Don’t decoy, avoid or make void the topic

Scott Paeth: “Sex for Christians

From an evangelical perspective, of course, it would be argued in response that sexual fidelity is central to Christian morality, but I’ve got to say that I don’t see it. You can point to Biblical passages that accentuate it, but you can point to other passages where it really is not that big a deal. Certainly in his own teaching and preaching, Jesus had a lot more room for the sexually “impure” than for those that were quick to condemn them. Concubines abound in the Old Testament! And the story of Judah and Tamar doesn’t even blink at Judah’s willingness to sleep with a prostitute.

… While for some Christians, sexual ethics — or any ethics for that matter — don’t have to be relevant, since they are simply rooted in obedience to a divine command … for most Christians, as for most people in general, if a moral norm seems irrelevant and, indeed, arbitrary, and if violating it doesn’t seem to harm anyone, it’s very hard to convince them to adhere to it. I’d go farther and say that, if there is not a comprehensible, sensible reason to adhere to a set of mores, people won’t. Even Christians. Even seminarians. And again, as above, even if they might abstractly understand it to be sinful, in the absence of any rational understanding of what is harmful about it, the idea that it’s sinful simply because God (or more probably accurately, some pastor somewhere) said so won’t amount to much, any more than with drinking or dancing.

John Shore: “If no one’s being hurt, God’s OK with your sexuality

I don’t want anyone hurting or in any way violating or exploiting anyone else, of course. And certainly no one should ever sexualize children. But duh. Beyond that, why should I care what another person does with their affections and/or body? If everyone involved in any kind of sexual attraction or activity is a sane, capable, consenting adult, I’m out, concern-wise. That’s their business. Not mine. Not yours. Not their pastor’s. Not anyone’s. Theirs.

… Christ didn’t sacrifice himself on the cross so that everyone could start worrying about what everyone else was doing with their sexuality. He let himself be killed by hate so that we might at least begin to grasp how true it is that the only thing that ever matters is love.

  • Kiba

    If everyone involved in any kind of sexual attraction or activity is a sane, capable, consenting adult, I’m out, concern-wise. That’s their business. Not mine. Not yours. Not their pastor’s. Not anyone’s. Theirs.

    So much this. 

  • esmerelda ogg

    I’m not so sure it’s true that people demand  “a comprehensible, sensible reason to adhere to a set of mores”. What about traditions – Judaism, Islam, Hinduism – that include dietary rules and regulations, some of them very elaborate, that forbid members to eat food that presents no obvious health threats? (I’m not impressed by the “But! Trichinosis!” rationalization for forbidding pork – lots of people in the ancient world loved pork, so health threats wouldn’t have looked like a “sensible reason” to observers a thousand years ago or longer.) The closest thing to a general explanation I can come up with is that some people like to mark off their in-group with strong behavioral rules, some people don’t. And I’m not sure why.

  • Anonymous

    Off topic: I’ve got mixed feelings about the Salt-n-Pepa song Fred references with this post’s name.

    It promises to talk about “all the good things, and the bad things that may be,” but never seems to get around to the good things. 

    The first verse sets up the idea- “Let’s tell it how it is, and how it could be, How it was, and of course, how it should be” but the only other verse- the one that actually talks about sex- focuses entirely on a woman who “use[s] what she got to get whatever she don’t got” and who is “mad and sad and feelin’ bad, Thinkin’ about the things that she never had, No love, just sex.”

    I appreciate what I think the point is supposed to be, but it seems to be too tied up in slut-shaming, and as this is the only sex actually talked about in “Let’s Talk About Sex,” it falls too well into typical conservative framing to justify the claim “I don’t think they’re gonna play this on the radio” or the anthemic status the song seems to have.

  • Anonymous

    [Flame-retardant suit on.]

    I can see a strong libertine position–anything goes between consenting adults–from a secular point of view.  I can see a moderate libertine position–say, for example, “Well, this open marriage thing you’re trying is probably going to end up being a bad idea, but as long as you’re engaging in social justice, it’s not that big a deal.”–from a Christian point of view.  But I have a hard time getting a strong libertine position–”If a man has his father’s wife, it’s okay as long as they’re consenting adults.”–from the Christian point of view.

    I mean, I understand that scripture isn’t a statute book and that pretty much everyone ignores parts of scripture they find inconvenient, but then what’s to stop a Republican from saying, “You ignore the stuff Paul says about sex, I’ll ignore the stuff Christ and the prophets say about social justice, and can quit bugging each other?”

  • Kish

    The part where the Republic would have to agree to let other people ignore the quotes the Republican uses to condemn sex.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

     Oh, for the love of Christ (literally). Piss off and don’t come back until you’ve read the Gospels and actually understood why Jesus was such a threat to the Pharisees.

    (Hint: It wasn’t because he was trying to enforce strict standards of sexual behaviour)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I mean, I
    understand that scripture isn’t a statute book and that pretty much
    everyone ignores parts of scripture they find inconvenient, but then
    what’s to stop a Republican from saying, “You ignore the stuff Paul says
    about sex, I’ll ignore the stuff Christ and the prophets say about
    social justice, and we can quit bugging each other?”

    That would be amazing. And then we could use solely secular arguments for why social justice is good for the economy, good for security, and good for the nation’s people as a whole and they could use solely secular arguments for why abolishing same-sex marriage is good for the economy, good for security, and good for the nation’s people as a whole.

    That is, if they can find any.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a Salt n Pepa song that sums it up as well, (mildly nsfw)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q96-e042bk

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    One of the central commandmants is thou shall not steal. The ones after it are basically variations on it. So what is a gay person “stealing”? nothing as far as I can tell.  

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    He references the factual errancy of non-biblical positions, but neglects to include any of those facts.  Talk about errancy.

  • Lori

    Purely secular justifications for secular law. That would be certainly be wonderful. It’s a shame so many people have no interest in it. 

    http://edgeofthewest.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/no-sex-please-were-british-teachers-in-arizon/

  • Anonymous

     http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jegay.htm –Jesus was gay. Discuss.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Y’know, Jesus said nothing about the morality of homosexuality, just the morality of adultery. So, basically, Jesus was pro-gay marriage.

  • Michael Pullmann

     Data also doesn’t lie even if it helps the Enterprise accomplish its mission.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Frankie, has NARTH gotten around to hiring another “expert” like Mr. Luggage Lifter?,  http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/05/dr-george-rekers-patron-of-male.html

  • Azrael D. Macool

    Eh. I suppose its possible, but not only impossible to prove one way or another, doesn’t really matter. He made it clear that by hurting, say, homosexuals, you’re really hurting him, so I guess in that regard, yeah, he is. At least in spirit. Er, if that makes any sense.

    I generally don’t think of Jesus as a sexual being, mainly because if he did sleep with, say, Mary Magdalene, and had a kid, then… What’s the kid’s deal? Can he heal, or what? And I guess him being homosexual gets rid of that problem.

  • Lori

     
    I can’t wait until someone posts that narth is “discredited.” Data does not lie even if it goes against the intentions of the researchers purpose.  

    Do you even know what that means? Seriously, I know for a fact that being ill-educated is not actually a requirement for being bigoted, but it sure as hell helps. 

    Short version of a bunch of stuff you should have learned at school but obviously did not—data doesn’t lie, but people do. 

  • Brandi

    We’re having that problem again. You guys see that big brown puddle and think it’s chocolate. I don’t think it passes the smell test at all.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

     I would again urge you to read the Bible (ALL THE WAY TO THE END) you claim to put so much importance in.

    In smaller words for the hard of thinking: The core of Jesus’ teachings were about getting rid of the clean/unclean distinctions and including EVERYONE. Every single time someone says to him “Should we really be dealing with this person?”, the answer is “YES!”. Lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors, everyone the mainstream of the society of the time had a problem with. He had no time for legalistic rules about who was good or not based on anything but their actions (which is what annoyed the Pharisees). If Jesus had time to invite someone who was essentially a collaborator with the occupy force in his homeland to dinner, I don’t see him turning away a gay person.

    Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 17:
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

    Love for everyone is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Creating a society with different tiers of rights for different people based on their inherent characteristics doesn’t sound very loving to me.

  • Lori

    We know what it is. That doesn’t mean there isn’t value in pointing it out. For example, plenty of people have no exposure to Narth. If you don’t know the group’s history and you don’t think deeply about how they’re using research, they can seem impressive. I think there’s value in pointing out that they’re liars.  

  • P J Evans

    We don’t have to. Because NARTH not only has been discredited, it lies about what it actually does to real people.

    Just because your mind is too small to encompass the ideas that the bible isn’t literal truth and that anyone who is not like you is a real person with real needs and real rights doesn’t make you correct in anything you say.

  • FangsFirst

     There are always lurkers, who may not know. Lord knows this–and a stupidly naïve belief in the positive motivations of most of humankind (whether what they see as positive adds up to something greater than zero, however, varies)–drives my stupid quest to understand people and generally attempt to be civil, even when it appears unwarranted.

    (for me there may be self-doubt or self-loathing underneath some of that behaviour, but the intended goal of acting on it, even then, remains the above)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    *Raises hand

    I had never heard of narth. I thought it was a word Monty Python made up but then I realised that I was thinking of Neep.

  • Lori

    Personally I always think about Pinkie. (Which is annoying because Narth is evil and Pinkie & The Brain is one of my favorite things ever.)

  • Anonymous

    Who cares if it’s sinful? What I do is none of your business, and my having the rights to do it won’t hurt you at all. Go back to your corner and pearl-clutch more. 

  • Anonymous

    “You can try all day to explain away that homosexual behavior is not sinful but you will always fail.”

    And you can try to explain- without recourse to the word “sin”- why loving, committed, consenting adults should be denied equal protection under the law but you will always fail.

  • Lyra

    I am always so profoundly amused by people who think that it means
    something to say that homosexuality is sinful. Let’s pretend for a
    moment that I buy that homosexuality is a sin, and let’s see what we
    find when I flip open my bible.

    Do you swear oaths? (Mathew 5:33)? Are you remarried (Mark 10:2-12)? If someone sued you, would you give them what they asked for and more (Matthew 5:40)? Do you ALWAYS give to beggars,
    and do you ALWAYS lend to those who ask (Mathew 5:42)? Do you pray in
    public (Matthew 6:5-6)?  Do you always forgive people who wrong you
    (Matthew 6:14-15)? Do you worry about how you are going to get by in
    life (Matthew 6:25-34)?

    If you answer “no” to any of these, you do more than homosexuals do: you
    go against the direct words of Jesus. If someone asks you for money and
    you say no while being fully aware of Jesus’s commands, how can you
    purport to be less contrary to the will of God than a man who has sex
    with a man?

    John the Baptists said, “The man with two tunics should share
    with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” How
    many tunics do you have? How much food? You UNREPENTANTLY buy more food
    and more clothing when you already have far more than you need while
    countless others have far less than they need, and you have the audacity
    to call out homosexuals on their sins. But that’s easy, isn’t it? It’s
    easy to say that homosexuals can’t make it into the kingdom of God for
    their “sins” while insisting that your own sins do not bar you from
    heaven. You can own a dozen tunics without guilt, turn away a hundred
    beggars, defend yourself against lawsuits, but a man who is in a
    committed relationship with another man is unacceptable? Pssh.

  • Lyra

    Oops, when I said “If you answer ‘no’ to any of these,” I should have written “If you answer incorrectly to any of these.”

    That’s what I get for editing. *sigh*

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    The closest thing to a general explanation I can come up with is that
    some people like to mark off their in-group with strong behavioral
    rules, some people don’t. And I’m not sure why.

    It helps in dividing the world into Us and Them.

  • esmerelda ogg

     Yeah, maybe that’s it. Now I’m wondering why some groups seem to be more heavily invested in separating “us” from “them”…

  • Lori

     
    Now I’m wondering why some groups seem to be more heavily invested in separating “us” from “them”…  

     

    A lot of it is driven by insecurity or feeling like the group is under pressure. If things are going your way you can afford to be relaxed and generous and a lot less interested in policing the group. When it feels like power or security is slipping away the tendency is to tighten things up. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    You can try all day to explain away that homosexual behavior is not sinful but you will always fail.

    Homosexual behavior harms no one. Therefore it is not sinful. ‘An it harm none, do as ye will.’

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    Homosexual behavior harms no one. Therefore it is not sinful. ‘An it harm none, do as ye will.’

    No, no. Don’t you realize that Frank’s religion is the only one allowed to have a concept of sin? Otherwise people of other religions might start to get the idea that they’re equal!

  • Kiba

    As a gay non-christian your bible means diddly squat to me. Neither you, nor anyone else, gets to tell me that I must live my life according a religion that I do not believe in or follow. 
    And Jesus, you know the guy you purport to follow, said nothing on the subject.

  • Anonymous

     What subject is that? Non-believers or homosexuality because He had something to say about both.

    Book, chapter, and verse, please. Because I’ve never heard a word that Jesus says about either subject, and I’ve read all four Gospels several times.

  • Kiba

    No, he didn’t say one word about homosexuality. 

    But why should you care you don’t beleive.

    I care because small minded bigots like you keep passing laws that make me a second class citizen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    Of course its harmful.

    [citation needed]


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