Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sex, Religion, and Politics

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About 90% of people that find out about Sarah Smile say something along the lines of "That's good as long as you don't talk about all those controversial things like sex, religion, and politics because you don't need to get into that!" and I always say "No, I don't, it's okay!" But really, what's wrong with talking about those things? What's made them so taboo except that people have different opinions on them. Isn't that the point of writing in the first place, to discuss controversial things? And when I really think about, isn't my blog supposed to be about me and what I think about the world? Maybe some people don't agree with my opinions, but they're still mine, and that's okay, because we're all entitled to our own. 
Eventually, I will probably end up talking about each one, and probably oodles more controversial things, not because I love controversy (but really I do), but because I like discussing things. That's how I decide how I feel about them, and I'm also wickedly nosy and like to know what everyone else is thinking. 
So, about this sex thing that is constantly talked about everywhere in the world (but never in public because that would be so déclassé...#sarcasm). I am 100% sure it's not a surprise to you, that being raised in the South, I'm Catholic. And that's a big part of my life. It wasn't always, but after joining an amazing bible-study type group in college, it's really become a huge factor in the way I live my life. 
Growing up, I always used to say that people who had pre-marital sex were going to hell. Like, that's not a joke, I am not kidding, I am dead serious. Middle school me was a bit annoying and I was always taught that sex is a sin and abstinence is the only way...not very effective since many of my high school peers now have babies. In high school, I calmed down a bit, but I still today would never recommend pre-marital sex to anyone (edit: I'm pretty sure no one would...), just because of the complications I feel it can present. 
I was raised to see that your value as a person is reflected by your sex life in a lot of ways. Not because when you sleep with someone outside of marriage you're ruined, but because if you truly value yourself then you don't throw that value away by sleeping with someone who doesn't value you. I see so many girls who think that by sleeping with someone it will make them love you, and it definitely won't. Sex shouldn't be used to change things or make someone stay, only to enhance what is already there. And as we see in so many situations, things placed on wobbly foundations never last. I was never taught that I had to wait until I was married, but I was always taught (by my parents at least) that sex is a serious thing that can have serious consequences. (They also went with the whole "sex is a beautiful thing when you're with someone you love" speech but middle school me completely blocked that trauma out...moving on). 
In general, my viewpoint, because of my religion, is that God created sex to be a special thing between husband and wife. That is not to say that my view point won't change when I'm in a serious relationship, but for now, that's how I feel. I think many people think the Church teaches absolute abstinence to withhold sex from people because that is what God would want, but I've always seen it as God trying to protect you, from things you may not be ready for or consequences you may never have planned on, out of love. To me, it's more important that sex is between two people who love each other and are ready for whatever sex may bring, whether they are married or not. 
I can't stand to hear people say things like "Well you have to test drive the car before you buy it, don't you?" or people who think a girl has to be a virgin in order to be a good prospect for marriage but a guy can do anything he wants, because who cares about a guy's purity right? Wrong. Truly though, my biggest issue with everything is that people talk as if waiting until marriage can't be done...as if it's impossible to resist having sex until you're married, when really, it is not that hard. It's a cop out and an excuse to do as you please because "Well, no one waits anymore do they? That's impossible." People are surviving years on limited nutrition.. I promise that people can make it until marriage (or at least until a serious, committed, healthy relationship). 
I always get asked if I would date/marry someone who wasn't a virgin and my answer to that is simple. If I met someone who saw sex as a valuable thing, a thing to be taken seriously and only done with the person you truly love, but they had made a few bad choices in the past, then maybe so. If I met someone, however, who thought sex was something to be done "just because" and had no real purpose or value or meaning, then no, I'd run for the hills. 
To me, virginity and purity are two very different things. Purity doesn't end when you have sex, whether on your wedding day or on your 19th birthday. Purity is a way of viewing sex and love in a way that shows that you value and love yourself, and the person that you are with. Virginity just means you haven't engaged in sexual activity. 
In the end, everyone's views and lives are different. I would never crucify someone who wasn't a virgin when they got married, but for me, at least for now, I don't think that'll be me. And I think a lot of people think that the church teaches that, but to me, God is love, not judgement. I recently read this post, and this one, and those, with lots of other things, are what inspired this post (I seriously recommend reading them). I'm not against sex in general, and I'm not a prude, I just know that when I am with someone for the first time I don't want to be worried about things like unwanted pregnancy or if this will change the way that person loves me. Sex should be the greatest expression of love you can ever show someone (I know, vomit), not something you just do because you're bored. I don't feel like I have to wait until I'm married, I want to, because I want that privilege to be saved for the person I love the most in the whole world. I want my husband to have that, not because I think God will send me to Hell if I don't (at all), but because, to me, God designed it that way, and I want to experience it the way He meant for me to. I know what I am worth, and I can say for sure (probably the only concrete statement that I can make) that whoever I am with will know it too. Sex is sacred, and it matters, but it is not the most important thing you have to offer. You are worth so much more than sex and so many problems arise when people try to prove or enhance their worth through sex. 
I am young. I have never been in a relationship where I've ever felt pressured and I was raised by parents who instilled a huge sense of self worth in me. In no way do I feel like I know everything and can navigate all the hard situations life can present you with, but sex is a wonderfully complicated thing, that can cause all sorts of unexpected things, not all of them good (think unhealthy connections, unplanned humans, and STDs), and should never be just thrown away. That I know for sure.
 
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P.S. - I do not mean this to be rambly or preachy, and in no way am I trying to push my religion and/or opinions on anyone. I am just sharing my opinions on something important to me. 

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