During the sexual revolution, we crossed a line from sex being something you do to defining who you are. When it enters into that territory, we move beyond the possibility of having a society in which sex acts were tolerated, in the Mrs. Patrick Campbell sense — “I don’t care what they do, so long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses” —and one where it is insufficient to be anything but a cheerleader for sexual persuasion of all manner and type, because to be any less so is to hate the person themselves. Sex stopped being an aspect of a person, and became their lodestar — in much the same way religion is for others. As Walker Percy wrote, “Pascal told only half the story. He said man was a thinking reed. What man is, is a thinking reed and a walking genital.”
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On a personal note its one of the things I’ve been most puzzled about in the current discussions about sexuality, especially in the Church, the idea that a person defines themselves by their particular, and sometimes quite fluid, understanding of their sexuality. This kind of defining is not limited to people with same sex attractions. There seems to a remarkable number of people in this culture, and even those in the Church, who appear to have no problem centering their lives around their sexual activities and preferences.
To some extent I can understand this among those who have no or little Faith but for Christians the central identity of a person is and must be that of being a follower of Christ. Everything else, work, family, sexuality, politics, all of it is challenged, focused, affirmed, shaped, and made complete because Christ is the center. There are no Republican/Democrat Christians, no gay/straight Christians, the list could go on. There are not supposed to be any hyphens in our life before the title “Christian”. Each of us has our own challenges, specific to our individuality, to rid ourselves of anything that would go before the word “Christian” in our lives and so we will all face a life of challenge and struggle in certain ways if we seek to truly follow Christ. Yet it begins, I think, with the idea that if there is something other than Christ that has priority in our life we have not fully grasped what it means to be His disciple.