Some particularly good parts:
LOPEZ: How has sex gone from being “something mysteriously sacred to something efficiently nonchalant”? Does the decline of the family have something to do with this?
SCALIA: There is a kind of efficiency in hooking up, isn’t there? When we read scriptural accounts of marriage, or we think back to a time when sex was at least culturally understood to be the gift and consolation of marriage, there was a sacred, mysterious sense of two becoming “one flesh.” Virginity once mattered, but now it is considered to be meaningless — a thing to be gotten rid of as soon as possible (and what a strange idea that is!) — and we are told by pop-culture observers like Hanna Rosin that women are as appreciative of the hook-up culture as men are, because they are looking for careers and don’t wish to be burdened with serious relationships and families. Mary Eberstadt, in her book How the West Really Lost God, makes a strong argument that faith and faith practices grow within families and suffer when marriage and children are denied.
My only quibble? Not virginity for its own sake, but for the sake of virginity entering into marriage. We are learning things about sexuality and the associated emotional bonding that tell us what the prophets were already telling us.
LOPEZ: How has silence become terrifying?
SCALIA: When was the last time you got into the car and didn’t turn on the radio? When was the last time you went to Mass and had a few minutes of silence, either before the Mass, or after, or at some point within it? Do you go for a walk with earbuds in your ears?
Silence is what permits us to hear “the small, still voice” with which God communicates with us, and we go out of our way to ensure that we give no opening to it. Why is that? I think it’s because if we hear that voice, and the tremendousness of its love, we will feel compelled to respond to it — and to respond to it will require something of us….
Curiously, I almost never listen to the radio in the car, and I switch the helmet audioreceptors to “Ambient” when I go on my walks. However, it’s true that there is not much silence in a Mormon family ward even during the administration of the sacrament. I’m willing to defend the tradeoffs involved in that, though.
Much more worth pondering at the link.