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Saturday, July 11, 2015

"Because of who they love" means nothing in purity culture

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In the conversation about LGB rights, I've often heard people say that "you shouldn't discriminate against people because of who they love." And back when I was in purity culture, this argument meant absolutely nothing to me, because purity culture believes that love- of the romantic kind- is bad and dangerous.

Purity culture teaches that any romantic feelings/ sexual attraction/ dating relationships that don't result in marriage damage people irreparably. Therefore, you can't just have a crush- no no, stamp that out, you need to "guard your heart." You can't just go date someone- oh dear goodness no.

I fully believed that it was God's will for me to be single at that time, and that if I started dating without approval from God, it would show that I was "not trusting God" and "following my fleshly desires" and "not waiting for God's best."

And not just me- purity culture teaches that this is how everyone should live. There is, apparently, one person (of the opposite sex) that you are destined to marry, and you gotta pray a lot to get God to tell you who it is. If you haven't met them yet, too bad. You have to be single, and nobody knows how long.

If you make any kind of move without approval from God, it can only end in disaster.

These are the rules for straight people in purity culture. We are not allowed to love- not in a romantic way, at least. And then to hear people arguing for LGB rights by saying "because of who they love"- no, it just makes no sense.

I believed romantic attraction and love had nothing to do with each other. If you're dating someone without God's approval, then you're dragging them into a relationship that will destroy their purity- you don't love them, you don't care about them, you just want the instant gratification instead of waiting on God's plan.

Romantic attraction would only be love if "God brought you together."

"You can't discriminate against people because of who they love"- as if it's okay to just go and, you know, love someone. As if it's perfectly normal to initiate a relationship with a romantic interest. As if spending time together, going on dates, and getting to know someone has anything to do with love.

Unmarried followers of purity culture don't realize it's not normal to be so repressed. They don't realize that what purity culture demands of LGB people is so much more restrictive than what it demands of straight people- all they can think is "well I'm not allowed to be in a relationship either." 

Followers of purity culture are terrified of love, terrified of being in love. You won't get anywhere with an argument that includes the phrase "because of who they love."

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