According to NBC, WASHINGTON, D.C.:
A Maryland couple had their dream wedding this month. The bride wore Vera Wang, the groom wore Tom Ford, they welcomed more than 2,500 guests -- and the bride presented her father with a "certificate of purity."
Boutique owner Brelyn Bowman (née Freeman) surprised her father at the reception of her wedding to gospel singer Tim Bowman Jr. with a document signed by a doctor stating she had kept her promise to remain abstinent before marriage. Their decision received a lot of attention on social media -- a lot of it unkind.
Brelyn Bowman, 22, said she told her father, Pastor Michael A. Freeman, when she was 13 that she would refrain from having sex. At her wedding, she said she wanted to show her dad and their loved ones that she had been faithful to their values.
"It's one thing to give your word. It's another to give proof," she said. "My whole message is embracing purity. It's all about how you honor yourself and your God."
Shortly after the wedding the couple posted wedding photos. One photo shows Brelyn slow-dancing with her father with the caption, "I was able to present a certificate of purity to him signed by my doctor that my hymen was still intact."
When the Bowmans' plane touched down after their honeymoon, they turned their phones back on and were stunned by a flood of hundreds of messages, most of them negative.
"At that moment, we had a brief meeting," Tim Bowman said. "We made a decision that we were happy that people were even talking about it."
Here are a few of the comments from the end of the article linked above:
"Yep, let's just reinforce this ridiculous notion that a woman only has value if she's a virgin."
"Charming. Did she further 'honor' her father by undergoing female circumcision as well?"
"This sounds like coming from the 1800s"
" ... the MD certificate is just creepy."
There was a time not that long ago when those who strove to live a moral life were considered good examples. Today, any such effort is sure to make you the butt end of jokes. The world's sense of what is moral and what serves as a good example has, indeed, been turned upside down.
The new rule seems to be that those who operate without moral standards provide the best example for the rest of us. Not only that, they use their elevated place in society to mock and criticize those who embrace traditional values. But Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” not, “Let him who rejects the idea of morality altogether cast the first stone" (John 8:7).
We are all sinners, no matter how hard we strive to be a good example. Two thousand years ago, long before the tables were turned, it was the religious elite who felt free to judge. But Jesus made it clear that sinners who cast stones at sinners are hypocrites, no matter who they are. With that in mind, I registered the following comment, which was the only positive comment, I might add, to the above mentioned article:
I do believe it strengthens a union when two people can look into each other's eyes and say, "Before I knew who you were, I was faithful to you."
Jesus said,"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
I've got no stones to cast, either at those who attempt to do what they think is right, or at those who don't. These two young people did something that was meaningful to them and honoring of their God. Shouldn't we all be glad for them, whether we agree with their approach or not? I don't understand the hate. If this young man were a drug dealer and his bride a prostitute, I doubt they’d be the object of so much scorn. And I hope I'd still have no stones to cast.