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Dear Unmarried Evangelical Women: Can You Prove You Are a Virgin?

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Evangelicals worship at the altar of female virginity. Premarital sex is verboten, and women are expected to maintain an intact hymen until their honeymoon. Men are expected to not dip their pens in the ink either, but rarely do Evangelical preachers mention male virginity. The reason is simple, women are viewed as gatekeepers. Evangelical boys and men are weak, pathetic horn dogs that will fuck their way through their churches unless stopped by iron-padlocked vaginas. In some circles, virgin teen girls and women sign purity contracts with their fathers, pledging to be daddy’s little girl until marriage. Frankly, I find purity contracts, along with daughter-father purity jewelry, downright creepy — especially in light of the ongoing sexual abuse scandals roiling through Evangelicalism.

Despite the monumental effort by Evangelical churches/pastors/parents to thwart their daughters from having sex before marriage, sexually aware teens and young adults do what they always have done — fuck. Smart parents teach their children about safe sex and birth control, realizing that it is more likely than not that their children will not be virgins when they walk down the wedding aisle; that is if they bother to marry at all.

In Deuteronomy 22:13-20, the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God sets forth how questions of virginity should be handled:

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

As you can tell from this passage of Scripture, virginity worship has been around for thousands of years. The Abrahamic religions, in particular, covet hymen-intact vaginas. Husbands expect their new wives to be unsullied when they have sexual intercourse for the first time. If they find out that another penis has been there before theirs, the woman is labeled a whore and the husband is free to divorce her. Keep in mind, the Bible says nothing about male virginity. I know, I know, s-h-o-c-k!

If a man says, hey, your daughter is not a virgin, it is up to her parents to prove otherwise by providing evidence of her virginity — a blood-stained sheet. I am still at a loss to understand how a man could have sex with a woman and not “see” the blood-stained sheet underneath him and his new wife. Perhaps, the woman’s parents were lurking nearby and gathered up the sheet as soon as the deed was done. But, even then, wouldn’t they have held the sheet up to their daughter’s husband and said, see, she was a virgin. She’s yours now?! So many things in this story that don’t make sense; not that such insensibility is rare for the Bible. Remember, not only is this passage straight from the Christian God’s holy book, but it is also the never-changing law of God.

If a woman’s parents proved to the city elders that their daughter was indeed a virgin before marriage, her husband was required to stay married to her all the days of his life. Imagine THAT marriage! Imagine living with a man who accused you of being a whore and tried to have you executed. All the husband had to do to right the matter is pay 100 shekels to the father of the bride. After all, it was HIS reputation that was harmed by the husband’s accusation.

If the woman’s parents couldn’t prove their daughter’s virginity, their daughter was to be taken to the door of her father’s home and stoned to death by the men of the city. She would forever be known as a whore.

Explain to me, again, why any woman would ever want to be a Christian? (Why Would Any Woman Want to be an Evangelical Christian?)

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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  1. Avatar
    Becky Wiren

    Those are the rules, but I wonder how often they were followed? Maybe not every husband was a dick because his wife knew another man.

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    1) ancient cultures were obsessed with proving fatherhood of offspring because resources were limited and men (being the breadwinners) didn’t want their resources going to another man’s child. So the only way to ensure a kid was theirs was to keep the women from being sexually active until marriage and to make female infidelity in particular a huge crime.
    2) I guess when young teen virgins are married off, they will bleed when they lose their virginity, but the hymen naturally disintegrates over time so an older virgin may no longer have a hymen.
    3) women had almost no resources until recent decades in Western nations and were under the care of males who were designated as responsible for them. So I guess ancient cultures deemed that it was better for a woman to be financially taken care of even if it was by a horrible man who abused her. At least she wasn’t starving.
    I can’t imagine being a woman born at any other time or place in history other than in the West in recent decades. We still have issues of misogyny and people trying to take away our rights, but at least most of us can get out of a bad situation and support ourselves (that is, those of us who aren’t in fundamentalist religions).

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    Adding on to what ObstacleChick said. It seems to me another reason for regulating sex like this is it would reduce venereal diseases.

    Biblical values make sense for when they are written but far more rarely make sense in the modern world; in particular the West.

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    Had an Evangelical friend back in the day who embodied these attitudes. He expected to marry a Christian virgin or, at the very least, a Christian girl who had “not been around.” Meanwhile, he himself was very busy getting around having lots of casual sex with “non-Christian girls” (his phrase; they, like him, probably in their late 20s by this time.) He quite openly said, when challenged on this contradiction, “Well, it’s different for men; we find it difficult to resist.” How convenient.

    Our friendship finally fell apart after he exploded into a very aggressive tirade about gay men.

    So, in short: I can do what I like and other people need to conform to my prejudices.

  5. Avatar

    Let’s not forget that the person who took the bride’s virginity before the wedding could well have been her groom-to-be, and he knew it. In a case like that, just give yourself a nosebleed and bend over the center of the bed and be done with it. He wouldn’t have wanted her murdered.

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Bruce Gerencser