Why do Christians hate sex?

"Write what you know," the adage says, which is one of many good reasons why I don't write about sex much. I do, however, write about American politics and American Christianity, and about the intersection of American politics and American Christianity, and these days it's awful hard to write about any of that without also writing about sex.

What's up with that? How did our privates become so very public? And why, in particular, do American Christians seem so very obsessed with a punitive and negative politics of sex?

Such questions have many dismissive answers, half-joking remarks about repressed prudes and misogynist perverts. And those half-jokes wouldn't be half-funny if they weren't also half-true — many of the most vocal and strident sex-obsessed activists do seem to be repressed prudes and misogynist perverts.

Some of the anti-sex-obsessed just seem like they're the embodiment of Mencken's definition of a puritan: "someone who is deathly afraid that someone, somewhere, is having fun." But when we keep encountering conservative activists describing their "first girlfriend" as a farm animal, or ad libbing about man-on-dog love, or writing novels in which the heroine is raped by a bear, then I think it's safe to say there's something much darker going on than mere puritanism.

But apart from the explicit perverts, I think there's also a lot of other stuff going on at a lot of other levels that's worth exploring. And anyway, I'm not a therapist, I'm a journalist with a background in theology. So I'm not particularly interested here in somebody like James Dobson, who seems like raw material for a string of Ph.D. dissertations on a variety of dysfunctions. I'm more interested in the otherwise normal-seeming Ned-Flanders-type evangelical Christians next door, the people who seem to find the Dobson types persuasive even if they themselves don't seem to be working through quite so many issues as America's favorite spanking guru.

So, then, it's a somewhat unfairly provocative way of framing the question, but: Why do Christians hate sex?

  • Niels Jackson

    Hapax — Am I supposed to be impressed with a link that proves my point? Your link shows that the Church condemned abortion as far back as 125. There have obviously been disputes over the ages as to: 1) Whether abortion was a crime deserving the death penalty, or whether it was merely a serious sin; and 2) Whether abortion was to be condemned prior to quickening (which at the time had more to do with the lack of ability to determine whether a woman was pregnant at all).
    But no one ever suggested that abortion was a “right” until about 30-40 years ago. That’s where trendy, modern Christians break sharply with 2000 years of Christian belief.
    how on earth did “morality” suddenly become equated with “sexual sins”?
    Aren’t we talking about sex here? That’s the context for my remark.
    Most Christian theologians, and certainly Jesus, the prophets, and the other writers of the Bible, were much more interested in economic and social injustice, and such sins as vanity, pride, greed, theft, and the like.
    True. And it would be quite interesting if there were Christians who organized themselves to reverse traditional teachings on those issues. I.e., if Christians started insisting that theft was a “constitutional right,” etc. In that case, I’d say the same: You’re breaking with many centuries of moral teaching; moreover, my belief that stealing is wrong is not a sign that I hate “property” or some such nonsense.

  • Niels Jackson

    strong differences of opinion on homosexual unions
    I don’t believe for a minute that you can find any remotely significant differences of opinion on homosexual unions in the early or medieval church. (If you’re relying on John Boswell’s bogus scholarship, read this.)

  • Duane

    Yawn.
    Fred, can you change the title of your post to “Why Are Christians Obsessed With Appearing Not To Hate Sex When All Their Rhetoric And Actions Indicate Such” ?
    That way Niels can go picket an abortion clinic or hand out abstinence literature to sinners or whatever he does on Thursday evening. And the rest of us can get back to trying to figure out the root of Christianists’ obsession with our genitalia instead of arguing over this semantical bullshit.

  • bulbul

    Are you insinuating that the early Church was in favor of gay marriage, contraception in schools, abortion, adultery, or any number of other sexual sins? Or what?
    Actually, I am not sure about gay marriage. As there were no schools in the modern sense of the word, not to mention contraception, I am not insunuating that.
    But I am certain that in the early Church and quite a long time after that the Church did not care about abortion the way modern churches do. Check out Thomas Aquinas and what he has to say on the subject of “life begins at conception”. Hint: he says it doesn’t.

  • No, I’M the Decider

    Wow… well, if the opinion of a female atheist means anything, here goes:
    RE “hatred of sex”: clearly, Christianity didn’t invent it (I’m not an expert, but it seems to go way, way back and been embraced by every major religion to some extent), but they (Christians) certainly didn’t hesitate to run with it. I honestly don’t know (and if anyone can tip us to some sort of scholarly literature, please do) whether the attempted control of sexual behavior was rooted entirely in control of women or just fear of loss of control in general or revulsion at the body’s natural processes, etc. or a combo of the three or others I haven’t thought of. I don’t really care what the early church or Paul or whoever back in the day thought about sex because 1) we’re living here now, not 2,000 years ago or 500 years ago and 2) why should what any religion thinks about sex affect me or anyone else? Exactly what right does any religion have to enforce how anyone lives? The pope can put out all the statements he wants, but why should the opinion of an old, sex-shunning guy in a dress matter to anyone if it involves sexuality? It’s like taking Tom Cruise’s opinion on post-partum depression or psychology seriously. The opinions of people who don’t know what they’re talking about should be ridiculed, not codified.
    I find the fixation of all religions on masturbation, gay sex and/or birth control to be really, really creepy. Says more about them than anyone else. You’d have a hard time convincing me that anyone on earth thinks about sex as much as religious people. Based on observation, I pretty much assume that anybody who goes on and on about how awful homosexuality is a closet case, anyone who goes on about how sex is beautiful and natural and godly and should only occur during marriage is a huge pervert who’s into kiddie porn or poo or something gross like that and anyone who goes on and on about how they’re saving themselves for marriage is humping everything in sight when no one’s looking.
    RE using sex to sell things: of course, this is abundantly true, but I’ve thought for a long time that rather than discouraging such, the anti-sex attitude of SOME Christians has encouraged Americans (and maybe this is relevant to other countries too) to believe that the only acceptable way to talk about sex is clinically (ie, don’t do it, because it causes disease, pregnancy and other awful things), leaving a vacuum that pornographers and marketers are only too happy to fill (no pun intended). Because uptight people (of Christian or other denominations) have implied that frank and honest and POSITIVE discussion of sex outside marriage is BAD, the only people who feel free to do it are porn merchants, who can then call their commerce “free speech.” Which technically it is. So you get only two discussions of sex: the “don’t do it at all” crowd and the merchants. And many Christians claim to be dismayed by this, but I don’t think they are at all. They’re happy to try to marginalize sex talk so that the only people who feel free to talk about it are themselves and the ones who use it to make money, so that way, sex stays dirty, all sex is porn and people who don’t believe either one of those things (and who are too dim to question that pretzel logic) are repulsed by it and support things like laws that “protect” pharmacists from having to dispense drugs they are “philosophically” opposed to or attempts to keep us from seeing boobies on cable TV.
    RE sex ed: I don’t think schools should be teaching it either, mostly because they’ll just mess it up. If sex ed is supposed to keep kids from getting pregnant and/or VD, it appears to be doing a piss-poor job. We have some of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy and VD in the world (not THE highest, but really quite pathetic, for an affluent, supposedly educated country). I’m not saying no sex ed at all anywhere, just saying, get your info from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about; I recommend “Savage Love” by Dan Savage – educational and entertaining. Sex ed has been filtered through so many idiots, it’s either so vague and general as to be useless or it disseminates ignorance and misinformation. If you want to keep your teenager from learning about condoms or oral sex or whatever… well, good luck with that. Just don’t see how that’s possible, unless you’re Amish. If you’re a parent, I’d think you’d want your kid to have accurate, useful information from you or someone educated and objective, not scuzzy porn or idiotic “pretend it’s not there and maybe it’ll go away” crapola that fans of the abstinence movement propose. Yeah, Christians have a right to their opinions about sexuality, but they don’t have a right to dominate the discussion and shout down anyone who disagrees with them, or to give their odd beliefs the force of law. If you don’t want to engage in homosexual sex or use birth control or watch porn, fine, don’t do any of those things. A lot of Christians seem to be put off that their “sex is a precious gift not to be enjoyed by anyone who isn’t legally married according to the state’s definition of marriage” message is not selling particularly well. That’s the marketplace of ideas at work there. If your product isn’t selling, come up with a better one, don’t try to keep anyone else from selling theirs.
    RE Duane: I second that emotion.
    P.S. I mentioned rates of VD, and I’m sure someone will say we wouldn’t have VD if people didn’t have sex outside of marriage. There are lots of ways to transmit disease, sex is just one of them. To stigmatize sex because it is a vector of disease is just stupid. Breathing, eating, shaking hands and drinking water can also expose us to various diseases, but I don’t see anyone trying to circumscribe those things. Yet.

  • cjmr’s husband

    Regarding “sex sells”:
    There’s a big controversy this year at the E3 conference (Electronic Entertainment Expo) about Booth Babes. Apparently they are enforcing a dress code this year.
    Sample (nothing you won’t see on TV, but wait till your boss isn’t looking):
    http://news.com.com/2300-1043_3-6070849-1.html
    Only in America. Anywhere else in the world they’d note who the primary audience is (25 year old male videogame reviewers), note how much the girls in the actual videogames are wearing (less), and just be glad they have SOME clothes on.

  • Duane

    I find the fixation of all religions on masturbation, gay sex and/or birth control to be really, really creepy. Says more about them than anyone else.
    I used to get Falwell’s Liberty newsletter and was amazed at how the gospel of Christ was distilled down to 1 part frequent seminars aimed at “getting right with God” and 4 parts homosexuality is bad.
    Anyone still get the newsletter? Anything changed?

  • hapax

    Niels, thanks. You’ve just saved me the bother of looking up all those citations. Somehow, YOUR proposed criterion of “morality that was pretty much universal among Christian churches of all varieties” for 1900+ years has suddenly stretched to include “every position on abortion EXCEPT a constitutional right to abortion on demand.” I could go back and lead you by the hand through all the sharp divisions on the point of abortion reference in that quickie place-holder article I linked to. I could address the varying perspectives on same-sex love, sexual expression, and civil unions (none of which relies on Boswell’s conclusions, which no scholar of the medieval Church has ever taken seriously), which depends on the participants own gender, social status, marital status, and position within the ecclesiastical institutions, as well as time, culture, and context of legal, penitential, philosophical, or pastoral considerations. Ditto on practically any sexual matter you wanted, including ones you are oddly silent about (for example, the Christian position against divorce and remarriage, which rested on explicit sayings of Jesus, was far closer to unanimity than practically any other topic I can think of, including homosexuality). I was kind of looking forward to it, actually, because Patristic views on sexuality (to be strictly accurate, tenth-century Anglo-Saxon regulations on nuns and canonesses, but a very wide range of tangential material had to be examined as well) is an awfully arcane topic, and I was excited at the notion that all that dissertation research was suddenly relevant to an Internet blog discussion — imagine!
    But that was when I still harbored a hope that you were more interested in discussion than hammering folks over the head with the self-evident righteousness of your constantly-shifting postions. It is now abundantly clear that, unless I can produce the original hand-written letter from Pope Clement I declaring “I <3 TEH GAY LUV ROXXORS!!!!, anything I bring up will be dismissed as a "not remotely significant" distinction.
    Bummer. Ah, well, maybe I can work a reference to the gradual transformation of the Biblical Judith in medieval poetry into some future discussion of women in the military…

  • mds

    Parry, thanks for helpfully pointing out that Focus on the Family that opposes the HPV vaccine for preteens; Concerned Women for America withdrew their initial blanket condemnation as well. Some of the confusion arises because of statements like this:“If people begin to market the vaccine or tout the vaccine that this makes adolescent sex safer, then that would undermine the abstinence-only message,” said Reginald Finger, a member of the ACIP [CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] and a former medical adviser for the pro-abstinence Focus on the Family.[Emphasis added]This person does not speak for FotF; he merely sits on the government’s relevant advisory committee.
    Anyway, I’m with Duane. Since Mr. Jackson persists in asserting that Mr. Clark’s question actually means that Mr. Clark himself hates sex (which I suppose is possible, but was unlikely to be his actual point), it would be great if we could retroactively alter the question to explicitly express what everyone here with intellectual development beyond the fourth grade was able to figure out without difficulty. But what do you expect from someone who has no notion whatsoever of the fundamental doctrinal battles that raged for centuries in the early Christian era? Or are we all Arians or Gnostics now, and I missed it? Personally, I wouldn’t have murdered Hypatia of Alexandria, either, so I guess that’s one of those universal Christian values that was lamentably lost in the 1960s.

  • Niels Jackson

    You’ve just saved me the bother of looking up all those citations. Somehow, YOUR proposed criterion of “morality that was pretty much universal among Christian churches of all varieties” for 1900+ years has suddenly stretched to include “every position on abortion EXCEPT a constitutional right to abortion on demand.”
    The only “debate” about abortion up till the 1960s was whether it was murder or just really bad. It was a whole different debate from what we are having today.
    I could address the varying perspectives on same-sex love, sexual expression, and civil unions (none of which relies on Boswell’s conclusions, which no scholar of the medieval Church has ever taken seriously), which depends on the participants own gender, social status, marital status, and position within the ecclesiastical institutions, as well as time, culture, and context of legal, penitential, philosophical, or pastoral considerations.
    I think you’re just blowing smoke here. There has never been any major or substantive segment of Christianity that approved of homosexual sex or fornication or adultery. Maybe you could come up with a handful of outliers from the past 2000 years, but the Church has been fairly consistent going back to the Didache, Justin Martyr, Clement, etc., and it’s pretty safe to say that “gay marriage” wasn’t even on the radar screen of possibility.
    * * *
    Always interesting when modern American liberals seem to feel compelled to dig up scraps of medieval history that they can misconstrue or twist to “prove” that Christianity really DID approve of gay marriage or abortion-on-demand. Why not just be an adult and face the facts: You don’t agree with Christian tradition on these issue.

  • hapax

    Niels Jackson:
    Why not just be an adult and face facts: You have NO IDEA what my personal position is on these topics, except the one which I stated which *agrees* with yours–insofar as you have expressed one. Nor, as you have amply demonstrated, do you have the slightest notion of the real, historical “Christian tradition”.

  • hapax

    On second thought, I give in. You win. Let me know your hometown paper and I will take out an ad stating “NIELS JACKSON HAS PERSONALLY PROVED TO ME THAT CHRISTIANS DON’T HATE SEX. THEY REALLY REALLY LOVE IT!” Do you want to confirm my gender and marital status first?

  • No, I’M the Decider

    RE booth babes: covering the “midriff”? How quaint. Yeah, otherwise, we might get the idea that the video game industry objectifies women.

  • dr ngo

    So, Jesus comes along and his followers popularize a new kind of religion, one where all humans are part of the same tribe and it’s not about what you eat or wear or how you have sex or plant the crops — it’s about how you treat other people, whether they’re part of your tribe or not.
    We have been so steeped in Christian culture for 2,000 years that we don’t tend to realize how radical of an idea this was.
    But we are still hardwired to be tribal, and to relate it to religion, and to food and clothing and sex and all other aspects of culture. So, even though Jesus preached the first non-tribal religion, we have 2,000 years of people trying to drag the religion based on his teachings back into the realm of the tribal.
    Umm … Gautama (Buddha)? About 500 years before Christ? It’s not really relevant to the debate about sex, but it’s salutary to be reminded of the limits of our customary Eurocentrism from time to time.
    *********
    As for trying to engage in honest debate with Mr. Jackson, if I didn’t know it was pointless beforehand, I certainly would by now. And anyone who thinks that (some) Christians weren’t obsessed with sex before the “Sexual Revolution” clearly wasn’t going to church Back In The Day, as I was.

  • John Robinson

    Christians don’t hate sex. Those who want to control people use the power of the sex drive to control them.

  • A Texan in Germany

    Y’know, as a young woman, I’m much happier about the post ’60s/70s sexual mores, if only because churches now tend to agree that there is such thing as “marital rape” and it’s, um, bad.

  • Niels Jackson

    Nor, as you have amply demonstrated, do you have the slightest notion of the real, historical “Christian tradition”.
    Whatever. I’m the one citing the Didache, Justin Martyr, Clement, etc., while you’re the one who conveniently can’t remember even a single cite to support your wild suggestion that the Roman or medieval church was some sort of precursor to modern American liberalism.

  • Duane

    Huh?

  • http://zdrake.blogspot.com/2006/05/even-some-of-them-agree-with-me.html Internal Monologue

    Even some of THEM agree with me!

    Remember back when I was complaining that “cultural conservatives” have a pathological model of sexuality? Well, a friend of mind pointed me to a blog, which according to my friend is written by an Evangelical Christian Fundamentalist: slacktivist. A…

  • Dan Layman-Kennedy

    Y’know, it occurs to me that “I don’t hate sex, just the kind you’re having, you pervert” is not a noticeable improvement on the broader statement.

  • Scott

    IMHO, they’d be better off into crass materialism. From Rolling Stone: The Young & the Sexless
    …”Abstinence,” says Dunbar, “is countercultural,” a kind of rebellion, he says, against materialism, consumerism and “the idea that anything can be bought and sold.” It is a spiritual war against the world, against “sensuality,” according to one virginity manual popular with men like Dunbar. This elevation of virginity — especially for men — as a way of understanding yourself and your place in the world is new. It’s also very old. First-century Christians took the idea so seriously that many left their wives for “house monasteries,” threatening the very structure of the family. The early church responded by institutionalizing virginity through a priestly caste set apart from the world, a condition that continues to this day within Roman Catholicism. Now, though, the Protestants of the Christian right are reclaiming that two-tiered system, only they’re projecting it onto individual lives, making every young man and woman part of an elite virgin corps.
    “The world hasn’t yet seen what God can do with an army of young men free of sexual fevers,” write the authors of Every Young Man’s Battle, one volume in a hugely popular series of “purity” manuals. “You can remain pure so that you might qualify for such an army.”…

  • Garnet

    “The world hasn’t yet seen what God can do with an army of young men free of sexual fevers,”
    What kind of half-assed omnipotent being needs an army? What’s next, a starship, too?

  • Duane

    What kind of half-assed omnipotent being needs an army? What’s next, a starship, too?
    More importantly, what kind of war would a pimple-faced, nervous-twitching, boner-popping-at-the-most-inopportune-time force be capable of fighting? I remember back in the day when I was eligible for induction into the Elite Virgin Corps: The only war I was fighting was the one against my hormones. The only skill I had was taking down the pup tent.. heh heh.
    Er.. have.. is.

  • Scott

    More fun from the article:
    …Power holds up his right hand. Wrapped around his wrist, in a figure eight, is a black plastic bracelet. “This,” he says, “is a ‘masturband.’ ” One of their friends at college — Pepperdine University — came up with the idea. As long as you stay pure — resist jerking off — you can wear your masturband. Give in, and off it goes, a scarlet letter in reverse. No masturband? No one wants to shake your hand. …
    No one wants to shake you hand at least until you wash it. :-)
    …Church takes place on a stage set for a play. Half of every service features the Journey band, a competent ensemble that sets hymns to grunge and emo arrangements. During my visit, I can’t take my eyes off the three female backup singers, especially a redhead on the right, swinging her hips in loose cargo pants that are nonetheless tight in the ass. She’s braless and grooving, way too sexy for church, shooting a single finger over her head — the “One Way” Jesus sign Billy Graham embraced more than thirty years ago….
    …”Your goal is sexual purity,” write Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker. “You are sexually pure when no sexual gratification comes from anyone or anything but your wife.” To achieve this, they argue, men must go to a kind of war. Citing Dobson, they note the “fact” that men experience a buildup of sperm demanding “release” approximately every seventy-two hours. For single men, wet dreams, if purged of sexual imagery, can act as “God’s natural release valve.” (Arterburn and Stoeker believe you can actually train yourself to remove the lust from such dreams.) “Your life is under a withering barrage of machine-gun sexuality that rakes the landscape mercilessly,” they report. They encourage making lists of “areas of weakness.” They seem particularly concerned with shorts: “nubile sweat-soaked girls in tight nylon shorts”; “female joggers in tight nylon shorts”; “young mothers in shorts, leaning over to pull children out of car seats.” To avoid these temptations, men must train themselves to “bounce” their eyes off female curves. They recommend memorizing the locations of sexy billboards so that you can look away and switching your TV to ESPN or Fox News if a tempting commercial comes on the screen. And there’s always Scripture. The authors hold up the books of Joshua and Ezekiel as armor against non-Christian women. “Mixture,” they write, “can destroy a people.”
    The books’ implicit disdain for non-Christian women – in Every Young Man’s Battle, one name for a sexually active unmarried woman is “Betty Jo ‘B.J.’ Blowers” — is matched by their reverence for the virtue of Christian womanhood. There are books that address the temptations faced by Christian women, but the Every Man series more often presents the decadence of the world as a result of men’s failure to be guardians and servants of female purity.
    Every Man operates a hot line, 800-NEW-LIFE, for men who’ve “threatened” their relationships through their use of pornography. When I called to confess that reading about tight nylon shorts in Every Young Man’s Battle had aroused me, a professional masturbation counselor named Jason…
    I need me a set of business cards that say “professional masturbation counselor”. :-)

  • hapax

    Yeah, but then who’ll ever shake your hand?

  • Duane

    Y’know, it occurs to me that “I don’t hate sex, just the kind you’re having, you pervert” is not a noticeable improvement on the broader statement.
    Deadly insightful.

  • Duane

    I need me a set of business cards that say “professional masturbation counselor”. :-)
    ROFLMAO!!
    Good luck with that business model. Professional masturbators don’t need counseling. Just better porn.
    What a great article. What these nutjobs seem to ignore is that sexual desire starts – and is fueled – from within. If you don’t already have the chemicals and hormones swimming in your brain and blood, you aren’t going to give a second glance to that MILF bending over the carseat. If you haven’t spooged in 24 hours, yer likely to do so on auto-pilot in a dream about Anna Kournikova (or your best friend Dave but that only happened once so I’m not gay, right?)
    Lust Schmust. A million years of evolutionary biology and fifteen thousand years of cultural anthropology are making my dick hard. All the rest is just to relieve the swelling.

  • No, I’M the Decider

    Wow… I have never been so sure of the rightness of my atheism as I am after reading the excerpts from the article above. These people are even creepier than I imagined. Confirming my suspicion that no one on earth – not Jenna Jameson or Hugh Hefner or Paris Hilton or any of the girls gone wild or the geekiest and least-likely-to-get-laid of high school losers – thinks about sex as much as these people. They crazy.

  • Dan Layman-Kennedy

    Thank you, Duane.
    What these nutjobs seem to ignore is that sexual desire starts – and is fueled – from within. If you don’t already have the chemicals and hormones swimming in your brain and blood, you aren’t going to give a second glance to that MILF bending over the carseat.
    I’d say it seems clear enough that sexual desire is a synthesis of hardwiring and conditioning. I just don’t think it makes any difference. I suppose whatever your own religious community can talk you into feeling bad about on your own behalf is your own damn business, though I still think sexual guilt does more harm than good, on the whole, no matter what scale it happens on. But if you absolutely must tie yourself in knots over the (assumed) conflict between your johnson and the Almighty, the least I ask is that you shut the hell up about it when you talk to me. “I don’t like this, so you can’t do it either” is no way to show love and respect to your neighbor.

  • Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Y’know, between atheism and masturbands is an entire world of religious experience and choices, much of which is free of whack-job attitudes towards sex. I’m not so sure that these people being whack-jobs so much affirms one’s decision to be an atheist, as it affirms one’s decision to to join that particular choice.
    Just a nit-pick, but it’s my nit-pick, mine mine mine!

  • Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Correction: “as it affirms one’s decision NOT to join…”
    Sheesh.

  • Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    And “not to join that particular CHURCH.”
    I’m on a roll of teh stupid.

  • Duane

    Y’know, between atheism and masturbands is an entire world of religious experience and choices, much of which is free of whack-job attitudes towards sex. I’m not so sure that these people being whack-jobs so much affirms one’s decision to be an atheist, as it affirms one’s decision to to join that particular choice.
    I was thinking the same thing. If our choices are that stark, Christian Puritanism or Atheism, there’s a whole lot of folks in the middle that need to pick a side. Kinda reminds me of another post not too long ago:
    Binary Code

  • Jeff Weskamp

    The true conflict arises when certain Christians decide that not only must they follow a series of sexual taboos, everyone else in the world must follow them, too. If a Christian doesn’t want to indulge in adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, pornography, etc., then he or she does not have to. Really. No one cares what they do or don’t do with their bodies. They can “hate sex” to their heart’s content. They can be celibate until the day they die. They can castrate themselves and go join a monastery.
    The root of all holy wars, crusades, and jihads is this belief that others must live as I choose to live. Whether they want to or not. All attempts to legislate morality stem from this desire.
    This may sound a bit churlish, but if sexual activity (even masturbation!) is such a hideously offensive thing to God, then He really shouldn’t have given humans genitals and the hormones that drive them to use them. Why not devise a method of asexual reproduction for us?
    Another argument that these fanatical groups use is that people who do not obey these restrictions pose a temptation for the ones who do and must be constrained. Well, many Jews have observed their dietary laws quite well for centuries surrounded by Christians and nonbelievers who eat ham, shellfish, etc. The fact that I eat ham in no way interferes with the right of an observant Jew to not eat ham.

  • Diggadee

    Straight said: “The reason I hate sex is because it’s constantly being used to try to sell me something. Just once I’d like to be able to go to the grocery store without having a set of tits shoved in my face.”
    That has NEVER happened to me. Please, please, please, tell us where this grocery store is!

  • Fraser

    Niels, kosher food is not the appropriate comparison for the views of anti-sex Christians. It’s more like a cult that claims actively enjoying the taste of food rather than eating purely for nutrition is a sin. For example, one of Operation Rescue’s leaders some years back said that married couples having sex while using contraception was morally no different than visiting prostitutes, since they were doing it purely for pleasure.
    But you’re right, that’s not hating sex, it’s hating the idea that people are enjoying sex. Totally different.
    If you want a more recent anti-sex attitude, we have the South Dakota legislator who said he’d support abortion in the case of rape if the woman was virgin and saving herself for marriage (among numerous other conditions). So apparently he didn’t hate sex, just women who engage in it.

  • Matt

    “Christians Hating Sex” is a comfortable meme for those who blame “those evil Christians” for the problems of the world.
    I don’t know a single Christian that hates sex – not one. They love it – so long as it is the way God intended. That being within the bounds of a God-ordained marriage.
    That’s what the Bible says, and that’s what Christianity follows. But I guess you meant that as an unfounded rhetorical question…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PVEPJA6IHD5P4YEEXZ6B2O57WU Grevy

     If you think the stoics hated sex, you need to take an introductory course in critical thinking. Don’t be afraid to pick up one of those pesky books sometime…it won’t hurt you I promise.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I have, in recent years, wondered why some people don’t want their kids taught anything useful about sex.

    And then I just realized they’re the same people who probably wouldn’t bother reading the instruction manual for their fancypants new TV set (and then grousing when they have to call the Child Unit for assistance because said C.U. groks technology and probably read the booklet once and memorized it).

    In short, people who don’t appear to think that you can learn from anyone else how to do something safely and easily. And when they HAVE to, they do so grudgingly and resentfully.


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