This blog post on LUST has been written, deleted, and written and deleted, and now–we give up and will just trust the reader to separate it all and take what works for personal edification and toss the rest. We would pick and choose the different Cardinal Sins to write about, but as our field narrowed down, we found ourselves avoiding the Cardinal Sin of LUST. We did not want to write about this sin. It makes us uncomfortable to the point of making our stomach burn and our eyes overflow with tears. Extreme, huh? Yes. We admit it–our whole being revolts against this sin, so we will try to temper our feelings and reactions–but so far… anyway, here goes.
LUST, by definition, is a wanton sexual self-gratification of a person by victimizing another. The Catholic Church believes that God created humankind, and humankind, in the Garden of Eden, fell prey to sinfulness via the serpent. We all know the story and blame either Eve for falling prey to the serpent’s wiles or Adam, succumbing to Eve’s wiles. Does it really matter? You know, it might, depending on your given sex. But we are playing with an idea here that distracts us from LUST. We own this diversion. We might as well do this and get it over with. Bear with us.
To us, lust is the most heinous of all sins. It appeals to the most base instincts with little thought for the damage it does or the harm that ensues, sometimes for a lifetime. Both male and female experience lust. Businesses and advertisements appeal to the lust people feel when seeing what they consider a “hot body.” Abercrombie & Fitch were known for hiring muscular young men to stand shirtless in the doorway to their stores. Females, hormones flowing, were titillated by the handsome, smiling and buffed body luring them into the store. Young and old alike would feel a sexual excitement wash over them. Likewise, males, young and old, frequent beaches, looking for the females with the scantiest covering and fantasize touching that supple female body. Terms are thrown around by females about a male’s “package,” while males talk “T&A”(tits and ass). We apologize here for saying what you already know but would rather not acknowledge. But all of this is harmless, right? Men and women are sexual creatures. God created all so it is in the makeup. If people were not sexual, there would be no procreation (just ask the Catholic church) and humans would have died out, extinguishing themselves. We get this. Besides, sexual gratification between two consenting adults is a wonderful, exciting, beautiful bonding between them. We are here because of it, you are here because of it–so where does lust enter the picture? When is a sin committed? Remember what we just said–BETWEEN TWO CONSENTING ADULTS. When this is forgotten, or ignored, movements like #metoo surface. LUST IS THE SIN OF FORCING YOUR INABILITY TO CONTROL YOUR SEXUAL URGES ON ANOTHER WITHOUT CONSENT OR THOUGHT.
Our society promotes, more so before the #metoo movement, that sense of sexual predators simply doing what comes naturally. Women cannot be victims of rape when they wore provocative clothing. They asked for it. Women cannot agree to dinner and a movie, allow a male into their home for a drink after said date and then tell the male “No. I don’t want to have sex.” Hey, he took her out, she owes him. Really? There are so many examples of lust being used to excuse forced sex in the workplace, or violent rape because a woman walked alone and was vulnerable. LUST is base and a heinous sin when acted upon. LUST often requires a victim, a body it can be foisted on. There is no question of consent; it is “I want to acquiesce to my baser instincts and I will force it on you so I can be satisfied.”
Now, we will share what most bothers us about lust. When an adult decides a human under the age of knowing consent will be the outlet for their sexual drive. There are those who say that this type of person is not doing anything wrong because they stay at home, fantasize, and look at “chicken pornography” on their private computer. (For those who have lived a sheltered life–chicken pornography is a photo album of young children in various sexual poses, forced into sex acts while photographed, naked and vulnerable to the adult photographing them.) So the watcher/ user of this stuff is not hurting anyone by simply watching so they aren’t actually committing the sin of LUST? Really? There are no victims of the base drive? Who took the damn pictures so the “good” person could just watch and not commit the act of depravity? Who PAID for those pictures? Who defiled those children? Victimless? Ask the kids who live with knowing their naked bodies are being slathered over by Lusting, not hurting anyone persons.
Lust is not a victimless sin. It has far-reaching and debilitating effects for those it chooses to involve. It is not a private sin. How did you feel when you realized President Clinton committed acts of LUST with the young woman in his office? We hope rightfully appalled! How do you feel now with a being in the highest office in our land who gleefully talks about “pussy grabbing” and lists conquests because as he says, “when you’re famous and rich, they let you do anything you want” ? Probably less appalled, right? It is the NORM now. Hey, you gotta take care of your needs and take care of you first. And if you’re in a position of power, everyone knows you can do what you want.
We have seen that same sexual lust in the lust (base drive) for money, power, self-gratification all the way around. If a being gets away with self-gratification in one area, the being will branch out to please self and only self in other areas. The true SIN OF LUST is that it is selfish and thinks of no one but self, leaving victims and devastation and destruction in its wake. Ask anyone who has been the victim of another’s lust. It may have happened sixty years ago, but it is not forgotten and the wound still bleeds when it happens again to others. But adults using children is the lowest it can go. Why do you think so many people seek professional help? Why do you think so many of us are hyper vigilant, always knowing where the nearest exit is, who keeps eyeballing us, hears untoward comments, or overly friendly overtures? As children there was no escape. As an adult there are at least a few options open. But forgotten? Never.
So what is the counterpart to LUST? It is the virtue of CHASTITY. CHASTITY by definition is refraining from sex. But its synonyms are refraining from base instincts by adhering to decency, modesty. Chastity, decency, modesty, are virtues that we can all adhere to. We aren’t denying ourselves by strict abstinence. We are thinking, which is not that hard, when we consider satisfying our own needs, which is NOT a sin, but rather, considering the consequences by regarding the feelings of others, how would we feel if we were the object of having others needs met and if it is indeed decent and are we using modesty in our quest. Chastity also means purity–of thought, action, regard for others.
In short, we know we all experience lust in one instance or another. It doesn’t become a SIN until we act on it without regard for those we foist it on or force to gratify our individual needs above all else. The world, our culture, is rife with LUST. It destroys. It perverts. It leaves havoc and destruction in the lives of its victims! It cannot be ignored or turned a blind eye to! It will destroy everything and everyone it touches–all for the drive for self-gratification of one selfish and base individual!
Okay. You were warned. We will not apologize for what we have written because it is our take, in our heart, on the sin of LUST. See why we left it to last? We did not enjoy writing this blog. WE had to face our own devastation due to LUST. Please think about it. You surely know someone who has experienced this, too. No more turning away. DECENCY/CHASTITY/MODESTY are needed. But to us–it comes down to caring enough to exercise DECENCY. And we leave it here.
Tomorrow–the “little sins” and their justifications and damage control. Hope to see you back–especially after today 🙂