Lesson 64- Normal Curve Update and Debilitating Love
Just before my summer break, I received a phone call from one of my listeners who thought that my discussion of the Normal Curve might have mislead people into believing that some types of fornication which took place just before marriage were not sins. I promised him that, when I returned from the summer break, I would clarify this issue. Therefore, before I begin todays topic I would like to fulfill my promise to him by trying to clear up my position on this issue.
You might remember that I had stated that laws and norms were not absolutes but rather based on statistical probability. In other words, not every violation of a norm or law led to the consequences that it was trying to prevent. It is possible to violate them and get away with it. For example, STOP signs are put up to prevent accidents at intersections. Thus they were created on the premise that If you do not stop before entering this intersection, you will cause an accident. Obviously this is not always true because many of us have on occasion gone through STOP signs without causing an accident. However, this does not invalidate the premise because it is based on a statistical probability rather than an absolute. Therefore, the more people who violate this law or the more frequently it is done, the greater is the statistical probability that the consequences predicted by the law will happen.
To illustrate this point and how it applied to a moral law, I used the moral law involving fornication that says thou shalt not have sex outside of marriage. It was created to prevent an undesirable consequence, which in this case, is that sex outside of marriage increases the possibility that children will be conceived by persons who have little or no intention of forming a permanent relationship for the care and rearing of the child. And, since human children, unlike the off-springs of other species, are born with soft wired brains in which many of the neurons in their brains are not hooked-up until after birth, they take a longer time to reach maturity. Therefore, unlike little dogs and cats, they have to be nurtured and trained over a long period of time. This necessitates that the parents or someone else must make a long-term commitment to them. Since the parents of the child are the most obvious care-givers, we call this long-term legal commitment, marriage. And although some people seem to think that it was created to approve and sanction the love and commitment that two people had for each other, it is really more about the commitment that they have for the children. And since norms, by their very nature, are created for general situations rather than specific ones, it is based on a heterosexual relationship that is the normal and preferred way that children should be raised.
In Proverbs 8 Wisdom, who for a Christians is Jesus Christ, says that it will speak to us through experience. Thus, over time, society has learned that children who are raised in stable families do much better than those who are raised in broken families and that is why it supports the norm that there should be no sex outside of marriage.
However, because, like all laws and norms, it is based on a statistical probability, rather than an absolute certainty, it is possible, but not probable, that a child raised in a broken family might turn out better than a child raised in a stable one. Notice I said possible not probable.
Thus both Logic and Wisdom or Jesus say that it is always wrong to weaken or violate this norm because in the long term and on the larger scales, the negative consequence which come from violating it will take place..
The fact that some people have violated the norm without creating a child who had to grow up in a broken relationship does not invalidate the norm. Nor does the fact that some females have raised wonderful children by themselves. If it were an absolute norm, then one case would be enough to invalidate its premise. However, because it is based on a statistical probability we will not see its predicted results until the frequency or the size of the population involved increases. Then, as the number of children conceived outside of marriage increases, we will see the wisdom of the norm.
Eventually as the frequency and size of the population involved in the violations increases by people who choose fornication over marriage, the old norm will be replaced by a new norm in which recreational sex will replace reproductive sex. Thus, that which was abnormal will become normal and that which was normal will become abnormal. Where before, promiscuity was a cause for embarrassment and ostracism, now virginity will have to apologize and asked to explain why it is not following the norm.
The new norm will have new consequences. The number of unstable families will increase and so will the number of antisocial or disturbed children. Eventually, the number of broken-families will increase to the point where they will be normalized and renamed single-parents family, thereby removing the negative stigma that broken used to convey.
However, the broken, unstable family is not the only negative conseqeuce. There will be extensive collateral damage. As the number of unwanted pregnancies increase, birth control and abortion will be promoted to stem the tide. Sexual promiscuity will increase on all levels of society and sexually transmitted diseases will become epidemic. The new norm of recreational sex based on pleasure, will open the door for the normalization of numerous types of sexual activities that were considered abnormal under the former norm. Population will drop below the replacement level and the population curve will become top heavy with the elderly as new children either go unconceived or aborted. Eventually, the native population, which is declining, will be forced to import more and more immigrants to perform the jobs that they can no longer fill.
As the number of immigrants increase either through a higher birth rate or new waves of immigration, there will be, for better or worse, a cultural transformation as sections and areas of the country come under the cultural domination of the new groups.
What I am describing is how a culture, society or group of people naturally select themselves for extinction by declaring themselves unfit and unwilling to possess the future. What I am also describing is what is presently happening in Europe and the United States as both areas are on the path to cultural extinction ever since they bought into the contraceptive mentality. According to government demographers, in a few more generations, , there will be no Italians in Italy; Islam, which is now the fastest growing religion in Europe, will replace Christianity; and Spanish will become a second language in the United States.
So far, I have been speaking of the norm involving sex and marriage on a purely sociological and practical level and that should be enough to convince anybody that we took the wrong path when we ignored the Churchs warnings and chose instead to follow the pundits of the world down the path of recreational sex. However, my listener was concerned that I had given the impression that, in some instances, sex before marriage wasnt a sin. For example, I had said that there were minor deviations from the norm and major deviations. Thus, one couple might choose to have sex the night before the wedding. Another couple might choose to have sex a year before the wedding after a formal engagement had been announced and preparations for the wedding were underway. And a third couple might be involved in a series of impermanent relationships that show no signs of moving towards marriage. Obviously, the further one moves away from the norm the greater is the possibility that no marriage will take place and a child might be born into an uncommitted relationship.
However, let me emphasize that all of them are sins which, for a Catholic, must be confessed because they violate and weaken the norm for marriage which is based on Logic and Wisdom. They become even more sinful when the persons involved publicize their actions and seek the acceptance and approval of others. In doing so, they add to the sin of fornication, the sin of scandal and further weaken the norm by encouraging other to do likewise. When this happens, even a minor deviation starts to become a vehicle for a shift in the norm and each shift in the norm increase the statistical probability that the number of stable families will decrease while the number of unstable families increase. When this happens, Jesus, who is the Wisdom that the Father used to create the universe, says we will begin to reap what we sowed. Anyone who has the eyes to see and the ear to hear knows that this is what is happening now as the sexual free-for-all unleashed in the Cultural Revolution of the 60s when recreational sex began to replace reproductive sex is impacting our families and our values in the most disasterous ways.
I want to thank my listener for bringing this to my attention and I hope that this helps to clear up any misunderstanding that I might have created in my first presentation. Now let me return to my discussion on the nature of the New World Order.
As I ended my last program, I was discussing the negative side of a paternalistic government, such as those found in Communism and Socialism, which assumes the responsibility for the lives of its citizens. The upside is that when it is controlled by wise and honorable people, it is capable, like any good parent, of exposing those under it to what is best by eliminating any opportunity for them to be exposed to anything that is bad. The downside is that, by assuming responsibility for the people that they should assume for themselves, it has a debilitating affect upon their ability to accept responsibility for their own lives and welfare. Our welfare system is a prime example of this. This is sometimes referred to as soft slavery because unlike hard slavery which uses whips and chains, it destroyed and entraps others by what appears to be kindness.
It is a tender trap that some mothers use to keep their children attached to them long after the time that they should have become independent persons. Figuratively speaking, the child cant cut the umbilical cord that attaches him or her to the mother because she is still providing essential needs that he or she needs to survive. Thus, we have a thirty-five-year-old person who cannot leave the mother because of his or her physical and emotional dependency on her.
Some of us know of people who have married such debilitated individuals only to discover that the marital relationship is secondary to the spouses relationship to his or her mother. Whereas the Bible says ,when speaking of the marital union, for this reason a person shall leave his mother and father and the two shall become as one, the child entrapped by soft slavery cant leave because the parent, sometimes with the best of intentions, has violated the laws of proper growth by assuming responsibility for handling all the problems in the childs life. In doing so, the child fails to acquire the ability, or freedom to, to handle them itself and is unable to move from dependency to independency. It is entrapped forever in a destructive relationship and will never know the joy of becoming a full-fledged adult who is capable of running his own life.
The parent, who, as I said, may have acted from the best of intentions, cant understand this. Whats wrong with removing all the obstacles in the childs life. Isnt that the most loving thing to do? And the answer is No! She has mistaken her own need to hold on to the child for love and security for love for the child and has completely ignored the childs need to become separate and independent. As the old adage says, If you love something, set it free. If it doesnt return, it never was a loving relationship. Rather, it was a relationship of co-dependency in which each of them depended on the other for their own physical and emotional security. It is a counterfeit love because on the surface it looks like they care for each other. But what looks like care is really need in which each person is feeding off the other to fill their own emptiness as people. Neither will ever experience the fullness of life because their attention is always directed towards their own selves. Thus, their energies and attention flow inward rather than outward and their lives, instead of being expansive, become directed into ever-smaller channels.
It is very difficult to watch other people grow, especially when we have a close emotional attachment to them because real growth often involved pain, difficulty and struggle. In fact, nothing is more painful and frustrating for a parent than to see one of their children going through the trials of life and the greatest temptation, if possible, is to eliminate it by taking it upon themselves. How many times have we heard of parents who, when faced with a child dying of some terrible disease, pray that God should give it to them instead of the child?
It is a heroic gesture and I would be the last person to degrade it in anyway but what it is saying in essence is that the pain of watching my child go through this terrible trial is greater for me than it would be for me to go through it, myself. And therefore, if given the choice, I would choose to reduce my pain by taking it upon myself.
If Jesus is really the Son of God and His Father felt the same way about Him as human fathers feel about their sons, then we might imagine that He was faced with the same temptation. How did His Fathers heart feel as His Son pleaded in the Garden of Gethsemane to be released from the terrors that were to come? I know how I would have felt if I, like God the Father, had the power to release Him from it. I would have capitulated at the first tear.
Didnt he love Him; didnt He care? What a heartless person He must be to watch His only Son go through the pain, suffering, and humiliation involved in His Passion. And yet, we are told by the scriptures, that God is love itself. What kind of love is it that can witness this without intervening? Its the kind of love that the Greeks called Agape and which we refer to as Unconditional Love. and, according to Greeks, only God, because it is His essential nature, totally possessed it. And this brings us once again to what is the nature of Love?
Our right lobe, being subjective and sense oriented, is inclined to evaluate according to feelings while our left lobe, being objective and goal oriented, is inclined to evaluate according to results. The right lobe, because it personalizes things, is looking at the impact of the event on itself while the left lobe, which objectifies things, is looking at the impact of the event on the other person. Thus, for example, my right lobe has trouble watching documentaries involving medical operations because I cant stand the sight of blood and the thought of a scalpel cutting through human flesh. Its because I personalize it. My own flesh starts to crawl and starts to pull away from the thought of it happening to me. My eyes close and my body starts to curl up in a protective mode.
I could never be a doctor as long as I am \unable to detach myself from my feelings and concentrate on what was good for the patient. Imagine trying to remove a fishhook imbedded in the eye of a screaming, pleading child. And yet, that is exactly what I would have to do for the good of the child.
Therefore, one of our major misconceptions is that Love is a feeling and it is that misconception which is at the basis of the conflict between Secular Humanism and the Christian churches. The humanist cant stand to see people suffer because of the discomfort that it causes in themselves. That is why they are constantly proposing government sponsored welfare programs to alleviate all the problems of Humankind. And that is also why they are often referred to as bleeding hearts. If they had their way, nobody would ever have to struggle or suffer and that is why it is so difficult for anyone to oppose them. They seem so kind; so loving; so full of compassion; so willing to remove all the difficulties from everyones life. Their motto might be summed up by that raggae song: Dont worry! Be happy!
Are the restrictions of our moral laws interfering with your comfort and happiness because they ask you to control and discipline your drives and passions? Dont worry, well eliminate or change them so that you can do what you want. Did your fornication lead to an unwanted pregnancy? Dont worry, well teach you how to use condoms and other birth control techniques and, if that doesnt work, we have abortions. Did the man who said that he would love you forever walk out on you and leave you with one or more children to raise by yourself? Dont worry, we have a government welfare program that will assume the financial responsibility for you and your children. Does the term broken family cast a negative evaluation on your situation? Dont worry, well rename it a single-parent family and, instead of being an abnormal situation, it will be just one of many acceptable family configurations. Are you sad because youre failing in school because you have problems attending and learning? Dont worry, well lower the standards to meet your performance level. Are you and your family dealing with the hardships of caring for someone who is terminally ill or suffering the decline of old age? Dont worry because we have doctors who will assist them in committing suicide. Are you upset because your sexual orientation is considered to be morally abnormal? Dont worry, well get rid of the whole concept of abnormality because it causes people to feel bad about themselves. Are you a paraplegic or suffering from some debilitating disease? Dont worry, we are creating human embryos that we will kill in order to extract from them stem cells that might eventually allow us to create organs and body parts that will eliminate your problem.
And the list goes on-and-on of well-meaning but, often misguided programs, which set out to help people but often end either in debilitating them or leading the rest of us down a slippery slope that eventually dehumanizes us.
Basically what they are saying is, We are Secular Humanist who, since we believe that there is no God to save Mankind; Mankind must save itself then we are totally free to invent or use anything that is necessary to increase the total sum of human happiness. In other words, the ends, since they are good in our eyes, justify any means that are necessary to accomplish them.. Unlike those fanatical, far-right, Christians who talk about the sanctity of life and carrying crosses, we know that what really matters is the quality of life. And when any life reaches the point where pain and suffering outweighs pleasure and comfort then the most loving and merciful thing that we can do is to eliminate it in the least painful way possible because everybody know that whatever gives pleasure is good and whatever gives pain is bad. Of course there are those religious weirdos, like Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who actually believe that suffering people are a gift to us from God because they teach us how to love.
These humanists yearn for a Walt Disney world where the struggle and competition for life is either eliminated or hidden. Thus, they oppose capitalism because it is based on competition and favor communism because it is based on cooperation. They want everybody to be equal and therefore they dont like competitive games because they involve winners and losers. And, since losing hurts and harms ones self image, lets have games in which everybody wins. Thus, lets replace football with a game in which 50 people join together to roll a gigantic inflated ball from one end of the field to the other. Instead of competing, they are learning to cooperate and that is what life is all about. From their perspective, Cooperation is good! and competition is bad! Of course it might be that life requires both and is more like a football game in which eleven players cooperate in competition with eleven other players. Years ago there was an advertisement in a magazine which said, The Russians have good Olympic athletes because they compete and poor shoes because they dont. This was referring to the fact that consumers good were produced by state owned monopolies.
Their emphasis on cooperation is a hard argument to oppose because it sounds so nice, so loving, so Christian and that is the reason why so many Christians and their churches are drawn to it. However, its Christianity without the crosses. Its Christianity without the moral standards. Its Christianity without any judgment. Its Christianity without any hell. An all-loving, morally neutral, non-judgmental, totally accepting, God, who ignores and cancels out the consequences that flow from our own decisions, has replaced an all-loving, morally demanding, rationally judging, and justice dispensing God who, respecting our right to choose, demands that we must accept the consequences of our choices. So dont worry! Be happy!
God is Unconditional Love and He really doesnt care whether we use His life-producing gift of sex exclusively for your own pleasure while blocking any possibility for the creation of life. And, as the Author of Life, He doesnt care if you destroy it in the womb or eliminate it when it becomes difficult or burdensome to oneself or others. And Hes not concerned when His existence is denied so that human can free themselves from any moral constraints except those that they wish to impose upon themselves. Nor is He concerned when Objective Truth based on His Reality that applies to everyone is replaced by Subjective Truth that varies from individual to individual. Nor does He care when the rational consequences which logically flow from ones decisions are short circuited so that people can keep on repeating the same mistake without ever having to face the Truth that would set them free. Hes that Big Marshmellow in the Sky and the scripture that says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom was meant for the people of old. But today we know no matter what we do, He will understand. So there is nothing to fear so Dont worry! Be happy! Remember, His love is unconditional.
And that is where our problem is. We dont understand what is unconditional about His love. We interpret it to mean that He, like ourselves, it going to give us results that are inconsistent with our choices or performances. For example, today we have students who cant read, or write, or do math on a high school level, who, nevertheless, are granted high school diplomas because we dont have the heart to fail them. In fact, in our misguided love, we even send them to college where they must take remedial courses in high school subjects because they are not performing at a high school level. And, if this doesnt help, we will water the college courses down to the high school level because we are determined to grant them a credential that has no basis in reality. The reason we do this is because we cant deal with their disappointment or anger over failing to meet the standards. Therefore, it must be our standards that are wrong not the fact that they were unprepared, excessively absent, inattentive, lazy, disinterested, uncooperative, and immature. As teachers, we are always blaming ourselves when, often, the blame belongs on the students and/or their parents.
As I write this, I am thinking of a young, handsome boy that I knew years ago who attended a nearby high school. We became friends when his school joined with mine in a joint project. After he graduated from high school with a B average, he went to work as a cleanup guy at a lumberyard. A year later, I received an invitation to his wedding. However, a few weeks before it was scheduled, I received a phone call informing me that the wedding was off. Not wishing to embarrass him, I didnt ask why. A few months later he stopped by to see me and told me that he had called the wedding off because he had discovered that he didnt know how to read or write above the third grade level. Yet, he had been told by his teachers that he was college material. He said, You know Mr. Reilly, Im a boy in a mans body! And I realize that I am going to spend my life sweeping up a lumberyard unless I learn how to read and write. It cost him thousands of dollars to enter a private program to master what he should have learned in our public schools.
Ive seen too many students killed with this kind of kindness that tries to pass itself off as love. Is it love that allows you to be less than you should be? Is it love that accepts your weaknesses and excuses? Is it love that allows you to drift along when you should be preparing for the challenges of the future? Is it love that allows you to stagnate when you should be growing and developing? I doubt it!
Real love is unconditional but not in the way that we think it is. It is unconditional in the sense that it doesnt require that you love it back which is the condition that most of us put on our love. Real love, according to Brother Elifus Lewis of LaSalle is an appreciation for the object loved independent of how it makes you feel. Do you get it? Unconditional love can accept our anger, resentment, rejection, and resistance to its demand that we be all that we can be because it doesnt need to feed off any positive feedback from us. Because it is full of self-love, it has no need for assurance from anybody else because it is confident in its own value. Therefore, we cant manipulate it, as we do with other insecure human beings, by threatening to withdraw our approval. It is totally focused objectively on us and what is good for us and it will not rest until it has brought forth all of the positive potentials that lies hidden within us.
Sometimes it appears harsh because of its constant demand that we grow and often, it isnt until the struggle is over that we realize the warmth of its love. Bette Midler did a song called The Rose which explores this very issue.
Let me end today by reciting its lyrics:
Some say love it is a river, that drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor, that leaves the soul tobleed
Some say love it is a hunger, an endless aching need.
I say love it is a flower and you its only seed.
Its the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance
Its the dream afraid of waking that never takes a chance.
Its the one who wont be taken who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.
When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed that with the suns love in the Spring becomes the rose.
So the next time someone says God is Unconditional love and so he accepts me just as I am, correct them by saying, No! Because God is Unconditional Love, He is willing to accept you where you are so that He can begin to take you to where you ought to be.
Beware of people who are so accepting of you that they are afraid to challenge or correct you. It looks like love but it really is indifference.
Well, I see that my time is up. Heres Dom.