Friday, May 20, 2011

When the deviant becomes normal

Art (and I use the term loosely) has long been the avenue to popularize, legitimize, and normalize every imaginable - and for most ordinary people even unimaginable - sexual deviancy. The more a work pushes the moral boundaries, the more it's lauded by critics. Here is a case in point at the Cannes Film Festival. Ordinary people, even the French (if you can call them ordinary), got up and left the screening. It was just too much to stomach. Not surprisingly, true art afficionados (or at least those who flatter themselves with the title) gave the film a standing ovation.

There are few taboos left to break. What will they do when they're all gone? When the deviant becomes normal, the normal looks deviant. It won't be long before a man and a woman who actually really and truly love each other and stay together for life will be an aberration. Cameron Diaz has recently gone on record as saying that marriage is a "dying institution." If she is merely offering a description of the consequences of our culture's revolt against God and his law, she is correct. All the statistics bear her out. But her prescription only makes matters worse. "I think we have to make our own rules," she said. "I don't think we should live our lives in relationships based off old traditions that don't suit our world any longer."

After taking some heat for making these comments, a certain Dr. Keith Ablow came to her defense.
"Well, I’m not certain marriage ever did suit most people who tried it. From what I hear in my psychiatry office, and from what I hear from other psychiatrists and psychologists, and from what my friends and relatives tell me and show me through their behavior, and from the fact that most marriages end either in divorce or acrimony, marriage is (as it has been for decades now) a source of real suffering for the vast majority of married people."
A couple of observations:  First, it's not marriage itself that is "a source of real suffering for the vast majority of married people." It's marriage to a selfish pig, or being a selfish pig to your spouse...or both.

Second, although it's true that many marriages are not doing well, it's equally true that Dr. Keith Ablowhard's sample is skewed. "I would venture that 90 percent of the married patients I speak with would rank their marriages in the top two stressors in their lives," he says. But to draw conclusions about the general population based on the experiences of those who use the services of a psychiatrist is a rather questionable way of proceeding. Are pyschiatric patients truly representative of society at large?

I have long been convinced that one of the most potent methods of evangelism is the witness of a Christian family. And since the word family doesn't mean what it used to, let me be clear. By family I mean a husband (who is a man) and wife (who is a woman) together with their children (the more the merrier). When a man stands before God and a congregation of God's people and pledges in a solemn covenant to take his bride for life and to love her self-sacrificially as Christ loves the church...and then actually follows through and does what he says he will do; and when a woman in return pledges her love and faithfulness to her husband, and also does what she says she will do...well then, you have a recipe for heaven on earth.

As much as the intellectuals and avant garde artistes and all those who follow them may like to mock and denigrate marriage and say that it doesn't suit our world any longer, if they should ever see the real thing - as opposed to the shams they and their friends have been a part of - they will love it and long for it. They won't be able to help it. They were made by God and live in God's world, and no matter how deeply they have suppressed the truth about marriage, when they see it embodied before their eyes in a faithful Christian family, they won't be able to help longing for it in spite of themselves.

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