Hugo Schwyzer meditates on the old conundrum: Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?
Hugo, a professor, describes himself as a progressive evangelical Christian, and he knows a thing or two about changes in sexual mores over time. And he has put that knowledge to work annihilating an enormous, empty straw man:
"I'd go so far as to suggest that for those of us raised in a more sexually tolerant and affluent culture, when we go to the altar with our college degrees and our IRAs and our own set of past physical experiences, we can offer our new spouse the radical assurance that we are truly marrying them for who they are, not for what we will finally be allowed to do!"
"I didn't get married to have licit sex," he insists. "I didn't get
married because I'd starve without a wife."
Um, duh. Nobody, I repeat, frickin' nobody has ever told me, "See-Dub, me and Elvira are really hittin' it off good. And me and her would like to have us some sex, but the Bible says we gotta get hitched first. So for that reason and that reason alone, we are going to the drive-through chapel this evening and then we will spend the rest of our lives together. But whatever, we got to go have that sex right now."
Doesn't happen. And if it ever does happen, it happens to people with such amazingly constricted time horizons that they must be mental children.
Oh, people do dumb things for sex, all right. People in the Middle East explode in crowded pizzerias and buses for a shot at their 72 virgins. But even they won't get married for it.
Maybe people are getting married too young, but I think this is caused more by economics and culture than religion. On the other hand, enjoying the "free milk" for too long has led many people to start planning for marriage too late. I'd be interested in hearing more of Schwyzer's argument on this, but only if he were to represent more seriously the traditional Christian view of chastity.
Hat tip to XRLQ.