2008 Audio Interview with Julia Duin About Christian Singles

2008 Audio Interview with Julia Duin About Christian Singles

(Link): Interview About Christian Singles with Julia Duin, author of “Quitting Church”

The interview also covers the subjects of unanswered prayer, how single mothers are ignored and single women marginalized, Christian views on sex, and other topics are covered.

I recommend this interview a lot. If you are over 35 and never married, and were a Christian at any time (or still are one), you will totally relate to this discussion. I tried to embed the audio into this post two ways, but neither one worked.

The Church Wants Your Sex Part 2 – ‘Your Lame Sex Life’

The Church Wants Your Sex Part 2 – ‘Your Lame Sex Life’ church sponsored site

Church sponsored site:

(Link: My Lame Sex [Life] site)

(Link: Lame Sex Lame Excuses (video on You Tube))

(Link: Lame Sex (entire video SERIES on You Tube))

The sex site and sex series is from CCF AZ (Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Arizona).

So, to the guys and pastor at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in AZ… what sermons or advice do you have for over -40- years- of- age, never married, or over age 30 singles, who haven’t had sex yet? Or do we not matter? (click the “read more” link to read the rest of the post)
Continue reading “The Church Wants Your Sex Part 2 – ‘Your Lame Sex Life’”

Is Celibacy a Sin? The NYT Has a View – by W. Mead

Is Celibacy a Sin? The NYT Has a View – by W. Mead

One of my issues with this editorial is that it, like many other editorials about celibacy, keeps discussing celibacy in terms of Roman Catholicism. I have never been Roman Catholic. I was brought up in the Southern Baptist Church and made a voluntary decision as a young girl to remain celibate (until marriage).

Not all celibates are Roman Catholics. This is a fact that needs to be acknowledged more.

Not all celibates are homosexual, either, yet homosexuality is, annoyingly, usually at the crux of these sorts of discussions.

(Link:) Is Celibacy a Sin? The NYT Has a View, by Walter Mead

Excerpts:

Over at the New York Times where hostility to all things Roman Catholic is a longstanding tradition, Frank Bruni has mixed a unique cocktail of one part sharp observation, two parts confusion about Christian teaching, a dash of schadenfreude and splash of scandal.

It is, in other words, business as usual at the newspaper of record, where passionate disagreement verging into bitter resentment at the sexual teachings of the Catholic Church (that homosexuals can’t marry, heterosexuals can’t divorce, and that abortion is the willful destruction of innocent human life) is almost as widespread as hatred of the KKK.

… For those looking to cast stones at the Vatican there is no shortage of ammunition at hand, and Bruni’s piece, entitled “The Wages of Celibacy,” gives us a full measure of Catholic woe: tortured, self-rejecting gay priests and maybe cardinals and archbishops, ‘elite’ rings of transsexual prostitutes, hints of Vatican blackmail, pedophilia and tragic isolation. (Dowd takes it closer to the bone in a column dripping with juicy innuendoes about the Pope Emeritus’ relationship with his private secretary.)

All these troubles, Bruni maintains, spring from priestly celibacy and homosexual repression. Bruni’s core message is that celibacy is a “trap,” a bad idea all round:

No matter what a person’s sexual orientation, the celibate culture runs the risk of stunting its development and turning sexual impulses into furtive, tortured gestures. It downplays a fundamental and maybe irresistible human connection. Is it any wonder that some priests try to make that connection nonetheless, in surreptitious, imprudent and occasionally destructive ways?

…There are good arguments against a celibate priesthood, even in the special context of Roman Catholic doctrine about the nature and function of priests. It’s not, however, clear that these arguments are as strong as Bruni and many others assume.

The last time I looked, college football coaches, BBC celebrities, public school teachers and scout leaders weren’t required to be celibate, but we’ve seen high profile sexual scandals in these fields—complete with coverups. Horatio Alger was a Unitarian minister when he was fired for “unnatural familiarity” with boys, and there have been some recent high profile cases of married Jewish and Protestant religious leaders involved in inappropriate sex with young people.

Human sexuality is tricky ground; many married people have from time to time resorted to exactly the kind of “furtive, tortured gestures” that Bruni thinks characterize celibacy. Few of us live up to our own sexual ideals or standards; gay or straight, single or married, drunk or sober, large numbers of human beings look back on certain incidents with sadness and regret.
Continue reading “Is Celibacy a Sin? The NYT Has a View – by W. Mead”

Never Married Christians Over Age 35 who are childless Are More Ignored Than Divorced or Infertile People or Single Parents

In a previous post, I mentioned that the most neglected group in most churches are the never- married adults over the age of 30 / 35.

I realize that some churches and Christians are pretty bad about treating divorced people like failures or lepers, but based on my observation, divorced people are at least acknowledged to exist – which is a step above being (almost) always ignored if you are a never-married Christian.

Almost every church I’ve been to personally, or driven by (based on their “we have divorce care meetings here” signs), or seen on television, at least mention divorced people. Most churches have a “divorce recovery” group.

So most churches and preachers at least realize there are divorced Christians, and mention them on occasion, or set up ministries to address their needs.

One church I went to for several months would place free copies of a Christian magazine on their tables each week, free for anyone who wanted to pick up a copy. I used to take a copy when I would walk by and read it later. At least once every other month or so, this magazine would have interviews with infertile married Christian women.

I have seen professional Christian online publications run the occasional story on infertility of Christian married couples.

While most American churches do place an inordinate amount of attention on marriage and parenting / children, leading some infertile women to complain they feel ignored (such as the cranky infertile woman I mentioned half way down the page (Link): in this post), the fact remains that infertiles and the divorced do GET MENTIONED in most churches or in Christian culture from time to time.

So do single mothers. I am always hearing male pastors on Christian TV shows giving shout outs to the single moms in the viewing audience. Many of them say they were raised by a single mother and know how hard it is.

Rarely, rarely, rarely, do I hear ministers, or see Christian publications, mention never-married Christian adults over the age of 35.

Sunday School classes for adult singles ages 35 – 50 rarely exist. When and if they do exist, they serve as ghettos to drop singles off and forget about them. Most churches expend little money or effort to actually helping singles with their own set of needs, even within the “singles Sunday school classes”.

So there you have it.

One of the most neglected and overlooked group of people in the church are never-married (not by choice) and childless Christians over the age of 35.

Related posts on this blog:

(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link): Part 2, The Parable of the Neglected Unmarried – Single – Christian
————————–
(P.S.) I have tagged this post with the terms “women” and “gender roles” because most churches only acknowledge and make room for wives, ex-wives, and mothers.

If you are an older lady who has never married or popped out a kid, churches ignore you or treat you like dirt, or like a freak. They apparently feel the ONLY roles God has in mind for women is motherhood and marriage. Any woman who does not fit either mould is ignored or treated rudely.

You’re only wanted in Christian communities and considered normal if you are a woman who is married with a kid, or at least divorced with a kid. Being ignored or treated like a freak, if you are noticed at all, goes even more so if you are a Christian woman past age 35 who is still abstaining from sexual activity.

——————–

More Related Posts

(Link):  Depressing Testimony: “I Was A Stripper but Jesus Sent Me A Great Christian Husband”

(Link):  Your Church’s Mother’s Day Carnation is Not Worth Any Woman’s Broken Heart – A Critique of ‘When Mother’s Day Feels Like a Minefield’ by L. L. Fields

(Link): Lonely Sunday: Single Christians and the Church’s Opportunity by K. Becker

(Link): Adult Singles Do Not Need A Marital Partner to Be Whole or Complete

(Link):  Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen by F. Everett

(Link):  The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line 

(Link):  Family as “The” Backbone of Society?

(Link):  Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles?

(Link):   Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians | Re: Marriage Not Happening for Hetero-sexual Christians Over the Age of 30

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Singleness Is Not A Gift

(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles by Bella DePaulo  

(Link):  Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer

(Link): Statistics Show Single Adults Now Outnumber Married Adults in the United States (2014)

(Link):  Singles Shaming at The Vintage church in Raleigh – Singlehood Shaming / Celibate and Virgin Shaming

(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

(Link): A Response to the Hemingway Editorial ‘Fecundophobia’ – conservatives and Christians continue to idolize children, marriage – which is unbiblical

(Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article)

(Link):  Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother

(Link):  Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo

(Link):  “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site

(Link):  Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?

(Link): Christian ‘Married People’ Privilege – Most Marrieds Remain Amazingly Blinded to Christian Discrimination Against Singles Or Write Unmarrieds’ Concerns Off, As Though They Are Nothing Compared to Marriage/ Parenting.
Marrieds and Parents also turn every thing into them, about them, about marriage and their needs/ problems

(Link): Candice Watters and Boundless Blog Gets It Wrong / Christian prolonged singlehood singleness singles ignored

(Link): Stop Telling Your Single Friends to Try Dating Sites – Please.

(Link): 34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness

(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy”

(Link): Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

(Link):  You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies

Christian Teachings on Relationships: One Reason Singles Are Remaining Single (even if they want to get married)

Christian Teachings on Relationships: One Reasons Singles Are Remaining Single (even if they want to get married)

I’ve discussed this before, but it’s worth mentioning in its own post:

Many Christians say they are concerned that more and more Christians are not marrying at all, or not marrying until later in life. They don’t understand why.

One of several reasons single Christians are remaining single is due to typical teaching about dating and marriage from most conservative Christian preachers, bloggers, and authors.

Because many Christians remain terrified of other Christians possibly getting involved in fornication, most of their relationship advice, even to unmarried Christians over the age of 35, comes down to: stay away from the opposite sex.

Telling females to stay away from males and vice versa, will only result in keeping Christian singles single.

Other approaches, such as “courting” and telling Christians to “date in groups” doesn’t work, either.

I can understand the group dating approach for teens or maybe blind dates, but for adults over the age of 25?

Evangelicals and Baptists guarantee prolonged or life long singleness by making the dating process convoluted and making singles paranoid of the opposite sex, or acting as though each and every meeting between the genders can and will end in sex.

If Christians want Christians to marry, and they keep saying they do, they need to stop advising Christian singles to stay away from singles of the opposite gender.

That should be obvious, but in many areas of American Christianity, it’s not.

–Some Christian Women Shy Away From Marriage Due to “Biblical Gender Complementarian” Teachings–

On another note, I’ve seen several younger Christian ladies say on other blogs that one reason they stay single is that they are afraid to get married.

They are afraid to get married because many churches teach ‘biblical gender complementarian’ garbage.

Continue reading “Christian Teachings on Relationships: One Reason Singles Are Remaining Single (even if they want to get married)”

The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage

The Creepy Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage

With news that people are getting married later in life, if at all, some conservative Christians, in the past few years, have been pushing Christians to get married real early, say at age 18 or 19, or some suggesting age 21 or 22.

I don’t know why people are getting married later, though I might be able to come up with a few theories. I don’t know what the solution is, but I know what it is not: pushing kids to marry before age 25.

I found this long, mostly nauseating article at Christianity Today:

(Link): The Case For Early Marriage, by Mark Regnerus, first published in 2009

It’s a four or five page editorial, I’ve only seen the first two pages, and I am already fed up with it. I will address the author’s comments a bit at a time.

After mentioning that most Christians are having sex outside of marriage he (the author, Regnerus), makes these statements:

  • “What to do? Intensify the abstinence message even more? No. It won’t work. The message must change, because our preoccupation with sex has unwittingly turned our attention away from the damage that Americans—including evangelicals—are doing to the institution of marriage by discouraging it and delaying it.”
  • I’ve come to the conclusion that Christians have made much ado about sex but are becoming slow and lax about marriage…
  • Another indicator of our shifting sentiment about the institution is the median age at first marriage, which has risen from 21 for women and 23 for men in 1970 to where it stands today: 26 for women and 28 for men, the highest figures since the Census Bureau started collecting data about it.

Regnerus’ only concern is with “young” Christians (ages teens to 20s). How ageist. How about Christian women today who are age 35, 45, etc., who want to get married but have been unable to? Why is the spot light only focused on the 20 somethings by pastors, Christian blogs, and Christian magazines?

I suspect the hand wringing over young singles not getting married young may have something to do with fertility, given how often this author laments that women’s “childbearing” years are passing them by. He seems primarily concerned with getting ’em married young so that kids can be produced.

This point leads me to another: the author, Regnerus, makes several unfounded assumptions; here is one:

  • [quote missing]

Aside from being ageist – where is your concern for age 40+ women who want marriage? – Christians need to understand that some Christians are highly ambivalent about having children (they don’t care if they have children or not), while others are so firm in knowing they want none, they consider themselves what is known as “child free.”

A Christian should not push for marriage on the sole or primary basis that marriage is about “baby making.”

The author assumes that churches are hyping celibacy too much, but not touting the greatness of marriage nearly enough.

Oh get a clue, pal!

Maybe the celibacy message was poured on thick among teens back in the 1980s or 1990s and a bit today, but if you are a Christian virgin over the age of 30 today, you hear nothing from pastors or Christian blogs about the topic! It is just assumed that older Christians who have never married are having sex.

This author’s “solution,” which is for churches to preach and hype on marriage EVEN MORE than they already are doing (and have been doing for 40 or more years now) is quite similar to what Candice Watters wrote about this subject, and she was wrong too – I gave her the smack down (Link): here.

The author comments about how the average age of men and women for marriage has risen, and he uses the phrase “our shifting sentiment about the institution” in introducing this issue. The ‘rising age’ might not be an expression of sentiment – do not assume that because women are marrying at age 27 that they prefer this; there may be plenty that wanted marriage by 25 but it did not happen until 27.

I certainly felt I would be married by age 30 to 35. I never expected to still be unmarried by age 40+. Do not assume I, or by extension, any other woman, delayed singleness this long because I am expressing “anti marriage” sentiment. One cannot marry if one received no marriage proposals. (I received one years ago but had to break things off.)
Continue reading “The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage”

Rare Reminders from Christians on Recent Broadcasts that Fornication is Wrong and That Older Celibates Exist

Rare Reminders from Christians on Recent Broadcasts that Fornication is Wrong and That Older Celibates Exist

On tonight’s “Harvest” show, hosted by Greg Laurie, aired on TBN, Laurie told his audience in very strong terms that the Bible does not condone sex outside of marriage. He said it doesn’t matter if you love the other person and practice “safe sex,” that God is still not fine with sexual activity outside of marriage.

A day or two ago, Christian singer CeCe Winans was host of TBN’s “Praise the Lord” program, where she interviewed a married Christian couple (I don’t recall their names).

The wife of the couple said she was a virgin until she got married, and she did not get married until she was 38 or 39 years old.

Not only that, but the audience (which is presumably made up of Christians) applauded her for that admission.

So quite possibly there are at least some Christians out there still who are supporting, and who believe in, refraining from sex until marriage. It was nice to see someone admit to being past age 35 before getting married and then having sex upon marriage, rather than before.

It’s a nice change from the usual testimonies from all the Christians on these shows who admit they “blew it” and slept around numerous times, only for the Christian host to turn to the camera and reassure other fornicators,
“Aw shucks, but don’t feel so bad if you have sex outside of marriage, because God will forgive your sexual sin! Just stop doing it and start practicing secondary virginity! Be a spiritual virgin now!”

Reminder and disclaimer:

As I’ve said NUMEROUS TIMES on this blog before, it’s not that I am hoping for pastors to go all Pharisee on sexual sinners and stone them to death with rocks

– but –

I at least want them to start making it abundantly clear when discussing sexual sin, God’s grace, and God’s forgiveness that the Bible none-the-less still teaches that God expects people to exercise self-control and remain virgins until marriage, even if they are 35, 45, or 75 years old.

No more of this “Laissez-faire,” La-Dee-Da, lukewarm, watered down, ‘every one has sex outside of marriage, so go ahead and do it, and God will forgive you for it, nobody expects you to remain celibate past the age of 17 years old, and hey, we totally understand it and get it if you’ve had sex outside of marriage’ garbage.

Have we made an idol of families? (copy)

Have we made an idol of families?, by Andy Stirrup [Book Reviews] | published June 6, 2011

Source:

growingfaith.com.au/entertainment/have-we-made-an-idol-of-families

    by Andy Stirrup
    Published: June 6, 2011

    ‘How can we idealise marriage and the nuclear family while clinging to a saviour who was unmarried and without issue?’

    In Sex and the Single Savior, Dale Martin asks an important question: have we made an idol of families? Our knee-jerk reaction is to say, ‘‘Of course not’. But Martin reminds us that sometimes we cling to theologically-phrased excuses for what we do, rather than examine what the Bible actually says. When it comes to the importance we attribute to the family (in conversation at least, even though our practice may undermine our ‘theology’), Martin asks how can we idealise marriage and the nuclear family while clinging to a saviour who was unmarried and without issue?

    The book brings together a number of Martin’s previously published articles to get to grips with a number of issues that have to do with gender and sexuality. He examines what classical and early Christian writers would have understood by the Galatians passage which referes to there being no male and female in Christ. He discusses how odd Jesus’ celibacy would have appeared to his contemporaries. But the most provocative chapter, as far as the family is concerned, is the eighth chapter, ‘Familiar Idolatry and the Christian Case against Marriage’.

    Martin begins the chapter with a bold announcement that mainstream Western Christianity (Catholic and Protestant, liberal and conservative) has made an idol of marriage and the family. It is a strong claim but we would have to agree with him that those who do not fit the nuclear family ‘ideal’ usually find themselves on the fringes of church life. Martin supports his claim by turning both to the New Testament and to the writings of the early Church. He suggests that the early Church was culturally much closer to the New Testament period and so they are better placed to understand the intention of the Biblical texts than modern theologians.

    Continue reading “Have we made an idol of families? (copy)”

What Christians Can Learn from The Walking Dead Re: Family, Singleness, and Marriage

When secular sources get it right – The Walking Dead

(I can see disgruntled “Caryl” fans wanting to leave me argumentative comments about this post. If so, please see the “Policy on Dissent on this blog” before being tempted to leave me a nasty gram. Thank you.)

On the cable channel AMC’s hit show about the zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead, the topic of ‘what is family’ is explored every so often, as it was most recently in last night’s episode, “The Suicide King.” The show centers on sheriff Rick Grimes, who leads a group of survivors, some related by flesh and blood (or marriage), but most not.

The character Rick Grimes has a wife named Lori and son named Carl, and a newborn daughter named Judith (the wife, Lori, got killed a few episode ago).

Other characters under Rick’s charge include (but are not limited to) Hershel Greene, who has two daughters, Maggie and Beth. All the other members of Rick’s group are unrelated through birth or marriage (some previous members were killed in older episodes). They have banded together to survive.

One of Rick’s group includes the redneck survivalist character, Daryl Dixon. Daryl has become the show’s most popular character.

Daryl and his older, racist, sexist, violent brother Merle get separated early on in the show. Daryl grew up in his abusive older brother’s shadow. When Daryl was not being ignored as a child, he was being physically and verbally abused by his brother and possibly by his father, when they bothered to pay any attention to him.

In the episode ‘The Suicide King’ (first aired February 10, 2013), Merle re-enters Daryl’s life. Daryl decides to leave Rick’s group to go off alone with his brother again, because Rick refuses to allow Merle to join the group.

Rick tries to talk Daryl into staying (without his brother Merle), but Daryl is still stuck in the idea that flesh and blood ties is what constitutes “family,” or that flesh- and- blood ties should take priority to other sorts of bonds.

The character Glenn, who doesn’t want Daryl to leave the group, tells Daryl that Merle may be “your blood, but not mine.” Glenn explains that the group of survivors, headed by Rick, is his family now, even though Glenn is not related to any of these people through blood ties – and Rick tells Daryl, “you are part of this family.” Daryl still decides to leave with his brother Merle, however.

You can view a video clip of a few moments of that scene, and the actors from the show discussing the concept of “family” in this video clip:

(Link:) (SPOILERS) Inside Episode 309 The Walking Dead: The Suicide King (Video on You Tube)

Rick’s group of survivors have been more of a family to and for Daryl than Daryl’s own flesh and blood relations – despite a few arguments with one or two other group members (such as the late Shane Walsh), the group has treated Daryl with kindness and respect, and they have come to rely on him for protection and defense.

In one of the last few episodes, when Rick falls apart after his wife Lori dies from childbirth, Daryl willingly risks his life to go out in search of baby formula for the newborn.

In yet earlier episodes, Daryl took it upon himself, and puts himself in danger, to go searching alone in a zombie-infested forest for the twelve- year- old daughter of Carol, Sophia, who went missing at one point.

Daryl, despite his racist family of origins, freely and glady, with no prompting from any one, gives up some of his big brother’s antibiotic and painkiller medication to a black group member, “T-Dog,” who was gravely injured.

Remember, none of these people – Carol, the new born child, T-Dog, Rick, Sophia – are Daryl’s flesh and blood family, but he still acts on their behalf anyway.

In another episode, Rick, Glenn, Oscar and Maggie – all of no relation to Daryl – go to the town of Woodbury to rescue Daryl from one of the show’s bad guys, the Governor.

Throughout the series, Daryl has shown himself not to be a racist, sexist jerk like his older brother Merle. He has a difficult time emotionally connecting with other people, but he is, at his core, a decent guy who tries to help other people.

~~~~~~ ASIDE ~~~~~~~~

Before I return to the main theme of this post (which is, ‘who is family’), I wanted to address another issue about this show:

It may resonate with this blog’s particular audience to know that the actor who plays Daryl has said in interviews that in his mind, the character Daryl, who is also in his 40s, is a virgin. The show’s writers have, so far, never given Daryl a love interest or a sex scene – and remember, Daryl is hugely, hugely popular with the show’s viewers.

(Please click on the “read more” link below to read the rest of this post. Thank you.)
Continue reading “What Christians Can Learn from The Walking Dead Re: Family, Singleness, and Marriage”

Entertainment Staple: You’ve Gone HOW LONG Without Sex – Meant to Produce Yuks

Entertainment Staple: ‘You’ve Gone HOW LONG Without Sex?’ – Meant to Produce Yuks (or sometimes, pity)

I don’t like most Rom Coms (romantic comedies), so I hardly ever watch them.

If one is shown on cable, though, I may tune in.

Last night, I watched “The Proposal.”

In the film, there’s a scene where Sandra Bullock’s character, Margaret, is talking to Ryan Reynolds’ character, Andrew. They’re staying at Andrew’s parents’ home and pretending to be engaged.

Margaret is laying in the bed, and Andrew is on the floor. In a conversation they’re having, Margaret admits to Andrew that it’s been over a year and a half since she’s had sex with a man.

Andrew looks a little surprised by this.

Seeing this scene in the movie reminded me of how often this is used as a staple in movies or television shows: a character admits to not having had sex in X number of weeks, months, or years, and the audience is either meant to feel sympathy, or pity, for the character – or else the audience is meant to find humor in the situation.

I don’t have anything profound to say about this situation, I’m only making note of how often it’s used in dialogue in movies and television shows.

It’s just another example to me of how people have wrong attitudes about sex – as though it’s unheard of for anyone to actually last longer than three days without having sex, or it’s thought of as weird or something to feel pity over.

I hope Hollywood and TV show writers stop using the “I haven’t had sex in three weeks, how awful / amazing / weird/ pitiful is that” shtick any longer.

I would like respect from Christian culture for being celibate, and I would like for older celibates to at least be acknowledged by American Chrisianity (hello, we exist!), but I find the whole pity / shock / revulsion / treating us as though we are side show freaks / disbelief (“OMG, no one is a virgin past the age of 25!”), and other such attitudes from both Christian and Non Christian culture, to be insulting and patronizing.

Topics: Friendship is Possible / Sexualization By Culture Of All Relationships

Every so often, the “Ask Amy” advice column can be instructive, or it reflects themes I’ve mentioned on this blog before.

A letter I saw today was one of those times; this is a letter from a married person to “Amy,” who answers letters mailed to the “Ask Amy” column:

DEAR AMY:

  • “Worried Husband” asked if it was OK to have a “secret friendship” with another woman.
  • Friendships help us get through life. One problem with our understanding of marriage is that it should be the “be-all and end-all” relationship. That is simply impossible. It’s this wrong-headed belief that drives us to feel as if we must have “secret” relationships.
  • If we can learn to develop honest and mature relationships with our spouses (and our friends), we avoid the destructive baggage that comes with keeping secrets. Your spouse doesn’t need to know every single thing that you do or say or feel, but she/he does have the right to not be lied to.
  • Secrets, in the sense of this situation, are lies. — Sally

DEAR SALLY:

  • I agree. Thank you.

I happen to agree with the letter writer too.

There is a web site which is about friendship, and if I could recall its URL, I’d give the link, but I don’t recall it at the moment. At any rate, one of the site’s guest writers, or maybe the guy who runs the site, laments how everything in our culture, and all relationships are sexualized to the point people just assume that males and females cannot be, or remain, platonic friends.

If and when every encounter or relationship is assumed to have romantic or sexual undertones, or that it will result in that, it makes many people hesitant to reach out to other people. It makes females hesitant to befriend males, males females, and marrieds reluctant to befriend unmarried people.

I’m not saying this is not a possibility, by the way. Many, many times over the years, I’ve had men mistake my platonic conversations with them as flirting. A lot of men assume if you are talking to them, even about mundane topics such as the weather, they assume you are hot for them and want to sleep with them or at least date them, when those are nowhere near your mind at all.

But then, I take it that this is due to the fact that males have been conditioned by churches and secular culture to view all women as temptresses who want them sexually. (I discuss this farther below.)

The church is not immune from this sort of thinking, either. Even Christians assume a man and a woman cannot be friends, or cannot remain friends for long, without the relationship turning sexual and/or romantic.

What this does is isolate unmarried people even further than they already are. (I’m not the first to pick up on this, of course. If you’ve read other blogs or books by and for unmarried Christian adults, you will see they’ve noticed this as well.)

It’s often assumed by Christian and secular culture that all men are wolves with huge libidos who will prey on a woman sexually if given even the smallest of opportunities. That may be true of some men, or even 80 – 90% of them, but not all.

And I have to wonder, even if the figure is as high as say, 90%, how much is that due to the male gender’s intrinsic biological make-up, or how much of that is due to the fall (sin entering the world via Adam and Eve) and/or how much is due to socialization.

I have to wonder, if you keep repeatedly telling a young male from the time he’s age ten or 12 or 15 on up, that he’s an absolute horn dog who cannot resist sex, and he’s supposed to want sex all the time, if he will then begin to think and feel that way precisely because he’s being conditioned to believe it by his teachers, blogs, parents, churches, etc., and how much is truly innate?

And there again, the disturbing, sick, troubling, ironic thing (in my view) is it is not just secular culture via movies, TV shows, movies, and rap and rock songs telling young males they’re horn dogs who have an insatiable thirst for sex, it’s also the typical preacher, Christian dating advice blogs, and Christian relationship books that do so as well.

So maybe it’s more of a self-fulling prophecy. Maybe a lot of young guys with otherwise average- to- low- sex drives would not have sex outside of marriage, or at least not before a certain age, if they were not hearing the implication all the time from pastors, Christian dating blogs, secular sources, etc, that there is something wrong or weird about them for either not acting on the urges they have, or for not having a huge sex drive to start with.

Anyway, the socialization aspect especially intrigues me because I was just listening to an online interview a while ago by a Christian guy who visits high schools to talk about sexuality with students, and he said there are teen males who don’t want to have sex yet, who don’t feel ready to have sex, who approach him in private after his lectures, to say they feel tremendous pressure to start having sex, but they’d rather not. They are looking to him to give them responses they can give to people to get them to back off with the pressure.

These teen males say to this Christian guest speaker that males in particular are ridiculed or harassed for remaining virgins past a certain age – which I do not doubt.

(By the way, if I were them – it’s nobody’s business as to your sexual status. If you are a 15 year old guy and your friends ask you if you’re still a virgin, and you would rather not answer for whatever reason, then tell them, “that is private and none of your business.” You’re under no obligation to tell people about your sex life, or lack of one.)

As a female, I can say this pressure and ridicule is also true for females, and it has been true over the last 20 or 30 years. Maybe it used to be true up until the 1950s or mid 1960s, that remaining a virgin until marriage was a huge virtue for females, or that it was more expected of females than males, but about the time I was a teen (in the 1980s) that was no longer true.

Girls get picked on and thought of as “nerdy,” unhip, weird, or a loser if they’re still a virgin at age 18, 20, etc. Girls get bombarded constantly with these idiotic messages from secular feminists that having casual sex and viewing porn is “empowering” for them, so they feel expected to have sex.)

The teen males aren’t alone in being made to feel like freaks or kill joys if they’re not sexually active – teen girls and women in their 20s and beyond also get subjected to this pressure, ridicule, disbelief, etc.

These male teens I was discussing a moment ago would prefer to remain virgins, at least for awhile longer, but they don’t know how to fight the taunts and pressure from their peers to cave in and have sex.

From a female vantage point, I get sick and tired of married women, or chicks with BFs (boyfriends), assuming I want to steal their man. I’ve been a “goody two shoes” my whole life – I’d never break apart another couple. I’m actually the last woman you have to worry about trying to steal your sweetie. For a woman to behave as though I’m a potential “home wrekcer” has always been deeply insulting to me. (I probably have better morals than they do – which I say not to brag, but only to point out how hypocritical some people can be.)

Secondly, on the part of the man or the woman (for I’ve had married men assume I can’t wait to bed them, so they must keep their distance from me), I almost never find these men attractive….
(please click the “read more” link to read the rest of this post, thanks.)

Continue reading “Topics: Friendship is Possible / Sexualization By Culture Of All Relationships”

Pastor on TV: ‘Churches don’t talk about sex enough’ -is he kidding?

I saw about 15 minutes of Ed Young Sr’s show today. He’s a pastor in a church in Houston, Texas, and not to be confused with Ed Young Jr.

Young Sr’s sermon was about sex, and he opened it by saying (paraphrasing):

“SEX! I always wanted to open a sermon by yelling that word! … Christians today don’t want to talk about sex. Churches don’t talk about sex enough.”

What planet has he been living on lately?

(Please click the “more” link to read the rest of this post)
Continue reading “Pastor on TV: ‘Churches don’t talk about sex enough’ -is he kidding?”

‘Sworn Virgins’ of Albania

From Yahoo News

‘Sworn Virgins’ of Albania by Jill Peters

[visit the page to see the photo gallery]

source: news.yahoo.com/photos/sworn-virgins-of-albania-slideshow/

“A perfectly ordinary girl, perhaps with aspirations of marriage and becoming a mother is asked by her family to take a vow of celibacy and foreswear sexual relations for life. She is not being encouraged to join a convent. She is taking on the responsibility and honor of protecting her home, her family and socially becoming a man. In the solidly patriarchal and tribal areas plagued by blood feuds and honor killings of Albania’s rural mountain villages many such women who have “become” men act as the heads of their households. For sacrificing their innate natures, they are afforded considerable masculine privileges. Skirts and blouses are traded for trousers and button downs, long hair cropped to a manly stubble. They smoke, work and swagger about town with the other men. They are referred to as “he” and “uncle”. Their absolute transition is accepted, posited and taken without question by the people among whom they live. They are called Sworn Virgins of Albania, or ‘burneshas’. There are only a handful left.”

Mark Gungor on Sexuality and Singles on Jan. 2013 TBN Guest Appearance

Mark Gungor, who often delivers lectures or commentary about marriage on Christian television shows, is a guest on TBN’s “Praise the Lord” show tonight. I had no plans to make another post to this blog tonight, but I listened to Gungor and had to write something.

In a previous post about Gungor, I explained his off-putting (and weird) view that Christian singles are impersonal, interchangeable widgets, so having a good or happy or successful marriage does not depend on either the unmarried Christian man or woman having anything in common or not, other than salvation in Christ. (I found one post where I mentioned Gungor before, and it might be this one I’m thinking of: “The Right One”)

(Scrolling through those old blog posts caused me to remember when I first began this blog (which was based on an old Geocities site I had – and which I think author Debbie Maken copied off for one of her books on marriage/singleness), I was a lot more chirpy and upbeat. I’ve become more cynical or grouchy as time has marched on, heh. Anyway.)

On tonight’s “Praise the Lord” show, Gungor is discussing women having sex outside of marriage, among other subjects. I’ve not yet heard him address Christian males who are committing fornication. (This episode, this interview with Gungor, will be repeated tomorrow on TBN at 4 PM rebroadcast of “Praise the Lord,” and can probably be viewed on TBN’s “iTBN” site, if you’d like to watch it for yourself.)

Gungor said something during this broadcast like, “It’s not that God doesn’t want to withhold things from you, he’s okay with you having sex, but just get married [first]!”

Uh yeah, Mr. Gungor, you have literally millions of Christian women over the age of 30 today who cannot find a Christian husband, but they would love to get married, and it’s not for a lack of trying or due to a lack of faith. They want to get married and have sex, but marriage is not happening, and they don’t know why.

Christian women desiring marriage were told to try “eHarmony,” pray and trust the Lord for a spouse, and serve other people (because, supposedly, if you’re running around acting like Mother Theresa, you will magically bump into Mr. Right) – but none of that led to a spouse.

Gungor just made the odd comment that some study he saw said that a man who remains single will die sooner (than a married man), that remaining single (for men) has the effect of smoking two packs of cigarettes per day. (He was saying this in the context that a woman can sometimes change a man for the better, wives can have a positive influence on men.)

Well, okay, buddy, but what about any Christian men out there who desire marriage, they prayed to God for a wife, they waited, attended church, tried eHarmony – but still no spouse. Or how about the ones who are still single and who are happy about being single? What of the males whom God called to singleness (for lack of a better phrase; I do not believe God foreordains who will marry vs who will not)?
Continue reading “Mark Gungor on Sexuality and Singles on Jan. 2013 TBN Guest Appearance”

‘Contemporary Christian Virtue’ -Another Blog That Discusses Older Unmarried Christians

Another blog that talks about singleness and older Christians:

Contemporary Christian Virtue, by Shannon Mulvari

One of my favorite posts was this one – which unfortunately only shows up in google cache (she discusses how singles are stereotyped in the church, among other topics, such as how Christian culture exploits celebrity Christian virgins, how celibacy is usually ignored, etc):

Christian Single Adults Not Welcome in American Churches, by Shannon Mulvari (was first posted December 12, 2012)

I don’t know why its author edited or deleted that blog page – it’s an excellent page, and I wish she would re post it.

Here are just a few excerpts:
———————————
Don’t have a wedding band? Don’t have a marriage license? Don’t have children in tow? Played by all the rules and never found that special someone? Looking for encouragement and affirmation? I would not recommend churches today – unless you want to be treated like a leper. They do not welcome single adults, especially those who are older and never married. I’m not sure of all the reasons for this phenomenon. But I can tell you it’s a fact. And it works in both directions. Singles don’t feel needed or included in church activities. And churches don’t include them in leadership roles or welcome them in their congregations or social circles.

… This brings me to [another] reason singles have been excluded — Marriage and the nuclear family have been elevated to the point of representing the highest form of Christian standards. Church members with the gift of singleness who are concerned about the Lord’s affairs as Apostle Paul explains in 1 Cor 7 have been placed in fantasy land. They are theorized as an anomaly so rare, it doesn’t warrant a second thought. They can’t see beyond “the whole world is going to hell.” Instead, churches are hunkering down in fear of the gay lifestyle and circling their wagons tight around their nuclear families – at the expense of every other Christian virtue. I don’t support same sex marriage or the gay lifestyle either. But I don’t let that control my every thought and behavior.

… The fact is, we are no longer living in Mayberry [fictional American town, in a 1960s American television show, where most everyone had Judeo-Christian values] where innocence was taken for granted. There are no rewards for the virtuous Christian single today.
————————————-
[Read the rest of her post]

Liberal Christian Gal Throws Fit Over My Post About Celibacy / Dissent

Dissent on the Christian Pundit Blog

Before I specifically address a message I received from a self-identified liberal Christian woman who was ticked off about my one of my previous posts about sexuality and virginity, I wanted to mention my policy of handling dissent on this blog.

To anyone who visits this blog: I sometimes delete posts by visitors who disagree with me, or who are argumentative or rude.

This is not a blog for debate; that is not its purpose (though I have allowed 2 or 3 posts whose authors disagreed with me to be published in the past, and I replied to them). I use this blog to ‘think aloud’ about things. I am not here to argue with people on this blog.

I have several discussion forums and groups where I work as a moderator, where I regularly allow people who disagree with me to post. I have my hands full with several of those forums and a few other blogs, where I do permit dissent and respond to critics.

I am spread too thin by having to bicker and enforce rules on other blogs, social groups, and sites to want to have to spread myself even thinner by putting in that kind of effort here.

Honestly, when I created this blog about 2 years ago (or three?) I never felt I’d get any followers or many readers. I kind of view this blog as an online journal of mine – not a debate forum.

I want at least one or two blogs where I can post my views without having to debate back and forth and not have to engage with the rude idiots or malcontents one comes across on the internet.

The Message from the Irate, Self- Identified Liberal Christian Female Who Reads The Bible As A Great Big
Allegory And Who Thinks It’s Peachy and Fine For Single Women To Have Sex Outside of Marriage

A few days ago, I received an e-mail notification that I got a new reply to a post on this blog (I think it was a response to the post about how the Church Undervalues Celibacy and Virginity, or it was a reply to a similar post on my blog).

The post was by a self-identified liberal Christian woman, who appeared to be in her 20s or 30s, based on her profile photo.

This liberal woman left a somewhat rude, or at least argumentative, post where she disagreed with my views, and based on her comments, I could tell she has no idea what I believe, because she assumed I hold opinions I do not. She attributed opinions to me that I do not hold.

She clearly had not read my other posts on this blog about my views pertaining to conservative Christianity, sex, marriage, dating, and singleness, and how the church treats people who are hurting and having problems.

I only skimmed her post in part and did not read it in detail, but based on what I remember, here were some of her points (please click the “more” link to read the rest of this post):
Continue reading “Liberal Christian Gal Throws Fit Over My Post About Celibacy / Dissent”

How Christians and Churches Can Be of Help to Older Singles (copy)

One caveat about this post below (originally by a New Zealand author) that I am copying: the author seems to suggest if you are still single past a certain age, it’s because you are ugly. I disagree. I am attractive. I have had males (including Non Christian men who did not know I am a Christian) see my photo at a friend’s house and a sister’s house and request to be set up on dates with me.

I’ve been “hit on” by Non Christian men. So my looks are not the problem – sometimes a person can be very attractive but yet not meet the right mate. Being pretty is not a guarantee of getting a man or of keeping one. Look at movie stars such as Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe: beautiful women and considered sexy by most, but they each kept getting divorced.

I also disagree with this author’s assertion that loss over being an infertile married couple who wants kids is tougher than suffering from loss over never being married but wanting marriage – sometimes I’m okay with being single, but sometimes my grief over missing it far, far out weighs the pain of any infertile woman who misses having a child. That woman at least has a spouse. I have nobody.

TALK DOWN – Preparing for singleness when you’d much rather be preparing for marriage

by By Ross Clark

Source:

singleness.org/talkdown.shtml

… Go to any Christian bookshop and you will find a mass of books on the big issue, the life-changing decision of getting married, and how you should prepare for it. But books on the single life are much harder to come by.

For many, the process of coming to terms with being single is ferociously difficult, yet there is little help to be found in the Church. Pastors spend much time helping faltering marriages. Helping a faltering single is a lesser priority. Why? Shouldn’t we be thinking of how we prepare some people for the single life, specially when their own natural inclinations lie in other directions?

Not every Christian single makes it—too many of the older singles drop out of our churches, and/or marry unbelievers. We need to ask what the churches can do to help Christian singles, because the problem of unreasonable and unrealised expectations which many singles struggle with has its roots in the churches’ own Teaching.

The Glittering Prize

What messages are we giving our teenagers and singles?

Gather a group of fourteen year-olds from any church scene and make them our reference group. Put them in one place, and the conversation will eventually turn to relationships and romance. Given the age, immaturity, and emotional state of the people concerned, that is hardly surprising. But what’s a youth leader to do?

The Biblical standard—no sex outside of marriage — is absolutely clear, and youth leaders work hard to teach it. Generally, they will say something like, “trust God, and he will have his best for you. Save yourself for marriage, it’s your loss if you don’t. God blesses those who trust him.” Or, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”. Somewhat out of context, Jer 29:11 will get a look-in.

Dating, at any age, is often described as “not really God’s will. Instead, trust him to bring you his choice for you.” Or — and without any Biblical justification — “God already has someone for you, if you just trust in him”. A variant on this is, “Yield your rights and God will have just the right person for you”.

When the issue of sexuality is confronted, dire warnings are given to anyone who would threaten to cross the line, generally raising the obvious threats of STDs and pregnancy. Later on, the concern shifts to Christians who ‘live in sin’, and all sorts of horror stories will be trotted out about what happens to the Christians who do so.

And so a very powerful expectation is created concerning marriage: it is made to appear the ‘glittering prize’, God’s blessing for doing the right thing, particularly in facing off sexual temptation. The teaching that obedience will inevitably be accompanied by the appropriate blessing — generally, a good marriage, family and status amongst the people of God — further cements this judgment. That this becomes part of the “success fantasy” foisted on people (the term is Tony Campolo’s) is not even realised.
Continue reading “How Christians and Churches Can Be of Help to Older Singles (copy)”

News headline: Out of Wedlock Births Are Now The “New Normal”

Remember my previous, recent post,

Conservative Christianity Stuck in 1950s Leave it To Beaver-ville

That post was brought to mind when I saw this headline on CBN News.com:
Out-of-Wedlock Births Society’s ‘New Normal’
(Source: cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/December/Out-of-Wedlock-Births-Societys-New-Normal/ | Date: December 18, 2012)

___START EXCERPT____

More children are now being born outside of marriage, according to a new study by the National Marriage Project and the Institute for American Values.

The report focuses on what it calls “middle-America,” the nearly 60 percent of Americans who complete high school but not college.

Among that group, 44 percent of children are now born outside of marriage. That’s up from 13 percent in the 1980s.

___END EXCERPT____

And yet, most American churches continue to act as though everyone (at least as though Non Christians) is a virgin until marriage and has two or three kids by the time they are 30 years old, and continue to act as though such married couples stay married (even though divorce rates are very high, for both Christians and Non Christians).

Oddly, though, and as I have mentioned in other posts, most churches behave as though all unmarried Christians are engaging in sex (even though some of them are not), and even though they tell unmarried Christians in sermons, magazines, television shows, and blogs, “But you really should not have sex outside of marriage! Fornication is a no-no. But remember, when you do have sex as an unmarried person (and we all know you will!), God will forgive you, so the fornicatin’ all over the place is all cool! So don’t worry about it!”

(That is a topic I discussed in yet another older post, The Contemporary Church Undervalues Celibacy / Virginity)
Continue reading “News headline: Out of Wedlock Births Are Now The “New Normal””

Celebrities who waited until marriage to have sex (list 2)

Remember my last post on this topic:

Celebrities who waited until marriage to have sex

Because the church does a hideous job of providing encouragement, support, and examples of celibacy and virginity to Christians over 25/ 30 years old, here’s another list of secular examples you may find encouraging (though a few on this list might be Christians):

Celebrity Virgins: Stars Who Spoke Publicly About Being A Virgin

(source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/celebrity-virgins-stars-who-spoke-about-being-virgin_n_2239884.html)

If you want to read the whole list please visit the URL above. Here’s just one example:

Adriana Lima
Victoria Secret model Adriana Lima was often dubbed the “world’s sexiest virgin.” She had no problem strutting her stuff in bikinis and lingerie, but decided she wasn’t having sex until after she was married.

“Sex is for after marriage. [Men] have to respect that this is my choice. If there’s no respect, that means they don’t want me. When we’re traveling together for the first time, we sleep in different rooms. That’s the number one thing,” she told GQ in 2008.

Celebrities who waited until marriage to have sex

I think it’s a sad, sad commentary on American society these days when people who are virgins until they marry, or who remain celibate after a divorce are considered special, unique, or newsworthy. If anything, waiting until marriage, even if you’re a virgin at 30 or 40, because you have not married yet, should be viewed as the norm, not the exception.

However, I think maybe an article like this might encourage some older Christian singles, since goodness knows they aren’t getting encouragement for remaining celibate from the church in America.

I have no plans of copying the entire list, so if you want to see it, you will have to visit their site.

Celebrities Who Abstained: They Waited Or Are Waiting Until Marriage To Give Up Their V-Cards
Source:
styleblazer.com/75357/celebrities-that-waited-for-marriage-or-are-waiting-until-
marriage-to-give-up-their-v-cards/

These stars might be sex symbols, posing in sensual photo shoots, shooting steamy scenes and writing lyrics that could sing the pants off anyone, but don’t be mistaken: these celebs are pretty conservative when it comes to what happens between the sheets. Here are 19 celebrities who waited til marriage or are waiting until marriage to give up his or her v-cards.

Lolo Jones

The American Hurdler that fell short of medals at the 2012 Olympics is still holding on tight to her V-Card. “It’s just something, a gift I want to give my husband” says 30-year old Jones, saying that abstaining from sex has been “Harder than training for the Olympics.” The American Hurdler that fell short of medals at the 2012 Olympics is still holding on tight to her V-Card. “It’s just something, a gift I want to give my husband” says 30-year old Jones, saying that abstaining from sex has been “Harder than training for the Olympics.”

Kathie Lee Gifford

The Today show host kept her sacred treasure all to herself until she was 22, when she gave it up to her first husband Paul Johnson, something she reveals in her autobiography. “My lifelong self-consciousness about my body seemed, miraculously, to fade away…” Gifford says of the experience.

Lisa Kudrow

The Friends star is nothing like the free-loving hippie she played on the show. Lisa remained a virgin until she was 31, a decision she explained while promoting her 1999 film The Opposite of Sex. “My virginity was something I’d decided was very precious…an honor I was bestowing on a young man.” That young man turned out to be her husband, Michael Stern.

Kevin Jonas

At the age of 22, the oldest Jonas Brother wore a “purity ring” until 2007, when he married Danielle Deleasa (the co-star on the new reality show Married to Jonas.)
Continue reading “Celebrities who waited until marriage to have sex”