Voyeurs of Virginity

voyeurism

Attacks on virginity have become pretty commonplace in the digital world.  But what is amazing is the level of voyeurism being used today.  It’s almost like “virgin hunting” has become a new sport.  And support groups on the internet have become their hunting grounds.  When one of their members mentions virginity, they are quickly called self righteous and intolerant.  Unfortunately, these guilt trips are often effective on blog administrators who suddenly feel the need to be tolerant and politically correct.  This is especially true in closed support groups.  Whatever qualifications were in place for potential members are tossed by the wayside.  “Waiting until marriage” has been downgraded to “waiting since the last time I had sex.”  The pesky issue of virginity is just so offensive.  What kind of message does that send to singles who are really waiting?  For a lot of them, it sends one message – “Virginity is not as important as you think.”  In recent days, purity groups and blogs have become nothing more than Sex and the City confessionals and child abuse/rape counseling sessions.  Singles who joined them in hopes of getting encouragement from like minded waiters have gotten a few surprises.  Here are a few examples from one of the largest “purity” blogs on the internet:

“There’s an ex of mine when i was 18, him 30, who abused me sexually and financially. i ran away from him but now i have been feeling like re-opening the contact.”

I’m 46 years old & my boyfriend of 5 months is 51. We’ve both been married twice in ungodly marriages & have come to know Christ in a very intimate way through the pain of divorce.”

Well after my addiction to drugs came i started selling to pay for my addiction and then came to where i started fooling around with different girls and then my addiction to porn came along so finally after the age of 22 i hit rock bottom.”

In the area of sexual ethics, a society chooses which groups are granted exclusivity and respect.  And that choice reflects its civility and Christian values.  Are you divorced?  There are hundreds of “Divorce Care” groups in churches.  Do you have a problem with pornography?  There are “Porn Free Initiatives” being setup by countless churches.  Are you an unwed teen mother?  There are hundreds of tax-payer funded “crisis pregnancy centers” in your county to choose from.  There are even parents in charge of pregnancy crisis centers who set up purity sites and pose as virgins to raise money for these centers.  Can you say twisted?  Isn’t it obvious that the family only approach to purity does not work?  Is everybody still so gullible to think that mama knows best?  Good old family values, apple pie, and dirty toothbrushes.  These same “struggling parents” give lip service to purity within the confines of a church building, but mock and call it offensive within the anonymous world of the internet – especially when they’re trying to raise money for their pregnant daughters.  Churches – If you think “divorce care” programs or “porn initiatives” support the virtue of virginity, you are badly mistaken.  If you think they will open up a discussion on virginity, you are delusional.  Can the sexually broken and forgiven be encouraged in the same room as the righteous and self controlled?  As hard as it may be to accept, the answer to that question is no.  Sexual sin has consequences that forgiveness cannot undo.  Unfortunately, the only testimony your likely hear in a church today is from the broken 18 year old with two children who started having sex with her boyfriends at 14 and has had three abortions and managed to wean herself off alcohol and crack cocaine.  A good story sells.

In a few short years, “virginity” will be so offensive it will be removed from the pages of the Bible.  Gabriel will have to settle for the “best secondary virgin” to proclaim the birth of Christ.  After all, the girl who lived next door to Mary might be offended and feel shamed.  There will be no more Virgin Marys in nativity scenes.  No.  That would be too condemning.  What about the guys?  Are they expected to wait until marriage?  No, I’m afraid they’re also peeping through windows.

Dads can continue to take their daughters to purity balls for entertainment.  But on the way home they should explain gonorrhea and other STDs to their little girls and stop by a pharmacy to pick up Doxycycline and Zithromax – because none of the boys will have waited.  Is it not obvious that Christianity is rooted in sexual ethics?  Some virtues in this world call for respect and exclusivity.  Virginity is one of them.  If we can’t defend it from voyeurs and respect its privacy today, it will be gone tomorrow.  Parents – If you feel the need to talk about sex and purity outside your marriage and family, I suggest you visit your local porn shop.  Or, if you still have issues, a counselor may be able to help.

Virginity – Pure And Simple

Hercules

A culture in crisis brings a language in crisis.  And this is so true today, especially in the world of sexual ethics.  Purity, chastity, virginity, abstinence – Definitions all up for grabs.  The reason is simple – The rock that the church was built on has turned into shades of gray.  Basic Christian principles have crumbled like an avalanche down the side of a mountain.  White?  It’s relative.  Black?  It’s relative.  Purity?  Let’s don’t hurt anybody’s feelings.  Truth?  You believe what you want to believe.  The basic truth that we’ve compromised on is found in one verse in the Bible, Matthew 6:24:  “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  This is the definition of a mandatory dichotomy, one that has no shades of gray.  The Christian tradition is filled with polar opposites.  For instance, the mere act of accepting Christ involves stepping from a black world into the bright light of Christ in the blink of an eye.  Our rebirth is instantaneous.  There is no gradual progression from dark to light.  In the blink of an eye, man is transformed from a life of sin and shame to one of grace and redemption.  The marriage and celibacy dichotomy is another example.  As Apostle Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 7, every Christian makes a choice between a life of marriage and concern for the affairs of this world or a life of celibacy and concern for Christ’s affairs.  There is no gray area between the two.  You can’t commit to a life of celibacy and allow the exception of one affair per year.  Another one is male and female.  But perhaps the best example of a mandatory dichotomy is the virgin and nonvirgin, the unknown versus the known. In the time it takes for consummation, two people become one flesh (Mark 10:8).  This dichotomy highlights a word that is ever morphing in the world of virtue today – Purity.  It has traditionally been a well understood reference to virginity, someone who has never had sex, male or female.  It is even used as such in the bible – I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.”  But there are circles today where it means no more than a comfortable “doing good.” Even in abstinence programs, the word has been hijacked and used as a straw man by those who operate in shades of gray.  The setup is fairly simple – Underhandedly set virginity up as perfection, throw in the straw man of purity, and scream “purity culture!” in a crowded theater – or should I say, abstinence rally.   It seems to be a fairly effective technique today.  You can read numerous stories of how dirty chewing gum and toothbrushes have “shamed” so many people.  The purity of a virgin has become so offensive.  What people forget is – you can’t shame a shamed/repentant person.  So if that abstinence talk at church is attended only by Christian students, it is not possible for one person to shame another.  However, a convicted conscious might cause someone to feel uncomfortable and try to defend themselves with an accusation of shame.  Black and white.  Night and day.  Pure and impure.   Basic Christian dichotomies.  It’s simple.  Can we give the virgins back their purity?

Are Straw Men Purity’s Biggest Enemy?

Why Do Straw Men Arguments Work?

Why Do Straw Men Arguments Work?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a straw man as:  An argument, claim, or opponent that is invented in order to win or create an argument.  In other words, you misrepresent a person’s argument and then knock it down.  It is traditionally used in public debates because the intelligence quotient is scaled down to the least common denominator.  The person using these tactics, ironically, is not convinced of his own position.  It’s nearly always used by the weaker opponent because a straw man is easier to defeat than a real man.  The reason they are effective in attacking purity is because most people do not have adequate biblical knowledge on which to defend it.  Nonbelievers are aware of these weaknesses.  For instance, when the “objectifies the woman” argument is used, the Christian is defenseless unless he understands that sex is not the only thing that makes a marriage.  It also turns the tables because objectifying women is one of the main things Christians rally against.  So when they’re accused of doing the same, it appears as if they are pouring salt into their own wounds.  “Slut-shaming” is an interesting example because it exaggerates the Christian’s expected response to sexual immorality.  People expect their reaction to be one of disapproval.  “Slut” just exaggerates this disapproval large enough to knock down purity.  Same thing with “shaming.”  Turning the noun shame into an adverb with shaming just makes the argument large enough to knock down it down as well.

The straw men arguments almost always exaggerate either the importance of virginity, put words in somebody’s mouth, involve false accusations, or are just outright lies.  Notice too that a lot of them actually turn the person who committed sexual sin into a victim, a poor crying broken victim of hateful Christians who is not happy until someone hands her a blue ribbon too. I mean, she can’t feel left out, can she?  She can still feel special by being a second class V card carrier, can’t she?   Sexual sin really has no permanent consequences, does it?  Accepting the fact that there really are people who are sexually pure is too divisive, isn’t it?   The church has compromised inch by inch, turning a head that way and turning a head that way.  Now sexual virtue is seen as quaint notion from days gone by.  When men still respected themselves.  When women could walk the streets safely at night.  And to think this carnage was brought on by a poor little weak straw man without a spine, by people who did not have the spine to defend the Christian lexicon, by parents who didn’t care to get educated and who put the welfare of their children above the social status of their lives.

Some words and phrases that have been used as straw man arguments to attack virginity.  All are direct quotes from 2013/2014.

Purity culture.

Wait so it’ll be great.

Fortress of denial.

Someone must die.

Imputing guilt.

Slut-shaming.

Objectifies the woman.

Damaged goods.

So dirty and filthy.

What’s the big deal?

Her only value is between her legs.

Made her feel worthless.

Fetishizes purity.

Damages women.

Moral center is their crotch.

Their bodies are only bargaining chips.

Devalued like a new car.

Virginity trumps intelligence.

It’s medieval.

Most valued goods.

Dehumanizing.

Old piece of gum.

Judgmental.

Rape isn’t a woman’s fault.

May still be good, even if her stock has decreased.

Not easy for Mormon couples.

Taken out of context, some are quite comical.  But you’ve probably seen them all used in the context described above.  We need to put the spine back into straw men.  We need men with enough spine to defend purity from clever wordsmiths.