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February 7, 1964     Catholic Northwest Progress
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February 7, 1964

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8THE PROGRESS Friday, FEE,. 7, 1964 -y,,_ Editor's Note: The [o/lowing article appeared in the :January 29 issue o The Christian Century, a Protestant think- magazine that calls itself "An Ecumenical IVeekly." Dr. Fitch is dean and pro/essoe o Christian ethics at the 'Pacific School Of Religion, Berkeley, Ca/i/ornia. Catholics sometimes /ee/ that they are all alone in their Jtand on sex and morality, that the Church and traditional .belief in the natural law is outdated. Perhaps it takes an out- sider to show us the wisdom and excellence o/ traditional Catholic moral theology. Many o the ultra liberal Protestant Sects have attempted to "baptize" modern science--orientated [Jproaches to sex. lnsiead o] strengthening religion, such pure materialism has actually made sincere Protestants take another look at Catholicism and /udaism--religions that still have "a tsidual belie[ in an objective moral law." l Dr. Fitch's penetrating analysis o/ the moral breakdown o modern society shows the pro/ound wisdom o/ the Church's teaching on sex and married li]e. ROBERT E. FITCH OME OF the more backward countries in the world are suffering from a population explosion. One of the more advanced countries in the world, the United States is suffering from a sexplosionsex- ploitation being the most popular form of conspi,cuous consumption in the affluent society. The sexplosion has two obvious features. One might be labeled simply a's sex on the loose. It is characterized by the discarding of many historic moral restraints, great indulgence in premarital sexual intercourse, earlier marriages, more un- wanted babies, more frequent resort to adoption agencies. Among emancipated spirits this complex of activities is generally referred to as the "new freedom." The other feature of the sexplosion has to do with the io|fleial upholders of morality, who stand about either wring- :tag their hands in mild dismay or rubbing their hands in modest satisfaction, and who proclaim sagely that traditional .|tendards fer sexual conduct have disintegrated. What is new about all this? Certainly there is nothing new about the first feature. The revolt against moral restraints over sex is as old as the problem of the first Israelite families that settled in Canaan and had to guard their offspring against the enticements of the fertility cults, as old as the breakdown of Roman sexual morality coincident with the decline and fall of the Roman empire, as old as the flamboyant dispersion of all sexual restraints in the England of the Restoration which suc- ceeded the rule of Cromwell and the Puritans. To talk of new, hess here is to talk nonsense. Futilitarlan Approach The only thing new about the situation is the attitude of futility among those who should be the guardians of morality. And--let's face it--this attitude is at its worst in the ranks of liberal Protestants. Indeed, the situation is almost enough to The Sexplosion Adults who ought to be providing young people with some sort of guidance in regard % sexual conduct are lost in an antinornian orgy of open-mindedness. existent or perverse, but rarely robust and normal. From authori- ties of this sort we generally get one of two emphases. One emphasis says that Sex Is Everything. In this tradition belong Schopenhauer, Freud, George Bernard Shaw, Havelock Ellis and Walt Whitman. Schopenhauer clearly hated sex. Shaw, like Schopenhauer, linked sex with the life force, but by deliber- ate contract abstained from it in his own marriage. Freud was quite decorous in his own conduct and had a mild sexual drive that terminated early in life. Havelock Ellis, with all his sex mysticism, was sexually impotent for the better part of his career. And Walt Whitman, who touted sex so brazenly in verse, almost certainly never knew a woman in the flesh. The other emphasis says that Sex Is Nothing. This is simply a latter-day development of the previous emphasis--a swing of the pendulum from one extreme to the other. As a consequence of this outlook we get all sort of delightful, carefree literature in which heroes go skipping and heroines go scampering from one couch to another in a sort of "musical beds" melee; it is always a big joke to discover who is going to end up where, but it really makes no difference--because, as we have learned from "Irma la Deuce" and other productions of its kind, harlotry is really just good clean fun. Rationalist Illusions One of the rationalist illusions with which we deceive our- selves says that the Mature Adult can handle his sex. Today a principal claimant to being a Mature Adult is the college under- graduate who insists on the right privately to entertain members of the opposite sex in his dormitory quarters. If the facilities are such that the student has a sitting room apart from the bed- room, that is one thing. But if, as in most cases, the student's room is obviously first of all a bedroom, with no furniture con- ducive to comfortable sitting and talking, that is something else. In any case I wish someone would tell me: When a healthy young man entertains a healthy young woman privately in a bed- room, what, under the circumstances, really is mature, adult behavior? One mark of a mature person is that he knows the limits of his capacity for self-control. There are certain situations that he simply will not let himself get into because he knows that he cannot control them. Indeed, is it not peculiarly the mark of the immature adolescent to insist on liberty unlimited and to believe that he can take good care of himself always and everywhere? Another of the current rationalis illusions says that Science provides for everything. Scientific knowledge, it is confidently claimed, can be a substitute for moral disciplines. If there is any outrageous discrepancy in the instruction of today's youth in matters of sex, !t lies here. No previous generation of young people has had such an enormous and detailed amount of in- formation made available to it concerning the scientific facts. today are losing control of their lives. They are having babies when they don't want them. They are getting married before they really want to. They are taking jobs before they are ade- quately prepared for them. And this is the "new freedom!" But freedom is precisely what is being lost. There is pathos in the life of anyone who has cheated himself of the freedom really to choose to get married, to choose to have a baby, to choose to take a job. The American Scene If there is anything really new in the situation of the young people themselves, it lies in the attitude of the young women. Just after World War I, when the sexplosion began, one could encounter any number of young women who boasted of their emancipation and insisted on sexual equality with men. Today, however, the voices of the young women are curiously silent-- perhaps because, after some years of playing at freedom and equality, they realize they aye still tra'pped with the fact that in the end the girl is always'left holding the baby. Meanwhile those adults who ought to be providing some sort of guidance are lost in an antinomian orgy of open-minded- ness. One distinguished biblical theologian of sex, after over- coming the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Romans, succumbs to Freud, Fromm and Kinsey as he ex- claims: "The clock cannot be turned back. The young cannot be kept down on the farm after they've seen Paree The only direction open now is forward." If we ask what direction is "forward" in regard to the prob- lem of premarital sexual relations, we are fobbed off with a lot of fine talk about "responsible liberty," "walking in the Spirit" and "doing all things to the glory of God." Surely this is the first time that what Aldous Huxley once called "an unpre- meditated tumble in the hay" has been suggested as perhaps attributable to the agency of the Holy Ghost. This sort of talk is the last gasp of a permissive Pelagian pedagogy. Essential Ingredients If nothing but nonsense can be found in such quarters, I am persuaded that much common sense is still to be found among the young people whose lives lie at the center of the confusion. In- deed, it is amazing how well they do when they get not bad advice but simply none at all. Already many of them are skep- tical of the Big Fraud and of the Rationalist Illusions. If they have broken loose in some ways, there are other ways in which they begin to approach sanity. They have en increasing con- tempt for promiscuity either before or after marriage, and less confidence in divorce as a device for solving marital difficulties. With the growth of realism in the members of the younger generation, perhaps even their teachers will begin to rediscover Spring Patterns to be Shown DECORATIONS ARE ready for the fashion show of spring patterns planned by the Mary, Queen of Martyrs Guild of St. Mark Parish at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, in the parish hall at 18033 15th Place N.E. Admission will be 50 cents. Mrs. E. Roy Johnson and Mrs. Ward Topolin- ski are chairmen, assisted by the Mesdames Rabh Stender, Charles Rigney, Donald Jewett, Weston Colbo,'James Fay, James Kennedy and Michael Curulla and merrbers of St. Mark's teen club. Handicapped Offered Year-Round Recreation For the first time on the West Coast, handicapped young- sters will be offered a year- round public recreation pro- gram virtually the same as that offered their non-handicapped neighbors. Since February 4, the Rec- reation Division of the Seattle Park Department offers year- round w e e k I y sessions in music, drama, arts and crafts, games, swimming and day camping for handicapped children. Initial sessions began Febru- ary 4 at Collins Park Recrea- tion Center, S. Washington and 16th Ave. S.; at Magnolia Cen- ter, 34th W. and W. Smith; February 5, and at AIki Center, 59th S.W. and S.W. Stevens February 6. Manila See Plans Housing Project MANILA (NC)- The Manila archdiocese has planned a low- cost housing project to help 1,024 poor families. The housing project, to be Similar sessions a:e planned for other Seattle Pa:k Depart- ment Recreation Centers in the spring of this year. These will include weekly swim les- sons for crippled youigsters at Evans Pool, weekly recreation periods for handicapped young adults who are out pf school and have not yet located full- time employment, and evening programs for handicapped per- sons unable to attend daytime recreation sessions. Also planned are summer day camp programs in which handicapped youngsttrs can participate in eutdoo: cook- ing events, hiking an other exercise in rural settings. All handicapped children are eligible to attend thes Park Department meets, but approval forms from the youngster's doctor and his parents must be submitted along with applica- tions. To secure :these admit- tance forms, parents are asked to contact Miss Brbara Mum- ford, Recreation Division, Se- attle Park DepaRment, 100 Dexter North, Seattle 9. make one want to turn Catholic or Jew, or to espouse some kind And probably none has been left so ignorant of and so undisci- that many of the so-called "traditional controls" are deeply called St. Martin de Porres Vii- tRl,jmmw  ,rooted in the common sense of the race. lage, will cover a 25-acre area. of religion that still has a residual belief in an objective moral plined in the ethical essential This situation in the personal In the outcome there should be at least three ingredients: The houses will cost $625 each law. sphere is no less scandalous than would be, in the public sphere, . and families will pay $5 a (1) a newly achmved frankness about sex and love not merely ,,, - .... -- e '* A good example of the ethical relativism of the devout--an our releasing atomic energy entirely into the hands of technicians grounded in science, but also shored up by great tradltmns' " ..... of nm mr lu. years . Dmnt example which blends quaintness, naivete and unconscious carl- and forgetting about moral and political controls. " ' The planning committee for Y  L value in literature, religion and ethics, (2) an unequivolcal he n i a d hv R I1% cature--is to be found in a report issued recently by 11 English Another part of the faith in the omnicompetence of Science . t rro,ect w_s name_ _ ..u- s = uv u Quakers (an unofficial report, however, and not to be fastenedcould not thinking is the belief that development of contraceptive devices has abel-knows 00500ct;r i0000i::00iill00p0000'sSe,thflt00trliii'r "fin Cardln'00l sants f Manda'l L0.voq ,, on the entire Quaker community). In reading the group s report, ished the need for moral controls. So we proceed to speak glibly t i titled ,'Towards a Quaker View of Sex," I help about planned parenthood. Yet any marriage counselor I .Y that these worthy Friends are about as reliable in regard to sex that many married couples don't get babies when they 'want for poorer, in sickness and in health"; (3) a fresh understanding For the : Things of the fact that sex, far from being merely personal, is irre- I r rMrrcrrnr r ttllr'ltt ......... on hi s ,,, ,, ,a ,.., ,,x L, usome of their brethren have been in regard to Russia. This is them and do get babies when they don't want them. If married trmvably social In Its significance--and thet Rs relatl s p to J IM .... r0r Ilrl00rlll It to say that though their approach to sex, like their brethren's to folk fail in this sort of planning and control, how can persons family and to children, to community and to country, and to I ,, ,.,IPI.., rw AlL  Russia, is charitable, irenic and full of the best intentions, they involVed in an extramarital relationship do any better? In fact the several arts and sciences of man are a part of the privileges I Her r fail altogether to realize that they are dealing with a tremendous they don't. Babies are spilling out all over the place. It is yet and responsibilities into which we enter when we share in it. I GUngEBS0fl IJ//" natural vitality which could overwhelm them completely should to be demonstrated that there is any mechanical or chemical fliey be too trifling and sentimental in their apprehension of it. device which can effectively contain human passion and caprice ' IJ %ltjv "- I, too, in my regard for sex, feel charitable, ironic and full of No doubt there is a kind of comedy here--the kind provided J MERZ SHEET [ [ lllrll| m--,'* I Ori#'u/wa/r good intentions. But I think I have also learned to respect its ........ /' power And there are times when this spirited creature requires by Shakespeare in Love's Labour s Lost and by Gilbert and I METAL WORKS I I VIgYV Ili/ I I .WA, y co.,,s ,,.,,,, .=,,,, I abe for ll 527 PINE 764 FRO Sullivan in "Princess Ida." In the first play it is men. in the I We do new end rape r I I l. . ca, roll = Jato' I[ I 4SZ UNIVEaSffV WAT . purposes where sheet matal is re riot just to be cajoled with a lump of sugar but to be bound with second, women, who expect to subdue sexual appetites by means I " | I Illl][lA[[ Y I I S|ATrLE TACOMA SEA'ILE S M| 2-0StI / I oulred. I I HI lrEllnln  I I ' . bit and bridle, of intellectual pursuits. But sexual reality humbles and makes I MAIn 3-0242 20 Jackson Street I I  I | The Big Fraud ridiculous the pretensions of reason, as in our time it does in i S=A.= 4 I I  I If we are to get down to fundamentals, however, we shall regard to the pretensions of science. In the words spoken by have to begin by realizing that for some decades now we have Shakespeare's princess of France: , I Always sound.., always constructive been.the victims of the grossest kind of deception. Part of this None are so surely caught, when they are catch'd, deption is a fraud perpetrated from without by alleged authori- As wit turn'd fool Folly, in wisdom batch'd, Y II ' ties on sex. Part of it is the folly whereby we have deliberately Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school, FARRELL'S LA 4-1800 deceived ourselves with certain rationalist illusions. And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool Eastwood Pharmacy ES 3-0711 l I "Free De//very" I ..=. _-,,ir , The Big Fraud resides simply in the fact that those who have When we turn away from the frauds and the illusions to the Across from the new hospital I I " I g--  [ pretended to be authorities on the matter have been individuals realities of the present scene, one fact stands out: young people Westgate Pharmacy ES 7-21 10 11 Ray Backer & Abe Kolloch | -'  whose personal acquaintance with sex has been slight, non- On the road to thn old Hospital I I Cosmetics Drugs Sundries I l .""/ Farrell s Prescription Pharmacy I I " " | Three Named ,0 Sth st ......... zs ,.,7s, II 750| 35th NE. I ==' / P ,h D free .arklne & ,rescr|pflan delivery , RE ELECT w00;00DWAR9 S ress Men rive New Tacoma PERSONALLY TO THE VOTERS Vote For G F CCS Off,cers EVERETT MRS HARLAN H eta as art ,ow officers of the Tacoma Pl ADgUPI: .................... . City Council, PositionNo.4 ' CatholiChave been Children'Snamed to three-yearServices Elect L/.tlil_llbL rlAY Wl nVg YUO.  |dwardtC .... gorr, Ch.,t4114thAve'ldg. (Continued from Page 1) : Mallahan; Assumption Parish, Seattle, Rev. David White; Ira- ! maculate Conception Parish, ' Seattle, the Rev. Gerald Mot- ! fat; St. Anthony Parish, Kent, Rev. John Sproule; Our Lady Of. Guadalupe Parish, Seattle, :gee. John Bowen, S.S.; St. AI- Phonsus Parish, Seattle, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Philip Duffy; St. John Parish, Seattle, Rev. Mi- chael Cody; St. Mary Parish, Seattle, Rev. John Doherty; St. Matthew parish, Seattle, Rev. Anthony Domandich; Ss. Aegid- ius and Mary Parish, Aberdeen, Rev. Jerome Dooley; St. Ann Parish, Tacoma, Rev. Walter Hellan, O.S.B.; St. Rose Par- ish, Longview, the Rev. Stan- ton Boyle; Sacred Heart Par- ish, Bellevue, Rev. James H. Gandrau; Queen of Heaven Parish, Tacoma, Rev. Gerald Nagle, M.M.; St. Paul Parish, Seattle, Rev. 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