I included this article to illustrate the problems.
Thanks for that article, Tamara. I'm glad that someone else sees a link between the "sexual revolution" in our culture and the indisputable and unprecedented upsurge in neurotic and psycho-affective problems among young women such as eating disorders, self mutilation, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, depression etc. And what's more, it's heartening to hear this coming from women
this is an issue that does not come from the idea that God objects to an unmarried woman who has had sex with a man. It is really a "do unto others issue".
Yes, I agree, it's a "do unto others issue"
, but I think it's a "do unto others" issue which does
come from God. I know that isn't a fashionable thought, and you would probably rather that I talk in naturalistic terms as though God were functionally irrelevant, but that's not possible in this case.
God created pleasure for us to enjoy.
Absolutely. And I agree with you that sex is fun for both men and women and is created by God. The same God Who created our eyes and ears also created our genitals, hormones and neurotransmitters. The thing is, though, He
knows how everything works and how He wired us.
If a woman today decides, of her own free will, that she wants to experience pleasure, why would that be a sin?
To answer this, we have to understand the Orthodox view of sin. Sin is an "illness" in the same way that influenza is an illness. In the case of influenza, the homoeostasis of the body is thrown out of whack in response to an invading organism- so, the hypothalamus which normally regulates your body temperature switches it's thermostat up and you get a fever. In other words, the body is behaving abnormally and contrary to it's proper functioning. In the same way, sin is the abnormal (or as the Fathers say: "contranatural
") use of Human Nature. And not only is it a misuse of our own Human Nature, but also someone else's. "Every sin that a man doeth is outside the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." (1 Corinthians 6:18)
Men and women are
wired differently. Women equate sex with love and nurturing. This isn't simply an "emotional" thing, it's actually a physiological thing, related in part to their higher levels of the hormone Oxytocin
. Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus- that's the reality. What you want is for women to think about things like men do, and they simply cannot
; just as you
cannot think about things the way a woman does. Men and women need each other
. The article Tamara posted above comes from a Jewish source, and in Judaism, the ritual of the Shabbat Kiddush
(the Sabbath Blessing) clearly acknowledges the different roles of men and women. The Husband/Father blesses the wine and the challah
(leaven bread) for the family, because men are programmed to provide for the physical needs of the their families, and the Wife/Mother lights and blesses the Sabbath candles, because it is the woman who is programmed to bring insight, wisdom, and warmth into the family. Separately, they could only provide either the bodily needs or the psycho-emotional needs of the family, but together they provide everything that's needed for the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional wellbeing of the family.
Simply because a bunch of men wanted to impose THEIR morals during a specific period in history in order to protect their property?
This again....You seem a bit stuck on this erroneous thought.
Thankfully, here in Australia, sex education in public schools recently began including gender differences. Young girls in the last few years are being taught that "having sex doesn't mean he loves you", and this in in response to the scientific findings of the differences between how the genders view sex, and in recognition of the fact that females are wired to equate sex with a lifelong bond and partnership. What you are saying is that women must live in a world where their natural desire for a life partner must be denied or suppressed for them to be able to get on...and we wonder why they're suddenly becoming neurotic in unprecedented numbers with eating disorders, self mutilation, depression etc...... Tom, can't you see that you as a man are now imposing your
morals on women and telling them how they should live out their femininity?
Fornication is a sin (in the Orthodox sense of "illness") because it's a misuse of the created purpose
of sexual intercourse which is to establish and strengthen the bond between a man and a woman who become "one flesh" as the Scriptures say. The message to men is clear: "don't toy with women's affections". And the message to women is: "If you want to have sex because you think he will love you always, then get him to prove
Tom, I should hasten to add that I think the judicial
view of sin as a "debt" owed to God is also wrong. If young people make a mistake, it's a mistake, and the Orthodox Church views it as illness requiring medicine and loving therapy. To tell them that they now owe a "debt" to God because they have fornicated creates just as much neurosis as anything else. Even if there was
a debt, it was paid by Christ anyway Who alone could have possibly paid it. To put people in the psychological situation of "owing a debt" they cannot possibly pay not only sets them up for neurosis, it's heresy. And the classic example is the famous occultist, Aleistair Crowley, the son of strict Plymouth Brethren whose mother called him "the Beast" when she caught him masturbating and he turned to the occult and died a heroin addict at age 72 after a lifetime of embracing bizarre occult practices and philosophies.
Contrast this with the Orthodox view that our created nature is inherently good, but due to the Fall, we tend to easily misuse it. I wonder what Crowley might have become if his mother had explained this view instead of her Puritanist one?