God, Loneliness, and the End of Love

Last year, Britain sent a man to jail for importing a sex doll designed to resemble a child; whether such objects ought to be contraband will no doubt be debated in the U.S. soon enough. Kevin Williamson, seeing in this question a symptom of the West’s moral crisis, wonders how civilization got to this point, and looks to religion for answers:

There is a long Jewish tradition (and an ancient, yet considerably less ancient, Christian tradition) of using what may look on the surface like a love song as the basis of a hymn. In the Islamic world, qawwli music works much the same way. . . . Romantic love and the longing for God are closely intertwined in our music and literature, in our theology, and, beneath all that, in our souls. Whatever the real cause of the Trojan War was, the legend that it was the king’s love for his wife, Helen—“Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships / And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?” as Christopher Marlowe famously put it—is the story we know, because it is a story we knew before we knew it. Religious differences have launched a few ships, too.

In the Catholic tradition, the identification of the marital relationship with the divine is deeply imprinted on the rhetoric and literature, but also on the ethics and morality they support. If the relationship between God and Church is the model of the relationship between husband and wife—if each is in some way a version of the other—then that changes things fundamentally. “Irreconcilable differences” might then very well describe the states of the condition of the souls of the lost, if you believe in that sort of thing. . . .

[There also] is a depth of aloneness (which is not quite the same thing as loneliness) that might, in an earlier time, have driven a man to church, or at least to Scripture: “On my bed by night / I sought him whom my soul loves; / I sought him, but found him not,” [as the Song of Songs puts it]. . . .

Toronto soon will be home to North America’s first (known) sex-doll brothel, offering “sexual services with the world’s most beautiful silicone ladies.” . . . The sterility of the act in question is not merely biological. [It] indicates a profound alienation not only from ordinary healthy sexual expression but from humanity. And from something more than that. If you want an image of a man alone in the universe, bereft, then there it is.

The Marquis de Sade thought that the old order might be overthrown by a great orgy of dissolution and blasphemy, an organized assault on every accepted value until the achievement of a state of absolute freedom. [But] Sade dreamed up theatrical acts of depravity, while we have only dreamed up new ways to be alone. From the psalmist who discerned in the love of husbands and wives an indication of God’s design to the question of which kind of silicone sex dolls might be unallowable in the marketplace—that is the arc of our history, and of our sorrow.

Read more at National Review

More about: American society, Catholicism, Hebrew Bible, Religion & Holidays, Sex

 

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy