It’s been my contention that the bodies of the Sexual Revolution tsunami will eventually start to wash up on the shore.
It’s also been my contention that the church has to be prepared for that time; to put behind it its sin of falling under the spell of that cultural narrative, admitting it has been complicit in it, and first living, then telling a better story.
The liberal arm of the church decided the future lay in accepting the Sexual Revolution – only at half speed.
Many within the evangelical arm of the church decried the sexual revolution, only to practice it “in-camera”, but is now being exposed by camera for its hypocrisy.
It’s always a good time to repent. But no time like the present, for the bodies are starting to wash up on the shore.
Thick and fast.
This came home to me reading the harrowing account of two of the children of one of the revolution’s sexual heroes, the Australian playwright and poet Dorothy Hewett in the Weekend Australian newspaper.
In my university days Hewett was lauded as pinnacle of the new age, the sexually free age in which the old repressed ways were being laundered out of our culture, and the utopian dreams of the sexual sixties and early seventies were being realised.
Only those dreams are now becoming a nightmare. Hewett’s daughters, Rozanna and Kate, have revealed that the sexual liberty of their household was a sexual dungeon in which adult men repeatedly forced both girls into sex, often at their mother’s tacit approval, and more tragically, as a way to further her own interests and image as a new age libertine.
What’s more galling is how many of those men were the heroes of the progressive narrative in Australia over the past forty years, including the late writer and film director Bob Ellis, whose every utterance and written word was viewed as gospel by the sexular Left, and who was also a speech writer for ALP luminaries.
The searing concern, however, is that the girls thought these sexual encounters were the new normal, the way things were to be. At least they did back then when it was happening, as Kate says in the article, there was no coercion:
“…just an understanding that he wanted to have sex with me and I just did…whenever he turned up, he’d have sex with me. I didn’t at the time think that some big terrible thing…I was reasonably neutral about it. I didn’t hate him.”
Rozanna recalls it like this as she and her sister slept with men twice their age:
“We felt we were special people doing special things.”
Special things like realising Mummy’s dream of a sexual utopia.
Well that’s alright then. Except of course it wasn’t. And for both of the girls, the dream has turned into a nightmare. Both women, now in later middle age, have been living the life if anti-depressants, therapy for decades, and a fear of the backlash of telling the stories which indict the literati and pop cultural icons of our fair land.
When Ellis died everyone lined up to laud him, from former Prime Ministers to journalists, artists and other bastions of our arts scene. But with the bodies washing up on the shore, those days of hagiography are over.
The interesting thing is, however, those who decry the sexual revolution can carry on all they like about the body count, it’s only when the revolution’s former advocates and children line up to put the boot in that anyone sits up and takes notice.
Hence we get this in The Guardian:
finding out your literary hero is not only a grub, but had sexually abused underage girls, forces a major reconsideration of the man and his work.
Yes I imagine it must.
But not for all:
I’ve spoken this week to half a dozen people who knew Ellis (although not during the era Hewett’s parties took place – their friendship with him was more recent) and one or two are of the opinion “judge the times, not the person”. The rest of us are taking our weighty copies of Goodbye Jerusalem off the shelf and hurling them across the room.
In other words, the secular church is at as much pains to protect its sainted ones as the actual church has disgracefully, been. Of course this all happened forty years ago. So let’s judge the times, and not the person, as per the request.
Mind you I suspect even in those times, and among that cohort, there were plenty of poets, rock stars and playwrights who could keep their penis in their pants when around an underage girl.
But let’s talk about the times anyway. The times promised that the old age of sexual suppression was over. The times promised that marriage the way it was configured was out-dated and to be superseded, The times promised that the new humanity would embrace this new sexuality.
The times promised that the new sexuality would produce the joy and freedom that Roz Ward of the Safe Schools Coalition says that she is fighting for. And the times said, even for Kate and Rozanna, as they were being sexually abused, that this was the new normal, and that the rest of the culture would follow that pathway eventually.
Yet here we are, with the bodies washing up on the shore. Not today’s bodies. Not yesterday’s. Not even the bodies from ten years ago. The bodies from forty years ago. The bodies that were supposed to be the golden children of a new generation.
Forty years from now the bodies of the current claims by this latest iteration of the Sexual Revolution will start to wash up on the show. Many a person, many an institution, including – sadly – many a church, is pronouncing this iteration, this expression, as the one that will finally break the shackles of the old sexual world and release us into utopia.
That is a triumph of hope over experience. The bodies will continue to be washed up on the shore. I hope the church has repented, re-established itself, and put the stain of its own sexual sin and complicity behind it, ready to receive and care for those bodies, and offer them A Better Story than the one I just read in The Weekend Australian.