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Secret love should become sacred

By William Gomes

Adultery has been, is and will continue to be a part of human existence, the same as marriage is a part of human existence. Adultery produces intense emotions and creates conflict among the people involved, and between sexual desire and a sense of loyalty. Adultery has faced extensive challenges due to opposition from society, the state, religions and politics.

Adultery is a concept that comes out of Judeo-Christian thought. The perception of adultery varies greatly at different times and in different cultures. The definition and consequences differ from person to person, based on a convergence of religion, culture, and legal jurisdiction, but the reason and the results are similar in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. In almost all religions and under religiously motivated laws, adultery is judged as illegal and immoral.

Adultery has been committed by people of different ages, casts, creeds and colors throughout the ages.

It has an important place in literature, including three plays by William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the greatest English writer of all time. Those plays are “Othello”, “The Winter’s Tale”, and “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, where people’s perception of adultery plays a significant part; still, the plays successfully hide a deeper anxiety about the betrayal of women.

Alfred Kinsey, an American biologist, professor of entomology, and founder of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction conducted a comprehensive study that focused on adultery in America. Depending on studies, it was estimated that approximately 50 percent of all married males had some extramarital experience at some time during their married lives and 26 percent of females had extramarital sex by their forties.

In Western countries, adultery has been decriminalized, especially in the European Union, including Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and Sweden. Whereas, in other parts of the world, such as Asia and the India subcontinent, the scenario is completely different, and adultery is still treated as a crime by the state and society. In the Philippines, adultery is considered a crime under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.

In Saudi Arabia, adultery is treated as a crime, and the punishment for adultery is being stoned to death. In another Islamic country, Pakistan, adultery is a crime under the Hudood Ordinance and is punishable by the death penalty.

Stoning as a punishment for sexual sin is proscribed in Islam and established through the Hadith. The root of the punishment is the Qur’an and the Hadith, where Quranic verses prohibiting adultery include:

“Do not go near to adultery. Surely it is a shameful deed and evil, opening roads (to other evils).” [Qur'an 17:32]

“Say, ‘Verily, my Lord has prohibited the shameful deeds, be it open or secret, sins and trespasses against the truth and reason.”‘ [Qur'an 7:33]

“Women impure are for men impure, and men impure are for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity.” [Qur'an 24:26]

In Matthew’s gospel, Christianity puts forth a more conservative view of adultery, saying “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. (Matthew 5:28)

Many lives are being affected because of the ban on extramarital relationships and adultery. A young Christian woman shared with me the following: “My husband has lived abroad for many years. I don’t know when he will be able to come back or when I will go to him. I have sexual desires. I don’t feel bad having sex with someone other than my husband, no matter what religion’s and society’s reasoning is.

Another young woman shared with me the following: “I was bound to get married when I was 16. I didn’t even know what sex was. I was forced to be in bed with a person I didn’t know, and the wild man jumped at me and got his satisfaction, even though it hurt me. I never felt loved by him. Whatever others may say, I am free to enjoy my life and I am doing that. You can call that adultery. I am ready to be called an adulteress if you consider my love as adultery.

Yet another young woman shared with me that she is not satisfied with her husband during sexual intercourse. She said, “I have no way to find a better life partner. I cannot think of loving or being loved by one person.”

As the Henry Louis Mencken said, “Adultery is the application of democracy to love.” The nations need to apply democracy to love, so that many people will be freed from the anguishing situations they are facing because of the dictatorship that rules through laws and religions, so that secret love will become sacred.

Short URL: http://www.williamgomes.org/?p=35

Posted by admin on Feb 14 2011. Filed under Articles, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.
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