Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Twilight" and chastity -- love or use?

Twilight is frequently touted as a pro-chastity series. While I have not read the books or seen the movies, I have done some research on the topic. An article by Dr. Christine Schintgen in Catholic Insight highlights the message of the series, contrasted with an authentic understanding of chastity.

For those who have read or watched Twilight, or who have children who do so, I highly recommend reading the article.

A few highlights:

The effect of this kind of writing is no doubt to encourage young women, or girls, to find boyfriends with whom they can avoid going all the way, but with whom they can indulge their physical desires, just stopping short of the act. The result in reality, as we know, will be that they will end up having sex, because that is how our bodies are made. Twilight presents a kind of ‘mythology of the body’ in which ‘making out’ is of a totally different order from, and virtually unconnected with, sexual intercourse. Unfortunately, this myth is pervasive in our society, even, sadly, in many Christian circles. Very often we fail, in our catechesis, to explain the reality that any deliberate stimulation of sexual desire in the other or in ourselves is in fact a violation of the virtue of chastity. Such behaviour leads to and in fact participates in the Culture of Death by encouraging people to treat one another as objects for use rather than as persons, and by denying God’s laws with respect to sexuality.


Quite apart from the overtly sexual nature of the Twilight novels, readers should be concerned also about the extent to which they encourage a kind of romantic obsession that is itself unchaste. With great insight, John Paul II writes that the pleasure men and women sometimes use each other for may not be explicitly sexual; for some people—and women are particularly prone to this weakness—the emotional high associated with romance can be pursued as an end in itself, with a member of the opposite sex as the means to this end. Thus, the very fact that Bella and Edward are completely obsessed with each other—they live for each other, and don’t see the point of living without the other—promotes an unhealthy sort of monomania in readers that is very far from chaste, and that may leave readers vulnerable to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous suitors.

Read the whole article here.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't watched Twilight, but i have a cousin who seems to be obsessed with the movie. =(