Marrying For Sex

One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers has an interesting and accurate seeming account of the effects of conservative American Christianity’s obsessive and draconian opposition to all premarital sex and its implications for contributing to the hysteria about children learning about same sex couples:

I teach at a large university in a conservative part of the country, and I think a large part of this fear of children learning that – gasp – people can be attracted to the same sex, has to do with the religious right’s emphasis on marriage as a primarily sexual institution. They would not agree with that, of course, but look at how they teach sexuality education to their children:  “Abstinence til marriage.  Nothing else need be said.”  (Thus sending the message that sex and marriage are yoked at the hip.

The conservative youth group “Young Life” is very active where we live (high schools and college), and I cannot tell you how many young people (18-21) I know who have gotten married because they simply cannot hold out sexually any longer.  They get married in order to have sex.  They don’t get married because they love the person; they may be deeply in love, but that’s not why they’re getting married at that particular time — they’re getting married before they finish college, before they have decent-paying jobs, before they have health insurance, because they are afraid they won’t be able to control their sexual urges any longer.

Sex is intrinsically linked to marriage.  Sex=marriage=sex.

The full e-mail which further elaborates on his observations is here.

Your Thoughts?

Why I Support American Atheists Reaching Out To Conservatives At CPAC
Before I Deconverted: I Saw My First “Secular Humanist” On TV
Alix Jules On Being An African American Humanist
Why Would Being Controlled By A Brain Be Any Less Free Than Being Controlled By An Immaterial Soul?
About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Palmer Avery

    Certainly this is how I was raised. One of the many sad parts is that Christian/religious parents don’t usually understand what effect this will have on their children. I.e. they think it’s the right way to raise them, they think they are “safeguarding” their children, most have noble intentions. I was able to shake off this thinking before I married, and so didn’t “marry for sex.” Still, it took me “too long” to arrive at a well-adjusted position towards women and sex, because of the fear and guilt instilled in me from a very young age.

  • Holiday Longing

    The Biblical position against sex outside of marriage does not mean that sex=marriage, but that marriage=a deep. deep relationship which is reflected in the sex act. It’s totally possible to wait a long time for marriage (and sex) when an accurate Biblical view of marriage is painted. I know.

  • Buffy

    That’s their trap. You must be married to have sex (unless you’re an evil fornicator bound for hell). And if you’re gay you can’t be allowed to marry because marriage is only for proper, godly, straight people. Forbid marriage to gay people then condemn them for having sex outside of marriage (“See! They’re lustful, promiscuous people who aren’t capable of monogamy!”) .

  • Paula S

    Unfortunately I was raised this way too. My sex lecture from my mother was simply “Sex is something you don’t do until after you’re married and then it’s only for having children.” I grew up thinking it was something very unpleasant and didn’t really look forward to it. This is very sad. What a twisted reality I had and I know other children do as well.

  • Evangleos

    This is fascinating from a classicist’s perspective because the relationship between sex and marriage has gone through numerous redefinitions. For the Ancient Greeks and Romans (and Babylonians, Assyrians, and I’ll venture to say the Hebrews too, but I’ve got nothing to back any of these three up with at the moment), sex did equal marriage without question. This is why it is so confusing in Homer when the relationship between Paris and Helen is described; they certainly aren’t married (Helen is still property of Menelaus and no one “yoked” Helen to Paris), but they are acting like a married couple. So what language could a poet use to describe it?

    Hmm, now that I think about it, I’m tempted to take it back because I just remembered the sex-life of a typical Athenian citizen: he had his wife (for procreation), his concubine/mistresses, a prostitute once in a while. and (depending on his age) a young male lover too. Heh, alright so meaningful, heterosexual sex was pretty rare. Though, to be sure, heterosexual sex wasn’t always meaningful for an Athenian because there was such an extreme segregation of the genders.

    Like I said, fascinating.

  • Leon

    There is an angle to all of this that explains very clearly what happens when same sexes come together. Tt is so unpopular that it is scoffed at and dismissed without a further thought. It is called Demonised. Not just a word but a real spiritual demon. It is mentioned all throughout the bible and it is a reality, I should know, I have driven them out of people before. Would God Call something detestable and then condone it. Oops, sorry, I used the G word. Now I am realy in trouble. Comming out is one thing, but wanting to live a normal life is another. Men dont fit men and woman dont fit woman. There must be something wrong with this picture. I am very open minded and would love to debate this subject.

  • George W.

    I am glad, Leon, that you are so “very open minded”. I wonder if you could explain to me what you would consider to be the closed minded opinion on this subject, because I suspect that your answer will be any opinion that is unlike your own. I am happy to debate this subject with you, but first I want to get some clarity on your position. Please answer the following questions for me so that I know what I am arguing against:
    1. If homosexuals are “demonised”, and by that I’m sure you mean demonized, and by that you mean the subjects of demonic possession; why do so many homosexuals appear to be otherwise quite nice people? I mean, I have one of these “demonized” people in my city who is the chair of at least seven local charities, including a Christian one. Wouldn’t demons try to be evil all the time and not just in his bedroom? Are they only offered dominion over his libido? Are they trying to be sneaky, and if so, why do they need to volunteer for so many charities when two or three would suffice? Wouldn’t they want to be sneaky while at the same time doing as little good as possible?
    2. If demons are the root cause of homosexuality, why do the ones who speak in tongues and use Christian references only manifest themselves in ardent believers of Christianity and only in cultures where possession is a cultural meme? Why do atheists or Buddhists for example seem to never be possessed in the same way as Christians? Does a lack of faith make one safer in regards to being “demonized”?
    3. Is there the possibility that “demonized” Christians are just passing the buck for their own perceived shortcomings in a way that absolves them within their church culture?
    4.Don’t these demons have other things to do? I mean, I have a friend who is gay, and I knew he was probably before he did, at about 9 years old. I’m talking shoe obsessions and hand cream here, this kid was fruitier than a Dole cannery. We remained friends, and he didn’t have his first sexual encounter until age 23. That’s 14 years of sitting around waiting to do some evil. For that matter, why not chose something more evil, like murder or rape, those things get you at least a spray radius of evil. No, your right, it is far more evil to make someone create a taboo bond with someone of the same sex.

    I have tons more questions for you Leon, I’m very open minded and would love to debate this.

    To answer your question, the only one you asked, “Would God Call something detestable and then condone it?”

    Read Lev. 18:22 and Lev. 20:13 again. In my KJV it uses the word “Abomination”

    Now read the following verses in order: Lev. 11:10-12, 11:13-20 then 11:41-43. Now read Acts 10:11-15, and Gal. 3:23-25. It appears to me that God has in fact called something detestable and then later condoned it. I’m not saying he’s good with the gays, just that you are wrong to think he has never used the word “detestable” or “abomination” and then changed his tune….

    Please educate me….

  • Leon

    Hi George, Nice to chat with you. Let me answer your questions to the best of my ability.
    1) The people who are gay are normaly some of the most fantastic people you can meet. I also have gay friends and aquaintences and I find them to be very loyal, loving and generous people. I am not saying that they are bad people. What I am saying is that they are demonised in a certain area of their lives and that they can be set free of that. Demons find a right to enter into people and there they may stay until they are denied the right to stay and then they must leave. Demons are spirit and need a body to live in. They will not necessarily manifest while left alone but when confronted with the Holy Spirit, they may give themselves away. What they do do is to mislead the person into thinking that they need a same sex relationship and therefor the person demonised feels comfortable with there sexuality. Or do they, they are for ever trying to justify what they are and what they feel. This is not normal, is it. Great as they may be, they have a probem that can be fixed, if only they want to.
    2) This question is a very important one. Demons manifest in christians more readily when confronted with the Spirit of God. They have better access to Him because they pray and meditate on the bible etc. Other religions do not and therefor are not much of a threat to the demons. Don’t for a minute think that people from other religions do not receive demons. Demons do not posess a christian because his heart belongs to Jesus, but if he has unconfessed sin, the demons have a right to stay until they are found out and expelled. This is done through confession of the sin and a casting out of the demon. The demon is then told to leave. This command, in the name of Jesus, it must obey.
    3) The problem with demonisation is that it is not detected easily in a non scriptual or non Holy Spirit based church. Even then a demon can lay low for a long time before being found out. That is why one of the gifts of the Spirit is a decerning of spirits. This helps a pastor or councelor detect these things more easily and is then able to help the person. No person wants to believe that he is demonised, so this is a very delicate thing to work with. Hope you are getting what I am trying to say .
    4) The demons I have worked with normaly come from before birth, or have been around for a long time. Their only job is to get this person out of God’s hands and to lead them astray. “No man comes to the Father but by me”. Once they have found a person to demonise, they can hang in there indefinitely.
    A gay person who wants to live a normal sexual life can do so if they want to.
    I certainly do not have all the answers but would love to chat some more. Leon.

  • Leon

    Hi George, where you go.

  • Leon

    Are there any other takers, I find it difficult to believe that the so called athiest does not at least find the spirit world interesting. It is easy to say that I believe in nothing, no creator, no higher power, no rule maker, no instruction manual for life, no nothing. I am the result of a big bang that not even the author believed in. My opinion is that athiesm is a cop out and that I then do not have to conform to any rules for life,and because I believe in nothing, nothing can harm me. I can play in satans domain or in Gods domain and I am exempt from all wrong. I only have to be a good citizen and not kill, steal or destroy. Enough said. What do you say.I am not looking for a fight, I would love to debate these things. Leon.

  • Leon

    If I am Wrong, I have lost nothing. If you are wrong, you have lost everything. Love ye.Leon

  • Daniel Fincke

    Here you go, Leon, watch both videos all the way through and if you have a substantive reason to disagree with them feel free to leave your comment there.