Most of you Sixpackers are too young to remember the tumultuous ‘60s, but I remember them quite well. I came of age in the ‘60s. I was a long-haired, dope smokin’ hippie-type. I agreed with many of the idiotic changes being voiced then, such as legalized pot, lowering the voting and drinking age, and free love. I was all about sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.
Then I grew up. Sadly, too many from my generation never did. Nor have subsequent generations.
Families Take a Hit!
Not only were the ‘60s tumultuous in terms of social issues, but the moral lives of Catholics and their families took a real hit as well. It was at this time when divorce rates exploded from 5% to the massive 50% it is today. The primary causes of that (although there were many others) were “the pill” and no-fault divorce.
Hell Begins in California
No-fault divorce was first adopted by California in 1969, and in a very short time it spread to all fifty states. Prior to no-fault divorce laws, a spouse actually had to prove adultery, abandonment or some other aberration of married life that merited the separation of bed and board. Since the advent of no-fault divorce, however, we’ve come to view and treat marriage as disposable as a wrapper around our fast food hamburgers. Prior to no-fault divorce, couples actually had to work at a marriage. (There’s a novel idea: work!) It has been the single most contributing factor to the enormously high divorce rate. Add that to the pill and you end up with an explosive situation for marriage.
The birth control pill was approved by the FDA for contraceptive use in 1960, but it didn’t become popular until 1965. The pill became used by Catholics right along with non-Catholics. Proof of that is when Pope St. Paul VI ordered that his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae be read from the pulpit in every church and thousands of Catholics in America walked out in protest during the reading. That’s a pretty good sign they were already using it.
What could be wrong with using the pill? After all, it’s easier than NFP methods and has the same effect. Well, there are lots of things wrong with it. Not only is it against God’s moral law (see Genesis 38 for starters), but it is an abortifacient (as are all chemical contraceptives) that kills millions of children a year in the womb unbeknown to the would be mother. And its use, because the pill discounts and disrespects the natural rhythms of a woman’s body, also causes her to eventually be viewed by her husband as an object of pleasure rather than the very special human person she is. In fact, that actually works both ways! Since one can have unrestricted sexual pleasure without consequences, why not just go for it ladies? After all, if you’re careful, no one will know. But even if use of the pill doesn’t lead to infidelity, it most certainly removes the barriers for other forbidden sexual pleasures: masturbation, fellatio, anal sodomy, and certain fetishes. Coupled with the sexual revolution, the pill has led Occidental societies to believe sex and sexual pleasure (no matter how illicit) is the end-all, be-all of human existence.
Hierarchy of Needs
When I was in college a lifetime ago, we learned of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Psychology 101, which was pretty accurate about what human persons need to live and thrive. Since then, psychologists have revised the hierarchy to include the need for sex in order to survive and thrive. Hmm. Let’s see. Will I die without food? Check. Will I die without water? Check. Will I die without shelter? Check. Will I die without medical care? Check. But will I die if I don’t have the opportunity to gain self-gratification through some form of sexual activity? Well, if every man on the planet suddenly decided to live celibately the human race would certainly cease to exist, but no one anywhere—man or woman—has died from a lack of sex. To hear psychologists and some doctors tell it, though, you’d think people will die or go insane without sex.
The belief that sex is necessary has actually contributed to the breakdown of the family and the 50% divorce rate. Because of this perceived need, men have been led to believe masturbation and pornography are acceptable. Statistically, nearly seven out of every ten men reading this view pornography, and they do so believing there is nothing wrong with it. Even if they reject Church teaching on this they at least know intuitively it’s wrong, as they all try to keep their use of pornography secret. Nobody keeps secret what they believe is acceptable.
A man’s use of pornography causes men to objectify women—to view them as mere objects of sexual gratification. Add this aspect of sexual perversion (pornography is merely voyeurism) to couples who use the pill and you have a married Catholic man’s ever sexual playground. Va-va-voom! But this short term gratification causes irreparable harm to the long term marriage commitment. Eventually wives begin to realize they are objects and not persons. When they realize this, many women begin to emulate their husbands’ infidelity. (Yes, pornography use is a form of infidelity.)
All of this is a downward spiral of moral behavior. Artificial contraception turns marital sexual responsibility into the destruction of inherent human dignity. Add pornography into the mix (67% of Catholic men view it) and we end up with total destruction of marriage. Who pays for it? Society at-large, the couple themselves and children. In fact, if couples don’t worry about where they will spend eternity (HINT: it’s not heaven or purgatory), then they need to be concerned about what happens to their children. More than 90% of all criminals in prison come from broken and single parent homes. Like it or not, just as many Americans have criminal records as a college degree, so the statistics don’t bode well for children of broken homes.
Onward to Children
And that’s where we’re going to take this in next week’s installment of The Husbands’ Survival Guide—to the children. Husbands need to grow up and be fathers, not buddies.
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