Lent is a special time for Catholics. All the guilty feeling from the rest of the year coming roaring back for those special 40 days between Fat Tuesday and Easter. And, in order to better love Jesus, sacrifices are made. Some people give up caffeine or alcohol or burritos and others decide that abstinence is the best way to get in God's good graces. Is giving up sex really the best way to show tell Jesus thanks for dying for our sins? Probably not. Instead, try doing something new and adventurous.
Religion, faith and spiritualiy are essential components of a relationship—or are they? Religion is a fraught topic in today's society, and YourTango wants to help answer your questions about interfaith relationships, conversion, sex and religion, dating someone of a different faith, spirituality and religion within marriage and other questions. Check out our stories below to learn more about the intersection of love, sex and religion.
Many Christians are dealing with the conflict between religion and divorce in the same way Henry VIII did, by redefining how they interact approach their faith. "When I sat down and thought about my divorce and my faith," says Dr. Linda Seger, who holds her doctorate in theology from The Graduate Theological Union, "I thought, if it's true that a divorced person can't get remarried, and find happiness after the misery of a marriage, then a bad marriage is the only unforgiveable sin. I could murder someone, serve my time, be forgiven, and start life again and, possibly, find happiness. But this would mean that I couldn't marry someone, divorce him, and then find happiness through love and marriage."
If you're sick of meeting meshuganas online and you're ready to find a real mensch, then JDate.com wants you to stop kvetshing and join their international online dating community of over 650,000 Jewish (and many non-Jewish) singles. While JDate was created in 1997 to help Jews find their besherts, singles of every faith are finding JDate to be a real brocheh.
The United Nations estimates that 5,000 women worldwide are killed each year in the name of preserving a family's honor. The transgressions that these women commit to justify their deaths? Being raped, wearing Western clothing, marrying a man from the wrong sect or community, and communicating with men on Facebook, to name a few. Often, their brothers or fathers carry out the murders themselves. Pakistan is currently under the media lens after a member of its Parliament vindicated the mass killings of five women--three teenagers deemed guilty of dishonor after attempting to marry without their families' permission and two older women who tried to stop them from being killed--as "centuries old traditions," ones he vowed he would continue to defend.
Intimacy Ignited. Satisfy My Thirsty Soul. No, these aren’t the latest adult DVD releases. They are a handful of the new trend in sex advice books for Christians. According to ABC News, a wave of younger, more progressive Christians are looking to shed the guilt once associated with sex.
Is religion an essential factor to the foundation of a strong family? Torang Sepah tells the story of how love brought her to a new spirituality. "Six months after we married, we began discussing the idea of conversion. Ron and I had both been raised in secular homes, and he felt connected to Judaism on a cultural, rather than religious, level. I, on the other hand, have never really felt tied to Islam. I believe in gay marriage—and I believe that a woman can do anything a man can do. I don’t think there’s a lot of room in Islam for liberal, or even moderate, viewpoints. With Judaism, I felt like there was still a way for me to be progressive. Though Ron told me early on that he didn’t need me to change religions, I decided I wanted to convert—for love, and for the family we would raise."
From The Globe and Mail By Siri Agrell Richard Davies was reading The New York Times books section when he spotted a full-page advertisement for sex guides. A spokesman for Victoria-based online book retailer Abe Books, Mr. Davies wondered what kind of guides his customers were ordering, and ran a search of the company's database.
My boyfriend during my freshman year of Brown was a 6'5'' black guy from Philly who played power forward on the basketball team. One of the main reasons I was drawn to him was that I knew my parents wouldn’t approve. They are what you might call liberal conservatives: They’re NPR-listening, cultured, Democratic-voting Jews, but my mom doesn’t like women with visible bra straps, and my dad doesn’t feel comfortable around black men. It didn’t work out with the basketball player and by the time I graduated I was still single. I moved into an apartment in Brooklyn with some roommates, and at night I barhopped with a girlfriend who had guys falling left and right for her because she smoked and knew how to appear disinterested. I threw myself at every 120-pound drummer who gave me a second glance.
More and more people are finding themselves engaged in "nontraditional" relationships; which leaves the traditional definition of family (a heterosexual couple marrying to have children) increasingly ambiguous. Here Susan Piver wonders whether the absence of a child is indicative of the absence of family with couples.
Can sex be considered an expression of spirituality? Thomas Moore unravels truth about sexuality and religion, tying together the concept of body and soul. From ancient mythology to present day beliefs, sex has played an important role and evolved through time.
Every month for twelve days after her period, Orthodox Jews can't touch each other. No sex, no back rubs—they can't even pass each other the salt at the dinner table. Before a husband and wife can reconnect the woman goes to the mikvah, the ritual bath that makes her clean, or kosher, again. Are these rules frustrating? Yes. And sexy as hell. In one woman's words, "As I listened to one woman after another bemoan her sad sex life, I thought about how, after five years of marriage, Avy and I are hotter than ever. Suddenly, I felt very religious." In this essay Lynne Meredith Schreiber describes the passion of a strict Jewish marriage.