Many Models, One Book: Asexuality and faith

December 1, 2009

in God Made the Rainbow

Originally posted to God Made The Rainbow on 17th August, 2008

I read instructions. I keep manuals and actually DO refer to them. If that’s not enough, I visit their websites. With the possible exception of shampoo and gum (yes, there are instructions on gum), I always give instructions a glance, if only just to laugh that they need to be there at all.

Have you ever gotten a manual that has four or five models in it? Or a manual that is in five languages? You have to be careful, read the section for your model in your language, or else things won’t quite go the way that the factory intended them to go. It’ll tell you to flip the switch under the knob beside the button…and you look and you have the knob and button but not the switch. Upon second glance, you see that only the model A200 has the switch and you have the model A100. So you look up model A100 and you see that their diagrams and instruction lack the switch.

Many people read the bible as an instruction manual. They do nothing without consulting the book. In many places, the bible refers to “spawning”. Be fruitful and multiply, populate the earth, have lots of children, here – take some extra wives so you can work double or triple time, sons…have lots of sons, they’re more important, if your wife doesn’t give you sons, go find a slave girl who will, hurry, hurry, hurry.

STOP!
All this was fine for its time. All those years ago, people needed to have plenty of children. Not only to populate the earth but if you had 15 children, there was a greater chance that a couple would survive infancy, then look after their parents, become parents themselves before they die at the ripe old age of 35. If they did all of that, they would earn the favour of God.

But if spawning/not spawning was the difference between earning God’s favour or disdain, why would God have created barren women or sterile men? Why would He have put men in women’s bodies or women in men’s bodies? Why would He allow his beautiful children to be stricken with diseases and illnesses that would render them infertile? Did he make a mistake? Of course not, he just made many different models.

To those who believe literally in the story of Noah and the flood, God told Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply. To those who believe the story to be symbolic, they still hear the message, be fruitful and multiply. But that manual doesn’t serve all models. Being fruitful and multiplying wasn’t God’s only commandment. It wasn’t a commandment at all, merely an order to Noah and his sons. (He also told them to build a boat but who else has time to do THAT at the end of a busy day?)

I am asexual. I experience no sexual attraction towards men or women. This is addressed in The Bible. One of the manual pages for asexuals may contain Corinthians 7.

Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
I am one who is able to ‘control herself’, therefore I am blessed in the book of Corinthians to remain unmarried/childless. Perhaps, the means of being able to control myself was God plan, which is why he made me asexual.

On the six billionth day (give or take) God created me. He looked at a couple in a small town in Scotland who already had a son and said “I have JUST the thing!” The midwife said “It’s a girl” and she meant it. I am a girl, inside and out. I feel that I always need to say this because when people hear ‘asexual’ and they figure some pretty strange things – one of them being that I can’t make up my mind which I am. I look like a woman, had all the parts, when thorough all the yukky stuff, feel like a woman and I’m not one of the tortured – and I don’t say that lightly, rather with heartfelt pain for my brothers and sisters who are both male and female and those who are neither male nor female. Those who await surgery or those who can’t afford it due will never understand how they feel.

One of the most common negative responses to asexuality I have heard (never had thrown at me personally) is that of children. It is the same response that my gay and lesbian friends get. Funny enough, it is the same reaction that people in relationships where there is a wide difference in their ages. “What about children?” Before I’m accused of hating children, I am a kindergarten teacher. It is not possible to do my job and hate children. My question, though, is…what about them?

I am living in Istanbul. There are approximately 12 million people. I think the world will stay well populated whether I have a child or not. I also lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where I saw hundreds of thousands of children with no homes, nothing to eat and a variation of diseases that are all treatable and avoidable. For THAT, I will ask ‘what about the children?’

God commanded us to ‘love one another’. His messages and the messages of Jesus were ones of compassion, love, aiding and assisting. Those instructions are in everyone’s manual.

Cijay is a 45 year old asexual woman who was born in Scotland, grew up in Canada, lived in Ethiopia and now lives in Istanbul.

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