This morning as I was driving home from Mass, I was listening to the radio. During one of the all-too-frequent commercial breaks, I heard an add from a home DNA testing kit. The purpose of this kit was to determine whether a child was related to a man: to determine whether the men is the child's actual father. As I heard this add, I stopped to think about some of the implications. I had to wonder, what kind of sad world exists where this situation can occur, and occur frequently enough for such a product to be marketable?
Are there really than many women who are faitheless to their significant others, that many men who have casual sexual relations? In order for there to be any question as to who a child's father is, the mother would have had to have slept with multiple men in a short span of time. As in within a month or so. I look at how long it takes me to establish any kind of meaningfull relationship with somebody: the span is, at the very least, a few weeks, generally much longer. And this is just to make friends, the vast majority of whom I have absolutely no desire to be anything but friends with. But the timespan being considered here is weeks to (maybe) months. Barely enough time to even establish a relationship, let alone get to the point of having the relationship be meaningful.
These people are therefore choosing to forgo the love and skip to the sex. Now, there are plenty of people out there who wish they could do this, consequence-free. However, this is not at all a ceonsequence-free act. It is, in effect, one of the greatest acts of intimacy between two people. In committing this act so freely, people people cheapen it greatly. No other act of real love exists in a more intimate level, save to lay down one's life for one's loved ones: and this can only be done once.
The act was meant to symbolize two parts becoming one, as the two parents are joined in "making" a child, just as the act of marriage is meant to symbolize. In freeling engaging in the act for mere pleasure, people degrade the acts value, to the point where nothing special is given. Even should they find a loved one, and form a more meaningful relationship, the intimacy of sex has already been lost and would take much time to recover. What, then, is left for the person's spouse, that they can give uniquely to that person?
This, perhaps, is why the traditional family is in decline, why the divorce rate is so high, and why fewer and fewer people are actually getting married these days: so many people no linger view marriage as a sacred, special thing, but as a mere contract between two people that can and should be broken when it becomes inconvenient or "disadvantageous." It would also explain why so many people support the idea of homosexual "marriages," for when sex is merely for pleasure and marriage is just for legal benefits, both lose their true meaning, and with it, the real joy that underlies each. This loss is a tragedy that is to sad to be bearable.