Everyone knows that different jobs require different skills and qualifications. Of all the things an employer might ask of you, one of most demanding may be to abstain from sex.
If celibacy is listed on your résumé as work-related experience, your best bet will be for a career in religion. Monks and nuns are required to be celibate, as are some priests and bishops in Catholic and Orthodox traditions.
Often, in religious contexts, the stated purpose of celibacy is to keep the mind focused on righteous living and one's relationship to God, instead of on earthly desires and pleasures of the flesh. It is a symbol of sacrifice, faith, and utter devotion.
For this very reason, some cults have also adopted celibacy. The suicidal Heaven's Gate cult, for example, encouraged celibacy on the premise that the human sex drive is inherently evil and many members, including the male leader, were castrated.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul reveals himself to be a fan of celibacy, writing in the book 1 Corinthians,It is good for a man not to touch a woman, and goes on to provide instructions for how to avoid sexual relations .
But many people aren't sold on the idea of celibacy, and have suggested that the Catholic Church's insistence on celibacy contributed to its sex abuse scandals over the past decades. Still, it remains an important doctrine; in June 2010, Pope Benedict defended the celibacy job requirement as a great sign of faith, of the presence of God in the world."
Celibacy has a long history. In ancient Rome, for example, priestesses of the virgin goddess Vesta were required to be celibate. These women, better known today as the Vestal Virgins, took a three-decade vow of celibacy so that men would not distract them from their studies and religious duties. Their celibacy may have been a small price to pay for a pampered and privileged lifestyle though breaking the vow was punishable by being burned alive.
Not all celibacy requirements are religious. In ancient Chinese dynasties, men who wished to be employed by an emperor often had a stiffer job requirement than celibacy: they had to be castrated. The idea was that, once incapable of having heirs, they would be less likely to plot against the emperor and seize power.
Indeed, even in modern times some have noted that the Catholic church's position on celibacy may be at least partly financially motivated, as celibate clergy cannot create heirs that would inherit money and property that would otherwise be left to the church.
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