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The summer after my freshman year in college, I met Peggy.  Peggy worked with my sister in a major department store.  Peggy was pretty, personable and perky.  Most importantly, Peggy loved the Lord.  

Peggy was also pushy and shortly after meeting her, I found myself down on my virgin knees asking Jesus Christ to be my personal lord and savior and save me from my sinful ways.

Sinful ways?  Let's see...I didn't drink, I didn't do drugs, I didn't smoke, I didn't have sex.  What exactly were my "sinful ways"?

When I asked Peggy about this, Peggy became persuasive.  I was sinning in my heart, she was sure of it, and this new reborn life would be a pathway to freedom and purity.

OK, fine.  I just really wanted some direction.

Hence, my life with the Lord and his devoted followers began.  That fall I met a boy who would four years later become my husband.  He didn't know he was a sinner either, but I was persuasive and pushy, and I watched with pride as he was baptized in a nearby creek.

We were the perfect Christian couple!  We became youth leaders and went to church every Sunday.  While our friends and roommates were sleeping off their hedonistic nights of partying, drugs and sex, we were sitting piously in the pew, nodding our heads in agreement while the pastor pontificated on the latest moral sin of our generation.

We were in love, and suddenly passion was filling the air.  However, the Bible was very clear about this and despite the "twisted" reasoning of my boyfriend, who was trying very hard to convince me of why it would be scripturally OK for us to have sex, I wouldn't budge!

Peggy had pounded into my head the critical importance of staying a virgin until marriage and I wasn't going to be taken down a path of immorality and degradation, even by the one who loved me.

This state of virtue persisted for a while, but even this virgin Mary had her human longings and after a tortuous year and a half,  she spent a magical evening with the one she loved and experienced all that love has to give.

In the middle of the night, she woke up with a smile and then a start.  Her heart was pounding.  Voices were screaming all around her, 'YOU'RE NOT A VIRGIN!  YOU'RE A YOUTH LEADER!  YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!  YOU'RE WEAK!  YOU'RE IMMORAL!  NO ONE CAN FIND OUT!  YOU HAVE LET DOWN THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF!"

My boyfriend shared none of my feelings of guilt or remorse.  In fact, I'd never seen him smile so broadly.

Never mind him.  I made my vow of abstinence once again, and if there had been one of those purity rings nearby, I would have shoved it on my left hand ring finger in no time!  I made my confession and asked the Lord to forgive me.  He did.

And then I did it again.

Yum yum, sweet juices flowing, love cascading, WAIT, NO, I'M A SINNER!  THIS IS WRONG!  ALL WRONG!

And then I did it again and again and again.

And always the guilt, the remorse...the hypocrisy.  I would espouse the virtues of "waiting until marriage" to the teenagers that would flock around me.  Oh, if only they knew.

And so it went on for several years until I married the boyfriend with the smile on his face, and found relief.  No more shame, no more guilt, no more screaming voices.



(Jonas Brothers...cute...and pure?  Oldest JUST got engaged.  He has a purity ring...seems like marriage is being rushed for sex)  

It's 30 years later and "purity rings" are IN.  Hey, the Jonas Brothers wear them!  The Jonas Brothers who are 16, 19 and 22 are swearing on a stack of Bibles they aren't having sex and no one can stop them!

There are ceremonies where young women, girls as young as 10 are wearing pseudobridal gowns and are standing before their fathers in front of adults and peers alike.  Father then slips on this chastity belt disguised as a ring on the fingers of a girl who hasn't even begun to feel the stirrings of lust and longing.

Is it only me that finds all of this just a little bit ICKY?

Young couples stand before their congregation and make this vow publicly.  Is it only me that finds this a little CREEPY?

(Bristol Palin new spokesperson for Abstinence.  Huh?)  

There are many who find these vows admirable, courageous, and brave in a world so pre-occupied with sex.  Even Bristol Palin is on an abstinence nation wide tour with newborn baby in tow.

Is it only me that finds all of this just a little bit INSANE?

So here's the dirty secret behind the purity rings:


Study after study, research after research finds that teens who take a virginity pledge are just as likely to have sex as peers who didn't promise abstinence until marriage.  In fact, 98% of those Down on Sex Teens have sex before marriage.

There is, however, a difference between the purity pledging teens having sex before marriage and the teens who had the good sense not to make them:

The vehement vow makers not only were less likely to use condoms or birth control, they were more likely to LIE.

I know what it's like to be involved in a church and have a Secret.  It was a Secret shared by myself and many others I knew.  I regret the years of self-condemnation for doing what comes naturally.  I taught my children that sex is natural and a place of exploration and even at times, adventure.  I taught them how to be safe and how to take care of their bodies, emotions and souls.

Call me cynical, call me skeptical but I've worked with a lot of families for the past 15 years and show me a parent who comes in and proudly announces that their child does not drink and isn’t haven't sex, and I'll show you a kid who lies or a parent who is delusional.

Loving the Lord and living under a cloud of shame isn't good for anyone's soul.  "Waiting until marriage" guarantees in no verifiable way, a good marriage.

I've known many a friend who back in the day "waited" until marriage only to find out later that their spouse either had a hidden sexual addiction, were sexually repressed, or gay.

Here's the truth and it will set you free:

Abstinence based programs don't work.

Purity rings are a gimmick and a waste of money.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm sure there must be some who waited and are happy about their choice and have full and long lasting marriages.  I congratulate all 10 of them.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Jul 3, 2009
    • Good article! Good Points were made and yes I think those ceremonies are creepy too....

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindylouwho1966 wrote Jul 3, 2009
    • Right on, Hotwomen!!! Abstinence-only programs are foolish. And the girls bowing in front of dad swearing this has always made me feel icky, too! Ew! These girls don't go to Dad about their period (the thing that makes them "women" in the first place) so why this? shudder

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Jul 3, 2009
    • I don't know if we have this in the UK but I'm sorry I found the video very creepy .....
      I went to a Catholic Convent school taught by German Nun's and yes at 16 a 1/3 of the class was pregnant because at school we were not taught about birth control and we were told sex was sinful and it wasn't discussed ..... Take away the shame and give knowledge you have informed choices and less teenage pregnancies ...
      I know of the girls who got pregnant most had a shotgun wedding I remember going to six weddings of former classmates one summer – I was having a great time planning a trip round Europe and they were living at home awaiting a baby ..... now they are single and grandparents as their own children had children at a young age.

      I'm I also dim but what does a ring on your finger stop you doing ?

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