Chastity and the Child

It occurs to me that the devastation Boll describes is now commonplace.  There are plenty of Houses Without Guardians, where children grow up without fathers, or with a series of “uncles,” or of “aunts,” or what have you, and there’s nary a hypocrite left, much less Uncle Albert, to shield the children from the worst of the evils.  Germany should have been a land of marriage, and wasn’t; but some people, hardly prudes, still could conceive of what things should be like.  They still revered the innocence of children.  Our lands now feature the chaos of Boll’s Germany, without the war for an excuse.  Our Martins do not wonder what it would have been like to grow up with their fathers.  They see those fathers regularly, about once a month, sometimes with Aunt Rosie, sometimes with Aunt Laurie; and their resentment hardens into lassitude and boredom.  They needn’t wonder what men and women do.  They are taught its mechanics in school, they see it on television, they gape at it in magazines, they figure that that’s what the “single” mother or father does, and there is not the least suggestion of beauty or of complete devotion, not one intimation of eternity.  Heinrich seethes with the knowledge of what his mother is, what the Leos of the world have made her be.  Our Heinrichs are not so severe, because they are already compromised morally.  We make sure of that.  Lest a Heinrich look with dismay at our moral squalor, we invite him in to take part in it himself.  Hence the eagerness with which our teachers seek to soil the imagination.

via Chastity and the Child | Crisis Magazine.

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