For last weeks Something Different Saturday, click here.
So for today’s article I’d like to talk about one of the most taboo topics in all of christianity, something so wrong and evil that everyone who is alive today is the result of it. That topic is of course sex, intercourse, the horizontal polka, fucking, screwing, making love, and doing it.
So first off let’s try and figure out exactly why sex is so sinful and taboo. In the book of Genesis we find that when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, they saw that they were naked and were ashamed. Yet it doesn’t mention the sex act whatsoever. However many modern fundamentalist christians will point to this passage as a condemnation of sexual intercourse without ever knowing why. They will make broad assumptions to prove this point, stating that eve had sex with the serpent, or that the fruit was actually sodomy, but nothing in the Bible points to this. These are nothing more than explanations of original sin doctrine that have been passed down since at least the time of Augustine.
“Nothing is so much to be shunned as sex relations.” – St Augustine
To Augustine, sex was seen as an act associated with the downfall of man. He taught that god excused sex between married couples but only so far as for reproductive purposes. Sex for the purpose of fun and enjoyment was seen as incredibly sinful. Note that in the Catholic church not much has really changed in this regard, their hatred towards any form of contraception is the evidence that their ideals about sex are still firmly centered around reproduction.
The Protestant church has their own mascot in the form of Martin Luther.
“Intercourse is never without sin; but God excuses it by his grace because the estate of marriage is his work.”
Once again we see that god only excuses sex in regards to the reproductive faculties of marriage. So is it any wonder that these beliefs have been passed down through the ages in one form or another? Perhaps you would believe that christians themselves are chaste individuals who have sex far less frequently than the rest of the world yet this is not what we find in reality.
People, regardless of if they are Christians or not are having sex with one another with great regularity. Teenagers of parents who teach an abstinence only style of sex education are much more likely to get pregnant by having unsafe sex, most of these being from the faith community. So then if this is the case then why do Christians still regard sex with such shame?
Homosexual relations are completely shunned by many denominations and churches within christianity. We can point to scriptures that actually condemn such acts, yet there is no condemnation for sex in general. I am not saying that homosexuality is wrong, I am simply saying there is a biblical basis for those who speak out against it. Homosexuality is completely natural, exists throughout the animal kingdom and should not be shunned whatsoever.
From my own opinion, the only reason that sex is regarded with such shame is that generation after generation, since early christianity, have been told to view the sex act with shame. Today, folks no longer actually have any idea why this began and yet the meme continues on down through the years. I have my own assumptions as to why this was originally promoted. The following should be taken as opinion and not as a statement of fact.
Sex creates a euphoric feeling, if it’s good, you may seem to reach heights of pleasure unfound in the rest of the world. Sex is also fun and cheap for the most part. It is something that people can enjoy equally from the richest to the poorest of people. Sex can provide feelings of comfort, security, intimacy, joy, desire, etc… You might also note that the church promotes itself as the only true source of these experiences. Why would anyone want to pay tithes, offerings, and spend years in service to the church if they can get the same experiences in a safer and much cheaper way?
So the next question is, what effect has the churches feelings on sex had in the real world? Already mentioned is the high number of teen pregnancies in the faith community, but much more than that is found when you look deeper. Having a celibate priest system in the Catholic church has led to numerous issues which we all know very well. As Christopher Hitchens would have put it, “No Child’s Behind Left.”
Just as serious are the effects of sexual repression in the psyche. When sexual urges are repressed, they have a tendency to come out in violent and sudden ways. Men begin to view women as the enemy, carrying around with them a pleasure trove that is incredibly sinful. Women face the fear of rape on a daily basis, many times due to sexually repressed men acting out in a dangerous and unsafe fashion. Would these have still occurred if religion didn’t stand so strongly in objection to safe and consensual sex?
The fact that the church has promoted marriage as an excuse for couples to have intercourse has led many couples to marry when they are not actually compatible. Now coupled with the guilt of a possible divorce, these couples continue to procreate, and in many times abuse the children of this procreation. A child born into an unloving home is much more likely to have a rough life, filled with the same mistakes that their parents made. They are more likely to have drug and alcohol abuse issues, as well as even more mental health issues.
To try to end on a happier note. I find the christian churches stance against sodomy to be quite funny. Not due to the prohibition, but due to the fact that almost no one in the christian church understands what sodomy actually is. Sodomy, according to the Hebrews that condemned it, was any sexual act outside of vaginal procreation. So if you are against sodomy, make sure you aren’t enjoying any oral sex, no hand jobs, no heavy petting, or toys. Vaginal sex in the missionary position is all you get.
Fun Fact: It might come to some people’s surprise that every single bible purchased today comes complete with a softcore porn story.