Sex and the Machine.

Wow! What a difference a few weeks make! I took a respite from writing, kind of a sabbath from English. I believe, very strongly, in resting from things for a period - all things. Food. Work. Writing. Reading. Sex. Yes, I include sex. Fasting from sexual intimacy - actually any human appetite - helps in self-control and focusing on what matters in life, and it’s biblical. However, it seems, our culture has an impossible time controlling our sexual cravings.

We’ve drifted like a boat unmoored from the dock into a riptide of dangerous waters.

 Shipwrecked sailboat near Miami, FL. Not properly moored, this boat wound up not only where it didn't belong but significantly damaged.

Shipwrecked sailboat near Miami, FL. Not properly moored, this boat wound up not only where it didn't belong but significantly damaged.

The proper God-designed expression of our sexuality has been, for the most part, tossed to the wayside. We’ve drifted like a boat unmoored from the dock into a riptide of dangerous waters. Sexuality, a magnificently beautiful gift from God, has become an idol. We’re reaping the consequences amidst the temporary euphoric rewards of a corrupt sexual identity.

So, when the likes of Matt Lauer, Dustin Hoffman, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and their Godfather, Harvey Weinstein, get entangled in sexual harassment scandals, is it so shocking?

If half the allegations against these men are accurate, it should turn our stomachs upside down. We should raise a shout and a fist against sexual exploitation, no doubt. But on the flip side, why are we surprised? Our culture churns out sexually explicit and illicit material at a hellish pace. Can you think of one area of life not sexually exploited?

Sex sells, and the machine needs fueling!

When Hugh Hefner died, he was lauded by many as helping us escape the supposed shackles of sexual expression. Even the feminist movement decades ago - led by women - aimed to free us from prudish mentalities. Men and women gleefully roamed beyond healthy boundaries established by God. But what they refused to acknowledge were the land minds they stepped on over and over.

My thought is this: culturally, we’ve made the bed we’re lying in and we love and loathe it, concurrently. We shout “sexual harassment” from the rooftops while producing movies like, 50 Shades of Gray and 50 Shades More. We rally in streets for change and then curl up with an erotic novel when arriving home. If you’re not indignant at the sex machine we’ve established, while being angry at guys like Al Franken and Kevin Spacey, you’re a hypocrite. As long as there are consumers, there will be producers. There’s money to be made!

Exploitation is part of the Garden curse.

I’m not condoning the evil perpetrated by some - actually many. If we examine ourselves closely and honestly, we’re all guilty, to some degree, of the same ills. Exploitation is part of the Garden curse - we want to rule over each other, and we’ll do it any way we can (Genesis 3). What we need to do is define our reality.

The accusations are real. The pain and wounds are indelible. #MeToo blankets social media like snow after a blizzard. When does it end? I submit it won’t because sex and free sexual expression are gods in culture. But you can’t have both.

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

How pervasive is this sex machine? Well, it’s Christmas. How purer of a holiday can we get? But I hear it in every store, even playfully sung in the movie, Elf. Baby It’s Cold Outside, was penned in 1944 in two parts, one as “The Wolf” and the other as “The Mouse” sung between author Frank Loesser and his wife at dinner parties. Innocent enough, right? Well, at first blush it’s innocent and fun, but loaded with sexual innuendo and coercion. If accusations of sexual harassment can be as simple as, “He made me feel uncomfortable,” then we must be consistent in our condemnation.

Think I'm harsh? Nitpicking? Tell that to the multitudes of men and women pressured into sexual favors by wolves. Have you read the lyrics? Garnering an Oscar in 1949 for Best Original Song, the theme is anything but innocent. Some call it a date rape. I’m not so sure I’d go that far, but it does have a few very manipulative lines. And here’s befuddlement, we love this song! Weren’t we taught “no” means no?

Is the behavior of such men - and if we dig enough, women - acceptable? Unequivocally, no! We’ve become mere products of the culture we’ve fought for and embraced. It’s not an excuse, it’s reality. So, the next time you hear a lewd comment or accusations of sexual harassment, don’t be astonished, be embarrassed. Disgusting, isn’t it? Don’t be a cog in the machine. Raise a voice against harassment of any kind, but also be acutely aware of your roll in propagating it as you watch movies, listen to music and read mags and books filled with sexual material. You’re only experiencing what the sex machine produces.