Respectful Insolence

I’ve always been a bit skeptical of most recommendations by religious figures, but for once I’ve come across one that I can whole-heartedly support:

Florida pastor Paul Wirth wants his parishioners to make love — a whole lot of love.

The pastor for Relevant Church in Ybor City is challenging the couples in his congregation to get busy in bed every night for a month.

Wirth said the supposed 50 percent divorce rate is the reason behind the 30-Day Sex Challenge.

He said too many couples let the stress of jobs and daily life get in the way of intimacy.

So far, so good. But wait! There’s a catch:

But there’s a catch to the pastor’s every day sex challenge — it’s for married couples only.

Unmarried people — even if they are in a long-term relationship or living with someone — are asked to abstain from sex for 30 days.

I knew it was too good to be true–at least if you’re unmarried. I hesitate to think what the pastor’s reaction would be to gay or lesbian couples.

Comments

  1. #1 Brett
    March 1, 2008

    If they’re married gay or lesbian couples, his head might explode…

  2. #2 Art
    March 1, 2008

    Sounds like a power grab.

    Make marriage sound good: “Sex every night? Righty-oh’.

    But deny sex to the unmarried: ‘Blue balls again … uh’.

    But the Pastor offers a solution: Get married.

    With him as the gatekeeper, an ordained minister, and collecting a substantial fee, of course.

    It is an old advertising routine. One that will end up the same way it always does. Two people bound together in the holy bonds of matrimony. Two people who hate each other and who use the children as pawns in the psychodrama and ongoing cold-war. Two people bound together by an imaginary super-being. Sexless, unless told to have sex by God’s mouthpiece. Trapped in a loveless self-created purgatory hating each other but too afraid of what their imaginary sky daddy might say if they part.

  3. #3 Meg
    March 1, 2008

    “I hesitate to think what the pastor’s reaction would be to gay or lesbian couples”
    I was thinking the exact same thing. Unfortunately I suppose it would be similar to the unmarried couple’s instructions.

  4. #4 Dianne
    March 1, 2008

    I was thinking the exact same thing. Unfortunately I suppose it would be similar to the unmarried couple’s instructions.

    But what if they’re married? It wouldn’t have happened in Florida, of course, but if God is everywhere he must be in Massachusetts, Canada, Holland, and Belgium too, right? Therefore, the marriages made there were blessed by God, weren’t they? Yep, a clear endorsement of more gay and lesbian love.

  5. #5 argotnaut
    March 1, 2008

    And there’s no better way to take the joy out of something than forcing people to do it every single day whether they feel like it or not.

  6. #6 The Christian Cynic
    March 1, 2008

    argotnaut, your comment is simply ridiculous. Challenging couples to be more sexually active with each other isn’t a command, nor do I see anything on the site for the challenge indicating that couples don’t take the challenge are bound for divorce or some other similarly negative statement (even implied). It’s merely a promotion to get married couples to interact more with each other, while also exploring the topic of sex within the constraints of the religion (the website has some of this listed). No one’s forcing anything upon anyone; if anything, the couple commit themselves – willingly – to try and be more intimate. I can’t foresee any bad coming from this, as long as both partners consent to the challenge and don’t force each other to do anything they don’t want to.

    Also, I didn’t get the vibe that the church was condemning unmarried individuals who are sexually inactive – for instance, it even mentioned people who were living with someone, which says a lot about the church’s tolerance of non-traditional living arrangements. The likely reason for not extending this to unmarried individuals is that the purpose of the campaign is to strengthen the marital bond, not merely just to exclude unmarried individuals. In fact, the idea of including unmarried individuals in a different way – by asking them to commit to abstaining from extramarital liaisons during the 30 day period as well – actually helps bring some solidarity. I think it’s an interesting move.

  7. #7 The Christian Cynic
    March 1, 2008

    Correction: I don’t get the vibe that the church was condemning sexually active unmarried individuals.

  8. #8 meg
    March 1, 2008

    “But what if they’re married? It wouldn’t have happened in Florida, of course, but if God is everywhere he must be in Massachusetts, Canada, Holland, and Belgium too, right? Therefore, the marriages made there were blessed by God, weren’t they? Yep, a clear endorsement of more gay and lesbian love.”

    I see your point, but for some reason I doubt this pastor would see it the same way. As some other pastors, he might not see a gay marriage as blessed by G-d, even if they were married by another pastor. I live in Canada and sadly there are plenty of pastors here that are against gay marriage and don’t recognize it whether the government or other pastors do.

  9. #9 Joe Shelby
    March 1, 2008

    As someone else posted, anyone who says only married couples should have sex…is effectively saying you must have an Official Government License to have sex.

    It therefore turns the Government into the biggest pimp of ultimate prostitution ring. “Want to have sex? You have to pay us!”

  10. #10 Pierce R. Butler
    March 1, 2008

    Will the divorce rate rise among couples where one partner (but not the other) tires out before the 30 days is over?

  11. #11 Jud
    March 1, 2008

    The K-Y marketing people must be delighted with the good Pastor.

  12. #12 Azkyroth
    March 2, 2008

    While the assumptions of his position are certainly eyeroll-worthy, a Christian church treating sex as something positive to be promoted is something that should be praised, like a puppy that finally paws at the door to go outside instead of peeing on the rug.

  13. #13 jayh
    March 3, 2008

    This is not all that new. Many years ago I was raised as a J-W and they were pretty gung-ho about married sex.

  14. #14 Mary
    March 4, 2008

    I’ve been doing my best to have sex every available day for the past month, although I’m not quite divorced and the man isn’t my soon-to-be-ex-husband. Is that good enough, or do I have to say the rosary a whole lot again?