At what point does a commitment to the anarchic sexual morality of our contemporary world disqualify one from being regarded as a Christian? That question is raised in an acute form by a recent article for Sojourners that reviews Christine Emba’s recent book, Rethinking Sex: A Provocation. The reviewer, describing herself as “a dirtbag Christian and a polyamorous writer,” finds Emba’s call for a more traditional approach to sexual morality than what’s offered by the sexual revolution unconvincing. In doing so, she rather blows the cover on the twisted direction Sojourners is now heading.
Emba is fascinating. A columnist for The Washington Post, she is no conservative. Still, she has come to realize that the culture of modern sex is failing because of the reduction of sexual morality to the bare notion of consent. The burden of her argument is that this culture of consent has trivialized sex, trivialized our bodies, and trivialized our relationships. It is, in fact, a culture of unreality, doomed to end in the social disaster we see all around us, marked by loneliness, anxiety, and dysfunction.