CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Our Sexual and Moral Freefall

Nov 6, 2013

So what is it with people publicly selling their virginity nowadays? Have we sunk that far as a culture that people have to take the wonderful gift of sex and degrade it in such a way, just to get their 15 minutes of fame? Human sexuality is an intensely beautiful yet private affair – or at least should be.

Yet when it is paraded all over the world it is cheapened, coarsened, and dragged through the mud. Of course our culture as a whole has done a terrific job of trivialising sex, and turning this act into a mere circus sideshow. So these latest moves should not surprise us.

If you are not aware of what I am referring to, consider these two recent examples. The first concerns a Siberian teenager. The story goes like this: “A Russian teenager who sold her virginity through an online auction site has been given the go-ahead by police to seal the deal.

“The 18-year-old from Siberia, identified only as Shatuniha, posted an ad on the Russian auction site 24au.ru where she described herself as ‘new, not used’, reports Gawker. ‘I am in urgent need of money, so I am selling the most precious thing I possess,’ she wrote. ‘I am ready to meet up soon, even as soon as tomorrow, and I am ready to have my virginity verified. I can come to a hotel at Predmostnaya Square with a document confirming my virginity, and with a person who will take the cash and leave, so that I am not fooled’.

“The winning bidder has been identified as Evgeniy Volnov, who agreed to pay $27,950 – about $3000 above the original asking price. Russian police said the deal broke no laws, and they had ‘no right to give a moral assessment of [the] girl’s actions. This situation is neither an administrative nor a criminal violation,’ a police spokesperson told The Siberian Times.

“‘Nor does it fit into a description of the ‘Prostitution’ clause from the Code of the Administrative Violations.’ According to The Times, the same woman had previously offered up her virginity for cash on another site earlier this year, when she was 17 years old.”

Um, isn’t this called prostitution? Hey, there have been times when I urgently needed money. I did what most people do in such circumstances: I got a job. That is usually how one makes money. Sure, there are immoral ways of making money, like robbing banks. And so too in selling sex.

And an English example from last month is even more revolting. Consider this story: “A gay student plans to lose his virginity live on stage – all in the name of art. Clayton Pettet, a 19-year-old art student at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, plans to have gay sex in front of a crowd of between 50 and 100 people in London on Jan. 25, 2014, for a project called ‘Art School Stole My Virginity,’ according to the Daily Star. He and his anonymous partner will have sex until completion and then hold a Q&A with the audience afterward.

“His aim is to explore the ideal of virginity. ‘I’ve held on to my virginity for 19 years, and I’m not throwing it away lightly. Basically it’s like I am losing the stigma around virginity,’ he said, per the Daily Star. ‘I want the audience to see if anything has changed between me and my partner. Since culturally we do hold quite a lot of value to the idea of virginity I have decided to use mine and the loss of it to create a piece that I think will stimulate interesting debate and questions regarding the subject’.”

The report concludes: “This teenager is not the only young person to make headlines recently for doing something unorthodox with virginity. Last year, a 20-year-old Brazilian woman named Catarina Migliorini auctioned off her virginity for $780,000. She later told The Huffington Post the whole plan was hatched by the filmmaker of a documentary called ‘Virgins Wanted,’ and she said she felt victimized. She never actually got the money or had sex.”

So what can one say? One is left dumbfounded by the sexual perversion and moral freefall occurring all around us. The really tragic thing is nobody seems to be shocked by this sort of stuff anymore. No one seems to care and even raise an eyebrow about such things.

Our culture has reached such a point of moral and spiritual disintegration that we read an item like this in the newspaper as we would the daily weather report. Our capacity to exhibit some moral outrage at our decadent and dying society seems to have all but disappeared.

Many years ago now the American Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote an important article about “defining deviancy down”. We are so overwhelmed with deviance that the only way we can cope with it is to redefine it, make it seem normal and acceptable.

A bit later Charles Krauthammer wrote on similar themes: “As part of the vast social project of moral leveling, it is not enough for the deviant to be normalized. The normal must be found to be deviant.” Yes, that is about where we are now at today.

Of course all this is not new. Two and a half millennia ago the prophet Isaiah warned about this very thing: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Is 5:20).

How many more young lives must be ruined before we wake up as a culture and start saying enough is enough?

www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/siberian-teen-shatuniha-sells-her-virginity-online-for-27950/story-fni0dql5-1226753493433
www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/25/gay-student-virginity-sex_n_4163730.html

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11 Responses to Our Sexual and Moral Freefall

  • “Who can find a virtuous woman?
    For her price is far above rubies.”

    I care and I am still shocked. Our teenage children, both male and female are also deeply shocked.

    Jo Deller

  • Absolutely Gob Smacked, I can’t fathom what would possess People to choose to do such crazy immoral things. It is beyond rhyme or reason for me to comprehend what motivates them to do such things. They would probably call me an old Fuddy Duddy, a stick in the mud, an old Fart or most likely worse. I don’t care what they think I for one am sticking to my Guns and calling a Spade a Spade and stating that these things are nothing less than a serious Sin and those who do such actions, need to hastily Repent before it is everlastingly too late.

    Thank God for Morality and Moral Purity and for those who still follow God’s Moral Laws.

    Leigh D Stebbins

  • I think that it is sad that it is only because of social media that this phenomena is getting attention. Women around the world, throughout time, have sold their daughters (and sometimes their sons) into sexual slavery in order to survive. If you read anything about Mexico and countries south of there, poverty is so deep that this is regular practice. And then there are countries like the DR Congo that are so poor and disorganized that rape is a virtual everyday occurrence, without the benefit of monetary gain.

    Julia Marks

  • People seem to revel in reading these stories, rather than being horrified by them. I can’t think of many things more ghastly than two men performing a perverted act on stage; how they could even bear to have people watch them is a complete mystery. Attention-seeking and exhibitionism at its extreme, as well as degrading the Wondrous Gift in front of (no doubt) a mass of video-cameras.
    Ancient Rome would be proud of them.

    The girls….I find this so sad, because surely their need for money could be met by getting a proper job, as you say? I suppose it’s the lure of the larger cash-payments that represent many months of normal work….quick money, in other words.

    I don’t know what will wake people up. In ancient times it was Vesuvius in 79AD and the final sack of Rome in the 5th century. Do we have to face similar all over again, in order to destroy the evil?

    Chris Dark

  • Bill,
    We should use the same weapons they do. I signed an anti-abortion petition, and got the following email:

    “By signing Tony Hrkac’s petition “Victorian Government: Stop abortion in particular the legalisation of late term abortions in Victoria. Offering women contemplating abortion information on the health risks of abortion.” yesterday, you joined more than 15 million people using Change.org to make their world better. Here’s how Change.org works:

    “Anyone can start a petition. Change.org lets anyone, anywhere start a petition. It’s free and can be about anything you want to change. Start your petition now.

    “Together, we’re powerful. The more of us that join together in support of a campaign, the better the chance of being heard. (You can share Tony Hrkac’s petition now on Facebook, Twitter, or via email).

    “This works. With support from people like you, hundreds of campaigns are won every month. Click here to see some of the most inspiring victories.

    “Every so often you can expect to hear from Change.org about campaigns we think you’ll be excited to join. If you’d prefer not to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of any message you receive from us.

    “Antonia, we started Change.org hoping that it would bring people together to make the world a better place – we’re so excited that you got involved. Thank you welcome to Change.org!”

    Ben Rattray
    Founder, Change.org

    +++++

    Let us Christians mobilize and use this facility!

    Antonia Feitz

  • That girl is clearly a prostitute. A very famous story involving Winston Churchill how he asked a woman if she would have sex with him for 1 million and she said yes, so he asked her for % and she said, I’m not that kind of woman. His reply is priceless. He said yes you, we’re just haggling about the price.

    Ian Nairn

  • Antonia….I just looked at the website you mentioned. Sadly, the petition that seems to be attracting most votes is to do with trying to stop Russia’s anti-gay laws at the winter Olympics….some quarter of a million people have signed it.
    No-one would worry, though, if it was Christians being bullied. If someone is going to write a petition, it will have to be very carefully crafted. A lot of these petitions are based on high emotion….Avaaz is another organisation that tends to drift the same way.
    It’s going to take more than petitions to stop the pink brigade, but I’d be happy to support anything that gets put up based on a Christian message.

    Chris Dark

  • I blame the rise of reality TV where deviant types are recruited to star in the shows and are thrust into people’s lounge rooms for a ratings exercise and people become desensitized to it.
    The cult of celebrity is a similar phenomenon. People are famous for being famous. I grew up learning about Wilberforce, Schweitzer, Helen Keller, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Martin Luther King and other people who were famous for all the right reasons.

    Jo Deller

  • Chris,

    I agree that the Change.org site overwhelmingly hosts petitions from “the other side”.

    But that’s exactly why we Christians should use this facility as Tony Hrkac has done with his petition against Victoria’s disgusting abortion laws. Today he updated the miserable 1600 of us who have signed his petition:

    ” I have today handed in your 1600 signatures (to date) in print to Bernie Finn MP, to present to the Premier and parliament. Thank you all once again for spreading the word over these horrendous laws in Victoria. Please keep promoting this issue and I hope we will continue to have more signatures. Parliament sits again next week and at the end of the month, I hope to present another 1600 signatures next week, but it all depends on us and how much we are willing to step outside of ourselves to raise awareness amongst our circle of friends.”

    At least Tony is DOING something rather than just wringing his hands in despair. If all Australian Christians signed this petition – and I know they won’t – the numbers would easily surpass that quarter of a million objecting to Russia’s allegedly homophobic laws. And in any case that’s a lie because homosexuality is not proscribed in Russia. The new laws are to stop proselytization of homosexuality to the young.

    Antonia Feitz

  • “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?…”. It is sadly true that as Australian philosopher, Clive Hamilton once put it, for many people “”good” is the new “bad”” when it comes to the issue of premarital virginity and sexual fidelity within marriage.

    John Wigg

  • Like everyone on this forum, i am deeply saddened at the stage managed trashing of personal values by these young folk in bringing themselves to the lowest level of self abasement. I agree with you Bill it is prostitution in its most outrageous state – sex for money. At the most extreme end of justification for prostitution, they claim what they do is a “profession” What these folk are doing is perverse and they need to be in our prayers.

    Michael Mercier

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