Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hunters, Gatherers, and Theologians

Guest blog post at discusses running, hunting, and the Theology of the Body.  Very well-played, folks. Well worth the time and read...

Of course, the Catholic Church makes claims about our bodies that are at once broader and much simpler than those made by Reebok and the makers of Fair Chase. As an avid long distance runner, I love the idea that we were made to run. But I’ll concede that maybe running isn’t the purpose of human existence. The evidence here isn’t indisputable. The Church’s claims, on the other hand, are undeniable. That is: men and women are sexually compatible, male and female reproductive organs go together, and the product of this union is children. We can say this without even having to credit a creator. Whether our bodies are a product of intelligent design or evolution, their purpose, sexually speaking, is clear. These facts are much more obvious and widely accepted than anything to do with running. Yet most in our culture would respond with outrage if you were to suggest that the fundamentals of human biology could actually speak to our purpose or that the design of reproductive organs says something about how those organs ought to be used.

Part of this disconnect arises from the exaggerated form of individualism we’ve adopted here in the West. This individualism is so extreme that we refuse to let anything, even biology, tell us how we ought to live. You can clearly see this now in a culture saturated with contraception. Despite the obvious design of our bodies, we insist loudly that sex and reproduction ought have nothing to do with each other. We even believe now that gender has nothing to do with biology. We are guided by a strange kind of secular-Gnosticism with an internal knowledge so secret it cannot be observed or understood by reason. This individualism really becomes a kind of nihilism as we are literally guided by nothing.

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