.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Ontario Empoblog

Ontario Emperor Blog
("yup, its random!")
This blog has been superseded by the mrontemp blog


October 2003   November 2003   December 2003   January 2004   February 2004   March 2004   April 2004   May 2004   June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007  

The Breast Cancer Site
Fund free mammograms at no cost to yourself by clicking on the link, then on the pink button.

Hall of Shame (NoteUnworthy Blog Posts)
Other Blogs (sorted regionally)
Ontario Emperor Selected del.icio.us Tags

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Listed on BlogShares



Who Links Here

Click for Ontario, California Forecast

Friday, June 02, 2006

On Oaths 

From Jesus:

Matthew 5:33-37 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

33"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' 34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

From Reuters:

Teenagers who take pledges to remain virgins until marriage are likely to deny having taken the pledge if they later become sexually active. Conversely, those who were sexual active before taking the pledge frequency deny their sexual history, according to new study findings....

"Teenagers do not report their past sexual activity accurately, with virginity pledgers giving more inaccurate reports of their past sexual activity," study author Janet Rosenbaum, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, told Reuters Health....

The students were first interviewed in 1995 and followed-up in 1996. The first survey included responses from 79 percent of 20,745 students. The second survey included responses from 88 percent of 14,736 students from the first group.

In the initial survey, about 13 percent of adolescents reported that they had taken a pledge of virginity. Just one year later, however, more than half of this group said they had never taken such a pledge, Rosenbaum reports in the American Journal of Public Health.

In addition, more than 1 in 10 students who reported being sexually active in 1995 said that they were virgins in 1996. Students who reported they were sexually active in second survey were more than three times as likely as their peers to deny they had taken a pledge of virginity.

The adolescents' denials of virginity pledges and sexual histories were associated with changes in their sexual and religious identities, the report indicates.

For example, adolescents who abandoned a born-again Christian identity were more than twice as likely as their peers to say they had never taken a virginity pledge.

On the other hand, 28 percent of nonvirgins who later took a virginity pledge retracted their sexual histories during the 1996 survey. The same was true of 18 percent of nonvirgins who later adopted a born-again Christian identity.

Sexually active teens who later took virginity pledges were four times as likely to deny previous reports of sexual activity than were those who had not taken virginity pledges.

As an aside, I'm disturbed with this idea of "adopting a born-again Christian identity." Last week I was goth, this week I love Jesus, next week I'll do fifties or sumfin.

But back to oaths. Despite the warning in Matthew about breaking an oath to God, the True Love Waits people argue that an oath to God is more powerful:

Signatures on most sexual abstinence commitment cards may not be worth the paper they are written on, according to a recent university study....

Richard Ross, a spokesman for the grassroots abstinence effort True Love Waits, indicated the survey’s findings did not surprise him. Following the enormous popularity of his program, the government started funding more than 200 abstinence programs that are used in the majority of school systems across the country.

Often these efforts consist of a short lecture about reasons for abstinence and a request for students to sign a piece of paper in a notebook, he said. There is sparse follow up and the pledge carries little weight.

“Even though I am very supportive of any programs that talk about abstinence, I think many of the pledges signed lack the power to shape long-term decisions,” he said.

Despite his affirmation of the study’s results, Ross held that True Love Waits work is more effective because it adds an element secular efforts lack: God. The addition of the supernatural gives the promise more power.

"Promising a notebook means almost nothing,” Ross commented. “Promising to God is extremely important to most young people.”

And what about breaking an oath to God? Even from a secular perspective, breaking an oath can be disturbing:

What bothers me is that you have turned the majority of abstinence kids into traitors to an oath they made...and they're being praised for lying and covering it up. It seems to me this is a far more grave result than having a little physical excitement is.

The consequences of breaking the bond of your word as a teen will have a chilling effect on these children as adults. Codes of conduct at college regarding cheating, marriage vows, oaths sworn at trial, oaths of commission for the military, ethical behavior at work...I'm willing to bet the CEOs of Tyco and Enron began their venture down the road of corporate crime with the breaking of small oaths as kids with no discernable consequences.

Which brings up the whole idea of selective sin. Sexual abstinence oaths are popular because...well, they're sexy. But why don't we see oaths to abstain from other types of sins? There's a whole list of sins, after all. Why aren't we seeing THESE groups?
  • God's Children Aren't Greedy

  • I Won't Envy

  • We Will Not Gossip

  • Slandering is Bad

  • I Am Not Arrogant!

  • I Will Obey My Parents

Perhaps the fake organizations above don't exist because...um...we're sinners. And, as James notes:

James 2:10 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

So even if a True Love Waits boy holds to that particular promise, that one time that he failed to take out the trash for Mom invalidates his faithfulness.

We can't save ourselves.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Great points, Ontario! Maybe we should stop making oaths.
Since I'm on the history kick, THIS is the reason why you do not have to "solemnly swear" Constitutional oaths. You can just "affirm" them.
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link