Robert George, a Princeton professor and a Catholic, drafted the text of the Manhattan Declaration.
- We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:
- the sanctity of human life
- the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
- the rights of conscience and religious liberty
I have read just enough to understand that this means that an orgasm facilitated by oral or manual stimulation is on the same level as intercourse between persons of the same sex. Even within marriage, these kinds of acts should not be participated in, since they are depersonalizing, even if these acts were undertaken out of love. George argues that the participants do not experience pleasure "as a unit."
He elsewhere explains that only sex which is of the same type as procreative sex, is actually marital sex. The couple must experience pleasure "as a biological unit" that is having procreative type sex, in order for it to count as marital sex.
Since George firmly labels the procreative act "pleasure," I have reread a few paragraphs in a vain attempt to figure out whether George considers sex without simultaneous orgasm to be marital sex. In this case, only those children who were the product of a simultaneous orgasm would be considered to be the product of a marital union. I don't think he goes this far.
(It appears from the way George writes the book, that the male is assumed to be experiencing pleasure during sexual activity; the act itself is labeled "pleasure." But there is nothing which explicitly establishes the status of a sex act in which the female does not experience pleasure. There seems to be an unwritten assumption that it is "pleasure" as long as "semen is deposited in the vaginal tract" (this is how the two become "one flesh." ) This justifies the status of this act over and above one in which manual stimulation is involved. There is a complete lack of female perspective in this book, IMO. Sorry to be so graphic, folks, but there isn't an easy way to water this down.)
To tell the truth, I am having trouble believing that I actually read a part of this book, .... but I was curious about the Manhattan Declaration. When it talks about the "dignity of marriage and the conjugal union" George means "no homosexual activity" and "no masturbation," mutual or otherwise. And to think that churches are splitting over the former but not over the latter. Sheesh.
Note: I have since discovered that Robert George approves of oral stimulation as part of foreplay, but not as the culminating act itself. George also allows that intercourse with a woman over 50 is okay as long as it is of the type that imitates procreative sex. I am not sure who we are kidding here, Robert.
I also have to ask what George would say to two old folks fondling each other in bed but never getting to the point of "laying down semen in the vaginal track." Oops. I mean "tract." Oh bother - commenters, don't anyone please let me know your personal habits here. Please.