Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chastity in the Age of Lust

To say that I seldom agree with the right-wing New York Times columnist Ross Douthat would be an understatement. But then, I’m surprised how often it happens that just when I’m ready to write someone off completely they’ll expose my small-mindedness by saying something  insightful. This happened with Douthat’s June 1, 2014 op-ed, “Prisoners of Sex.” In it, he reflects on the recent news story of the young Santa Barbara serial killer whose shooting spree may have been an attempt at revenge on the women who wouldn’t have sex with him. Douthat saw in this fellow’s motivation a symptom of a pervasive problem that might be seen as the principal downside of the sexual revolution, that, as he puts it:  “Sexual fulfillment is treated as the source and summit of a life well lived, the thing without which nobody (from a carefree college student to a Cialis-taking senior) can be truly happy, enviable, or free.”