Copyright © 1981, 2005, 2009 Philadelphia Church of God
Why world acceptance of “the New Morality”
What, until 1914, had been the Western world’s standard of morality? Was it good or bad? Has a whole world in revolt brought anything better? What have been the facts? What have been the causes?
It is not only a moral revolution. A revolution in government, in economics, in science and technology, in education, in labor standards and in social values, even in religion, has shaken the whole world!
Why has the whole world suddenly aroused to violent action? And especially in the area of morals?
We will give specific causes a little later. The “authorities”—the psychoanalysts and the medical doctors—decided moral standards were in need of revision. And they have been revised, radically, under the catch-phrase “the New Morality”!
Yet few realize the facts of the true origin of the “sex-is-shameful” attitude, or of the impetus behind the moral revolution. The facts are stranger than fiction!
The world, since the First World War, as mentioned above, has been deluged with books, pamphlets and articles in magazines and newspapers about sex. Still, the most necessary dimension in knowledge of the subject has been missing—unpublished until this book!
Today protest fills the air. Revolt is everywhere, against almost everything! And in no grievance is revolt so widespread as that against the repressive moral codes of traditional Christianity. The revolters reject the authority of the church. They have embraced what they term “the New Morality.”
Just what are the generally unknown facts? What was the real origin of the traditional Christian morality? Did it come from Christ—from the original apostles—from the Bible?
And what triggered the moral revolution, and finally plunged the world into the sexual “freedoms” of today?
Christianity, following its first generation, absorbed the pagan dualism of Greece, and pasted the label “sinful” on sex. Through the centuries since, the moral standards of the Western world were regulated by the Roman Catholic Church.
Does that mean, then, that Christ introduced and taught this attitude that sex of itself is shameful and evil? Emphatically it does not! Jesus never represented sex as anything other than that which our Maker created, and all that He had created God pronounced “very good.” Jesus taught against wrong uses of sex. He forgave a repentant woman caught in the act of adultery, with the admonition, “Go, and sin no more.”
The original apostles never deviated from this teaching. The biblical teaching throughout is the same.
What, then, was the real source of this attitude of shame? It flowed on the tide of the Babylonian Mystery religion into the Roman world. And how did this concept come to be accepted as Christian? The facts, I repeat, are stranger than fiction.
Emphatically it was not the teaching of Hebraism, nor of Jesus, nor of the original Church of God. It reached the Roman world by way of Greece, but it flowed, at an earlier date, into Greece from Egypt. Yet it stems from a still earlier source, to be revealed in the following chapter.
In the first and second centuries the Roman world was dotted by pagan schools, on the curricular model established by the Grecian Plato. Plato had received this dualistic attitude toward sex from his teacher, the philosopher Socrates, himself a sex pervert. This dualistic teaching had become the basic hypothesis of all Grecian thought, writing and religion. Sex was regarded as low and degrading, an act in which man descended to the level of the beast.
This was the underlying attitude in the teaching of the pagan schools throughout the Roman Empire. There were no Christian schools. To establish such schools would have been impossible. Textbooks had to be written laboriously, by hand, one at a time. The printing press was not to be invented for centuries. All textbooks were pagan.
Second- and third-generation Christians were reared and educated from childhood in these pagan schools. By the beginning of the sixth century this dualistic concept toward sex was firmly rooted in Western Christianity. It is still the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants in general have passively followed Catholic teaching on sex, but have tended to be more lax in behavior.
But what were the real fruits of that dualistic concept of virtue? Some 90 percent of marriages were rendered unhappy—many utterly miserable and unbearable—because of false attitudes and sex ignorance. Many a wife was virtually raped on her wedding night. The stupid husband didn’t mean to injure his wife. He was just plain ignorant! He needed instruction that had been denied him.
Many wives called their husbands “brutes.” They simply were ignorant of the fact that brutes, guided by instinct, are not guilty of such things. Husbands said their wives were “frigid” and too often began to visit prostitutes.
What price ignorance!
Then came World War i. It brought tremendous changes in thinking, in behavior patterns, in social customs and in the double standard. Women won the vote in America. Wives began entering employment and becoming financially independent.
Previously, about 1904, a startling conclusion had been reached by Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis. This revolutionary opinion had resulted from his clinical experience and researches. Freud had decided that sexual repression, the attitude of shame, and ignorances about sex were the causes of neuroses and many mental disorders.
He and his followers in the newly appearing profession of psychiatry urged knowledge dissemination and sexual freedom as the panacea. If repression and self-denial caused the neurotic disquiet, why not reverse the interpretation of morality? Emancipate the people from restraints. Put a new definition on sex. Define it as good, not degrading, shameful and evil—any use of sex, in or out of marriage.
In the wake of World War i the agitation resulting from Freud’s revolutionary conclusions finally brought about the toppling of the legal barriers. And the moral barriers began breaking down simultaneously.
With the removal of legal restraints against sex instruction, medical doctors and psychoanalysts began grinding out volume after volume imparting heretofore banned instruction about sex.
Previously, the publication of knowledge in other fields had been accelerating. But in the delicate area of knowledge about sex the medical and associated professions had held a monopoly. Now sex information was hurled at the public from all directions. Even today almost every magazine one might pick up off a newsstand will contain at least one article on the subject of sex, as noted earlier. Even the most conservative magazines. Besides, there are magazines devoted wholly to sex, and I do not mean pornographic magazines.
Yet something has been criminally wrong with this avalanche of sex literature. There has been missing the most vital dimension.
The world began throwing off the restraints. The revolt was on, against prudery, repression and ignorance. The new sensual knowledge—with its most-needed dimension missing—quickly began to be gulped in by curiosity-hungry minds.
World War ii shot morals into the gutter. And now they have plunged all the way into the cesspool.
Permissiveness is the current fad.
Today, it is actually becoming popular in more and more colleges and universities to allow students to visit the dorm rooms of those of opposite sex at any or all hours around the clock—and sleep with them if desired. Many have introduced the system of “co-ed dorms”—both men’s rooms and girls’ in opposite wings on the same floor, no restrictions whatsoever.
Today pornography is rampant on many school and college grounds, and smut has become a multimillion-dollar industry in country after country.
Today we have “progressed” completely past “topless” bars and restaurants. When they became no longer shocking, “bottomless” followed, and finally, the supreme jolt as a shocker—and in several places—to entertain a lust-gripped audience, actual live sexual intercourse performed in the nude on stage. Not simulated. “For real!”
Along with this trend had come the hippies, “rock festival” orgies attended by thousands, fast-growing drug addiction, hundreds of thousands literally “blowing their minds”!
I mentioned, above, that the revolters have rejected the authority of the church. But where is the authority for a right moral code?
After all, what is right?—and what is wrong? What is really best for each individual? It is generally assumed that every sane person “knows the difference between right and wrong.”
But do they?
Many Roman Catholics still think any use of sex outside of marriage is sin—and therefore wrong. Perhaps a few non-Catholics still believe the same thing. On the other hand, millions now believe in the “New Morality.” They believe in complete sexual freedom. They believe denial and repression is wrong.
And even a very large segment of Catholics are relaxing their attitudes!
There are other views in between.
What is the truth?
The truth is that the most tragically needed dimension in sex knowledge has been missing!
In the modern rebellion against just about everything—including puritanical taboos—the world is tending to reject any and all authority, and is turning more and more to impulse and unbridled desire.
Now some psychiatrists are questioning the institution of marriage! Who started the marriage custom, anyway? And when? If man is merely the highest evolvement of the animal kingdom, when, in the evolutionary development from lower animal into man, did marriage with home and family life start—and why? Animals do not marry. They have no “home life.” Yet all animals reproduce. Marriage is not necessary for reproduction.
Do we really need any authority for what is right or wrong about sex—about marriage? Is sexual freedom by mutual consent really harmful to anybody? Is the game, becoming prevalent, of husband-and-wife-swapping wrong—is it harming the participants—or is it beneficial?
Let’s see what modern science—and the scientific method has contributed.
Vital new knowledge awaits the reader.Continue Reading: Chapter 2: Why—and What Is the Missing Dimension?