Samantha Pugsley recently wrote an article in which she blamed a virginity pledge for destroying her life (http://www.xojane.com/sex/true-love-waits-pledge). Yes, those vicious virgins are at it again. Actually, Puglsey proved how humorous straw men really are. There are so many exaggerations and misrepresentations in her article I’m not sure where to start. First of all, let’s look at the last sentence of the virginity pledge as it appears on her blog: “As well as abstaining from sexual thoughts, sexual touching, pornography, and actions that are known to lead to sexual arousal.” The first part of it is accurate for 2000 (when she was 10), but the last portion never appeared in any True Love Waits pledge. I would definitely agree with no sexual touching or pornography or actions that lead to sexual arousal. But I’m not sure how one would abstain from sexual thoughts, unless you’re lying in a cold dark grave with no active brain cells.
“At the age of 10, I took a pledge at my church alongside a group of other girls to remain a virgin until marriage.” According to True Love Wait’s co-founder Richard Ross, the annual promise ring ceremony is only offered to middle schoolers who accepted Christ the year before. So it is unlikely she participated in the ceremony in the 4th grade. Also, TLW was never targeted to only girls. Interestingly, she acknowledged she was too young to participate in the ceremony because she was playing with Barbie dolls and having tea parties with imaginary friends. But did anybody force her to sign the pledge? Where were her parents? Did she accept Christ the year before when she was 9 years old? If she “didn’t have a clue about sex,” how could she promise to save sex until marriage?
“The church taught me that sex was for married people. Extramarital sex was sinful and dirty and I would go to Hell if I did it.” Extramarital sex is sinful? Yes. Go to hell if you do it? I’m not aware of any church that teaches that.
“I learned that as a girl, I had a responsibility to my future husband to remain pure for him. It was entirely possible that my future husband wouldn’t remain pure for me, because he didn’t have that same responsibility, according to the Bible.” I can’t find that in my Bible: “Ye shall open your mind up to the fact that your husband might not be a virgin.” What Bible is she reading from? Was her pastor David Koresh? Herein probably lies Pugsley’s main problem: She did not choose a husband who was a virgin and now she blames the whole world for her unfulfilled marriage – her parents, church, friends, coworkers, everybody.
“Everyone knew I’d taken the virginity vow, of course. Gossip is the lifeblood of the Baptist Church.” I never considered virginity to be gossip. And I think gossip is just as bad in every other church.
“It became my entire identity by the time I hit my teen years.” This confirms that she was not a Christian when she took the pledge. Nowhere in the Bible does virginity become a person’s entire identity.
“I wondered where the line was because I was terrified to cross it.” It is unfortunate that she had no one to answer these questions. But whose fault is that? The church? Her friends? Her coworkers? I don’t think so. It should have been her parents. If parents were not available, then a mentor should have stepped into the picture.
“An unhealthy mixture of pride, fear, and guilt helped me keep my pledge until we got married.” It’s interesting that Christ was not in that picture.
It sounds like Pugsley built virginity up in her mind to be something it was not, some kind of vacation package to heaven with marital bliss thrown in as a bonus. That’s what happens when virginity is approached without Christ’s death and resurrection. That’s when happens when you enter marriage with unrealistic expectations based on fairy tales. That’s what happens when virginity is not expected in a future spouse. And most importantly – that’s what happens when sex is approached without parents willing to guide you, answer hard questions, tell their own love/romance/marriage story, and make sure you understand how Christianity is rooted in human sexuality and how marriage between husband and wife symbolizes the marriage between Christ and the church. And of course the True Love Waits Program, while it may have had good intentions, was a misguided adventure from the beginning because it assumed that one could not have true love without first having a spouse.
Also see Arleen Spenceley’s excellent response: http://arleenspenceley.com/virginitypledge/
“Student Ministry and Supremacy of Christ” by Richard Ross: http://books.google.com/books?id=0QHWtakxH2oC&pg=PA212&lpg=PA212&dq=salvation+%22richard+ross%22+%22true+love+waits%22&source=bl&ots=2Oy6jIx_V7&sig=2um42BuJw37Sqie-7Y5pHhl7dfk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_DfyU6WAGcLG8AG1v4DoDQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=middle&f=false