The link below is to a 33-minute audio recording (podcast) of Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, recorded at a talk she gave to a recent student chapel service at Biola University (originally the Bible Institute of Los Angeles). I have recommended the work of Dr. Morse in the past (click here for other posts I have written on her work).
I am making reference to this particular talk because it is a particularly pithy distillation of her thinking and powerfully conveys both a diagnosis and prescription for what is wrong with sexual ethics in today’s culture.
Like her, I was a child in the 1950’s. The ’50’s were a corrupt age – just not as corrupt as the ’60’s. Dr. Morse makes clear why “the sexual revolution” was the wrong direction for society to take, and why the ’60’s, and all the decades since, were not a departure from what was wrong with the ’50’s, but rather a departure of one of the things it had right – the presumption of permanence in marriage. Yes, the decade of the ’50’s was a repressed age, and the ”60’s unrepressed by comparison. Having experienced both, I can assure you that we could benefit from some more repression.
Dr. Morse also shows in this talk why even unbelievers should care about this issue, for abandonment of the presumption of permanence in marriage has led to all sorts of government constraints and costs. That is, government has been increasingly intruding in our lives because of the sexual revolution.
I will add that I think we as Christians paved the way for “same-sex marriage” in our time by not taking a firm stand against easy divorce (no-fault divorce, unilateral divorce) in the decades past. If we want to be heard as standing up for the sanctity of marriage, we need to stand against all its enemies – which means divorce as well as homosexuality.
I will also add that I believe the greatest sin of America in the 1950’s was thinking that there was such as thing as goodness without God. Anyone who tries to become a better person without trusting the Lord Jesus Christ for the power to achieve it is going to have a very rough time. “Did we in our own strength confide our striving would be losing” (from “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” by Martin Luther). Even today, we cannot truly and enduringly love without Him…for He is love.
If you are familiar with Dr. Morse’s work, you’re not likely to find anything new here. But if you’re looking for something of hers that is succinct and compact to pass on to someone you think might be receptive, this could be it. How wondeful it would be to have a national dialogue around the issues she raises.