The Christian Obsession With Human Sexuality
(This is a transcript of Al Stefanelli’s “Voice Of Reason” segment on my American Heathen® Internet Radio Show)
“Bad facts make bad law, and people who write bad laws are in my opinion more dangerous than songwriters who celebrate sexuality.” – Frank Zappa
Christian fundamentalists in the United States are obsessed with sexuality. By and large, they are hostile toward most forms of sexual expression. Censorship efforts and attempts at sexual repression come almost exclusively from religion.When one breaks down the resistance to humanism, secularism, post-modernism, relativism, feminism and other non-religious ideals, it always comes down to morality, and further breaks down to sex.
It seems that it’s fine and dandy to have numerous acts of violence in movies and on television, but the sight of the “naughty parts” draw the unending wrath of the godly, which then filters down to what a consenting adult can watch in the privacy of their own homes. Christian morality is fixated on avoiding certain sexual sins to the virtual exclusion of everything else.It renders as evil virtually everything connected with sex outside of marriage, and even some sexual acts between married couples. It seems that god has a vindictive fixation on human genitals.
Christianity has developed a hard-core antagonism toward human sexuality.The attitude that Christianity has toward sex is morbid and unnatural and is probably the worst feature of the religion. The church’s aversion to sex is not only unfounded, but harmful.This anti-sexual attitude has inflicted untold human misery and has been particularly hostile to women. The prevailing view of women by the church is that of a temptress and the inspiration of what they view as impure lusts. The Christian writings during the witch hunts were steeped with revulsion to female sexuality. Hughes de St. Cher, a medieval cardinal, wrote,
“Woman pollutes the body, drains the resources, kills the soul, uproots the strength, blinds the eye, and embitters the voice.”
The Christian doctrines and dogmas surrounding sexual activity originated with Saint Augustine around 400 ce, and even after 1700 years the theology he created regarding human sexuality is still the basis for Christianity. It surrounds the doctrine of “Original Sin,” the belief that humans are born inherently evil. Augustine believed that the only way to combat original sin was God’s grace through sexual renunciation.
These personal beliefs of Augustine were transformed into church doctrine, that the more you suffer, the closer you are to God. These beliefs were the genesis of Puritanism and his anti-sexual writings inspired the missionary position for sexual intercourse. Woman on her back, the man on top, in the dark, three-minute-max and for procreation purposes only. It was Augustine who fostered the belief that intercourse was fundamentally disgusting. Another church father, Arnobius, called it filthy and degrading, Methodius thought sex to be unseemly, St. Jerome stated that it was unclean, Tertullian said it was shameful and Ambrose called it a defilement. Early Christian leaders made sex and “sin” synonymous. Origen of Alexandria reportedly went so far as self-castration.
In spite of the growing resentment that post-modern Americans have toward sexual taboos, the church today remains a haven for the sexually suppressed. Rampant reports of sexual misconduct against their own rules have revealed profound hypocrisy, as many Christian lawmakers fight the repeal of puritanical laws that remain on the books of many states against socially harmless sexual behavior.
Fornication, cohabitation, seduction, adultery, lewd and lascivious behavior and sodomy are still treated as modern crimes. Some penal codes admit the religious character of sex crimes by calling them “Crimes against Nature” or against “God’s natural order.” These are direct violations of the First Amendment clause of the separation of church and state and these absurd, obsolete and unconstitutional laws have no business being extant.
Besides the fact that it’s nobody’s business, as long as it does not involve minors or non-consensual adults. The government has no business in the bedroom and the church has no business there, either. All of this is done in the face of the obvious. Sex is good. It brings pleasure, relaxes us and releases stress and tension. It is not something that should be looked upon as dirty or sinful. It should not be taught as something to be avoided unless the twisted and archaic criteria of religious conditions are met.
Violence that has been shown to have a detrimental effect on the behavior of our youth and society in general. Instead, we rant and rave about tits and ass being the scourge of our nation, when in reality, it usually ends up in either really great sex or a little self-pleasuring. Of course, the church’s position on masturbation is a whole other comedy show. The fact that the church has attached words like “addiction” and “cure” to normal human sexuality reveals that it considers it on par with drug abuse and other harmful conditions and even mental illness. True enough that many years ago there did not exist the understanding that we have now about sexually transmitted diseases, but we also didn’t know about how certain food handling methods were linked to many horrific medical conditions, and we’ve only recently started sterilizing surgical tools.
We’ve changed the way we process foods and no longer use unsterile medical equipment because we’ve been educated on how to safely perform these things. The same should hold universally true for sexual activity. However, sex education, the use of condoms and other forms of birth control and disease prevention methods have met a wall of resistance erected by the church.
Take note, Christian. You are not the boss of us and, frankly, we think your attitudes toward sex are laughable and your efforts to legislate your beliefs into our laws are really starting to piss us off.