Friday, 22 November 2013

Sex scandals are more common (and worse, and indeed actively-promoted) in an age of moral relativism


The latest major UK sex/ fraud/ incompetence scandal

shows the open-ended corruption which is made possible by abandoning objective Christian sexual morality.

The point about the Reverend Paul Flowers is typical of modern sex scandals - he was somebody who already  - openly, explicitly, boastfully - engaged in sexual practices that clearly transgressed traditional Christian morality.

Indeed, it seems he was admired for doing so, and this is not surprising since sexually transgressive behaviour is nowadays regarded as admirable, and taken as a positive qualification for any high status job.


Modern sexual morality is merely a matter of some sort of fluid, arbitrary, legal borderline between acceptable and unacceptable, morally-OK and morally-wrong.

Modern sexual morality is unclear, it is constantly shifting, it is a matter of opinion - when the rules change then (supposedly) right and wrong changes along with them...

So, the situation is in place where a person in a position of responsibility has been appointed with full (insider) knowledge of their non-traditional sexual behaviour - and there is no point at which is becomes clearly necessary to stop them, because all their transgressive sexual behaviours up to that point have been tolerated or even approved.


The scandal of Jimmy Savile revealed that he practiced mass-production assembly-line promiscuity in the BBC London studios - and that 'everybody' knew about this, the behaviour was tolerated by all, and no doubt envied by some of those who tolerated it.

Wholesale, aggressive, crude promiscuity did not stop Savile being awarded a British knighthood and a Vatican knighthood (he was probably the best-known Roman Catholic in the UK); it did not stop him being on close personal terms with the Queen and the Prime Minister and so on downwards.


So, where is the line of sexuality? The answer is clear but unwelcome to modernity - the line is drawn by traditional Christian marriage.

Attempts to draw a wider line of morally acceptable sexuality have all failed, because the line will not hold.

Indeed, it seems clear that the forces of evil only ever want to move the line in order to move it again and further until all lines seems arbitrary - and morality is re-defined as doing whatever you want, so long as you can get away with it.

The legalization of routine divorce was - it turned out - only a prelude to the dilution, then destruction, mockery and demonization, of real marriage. Likewise, the acceptability of extra-marital sex was - it turned out - only a prelude to the likes of Jimmy Savile and Paul Flowers - and all the others who preceded them, and more that we do not know about.



Luqman said...

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will.

dearieme said...

Give the chap credit where credit is due; at least he destroyed the stereotype that Labour do financial scandals and Tories sex scandals.

Bruce Charlton said...

@d - To be honest, I am not sure what kind of scandal this is supposed to be - for me, the scandal is having an obviously incompetent, out of control psychopath appointed to, and sustained in, a position where they can harm or wreck many people's lives - and where this situation is tolerated, smiled at and perhaps regarded as rather fine - until suddenly it all becomes impossible to hide or justify - or, at least impossible for a while (because who knows how soon the media might rewrite this as the story of an unfortunate man victimized. They did it for the Boston Marathon Bombers - why not this chap?).

The fact is that most of these prominent cases (people like ex-Pres Clinton) crossed the line a long, long time before they were un-cover-uppably caught and called on it.

And even then if the scandal can be dragged-out and picked-over for long enough (as with Clinton), then the lack of any objective basis for modern morality means that people can be excused for... well on the basis of things like Fort Hood's Major Hasan, for instance - I would say people can now be excused for absolutely *anything*, in principle, if the mass media so desire and have a few weeks to do their work.

Arakawa said...


Crowley's maxim has the emended version An it do harm, do as you must, which raises the immediate question what must I do, anyways? and there goes the entire project of escaping from having to decide questions of basic morality.

Matthew C. said...

It just becomes increasingly clear every day how essential religion is to social order and functioning.

Anonymous said...

I just can't understand why the RC church gets blamed while BBC skates away for the same thing. So strange.

Nicholas Fulford said...

I always liked the more positive spin, "Do what you should do."

Without templates for behaviour many people cause harm to themselves and others. The question becomes what is the kernel upon which to build these templates?

I don't think Aleister Crowley's maxim holds, (and certainly if his life is held up as an example it does not.)

An excerpt from J. Webb's "Harmonious Circle" appears below concerning Aleister Crowley and how G.I. Gurdjieff reacted to him, (and Gurdjieff was his own form of spiritual trickster.)

True to his Caucasian heritage, he dispensed hospitality in abundant qualities. To Aleister Crowley, for example Gurdjieff showed all due consideration until Crowley was about to leave.

"Mister, you go?" Gurdjieff inquired. Crowley assented: Gurdjieff: "You have been guest? A fact which the visitor could hardly deny. Gurdjieff: "Now you go, you are no longer guest?" Crowley no doubt wondering whether his host had lost his grip on reality and was wandering in a semantic wilderness humored his mood by indicating that he was on his way back to Paris.

But Gurdjieff, having made the point that he was not violating the canons of hospitality, changed on the instant into the embodiment of righteous anger:

"You filthy, he stormed, you dirty inside! Never again you set foot in my house!"

. . . Whitefaced and shaking, the Great Beast crept back to Paris with his tail between his legs.

Luqman said...

The most surprising part of the story for me is not how this obviously incompetent man got to his position, but rather how he was an acceptable Methodist minister. When the worst of the worst sinners (likely an apostate) are the people you find ministering the word of the Lord, expect retribution. At least Welby does not hire male prostitutes for drug-fuelled orgies.