The Personalist Project

Accessed on September 27, 2023 - 1:39:47

The body matters

Katie van Schaijik, May 26, 2013

A not-to-be-missed article by Mark Regnerus over at Public Discourse highlights how rapidly we are approaching the dystopian society envisioned by Alduous Huxley in A Brave New World

Sex would be seen as something distasteful—messy, primitive, unwholesome. Better by far for children to be manufactured in clinics.

It's happening. 

Yes, we are increasingly uncomfortable with where babies come from, no doubt about it.

The first effect of the widespread acceptance of contraception is that sex could be enjoyed without worrying about the natural consequence of pregnancy. Now we have reached the point where the creation of children is detached not just from marriage, but from sex. 

Our reticence about where babies come from is also reflected in a new children’s book—ironically titled What Makes a Baby—that’s generating plenty of attention, including over at The Atlantic Monthly where Noah Berlatsky describes its unusual approach to explaining the birds and the bees:

Indeed, the book doesn’t even mention the word “mommy” or “daddy.” Instead, What Makes a Baby explains that “Not all bodies have eggs in them. Some do, and some do not”; and that “Not all bodies have sperm in them. Some do, and some do not.” Similarly, sex isn’t so much tip-toed around as it is relegated to one unspecified option among many. “When grown ups want to make a baby they need to get an egg from one body and sperm from another body. They also need a place where a baby can grow.”

Note the elimination-by-omission of sexual complementarity. Note the de-humanizing vocabulary employed. Parents don't "pro-create", they "make" babies, by "getting" an egg and a sperm from somewhere, and then finding a place for the baby to grow.

It is amazing to consider how prescient Huxley was in foreseeing it all. Even more amazing though, I'm thinking, is John Paul II's Theology of the Body. He didn't just see the evil that was coming, he thought through the problem, and presented the remedy to the Church, decades ago.

Mysteriously, the spiritual sicknesses of our day have to be addressed by a recovery of a sense of the objective meaning and dignity of the human body.