The decline of decency imperils wide reaches of modern culture and life. We are headed for doom unless pervasive immorality is arrested. The prevalent notion that birth control techniques are the best answer to sex passions collapses before the high percentage of unwed mothers who are nurses, teachers, and college students. No enthusiasm for a great American society can gainsay the deterioration of sex standards, the rise in venereal disease, the multiplication of illegitimate births.

Yet those who plot the statistics of immorality should not be permitted to obscure certain facts. America has not sunk to the depravity of the pagan world that existed before revealed religion registered its impact upon society—not yet, happily. In this regard it is well to keep one eye on the world of religion and the other on sex ideals. In ancient Egypt the Pharaoh Akhenaten, who was considered to be divine, married his own daughter. In ancient Greece sacred prostitution was accepted as a feature of pagan religious life. Modern America has not plummeted to the depths of the ancient world, but there is much reason for concern. The nightclub songstress has taken to “gospel” songs, and Ed Sullivan’s Sunday night television program periodically turns religion into entertainment. Some very vocal clergymen proclaim a “new morality” (really the old immorality) that inverts biblical claims in the realm of sex and marriage: almost every week some sensationalist tells his congregation that agape is self-justifying, and all other norms are inferior to it—in other words, nothing can be sexually out of bounds for two people who love each other. Openings like these may release flood waters that will deluge even the churches with erotic tendencies and neo-paganize ...

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