Knight on a White Horse

by K.E. Stegall

Copyright 1995, 2000, 2006 by K.E. Stegall All right reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever, excepting excerpts for critical review. The publisher or author disclaims any personal loss or liability caused by utilization of any information presented herein. Printed in the United States of America

Knight on a White Horse
“The Trouble with Feminism”1 Who Stole Feminism?2 “Who Killed Feminism?”3 “How the Feminist Establishment Hurts Women”4 These titles seem to suggest that women today are being hurt by the very cause which supposedly fights for their advancement. Can this be true? What’s wrong with feminism that a growing number now view it as undermining women’s own best interests? What kind of shape is American feminism in when its leading journal (MS) is edited by a woman who thinks most of the “decently married bedrooms across America are settings for nightly rape” and its leading organization (NOW) is headed by a woman with a husband in Maine and a female ‘companion’ in Washington?5 ...the truth is that many women have come to see the feminist movement as anti-male, anti-child, anti-family, anti-feminine. And therefore it has nothing to do with us.6 Many critics of feminism have trouble putting their finger on exactly what’s wrong with it, but often end up talking about sexual immorality. Even those sympathetic to the goals of feminism can’t quite understand why they are becoming disenchanted and disillusioned with the movement. And when a feminist authors a book entitled Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex and the Fight for Women’s Rights7 we shouldn’t wonder that some may even identify
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

John Leo, “The Trouble with Feminism”, U.S. News and World Report, Feb. 10, 1992. C.H. Sommers, Who Stole Feminism, Simon & Schuster, 1994. Sally Quinn, “Who Killed Feminism”, The Washington Post, Feb., 1992. Katherine Kersten, “How the Feminist Establishment Hurts Women”, Christianity Today, June 20, 1994. John Leo, “The Trouble with Feminism”, U.S. News and World Report, Feb. 10, 1992, page 19. Sally Quinn, “Who Killed Feminism”, The Washington Post, Feb. 1992. Nadine Strossen, Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and The Fight For Women’s Rights, Scribner, 1994.

women’s equality as “what’s wrong.” As a consequence, feminism, women’s equality and sexual immorality have gotten all mixed up in a tangled web of confusion. It was not always so. Many who worked for women’s equality in the past held the moral high ground. These strong and tenacious women of the 19th century, despite being denied equality under the law, led the great reform movements such as the abolition of slavery, free public education for all, temperance8, and women’s suffrage. Their strategy for abolishing the double standard for sexual behavior was to call men up to the standard required of women. I feel it is a mortal shame to give any foundation for the implication that we favor ‘free loveism.’ ... Do not let us, for the sake of our own self-respect, allow it to be hinted that we helped to forge a shadow of a chain which comes in the name of ‘free love.’ (Lucy Stone, 1869 Convention of the Equal Rights Association)9 We can not [sic] be frightened from our purpose, the public mind can not long be prejudiced by this ‘free love’ cry of our enemies. (Susan B. Anthony, 1869 Convention of the Equal Rights Association. Both Stone and Anthony were responding to accusations that the women’s suffrage movement favored ‘free love.’)10 Yet even among some early feminists there was an undercurrent of rebellion against sexual morality because it was identified as part of the male dominated societal structures which kept women from experiencing their full equality. Egged on by the free sex movement and encouraged by newer, safer and more legal methods of birth control, abortion and sterilization this thinking eventually held sway as modern feminists decided to abolish the double standard by claiming men’s lower standard of morality as their own right too. Equality was their aim. A sexual revolution would require, perhaps first of all, an end of traditional sexual inhibitions and taboos, particularly those that most threaten patriarchal monogamous marriage; homosexuality, “illegitimacy,” adolescent, pre- and extra-marital sexuality. The negative aura with which sexual activity has generally been surrounded would necessarily be eliminated, together with the double standard and prostitution. The goal of revolution would be a permissive single standard of sexual freedom...11 But these feminists misfigured at one crucial point. Without morality there is no equality. This is the point of reference that can help us unravel the confusion.
“Temperance” is an old fashioned word which presently has a discredited and laughable connotation, but which simply means the fight against drug abuse.
9 8

Ida Husted Harper, Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, The Bowen-Merrill Co., Indianapolis & Kansas City, Vol. I, 1899, Ibid, page, 325-326. Kate Millett, Sexual Politics, Virago Press Limited, London, 1977, page 62.

page 325.
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Without morality there is no equality.
Morality is a standard of right and wrong which is derived apart from or outside of ourselves. Morality is the foundation which validates the concept of law. Morality presupposes a single standard, hence it breeds equality. When morality is absent self-interest is left as the only criteria for decisions and motivation for action. Without morality the stronger will always oppress the weaker to further their own interest. Many feminists may believe they have thrown out morality for the sake of equality. Some feminists critics would throw out equality for the sake of morality. This stalemate has arisen because many from both feminism and its critics are using the same flawed view of sexual morality. The rape-crisis movement refuses to admit the true sources of the problem. For to do so would mean admitting the part feminism... has played in creating it — by promoting an ideal of sexual equality which in many ways does violence to women’s needs; by mocking the traditional asymmetric emphasis on feminine purity...12 This critic misses the boat by inferring that a proper ideal of sexual equality has an “asymmetric emphasis on feminine purity...”, throwing out real equality for the sake of morality. Her problem is that she is using “traditional” morality as her reference point. In doing so she has inadvertently put her finger on the weak link in the code of traditional sexual morality which has caused so many feminists to reject it. It is also the very point where “traditional” morality has departed from Judeo-Christian morality. Traditional morality puts an “asymmetric emphasis” on feminine purity. But Judeo-Christian morality does not emphasize feminine purity any more than it emphasizes masculine purity. Christian sexual morality emphasized human purity, a purity that is equally required of all for the benefit of all. What we have often called traditional morality has departed from Christian morality with its double standard, one for women and another for men. Men were not really expected to practice Christian sexual morality even though women were. Think back to the sexual revolution of the 1960's, propelled largely be feminists who insisted that women could be just as sexually free (read promiscuous) as men...13

Carol Iannone, “Sex and the Feminists” (This is a review of the book The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus by Katie Roiphe, daughter of Anne Roiphe, author of Up The Sandbox, a landmark feminist novel of the 1960's), Commentary, Sept., 1993, page 52.
13

12

Charles Colson, “The Thomas Hearings and the New Gender Wars”, Christianity Today, Nov. 25, 1991, page 72.

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This feminist critic “largely” blames women for the sexual revolution while very subtly admitting, though assigning no responsibility to, men’s promiscuity. This is the flawed view of morality which has bred the tangled confusion of feminism, women’s equality and sexual immorality. It is my belief that any recent “hurt” or decline in the day to day lives of many ordinary women is the result of the rise of sexual immorality and not women’s equality. Feminism is not to blame except insofar as it has embraced sexual immorality as a part of the feminist cause. Conversely, the high position and status which women in the western world enjoy today is founded firmly upon Christian sexual morality. Modern feminism, through the passage of new laws, intense consciousness raising and increased opportunities has greatly furthered women’s equality and freedom. But even more striking is the fact that over the past three millennia women have risen from the status of property without personhood to having equal rights with men under civil law when the only constant influence guiding toward that end was Christian morality. Women outside the Judeo-Christian heritage have enjoyed no such rise. Yet there is presently this nasty backfire of the feminist agenda characterized by sexual aggression, marital breakdown, out of wed-lock births and abortion resulting in a growing percentage of women living lives of fear, trauma, poverty, abuse and the overwhelming responsibilities of single parenting. The day feminism embraced sexual immorality it betrayed its own cause.

Moral sex. What is it?
Moral sex. What is it? We hardly know any more. Jesus Christ set the standard for sexual morality in response to the question, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” (Matthew 19:3)14 It’s really a question about the status of women. How important are they? Do they have any rights? Are there any limitations to how we treat them? His answer? “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6) Jesus’ statement is a repetition of what Moses had written centuries earlier about God’s plan for the perfect relationship between men and women at creation. Jesus is merely saying that the way God created things to be is still the standard for how things ought to be. In a nutshell: Judeo-Christian sexual morality is that good and right sexual relations occur
All Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society.
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only between one man and one women within a life-long commitment to exclusive oneness.

Good and right sexual relations occur only between one man and one women within a life-long commitment to exclusive oneness.
It is only stating the obvious to note that the scope for moral sexual relationships is very narrow, limiting our sexual relations to only one partner. This is because male and female are not primarily to relate as opposite sexes. The right and good way for men and women to relate is first and foremost as fellow human beings. We are more the same than we are different - Mars and Venus notwithstanding!15 But how does this Christian moral code for sex support, protect and defend women? How can something which is often viewed as prudish, confining and negative bring about equality and freedom for women? How can we call Christian sexual morality the feminist champion, the Knight on a White Horse? Each of its characteristics reveal part of the answer.

...heterosexual, as opposed to homosexual.
“Haven’t you read, ... that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,...’” Christian sexual morality is heterosexual, as opposed to homosexual. As a desired and necessary partner to the sexual act the woman must be considered, respected and valued if that act is to truly make the love which both men and women crave. Male homosexuality is the ultimate rejection and exclusion of women. When this counterfeit sexual relationship is accepted the real thing is naturally devalued. To the extent that women are not needed or even wanted for the sexual act, let alone a love relationship, they will soon be relegated to the fringes of society where as vulnerable nonpersons they will be used solely for the ends of the male population. Some feminists seem to believe they can escape male domination by retreating into an all female world. A lesbian haven may insulate them from personal feelings of vulnerability, but in reality it only marginalizes them from the real world. This retreat is just that - a retreat, and it will never win for them the respect and/or power they so covet. Homosexuality is an imitation that may be attractive in the short run because it is cheap. It seems so much easier. But as is usually the case with cheap imitations, neither gay nor lesbian relations can deliver all that is required. On the other hand heterosexuality not only commands respect for the individual female partner, but for women in general by recognizing a male dependence upon womanhood. Today’s traditional morality often appears to accept premarital and extramarital heterosexual sex while rejecting homosexual relations. This inconsistency is rejected by
John Gray’s popular book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus : A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships, discusses the different communication styles of men and women and has become a good humored cultural byword for how different men and women are in their essential makeup.
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feminists as unfair. Traditional morality says any sexual orientation other than heterosexual is wrong. But Christianity makes no moral judgment about sexual orientation, only about intimate sexual relationships and activities. The feminist mistake is not in their acceptance of homosexuals as fellow human beings, but rather their acceptance of any and all sexual relations without marriage. And moral marriage is only heterosexual because that is how things were created to be. Sex (what you have - intercourse or intimate physical activity) is what sex (what you are - male/female) is all about. Male/female is what intercourse is all about. Without male/female there can be no “good” or moral intercourse. There is a lot of gobbledygook out there, promoted by both feminists and their critics, about the meaning of gender - what is masculine and what is feminine. Jesus makes no attempt to unravel this mystery for us. He tells us all we need to know with confident and unadorned simplicity. We are male and female as clearly defined by our genetic and genital physiology. It is enough. Our physical sex is our personal context for moral sexual relations.

...one man and one woman, as opposed to polygamy.
“‘...and the two...” Christian sexual morality is between one man and one woman, as opposed to polygamy. When one woman is partnered with one man and has no competition from additional women, her status is raised because her husband is dependent on her alone for all aspects of the love relationship. Polygamy, on the other hand, causes women to focus on each other as competition rather than sister and friend, and causes men to focus on women as possessions, things to be collected. A man of many women need not respect or consider the opinions of any one woman, for there is always another. As the one husband among many wives he is obviously the rare and, therefore, most valuable commodity. The imbalance of male to female will naturally yield inequality.

...faithful and exclusive, as opposed to extramarital or premarital sex.
“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Christian sexual morality is faithful and exclusive, as opposed to extramarital or premarital sex. Christian morality says you can’t have a woman just for sex, you must have all of her - her whole life. The requirement is the same for men - the same standard for both. When you commit to sharing a life before you share sex then the whole life of a prospective mate becomes important and the body only one consideration among many. When the object of a man’s sexual advances also shares his life, the threat of being only a sex object is greatly diminished. When sexual immorality becomes an acceptable practice women’s freedom to move and function within the world alongside men is curtailed. Men will have a greater expectation of easy sex without cost or commitment. Their advances toward women will become more forceful making women continually feel under attack, on the defensive and certainly uncomfortable. Thus women will retreat or be relegated more and more to a female world where that sort of attack will Knight on a White Horse by K.E. Stegall

not exist. When sexual relations become the primary focus between men and women, human relations will increasingly be reduced to a male centered and dominated society. It is along these lines that we discover an important but little-noted convergence between radical feminism and Islamic fundamentalism. By campaigning against the thing called ‘date rape,’ the feminist creates immense hatred and suspicion between men and women, so that the feminist advice to any woman going out on a date is to establish a virtual contract governing what will happen in the course of the evening. This is to destroy the free and easy relations between men and women which have long characterized the Western world — and only the Western world. It parallels the fundamentalist campaign to restore the old ways in the Islamic world.16 This critic is absolutely right that the threat of date rape, among other things, has begun to destroy the free and easy relations between men and women. However, the cause is not a feminist campaign but the decline of sexually moral behavior. The “free and easy relations between men and women which have long characterized the Western world — and only the Western world” are not destroyed by, but rather were indeed built upon a “virtual contract governing what will happen in the course of an evening.” That contract was an unrelenting commitment to Christian sexual morality both on the part of the individuals involved and by society in general.17 This contract of Christian morality allowed free and easy relations between men and women to develop, become accepted and finally commonplace because the possibility of sexual relations was removed. This free and easy relationship especially benefitted women in that they were free to mix in male society because they knew that society had a commitment not to take advantage of their vulnerability as objects of male sexual satisfaction. But as Christian morality slips away so does trust of the male gender. With that trust goes women’s freedom because there can be no assurance that a woman’s vulnerability will not be taken advantage of, just as is the case in the non-Western, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, the non-Christian influenced world. Perhaps because immorality can more easily be seen in women, as in “Is she showing yet?”, than in men, the traditional requirement for faithful and exclusive sex has always been much stronger for women than for men. Only women become pregnant. Only women need limit their sexual relations to only one partner. But Jesus clearly condemns this double standard of traditional morality when he refused to condemn a woman taken in adultery. The men who brought the woman to Jesus for quick judgment were silenced when Jesus questions them about their own morality. (John 7:53-8:11)

...life-long, as opposed to serial marriage
16 17

Kenneth Minogue, “The Goddess That Failed”, National Review, November 18, 1991, page 48.

Likewise there has always been a pre-nuptial contract. It is called the contract of marriage. Before a man and woman have sexual relations, much less give their lives to each other, the terms of the contract, the marriage vows, are publicly and legally set out and agreed upon by both parties.

Knight on a White Horse by K.E. Stegall

or only one partner at a time.
“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Christian sexual morality is life-long, as opposed to serial marriage or only one partner at a time. It is this aspect of Christian morality which most obviously upholds a woman’s personhood. Since moral sex is life-long it lowers the value of a woman’s attractiveness, youth, appearance, “sexiness”, and raises the value of who she is in her very being, her self. There are many reasons for a husband to respect his wife, but ultimately he must respect her very existence. Life-long sexual commitment frees men to view women other than their mates as persons too. Relieved of the constant pressure to evaluate women as potential mates, men can see them more clearly as persons who can contribute to society in myriad valuable ways which have nothing to do with sex. The feminist shunning of the titles Miss and Mrs. Is a good example of changing tradition to conform to Christian sexual morality. The marital status of a woman is of no concern to the men she meets. A man’s moral response to both married and single women will be exactly the same, respect for a fellow human being with no possibility or thought of a sexual encounter. Only as people consider others as potential partners for moral sex, i.e. marriage, do they need to know their marital status, information equally important to both genders. When sexual relations are not life-long women lose their value because they can so easily be replaced by a better model, like things, not people. Without life-long commitment all other aspects of the partnership falter for lack of a firm foundation. In a T.V. wedding of the 1970's the couple pledged their troth only for “as long as we both shall love” instead of “as long as we both shall live.” Well, isn’t sex about love? Yes, of course. But if the reality of these concrete characteristics of sexual morality are missing from any sexual relationship, love becomes just the easy words of a masterful con. It has no substance. The insecurity of such a meaningless pledge stunts the growth of real pleasure and satisfaction while making even love itself suspect. From the response of Jesus’ questioners it is clear they understood that his description of the perfect man/woman relationship excluded divorce. “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:7) Divorce is for hard hearts. It is here because hard hearts are here. Divorce is not a solution to a problem, but only an escape from a problem, an escape for and/or from hard hearts. Divorce is not the way it should be.

Morality as an issue of the heart
Knight on a White Horse by K.E. Stegall

These four characteristics of Christian sexual morality, heterosexual, monogamous, faithful/exclusive and life-long, have historically been a part of our traditional morality. Perhaps the fact that these characteristics are somewhat observable by the surrounding society has helped keep them in place. But Jesus knew, as we all do, that sex is not just about keeping up appearances. He defined pure sexual morality as an issue of the heart, not just outward conformity to some written law.18 Sexual fulfillment flows first and foremost from what we think. Whereas the last four characteristics have outward as well as inward aspects, the next two characteristics of Christian sexual morality are entirely matters of the heart. No outsider can determine if they have truly been fulfilled or not. Yet, they are at the very center of moral sex. They are also key ingredients for the real advancement of women’s equality.

...a new identity, something different from what each partner was individually before they joined together.
“...no longer two...” “...will become one...” Christian sexual morality creates a new identity, something different from what each partner was individually before they joined together. This new identity is an acknowledgment by both husband and wife that their partner is an integral part of themselves and is therefore protected, defended and cared for with the same energy that one does these things for him/herself. It recognizes and nurtures the contributions of each partner to the new identity as valuable and necessary. The strengths and weaknesses of each partner become the strength and weakness of the one new identity and are thus understood as our own. Without this new identity each individual may continue to view his partner as something apart from him/herself, someone to use to advantage, but whose welfare is not necessarily his/her own. Identity is a matter of the heart; it cannot be legislated. Traditional customs show that we have never fully accepted this aspect of Christian sexual morality. Our name is the clearest symbol of our identity. Traditionally only the wife changes her name upon marriage. She changes it to her husband’s name. She changes her identity to his. Neither his name nor his identity changes at all. But this was not Jesus’ intention. Jesus said both husband and wife must change their identity upon marriage. Neither one remains the same. So this custom does not really conform to moral sex. Sensing this many women have either refused to change their name upon marriage, or have hyphenated their surname with their husband’s. But neither of these reflect the new identity of Christ’s words. The first is a refusal to change identity. While a hyphenated last name may demonstrate more clearly the new identity of the woman, it really does not signify the new identity of the couple since only women do it. I personally know of no man who has changed his name in any way upon marriage. A name change may be very appropriate to show an identity change.
18

Matthew 5:27, 31-32, 19:7-12.

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Consequently, if name changing is to be a part of moral sex, both husband and wife should change their names to one new name signifying their one new identity.

...oneness which transcends individuality and excludes separation.
“So they are no longer two, but one.” The new identity of Christian sexual morality is oneness which transcends individuality and excludes separation. The oneness of Christian sexual morality goes beyond the sexual union, the traditionally limited meaning of “one flesh.” This oneness is the new identity of one shared life. The apostle Paul put it this way, “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.” (I Corinthians 7:4) “...husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one every hated his own body...” (Ephesians 5:28-29). All this sounds very much like Jesus’ simple but profound rule for how all people are to interact, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39-40) And what does that mean? “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) These statements of complete mutuality and reciprocity are the highest moral law for all human relationships. Divorce is only the most obvious separation which destroys oneness. Separate beds, separate bank accounts, separate vacations as policy and habit will also divide. Neither a one-dimensional relationship based solely on shared sex, nor the consistent domination and subjugation of one partner by the other qualify as moral sex. Both oppose the new identity of one shared life. This oneness between husband and wife is a microcosm of God’s intended relationship between all people in society in general.19 Christian morality recognizes that mankind and womankind are mutually dependent on and responsible to each other. No society can fully function to its highest potential when the needs and talents of half its population are unrecognized and/or restricted. Rather than limiting personal opportunity or erasing each person’s individuality this oneness paradoxically frees each individual to fulfill his/her unique potential, to live out all that he/she is, because he/she is no longer vulnerable to what he/she is not. Oneness puts at the woman’s disposal all the strength of the man and vise-versa. The completely independent person must do and be everything him/herself, an
Through Christ the Christian Church is to strive to be an example and picture to the world of God’s intended oneness for all of humankind as Jesus prayed before his death, “...I pray also for those who will believe in me ... that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. ... May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-21,23); and as the apostle Paul directed in his letter to the Ephesian church, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,... His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14-16).
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impossibility. Let’s not confuse individualism and independence. True individualism is promoted by oneness, while independence is a characteristic of separation.

...ultimately protected by the male as the less vulnerable sex.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,...” Christian sexual morality is ultimately protected by the male as the less vulnerable sex. Women are at a disadvantage. Take arm wrestling for example. If a man and a woman arm wrestle the man will usually win, not always, but usually. But here’s the clincher - sex. If a man and a woman have sex and someone gets pregnant, it will always be the woman, not usually, but always. In a world where self-interest may often overrule morality the vulnerability of the female sex lies in these two facts: (1) The male sex is physically more powerful than the female; and (2) women alone bear all the physical consequences of the sexual relationship through pregnancy and childbirth. It is a sense of this vulnerability which makes women angry. We have mentioned women’s vulnerability several times already in this essay. If you are a woman reader perhaps you felt that anger rise as you read. When our vulnerability is exposed we hurt. And when it is used to demean, the frustration we feel is very painful indeed. Many feminists refuse to face the source of their pain. They cannot and will not admit women are vulnerable in any way. They are in deep denial. But it is understandable. In an amoral world “vulnerable” often means inferior, worthless, usable, expendable. A woman’s deep sense of her own personhood screams out complete rejection of such definitions. Christianity recognizes that women are in this more vulnerable position, but in no way gives them a lower value or status as a result. In fact, this is why men, the less vulnerable gender, are given the responsibility of upholding the equal value and status of women. This is exactly the meaning of the apostle Peter’s greatly misused admonition to husbands, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker (more vulnerable)20 partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life,...” (I Peter 3:7) Likewise, Jesus puts the defense and protection of moral sex chiefly in the hands of the husband. All other human loyalties are to be made subject to his loyalty to his wife. This protection will manifest itself primarily through personal adherence to sexually moral behavior always and without exception. Men will exercise this protection from the higher altruistic motive of doing the right thing, the strong protecting the vulnerable. The picture is not one of the romantic macho knight rescuing a damsel in distress, but the exercise of a strength much less idealized and applauded but no less gallant, the inner strength of self-control.21 The same, of course, can be said of women. They must also protect moral sex. To do
20 21

My paraphrase.

The absolute moral standard of Christian sexual morality is the Knight on a White Horse which has and will continue to rescue womanhood in a way that no individual male, no matter his courage, strength or gallantry, can.

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otherwise would be suicide to the humanity of our gender since our status as equal human beings depends on it. Women may more easily exercise this protection because their motive, though still honorable, is one of self-defense. Perhaps sexual morality has historically seemed a more difficult practice for men than for women because men are not personally as vulnerable to the consequences of immorality as women are. When women crusade against sexual immorality and utterly reject it for themselves and men alike they force humanity to recognize their power as the true satisfiers of both male sexual needs and our specie’s need for reproducing itself. As far as malekind is concerned this is the most obvious power of femalekind and women must nurture and use this power carefully through unrelenting commitment to Christian sexual morality to strengthen and advance recognition of their own equal humanity. It’s the old trick of throwing him out of the bedroom until you get your way. That sounds so small minded and selfish. But when what we want is our rightful equal share in humanity it is seen for what it really is - a self-respecting awareness of our own true value as well as our limits and needs. To withhold sexual relations until this is provided is not selfish. It is smart and good and moral. Christian sexual morality is the context in which a man’s great sexual need becomes his vulnerable point, and a woman’s ability to satisfy that need becomes her point of power. Thus Christian sexual morality evens the ground by exposing male vulnerability at the same time that is covers female vulnerability. The reality of mutual interdependence becomes obvious. But male protection is still primary because malekind will not be thrown out of the bedroom if they don’t want to be. They can always turn and rape you. Only as men view women as their fellow human beings deserving of equal respect will they allow themselves to be put out. For men a high view of women is both the motivation for and the result of a commitment to sexual morality. Men who see women as equal partners in their own humanity will be motivated to keep this Christian moral code for sex. Likewise, sexually moral behavior will enable men to see women as the mirror image of themselves. All this is reflected in St. Paul’s statement of the truths which undergird moral sex, “...woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.” (I Corinthians 11:11-12)

“For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.”
Even though Jesus is defining the moral code for sex he does not moralize. His words are a simple, straightforward statement of what constitutes good sex, moral sex. Many people today, feeling moral sex is just too hard, have come to the same conclusion Jesus’ followers did when they heard all this, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” (Matthew 19:10) Jesus acknowledged the difficulty and presented another good option, but just one option - celibacy (Matthew 19:11-12). Chaste singleness is fully moral in every way. We are not left without a choice. You will note that the Christian moral standard says nothing about what role women Knight on a White Horse by K.E. Stegall

should play in society, about who should care for the home and who should earn the money, about who should cook and who should mow the lawn, about who should be the secretary and who should be the boss, about who should make decisions and who should do as they’re told. The traditional stereotypes are conspicuously absent and have rightly been rejected by feminists as threatening to equality.

Without equality there is no morality!
Earlier I stated that without morality there is no equality. Since morality is first and foremost a matter of the heart then the reverse is true too. Without equality there is no morality! Without a mutual recognition and respect for our own and our partner’s equal value no true complete moral oneness can be achieved.22 Christian sexual morality is the great equalizer. Man and woman meet on equal ground to create a new identity where each is part of the other, each belongs to the other, each thinks of the good of the other before his/her own. Neither partner has any status, right, worth, or privilege that does not equally belong to the other as well. Their need for each other is mutual and they are completely interdependent. They are one. Their commitment to oneness is sealed with exclusive sexual faithfulness. The result is freedom. Both men and women are freed to enjoy and respect each other as complete human beings, and thus experience more fully their own complete humanity. In the larger society both are freed from the stereotypes of macho lusting predator and seductive prey.

The result is freedom!
Throughout history when Christian sexual morality has been affirmed through both belief and behavior by both men and women, the status of women has risen. Most of our own American history is an excellent example.23 But when allegiance to sexual morality is either absent or only the half-hearted bowing to tradition instead of the full-hearted commitment to what is right the status of women will begin to flounder. Christian sexual morality leaves no room for premarital sex, marital infidelity, or serial marriage; bisexuality or homosexuality; sexual harassment or rape, date or otherwise; promiscuity, prostitution, or pornography; some accepted and all common elements of today’s society. All this is very radical. For many today it may be easier to reject women’s equality than it
The second greatest commandment as defined by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40 is “love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said this basic rule for how human beings are to relate to one another fulfills all the law and the prophets. It is the foundational and primary imperative for moral relationships among all humanity. This is impossible to carry out unless one can first see their neighbor as their equal. We do not discount the tremendous work of feminists throughout our American history to advance the status of women in practice and law. But I believe it was Judeo-Christian sexual morality which nurtured and gave birth to feminist thought through its presuppositional acknowledgment of women’s equality, in addition to creating the favorable environment which made possible th e eventual acceptance of these feminist efforts.
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Knight on a White Horse by K.E. Stegall

is to reject premarital sex, divorce, and homosexuality for which our traditional morality may make allowances.24 It is one thing to rail against the excesses of sexual immorality and quite another to condemn it. The latter takes courage. It is one thing to decry the increase of AIDS, fatherless children, and women in poverty and something else to commit oneself to the disciplined behavior which sexual morality requires. The latter takes self control. We ignore the unchanging nature of the axiomatic link between morality and equality at our own peril.

We ignore the unchanging nature of the axiomatic link between morality and equality at our own peril.
Today a great battle is being waged within the Christian Church over what role women should play in its life. This may give the mistaken impression that Christianity itself is an oppressor of women. But history tells the truth that throughout the centuries of its existence wherever the Christian Church has gone the value and status of women has steadily risen. So we cannot allow this controversy within the Church to drive us to a foolhardy, thoughtless, and self-defeating acceptance of sexual immorality. Nor can we allow it to dictate to us the self-denial of our own personhood through acceptance of anything less than complete equality for women. I am a Christian who believes the Holy Scriptures. I am a Christian who believes in the complete equality of women with men in value, status, position, privilege, opportunity, freedom and right. I am a Christian who believes in the absolute nature of the Christian moral standard for sexual relationships. On these truths I offer this challenge: Be a radical feminist. Reject immorality as a part of our cause and embrace Christian sexual morality as the single greatest strategy for the advancement of women’s equality in this new millennium. Be a radical Christian. Reject the double standards of both traditional morality and gender “roles” as a part of our cause and embrace equality for women as the single greatest strategy for the advancement of Christian sexual morality in this new millennium.

Be a radical feminist. Be a radical Christian.

The Bible teaches that there is always grace, forgiveness and healing for the sinner, but the sin is always condemned. (I John 1:6-9, just one of many possible biblical references to this truth.)

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Knight on a White Horse by K.E. Stegall

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