You’ve heard me talk almost non-stop over the last two weeks about this huge threat to religious liberty from this administration, requiring employers to provide contraception and abortion-inducing medication for their employers.
But what makes this fight all the more difficult is the culture-wide misunderstanding about what sex is about and what it’s for. For example, Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania made headlines recently when it was learned that students could buy a morning-after pill, known as Plan B, from a vending machine in the student health center.
Just to be clear, Plan B is not merely preventative birth control. It can stop fertilization, and it can also be taken up to 72 hours after intercourse to stop the implantation of an already fertilized egg. And it’s up to 89 percent effective in causing an abortion to occur.
Well, it’s tempting to just shake your head and say, "Has it really come to this?" But my colleague John Stonestreet, host of “The Point,” identified in his recent commentary the wrong sort of thinking about sexuality that’s really behind this.
When contraception is as convenient as sodas and candy bars, that’s the sign that sexuality has not only been divorced from marriage and procreation, it’s been divorced from any relational responsibility.
Think about it: Slide in 25 dollars, out comes an abortion-inducing drug. No one has to see, no one has to know.
If a woman chooses to get an abortion from a clinic, she at least has to face another human being and acknowledge, “This is what’s been done.” But now, the young woman has to face no one. She’s not accountable for her actions to any other human being, and even worse, no one might know if she needs help.
The idea that sexual behavior is a purely private affair is now deeply embedded in our culture. How many times recently have you heard that women have a right to birth control at no cost? A right? Where did they get that idea? And of course, the ultimate example of this way of thinking about sex is pornography, where men and women can indulge and never have to be relationally responsible to the one they are using for personal pleasure.
Vending machine abortions take this to the next level. As one Shippensburg student said: “I think it’s great the school is giving us this option. I’ve heard some kids say they’d be too embarrassed to go into town.”
Precisely, it should be embarrassing. Shame is a very important concept in civilized society, and there are consequences to our behavior. We’re giving these students the idea that something this significant can be tossed around, and somehow we are all surprised then at the level of human brokenness we see from risky sexual behavior.
John Stonestreet got it right in his commentary: as we make sexual behavior more convenient, we are also making it more thoughtless and less personal. And that reduces it to a mere animal act rather than the beautiful interpersonal, mutually responsible behavior God intended.
Parents and grandparents hear this: The students John Stonestreet deal with every day and those I’ve worked with over the years, do not need more sexual brokenness, they need more guidance and accountability from adults.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media and print.
Publication date: March 2, 2012