A brief summary of its contents might be useful. The essay has five sections. After the first, which is the introduction, the second section provides an overview of traditional natural law theory and its metaphysical foundations. The third section spells out the general approach that traditional natural law theory takes toward sex and romantic love, and shows how the key claims of traditional sexual morality vis-à-vis adultery, fornication, homosexuality, etc. follow from that approach. As I also explain there, however, understanding certain specific aspects of traditional sexual morality (such as the absolute prohibition of contraception) requires an additional thesis, which is where the perverted faculty argument -- which is (contrary to the usual caricatures) not the whole of the traditional natural law approach to sex, but rather merely one element of it -- comes into play. Section four provides a detailed exposition and defense of that argument, answering all of the usual objections. Along the way, there is substantive discussion of questions about what is permitted within marital sexual relations, and it is shown that the perverted faculty argument is not as restrictive here as liberals and more rigorist moralists alike often suppose. Finally, in the fifth section, I argue that purported alternative Catholic defenses of traditional sexual morality -- personalist arguments, and “new natural law” arguments -- are not genuine alternatives at all. Invariably they implicitly presuppose exactly the traditional natural law “perverted faculty” reasoning that they claim to eschew. Moreover, the “new natural law” arguments have grave deficiencies of their own.
Marriage inflation [How expanding the application of the term “marriage” strips it of its value as an honorific, thereby undermining one of the purported goals of the “marriage equality” movement]