"Let's rethink sex" by Christine Emba

November 30, 2017

Today’s Must-Read Think Piece is by Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard, who analyzes a surprising column by Washington Post writer Christine Emba called, “Let’s Rethink Sex.” No, it’s not the kinky free love piece you might expect.

Ms Emba has dared to exhibit a rare (and in the media, often professionally fatal) intellectual honesty in asking why we’re suddenly seeing so many powerful men accused of so much sexual harassment – I might add, mostly liberal men from liberal enclaves such as Hollywood, Silicon Valley, NBC and PBS, who have long postured as feminists. Looking beyond the easy answer (“All men are rapists and monsters”), she admits that maybe there was a downside to the sexual revolution that tore down all the old traditional values regarding sex.


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Ms Emba is extremely careful to avoid tripping the Twitter outrage trigger over “victim shaming” by hinting that women’s behavior or fashion choices might be even partly to blame for making these men see them as sex objects. Instead, she gingerly suggests that maybe society took a wrong turn when it started treating sex as a meaningless, animalistic physical pleasure you can access on any street corner though a hookup app, instead of a form of deep, shared intimacy between two loving, committed partners. Also that the removal of moral judgements and the debasing of sex into a meaningless commodity gave these powerful men the idea that they didn’t need to behave any better around women than bulls do around cows. Note how many weasel words she employs (“might, could be, possibly, theory”) to describe this obvious time-proven truth without stepping on a PC landmine:

“…Now could be the time to reintroduce virtues such as prudence, temperance, respect and even love. We might pursue the theory that sex possibly has a deeper significance than just recreation and that ‘consent’ — that thin and gameable boundary — might not be the only moral sensibility we need respect.”

She sounds like Dr. Seuss trying to explain basic morality to five-year-olds: “Maybe sex isn’t something that comes from a store. Maybe sex, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

As Hemingway points out, she's actually admitting that "conservatives were right all along about sex." When she says that “society” has done this, she doesn’t seem to realize that there is a huge section of American society, especially religious believers of all faiths, who never followed the “Anything Goes” train off the rails. It might be the prevailing attitude in liberal industries such as entertainment, fashion, publishing, and as we’ve recently seen, politics; but to many Americans, it’s always been repellent. And the industries that mistook hedonism for freedom have never stopped mocking and attacking those who refused to go along.

Before you rush to the comments section, I’m well aware that many people who profess religious beliefs have fallen short of their own standards. The difference is that people who sincerely hold traditional moral values and fail to live up to them call that “sinning,” and their response is remorse, repentance, seeking forgiveness, and asking God to help them overcome their sins. They know humans are not perfect and can fall short and succumb to temptation. But they see their sin as a weakness to be ashamed of and overcome, not a fun cheap thrill to be celebrated.


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This is my beef with those even in the faith community who claim that churches that don’t adapt to the looser moral standards of the Tinder generation will die out. Studies have shown that the much-ballyhooed decline in membership among mainstream conservative church denominations has been offset by growth in conservative non-denominational churches that tend to be even more traditionally Bible-based. The numbers suggest that most believers understand that it’s not the mission of churches to tailor their teachings to the base desires of the young and ignorant. It’s the job of churches to teach the young eternal truths, so they’ll no longer be ignorant.

Nice to see that the Washington Post is finally letting a little of that concept creep into its pages.

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Comments 1-36 of 36

  • Clara Herrin

    12/20/2017 12:12 PM

    It's all well and good to stand on the principals as set forth in the Bible and taught in most Christian homes, however, as I have observed in the church I attend these principals seem to be conveniently ignored. Many of the young women of child-bearing age come to church dressed in skin-tight skirts that leave nothing...and I mean nothing to the imagination. They parade around as if it doesn't matter that they are 'advertising' and their husbands don't seem to mind, either. Even I have difficulty looking away...and for completely different reasons. Men may be sneaking a peek for the obvious reasons, however, I'm trying hard not to look. I confess that I'm embarrassed for them...to appear in late pregnancy in skin-tight clothing is really not a beautiful thing to do. There should be more discussions about how women dress in church. In Sunday School this past Sunday there was a huge emphasis on how young men can hold on to their...yes, I'm going to say it...virginity. How about girls and women doing what they can to avoid tempting their counterparts to the brink of disaster.

  • Ellen Hoffman

    12/05/2017 09:32 PM

    I was raised by a "feminist" believing family. It was drilled into my head that women are no different then men and they are just discriminated against. My mother was angry at how "unfair" life was for women. I am a woman and I joined the Navy, ending up in the nuclear power industry. It didn't take long for me to figure out that everything I had been taught was wrong. There is no way men and women think alike. I was outnumbered 500 to 1. Unless I am an unusual female there are huge differences. I became a born again Christian after 2 years of being treated poorly. We were all 18 year old children with raging hormones. I know about sexual harassment personally. I learned early on, what I wear makes a difference. Oh, how I wish I was taught to respect and love the differences. When that happens both women and men are more happy. Love and respect are the keys to a good foundation.

  • Richard Carl Gremillion

    12/04/2017 12:24 PM

    Well said. I love the Episcopal Church, but had to leave it when they chose to let the world change them, rather than be the change that Christ intended for the church to be for the world. Yes, the ancient mores are based in Biblical values, but interestingly are also based in the lessons of the ages. Aboriginal tribes that had no access to the Bible still enforced monogamy and prohibited premarital sex, not because of Holy Scripture, but because the ages and generations before them learned and taught them that a culture of free sex just didn't work, and that the survival of the tribe depended upon committed heterosexual monogamous relationships. Yes, I know that someone will point out the obscure exception to this statement, but as a general rule, most aboriginal cultures were monogamous and heterosexual.

  • Barbara Meade

    12/04/2017 11:50 AM

    In a search for a home church, I found one that believes the Bible and that there are absolute right and wrongs. In order to be popular many believe in gray areas as not to offend the congregation. Right can only be right and wrong can only be wrong. In areas of morality, even murder by abortion become a matter of personal choice.

  • Nancy D Willprecht

    12/03/2017 11:55 PM

    Right on!And the ones who do not believe this will have to answer to God.

  • Carole Sheridan

    12/02/2017 01:08 PM

    Mike,

    I really appreciate your no non sense approach to this subject. We have gone so far off track when it comes to sex and the value of real relationships and thier place on our society. As a follower of Jesus it can be hard to go up against the status quo of the world view. But you are correct that as believers we know where our identity lies and when we do go astray we have the one true counselor to lead us back. I pray that we are going to start seeing a real revival when it comes to honor and how we view sex in society. Keep up the good work and fight. We need more voices of reason such as yours. God bless you.

  • Lisa Chambers

    12/02/2017 09:51 AM

    I didn't realize that things had gotten this bad and that societal 'norms' had moved so far from where they used to be. So, this could explain why the new "LGBTQQAA....B..." acronym includes a second B which represents people who won't have sex unless there's a strong emotional attachment. That used to be normal. Now, apparently, it's a disorder. Sad.

  • Jack L. Thompson

    12/02/2017 05:42 AM

    Romans 14:12

  • Karen Babcock

    12/02/2017 03:29 AM

    To look at female contributions to the "sex" craze, start with magazines, TV personalities, movies, fashion trends encouraging emphazing body parts. Just look at how a woman displays/advertises herself.

  • Jay Pelc

    12/02/2017 12:02 AM

    Hi Mike, this is a general comment to say I am really enjoying your commentaries- mostly because of your points of view but also I really love the format and layout of the articles- frankly in the past you had a website- it had a Christian name I believe- that was extremely hard to read and navigate- this is like a night and day difference for the better.

    I have so much to say/comment on but I wont try to do it sll in one piece. Please keep up the great work- I think you are one of the most solid conservative voices out there supporting Donald Trump, the constitution, Israel and Christianity- all of these so important.

    Glad you are back on television- I think you are a perfect host for that type if show. I would like to see TBN upgrade your budget so you could have even a higher quality of resources but of course they dont have the resources Fox had. I will never forget that song writing contest you featured and the winner was that sweet elderly gentleman who wrote " Sweet Lorraine," about his deceased wife- it was a very beautiful segment. And I loved how hard you fought to help that family whose daughter was basically " confiscated " by the government for her medical treatment, taking away the parents' right to determine her treatment. I pray that story had a happy ending.

    Sincerely, Jay pelc. Brooklyn, NY

  • Donald E. Renninger

    12/01/2017 11:52 PM

    Early in my marriage, my wife now deceased, made a comment concerning any attraction I might have for another woman. "Window shop all you want, just don't touch the merchandise". Seldom miss looking, even at age 88, but continue her advice of over 60 years ago.

  • Joe Wilkerson

    12/01/2017 09:03 PM

    Mike, your column on sex hit the nail on the head. The era of the "playmate" and its successors were/are to blame for much of this, I feel. These rags portrayed women as pieces of meat to be lusted after and this carried over into many areas. Right after that we had the outpouring of all out sex in porn which still continues to this day. Every day men AND women face this temptation and the sad thing today women can be/ are just as bad as men. Only God can help a person through this temptation cycle.

  • Barb Degen

    12/01/2017 08:39 PM

    Wow! What a great article! Love you Mr Huckabee! I think writer knew her audience would be the left. She tactfully tried to meet them where they. Rebellion would be the only reason someone wouldn’t admit she is correct!

  • WILLIAM BRUMMA

    12/01/2017 08:18 PM

    Society in general has eradicated two words our vocabulary BIBLE AND SIN. WHICH LEADS TO OUR DOWN FALL.

  • Leonard Wong Chin San

    12/01/2017 01:04 PM


    The dangers of lgbt…..
    a.) Socially lgbt could be considered unpatriotic. It is a trend, which if widespread, results in a lower birth rate generations down. (Gay/lesbian couples can't create life.) This reduces your nation's population numbers/talent pool and could potentially cause labor shortages. As countries go to war, deaths could increase, it is important to replenish the population.
    b.) Additionally, as gay couples advance in age, no one cares for them. If the trend spreads..... you have two aged gay men/women with no one to care for or talk to. This results in depression, suicide.
    c.) As gay couples age and die, know that the skills they accumulate in their life are not passed on to the next generation......this is a serious talent drain for your nation.
    d.) Some would argue... that gays/lesbians can adopt children. However, that isn't increasing the population, merely caring for existing children.
    Besides..... How two gay men are fit to educate/raise a female child they adopt is questionable.
    Or.... Are two lesbians mentally and physically fit to raise a male kid????
    In a normal family unit children benefit from the advice from both male father and female mother. They grow up better able to interact with both sexes in the workforce. This provides better balance intellectually, emotionally and economically for children.
    e.) Interacting and learning about the opposite sex is one of life's thrills. Women and men think and act differently. In adapting to each other, they enrich each other. Generally.
    f.) Gay habits aren't natural. Even In nature, only in very rare circumstances (i.e extinction or lack of the other sex) do animals resort to gay partnerships to survive.
    g.) Gay sex is unhygienic and potentially spreads disease. The anus contains bacteria that could lead to deadly ailments. Homosexuality is proven to spread Aids and other stds.
    h.) Some “professors” argue that ancient civilizations practice gay/lesbian relationships and it is a norm, an innate part of our character. The reverse is true. Science and analytical reasoning works hard to halt flawed trends of the past so mankind makes progress. One example is incest.. In ancient Egypt, the pharoahs practiced incest and this led to birth defects. Now in modern times, such a trend is eliminated. Being Gay is also a similar regressive trend that should disappear. As gays age you have nothing but two old men practising anal sex. How constructive/modern is that?
    h.) It's possible that people who keep repeating or insisting that gay/lesbians are ok are actually brainwashing others that its normal. (Unknowingly?). In Nazi Germany, Hitler's propaganda ministry kept repeating their beliefs till normal Germans' mentally broke down and joined them.
    Could this be the tactic used to force everyone to accept illogical lgbt practices?

    Perhaps gays and lesbians would consider these points and hopefully one day change?

  • John Parker

    12/01/2017 12:53 PM

    While reading this commentary, I found myself imagining Scarlett sitting on Senator Roy Moore's lap when You take her with you to congratulate him on his win for pedophiles everywhere. You are one sick FUCK!

  • Di Springfield

    12/01/2017 09:51 AM

    What seems to me is the bottom line----God's Way is the Right Way. The word "SIN" is now looked upon as something to be mocked and scorned. "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of Death". Prov. 14:12.

  • Jennifer Trombley

    12/01/2017 09:24 AM

    Very refreshing! Finally thank you!

  • Diana Lott

    12/01/2017 07:50 AM

    Even though the writer is tiptoeing through the subject matter, it’s a good sign that this article actually got published. Thank you, Gov Huckabee, for speaking out more strongly about this. I appreciate all you do and stand for, and love Sarah and her handling of the media. ??????

  • Carolyn J Blue

    12/01/2017 06:47 AM

    A great article Governor with much truth.

  • Bradford Hawxhurst

    12/01/2017 12:02 AM

    I'm not at all innocent. I was always surprised at how easily a woman would fall into my bed, but not always with the connection of the heart that I was after. Later, I came to understand how destructive it could be. When two people are joined together, God makes them as one....I think that means of one soul. Every time you destroy that, you pull apart a large part of your soul. Do it often enough, and you start to feel as if you have no soul. And that is when people finally discover how joyless casual sex really is. Wouldn't it be amazing if it became common knowledge again?

  • Candace Stricklin

    11/30/2017 10:20 PM

    Thank you, Thank you , Thank you. I m so glad there are still people who believe Biblical principals and morals are still for us today.

  • John L. Mouring, Jr

    11/30/2017 10:06 PM

    Well said. Maybe there is hope for us after all. No people, or nation that rebels against God will be happy and fulfilled.

  • Katherine A Norwood

    11/30/2017 09:37 PM

    Beautifully said. Agree totally.

  • Arlene Diehl

    11/30/2017 09:35 PM

    Well said. Could not agree more. It is time to recognize these truths. Vice President Pence has it right-- and was ridiculed for saying he would never be alone with another woman. Perhaps the core motive of his decision should make all men realize that sex is so very powerful, and dangerous when practiced outside of what God intended.

  • Ruth Forester

    11/30/2017 08:50 PM

    I believe this so much sums up what we have come to in our society! Sadly! Thank you, Governor Huckabee! I very much enjoy your new show on TBN! Refreshingly inspiring! Something I can watch with family of any age! <3

  • Nancy Horine

    11/30/2017 08:34 PM

    Such a well-reasoned article, and well overdue. Unfortunately, too many Christian marriages don't come close to the ideals expressed in scripture. A legalistic male-dominant approach has turned as many off from traditional marriage as the liberal mindset has drawn them away, by dangling a free-love approach to life and sex. Men don't know how to be gallant or complimentary, for fear of being called sexist. Women can't trust men to be honest and loyal, because the temptations are as close as the phone he is carrying in his pocket. The porn industry takes in billions of dollars, and children are exposed to too much, too soon on tv; teens are robbed of their innocence, and the freedom to discover the joys of marriage in a safe, committed relationship...all because so many refuse to let God's plan for marriage be their guide. Some men have let "a root of bitterness" spring up in their heart against their wives, thereby letting her imagined, or maybe just unforgiven, faults be the excuse for whatever transgression he wants to indulge. Could we teach our young boys, teens, and men to be heroes to their own families? What woman can truly resist the unconditional love of a man who gives himself unreservedly to her, just as Jesus gave his own life for the church? The biblical model of submission literally means the wife is to respond to her husband. A normal woman has no trouble responding to Christ-like love, and the respect she shows him, that he craves, is part of that response. When I hear of Christian men shocked that their wives would leave them, I have to wonder if their love for her was truly expressed in a Christ-like way, or was it demanding, judgmental, and demeaning or degrading? If the Christians would get their own homes in order, the impact would be evident in the culture. If the arts were supported in wholesome ways, the erroneous would be less prevalent. Christians have let the culture slip by allowing their voices to be silenced in the public arena of schools, legislature and entertainment. Grab the microphone, the pen, the stage, and the pulpit for maximum impact before it's too late.

  • Bill Willcox

    11/30/2017 08:19 PM

    We may have only this chance in history to get things corrected. When anything goes attitude permeates a society we are doomed. This is not a left or right problem; it's a sin problem. Not until people get on their knees and ask for forgiveness will things change. Power with no accountability will corrupt and put money into the mix, and we get what we have today. Years ago when Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV, he appeared on the Johnny Carson show and told young people to practice safe sex. Well, that sounds good but is not what God says. Our government is not spiritual but the laws they pass affect all of us like same-sex marriages, abortion, and the list goes on. Those that love God need not be neutral in this fight.

  • Carol Clower

    11/30/2017 08:15 PM

    As usual your article is “right on the money” - thank you for sharing.

  • Carol Clower

    11/30/2017 08:15 PM

    As usual your article is “right on the money” - thank you for sharing.

  • Cindy Romey

    11/30/2017 08:10 PM

    Gov, searching for the most accepted way to convey deep and powerful ideas has become so very difficult. Especially if you are sincerely trying to reach the most people possible. I hope this message can get out before it is cut to ribbons by people interested in PC babble. Thanks for sharing

  • Linda Stahl

    11/30/2017 07:43 PM

    The mostly innocent comments of the 60’s that almost every young woman in the workplace experienced and endured without thinking twice about it. If a date got too pushy to the point of sexual assault she rarely reported it as “who would believe her, after all she wore something sexy and was drinking. Yes things have changed. We are a country of pleasure seeking ungodly people everywhere. Our President Clinton made a big dent in our truthfulness and take on what is sex and what is not. Morality is in such danger as we have become much like those golden idol worshipping Israelites waiting on Moses to return. Every family needs to teach that it is not good to say or do things that are wrong. We need God in every home

  • Ruth Montana

    11/30/2017 07:28 PM

    Couldn’t agree with this more. Thanks for writing and sharing it.

  • Sharon Doan

    11/30/2017 07:23 PM

    Mike, I totally agree with you. Often Christians go about doing their best to live a godly life. Surrendering to sin is deeply hurtful to a committed Christian. They repent, they change their ways, and move forward determined to do better. That's who we are.

  • Holly Crisp

    11/30/2017 07:22 PM

    well written. nice job!

  • Sharon Doan

    11/30/2017 07:21 PM

    Mike, I totally agree with you. Often Christians go about doing their best to live a godly life. Surrendering to sin is deeply hurtful to a committed Christian. They repent, they change their ways, and move forward determined to do better. That's who we are.