NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan is tying the sexual harassment epidemic to contraception.
In her November 23 opinion piece "The Sexual-Harassment Racket Is Over," the Catholic writer argues that "men behaving badly" is more than a matter of biology.
Instead, Noonan paints it as a sickness of the soul. "Sexual harassment is not over because sin is not over," she writes, adding, "'The devil has been busy!' a journalist friend said this week as another story broke."
Strikingly, Noonan goes deeper, suggesting the epidemic springs from the almost universal proliferation of the contraceptive mindset:
An aging Catholic priest suggested to a friend that all this was inevitable. 'Contraception degenerates men,' he said, as does abortion. Once you separate sex from its seriousness, once you separate it from its life-changing, life-giving potential, men will come to see it as just another want, a desire like any other. Once they think that, then they'll see sexual violations as less serious, less charged, less full of weight. They'll be more able to rationalize. It's only petty theft, a pack of chewing gum on the counter, and I took it.
In time, this will seem true not only to men but to women.
To faithful Catholics, Noonan's insight may come as no surprise. The harassment epidemic, many understand, is a rotten fruit of the sexual revolution — one among many. And its coming was foretold decades ago.
In 1968, as post-Christian societies across the West were buying into the oxymoronic concept of "free love," Bl. Pope Paul VI issued a prophetic warning to the world.
In his encyclical Humanae Vitae, he wrote that widespread use of contraception would "lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality."
What's more, he warned:
[A] man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman and disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
The sexual harassment epidemic is an inevitable outgrowth of the violation of natural law. It reflects the unbridled lust of our age.
True to Noonan's observation and Bl. Pope Paul VI's warning, it is a manifestation of sexual license unleashed by the contraceptive saturation of society.
The Catholic Church teaches sex is a marital act of total self-donation, a complete gift of the self.
History demonstrates that when channeled into marriage, the human sexual drive (particularly that of the male) is a powerfully creative force, building careers, families and nations. But when unfettered by contraception, it becomes a destructive scourge, ultimately cannibalizing any permissive society.
By its very nature, contraception sparks self-indulgence rather than self-sacrifice and devotion. Men, in particular, become lust-driven. Along the way, masculinity dissipates — men turn inward, away from virtue toward self-gratification. Before long, they begin feeding on the women they would otherwise die to defend.
After seeping quietly into American society during the first half of the 20th century, contraception was revolutionized in 1960 with the debut of the birth control pill.
This ignited a phenomenon unseen in the West since pagan times — recreational sex — and set the stage for progressive social collapse.
Very quickly, the sexual revolution began breeding what Pope St. John Paul II described in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae as a "Culture of Death."
More than a dozen states legalized abortion from 1967–1972. In the lead-up to Roe v. Wade, California alone was registering more than 100,000 abortions annually. Since 1973, more than 60 million Americans have been murdered in the womb.
As America embraced contraception, fornication flourished. Adultery mushroomed. Divorce exploded. At a 1968 symposium, Alan Guttmacher, former president of Planned Parenthood and vice president of the American Eugenics Society, observed, "We find that when an abortion is easily obtainable, contraception is neither actively nor diligently used ... Abortion on demand relieves the husband of all possible responsibility; he simply becomes a coital animal."
Today, marriage is being abandoned. Same-sex "marriage" is the law of the land. Gender is regarded as a malleable matter of the mind.
And while women wonder where all the men have gone, many men either retreat into perpetual adolescence or seek gratification in harassment and intimidation.
In response to the accelerating spread of contraception, in 1930 Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical Casti Connubii. In it, he observed the sanctity of Christian marriage was coming under attack, noting "pernicious errors and depraved morals have begun to spread even amongst the faithful and are gradually gaining ground."
Having infiltrated virtually every corner of American society, almost a century later these same errors and morals drive today's headlines at the Wall Street Journal and beyond.