Even then, it simply seems the result of men and women no longer living by the standards of fifty years ago.
I would argue that one cause of the decline in standards has been what we can call "modern" feminism. It was the feminist movement more than anything else, in my opinion, that drove what has been called the "sexual revolution" or sometimes the "sexual emancipation" movement in America. The idea that women should be "allowed" to view our sexuality as "freely" as men view theirs, the idea that women should be "allowed" to be as promiscuous as men, as "sexual" as men - all of that was part and parcel of the women's movement, as was Roe v Wade and the "right" to abortion on demand.
The result of all that has been the extreme objectification of women. The result of all that has been pregnancy outside of marriage and the decline of marriage itself. Women have gone from being wives and mothers to being what? The live in sex partner? The woman who aborted the kid? The hook-up?
I saw a cartoon about modern day "dating" the other day that went something like this: first base - kissing. Second base - foreplay. Third base - going all the way. Home plate? Learning each others' names. There's no such thing as dating on college campuses anymore. Now, it's just "hooking up."
At the pregnancy center where I was trained to help women dealing with crisis pregnancies, one of our trainers also did abstinence training at local schools. He said the thing that shocked him the most was the amazement on the part of the young girls that they could actually say no. There was an assumption on their part that doing what boys want is just what they have to do.
"Modern" Feminism has created a culture in which both girls and boys view themselves as nothing more than sexual creatures. Girls are just objects to most boys today. And yes, that has led to an epidemic of date rapes. Do you have a daughter in college? A major part of today's orientation for young women going to college is how to prevent date rape and what to do when it happens to you.
But I believe it goes further than that. When men see women as nothing more than sexual objects, how is an increase in non-date rape also not inevitable? (And not just rape of women. There is also an epidemic of male rape going on today, but most men won't report it.)
That's how I see it, Val. And it was that to which I was referring in my post that angered you. There is a world of difference between the sin committed by a man who rapes a woman and the sin committed by the person who doesn't speak out against the objectification of women going on in our society today. There is no question about that. My point was addressing the question posed in that thread, re: why God would make all Americans suffer for the sins of some Americans. And my point is that we are all to some degree complicit in what is going on in our country. What we who consider ourselves Catholics are tolerating, every day, all around us, floors me. And I include myself in that.
Why am I not out there proclaiming the Gospel from the rooftops? Why do I go to work every morning rather than manning a line of offense against this vile culture I travel through to get there? Why do I accept that which none of us should be accepting? We Catholics should be calling for a spiritual revolution in this country - THAT is what, in answer to David's question, I was trying to point out "accepting God's punishment" means. Or what it should mean. Accepting God's punishment for what this country has become means we ALL accept responsibility for what it has become and we ALL accept responsibility for making it right. We are all of us sinners. And all of us are responsible for all of us.
That was the point I was trying to make.