A new law is being discussed in California requiring both partners to announce an “affirmative consent” before engaging in sexual activity. So technically, California wants people to say “I do” before having sex. Wow, things have come full circle, huh?
But snark aside, there’s something about this proposed law that I think speaks to a sense that there’s something very wrong. So many of us think of our time as one of raised consciousness, one in which tolerance has gained the upper hand. But ours is a time of nominal macro-tolerance and micro-Machiavellianism.
We’ve told people it’s perfectly fine to use others as a means for our own pleasure as long as there’s consent. But Christ didn’t tell us to love others as we love ourselves unless we get their consent to use them as an inanimate object for our own pleasure.
Our culture’s permissiveness is permissive of everything but abstinence. And we’re thrilled about it. We saturate every corner of our lives with images of sex. But there are consequences. We have broken hearts as collateral damage. The horror of millions of unintended human beings discarded as bio hazardous waste. Skyrocketing STD’s. The cultural fallout and emotional damage is so vast as to be incalculable.
And we know it. So we thrash about in search of that tweak of the rules that will make it better, make it all right because laws must eventually fill the space left by morality. Precisely because we shun the teachings of the Catholic Church more laws will come from on high. In fact, we’ve done more than shun the Church’s teaching, the government now demands that Catholic institutions take foot the bill for the sexual revolution.
I understand why legislators might get behind this bill. They see the damage and hope to do something, anything to fix it. But until we are convinced that love, real love, doesn’t involve using others for our own ends we will only see more heartache, more damage, and more laws. A lot more laws.