Sexuality and Religion

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by SoLowHung, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. SoLowHung

    SoLowHung New Member

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    I am just curious and would like to open a discussion on Religion and Sexuality.

    I was born into Christianity and practiced until I was old enough (18) to decide to give it a break. I am now 30 and a couple years ago I realized how badly my ideas within Christianity ruined and stilted my comfort in sexuality. It has been a constant struggle for me that runs deep into my blood.

    Has anybody else struggled with letting a religion stunt sexual growth because your desires looked at through percieved doctrines make you feel like a bad person when acting on them?
     
  2. Freddie53

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    This issue is as old as the human race. A bit of history. In ancient times sex was part of the religion to the fertility gods.

    In Christianity, there are those that believe and teach that sex in and of itself is "dirty." That is so sad. Jesus, the founder of Christianity, never expressed this in any way.

    Yes, I had the same problem. The difference between you and me is I stayed in Christianity because when I studied what Jesus said and what the Bible really said without the translators changing the meaning, I decided that I was OK with it.

    I'm sorry that you were taught that brand of Christianity. Sex is a gift from God for humans to use wisely and enjoy. Of course any of us can abuse it, hurt others with it, and spew hate with the doctrines concerning sexuality. But we don't have to. And we certainly can't use the teachings of Jesus to justify it.

    Honesty and true love is the key to relationships and living a fulfilled sexual life.

    Sadly, you are going to get some responses that are similar to yours.

    Jesus said, "I came that you might have life and have life abundantly." I don't think he meant living life as a sexual hermit.
     
  3. SoLowHung

    SoLowHung New Member

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    Actually I never left it but I did leave "the church" and am slowly finding other bodies of believers that think differently. The unfortunate part is it took so long for me to find this out because most people are so closed when it comes to sexual topics that there was nobody to speak to me about how it fits into living as a Christian.

    How far do you take that though? This is where I found a lot in the word "consensual". That word alone has opened me up more than anything else.
     
  4. B_Guy Love

    B_Guy Love New Member

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    Christianity is simultaneously anti-sexuality and yet very sexual. I read a book that said the cross itself originated in ancient times as a phallus symbol. Joseph Campbell, the most famous scholar on mythology, once said that "the God of death is the God of sex." You then realize that at the center of the Christian religion is the figure of Jesus who "died for your sins," and you realize that there is a sexual element in it all. And then you remember that nuns are married to God, and that hand-in-hand with observance of Christianity is the emphasis on one's own sexuality, you remember the Virgin Birth, and you realize that the whole religion is very much founded on sexuality -- as are all religions, because religions are made by man and man is dominated by sexuality.

    About the equation of death and sexuality: we all know that women love men who are attracted to danger. In Christianity, you have a man who went all the way -- who died for you.

    I am reminded of Marilyn Manson's statement: "Jesus was the first rock star, the first gay icon, I only aspire to be as sexy as he was."
     
  5. earllogjam

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    What? Where is the sexual element of Jesus dieing for your sins? How is Christianity founded on sexuality? Are you saying that nuns have sex with God? uhh boy.

    Christianity is the embodiment of controlling sexuality even demonizing it. It is not pro-sexuality except for procreation. Sex for pleasure is strickly verboten according to all Christian establishments. Institutionalized Christianity has done more to hinder the expression of human sexuality, and deny a natural and beautiful part of being human than any other force in history.
     
  6. Heather LouAnna

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    What a flippant remark.

    All of religion is based on sex. That's what religion is. Life comes from sex and religion comes from the question of life.

    The answer is 42, btw. Still working on the question.

    I went to Christian school for ten years. Let's not discuss the obvious symbolism of Jesus being raped with nails in front of spectators for sport. Mary Magdeline? Virginal rebirth of God? The city of Sodom? Romans often chose to keep only the company of men because they thought women were beneath them. Twelve guys running around together? c'mon.

    Easter is a fertility celebration.
    Halloween celebrates the death of the mother.
    Yule celebrates the death of the father.


    Get a fucking clue.
     
  7. Heather LouAnna

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    And to the topic: no. I do not feel bad about what I do sexually. That's ridiculous.
     
  8. SoLowHung

    SoLowHung New Member

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    Okay then maybe a different question...

    Do you feel as if your upbringing has inhibited you?
     
  9. earllogjam

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    Organized religion was created to control people. It's great it serves you and you can find meaning in it and you feel that it is sex positive for you. If there is a mainstream Christian church that welcomes us homosexuals and accepts our sexuality with open arms I'd change my mind.
     
  10. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Yep. I still harbor quite a grudge against Sister Adolph, Sister Hermann, Sister Heinrich, and the other escaped war criminals at a Cathlic prison camp in New York where I spent several of my formative years. Fortunately my mental development at age five was too much for their primitive brainwashing techniques and I survived moderately intact. If I'd been there ten years later, I'm sure it would have been worse. Even so, there are still a few deeply-implanted phobias I haven't entirely overcome.

    Yes, He certainly does work in mysterious ways.
     
  11. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    RELIGION to me has always been about the chimp need to control the group.

    FAITH on the other hand is about communion between and individual and God.

    Read Nietsche and find out what he means about 'flies in the market place.' Be an existentialist/humanist for a while then grow up into your faith.
     
  12. viking1

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    Yes, I have been through that guilt trip. I am still not over now. I may never be over it entirely.
     
  13. Heather LouAnna

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    Do you feel that people don't need to be controlled in some fashion for a better good? Even the most devout libertarian will agrue that a controlled populace is important.

    Christianity is not the only reason that homosexuality is not mainstream. It is an easy scapegoat though. Anyway, there are sects of Christianity that encourage sex. It's not as open as some polytheistic religions, but it's present. Don't confuse Catholicsm with all of Catholocism.

    Also, don't talk to me like I'm one of them. lol I believe in the cosmos, man.
     
  14. ledroit

    ledroit New Member

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    This is a topic that really makes the poisons hatch out of the mud, but if you want a truly great book on the topic, there is none better than Peter Brown's Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity. He teaches late antiquity and medieval history at Princeton.

    What is fascinating about the book is his discussion of Greek medical giants like Galen, who believed that brain matter, bone marrow and semen were all the same stuff. They were all gooey, light grey, and had the same gelatinous consistency. So the Greeks and Romans called the material "psyche" and assumed that when you ejaculated, you lost a little bit of your brain and bone matter. The proof of this was that men grew weaker and shorter with age, after all that lost semen. There was no concept at all of hormones and secretion, and even Leonardo da Vinci drew anatomical charts with tubes running from the brain down the spine into the little holding tanks called testicles. So it made perfect sense that losing too much semen, for silly reasons, was a very big deal, even if it did feel good.

    Brown makes an implicit claim, I think, that what really impressed the Romans and laid the groundwork for adopting christianity as the imperial religion was the teachings of Origen, who was a very influential early theologian. Origin not only believed what Galen taught (as did every other intellectual), he believed that Jesus' teaching was about establishing a new creation. Since the Romans were very hierarchical and ordered, if "new creation" had been interpreted politically, as a revolutionary proposal for full, actual equality between men and women, free and slaves, there would have been complete chaos and barbarism. So clearly that was an image that could not be taken literally. No image, religious or scientific can ever be taken literally, for that matter.

    Instead, Origen taught that it was Adam's sexual desire that made him rebel against nature, and the punishment for that was expulsion from the garden of paradise on earth, and a terrible life ending in death. Christianity's "new creation" was about reality, not fantasy, and its most importation part ("salvation" comes from salus, which means health or well-being) was about preserving actual physical, psychological and moral strength & health. So the best way to do that and to live into a vigorous, strong, healthy old age was not to waste your brain matter and bone marrow by frequent ejaculations if you were a man. (He was less clear about why women should be celibate, but was also convinced that was medically sound for truly heroic women leaders who needed to remain sharp). Origen chopped off his own balls so he would not lose his mind or strength. But the church thought that was a little bizarre, so he was never canonized. And other theologians pointed out that the human race would die out pretty quickly without any sex at all--so there was a controvery about how to manage it.

    You can see why this is a great book. It explains a lot about why the Romans loved the idea of celibacy, and why it remained so important for such a long time. The stoic philosophers were especially thrilled that even the christian women were willing to embrace celibacy. They saw this as a supreme sign of strength, since women were weak, and they thought that people who could be that tough could certainly rule an empire if not the world. So it makes perfect sense why Constantine would want his soldiers baptized and turned into christians. It would make them unstoppable.

    You certainly can hear a lot of speculation about about sex and religion (and Brown does not look at other religions or cultures). But a lot of it is just hot air--people just trying to give their own assumptions more weight than they probably deserve. I think it's sort of silly to imagine that all other human beings are or were idiots, and we alone (esp in the US) are the only ones who know anything. For me, that's kind of the small brain syndrome.

    I think a great topic deserves a little work, so I would start by reading somebody like Brown. He commands a lot of respect among people who aren't impressed primarily with themselves or their own assumptions.

    Good luck, so low.
     
  15. B_Guy Love

    B_Guy Love New Member

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    Christianity is obsessed with sex. It is therefore a very sexual religion. Even the DENIAL of sexual activity is a focus on sexual activity. So much of Christianity is founded on this denial of sexuality. The most important woman in Christianity is Mary, who is referred to as The Virgin Mary. With the full gospel/protestant denominations, you have many people committed to remaining virgins until they're married, as though doing so is of great religious/spiritual importance. There is therefore a link between sexuality and religion.

    As a little boy in Catholic school I was told that the nuns didn't marry because God is their husband.

    Joseph Campbell said, "The God of death is the God of sex." I built on Campbell's comments to point out that Jesus is the central symbol of Christianty, and the main aspect of his life is that he "died" for your sins. We could paraphrase Campbell's comments and say that Jesus is therefore a "God of death" ("He died for your sins") and therefore he must also be a "God of sex." We then remember that so much about Christianity is concerned with sexuality, and it all falls in to place.

     
  16. SoLowHung

    SoLowHung New Member

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    Very interesting and right up my alley in types of reads. Thank you very much for the summary and reference. I'm ordering it today.

    Over time I have come to realize how many of the knee-jerk Biblical interpritations are formed in persuit of political control. I have also, slowy, am trying to debunk the ones that don't feel right in my gut. This is a big one for me because it has formed much of the Pop culture we know today, me included. For example, Marketing playing on taboo's that are practically not even taboo's anymore yet they still seem to work in forming the minds of our children. Then organized religion using Pop culture as an example of why we should take up the old way of life rather than understanding that it was never intended to be either way in the first place.

    Call me a student of religion more than religious. Knowledge is my religion. My "God" is yet to be found.
     
  17. D_Aston Asstonne

    D_Aston Asstonne Account Disabled

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    brother.christianity thrives on guilt.nothing more.sexual urges are normal and must be expressed.an individual who is comfortable with his sexuality is truly a happy individual.i was raised in a christian home.and at the age of 13 i realized the sexual guilt bit was total bullshit.i soon discovered the summerian faith,which encourages indulgance,instead of abstenance,its been 28years ago,and i couldnt be happier.go with your feelings bro,enjoy yourself.:biggrin1:
     
  18. GeorgeTSLC

    GeorgeTSLC Member

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    Certainly there's no question that Easter is--in part--a fertility celebration.

    But since when does Samhain celebrate the death of the Mother, and what relation does Solstice have to the death of the Father or any death at all? (I'm not a Wiccan nor any other sort of neopagan, but I've read a good deal in and around, enough to have a clue or two about fucking and other methods of celebration.)
     
  19. biguy2738

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    I sense a great deal of anger towards Christianity and I can only begin to imagine what you had to endure in order to get where you are. It saddens me deeply...
    As much as I'd like to avoid responding (feel like I've put myself in a den of wounded lions), I know that by doing so I will be rejecting a great part of who I am and what I stand for.
    I do not judge or condemn any of your beliefs or opinions as its a reflection of who you are and the path that you have travelled. I am also convinced that irregardless of how it may differ from me, God or That Which is Greater than us has travelled with you, and still is with you today.
    I have lived a very difficult and painful life and in the midst of it, I had a very staunch Catholic upbringing. Believe it or not but it was the only beacon of light in my life (which may be because the priests and nuns I encountered were kind caring people). Now please, I am not promoting that particular faith nor am I disputing your experiences because I have seen and heard enough to know what you are talking about...which is why I am so sad.
    To cut a long story short I eventually decided to go to seminary. It was a double edged sword.. Every religious bone in my body was broken, I endured great hurt, I was knocked down. In the process I learnt so much about myself, I found healing from an emotionally devastating childhood..above all else, I found my faith and the true meaning of God.
    As sad as it is to admit, yes there are real scoundrels that wear the cloth and on a Sunday will snap on a pious face on cue to imaginary angelic music. there were also the meek and lowly that challenged wrongs and have given me a short, yet lifelong glimpse of what Jesus must have been like..those people saved me from myself. I eventually left, purely because I could identify the extent of my emotional baggage and refused to risk allowing it to destroy my neighbours' vision of God.
    I gained a great deal from that experience..which has formed the foundation of my religious convictions.
    I believe that the zealous...the extremely pious, overbearing types have taken religion and turned it into an idol. I learnt that pretending to be pious is hypocritical and excludes God from my life... He wants to get down in the dirt with me, I will talk to God and say "fuck", if thats how I feel at the time. He isn't over sensitive and he wants to be with me even if I am cursing. I learnt that the Bible is so badly misinterpreted it really scares me... So much is taken out of context and used to manipulate our beliefs. the biggest lesson that I learnt came from one of my theology lecturers (he is now a bishop thank God for some sane leaders). he taught us that God touches ALL religions.. Buddhism, Judaism, American Indian etc, we as Christians believe that we are touched more intimately because of Jesus. I am shortening the whole discourse for obvious reasons but it boiled down to get off our high horses and stop being so judgemental. I can die today and even though I am Catholic, die as the biggest satanist around, when at the same time a Hindu can die as the holiest Catholic saint. Our LIVES are our faith and religion. that is the standard with which I base my life and my judgement... The knowledge that claiming to be Christian does not make me a Christian - the way that I live my life and treat others does. As a Christian and a Catholic I can only apologise for the way that others have tried to judge, harm and indoctrinate you "in the name of faith". I could get into the whole issue of sex but I am not because my two cents worth already looks like an encyclopedia. I have read many posts and in it you all have displayed compassion, care, humanity etc that for me is a greater reflection of Jesus than piety and sinlessness.

    I do not claim to drink martinis with God nor am I trying to be some sort of guru. I am only trying to express my inner religious convictions that I was fortunate enough to learn.
    At the end of the day, faith consists of my religious convictions and standards. Religion is the name given to describe the community that resonates with and expresses my faith, which in turn influences the way that I live my life.
    At the end of time, when it comes to the brunch, God isn't going to say "what did you believe? what did you think? Where did you worship?" He's going to say, "you were my hands on earth, where did you bring my love? What did you do?"
     
  20. B_Guy Love

    B_Guy Love New Member

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    I don't have any anger toward Christianity whatsoever. I think that all religions, including Christianity, are manmade. As such, it would follow that all religions would be concerned with sex because man is very much concerned with sex.

    All I did in my post was point out the overt sexual overtones of Christianity. It's a very sexual and sexualized religion, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many scholars.
     
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