Hi everyone! First of all, I am going to make some generalizations here and I apologize in advance. Been pretty busy lately, but checked in on CAF today and I saw yet another topic where someone asks for help dealing with a spouse’s sexual past, and is quickly barraged by posters who tell him to “just get over it” as if a sexual past really is no big deal, that not caring about it at all is the most rational response. Sexual sin seems to be treated as no bigger a sin than someone, say, shoplifting, or missing Mass, etc, since most people would see such sins, though technically mortal sins, as being readily excusable and forgettable, as opposed to sins like murder, rape, etc., that I think most would agree that the average person would find hard to forgive, even if that is the saintly response, even if a murderer or rapist has gone to confession. I guess I could compare it to “soft” drugs like marijuana vs “hard” drugs like cocaine and heroin, that many people see sexual sin as “soft” sin, not a “hard” sin like murder.
Which would actually make sense to me, except that I also have read so many posts that give me the impression that sexual sin is a really big deal, much more so than nonsexual sins. I’m not even talking about actual intercourse here. I’m talking about when people harshly judge women who dress in an immodest fashion, even suggesting they be kicked out of Mass. I’m also talking about the many topics (more in Moral Theology) where a young person (often a man) will ask “how far is too far”, and many claim that even kissing is going too far, unless it’s the kind of dry peck the man would feeling comfortable giving his beloved in front of Grandma. Or even, the kind of peck he’d give Grandma herself.
Interestingly, I have often seen the argument made that the young man shouldn’t do anything that he’d have a problem with if his future wife had done with another man. Maybe the people making this argument aren’t the same people who are saying to actual married men, “you shouldn’t have a problem with ANYTHING your wife did before she married you”! Maybe. But I can easily see such a man, trying to keep chaste, being confused. “So I’m not supposed to do anything that this girl’s future husband would be bothered by…but if he does get bothered, even if we had full-on sex, then there’s something wrong with him?” Why this complete contradiction?
Or, people who caution young people that sexual activity can create strong bonds and ties between people, even if they don’t intend to, because sex is inherently unitive. No one jumps into those threads and says “BUT if you confess the sin the bond will disappear!” Yet it seems to be assumed that a person who has sex with one person (or many people) but goes on to marry someone else, that all these ties are instantly severed because “she chose YOU to marry, not those other men” and do not affect the marriage at all. Again, I find this contradictory. And perhaps not even realistic…for example, many married people do wind up falling into adultery with former flames.
And as a woman, I am very confused by the idea that women who dress in a halter top and mini-skirt deserve no forgiveness, no charity, but should be judged harshly as trollops who tempt men to sin…but women who actually do sin with men in terms of actually having sex with them, deserve complete forgiveness and understanding, to the point that anyone who has a problem with that actually has a problem himself.
Now, I can understand a little bit why women would have a problem with a man who wants a virgin, because most women out there know that the chance of marrying a man who is a virgin is so small that holding out for a virgin really isn’t practical. I can see why they’d be annoyed that men have a better chance of finding a virgin, enough to proclaim that they would only seek virgins to marry. (Although it is somewhat unfair if the man looking for a virgin is a virgin himself).
But I really am confused. Can someone help me out here?