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Nadia Bolz-Weber wants to kiss 1990s-era purity rings goodbye

Author Nadia Bolz-Weber questions the impact that the purity culture has had on sexuality. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

(RNS) — Nadia Bolz-Weber wants your purity ring.

She’s collecting the rings — made popular in 1990s-era programs such as “True Love Waits” — for a protest project inspired in part by the biblical prophet Isaiah.

But instead of beating swords into plowshares or spears into pruning hooks, the irreverent Lutheran minister and best-selling author plans to melt down the collected “promise rings” and have them recast into a gleaming metal sculpture of a relevant portion of a woman’s anatomy.

Anyone who sends Bolz-Weber a ring by Monday (Dec. 17) will receive a silicone ring imprinted with the word “shameless” along with a “certificate of impurity” in return.

The project is a provocative bit of marketing for “Shameless: A Sexual Reformation,” the forthcoming book from Bolz-Weber, founder and former pastor of House For All Sinners and Saints, a Lutheran congregation in Denver.

It’s also a serious commentary on the legacy of the “purity movement” of the 1990s and early 2000s in the era of #MeToo, #ChurchToo and #TimesUp.

Minister and author Nadia Bolz-Weber speaks during the 2018 Makers Conference. Screenshot via Makers.com

That culture, said Bolz-Weber, left people with “frayed wires” when it came to sexuality and desire. It suggested, she said, that in order to please God, “you need to make sure you’re not even thinking sexual thoughts.”

Such teachings, whether explicit or implicit, were the hallmark of Christian-themed sexual abstinence programs that were common in evangelical youth culture 20 years ago. But they contradict other biblical claims, said Bolz-Weber, such as the idea that sexuality is a gift from God.

“What the church teaches is like a passive-aggressive test of our willpower, like God is saying, ‘You’re going to be designed this way but if you love me you’ll ignore it, right?’” she said. “It’s pernicious, the lies we tell kids in God’s name because of our own hang-ups.”

Bolz-Weber’s is the latest addition to a growing chorus of voices rethinking the purity movement and its lasting spiritual and psychological effects on a generation of believers.

Joshua Harris is featured in the poster for the new documentary about him, “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” Image courtesy of isurvivedikdg.com

Among them is Joshua Harris, author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Romance and Relationships,” the 1997 book that became the de facto bible of the purity movement. Last month, Harris apologized for the harm the book had caused and asked his publisher to cease printing it.

Now 43, Harris wrote the book when he was 21 and it was published a year before he got married. The book has sold more than 1.2 million copies to date.

Harris’ disavowal of his own best-seller is chronicled in the documentary film “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” released in late November. In it, the author has face-to-face conversations, many of them difficult, with his critics.

One of the most powerful exchanges in the film is a conversation with Elizabeth Esther, a Christian writer who’d been critical of the book on social media. She said it had been used against her “like a weapon” when she was a teenager.

“I remember feeling like an abject failure because (my husband) and I were kissing while we were engaged,” Esther said.

“And that’s a standard that’s totally not in the Bible,” Harris replies.

Whether intentional or not, in some evangelical and fundamentalist circles, Harris’ book was treated like holy writ. He wasn’t the only one writing about or espousing such extreme teachings about chastity, abstinence and “purity,” but because of the book’s success, he became the ersatz poster child for a movement.

At the end of the documentary, Harris delivers an emotional apology: “I want to say to anyone who was hurt by my book that I’m so sorry and I know that is coming too late, I know it doesn’t really change anything for you, but I never meant to harm you. And I hope that … owning  up to mistakes in my book will somehow help you on your journey.”

Nadia Bolz-Weber plans to melt down purity rings for an art project. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

At the height of the purity movement in the 1990s, Jeff Tacklind was a youth pastor at a large evangelical Christian church in Southern California.

While his church didn’t explicitly teach a purity curriculum, many of his young charges — especially the girls — sported promise rings.

“We were obsessed with commitments —if we could get people to commit to it, to raise a hand, to come forward, to do something, that counts — if you do it in a really compelling way, you can get people to commit to something they don’t believe. And except for the fact that surprise, surprise, it doesn’t last,” said Tacklind, now senior pastor of Little Church by the Sea, an Evangelical Free congregation in Laguna Beach, Calif.

That led to a spiritually vicious cycle of commitment-making, commitment-breaking, shame and regret, and re-committing, he said.

“Abstinence or virginity or purity, these kinds of concepts in the end just go away. The commitment lasts for a set amount of time — it doesn’t endure,” he said. “This idea of waiting until marriage, I think it was a complete failure.”

Linda Kay Klein, author of the new memoir “Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free,” came of age inside the purity movement and has studied its ongoing impact on culture.

The church, she said, needs to be better about making amends for the damage done by the movement.

Linda Kay Klein. Courtesy photo by Jami Saunders

“There’s a difference between ‘we’re doing something new now’ and making amends — healing what we are in part responsible for having created in the first place, a church with generations of people living in sexual shame, and fear, and anxiety,” Klein said.

Klein found a few hopeful examples, including an evangelical congregation, Highlands Church, in Denver that hosted a six-part sermon series on sex and sexuality that focused on healing.

That series offered worshippers an opportunity to “deconstruct the unhealthy things that they learned in various places, including the church, about sex and sexuality and to reconstruct it in a healthy way,” Klein said.

When it comes to human sexuality, Klein encourages churches to confess sins of commission and omission.

“Confess commission: teaching sexual shame, though I think many didn’t intend to,” she said. “And some need to confess the sin of omission, the fact that they haven’t been talking about sex and sexuality; that we have left so many people to be taught by society and society doesn’t have very healthy sexual teachings, either.”

Tacklind, who has three adolescent children (including two daughters), doesn’t see many traces of the purity movement among church youth today.

But he wonders about its lingering negative effects on his ’90s-era youth group — one teenage girl in particular.

The girl, who today would be well into her 30s, had signed an abstinence commitment, Tacklind explained. Her father gave her a silver promise ring, which she proudly never took off. And then one day she came to her youth pastor to confide that she had been raped.

“She held up her hand and said, ‘Look at what a hypocrite I am!’ It was heartbreaking. She was a complete victim. We’d set it up to be so confusing: What do you do? What happens if you take it off?” Tacklind recalled. “All the shame and the judgment — that’s what I think of when I think of purity rings.”

About the author

Cathleen Falsani

Cathleen Falsani is a veteran religion journalist and author, specializing in the intersection of spirituality and culture. She lives in Southern California.

260 Comments

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  • “Her father gave her a silver promise ring, which she proudly never took off.”

    I always thought there was something a tad weird being asked of father and daughter pairs by the promoters of the purity rings and the purity ball events. Dad’s job, IMHO, was to convince his SONS why to not ravage the girls, and how to take the responsibility and protect a girl in respect and love from letting relationships go too hot or too far at the wrong times. Dad, IMHO, was supposed to get the sons to do the promising. Imagine, if you can, a young boy and girl at first hand hold or first kiss—–and the boy leaning over and whispering in the girl’s ear “I loved your touch. Thank you for being close to me. I’m not a wolf. I won’t misunderstand your trust or rush you in ways that would be wrong. I promise”. A warm hug. Then keep the promise, period. Is there anything that could be sweeter than that for both him and her?

    Dad, if he has daughters, could be telling them what he would be telling a son if he had one—-explaining to the girls what to look for as the different signs between guys who would hurt them and guys who won’t. But asking daughter to promise something to Dad or with Dad? Strange.

  • There are those who love Jesus and then there are those who love to control. A lot of what passes for Christianity is manufactured by those who love to control.

  • Conservative Christians overwhelmingly support a serial adulterer, unrepentant fornicator and self-professed sexual predator. They even call him a “Baby Christian”

    So they evidently don’t have a lot of problems with it.

    Why should anyone else?

  • Quite relevant. It undermines your level of concern about the fornication of others.

    Evidently it only matters when convenient for attacking others, but not something that matters personally or to those you support.

    Virtue is for thee and never for me. 🙂

  • No word on whether the good minister plans to worship the golden vagina declaring, “This is your God who brought you out of Egypt.”

  • When young girls are taught that their worth is between their legs, and then that only a husband can help them realize that worth… well. Not only is it tragically detrimental to young women who are raped or abused, but it’s systematically harmful to the healthy emotional development of all females who, just like males, need to learn how to be capable, confident, independent, trustworthy, honest, ambitious, generous, and more… with or without a spouse. Purity indoctrination does to a female’s psychological well-being what Chinese foot binding does to a female’s feet. It cripples us. Please stop.

  • Alex: Wrong. we deduct $500. Nobody ever called Clinton a “Baby Christian” nor did he admit to being a sexual predator.

    The correct answer is President Donald J Trump.

    That takes you down to -$10,000. You will not be participating in Final Jeopardy.

  • A life of sexual purity and virginity is a commendable and high calling for both men and women.

    Of course others – like Nadia Bolz-Weber – will always prefer wallowing in the mud to ascending to the stars.

  • Yet only women are shamed, devalued and harangued for being unchaste. I believe the popular metaphor for a woman being unchaste (or a victim of rape) is “used chewing gum”.

    More importantly it is conveniently ignored as a virtue from men conservative christians support. As seen in their continual support for adulterers, fornicators, and sexual predators in their midst All the while wagging fingers at opponents and accusing others such sins.

  • Except for a handful of vegans I know, I agree. =)

    BTW: My sexual shaming object-based lessons were thus: chewed gum, licked cupcake (for real), and a rose with its petals plucked. Yes, I received the full Mind-F.

  • Celibacy is highly commended by both the Lord Jesus (Matthew 19:10-12) and the Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 7), as well as in the Revelation of the Apostle John (Revelation 14:4).

    For Christians it is more commendable than vegetarianism – although strict monastics are often vegetarians as well.

  • Butting out of people’s lives and ceasing to judge others is also highly commended by the Lord. Let’s follow that council and let the sexual “sinner” manage their own affairs with the Lord, shall we?

  • The ideal of virginity is applicable to both single men as well as women. Both men, as well as women, are properly excommunicated for fornication, to be readmitted to Communion only after a period of repentance and amendment.

    Never heard of that “popular metaphor”; it is disgusting. Maybe we run in different circles.

  • Fine with me. The teachings I have been mentioning are directed towards Christians, not nonbelievers. Nonbelievers should likewise butt out of lecturing Christians on what their sexual morality should be.

  • Christians come in a wide variety of shades and if you give lecture, you better be able to take it, too.

  • So what. You can get heart disease and diabetes by not eating vegetables. What’s your point? That something which might result in pregnancy requires YOUR policing it? How is it still not a completely and total personal choice based on one’s own beliefs, which may or may not include biblical and Christian interpretations?

  • No problem, Flower.

    But when people start lecturing, I often lecture right back, in order to provide a different viewpoint.

  • Well, if being knocked up is no big deal, more power to you.

    I am not sure what “something which might result in pregnancy requires YOUR policing it” communicates other than you apparently don’t want anyone to know what you and your vagina are up to.

  • Well then we can go back and forth all day. You can find scripture that promotes sexual shaming, and I can find scripture (and many other resources) that promotes focusing on the beam in one own’s eye. Who shall win? Thee with most scripture?

    In all seriousness, though. Snark aside. The purity movement isn’t about promoting lifelong celibacy, it’s about waiting for marriage, and it’s targeted primarily to girls. Yes, yes… boys, too. Right. But then the focus is right back on girls. When has anyone ever suggested that a boy wear a purity ring or otherwise advertise/promote their dedication to abstinence?

    So it’s a bit of a logical fallacy to defend the purity movement with scripture that promotes lifelong celibacy for either gender. Apples to oranges, not to mention pleading to authority and probably a few other fallacies as well.

  • So you’re a nasty troll, then. Got it. Not into those kinds of exchanges. Good day, no further correspondence shall be granted.

  • Trump? He committed adultery, he is divorce and remarried, and so he is living in unrepentant sin.

  • No, you’re the ugly little troll.

    You show up in forum on religion news with one purpose and one purpose only: to denigrate religion and its adherents.

    Your lack of responses means literally nothing – you chose “correspondence” rather than “discussion” appropriately.

  • No it isn’t. Only women are attacked and denigrated for failing to be chaste. Only they get the insulting terms and perceived loss of worth to the Christian community for violating such norms.

    The tolerance for fornicators is always rather high for men and especially politically conservative men. All others get the finger wagging condemnation.

    Worse still this hypocrisy enables sexual assault.

    Like what was seen in places like Baylor University where reporting rape would get women expelled for violating the honor code about relations. It also was the reason Elizabeth Smart was reluctant to leave her abductor.

    It’s a load of hypocritical junk commodifying women.

  • No, you have also demanded others do as your Christian faith allegedly states as well. You have even expected you beliefs to have color of law and demanded special privileges for it.

  • Ignore Mark. He’s a troll with nothing of value to say. Blocking him saves a lot of useless discussion with s serial liar and complete bigot.

  • “Scripture that promotes sexual shaming”? Please clarify what you mean.

    The inadequacies of the purity movement, which seems to a silly mostly Protestant-oriented gimmick, does not invalidate the Church’s 2000 year old tradition of exhorting each of us to transcend our fallen state through prayer, fasting, and ascetical effort.

  • Whether he is living in unrepentant sin I do not know.

    One can repent of adultery, just as one can repent of any sins involved in a divorce. One does not necessarily have to repent of a later marriage.

  • There is no Church with a capital C. There are churches. Some promote the idea of human sexuality as a “fallen state” to transcend. And that is sexual shaming in a nutshell.

  • I guess its easy to miss when deliberately turning one’s back. Especially when trying to score a handout from the guy. If you don’t know, its a matter of not being willing to find out.

    Trump has never repented, apologized, or been contrite on anything given subject so far.

  • I always thought the Dad – daughter thing reeked of symbolic incest at worst and at best overbearing patriarchy.

  • That is a standard above and beyond Paul’s general standard in Corinthian 7. Otherwise neither you or I would have ever existed. Paul does speak of others in the second group and recommends marriage. But his concern was that faithfulness not be usurped by lust out of control.

  • I sensed that too, years ago, when I was hearing about such stuff. It goes around in some of the same church circles, I think, as other nuttiness such as refusing to vaccinate children against diseases.

    But that aside, girls really do deserve better treatment than some of them get from guys. I’m for talking to boys about learning to be kind through self restraint. Put the burden on us boys—-starting about 14. The notion that girls are supposed to have to fight us off for their own protection is regrettable. We need better training and we need people talking about that (IMHO).

  • You just need to look at the CDC and see the results of fornication. Large numbers of people with ugly STD’s, HIV and AIDS. You can also look at the abortion stats. Hundreds of thousands of murders are done in the cause of fornication.

  • No I don’t. You have nothing of value to say there. Same dishonest deflection.

    I am talking about your hypocrisy here. Your willingness to attack others for things you willingly overlook or ignore when it suits your purpose.

    I don’t have to take your condemnation of fornication seriously because you don’t. It’s all nonsense from you. Simply excuses to attack others.

  • I don’t attack I just give the facts that proves the left is wrong about its propaganda. Sad you don’t want to see how destructive fornication is. Keep your head in the sand.

  • You are nothing but attack. You don’t care about fornication either. As long as the person is a Bible Thumping Christian man or a male Republican politician you couldn’t care less what they do. You are full of excuses for them. Like the Fornicater in Chief. But everyone else gets the finger wagging.

    No reason to ever take you seriously here. It’s just an excuse to act badly to others. Your professed beliefs are just malice personified.

  • Well, if it isn’t the out of work English teacher.

    How’s that book that you’ve been writing (LOL) for the last ten years? Chloroform on paper, no doubt.

  • Says the snow flake that blocks anyone with a differing opinion. You can’t see our replies. But everyone else can. So now we get to tee off on your dumb comments without being subjected to your inane rebuttals. Win-win.

  • Of course you do. That is why you gave me such a triggered response. I am describing your position far more accurately than you want to admit to.

  • About the Church, we disagree.

    Human sexuality was created by God. It is “very good”, according to God himself (Genesis 1:31) My words “transcend our fallen state” did not refer to human sexuality, but to the many abuses and misuses to which human sexuality has been put by fallen man. (actually, it refers to a whole lot more than just sexuality.)

  • You are quite the mind reader to know whether or not a person has repented of any sin.

    Others here have also noticed this about you.

  • Oh everyone can see your petty meanness. Even me. It’s good to have a hater like you. Positive reinforcement.

  • Both Paul and Jesus recognize that virginity/celibacy is not something given to all people. For the rest of us there is marriage.

    A life of sexual purity, however, is the general standard for all Christians. For the unmarried it consists of celibacy; for the married it consists of a chaste marriage.

  • Nope, I only expect Christians to do as our faith teaches.

    I expect the rest of you people to leave us all alone.

  • Not at all. Repentance is a public act. An attitude and behavior. Apparent by simply refraining from the objectionable act and demonstration of contrition. There is redress of people wronged.

    Secret repentance is none at all. If it takes a mind reader there, it isn’t there at all

    Your need to make excuses for his obviously atrocious behavior and rather nasty and swift condemnation of others undermines your credibility here.

  • Unless it is convenient to ignore or make excuses for it.

    If you want to be left alone you have to leave others alone. I don’t see that from you. Respect is demanded but not given in return. All you are telling me here is you don’t want your views criticized. This is the wrong place for that.

  • “Repentance is a public act….Secret repentance is none at all.”

    Pffft. I guess that’s why -in a number of churches – those repenting go to a Priest IN PRIVATE, and the Priest is FORBIDDEN to PUBLICLY DISCLOSE the contents of the confession – because “Repentance is a public act”. LOL.

    Repentance is a private turning of the heart towards God, and away from a particular sin. In some churches a Priest witnesses the confession of sin, and provides both assurance of forgiveness (absolution), as well as spiritual counsel. None of that is a “public act”.

    Your need to just make stuff up (like your last post) continually “undermines your credibility here”.

    But it is good for a laugh.

  • “If you want to be left alone you have to leave others alone.”

    My initial post here was in response to not being left alone. You hypocritically demand Christians remain silent when criticized, but do yourself have a year-round “open season” on them.

  • The problem isn’t the doctrine that sex is for marriage, but the emphasis on physical purity rather than moral purity. The story of the girl that was raped is a perfect example of how wrongheaded that thinking is—MORALLY, she was still a virgin, just like anyone that had her hymen tear due to intense physical exercise.

  • Your initial post was about concern for fornication. Followed by talk about how it is applied to both genders. Neither of which was genuine accurate or honest.

    When called out in it, initially by a poster who had gone through the Christian righteous denigration which only happens to women on the subject, you tried to shut down the conversation.

    The only one who seeks to avoid discussion when critized has been you. Your post is pure projection.

    I am not looking for your silence at all. I want you to answer for how you apply your beliefs to others.

  • Your excuses come in thick and fast when you want to be a hypocrite.

    Confession in church is not repentance. It is a beginning of such a path, but not an act of contrition itself. The expression Jesus used was “sin no more”. Meaning stop doing what sins you confessed about. Make efforts to do it. Contrition, repentance involve making efforts towards those wronged by you.

    Cheap grace and blanket absolution are great for miscreants and hypocrites. But they are meaningless.

    When has Trump even apologized for acting badly or lying in public? Never.

    You are just looking for excuses to save face in light of obvious hypocrisy here. You only care about fornication when it can be used as an attack.

  • ” the irreverent Lutheran minister and best-selling author plans to melt down the collected “promise rings” and have them recast into a gleaming metal sculpture of a relevant portion of a woman’s anatomy.” So, she is a pig.

  • Baloney. With remaining chaste, a young girl – or any woman, learns that she has far more attributes than her vagina. She learns that a love for Christ – and what He taught – is more valuable than some man looking for sex, and then the next one, and the next one…..she has more value than a sex object for, as you put it – the next one who will “affirm” her by having sex with her

  • “When has Trump even apologized for acting badly or lying in public? Never.” Again Spud, why don’t you share those records you have of “All that Trump has done or said” with the public. You could earn a mint. Be the richest guy in New York!

  • Do you even understand ‘the beam in one’s eye”? It is condemning one when you do the same thing,

  • News flash! Men and women are different. While God’s Word is clear that fornication is a sin for both men and women; when a woman CHOOSES to surrender her chastity outside the confines of marriage she gives up something far more precious than a man who makes the same decision. Sorry if this reality of creation upsets you, but facts don’t defer to feelings.

  • President Trump is a horrific moral example, but he’s never claimed to be a good one. Our only option in 2016 was another horrible person who endorsed the murder of children in the womb.

  • So you are suggesting that Rick is fornicating? What are next week’s lottery numbers? See if you can match Spud, please, Thanks

  • Swoosh! Right over your head by a mile. No confident, well-adjusted girl will feel “affirmed” through sex. Unless you teach them to feel this way. Read and learn. Many studies illuminate. Start with The Purity Myth. Good luck.

  • “When young girls are taught that their worth is between their legs, and that only a husband can help them realize that worth” Straight from your comment.

  • I see. So it’s perfectly find to judge your neighbor for anything you want, as long as you are not guilty of *only* that exact thing. That’s how you interpret scripture. Got it. Guess what that makes the scripture promote? Piety! Which is not pretty. But hey, if your Jesus approves, good on ya.

  • Yes. When young girls are taught that… which is exactly what virginity fixation teaches. Please read. Please learn. Education is the most precious thing we have.

  • You don’t teach “lack of abstinence,” you simply don’t fixate on sex. And clearly, I’m not alone in recognizing that virginity worship/sexual fixation is unhealthy.

  • I don’t have to. We don’t agree on the translation of scripture. I have no idea what Rick is guilty or not guilty of. I’m not judging Rick, I’m proposing that he cease from judging others. Don’t you have to be at church somewhere? Silly childish comments aren’t worth my time. Good day.

  • How nice for you. I guess that makes you special and above the rest of us. Must feel good. Oh, how I do like Christ but how unlike him are his “Christians.”

  • We don’t agree only because you don’t understand scripture.
    I’ll repeat my questions:
    So you are suggesting that Rick is fornicating? What are next week’s lottery numbers? See if you can match Spud, please, Thanks

    You indicated already that you believe Rick is doing such by your comment, and I would so appreciate the lotteries

  • I’m not interested in exchanging dialogue with a rock. Again, have a good day and enjoy your seat on high.

  • Nope.

    YOU are the one who referred the question to them. So I will ask you again -and don’t be shy – do you?

  • So you don’t acknowledge their authority. Neither do I. How is it different, a
    Art from me being an atheist and you not?

  • Thank you for your kind wishes, and may you, as well, enjoy this season when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus!

  • My initial post to Flower noted that sexual purity and virginity are traditionally considered a high calling in Christianity, one which applies to both sexes. That is “genuine accurate” and “honest”, even if you do not agree with it. It is a simple fact of traditional Christian teaching.

    Her response was that sexual purity and virginity were no more commendable that vegetarianism.

    My reply noted that in traditional Christian thought, it is. You laughably consider that “shut[ting] down the conversation”

    I continued to discuss the matter freely with her and others. You now call that “avoid[ing] discussion”.

    You cannot even give an honest account of our posts here. Typical of you.

  • “Confession in church is not repentance.”

    It is the result of repentance.

    And what do i care about Trump in this context? You are beating a dead horse.

  • What does “How is it different, a Art from me being an atheist and you not?” mean? And how does whatever it means tie into our discussion?

  • I would guess you would have to ask Arnzen/Connelly/Carioca that particular question about catholic theology, unless he is still an evangelical this week. All I know is that marriage after divorce is not what Jesus had in mind.

  • So when has he even admitted fault with prior actions? Never. Usually it’s blatant lying denial or attack.

    Not that you care. As long as you expect a handout, all bad behavior is overlooked excuses or deflected from.

    If you are going to call out fornicaters he is the top of the most public figures list for anyone . Otherwise you are just being s hypocrite of the obvious sort.

  • She called BS on that as a Christian. You are lying about admonition being applied to men. It never is. Both sexes are not held to a single standard. In fact it is used exclusively to devalue and denigrate women. It promotes sexual assault. It devalues marriage as well.

  • “…I’m proposing that he [Rick] cease from judging others.”

    Yes you did.

    One cannot “cease from” doing something unless one was previously doing it.

  • But the “Values Voters” praise him but condemn the morals and ethics of others. Clearly the judgment of these conservative Christians is utterly worthless. Nothing but hypocrisy.

    How many abortions do you think Donald Trump has paid for in his life? More than you will be comfortable to admit to hearing.

    Don’t give me that fetus worship garbage. Your alleged concern for children seems to extend to making excuses for starving abusing them, imprisoning them and gassing them.

    No children are killed in abortion children are born. Plenty of children are suffering and dying thanks to your garbage judgment in leadership.

    A conservative’s judgment on the morals and ethics of others is worthless. They don’t value it in their own. So nobody needs to care.

  • So Rick Brant was lying according to you. It is only held against women. It’s nothing but s1ut shaming for them and excuses and blind eyes towards men.

    Fornication only matters if it’s a woman. Men, especially those of a conservative Christian bent and their supporters get ignored. Because you are hostile to treating women as people. You are validating whet I say here. But the difference is I point out the hypocrisy of it negatively and you revel in such immoral and ridiculous notions.

    Nobody has to care what you think about fornication because even you make it clear it’s just a bullcrap pretense to attack others.

  • Forgive me for getting caught in a stupid argument and saying something I didn’t mean. I meant that we should all avoid judging others, as a more important tenet than sexual “purity.”

  • Insofar as repentance is a turning of one’s heart, I do not know one way or the other -and neither do you. Unless you can read both hearts and minds -which we all know you can’t.

    Nowhere have I “called out” fornicaters; but I have defended the Christian ideals of sexual purity and virginity. Sorry if you find those ideals unpalatable!

    If Trump is not repentant for his prior fornication and adultery, then certainly he needs to repent of that. I have never suggested otherwise. The same standard of repentance applies to us all: Trump, you and me.

  • Find one time he has apologized or acted in a contrite fashion. Otherwise you are not refuting what I am saying here.

  • I know plenty of men excommunicated and put under penance for adultery as well as fornication. Your assertions are not true.

  • Get bent. Your post was complete garbage. Giving me excuses for your moral fecklessness. If you don’t want to read it, block me. It you don’t want to address it fine.

  • I know far more times Christians throw their support around unrepentant serial adulterers, sexual abusers and fornicators, when it is convenient for them.

    My assertions are constantly validated by their actions here and elsewhere.

  • Sir Ken ran away. Bravely ran away away. When danger reared it’s ugly head Sir Ken turned away and fled …

  • Learn to read or pay attention to what’s been written. Our fellow blogger wrote “what passes for Christianity”.

    Silly you.

  • I thought you were a wanna be stalker of Trump. I know nothing about the man past what I have read in news reports and I don’t trust most of them.

  • Prior comment still stands. You wanted to dispute what I said, all you needed was a quick news article if one existed. Oh well.

    Face it. The people most likely to make a deal about fornication are the ones most likely to be worthless hypocrites on the subject. Especially now, when “moral majorities” are trying new and interesting ways to claim ends justify the means or “I wanted that”. The least moral arguments out there.

  • Well don’t that beat all!! bereans! I had to look that one up.

    Bereans apparently deny the trinity, which Christians inform us is the true naTure of god, as described in the word of god, which Christians inform us never changes. I’m glad to hear it never changes, because I wouldn’t know whom to believe is the tru Christian.

    Now where is Bob Arnzen when you need him?

  • If you’re a believer, your argument isn’t with me, it’s with the Word. If your not a believer, you have a infinitely bigger problem.

  • I said there are no instances of him apologizing. Logically to negate that one would simply find one. You have none. Logically therefore I am right.

  • God forgets??? Didn’t realize God had a poor memory. But that makes sense. Given the shape the world is in, after God created it He must have forgot all about it. By the time he remembered His creation, it was pretty far down the toilet, so He sent Jesus to remedy the situation. But then He forgot to do any serious follow-through and now the world is right back down the toilet. “God forgets” explains everything. Thank you.

  • “Every sin that a man does is outside the body,” but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.“

    Quite right that the fornication is equally wrong for both men and women, but in reality we women have more to lose, and will until men on average weight love, commitment, family, and sex exactly as women do — which will probably be never.

  • What consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms is none of my business. I am not nosy like you guys.

  • Not a single article found by you. I would think you would be eager to show me up and make me look foolish. Oh well. 🙂

  • There is a sect that denies the doctrine of the a Trinity that goes by the name, Berean. There’s also a popular concept of one who searches the scriptures for themselves, not willing to take any man’s word for what God’s Word really means; that person being referred to as a Berean, as the early inhabitants of Berea were known for their study of scripture. I was referring to the latter.

  • She’s worse than a pig. And why RNS continues to promote her in any fashion is beyond me. She is clearly not a reverend in any way, shape or form; but merely a charlatan preying on the broken and misguided in order to sell her books.

  • I’d be curious why you are offended by sandis comment. Do you approve of the vagina sculpture and certificate of impurity? If so, why?

  • Thank you for the polite question. Here is a polite response. The vagina sculpture and certificate of impurity are bold statements and I prefer to be more reasonable, however… it is clear that we have a long way to go helping people understand the harmful impact of idolizing sexual “purity,” particularly in women. The sculpture and certificate, while brash, are a statement about that idolatry. Worshiping virginity is the same thing as worshiping a vagina. It is the wrong thing to focus on.

    What these women (and many others in increasing numbers) are saying is that emphasis on sexual purity is oppressive. It isn’t new either. The so-called Purity Movement of the 1990s is nothing more than a recycling of associating value with virginity, an idea as old as time. It commodotizes women like property, it drives young women to focus on protecting their “value” rather than building genuine character, it often results in the exact *opposite* behavior of cashing in that value at the earliest opportunity, and probably worst of all, it leaves women who’ve been removed of their value through no choice of their own… shamed and silent, which is probably why it is estimated that 9 out 10 rapes are never reported.

    An excellent book on the subject is called The Purity Myth. In a nutshell, fixating on purity is exactly as immoral as fixating on impurity. Both are focused on sex as a value/asset. I believe the sculpture and certificate are attempting to make that statement.

    Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful holiday.

  • You’re going to upset a great many people here by saying that the Bible means whatever you think it means. I would definitely include the Catholics in that. And like the other kind of Berean, you could assert that the trinity doesn’t exist, if that is what scripture reveals to you. Also, I assume you are a koine, Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew scholar, because otherwise, you would be relying on what men tell you the word of god is.

  • There is no particular reason why saying the Bible means whatever he thinks it means would upset Catholics.

    Catholics fully acknowledge and frequently discuss the beliefs of others, particularly in the context of apologetics.

    Should we assume you are a Koine, Aramaic, Latin, or Hebrew scholar
    because you feel qualified to opine on what the word of
    god may be?

  • “Sexual purity” is nothing more than man made rational to scheme women for doing the exact same thing men do, except for males it’s considered a “rite of passage”. Power- and control- hungry men fabricated the “mud wallow” to justify the double standard.
    Get over yourselves.

  • You wouldn’t know logic and reality if they slapped you in the face, which I hope they do… soon and repeatedly.

  • Oh Ben, you’re kinda reading a lot into this Berean thing that isn’t there. In normal Christian circles, by saying one is a Berean you’re saying you look to scripture for your answers. A great deal of scripture is pretty straight forward and reasonably easy to understand; one doesn’t need to be a scholar in multiple languages to get what God’s Word says, especially with regard to salvation.

  • Oh, Dawn (if that’s your name), just exactly what’s got your granny panties all bunched up in a wad?

  • Wrong. I don’t impose that ignorant bullshit on myself or those I love and care about. But thanks for playing!

  • Yes, that’s my name AND my actual picture. Nothing got my “granny panties all bunched up in a wad”. As an intelligent, responsible member of society I’m compelled to call out stupidity and ignorance when I see it. That’s the only way to advance humanity toward higher goals and aspirations.

  • No double standard when we are all -men and women – called to the same high calling.

    Nowhere in the Scriptures and the 2000 year old spiritual/ascetical teachings of the Christian faith is there taught that fornication is a “rite of passage”. Please let us know where in the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the Canonical legislation you have found this teaching.

    All those falling into the sins of fornication, adultery, masturbation, etc., are liable to a course of spiritual healing that includes excommunication, fasting, penance, and renunciation of whatever sin is concerned. In the cases I know of, I have seen this applied to men as well as women.

    Perhaps it is you who needs to get over yourself.

  • “The Word” contradicts itself from beginning to end. Anyone who DOESN’T have a problem with that is a sheep being led to slaughter.

  • It’s not about what’s I the scripture, it’s about what happens in reality. I’ve heard many men in churches bragging about how their sons were now “men” since they had sex. Of course, the girls with whom they had sex were “sluts”, “whores”, “floosies”, and any number of derogatory names. I’ve seen it many times and have NEVER seen it actually applied equally to men. Perhaps in theory, but NEVER in reality.

    AGAIN, “sin” is a wholly man-made concept, made up by the men who wrote the bible and for the purpose of making people feel guilty for being human, and to make them fear “eternal retribution” unless they “repent” and commonly with the will and edicts of the men leading the churches.

  • ROFLMAO!! Exactly what is to be expected from someone who thinks the bible “proves” their version of “god”. You probably also think I’ve proven you ride a unicorn to work. 😆

  • It’s ALL about what in the Scriptures. Of your church teaches anything different, you’re in the wrong church.

    Sin is a wholly man-made reality, created by man when he self-destructively turned away from God.
    We see its results all around us – for example in men bragging about their sons’ sins. Totally disgusting.

    And if you’ve “NEVER” seen the discipline of the church “actually applied equally to men”, that underlines what I said in my first paragraph here.

  • No, there are plenty of believers who are far more honest and lack your toxic attitude towards women. Your are just being spineless about your personal attitudes.

  • The problem that you’re missing is, MEN WROTE THE SCRIPTURE. There was NO “inspiration from God”, direct or otherwise. The entire purpose of the bible, every holy text of every religion, and ALL religions and churches, is to allow a small group of powerful (power hungry) men to control the masses by means is fear and guilt.

    The bible is a misogynist’s handbook, nothing more than an owner’s manual for men over women, and men wrote it that way.

    The FACT that I’ve personally witnessed males being given a pass for hedging sex while females are publicly berated, slut shamed and driven away from churches due to their vile and hateful treatment is the exact OPPOSITE of what you said I your first paragraph. HOWEVER, since MOST “Christians” I know live in “backward world” in complete denial of reality, I can see how you would “believe” what I’ve witnessed backs up your religious ideology.

    Face reality: women are sick and tired of being men’s doormats, whipping “boys” and “fall guys”. We’re attending up to take our rightful (and actually former) place as leaders of society, and ALL your BS rules — like the “purity culture” crap — are going to the trash heap of history where they belong.

  • Your denigration of God’s Word is nothing more than the result of swallowing too much so-called “progressive” sjw koolaid, never bothering to think critically for yourself instead of emoting.

    What you have “personally witnessed” is men acting sinfully. If you were in any way objective you would have noticed women acting sinfully too – but the blinders of your hate-filled ideology won’t let you. To you women are always the only victims.

    If you do not want to strive for Christian moral virtues, that’s fine, it’s a free society, and no one can force you to choose a life of spiritual wholeness. But don’t expect the rest of us to cheer as you make a shipwreck of your life.

  • Have you ever seen her?

    She literally looks like a Chick tract caricature of a liberal feminist clergywoman come to life!

  • Wrong, little Ricky. My “denigrating of God’s word” is the result of 50 years of extensive research, initiated by the fact that no preachers could answer my questions and resorted to telling me that I couldn’t understand because I was “a girl”.

    I’m amused that you have the gall to use the words “Christian” and “moral values” in the same sentence. I’ve watched “Christians” rid themselves of any semblance of “moral values” for several decades now, and their full throated, open-armed acceptance of Donald Trump has exempted them from any “right” to claim moral superiority to anyone.
    BTW — one needn’t be a “Christian” to have a wholesome spiritual life. That’s the BS you’ve been conditioned to believe. Frankly, the most moral and spiritually whole and wholesome people I know are those who have left Christianity in the dustbin of antiquity where it belongs.

  • If the scriptures were men’s creation fornication would be a sacrament. As indeed it was in much of the pre-christian world.

    “Slut-shaming” today is an activity exclusively engaged in, and complained of, by women. Women who resent other women interfering with what little of their own power over men they haven’t given away.

  • Back in the real world, Christians are VERY divided when it comes to Trump. Only some Protestants – the Evangelicals – expressed anything like an “open-armed acceptance” of Trump. Other Christians (Catholics, Mainline Protestants, Eastern Orthodox) – who make up the majority of American Christians – tended to be lukewarm to cool about Trump.

    Your understanding of Christians is myopic at best, if you think the majority of them express “full throated” support for him. If all you know about Christians is the Evangelicals, you are truly missing the forest for the trees.

  • No, she actually does look like that. Uncanny.

    I, on the other hand, look pretty much like the picture to the left of my name.

  • Nice attempt at co-opting the “sacrament” phrase, but you completely missed the point. Indeed, men absolutely ARE given a pass when they “fornicate” because men are deemed to be “weak” when fighting against the “sins of the flesh” as well as the “wickedness of womanly wiles”. The whole bit in Genesis was written to demonize women while forgiving men, even though they’re both engaging in an act that requires two people.

    No, “slut shaming” is NOT exclusively engaged in by women. The women you accuse of engaging in it have no reason to do so. Women don’t have any “power over men”, nor do we want it. But we DO want — even demand — is the exact same power men have had since the overthrow of female dominated societies prior to the advent of pre-Judaic belief, which is the power of self-actualization and the right to fully and actively participate in society.

    The things you’ve said lead me to believe that you are either (1) male, (2) very young, or (3) you’ve been raised and are totally emersed in the patriarchal evangelical culture and have never questioned it. You should. You should question everything. Only then do you even have a chance to find the truth.

  • I know there are some who have denounced Trump — Lutherans being one prominent denomination — and as a former evangelical in aware that they are the most adamant in their support of Trump, with Jerry Falwell, Jr. being prominent among them. But to say that Southern Baptists such as Robert Jeffress and his cult are “evangelical” is inaccurate.

    What I understand is that three had been very little outrage from “Christian” denominations concerning Trump and his escapades. IF you are so against him, you should be making a LOT more of a scene and speaking out against him. “Praying” for “God” to do something–ANYTHING–to prevent Trump from tarnishing your religion and destroying our republic have a net result of ZERO. You need to be at least as vocal and visible as the hypocrites supporting him.

  • LOL! Great job — wrong on all counts. My views come after a lifetime of observing who is happy and who is bitter, and who has what they want and who doesn’t.

    I spent many years in a male-dominated profession, and though I heard a considerable amount of coarse talk I have never in my life heard a man “slut-shaming” or even using the word “slut,” much less whinging about slut-shaming. Men appreciate the favors of what you would call “sluts” and wish they were even “sluttier.” It is other women who resent them because they view them as a threat — a resentment which I have always found to be misplaced.

    I almost spit my morning coffee when I read what you wrote about women having no power over men. On the contrary, men will strive to be their very best and highest achieving selves for the privilege of marrying us and having children by us, if we require it of them. If we don’t, then they won’t. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t strive to be their best anyway, but as is true of all of us it’s easy to simply take the path of least resistance when there is no immediate cost and considerable immediate reward.

    And there is of course nothing in Genesis about excusing men for sexual misbehavior any “womanly wiles.” Adam didn’t get to stay in the garden. Yes, men are weak, and so are women. It’s a human thing.

  • First, you’re comparing broccoli to London broil. I, too, have spent many years in male-dominated professions (truth be told, until recently, ALL professions were male- dominated) and have been afforded equal treatment by the vast majority of them. HOWEVER, the discussion was about purity culture inside religion, NOT in the workplace where women are far more likely to encounter men who are better educated, more progressive and highly evolved, and much less religious than the men in churches and religious organizations.

    I do agree with you, however, when you say men wish women were even “sluttier”, though all of THOSE men I’ve encountered have been inside/ involved with the religious, and also use that against the women.

    Unless and until you grow the gonads to show your face and profile, I’m still calling bullshit on everything you’ve said. Anyone can hide behind anonymity, but they have NO credibility– nor do you.

  • It is a matter of complete indifference to me whether you “call bullshit” or not. I have kept my identities and profiles private for several years now, ever since I got tired of one particular unhinged lib following me around HuffPo from one article to another which held no interest for her other than attacking me — and there are numerous posters here who are even crazier than she was.

    I have no interest in who ANYONE is around here. This is a place for discussing ideas.

  • “. . . the popular metaphor for a woman being unchaste (or a victim of rape) is ‘used chewing gum’.”

    Comparing a human being to an inamiate object is absolutely absurd, especially when it relates to something as complex as sexuality.

    Regardless of whether they realize it, fundamental christians still consider women to be the property of either their husband or their father. There’s a reason why rape was treated as a property crime in the bible. Fornication was a crime punishable by death, but in cases of rape, the perpetrator had to pay her father a handful of shekels and MARRY his victim.

  • When christ was speaking of celibacy for the sake of the kingdom it was a reference to divorce and re-marriage as historical criticism of the bible goes.The theme is about divorce and remarriage and nothing else. paul preferred celibacy over marriage cause he thought the end of the world and the second coming of Christ were imminent 1 cor chpt 7 29-31. pOpe francis also confers this interpreatation in amoris laetia,an apostolic letter. it also confirmed paul was just giving a opinion and a bad opinion at that.

  • buddy you know squat,they do not involve excommunication.while i dont defend adultery,sexual relations before marriage as in engagement can be licit.if you wanna argue fundamentalism then defend slavery as the bible does,condemn sacred images of Mary or others as the commandment teaches(10 commandment) and the apostolic teching in acts,that the council of Florence rejected—that you cannot eat meat with animal blood still intact in it

  • No it is not.Most of the apostles were married,Paul preferred celibacy because he thought the end of the world and the 2nd coming of Christ was imminent 1 Cor 7 vs 29-31,He gave it only as a opinion and a bad one. Mary had children after Christ but by the 3rd century a evil movement of manichaesm influenced christianity and hailed the body as bad and sex unworthy.Hence Mary without any foundation became a perpetual virgin,even though the bible new testament written in greek clearly distinguishes between cousin and brother/sister. There is no traditional thought other than celibate clerics holding sex in marriage a necessary evil like Augustine,Jerome,Pope sricuis,Pope innocent III, pOPE gregory the great etc. your confusing teachings from ignorants with the true tradition—like the eucharist.tHe laity who are the church too,have a history of rejecting nonsense that you pass of as tradition but in reality are the viewpoints of a tiny dysfunctional sect

  • You are of course free to hold whatever modern liberal errors you want, but don’t pretend they are the teachings of traditional Christianity. None of the ancient Patristic writers ever taught that the Mother of God had children after Christ. Anathema to all who teach so!

  • I have known plenty of people who have been excommunicated by their Priests for various sexual and other sins, when instructing the penitent to following a period of prayer, fasting, and amendment of life before returning at the end of that period for further spiritual counseling and, if appropriate, the granting of absolution and their subsequent return to the Holy Mysteries.

    I have no interest in defending either slavery or fundamentalism, being neither a slaver nor a fundamentalist heretic.

    I do defend the correct Christian teachings about the Holy Images, in accordance with the teachings of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (Nicea II), as well as the teachings of the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem (though I may differ with your interpretation of the latter.). All who reject the teachings of the Apostles and the Holy Fathers should not consider themselves Christians.

  • You are certainly free to reject the Christian teachings on celibacy, virginity, etc., like many today who reject the faith of the Apostles and the Church Fathers. Those who do so – Pope Francis and his “apostolic” letters included -imperil their own souls as well as those who follow them.

  • Read FAther john mier^s the historical Jew,in the first few centuries of CHristianity it was a common belief mary had children after Christ.after the 3rd century,many church fathers(who are fallible and not always sensoble or orthodox) were influenced by the heresy of manichaesm(which you are defending) that hailed sex in marriage was sinful or evil. If you like the early church fathers alot,then you will support that many of them believed in a symbolic presence of Christ in the Eucharist like Augustine,Tertullian etc Your living an illusion and fantasy being ignorant of history

  • the only teachings on christian celibacy is by a pleasure hating clerical celibate caste system and a maniacal cult of virginity. Christ never said anything about the false superiority of celibacy.He called married men and they remained married after the ministry. Christ was speaking about divorce and remarriage since a man could divorce his wife for burning his dinner,when speaking of celibacy for the sake of the kingdom.Paul as stated thought the world was gonna end so offered an opinion regarding celibacy, he clearly states in COr chpt 7,its a opinion,I have no command from the lord. Are you saying Paul led a holier life than the other apostles who were married ? as God said of david who had a 1000 wives,david was a man after my own heart.

  • No. The married Priests, who make up the vast majority of the Priesthood, are fully on board with the traditional Christian teachings of the Holy Fathers. Case in point: Father Josiah Trenham. Try reading his works for a more accurate understanding of traditional Christian teachings on the topics of marriage, virginity, and celibacy.

  • Read that book years ago. A waste of time.

    Name some Church Fathers who believed Mary had children after Christ.

  • teachings of men not the scripture.As paul says he has every right to bring with him a CHristian wife as does Peter,and the rest of the apostles and brothers of the lord 1 cor 9 vs 5-6. Notice how paUL says brothers of the lord ? Paul distinguished in his writings between cousin and brother.Proof out of many other examples ,christ had blood brothers born after him.It was normal and expected of jews to have a conjugal and married life,mary and joseph would be no different. read history most priests were married in the first 1000 years of christianity. “a Bishop should be irreproachable,the husband of one wife—-1 tim 3vs 2

  • The church fathers of the 4th century—you know those guys who hailed sex in marriage a necessary evil tainted with some sin,since our lord taught manichaesm(sarcasm intended),is where the rubbish on perpetual virginity started. St Basil acknowledged that mary having children after Christ was widely held and was certainly orthodox. The church fathers are a mixed breed of good stuff,errors and outright foolishness.In the first few centuries you wont find much of persons holding pepetual virginity. certainly not Paul the apostle

  • “Teachings of men” is definitely what you, Meir, Francis, etc., are promoting.

    I am well aware of the brothers of the Lord. As a matter of fact, -when there is no Sunday falling after the Nativity –
    then today, (1/8, 12/26), the Church will commemorate the “Apostle James, the Brother of the Lord”-also called the “Brother of God” (Adelphotheos). James – along with Justus, Jude, Simon, and several sisters whose names are not known – were the children of Joseph and his first wife (Salome), who predeceased him. (Sorry you didn’t get the memo.)

    Nowhere in the Scriptures or in early Christian tradition is it recorded the Jesus “had blood brothers born after him”.

    “…most priests were married in the first 1000 years of Christianity”. And, guess what, most Priests of the Church are still married today!

  • No. St. Basil the Great explicitly said:

    “…the lovers of Christ do not allow themselves to hear that the Theotokos ceased for a single moment to be a virgin…” (Homily on the Nativity of Christ)

    So, as I suspected, you cannot cite ANY of the Holy Fathers as having taught that Mary had additional children after Christ. And the one you cited would apparently consider those who denied Mary’s ever-virginity as not being “lovers of Christ” – that is, not right-believing orthodox Christians.

    But you are free to go on opining about alleged “manichaesim”, etc., while you align yourself with those whom St. Basil clearly considered “haters of Christ”. Good luck with that.

  • No st Basil stated that”Mary not remaining a perpetual virgin was held by many,though i dont believe it,it is not incompatible with orthodoxy” do Basil admits that many in the church believe she did not remain a virgin.Tertulian also didnt believe it. as pointed out Paul reffered to the brothers of the lord and the gospel of Mathew explicitly states…..chpt 1 vs 25 “and he(joseph) kept her a virgin until she gave birth to christ…” You quote fathers from 3rd century onwards who hailed sex in marriage as a necessary evil,unworthy and at times sinful” what a joke

  • Paul mentions Jesus brothers in Galation 1:9, 1st Cor 9:5. He inot speaking in the context of spritual of faith brothers but in the actual context of a blood brother. What does it mean if Mary was not a perpetual virgin? how does it effect the Christian faith or following of Christ ?………Absolutely positively ZEROOOOOOO !

  • You give no source for that alleged quote of St. Basil.

    The quote I cited is both clear, and has a source. Kindly list the source of your quote, as i would be interested in checking the translation.’

    I have already said that the Church has long referred to St James as the “Brother of the Lord”,as well as the
    “Brother of God”. Reread my comments on that.

    Your attempt to trace the teaching of the ever-virginity of Mary to Fathers from around the time of St. Basil is ill advised.

    According to Origen,St Irenaeus had affirmed the ever-virginity of Mary two centuries before St. Basil.

    And the Protoevangelium refers to the teaching as early as around 120 AD.

    Tertullian, as we know, was not a Father of the Church, ending his days as a Montanist heretic.

    Equally ill advised is your dependence on Matthew 1:25: “but knew her not until she had borne a son…”. The Koine Greek word for “until” (heos) indicates the state being described before the until is fulfilled – it says nothing about the future beyond that point.

    This is clearly seen, for example, in I Corinthians 15:25: “…and he must reign until he has put his enemies under his feet.” Does that mean that Christ’s reign will then end at that point? Of course not: “…of his kingdom there shall be no end”. (Luke 1:33)

    You have been mislead into reading the Greek “heos” as if it was exactly the same as the English “until”.

    It would seem the joke is on you.

  • The is no mention of Jesus’ brothers in Galatians 1:9 -perhaps you mean 1:19?

    In any case, I have already addressed the fact that the Church calls St. James the “Brother of God” – brother, NOT cousin. James was the brother of Jesus in the same way as Jesus was the son of Joseph: “as was supposed” (Luke 3:23) As the virgin conception and birth were kept quiet by Joseph and Mary at the time, Jesus was naturally considered the brother of James (today we would say half brother).

    If it makes “Absolutely positively ZEROOOOOO” difference, why do you fight so fiercely against the traditional Christian teaching? Rejecting the belief of those St Basil called “the lovers of Christ” actually seems very important to you.

  • In the USSCB, catholic website,their is a commentary regarding Mathew chpt 1vs 25,that it does not prove or disprove Joseph having relations after Christ^s birth. However,the evidence is clear in the gospels about CHRIST6s blood brothers and sisters as well as Paul^s references to jesus brothers. The context is clear Paul wasnt refering to spritual brothers.Paul in his writings made a clear distiction between brother and cousin.John Mier^s A Marginal jew makes it clear and mier is a scholar, that it was a common belief(and rightfully so) that mary had children after Christ. Jesus was as the gospels also state was Mary^s FIRSTBORN,indicating christ was her 1st child,among others that would follow. The Protoevangelium has been proven to be a farce,since it contains things that were not present in christ^s time and was likely written by a Gnostic who also hated sexuality and the body. Origen cut off his penis because of hatred of sexuality. The real heretics are jerome,augustine,ambrose ect who were influenced by manichaesm that loathed the body and its desires,hence Mary according to them had to be a perpetual virgin lest she be defiled.POpe Siricus confirms Mary would have been defiled if she had sexual relations with her husband. This is heresy and the heresy of manicaeism. Yes St Basil while not believing in it,did acknowledge a common belief among christians that mary had children.In the first 2 centuries you would rarely find anyone holding mary was a perpetual virgin. Its your buddies from the 3rd century on,

  • Yes sorry I meant GAL 1 vs 19. No their is no evidence james was a half brother.Mary was young when she got married to joseph and women were expected to bear children.Joseph was young and God would not deprive him of normal marital relations because in judaism unlike the heresies that would come latter(from popes,a lot of church fathers that sex was bad), sex was considered a good. As scholar father joseph fitzmeir who studied the matter goes stated”Marys perpetual virginity has nothing to do with the apostolic tradition”. Hence the so-called traditional teaching that your promoting is no more traditional than so many other teachings that have been thrown out the window over the centuries

  • The USSCB is of no interest to me, one way or the other.

    No where have I ever said anything about Jesus’ brothers being “spiritual brothers” or “cousins”, so drop that shtick already. They were called his brothers in the same way as Joseph was called his father. The Church has never called them Jesus’ “cousins” or “spiritual brothers, so I don’t know why you keep bringing those terms up.

    Mier is a modern scholar, fully embodying the typical errors of his kind. He is not an inspired oracle, and I have never found him convincing.

    Being Firstborn indicates Jesus is the proper legal heir of the Davidic messianic promises. He remains such regardless of how many or how few Mary had. Your error here is akin to the one you fell into about huios/until. Just as huios does not necessarily imply anything subsequent to that time, neither does firstborn necessarily mandate further births. For example, I am my mothers firstborn son; I am also her only son.

    The Protoevangelium contains many truthful memories of facts relating to Jesus and Mary which were remembered and treasured by the earliest Christians. The Church has long given its seal of approval to much of it by incorporating certain parts into its hymnography and iconography.

    Origen I only cited as a witness to what earlier Christians had written. He himself is not a Church Father, and was justly condemned as a heretic by the Fifth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople II) in 553.

    They were many heterodox Christians holding erroneous views in the first centuries (just as there are today), so it is not surprising that St. Basil would sometimes mention them.

    In the first two centuries we find, for example, St. Irenaeus of Lyons – a venerable pillar of orrthodox Christianity – holding to the ever-virginity of Mary. He wrote a great deal in opposition to the heretics of his day, but I do not recall him mentioning any sect that taught that Mary had multiple children. And yet you think it was a common belief.

    That you consider the Holy Fathers to be heretics clearly shows that you are yourself highly heterodox, and outside the bounds of Christian orthodoxy.

  • “Joseph was young…”

    There is no evidence for this in Scripture or tradition.

    Scripture is silent about his age. Tradition says he was older and a widower.

  • The so called tradition is from Jerome^s imagination in the 3rd century and that bogus photo evangelium of james,Just like girls who hit puberty were eligble for marriage as Mary,same as yoUng men like Joseph,who raised a large family as a carpenter.cARPENTRY work was highly laborius and physical back then.SOMETHING A MUCH OLDER MAN PLUS RAISING A LARGE FAMILY OF CHILDREN BORN AFTER cHRIST COULD NOT HANDLE

  • oRIGEN is quoted in the catholic catechism and the 5th ecumenical council only has 3 parts recognized by the pope of the time.THe pope at the time didnt even know origen was condemned,but origens condemnation is fallible.the 5th council was never recieved in the west. the 3 parts acknowleged were those that condemned Theodore of Mesopotamia .SCholars today dismiss the photoevangeliunm of James and it was never claimed as authoritative or factual. The early church fathers do not always represent orthodoxy.just because iraneus believed in ever virgin does not mean the vast majority of bishops,priests and laity did.again it was common belief mary had children.Their filled with their share of errors and foolishness. “they were called his brothers the same way joseph was called his father” that^s rubbish. Luke distinguishes elizabeth as Marys cousin or relative,just like luke and the other gospels call jesus brothers and sisters accordingly when viewed in the proper context. Paul clearly refers to CHrists brothers but also recognizes cousin/relative for other people in his writing

  • Iraneus DID NOT BELIEVE IN THE PERPETUAL VIRGINITY. He ssimply believed Mary was still a virgin when she gave birth to Christ But he said nothing about her refraining from marital relations after Christs birth or giving birth to other children after christ

  • Iraneous did not teach or claim perpetual virginty.He claimed Mry was still virgin in giving birth to christ but said nothing of her not having children after christ

  • The tradition predates St. Jerome by over two centuries, going back to the Protoevangelium. Its origin really has nothing to do with St. Jerome. He was simply passing on a much older tradition.

    St Jerome lived from the mid 4th to the early 5th century, not the 3rd century.

    St. Joseph was called a “tekton” in the Bible (Matthew 13:55), meaning some sort of craftsman – most likely of wood. Given his location, it would not have meant a carpenter building houses, but rather a craftsman fashioning smaller wooden objects. This is corroborated by St. Justin Martyr (c.150 AD), who wrote that Jesus made yokes and ploughs. Such work would not be beyond the abilities of an older man, especially if he had his older three sons from his earlier marriage to Salome working along with him in the family business.

    If you are thinking of Joseph along the lines of a modern carpenter involved in heavy construction work, you are once again -as with huios – being lead astray by the modern English implications of the word.

  • Why do you keep bringing up the irrelevant “cousin”? I never brought it up, nor does the Church believe that. You sound increasingly desperate, promoting your own pet ideas never taught or accepted by the Church. Endlessly asserting that “it was common belief that Mary had children” without solid evidence does not make it so; and even if that assertion were true, it does not make the content of your assertion factual.

    If – as you allege – “the vast majority of of bishops, priests, and laity” did not believe that Mary was ever virgin, then St. Irenaeus’ promotion of that idea would have been seen an abominable innovation, and all those alleged “bishops, priests, and laity” would have called him out on it. But the is no record of anyone ever objecting to anything the saint said about Mary.

    The 5th Ecumenical Council is, in full, a valid Ecumenical Council – no matter what crying and foot stomping anyone (including Popes) may have done. As such, it is binding and authoritative for all Christians.

  • Only 3 parts were recognized by the pope,the comdemnations of Theodore of Mesopotamia. it was never recieved by the west.read Richard Mcbrien^s catholicism which tackles historical as well as theological issues,he deals with that shoddy council.Of note ,ecumenical councils never claimed themselves infallible. again,Scholar father john mier in his research clearly reveals the reality of the first few centuries and the new testament clearly teaches otherwise. by the 3rd century sex in marriage was viewed as defiling a person—hence the unfounded teaching of perpetual virginity. thomas Aquinas argued priests should be celibate—less they touch the sacred vessels defiled.In other words if the priest is married,sex defiles him. This is the root of it all-a pleasure hating celibate clerical caste system and a maniacal cult of virginity.If they admit mary was not a ever virgin,the house of cards falls down regarding celibacy. As i quoted st basil acknowledged that many believe Mary had children and that it is not unorthodox. iRANEOUS DID NOT TEACH PERPETUAL VIRGINITY, he merely stated that mary was still a virgin when she gave birth to christ but doesnt say anything after

  • the photoevangelium never was accepted as canonical,and has materiel in their that cannot be placed at the time of christ.Nobody takes the photo seriously.Written by some gnostic who as you know,gnosticism also hated the body/sex.Jerome is trying to use that because he knows the scriptures are clear about Mary having choldren after Christ. he hated sex so much that marriage was only good because it produced virgins,and of course women were devils who trapped men according to the brilliant jerome .Notice how I leave saint out from his name.Again justin martyr would be clueless as to what work christ did.As scholarship shows carpentry was hard and heavy work back then

  • The partial non-reception of the 5th Ecumenical Council by the pope and the West did not invalidate it in any way. Their refusal to do so is simply an indication of their own hubris and ever increasing errors.

    It is a good thing that the teaching of Aquinas and other heretics about the necessity of a celibate priesthood was never accepted by the Church, which to this day maintains a mostly married priesthood. (The relatively few celibate priests are such by personal choice.)

    I still disagree with the rest of your heterodox positions, as I explained earlier.

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