- Posted August 16, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
In Defense of My Christian People
In defense of my people –
I wear pants to church all the time and no one has ever given me heat for it. My husband’s hair is long. It’s halfway down his back and he wears it in a ponytail. Everyone at church adores him. His calling is with the young men. Before that he taught the primary kids. Before that, he was Elder’s Quorum President.
I’ve never been made to feel less because I’m a strong woman in my church. The men have respected me as an equal; my voice is heard like an equal and that started with my own father.
I’m Lori, and I like people. I think I’m energetic, creative and a bit sensitive and dramatic. I wear modest clothes because I want the people that I encounter to see my soul first – something I’ve learned from personal experience is more easily achieved without the distraction of seeing my flesh and curves. I am more than that - WAY more than that and you’d better see how much more than that I am when you look at me.
That said, if someone wants to show skin, go for it. I’m in charge of me, not you. I can still love you and find things we have in common and value you because you are worth valuing as much as myself.
I believe chastity before marriage is the healthiest choice. There are reasons to wait that have nothing to do with God or morality. I used the CDC website to educate my sons on STDs and learned that safe sex is a myth. For some reason, the world, the media, is under the impression that STD infections are isolated to the one part of the male anatomy that can be covered by a condom - which is completely false. Under every single STD listed on that site, it recommends, “Be in a mutually monogamous relationship – or have sex only with someone who only has sex with you.”
That’s a conclusion derived from research and data. And guess what? They don’t even mention religion or God on the website.
Yes there is gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis, herpes and AIDS (Can’t list them off without imagining Trey Parker writing a brilliant song about them all), but consider HPV for a second. From the CDC - “HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives.” Pap smears may catch live HPV, but here is no test for active HPV viruses. People have it without knowing, and it causes all sorts of cancers, the most common of which being cervical, anal and throat cancer. And get this - HPV is the number one cause of throat cancer, not smoking. There are over 100 strains of it, 17 of which cause cancer. The vaccines only are effective (we hope) against TWO of those strains which cause 70% of cervical cancers. What about the other cancers? What about the other 30%? Even with the vaccines, you’re not safe.
And HPV won’t do you the favor of hitting you when you’re young and single. It will hit you later in life when you have a family, a career - people who depend on you…who need you for everything.
I feel like children have a fundamental right to be born to two parents who love each other and love them unconditionally. They are innocent persons and are entitled to this. Not having this makes them more vulnerable to the following statistics:
70% of those in juvenile detention
71% of teen pregnancies
90% of homeless juveniles and runaways
71% of high school dropouts
75% of all drug users
85% of behavioral disorders
...come from broken homes.
Premarital sex can lead to unplanned pregnancies between two people who aren’t ready to be parents. Right? Right. While many women regret having abortions, I’ve never known a single woman who regretted becoming a mother. But the challenges of having a child alone…it’s a rough, rough road for both parent and child – and it’s largely preventable by choosing to wait until a healthy marriage to have kids.
THAT SAID – if you choose to have premarital sex, that’s okay with me. I’m in charge of me, not you. I can still love you. I can feel compassion for you. I can find things we have in common, be your best friend, and value you even without sharing this point of view.
That is what my faith has taught me. My faith, my scriptures have taught me to love. That is the resounding message of Christ’s doctrine – to love. We Christians can get caught up in our culture and can certainly be a flawed bunch, but we’re getting better.
And considering the above, I am grateful as hell for a faith that taught me chastity, healthy living, self-worth, and the fundamental importance of family.