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The dying wish of terminally ill 15-year-old has sparked debate
December 22, 2001 11:04 AM   Subscribe

The dying wish of terminally ill 15-year-old has sparked debate over whether it was appropriate that it be granted. His wish: to lose his virginity before he died. His friends arranged for a prostitute to grant his wish outside of hospital grounds earlier this month without the knowledge or consent of his parents. He died last week.
posted by MegoSteve (82 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
May he rest in peace.
posted by keithl at 11:07 AM on December 22, 2001


what a strange arrangement to wish for!, but yes - R.I.P
posted by monkeyJuice at 11:24 AM on December 22, 2001


He had some nice friends. Good for them!
posted by kristin at 11:27 AM on December 22, 2001


The Dutch have had sex workers as part of health-care for some time, now. Some newly disabled people suffer severe emotional distress because of the fact that a disfigurement has suddenly left them unattractive, and as far as the rest of the world is concerned, a non-sexual creature. Having sex workers have regular sessions with these people has done nothing but good, from the reports I've seen.

I do wonder if it would have been such a big deal if it was a 45-year-old virgin, instead of a fifteen year old one. Somehow I think that he would've been dismissed as a pervert, not a dying man with desires.
posted by Jairus at 11:34 AM on December 22, 2001


I think it was appropriate. When I was 15 and filled with hormones, I was eager to know what it was like and what all the fuss was about. It's a primal, human urge that all of us have felt (and most have acted upon).

Could anyone here imagine what it would be like to know your end is near without ever being through that major life experience?

To be frank, it's not a difficult wish to grant. There's no major hurdles like travel or expense that many terminally ill wishes require. It's a natural act, albeit available in "unnatural" ways for a fee.

It didn't come as a surprise to hear it happened outside the US, I couldn't imagine that ever taking place in America. Not all countries have such an dark view of sexuality, I had also heard about how the forward-thinking Dutch gov't, in addition to sending out meals-on-wheels types of services to shut-ins, pays for prostitute visits to those confined to their apartments. While at first it sounds shocking, what is the alternative?
posted by mathowie at 11:44 AM on December 22, 2001 [1 favorite]


Jairus, yeah, that line never worked for me.
posted by cps at 11:45 AM on December 22, 2001


Jack must have been pretty cool if his friends did that for him. BTW, how much do you think it was?
posted by v@d!m at 11:48 AM on December 22, 2001


U.S. culture is so weird about sex and violence. Destroying life = fine, all over TV, kids can witness it no problem; creating it = bad bad evil.

Apparently those crazy Europeans have the two mixed up.
posted by cps at 11:49 AM on December 22, 2001


BTW, how much do you think it was?

I was wondering that too. It would've been cool if the lady did it for free. You know, kind of like charity.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:49 AM on December 22, 2001


I think this was made up. If this boy was that ill I doubt he would have been in any condition....
posted by bunnyfire at 11:53 AM on December 22, 2001


Go on my son! That boy's an example to us all.
posted by dlewis at 12:05 PM on December 22, 2001


Whoops, didn't read the link first (<-- me bad). It's not the Europeans, it's the Ozzies who have it all upside down!

Hmmm. bunnyfire, you might have a point.

"The debate was sparked by the hospital's child psychologist, who wrote a letter to Life Matters, a radio show in which academics debate ethical and moral dilemmas. The scenario was presented in the abstract, with no details about the boy's identity."

Nonetheless, it's an interesting idea. I would have asked for a nurse uniform surprise, but that's me.
posted by cps at 12:06 PM on December 22, 2001


Another story at The Daily Telegraph, with a bit more information.
posted by Jairus at 12:06 PM on December 22, 2001


Isn't it statutory rape for an adult to have sex with a 15 year old?
posted by srboisvert at 12:27 PM on December 22, 2001


He died last week...
...a happy man.
posted by quonsar at 12:28 PM on December 22, 2001


What if Jack was Jane? How would you feel about this if it was a 15-year-old girl dying of cancer requesting to lose her virginity as her dying wish? As I read this story and ensuing thread, I was quick to agree that this was a good thing for the 15-year-old boy, but when I thought of this situation happening to a girl, I had to really struggle with it. I want it to be OK for the girl too, in fairness. But it *is* somehow different, more "wrong-feeling", to me. Is this society's double-standard affecting me no matter how hard I fight it?
posted by rio at 1:16 PM on December 22, 2001


Actually, if Jack was Jane, then this would be The Theory of Flight, with Helena Bonham Carter.

I actually thought of that movie immediately after reading the article.

Felt the need to point this out so strongly that i joined up to post for the first time.
posted by cosmicmouse at 1:19 PM on December 22, 2001


If Jack were Jane, I don't think there would have been much of a problem finding someone in her own age group to grant her wish.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:24 PM on December 22, 2001


available in "unnatural" ways
..one could argue that this act is not at all unnatural.. indeed such behaviour is observed in primates.. giveing one thing in exchange for sexual favours. Afterall he didnt ask for a long term or even short relationship, he just wanted the act and paying for it is perfectly natural and very human IMO. Its only sad he had to barter the fact he was about to die to get it, he probably felt afterwards cheated that he couldnt have done it more often and sooner.
posted by stbalbach at 1:24 PM on December 22, 2001


This is really a touching story, an appropriate end to a sadly premature life. For the doubting Thomases content to point to the placard that reads "You must be taller than this mark to lose your virginity," wouldn't this kind of unexpected road trip to death greatly expedite this boy's maturity?

Besides, what the prospective Bible thumpers fail to realize here is that most people are going to lose their virginity around this age anyway.
posted by ed at 1:30 PM on December 22, 2001


Hahahaha, I just had this thought a month ago, imagining someone requesting this from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. So awesome.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 1:36 PM on December 22, 2001


chris rock said something to the effect of:

"you're gonna die johnny, whadda ya wanna go to disneyland?"

"nah i want some big titties in my face"
posted by vito90 at 1:49 PM on December 22, 2001


srboisvert: Isn't it statutory rape for an adult to have sex with a 15 year old?

Yes, which is a large part of the problem, of course. Had he been old enough to legally have sex, his dying wish would have been simply a problem of logistics. So, yes, the sex worker committed statutory rape--a felony--in the process.

Of course, the 15 year old solicited a prostitute, which is also a crime. The folks who helped him find the prostitute are likely liable for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The prostitute is, well, a prostitute and thus is also liable for that as well. And, by protecting a felon (the sex worker) from prosecution, the doctor and/or Jack's friends are likely liable for aiding and abetting as well, and perhaps charges for being accessories.

Although it's a terrible shame the boy would have died without ever having sex, laws are still laws. I know that my boy John Ashcroft will do the right thing and hunt these lawless hooligans down and lock them up like the dogs they are. Of course, even though Jack has "escaped", perhaps we'll get lucky and see a posthumous conviction for solicitation--as a warning to the terminally ill out there who might consider such a dastardly plot for themselves.
posted by Swifty at 2:05 PM on December 22, 2001


Well, bunnyfire's comment also raises the question "what is sex?"

If Jack was looking for contact and sensual touch with a girl/woman and some stimulus, that was probably quite possible. Sex for a man doesn't have to mean orgasm inside a woman's vagina.

It is too sad that we think that sexual desire is a perversion instead of a basic need and that all sex workers demean sexuality. And even sadder that we think it more perverted if girls and women have physical and sexual desires.
posted by Red58 at 2:13 PM on December 22, 2001


Swifty said: The prostitute is, well, a prostitute and thus is also liable for that as well.

Actually, prostitution is legal in Australia, so there would be no penalty for it as such. I don't know offhand what the age of consent is in Australia, though, so the pro that fulfilled Jack's wish may or may not be liable in that sense.
posted by RylandDotNet at 2:36 PM on December 22, 2001


Within the last couple of years, haven't there also been stories of a teenager wanting to marry his girlfriend (couldn't find a link for that), and another teen getting his wish granted to go bear hunting in Alaska?

This seems a pretty reasonable request. I just think it's kind of sad that it had to be done without his parents' knowledge. God forbid I should ever be in that position, but if my son (or daughter) were dying and that was the wish, I'd give him my blessing.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:40 PM on December 22, 2001


Leaving aside the moral question for a moment, I am mightily disturbed by the fact they all made an end run around the parents....and if said parents ever find out all holy hell is going to break out, most likely.

As a Christian, it bothers me that the young man wasn't a little more concerned about preparing to meet his Maker....if his "religious" parents were not able to help him make that connection with God earlier in life that is heartbreaking in the extreme. As fantastic as sex is, God is still going to call that particular act fornication no matter what the rest of us think about it....

If it were my kid I would bust a gut to arrange a marriage for him quick-how many of you would be telling me i was a nutcase in that scenario?
posted by bunnyfire at 2:53 PM on December 22, 2001


I believe that the age of consent in Australia is 16.
posted by X-00 at 3:01 PM on December 22, 2001


I believe that the reason they made an 'end run' around the parents was because the boy (Jack) didn't want to discuss it with his parents -- too embarassed to do so. So what should they have done then? Told the parents beforehand and risk tarnishing this boy's wish by instigating an embarrassing conversation that he didn't want with his parents?

And had I been one of his parents and found out later what happened, I don't think I would have caused 'all holy hell' to break out. I'd be happy that my boy's wishes were fulfilled, and that he died happy. To me, that would be more important than the fact that I was deceived slightly.
posted by crawl at 3:06 PM on December 22, 2001


Kids have sexual relationships with each other whether you make laws about it or not. (Most kids only have sexual relationships with themselves though) Granted, it is more wholsome if their sexual relationships are with their own agegroup, but in this case I'm sure we're able to make an exception. I mean, it is not as if he had to risk any long term emotional injuries.

And really, why isn't all this HIS business and his ALONE? Nobody got hurt, right?
posted by cx at 3:21 PM on December 22, 2001


Depends on your definition of "hurt".
posted by bunnyfire at 3:48 PM on December 22, 2001


That kid was smart, he understood he was going to die and he wanted to experience something good ; I don't see anything wrong with that ; and he really had a good friend. R.I.P boy
posted by elpapacito at 3:49 PM on December 22, 2001


My computer is slowly dying. I think I will arrange him a cybersex session with an AIM bot.
posted by michel v at 3:53 PM on December 22, 2001


Sex with a prostitute is IMHO much less vacuous an experience than Disneyland or the oh-so-cliched and saccharine swimming with dolphins. What I do find disturbing is he chose that one thing, loveless sex, as his dying wish. It seems... I don't know... a very lonely way to go.
posted by RokkitNite at 4:00 PM on December 22, 2001


As a Christian, it bothers me that the young man wasn't a little more concerned about preparing to meet his Maker....if his "religious" parents were not able to help him make that connection with God earlier in life that is heartbreaking in the extreme. As fantastic as sex is, God is still going to call that particular act fornication no matter what the rest of us think about it....

Is this the same maker that chose to take this boy from the earth at age 15?
posted by vito90 at 4:40 PM on December 22, 2001


I hope it was good, since he's gonna BURN IN HELL

/sarcasm

If god cares that much about one act, I don't want to be in his heaven.
posted by Mick at 5:06 PM on December 22, 2001


I don't think it was God's will for him to die of cancer....if it was why did Jesus go around healing all those people???

God's ultimate will is for us to be happy, healthy, whole and in fellowship with Him.
posted by bunnyfire at 5:18 PM on December 22, 2001


Oh-by the letter of the law I 'd be going to hell too-my past covers a bit more ground than that kid's did.....the point is you either choose the path of Grace or you don't.

And for all we know that kid could have decided that he needed to repent, took care of business with God, received forgiveness, and gone on to be with the Lord.

We don't know.......

But we can all agree it is a sad story.
posted by bunnyfire at 5:21 PM on December 22, 2001


Rokkitnite -- "Sex with a prostitute is IMHO much less vacuous an experience than Disneyland or the oh-so-cliched and saccharine swimming with dolphins."

Well, that would depend < -- b>not worksafe
posted by cps at 5:34 PM on December 22, 2001


As fantastic as sex is, God is still going to call that particular act fornication no matter what the rest of us think about it

Hey bunny, isn't there something in the bible about putting words in God's mouth? I don't see how your religious moral stance and use of meaningless terms like 'path of Grace' even have a bearing on this kid's last wish. I think you should give him credit for finding his own way to end his life and realize whats makes sense for bunnyfire may not make sense for anyone but bunnyfire.

As a Christian you disapprove, we get it. What I don't get is why you can't see that your cosmology and moral system is personal to you and does not apply to others. Your smug condemnation of this kid and complete lack of tolerance and refusal to consider other moral and religious systems only helps to reinforce the ignorant bible-thumping Christian stereotype.

But we can all agree it is a sad story.

No we can't. Think of all the dying people who wished they could have pulled this stunt off but never did. This looks more like a truimph than anything else.

God's ultimate will is for us to be happy, healthy, whole and in fellowship with Him.

That's an opinion based on faith, which is in reality a meaningless and subjective statement. I don't know why you feel the need to preach nonsense like this. I think it would be more conductive to discourse if you realized that the diverse audiece you're speaking to isn't receptive to warm-and-fuzzy Christian platitudes.
posted by skallas at 5:47 PM on December 22, 2001


cps -- a link about the mechanics of having sex with a fish -- that's not appropriate where you work? I feel so sorry for you, you should really go find a more enlightened employer.
posted by luser at 6:12 PM on December 22, 2001


well skallas, as his parents are religious, according to the article, I think my comments are apropriate.

And if i am right, then my beliefs apply to everybody, not just me. If I am wrong, well apparently you aren't changing your activities based on anything I say anyway so I don't see the problem.
posted by bunnyfire at 6:17 PM on December 22, 2001


If it were my kid I would bust a gut to arrange a marriage for him quick-how many of you would be telling me i was a nutcase in that scenario?

I would definitely be in the camp calling you a nutcase. Setting aside the fact that it would obviously not be a marriage based on love, and the fidelity vows would essentially mean nothing since neither of them will have time to cheat...what about the trauma to the poor girl you're going to marry him to? And is she going to be in his age group? A 15 year-old widow who was rushed into a marriage with a boy she wasn't in love with? Wonderful.
posted by bingo at 6:34 PM on December 22, 2001


It seems... I don't know... a very lonely way to go.

Aren't they all?
posted by muckster at 6:36 PM on December 22, 2001


I think a dying 15 year old should recieve whatever they want, no matter what it is.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 6:56 PM on December 22, 2001


Damn, skallas, lighten up! If you dislike bunnyfire's post so much, just ignore it. You can also state that you disagree without delivering a browbeating, you know.

Anyway, buffyfire, it the grand scheme of moral offenses, wanting to experience sex before he died isn't so bad. It isn't as though he even had the option of living a long and normal life with a wife of his choosing. I honestly have a hard time imagining that G-d would feel any less pity for the boy than I do.
posted by CalvinTheBold at 7:05 PM on December 22, 2001


I think a dying 15 year old should recieve whatever they want, no matter what it is.

Thanks now I have a lump in my throat. ;-)
posted by ยน1 at 7:07 PM on December 22, 2001


Bunnyfire, sorry I misspelled your name.

... no matter what it is

I'm not so sure about this one. Almost anything, yes. Say "anything that doesn't hurt anyone else or inflict needless cruelty to animals" and I'll wholeheartedly agree.
posted by CalvinTheBold at 7:12 PM on December 22, 2001


I was a dying 15 year old once. I was told people with my condition are 100% terminal. It just takes anywhere from one minute up to 100 years for the old ticker to stop.

The disease is called Life.

I think a dying 15 year old should recieve whatever they want, no matter what it is.

I can think of two kids in Columbine who I wish hadn't got what they wanted as their deathwishes.

I am skeptical about this story because I don't think anyone who is so terminally ill for their entire life that they can't even form friendships could even get it going. The few people who I knew with terminal cancer certainly wouldn't have been capable.

My take is that sex with a minor is wrong unless you are from the same age group. Prostitute or otherwise. I can just see the pedophiles starting to prowl the make a list foundation offices now offering to do some 'charity work'.

That said, when I was 15 I would have been willing to have sex with almost any women who was interested regardless of age so I can understand where this kid is coming from. You don't have to be dying to be desperate to get laid.
posted by srboisvert at 7:15 PM on December 22, 2001


Here's to commemorate.
posted by ( . )( . ) at 7:26 PM on December 22, 2001


"My take is that sex with a minor is wrong unless you are from the same age group. "

What, exactly, would you define the "same age group" as? 12-16? 14-18? 15-21?

I was initiated into the wonders of sex by a woman nine years my elder (I 13, she 22). I don't feel scarred, or warped, or perverted. I'm thankful she took the time to show me how lovely a physical act between two loving people can be.

Of course, YMMV.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:25 PM on December 22, 2001


I doubt this story. How reliable is nationalpost.com?

The Australian newspaper quoted, The (Sydney) Daily Telegraph, is a Murdoch rag.

Here is the story from the ABC.

It looks like a hypothetical to me.
posted by emf at 8:27 PM on December 22, 2001


bunnyfire and skallas - arguing about religion is silly cause noone wins("proof denies faith" and all that) and all that happens is feelings get hurt unnecccesarily.

That said, Bunnyfire, as much as I(and probably most MeFi'ers) respect your beliefs, this isn't a pulpit, or a likely breeding ground for converts.

And Skallas-

"the diverse audiece you're speaking to isn't receptive to to warm-and-fuzzy Christian platitudes."

Well as diverse as we are maybe it would behoove you not to try to speak for all of us. Your statement is dangerously close to religious bigotry. If you don't think so, try substituting "Jewish" or "Islamic" for "Christian" in that statement and see how offensive it sounds.
posted by jonmc at 10:06 PM on December 22, 2001


I'm sure someone has already said it, but the age of consent in Australia is 16. And I don't think the police would really care much about age of consent unless there was rape involved. So legally, at any rate, his age isn't that important.
posted by eoz at 12:46 AM on December 23, 2001


well skallas, as his parents are religious, according to the article, I think my comments are apropriate.

Not in this article, and they're certainly not described as bunnyfire-like Christians so really your comments aren't appropriate or applicable. So much for arm-chair theology eh?
posted by skallas at 2:04 AM on December 23, 2001


Actually i'm in my computer chair.
posted by bunnyfire at 3:23 AM on December 23, 2001


If he had been 7 or 8, then it would have been a big deal. Pedophiles, by the strict definition of the world are not interested in 15 year olds, because a 15 year old is not a "child" by the strict definition of that word.

I just think its great that the people involved saw sense in this case and didn't try to protect the boy from himself, as society is wont to do with someone who hasn't undergone the grub to butterfly like metamorphosis that occurs at the stroke of midnight on the last day of one's 17th year.
posted by esquilax at 6:07 AM on December 23, 2001


If you love the world--the lust of men, the boasting, the lying--you will die to it.
posted by aaronshaf at 9:26 AM on December 23, 2001


God's ultimate will is for us to be happy, healthy, whole and in fellowship with Him.

If that's the case, wouldn't that be a good opportunity for God to get the whole omnipotence thing working for him?
posted by mcguirk at 10:30 AM on December 23, 2001


Actually I do personally know of people being healed of cancer. I also personally know a lady who died and was raised from the dead(heart problems...)If any of you are ever in my neck of the woods I will introduce you. She and her husband will be happy to share the story with you. And since we have several very well regarded medical doctors in leadership in our church, the story has been well checked out .

But you know, if it wasn't for the fact of husband, kids, and stuff I am supposed to do here, I wouldn't mind being healthy, happy and whole in Heaven with Jesus...He really is pretty awesome-not a spineless wimp like He has been portrayed too many times.......
And I think there are some surprises in heaven that will make sex seem like stale toast in comparison. Not that I have anything against toast.......
posted by bunnyfire at 11:00 AM on December 23, 2001


Which God? Who's God? We're on dangerous territory when people start speaking for God. I want nothing to do with a God who would deny something so spectacular as sex. If one believes the God idea, God made us sexual creatures. I sort of believe the world is divided between people who have had good sex and those who haven't. You either get sex or you don't. I am glad the dying young man did. I just hope it was up to his expectations.
posted by TeejNSF at 11:07 AM on December 23, 2001


If it were my kid I would bust a gut to arrange a marriage for him quick-how many of you would be telling me i was a nutcase in that scenario?

Me! Me!

Of course, I don't get my morals from some old book, but if I did, I would find lying to God and mocking a sacrament like marriage just to get laid while trying to dodge the consequences thereof extremely sacriligious, manipulative, devious, and wicked behavior.
posted by rushmc at 3:26 PM on December 23, 2001


well, maybe i think you are all heathens for thinking it is okay for helping a fifteen year old kid get laid behind his parents' backs. But I guess that wouldn't be polite to say, huh?

Thinking back to my previous post, maybe i would be a nutcase for my own solution to the problem, but I still think God's opinion outranks mine , yours, and the dog next doors. You got a problem with that, talk to Him yourself. I ain't arguing with him.
posted by bunnyfire at 6:44 PM on December 23, 2001


Bunnyfire, skallas. Smile.

God made sex. He also made gravity, ice cream, air conditioning, snow, you and me.

Those who allow Him to rule their lives have rules for sex. Hard and fast (no pun intended) rules which, in some peoples' minds, will separate the sinner from the righteous. Sometimes those rules will be broken, and I will not speak for God regarding the fate of someone who breaks a rule.

Bunnyfire, remember the tale of the prostitute and that other platitude you failed to mention: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." To you, skallas is right in that you may be giving other Christians a bad rep. Someone who calls him or herself a Christian but points the finger for someone else's evil deeds is a hypocrite. "judge not, for you will also be judged."

skallas, is this not an open forum, where people can feel free to express their views? To say that one's views are not welcome here is better left to he who runs the forum.
posted by schlaager at 9:41 PM on December 23, 2001


well, maybe i think you are all heathens for thinking it is okay for helping a fifteen year old kid get laid behind his parents' backs. But I guess that wouldn't be polite to say, huh?

I don't mind if you call me a "heathen;" it's an accurate adjective. I think the causality of your statement, implied by the "for," is false, however. I am a heathen because (according to dictionary.com) I am "irreligious" and "unconverted," not because of any position I may hold on sexual activity among the young and terminally ill.
posted by rushmc at 11:40 PM on December 23, 2001


Skallas and bunnyfire
Sitting in tree

etc...
posted by Frasermoo at 1:49 AM on December 24, 2001


ooops

that should read 'sitting in a tree'

I am rather hungover this morning.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:50 AM on December 24, 2001


> maybe i would be a nutcase for my own solution to the problem, but I still think God's opinion outranks mine

But what makes you think god's solution would be to fake a marriage so the kid could lose his virginity before he died? If you really believe in heaven & eternal life etc, is there really a point to making sure a 15 year old experiences great material pleasure before he goes? (yes material, as in actual, sensual, bodily, phenomenal etc)

In fact, the bible doesn't advocate carnal pleasure at all; it's acceptable in marriage of course, but xtianity is not about the bodily experience:


"To be carnally minded is death," says Paul, whereas "to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 7:14; 8:6) ('carnal' just means bodily)

Corinthians I - 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Luke 20:35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: (Jesus said that)

posted by mdn at 7:45 AM on December 24, 2001


you misinterpret what the bible means as carnal.

the works of the flesh are things like anger, disputing, greed, selfishness...the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering.....sheesh, do i need to start a bible study??????
posted by bunnyfire at 7:50 AM on December 24, 2001


not today please.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:24 AM on December 24, 2001


If it were my kid I would bust a gut to arrange a marriage for him quick-how many of you would be telling me i was a nutcase in that scenario?

gee, and Christians complain that sodomites like myself are destroying marriage for wanting legal recognition of our long-term spiritual relationships. And here we have a Christian proposing that we should arrange your legal marriage entirely so that a young kid could get some nookie!

Somebody on another board pointed out that the author of this article is a medical romance author. So I have doubts as to whether this really happened. Anyway, there are a number of serious problems with this entire scenario. No one has particularly addressed the fact that prostitution is a pretty nasty business for its workers ripe with extortion and abuse. We have here a hypothetical psychologist who is promoting a form of sexuality and that is probably not healthy for either the patient or the sex worker hired to get the patient off. And a part of me is strongly suspecting that this is a hoax written to jerk our chains a bit.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:31 AM on December 24, 2001


you misinterpret what the bible means as carnal.

the works of the flesh are things like anger, disputing, greed, selfishness


And you have absolutely no awareness of the level of subjective interpretation you are engaging in here, straying as far as you do from strict dictionary definitions?

I don't have any problem with your making such interpretation if you choose--that's the beauty and strength (and weakness) of metaphor and allegory, by their very nature. What is so offensive about so many Christians is their arrogance and blindness to their own subjectivity, interpretative choices, and limited perspective in the face of a much broader scope of potential (and often equally--or more--valid) interpretations. Such hubris!
posted by rushmc at 10:03 AM on December 24, 2001


There is a verse which goes something like "better to marry than to burn." I think that implies that marriage, for whatever reason, would be better than fornication.
posted by schlaager at 12:05 PM on December 24, 2001


bunnyfire, the other two quotes I offered specifically state that not marrying is more pure than engaging in marriage and therefore the things of this world. There are many religious traditions that find spirituality through denial of bodily pleasures and even infliction of pain / martyrdom. Christianity was certainly one of them, until protestants reinterpreted things in order to equalize all people.

I'm not saying any one way to look at things is better, but your claim that god would agree with you about this 15 yr old kid marrying in order to get laid seemed pretty arrogant, and I just thought I'd point out that if the bible were an accurate account of his wishes, god almost certainly wouldn't like your solution.

See, all this is why he couldn't share his wishes with his parents (if indeed this is a real story).
posted by mdn at 12:07 PM on December 24, 2001


If the story is true, there really is a hooker with a heart of gold. Bless her.
posted by Holden at 2:47 PM on December 24, 2001


the Bible says one way to spot a cult is that it forbids marriage...the belief that things pertaining to the physical body were evil is actually a heresy....i forget the name of it but one of my pastors was telling me about it a few months back...unfortunately somehow that particular early heretical belief system got wound up into a lot of the early Church. Doesn't make it accurate tho.
God created the physical material realm and called it Good.
posted by bunnyfire at 4:10 PM on December 24, 2001


There is a verse which goes something like "better to marry than to burn." I think that implies that marriage, for whatever reason, would be better than fornication.

Or, perhaps, that to marry is better than to go to hell--but I'll bet the margin is not so wide!
posted by rushmc at 4:12 PM on December 24, 2001


There is a verse which goes something like "better to marry than to burn." I think that implies that marriage, for whatever reason, would be better than fornication.

true, but on the other hand the Bible is filled with examples of people who God decided to smack down for following the letter of the law but not its spirit. I don't know of many churches that would endorse a marriage simply for the convenience of getting nookie.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:10 PM on December 24, 2001


Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn what "the Bible says." People who literalize metaphors and expect the rest of us to do the same frighten me. Fundamentalism is the biggest cause of human suffering I can think of. Why do bible-thumpers seem so arrogantly ignorant of the many religious myths around the globe? It's like the people who dismiss ideas or realities by saying "I don't believe in that." As that should end the discussion. "I don't believe in homosexuality." OH, well then, that settles that. I doesn't exist because you deny it. Believe what you believe but let's remove the religious voodoo and moral judgment from this boy's last wish and put it in human terms: He was dying he got what he wanted before he died. If there is any truth to this story, his last wish was granted and that should be celebrated not judged. Wasn't it that Christ dude that supposedly said something like Judge not lest you be judged"?
posted by TeejNSF at 10:24 AM on December 25, 2001


Look, I just want people to enjoy the afterlife, and have a great time getting to know a fantastic God-my only motive, believe me.....

you would think that with a topic that serious and permanent, that people would approach it with that sense of seriousness.....wouldn't you?

again, if you disagree with something God said, take it up with Him. I love Him, and I am not going to argue with Him.
posted by bunnyfire at 11:59 AM on December 25, 2001


again, if you disagree with something God said, take it up with Him. I love Him, and I am not going to argue with Him.

I'd take it up with him, but he doesn't exist, so that makes the conversation a bit more difficult. Maybe you should debate your beliefs with Frodo from Lord of the Rings. Sure, he doesn't exist either, but at least that incredibly long piece of arbitrary mythology is internally consistent.
posted by anildash at 1:00 PM on December 27, 2001


Religious discussions aside, I did have this to say on a related topic awhile back...Too late for the thread it's in and probably too late for here as well.
posted by y2karl at 1:14 PM on December 27, 2001


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