With clarity and precision, Fr. Robert Barron comments on our loss of "the capacity even to have a coherent moral conversation," specifically regarding marriage. He follows philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre who, in his book After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, noted how our culture no longer has the common background, vocabulary, and logical skills needed to discuss tough moral issues.
Two specific red herrings bother Fr. Barron: accusations of bigotry and affirmative poll results. "Gay marriage" supporters often cite both yet neither helps answer the fundamental question at hand: what is marriage? We can't talk about equality or discrimination or poll questions until we first determine that answer.
I deal with these same two problems in my article on "The 10 Best Arguments for “Same-Sex Marriage”...and Why They’re Flawed". Also, see my interview with Princeton law professor and marriage expert Robert George.
Why do you think we've lost the capacity to have moral conversations?
Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Matt Fradd. Matt was born in Australia—hence the wicked accent which makes him sound 36% more intelligent—but now lives and works in San Diego, California for the well-known apostolate, Catholic Answers.
As a Catholic apologist, Matt helps people discover the beauty and truth of Catholicism. His strongest passion is to help atheists come to faith. He's written many blog posts about atheism and has a forthcoming booklet on the topic.
Matt also travels the country speaking about pornography, masculinity, and chastity. One of his most popular talks is called "The Man Talk" which helps men live authentically masculine lives. Another talk, "Taking Down Goliath," helps men escape pornography addiction. To that end, Matt also launched a website called The Porn Effect in order to undermine the pornography culture.
In our interview today, Matt and I discuss many of these favorite topics including authentic manhood, how men can become free from pornography, and how Catholics should respond to the most popular atheist arguments.
Watch or download our interview below:
1:12 - Why is pornography so dangerous?
3:54 - How can men overcome pornography addiction?
5:33 - 1. Admit you have a problem.
5:54 - 2. Prayer and fasting.
7:05 - 3. Accountability.
8:13 - 4. Be open to counseling.
10:04 - 5. Forgive ourselves.
12:39 - How does secular masculinity differ from Catholic masculinity?
16:28 - What's the most common argument for atheism?
19:45 - How do you respond to the problem of evil?
22:20 - What is Pascal's Wager and why is it so powerful?
Q: Why is pornography so dangerous to individuals and society?
Well, I like to start off by saying to people that the problem with pornography is not that it shows too much, but that it shows too little of the human person, that it reduces a human to the lowest common denominator. It teaches a man or a woman to think that a woman is but a collection of body parts for my amusement rather than a person to be loved.
Check out Matt's website, MattFradd.com and be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
What do you think about Pascal's Wager?
Fr. Robert Barron comments on the Church's counter-cultural teachings on marriage and sexuality showing how they point to God's love for the world. The Catholic philosophy of sex differs from both Puritanism, a blanket repression of sexual desire, and the "Playboy" mentality, which is all about self-indulgence.
His commentary evokes many of the same ideas in Christopher West's new book, Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing—which I'm giving away here—and those in Pope John Paul's magnificent "theology of the body."
This week I'm thrilled to share with you Christopher West's newest book, Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing (Image, hardcover, 244 pages.)
This book follows At the Heart of the Gospel, Christopher's last book, which featured a chapter on "The Transformation of Desire." His aim was to show how Pope John Paul II's magnificent "theology of the body" is not just an intellectual project. It is deeply practical since it provides a "new ethos of seeing." Discovering the meaning of about our bodies and sexuality helps us glimpse the object they ultimately point to. We see that our deepest yearnings for pleasure, intimacy, connection, and beauty are signposts showing the way to God.
In Fill These Hearts, Christopher picks up the song but sings in a new language. The book still points to God as the fulfillment of our deepest desires. Yet it explores this fact through art, poetry, music, movies, and popular culture far more than philosophy and theology. It's a new approach —a new expression—and is just what the New Evangelization calls for. The book should strongly appeal even to atheists and secularists. Here's the publisher's description:
Fill These Hearts is a book about desire. Not trivial wants or superficial cravings, but the most vital powers of body and soul, sexuality, and spirituality, that haunt us and compel us on our search for something.
Weaving life-altering lessons together from classical and contemporary art, pop music, movies, and the Christian mystical tradition, popular theologian Christopher West explores the ancient but largely forgotten idea that the restless, erotic yearnings we feel in both our bodies and our spirits reveal the cry of our hearts for God.
Along the way, West blows the lid off the idea of Christianity as a repressive, anti-sex religion by demonstrating that Christ came to stretch and inflame our desire for love and union to the point of infinity.
Though the book doesn't release for a few days, Christopher invited me to share its official video trailer, produced by the talented folks at Spirit Juice Studios. It hasn't been posted anywhere else online so you're the first to check this out:
Christopher has also generously donated SIX of his books for my weekly giveaway—three copies of Fill These Hearts and three copies of At the Heart of the Gospel. Six winners will be randomly drawn so be sure to enter below.
I'm using Rafflecopter to help with the giveaway, which is cool because it gives you multiple entries for commenting, posting on Facebook, sharing on Twitter, etc. Click below to enter:
(If you're reading this through email or RSS and don't see the giveaway widget, click here.)
The drawing is now closed. Congratulations to the winners who are listed above! Check your e-mail for instructions on receiving the items. If you don’t see an e-mail from me, check your spam box—apparently e-mails with “giveaway” in the title are prone to end up there.