This week, a great Issues etc. conversation with Dr. Stephen Baskerville from 2017 came to mind. There and in a related article, Dr. Baskerville describes how there are some striking similarities between the French Revolution and one that we are still fighting, the Sexual Revolution. The desire of the early "liberationists" was the destruction of all barriers to sexual indulgence "as the means to advance their careers, accumulate wealth, eliminate rivals, punish opponents, extort money, and generally acquire political power."
While the sexual libertines promised freedom, the mess that was the #metoo era suggests that the promise rings hollow. Yet, rather than a humble return to the God's model for marriage and sex, the revolutionaries have ramped up their assault. Baskerville argues that this revolution has entered its "Reign of Terror phase." He says, "Having ridiculed not only the Christians themselves into silence but also their annoying, old-fashioned vocabulary of 'sin,' 'immorality,' 'fornication,' and 'adultery,' the radicals have substituted jargon that instead condemns ideological unorthodoxy."
Instead of "traditional sins [which] were clear and precise [and] applied equally to all", Baskerville argues we now have vague categories such as "abuse" or "harassment", which he maintains as having no fixed legal definition. By controlling the approved language, elites can maintain their power, not just over celebrity transgressors, but also over ordinary people. There are many casualties in this war, especially fathers and husbands who have way to prove their innocence of such non-descript crimes.
Baskerville also notes the way this new morality is enforced. Previously, immoral behavior was overseen by apolitical authorities like parents, churches, and local communities. The punishment was social disapproval and ostracism - no self-respecting father was going to let his daughter marry a cad! But that has changed, with the new morality enforced by "professional disapprovers with political muscle—journalists and media pundits, lawyers, judges, police, and jailers."
The tyranny of the Sexual Revolution is revealed very clearly in today's Progressive agenda. A Democratic presidency promises the reinstating of Title IX and the Equality Act, both dangerous for the family and religious freedom. Kicking against reality by denying the distinctions between male and female, destroying the family structure, marriage and the goodness of the patriarchy will have a similar end to the French Revolution; it is good to take heed.
So what are we to do? In many ways, Mad Christians are called to the same things we ever were. We build and plant and seek the welfare of the place God has put us. We tell the truth about life, and God's purpose for marriage and family. We promote the things that enable this purpose. We meet faithfully and partake of God's good gifts. It doesn't look very revolutionary, but we shine brightly in the decaying age, as each stand for truth lights the way for another.
As you will hear Rev. Fisk and Dr. Koontz repeat on BHoP, the most subversive thing you can do is raise a family, in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This may be milk toast to the Progressives, but the realest place in the world is the home and the first line of defense against the lies of tyranny is the family.
Freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want, as Os Guinness says, but the power to do what you ought. Fed by the Word and sacraments, the saints are empowered by the Spirit for just such a task. So don't lose heart! Teach your children, love the Truth and seek Wisdom. And maybe plant a garden.