Trueman On STD’s And Stupidity

According to a recent CDC report, cases of syphilis are rising in the United States. The report offers an interesting window on contemporary American culture.

First, it features the usual exceptionalism for health issues that are a part of the progressive remaking of society. Just as smoking a cigar is bad but puffing on a joint is OK, so spreading illnesses by being unvaccinated is evil while spreading disease through sexual indulgence is a mere technical problem. And it cannot be addressed in terms of any broader moral framework beyond that provided by “experts”—typically not moral philosophers or theologians but scientists. The CDC is calling for a “whole-of-nation” response to the syphilis phenomenon—a vague phrase, but one likely to be fleshed out with condoms and antibiotics rather than government funding for teaching about chastity and personal moral responsibility. For chastity and responsibility are concepts that assume a moral framework for sex, the very thing our culture has now spent many decades repudiating.

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Carl Trueman | “STDs in the USA” | February 8th, 2024


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  1. Trueman mentioned this problem in passing in the latest issue of New Horizons. His article on “The Thrill of Desecration” is worth reading there.


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