by Jonathan B. Perry
My brother Jay thinks it was our slightly crazed college history professor, Dr. Schroeder, who once said that the Dark Ages were brought on, in part, by all the good thinkers dying out as non-reproductive monks. This actually makes some sense when you consider that monks filled medieval monasteries with the most educated minds of the time.
It seems they were all locked in the libraries where they got smart, recorded some chants, filmed “The Name of the Rose”, and died off with little instruction to procreators. Still, they managed to copy thousands of books by hand and probably had plenty of time to read a few tacky romance novels along the way before these non-pop-up books were shipped to places like the Alexandria library before they were accidentally destroyed in heavily regretted book burning accidents (the Alexandria library was probably destroyed long before monk-writing became all the rage, but whatever). If, like these medieval monks, you have lots of free time in isolation where you don’t necessarily have to farm to maintain a livelihood because the peasants are growing potatoes for you, then you could work through a few books a week or perhaps write a swell treatise on the nature of Christ and how he did alright as a single dude, at least until that whole crucifixion thing.
Catholicism has long been a solid bastion of support for bachelorism. Monasteries, abbeys, and, in fact, the entire church hierarchical structure all the way up to the papacy are designed with the bachelor’s interests at heart. Popes have historically been celibate bachelors. “Officially”. Thomas Aquinas became a monk and successfully avoided sex, even when his brothers did a frat hazing and tried to lure him with a prostitute. Despite the many bachelor successes, there are a couple notables who procured women (sounds like snagging weed) and followed up by changing to Protestantism. Martin Luther was still a bachelor monk when he posted his 95 Theses. Then he married a nun and they became Protestants, quickly populating Protestantism with six children.
English monarch Henry VIII liked women so much that he cast off the smothering confines of Catholicism and started his own church with himself as the head of it so he could divorce the queen and marry some chick with 12 fingers before he executed her and married a few others.
Despite the institutionalized singleness in Catholicism, it seems any loss of reproduction in the church hierarchy has been more than made up for by the lack of birth control for the non-single Catholic, so the plan does seem to be well balanced and thought out after all. Whether it was really planned that way is uncertain.
Oh, RABBIT RABBIT!!!
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