Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
One of the shabbiest, and bleakly hilarious, features of our time is the increasingly popular superstition that morality and sex have nothing to do with each other. That this is absurd we see all around us in shattered families, fatherless kids, a million abortions a year and hordes of truly pathetic individuals attempting to substitute promiscuity for love. Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels for the Faith so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, takes the verbal buzz saw to one of the advocates of this rubbish on stilts:
Feeling guilty about the fact that your wife caught you doing your hot, young, female executive assistant? Or that your husband caught your hot, young, male executive assistant tapping you again and again? Not to worry, says self-described “Hollywood life coach and spiritual teacher” Lisa Haisha (which means that every word out of her mouth is brain-dead crap). We’ll just redefine “marriage” so that you don’t feel bad:
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not condoning adultery as we know it,
because I’m not strictly talking about sex.
But because it is so taboo, when you consider the historical context of marriage, isn’t being shocked by adultery a bit of an overreaction?
No. What part of this don’t you understand, “spiritual teacher?”
Of course, no one can deny that when you lie and do something behind another person’s back, you are doing something wrong. You’re breaking an agreement, and that lacks integrity. You’re breaking trust with the other person, which is most definitely hurtful. But in the course of a long term relationship, taking into account the practical realities of our human need to experience life on our own, or through experiences with other platonic or romantic relationships, perhaps a new kind of conversation can unfold with your spouse or partner where you jointly communicate your needs and set reasonable and practical parameters of what is and isn’t allowed in your marriage, so the negative and hidden behaviors associated with adultery don’t take place.
Translation: it really sucks that it took us this long to come up with pseudo-intellectual euphemisms for banging the babysitter but we’re only human.
Since marriage has evolved so much over the ages, and different cultures have different views of it even today, perhaps it’s time for the age-old institution to evolve yet again. Maybe the tenets of a successful marriage should not be whether the couple stays monogamous for decades, but rather whether the couple openly communicates about what their unique marriage will look like, what will be deemed acceptable and what will not, and then honoring that joint decision.
Back to the old man again. If he’d had his druthers, Pop’d druther not have married a woman he knocked up since she’d already had a daughter by her first, late husband so he’d always have that “number two” feeling in his head. And particularly if he knew that he would eventually have to leave his beloved Montana and have a youngest son who would turn out to be not all that fond of him.