Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dysfunctionality

While going through my old MSWord files this afternoon, I came across an essay I started about nine years ago, and I decided to try to finish it up and "publish" it here.

"Dysfunctionality" is such a buzzword these days, it surprises me that conservatives have not capitalized on it in the war on abortion. Well, maybe not, since so-called conservatives no longer seem to take a stand on abortion. But for the grassroots conservatives who do...

While the battle rages on, abortion is compared to murder and aborted babies are compared to slaves before civil rights came to pass. From the conservative point of view, this is well and good and logical. But it is an approach that continually fails to have any effect whatsoever on the right-to-choose psyche. It seems that it might be time to attempt a new approach and a new terminology.

Abortion is a symptom of a sexually dysfunctional society. The problem is an unrestrained and overindulgent national appetite for sex. But how can this be proven to people whose belief system approves of sex at any time, for any reason and in any way?

Perhaps we can try by comparing the basic drive for sex to the basic drive for food. People have a natural inner drive to eat. We have to eat, or we would die. However, it does not follow that eating everything we might like to eat (and doing so more often than a few times a day) is good for us. We know that we must put limits on our eating in order to remain healthy. Therefore, the United States government has gone so far as to create lists and guidelines to try to help people make healthy eating decisions: Eat more fruit and vegetables, lots of whole grains and a proper amount of lean meat. Limit fats, sugars and refined white flour. Do not over-indulge in huge portions. Drink a lot of water, an appropriate amount of milk and limit sodas and sugary juices. We all know these things. It is simple math, really. People know what they should do: if they do it, they are healthy but if they struggle to control their drive for food, they tend to get fat.

It isn’t so different with sex, except that nobody in the secular world seems to face the fact that there are guidelines that can govern our sexuality and keep us healthy. Guidelines for “safe sex” according to the Powers That Be (whomever they are—but they seem to have a real foothold in the public schools, libraries and clinics) consist of merely one rule, “Wear a condom.” Well, that’s kind of like saying, “Use Nutra-sweet instead of sugar.” It could be of mild benefit in some cases, but mostly it leads to a false sense of security, and in some ways it can cause more problems than it solves.

I’m not going to get into one of my anti-aspartame tirades right now, because that is a topic for a whole different day. Let me just say that the diet product industry is akin to the birth control industry. It’s all about trying to abet people in believing that they can have their pleasure for free—enjoy their indulgences with no cost. It leads to a twisted perspective on the meaning of eating and the meaning of sex. The pleasurable acts are taken as something separate from the function that they are intended to perform—the continuation of life, whether individually by nourishment or socially by procreation. God never intended for these things to be separated in this way. In His mercy, He made the acts pleasurable so that we would be motivated to continue life, but they were given to us for a purpose, a purpose that we often want to limit and escape.

Just as we need to eat or we will die, so we need to procreate, or humanity will die out. However, we can easily see that too much eating is ultimately unhealthy, and the parallel holds true for too much sex. Too much sex is disastrous for society. Too much unbridled sex leads to ghettos full of unwed mothers and illegitimate children, which leads to poverty which leads to crime and substance abuse. Um, bingo. The downfall of American society as we see it today. But nobody wants to admit it. Freedom of sexual expression has practically been written into the Bill of Rights. Sexual disorder? The only sexual disorder people seem willing to acknowledge is the inability to perform a sexual act. This is a frighteningly inaccurate way to view the issue.

Although deviant sexual behavior is rarely identified, it is generally agreed that there are such things as eating disorders. One of the most famous of these is Bulimia, where an individual, usually a young girl, binges on vast quantities of food and then proceeds to plunge her fingers down her throat and regurgitate the vile contents of her stomach. This is her way of purging her body and escaping the consequences of her previously overindulged appetite. There is a direct and obvious parallel to abortion here. When the sexual urge is overindulged in inappropriate ways, an unwanted pregnancy often occurs. To escape the consequences of this unwanted pregnancy, a girl (woman if you will) has an abortion, purging her body of the byproduct of her sexually promiscuous behavior.

Nearly everyone agrees that Bulimia constitutes dysfunctional behavior. Indeed, psychologists and psychiatrists are hired and paid handsomely to treat it. Its detrimental effects are widely publicized to young women. Health classes in public schools repeatedly warn young people about the dangers of eating disorders. Who hasn't heard that Bulimia can burn out one's esophagus and rot one's teeth? No credible health practitioner would ever prescribe Bulimia as a method for treating obesity. However, doctors in professional settings routinely perform abortions to treat the consequences of overly sexualized behavior, while minimizing the health risks. This seems illogical, since hemorrhaging, infertility, and breast cancer would seem to be greater threats to one's long term well being than rotten teeth and esophageal ulcers.

Rather than identifying abortion as an unhealthy escape from the consequences of dysfunctional behavior, “education” systems present it as a viable option for dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. The root of the problem stems from the rampant acceptance that our society at large holds for dysfunctional sexual indulgence. Young people are actually encouraged to do such things as, “Discover your sexual orientation,” and, “Express your sexuality.” From movies and television programs to commercials that people don’t even make a conscious decision to watch, pervasive bumping, grinding, groaning, back-arching, panting and disrobing combine to convince the empty-minded public that orgasm is the ultimate raison-d’être, and that You have both the right and the responsibility to obtain as much of it as possible.

So while the high school health teachers hand out photocopies of the FDA approved dietary standards and encourage young people with eating problems to seek help immediately, they lay out no real standards for healthy sexuality. This is incomprehensible when you realize that they do teach about AIDS, herpes and the plethora of other sexually transmitted diseases. Healthy sex should be recommended to take place between two people, preferably both over 18 years of age, only within the context of a heterosexual, single-partner, committed relationship (marriage), always with the understanding that sex is connected to procreation and should not take place outside of a loving family environment. These recommendations are based on what science shows us is healthy for our bodies.

We must somehow find a way to educate the public that abortion is a dysfunctional response to a dysfunctional sexual behavior. Women who have abortions need therapy, not "choice." (And doctors who perform abortions should lose their licenses to practice—whatever happened to “First do no harm…”?)

1 comment:

MacCárthaigh Family said...

Well worth putting on your blog. I am against abortion etc but hadn't thought of things the way you write them. Good stuff.
Ruth