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The Naked Truth: How Christians Demonize Sex and Sexuality

While American society today is in some ways overly sexual and sex obsessed, in other ways we are a very prudish and sexually repressed society. While the Porn industry is one of the few industries that is growing in this declining economy, it is still looked down upon and viewed in secret. Millions of Americans don’t talk about sex openly and sex education is America is in many cases very poor and insufficient and in other cases non-existent. Americans tend to be more offended by Janet Jackson’s two second nipple slip than they are about the violence on the average nightly news.

Much of the American stigma concerning sex and nudity has to do with “traditional Christian values.” America has a lot of those old Puritan influences as well as the biblical view from Genesis 3 that people should be ashamed of their bodies. It is no surprise that the more fundamentally religious people are the more sexually repressed and uptight especially in relation to nudity and sexuality. As an atheist, I see nothing wrong with nudity or sexuality and it bothers me that America is so freaked out about these subjects.

“What if a child saw that nude photo?” I give up, what if? What would happen? Would their eyes pop out of their sockets? The fact is that if you took a 7 year old to see an R-rated film which had nudity, they would be bored. Of course if they knew that they weren’t supposed to see nudity because of some quaint religious stigma, they would want to see it just because it is forbidden. But if they weren’t raised to believe that sexuality and nudity were bad, they wouldn’t care less about either until they were old enough to take pleasure from it.

The reason America is so prudish is of course the Bible. Aside from Genesis 3, there are lots of examples where fornication or premarital sex is demonized. For example, the Bible throws unmarried sex in with murders and atheism and claims that these things are “worthy of death.”

Romans 1: 29-32 “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

The Bible also claims that if you have unmarried sex, you can’t get the magical Heavenly reward:

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

There are many other “Biblical Correct” passages which deal with the evils of premarital sex. Some will argue that promiscuous sex is bad and that the Bible is correct in threatening Hell and Damnation for such a thing, but there are two issues with that. The first of course is the Bible didn’t say “promiscuous sex” it said pre-marital sex or fornication. Maybe you just had sex with one or two people. That is not promiscuous, but if you were not married at the time, that is a one way trip to eternal torture. Second, there really isn’t anything wrong with promiscuous sex as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult who knows what they are in for and everyone has taken the necessary precautions. Sex can be an emotional experience for most people, but it is not always that way. Some people just enjoy sex without a lot of emotional baggage. This is common today in a world of one-night-stands and internet hookups.

But even with the high emotions which sex often arouses, people can be mature and we can handle those emotions like adults. It is not uncommon for the average American to have between 6 to 20 sexual partners throughout their lives. But the Bible doesn’t just talk about the evils of unmarried sex, Paul didn’t think to highly of sex in general http://vardenafilotc.net/. Paul claimed that sex… any sex was bad but if you had to have sex, than married sex is better than unmarried sex.

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”

The character of Jesus as portrayed in the Bible of course took things much further. Jesus didn’t even want people to be sexually aroused.

Matthew 5:27-29 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

So that means no swimsuit issues, no pornography, and no Angelina Jolie movies. No wonder Christians get all bent out of shape with the slightest glimpse of nudity or sexuality. Just an accidental look or peek could land them in eternal torture. This is the reason why there are so many restrictions and censors concerning nudity and sexuality. This is why American society is as sexually repressed and frustrated as it is. I’m surprised that Christians haven’t adopted the Berka.

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  • http://www.myspace.com/rothtalltales Tralf

    Actually, members of the porn industry asked if they, too, could be bailed out by the government. Ironically, this DOWN time is hitting us all. Cialis to the rescue!

    Randy

  • Scott

    Yeah, this whole thing with Christians and sex is stupid! Our instinct is to have sex and to have it often! Since we no longer need to reproduce like mad, we can fill this need without pregnancies thru birth control, safe sex, masturbation.

    I’ll tell you this, sex eduction is terrible in this nation. My parents never told me too much. Masturbation was poorly understood and from middle and high school I learned that it was something that if you did, it would get you labeled as gay or whatnot. One day when I was eighteen I made the grand discovery that masturbation results directly into an organism and you don’t need a mate to do it. Apparently most people learned this stuff way back in middle school but being that I have Aspergers, people don’t like to share their common sense with me and make fun of me about it instead.

    Sex education in this nation is simply: don’t do it or you will get someone pregnant or you could get some STDs and to use a condom if you do decide to break the rules and to wait until you are 18. Nobody told me about oral sex. I had no idea that a woman would actually give blow jobs and that men would eat pussy and was shocked when I first heard some guy in my neighborhood bragging about girls giving him blow jobs.

    Christians repress sex in this nation but today, we need to embrace it for it is part of our well being. It’s a shame that many potential mates I have met are usually repressed by these Christian rules and thus are repressing me.

  • Mr. X

    …And what about those highschoolers, who are being prosecuted for “child pornography,” for taking nude pictures of THEMSELVES???

    The law is being used against the very people it was intended to protect.

    Only in America, baby…

  • http://theperplexedobserver.blogspot.com/ TPO

    So true.

    I think Jesus must have been neutered, a self-hating closet homosexual or so god damn ugly that no woman would have sex with; thus, his attitude towards other people enjoying themselves:-)

    All joking aside…I think these christian teachings are responsible for many very serious problems in American society.

  • http://myspace freeflo

    terrific!

  • meh

    Don’t forget who supposedly wrote some of those passages… a zealot extremist who supposedly suffered from “the whore disease” prior to his so-called “conversion”.

  • http://www.poweressence.com/evolve Maxwell Jennings

    We actually picked up much more prudish behavior habits from the Victorian era rather than the Puritans. The Victorians were the ones that dressed the women in full-length dresses, long-sleeved and neck-covering blouses; all in an attempt to hide as much of the female form as possible. The tightly laced corsets imparted a frail look. Although highly god-fearing as well, the Puritans were not as uptight about sex and the human body as the Victorians.

    You would think a country such as Italy which is dominated by Catholics would be ultra prudish, but they expose much more of the human body in advertising than the US.

    It will be nice when we finally remove all that restricting religious influence from general social policies. I want to see unblurred boobies on TV!

    • Mr. X

      Funny…I remember hearing something, about how in the Victorian culture, they used to cover the “legs” of PIANOS, because “to leave them bare would have been too provocative”…

  • ProgRockGirl

    I have also noticed that while some say we are sexually repressed, we are also sexually obsessed at the same time. I think they are 2 sides of the same coin. I hang around people who consider themselves sexually liberated (bi, poly, kink, swingers, etc) and sometimes I get tired of people constantly talking about sex or treating an orgy like it’s a tea party. That seems kind of boring, and I think it’s more of a kneejerk response to antisexualism than real sexual liberation, but that’s their prerogative. I like to talk honestly about sex, but leave it to the imagination a little.

    And about “what if kids see that?” Come on. Kids come out of a woman’s vagina and one of the first things they see are breasts. My idiot ex thought kids would be traumatized by seeing naked people, despite the fact that lots of kids have lived in cultures that were mostly nudist.

    • ProgRockGirl

      Also, from what my Christian friends tell me, instead of talking about hellfire, Christians are more saying “sex is a gift from God that is sacred and we should be careful with it” or something like that (being careful meaning only sexing your spouse after marriage). I’m pretty sure back in the olden days people didn’t view it that way, being that after a few early Christians experimented with spiritual acrobatics (starvation, celibacy, hermitage, etc) it was decided celibacy was the ideal and monogamy the concession to human nature (some concession).

      • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

        That was Paul’s view.

  • http://myspace.com/this_is_ajs_space AJ, That Damn Atheist!

    Some of the Bible actually reads like really bad porn: The story of Lot, The rape of Dinah, Tamar and Amnon. SooOOo much more! Perhaps all of those Bible thumping book burners should reread their “Good Book”, huh?

    • http://www.myspace.com/andrewtheatheist AndrewtheAtheist

      And the Song of Songs. What was translated to “navel” actually meant something a little lower. Ooh La La.

      This reminded me that before I read Penthouse letters, I read the Bible and masturbated. Hey, it’s not a sin if it’s the word of god! From his holy mouth. His luscious, full, soft holly mouth…. Excuse me.

  • http://www.myspace.com/itsahicke Her3tiK

    Maybe the fact fundies don’t get any is why they’re so uptight. Eh, their loss.

  • http://blip.fm/snakelady SnakeLady

    Kids aren’t traumatized by seeing nudity. Kids are traumatized by freaked-out people freaking out over nudity.

    Don’t give the folks around here any ideas. Although I wouldn’t mind being able to hide a bad hairday on occasion (just a joke!) I would be highly pissed if someone was afraid that my fat face is going to seduce some guy. (I weigh a WHOLE lot. I’m very happy that I have a guy who sees me for me).

    But seriously, except for my size, it wouldn’t bother me to run around naked all the time. I have no shame. However, I’m just not into getting arrested for being “indecent.” I’m annoyed that the laws which allow a man to walk around topless claims that it’s indecent for a woman to walk around topless.

    Even worse than that, there are still states where it is illegal to sell (and probably even possess) a sex toy. I think Alabama and Georgia? I’ve lost track. I know of one woman who has an “adult” store in one of those states (I think Alabama) and the only way she can sell anything is to call it “a massager” and NOT a vibrator. I think the purchaser might even have to have a doctor’s note or a “prescription.”

    Are people really SO uptight that they’re afraid someone else might be enjoying themself?

    • http://www.myspace.com/andrewtheatheist AndrewtheAtheist

      In Texas, it is illegal to possess more than six dildos. And you cannot call them “dildos”. You must refer to them as “condom demonstrators” and use them only for “educational” purposes.

      Have we a lesson for you today!!

      • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

        LOLL are you serious?! Hahahaha…my wife and I almost have that many….that is funnnny. Plus, I live in Texas….haha

        • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

          In Georgia it is illegal to sell dildos. You can own them, but you can’t buy them.

  • http://www.myspace.com/rox1smf Rox

    I’ve worked in the porn industry (as a purveyor, not a performer), and have joked more often than once that it’s a “blessing” the Christians have made this country so anti-human-sexuality. It means more people watch and buy porn (even if they do it in secret). “Forbidden fruit” and all that…

    To me, that’s the ONLY “upside” to the influence Christianity’s had on this country’s attitudes about sex. I blame religious people DIRECTLY for the rising teen pregnancies and STDs among young people – if the churchy folks hadn’t forced most kids to be undereducated about sex with their abstinence-only bullshit, there’d be far fewer knocked up teens and kids spreading all those lovely “gifts that keep on giving.” http://www.advocatesforyouth.org

  • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

    So I pretty much lost my train of thought when you cut off a verse….”burn with passion”…not “burn”…anyways….I gotta say, I really don’t feel like addressing this at all. Which is weird for me….because I usually have something to say.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      The KJV says “Burn” but other versions say “burn with passion.” There is no doubt that the meaning is “burn with passion,” and I don’t think I said otherwise. I actually thought about addressing that more fully, I actually did an a different draft, but it didn’t seem relevant to the issue, so I think I took it out. So yes, the verse does mean “burn with passion” but Paul could have easily meant it both ways since the Bible does support the view that unmarried sex is a sin punishable by Hellfire. Other verses do say as much. But in this particular instance, Paul did not mean it in that manner. So technically you are correct Matt, but it is a difference that makes no difference.

      • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

        Ah, I gotcha KJV…Yeah, thats another thing I want to do….study differences between NIV/KJV…more in depth…I know about alot of stuff on the surface, but only a few things very deeply.

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  • Robbie121

    While many individuals who profess to be Christians may fit into “Staks’” categorization, there are some misinterpretations.
    “Fornication” in the Bible (New Testament part) is the English-language substitute for the Greek “porneia,” which is not only premarital copulation but a broad, general term encompassing all sexual misconduct.
    “Fornication” etymologically is “the behaviors conducted under the arches (fornices) (arches of the aqueducts and viaducts, the place of “business” of the common street prostitutes).” “Porneia” is “the conduct of prostitutes.” Generally this takes in all immoral sexual behavior typical of prostitutes.
    Historically “official” Christian teaching until 1853 was that any activities involving the use of the genitals other than P-I-V copulation was sinful in the highest degree. Sexual pleasure obtained by P-I-V copulation was approved; any genital pleasure by any other means was forbidden as a very grave sin.
    Foreplay was limited to nongenital areas of the body, chiefly the lips and the woman’s breasts. Massage and fondling of the nongenital areas was allowed as long as it led to P-I-V copulation culminating in seminal discharge within the vagina.
    Up until 1853, “taking necessary precautions” was absolutely, 100%, totally forbidden as an “abominable and detestable crime against nature, not to be named among Christians.” In 1853, Roman Catholics were suddenly permitted to use scheduled abstinence, commonly called the “rhythm method” of contraception. However, it was to be recommended only as a “less immoral” alternative to couples in which the man obstinately refused to give up “Onanism,” coitus interruptus. The priest could suggest rhythm in the hope that the man would substitute it for Onania. Perhaps hell would not be quite as hot in the rhythm section as in the Onania section? Both were “mortal” sins, sins that, if not stopped and sufficient penance carried out, sent the unfortunate orgasm addict into a lake of boiling sulfur: do not pass “GO”; do not collect $200: go straight to hell.
    Rhythm is the same abominable sin condemned by Augustine in his diatribe against the Manichees, who taught that sexual arousal and procreation were sinful but allowed to the Auditors (laity) – forbidden to the Initiates (clergy). Procreation was strongly discouraged to the laity, and the scheduled abstinence method of contraception was recommended if the Auditors (“hearers” or disciples) just “had to” have sex. [You might notice that the "no marriage for clergy" and "marriage permitted for the laity" idea was.later taken up by the Catholic Church (the Rome vs. Orthodox schism had not come yet).]
    It wasn’t Paul who claimed that sex was bad. The church at.Corinth had proposed: It is better not to touch (copulate with) a woman. Paul allowed that, but strongly encouraged marriage for most.
    To commit adultery with a woman required that she be married (including betrothed). And to “lust” after her is not merely to appreciate her attractive form but to be restrained from having sex with her only by fear of apprehension, not by conscience.
    For a man to harbor honorable intentions toward an unmarried, unbetrothed woman – that is, to want to marry her before having sex with her, was not “lusting” after her.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      Why do you have my name in quotes?

    • Jonathan Hughes

      It is not the sex you do and when it is engaged in. It is the spirit you have in you. An evil spirit will feel powerful giving fear and trembling through a person. That is what people should not have in them. The people against Jesus had that in them. Those that have that evil spirit will have no self control. Those that have that spirit will condemn others thinking they are righteous when they condemn others. The Scribes and Pharisees did that.

  • Jonathan Hughes

    Devil possessed people demonize what God made. God made what is called indecent and adult only, etc. The list is long. What is the mystery? Google has Devil possessed people in it. Muslims are Devil possessed giving guilt too.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      Dude, you are cookoo for cocco puffs.

      • Jonathan Hughes

        There is a law in the bible to support adult only and nudity laws? Show me will you? Satan is Lucifer. It is as I say.
        The Devil wants all things to burn in the sun. That being admirers the parts that can make life? The devil is death. That being wants all things to burn in a mortal sun. That being caused the sun to devour itself. God made the stars to never die SETING them where he wanted them to be. The
        universe did not start with a big bang. God “set” in the universe
        what we see. Genesis 1:16And God made two great lights; the greater light to
        rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
        17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.
        Satan the fallen angel Lucifer went on a rampage destroying the stars God named
        when Adam and Eve accepted him as their master.
        People would not have valued things that went boom had the truth been taught.

        • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

          I stand corrected, you are not coocoo for coco puffs; you need a straight jacket! The devil isn’t real and neither is the boogieman.

  • Guest227

    “Maybe you just had sex with one or two people. That is not promiscuous, but if you were not married at the time, that is a one way trip to eternal torture.”

    Maybe I am reading these parts weirdly but you do know that the Bible have plenty of verses condemning adultery right?

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      You read it “weirdly,” because I said if you were NOT married and had sex with more than one person, that is a one way trip to eternal torture. But I guess if you were married, it would also be a one way trip to eternal torture. Basically, if you have sex with more than one person, you’re fucked… according to the Bible.