The following sign was recently carried (and subsequently photographed) at a recent “equality” rally in Washington DC:
Dear me… where do I begin on this one?
First, it’s interesting that the two most prominent advertisements on this banner invite people to “Be Free” and have “No Guilt”. Attractive thoughts, no? I mean, who wouldn’t want to live their life completely guilt free? I certainly would. I’d also like to be free as well; free from pain, suffering, problems, controlling influences, etc. That sounds like a good life to me.
Somehow, though, I don’t like the idea of murderers, rapists, and adulterers living guilt-free. “Live and let live” quickly breaks down when people start doing things that we consider hurtful, destructive, and degrading to self or society. Only the most committed anarchists will disagree with me on that point.
“Be Free” is the slogan of adolescence, those who gleefully feel new emotions for the first time but lacking the maturity to fully understand them. Maturity brings understanding of those freedoms and acceptance their associated responsibilities. Those who propagate this nonsense are perpetual teenagers, praying that they can run just a little faster than the consequences of their reckless lifestyles and irresponsible behavior.
It’s easy for us to agree that murder is hurtful, destructive, and degrading to both people and society as a whole. It gets a little more complicated when we are talking about sexuality and sexual behaviors.
Perhaps the biggest lie we tell ourselves is that sexual freedom is the ability to do it with whoever we want whenever we want. Sadly, that is just not the case. True sexual freedom is being 100% invested in the partner with which you will share those most intimate parts of yourself, and trusting that they will be faithful to you as well. Mutual trust in a relationship is what really makes you free in that relationship.
Recently, in one of the first high-profile cases of this kind, Steve Phillips, former Mets manager and commentator for ESPN, checked himself into a facility for sexual addiction recovery. A life of various affairs with coworkers, subordinates, and who-knows-who-else had finally left him destitute – without a home or family; an empty shell of a man. His fully excercised “freedom” to do whatever (and whoever) he liked led to his losing everything, including losing ultimate control over his own thoughts and actions.
I’ll bet you didn’t hear about this on any large news outlet, though? No, there’s nothing glamorous or attractive about someone checking into sexual rehab. (Even though checking in to drug or alcohol rehab in recent decades has become quite a coup for your celebrity.) It’s just plain sad. And heaven forbid we prosecute sexual promiscuity int he public arena (unless it is for a politician, of course, who should just know better!).
So your choices matter. Sexual choices matter as well. It’s about more than just sharing love.
But why? Why do choices matter so much?
Think of your life as a delicate human ecosystem where what-you-do is actually important. No, really. Take a minute to reprogram your brain contrary to everything popular culture has taught for the last 50 years or so.
Look, things don’t magically take care of themselves. We all depend on ourselves (and often other people) to keep life sustained; to keep the laundry done, the car running, and the job done. Without effort and action, things tend to all apart. This is also known as “chaos theory” or (for the Mormons out there) a “telestial state”. Things tend to fall apart unless we do something about it.
Editorial Update: turns out I got my chaos theory mixed up with my laws of thermodynamics.
Even if you feel a particular action doesn’t matter, consider this: your inaction may matter a lot to those who were depending on you or who might have benefited from your action. Yes, the ones that are hurt the most by inaction are the ones who would have directly benefited from action. So it’s really not so much about you at all, is it?
You can’t parade around life promoting “live and let live” when you have people depending on you, and as a society we all depend on each other to advance our collective interests. Everyone seems to want to dictate to society what they want, but people seem to be a lot less excited to actually go do what our society needs done.
Our society needs strong families, and yet we continue to destroy the family. We need brilliant minds, and yet we are content with failure in our schools. We need a strong defense, and yet are only willing to sacrifice someone else’s child for our country.
You can’t justify inaction or bad actions under “live and let live” and “my choices don’t matter” when you could be doing so much better!!! It’s not a valid excuse or catch-all anymore for laziness. Time to pull up our bootstraps and make the right choices. We need to do the best thing, even if it means a little effort.
So I guess if I were to write a rally sign it would say:
Guilt is an excellent indication of that you’ve screwed up your freedoms.
Be your BEST self.
Choose that which is best for you and those who rely on you.
And you will be truly happy.