sex not dishonorable, but sacred

Brandon Davies has been dismissed from the BYU basketball team–for having sex with his girlfriend.  The Brigham Young University Honor Code includes “live a chaste and virtuous life,” according to an ESPN story.  I do admire BYU for sticking by its code, even though losing a star player may hurt their chances to win the NCAA Tournament (the Cougars are ranked as high as #3 in the country, currently). 

However, I wish their code did not confuse “chastity” and “virtue.”  Sex between consenting adults, who are not married to other people, is *not* dishonorable.  As the Religious Institute  points out, sex is a life-giving and life-fulfilling gift…sexuality is “central to our humanity” and “integral to our spirituality.”

The Institute’s “Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing” stipulates, “Our faith traditions celebrate the goodness of creation, including our bodies and our sexuality.  We sin when this sacred gift is abused or exploited.  However, the great promise of our traditions is love, healing and restored relationship.”

Please consider joining the “Faithful Voices on Sexuality and Religion,” whose pledge is simply “As a person of faith, I support sexual health, education and justice in faith communities and society.”

6 comments to sex not dishonorable, but sacred

  • I belong to a faith in which one common text says, “for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.” However, I believe that BYU was right to drop the student from the team. He had joined the team knowing what the honor code was, and what it said. He broke that code. End of story. Perhaps now he has learned what such restrictive beliefs mean, and will transfer to another school where he can be himself and still play. But in the meantime, I cannot fault BYU for being BYU.

  • Kellie

    I think the point is that it’s not the end of the story. As stated in the first post, following rules you agree to is having virtue. However, there is nothing wrong, in the opinion of this writer, for personal intimacy to find expression in physical intimacy. No one knows Brandon’s heart and as is clearly declared in the Christian tradition, “Judge not that you be not judged.” And, of course, “be not judged” means judged by God who is the only one who can judge the human heart. In my experience, judgment = fear = hate.

  • Robin Edgar

    Needless to say I am very much in agreement with Joel’s comment Chip and will repost a corrected version of what I said on your other blog –

    :However, I wish their code did not confuse “chastity” and “virtue.”

    What makes you think that Brigham Young University Honor Code confuses “chastity” and “virtue” Chip?

    The Brigham Young University Honor Code clause which says -

    Live a chaste and virtuous life

    Can be readily interpreted as meaning -

    Live a life that is both chaste and virtuous.

    No?

    Be honest. . . :-)

    :Sex between consenting adults, who are not married to other people, is *not* dishonorable. As the Religious Institute points out, sex is a life-giving and life-fulfilling gift…sexuality is “central to our humanity” and “integral to our spirituality.”

    Sex between consenting adults, who are not married to other people, is in fact dishonorable if one has made a pledge to live a chaste life. This is true not only in terms of the Brigham Young University Honor Code but in terms of other pledges of chastity such as those of Roman Catholic priests and Buddhist monks etc.

  • Robin, I do not understand your point–do you think that BYU does not consider chastity a virtue? My point is that they make too big a deal of chastity, essentially ignoring a discussion of how to have a *responsible* sexual relationship. On that note, I do agree with your expansion, that sex between consenting adults *can* be dishonorable, if one of the adults made a prior pledge of celibacy, or in certain cases where one of the adults has significant power over the other (in which case, I question whether consent can actually be granted or not)

  • Robin Edgar

    I guess we are arguing over semantics here more than anything else Chip, specifically the truth and meaning of the your use of the word “confuse”.

    I am simply pointing out that BYU may not consider chastity and virtue to be one and the same thing, even if they do consider these two qualities to be closely related. For example, the Second Principle of U*Uism calls upon U*Us to “affirm and promote” -

    Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

    Does the Second Principle *confuse* “justice” and/with “compassion”?

    I think not.

    I understood your point is that BYU “make too big a deal of chastity”, and even personally agree with you on that point, however BYU *is* a Mormon institution and has a right to expect its students to adhere to community standards that are established by the Mormon religious community. Mormons are by no means the only religious group to believe that pre-marital sex is a no-no. Your point made in this blog post *could* be seen as an attempt, or at least a desire, to impose U*U values regarding human sexuality and “family values” on Mormons.

    No?

  • JacktheLeper

    Did they make a video?

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