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Lot’s Wife And Elite Western Culture

The debasement and degradation of the holy and the good is what elite Western culture stands for
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Another day, another act of anti-Christian hatred from progressives:

You know the drill: They would never do this to Muslims, blah blah blah. It’s true, but irrelevant. They don’t care. They hate Christians, but they fear and revere Muslims because Muslims are the Other, which is to say, Not Christians, and therefore good.

This freak Simonetti is one reason why, if I were a European voter, I would vote populist in part to punish the freaks whom he represents. Enough is enough. The contempt the elites have for normal people and the things that mean a lot to us is infuriating.

But I don’t post this as clickbait. I post this because it intersects with something that has been on my mind since I wrote the “Hiney-Lickers Of Princeton” post earlier this week. In that earlier post, I published images from a handout resident assistants at a Princeton dorm handed out to freshmen, advising them that the university has “Choose Your Own Adventure” safe sex kits it is prepared to deliver upon request:

On the “Butt Stuff” part, Princeton hands out flavored dental dams for students to put on the anuses of their sexual partners so they can lick the buttholes without risking disease or discomfort. I’m sorry to use such crude language, but we have to be clear what we are talking about here. Using clinical language sterilizes the disgusting nature of the acts being discussed.

It was instructive to see the kinds of responses I got from angry people in the comments section. They were usually one or both of these: “You are a prude who hates to see people having fun with sex” and/or “You hate public health”.

I am a 54-year-old man who grew up after the Sexual Revolution, and who spent half of his twenties as a religious unbeliever. I am not unfamiliar with sexual variety. Besides, do you think I’ve never heard of the Marquis de Sade? Good grief.

What I find interesting and alarming is the degree to which we have been conditioned to hate what is good and love what is evil. The fact that one of America’s most prestigious universities (and I am certain Princeton is not alone here) thinks its place is to encourage its students to lick each other’s buttholes safely tells us a lot about where we are as a society. It is one of the most degrading acts imaginable, yet thanks to ubiquitous pornography, it has apparently been normalized, such that for many people, the real shocking and offensive thing is that someone like me would consider it disgusting.

How does a society sink to the point where licking buttholes is considered to be normal and good, such that elite institutions encourage it for people who are part of those institutions? We were not made for behavior like this, which is lower than the animals. Sex was created as good, as an act of loving care, one that sometimes creates new life. These modern people, they drag it through the mud (er, “mud”), and debase it. There is a connection between this kind of debasement, and what you see from the cretin Simonetti, who debases the incarnation of purity itself by making the Holy Virgin a transgender.

It’s satanic, all of it. If we have become the kind of culture that normalizes and valorizes perversion à la Princeton, then God owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology. If you want to laugh at me for that, I accept your mockery and wear it as a badge of honor. I despise your world of perversion and sacrilege, and do not apologize for it. I remind readers, though, that these are signs of the times, and that what will follow the collapse of this corrupt culture will be painful.

Sex is good, and the body is good, but we are not permitted to do whatever we like with the body. I don’t think you have to be a believing Christian to understand this. The symbolic meaning of putting mouth to the excretory organ is clear to anyone. In today’s world, there is no perversion that the people who run this society won’t call good, and liberatory. We really do live in Sodom and Gomorrah. You may laugh at me for saying so, but in your heart of hearts, if you look at your child, if you have any conscience in you, you will not view it as a matter of indifference the understanding of sex, love, and the body into which your child will grow and mature. Which father or mother looks upon their beautiful baby, and thinks, “I hope she will grow up to use dental dams when she licks a sex partner’s backside”?

What was once forbidden and hidden is now out in the open and celebrated by the most powerful and sophisticated people in our society. If you were a farmer in Sichuan province, or a Bedouin nomad, or a campesino in Latin America, or a goat herder in Africa, and you were told that at the top universities of the most powerful nation on earth, the school provides equipment to allow its students to lick each other’s bungholes for pleasure, what would you think about that society? If you were one of those poor people, and were told that the European Parliament paid as a “special ambassador” a gay man who portrays the Mother of God — even if you didn’t believe in that god — as a bearded transgender, what would you conclude about the foundations of that society?

You would probably think: those people are corrupt, and they are going to fall.

And you would be right.

I am not interested in converting putative bunghole-lickers and their allies to my side. I am interested in helping the morally sane among us recognize that their intuitions of disgust are healthy and normal, and should be leaned into hard. I am also interested in waking up Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and other religious parents to the sick depths to which the commanding heights of our culture have sunk, so that these parents will do their best to protect their children from the propagandists, and to prepare their kids to be faithful and morally sane in this contemporary Gomorrah.

Back in 2013, Conor Friedersdorf wrote a piece for The Atlantic in which he considered the question of whether or not some forms of sex might be morally wrong. Excerpts:

In “What Do You Desire?” Emily Witt travels to San Francisco, attends a shoot for a pornographic video about “women bound, stripped, and punished in public,” reflects on her own unsuccessful search for romantic love, and ponders the implications of a sexual culture where no desire is considered off-limits so long as all participants give their consent. She’d prefer love to sexual novelty. But “what if love fails us?” she asks. “Sexual freedom has now extended to people who never wanted to shake off the old institutions, except to the extent of showing solidarity with friends who did. I have not sought so much choice for myself, and when I found myself with no possibilities except total sexual freedom, I was unhappy. I understood that the San Franciscans’ focus on intention—the pornographers were there by choice—marked the difference between my nihilism and their utopianism. When your life does not conform to an idea, and this failure makes you feel bad, throwing away the idea can make you feel better.”

Her essay is a must-read, with the caveat that it should not be read by anyone who wishes to avoid graphic descriptions of extreme sexual acts. The lengthy descriptions will distress many readers. But the substance of the essay transcends those scenes, as evidenced by the fascinating exchanges it has prompted in the blogosphere. The primary participants (linked in order if you want to follow their thought-provoking conversation as it unfolded) are Rod DreherNoah MillmanAlan Jacobs, (Noah Millman and Rod Dreher again) and Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry.

All of them grapple, at least in part, with what our response ought to be to the explicit acts described. Put bluntly, a group of San Franciscans crowded into a basement to watch and participate as a diminutive female porn actress (who consented very specifically to all that followed) is bound with rope, gagged, slapped, mildly electrocuted, and sexually penetrated in most every way. The tenor and intensity of the event can’t be conveyed without reading the full rendering. The object of all that abuse describes it afterward as physically uncomfortable at times, but intensely pleasurable throughout. She departs extremely happy and eager to do it again.


Was the consent of all participants sufficient to make the porn shoot a morally defensible enterprise? Alan Jacobs says no. People like the director and actress “are pursuing, consciously or not, absolute degradation, and are publicly debasing sexuality in the process,” he writes. “They are immensely destructive to themselves and to others; they becloud the image of God in which they were made.” As he sees it, their behavior is uncivilized. If you claim otherwise, he argues, “you have reduced the content of civilization to a single element: consent.”

Rod Dreher agrees. Acknowledging that the Marquis de Sade conceived of humiliating and being humiliated for sexual pleasure long before today’s San Franciscans, he posits that such behavior is becoming more acceptable due to the absence of a strong moral framework to push back against it. “You can have whatever you desire,” he writes. “If you choose hell, then we will call it good, because it is freely chosen, and brings you pleasure.” He worries that “the result is chaos and nihilism” and the idea that “the only way to find transcendence is to yield to one’s desires.” For Dreher, “affirming human dignity, and walling off the most destructive impulses within individual and collective human beings, requires condemning this pornography and perversity.”

Yet America’s secular individualism offers “no firm ground on which to stand to condemn this barbarism,” Dreher continues, and “no basis to call it barbarism.” He marvels that history’s most free, wealthy people “use their liberty to degrade each other and to choose to be degraded.” Why does he care? “I have to live in a world—and, more to the point, raise children in a world—in which perversity like this is available, via the Internet, to more and more people,” he explains. “I have to raise children in a world in which human sexuality and the general idea of human dignity is degraded by pornography. I have to live in a world in which utopians are working very hard to tear down the structures of thought and practice that harnessed humankind’s sexual instincts and directed them in socially up-building ways. I have to raise my kids in a world that says when it comes to sex, there is no right and no wrong, except as defined by consent.”

Read it all. 

Where is the role for love in all this? There is none. It is all about will to power, and will to destruction if it brings one pleasure.

Again, there is a clear connection between the kind of depravity one sees in the sacrilegious Simonetti image, what’s happening at Princeton, and what Emily Witt records in her essay. I do not hesitate to call it demonic. Whether or not you believe in the devil, Satanism is parasitic on Christianity, and on the Good, because it seeks to defile everything Christianity calls holy and good. A couple of years ago a young man came to our church, having recently left a coven of occultists who followed the teachings of Aleister Crowley. He told me that he quit the cult because he knew that to rise in it, one had to participate in ever more degrading sexual acts. He had been molested by a babysitter as a boy, and recalling the lasting trauma of that event, recoiled at what the cult asked him to do … and left.

He said that once outside of it, he looked back on all the people he knew there, and was amazed by how depressed and suicidal they all were. And yet they persisted in it, believing that to choose to degrade themselves and others was an act of sovereign will, and therefore a great good. He also told me that when one reads Crowley’s writings from the old days, and the kind of world he wanted to bring into existence with his “sex magick,” one looks around at America today, and sees that Crowley’s dream has largely been fulfilled.

Don’t you see what the elites of our culture want to turn our children into? What they are doing to our holy things? Do you think this does not matter?

Are we going to be Lot’s wife?

Auden once said:

In our culture, we have all accepted the notion that the right to know is absolute and unlimited. The gossip column is one side of the medal; the cobalt bomb is the other. We are quite prepared to admit that, while food and sex are good in themselves, an uncontrolled pursuit of either is not, but it is difficult for us to believe that intellectual curiosity is a desire like any other, and to recognize that correct knowledge and truth are not identical. To apply a categorical imperative to knowing, so that, instead of asking, “What can I know?” we ask, “What, at this moment, am I meant to know?” — to entertain the possibility that the only knowledge which can be true for us is the knowledge that we can live up to — that seems to all of us crazy and almost immoral.

Apply the same principle to sexual acts. What if we asked ourselves not, “What can I do with my body?” but rather, “What, at this moment, am I meant to do with my body?” — to entertain the possibility that the only sexual behavior which can be good is sexual behavior that fulfills the goal of treating our bodies with love and dignity — that seems to many of us crazy and almost immoral.

I feel confident that there are more people, especially young people, who agree with me than not, but they are afraid to say so. These are young people who despise the world that my generation, and their grandparents’ generation, have created for them, but who don’t know how to resist. Well, guess what: even at Princeton, there is hope. Princeton has The Anscombe Society, which describes itself like this:

The Anscombe Society is a student organization at Princeton University that aims to foster an atmosphere where sex is dignified, respectful, and beautiful; where human relationships are affirming and supportive; where marriage is given pride of place among those relationships; where motherhood and authentic femininity are reverenced; where true masculinity and committed fatherhood are vital to family life; and where no one is objectified, instrumentalized, or demeaned. We hope to provide those students who strive to understand, live, and love their commitment to chastity and ‘traditional’ sexual and familial ethics with the support they need to make their time at Princeton the best it can be. Lastly, we wish to offer these values to the wider Princeton community and promote a culture of charitable dialogue and mutual understanding among all Princetonians.

What good and necessary people. If you are a Princeton student, find them, join them! If you are a student somewhere else, why not start an Anscombe Society? Contact the Princeton Anscombe Society — and please, donate to them. The enemy has lots of money and power. We need to make it possible for searching young people to know that they do not have to surrender to the god of this world, that there is goodness, truth, and light despite the darkness.

Yes, I’m radical about this stuff. You should be too. Open your eyes! Choose today whom you will serve. This is what the world without God looks like. I remind you of where this filth, and “consent” being the sole ethic by which we judge sexual acts, could easily end. From Live Not By Lies:

Regarding transgressive sexuality as a social good was not an innovation of the sexual revolution. Like the contemporary West, late imperial Russia was also awash in what historian James Billington called “a preoccupation with sex that is quite without parallel in earlier Russian culture.” Among the social and intellectual elite, sexual adventurism, celebrations of perversion, and all manner of sensuality was common. And not just among the elites: the laboring masses, alone in the city, with no church to bind their consciences with guilt, or village gossips to shame them, found comfort in sex.

The end of official censorship after the 1905 uprising opened the floodgates to erotic literature, which found renewal in sexual passion. “The sensualism of the age was in a very intimate sense demonic,” Billington writes, detailing how the figure of Satan became a Romantic hero for artists and musicians. They admired the diabolic willingness to stop at nothing to satisfy one’s desires and to exercise one’s will.

UPDATE: A reader sent this passage from the moral philosopher J. Budziszewski:

[W]hen a man puts the part of himself that represents new life into the cavity of another man that represents decay and expulsion, at the most basic of all possible levels he is saying, “Life, be swallowed in death.” We cannot overwrite such meanings with different ones just because we want to.

Similarly, Princeton and other colleges are encouraging its students to taste death and decay — but as is typical of our age, they want to make it hygienic, and taste like chewing gum. From a Brown University how-to video, dental dams:

Brown University

UPDATE.2: An interesting comment by Joanhello:

I don’t think you’re a prude, Rod, and I don’t think you’re against public health. What I think is that you have a very powerful awareness of the symbolic level of life and you don’t really understand people who don’t. It’s like you have an extra sense, such that these matters of exultation and degradation are viscerally real to you, so that you don’t understand the large numbers of people who can only comprehend them intellectually if at all and so are disinclined to care much about them unless there’s some kind of material or societal pressure on them to do so. You say “The symbolic meaning of putting mouth to the excretory organ is clear to anyone,” but it’s not equally significant for everyone.

When I was a child, no older than 12, I used to sneak out of Sunday School, not to play hooky, but to attend the adult service because I could feel the spiritual energies and they gave me joy. But I noticed that nobody else did that and I already knew that most other kids would be bored and wouldn’t like it. Think of all the people you’ve known who were bored in church. Think of your father, who would rather spend Sunday mornings hunting. Most people don’t get it, not really.

It doesn’t help your case that modern society is all about questioning past assumptions and ignoring the symbolic in favor of the physical. We as a society revere innovators because innovators have given us a great deal of material well-being. Therefore many of us feel that we are doing something inherently good when we innovate and experiment in our own lives. To oppose such innovation out of some kind of symbolic understanding would be like not allowing the Wright brothers to experiment with flying machines because the fact that humans don’t have wings is interpreted symbolically to mean that we are not meant to fly. When Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, first proposed its use in treatment of bacterial diseases, his colleagues mostly ignored him. You want us to take this stuff you extracted from a mold you found contaminating one of your colonies of staphylococci and put it in people’s bodies? Yuck. More than a decade went by before his discovery was put to use.

So we are a nation of experimenters and are furthermore taught that real innovators don’t let themselves be stopped by squeamishness. So people start experimenting with their bodies, discovering what feels good. The anal area has a lot of nerve endings. To people who are totally focused on the physical, stimulating that area can provide some intense sensations. Which father or mother looks upon their beautiful baby, and thinks, “I hope she will grow up to use dental dams when she licks a sex partner’s backside”? That would be the father or mother who enjoys backside-licking in their own sex life, who has found it to be physically harmless, and isn’t bothered by symbolic or spiritual considerations.