Something I’ve come across several times is that of Christians, usually of the strict fundamentalist variety, insisting that they’re surrounded by temptation. I’m not saying temptation isn’t a real thing, but painting it as some kind Satanic conspiracy against the forces of good rather than just an indication that humans are sometimes prone to take the fun choice over the smart one makes it seem kind of ridiculous to me. In southern New Jersey, there was a radio station Beth and I sometimes listened to ironically run by Calvary Chapel, basically an evangelical church franchise started by hippies in the 1960s. One of the pastors on there, Greg Laurie, was apparently fairly popular; I remember seeing billboards and bumper stickers referring to him. I figured he was local, but apparently he runs a church in California. Anyway, one day he was talking about how, when he was studying in England, he was surrounded by attractive women who wanted his body. Those weren’t the words he used, obviously, but he said something about going into a woman’s house and knowing that, “If we shut the door, it would be all over.” It strikes me as being doubly arrogant, bragging both about how he could have done it with any girl in England AND how he was too moral to actually go through with it.
I’d like to know the point of view of these women, assuming the story had any truth to it at all. I don’t know why, but people who don’t believe in premarital sex insist they had constant opportunities for it. Do they figure the women don’t have any say at all? Another guy on the same station told some story about sex bracelets that children were wearing, something that Snopes debunked some years ago. There were several variations on the legend, but the one the pastor talked about involved jelly bracelets of different colors, and pulling off a certain color led to the girl granting you a certain sexual favor.
So this would be binding for ANYBODY who pulled off a bracelet? Sheesh, if THAT’S all it takes, how do prostitutes get any business at all? No matter how easy a girl is, there are going to be a lot of people she isn’t going to grant sexual favors. I was one of them, not that I ever would have tried anything like that anyway. Minors participating in sexual activity is a valid concern, but perpetuating nonsense like that just makes it harder to address the actual issues. Again, it seems to be the idea that girls are willing to put out for anybody if you just ask the right way. It’s kind of rapey way of thinking, isn’t it? Then again, maybe the Devil didn’t bother tempting me with such things because I was a non-believer anyway.
Why would the forces of evil put so much effort into drawing people away from God when the vast majority are going to Hell regardless, at least according to many fundamentalists?
Not all sanctimonious Christians go with the narrative of having always been pure. There’s a significant contingent that prefers the conversion story, of how terrible they were before they found Jesus. (I’ve heard non-religious variations on the same theme, like my old Tae Kwon Do instructor insisting he was a mess before discovering martial arts, but that’s a different story.) I think that’s what Dr. Ben Carson was going for when proudly announcing he used to try to stab people for really stupid reasons, with the implication being that he doesn’t do that anymore since he and Jesus are so tight that they had their picture painted together.
Personally, I don’t think it’s easy to make an abrupt 180-degree change, and I’d be worried about someone who admits to having a hair-trigger temper being Commander in Chief. Fortunately, the Republicans didn’t even vote for the guy, not that I think the current candidates are much better. But then, I’ve also heard smug Christians say they’re not perfect, just forgiven. So which is it? Do true Christians not want to do bad things, or do they just feel bad for them afterwards and ask God for forgiveness? And how does that apply to things that aren’t universally considered immoral, but are by the precepts of their religion? Things like, say, premarital sex.