Sex should NOT BE a MORAL ISSUE, it should be a PRACTICAL ISSUE

The woman formerly known as beautiful and author at Huffington Post, Shannon Bradley-Colleary, had an article recently with the declarative title “Abstinence Got Me Pregnant.” It’s a “family planning” story meant to demonstrate that people should not be expected to follow a moral code when it comes to sexual intercourse, and probably many women (who don’t think about what words mean) can relate.

The author describes how she was raised by religious parents and a father that scared off boys while cleaning his gun, how she fell in love in college and “relinquished” her virginity unexpectedly on Cheez-It crumbs behind a couch in an off-campus apartment while “roommates farted and belched like cannon-fire in adjacent rooms,” how she began taking birth control pills and used them for the next five years as a “serial monogamist,” how after she had her heart broken and broke a few herself she decided to take a “leave of absence” and become abstinent, how a broken-hearted young man still pursued her with roses, poetry, and silly declarations of love, how she got pregnant and to her relief miscarried so she was “spared, making a choice” that might “haunt” her for the rest of her life, and finally how some ten years later she gave birth to two daughters with her husband “at just the right time, with exactly the right partner.” What does she credit for things working out well? Birth control, because abstinence got her pregnant.

Her point: “…sex should NOT BE a MORAL ISSUE, it should be a PRACTICAL ISSUE.” [Emphasis hers.]

She plans to take her daughters to Planned Parenthood when they are in high school because although she hopes “they will only give themselves to men who cherish them” she believes it is better to be “practical” and dispense with any “moral imperatives” so they won’t ever experience shame or blame. She concludes, “Knowledge is power.”

Take a deep breath, relax your face muscles, and let’s examine the logic of this statement because this is a serious issue that needs to be clarified. I once thought this way too, until I realized 1) everyone needs a moral code, and 2) words mean things.

We need definitions. We have to know what we are talking about. The word “practical” is derived from the Latin practicalis and it relates to practice or action. The word “moral” stems from m?r?lis and is concerned with ethics. Animals merely act without any rational consideration; but humans can act thoughtfully, can reason about morality, and don’t have to be slaves to base appetites. I know, I know…hate speech.

So what’s the difference between acting “practically” and acting “morally”? Really nothing, except the former is repetitious, and the latter implies a need for deeper thought and introspection. Someone may say, “Well, acting practically means to make good choices without appealing to harsh judgment.” That, however, is a travesty to logic. To know what is good, you have to judge, so the issue is still a moral issue, just without using that Big Scary Word. And then you end up saying something silly like, “Birth control is the responsible thing to do when you aren’t going to be responsible in the first place.” Logical fail.

This confusion stems, in part, from the use of the word “sex.” That word comes from the Latin word secus which refers to the state of being male or female, sexual organs. The union of two bodies is sometimes called intercourse, but if we’re talking about people instead of animals, we need a word that represents the union of both body and soul. “Intimacy” from the Latin intimus refers to the inmost, deep-seated, inner nature, that thing between a man and woman that is the deepest union, not isolated to a physical act. It encompasses – is the very wellspring – of the entire union and relationship.

Intimacy is uniquely human. Animals have intercourse to procreate; humans, however, can experience intimacy and pleasure in the marital bond to bring forth new life in love. See the difference?

You take your pet to the vet to get fixed, not your daughters.

This is why we call that special union the consummate [consumm?tus lacking nothing, complete, perfect] marital [mar?t?lis belonging privately to husband and wife] act [?ctus physical movement], something intimate and specific to humanity. It’s not sex, it’s intimacy.

So we need to ask: Does a mother really equip her daughters with the power of knowledge if she teaches them to succumb to lowly appetites? Does teaching them about birth control rather than intimacy and marriage spare them of any internal conflict of conscience?

No. But what if you teach them about birth control and abortion along with teaching them about intimacy, love, and marriage? Again, logical fail. You can’t say, “Be prudent, but when you fail to be prudent, then be less prudent.” That’s not prudence, that’s lowering the standard. Prudence is the knowledge of what we ought to seek and what we ought to avoid for our own good. Prudence gives us power to know the right thing to do, the right way to act. Mothers need to guide their daughters morally, and daughters desperately desire this guidance from their mothers.

What about shame and blame? Well, part of that guidance is the instruction in the virtues. Prudence empowers a child to face fear, to avoid selfishness and pride because the child learns confidence in her ability to reason. It prevents her from harboring resentment from guilt because the child learns that she can make a mistake and still trust herself to do better, even if it’s hard. Prudence prevents complacency because it helps the child navigate life with her eyes wide open. Thus, knowledge in matters of conscience teaches a child true freedom and peace. It’s a challenge, but the alternative is to give up and stop trying. And, that’s just lazy.

What if a person makes an error in judgment against her core conscience because she hasn’t really thought it through? Well she’ll feel a tug, and that tug is proof that she knows and recognizes what is true and good deep down. Mrs. Shannon Bradley-Colleary reveals this tug in her Huffington Post article. The “19-year-old girl behind the couch” knew something wasn’t right. The 25-year-old woman knew that “serial monogamy” was wrong. It wasn’t ”abstinence” that got her pregnant, it was the genuine but imprudent desire for intimacy without marriage. The “sense of loss” felt for an “unwanted pregnancy” was real. Abortion does “haunt” for the rest of your life. The “hope” for daughters to find men to “cherish” them is as true as true gets. It’s all called womanhood, and it’s wonder-full.

And Planned Parenthood will never teach our daughters any of that. They’ll just fix them up with pills, devices, and latex as if the only thing they are capable of knowing is (irrationally) how to use them correctly.

18 Responses to Sex should NOT BE a MORAL ISSUE, it should be a PRACTICAL ISSUE

  • “I once thought this way too, until I realized 1) everyone needs a moral code, and 2) words mean things.”

    Because they twist on a moment’s notice words to mean anything they want words to mean, those words hence mean nothing to godless liberal progressive Democrats.

    And let’s face it. The Planned Parenthood types are godless liberal progressive Democrats (with a liberal sprinkling of RINOs thrown in for good measure).

    These people have no moral code. They are governed by liberal – ISM.

    I – Self – Me.

    Sorry. I am feeling my mean, divisive, intolerant and unkind oats right now.

  • Kristin says:

    Sorry, but morals aren’t always practical in the short run. In fact, they’re downright inconvenient sometimes.

    “You take your pet to the vet to get fixed, not your daughters.”

    I can see why some people get confused, though, if they treat Whiskers and Spot like their children.

  • Pinky says:

    I read the HuffPo article. Pretty stupid. I know the title was meant ironically, but as the author makes clear, her lack of abstinence got her pregnant. She also seems to think that taking the birth control pill protected her from STD’s. (Great job there, Planned Parenthood! Knowledge is power!)

    My favorite line from the article is this: “I think ‘abstinence only’ flies in the face of nature and the biological imperative.” It sure does, lady. So does contraception. Then again, so does waiting until you’re in your thirties to have kids. So does waiting until you’re 19 to have sex. Pretty much anything you do besides childbearing and foraging flies in the face of nature and the biological imperative. Now, if no one minds, I’m going to pee in all four corners of my apartment, then kill and eat my neighbor’s cat, because that’s what nature tells me to do.

  • Art Deco says:

    The author describes how she was raised by religious parents and a father that scared off boys while cleaning his gun, how she fell in love in college and “relinquished” her virginity unexpectedly on Cheez-It crumbs behind a couch in an off-campus apartment while “roommates farted and belched like cannon-fire in adjacent rooms,”

    And to which literary publication was this submitted ‘ere the author elected to submit it to the gullable (and less aesthetically particular) folk at Huffington Post?

  • Kristin says:

    Running a business should NOT BE a MORAL ISSUE, it should be a PRACTICAL ISSUE. There are lots of ways to manage employees, and I believe that our sons and daughters should be taught all of the options out there. Personally, I think that employers should give their workers fair pay, but if my daughter decides to force illegal immigrants to work sixteen hour days at minimum wage, then I want her to know how to evade the authorities and “take care of” potential whistleblowers.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    Is “conscience,” in the modern sense of moral judgment a necessary category? Well Aristotle did very well without it. Perhaps, we should go back to speaking of “practical reason,” for my reason is myself and expresses itself in action. Moreover, it is axiomatic that acts of the understanding are specified by their object, so this may serve to remind us that good and bad choices are no more equivalent than apprehension and misapprehension, truth and error are equivalent species of an identical genus; rather, bad choices are what Aristotle called paralogisms (???????????? = Unreasonable or fallacious).

    The good choice, “This – being such – is to be done,” is intelligible, because intelligent; the act of the bad will is a surd, ultimately unintelligible. True enough, we can often trace its causes to instinctive or dispositional factors, but it remains logically incoherent.

  • james says:

    Well said. Like many I was brought up an Irish strict catholic, but in my twenties and early thirties I had a number of sexual partners. I also had my heart broken by women and found it difficult to cope with broken relationships. Much changed when I met my wife and I found God again. The relationship between sex and intimacy has shown to be confusing for many young people. I also think many girls are forced into sexual intercourse through little choice and low self-esteem.

  • Scott W. says:

    I also think many girls are forced into sexual intercourse through little choice and low self-esteem.

    And most importantly, from no societal support. We toss men in women into coed colleges, don’t monitor anything that goes on there, and then wonder why our children have become tramps.

  • Jo Ann says:

    No one has spoken of the very real suffering that comes from sexually transmitted diseases — ones that even with using condoms 100 percent of the time 100 percent the way they were intended, will still not protect you from some of the nastiest STDs, that you then must carry into every relationship you have afterwards, including the one where you are married and having those children you wanted at the perfect time you wanted them. I’m sorry, but this mother appears to be clueless about the real dangers of the world that are out there now and that her daughters have to deal with.

  • Pinky says:

    James – “The relationship between sex and intimacy has shown to be confusing for many young people.” Yes.

    As kids we were told that when a mommy and daddy love each other very much, they give each other a special hug and make a wish. Then we go through biology and health class, watch the TV and the internet, buy into popular culture, get involved in bad relationships, make decisions even we can tell are wrong, watch our friends get divorced and remarried repeatedly, finally find someone we love, read theology, and finally figure out that the only working model for a male/female relationship is “when a mommy and daddy love each other very much, they give each other a special hug and make a wish”.

  • Scott W. says:

    No one has spoken of the very real suffering that comes from sexually transmitted diseases — ones that even with using condoms 100 percent of the time 100 percent the way they were intended, will still not protect you from some of the nastiest STDs, that you then must carry into every relationship you have afterwards

    And if you remember International Planned Parenthood’s pamplet, “Healthy, Happy and Hot” (the distrubution of which involved a UN meeting and Girl Scouts), they explicitly deny that someone is obligated to reveal STD’s they have to intended sex partners.

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