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oladotun
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Why is the church obsessed with sexual immorarilty? Whether or not you are "sexually pure" is used as a litmus test to show ones dedication to the faith, and yet, if you read the Bible, it is filled with instances of sexual immorality. David was an adulterer, Noah slept was seduced by his daughters and he slept with them (in one instance he offered his daughters up for some sodomites to do with them as they pleased sexually), David's son Solomon was so promiscous, his life makes Hugh Hefner's look like a Choir boy, and yet these figures are hailed as champions of the faith.

 

In today's culture, many Christians will tell you that abstinence is said to be the ultimate form of sex education, but a recent study showed that teens who practice abstinence are no more likely to abstain from sex before marriage than those who don't (in fact, they are more likely to not use protection when they do have sex). But fundamantalist Christians will not hear any of it...

 

I ask this question, because at the height of my obsession with legelistic Christianity, I tried everything that I knew how to stay "sexually pure" and away from stuff like pornography or sexual thoughts. I abstained from parties, did not go out with women at night (so that I would not be tempted) did not date anyone who was not "Christian" (only to find out that some of the biggest freaks were in the church) etc etc. I even tried to keep my thoughts pure, with Jesus' mandate of "if a man thinks about a woman lustfuly in his heart, he has already commited adultery with her" (Matthew 5:28). I hate to say this, but none of this worked, I stil craved sex, and still peeped at porn online. I cried, prayed, fasted, tithed, no luck..then I said finally, fuck it, I am doomed anyway, I might as well dive in full fledge. I am not proud of this, but I often wondered if I was the only single person in church having trouble staying "sexually pure"

 

Oladotun

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I am not proud of this, but I often wondered if I was the only single person in church having trouble staying "sexually pure"

 

You're definitely not the only one. I, for one, spent wasted a good two years of my adolesence going to Confession about once a week, mainly because I needed confess the 'mortal sin' of masturbation.

 

It is not surprising that many (I would say most, if not all) Christians struggle to maintain conservative legalistic Christian ideals of 'sexual purity'. It is because sex is completely natural.

 

As for why Christianity obsesses over sex...I think it's mostly because Christianity is un-natural, and sex is natural. So the two are largely at odds with each other.

 

I will say this for strict religious sexual 'morality'...trying to follow the rules makes them a lot more fun to break. :wicked::HaHa:

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I read in a bible with concordance that the ancient Hebrews were trying to switch their religion from a sex based religion to a male priest based one, so therefore sex is bad and to be controlled by the priesthood. They mentioned the grove and pillar that were on the altars in the old style tabernacles. They also said that if a tent was constructed as outlined in the OT that it would like a giant vulva. They went on to say that the Roman Catholic cathedrals were shaped like the female anatomy. You have the large front doors, the vagina, with a round window above it, the clitoris. Then you have the shape of the building itself, the womb and fallopian tubes. During a baptism the baby comes in one of the side doors, the fallopian tubes, to the baptismal fount located somewhere in the nave, the womb, where it is doused with ritual amniotic fluid, and then out the front door, the vagina. And then the child is literally born of the church and clean, instead of being born of a dirty woman.

 

DISCLAIMER - That's what I remember the book saying. I cannot attest in any way to it's veracity. I wish I knew the name of that concordance. It had some very interesting stuff in it.

 

Edited to add the underlined part.

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Oladotan asked: Why is the church obsessed with sexual immorarilty?

 

I think we can just knock out the word "immorality" and ask why the church is obsessed with sex. Answer: Because the church is made up of sexual human beings.

 

It may also be due to repression. When we get our needs met we do not obsess with them. Denial and repression of sexual urges means, I believe, that they go underground. They're still there but the person denies this. This, then, results in obsession. Obsession can result in spontaneous and uncontrollable acting out. I read somewhere that masturbation is God's (nature's?) gift to the single person.

 

I think we can draw a parallel with food. I know a woman whose daughter suffered with anorexia nervosa. She starved herself to the point where she had to be hospitalized. But the mother told me the daughter obsesses about food. Okay, she did not say she obsesses, she said the daughter is always thinking about food. I think there is little difference between obsessing and always thinking about something. I think this indicates that the starved person obsesses about food whereas the well-fed person only thinks about it occassionally as required to keep personal needs met. Might not the same apply to sex?

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Guest TheTruthHurts

Try this: The church is obsessed with sex because that's where all the feelings of guilt come from.

 

If you're determined to control a population by telling them that they're horrible people and need to constantly be ashamed of themselves and asking for forgiveness, sex is perfect. We all want it, we all think about it, so just call it a sin and everyone will be convinced that they're terrible sinners.

 

If Xtianity demanded that we all abstain from eating beets, we'd all be feeling pretty righteous.

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Try this: The church is obsessed with sex because that's where all the feelings of guilt come from.

 

If you're determined to control a population by telling them that they're horrible people and need to constantly be ashamed of themselves and asking for forgiveness, sex is perfect. We all want it, we all think about it, so just call it a sin and everyone will be convinced that they're terrible sinners.

 

If Xtianity demanded that we all abstain from eating beets, we'd all be feeling pretty righteous.

You've just hit the nail on the head.

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Remember that these are ancient myths saying sex is bad, sex may have very well had more adverse effects back then. Just like people said pork was unclean because they did not understand trichinosis, they may have said things like promiscuous sex was bad because they did not understand STDs or have the ability to treat them even if they did. It may also have been to keep birthrates under control. I would do some research on it if I didn't have two lab reports to deal with.

 

But then again it could be just another bullshit guilt trip to keep people under control, it wouldn't surprise me.

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The idea of celibacy is not just restricted to the Abrahamic religions. It's found in a great many religions throughout the world. The idea is that sex is a very powerful and very "base" urge of animals, so it's theorized that by overcoming the urges for sex, you can become more calm, peaceful, and godly.

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Ugh. I must say, quite a few of those "pagan" religions seemed to have it right with worshiping sex. I for one feel there may be a lot less sexual dysfunction if religion didn't put such a friggin' stigma on it.

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I suspect that religious control of sex is part and parcel of patriarchal societies, insofar as determination of paternity and the accumulation of wealth in patrilocal clans is a goal of patriarchy. If you can control sex, you can control who fucks whom and when and why. You know who your sons are (remember that DNA testing isn't more than 2 generations old), and which ones come from your lawful wife (vs. the ones that come from whores, concubines, or other secondary partners), and consequently you know who's going to get your stuff after you die. That's one idea, anyway.

 

Incidentally, one thing I remember from some dusty medieval history class somewhere back in the day was that the reason why the medieval church insisted on a celibate clergy was because they didn't want to have to split a priest's inheritance with the rest of his family. A celibate clergy leaves no legitimate heirs, and consequently any wealth a priest owned when he died was added to the church's coffers. Requiring chastity, I suppose, could have helped ensure that there wouldn't be any potential illegitimate heirs, either (though the Borgias and de Medicis sure didn't care that much about the issue).

 

Regardless of whether or not the above pet hypothesis has any truth, I have noted that controlling and vilifying women's sexuality in particular seems crucial to controlling sex on a broad, societal level. I don't think men have never gotten the shaft with respect to gender issues, but I'm having a hard time thinking of examples of men being subjected to the same level of vitriol for their sexuality as women have over the past 2000 years. The idea that men are pure and holy and women are demon-driven temptresses may seem a medieval idea, yet I know from experience that it's alive and well in many of the more conservative American Xian denominations - and not only is it alive and well, it's thriving.

 

I also think that the whole thing has been snowballing for the past 2 millennia. And like most cultural conditioning, it isn't conscious, it's just something people do. Do something long enough, and it becomes "tradition" - and people forget where it first came from. Maybe sexual shame is one of those things.

 

But maybe it really just does boil down, still, to religions not wanting any competition. Or maybe it's people being afraid to let go of their sacred "traditions", because Doing Things the Way We've Always Done Them™ is very secure and comforting. On the flip side, old habits also die hard: 2000 years of conditioning people to believe that sex is sinful, powerful, and will endanger their very souls isn't something that goes away overnight. I've pointed out in a couple of other threads, for instance, that human beings have only had truly effective birth control methods for perhaps a hundred years, if even that. The Pill only showed up on the scene some 50 years ago or so. Now both women and men can have as much sex as they please without fear of disease or pregnancy, and that just freaks the shit out of religious people. Why? Because they can't control it. And that scares them. I don't know why, but it does.

 

Incidentally, these are just some random thoughts about American culture and religion. I understand that attitudes to both sex and religion are considerably more relaxed in various spots around the world, and also considerably more uptight in various other spots. So ymmv.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*No puns actually intended, but I'll pretend they were anyway... :wicked:

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Why is the church obsessed with sexual immorarilty? Whether or not you are "sexually pure" is used as a litmus test to show ones dedication to the faith, and yet, if you read the Bible, it is filled

 

If it helps,,,I am 49 years old and prayed, fasted and controlled my thoughts my entire life. Needless to say, I gave up confessing the same fuckin "sins" over and over. Praying to be sorry so the holy spirit would enlighten my mind. To no avail.

Jesusfuckingchrist! I gave up all religion, praying and confession and feeling guilty for who I am about 2 years now! Holy fuckin spirits! I wasn't struck by lightning and who the hell cares? What has changed? I even received communion without fuckin confession and in "fuckin mortal sin" about 4 times where society had me going to church and so the fuck what! Life goes on!

If there is a god and I doubt it, he can accept me the way I fuckin am or not. Thats where I am right now.

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I used to fret and fuss about sexual "purity" as a Xian, also. It was one of the things that helped me drop it, as I grew to feel that sexuality wasn't "dirty" or "obscene" just because the preserved cultural hatreds of a few tribes of desert bedouins said it was. Sexual morality came about only because of the prejudices of a bunch of weirdo sexophobes, nothing more.

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If it helps,,,I am 49 years old and prayed, fasted and controlled my thoughts my entire life. Needless to say, I gave up confessing the same fuckin "sins" over and over. Praying to be sorry so the holy spirit would enlighten my mind. To no avail.

Jesusfuckingchrist! I gave up all religion, praying and confession and feeling guilty for who I am about 2 years now! Holy fuckin spirits! I wasn't struck by lightning and who the hell cares? What has changed? I even received communion without fuckin confession and in "fuckin mortal sin" about 4 times where society had me going to church and so the fuck what! Life goes on!

If there is a god and I doubt it, he can accept me the way I fuckin am or not. Thats where I am right now.

 

That's the way I feel. This obsession about sex gives me not lasting peace or anything. Like some kind of recovering alcoholic, I would actually find myseld starying to feel proud if I had abstained from sex for long period of time (being that i am not married and all)...It is this issue that led me to start questioning religion and specifically Christianity. for someone like me who masturbates more than I would like to admit, being in church and hearing all those "thou shall not.." sermons in regard to sex just drive me to the tipping point. And then one minister at I church I used to attend even added that we should not engage in oral sex because it is not natural and "god" did not want us to do that because he invented the dick and pussy (he used the bioloically correct terms) so that one could go in the other. What the fuck? there are people dying of hunger all over the world and you are worried about whether or not I just ate some pussy? Get the fuck our of here.....!!!!!

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Ugh. I must say, quite a few of those "pagan" religions seemed to have it right with worshiping sex. I for one feel there may be a lot less sexual dysfunction if religion didn't put such a friggin' stigma on it.

 

You hit the nail on the head, the stigma actually fuels an obsession with it. For instance, take the Catholic church, all those priests are supposed to take a vow of celibacy, knowing damn well that we were created to be sexual creatures. And then they wonder why the choir boys start to look appealing to them..Duh? that sexual energy has to be released somehow..I am not justifying that kind of behavior, but why not let these men get married?

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You're definitely not the only one. I, for one, spent wasted a good two years of my adolesence going to Confession about once a week, mainly because I needed confess the 'mortal sin' of masturbation.

 

If I got a dollar for every time I had to confess for masturbating, I would be the one sitting in Donald Trump's chair firing people on "The Apprentice". And ironically, one of the reasons I masturbated so much was because I did not want to have 'immoral sex" with a woman outside of the "sanctity of marriage"..So its a catch-22, don't masturbate, don't think about sex because Jesus said lust is just as bad as the deed itself), don't have sex with someone who isn't your spouse..etc etc. Finally, I would get so frustrated and say "fuck it" and then binge out on sex and porn for a whole day..the rules just make breaking them more enticing. Now that I have freed myself of those rules, I actually feel better about myself

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You certainty aren't the only one who struggled with this. I remember when I was in college the #1 thing that people in my guys only bible study struggled with was "lust." I would do the same thing, try to abstain over and over until I would finally binge on porn for a day.

 

We would always talk about how we were addicted to porn or something, rather than just admitting we had a natural desire for sex.

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Guest Cerebral Stasis

I recall that (a little too late, since it was after I had already denied my Christianity and had been masturbating for at least five years) my father showed me an article in some Christian magazine that pertained to masturbation. It said that masturbation is really not bad, but it is made so if we lust after women whom we are not married to. Thus, one may only imagine their fiance (or wife, if one is married) while masturbating, but if one does not have such, then they must not imagine any woman. Therefore, one must tug the twig with a blank mind. Not very appealing to me, to say the least.

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I recall that (a little too late, since it was after I had already denied my Christianity and had been masturbating for at least five years) my father showed me an article in some Christian magazine that pertained to masturbation. It said that masturbation is really not bad, but it is made so if we lust after women whom we are not married to. Thus, one may only imagine their fiance (or wife, if one is married) while masturbating, but if one does not have such, then they must not imagine any woman. Therefore, one must tug the twig with a blank mind. Not very appealing to me, to say the least.

 

 

I remember reading an article a couple of years ago...I think the church of Christ has published it. Anyway, they said that it was ok to masturbate, but imagining women while doing it was a sin so instead...you should think of Jesus. They were totally serious, There is no way I could make this up :)

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I will say this for strict religious sexual 'morality'...trying to follow the rules makes them a lot more fun to break. :wicked::HaHa:

 

Amen! lol

 

The worst part about it is, it's relatively new. I got this off Wikkipedia, but I've seen it in encyclopedias before.

 

Celibacy became mandatory for Latin-Rite priests only in the eleventh century.[citation needed] However, much earlier, "by the time of St. Leo the Great (440–461) the law of celibacy was generally recognized in the West."

 

In Latin-Rite (Western) Catholic churches, married men may (since the time of the Second Vatican Council in 1965) be ordained deacons, but may not be ordained priests or bishops, nor may one marry after ordination. Since the start of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), exceptions may be allowed for married Protestant (or Anglican) priests or ministers who convert to Catholicism and wish to become priests in the Catholic Church, provided their wives consent.

 

The sex obsession thing didn't really start until around the eleventh century. The pope then got big on it, and it's been down hill ever since.

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