Celibacy, Asexuality, The Bible and Repeated Misconceptions

I got a bit of criticism for this post about not doing research on the Christianity and celibacy, and asexuality (I want to talk more about that later on).

There have been some criticisms aimed at some churches  for not adequately accommodating for single adults, especially those who are in their late 20’s or older. In the post, I also mentioned the backlash against the purity movement and the demand that the LGBT remain celibate and I have argued before in another blog that, if that’s meant to be, churches must be the place where a single person’s (both straight and LGBT+), emotional needs are met. As you’ll read in the first link I inserted, there is a view that some churches are not fulfilling that role in a single people’s lives and too often, programs and cell groups exclude single people. I get that it’s not the case with all churches, and I probably should have made that clear in the last post and for any misunderstanding and possible offence, I do apologise.

Asexuality and the Bible

There are a number of attitudes among Christians about this. In 2013, blogger Aydan made a blog post highlighting three attitudes that are common among Christians when talking about asexuality. Those who are supposedly fine with asexuality often refer to two verses in the New Testament: Matthew 19:10 12 and 1 Corinthians 7: 7. In the Biblehub website, I found this quote by one of the Gill’s exposition interesting:

The apostle speaks not of his state or condition , as married or unmarried, for it is not certain which he was; some think he had a wife, others not. it looks, however as if he had not at this time. (emphasis mine)

So, biblical scholars are unsure whether St. Paul was always single or whether he was married at least before his conversion. I have read on Facebook at one time that one commenter thought that it would’ve been likely that he was married sometime when he was a Pharisaic Jew. Something about the idea that these verses talk about asexuality doesn’t add up.

Does that mean asexuals can’t get married, even if they are hetero – romantic? Should Christians speak against the marriage of asexuals and demand that they remain celibate? What if an asexual is willing to be sexually active for a sake of a spouse or to have a baby?

I think arguing that Matt 19: 10 – 12 and 1 Corinthians 7: 7 are talking about asexuality and therefore, they should be given permission in the Church not to marry has a danger of placing all asexuals in the same group, when, in fact, asexuals are as diverse as any other group of people? So what then? Should they still remain single for life, even if they aren’t aromantic, or have a libido or willing to have sex with a spouse?

I still don’t think it affects my original argument – Churches must not exclude single parishioners/ church members, regardless of orientation. There must be adequate cell – groups, activities, etc where single people of all ages feel welcome and included in all areas of church life.

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Good News For Singles Apparently.

Scottish woman, Jessie Gallen, has just turned 109, making her Scottland’s oldest living woman. Her secret? Eating porridge for breakfast daily… and remaining single! She’s never married. So there IS good news for singles. Of course, she does keep active and lives a healthy lifestyle. Bit of a contrast though to seemingly endless data suggesting that married or people in long – term committed relationships live longer then people who are single.

What I think About Feminism

Debates about feminism is starting to rage again. Yesterday, on Weekend Sunrise, I caught most of a discussion about how young women don’t embrace feminism.

I have some pretty strong views in feminism. As an ideology, feminism has played a role in the condemnation of discrimination and domestic violence. Partly, at least, feminism played a role in making marital sexual abuse a criminal offence. Women in Australia and the UK are indebted to feminists to ensure that women have the right to vote.

in my honest opinion, I think many women in particular, have dropped the ball. I think women are demonised when they speak out about sexual harassment and rape victims still often don’t feel safe to come out in fear of not being believed (this happens to men too, I get that). There is still wage  gaps between men and women (in Australia, women are paid approximately 17% less than men doing the same job).

 

There is downside to how feminism has occurred. It seems to me that the biggest argument against feminism is that it’s misandrist (man – hating), and has become about demonising men of rape when the accused is innocent. Statements like “all men are rapists” doesn’t help anybody, men or women. Misinformation doesn’t help anyone either. The hashtag campaign on Twitter #YesAllWomen was inspired by the massacre committed by Elliot Rogers in California earlier this year, despite the fact, that four of the six people killed were men. Later, I found the parody campaign #EndFathersDay campaign distasteful.

 

Secondly, feminism in the West falls short of condemning abuses against girls and women in a number of countries, particularly the Middle East, Africa and some countries in Asia. Very few feminists are vocal against  Female Genital Mutilation, honour killings and other barbaric practices every day. If feminists are about the rights of women and equality, why not stand against these atrocities?

Lastly, we need to realise that different women make choices in their lives that seem to be the best choices, at least at the time. The “mummy wars” doesn’t help anyone. Whether a woman is a working mother, a stay – at – home housewife/ mother, or single and childless (or coupled and childless), everyone should have the freedom to do what works off them. Also, we need to help women who need it, regardless of who they are.

 

Whether you call yourself a ‘feminist’ or not, I think that most people can agree on what is definitely unacceptable in terms of the treatment of women (and men). Can’t we just agree on what needs to be done, take action and stand together?