The Obesity of Eros

Among the furrow browed and the gravely concerned, particularly those not tipping the scales beyond the approved standard, obesity is the current social chancre crying out for their enlightened solutions. But for the enlightened, though less than corpulent, to isolate obesity and to castigate those who eat too much is pure hypocrisy in a society that feels that we have a right to indulge every sexual desire no matter how perverse. Men and women will die without food, whereas their day might be somewhat frustrating without sex. More likely, it will be just fine. While the enlightened see the speck in the eye of obesity they miss the beam in the eye of unmitigated sexual freedom. Where they see the billions of dollars in lost effort and medical costs of obesity, they miss the horrible wake left by treating the act of sex as a purely recreational event available to any two (or maybe more!) willing adults. To tally the costs of the sexual revolution, now run rampant for two generations, requires a ledger that goes well beyond dollars and cents.

The cost of the sexual revolution only begins with the medical and social costs imposed on society. It escalates quickly with the cost borne by society for sexually transmitted diseases. The cost continues with subsidies to mothers who raise families with fathers absent. The cost continues with families broken by divorce, families whose children, raised in multiple homes with varying combinations of parents, feel betrayed by the adult world. The cost increases when these children, who miss the love that comes from a stable home, find it in drugs, crime or in sexual behavior that starts the cycle all over again. For many the cost ends in death. It ends in the death of a generation aborted. It ends in the death by AIDS of young men raised in a culture of sex with no boundaries. And for many of those who survive, it ends in the death of true love founded on the gift of self. These costs alone render insignificant the social and medical costs of obesity.

But like a draining whirlpool whose vortex swells and whose currents spiral out farther and farther the price paid grows ever larger. The cost of the sexual revolution continues with its toll on liberty. When the government assigns the status of “rights” to the irrepressible sexual liberty of some, it does so at the cost of the natural rights of others. In its nascent years the sexual revolution successfully asserted its agenda in the courts. In Roe vs. Wade the Supreme Court denied the child in the womb a right to life. With one blow all other rights became arbitrary. If you can take an innocent person’s life you can take from them anything and everything. This rendered meaningless the use of the term, “right.” It no longer meant something natural and inalienable that superseded man and government. The sexual revolution captured the term, turned it upside down and gave it a new life to mean its diametric opposite, a privilege or entitlement that the government could allocate or disallocate as it saw fit. Roe vs. Wade removed the very foundation on which the founding fathers built.

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Not surprisingly, rights allocated are rights that can be taken away. The demands of the sexual revolution for free contraceptives now threaten the right to the free exercise of religion. This is more than a request for medical supplies and services but an assertion that the moral issue of contraceptives and abortion is settled and all must approve. Whereas religion freely exercised does not require the approval of those of another religion, the sexual revolution demands the approval of all. It demands it in our school curricula, it demands it through government subsidies for birth control and abortion, it demands it in our public discourse by labeling opposing views as hateful, and it now demands it in our religious beliefs. Democracies are built on tolerance. Only tyrannies require approval.

And tyrannies require men without spirits, so into the vortex they spin. The sexual revolution condemns the human spirit itself. To characterize man by his carnal desires belittles mankind and the human enterprise. To establish the pursuit of sexual desire as a right not to be impeded asserts “I want” over “I need.” When we claim our primary identity as heterosexual, gay, bisexual, or lesbian we place our sexual inclinations over our intellect. With our sexual desires in control we are motivated by what we can take rather than what we can give, because sex that is not subject to the intellect, not submissive to its natural purpose, will always be about short term gratification. To grant a man his spirit is to see him capable of subordinating and directing his desires to a greater good. However, to see man directed by his desires denies the existence of any spirit at all. It places him as one animal among many. In such a world there can be no rights such as those the revolution proclaims. Ultimately, there will only be a world where one desire, the desire for power, will trump all others.

And yet the vortex grows. Into the whirlpool draining our money, liberty and spirit also slips truth. At a time when we hew to nature and the natural and denounce the imposition of the artificial into our bodies, we leave a gaping exemption. When it comes to sex we ignore what is natural and true to our natures. Instead, we do everything we can to produce what is false and unnatural – sex without babies. Women ingest chemicals and put horrifically unnatural devices in their bodies to prevent the natural from occurring. Men undergo surgical alteration to prevent the natural from occurring. So called “doctors” suction living babies from the wombs of women like they were cancer instead of tomorrow’s life. We cry about man’s harm to nature while we expect government to subsidize pills and procedures that harm our own natures, all in the name of “health” that is not healthy. Whereas sex is necessary to continue the human species, it is not necessary for any particular individual. Yet the sexual revolution declares it necessary for the individual while it strives to annihilate the natural procreative function that ensures the survival of mankind.

This inversion of what is true and natural ultimately rests in the lie that abortion is anything but a life lost. Abortion is the antithesis of all that is true to nature. It is not an option of the sexual revolution but its very foundation. Unrestricted abortion frees the expression of sexual desire from consequence or responsibility; it covers all “mistakes.” Those who provide and seek its services hide behind seeming euphemisms like “choice,” “reproductive health,” and “a medical decision between a woman and her doctor.” These are not really euphemisms at all but simply lies sanitizing personal lifestyle choices inconvenienced by new life.

Beyond the lies of abortion there is yet more truth lost. Most tragically, and perhaps the biggest lie of all, we have taught a generation that “love” and self-satisfaction are one. The gift of self has become a gift to self. Such a “love” can never be true. Such a “love” can never be sustained. And so the vortex turns. When a movement cannot speak the truth but must co-opt good words, words like “right,” and “love” and “health,” and invert their meanings, it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

When the whirlpool churns no more, what will remain? If the money, liberty, spirit, truth and love already consumed are not enough, how much more will be? How did we come to be here? Where is it going to take us? Why is sexual indulgence justified at any cost while those who overeat are judged a burden to society? Until we can answer these questions, perhaps we should leave those alone who find solace in food.


  • Pete Jermann

    Pete Jermann is a self-employed craftsman and former homeschooling father.

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