Abstaining from Everything During the Pandemic, Except from . . . Podcast by John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera for Break Point
Some of the most important scientific discoveries in history are the result of what’s called “natural experiments,” in which researchers choose neither the conditions nor the participants, and in which all factors are outside the researcher’s control. In other words, researchers studying stuff that happens.
One of the most famous natural experiments involved two wells during a London cholera pandemic in 1854. Researcher John Snow, after observing that people who drank from one well got cholera while those who drank from the other didn’t, correctly concluded cholera came from something in the water, not in the air. Because of that discovery, cholera was eventually eliminated from Britain.
Today, nearly two centuries later, the United States and much of the West is in the midst of another natural experiment. The pathogen being researched is not a virus, but the bad ideas of the sexual revolution, ideas that have left many victims and caused great suffering. As Katy Faust and Stacy Manning of Them Before Us recently described over at The Federalist, “Our entire population has unwittingly participated in the greatest abstinence object lesson of all time.”
For more than a month now, Americans have “been abstaining from physical contact, leaving our homes, dining out, and attending school because these activities have been deemed risky in the COVID-19 era.” While our participation in this grand experiment has been, shall we say, “encouraged” by government deployed drones, skate parks filled with dirt, and policies that encourage Americans to snitch on each other by texting Bill de Blasio, the majority of Americans complied in order to flatten the curve.
Like John Snow before them, Faust and Manning have looked at the evidence of this natural experiment and have rightly concluded that asking people to abstain from harmful activities can work. Of course, people must recognize the potential for harm in the first place and, when it comes to sex, our culture has consistently turned a blind eye.