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Toulmin Essay Wk 5

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Sarah E. Lichtefeld
Professor Terri Perez
English 102
5 April 2015
The practice of celibacy is often thought to be sacred and coupled with religious practices, beliefs, culture and society to be full of people that are regarded as heroic and self-less, and trustworthy. Celibacy is a practice of being free from all sexual activity that a person personally chooses to do. “Voluntary sacrifice of all sexual pleasure is an extreme form of religious asceticism (Sipe, 545).”
Celibacy takes a great deal of self-control and self-mastery in order to completely achieve this goal. Sipe stated the basic elements of celibacy in his Celibacy Today article, stating that you must “record developmental patterns…” and “celibacy is ...process of internalizing and actualizing from intention to achievement (Sipe, 546).” He also states within the elements that “self-revelation is never simple.”
Many religions think of sex as sin, but will however forgive you if you have sex before marriage. Just like Sipe states on page 549 within Celibacy Today, “According to Catholic teaching masturbation, contraception, and homosexual acts are among the most “inherent evil” acts among the multiple choices a person can make.” He does state that the theologians pose that within pastoral practices there is always room for understanding and forgiveness though, “as well as authoritative judgments on human sexuality.” In Ghandi’s autobiography he ended up devoting two chapters just to explaining all about how he discovered his dedication to the process of celibacy and his recounting sexual development and celibate failures. There are even religious people that are held high that give in to personal pleasure and then change their ways, get back on the right track and start over again.
Sometime people think that if they turn to practicing celibacy that they will be looked at with being more trustworthy, respectful, obedient, and more allegiant to their faith. It is very hard now days to actually meet or find someone that actually follows these lines and is truthful about it. There are many documents and articles that have followed these studies and have found that people’s views on celibacy are not all the same. Some think that it is just if you have full intercourse you are not celibate anymore, that you can still do everything else. Other people think that you cannot do any act that raises any sexual arousal or pleasure. There needs to be one set view and standard in order to get a set scale to follow to do an actual study or to be able to do any kind of testing or actual type of study to get any kind of actual result that is worth anything.
The studies that show that people do the practices for faith reasons show that they will end up receiving comfort, forgiveness, and salvation for their self-less act of giving up a personal act. “I affirm the importance of mythical exploration in understanding religions, religious practices, and religious truth, but here, for the purpose of clarity I am also using myth in another of its rich definitions: the sense of something untrue, imaginary, or a figment. The myth, or paradigm, that distorts reality and in fact undermines the effectiveness of celibate power is the fallacy that priest equals celibacy (Sipe, 552).” He hits this right on the head, who is to say that just because a priest is a priest that he is celibate? Why or how did the idea just become fostered over time that they are just pure and sexually clean and untouched?
Just as believers may find it hard to imagine that our priests, pastors, bishops, etc, who symbolize purity are having sexual relations, just like children find it hard to imagine that their parents have sexual relations. Neither like to think of that or picture it. Celibacy is something that is pure and an individual commitment that involves the controlling of one’s sexual instinct, drive, and desires. For some, this is easy to do and not so easy for others. This takes discipline and lots of focus, meditation sometimes can help with the concentration and deep focus and internal strength.
There are two factors that typically contaminate celibacy within institutions that end up making people weak. These are mystification and mythification. Some believe that “honesty, sex, and love are too intimately bound up with the daily lives of the average person ..to conform to the celibate standard.” Celibacy is a sacrifice of sexuality, restraining for a higher purpose. There is nothing that is too intimately bound within us that can cause us to not restrain for a higher purpose. Celibacy should not have ever been used for institutional uses for gaining power and control; however it once was and probably still is. If the true power of celibacy is once found again and restored, it may just be able to be renewed and may have immeasurable contributions to offer.
“Sexual experience is sacramental in the purest meaning of the term, it is an outer meaning of an inner transformation..(Gotz, 7-22) When sex is saved for the right moment and the right person it can be a complete transformation and like you are becoming one with someone. It is almost like you are meant to join souls forever with that one being. Like God has a plan for the two of you to walk forever together hand in hand on earth and in the eternal land. Why would you not be celibate to wait for this?
Often the Western Hemisphere has a great problem with facing our sexuality and reflecting on it. We have issues obtaining abortions, asking for them, talking about sex, bring up about our bodies and the changes that they go through, etc..(Maguire, 23-30) If we have these many issues, why are more not practicing celibacy?
Even though Celibacy is thought to be a sacred practice and to be heroic if you practice it, culture and society will only exist and flourish dependent on the understanding and practice of the peoples restraint that they have. Morality is not possible without the ability to restrain your impulses to redirect your personal desires to be sexually active. Celibacy is a lot of hard work and takes a lot on your personal part.
Works Cited:
Code of Canon Law (Washington, D.C.: The Canon Law Society of America, 1984). Canon 277 #1.
Gandhi, Mohandas K., An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993).
“The Argument of Celibacy.” 123HelpMe.com 01 Apr 2015. https://owls.englich.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/03/ Driver, Helen, Natascha Gast, and Susan Lowman-Thomas, English 102- Effectiveness in Writing .2012 Web.
Sipe, Richard A.W., Celibacy Today- Mystery, Myth, and Miasma. Winter 2007. Web. 1 Apr 2015.

Cited: Code of Canon Law (Washington, D.C.: The Canon Law Society of America, 1984). Canon 277 #1. Gandhi, Mohandas K., An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993). “The Argument of Celibacy.” 123HelpMe.com 01 Apr 2015. https://owls.englich.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/03/ Driver, Helen, Natascha Gast, and Susan Lowman-Thomas, English 102- Effectiveness in Writing .2012 Web. Sipe, Richard A.W., Celibacy Today- Mystery, Myth, and Miasma. Winter 2007. Web. 1 Apr 2015.

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