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6762: RE: 6754: Is religious sexual abstinence Christian? (fwd)

From: Karen Davis <kdavis@marygrove.edu>

Not only is there a tradition of Vodou initiates abstaining from sexual
relations among the Adja-Fon (Dahomey kingdom, Republic of Benin, homeland
of most Haitians) but the 41 days is a common number there, strongly
associated with God, spiritual forces, ritual acts, and kingship.
	It is not sexual abstention that is Christian (Judaic/Muslim) but
the daemonization of sexuality, especially women's sexuality. Most if not
all cultural traditions enforce abstinence as part of many rituals,
ceremonies, and times of life or of the calendar. It is my understanding
that in many West African traditions, young boys, as a part of their
initiation into manhood, must prove that they can quell and overcome and
control their sexual urges, so they can control themselves with their
wife/wives as required.