Worshipping The Orgasm
Tread Softly For You Tread On My Jokes by Malcolm Muggeridge
Karl Marx famously complained that “religion is the opiate of the masses.”A kindred spirit, Barack Obama, accused rural Americans of “clinging to their guns and religion.” Both were speaking with a particular stink eye for Christianity. But both miss the real opiate of the masses, the real religion of the non-believers, that is, of course, the Orgasm. Thirty minutes of television or surfing the internet will demonstrate our obsession with it. Cialis, Viagra, Addyi (female Viagra), infomercials for sex performance enhancers, penis enlargements, all reinforce this fact. Hook-up Apps, college campus hook-up culture, condoms sold like packs of gum. All of this is an expression, though not exclusively, of our obsession with the Orgasm. This is to say nothing of the hundreds of millions of hours a week people spend watching porn on the internet, or the soft porn that is nighttime TV. Apart from being disordered, and divorced from any foundation in love-and therefore true freedom-all of this has a downside. Rape drugs, human sex trafficking, the objectification and commodification of humans (especially women and children) are the reality. The rest is mere euphemistic window dressing to cover the darker depths of our nature.
If and when we raise our heads above the waterline of our utilitarian culture, we see things like Brock Turner raping an unconscious girl, enabled by a father who thought jail too steep a price to pay for his son “getting twenty minutes of action” and a judge who viewed Turner’s conduct as being just a bit naughty that’s all, nothing to ruin his life over. And we are angry, confused, demanding answers. But by discarding the Faith that teaches us the virtues, that undergirds any attempt at ethics, that guides our choices to true freedom, we arrive at a dark place where the word vice has little meaning, nothing is really wrong so long as nobody minds that we do it, and where freedom is doing whatever the hell you want. And we find that we have nothing to base our anger on. It becomes another moment of Outrage that people post about on Facebook, Tweet to their followers, and engage in hashtag solidarity. Still, the waters mirk and muddy. We don’t rinse, only repeat.
Malcolm Muggeridge, British author, journalist, and TV personality, not surprisingly understood all of this. Having lived through the Sixties, he took a contrarian view of things. An agnostic much of his life, he later converted to Christianity and though he wrote more seriously in later life, he lost none of his acerbic wit and humor. He saw that when the glacier of Faith recedes, the pockmarked land of life is filled with islands of identity in pools of false freedom. We are alternatively called Consumer, End User, Voter, Investor, Fan, Taxpayer, or Personal Brand, but what we are rarely called, and are becoming less of, is Human. As Hilaire Belloc noted, cruelty, slavery, and loss of reason will dominate where the Faith is removed. And so they do.
“The orgasm has replaced the Cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment.”