Why Do Matters of Sexuality Upset the Christian Community So Much?

Marty Hamrick
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Why Do Matters of Sexuality Upset the Christian Community So Much?

When I posted this in original form on another site, many Christians wanted to be the first to jump up and show how "progressive and not prudish they were." Still didn't answer my question. In all fairness though, you have to understand where I came from, the Bible Belt, the Deep South where there's a church on just about every corner and local governments are deeply entrenched into fundamentalism.

Down in the Bible Belt, Fundamentalist Christians are very vocal and politically very active and since I grew up down there and worked in media, I think I know pretty well what gets Christians, particularly the Bible believing fundamentalist type.

Sexual matters in general seem to send them into fits. If a group of fundamentalists are going to protest or picket something, it's either homosexuality, topless and nudie bars, adult book and video stores and sex education in school. I've also seen them at movie theaters protesting sexual content or another theme that they find offensive. I've never seen them protest unfair conditions for workers, never seen them lift a finger toward an environmental cause and the ones I know seem to really love war, some of the more political type even call for it (dominionists). I just came from covering a protest in downtown Toronto, the "occupy" movement, where folks are protesting the disparity and inequality, that they feel is caused by corporate greed, another issue I've seldom, if ever heard a Bible believer complain about.

Yet just let an issue hint of sexuality and they come out of the woodwork as if space aliens have attacked. I've seen them protest such trivialities as: A live performance of O Calcutta at a downtown civic centre in Jacksonville, Florida, The showing of several movies including, Monty Python's ":Life of Brian", "The Last Temptation of Christ and in Alabama a judge banned the film "Paper Moon" because it had a scene of Tatum O Neal in the bathtub with a cigarette.I've seen them also shut down sex education curriculum in Charleston, SC. I've seen Christian groups go on organized campaigns complete with marches and political actions to shut down a nudie or bikini bar or adult video store, but have yet to see a fundamentalist protest a war, social and economic disparity or environmental issue.

I'm not a big fan of nudie bars or porn either, but I see no reason to ruin someone else's fun and i just don't see sexual matters as that big of a deal, at least not to the point where I felt it needed a social movement. It makes me really wonder about their own sexuality, which they claim is better because they have a relationship with god. I have to really question their claims to having a great sex life. Former televangelist Ted Haggard made the statement that "Evangelical Christians had the best sex of anybody" just before the scandal came out about him messing around with a gay male prostitute. It just seems to me to be an obsession more so than a social concern, and makes me wonder what kind of sexual skeletons more fundamentalist Christians have in their closets.

I also have yet to see a church disavow a priest or minister who was found guilty of child molestation. In the past, the Catholic Church just sent pedophile priests to other parishes. I've seen the same thing in fundy churches, in Jacksonville, Florida, for example, a few years ago, the former pastor of one of the largest fundamentalist churches was caught up in a molestation scandal that dated back decades. The church still defended him right up until he died.

I really have to wonder about their sexual mental health as well as their priorities. What kind of god would make sex one of the strongest urges in living things only to put ridiculous constraints on a natural biological function? I'm not interested in biblical defenses or liberals telling me, "that's not really what the bible says, fundies are in error". Heard that before. I just want to know what's going on in these people's heads and why other people's sex lives are of such concern.     

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


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 5 excellent posts today

 5 excellent posts today Marty.  I sent them all out on twitter which gets reposted to facebook.  Hopefully some theists will come, even if they don't sign up for an account.

 

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I am in full agreement with

I am in full agreement with you on this one. I do not understand the aversion to sexuality. I just saw where Wisconsin wants to remove the teaching of contraception from school sex ed and promote an abstinence only type program. It was only 2 years ago they started teaching about contraception. I have seen the reports of these same types of issues all though the country. So really it is not just the south (although they do really go after it there).

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

You see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.


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Marty Hamrick wrote: I just

Marty Hamrick wrote:

 I just want to know what's going on in these people's heads and why other people's sex lives are of such concern.     

Study sexology. There are volumes written about it. It's well understood.

There's nothing mysterious about it. The main problems are how child's minds are shaped by their environment, the cultural and social pressures surrounding their own sexuality.

Children are born oblivious and naturally curious about their genitalia. This freaks out most parents.

Not too difficult to spot the problem...

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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I agree Marty.

The churches are OBSESSED with sex. Perhaps they have too much repression and secretly wish that they could be frequenting the topless bars and such.

 EDIT : Same thing could be said of Islam and it's downright barbaric treatment of the opposite sex

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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If you want to know why they

If you want to know why they seem so interested and/or freaked out about sex, sexuality, and seem to want everyone to feel disgusted and ashamed of it I can offer a few different possible reasons. One of them is simply that it helps them maintain a patriarchal system. When sexuality is more open and frank and 'acceptable' so too then are contraceptives and the idea of a woman being her own person and being able to be in control of herself and her sexuality. In essence it becomes harder to control women and that is one big element I think. Another thing is this, guilt about sex is also key. Make teenagers who are already awkward, nervous, etc. about the changes going on feeling guilty about the thoughts that they're having they will try to get rid of the guilt and one easy way of doing that is in the various religious groups that will further codify the guilt and do what they can to exacerbate it, the guilt is also another good way to maintain the patriarchy. Another element has to do with helping spread the religion, they say that only married couples should have sex, this tends to push marriages quickly and/or the people involved are going to be likely turning to the church for support which will mean that the little tykes get indoctrinated. Part of it is also that ignorance is their friend, babies mean that people are less likely to be able to get a higher education and a good job which in turn helps keep them ignorant, dependent, and thus more likely to be part of a religious group.


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Joker wrote:If you want to

Joker wrote:

If you want to know why they seem so interested and/or freaked out about sex, sexuality, and seem to want everyone to feel disgusted and ashamed of it I can offer a few different possible reasons. One of them is simply that it helps them maintain a patriarchal system. When sexuality is more open and frank and 'acceptable' so too then are contraceptives and the idea of a woman being her own person and being able to be in control of herself and her sexuality. In essence it becomes harder to control women and that is one big element I think. Another thing is this, guilt about sex is also key. Make teenagers who are already awkward, nervous, etc. about the changes going on feeling guilty about the thoughts that they're having they will try to get rid of the guilt and one easy way of doing that is in the various religious groups that will further codify the guilt and do what they can to exacerbate it, the guilt is also another good way to maintain the patriarchy. Another element has to do with helping spread the religion, they say that only married couples should have sex, this tends to push marriages quickly and/or the people involved are going to be likely turning to the church for support which will mean that the little tykes get indoctrinated. Part of it is also that ignorance is their friend, babies mean that people are less likely to be able to get a higher education and a good job which in turn helps keep them ignorant, dependent, and thus more likely to be part of a religious group.

 

Outstanding post! You've put in a nutshell why the religious have problems with their hoo hoos.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


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 The most basic answer is

 The most basic answer is that Religion has always reflected our social and economic order, it doesn't matter which religion, we all use the way that we see the world as a reference point for understanding (or trying to understand), the will of God. and historically, sex was a means to one of two ends. 

1: the production of workers/peasants

2: the consolidation of wealth. 

Because child rearing was so locked in to our natural economic order, it's only natural that the means of there production would be a very serious act that must not be preformed lightly. that is to say, it's only natural that the act of giving live be seen as something either sanctioned or condemned by God. Only (I would say) in the last century has marriage ceased to be purely a financial affair, and religion and religious people have been slow to catch up. 


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uaar

 Religion touches sexuality because sexuality touches love, and love is matter of you-know-who.


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What pisses me off is that

What pisses me off is that when we agree with the obvious, not even that appeases morons with this mindset. I can and do agree that the safest way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or disease is to not have sex.  You CAN END UP with a baby you don't want or cant afford, and you can catch something, even wearing a condom.

But these idiots who promote this want to make it magical and biblical, not pragmatic beyond political and religious labels.

I was a teen once and I can tell you any teen, male or female has raging hormones and no matter what you tell them the WILL take risks.  I look back at my sexual behavior and could have very easily, because I was young dumb and full of cum, could have ended up getting a girl pregnant. The best any parent can do EDUCATE THEM.

It is not evil to know how a penis or vagina work. It is not evil to know what kind of diseases you can contract with unprotected sex. It is not evil to use a condom. It is not evil to empower girls/women, into telling them they(not their partners, not their parents and not society) they own their body, no one else. Economic and health issues are good reasons to not have sex. But to make sex out to be religious or magical like the end of a romance movie is childish and absurd.

Hand masturbation is the safest way to have sex without oral, anal or vaginal sex. Oral sex counts. You cant make a baby, but you can catch something if the partner already has something.

The only thing you can do is raise the kid with knowledge. It is not enough to simply say "don't do that"

 

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Mmmm

 

From my understanding, marriage is a sacred sacrament - akin to the 'relationship' god has with his church. Humourously, this relationship can include pretty much any sort of debauchery Mum and Dad (and jesus) can come up. Once you're married, it's all on, baby. However, christians in my experience, can be stilted when it comes to expressing sexuality. And they are defensive - as if they are the only holders of family morality. Heaven help the poor single mums (Jezebels) of the world. Perhaps this hails back to Onan, who was found behind the camel sheds clutching a well-thumbed Bras 'n Things catalogue and a wee amphora of olive oil.

I don't think we can discount the influence of the fairer sex in this. I think this is a part of religion women really sign up to because it helps them control men's behaviour. It's cultural too, I think. I recall reading in James Cook's diary that when he and the men of the HMS Endeavour were in Tahiti in 177-something, the locals allowed them to watch their fertility celebrations. They involved a feast and some palaver of dancing which culminated in the best looking boy and the best looking girl in the town shagging on a freshly-turned and planted paddock to the delight of the onlookers (including the sailors). This sort of behaviour, which no doubt, has been replicated in many religious ceremonies in many cultures, was successfully labeled 'satanic' by the early christians and is now instinctively connected with pagan religions, fresh milked blood, pentagrams and Bacchus goat horns.  

I think in fairness, the issue is complex, relating to the power of the feelings involved, the importance of child birth, the connection to kids, the strength of lust, the fact physical intimacy generates strong neurological bonds; particularly, but not only in women; the evolutionary importance of fidelity to many in one gender and infidelity to many in the other. Throw in a one dimensional dogma from a monotheistic religion and it's no wonder it all goes sideways. Look at catholic priests who were denied wives to stop them handing their parishes on to their own sons. And consider Islam. Your muslim man says he can't bear to look at a girl in the flesh yet seems unable to restrain himself from raping every lady journalist who attends Tahrir Square - a behaviour that makes me think the Egyptians richly deserve the corrupt, violent, autocratic leadership they are certainly going to get. 

 

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Hello Brian. An evangelical Christian's response to you.

Brian37 wrote:

A. What pisses me off is that when we agree with the obvious, not even that appeases morons with this mindset. I can and do agree that the safest way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or disease is to not have sex.  You CAN END UP with a baby you don't want or cant afford, and you can catch something, even wearing a condom.

B. I was a teen once and I can tell you any teen, male or female has raging hormones and no matter what you tell them the WILL take risks.  I look back at my sexual behavior and could have very easily, because I was young dumb and full of cum, could have ended up getting a girl pregnant. The best any parent can do EDUCATE THEM. 

 

I labeled the two parts A and B. I will respond to each.
 

A. I am assuming you are regarding the mindset of Christians being upset with matters of sexuality. As a Christian Community we are definitely concerned with the deviations of sexual intercourse, however, placing the actions of fundamentalist groups as those from Westboro Baptist Church upon evangelical Christianity is unfair. They are definitely not considered Baptist or evangelical with their actions. Their actions do not reflect the gospel of Jesus Christ. The original poster of this thread talked about his years spent in the Fundamentalist Deep South, so his exposure to Fundamentalism has given him the idea that most Christians do not educate their children about sex and just forbid them to do it. However, that is a great concern for Christians (to be able to educate along the lines of the Bible, but also educate them on things such as condom use, etc.).I agree with the rest of your statement under letter “A.”

 

B. Most Christians are very aware of the factor of lust and hormones. However, just letting that continue without sound Biblical teaching to children would not be permissible for Christians. Of course, you believe that magic and the Bible is pretty much the same, but it’s not and Christians take heed the Bible because it is God’s revelation to us. You say that all parents can do is educate them, but Christians can educate AND also educate them according to the Bible and why holding off sexual intercourse until marriage is important.

 

Thanks for reading.

-jn


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Brian37 wrote: C. It is not

Brian37 wrote:

 C. It is not evil to know how a penis or vagina work. It is not evil to know what kind of diseases you can contract with unprotected sex. It is not evil to use a condom. It is not evil to empower girls/women, into telling them they(not their partners, not their parents and not society) they own their body, no one else. Economic and health issues are good reasons to not have sex. But to make sex out to be religious or magical like the end of a romance movie is childish and absurd.D. Hand masturbation is the safest way to have sex without oral, anal or vaginal sex. Oral sex counts. You cant make a baby, but you can catch something if the partner already has something.E. The only thing you can do is raise the kid with knowledge. It is not enough to simply say "don't do that"

Once again, lettered your comments.

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c.  I agree it is not evil to know how sexual organs work. I agree that condoms are not evil in and of themselves, but it is the reason for the use of condoms. A loose sexual life is taught against, not only because of the health risks, but also taking away the great worth of a sexual relationship amongst married men and women under God’s teachings. There are many other sexualities that is condemned to be unnatural such as incest (esp. once human population was high enough.). Also, homosexual sexual orientation is clearly unnatural.

Should we let biology tell us what is natural or our lusts for simple stimulation through sexual acts? Nothing is “magical” or “religious” about Christianity’s view on sex. It is just as practical, except the fact that our God is invisible to the human eye.

d. Masturbation is definitely safer than any other sexual act! I admit that, and the struggle of lust eats away at young Christians, because of the lack of understanding of why it is wrong! It’s because relying on our human desires and letting that lead to pornography and further sexual activity. Pornography is an ancient “corporation” that was really only available to the rich and those that had means usually. However, today we have the internet. It is available to anyone who has a device that can get onto the internet via wifi or what not. Pornography cheapens sex. Pornography victimizes those that are involved in it just as prostitution is. Most victims of the porn industry are not proud and flaunting what they are doing, I’m sure. It is only those “infamous” few . Porn industries are truly filled with all sorts of evil and sin. That’s why we need to receive God’s gift of salvation by grace through faith. There is no other way to deal with sin and the life after.

e. Again, sex education is not the only thing CHRISTIANS can do while raising children, it includes Biblical sex education. 

 

Thanks for reading.

-jn


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Religion's main source of

Religion's main source of power comes from hijacking people's sexuality especially women's. When men use threats to control women's sexuality they are either rapists, pimps or pastors.

However, one thing I think the atheist community has failed to do is appeal to people with a natural inclination to be monogamous. We know that nature produced a very wide range of sexual orientations. From gay, bisexual, highly promiscuous, asexual and monogamous. If one is naturally inclined to be monogamous and desire a single long term partner, these people think they should be with the religious crowd, not the secular or atheist. If a young woman desires a husband that won't cheat on her, she is told to meet a 'good Christian man, non-believers are all promiscuous or gay'. Since the 'sexual purity' of religion appeals to many young women, men get pussy whipped into 'believing' because that's they only way they get any from these women.

I know myself, I was promiscuous for a time. Now, I just want to stay with one woman and not I'm not really interested in cheating. One of the problems we have is that I still have the habit of checking out women in public. Now if I want help to be a 'faithful' husband, the only help out there is all religious shit for my sexual sins. So if I want a happy marriage, the only way to have one is to ask magic sky daddy for help. I need to believe I'll be tortured for all eternity just for looking at an attractive woman and so will all the gays.

The Christians have hijacked monogamous marriage and convinced the public that the only way to be a good husband and father is with faith in the bible. Even though the authors and role models in the bible were either asexual(Jesus, Paul), highly promiscuous(Solomon, David, Abraham, etc...) or polygamists(Moses).

Shouldn't their be atheist groups for people committed to marriage and monogamy? Atheists for family values? Why not?

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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 Then you have the Mormoms

 Then you have the Mormoms who hijacked polygamy until the federal law convinced their god otherwise.

I don't see any reason for atheists to group together on such a non-god, non-science issue. Why would one atheist group be for monogamy and another polygamy and another for no marriage? That is for individuals to decide. If you happen to enjoy the company of a fellow monogamous  than that is all well and good.  But to do it in a way for political clout to draw in Christians seems deceptive.  The fact that Christian promote it just shows their hypocrisy. They say they are for family values but you know that is a lie and certainly you can think of such stellar examples. I left Christianity just because of such lies and facades. I like being an atheist because I simply can be a human being. I am married and monogamous and a caring person. I love my family. That is just who I am as a human being. I didn't need Christianity to make that happen. In fact it added lots of burdens to families, such as giving your money away, trying to pretend you are happy and love Jesus, being "concerned" about those family members who are going to hell, and all the rest of the bullshit.  My church is the right one and all that splintering.

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ex-minister wrote:I don't

ex-minister wrote:

I don't see any reason for atheists to group together on such a non-god, non-science issue. Why would one atheist group be for monogamy and another polygamy and another for no marriage?

 

I think you misunderstood what I'm saying. Nature and some nurture decide one's sexual orientation for you. Because I'm heterosexual doesn't mean I'm against gays. But you know birds of a feather want to flock together, so I really don't have any interest in hanging out with homosexuals socially and they probably don't have much interest in me. Same with guys that want to pick up lots of chicks.

So where does an atheist that is interested in having a happy marriage and family turn to be with like minded people? Religion has pretty much hijacked family values and monogamy. I'm just saying shouldn't all atheists want to end the hijacking marriage and family values regardless of their orientation? How can atheism be seen as an option for those oriented toward heterosexual monogamy?

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:ex-minister

EXC wrote:

ex-minister wrote:

I don't see any reason for atheists to group together on such a non-god, non-science issue. Why would one atheist group be for monogamy and another polygamy and another for no marriage?

 

I think you misunderstood what I'm saying. Nature and some nurture decide one's sexual orientation for you. Because I'm heterosexual doesn't mean I'm against gays. But you know birds of a feather want to flock together, so I really don't have any interest in hanging out with homosexuals socially and they probably don't have much interest in me. Same with guys that want to pick up lots of chicks.

So where does an atheist that is interested in having a happy marriage and family turn to be with like minded people? Religion has pretty much hijacked family values and monogamy. I'm just saying shouldn't all atheists want to end the hijacking marriage and family values regardless of their orientation? How can atheism be seen as an option for those oriented toward heterosexual monogamy?

 

 

I'm heterosexual monogamous and I have friends who are and we are all happy atheists together.  Those of my friends who are religious don't proselytize and I don't rain on their parade.  If you don't look for support in a church, you will find it elsewhere.  Not difficult.  Hang out in family places and talk about the kids.  The churchy ones will bring it up, the atheists won't.  As you become comfortable with each other, you can suggest non-churchy things to do together, and there you go.  Atheist family relationships.

I do agree we should take over the "family values" talks.  Atheists raise children who become happy, healthy, productive adults.  No religion required.  And dragging your children to church when you don't believe doesn't teach them anything but how to be a hypocrite.

 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Family Values...

I have over the years been married three times.
My first wife and I were together for 11 years, and we had one son, my eldest. She developed schizophrenia, and the marriage became untenable.

My second was perhaps a mistake from the onset, I married my girlfriend because she had medical issues and I had insurance through my job, not the best reason. But we none the less stayed together for almost 13 years, and had a daughter together, my baby, now 19 and in University. The marriage ended after we drifted apart emotionally. No hatred, no rancor just no love left.


My third marriage has been going on now for 13 years, and all's well, we are happy.

She has two kids biologically and we have adopted 8 children, and one foster daughter. Total kids, 13 with 36 grand kids.

I'm not claiming expertise, but I think I can call myself experienced in family and marriage.

3 or 4 of my kids are Atheists, outright. Some are into their native (first nations) spirituality, my youngest who stayed with her Mom is catholic and the rest are for the most part, irreligious.

My take on religion and sexuality tends to follow the sex as control idea...
If you can dictate what is a basic human action, control it, instill guilt and no small amount of paranoia by it, you literally and figuratively have your people by the balls.
I agree with the OP, no one protests Red Lobster even though eating shellfish is listed as an abomination in the same book that gives that appellation to gays.
And even though it's absurd to contemplate that a cosmic being, capable of conceptualizing and creating the entire universe cares what a hairless ape does with its genitalia, a lot of people think just that.
The bible is silent on the issue of abortion except for suggesting a fine to be paid to the husband if a man causes a woman to miscarry.
The Bible doesn't have problems with polygamy, scores of patriarchal concubines, selling ones daughters into slavery, glosses over patriarchal incest, rape of captured virgins etc... yet NOTHING gets a fudamentalist as wigged out as someone elses sexuality...

 

LC >;-}>

Sorry for the ramble.


 

Christianity: A disgusting middle eastern blood cult, based in human sacrifice, with sacraments of cannibalism and vampirism, whose highest icon is of a near naked man hanging in torment from a device of torture.


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Sex is a Red Herring

Christians focus on sexual misbehaviors because all of the reasons in these posts but mainly because it relieves them of their responsibility to lead lives consistent with the gospels.  (Sexual morality is mentioned only once in passing the gospels. Taking care of others (sick and poor) are constant themes.) 

 

If Christians are demonstrating their values by attacking someone else they do not have to waste their time and money helping the sick and poor, indulging in self restraint with food and money or whatever. Christianity, as practiced in America, is all about self-righteousness. If you can find a way to look moral without taking the trouble to do anything “good” then you are admired by your peers. Sex is a great tool in accomplishing this. Especially the gay issue. If you are straight, you can live your life condemning gays earning the admiration of all your peers, safely attacking a minority (as is always the forte of bullies) without ever worrying about being caught in the sin you condemn.  


Because of their approach to sex, Christians can live a lazy, cruel, greedy, alcoholic, self centered, obese, spouse and child abusing life and still be held in high esteem by their community.