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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » The Randoms » Religion and Spirituality (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Religion and Spirituality
Heather
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We get a lot of letters from kids trying to rectify their sexuality and other life choices with their religious tradition.

How do you feel about yours? Is it harmonious, or do you feel in conflict? What is it? How do you feel about it? What about it speaks to you?

(Note: In this thread, please be as respectful and open about diverse traditions as possible. There are many religions in the world, and what makes one "right" is that it's the right one for the person practicing it.)


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webCam
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Well I'm a new Christian in the Church of England.

The Bible lays down strict laws around sexual behaviour and both my finacée and I fully respect the "no premarital sex" and "no affairs".

I believe that this will enhance(?) the experience of sex, which is (or should be) the ultimate expression of love between two people.

CG

NB. I'm not saying that affairs, extra or premarital sex is not meaningful but I do believe based on God's word that they are wrong.


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Heather
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Web,

It sounds to me like you and your tradition work harmoniously, and that's wonderful.

Just bear in mind that around the World, there is more than once conception and tradition of "God."

I'd like to explore these ideas, but let's all please make sure we speak for ourselves, not for "God."


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Beppie
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I don't have a religion. I don't believe in a conscious god, but I'm no nihilist.

It's my belief that sex is only wrong in two cases

1-it's wrong when it's not right for the individuals involved- so basically, that it's different for everyone. For one person having seven different partners a week might be fine (so long as all of those partners are expecting the same thing out of sex- not more or less), but for another person, one single partner in their life, or no partner's ever, might be what's right for them. Just so long as both (or all ) people involved in the act know exactly what they are getting into and are completely happy with that.

2-its wrong if it's not done safely.


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HotGrrl99
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My religion says no premarital sex or fooling around with boys at all! It's a major conflict, because me and most of my friends are very sexually active.
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Heather
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So Hot,
How does that make you feel? I guess what I'm saying is that one has to wonder if it's really YOUR religion if you're constantly defying it's "laws" or feel in great conflict with them.

I know when you're younger it's a bit more of a challenge, bvecause a lot of times, your religion is what your families religion is. But ultimately, religion and/or spirituality should be something that makes you feel strong and good, not weak and bad.


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lemming
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I think that as long as you and your partner are comfortable with where you both are sexually, and honest with each other, knowing exactly where each other's limits are, sex is "right."

However, I'm also aware that many religions set these limits for their followers; if you are comfortable with that, then use it - if not, follow your own path and DON'T HARASS ANYONE ABOUT THEIR OWN DECISIONS!!

<sorry, just been in too many situations where I've been known as a 'slut' even though I believe my relationships are healthy...>

oh, and one more topic here: from the movie 'girl, interrupted' - how many guys would a girl have to sleep with before she's considered "promiscuous?" and how many girls would a guy have to sleep with before the same judgment is passed on him?

------------------
~the semi-elusive lemming


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Heather
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Good topic, lemming. Why don't you go ahead and start it as a thread?

Miz S.


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wear*a*smile!
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hmmmm. love and religion. a lot of people have a religion that runs in they're family. i mean, some people are born jews, or christians, or catholics, or buddhist, or many, many other things. and even though we call ourselves these things, i know there are some people who don't go to church every sunday, or temple evry saturday(its saturday, right???)and they're supposed to. so isn't it kind of the same thing as having sex before marriage?? personally, i'm stuck. example; if u vote for a president and u don't like everything about him, that doesn't mean u don't agree with other things and follow him as a leader, i mean, religion and presidents are VERY different, but just as an example. anyone agree???

wear*a*smile!
PUT A SMILE ON UR FACE, TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!!!!!


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Heather
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That's a truly excellent point.

I think, though, that as long as you recognize that though a tradition may speak to you, you may not agree with all of it, that's okay. A lot of traditions certainly don't require you do, but in fact ENCOURAGE you to develop your own understanding and adaptation of that tradition. In honesty, I think those that don't aren't really being used for what they were inteded for: to bring peace and understanding to people's spirits and lives.

I think where a lot of people run into trouble, though, is when people tend to judge by their understanding of a tradition, or when people feel they have to follow one even if it doesn't really speak to them.


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wear*a*smile!
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miz scarlet,
what do u mean start it as a thread??? thanks a bunch!


smile!
-wear*a*smile



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HotGrrl99
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Miz S... Well I'm Jewish, and we are basically taught that premarital sex is wrong. Sometimes I do feel really guilty about the stuff I do with boys. The funny thing is that most of my Jewish girlfriends are also very sexually active, so I guess many people are not really sticking to the rules!
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PoetgirlNY
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I've managed to find a religion for myself that views sexuality in a very positive way. I am a dianic wiccan. It is a very free spiritual path, so I've sort of gotten to make up some of my own rules along the way. A base of the religion is respect for others and oneself. The Witch's creed is "An it harm none, do as ye may." Translated into more modern English, do whatever you want as long as it doesn't harm anyone(physically, emotionally, or otherwise.) I have been a witch for over three years and I have become a much happier peaceful person. It doesn't at all conflict with my views on sex and my sexuality. It is funny sometimes, I can be masturbating, and it is worshipping the Goddess. Hey, works for me.
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HotGrrl99
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My friend actually belongs to this religion called "The Children of Love". They actually believe that people should have sex every single day! It is amazing how different religions can have such totally different viewpoints on sexuality.
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sunflower
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According to the religion that I was baptized under premaritial sex is absolutely one hundered percent bad!!!!! However, I don't believe that at my young age (19) that my life choices should be decided by the religion that my parents chose to baptize me under. They didn't even follow the religion themselves. I think that when I get older and know more about myself and who I am than I will be able to find a religion that fits me!!! I believe that their is a God, but I also believe that you don't have to jump through hoops to be on his good side. You need to be a moral and honest person, but just because you are in a committed relationship and you make the joint decision to make love I don't understand, and I don't think that I ever will, why you are going to hell. My best friend and I are of the same religion, she is a lot more into it than I am, she even went to that kind of college, but then she drinks and smokes pot and cigarettes, and I am not saying these things will get her to hell, but she thinks that she is better than me because she is not having sex. I don't do the things that she does, so I kind of think that we both of a mark against us, and that everyone makes mistakes. She isn't even talking to me right now because of this!!! Oh well. That's my opinion
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Heather
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Well sun, quite honestly if you really look at the Bible, and the old and new testament, you can at least be comforted knowing that premarital sex is no more of a sin than things most catholics, christians and jews do every single day which are also against the rules and laws.

I agree (and I think your current religion would, too) that any tradition is best when YOU choose it for yourself, not your parents, especially after you're an adult.


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Hanne
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Scarlet, you know I agree.

I'm Jewish, and something of a scholar on issues involving Judaism and sexuality. Trying to figure out just where I stand in the amazingly diverse history of Jewish attitudes and philosophies toward sex continues to be a really perplexing and rewarding task.

I highly recommend reading into the history of sexuality and religion for anyone who's interested -- you might be surprised to find out just how varied and vast the history is, and how much it has changed over times and places past in all religious traditions. Gives you a very interesting perspective!

------------------
Hanne Blank
Associate Editor, Scarleteen

"Be Excellent To Each Other" -- Bill and Ted


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sunflower
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I must say it truely is amazing how much you guys know!!!!! You never fail to astound!!!
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Witchy
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quote:
Originally posted by sunflower:
You need to be a moral and honest person

I don't know what everyone else thinks and this will probably end up way off topic, but it's always sorta bugged me when people have used the word morals in this sense. Because morals are completely up to the individual, it doesn't make sense to use the word in this way. For a long time people have associated good with morals, but morals are just the laws that govern us individually, so it may be possible for someone to do something totally hideous but still be adhering to their morals. Ok, now that my little rant is over. I'm wiccan, so for me everything is very individualized, but in everything that I've read regarding my religion, sexuality is thought of as a very natural thing. So I'm left to make my own decisions without any religious law hovering over my shoulder, it's one less thing for me to worry about now that I'm going to be starting my junior year in high school and am going to have many other things to worry me.

------------------
Witchy
Too Smart For Her
Own Good Sometimes

[This message has been edited by Witchy (edited 22 June 2000).]


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Beppie
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Witchy, I agree. I'm not a Wiccan, but I do believe quite strongly that morality is subjective. I think that the education system should try to teach people to decide their own morality based on informed judgements, rather than teaching the moral standards of a tradition that they may not follow, or that they may follow blindly.
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MissKitty
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I'm a Christian and also believe in waiting until you're married to have sex and also not cheating. Sounds like a plan for a good marriage to me.
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Heather
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Witchy,
I think often (and in that case) people tend to use the word "moral" when they mean "ethical," especially people who grew up in traditions where those words are used synonymously.

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Beppie
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Please don't think that I'm suggesting such things when I say that I believe that such things are subjective.

My belief is that the universe is nuetral- it doesn't care whether we kill, rape, maim or starve. I don't believe that we can use that as justification for killing, raping, maiming, or letting people starve however. It's just that the fact that we can perceive anything wrong with those things at all means that we have consciousness, and as such cannot be neutral. However, since I don't think that any good or evil exists outside of what we create for ourselves, it's all a matter of human (or animal) subjectivity.


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sunflower
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Thank you Miz Scarlet, that is what I meant!!! I just meant don't go out and kill anyone, and I believe that the majority of what I wrote explained pretty well about people having their own beliefs and following them the way they want to.
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wuwuwuwu1
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I grew up with some religious influences, mainly Christianity. I did try other religions, but none were for me. I am the only one in my family without a religion, but my parents are fine with that, although a little uncomfortable with it. I feel that religion can be good and can bring harmony to one's life, but it isn't for everyone.
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HotGrrl99
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A lot of people tell you that premarital sex is bad or wrong or immoral or whatever. I'd just love to know how many of THEM screwed around before marriage! When I asked my sex ed teacher (who keeps preaching abstinance) when she lost hers, she got all flustered! Then she said "I grew up during the period of the sexual revolution, when AIDS was not even an issue"! Hahaha... nice excuse.
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texmexgirl
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I am a strong christian, and I do believe that sex before marriage is wrong, even if I weren't a christian I would still probably think the same, if you think about it, it makes sense. 9 times out of 10 when you are having sex, or messing aroud at an early, immature age, you are having sex with someone elses future husband, or wife. Sex is reserved for 2 married people, and it is the closest that they can possibly get physically, I believe that when you wait that the sex that you have within marriage is a greater experience than what you can get out of sex outside of marriage. When you wait, you are showing your spouse, that you waited for them, and you can say "I am all yours" because you saved your virginity for them.
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Heather
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Let me again reiterate that it is important in a discussion like this one, that in order for everyone to feel comfortable sharing their views, that we each recognize our views and feelings as just that: ours.

I will not tolerate postings here which attempt to make others feel bad or lesser, or which judge or scold. Please temper all of your posts with compassion and sensitivity. This is an excellent discussion with many viewpoints, all of which I would like to see explored and honored.


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LilithWitch
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See the problem I have about waiting till marriage is that sometimes marriage isn't all it's suppossed to be. So many marriages end in divorce or people get married for money that sometimes it's dumb to wait for marriage because it's so important, it will mean so much, its a magical thing between two people blah blah blah.... So I think people should wait till they're in a commited loving relationship and they feel ready for it.

but about religion, I'm a wicca so any kind of sexuality is okay. that doesn't mean that i'm going to be promiscuous or anything it just means i have more freedom to make my own decision

I really respect in other religions people are suppossed to wait because if those rules are actually followed it would protect people from disease and unwanted pregnancies


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Etch
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This is a really interesting topic for me. I am a very very spiritual person. I grew up Christian, fallowing in my parents footsteps. But in the past few years ive been exposed to other religions and forms spirituality. Today i believe in Jesus and God but that is pretty much all that resembles christianity. I recently learned (go history channel!)that the apostle Paul preached that to believe in jesus you didnt have o become Jewish first. Now before you all get mad at me let me explain what that means. In the old testement there are several books with the laws laid out by God. These are the laws that Jews are supposed to follow. Paul believed that christains do not HAVE to fallow these laws because the only reason Jesux came was to make it where we didnt have to worry about breaking them.

So how this fits into my sexuality is that it lets me decide what is right for me. Not based on what the book tells me but what I tell me. And i talk to God every night about things, including my sex life. So me and my faith are going well together!

And im sorry if i offended someone! I tend to do that sometimes.


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Rhiannon
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Well, this is a very interesting thread indeed...I'm sorry I didn't find it sooner. My views for MYSELF regarding sexuality do not come from my religion...for reference I'm Catholic and have also done some following of Wicca. I have chosen to wait indefinitely...this is because of the fact that I personally could not deal with emotional consequences. Also, because of my personality, history, and things I've observed I know that I would never feel comfortable giving myself unless it is in a mutually loving, long-term committed relationship...if that means marriage, so be it (but I have not yet decided 100% if marriage is my only route). I also know I could not deal with STDs and pregnancy...my educational and future career goals are way too important to me. There are moral aspects to my decision and views but I would not say my chosen path is based just upon my religious beliefs.

------------------
But that's just my two cents..


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mentalxashtray
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note: words from an athiest. please don't be offended by my opinions.

i'm a bisexual athiest. sex is fine. sex is good. i support premartial sex, as long as the people involved are ready both emotionally and physically, and they accept consiquences that follow. if that, sure, why not? and along the lines of sexuality, i also think bisexulity/homosexuality is a wonderful thing. so, that's all.

[This message has been edited by mentalxashtray (edited 08 July 2000).]


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stutter
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well, I'm Catholic, very strongly so in some of my beliefs, but I've never experienced 'Catholic guilt' about my sexuality. I'm still a virgin, but that's simply because the few people I've met who I've been sufficiently attracted to, to consider getting it off with, for one reason or another, it just hasn't worked out. I don't believe that you should have to wait till you're married - the very idea of marriage makes me shudder, and I don't think anyone can deny that it simply isn't right for some people (no offence intended if you *do* believe that, I'm just saying I don't understand). Anyway, I'm wandering a bit - my point is, that as with anything to do with religion, while you should take into account what the people in charge say, it is *not* the be-all and end-all - if you disagree, find out out what they are basing their teachings on, and if you don't agree with their interpretation, go with what you believe to be true (as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else - I believe that's not optional). I mean, we have our own minds for a reason, and it is not to blindly accept what we're told. I don't think anyone has any right to say that their beliefs are better than anyone else's, and therefore as long as you do what is right for you, no-one has any right to judge you.

jen


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solo
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Hi there...I am also Wiccan. I love the freedom of the religion, yet you are not hurting anyone or anything! If you would like to talk about wicca or anything, e-mail me!
saltnpepper@btinternet.com


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Musickat01
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I am a Southern Baptist. They believe in no premarital sex, no drinking or anything of that sort. I feel like it is a okay religion. Sometimes I really don't understand it or anything. But all I know is that I believe in god. I go to a Baptist Church but I am in a Lutheran youth group. Thats okay with me and my family though because I am just searching around what it right for me!

------------------
****If you reach for the moon and miss, you'll be among the stars****


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