There is a rush of books out at the moment decrying the decadence and disintegration of our modern Western culture. Ross Douthat’s The Decadent Society is an objective look at the root causes and types of decadence and where it might be leading. Carl Trueman’s The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self  examines the philosophical roots of modern atheistic selfishness. The Madness of Crowds by Englishman Douglas Murray is a secular take on the crazy state of our society while  Ralph Martin’s A Church in Crisis analyzes how the rot has crept through the Catholic Church during Pope Francis’ papacy. Rod Dreher’s Live Not By Lies pushes the envelope and makes us confront the result: the looming threat of a globalist surveillance state.

All of the books at least touch on the sexual revolution, but there doesn’t seem to be much more than the usual Christian wringing of hands over the problem. The situation is complicated and is rooted in the fact that we are living through a revolution of philosophy, technology and culture the world has never seen before. I have just finished my next book Beheading Hydra: A Radical Plan for Christians in an Atheistic Age and have explained the philosophical roots of our present crisis. That is for another blog post, but the technological roots for the crisis are simple: the invention of artificial birth control. For the first time in history, human beings are able to turn off the baby machine. Of course there have been forms of contraception before the pill, but they were crude and ineffective. The pill changed everything.

The ramifications of this invention have been huge. One of the results has been not only the ability to turn off the baby machine, but to turn it on with ever ingenious new technologies. Now having a baby is a choice just like not having a baby is a choice. Through surrogacy, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and other fertility treatments anybody can have a baby. The effects of this on traditional marriage, traditional sexual behaviors, the understanding of sexual morality and indeed the whole concept of what it means to be a human being have been disastrous.

Praise the Lord

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