Sex: The Missionary Position

It is no secret that Christian fundamentalists live in a world obsessed with sexuality.  In the United States, every censorship effort and attempt at sexual repression comes from religion. Opposition to contraception, abortion, sex education, co-education, prostitution and the censorship of our entertainment and media outlets all point back to the hostility that religious fundamentalists have toward sex. When one breaks down the resistance to humanism, secularism, post-modernism, relativism, feminism and other non-religious ideals, it always comes down to sex.  There’s little objection to a movie containing numerous acts of violence, but the sight of Janet Jackson’s nipple drew the unending wrath of the godly, causing the FCC to dole out huge fines and major media outlets to put a delay on live events.   Christian morality is fixated on avoiding certain sexual sins to the virtual exclusion of everything else. It renders as evil virtually everything connected with sex outside of marriage, and even some sexual acts between married couples. It seems that god has a vindictive fixation on human genitals.

Christianity has developed a hard core antagonism toward human sexuality. The attitude that Christianity has toward sex is morbid and unnatural and is probably the worst feature of the religion. The church’s aversion to sex is not only unfounded but harmful. This anti-sexual attitude has inflicted untold human misery and has been particularly hostile to women. The prevailing view of women by the church is that of a temptress and the inspiration of what they view as impure lusts. The Christian writings during the witch hunts were steeped with revulsion to female sexuality. Hughes de St. Cher, a medieval cardinal, wrote, “Woman pollutes the body, drains the resources, kills the soul, uproots the strength, blinds the eye, and embitters the voice.”

Christianity still holds a condescending view of women as moral children who need to be kept sexually in line by fear.  In the 19th in America, a man named Anthony Comstock headed an outfit known as “The Committee for the Suppression of Vice”, which so vigorously pursued sex that approximately 2,500 people were convicted on morality charges. This resulted in Congress passing the puritanical Comstock Laws. In fact, a woman named Margaret Sanger was jailed eight times for advocating birth control.  It was only very recently that individual states began repealing Old Testament style laws against fornication and sodomy, which are biblical terms.  The Christian opposition to the 1972 Supreme Court ruling that allowed women a right to birth control was based on a desire to prevent women from enjoying the sexual freedom that contraception afforded.  The church still declares unmarried sex to be intrinsically evil.

The Christian doctrines and dogmas surrounding sexual activity originated with Saint Augustine around 400 ad, and even after 1700 years the theology he created regarding human sexuality is still the basis for Christianity.  It surrounds the doctrine of “Original Sin”, the belief that humanity is born inherently evil.  He believed that the only way to combat original sin was god’s grace through sexual renunciation. These personal beliefs of Augustine were transformed into church doctrine, that the more you suffer, the closer you are to God.  These beliefs were the genesis of Puritanism and his anti-sexual writings inspired the missionary position for sexual intercourse.  Woman on her back, the man on top, in the dark, three-minute-max and for procreation purposes only.

It was Augustine who fostered the belief that intercourse was fundamentally disgusting. Another church father, Arnobius, called it filthy and degrading, Methodius thought sex to be unseemly. St. Jerome stated that it was unclean. The great Tertullian said it was shameful.  Ambrose called it a defilement. Early Christian leaders made sex and “sin” synonymous.  Origen of Alexandria reportedly went so far as self-castration.

In spite of the growing resentment that post-modern Americans have toward sexual taboos, the church today remains a haven for the sexually suppressed. Rampant reports of sexual misconduct against their own rules have revealed profound hypocrisy, as many Christian lawmakers fight the repeal of puritanical laws that remain on the books of many states against socially harmless sexual behavior. Fornication, cohabitation, seduction, adultery, lewd and lascivious behavior and sodomy are still treated as modern crimes. Some penal codes admit the religious character of sex crimes by calling them “Crimes against Nature” or against “God’s natural order.”  These are direct violations of the First Amendment clause of separation of church and state and these absurd, obsolete and unconstitutional laws have no business being extant.  Besides the fact that it’s nobody’s business, as long as it does not involve minors or non-consensual adults.  The government has no business in the bedroom and the church has no business there, either.

The fact is that sex is good.  It brings pleasure.  It relaxes us.  It releases stress and tension.  It is a good thing, and not something that should be looked upon as dirty or sinful.  It should not be taught as something to be avoided unless the twisted and archaic criteria of religious conditions are met.

If conversation amongst many Christians gravitates toward the latest action movie, it will usually end up in a review of the film’s special effects or it’s realistic portrayal of whatever murder and mayhem occurred. Let that conversation gravitate toward anything sexual and the room goes quiet and the atmosphere suddenly becomes uncomfortable. Let the conversation gravitate toward same-sex marriage or abortion and the ensuing hateful speech would make a sailor blush. The fact is that we should be shielding our eyes from the rampant violence that has become part of our every day entertainment, violence that has been shown to have a detrimental effect on the behavior of our youth and society in general.  Instead, we rant and rave about tits and ass being the scourge of our nation, which usually ends up in either really great sex or a little self-pleasuring.  Of course, the church’s position on masturbation is a whole other comedy show.

The fact that the church has attached words like “addiction” and “cure” to normal human sexuality reveals that it considers it on par with drug abuse and other harmful conditions and even mental illness.  True enough that many years ago there did not exist the understanding that we have now about sexually transmitted diseases.  We also did not know about certain food handling methods were linked to many horrific medical conditions, and we’ve only recently started sterilizing surgical tools.  We’ve changed the way we process foods and no longer use unsterile medical equipment because we’ve been educated on how to safely perform these things.  The same should hold universally true for sexual activity.  However, sex education, the use of condoms and other forms of birth control and disease prevention methods have met a wall of resistance erected by the church.

Can you imagine where we would still be if the church rejected the use of sterile surgical tools or the safe handling of food because of some enigmatic doctrine derived from an ancient holy book?  Can you imagine where we could be if this country let go of the ridiculously impossible doctrine of “abstinence only” and embraced a comprehensive regimen of sex education?  Imagine…

  1 comment for “Sex: The Missionary Position

  1. heather
    April 14, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I like hot sex.
    That is all.
    😛

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