Showtime’s Virgin Tales Shows Ultra-Conservative Sexual Mores — For Better or Worse?

Showtime has a new documentary that shows a subculture that doesn’t believe in even  kissing before marriage:

The documentary, slated to air on Showtime later this month, follows the Wilson family, American Evangelical Christians who believe not only in waiting until their wedding night to have sex, but even to share their first kiss. “Virgin Tales” focuses on two years in the lives of the Wilson parents, founders of the Purity Ball, as they prepare their seven children for their vision of romance and marriage. 

“It’s interesting not just with the physical aspect but also a psychological and certainly these days there is a political aspect to it,” director Mirjam von Arx told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “I was astonished to learn how many people there are that are sharing their beliefs, and not only in America, but there is a movement gaining strength even aboard like in Europe. A lot of parents say their kids are a lot more conservative than when they were young.”

Writer E. Stephen Burnett, however, does not think this is a good thing:

For some Christians, those beliefs are one and the same. But are biblical commands to walk by the Spirit in light of the Gospel, treat spiritual family with purity, and repent of sexual sins, no longer enough? Do we also need (Talmud-like?) rules about not even kissing before marriage, human fathers acting as family “priests,” and women refusing to attend college?

He  goes on to express further concerns and dubs this movement the “Romance Prosperity Gospel:”

  • Why do many abstinence promotions focus only on women’s purity? Why do others emphasize fathers helping daughters, an emphasis simply foreign to Scripture?
  • Why make “documentaries” to push beliefs that are at best extra-biblical? (See also: Divided, which accuses youth ministry of not simply being a bad idea but of ruining families and churches.)
  • How does showcasing one’s virginity – encouraging others to think about a particular woman having or not having sex! — fit with biblical truths about humility and modesty?

Interesting points. However, culture is always obsessed with sex — even of the supposedly non-existent kind (for example, Preachers’ Daughters on Lifetime). In other words, I’m sure this documentary will generate much conversation amongst liberals who scoff at the idea of maintaining sexual purity. And maybe it will also cause those of us who value Biblical principles to have some soul-searching conversations as well.

See the trailer for Virgin Tales here:

 

Nancy French — Nancy French is a three-time New York Times best-selling author and a longtime contributor to National Review Online.

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