Learning from the SCOTUS debate
Two things are clear from the swirling controversy about the latest Supreme Court nominee. First, there are fierce political undertones and unspoken motives on both sides, most of which will never see the light of day.
More importantly, this situation reveals the sad truth that we as a people have abandoned any sense of the sacredness of humanity. Whether we call it “boys will be boys,” or “consenting adults” or “the hook-up culture,” or something else, the foundation under each of those views is that human bodies are ours to do with as we see fit. Period.
I know I run the risk of sounding like a morally uptight pastor. That’s not my schtick. I’m more interested in elevating humanity to the level that Jesus did. I’m more interested in helping all of us embrace the inherent dignity and sacredness of each person created in the image of God. I’m more interested in setting the captives free (as Jesus said) from the tyranny of our base desires.
One way to understand God’s directives about human sexuality is that they’re oppressive and outdated. (That’s pretty much how modern society has understood them.) But the other way is to view them as a pathway to true humanity…a way to experience what we were designed for…a escape route from the dark cave of “might makes right” and “do whatever feels good.” It’s worth noting that Jesus came as the “second Adam,” or “humanity 2.0” and lived consistently with those directives.
I don’t have a solution for putting the genie back in the bottle. In fact, if I understand Genesis chapter 3 correctly, then the genie’s been out of the bottle since the beginning, and the “battle of the sexes” is as ancient as humanity, complete with power struggles, temptation, violence, accusations, resentment, and more.
The good news is that Jesus DID have a solution for this problem. He pointed to God’s design for human relationships, including sexuality. He upheld marriage as the place where sexuality could find it’s rightful place. And (this is important) he offered grace to all the broken, afflicted, abused, and accused people who had been living under tyranny. Here’s how he put it:
“He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” –Jesus, Luke 4:18-19
The path to freedom is not in doing whatever I want, it’s in doing what I was designed for. Only then can we recover the inherent sacredness of each and every human body. And there’s really no debate about that.