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Friday, July 14, 2017

Alas Babylon: Fallen Into Sexual Immorality

Then the kings of the earth who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her will weep and wail at the sight of the smoke rising from the fire that consumes her. In fear of her torment, they will stand at a distance and cry out: “Woe, woe to the great city, the mighty city of Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.” And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, because there is no one left to buy their cargo. (Rev. 18:9-11)

by Susan Fox

Civilisations rise and fall. 

But few are able to tell why. 

For me, the story begins in the tourist mecca of Port Townsend, Washington, U.S.A. on a sunny day in 2013.  Born and raised in the United States, I am a relic of that bygone age of the 1950s — the last gasp of a mostly Christian nation full of churches and temples where lifelong fidelity in marriage and patriotism was respected.

On that summer day, however, I was with my dear atheist poet friend. If you love good writing in the U.S. today, you love pagans and atheists. Now I imagined as most of them present themselves as completely rational beings free of all religion, that she was of the same ilk. 

She had just given me the sad news that her live-in boyfriend of 22 years had dumped her. The rat. However, she was
coming to the startling realisation that free love didn’t work. “Susan, I was so proud of the fact that we stayed together 22 years without a piece of paper!” she wept.

To console her, I promised to take her shopping downtown Port Townsend. I forgot half the stores there sold New Age paraphernalia and books. One minute I was standing in the sunshine on a lovely seaside Victorian street corner with automobiles and ice cream stores, and the next minute I followed her into the  dark and mysterious New Age.

Where I stood: Port Townsend, Washington
There was nothing in that store that I wanted. I sat down and waited patiently. She looked at the counter full of rocks. They were small ordinary rocks, but some cost quite a bit of money. She was trying to be frugal. She began to tell me that she used to have a rock she kept in her pocket and she thought she lost it while still living with her boyfriend just before the break up. But now she would find a more meaningful rock to keep in her pocket. “Wait a minute,” I thought, “Did she suggest a new rock would get her a new
boyfriend?”

Primitive Culture
Suddenly, I realised I had passed through another invisible curtain. I was standing in a primitive zoistic culture. That word may not be familiar to you. British anthropologist Dr. J.D. Unwin used the term to describe a society that  loved magic rocks, permitted prenuptial sexual freedom, but had no religious rites. Unwin — author of Sex and Culture (1934) — studied the sexual behaviours of 86 cultures in every geographic region of the world through 5,000 years of history. He carefully categorised each civilisation by their religious rites and sexual activity. It was a very clever way of categorising numerous cultures with a wide range of beliefs.


Zoistic cultures were dead civilisations. They were on the bottom rung of the ladder: they had no temples, no burial rites, no chastity, no energy. Usually, they got swallowed up by a more chaste group of people full of energy and creativity. Or else they began to practice prenuptial chastity and they thrived.

Regarding one zoistic culture, Unwin wrote, 

  • “Any man may find a stone for himself, the shape of which strikes his fancy, or some other object … which seems to him something unusual. He gets money and scatters it around the stone or on the place where he has seen the object of his fancy.”

This becomes a sacred place and the man the master of the sacred place or the rock. The owner of the sacred rock becomes rich and famous, especially if he successfully uses the rock to bring rain, end disease or find a new love interest.  His neighbour would immediately come over to obtain a share of the power. The rock owner would charge for the privilege.

My friend paid $15 for a little rock to keep in her pocket. 

  • “The man who was fortunate to possess such a a stone was consulted in cases of sickness and distress… Such a man … might cary the stone with him on his daily rounds.” Unwin continued.


Among the uncivilised cultures, Unwin categorised three types: zoistic (no temples, no funeral rites, but pre-nuptial sexual freedom); manistic (funeral rites for the dead and irregular or occasional sexual continence) and deistic (erected temples, had priests, insisted on pre-nuptial chastity.) The civilised societies he studied were deistic and rationalistic, which means they insisted on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial chastity. 

Unwin found that cultures — supporting faithful marriage and prenuptial chastity — prosper, actually thrive in the area of the arts, science,  commerce,  architecture, colonisation and domination of surrounding cultures. Britain established colonies all over the world while at home, their wives were faithful, their daughters virgins. 


"I offer no opinion about rightness or wrongness,” Unwin said. He wouldn’t even use “chastity,” a word with Christian connotations. He calls it limited sexual opportunity before and after marriage. The results he discovered puzzled him, and he could offer no explanation. 

“The whole of human history does not contain a single instance of a society which has advanced to the rational condition unless its females have been born into an absolutely monogamous tradition,” Unwin wrote, “Nor is there any example of a group which has retained its high position in the cultural scale after less rigorous customs have become part of the inherited tradition of all its members.”

Is Europe and the United States sliding into zoistic and manistic cultures? Here in Austria, there are temples — Catholic Churches in every little town — but few families attend regularly. The days set aside to remember the dead, however, still attract a large crowd at the cemetery. So perhaps Austria could be categorised by Dr. Unwin as manistic. 

We greet one another with Gruß Gott! or God’s Greeting. I myself was thrilled to find the Heilige Geist Apotheke (Holy Spirit Pharmacy), but it was operated by a Muslim. All the other drug stores have Catholic names as well in Austria. But young people here are living together without marriage, and most couples seeking to be married in the Catholic Church are already cohabitating. 

"In human records there is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial continence,” Unwin wrote. That’s right. The completely unreligious British anthropologist found that societies flourished during times that sexual fidelity and prenuptial virginity was valued. But once sexual mores loosened, societies decline.

“If we make a god of sexuality, that god will fail in ways that affect the whole person and perhaps the whole society,” wrote Philip Yancey after he reread Unwin’s book, which he dubbed the “Lost Sex Study.”
Imagine that! It’s not such a private thing to decide to live together without marriage.  It destroys your culture. The opposite unleashes cultural creativity in arts, science,
economic prosperity and the spread of civilisation! 

  • “There are very few uncivilised societies who compelled a girl to confine her sexual activity to one man throughout her life; these societies, as we shall see, occupied the highest position in the uncivilised cultural scale. I do not know a single case in which a man was compelled to limit his sexual qualities to one woman; this custom has been in force only in some civilised societies. Those societies which have maintained  the custom for the longest period have attained the highest position in the cultural scale, which the human race has yet reached,” Unwin wrote.


Alas Babylon. Weep United States. Farewell many European nations. Your sexual mores have sealed your fate. Your clouded unchaste minds have opened your doors to your demise: Islam, an aggressive culture that insists on female chastity. Your children will be ruled by Sharia law. 

The genius of Unwin’s completely secular study is that it provides empirical evidence for natural law, which is present in the heart of each man and established by reason. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1956)

  1. “For there is a true law: right reason. It is in conformity with nature, is diffused among all men, and is immutable and eternal; its orders summon to duty; it prohibitions turn away from offence… To replace it with a contrary law is a sacrilege; failure to apply even one of its provisions is forbidden; no one can abrogate it entirely.” (Cicero, Rep.III, 22, 33)


That civilisations prosper when they practice monogamy and prenuptial chastity is no surprise to a Christian. Our God Incarnate is Virgin in the flesh, born of a virgin mother. There is no conflict between natural law and divine law. “Therefore
the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel,” which means God is with us. (Isaiah 7:14)

In the book of Genesis, we are told “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)   Original sin marred the likeness of God’s image in man. With God, we work hard “in fear and trembling” to restore that likeness in us, the Perfect Image found in the Person of Jesus Christ. 

  • “Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12-13)


What has this to do with chastity and natural law? St. Paul holds all peoples responsible for knowing natural law because God has made it clear to them. 

  • The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,  since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” (Romans 1:18-19)


And God has made it clear that that sexual immorality before and after marriage has catastrophic consequences for a human being. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:6)

“Marriage, as we’ve always known it, wasn’t invented by a group of bishops. It arose from the nature of our procreating
bodies. Long before it was etched into legal documents or canon law, marriage was etched into our flesh.” said Author Chris Stefanick of the Chastity Project

Nature instructed humans that for the survival of their species, fidelity in marriage was key:

  • “At the risk of over-simplifying this: one can almost imagine, tens of thousands of years ago, cavemen “discovering” that the sex drive is ordered, by its nature, to the union of man and woman so that they can carry on the human race. Since children come from sex and demand so much responsibility, a caveman probably had to swear to commit to that woman before the other people in the cave, lest the cave chief hit him with a club for turning cave life into chaos—and marriage was born!” he added. 


In Romans chapter 1, St. Paul says that man fell into idolatry. They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for material images made to look like a human being or animals. Today we are talking about the harvesting of human organs in the womb, experiments on tiny humans in test tubes, political power, atheism itself and the love of money. I suppose keeping little magic rocks in our pockets would qualify too.

  • “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1: 24-27)


“It’s no accident that marriage has been between a man and woman and has involved a public ritual in virtually every culture throughout history.” Stefanick added. Now Unwin shows us empirically that promiscuity is also bad for the societies  in which we live.

Unwin’s study suggests that if civilisations modelled their society on this pattern — prenuptial chastity, strict heterosexual monogamy, they also would attain prosperity and great influence in arts, science, and world affairs. Watch Uganda. It is pro-life, pro-family, Christian and encourages  chastity among its rapidly growing population of 39 million with an average age of 15 (2015 revision of the World Population Prospects). They are on track to have the world’s largest population growth in the coming decades, according to the Population Reference Bureau, a think tank in Washington, D.C. 
The African nation bravely stood up to U.S. President Barack Obama when he tried to stop them from passing an “anti-gay" bill  in 2014. They thumbed their noses at the United States when Uganda was deliberately omitted from a three-country tour of sub-Saharan Africa by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. In response, they organised a Ugandan Pride parade to mock U.S. Gay Pride Parades. The Guardian Africa Network reported that on March 24, 30,000 people rallied in support of the “anti-homosexual” legislation, which is really a law against public indecency and rape. 


Caught in a vast tide of sexual immorality, can the world be saved? In 1956, Pitirim A. Sorokin, founder of the sociology department at Harvard University and another secularist, released a work similar to Sex and Culture, called the The American Sex Revolution. He agreed with Unwin: a loosening of sexual mores was a common factor in every decaying society. 

The culture “that tolerates sexual anarchy is slowly but surely debilitating itself, impairing its collective health and endangering its very survival,” Unwin wrote. But Sorokin found that individuals who resist the ongoing sexual revolution can actually hinder the corruption process. If a whole stratum of a society remained committed to sexual restraint and monogamous marriage, “The process of decline can be halted.” Sorokin said. 

If you drive the freeways of Louisiana on Sunday morning, it is possible not to see another car. In contrast, roads are packed on the West Coast on the same morning.  

Where is the Louisiana  population on Sunday morning?
Louisiana still prays:
 Louisiana woman praying with a Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy
They are all in Church. The Southern United States is still dominated by a stratum of society that values monogamy and chastity as well as the worship of God. At a Southern airport, I was in line and someone pushed ahead of me. I bowed, and said, “Please go ahead.
The first will be last and the last will be first.” (Matt 20:16). Suddenly 40 people pushed me to the front of the line. I was overjoyed. They were truly practicing Christians! That never would have happened in the West, where many states have legalised euthanasia. 

Sorokin said that the majority of the people caught up in the sexual revolution of any decaying society did not understand the dangerous path upon which they were embarked:

  •  “Most peoples and leaders of decaying societies were unaware of their cancerous sickness,” he said. “Most of them were sanguine about their present state and future prospects. They continued to live cheerfully in a fool’s paradise, and hopefully looked forward to the realisation of their unrealistic dreams. Their leaders attacked all honest appraisals of the situation and called them false prophecies of doom and gloom.”


But such blindness leads man to lose dominion over the earth. Societies that do not practice chastity become a mere footnote in history. 
  • Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen 1: 26-28)


Modern man is terrified of global warming. It is a symptom of his failure to be fruitful and multiply. He suffers from an uneasy conscience, a recognition that his time is short. For God’s promise of dominion over the earth only comes to those living in chaste marriage and open to new life. The secular studies of Unwin and Sorokin merely confirm the evidence we already see in our decaying civilisations.

Susan Fox is working on a master's degree in Marriage and Family at the International Theological Institute in Trumau, Austria. This is a paper she did for Dutch Bishop Everard de Jong, who introduced her to the work of J.D. Unwin. These are his comments: "Thank you very much for your excellent paper." 
Bishop Everard De Jong
Follow Bishop de Jong on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/everarddejong

Interested in studying at the International Theological Institute? You can apply here.
Each student at ITI is only charged 6,000 Euros a year in tuition, but the actual cost of the education is 20,000 Euros. Donate here

Or to donate contact: Dipl. Ing. Alexander Pachta-Reyhofen, Director of Development (Europe), International Theological Institute, Email: a.pachtareyhofen@iti.ac.at





Bibliography


Unwin, J.D. Sex and Culture. London: Oxford University Press, 1934.

Yancey, Philip “The Lost Sex Study,” Christianity Today Dec 12, 1994.

Boggs, Kelly “Sexual Anarchy: America’s Demise?” crosswalk.com July 27, 2009.

Vitagliano, Ed “The morally heroic and the rescue of culture,” AFA Journal December 2012.  https://afajournal.org/2012/December/1212heroes.html

Fox, Susan “Uganda Fights for the Family: Centre and Heart of the Civilisation of Love” Christ’s Faithful Witness June 6, 2014.  https://christsfaithfulwitness.blogspot.co.at/2014/06/by-susanfox-kristu-abagumye.html#.WOEzDRh7HFw

Stefanick, Chris “What’s Natural Law Got to Do With It?” The Chastity Project, June 22, 2013.  http://chastityproject.com/2013/06/whats-natural-law-got-to-do-with-it/

Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition (Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vatican, Part 3.

Burkett, Bob “On Civilizations and Sex” Ethika Politika, Aug. 19, 2014.

Craven, S. Michael, “In Defense of Marriage” crosswalk.com, July 7, 2008.


2 comments:

  1. SUPERB and extremely informative article! Thank you for a brilliant analysis and summation of the sources you cited. I plan to share with many people.

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    ReplyDelete
  2. Well done. Very informative. We must continue to pray and act rightly.

    ReplyDelete