Monday, October 17, 2016

First Comes Love .... Not Anymore!

Do kids still sing this "playground song" to embarrass a boy and a girl that give signs of liking each other?
Name and name are sitting in a tree
K - I - S - S - I - N - G
First comes love, then comes marriage.
Then comes baby in a baby carriage.
Whether or not children are still singing about that once commonly expected sequence of attraction between the sexes, hardly anyone  believes that love progresses that way any more.

What would be a modern revision?  The way we live "relationships" now is so complicated that it wouldn't scan as a playground song. To eliminate just some of the myriad possible permutations, my off-the-cuff revision here assumes that the couple who is kissing in the tree consists of a male and a female.

Not Just K-I-S-S-I-N-G but G-O-I-N-G A-L-L T-H-E W-A-Y

Say that Dick and Jane are sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Next, and at a very early age, comes intimacy, usually with contraception, which is often provided by the fond parent or the school. Kids are going to do it anyway, they think, so let's help Dick and Jane have "safe" sex. Although that term strictly means sex without venereal disease, most young people think it means sex without babies.  The safety of the minds, emotions, bodies and souls of the couple is not considered by those doting enablers of extramarital intimacy.

Another thing "everybody knows" is that it would be foolish to not try a potential marriage partner out before marriage, ignoring the fact that studies show that couples who marry without having sex beforehand stay married and enjoy their marital intimacy much more often than those who don't wait. I still remember reading a Playboy magazine survey during the 1970s whose results showed that couples who practiced traditional sexual morality were more satisfied. The editors were shocked.

Love, Only Maybe

Sometimes after a long time, ever so cautiously, Love might be mentioned between the couple, but only if the person who says it first is sure it won't come across as needy and scare the other person away.  Then only if Dick and Jane both agree that the word applies to what they are doing, then Love is allowed to be mentioned.

I always thought this Steven Sondheim song sung by Judy Collins is about what happened when the woman revealed she is in love, then realizes she had miscalculated, and the man doesn't want what she wants.  In circuses, they send in the clowns to distract the audience when there has been a terrible accident. In the story in the song, the woman calls for the clowns to divert attention from her mistake and the resulting shame and dismay.

Isn't it significant that when couples make what used to be called love, they are now seen as merely making "it." 

Marriage, Only Sometimes

For our hypothetical Dick and Jane, marriage is out of the question, because they are too young. But with more-mature couples, more often than not, it's the woman who wants to marry. Men are often quite happy to keep enjoying all the pleasures of modern intimacy and cohabitation without commitment.

One other cultural reference. We don't talk about the cruelty and pain involved when people use each other for sex, but sometimes reality even slips into the movies. In "Jerry Maquire," the athlete character Rod, who Cuba Gooding played, confronted Tom Cruise's character, his sports agent, Jerry, because he was using Dorothy, the Renee Zellwegger character, for sex. And Jerry finally had to admit it and agree it was wrong.
A Real Man Wouldn't Hijack the Pootie

Often the man (and less often the woman) knows that the partner is not someone he or she would ever marry, or simply never wants to be married, but keeps the "relationship" going as long the Marriage ultimatum can be avoided.

Couples who aren't married are often referred to as"significant others." But when the partners do not want to commit to marriage, doesn't that really make them "insignificant others"?

Only if both of them desire marriage, and each of them finally decides that he or she can't reasonably expect to find a more perfect partner, and they both agree that the other person is worthy, a proposal may be made and accepted, and Marriage may occur. But since Marriage is optional, totally up to the whim of the couple, and it costs 10s of thousands of dollars to stage the kind of royal spectacle couples have come to expect, for those and many other reasons, a wedding may never actually take place.

Another result of premarital intimacy is loss of romantic feelings. I remember reading several years back that there was a fad for engaged couples to abstain from intimacy for a time before their wedding day, not from any religious considerations, but just so they could regain lost passion so they could better enjoy their honeymoon. People who work at resorts frequented by honeymooners tell stories of bored couples fighting with each other, since there is nothing new for them to look forward so after the big wedding shebang is over. The honeymoon was over before it began.

One unspoken reality is that "free love"  inhibits joy.  When intimacy is experienced outside of love and marriage, love is not supposed be expressed. When commitment is not there, trust is not possible. All these combined with fear of being found wanting and rejected can inhibit the couple, especially the woman. Women and men are cheated out of the pure, uninhibited joy of being able to give love - without fear - to a partner you know loves you and who has promised to be with you 'til death you do part.

For those who don't believe in the permanence of marriage, there is always the fall back position; if the marriage doesn't "work out," even after the extensive pre-marriage period of trying-the-other-person-out, Dick and Jane can always divorce, as everybody know.

And Pity Poor Baby

Baby might arrive at any stage in today's conditional love sequence: the widespread acceptance of intimacy outside of marriage is based on an assumption that contraception won't fail. This assumption ignores the statistics that show that even when contraception is perfectly practiced, inside or outside of marriage, whether  there is love or no love, babies do result: Planned Parenthood statistics show that up to six out of every hundred women who faithfully take the pill conceive a child, six out of 100, every year.  A baby usually won't be welcomed unless the couple has moved to the Marriage stage. When a woman's motherly heart prompts her to not kill her child, she often finds she has to face losing the father and the wrath of her otherwise tolerant family.

It used to be that the conception of a baby was seen as a blessed event between a married couple, as the fruit of their love. Nowadays, only if the Baby is wanted by both, will it be allowed to live long enough to be wheeled around in a baby carriage. Close to a million abortions are performed every year in the United States alone.

It is too easy to go down to the same Planned Parenthood clinic that dispenses contraception to have an inconvenient baby killed. Their door is always open for Jane if she has the cash.  Planned Parenthood knows the statistics very well, and their business model depends on services that abort the babies who predictably are conceived from failures of the contraceptives they prescribe.

A New X-Rated Playground Song

Dick and Jane Sitting in a Tree
First Comes Sex Ed
Then the Pill
And an Abortion Appointment is Only a Phone Call Away

Love is Conditional
Marriage is Optional
Divorce is Expected
And We've All Lost Far More than We Know

How to Fix It?

The solution is too complex to fully cover here, but we have to start by shouting the truth.  "Sexual freedom" is not freedom and it's not even satisfying. It is not healthy for the bodies,  emotions, and souls of those who practice it. Marriage is not an automatic guarantee of bliss. But a return to traditional Catholic morality would eliminate most if not all of the heartbreak and other evils I've described.

A couple that is chaste before and after marriage, which means to be celibate while single and faithful while married, is going to live a happier and healthier life. One great benefit is that a person who is pure before and during a marriage cannot catch a sexually transmitted disease, except through a freak occurrence such as getting tainted blood transfusion.

When the pill is not used, the woman is spared being poisoned by hormones for years of her life. When female sterilization and male vasectomies are not used, the couple's bodies are not mutilated. When barrier methods are not used, no physical or chemical obstacles are put up between the man and woman in the act of marital intimacy.

Intimacy between a man and woman is far more satisfying when it is experienced within a sacramental marriage.

Of greatest importance is the fact that no child will be unwanted or aborted if men and women come to see again that the creation of new life is a desirable part of marital happiness. Even if an inconvenient and even difficult pregnancy occurs, no thought of abortion can be seriously entertained when the couple realizes that God wills each child into existence.

Throw out the Playboy philosophy and tell the world. Free love is not love and it comes with a great price. Those who are able to see the wisdom of rising above the culture and of living by the rules our loving Father ordained for our happiness find that they gain far more than they could ever imagine.

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