This post is about sex. There. That got your attention, didn't it.
It may seem like I'm imposing a stream of consciousness on you here, but stay with me. I've been listening to a Great Course on C.S. Lewis, which begins with a presentation of his apologetic argument by desire. It goes something like this...
Because we thirst, it proves the existence of life-sustaining water, of which we are intended to partake. Similarly, because we desire the good, the true, and the beautiful to such an extent that the material world can never satisfy us, it proves the existence of the supernatural world and our intended home in Heaven (capitalized because Lewis believed, as I do, that Heaven is a place). Note: just as one may die of thirst in the desert, there's no guarantee that one will make it to Heaven, only that we are made for it by design.
Further, Lewis returned the favor the post-Enlightenment, post-Marx, post-Freud moderns had done, and turned their philosophical world upside down on them. They had argued, a priori, that a higher order thing (love, for example) was a product of a lower order thing (lust). Lewis argues that the lower order thing (desire) is a shadow of an Incarnate Higher Order Thing (Love).
Which brings us to John Paul II's Theology of the Body, chastity, and sex. Coincident with my Great Course listening, I attended the first of six TOB for Teens class with my soon-to-be fourteen-year-old last night. There, I learned that, in the 126 lectures JPII gave which became the TOB, his teaching emphasized the intended purpose of the body and human sexuality. TOB is an invitation to chastity, which is using one's body exclusively in self-giving authentic love, which we were made to both give and receive. TOB teaches that sex in this light is not only good, but serves our highest calling.
How does this connect to politics? It occurs to me that often, both as a Catholic and a conservative, how I live and my attitude in casual relationships often stand as a rebuke to those who don't share my religion or my politics. I think that's a problem. Instead, I'd like people to feel attracted and invited to both my faith and my politics, because I believe so strongly that they are true.
To that end, I think I have to be less defensive about both, and to engage openly in dialogue without trying to win every argument. The truth (or Truth) always ultimately wins. It doesn't have to be me who wins and it doesn't have to be now.
Do you encounter the same struggles? Do you have any techniques for attraction you've developed?