Fifty years ago it would have been impossible to believe that to protest the performances of drag queens in elementary schools, to speak out against the availability of abortion up to the very point of live birth, or to suggest that certain sexually explicit entertainment be banned would invite an investigation, lawsuit, or other sanction. Moreover, mandated re-education meant to induce conformity and silence is often imposed upon the individual or group that has the temerity to complain in the first place. To dissent from endorsing the full spectrum of human sexual proclivities, whether it involves cross dressing, whips and chains, or dressing in furry costumes is to be branded as a hater who must be punished and reprogrammed into compliance.
The personal is political, so the prurient must be made public in order to offer acceptance and endorsement to all.
Now that religious leaders and institutions are no longer recognized as the arbiters of our sexual behavior, it is perhaps no surprise that governmental and quasi-governmental groups today deign to teach us right from wrong, but the only teaching now seems to be that nothing whatsoever is wrong, and to presume that a definitive wrong actually exists is the only true sin.
This is no surprise because the new priesthood of our non-existent moral code is a group that has long prided itself on discarding any concern with questions of personal morality while carrying out their dismal duties: lawyers. The same people who have long justified their vigorous and inventive defenses of mobsters, murderers, rapists, and drug dealers are daily bringing their vacant values and love of legalistic chicanery to the business of chipping away our remaining vestiges of ethical standards.
Whether we are discussing sex, crime, or any other facet of human activity, our legal eagles, after erasing any remaining distinction between what is legal and what is moral, have further decreed that individual judgment is a tool of oppression that must be excised in order to create a nation that accepts everything—while believing in nothing. The empty and ultimately dissatisfying void left behind is now filled with the free floating sense of victimization we are told is an acceptable substitute for the spiritual and ethical beliefs we are compelled to discard in order to survive our value-free world.
A national moral breakdown where every aspect of our daily lives is reduced to a series of grim procedural codes of sexual conduct lacking guiding principles beyond facilitating our own pleasures is creating an America increasingly defined by alienation, anxiety, mental illness, and addictions. Our justice system is already collapsing because lawyers and legislators, many of whom are lawyers themselves, have conspired to excuse the most egregious criminal behavior, so it should be little surprise that the same amoral mindset should be destroying our private and public sexual mores by normalizing irresponsibility, stupidity, and perversion.
This, more than anything else, perhaps best explains the malaise, anger, and unhappiness that are the defining characteristics of living in a country that only a lawyer could love, and it also goes far to explain why the sexual has become political—and turned dysfunctional—as we stumble through the mistake of relying on unethical lawyers to define our moral universe.
This is all absurd and destructive, and what might have once seemed ridiculous is eerily plausible. If, for example, cannibalism were somehow made legal in America tomorrow, we can rest assured that our nation’s finest legal brains would diligently get to work to ensure that every one of us has access to a large enough boiling pot—and a free monthly supply of barbecue sauce. Minds that are trained to ignore any question of right or wrong make ideal functionaries for a modern state intent on enforcing thought and practice that is devoid of values and dismissive of personal beliefs.
It is difficult to determine when the inflection point between disapproval and eager prurient interest was crossed in America. Perhaps the breakdown of social and sexual mores during the two World Wars of the 20th century started this process. The advent of nearly infallible oral contraception in the 1960’s forever decoupled the recreational and procreational aspects of sexual activity, which also began the long, sad march toward broken families and the acceptance of single parenthood, a metric in which we now lead the world. The mainstreaming of pornographic content into our daily entertainment over the past several decades is the outcome of the erasure between what was once considered private and personal and what is now displayed and celebrated. Maybe it was the full year of the Bill Clinton scandals surrounding his pitiful affair with Monica Lewinsky; we as a nation were forced to observe a master class in excusing disgraceful conduct by a lawyer who wormed his smarmy way into the White House and was intent on focusing on a narrow legalistic defense of his own moral turpitude.
Of course, the erasure of religious practice as a central pillar of American family and community life—a trend continually encouraged by our entertainment and intellectual elites, who find faith a tremendous annoyance that must be stamped out—has effectively removed the guardrails on virtually every aspect of our personal behavior and turned sex into both a commodity to be sold for a profit and a bludgeon to be wielded for personal and political gain.
An increasing number of our nation’s thought and economic leaders—whether they work in government, academia, business, journalism, Hollywood, or merely float through the miasma of today’s alternate reality on cyberspace—long ago realized that a great number of Americans expect to be held harmless for their terrible personal sexual choices and the consequences that arise from them. Lawyers have long been the shock troops for the champions of individual idiocy, and we now are living with the outcomes of their amoral efforts.
Unwanted pregnancies are to be terminated without a care or cost or inconvenience, unmarried mothers are to be supported on the taxpayer’s dime, birth control is to be provided free of charge to every adolescent, and sexually explicit materials that at one time would have merited a jail sentence are to be stocked in our nation’s libraries. To even question the libertinism that now defines and pervades our country’s culture is to invite attack for being a hateful and horrible individual who is harming the self-esteem of those who are busily harming so many lives—both those born and unborn—due to their lack of restraint and disregard for the well being of themselves or others. Nonetheless, the imprimatur of legitimacy and approval regarding every possible sexual thought, practice, fetish, and display is now baked into the foundations of American life, and our lawyer-infested legislatures and courtrooms now are the enforcement mechanisms for ensuring that behavior that is unpleasant, damaging, or immoral is allowed to flourish and spread.
Perhaps this will all somehow turn out better than seems to be the case at the moment, but we might also now be learning that civil rights can actually turn out to be societal wrongs. Regardless, we are required to remain stonily silent regarding that awful possibility.