You could just say they aren’t Christians, or at any rate not very good ones, but I believe that’s punting on a problem where people will be looking for serious philosophical solutions within the next couple of decades. Generally, I find American Christians still consider the Bible an absolute moral authority, even if they tend to treat it like lawyers treat the Constitution. At least they still feel the need to rationalize around it.
As I described in Sexual degeneracy and Overwatch Theory…
There’s a trend in American Christianity so pedestrian that even evangelicals have noticed it. Kids who grow up in church start having sex in their late teens, often becoming complete degenerates in college, and suddenly discover that they are freethinkers with no need for organized religion (and anyway, fuck you dad). Eventually they tire of verbose, academic nihilism and become interested in more mystical
religionsspiritualities like Yoga pants and Veganism that seem less judgmental of free love unbridled by the responsibilities of childbirth. But the joke doesn’t end there for those blessed with a black sense of humor, because somewhere along the way these eminently spiritual sexual degenerates acquire a preening moral righteousness that would make Lucifer blush.
The particulars connecting sexuality and religion are a mystery to me, but it seems they are intimate and inextricable (analogous perhaps to the identity of man and wife).
You can point Christian parents and pastors to the statistics about Christian kids who go off to universities, and they’ll shake their heads and agree that yes, it’s a little sad to lose 70% of their children to hellfire. But just try suggesting they NOT send all their kids off to college…and then sit back to watch the gymnastics. This is where Christian nihilism truly shines. Sure, they agree, you try to shelter your kids from drugs and premarital sex, but once they turn 18 it becomes purely a matter of the heart. You wouldn’t knowingly send your 17-year-old daughter to a four-year atheist commune, but once the government says she can buy lottery tickets God takes that as her age of supremely individual accountability and you can’t say word one about her choice to go off to college. Says so right in the Bible…probably? Somewhere?
It’s not like these people are actually nihilists who believe there’s no meaningful you can take in life except prayerful reflection. To prove this, try cutting off one of their fingers. All that stuff about thoughts and prayers will go right out the window and you’ll see an attitude of focused, effective problem-solving manifest itself, with great respect for action within a causal, material reality. But if they swear, be sure to remind them that material reality has no effect on matters of the heart. And if you ever try this experiment, do me a favor…when they complain about what you did, tell them it’s not their place to judge and if they have some anxiety they should ask God to reveal the sin in their life that’s causing it. But even if you don’t, remember it’s a possibility the next time a parent is whining their prayer request about how their kid is doing what every other thoroughly secularized, post-college kid does, which is to shack up and stop going to church.
What I’m getting around to with this contrast is to point out that Christian parents are not actually as gnostic as their rationalizations imply, they’re just biased and using churchy language to justify doing what they already wanted to do. Which is to get their kid to meet someone who isn’t a complete mess and accidentally get pregnant with grandchildren. And you know, more power to them for wanting grandchildren, except we’re sending millions of souls off to try mushrooms and learn about other how other religions are superior, and just hope this doesn’t have any spiritual effects. Which it clearly does. But you can always convert back on your deathbed, right? Sing it with me: His grace is sufficient, therefore do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. (Anyway, everybody knows you have to taste test for at least five years before getting married, anything less would be asking for a divorce.)
It’s not like I have no sympathy for these parents. The odds of their kids meeting someone at church are practically zero (you want a real rant, ask me someday why this is), and Christian Mingle is for society’s dregs.
That leaves…social peers. Which, if you don’t send your kids to college to become members in good standing of the middle class workers union, is gonna be people so degenerate they couldn’t hack it in high school to get into a third-tier state university. So their choices are A) high-status grandkids at the cost of a little secularism, B) degenerate, welfare-class grandkids, and C) no grandkids. It’s not surprising when people take the easy way, just disappointing.
Everyone has skin in this game. Hell, I’m autistic and I’m still trying to figure my way around the proscriptions against fornication. The only thing stopping me is I’m not as good at it. Pastors won’t speak up about it because they’ll lose their jobs, and anyway it appears they preselect for cowardice these days. This dilemma is downstream from the more general problem of the cosmopolitan’s curse, where doing the right or eugenic thing is such a bad deal for the individual that it could be reasonably considered dysfunctional. The problem is insoluble under the modern religion of radical individualism: to fix the problem would require a critical mass of people to make uncompensated sacrifices for the good of their neighbors. Why on earth would they? (Answer: nothing on earth, but treasure in heaven.)