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Author Topic: Fornication and STD's  (Read 9340 times) Average Rating: 0
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ozgeorge
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« on: June 29, 2007, 09:21:24 PM »

It is curious that smoking is now an international sin - due to be banned on planet earth, yet sexual deviency is simply a matter of choice.
That's because the effects of smoking are obvious. One doesn't have to be religious to see them. But fornication, as St John Climakos poins out, "has nature on it's side". You try telling someone outside the Church that they shouldn't have any sex outside marriage. What argument do you intend to use when they don't believe in God?
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2007, 10:51:08 PM »

That's because the effects of smoking are obvious. One doesn't have to be religious to see them. But fornication, as St John Climakos poins out, "has nature on it's side". You try telling someone outside the Church that they shouldn't have any sex outside marriage. What argument do you intend to use when they don't believe in God?

You could warn them about sexually transmitted diseases. Some of those diseases lead to death. Human papilloma virus can lead to cervical cancer in women.

My best girlfriend wanted my opinion when she decided to move in with her boyfriend. I warned her that her boyfriend wouldn't be willing to buy the cow if he could get the milk for free. I was right. She had a heck of a time convincing him to marry her after they had been living together for two years. She came to me again for advice and I told her to tell him that they were either going to get married or she would kick him out. At least the second time she took my advice and it worked.

There are also now studies that show the psychological damage done to women who sleep with men. A counselor at UCLA wrote a book describing the negative effects of recreational sex on college women. She listed eating disorders, depression, diseases (HPV), and cutting as some of the problems associated with having sex without commitment.
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2007, 11:15:22 PM »

You could warn them about sexually transmitted diseases. Some of those diseases lead to death. Human papilloma virus can lead to cervical cancer in women. .....
And people who marry don't get STD's? Married women don't get cervical cancer? Does heterosexual marriage protect you from getting HIV?
If we try to present such "arguments" for chastity, we will rightly be condemned as ignorant, superstitious fools who do more damage than good. And even if it were true, the point is, it doesn't work. A drug addict knows that their drug of choice is doing them damage, but that in itself, will not make them give up. How much moreso of something as natural and innate to human nature as sex?

There are also now studies that show the psychological damage done to women who sleep with men A counselor at UCLA wrote a book describing the negative effects of recreational sex on college women. She listed eating disorders, depression, diseases (HPV), and cutting as some of the problems associated with having sex without commitment.
And even if this counsellors observations are correct, the problem with this is that any sex outside of marriage is considered fornication by the Church, therefore a couple who live together monogamously but without marriage are still considered by the Church to be fornicating. Are you saying, by using this argument that living together in a sexual relationship without marriage is acceptable in the Church?

We have to face what St. John Climakos faced back in the sixth century- fornication has nature on its side, we simply cannot argue "logically" against it. And if we try to, (as so many try to on Christian forums) we are doomed to failure.

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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2007, 03:26:09 PM »


There are also now studies that show the psychological damage done to women who sleep with men. A counselor at UCLA wrote a book describing the negative effects of recreational sex on college women. She listed eating disorders, depression, diseases (HPV), and cutting as some of the problems associated with having sex without commitment.

Interestingly, I have found the same disorders present in women who sleep with men that they are married to.
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2007, 06:50:18 PM »

It is curious that smoking is now an international sin - due to be banned on planet earth,

This comparison to sexual activity does not necessarily apply.  Just a point of reference, there are plenty of countries and places on this planet where smoking is quite acceptable and part of the culture.  The movement against cigarettes/tobacco in the US is not universal.  Look at the prevalence of the "hookah" in the middle east and other areas.

Here are a couple of links http://www.who.int/tobacco/en/atlas5.pdf  is a map of male smoking percentages and
http://www.who.int/tobacco/en/atlas6.pdf is on women.  It is less acceptable for women to smoke then men.

But with this and sexual liasons and other things human beings do things that they enjoy, that as OzGeorge has written about goes with 'nature'.

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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2007, 02:54:07 PM »

And people who marry don't get STD's? Married women don't get cervical cancer? Does heterosexual marriage protect you from getting HIV?
If we try to present such "arguments" for chastity, we will rightly be condemned as ignorant, superstitious fools who do more damage than good. And even if it were true, the point is, it doesn't work. A drug addict knows that their drug of choice is doing them damage, but that in itself, will not make them give up. How much moreso of something as natural and innate to human nature as sex?
And even if this counsellors observations are correct, the problem with this is that any sex outside of marriage is considered fornication by the Church, therefore a couple who live together monogamously but without marriage are still considered by the Church to be fornicating. Are you saying, by using this argument that living together in a sexual relationship without marriage is acceptable in the Church?

We have to face what St. John Climakos faced back in the sixth century- fornication has nature on its side, we simply cannot argue "logically" against it. And if we try to, (as so many try to on Christian forums) we are doomed to failure.



We may not be able to present a logical argument in favor of marriage but there is plenty of information on the effects of having multiple sex partners being the cause of HIV and other STDs. Monogamy protects you from getting sexually transmitted diseases. (by the way, cervical cancer develops from HPV so mulitply sexual liaisons puts you at risk for the disease whether you eventually become monogamous or not.)

And married people who remain celibate before marriage and are monogamous after marriage will not be at risk for STDs. This is another fact that one can present in favor of monogamy.
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2007, 03:15:35 PM »

(by the way, cervical cancer develops from HPV so mulitply sexual liasons puts you at risk for the disease whether you eventually become monogamous or not.)


eh, not quite.  one can get HPV from a simple handshake and not all instances of cervical cancer have been traced to HPV.

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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2007, 06:31:55 PM »

eh, not quite.  one can get HPV from a simple handshake and not all instances of cervical cancer have been traced to HPV.

There are all kinds of HPV's but I am speaking about genital HPV's. Cervical cancer's highest risk factors are:
1)  Genital HPV's
2)  Sexual History
A woman has a higher-than-average risk of developing cervical cancer if she:

Has had multiple sexual partners
Began having sexual relations before the age of 18
Has a partner who has had sexual contact with a woman with cervical cancer

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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2007, 07:17:34 PM »

And married people who remain celibate before marriage and and are monogamous after marriage
...are as rare as rocking-horse manure.
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2007, 07:22:36 PM »

...are as rare as rocking-horse manure.
Very true but it is a medical fact they remain free from STDs.
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2007, 07:30:10 PM »

There are all kinds of HPV's but I am speaking about genital HPV's. Cervical cancer's highest risk factors are:
1)  Genital HPV's
2)  Sexual History
A woman has a higher-than-average risk of developing cervical cancer if she:

Has had multiple sexual partners
Began having sexual relations before the age of 18
Has a partner who has had sexual contact with a woman with cervical cancer

As I'm sure we're all well aware, there's a vaccine for HPV, so this particular argument is really moot. It's like arguing that you shouldn't leave your house because you may get Polio or Small Pox. What is being presented here is an argument for increased funding for scientific research, not monogamy.

Very true but it is a medical fact they remain free from STDs.

So are the overwhelming majority of people who regularly use condoms. And people are FAR more likely to use condoms than remain monogamous.
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2007, 07:39:46 PM »

As I'm sure we're all well aware, there's a vaccine for HPV, so this particular argument is really moot. It's like arguing that you shouldn't leave your house because you may get Polio or Small Pox. What is being presented here is an argument for increased funding for scientific research, not monogamy.

So are the overwhelming majority of people who regularly use condoms. And people are FAR more likely to use condoms than remain monogamous.


Condoms are not 100% full proof. Some do not use them properly to avoid disease. They break. Many people refuse to use them and in the case of Chlamdyia, are only 50% effective. Our bodies were not designed for unlimited sexual liaisons with mulitple partners. Another STD will mount its ugly head in the future, perhaps one more deadly than AIDS. There still is no cure for AIDS.
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2007, 08:59:29 PM »

Condoms are not 100% full proof. Some do not use them properly to avoid disease. They break. Many people refuse to use them and in the case of Chlamdyia, are only 50% effective. Our bodies were not designed for unlimited sexual liaisons with mulitple partners. Another STD will mount its ugly head in the future, perhaps one more deadly than AIDS. There still is no cure for AIDS.

I said 'overwhelming majority' not 'all'. As for those who do not use them properly, education is the answer. Every time you step out the door there's a chance you'll be hit by a car, but that's hardly a good argument as to why one should never leave their house. In the end the simple fact of the matter is that a million Condoms will do far more to stop the spread of disease and a million Bibles...so if we truly cared for people we'd be handing out the former. As for aids, no, we have not yet cured it, but in a mere quarter century we have come to understand it, slow it's progress (at least in the Civilized world), and vastly extend the life of those infected...it's no longer the death sentence it once was.

Furthermore, we have just very recently begun to understand the mechanics of the genome, we are just now understanding what different parts of the gnome do and how to manipulate them...in the long run we may be able to use this knowledge eradicate hereditary disease and make the next generation stronger, smarter, better than the current one. But in the even nearer term we are discovering how to use this knowledge to cure such diseases as aids, infact a great breakthrough in genetic engineering just came about, though it didn't receive the proper attention it deserved, an enzyme has been developed that will enter the cell, detect an HIV dna strand that has inserted itself into a cell, and remove it: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/77373.html

As I said before, the solution to these problems is increased scientific research, which can and will overcome disease far faster than religion.
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2007, 09:45:17 PM »

I said 'overwhelming majority' not 'all'. As for those who do not use them properly, education is the answer. Every time you step out the door there's a chance you'll be hit by a car, but that's hardly a good argument as to why one should never leave their house. In the end the simple fact of the matter is that a million Condoms will do far more to stop the spread of disease and a million Bibles...so if we truly cared for people we'd be handing out the former. As for aids, no, we have not yet cured it, but in a mere quarter century we have come to understand it, slow it's progress (at least in the Civilized world), and vastly extend the life of those infected...it's no longer the death sentence it once was.

Furthermore, we have just very recently begun to understand the mechanics of the genome, we are just now understanding what different parts of the gnome do and how to manipulate them...in the long run we may be able to use this knowledge eradicate hereditary disease and make the next generation stronger, smarter, better than the current one. But in the even nearer term we are discovering how to use this knowledge to cure such diseases as aids, infact a great breakthrough in genetic engineering just came about, though it didn't receive the proper attention it deserved, an enzyme has been developed that will enter the cell, detect an HIV dna strand that has inserted itself into a cell, and remove it: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/77373.html

As I said before, the solution to these problems is increased scientific research, which can and will overcome disease far faster than religion.

I wasn't trying to argue from the point of view of the Bible as deterrent to wanton sex. My point was the odds of getting an STD rise significantly when one has sex with multiple partners. This point is down-played by sex education teaching staff where I live. When people are educated about avoiding drugs and smoking, many have heeded the advice they learned in school and avoided this lethal habits. The same tactic can be used in sex education. If having multiple sex partners and engaging in unsafe sex is shown to be detrimental to one's health, it will have the effect of lessening the sexual activity or at least prolonging the period of abstinance in a young person's life. But it isn't politically correct to portray a very active and varied sexual life as detrimental to one's health because it would mean the free love generation would have to admit defeat.

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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2007, 10:01:40 PM »

It sounds like you dont want sex education classes, you want abstinence classes, essentially propaganda classes to prevent people from having sex. Well, as others were pointing out, this moral crusade isn't the responsibility of the education system. At some point during a sex education class you could say, 'needless to say, if you don't have sex, the risk of getting an STD, pregnant, AIDS (to a lesser extent), etc. is nominal.' That pretty much covers abstinence education. The rest of such a course would cover the biology of reproduction, perhaps the biology of disease, current medical options for those who have STD's, probability of getting said disease using various different types of birth control (and you can even say, as an aside that if you dont have sex the statistics dont apply...go figure), options if one becomes pregnant (yeah, yeah, I know, if they even mention that abortion is an option and how to go about getting one, which should be an element of any sex ed course, causes the overreaction of the fundies...the education system should provide knowledge and education, not morals), etc. In short, objective scientific knowledge be it from the fields of biology, medicine, or psychology should be presented. You would turn it into a propaganda course to impose your personal moral code on the next generation. Give them the scientific facts, let them make up their own minds.

And, for what it's worth, I actually strongly support monogamy, but not for moral or medical reasons: monogamy has proven benificial from a sociological and evolutionary perspective. It reduces sexual dimorphism and deemphasizes aggressiveness allowing more significant and benificial traits, such as intelligence, to progress evolutionarily. However, the fact that it's benificial on the evolutionary timeline does not mean that it is always benificial in every specific instance.
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2007, 01:07:19 AM »

And, for what it's worth, I actually strongly support monogamy, but not for moral or medical reasons: monogamy has proven benificial from a sociological and evolutionary perspective. It reduces sexual dimorphism and deemphasizes aggressiveness allowing more significant and benificial traits, such as intelligence, to progress evolutionarily. However, the fact that it's benificial on the evolutionary timeline does not mean that it is always benificial in every specific instance.

What about supporting mongamy for economic reasons in that it produces legitimate, non-competing heirs to estates and what-not?  It was these polygamous marriages among the Eastern potentates, such as the Persian rulers, which caused dynasties to be usurped by various wanna-bes.  It could be also argued that the producing of legitimate heirs who are also citizens from strict monogamous relationships also best foment a true republican system based on the rule of law and not the whimsical rule of the passions of the people roused up by demagogues.
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2007, 01:22:51 AM »

Tamara,

Ahh... back to this wonderful, non-volatile, subject! Grin Being one of the immoral people that is being discussed (actually I'd go a lot further than merely pre-marital sex... but my hole is big enough already here!), I think I'll throw my 2 cents in here. First, so you know where I'm coming from, here's a bit of background info on the non-believer in your midst. My wife and I have been happily married for 4 1/2 years. We have two daughters. We were both virgins when we got married in our early 20's. That's not to say that we were all pure and all that, but only that we've tried to walk that "right path" before and I'm familiar with it--both it's advantages, and it's pitfalls.

Quote
You could warn them about sexually transmitted diseases. Some of those diseases lead to death. Human papilloma virus can lead to cervical cancer in women.

I know this is gonna sound strange, but there is also a lifestyle which paralyzes you, and prevents you from really living. This is, in essence, a living death (think Shaun of the Dead). Acting like a hedon can be a lot of fun... and as you point out it can also be dangerous. The same can be said of Christianity, it can be of benefit to you... and it can also be to your detriment. If you allow it to bind you up so much that you suffocate yourself, then the positives get lost pretty quickly. My point is, it is not simply a black and white issue-- be Christian, don't do that unChristian X. Almost anything can be harmful if taken too far, or done in a grossly incorrect or distorted way, or done way too often.

Quote
My best girlfriend wanted my opinion when she decided to move in with her boyfriend. I warned her that her boyfriend wouldn't be willing to buy the cow if he could get the milk for free. I was right. She had a heck of a time convincing him to marry her after they had been living together for two years. She came to me again for advice and I told her to tell him that they were either going to get married or she would kick him out. At least the second time she took my advice and it worked.

One might wonder why she would stay with someone who would not "buy the cow when he was getting the milk for free". That doesn't sound like a very good foundation for a lasting marriage... someone who's apparently unwilling to commit unless pressured into it. Rather than blaming circumstances that people have put themselves in, or blaming sexuality generally, why not look more to the root of the problem? ...the actual people involved. Both of them, the enabler, and the non-commiter?

Quote
There are also now studies that show the psychological damage done to women who sleep with men. A counselor at UCLA wrote a book describing the negative effects of recreational sex on college women. She listed eating disorders, depression, diseases (HPV), and cutting as some of the problems associated with having sex without commitment.

As opposed to... married women (including Orthodox ones), who flee to abuse shelters, seek divorces in large numbers, etc.? Perhaps we should go back to the days when men could freely "correct" their wives, with no fear of punishment, so long as he didn't "correct" her to the point of permanent injury? Or maybe we could return to the time when a woman had little choice other than to stay with a man, regardless of how he was treating her? This stuff wasn't isolated to Protestant and Catholic countries. If you're just arguing that people should have sex with Harry, Sally, and Bob that comes along, well I certainly agree. However, I think we're getting better as time passes.

I might also add that I've read about studies (though I can't recall where it was) that said that people who have sexual relations before marriage have no higher divorce rates than people wait until marriage. True, you might get someone who doesn't want to "buy the cow when he was getting the milk for free". What you'll also get--in almost every case--is an up close and personal look at someone. It's easy to be on, so to speak, when you see someone for 2, 4, or maybe at most 10 hours a day. But when you have to live with them... when you see them almost all day, every day, you get a much clearer picture of who they are. More importantly, you get a much clearer picture of whether you are compatible with that person on a day-to-day basis. The day-to-day shacking-up-in-sin method is much more informative and substantial than the info you can get using the more conservative courtship/dating don't-go-south-of-the-equator method.

Quote
Our bodies were not designed for unlimited sexual liaisons with mulitple partners.

Well, sure. Our bodies were not designed for unlimited... anything. But I think it'd be hard to deny--on a scientific basis, anyway--that our bodies (especially males) were designed to have multiple partners over the course of our lives. If you want to say that the fall caused this, then... er... well ok, that's your call. What I find most important is that people follow their own nature, and not let themselves be trapped in a lifestyle that hurts them. That can cut both ways, not just into the hedonism...
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« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2007, 02:46:18 AM »

What you'll also get--in almost every case--is an up close and personal look at someone. It's easy to be on, so to speak, when you see someone for 2, 4, or maybe at most 10 hours a day. But when you have to live with them... when you see them almost all day, every day, you get a much clearer picture of who they are. More importantly, you get a much clearer picture of whether you are compatible with that person on a day-to-day basis. The day-to-day shacking-up-in-sin method is much more informative and substantial than the info you can get using the more conservative courtship/dating don't-go-south-of-the-equator method.
What about a third alternative that incorporates the best of both approaches while eliminating the sexual sin of living together and the insincerities of the standard dating scene?
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« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2007, 03:17:41 AM »

Tamara,

Ahh... back to this wonderful, non-volatile, subject! Grin Being one of the immoral people that is being discussed (actually I'd go a lot further than merely pre-marital sex... but my hole is big enough already here!), I think I'll throw my 2 cents in here. First, so you know where I'm coming from, here's a bit of background info on the non-believer in your midst. My wife and I have been happily married for 4 1/2 years. We have two daughters. We were both virgins when we got married in our early 20's. That's not to say that we were all pure and all that, but only that we've tried to walk that "right path" before and I'm familiar with it--both it's advantages, and it's pitfalls.

I know this is gonna sound strange, but there is also a lifestyle which paralyzes you, and prevents you from really living. This is, in essence, a living death (think Shaun of the Dead). Acting like a hedon can be a lot of fun... and as you point out it can also be dangerous. The same can be said of Christianity, it can be of benefit to you... and it can also be to your detriment. If you allow it to bind you up so much that you suffocate yourself, then the positives get lost pretty quickly. My point is, it is not simply a black and white issue-- be Christian, don't do that unChristian X. Almost anything can be harmful if taken too far, or done in a grossly incorrect or distorted way, or done way too often.

One might wonder why she would stay with someone who would not "buy the cow when he was getting the milk for free". That doesn't sound like a very good foundation for a lasting marriage... someone who's apparently unwilling to commit unless pressured into it. Rather than blaming circumstances that people have put themselves in, or blaming sexuality generally, why not look more to the root of the problem? ...the actual people involved. Both of them, the enabler, and the non-commiter?

As opposed to... married women (including Orthodox ones), who flee to abuse shelters, seek divorces in large numbers, etc.? Perhaps we should go back to the days when men could freely "correct" their wives, with no fear of punishment, so long as he didn't "correct" her to the point of permanent injury? Or maybe we could return to the time when a woman had little choice other than to stay with a man, regardless of how he was treating her? This stuff wasn't isolated to Protestant and Catholic countries. If you're just arguing that people should have sex with Harry, Sally, and Bob that comes along, well I certainly agree. However, I think we're getting better as time passes.

I might also add that I've read about studies (though I can't recall where it was) that said that people who have sexual relations before marriage have no higher divorce rates than people wait until marriage. True, you might get someone who doesn't want to "buy the cow when he was getting the milk for free". What you'll also get--in almost every case--is an up close and personal look at someone. It's easy to be on, so to speak, when you see someone for 2, 4, or maybe at most 10 hours a day. But when you have to live with them... when you see them almost all day, every day, you get a much clearer picture of who they are. More importantly, you get a much clearer picture of whether you are compatible with that person on a day-to-day basis. The day-to-day shacking-up-in-sin method is much more informative and substantial than the info you can get using the more conservative courtship/dating don't-go-south-of-the-equator method.

Well, sure. Our bodies were not designed for unlimited... anything. But I think it'd be hard to deny--on a scientific basis, anyway--that our bodies (especially males) were designed to have multiple partners over the course of our lives. If you want to say that the fall caused this, then... er... well ok, that's your call. What I find most important is that people follow their own nature, and not let themselves be trapped in a lifestyle that hurts them. That can cut both ways, not just into the hedonism...


Asteriktos,

Just because you claim to be an athiest, that doesn't necessarily mean you are immoral. A thoughtful athiest can live by an innate moral code that could rival any Christian. In fact, you and your wife are of a very rare breed. May God always bless you, your wife and your cute little children. You never know, one day you may regain your faith. For all we know God is allowing you to have this period of unbelief for a reason. He may one day call you to be an Orthodox priest. The priest who had the most impact on my life as a teen, went through a period where he lost his faith after he left an RC seminary and wandered in the wilderness for a few years.

Anyway, back to the subject of this new thread. If you think you haven't really lived because you lived a straight-laced lifestyle, I don't think anything I can say will convince you otherwise. But for me, I don't see Christianity as binding me up till I can't breathe. Instead, I feel free to be who I really am because I don't care what others think. I don't want to be a slave to my passions and sins. I want to be free and I want the true love that only Christ can give me. Everything else this world has to offer is delusion. Its possible you may have chosen the wrong path into Orthodoxy. The Orthodoxy I grew up in was full of warmth, love and total acceptance. I had that experience to compare with the false forms of happiness (hedonism) found in the world while I was in college and working.

In regard to your thoughts on monogamy, I have been married sixteen years now so I understand what you are saying about the day to day experience of living with another person. We didn't live together either before we were married. Taking each other for a test drive before marriage wouldn't have made a difference. The day to day experience would still be the same after living together for many years. We feel blessed that we still are in love with one another even though we have had our share of rough times. Divorce would never be an option because that is the easy way out. Besides, I gave him an opportunity to back out of marrying me when I shared my thoughts about infidelity with him. I told him if he ever cheated on me there would be no divorce, I would just kill him or I would hire someone to kill him.  Cheesy
 
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« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2007, 03:53:31 AM »

Dear Tamara,

But for me, I don't see Christianity as binding me up till I can't breathe. Instead, I feel free to be who I really am because I don't care what others think. I don't want to be a slave to my passions and sins. I want to be free and I want the true love that only Christ can give me.

The sentiment you express above is one inspired by an element of your humanity common to that of the rest of mankind: the Image of God. The difference between those who feel and act upon such sentiments, and those who feel and act upon sentiments to the contrary, is that the former have realised their true selves to a greater extent than the latter. The implications of this to the idea of "freedom" are that those who act upon the general sentiments you express above are acting according to the way their authentic self would, and in this sense, "freely", whilst those who act upon contrary sentiments are acting according to an ignorant (because deluded) conception of their self, and hence are not acting "freely" at all, for their desires and choices are constrained by the boundaries of the ignorance procured by the deceit of the world. Ultimately, to desire to act according to the principles encompassed by the love of Christ is true freedom (Fr. Pishoy Kamel's words, which I coincidentally posted literally half an hour just before your response, are pertinent to this point).

Ofcourse, an atheist is not going to be able to appreciate this perspective since an atheist's anthropology is biologically/scientifically defined, whereas for the Orthodox Christian, man's true ontological identity is theological. In the end, you and Asteriktos will just be talking past each other.
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« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2007, 10:06:37 AM »

Young people these days think "If you use a condom, then you won't get pregnant/get an STD".

How wrong they are. The HIV virus can actually fit through the tiny holes in the rubber of a condom.
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« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2007, 11:42:56 AM »

The sentiment you express above is one inspired by an element of your humanity common to that of the rest of mankind: the Image of God. The difference between those who feel and act upon such sentiments, and those who feel and act upon sentiments to the contrary, is that the former have realised their true selves to a greater extent than the latter. The implications of this to the idea of "freedom" are that those who act upon the general sentiments you express above are acting according to the way their authentic self would, and in this sense, "freely", whilst those who act upon contrary sentiments are acting according to an ignorant (because deluded) conception of their self, and hence are not acting "freely" at all, for their desires and choices are constrained by the boundaries of the ignorance procured by the deceit of the world. Ultimately, to desire to act according to the principles encompassed by the love of Christ is true freedom (Fr. Pishoy Kamel's words, which I coincidentally posted literally half an hour just before your response, are pertinent to this point).

Or in other words, 'Freedom is Slavery'.
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« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2007, 11:47:19 AM »

Young people these days think "If you use a condom, then you won't get pregnant/get an STD".

How wrong they are. The HIV virus can actually fit through the tiny holes in the rubber of a condom.

(Ad hominem removed.)
Condoms are not 100% safe...but neither is driving to the grocery store. However, condoms have been demonstrated to be 99%+ successful when used correctly, even in the case of repeated sexual contact, at preventing HIV.

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« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2007, 11:57:03 AM »

Or in other words, 'Freedom is Slavery'.

In not so many words: no.
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« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2007, 12:07:41 PM »

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It wasn't an Ad hominem, it was a fact...really I dont even see where you're comming from. The argument that condoms do not protect against AIDS because the virus is too small has been dismissed by numerous scientific studies; it is a deliberate lie put out and maintained by the popish propagandists to advance their anti-birth control campaign to the detriment of the human race. Just look at who's making these arguments and you will generally find papist groups with a clear anti-birth control aganda...their point isn't to contribute solid scientific data to the discussion, but rather to justify their dangerous and inhuman views.
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« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2007, 12:11:23 PM »

It wasn't an Ad hominem, it was a fact...really I dont even see where you're comming from. The argument that condoms do not protect against AIDS because the virus is too small has been dismissed by numerous scientific studies; it is a deliberate lie put out and maintained by the popish propagandists to advance their anti-birth control campaign to the detriment of the human race. Just look at who's making these arguments and you will generally find papist groups with a clear anti-birth control aganda...their point isn't to contribute solid scientific data to the discussion, but rather to justify their dangerous and inhuman views.
Blah....blah...blah...
Are you finished?
Now please kindly note that I left your argument against the poster's claim in tact. In fact I agree with it.
Now look at the three green words just before your argument starts. That's what I'm talking about.
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« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2007, 12:16:27 PM »

Blah....blah...blah...
Are you finished?
Now please kindly note that I left your argument against the poster's claim in tact. In fact I agree with it.
Now look at the three green words just before your argument starts. That's what I'm talking about.

And that's what I'm talking about too, you removed an important point from my argument and in doing so weakened it. The point was that the position presented was not a valid scientific concern or argument against condoms, but rather a papist propaganda position. The argument should be viewed in the context it was developed, an argument custom tailored to fit a predetermined position. After you butchered my response you made it look like there were two equally valid and equally scientific arguments, which is simply not the case. One is vatican propaganda one is good science.

Was it rude? Of course...was it an Ad hominem? No, I was attacking the argument by merely by revealing the source.
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« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2007, 12:22:14 PM »

Firstly, they are Roman Catholics, not "Papists".
Secondly, please provide the evidence for your "fact" that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the HIV virus can pass through holes in condoms. You have 24 hours to do so.

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« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2007, 12:24:12 PM »

Firstly, they are Roman Catholics, not "Papists".
Secondly, please provide the evidence for your "fact" that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the HIV virus can pass through holes in condoms. You have 24 hours to do so.


That's an easy one, I don't need 24 hours. http://www.guardian.co.uk/aids/story/0,7369,1059068,00.html

To be in agreement with what most posters here do, I'm providing a copy of the article in question: 
Quote
Vatican: condoms don't stop Aids

The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass - potentially exposing thousands of people to risk.
The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to HIV.

A senior Vatican spokesman backs the claims about permeable condoms, despite assurances by the World Health Organisation that they are untrue.

The church's claims are revealed in a BBC1 Panorama programme, Sex and the Holy City, to be broadcast on Sunday. The president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, told the programme: "The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom.
"These margins of uncertainty... should represent an obligation on the part of the health ministries and all these campaigns to act in the same way as they do with regard to cigarettes, which they state to be a danger."

The WHO has condemned the Vatican's views, saying: "These incorrect statements about condoms and HIV are dangerous when we are facing a global pandemic which has already killed more than 20 million people, and currently affects at least 42 million."

The organisation says "consistent and correct" condom use reduces the risk of HIV infection by 90%. There may be breakage or slippage of condoms - but not, the WHO says, holes through which the virus can pass .

Scientific research by a group including the US National Institutes of Health and the WHO found "intact condoms... are essentially impermeable to particles the size of STD pathogens including the smallest sexually transmitted virus... condoms provide a highly effective barrier to transmission of particles of similar size to those of the smallest STD viruses".

The Vatican's Cardinal Trujillo said: "They are wrong about that... this is an easily recognisable fact."

The church opposes any kind of contraception because it claims it breaks the link between sex and procreation - a position Pope John Paul II has fought to defend.

In Kenya - where an estimated 20% of people have HIV - the church condemns condoms for promoting promiscuity and repeats the claim about permeability. The archbishop of Nairobi, Raphael Ndingi Nzeki, said: "Aids... has grown so fast because of the availability of condoms."

Sex and the Holy City includes a Catholic nun advising her HIV-infected choirmaster against using condoms with his wife because "the virus can pass through".

In Lwak, near Lake Victoria, the director of an Aids testing centre says he cannot distribute condoms because of church opposition. Gordon Wambi told the programme: "Some priests have even been saying that condoms are laced with HIV/Aids."

Panorama found the claims about permeable condoms repeated by Catholics as far apart as Asia and Latin America

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« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2007, 12:32:27 PM »

Okie Dokie.
Now let me tell you how you could have worded your post without insulting either the poster or our Roman Catholic members:

Quote
"Your claim appears to be based on misinformation put out by the Vatican, as pointed out by this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/aids/story/0,7369,1059068,00.html . Condoms are not 100% safe...but neither is driving to the grocery store. However, condoms have been demonstrated to be 99%+ successful when used correctly, even in the case of repeated sexual contact, at preventing HIV."

You would have made an excellent point without insulting anyone. But it appears that you are not interested in making excellent points without insulting people.

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« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2007, 12:50:02 PM »

Dear Tamara,

The sentiment you express above is one inspired by an element of your humanity common to that of the rest of mankind: the Image of God. The difference between those who feel and act upon such sentiments, and those who feel and act upon sentiments to the contrary, is that the former have realised their true selves to a greater extent than the latter. The implications of this to the idea of "freedom" are that those who act upon the general sentiments you express above are acting according to the way their authentic self would, and in this sense, "freely", whilst those who act upon contrary sentiments are acting according to an ignorant (because deluded) conception of their self, and hence are not acting "freely" at all, for their desires and choices are constrained by the boundaries of the ignorance procured by the deceit of the world. Ultimately, to desire to act according to the principles encompassed by the love of Christ is true freedom (Fr. Pishoy Kamel's words, which I coincidentally posted literally half an hour just before your response, are pertinent to this point).

Ofcourse, an atheist is not going to be able to appreciate this perspective since an atheist's anthropology is biologically/scientifically defined, whereas for the Orthodox Christian, man's true ontological identity is theological. In the end, you and Asteriktos will just be talking past each other.

Dear EA,

I have heard a hieromonk speak of an authentic self that you have described when he spoke to a group of teenagers. I will be interested to read Fr. Pishoy's words. Thanks, Tamara
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« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2007, 01:10:41 PM »

It sounds like you dont want sex education classes, you want abstinence classes, essentially propaganda classes to prevent people from having sex. Well, as others were pointing out, this moral crusade isn't the responsibility of the education system. At some point during a sex education class you could say, 'needless to say, if you don't have sex, the risk of getting an STD, pregnant, AIDS (to a lesser extent), etc. is nominal.' That pretty much covers abstinence education. The rest of such a course would cover the biology of reproduction, perhaps the biology of disease, current medical options for those who have STD's, probability of getting said disease using various different types of birth control (and you can even say, as an aside that if you dont have sex the statistics dont apply...go figure), options if one becomes pregnant (yeah, yeah, I know, if they even mention that abortion is an option and how to go about getting one, which should be an element of any sex ed course, causes the overreaction of the fundies...the education system should provide knowledge and education, not morals), etc. In short, objective scientific knowledge be it from the fields of biology, medicine, or psychology should be presented. You would turn it into a propaganda course to impose your personal moral code on the next generation. Give them the scientific facts, let them make up their own minds.


What I want is full disclosure not half truths or the free-love propaganda that are being taught in our schools. Tell the kids the consequences of multiple sexual encounters. I want them to give the kids the facts about the effectiveness of the condom in the spread of STDs. I don't want them to use platitudes like, "Condoms allow one to have safe sex." Let girls know that condoms are only 50% effective in preventing Chlamydia (a disease which can lead to infertility because it usually has no symptoms.) Describe the various STDs in detail so the kids know what can happen to their bodies if they contract the disease. Also, give kids the facts on the rates of infection of the various STDs so they know which ones are more common. That way if they choose to have wild sex, they will at least go to the doctor to be checked often for the diseases. Also, if the schools insist on discussing abortion to end a pregnancy then the procedure should be explained in detail so the kids know what it entails. They need to know the full consequences of their decisions.
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« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2007, 01:15:14 PM »

TSK..TSK...TSK....Yet another thread on the OC that shows the wordly attitude of many Orthodox. When I see or hear Orthodox once again siding with obviously something that is potentially soul damaging, it makes me ashamed to be part of the Church. I can't beleive that the sound advice that Tamara & EA have given (any priest or monk would say the same) is under attack here. How do you guys feel after taking the Eucharist with the knowledge that you try to tear down the Church's own teachings when you come here to the OC? Does that make you feel good or something, or is it just a gotcha game and who can argue the most eloquently... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2007, 01:19:30 PM »

TSK..TSK...TSK....Yet another thread on the OC that shows the wordly attitude of many Orthodox. When I see or hear Orthodox once again siding with obviously something that is potentially soul damaging, it makes me ashamed to be part of the Church. I can't beleive that the sound advice that Tamara & EA have given (any priest or monk would say the same) is under attack here. How do you guys feel after taking the Eucharist with the knowledge that you try to tear down the Church's own teachings when you come here to the OC? Does that make you feel good or something, or is it just a gotcha game and who can argue the most eloquently... Roll Eyes
Is this generalized statement directed to an amorphous group or to one or two individuals, one of whom I know represents merely his own opinion, regardless of how he might make his words sound like revealed truth?
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« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2007, 01:23:55 PM »

TSK..TSK...TSK....Yet another thread on the OC that shows the wordly attitude of many Orthodox. When I see or hear Orthodox once again siding with obviously something that is potentially soul damaging, it makes me ashamed to be part of the Church. I can't beleive that the sound advice that Tamara & EA have given (any priest or monk would say the same) is under attack here. How do you guys feel after taking the Eucharist with the knowledge that you try to tear down the Church's own teachings when you come here to the OC? Does that make you feel good or something, or is it just a gotcha game and who can argue the most eloquently... Roll Eyes
Who are you talking about? Asteriktos has publicly renounced not only Orthodoxy, but Christ Himself on this forum. So what exactly on this thread shows "the worldy attitude of many Orthodox"?
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« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2007, 01:25:09 PM »

GiC,

For sake of space, I'm not going to quote your many somewhat lengthy posts on this matter, but I do need to ask you something.  Are you counseling us to go ahead and engage in all the sexual sin we want, just so long as we protect ourselves while doing so?  Do you know how spiritually dangerous this advice is?
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« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2007, 01:27:46 PM »

GiC,

For sake of space, I'm not going to quote your many somewhat lengthy posts on this matter, but I do need to ask you something.  Are you counseling us to go ahead and engage in all the sexual sin we want, just so long as we protect ourselves while doing so?  Do you know how spiritually dangerous this advice is?
Actually, GiC has stated on this thread that he supports monogamy (for sociological/evolutionary reasons).
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« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2007, 01:29:52 PM »

Actually, GiC has stated on this thread that he supports monogamy (for sociological/evolutionary reasons).
Yet at the same time, many of his posts seem to praise the message of the "protected sex" gospel in opposition to what he calls the religious/moral abstinence propaganda.


How, for instance, do you read this quote (emphasis mine):
And, for what it's worth, I actually strongly support monogamy, but not for moral or medical reasons: monogamy has proven benificial from a sociological and evolutionary perspective. It reduces sexual dimorphism and deemphasizes aggressiveness allowing more significant and benificial traits, such as intelligence, to progress evolutionarily. However, the fact that it's benificial on the evolutionary timeline does not mean that it is always benificial in every specific instance.
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« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2007, 01:35:07 PM »

Yet at the same time, many of his posts seem to praise the message of the "protected sex" gospel in opposition to any teaching on abstinence.
I think what he is saying (if you manage to get through all the peripherals in his posts) is that the morality of the Church cannot be imposed on those outside the Church. And I agree.
People are going to fornicate whether we like it or not, so they should be educated on how to stay as safe as possible. If you're going to have promiscuous sex, it is safer to use a condom. Not 100% safe (and GiC also makes this point), but certainly safer.
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« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2007, 01:45:23 PM »

For sake of space, I'm not going to quote your many somewhat lengthy posts on this matter, but I do need to ask you something.  Are you counseling us to go ahead and engage in all the sexual sin we want, just so long as we protect ourselves while doing so?  Do you know how spiritually dangerous this advice is?

That's not at all what I've been suggesting, there are various reasons to support monogamy, but it should not be used as a club with which to beat people over the head. Despite the fact that I actually support monogamy, it should not be used as an excuse to dismiss birth control, and especially condoms, which are capable of reducing much hardship and suffering in the world. Monogamy may be ideal, but the reality of the situation is that most people will be with more than one partner in their life time and most people will have sex before marriage; as such it should be our responsibility not merely as Christians, but as human beings, to address the situation as it really is and do what we can, practically speaking, to alleviate as much suffering related to this as possible. Religious idealism is fine and all, but it is no subsitute for the pragmatic approach of condoms.
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« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2007, 01:47:20 PM »

People are going to fornicate whether we like it or not, so they should be educated on how to stay as safe as possible. If you're going to have promiscuous sex, it is safer to use a condom. Not 100% safe (and GiC also makes this point), but certainly safer.
To me this argument is somewhat like the argument on whether we should provide clean needles to heroin users.  "They're going to inject heroin into themselves anyway, so we might as well help them do it in a safer manner."  I personally don't know what to think about such arguments.  Both unprotected sex and dirty heroin needles have been shown to be vehicles of HIV, among other diseases.  The ideal should be to encourage sexual abstinence or strict monogamy--if only for their amoral health benefits--or, in the case of heroin use, to encourage the user to stop using.  But trying to do either is like trying to stop a moving freight train.  The sex drive is such a strong force in our human nature that even the strongest of us have fallen prey to its lusts, and heroin is so addictive that trying to break the addiction can be almost as hellish as the addiction itself.  Relapses in trying to remain clean in both endeavors are quite common.
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« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2007, 02:12:27 PM »

To me this argument is somewhat like the argument on whether we should provide clean needles to heroin users.  "They're going to inject heroin into themselves anyway, so we might as well help them do it in a safer manner."  I personally don't know what to think about such arguments.  Both unprotected sex and dirty heroin needles have been shown to be vehicles of HIV, among other diseases.  The ideal should be to encourage sexual abstinence or strict monogamy--if only for their amoral health benefits--or, in the case of heroin use, to encourage the user to stop using.  But trying to do either is like trying to stop a moving freight train.  The sex drive is such a strong force in our human nature that even the strongest of us have fallen prey to its lusts, and heroin is so addictive that trying to break the addiction can be almost as hellish as the addiction itself.  Relapses in trying to remain clean in both endeavors are quite common.
Providing clean syringes and needles to injecting drug users and condom use promotion are about Harm Minimization. Yes, I think promoting abstinence from illicit drugs and celibacy as options for staying safe  is also important, but human beings, being the gross beings that they are, and, as you point out, being subject to powerful passions, unfortunately will always experiment and get hooked on drugs and promiscuity.
Illicit drug addiction and fornication are spiritual diseases, but whereas drug addiction is obviously also a medical condition requiring medical treatment, fornication is not. It merely has the potential to cause medical problems. In itself, it is not a medical problem. It's not even a sociological problem, unless we want it to be. Even some of the Ancestors of Our Lord mentioned in His genealogy were born from fornication. One of them was even a harlot. So, it's been around for a long time. People are going to do it, whether we like it or not. I agree with Tamara's point, that kids should be taught all the facts so that they can make more informed choices. I would even go further and add that celibacy as an option (and especially as one which should never incur ridicule) should also be presented to kids (in fact, it recently has in Australian Government Schools). I think celibacy should become a more acceptable lifestyle in our cultures. But the point is, we cannot impose it. And at the same time, we have to keep our kids as safe as possible. Threatening them with STDs is not the way to keep our kids celibate. If that's the only reason they abstain from premarital sex, then what have they gained spiritually? Their virginity is simply bodily hygiene and is spiritually on par with having a shower and changing your socks.
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« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2007, 02:29:33 PM »

Even some of the Ancestors of Our Lord mentioned in His genealogy were born from fornication. One of them was even a harlot.
Not to mention King David's great grandmother Ruth, the Moabite wife of Boaz.  Nothing wrong with being a Moabite per se, but were they not descendants of incest between Lot and his first-born daughter? (cf. Genesis 19:30-38)
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« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2007, 03:09:19 PM »

I don't want to further heat this already somewhat heated discussion, but may I just say this. I believe that fornication or pre-marital sex is wrong, maybe not as much because of the risk of STD, as simply because my Church says so, and I trust my Church. While I know that this argument cannot possibly be convincing to unbelievers, one rational, non-religious reason I might personally use is that to me, my pre-marital sexual experience was terribly neurotizing and damaging. I did not really care for those girls I slept with - I did it to "keep up with the Joneses," so to say, responding to peer pressure. Being a teenager, I had a firm belief that ALL my classmates were "doing it," while I was the only poor soul in the whole wide world who was not "doing it." So, I "jumped" at the first opportunity, being in a sports camp (almost the proverbial "band camp" from "American Pie," even though it was in the former USSR), with someone who simply seemed to be willing, probably for the same reason as I. It was a horrible experience. I got a real neurosis, depression and what not. It took me many long and painful years to get cured. I was actually cured only in marriage.
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« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2007, 10:21:42 PM »

Not to mention King David's great grandmother Ruth, the Moabite wife of Boaz.  Nothing wrong with being a Moabite per se, but were they not descendants of incest between Lot and his first-born daughter? (cf. Genesis 19:30-38)

The law against incest was given to Moses. Before that, there was no law against it. Seth and Cain must have married their own sisters because there was no other choice. There would have been no defective chromosomes at that time, and the law against incest was made almost 2,000 years later.

almost the proverbial "band camp" from "American Pie,"

Movies like American Pie treat virginity as something to be gotten rid of, like it's something bad. It's come a long way from the early days of Christianity, where virgins would choose to die rather than give up their virginity.
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