Homo-celibacy

Homo-celibacy

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Cage the El­ephant’s front­man, Matt Shultz has said that when he lacks in­spiration he runs outside, shoves his face into the soil, and breaths deep. Not be­cause he has a dirt fetish, but because he’s desperate to break the monotony of nor­mality—to discover what’s been in front of him all along by forcing himself into a different and uncomfortable mindset. Al­low this column to give you the good ol’ garden face-wash, with six fresh freaky philosophies. Join me this semester, in soiling yourself. What if two men or two wom­en recognized the beauty of their friendship—the potential for inti­macy—and decided to spend the rest of their lives together even though they aren’t attracted to each other? Not homosexual monogamy, but “homocelibacy”. The Bible only hints at this being a viable relation­ship alternative, with the characters of David and Jonathan, and Ruth and Naomi. The Bible’s account of both these relationships ending hints at the tragic yet inevitable tendency for humans to mistakenly identify themselves as creatures exclusively suited for a sexual partnership.

In the early 400’s BC, Plato used the term “eros” as the defining as­pect of our identity, but it wasn’t sexual. He described it as “different from a purely sexual love, in being the love that tends towards the sub­lime.” Eros, and thus our identity, was about our pursuit of the divine.

In the late 1600’s, however, John Locke pointed out that humans aren’t interested in pursuing God; we’re interested in pursuing our own comfortable self-preservation, of­ten at the expense of others. Locke stated that the only way we could successfully live as a free and equal society was if we agreed to a univer­sal set of rules: a contract of rights.

But one century later, Rous­seau argued that the concept of love doesn’t fit under a mere contractual agreement—it’s something more; it’s a covenant. Yet again, our focus shifted from loving ourselves to now loving each other. But in defending the altruism of love between hu­mans, Rousseau redefined “eros” as the love of humans, not God. Since sex is the most intimate expression of love between two humans, the purest form of “eros” became sexu­al. And just like that, 2000 years lat­er, our pursuit of pleasure—not the divine—defined our existence.

This transformation was com­pounded by the events of the 20th century. In the early 1900’s homo­sexuality evolved from a mere activity to an identity. Additionally, the sex­ual revolution of the 1960’s stripped whatever sacred values lingered around those identities, labelling sex as purely biological.

Here society sits with the follow­ing logic—the purpose of life de­fines my being; love is the purpose of life; sex is the most intimate expres­sion of love; sex is my purpose in life.

Western culture is becoming so sex-saturated externally that it is now bleeding into our internals. Even when it’s not plastered on a bill­board, we struggle to see the naked­ness as anything other than poten­tially arousing. Heterosexual boys in locker-rooms have become ashamed to glance at each other for fear of at­tributing their hyper-sexualized feel­ings to the male nude form.

As Christians, we know that this is incorrect; our life’s purpose is the pursuit of God. But our philoso­phy on sexuality has not changed to match this understanding. We still use “eros” in a sexual context; we still define ourselves by who we sleep with, making statements like, “I’m a sexual being,” in affirmation of our God-given libido. Let’s take it back to its original definition; the platonic form of “eros” asserts that the great­est form of emotional intimacy is experienced spiritually, without sex. We’re not sexual beings, but sensual beings, with sex composing a minor portion of that realm.

If intimacy transcends the act of sex, then why haven’t we? The only time we pledge unlimited eternal emotional intimacy to each other is in the context of a sexual relation­ship—marriage.

Still, have you ever met your “pla­tonic soul-mate”—someone who’s soul you’re attracted to, their pres­ence is so enrapturing, but you’re simply not attracted to their body? If we truly “love the sublime,” why do we still expect sexual gratification to coincide with it?

Is this love that I'm feeling?

Is this love that I'm feeling?

Working the floor

Working the floor