This post by our good friend Robert Osburn originally appeared at The Wilberforce International Institute under the title “Stop Destroying Our Brethren: End the Sexual Revolution.”
It’s time for someone to tell our myopic woke, social justice-advocating friends that racism, past and present, did not destroy and devastate many of our Black communities; rather, it is America’s half-century-old sexual revolution. Under the guise of a life-giving elixir for the sexually repressed, America’s best-educated leaders dispensed a social poison that has seriously harmed both people of color and the downtrodden while at the same time empowering bullies and the elite.
How did Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and his college-educated friends undermine the welfare of American Blacks? By rejecting the existent Christian moral consensus in American society, they broke the link between God’s authority and our sexual responsibilities, thus unleashing a sexual anarchy where might makes right.
When college students from my generation burned their bras, thumbed their noses at traditional sexual mores, paraded into each other’s dorm rooms for sex, and let it all hang out, they blithely ignored the fact that theirs was (and still is) a cultural authority that must be used responsibly. Those with more privilege have responsibilities to those with less.
Educated privilege seeded disaster
In the 60s, it all seemed so empowering: love without boundaries, a world without the restricting words “thou shalt not.” The wealthy, white well-educated elites of my university (Michigan) and dozens of others couldn’t have cared less that those outside our world of educated privilege were watching with envy, yearning to emulate us. Instead of using our freedom to serve our neighbors, we satisfied our flesh instead (Galatians 5:13).
What made the sexual revolution such a disaster for those without power, authority, and privilege?
First, the wealthy and well-educated accessed the contraceptives that ensured escape from the consequences of their lustful sins of erotic liberation. Meanwhile, the poor, often Blacks, who copied this behavior lacked the same protection, often just for reasons of cost or availability.
Secondly, there was the differential in education. Most of the college-educated knew where to draw the limits, closeting their sexual anarchy rather than letting it take over their communities. This is a point made by Charles Murray in his 2012 book Coming Apart: For some reason, says Murray, the sexually-liberated, but well-schooled have carefully preserved modestly successful family lives, while their less-educated peers careen through the divorce and dysfunction of sexual anarchy. He asks, Why don’t the strong and successful preach what they practice?
The effect of Black slavery on marriage
The third difference has to do with institutions. The legacy of slavery, as Orlando Patterson has shown in his 1999 Rituals of Blood., meant, among other things, that marriage among Blacks was fragile. For generations, slave owners split up couples as they were bought and sold in slave markets. Under these circumstances, marital fidelity suffered, and it was only by the 1950s, as Thomas Sowell has shown, that Black families were stabilizing and becoming healthy. Jim Crow had so pressured Black institutions, like the church and business, that psychological emasculation and insecurity were the norm. This was an institutional recipe for social disaster: The 60s social chaos was unleashed just as the Civil Rights movement was winning the day. Inner city families quickly fragmented as sexual chaos became the norm in poor neighborhood after poor neighborhood. Aided and abetted by federal policy that financially rewarded women who did not marry the fathers of their children, men were set free to prey on vulnerable women in increasingly dangerous neighborhoods. Might makes right and family fragmentation became the norm in most Black neighborhoods.
Lest you doubt my argument that the sexual revolution has been an enormous plague on African American communities, please consider carefully the next sentence. Hundreds, if not thousands, of studies demonstrate that virtually all the meaningful disparities—education, rates of criminality and incarceration, economic mobility, and alienation—between Asians and Whites, on the one hand, and Blacks, on the other, are best explained by levels of family fragmentation. Mitch Pearlstein’s book, about which I have written in the past, makes the evidence abundantly clear.
How should we then love?
This leaves us with the final question: What is to be done? The single greatest way to love our American neighbors, whether Black, Asian, White, Hispanic, or otherwise, is to undertake the hard work of loving them at their points of greatest weakness: broken, fragmented families.
Romans 14 gives the blueprint: Christians who are more privileged must not run over the interests of those who are weaker. Applied to the broader society, those with more education, better family backgrounds, greater wealth, and other assets, tangible and intangible, must end the sexual revolution that has destroyed the families of those who lack strong institutions and educational opportunities. Verses 13 and 15 warn against putting stumbling blocks and hindrances in the way of brethren. Verse 15 is blunt: To fail to pay attention to the way we impact those who are weaker is to fail to love.
America has few answers for the festering wounds that over the past year exploded into our consciousness after a white policeman murdered a black man about 10 miles from where I write this. But, Christ does have an answer: Halt this massively destructive sexual revolution.
Are you ready to spread the word and begin loving your neighbor who has been deceived for over a half century by a false gospel of sexual liberation? Joining efforts like Take Charge, founded by Kendall Qualls, is just one answer to how we should do this.
If every last dollar was expended on anti-racist training, slave reparations, diversity and equity offices, Critical Race Theory, and museums of African-American history in every American city, little would change in our Black communities where violence, despair, and hopelessness are normalized. The only answer is to end the sexual revolution as an act of love for our less privileged neighbors and help them build up their families in the way God intended for all His children.
- Robert Osburn