by Mike Pyatt
In the early 1980’s, a long-time Hoosier friend, and colleague, now deceased, lifetime Catholic, after musing on the rapidly changing U.S. culture, whispered, “I don’t care to live to see same sex marriage as law of the land.” He didn’t. It was his nine grandkids that concerned him. Neither of us would’ve imagined the slide would be so rapid. That slide has been further lubricated by the loss of cultural memory. Evangelicals weren’t as prescient at reading the Signposts either. How’d we miss the longterm influence of compulsory sterilization, primarily of Black girls and women in Harlem, championed by Democrat eugenicist, Margaret Sanger, in the 1930’s, as a harbinger of the killings fields of Planned Parenthood. There were Signposts along the road to moral decay. Most chose to ignore them; others were in denial; many were disengaged. A few sounded a clarion call. We’re told to be “tolerant” of lifestyles that are execrable at the core, and inimical to clear Biblical teaching. Sadly, many chose tolerance at a cost they failed to calculate.
The monogamous marriage of a man and woman hasn’t been perfect. The divorce rate is far too high. But that’s no reason to replace it with a more severely doomed relationship. Husband and wife-it’s not the result of a capricious act, but of Divine origin. Any other sordid act is an inordinate perversion. Some recall that Catholics, Evangelicals, and like-minded co-belligerents rallied to oppose the normalization of homosexuality by the American Psychological Association’s Board of Trustees, removing the deviant behavior disorder label in 1973, designed to “normalize” behavior, caving to pro-homosexual activists, ignoring seventy years of serious and scholarly psychiatric, clinical research, that labeled it “maladaptive behavior” and “mental disorder” previously subject to clinical therapy. A Signpost.
Sodomy laws outlawed sexual acts deemed “unnatural” were broadly defined, and varied from state to state. In practice, such laws were rarely enforced against heterosexual couples for obvious reasons. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of sodomy laws in a 1986 case. However, in 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, reversed that decision, invalidating sodomy laws in the remaining fourteen states. Wyoming repealed the law in 1977. Now nothing is unnatural. A Sign post. Sixty years ago, in most cities, pornography was available for those who had the thirst for it. However, they had to go in the “back alley” where it belonged. That thirst can now be quenched, undetected, with an unending stream of filth on the internet. No more brown paper bags. Social media enables teens to swap nude photos like baseball cards. The “genie is out of the bottle.” It’s endemic. There’s no going back. Another Signpost.
In 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous quote, regarding a threshold for defining obscenity, in Jacobellis v. Ohio, remarked, “But I know it when I see it…” Since that time numerous cases heard by the “black robes.” Lower courts have only muddied the moral waters, leaving it to the whims of the court, as they feared trampling upon the First Amendment speech protection of purveyors of filth. “Prurient interests” and “no redeeming value” wins the day, trumping the 1957 Roth case that stated obscene material existed when “the dominant theme taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest.” The publishing and cinema moguls took great solace in the “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific values” clause. Slithering down a brass pole, while dancing nude, is no less artistic than a Norman Rockwell painting. Generation Z see no boundaries in art in any form. It’s all about digital images. Morality’s couched in the latest image. Another Signpost.
The FBI reports that more than two-thirds of all sexual assault victims are under the age of eighteen-but most alarming-most are under the age of twelve. One in four sexual assault victims who experienced forcible sodomy or sexual assaults were five or younger. How wide spread is pedophilia and child molestation? There’s a paucity of solid data due to the fear or shame to report it. It took years for those molested by the clergy in the Catholic Church to report it. Last week Pope Francis and Vatican, after four days of focus groups the residue was an insipid “handbook” in lieu of a zero tolerance decree. Wyoming citizens recall the 2012, abduction and sexual assault of Katelynn Groves, from Cody, serving as a stark reminder that rural Wyoming isn’t exempt from such predators. More girls under twelve are sexually molested than boys. In many foreign countries children have no protection, and are at the mercy of perversion and sex trafficking. More Signposts.
Children engaged in sexual acts in foreign films break all taboos that, up until now, Hollywood has avoided. What would prevent it here in the US? Laws? Public outrage? In our apathetic culture, it’s more likely we’d be slumbering. A January 3, 2013 feature article, in The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, a self-avowed liberal print media, became the newest champion for the cause of pedophiles, seriously maintaining that pedophiles are merely a “misunderstood minority” and they cause no real harm. Columnist John Henley quoted a convicted pedophile, who claimed, for example, a sexual relationship with his seven year old niece was voluntary, meaningful, consensual, and child rape is “no big deal.” What would prevent such a thing happening in America? Another Sign post.
Disney Channel aired the first lesbian couple on its network, “Taylor Has Two Moms,” on a Sunday, January, 2014, episode of “Good Luck Charlie.” Few were surprised. The late Walt Disney, if it were possible, would’ve “stood up in his grave.” Feminist, lesbian author, Leslea Newman’s, 1989, Heather Has Two Mommies, was a frontal assault, aimed at children, and a calculated attempt to neutralize the notion of the “traditional husband and wife.” For eons marriage between one man and one woman has been the linchpin of family solidarity in most civilized cultures. This upheaval isn’t happenstance. Could Grandma and Grandpa ever imagined that one’s sexual identity would be divorced from one’s gender at birth? What can inoculate us from the ravages of this insidious, pernicious moral decay? We’re being told to abdicate permanent things, shut up, and get out of the way. It’s not vogue to say, “Bruce Jenner’s wearing a dress pretending to be a woman.” That’s transphobic. Another Signpost.
This onslaught is about eradicating the old edifices that held our Judeo-Christian culture together. Anyone who believes this trajectory toward moral paralysis isn’t linked to the decline of Western Civilization, according to Victor Davis Hanson, is woefully deceived and ignorant of our founding moorings. Most never saw it coming. Many of us know there’s too much at stake to capitulate. Sagely, in 700 B.C., the Prophet Isaiah, sounded the tocsin, “Woe unto them that call evil good, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.” With the Signposts removed, how will recent and future generations navigate these cultural minefields? Do we offer them the hollow tagline of the American Humanist Association, “Good without God.” God forbid! What do you think?
Mike Pyatt is a Natrona County resident. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org