Recalculating Sex by John Williams


Recalculating Sex

John Williams on Why an Ecumenical Revisiting of Humanae Vitae May Be Timely

James S. Spiegel's "A Great Crowd of Moral Witness" (Touchstone, January/February 2018) provided substantial texts from across the centuries attesting to the "complete consistency on the issue [of the proscription of homosexual actions] among Christian scholars until recently"; there was, Spiegel wrote, "actual unanimity—agreement without exception [among Protestants and Catholics] . . . until the mid-twentieth century." Somewhat surprisingly, he does not attempt to speculate on what might have happened to disrupt the continuity.

In earlier pages of the same issue of Touchstone—which include James M. Kushiner's editorial, "Getting Sex Wrong Is a Foundational Error," and the full text of the Nashville Statement on sexuality—there is expressed a similar dismay before the pass to which we have come. That the explanation for it might be found—in part, at least—in our culture's embrace of contraception during this time period is not suggested.


Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

more from the online archives

33.2—March/April 2020

Christ Chapel at Hillsdale

An Architectural Sign of Mere Christianity by Michael Ward

20.8—October 2007

The Pearl of Great Wisdom

The Deep & Abiding Biblical Roots of Western Liberal Education by David Lyle Jeffrey

24.1—January/February 2011

Secular Grendel

Ruminations on the Monstrous Envy of the Soul-Devouring State by Anthony Esolen

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone