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.


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