Ok, so remember when, like MONTHS ago, I said I was going to try to get this shitshow finished in the next couple of days? I lied. I can't even say that it was a couple of months. Baby Luna is now my beautiful grown up girl, and is not interested in helping mommy write this AT ALL. Anyway, I have a glass of wine, so let's get this shitshow on the road. When last we left our intrepid heroes, it seemed as though Nosy Busybody was trying (and succeeding) to convince Captain Courtship (the youth pastor, if you've forgotten. No judgement, I did too.) that selling their kids on Fundie eBay was the best way.
I am guessing we are back in the park, but Mr. Ohlman (who is a creeper) doesn't bother to set the stage properly. Anyway, we are going to talk about fornication today. Yay.
Charles: Oh, Mr. Davidson! Yes. Please, have a seat. Thank you for coming.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to really focus, today, on something that you implied yesterday. Much of your argument for young marriages seemed to focus on the issue of, well, fornication. Mental fornication, I assume you mean?
Sakal: Mental or physical.
Charles: Wow! So you mean...? Well, let’s not go there, not today.
Oh. Dear. So, let's just marry off children instead of teaching them, I don't know, FUCKING SELF CONTROL. Bloody fantastic. That doesn't even touch on the WTF with "mental fornication". I really hate fucking purity culture. So fucking much. These ideas are horrific and damaging. They go back and forth about the marry or burn shit in I Corinthians 7 and fuck I hate @WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo? right now for reminding me that I really needed to finish this project.
Sakal: ...and none of the old commentaries. In a minute I will tell you what Calvin said on this issue... and John Gill, and Matthew Henry. But let us look at the logic flaw first.
Verse two speaks of ‘avoiding fornication’, verse nine speaks of a lack of ‘self-control’ or, as the KJV puts it, an inability to ‘contain’. Certainly the married man, and the betrothed man, may have issues with both of these problems, issues which may be helped by coming together on a regular basis with his wife.
But is it only, or even principally, the married and betrothed men who have problems with fornication and lust? Does it make sense, really, to say ‘in order for the married man to have relief from the temptation of fornication he should sleep with his wife, but the unmarried man can be perfectly content without one? Do you know many, or any, young men who are not troubled by lust? Do you know of anywhere else in
Scripture where, except for the gift that Christ and Paul talk about, a young man is able to get relief from this?
Charles: But no one believes that this means that the unmarried man must marry!
Sakal: Until recently, practically everyone believed it. Calvin is particularly forceful on the subject. He says: ... The incontinent, therefore, neglecting to cure their infirmity by this means, sin by the very circumstance of disobeying the Apostle’s command. ...
Oh god. Send help and more wine. There's so fucking much wrong with that bit. First, there's the bullshit of only penis holders want sex. Second, there's more of the bullshit that fucking self control is impossible. I have seen many a pretty man in my day, and have managed to accost ZERO of them, because I'm not an asshole and I can control myself in the presence of the opposite sex. FUCKING HELL! Third, relief is possible. It's called fucking rub one out. Works for both genders. (The teaching against masturbation is probably a different discussion for a different day, but it's one of many things that bothers me about fundamentalism.) Lastly, I really really want to make a poop joke even though I know what he MEANS by incontinent, but I'm, at my core, a 12 year old boy who loves a poop joke.
Charles: That these earlier commentators, they really believed that marriage was, that... [Sakal waits patiently]
This is so hard to say. Nowadays we see the spiritual problem of fornication, lust and adultery, and we seek a spiritual solution... more Bible study, more prayer, an increase in faith, repentance, etc. But these old commentators seem to be insisting that I Corinthians 7:2-5 says that a man should seek a solution to their spiritual problem with a physical solution. That we should seek relief...
Oh, Hi Andrew! [Blushing furiously]
WHAT THE SERIOUS FUCKING FUCK DID I JUST READ?????? DID HE JUST FUCKING REDUCE WOMEN TO A FUCKING HOLE TO SLAKE LUST? FUCKING FUCKING FUCK! Also, Captain Courtship, if you can't say sex, you probably shouldn't be instructing impressionable youth on the topic. Seriously, it bugs me that everyone speaks in innuendo in this whole book. Just fucking say sex. If you can't say sex, you are NOT READY to have it.
Great. Asshole Plot Device just showed up. Just what I needed. Can someone refill my glass of wine please? They have a boring back and forth on whether the word engagement or betrothal should be used, and they decide on betrothal because betrothal is unbreakable or some shit. I can't even with the idea of not being able to back out if you realise that this person isn't for you.
Sakal: Well, good. So getting back to our previous subject, Proverbs five speaks of the exact same thing. It says that a young man who is enjoying his own wife is, or should be, ‘distracted’ from other women.xcv And the church is afraid of that idea. They want our young men to be pure, to have conquered lust, before they even think about marriage.
Y'all, I just sighed so hard that Luna just meowed an "are you ok mommy?" at me. It's sad to see this idea in print. I know, this book is a low bar, but the idea of the wife being responsible to put out so her husband doesn't sin makes me ragey. No one is responsible for their significant other's infidelity - that's down to the person who cheated.
It's sad how little agency women get in this system. I mean, it's not like courtship gives women a lot of agency, but this is even worse. Women are told that they will marry this person because dad said so, and their job is to be a convenient hole for their husband. They get no choices and their needs are completely secondary. Add on the fact that in Mr. Vaughn Ohlman (who is a creeper)'s view, a girl is ready for marriage when she has breasts, and you have a recipe for children to be sold in a marriage they have no choice in.
Andrew: [Sakal looks at Andrew, who grins] No, pastor, he isn’t saying that at all. He is saying you should be working on combating lust... by helping us get married when we need it, and not years later.
Honest question: how young are we actually talking about here? I mean, my first quasi-sexual feelings were probably about 13. I'd hazard a guess that my penis having friends probably were around the same age. If the whole point of marriage in his view is to allow for fucking, just how fucking young are we talking about here? I'm envisioning 12 - 14. That's horrifying on so many levels. Fuck.
Sakal: I believe that each of us should have our role in obeying the command of I Corinthians 7:2. For example:
Young children: These should be, under their parents guidance, getting ready to be married themselves, keeping themselves pure and focused on brother/sister relationships, encouraging and rejoicing with their older siblings as they marry and have children.
Older children: Should hold themselves in readiness; eagerly anticipating marriage while insisting on holding each brother and sister in the church as exactly that in all purity; waiting with eager obedience for the day when their father will present them with a spouse.
Childless (or pregnant) Couples: Praying for and otherwise uplifting and encouraging and assisting the others in the church as they are able in this area.
Older Couples: They should do the same things as the childless couples, and the older women should be teaching the young women as we learn about in Titus 2.
The Elders: Teaching the Word of God on this issue; particularly in light of the current false teachings of courtship and dating; rebuking and admonishing their congregations when necessary; helping their church to be salt and light on this issue wherever possible; specifically facilitating marriages, young marriages, fruitful young marriages. Counseling and encouraging the resulting marriages.
Fathers of Sons: Teaching their sons to be prepared for the wife they will bring them; determining their need for marriage; actively seeking a wife for their sons; taking wives for their sons from daughters who have need, where necessary.
Fathers of Daughters: Teaching their daughters to be ready for the husband they will bring them; determining their need for marriage; giving their daughters in marriage: either to a son who has need or, if their daughter herself has a need, even to a son who has not need.
(formatting was cleaned up by me. One of many problems this book has is incompetent authoring leading to terrible formatting.)
(insert a John Oliver HOLY SHIT here. He's my TV husband. I'm required to link to him.)
Ok. So in Mr. Vaugh Ohlman's view, the whole point of life is to get married. I just can't even with the "father will present them with a spouse" bit. I just can't even imagine my dad showing up one day and saying, "Hi destiny, I see you have a nice set of B's now, so here's the man you are going to marry. Introduce yourself and you will be married in x amount of time." It's beyond horrifying. I know I keep saying that, but my heart breaks for the children that this is actively hurting / has already hurt.
He's so snide and arrogant too. Everyone else is wrong and false teachings. It's IMPOSSIBLE for him to be wrong about any of this because, well, I don't know. Maybe cos fuck you that's why? I'm troubled by the elders should be helping facilitate marriages too....it's shades of the Joy Books (I think they were called) that the FLDS once used to auction off young girls in their particular culty clusterfuck.
Also, I notice that there is no job for the mother in this. I guess she's just there to be a convenient hole for the patriarch. So fucking gross.
Anyway, after this wall of text, Captain Courtship wandered off into a chapter break. Thank god. I'll try to get another one of these out this week.