Papa-Lu: November 2002 Archives

Clueless yet Condescending

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Clueless Australian in over her head still manages to talk down to chastity proponents.

"Chastity is fundamental to our lives," says Paul Bray, 21. "For us, it means real freedom and it's far more radical than anything else on offer. There's a feeling of renewal among young people. We are no longer under false illusions about the world and we are no longer slaves to the notion that anything goes."

Bray aside, it is the more extreme followers of celibacy who are setting the climate of new puritanism.

What??? How much more extreme can you get than to say, "We are no longer under false illusions about the world and we are no longer slaves to the notion that anything goes."? It flies directly in the culture's face in a firm and resolute way! I smell an angle.

With their lifelong vows and the daily crushing of their "natural urges" - masturbation is also strongly discouraged - they refuse to contemplate at which point purity might risk turning withered, and chastity turning bitter. This, after all, is a generation that has inherited the legacy of '60s permissiveness without ever witnessing the suffocating repression of the '50s.

Ah, here's the angle! The author subscribes wholeheartedly to what the culture says! What a huge surprise.

Even those young Americans who have lost their virginity are invited to "reclaim" it with a pledge in which they promise not to sleep with anyone else until they are married. This notion of "secondary virginity" is spreading among American brides who are reclaiming their virginity for their wedding nights. It is now common in some states, especially in the South, to abstain from sex for up to a year before marriage.

For a WHOLE YEAR? You're s**tting me!

Reclaiming virginity - hmm... I wonder what our author thinks of that...

The irony [that's what she thinks of it in case you missed it - it's 'ironic'] of these "secondary virgins" has astounded sociologists. "I find the mental gymnastics incredible," Walter Edgar, a professor of southern studies at the University of South Carolina, says.

"The horse is already out of the gate. You're either a virgin or not."

Mental gymnastics? First of all, is "southern studies" really a major? Man, I thought my sociology degree was worthless. OK, OK, ad hominem aside... what is so uneven-barsish about repentance and forgiveness? Oh wait, am I moralizing? Shooooot.

Our author then quotes Father Groeschel's The Courage to be Chaste:

"Half the people you meet on the bus or in a shopping centre, or even a church on Sunday, have had some genital sexual experience during the preceding few days," Groeschel says. "The single person lives in a world of continuous sexual bombardment. The media trumpets the message that sex brings happiness. If this were true, we would indeed live in an earthly paradise and the world would be 'happy valley'."

I wonder what our author thinks of this...

Members of Youth 2000 are far more welcoming than the book but no less fixed in their views.

What exactly is 'unwelcoming' about Father Groeschel's quote? He says most people are sexually active in some form (pretty apparent truth, though possibly arguable if you like to pick fights), states that the media trumpet the message that sex brings happiness (a truth confirmed by watching any network any night of the week, or listening to any popular radio station any time of day - again, you could argue if you're the idiot-type), and argues that sex does not necessarily equal happiness. Nothing judgmental, nothing harsh, just presents his view. Yet somehow he managed to offend our author. "The Word of God is a two-edged sword."

The reassertion of chastity may be driven by fear of the hereafter but it is hard not to wonder whether what they fear most of all is the big, bewildering here and now, where nothing is certain. A world they have closed out in favour of a safe place without danger or confusion or disappointment - let alone infection - and where, for the moment at least, they belong. That, along with God, is what gets them through those long, still nights.

Amazing! In drawing her conclusion, the author just completely ignored all of the very rational reasons the interviewees gave for remaining chaste. Instead, the author decides they are "driven by fear of the hereafter." Such incredible condescension! By ignoring them, the author is holding them up for ridicule. If I were to ask you why you drive a Ford, and you were to reply, "Because it gets better gas mileage than a Chevy," and if I were then to conclude and write that you drive a Ford because your daddy told you to, I would be calling you either a) naive, b) a liar or c) deluded. Why would a person do this?

What's that you say? "The author has an agenda - probably that of justifying her own lifestyle?" Weeeeeell, far be it from me to say a thing like that. But if you wish to hold such an opinion, I certainly respect it.

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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Papa-Lu in November 2002.

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