by Kenneth Justice
~Growing up in Evangelical circles there was one thing I heard all my life;
–) Sex before marriage – BAD
–) Sex after marriage – Good
Not only do Christian parents, teachers, priests, and pastors tell us that sex before marriage is bad……they also say; ‘Sex before marriage is….a SIN” Of course, statistically we know that the percentage of people who are virgins when they marry is very low.
We also know…statistically….many people enjoy sex before marriage. But of course….just because we ‘enjoy’ something doesn’t always mean it is ‘good’ for us.
Question a Priest or Minister on the subject and they will hurl a bunch of bible verses at you to ‘prove’ that sex before and outside of marriage is a damnable behavior.
But, ‘questions‘ are what The Culture Monk is all about!
So…..does the bible say sex before and outside of marriage is a sin???
Actually, what the bible does say about sex…..at times is very weird.
Here is a short run down;
The bible says,
–) It is okay if a man rapes a virgin! All he has to do is pay the father 50 shekels of silver…and he’s off the hook! (Deut 21)
–) It is okay for a raped woman to marry her rapist…it is actually biblical! (Deut 21)
–) It is okay for a father to sell his daughter into slavery! (Exodus 21:7)
–) It is okay for a man to marry multiple wives! (Exodus 21:10)
Now those are just a few of the bizarre ‘biblical’ views of sex and marriage….
Quote those verses to a conservative Priest or Pastor and they will feel backed up against a wall and respond, “Well…..those were just cultural things that God allowed back then…..God really doesn’t want those to happen”
Yet, those same conservative Priests and Pastors are the people who rail against the cultural practices of our modern world!
Let me go on the record; I am against rape. I believe rapists should be locked away and the key thrown into a bottomless pit……I guess I disagree with the bible on this one……
So where does this leave us?
–) I believe it is important that for those of us who are religious…..that we are careful to not hurl bible verses at people who have differing views.
–) I believe it is important to be realistic; sex before marriage is a normal part of life in Western Cultures…..instead of making our children feel guilty…why not be more open with our children about sex? This isn’t to say that I’m encouraging young people to have sex before marriage; but it does mean that I’m not going to live in a bubble and pretend that it is the ‘end of the world’ if they are going to hook up.
–) I believe it is important for those of us who are religious, to not get caught up in worshiping particular bible verses that we love, and ignoring bible verses that we don’t love
–) Finally, for those of us who are religious, I believe we need to be more honest about the bible……there are a lot of things in the bible that we need to condemn; like rape, and forced slavery, and genocide……perhaps we have been reading those verses in the bible in the wrong context and we need to take a fresh new look at those troubling portions of scripture.
How can we expect to be taken seriously if we pretend that genocide, rape, slavery…and other horrendous behaviors that the bible appears to condone…..are okay???
Do you have the courage to admit genocide in the bible is wrong?
Of course…..there is one thing the bible doesn’t mention and I take it as a serious offense that the writers left it out; coffee!
I think I’ll have a cup right now.