The new Manichees and the conjugal act

It is great that the Catholic Herald has Chad Pecknold writing a column "Daily Herald." Today he has a thought-provoking piece called Progressive writers are starting to admit the sexual revolution was a failure.

He refers to a Guardian article in which the writer acknowledges that sexual permissiveness is a "a dystopia that gave rise to a rape culture." So far, so obvious, but the recent development which really puzzles the "progressives" is that there is a decrease in sexual activity among young people.

Pecknold hopes that the progressive writers will arrive at the view that sex is sacred, is "an earthly union which cooperates in the divine act of creating immortal beings" and should be reserved to marriage.

Well that would be really good, but I fear that it is optimistic. It is at least possible that we could see our new Manichaeism develop further. The Manichees saw birth as a bad thing because it introduced evil matter into the world. Our new Manichees see birth as a bad thing because it introduces another human into the world - but the idea of pollution is still prominent.

It seems to me quite likely that the new sexual mores will develop along the lines of permitting anything except the conjugal act - in other words, any means of achieving sexual ecstasy apart from the sexual act between a man and a woman who are married to each other and who, in the process of this act, do not pose any artificial obstacle to the procreation of a child. Like the Manichees of old, our modern progressives will see that as the filthy thing.

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