For The Dad Who Has Everything: Purity Balls

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It has all the ingredients of a wedding. The proud tuxedo-clad father, the frosted white cake, the limousines and an exchange of vows.

But there is no groom and the girl in the long gown is no bride. She's daddy's little girl, there to take a vow of chastity.

In what is becoming a trend among conservative Christians in the United States, girls as young as nine are pledging to their fathers to remain virgins until they wed, in elaborate ceremonies dubbed "Purity Balls."

The gala affairs are intended to celebrate the father-daughter relationship.

The highlight is when the fathers and daughters exchange vows, with dad signing a covenant to protect his daughter's chastity by living an unblemished life and the daughter promising not to have sex until marriage.

Many fathers at the ceremonies also slip "purity rings" around the finger of their misty-eyed daughters or offer them "chastity bracelets" and other jewelry that the girls can entrust to their husbands on their wedding night.

"The father makes a pledge that he is going to keep his mind pure and be faithful to her mother and there is also a time when there is a conversation about putting the right kinds of things in your mind, such as the father not using pornography," Leslee Unruh, founder of Abstinence Clearinghouse, a leader in the so-called purity movement, told AFP in describing the balls.

She said some 1,400 Purity Balls were held across the United States in 2006, mainly in the south and midwest, and double that number were expected to take place this year.



Posted by crazy on 2007-03-28 07:05:54
Yet another pointless ceremony that children are expected to go along with and follow the motions. It means nothing to a child whose mind is still developing. They just do what their told, say what they're told to say, and then they get to eat cake.

Posted by Pile on 2007-03-28 08:31:45
The whole thing really creeps me out. I can appreciate bonding with your children, and reinforcing the value of marriage, but ceremonies like this don't seem to mean much when most kids are quite familiar with, if not victims of divorce.

Perhaps the mom and dad should be doing those ceremonies on a regular basis, and not the kids?
Posted by wtf? on 2007-03-28 08:47:34
Well praise be to jeebus another reason to be glad I'm not American.

Your country's f*cked up.
Posted by me on 2007-03-28 09:31:51
As a Christian father of 4 girls, I must say that this type of thing makes me a little ill. You can teach your children good values without brainwashing them.
Posted by Sonvagun (Canada) on 2007-03-28 11:12:30
Typical U.S. American excess of religious(?) zeal!
While I agree to some extent that sex before marriage is not necessarily a good practice, this kind of action will never stop it or change the attitude. Very similar to the "born again' movement several years ago- and we can see where that led the US nation in Iraq.
Posted by Ozzie on 2007-05-11 18:00:16
God this is just awful, the kids won't even know what they're doing, whats the point?!
Wishful thinking
Posted by Werewere on 2007-08-26 07:43:35
I'll bet somewhere in the vow's fine print it gives priests the ability to remove the bracelets.


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