October 02, 2006

Lisa: scared straight

It is no secret (and nothing to apologize for) that Mormon culture values abstinence before marriage. Teachers working with young people in the church have been known to resort to all kinds of object lessons (such as The Clean White Handkerchief) and mantras (like Choose the Right) to reinforce the importance of this principle. Back in the day, I wore a CTR ring and even had a card tacked up near my bed that read "Don't trade what you want most for what you want at the moment." I have no problem with any of this. Unfortunately, those well-intentioned teachers sometimes went a bit too far. Those who know me may have guessed that I am talking about the lesson of The Tainted Muffin, which goes something like this:

At the beginning of class, the teacher holds up a giant, delicious-looking muffin. I don't know why it has to be a muffin. I can't imagine that the teachers, with their pure minds, chose it for any specific reason. ANYWAY, the teacher asks if anyone would like to eat the muffin, and of course everyone raises her hand. The teacher then starts passing the muffin around the class. Each girl is instructed to touch, poke, lick, spit, step on, or otherwise violate the muffin. Once the muffin has made its way back to the teacher, she holds it up again, and again asks if anyone would like to eat the muffin. Predictably, no one wants the disgusting thing now. Then the teacher goes on to painstakingly explain how no one will want us if we allow our "muffins" to become...ahem...tainted. Let me clarify for those Young Women leaders out there who may have found me by mistake: THIS IS A HORRIBLE OBJECT LESSON. Where does repentance fit in? Forgiveness? Our intrinsic self-worth? I am afraid that this lesson contains more than just a little bit of dog poo. I only wish that I had known about the Twenty Dollar Bill at the time, so I could have beaten these teachers at their own game. Instead I picked up a few more unhealthy thought patterns. But hey--I guess it worked! At least THIS virgin bride wasn't stuck handing her husband a bare stem on the wedding night! (Thanks, mimi. It's not a sore spot or anything.)

Posted by lisa at October 02, 2006 03:02 PM

Wow. Good links. Good blog. Hee.

Posted by: sarah on October 2, 2006 05:37 PM

Great blog. It has always bothered me too. I don't like how the church deals with sex period.

Posted by: Mindy on October 2, 2006 07:49 PM

So... You know how a few days ago we were talking about incorporating more props into girls night? Well, I think next girls night I might bring everyone STD Crabs...

Posted by: Mallory on October 2, 2006 10:04 PM

This post is good. Because I laughed. And then I was pissed. But mostly, the muffin object lesson in sunday school just about made me pee my pants. What better way to teach the young girls about the evils of immorality then with a dirty vulva, I mean muffin.

Posted by: Andrea (RAZRPHONE!) on October 3, 2006 04:47 PM

Loved the "dog poo" and "$20" stories. Thanks. I had a young women's leader who gave the parable of the oranges, which I will tell you at some later time. Very good idea, very poor delivery. Thank heavens my mom was always very frank and positive about sex.

Posted by: Emily on October 19, 2006 09:55 PM
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