Thursday, December 16, 2010

No Strings Attached

This is a movie going to come out next year. If they thought it was good they likely would have released it for Christmas. The plot is familiar. People try and treat sex as a purely physical thing and they fail. They find out there are endless emotional and spiritual overtones to our sexuality. It is interesting that in a culture where so many are willing to analyze sex in purely scientific terms our movies present that as an impossibility and people seem to accept it. When a religious person says that sexuality cannot be separated from spirituality there is huge skepticism. But on another level people know it is true.

The other think that strikes me is the inability of movies to actually explore the complexities of sex and love. Like the news story about pornography that always seems be become pornographic and fail to give any insight into the reality of pornography. Movies are another medium that just cannot stay away from the graphic sexual content so we can keep our brains engaged in the deeper insights. Sin is stronger than reason. We want to think about things and do what is right but we can't. We need grace.

Addictions are like that as well. People try and reason their way out of an addiction but they can't. The power of sin is just too strong. You get smart people making the same mistake over and over again. They just can't see it. In clear thinking moments they can see it. But they can't see it when they need to see it. When the temptation comes on strong the mind is simply no match for it. We need grace.

This is why this a society that focuses on the primacy of human reason has such problems with unreasonable behavior like materialism, promiscuity, and drunkenness. But it goes further. When behavior can't confirm to reason then reason will conform to behavior. So the defeat of reason becomes complete. People have to bend their reason out of shape to justify the way they live.

So if you leave God to pursue reason you not only lose God but you lose you ability to reason as well. If you humbly seek God's grace you not only don't lose God but you don't lose your mind either. Faith actually empowers the mind rather than obliterating it. The struggle with sin is still there but you can understand why such stupid behaviors are so hard to avoid. There are powerful spiritual forces at work. You can understand why it is more important to be prayerful than smart.

Then you can love a world where everything has strings attached. Thomas Howard talked about Catholicism being a philosophy where everything means everything. That secularism is a philosophy where nothing means anything. Why would we want things to be shallow and superficial?

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