There’s been quite a lot of drama and noise in the media for a while now, all around the issue of tolerance and allowing people the right to choose. The idea is that we are all different and, therefore, we can’t all be expected to live by one absolute standard. There is no plumb line when it comes to truth. Religion is old school, boring and repressive, we read. Because we are as different as we are, I’m supposed to leave you to do your thing and, in return, you should give me the space I need to do my thing. Yet, when we really look at it, it seems like certain people would still like to feel they can comment fairly harshly on the decisions of others and label them, while at the same time advocating freedom of choice. Yesterday, I came across a piece in The Daily Beast and felt prompted to also ask some questions. The opening went thus:
“On Sunday, AKA the lord’s day, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson sat down for a one-on-one interview with Pastor Miles McPherson at San Diego’s Rock Church. Wilson, who has been linked to pop star Ciara for months, finally went public with the relationship. He went on to shock the church with the most painful-sounding and nonsensical announcement this side of the foreskin covenant: Russell Wilson and Ciara were doing it “Jesus’ way” In other words, not doing it.”
The fairly cynical article – which regularly takes shots at Christianity and certain of its values – makes the argument that abstinence, at least in the world of entertainment, has been nothing more than a marketing gimmick to reel in not just the teen purchase influencer group but their mommies and daddies too. Fair point. But to then dismiss abstinence as though, because everybody’s having sex whenever and however, those who choose to wait are a group of bizarre freaks is completely hypocritical. Where’s the freedom of choice in that worldview? The author goes on to say, “In addition to being exhausting, abstinence fetishization is just plain ineffective. According to The New York Times, studies have shown that most abstinence-only teens “end up having sex before marriage, and they are far less likely to use condoms than their peers.” This, to me anyway, implies that young people should disabuse themselves of the idea that abstinence is a noble or worthy ideal because, hey, things happen in life and if it so happens that you end up having sex, the better option would be for you to already be willing and ready, condom in wallet.
What many people don’t like to think about when it comes to the discussion around sexual issues and abstinence as it relates specifically to young people, is that sex is not a game. We like to reduce it to a game or some casual activity but it’s really not. The same entertainment industry that fetishizes ‘freedom’ for young people and encourages them to ‘explore’ and have sex willy-nilly doesn’t tell them about the heartbreak that comes when you have given of yourself to someone who doesn’t truly love you and was just using you. They don’t show you what a major life-changing responsibility it is to have a child and how painful it can be to raise one alone if the person you slept with and thought was going to stay with you chooses to walk away. Doom and gloom? Certainly not. It’s fair and fine to constantly harp on about rights and liberties and sexual freedom slash awareness but, as far as young people are concerned, we who are mature (supposedly) need to put equal – if not more – emphasis on responsibility. Sex isn’t bad or evil at all but, like everything worthwhile in life, should be handled with care. Coming back to Russell Wilson and Ciara’s choice to abstain, what’s the problem? What’s the fuss about? Leave them alone. If they are doing it for the right reasons, they actually should be applauded if you ask me. Besides, isn’t this the age of freedom of choice anyway?
At 1Africa, we believe that God’s ways and guidelines are not there to repress us but simply to teach us to be responsible people. We don’t believe that being a follower of Christ means suppression. In fact, the Bible states that it brings true freedom. If you’d like to know more about God and faith, please click on the banner below.
Quoted in this article: Russell Wilson and Ciara’s ‘No Sex’ Vow: Fetishizing Abstinence in Pop Culture