Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The culture of separation...

According to traditional western metaphysics, death is the separation of a person's body and soul. According to Cartesian dualism, by contrast, a person's life consists in precisely the radical existential cleft between body and soul. In so far as our culture is still pervaded by Cartesian conditioning, our culture is rightly labelled a culture of death. The ideology of death, aka nihilism, is driven by the underlying principle that plurality means discord, that difference entails disunity. Hence, divorce is a tendril of separationist nihilism, because it severs the bond between free commitment and eternal transcendence. Abortion is likewise a tendril of dichotomous nihilism, as it severs the bond between a woman's good and her child's. Contraception similarly forces a wedge between the distinct yet inseparable goods of sex and procreation.

By the same token, any movement which promotes homosexual intimacy as an equally valid form of human family life, is implicitly trying to reduce the awkward plurality of the male-female unity into a more manageable system of genderized uniformity, and as such is just as much a tendril of separationist nihilism as the others I have mentioned. It is precisely the distinction between an axe and wood which gives them a unity that finds its purpose quite literally in the family hearth. With an axe man may chop lumber and build a home, in which he can, in turn, make a family. With an axe he likewise may chop wood to make a fire, over which, in turn, a meal may be made to feed his family. What will not suit the man is an axe only or wood only. He can only make his home by unifying the difference between an axe and wood in the service of a higher end.

What the same-sex movement strives for, alas, is effectively endorsing axes to chop axes and wood to split wood, out of which I believe can only be made a heap of scrap parts, or, ultimately, tinder for an everlasting fire fueled by the inquenchable flame of self-love, which is the apotheosis of same-love. If a man cannot find himself (which is to say, lose himself) in a woman, it won't do him much good to seek himself in a man, on the assumption that men can love each other as well as if not better than men can love women, since, you see, the former bond is free of the complexity and political phoniness of the "male-female" dichotomy. If a man funds utter easier to love someone who is more like him, he may as well go the whole way and admit he loves the person more like him than anyone else, namely, himself. That he is more attracted to men than women is one thing; that his attraction can legitimize a whole alternative way of the human family is something else completely. An axe may fit better on the shelf with another axe, but thus does not mean heaping axes together is a valid alternative to using axes to chop wood for the good of homemaking.

That, of course, is the fundamental difference which must be acknowledged, and the basis for every person's fundamental choice between worldviews. The world is either a place for making homes ur for making heaps. At the heart of the Christian worldview is an icon of unity in plurality, of harmony based on difference, of a family of unique persons. The regnant worldview of our mass culture, by contrast, enshrines the supremacy of unity based on uniformity (the collective heaping of axes) or, if uniformity cannot be satisfactorily commodified or imposed, sacrifices harmony for the unqualified blind good of plurality for its own sake (the nominalistic scrapping of all).

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