Contemporary Ethical Issues

For this assignment, please answer the following questions in a short paper that is no less than two pages in length and isdouble spaced. Please be sure that any references or citations used are in APA format.In Love Your Enemy: Sex, Power, and Christian Ethics, Karen Labacqz calls attention to the fact that places of deepintimacy and places that should be safe for women may be very dangerous. She also examines how our culture eroticizesdominance. In such an environment, she suggests women have to approach men with a hermeneutic of suspicion. Whatdo you think of her proposal? Where do her ideas challenge your thinking?

We turn now to actual moral issues that confront us and our society, and the first issues we will address arethose of sexuality and marriage. Our society is obsessed with sexuality, and yet it is one of the most taboo oftopics. It will not be taboo for us.The Christian tradition has for much of its history had a very negative attitude toward sexuality. This stemslargely from a false dichotomy introduced to Christianity when Greek philosophy infiltrated the thinking of thechurch and when the Greek split between body and soul was adopted by the church. Along with this came theidea that things physical are evil and bad while things spiritual are good and holy (Jung & Jung, 2013).Modern biblical scholarship has shown that this way of thinking is not found in the Jewish or Christianscriptures. In fact, in the first creation story of Genesis, God created the physical world, and when he createdhumans, the first thing he commanded them to do was to be fruitful and multiply. Then God looked at all hemade and said, Indeed, it is very good. That means that the physical world and human sexuality are all apart of Gods good creation.Despite a new evaluation of sexuality in the biblical tradition, for most of Christian history, sexuality has beenseen as a necessary evil and as sin. The holiest life came to be viewed as the celibate life, the life thatrefrained from sexual activity.The Puritan tradition that settled on the shores of the New World carried great influence in shaping Americanculture. One could crassly characterize the Puritan tradition as believing that if something is fun and/orenjoyable it must be sin. It could be argued that this Puritan tradition has deeply influenced and shaped ourUNIT III STUDY GUIDESexual Intimacy and Marriageand FamilyREL 2050, Contemporary Ethical Issues 2UNIT x STUDY GUIDETitleculture and that part of that heritage is our uptightness about sexuality. For instance, sex scandals are bignews. Somehow, in our culture, sexual sins are raised above others as more egregious sins.The first article in this chapter examines the hookup culture that seems to dominate, especially on residentialcollege campuses with traditional-aged college students. This article was eye opening for me in that I was notaware of how pervasive hooking up is. I have asked my students if it is true on our campus as well, and fromwhat they have told me, I have come to believe it is. The article notes how this behavior reverses thetraditional order in which things happen in intimate relationships. Zimmerman states that relationship now maybegin with sex rather than sex being the final stage to develop in a relationship (as cited in Jung & Jung,2013). The implications of this for fostering a sexual double standard and hindering the development ofmeaningful, lasting, intimate relationships are discussed by Zimmerman in this article (as cited in Jung &Jung, 2013).In his essay on good sex, Dennis Hollinger contrasts our modern iWorld (a world that holds to the belief thatexpanding human rights will lead to more happiness) with the tWorld (a world that holds to the belief thatsociety and culture are founded on relationships born out of marriage and the extended family) (as cited inJung & Jung, 2013). He then very honestly looks at how throughout most of the churchs history, it has nottreated sexual matters well or in a way faithful to the scriptures. He concludes the historical section bypointing out that the church has two realities about sex that need to be affirmed for our time, finitude andfallenness. First, he points out that sexual relations have been given far greater significance than is properand that sexuality has become a form of idolatry. His article closes with a constructive proposal for a new faithperspective on marriage, and he advises that sexual relations have four purposes: (1) the consummation of amarriage–the physical uniting of two people as one; (2) procreation; (3) love; and (4) pleasure. He concludesthat these purposes for sexual relations can only be realized in the marriage between a man and a woman(Hollinger as cited in Jung & Jung 2013).In her essay, Karen Labacqz raises awareness about the precarious position women are in when developingintimate relationships. She looks at how common violence is in sexual relations with women and how ourculture romanticizes male dominance over women to the point where women may even think it erotic untilthey actually experience it. She includes some horrifying statistics about the extent of violence against womenboth inside and outside of marriage. Because of the dangerous reality for women in romantic relationships,Labacqz suggests women approach men with a hermeneutic of suspicion. (as cited in Jung & Jung, 2013, p.128) That word hermeneutic may be new to you. A hermeneutic is a way of interpreting life, a way of makingsense out of life. Labacqz suggests that women look at life with suspicion toward men, but then she points outthat this does not make romantic, intimate relationships impossible. They are still possible if one remembersthat Jesus told his followers to love their enemies. Labacqz states that from a hermeneutic of suspicion, awoman can still come to love a man, even recognizing that he is a potential enemy (as cited in Jung & Jung,2013).Next, we turn to marriage and the new reality that for the first time in history, less than 50 percent ofAmericans are married (Jung & Jung, 2013). There is a variety of reasons for this ranging from financialrealities to viewing it as an antiquated institution that ties people together in unhappy relationships (Jung &Jung 2013). This chapter explores Christian responses to issues of cohabitation, marriage, and divorce.From a Roman Catholic perspective, Lawler and Ritsch look at current research concerning the differencebetween people who are living together with no intent to marry versus those who live together with the intentto marry. They draw upon the ancient churchs practice of betrothal in which becoming married was a processthat included living together in a relationship that was consummated in the marriage ceremony. Thatconsummation came in a ceremony that often followed sexual intercourse. Lawler and Ritsch propose thatdrawing on this ancient tradition, the church could bless those living together with the intent to get marriedrather than seeing it as living in sin. They also propose that living together with the intent to marry could beseen as growing in grace (as cited in Jung & Jung, 2013).In a sermon, Judith Ewing turns to the ugly reality of domestic abuse in marriages and considers the issue ofdivorce. She points out that in the majority of cases, when domestic abuse arises in a marriage, it usuallyescalates. She looks at the biblical story to see that Gods intent for marriage is for people to live together asequals in mutually uplifting relationships and that God does not call us to remain in destructive and dangerousrelationships. Ewing is really making the case that divorce is a lesser evil than the evil of being in an abusivemarriage (as cited in Jung & Jung, 2013).REL 2050, Contemporary Ethical Issues 3UNIT x STUDY GUIDETitleElizabeth Marquardt studies the effect of divorce on children, and she concludes that from a childsperspective, there just is no good divorce. She points out that children of divorce lose their childhood andhave a significantly higher rate of social and emotional problems. Most interesting in Marquardts study is thatfact that children of divorce are less likely to see themselves as religious or to be regularly involved inworship. Marquardt suggests that if people realized that since two-thirds of divorces happen in low-conflictmarriages and that there just is no good divorce for children, then they may be more prone to stick it out andfind ways to make the marriage work (as cited in Jung & Jung, 2013).In What God Has Joined, we have a Baptist pastor, Rev. Dr. David Instone-Brewer, struggling with Jesusand Pauls teaching on divorce. Out of his study to bring some understanding to this struggle, he finds thatthere were two reasons for divorce in ancient Judaism, one for unfaithfulness and one for any cause. He findsthat what Jesus was critical of in his teaching on divorce was the any cause divorce, which had made divorcefar too easy to obtain in that historic context. Instone-Brewer finds three circumstances in the scripture whereGod allows divorce: adultery, emotional and physical neglect, and abandonment and abuse. Also, InstoneBrewer is also suggesting that divorce may be too easy and that perhaps this biblical framework could give ussome guidance in our day (as cited in Jung & Jung, 2013).ReferenceJung, L. S., & Jung, P. B. (Eds.). (2013). Moral issues and Christian responses (8th ed.). Minneapolis, MN:Fortress Press.

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