September 27, 2010

Distinction for 09.27.10

I wish people would stop saying celibacy when they mean abstinence. One is a state of life, the other an [in]action.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

7 comments:

marnanel.org said...

Indeed: just because I happen not to have drunk any alcohol recently doesn't make me a teetotaller.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Tobias, your wish is my command. You make a legitimate distinction between celibacy and abstinence that I will try to keep in mind when I use the words.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Thanks Marnanel. A good image: there is a difference between a Nazirite and someone who simply doesn't drink.

GM, now if only Rowan would oblige.... ;-)

Erika Baker said...

But they want us to be abstinent for all of our lives so it becomes a state of life. Abstinence implies that you might change your mind. Celibacy implies that it's a non-negotiable eternal state - just what they would like it to be for us.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Erika, I agree; my point is there has been a slippage in the language -- "celibate" does not mean "not having sex" but "not being married." But because of this slippage, even an abstinent couple are looked at askance -- there is a resistance even to companionship, which is an important part of human relationships.

The recent statement from Sugden on Anglican Mainstream reveals this: any household other than a male-female marriage is unacceptable. Out the window with monasticism in true über-Protestant style. (Barth [of Church Dogmatics era -- he repented somewhat later in life] would be pleased, as this was precisely his argument against monasticism.)

musculars said...

(in)action:
My grandmother described virginity as something you have but rather something you don't.

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Good one, M.