A columnist I read wrote something worth repeating today. Miranda Devine, in the Sydney Morning Herald, commented: "In the end, men's drives are not all violent and predatory. Most have a deep, possibly hard-wired, desire to be noble and chivalrous. That's why in situations such as the Port Arthur Massacre, so many men died shielding their wives or women around them."
In crises, people of both genders (and all races) sometimes show their best and you can see how they are, after all, made in the image of God - even if that image gets distorted and blurred by the downside of their human nature.
Devine is replying to a litany of bitter critisism about mens' behaviour and their attitude to women. The background to this is a major news story getting ongoing coverage in Eastern Australia: another sex scandal, involving a major Rugby League club.
It seems that in 2002 the team, Cronulla Sharks, were in New Zealand to play and after the game two of them pursuaded a young woman to accompany them back to their hotel room for sex. Then, the story goes, other players came to the room and joined in. At the time, the woman agreed to it; and according to some of her workmates, she boasted about it to them the next day. Years afterwards she came forward to tell a journalist that the experience had left her feeling used and abused.
It's gross behaviour, rightly enough. The men involved simply used the woman and probably regarded her another notch to mark up in their list of 'conquests'.
But in all the commentary, some women have been honest enough to say that they too treat men like trophies. Some (not all,not even most, but some) women treat it as bagging a trophy to have an encounter of that kind with male celebrity.
Dare I say that this is a really bad idea? Or is that 'being judgemental' etc etc?
A human being is not an article to be toyed with, some sort of plaything. Collecting celebrity autographs might be a harmless hobby, but collecting more intimate souvenirs of other human beings becomes a gross misuse of what was made by God, for God's purposes and which should be respected because the Creator should be. You would not collect a piece of the Mona Lisa to show off, because that is a misuse of a famous work of art. You would damage it for your own bad satisfaction.
It is worse to help yourself to part of a human being in a way which demeans them.
Most people agree that it is wrong to kill. What they don't always realize is, it is just as bad to damage something by misusing it. And they don't seem to get that using someone in some sort of ego trip is damaging because it makes them into a target, or a trophy if you can get them. And it is not just men who do this.
Some men try blaming women for their own bad behaviour: 'she led me on', etc. To do that is to deny responsibility for your own actions. So many things that people regret afterwards would not happen if we all just 'got it'; a human being is not a plaything or something to use for your own pleasure.
So here's the irony. Some 'modern thinkers' say that we're all too 'hung up' about sex, and should be more 'liberated' about it. Then when some individuals act in a 'liberated' way - do just what they feel like on the spur of the moment - it can end in anger and tears.
I could be accused of trying to impose my views on others here, but the reply to that is: look what happens around you, and see if what I'm saying is wrong.
If you wrote a history of bad ideas in human history, they would all have one thing in common. They ignored the guidelines and advice given by God's Word about how to live. The way I heard it put once is this: the Bible is the owner's manual for how to run your life. God is not just a spoilsport or dictator, He knows what will and will not work in trying to make life good. If you reckon you know better, you might find He knows better than people realize. Trust me! I've had some bad ideas, and found out after the event just how bad they were!