Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Purity Ball??!!

Once Again Our Founder Is Struck by the Bolt of the Sutra of Bodhi!

Something That’s Just Not as Good an Idea as First Thought.

Purity Balls? Can I believe what I’m hearing? The Middle East of this world may be the ultimate expression of religious zeal taken too far. But sex in hometown USA is another area that shows what can happen when those plagued by their own guilt have just a little too much time on their hands.

In case you haven’t heard, as a way of teaching abstinence to pre and early teen girls, Purity Balls are being held, like a wedding reception or debutant ball, complete with refreshments, fancy cake and a band. The girls are escorted to the ball by their father and are encouraged to sign pledges or make vows to remain pure and chaste until marriage. These affairs are financed in some cases by federal sex education funds for teaching abstinence.

In the first place, is it really a good idea to have fathers in the driver’s seat when it comes to intimate discussions regarding the development a young girl’s sexual expression? Particularly the fathers who claim to know teenage boys because they themselves were predators when they were younger? It seems to me that there are two problems here. First, is the problem of the teacher who has learned the material from the wrong perspective. The fact that a father understands predatory behavior doesn’t make his attitude appropriate for teaching his daughter. At least one of the things he is likely to do is to give his daughter several incorrect impressions about men. Not the least of which is the impression that men, for their own good, need to be led whatever. Any good man who senses that attitude is going to see a warped sense of values and decide not to waste time trying to reverse years of perverse indoctrination.

Next, have these people forgotten the lesson of the Scribes and Pharisees? “Do as they say, not as they do.” That lesson came straight from the Top. Where I come from it’s taken for granted that when a politician or preacher begins to pound the podium a little too hard on the subject of sex, you need to make sure he’s not staying too late after school at the little girl’s club. Or the little boy’s club. Isn’t the sexual education of a daughter the province of a mother? Not that a father and daughter couldn’t relate on this subject, but it seems to me that there’s a reason that society has traditionally left this subject to mothers and daughters. And that reason isn’t embarrassment or ignorance. It has more to do with playing with fire.

There is a complaint that a fair piece of these events have been financed with funds earmarked for teaching abstinence as sex education. I’m not all that concerned about this. Government money that goes back to the people at lower local levels is rarely a problem unless it creates a massive imbalance. There are all kinds of social programs which are basically boondoggles at the taxpayer’s expense. In a cash to cash economy such as ours, if small amounts of money (tens or hundreds of thousands rather than billions) are infused at low local levels, all that money does is stimulate the economy. Think of it. Where does the money for a Purity Ball really go. Money to rent the hall. Money for decorations. Money for the cake. Money for the dinner. Money for the music. That means money to the VFW or church hall, the local five and dime, the baker, the caterer and the local DJ or band.

Of course these days, all that money may go to the local Wal-Mart and that’s a problem. At least things have improved to the point where the local Wal-Mart, the local Costco, the local Home Depot and the local Office Depot are all competing for that money. But that’s another story.

The money spent on Purity Balls isn’t the problem. People who honestly, sincerely, wish to teach Abstinence or Intelligent Design don’t scare me. In fact whenever educators present either side of the coin fairly they do a service. God is the God of Truth and it is certain that the Truth will set you free. While “He who increases knowledge, increases sorrow.” it is equally true that Knowledge is Power.

Of course getting back to massive imbalances, I think the elections of George Bush are a prime example that the money and power going to the right these days is creating a massive imbalance. If fear of electing someone who might be sexually indescrete causes people to vote for someone who's corporate greed drags us into a war more destructive to ourselves than the enemy, I'd call that an imbalance. But that is money being injected in huge amounts at high levels of our society and that, is another story. Once the decision has been made to appropriate funds for any sort of education, the concern about funds for teaching anything to our youth should be that the money is honestly spent on teaching. Money spread around in moderate amounts to teach the truth at the local level can only do good as long as all sides of the question have access to the appropriations process.

No, the thing that really scares me about Purity Balls is getting young women to sign chastity pledges. Like the people who ask teens to sign pledges not to take drugs, if these pledges are not coupled with proper education of ALL sides of the issues, the adults involved are just setting the teens up, like Humpty Dumpty, to take a great fall.

Young people, when the hormones and temptation kick in, experiment with sex. The same way that most all people experiment with drugs, when depression or boredom and temptation kick in. Both are natural urges and can only be properly treated with extensive education and training. That’s why there should be more education on sex and drugs rather than less. You don’t think drugs are natural urges? Then why does every culture I can think of smoke something and drink alcohol? Talk about a need for education.

Young people are going to experiment with sex, and like telling them that drugs are bad, telling pre teens that all sex is bad is painting yourself either a liar or stupid. The problem with sex and drugs from an adolescent point of view is that they’re good. Too good. Better than anyone can believe at that age. And unless you learn the dark side of too much pleasure, you will not be able to deal with the irresponsible overindulgence or addiction, be it chemical or emotional dependency.

Getting a young person to sign a pledge or vow that, in all likelihood, they can’t possibly keep is akin to child molestation or sexual harassment. It is an adult, a superior, a guardian, who, for the ease and satisfaction of that guardian, convinces the child to follow a path that seems at the time to be the upstanding thing to do. Make a vow to follow a noble path. They are setting the child up for a lifetime of guilt. A vow once made, cannot be taken back. But that’s no worry to the one who led the young person to make that onerous vow. Anyone who is thinking of counseling someone to make a vow should first read about vows in Ecclesiastes 5:4-7:
“When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake; why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase, empty words grow many: but do you fear God.” (The Revised Standard Version)
And if that doesn’t sober you up, I don’t know what will.

The older I get the more I realize I'm not "just like my father." I am my father. If a parent is worried a child will stray, the parent first needs to look to the example that child is learning from. It isn't the randy boy that will corrupt your daughter, it is the lack of example and lack of role model she has had from which to develop her own character.

If that father, who thinks he knows what young boys are after, really wants to protect his daughter, he needs to (without going into details of course) confess his own sin to his daughter and ask her forgiveness for not being the man she deserves to have as a father. He needs to explain to his daughter how he would live his life if he had the chance to do it all over again.

Given the opportunity to experience that kind of humility in a man, a young girl will never settle for a young tough who is nothing but testosterone on a stick.

If you really think you’re a man and can talk to your daughter about sex, turn your bible to the 22nd book. It’s called the Song of Solomon. If you want to discuss sexuality with your daughter, have a discussion about the meaning of that book and its place it scripture. - © 2007 The Chewed End All rights reserved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find it rather alarming that our government is funding these purity balls. Many of the churches promoting this stuff are Reconstructionist denominations. Reconstructionists follow the teachings of John Rousas Rushdoony and Gary North, and their goal is to eventually take over America and install their brand of faith as the state religion.

Here are a couple of websites that will show you what these folks really believe:

And, here is a link for VisionForum, a HUGE promoter of the Purity Ball concept and one of America's leading homeschooling curriculum companies. VisionForum is run by Doug Phillips, son of ex-Reagan cabinet member Howard Phillips and pastor of Boerne Christian Assembly, a hyper-patriarchal Reconstructionist congregation where women are relegated to virtual slavery in their own homes, denied higher education, are not permitted to participate in prayer in the church services, make prayer requests in church, or even receive communion unless it is served to them by their husband or another male member of the congregation.

The Phillipses are quite the father and son team, too -- Howard Phillips is the founder of the Constitution Party, whose 2004 presidential nominee was League of the South member Michael Peroutka. While the Constitution Party courted the votes of the League of the South and other Southern hate groups in 2004, Howard's son, Pastor Doug, was hard at work garnering the Christian vote, encouraging his congregation to vote for Peroutka and warning them that they were not spiritually "at liberty" to vote for the Bush or Kerry because of their unBiblical stances on key issues.

And our government is funding father-daughter dinner dances for these groups. Sweet.

Seamus O'Bròg is an artist and freelance writer who tries to turn life's irritations into life's lessons.

His money back guaranteed newsletter "The Pitfalls of Unlocked Cell Phones and SIM Card Cloning" can be purchased by clicking here.