Fathers make a profound gesture to support their daughters in their decision to save themselves for marriage, and what do they do in San Francisco? Mock them!
Tolerance is alive and well in San Francisco…
San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Mark Morford writes the following:
Purity Balls. No, not some sort of newfangled spherical chastity device to be inserted sing vacuum tubes and pulleys, but rather fancy creepy dress-up rituals taking place in towns like Colorado Springs and Tucson and Zoloft Jesusville, in which Christian dads rent a bad tux while their daughters, mostly teenagers but many as young as 6 or 7, get all dolled up in gowns from JCPenny and they all drive out to the airport Marriott and prepare to, well, lose their minds.
It begins. At some point the daughter stands up, her pale arms wrapped around her daddy, and reads aloud a formal pledge that she will remain forever pure and virginal and sex-free until she is handed over, by her dad (who is actually called the “high priest” of the home), like some sort of sad hymenic gift, to her husband, who will receive her like the sanitized and overprotected and libidinously inept servant she so very much is. Praise!
Would that I were making this up.
The dad — er, high priest — in turn, stands up and reads his pledge, one stating that he will work to protect his daughter’s virginal purity that he has so carefully and wickedly drilled into her since birth, since she was knee-high to a disturbing dogma, that he will protect her chastity and oversee it and help enforce its boundaries, which might or might not involve great amounts of rage and confusion and secret stashes of cheap scotch, although his pledge claims it’s with honor and integrity and lots of bewildering Godspeak. Which, in many households, is essentially the same thing.
It’s true. Purity Balls are happening, right now. And yes, you have heard this all before. Particularly from the conservative Right, especially from America’s rigid and pale fundamentalist “core.”
What he is speaking of is an event at which fathers honor their daughters for their commitment to remain “pure” until they get married. Focused on the Family Magazine reports:
“This is not a debutante ball, but an elegant spiritual celebration that honors what God has created in fathers and daughters,” said Lisa Wilson, who with her husband, Randy, founded Generations of Light. (Randy is a Focus on the Family employee.) “We know that the covenants made that night will influence generations.”
Ample research shows that teen girls’ identities and their choice of future mates are strongly influenced by the relationship they have with their fathers — or the lack of it. Lisa’s father left when she was 2, and she grew up without knowing fatherly love or example. “I felt unprotected. I felt unloved. I had no identity,” she said.
The pledge that a father signs at the ball, Lisa said, is about his responsibility to model a righteous standard for his daughter, a standard of integrity, honesty, wisdom and discretion. And the purity message of the ball does not pertain only to sexual purity. “We want to help them enter marriage as pure, whole persons,” she said. “But it’s not just physical. It’s moral and emotional purity.”
Why does the existence of such an event offend Mr. Morford so? Is he being force to attend? Are they marching down the public streets celebrating their vows? Are his kids being forced to learn about these folks in their public school classrooms? I think not!
What offend Morford is that anyone dare have any moral standards. And that they would have the nerve to try and instill those same standards in their own children. Mark Morford is a part of the “Do Whatcha Like!” culture that has ruined the city of San Francisco. And with all their rhetoric about tolerance, they refuse to exercise any of their own.