Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Devil's Advocate

T and Bella

The righteous readers of the Other Spiritual Leader's blog have been debating the "sex before marriage" thing. I don't have the patience to read it all (I read a lot!). Most of the things that I did read, I agreed with. I have been hearing the same thing from the church ever since my mother and I had the "growing up" talk. I am not saying its a bad thing, but the endless variations of "don't fornicate" gets trite after a while, and it certainly does little to boost one's sense of sexual fulfillment (especially if that some one is supposed to be celibate).

I came across a funny thing today in the staff room. According to Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About: How to Never Get Sick Again written by informercial guru Kevin Trudeau (I know, what a great scholar to appeal to, no?), suggestion #15 is "have sex: sex promotes health." Of course, he lists it along with "#14 Don't watch the news" and "#16 Commit Random Acts of Kindness" and a bunch of other ones that run the gamut from ridiculous to smart. Granted, the source is completely questionable, and far be it from me to advocate this sort of behavior, unless you are married, that is. On the same tack, the venerable Abraham Maslow, in his Hierarchy of Needs lists sex as one of the "biological and physiological needs," which are the basic needs, like food, water and sleep.

And Sex...

It looks like we are back at the same old crossroads, the one where we have to decide whether or not to take Jesus, the Bible, and 2000 years of Christian tradition over the natterings of doctors and infomercial superstars.

I think of the character Mother Kirk in CS Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress with her tattered clothes and serene acceptance of the things of her Father. I find the debate at once infinitely tedious and at the same time I find the prohibition painfully constricting. When we chose the way of the Cross, the way of Jesus, it had huge repercussions on the way we ought to behave. He touches every aspect of our lives. We made that choice, and on one level, more debate is simply a waste of time. On the other hand, I'd love to embrace the Hierarchy of Need as justification for promiscuous behavior.

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