Innocence Lost and Found
So, what is the wider principle here? Clearly, one of the principles is protecting the innocence of children. Why? Why do we care about that? Because all sane men know that children come into the world in a state of sexual innocence. And although they are sexual, they are not conscious of it, and their sexuality is not integrated into any wider concept of self.
This is why I am so creeped out when I see parents who allow their children--especially girls--to dress in provocative ways. Especially in California, I have seen many prepubescent girls who, if you just squint your eyes a little, could pass for beautiful woman. This was not the case when I was in grade school or even junior hi. Then there was a sharp divide between adults and children, in manner of dress, behavior, and general appearance. Of course, many of the girls were cute--I had many painful crushes--but they weren’t sexy or intentionally sexually provocative. And if they were, they would be sent home and told to wear something apppropriate. Today, this would generate an ACLU lawsuit.
I am quite sure that I would have been adversely affected by today’s sexual climate, in which the girls are like little adult women. Before my wife and I had a child, we would baby-sit a couple of twin girls who lived down the street. We did this at least once a week from the time they were around three years of age, and we grew quite close. It was a wonderful experience. Their mother was a very responsible stay-at-home mom, and their innocence was protected throughout their childhood.
But once they entered their teenage years, one could detect a disturbing transformation. Scanty clothes, too much make up, push-up bras, cleavage. Why on earth does a 12 or 13 year old need make-up, let alone a push up bra? It’s not as if, as a man, you cannot notice it. Naturally, I want to avert my eyes, because these are like daughters. And the problem is, no uncorrupted girl at that age has any insight into the primitive nature of male (especially teen) sexuality. It is absolutely free-floating, obsessive, intrusive, and easily attachable to any part of a woman’s body. If these girls actually knew what kinds of thoughts they provoking in the boys (and some men) around them, I am sure they would be creeped out. Unless they themsleves are acting out some kind of sexual trauma that was perpetrated on them, and have become prematurely sexualized as a way to “control” the opposite sex.
With regard to the present scandal, you can instantly see through the phoniness of the left in its so-called concern about Foley the “predator” and “pedophile.” Because if we’re going to have a discussion on the preservation of child innocence, how far is the left actually willing to go along in joining forces with the sane?
For example, is the left willing to stop their disgusting attempt to destroy the Boy Scouts--one of the few institutions in this nation that helps to transform boys to men--and agree that it is a horrible idea to punsish the Boy Scouts just because they do not want to be forced at gunpoint to have openly gay scout leaders? Do you not see the problem? Knowledge that a man in your midst is attracted to your sex introduces an unavoidable element of sexual tension. Even if suppressed, everyone will be unconsciously aware of it, no different whatsoever than if an attractive young female were the scout leader.
Because of their surging hormones and the fluid nature of their sexuality, young boys desperately need activities where they can get together in an environment free of sexual tension. For example, team sports must be preserved with no girls allowed. Is what I just said against the law? I can’t wait until my son is old enough for little league, but if it's true that leftist activists have made it against the law to exclude girls, I’ll start my own league.
How about school uniforms? In my opinion, this would be one of the healthiest policies we could possibly adopt. But with the ACLU and all the activists of the left, what are the chances? When I drive to work in the morning, I can’t help noticing the way girls are dressed at the bus stop. First of all, I find it impossible to believe that these girls have a proper man in the home, because no man would allow their daughter to dress that way. Furthermore, a girl who is not loved by a noble man will search for lower substitutes through the vehicle of her sexual allure, which is extremely unhealthy psychologically. A 13 or 14 year old should not know that she has this extraordinary power, or at least not know how to abuse it. But many girls never outgrow it, and become addicted to the power they have over men. It hardly leads to sexual liberation, but to cynicism and jadedness.
The left has been at the leading edge of the mainstreaming of every deviancy and perversion into society over the past 40 years, to such an extent that they would be offended at the idea of calling someone a deviant or a pervert, because it implies a standard of sexual maturity. Yesterday, for example, I heard Bill Maher sneer something to the effect that Foley would not be chasing after young men if only we would allow him to marry. How then to explain 50 year-old Maher’s preference for dating porn stars, hookers, and Playboy bunnies, and substituting dogs for children?
Maher clearly regards himself not as pathetic or immature, but “sophisticated” and far beyond the narrow minds of cultural conservatives. He has even made the idiotic statement that Republicans are only concerned with sexual propriety “because they’re bad at it.” Here is the actual quote: “This is always what happens with that Republican party. They are somehow able to conflate real morals and values with sex. Because they're Republicans, Larry. They're bad at sex. They're pasty, unattractive white people, and if you had to have sex with them it would be over in an excruciating three minutes. So what they always like to do is conflate sex with morals.”
That is typical of the “sophisticated” attitude of the left. Only those who are moral relativists and who have no standards at all, are fit to pronounce on those who do.
Ultimately it comes down to whether man is merely an animal or whether he is a spiritual being suspended between animality and divinity. Of course, you all know what I believe. But I am the unsophisticated one. A liberated person understands that sex is simply a biological function. It would be abusive and even unconstitutional to teach adolescents that there is moral and immoral sex. No. For the radical secularists who have taken over the educational establishment, there is only healthy and unhealthy sex. In other words, so long as both people or animals consent, and nobody catches a bad disease, that’s the only standard. Marital sex, homosexual sex, teenage sex, masturbation, it’s all the same.
Talk about a lack of sophistication!
It is amazing how the left has managed to overturn the order of the cosmos in the matter of a mere generation or two. When I was in high school (I graduated in 1973), I still had the remnant of the idea that sexuality had a spiritual telos, that its proper end state was marriage, and that anything short of that was just sort of “pretending” to be an adult. Of course, you can kid yourself and convince yourself that there is no difference, but you are living a lie. Committing yourself to another human being transforms you--it is a big part of what changes a boy into a man.
Knowing nothing else at all about the two candidates, would you vote for a married man or an unmarried man? We’ve never had an unmarried president, and I doubt we ever will. Here is a fine example of a truth that is so deep that it is beyond words. It is simply in our being, being that we are human. But it is precisely this deeper sort of translinguistic truth that is inaccessible to the leftist sophisticate. The history of intellectuals over the past 200 years teaches that is probably the norm for the intellectually intelligent to believe stupid things, partly because, in their vanity, they do not want to be perceived as ”unsophisticated,” itself a reflection of our fallen state and the hubris that goes along with it.
Regarding the question of innocence vs. sophistication, Schuon has pointed out the truism that those who mock the stupidly credulous are very likely among the ranks of the stupidly incredulous, such as Bill Maher and most of our anti-religious cultural elites. Furthermore, as hinted at above, “the self-styled destroyers of illusion live on illusions that exemplify credulity second to none; for a simple credulity can be replaced by a complicated one... complication does not make error less false, nor stupidity less stupid."
But most philosophy is merely error on a grandiose scale, and there is no error as grandiose as that of secularism--even if we restict ourselves to a bland mathematical body count of the 100 million deaths attributed to various secular and atheistic ideologies in the 20th century.
I feel very lucky. I had a very innocent childhood, an innocence that I never lost entirely. Although we naturally fall away from it during our rebellious years, it is possible to regain it as we mature, so long as it was there to begin with (and with God, all things are possible, so do not despair if you feel your own innocence was shattered and cannot be regained.)
Being innocent also makes you simple. It makes you transparent. It makes you harmless toward the good. But many people do not like to look into the face of innocence. It repels them. Being that it was stolen from them, they enviously wish to steal it from others--there is a perverse thrill involved in telling a child Santa Claus doesn’t exist, that all sex is the same, that God is dead, that all texts are arbitrary narratives concealing blind power, that truth doesn’t exist. It is the thrill of of rebellion and destruction, the illicit joy in being one's own god.
When one's entitlement of innocence has been damaged or stolen, one way of dealing with the loss is to mercilessly attack it when it appears in others. Child abuse is theft of innocence, and vice versa. No grade school child should be forced to learn about homosexuality, or any kind of sexuality, for that matter. Innocence is an existential category, no different than beauty, or the holy, or the sacred.
But job one of the secular rebellion is to finish the job that a certain serpent started once upin a timeless veridical, just a moment ago. For the compulsive demystification of this wonderful cosmos by sophisticated barbarians yields a kind of pseudo-intelligence at no apparent cost.
But there is a cost in aggressively unveiling the intrinsic mysteries that make us human. Our humanness.
What looks like an ascent is really a descent: ignorance and lack of intelligence are at ease in a wholly superficial refinement, and the result is a climate in which wisdom takes on the appearance of naiveté, uncouthness, and reverie.