had a family. Have I been blissfully happy ever day? No. Do I miss the polygyny that occupied my time? Let’s say some things are harder to forget than others.

          It’s from this frame of reference that I ask you to talk to your friend. If she has same-sex attraction that doesn’t mean that she can’t or shouldn’t get married and have children. Will she long for a woman? Probably. I’m sure that there are millions of married women who wish their husbands looked like Antonio Banderas and married men who wish their wives looked like Jessica Alba. It’s been ever thus. But even those people who’ve been in bad marriages don’t regret the children that they’ve brought into the world.

          Just food for thought.

          • Solitary Priest says:

            And I ask forgiveness of both of you and Michael Stankovich and anyone else offended by my words. Michael, I don’t care if someone says I’m a beta male, because it’s probably true. I’ve been a poor husband, a poor father, and a poor example of the priesthood. I’m not even man enough to do the right thing now and enter a monastery now to atone for my past deeds. I really am ashamed of myself, which is why I don’t come forward. I really don’t care what people say about me. It what God knows about me that I should worry about.

            • M. Stankovich says:

              εὐλόγειte ὁ κύριος! It was not my intention to “scold” you or belittle you. Priests notoriously place themselves in positions where they cannot be supported and defended by laymen. Cowardice and moral weakness by those with authority cannot be “hidden” from the laity so easily any longer, and those who stand with integrity need only ask someone like Mr. Michalopulos to be heard, and you will have your day. I am confident that is the truth.

  2. Lovely video, quite edifying. I always knew natural sex was good. I am 70 and unmarried, and have not had intercourse since 1983. My sad delima was I married 2 women who married me for sex alone. Those fires burn out, and your just stuck with each other. Neither wife would tolerate this, and began to look elsewhere. I felt terrible about being married twice and asked God to allow me a second marriage and if this one did not work out, I would not ask again. I did love both of them ,at least for a time. The 2 monastery I went to would not accept me. A tough row to hoe, indeed.

    • Monk James says:

      michael Kinsey (November 30, 2017 at 4:28 pm ) says:
      SNIP
      The 2 monastery I went to would not accept me.’
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Not on ANY basis? That’s most unusual.

      My spiritual father felt very strongly that monastic communities should (with rare and obvious exceptions) take all comers, since our Lord Jesus Christ said that He would not cast out anyone who came to Him.

      There are saints like Theodore Ushakov who never married, but after a distinguished career in the Russian navy, retired to a small house near a monastery. Whether or not he asked to be admitted is unknown, but he lived there for the rest of his life, following the daily schedule of the monks and attending all the services. It would be a bit imprecise not to consider him a member of that community.

      Anyway, now he’s recognized as a saint. So there are possibilities for Michael Kinsey and for all of us. We should seek advice from our spiritual teachers and follow them to Christ.

      • The LBGT agenda flourished at both of these monastarys , Platina and Manton, who were lead by Pangratious and Herman, and Manton, FR Webber.. The residue and effect of following these worse than murders, according to St John ChPodrysostom. created dire spiritually unhealthy minded groups of monks. I did not fit, and would not fit into this. As Fr Podmo in Platina said as he kicked me out.” Your not one of my people”. He got that right! It was the only reason he gave me.

        • Joseph Lipper says:

          When Metropolitan Jonah was Igumen of St. John’s in Manton, I recall that he wrote a paper about monasticism. In this paper he said there were no real impediments technically for anyone to become a monk, given that they are able to extricate themselves from the obligations of this world.

          However, he made a point that not every monastery is able to receive everyone as a monk. To protect the balance and life of the monastery, the Igumen has to have some discernment about who is accepted into the brotherhood. Monasticism is a dedication to a life of repentance. However, some people might wish to join a monastery for other reasons besides repentance. I have also heard that it is common for Igumen to be reluctant in accepting new members past the age of 40, because the older we get, the more we tend to be set in our own ways.

        • Monk James says:

          There is no reason to limit our search to those monasteries in California, whose bad reputations will take some time to repair, when we are seeking a monastic home.

          There are Russian-speaking monasteries and Greek-speaking monasteries, and English-speaking monasteries for men and women all over the United States.

          Christians who sincerely hope to embark on the monastic journey should ask their spiritual guides to direct them to one or another of these. It might take a few visits to find the perfect fit, but it’s there for those who seek it in faith.

          But — as it was for me — we can hope not to be surprised if the Lord has something very different in mind for us.

  3. I knew you had it in you, George. Keep up the good work!

  4. As I have said many times over the decades, I will probably die alone side the road. I just compare myself to the billion or so unborn children who were denied the opportunity to take their breath. I cannot feel that the Holy God has shorted, or slighted me. Actually, it is a very humbling feeling that makes one ashamed to even consider complaining. Being genuinely sorrowful for the intolerable infanticide that this generation has done. The do-ers of this most evil of all human endeavors, excepting crucifying, the Christ, were meant to be redeemed by the Christ, as he extends this to all humanity.Heaven has enough to go around for all of them. It is sad,if they remain unrepentant. God gave a Spirit that knows what generosity, and all authentic Christianity understands this, I is the demons we fight against. Here too we are told not to rejoice over them, as neither God non Christian will take pleasure in this.

    • ChristineFevronia says:

      There is a newish ROCOR men’s monastery in Sonora, CA., St. Silouan’s. I encourage all to come visit and taste and see how good the Lord is! Praise God, it is thriving. Many media stories and videos online about St. Silouan’s if anyone is interested in viewing.

      • Estonian Slovak says:

        Also, I might add that if by Fr. Podmo, Michael means Fr. Herman Podmoshensly,he is no longer alive. Furthermore, Platina joined the Serbian Orthodox Church in 2000, after being in an uncanonical group. Fr. Herman resigned then and died as a simple monk(hopefully repentant). So St. Herman’sMonastery itself should be ok.

    • M. Stankovich says:

      Michael Kinsey,

      You will recall that the Martyr Stephen chastized the Sanhedrin that our fathers “had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness,” and that “Solomon built him an house,” the Temple in Jerusalem. It ultimately brought them nothing. But salvation is not of a building, a place, or a monastery: “the most High dwells not in temples made with hands… Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will you build me? said the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?” (cf. Acts 7:44-49)

      May I say to you, brother, that you are cherished here, if only by me, and you will not die alone by the roadside if you are in the prayers of one other Orthodox Christian, and you are in mine.

  5. Typos I-IT, is generocity

  6. Estonian Slovak says:

    Also, I might add that if by Fr. Podmo, Michael means Fr. Herman Podmoshensly,he is no longer alive. Furthermore, Platina joined the Serbian Orthodox Church in 2000, after being in an uncanonical group. Fr. Herman resigned then and died as a simple monk(hopefully repentant). So St. Herman’sMonastery itself should be ok.

  7. George Michalopulos says:

    Well, this certainly is politically incorrect:

    https://www.axios.com/dem-congresswoman-says-revealing-clothing-invites-sexual-harassment-2517214766.html

    The character assassination of Rep Kaptur (who is a liberal Democrat) will commence in three…two…one

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