Religion

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim majority country. And it is on the verge of passing laws which would criminalize sex outside of marriage. Which is not unexpected because, although the ruling class promotes the country as tolerant, the powers that be are aggressively conservative. And conservatives enjoy nothing more than writing rules about who you can f*ck, in which position, under what circumstances, and when.

In America, Evangelicals preach about ‘saving yourself for marriage’ (if you are a girl), but they aren’t proposing criminalizing sex before or outside of marriage. Not because of a sense of proportion but because they would soon run afoul of their own laws.

There are some in the US who think the Supreme Court’s decision overturning state laws banning sodomy and other ‘unnatural’ sex acts was ill-considered. But most Americans – including many evangelicals – have moved on.

But Muslim countries are still in the thrall of superstition and remain convinced that God is little more than an outraged moralist peeping through bedroom curtains tut-tutting when original sin is enjoyed by the wrong people.

And God’s earthly moral police, eager to make his unstated wish their command, are ready to sexually constrain the population to the point of creating suicide bombers.

Sex has been problematic for the Abrahamic religions. Leviticus has a chapter about all the forbidden relationships (chapter 18) – and then, in case you didn’t get the point, reiterates the list, with punishments, two chapters later (chapter 20).

The Catholic Church has the absurd policy of mandating celibacy in priests – a position not demanded by the Bible – which has led to well-documented abuse and coverups. And for those who are permitted emotion in motion, contraception bans lead to unaffordable families, poverty and squalor.

Some Muslim women, who on the one hand want to have fun, but on the other want to honor their cultural traditions, have anal sex so they can maintain they are technically ‘virgins’ on their wedding night. Others have surgeries to reconstruct a state of innocence.

People of the same gender who want to share a little intimate happiness are threatened with imprisonment because the religious authorities are squeamish at the thought of two men having sex. I suggest that they stop fantasizing about it and put away the stones. And I suspect that thoughts of two women getting it on don’t lead to the same sense of revulsion.

Sex is a paradox. We are all here because of it – and yet for much of humanity, it is a behavior that must be hidden, controlled, legislated, moralized, and condemned. Why? It can only be that the stigmatization of procreative acts allows one group of people to control another.

Otherwise, who cares? What two consenting adults – or sixteen, for that matter – do in their spare time on private property is hardly the concern of the general population.

Concern for others’ physical activities should extend only to sex with a minor, forced sex and adultery. It is perverse that in some societies it is just fine to marry 12-year-old girls to middle-aged men, but two men in their thirties fooling around is a crime.

In the US, it wasn’t until 1993 that marital rape was criminalized in all states. Some states still treat wife rape differently from other rapes. In South Carolina, extra-marital rape has a maximum sentence of 30 years, while the law caps marital rape sentences at ten years.

In much of Europe, sex is addressed in a reasonable, frank, and explicit manner – in much the same way that teenagers have driving lessons. In America, we are so afraid of sex that a large number of adults think sex ed should consist solely of telling teens not to do it until they are married.

It is absurd. These moralists expect the youth of America to have an impulse control that many adults – even religious leaders and sanctimonious politicians – cannot muster.

People have sex. All the laws in the world won’t change that. Criminalizing it outside of wedlock serves what purpose? It removes autonomy from the individual without adding one iota of ‘improvement’ to the lawmaker. It reduces half the population to chattel for the sole purpose of delivering virgins to the marriage bed.

But even Islam is not blind to the realities of the world. Shia Muslims can practice nikah mut’ah or temporary marriage. In the Western world, this allows men and women to be in a relationship as a way to kick the tires if you will. However, if the woman has never been married, she needs her father’s permission.

In the rest of the Muslim world, the mut’ah is an arrangement that allows a man to engage a prostitute without contravening God’s law. What a fudge. Who do they think they are fooling?

Sex. Your parents had it. Chances are you’ve had it. And the odds are your children have had or will have it. We shouldn’t criminalize it. We should learn and teach the young how to do it well, safely, and with respect. 

{ 0 comments }

Christian Leaders Warn against ‘Christian Nationalism’ and its Merger with White Supremacy

August 15, 2019

A group of 17 Christan church leaders under the banner of ‘Christians Against Christian Nationalism’ have issued an official statement. It condemns the Christian Right’s constant attacks on other faiths and their efforts to bring about a Christian fundamentalist theocracy in the United States.  Their warning is clear: “Christian nationalism provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation.” Adding that it goes […]

Read the full article →

Chris McDonald Says Refugees Should Go Home for Soap.

August 5, 2019

People raised in mainstream Christianity believe that for one, it’s a good idea not to sin because it can hurt other people — and there are some unpleasant long-term consequences for the sinner. And for two, the Christian takes care of those who, by birth or circumstances, haven’t got the resources available to those more fortunate. Conservative, evangelical Christians, […]

Read the full article →

Restrictions on Tattoos and Abortion Prove America Is not the ‘Land of the Free’.

May 27, 2019

At the beginning of May, Kentucky proposed a ban on tattooing over scars. The state health department made vague references to cleanliness and sanitation. But the suggested rules left Kentucky’s inkers clueless as to what the proposed law would entail. The only reason offered for this rewrite is that the rules hadn’t been updated in 15 […]

Read the full article →

Pat Robertson Makes a Prediction that God Will “Get Rid” of America.

May 27, 2019

On the 700 Club today, Pat Robertson offered his opinion of God’s likely reaction to the passage of the “Equality Act”. As this measure would extend the protections of the Civil Rights Act to people based on their sexuality and gender identity Pat’s perspective was bleak and his prediction dire. The Bill’s passage would be, he said: “a devastating blow […]

Read the full article →

Franklin Graham Dismisses All First Ladies Before Melania as ‘Also-Rans’.

May 4, 2019

Today is Melania Trump’s 49th birthday. And it allowed Franklin Graham to do some first-rate toadying to her adulterous mate. He tweeted: Happy birthday to @FLOTUS Melania Trump—the classiest first lady our country has ever had. This absurd assertion engendered comment — most of it pointing out that Melania Knauss was well-known for pictures with most, if not […]

Read the full article →

Karen Pence Justifies Bigotry by Hiding behind Her Religion.

May 4, 2019

Religion’s greatest trick isn’t that it wormed it’s way into the legal code of the US despite constitutional prohibitions, it is that it convinced people it was out of bounds to criticize the faithful for their beliefs. If I say hateful things, I am subject to censure. But if I intimate that my God believes hateful things and I’m […]

Read the full article →

Christian author: Atheists are ‘pompous prigs’ & ‘loud, nasty, unapologetic and in-your-face’.

March 10, 2019

Most atheists were raised in religious families. And they paid attention. The evidence indicates atheists know more than believers about religion. And they are often the most questioning of and curious about the ‘holy’ texts. So it is no surprise that Isaac Asimov said: “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”  […]

Read the full article →

Twelve Things Conservatives Believe About Liberals That Are Just Not True.

October 27, 2018

The conservative echo chamber resonates with claims made about what liberals believe and stand for. As you might expect, there is no factual basis for what they say. Let’s analyze their top dozen mischaracterizations: 1. Liberals want open borders, where anyone, for any reason, can come to America at any time. Liberals do not believe […]

Read the full article →