So yeah, yesterday’s news was yet another scandal involving a political figure who has chosen to forsake fidelity within marriage [yet again] and got caught doing so [yet again] and was lambasted/supported by numerous news outlets as a result. I’m not gonna pay any lip service to that because news outlets really don’t need to think that we’re highly invested in their high investment in public scandal. I’m not that invested. I wish there was less scandal to go around, most of the time. But since there is – and since we sensationalize such things – and since I tend to hold contra-society views – I’m not about to sit back and just let the news and the media outlets spin things around.
Modern society wants you think that fidelity is an outdated concept and nigh impossible if not completely impossible to achieve. Modern society wants you to agree with their conclusions. I don’t.
Within the first few pages of search results for the words “sexual fidelity”, the following headlines come up:
“Is Sexual Fidelity Possible…or Even Necessary?”
“Is Sexual Fidelity the Most Important Part of a Relationship? Thoughts on Non-monogamy”
“Sexual Integrity: Illusion or Reality?”
So let’s get a few things out of the way.
I don’t subscribe to the philosophy of metaethic moral relativism, which is summarized by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as saying “The truth or falsity of moral judgments, or their justification, is not absolute or universal, but is relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of a group of persons.”
I don’t think fidelity is impossible.
I believe that we, as human persons, were created by a faithful God to be faithful to ourselves and others.
So what does all that mean?
It means that I can say, as a blanket statement, that fidelity to ourselves and others is possible and is the best course of action. I can say that I believe that to be true for myself, but also for others. I can say that pursuing one’s own ‘happiness’ as the end goal is likely to be a poor life choice, and that using others as a means to an end harms both the user and the used.
I can say that paragraph 2339 of the Catechism speaks volumes on this subject; I attempted to choose wisely which words in this passage to share but the entire context can be found here:
Chastity … is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.Man’s dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint.
So there you have it. It is free will and free choice that allows us to say, “to heck and back with that whole fidelity nonsense. This is the modern world, where I don’t have to abide by such old-fashioned rules. Lifelong commitments and honoring one’s word isn’t something we do nowadays. I want what I want now and I want what I want the way I want it and nothing else matters.”
And… so there you have it. It’s also free will and free choice that allows us to say, “modern society thinks I’m old fashioned. I’m supposed to put my individual happiness above all else, and supposedly if I follow my wants whereever they take me, I’ll surely find that happiness – but all this following of my wants has left me feeling like I’m not even in control of my own life. Instead, I’ll attempt to make personal choices. I’ll be faithful to my own existence as a human person with the ability to say no and not be a slave to the sometimes easier path of whatever I feel like.”
Enough of enabling the world’s ideas. Enough already. There’s nothing wrong with being faithful. There’s nothing wrong with demanding faithfulness in return. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing that it is the more difficult path to make the conscious, personal choices to do the right thing and not be debased into a creature with the instincts of an uncontrollable animal, devoid of moral precepts. There are many things right about it!
Enough already. Some of us just refuse to be convinced otherwise. Go ahead, call me old-fashioned, I dare you.