Thursday, May 28, 2009

A response to the critics of West.

This morning I found this article on from Headline Bistro. I don't have time to parse the whole thing. But here are a few clips I found that need comment. Full disclosure, I am not an expert on the Theology of the Body or of West's work. But some things are just obvious.

My comments and ephasis.

I want to add my voice to those who are enthusiastic about the West/Theology of the Body phenomenon. I think it is important to keep in mind, as Akin does, [Akin pretty much agrees with the critics of the presentations, see his post here. Akin wrote a fair article. This is a name drop.] who West’s audience is. [West presents to everyone, everywhere. Was that him I saw on EWTN? Oh yeah...all Catholics MUST be sexually wounded then.] It is largely the sexually wounded and confused who have been shaped by our promiscuous and licentious culture. [She thinks that means Catholics apparently.] People need to think long and hard about the appropriate pedagogy for that group. [Catholics] Yet, as West himself knows, his approach is not for everyone. [again...] An analogy that pushes the envelope may be "offensive" to one person and may be just the hook that draws another person in. [Talking horny to make people unhorny?] West has adopted a style that appeals to a large segment of that population [horny people]—and even to some who are “pure and innocent.”[making the unhorny horny]

It is not hard to find hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals [sexually wounded and confused! You know, the Catholics!] who will testify that they have come to love Christ and his Church, and better understand and live the Church’s teaching about sex because of the work of Christopher West. Cohabiters separate, contracepters stop contracepting, and men cease looking at pornography—and that is the short list. [No doubt some good has come of it. But what are the long term implications? I know people who have benefited from West's work. One good friend of mine just called a week or so a go with a sterling review of West. Then he went on to explain how he had to put the book down because it became "too much" after a while.] Countless young people are now taking up the study of the Theology of the Body because of West’s work. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” [We have to wait and see.]


The next part is where she begins to mock the critics of West's presentations. I'm sorry for having to post this but it is important people know. If you can't control your thoughts stop reading now. I am going to just cite one example of her mocking and then leave it be. There is no use dwelling on the subject.


A friend of mine who was sexually abused often finds it difficult to engage in the marital embrace (trying not to offend!). [Is she mocking the critics? Hrm...] A very orthodox Catholic therapist recommended that her husband pray over her reproductive organs (being delicate here). [I would say so. How irritating.] Since he has been doing that, she has experienced some healing, and her enjoyment of the marital embrace has improved considerably. One has to ask why praying over throats is fine while praying over other parts of the body wrong or silly? [I'll explain that below to the Doctor, who is seeing this as a mere physical thing.] It would be Manichean to suggest that some parts of the body are good (e.g., the throat) while others (e.g., the reproductive organs) are not. [Nobody is suggesting that.]


First, she is dealing with a very controversial teaching of Christopher West, that couples ought to bless their genitals before they engage in the marital embrace. Then she compares it to blessing throats as if the critics think one part of the body is bad and one is good. That is very naive. The problem with blessing your genitals is that the sex drive is so powerful that once people begin blessing your "parts" before the marital embrace the danger exists that some will begin to associate blessings with sex. Especially the sexually wounded and confused, whom she says the presentations are for. Think about that for a second. Holy water could become an aphrodisiac to some people. It has the power to overtake seeing everything in our religion through the guise of sex. There are triggers that excite the passions due to concupiscience that are not controllable no matter how many of West's presentations you sit through or how many Theology of the Body books you read. It is a problem of association, of occasion of sin. Nobody is saying our reproductive parts are evil. But we need everything in its proper place.

Secondly, and I think this is the most obvious problem with this particular blessing. It's seriously messed up. Let me repeat: Blessing your genitals is messed up.

It. Is. Messed. Up.


LifeSiteNews has gotten in on the controversy with a fair article on the subject.

1 comment:

Dymphna said...

It's messed up and it sounds like no fun at all.

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton