The Sexual Revolution of the sixties is portrayed as a rebellion against the Establishment. It was a spontaneous love fest that allowed youth to do their own thing in an atmosphere of serendipitous freedom. Women were liberated from past oppression. It set in motion other movements that advanced ever greater sexual freedom.
At least, that’s the official story.
Few people tell the other side of the story. This woefully skewed portrayal overlooks the millions of damaged lives. The revolutionary upheaval of the sixties radically changed America for the worse. Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse’s The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along is a book that challenges these myths and sets the record straight.
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The book reflects the author’s academic background. It’s convincingly documented and logically presented. But it reads more like a battlefield report from the frontlines of the Sexual Revolution. She manages to insert the very real human element into the debate by passionately reminding readers of those whose lives are even now being destroyed by the myths introduced in the sixties. Dr. Morse wants to destroy these myths once and for all.
The Sexual Revolution: A Real Battle
One key myth is the Sexual Revolution as a spontaneous movement of liberation. It was and still is a war with all its characteristics. There is nothing haphazard about it. It has two sides engaged in a deliberate battle for the hearts and souls of Americans. There are massive casualties in this unbloody Culture War that has polarized America for the last decades. And it is not over.
Dr. Morse identifies three offensives on this battlefield which she calls the Contraceptive Ideology, Divorce Ideology and Gender Ideology. Each has its philosophy, generals and foot soldiers.
Each offensive is part of a single process in a broader plan of destruction. Each needs the other to survive and progress. Contraception separates sex from childbearing. Divorce separates sex and childbearing from marriage. Gender Ideology eliminates distinctions between men and women. Dr. Morse traces the history of these offensives, attacks their weaknesses and reveals their tactics and catchphrases.
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Not A Revolt
The Sexual Revolution never was a revolt against the Establishment. It was and is a revolt by the liberal Establishment against Christian morals. Indeed, such a massive, meticulous and carefully planned revolution could not progress without bad elites from decadent institutions to carry it forward. This Establishment forms a liberal culture that creates the myths, spreads the fashions and molds the opinions that eventually pressure all to conform to their ideological mindset. It pushes the more moderate elements of society toward its goal of total, unrestrained sexual license.
This revolt can also be documented and traced by the currents, media and figures that have long pushed this agenda forward.
Such an effort would never progress but for a cooperative State. Throughout history, revolutions are always carried out with State sponsorship. Even the States that the revolutionaries want to destroy often participate in their own destruction. The Sexual Revolution needs the vast resources and platform of the Sexual State because “the premises of the Sexual Revolution are false,” Dr. Morse claims. All the machinery of government must be brought to bear to override human nature. To assume the State is neutral in this great battle is the height of naiveté.
Avoiding the Temptations Not to Fight
To avoid the battle, many try to frame the debate in a way that discourages resistance. It is, for example, very easy to simplify everything by turning it into a class struggle between rich people who stand to profit from the revolution and poor people who are its unfortunate victims. There is this “who profits” side to the present war (the George Soros connections), but Dr. Morse carefully avoids turning it into the center of the debate.
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There is also the temptation to take a fatalistic approach of throwing in the towel in the face of such overwhelming opposition. It is easy to blame everything on social forces that determine history and thus throw off any personal responsibility to oppose them.
We should also not flee from the problem. There is no “Benedict Option” in this war in which all are in some way combatants. Dr. Morse is an activist not content to watch the enemy advance unopposed. The final chapters of the book contain powerful, practical suggestions for those who want to fight.
Defining the Enemy
Wars have sides that need to be defined. There can be no illusions. Morse claims America is facing “a world at war with our bodies, with all creation, and with God.” It is a “war on the human race.”
The stakes are indeed high. This war has its human agents, but it is a battle of good and evil, truth and error. The Sexual Revolution is only one important part of the overall war against what little remains of Christian civilization.
Those who defend Christian morality are entirely disproportional to the fight. A lone individual would be rightfully discouraged from such a challenge. However, Dr. Morse reassures the reader that “the Church was right all along.” The Church has the answers, which are laid out very clearly in the chapters refuting each ideology.
Of course, not only has the Church been right all along but it has been fighting the world, the flesh and the devil all along. The Church has weathered other storms throughout her long history and always wins in the end.
The present Culture War is no different. This particular war is violent and brutal. However, it will be defeated. The Sexual Revolution is one of the most important components in this war. Dr. Morse’s battlefield report provides a much-needed perspective to clear the fog of war for those in the trenches.