By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stirring Up a Hornets' Nest and Inviting Reluctant Political Commentary

Christine O'Donnell SuportersImage by TaniaGail via Flickr
I intentionally avoid any political commentary on this blog in order not to give anyone a political excuse to ignore the joyful and life-giving faith proposed by Catholicism. But, recently, I have had to make one commentary about the ineptness and obtuseness of Obama and Bloombergy in handling the Ground Zero Mosque situation since the site of 9/11 is beyond mere politics. Now, I must also comment on the withering attacks on Delaware Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell. I saw her described in the media as totally unfit for office and scandal-plagued. So I looked for details--what exactly are her alleged misdeeds? Well, it seems that the major source of scandal has to do with her sexual views: she is against masturbation and sex outside of marriage!

Here is one nonpartisan commentator on the matter:

But then, there was the wackiness factor. O’Donnell believes in sexual abstinence for those not married (how wacky can you get?) and has denounced masturbation as a form of “lust.”

Source link.

It seems that especially offensive to many in the media is her denunciation of masturbation, although her denunciation is a tautology--of course, masturbation is a form of lust. What else could it be? Maybe, frenzied media reaction to this particular tautology tells us something about the private habits of some in the media that I have not previously suspected.

This candidate's view on sex outside of marriage and on masturbation is the standard and official Catholic view. It is also the view of  many non-Catholic Christians today and was the standard and official view of most, if not all, Christian groups, at least before the nineteen sixties. Yes, it is a "scandal" to the media; but not the type of scandal that even remotely disqualifies anyone from political office. It is a salutary "scandal" that exposes how corrupt and arrogant American culture has become in its practices and assumptions about right and wrong.

Do we Catholics and Christians follow these teachings? Of course, we do not follow them all of the time because of our own weaknesses, fears, emotional wounds, stupidities, and dysfunctional  personal circumstances. But personal failure and dysfunction is a completely different issue utterly separate and apart from the very different issue of what is the moral truth in the first place. Moral truths stand no matter how often we, who subscribe to them, fall short. Christine O'Donnell is speaking sanity on sexual matters to a corrupt culture. It is no surprise that the mouthpieces of that corrupt culture find that sanity "scandalous." That type of scandal is good for both the media and the public. May this type of scandal continue.