HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Religion (Group) » How an Abstinence Pledge ...

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 03:05 AM

How an Abstinence Pledge in the '90s Shamed a Generation of Evangelicals

Source: New York Times

RETRO REPORT

How an Abstinence Pledge in the ’90s Shamed a Generation of Evangelicals

The Christian “purity” movement promoted a strict view of abstinence before marriage. But two decades later, some followers are grappling with unforeseen aftershocks.

By Clyde Haberman
April 6, 2021

-snip-

Retro Report, which examines through video how the past shapes the present, turns attention to an artifact of religious conservatism from the movement. This is the so-called purity pledge, taken in the main by teenagers who pledged to abstain from sex until they married. Some swore to not so much as kiss another person or even go on a date, for fear of putting themselves on the road to moral failure.

Devotion to this concept took hold in the early ’90s, when fear of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases bolstered the evangelical movement’s gospel of teen abstinence. It was a view put forth as God-commanded and had the support of like-minded political leaders, from the White House of Ronald Reagan to that of Mr. Trump.

Many people certainly found lifelong contentment because of having waited for the right mate. But for others, as the Retro Report video shows, the dictates of the purity movement were so emotionally onerous that their adulthoods have been filled with apprehension and, in some instances, physical pain. They are people like Linda Kay Klein, who embraced the movement in her teens but left it in disenchantment at 21, two decades ago.

She described the trauma and the shame she felt this way: “I would find myself in tears and in a ball in the corner of a bed, crying, my eczema coming out, which it does when I’m stressed, and scratching myself till I bled, and having a deep shame reaction.” Ms. Klein found she was far from alone. She collected tales of enduring anxiety in a book, “Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free” (Touchstone, 2018). “We went to war with ourselves, our own bodies and our own sexual natures,” she wrote, “all under the strict commandment of the church.”

It was under the aegis of the Southern Baptist Convention that the vow of virginity took distinct form, in True Love Waits, a program begun in 1993. As the movement grew in the ’90s, estimates of teenage adherents reached as high as 2.5 million worldwide. Youngsters wore purity rings, signed purity pledge cards and attended purity balls, with girls dressed in white and escorted by their fathers.

-snip-


Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/06/us/abstinence-pledge-evangelicals.html


4 replies, 2745 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply How an Abstinence Pledge in the '90s Shamed a Generation of Evangelicals (Original post)
Eugene Apr 2021 OP
JustABozoOnThisBus Apr 2021 #1
Act_of_Reparation Apr 2021 #4
rurallib Apr 2021 #2
Claire Oh Nette Apr 2021 #3

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 05:21 AM

1. I hate my state's tourism slogan: "Pure Michigan". It just makes me think ...

... of purity pledges: the shame and ignorance imposed on young women, the puffed-up pride displayed by overbearing fathers.

Cringe-worthy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 21, 2021, 09:22 AM

4. Same.

It's so off-putting, especially when one realizes that ten miles away from that beautiful lake shore you're looking at, some crazy fundamentalist whackjob is obsessing over his children's sex lives.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 09:16 AM

2. Thanks for posting this. I just love digging out the roots

to the crap that is going on today. This looks like the stuff I can lose myself in.

I remember seeing stories about those "Purity Balls" where pre-teen girls "promised" to their fathers they would keep their virginity. It looked like incest and pedophilia all in one. I was just wondering the other day how that worked out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 10:28 AM

3. We have no idea

He stood on stage and whined about how hard it was to see attractive women and not react with essentially ,ust in his heart.

Hmmm.

It's women's responsibility to control male lust. Got it. It's not men's responsibility to control their own impulses. Bet this same guy thinks the Hijab is horrible, too. They can't control themselves, so they'll use institutions like the church to shame women.

Every religion, ever: If we could just keep the women in line!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread