Maggie Gallagher had a good column last week that was on the same topic I’ve been addressing recently, i.e. how the American media keeps saying that the Catholic Church is out of step with American views on sex. She refutes much of the Amerocentric liberalism well, and then makes a good point. We often hear how so few Catholics live according to the moral teachings of the Church, especially with regard to artificial contraception. But look at it from the flip side: Look at how many do live those teachings.
To me, the shock is not how few American Catholics accept the church’s sexual teachings, but how many of us are out there in a society where such teachings are ridiculed in every way.
I have never heard a sermon on sex in a Catholic church. Few Catholic schools devote energy to forming young Catholics’ views on these matters. Yet in the largest recent poll on Catholic opinion I could find (a Zogby poll of 1,500 Catholics in 2001), 36 percent of all Catholics support the church’s teachings on contraception. (No doubt if one surveyed only churchgoing Catholics, the proportion would be higher.) Think of it! Right now there are 25 million American Catholics who accept the church’s teaching on sexuality. That’s more people than live in the states of Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, West Virginia and Minnesota combined.
If each one of these faithful Catholics had, on average, three children and could find Catholic schools and communities that help them transmit the Catholic faith to their children, it wouldn’t take long for a second sexual revolution to get under way.
It’s certainly food for thought.