Fr. Randy Dollins: Be a proud prude
I was watching the classic romantic comedy “Sleepless in Seattle” the other day and a particular scene caught my attention.
Meg Ryan’s character was in the attic of her parent’s house looking at her grandmother’s wedding dress with her mother. The two women were discussing love and marriage.
The mother said something about how it had taken some time for her and her husband to work things out between the sheets, suggesting that the two were inexperienced virgins when they married.
Meg Ryan’s character, commenting on the relationship she had with her fiance, remarked that they already were sexually active.
To this, her mother responded, “Well, flibbidy floo!”
What I perceived happening here is unfortunately what has happened in our society – an older, more conservative generation failing to pass on good morals to their children, and in an effort not to come across as prudes, dismissed their failure with a slight blush or “flibbidy floo.”
In her book “The Death of the Grown-Up,” Diana West comments on the extremely negative perception attached to being labeled a prude, which can be worse than being a “racist” or “sexist.”
She writes, “To be branded a prude is to be castigated and reviled for trying to reinstate, or even personally observe, any old boundary or defunct propriety that effectively walled off some aspect of marginal behavior from the mainstream.”
In mainstream American life, it seems to have become socially unacceptable for someone to promote a higher moral standard. I am supposed to keep my mouth shut and allow the nitwit and floozy to curse, make out, and/or cause a ruckus, all while exposing too much of their bodies through what now passes as fashion.
The morality of Christianity has been shamed from the public sphere.
What’s a God fearing believer to do?
Many pack it in and switch sides, allowing themselves to believe something that always has been considered a sin is all of a sudden not only acceptable, but preferable.
Here you can insert fornication, idolatry, gluttony, adultery, etc.
Society has replaced the virtue of temperance with the false virtue of tolerance.
As long as I tolerate everyone else’s expression of what they think is freedom, then I am accepted. However, should I hold myself to a higher standard or even worse, call you to do the same, then I am a prude.
St. Anthony, of Egypt, once said, “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ‘You are mad, you are not like us.'”
In a world where nothing is off limits, nothing is sacrilegious, sanctity and goodness is perceived as something odd.
Not so much because it is faulty, but rather, because it is rare and unfamiliar.
If following the teachings of Jesus Christ makes me a prude, then I choose to be proud about it.
While I will do my best to hold myself to a higher standard, I will not ask you to measure yourself to me, but rather to Christ.
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