A provocative essay: “Saving Christian Civilization Through Eros” | The Imaginative Conservative

“Conservatives must now begin the restoration of civilization by promoting erotic love in order to bring us towards higher forms of  love—philia and agape. Specifically, it will be women who will save us, and their weapons will not be their brains, but their bodies.”

Source: Saving Christian Civilization Through Eros ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Here’s the video, from which the image above is a still:

And here are some excerpts from Peter S. Rieth‘s commentary on it:

“What I behold is a Western world so morally bankrupt and decadent, that even the natural, primitive sexual appetites that make men attractive for women and women attractive for men have been erased in Western minds. Decades of feminist propaganda have led to a Western society that has liberated itself from even eroticism.

“It has come to this—that a conservative must now begin the restoration of civilization from such a low, low point as to proclaim in the public square: Men should try to look attractive for women, and women should try to look attractive for men, because we require erotic love in order to bring us towards higher forms of  love—philia and agape.”

“The video screams out to European men: have you forgotten what women are? Have you forgotten what erotic love is? Have you all gone sterile? For it seems that Western European man has indeed forgotten what women are. Eastern Europeans and Russians certainly have not…

“Imagine a world without erotic love—a world of ‘tolerance’ and homosexual-inspired androgyny. Indeed, this world is fast approaching, and is upon the West already. It is a world without the vices associated with erotic lust. True. [*] But it is also a world where the natural virtues of spiritual love, often born of erotic love in the maturing years of youth, will also be abolished.”

“Specifically, it will be women who will save us, and their weapons will not be their brains, but their bodies.”

An interesting and provocative – in several sense of the word! – thesis, this. Worth reading and pondering, in my opinion.

One cautionary point: this is not permission for promiscuity and fornication, even in a heterosexual context! The traditional Christian standards for properly ordered sexual expression – chastity, defined as celibacy while single and fidelity while married – remain the same. But as a comment on the friend’s page I borrowed this from aptly noted,

The church historically seems to have taught [that] erotic love and marriage is only for procreation and you better not enjoy it! But if we read both Solomon and St Paul, we see a different frame of mind. The command is not to covet or lust after what is our neighbour’s, … but what about coveting what is ours?

[The Anglophilic Anglican notes: Of course we cannot technically “covet” that which is already ours, as the definition of “covet” is to desire what is not already ours. But you get the idea: we certainly can, and indeed should, desire what is our own.]

“Solomon encourages his young student to ‘rejoice with the wife of his youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.’ And the very next line reads… ‘And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?’ This teaching of wisdom brings the commandment into its proper context. Passion is for the marriage bed only.

“St Paul states to abstain from sexual relations while unmarried (commanded by God from the beginning), but a married couple are not to withhold their bodies from each other. And as the author of Hebrews wrote, ‘Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.’

“Eroticism as God intended is a thing of beauty and goodness.”

Indeed!


N.B. This essay is a very concrete example of C.S. Lewis’ “argument from desire” (or “apologetic of desire”) – that ordinary human desires, which are at least capable of fulfillment here on earth, can serve to lead the soul “onward and upward” (“is that all there is?”) toward the desire for union with God, which can be wholly fulfilled only through supernatural means – a thesis discussed in much more arcane detail by the eminent Peter Kreeft here.


* This is not entirely true. Although some, both women and men, in today’s West are indeed giving up traditional romantic and even sexual relationships, that does not mean that they are, in the main, turning to the study of history, philosophy, theology, or the arts instead.

What seems to be happening, so far at least, is the replacement of normal, natural erotic desire – that associated with the natural attraction of men for women and women for men, which carries with it at least the potential of procreation – with unnatural, disordered, increasingly perverse forms of erotic lust, coupled with the intentional extinction of procreation through abortion.

I am reminded of Tolkien’s dictum that evil can create nothing on its own, but can only pervert, warp, and twist that which already exists…

Oh, and one final comment: I am not sure I entirely agree with “their weapons will not be their brains, but their bodies.” I don’t disagree with it, either; but it’s not entirely accurate, I think, as stated.

A great deal of eroticism is not merely one’s body, but how one uses it – and that is definitely a function of brain-power. The body churns the butter, or kneads the bread: both functions which can be built into a machine. The brain figures out how to do so suggestively!

 

“Imagine a world that is clean…” – on traditional courtship and dating, by Professor Anthony Esolen

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and outdoor
The Sailing Signal Gun, 1880-1881 – by Arthur Hughes

Source: Is Traditional Courtship Really “Unrealistic” Today? | Crisis Magazine

From the inimitable Tony Esolen:

“Imagine a world that is clean, insofar as a world of fallen human beings is ever going to be so. Imagine then that a boy’s heart would beat a hundred times a minute just at the thought that he might hold the hand of the beautiful girl whom he admires so much – because she is kind and good and merry.

“Imagine that they have walked aside from a feast at their parish church, to watch the herons wading in the river to catch their fish, and the sun is deepening to orange in the west, and the sounds of children playing come to their ears from far away. Imagine that she too can hardly think of anything else but his presence, and that she is hoping that he will take her hand, though she is a little shy of it.

“Imagine that that they sit on a bench, and when they run out of things to say, he places his hand upon hers. And they sit like that for a long while…

“That boy and girl I have described will remember that moment for the rest of their lives, whether or not they end up marrying one another. It will be a memory filled with the sweetness and the innocence and the promise of youth.

“It will be a moment without guilt, or shame, or, God forbid, the remembered fear that they might have made a child, one that they were not in the slightest bit ready to care for, and one whose life would be at grave danger as soon as he were conceived. They could stand before God and man without anything for which to apologize.”

Just gonna leave this here…

P.S. Read the whole essay. It’s worth it.

“For The Ladies” (and Gentlemen) | Be A Southern Gentleman

Source: Be A Southern Gentleman – For The Ladies (and Gentlemen)

Stephen Clay McGehee, a good friend of The Anglophilic Anglican, writes on his excellent blog “Be A Southern Gentleman,”

“Over the years, I have received several emails from ladies wanting tips on how and where to find a Southern gentleman. Southern gentlemen are few and far-between in today’s society, and ladies who want what marriage should be, who want a husband who will honor and cherish her and treat her like his queen, will be looking for a way to meet them. That is exactly how it should be, and those Southern gentlemen are certainly looking for those same Southern ladies. There is no magic formula to make this happen, but perhaps we can pass along a few ideas that may help.”

I am myself seeking a Southern lady – although I would be open to one from another geographic region, if she shared the same attributes and values! – and so I found this very interesting. Perhaps others may as well.

modest-yet-alluring
English actress Hermione Corfield demonstrating how it is possible to dress tastefully and still look attractive, even alluring.

Stephen sketches out general categories such as “Networking,” “Outward Appearance,” “Activities,” “Manners, Etiquette, and Lifestyle” (the first two, in particular, seeming to be almost unknown – or at least, held in little esteem – in today’s world), and includes “A few other notes.” I particularly liked his penultimate comment in this section:

“If all of this sounds too submissive or weak or ‘Goody Two Shoes’ for you, then do yourself and Southern gentlemen a favor and realize that you are not a good match. Southern gentlemen and ladies are both quite rare. There is a reason for that.”

Of equal interest (to me, anyway, being a gentleman rather than a lady) to Stephen’s original blog post is the response from a self-described “single lady” named Nancy, who describes “some of what I look for in a man, as a potential husband/partner.”

What is especially interesting to me is that among the ten characteristics she lists as being important to her, being a “ripped hunk with abs of steel,” or being a multimillionaire, do not make the list.

So what does she look for?

She does (understandably) seek someone who leads “a basically healthy lifestyle,” and who is “neat, clean, and tidy” (“Are his cloths neat? Does he wear anything beyond t-shirts and sweat pants? Are his hair, mustache, and beard neatly trimmed? Does he have good hygiene practices?”) – but assuming she is being honest in her assessment, she’s not looking for a superman or a movie star.

Instead, she seeks characteristics like “Does he have a pleasant sense of humor? Is he comfortable in his own skin? How does he treat me? Does he seem concerned about my happiness and welfare? Does he have anger issues? Is he ‘father material’?”

These, with the rest of her list, are characteristics that a young woman might profitably consider, as she seeks a man – and which a man might profitably seek to foster, if he seeks a decent, respectable, and worthy woman to be his sweetheart and eventual wife.