Friendship and the Secular World
I’ve recently been hearing a lot about a certain viral video which is making the rounds of the internet. I’m not going to link it because it really doesn’t deserve the views that it’s getting, but you can find it easily if you’re curious. It’s called ‘Why Men and Women Cant be friends’, and it’s about what you’d expect: a guy with a camera, asking people on a college campus if men and women can be friends without having a sexual relationship, and putting together a bunch of clips that make him seem witty and right.
Now this is the kind of video I usually brush off and ignore completely. It’s just another part of the boring, brainless attempts of pop-culture to justify its own views on sex. But what struck me about this one is that I started hearing people agreeing with it in one of my Catholic circles. When the assertion came from a Catholic that men and women can’t be just friends, I was too surprised to think of any reply besides a joke to relieve the tension.
I asked why and, obviously due to this video, I was told all men think they can’t be friends with women, but women think they can. My somewhat sarcastic first thought was that only an idiot would say that, but this isn’t true either. This attitude is very prevalent, and it’s held by a lot of very smart men. So why is this wrong?
It comes down to what it takes for a man to have a successful friendship with an attractive woman, with no sexual element to the relationship. It requires the man (and sometimes the woman), to conquer his own tendency to lust after her.
It’s not hard to see why the world thinks this is impossible. Practically the whole of modern pop culture is built on the idea that our wants, especially our sexual desires, cannot be controlled. But for Catholics, we need to keep our heads clear and realize that the Church teaches us the very opposite. We can and must, by the grace of God, be masters of our own bodily desires in every area, especially our sexuality.
Remember, “with men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible,” so go forth and make friends of all nations (and genders).