Friday, 23 July 2010

Grindr: liberation or enslavement?

The media recently hailed a new app that helps gay men to locate each other instantly. Grindr has been described as “sex in an app.” With 700,000 users in 162 countries, developers are planning a similar venture for heterosexual relationships.

G. K. Chesterton once noted, “A man knocking on the door of a brothel is looking for God.” If he were alive today, would the jolly journalist be describing this new development of sexual culture in similar words? Most likely. Grindr is an attempt to look for the right thing in the wrong place. The striving for physical beauty can be a misguided search for holiness. A common misapprehension in today’s society is that sex equals love. Pornography is a contemporary, conventional form of sexual education. But it does not grant the viewer the satisfaction for which is craved, leaving only a yearning for more. Promiscuity, whether heterosexual or homosexual, does not truly satisfy the love that we are looking for. We are either in charge of our passions, or they control us.

Sexual intercourse is such a wonderful and beautiful gift that it can only be adequately expressed in the marriage between a man and a woman. The devil cannot invent new things. He can only twist what has been invented by God. All extra-marital expressions of sexual intercourse are a lie and aberration from the original design of the creator, who made man for love. In the life giving act of sex, adequately expressed, we communicate with God that we are open to bring new life into the world and renew the promises of the marital act: a free, total, faithful and fruitful gift of love. Promiscuity is an act of desecration: mocking what is beautiful and holy in the world.

What would a Catholic grindr look like? This might be an app, used by the Missionaries of Charity to help locate the poorest in our society, or those who have been buried in a major earthquake. There is nothing wrong with the GPS technology, but it is what we do with it that counts.
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