Elliot Spitzer was caught with his pants down. So, what’s the big deal. Sex is everywhere. Should we just get used to it?
First, the fact that immorality is everywhere does not make it moral (right). Morality is not a function of popularity, it is a function of righteousness.
The control and discipline of sexual energy and sexual activity is an engine of civilization. Sex is not simply about two people getting glassy-eyed. The connection between sex and civilization is not the sexual act itself, but the nature of the traditional marriage relationship that legitimizes or legalizes the act. Marriage is the key to a proper understanding of it, not the sex. And traditionally, marriage and sex have been held together in an exclusive union by religious and social mores — not just Christian, but biblical Christianity makes the best defense of sex being exclusively limited to marriage. Marriage fidelity is woven into the legal system of virtually every society.
And what is so special about marriage, particularly Christian marriage? The promise to be faithful to one’s marriage partner, the promise to do what you say you will do, that’s what. Society is built upon promises. Money (currency) is a promise, as are checks, bank notes, credit, etc. The entire financial enterprise all about promises. Promises are the building blocks of finances and of civilization itself.
In Christianity this line of thinking is called covenant theology. The basic idea is that kept promises (good promises) are good for civilization and broken promises (bad promises) are a kind of corruption or rot of the fabric of civilization. Broken promises undermine and destroy civilization. They also make our money worth less, which is also bad for civilization.
Promise keeping is a kind of habit. The bad thing is that the breaking of one promise makes it easier to break another, etc., ad infinitum. The more promises that a person breaks, the easier it is to continue breaking promises. There’s a momentum both personally and socially to promise keeping and to promise breaking. The one leads to a healthy civilization and the other leads to an unhealthy civilization. One increases life, the other increases death, to put it starkly.
The traditional teaching is that sex is reserved for marriage, period. Prostitution (promises for hire) and its variants always involve breaking promises. The idea of prostitution applies to more than sex. For instance, the definition includes: “One who sells one’s abilities, talent, or name for an unworthy purpose.” A prostitute has no honor in the same way that a mercenary has no honor, no integrity. Prostitution destroys honesty, honor and integrity, which are the currency of promises, which in turn are the building blocks of civilization. My assumption is that honor and integrity are good things, and that they are good for society.
Why is a person’s sex life a concern of the community? Why is sex not simply a private matter? Because it has the potential to create lives, and those lives are the concern of the community, of society. The fact that birth control technology has interfered with the relationship between sex and children doesn’t mean that that relationship has been broken. While all sex does not produce children, all children are produced by sex, even so-called test tube babies. The relationship between sex and children (making babies) cannot be separated, except in our imaginations.
Sex is always promissory or contractual, relating to or part of a binding legal agreement. The bind always involves promises. Marriage sex is promissory because of the marriage. Prostitution is promissory because money is exchanged and money itself is nothing more than promises. Kids and consenting adults often promise not to tell, other consenters tell and marriage promises break. Sex often ruins friendships because it requires more than friendship, it requires legitimization. And legitimization is a function of the community.
So, how a person performs in the bedroom (not regarding sex, but marriage) is the business of the community because it provides an indication of one’s promise keeping abilities. This is particularly important for political leaders, whose public careers are built on their promise keeping abilities. So, failure in the bedroom increases the likelihood that other promises will be broken. It’s an indication of promise keeping weakness, which is also know as lying, cheating and being unfaithful.
So, yes, Chelsea, dad’s performance is not a private matter, particularly when the Oval Office is mistaken for the bedroom. It is our business.