Monday, March 19, 2007

Don't do this, don't do that.

We will certainly remember Marine General Peter Pace’s remarks in an interview in the Chicago Tribune last week.
One of the things he said was that in his personal opinion adultery is immoral.
Committing adultery is immoral for himself, according to the General, but for anybody else as well.
In his army he doesn’t want to see it happen.

Meanwhile we realize that this Chief of Staff, the highest placed military person in the United States, is ordering over a hundred fifty thousand soldiers to the war in Iraq for tours lasting one year or more.
This means that the men and women being sent are without sexual activities with their partners at home for over 12 months.

Half of the soldiers are married.
The husbands and wives staying behind in the USA are also condemned to be without a sexual life for this long period of time.
It is quite something to be responsible for sending soldiers abroad for one year and at the same time to warn everybody that adultery is immoral and unacceptable.
We may wonder if Marine General Peter Pace himself is away from his wife during 12 months.

Imagine, the male soldier being send to Iraq having to leave his wife behind in the USA.
This soldier has to realize that for a year he will be experiencing what a prisoner undergoes when locked up: no sex and physical affection with a partner for more than 12 months.
Young and energetic men need to deal with their sexual desires in a way Marine General Peter Pace is not explaining

Meanwhile, the wife back home in the USA of the ordinary soldier in constant danger in Iraq, the woman surrounded by family and friends, having a social life, has to remain sexually loyal to her husband day after day, night after night.

In the Green Zone in Baghdad, where the higher placed military are safely living, according to Patrick Cockburn, award winning journalist for the English quality newspaper “The Independent”, at least one brothel is available.

We can be sure that there are soldiers who are away from home for over a year, who don't manage to be loyal.
And there will be partners at home disloyal as well.
Having sex but not enjoying it very much due to strong feelings of guilt because they are made to realise that it is immoral what they are doing in spite of the extreme and inhumane cicrumstances they have been put in.

According to the Pentagon's Defense Manpower Data Center, the war in Iraq has resulted in 60.000 divorces so far among the officers only.

This makes us think of another phenomenon in society these days called “Purity balls”.
A rather unfortunate name for an activity which is an evening gala with candlelight, roses, fancy food, formal dress and ballroom dancing during which Dad’s promise to “war for” their daughters “purity”.
The daughters in turn vow abstinence until marriage.
The fathers slip a “purity ring” on the finger of the daughters.
These “Purity balls” are a successful initiative of the conservative Christian evangelicals.
It is estimated that 10 % of adolescent boys and 16 % of girls have signed virginity pledges at Church rallies and Christian rock concerts.
Those girls and boys wear “chastity couture”: T-shirts and underwear emblazoned with slogans such as “I’m waiting” and “Virginity Lane: exit when married”.
However, and this is the problem of morality imposed from higher up, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, more than half of those teens will have sex, in spite of the slogans on their underwear.
And eventually, 90 % of them will have sex before they marry.
And this sex will be most likely risky and unprotected because, what have they learned about sexuality except that it is forbidden?
What do they do know about sexuality and how to protect themselves and how to have sex in a safe way?
And easily it can be imagined what horrible feelings of guilt the daughters will have to go through, having broken the vow to Daddy.
We must wonder how reasonable it was to lure those young people into making vows 90 % are unable to hold.

Randy and Lisa Wilson who are running their Generations of Light ministry in Colorado Springs and having 2 sons and 5 daughters themselves have invented the “Purity Balls” in 1998.
Randy Wilson tours the country promoting his “Purity balls’ and his books, among them one titled “Tying your children’s heartstrings to the truth”.

Osho, the enlightened person, is saying that we should be responsible for every moment of our lives.
This means that we ourselves are responsible for our lives: not a general of an army or a minister of a religion.
The principle should be that nobody can tell us how to live.
Nobody can tell us what is moral and immoral.
Nobody can tell us to be or not to be involved in sexual activities.
Because if this is accepted, one is not taking responsibility for the own life anymore.
Not taking responsibility for the own life by relying on others is not living the own life.
One becomes in that case a clone.
A person without an identity of one’s own.
Unavoidably faltering to the adopted doctrine.
Drowning in a pit full of feelings of guilt.

Suggesting and advising is OK.
That happens in democracies.
Forcing upon a doctrine is not OK.
That happens in autocracies.


Anonymous said...

Situational Ethics? Times are tough, it's ok to cheat on my spouse?

I'm not sure what your beef is with expressing opinions on morality. Aren't you doing the same? Isn't the expression of anti-morality the same as pro-morality. You've passed judgement on the preachers, the general and parents wanting to protect their kids from heartache and pain. Who gave you the moral authority to condemn their actions?

Anonymous said...

Sex is not a basic human need like food, water and shelter are. We become like animals when we think we can't live without sex for a year or even longer if that is what our circumstances require. When one marries they promise to be true to their spouse "til death do us part" ... are you advocating that people be dishonest and break their promises? This creates untold hurt and heartache for all involved. There is a very compassionate reason to encourage people to CHOOSE to refrain from sex when it causes more harm than good, and when the momentary pleasure is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the deep and lasting hurt that can result from doing otherwise.