Sexual Repression In Christianity

Its interesting the ways that religion’s routes can have long lasting consequences over you.

I count myself lucky that my deconversion was so simple, with my faith in all things Christian slowly diminishing in every possible way over time. Starting with simple observations such as prayer working at the same rate as chance, and things that would happen anyway to stories that were obviously false, finally ending with finding faults in my own miracles that I saw, and the historical unreliability of the story of Jesus.

So by the time it came to deconversion, it was more a matter of crossing a small bridge, rather than climbing a mountain. Rarther simple and painless. I suppose continuing to this day, as I learn more about Christianity than I ever could have done when I was a member.

But despite knowing all of its wrongs and problems, it can still take hold of you emotionally. Recently I’ve found this happening to me. And I don’t believe that its something that you can recover from as easilly as reading a sentence debunking it.

I’m fortunate to have only been in the religion for 18 years, over much longer periods of time I can easily see it being worse. For most people this emotional torment is hell, however for me it only makes me more confident that God doesn’t exist, as the all loving vision of God is incompatable with the concept.

Though the subject happens frequently, its often taboo to talk about. However this is my blog, and when my brain is completely empty you get nothing, and when I have something to say I say it.

This God Christianity has. It created the entire universe, consisting of trillions of galaxies and solar systems, yet decided to put life on just one. But more than that, just one planet, one of the smallest, and not even in its entirety.

Out of all the possible places in the world he could have decided to appear to, he appeared to the most cut throat tribe of desert dwelling hebrews, of which later no archeological evidence could be found.

Then proceding from this tribe, he would later use his all powerfulness, and wisdom, as all part of his master plan to create a world where 30% of people can be saved.

Essentially Yahweh cares about very specific things. One specific minor group of people making up a negligable amount of the entire universe. And of these people, he particularly cares about what they do while naked.

He gives abundantly clear rules and guidelines about what you cannot do with your own body.

It is wrong. What goes on in the bedroom between concenting adults is, and can only be they’re business. No Gods allowed.

I feel like I should explain this more, but in everyway I look at it, it just seems entirely fucking obvious.

Nobody can claim overship over anybodys life or body, and everyone has the freedom to do what they want with it.

This doesn’t mean you can’t give advice, or ask questions. Just that maybe you shouldn’t torture someone forever over something that you have zero rights to control.

Christianity gives a strong message of no sex before marriage, and no masturbation. Since I always went to church every week and often volunteered to do other things, this message was drilled into my head quite a lot, so ridiculously far.

In fact some of my first exposures to these things was through Christianity.

Over time it has a way of changing how you think and behave, altering how you percieve perfectly natural and good acts as disgusting and evil.

Essentially, you can moan all you like about it, but you have no business trying to prise your nose into the closed doors of consenting adults. Regardless of whether you say your just trying to help or not.

But here’s the problem, Christians don’t see it like that. It’s not tucked away like those verses on slavery, homophobia or anti-feminism but proudly, and commonly talked about to the point that everybody knows about it.

And I’m not sure if its worse that it teaches these messages, or that it can be regarded by so many people as having the authority to do so.

These things were known, said, and taught to me as a Christian, and I never once thought “Who the fuck are you to tell me to act like this?”

But of course, from the Christian perspective, that question has an answer. The all loving creator who knows everything, is good and has a perfect special plan just for you, unless you don’t do what he says, and then your sent to hell.

And that’s the primary fear. Fear of hell, rejection, not just by God but from other people who know what you’ve done. Its the kind of thing that can, and did stick in to me. And even years later it still does.

I would never say its a good idea to repress sexuality. When it happens it can lead to strange people, strange consequences and potentially disasturous results.

If god really did create you, then these thoughts, feelings, wants and desires are perfectly natural and perfectly normal. Actually thats true God or not.

Anything that tries to make you ashamed and fearful of who you are, and what you want to do naturally, can never be called a positive impact on your life.

Take it from me, these consequences can be long lasting, difficult, and painful to heal from. And its probably the worst aspect of religion that people rarely talk about. Only because the subject is taboo, and people are too reluctant to open up about it.

Obviously I wouldn’t be talking about this if this didn’t affect me. And I honestly didn’t apprechiate these negative feelings every time I masturbated as I was leaving Christianity. And today I don’t apprechiate having those feelings even stronger every time I have sex with my girlfriend.

Its not a positive thing for anyone to have, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

I apprechiate that this has probably been a strange read. But religion can cause horrific long term damage in majorly disgusting ways. I think its important that we don’t forget that.

17 thoughts on “Sexual Repression In Christianity

  1. rossiroad: If WordPress has a weakness, it’s formatting nested comments. So, I’m starting a higher-level comment to respond to your post from “December 26, 2019 at 3:42 pm”

    It’s hard for Christians to talk about commandments or rules or standards of behavior, even among themselves. Put a Catholic, an old-school Methodist, and a modern Evangelicals in a room and ask them to explain themselves.

    Wars have literally been started over that sort of thing.

    Having studied Christian scripture for years, I’ve noticed that there are actually 11 full-fledged Commandments, which is to say, statements about behavior that seem applicable to today. I contrast those against statements setting the price for me being able to sell my daughter into slavery; I’m pretty sure that was a time-specific thing that doesn’t apply now.

    The original 10 Commandments are in both Exodus and Deuteronomy. There’re pretty well known. Interestingly enough, there don’t explicitly forbid pre-martial sex or any kind of same-sex unions. They talk about not going after your neighbor’s wife, which just makes sense in a close-knit community. But beyond that, they’re kinda silent about human sexuality.

    Makes one wonder, doesn’t it?

    The 11th (or the 1, depending on your view of how history unfolds) was directly from Jesus (from the Gospel of John). It said simply that we are to love one another as He loved us.

    Notice something interesting?

    No mention of sexuality there, either. No mention of having to resist one of the most fundamental drives in humanity in order to quality for heaven — or for the grace to get into heaven.

    I said before, and I’ll say again. It all comes down to humans hijacking the framework of faith (religion) to establish and maintain their own power. All you have to do is look at Christianity pre and post Constantine to see the change.

    That’s why I try to focus only on the essential, which is the last commandment we received. Love one another seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? “Love one another as I have loved you” is even more clear — we are to dedicate ourselves to one another to the point of being willing to die for one another.

    But even something seemingly simple like that gets twisted once it’s in human hands. I’ve read people calling themselves Christian saying that the last commandment justifies tough love where they can torture people (e.g., separate families at the southern US border and place them in unsanitary and dangerous concentration camps) because they “get what they deserve.” Some kind of strange idea of justice.

    All the while ignoring the whole “But when did we not feed you?” discussion…

    All of this supports your contention that ‘“Do not have sex outside of marriage” is insanely specific.’ It is. Both insane and specific. I contend it’s a human construct. Take a look at any Christian reference that tries to prove human sexuality outside certain circumstances is grounds for an eternity in hell. You’ll notice two things. First, it’s not the words of Jesus. A lot of times, it’s from the Apostles. And if you want to have hours of entertaining, study how the current list of books in the New Testament came to be.

    And ask yourself why books like the Gospel of Mary didn’t make the cut!

    Jesus Himself didn’t talk much about sexuality, and I think He had His reasons.

    Second, you’ll notice that the meaning of any referenced passage is something other than what’s apparent. For example, Genesis 2:24-25 talks about a man leaving his family to get married, but it doesn’t say he can experiment prior to moving out. Yet, I’ve seen some Christians put that forward as an argument against human sexual expression outside of marriage. The meaning’s not there. No amount of intellectual gymnastics will put it there. Yet, humans build whole religious structures and systems of punishment to support it.

    And if they try to play the interpretation card, throw it right back at them. You can interpret as well as they can. I’ve actually been trained in exegesis, so it’s particularly funny to me when someone who’s had zero training tries to convince me their faith is stronger than mine so they’re better at interpreting.

    If that were an Excel spreadsheet, it’d have a CIRC error!

    Anyway, as always, good discussion. It’s nice to be able to talk about this sort of thing without immediately being told I’m going to hell either because I don’t belong to a particular Christian’s denomination or I disagree with a given human’s interpretations.

    That sort of thing just gets old.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be honest I think this conversation would be much better had with Merlin. I can see your arguments as much more convincing to theists than my more moral-centric, ignore the bible kind of stuff.

      But you would then have to argue against the perfect word of God interpretation, since the justification does come outside of Jesus’ teachings, but obviously following the perfect word interpretation that really doesn’t matter.

      I think it’s obvious that the perfect word interpretation is false. Looking at science you can discount Genesis and books contradicting obviously contradictory stories (well all of it technically, but these especially so) and looking at the all loving interpretation of God you can discount all of the origin story with the slaves from Egypt and the genocide that they committed as well as revelation, but if John wrote revelation that means you got to discount the gospel of John as well. Then considering Paul was homophobic you can pretty much rule out everything he said as well. Leaving not much left besides a much nicer and better form of Christianity. Though obviously the second hand punishment given to Jesus is not great and still ultimately immoral, but still, better.

      Anyway, you’ve mentioned just looking at the teachings of Jesus a couple of times here, so I want to talk about that. I believe that Jesus was likely a real person, but I can’t know for certain that he existed. In my head I give it at least above 50% considering what I learned researching mythicism.

      However though I do disagree with the mythicism perspective, it does make you realise just how little we actually know about Jesus. The historical Jesus is known to be nothing at all like anything in the gospels, they are not historically accurate.

      Have you heard of the red letter edition of the bible? It highlights all of the words attributed to Jesus in it. Definitely something to check out if you just want to look at what Jesus says. Though I’m sure you’ve heard of it already.

      My main reason for losing faith was lack of belief in miracles, and I expected the resurrection of Jesus to be something that I would struggle with, considering at the time I thought it was so full-proof, I was very surprised to find the case for the resurrection to be insanely lacking.

      It surprised me.

      I don’t necessarily know what you believe but I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on this.

      I’m glad to be a place of good discussion, it’s always good talking about this sort of thing with you.

      I agree it gets old, feels like it’s about time to move past that. Like just the very thought of it, that from since human life began, the billions of people who died before us have been tortured for thousands of years in hell and still are there now, and will never leave. Yet they’re here talking to me about how God is all loving as people are continuously burned alive due to the system their God created. The very thought of it is just ridiculous.

      Anyway enough ranting. Thanks for the RT 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • “To be honest I think this conversation would be much better had with Merlin. ”

        I have tons of respect for Merlin.

        As far as actually having conversations with Christians…

        Let me put this into perspective. I have a degree in Roman Catholic theology. My concentrations were Moral Systematic Theology, Eschatology, and Christology. I’ve had experience with exegesis. I used to be able to tell at a glance the difference between the Elohist and Yahwist original authors of the Pentateuch.

        I was inches away from deciding to be a priest.

        That was about 40 years ago.

        Do you remember the quote from Star Trek (the reboot)? When the captain of the Kelvin asked Nero why the Romulans would invade the Federation?

        “I do not speak for the Empire. We stand apart.”

        I have too many reasons for not wanting to debate the finer points of Christianity with Christians. Of the hundreds or thousands of conversations I had in my college years, not a single one did anything to make the world — or a single soul — better.

        The problem with understanding the history of the usage of religious authority is that a) you become wildly cynical about those who wield such power and b) you get immediately exhausted trying to deal with people who follow those leaders.

        Are there people out there no so affected?

        Yep. Just not in my vicinity.

        So I write an anime blog. I insist on celebrating positive moments, because any false move will unleash torrents of negativity that I’ve managed to redirect.

        Ever hear Queen’s Under Pressure? “It’s the terror of knowing what the world is about…”

        I’m painting a more glum picture than it really is. Except when I look at current US politics, and my definition of cynical becomes much more elastic…

        So I’d love to have constructive conversations, but I’ve heard all of the arguments and endured all of the insults. I’m just done with it. I don’t have the energy and frankly, I’ve lost any hope that my skills are up to the task. So, I’m focusing my skills where I think they might do some good.

        My vacation ended this week. It kinda shows, doesn’t it? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I think it does hahahaha. It’s still interesting though, I get it.

          I have respect for Merlin as well. I’d say we’re more friends now who just argue all the time. Sometimes I don’t let that show when I’m way too harsh to an argument that he says and I regret it. I’d like to hope that he feels the same way too. It would be quite sad for me to learn if he views me as some kind of lost soul who needs to be saved, as it’s kind of the opposite I’m trying to convince people of.

          My perspective is that you’ll never be able to convert people through one conversation, one blog post or one argument. And I also think some of these can have the opposite effect, if either poorly argued or made to put the believer on the defence.

          Although I’d like them to be, my posts aren’t good enough to convert people and neither are my comment responses.

          It’s never one thing that will change people, but I think many many things can over time, and that’s what I hope my blog can be a part of. It’s why I still respond to people who really don’t look like they’ll change at all as well, more people than just the person your replying too will read it.

          I would like to get much better at it though, to the point where I can make slightly more than an impact. And I guess I can’t really do that without trying and potentially failing a lot.

          To give an example I’m trying to write a post now about the value and importance of science. A friend of mine would sooner believe the bible over scientific claims, but I’m still struggling with making it as good it can be.

          I also completely respect your perspective. It can feel like nothing’s happening, and often it might be. What motivates me is that I was one of those people where these kinds of things did have an effect on me, so I hope I can do the same for other people.

          But of course, I don’t expect to be doing this for 40 years. I will of course get cynical as well. This is just from a guy whose been talking about it for at most 6 months or so.

          I know what you mean. I don’t really understand any of the history yet I’m completely sceptical of the power of these religious authorities too. Say take Catholicism, you don’t need to go very far back at all to find an open relationship with fascism in their agreement with the Nazi party. In terms of deciding what goes in to these religious books, though I haven’t looked into it, from what I’ve heard from you it sounds questionable at the least.

          I would only really call cults a major problem though, and not religion. Someone can believe religion for their entire life and I don’t think the effect of it over their life would be so bad that we need to cry over not saving them. So I really don’t think you need to give any real reason or excuse for not talking about your religious views on your blog.

          Anime is something you enjoy watching, writing about, and talking about. That’s enough of a good reason.

          I kind of like negativity sometimes. If it’s from someone who disagrees with my views then to me that’s a conversation worth having. If it’s just hate, well obviously that sucks, but I only really get that on my top ten reasons why anime sucks, which is entirely and deliberately ridiculous, so the hate is funny to me!

          Yeah can relate to the arguments thing. Even after 6 months it feels like I’ve heard everything from the Christian side, since they talk about the same thing. And honestly I probably repeat many things said by atheists as well, meaning my arguments would have been heard many times as well.

          I completely respect that. Do what you enjoy and what you feel like might do some good. I don’t mean to try and make you change anything you do at all or feel bad about it, I just wanted to defend why I continue to write about this despite sort of agreeing with what you said.

          Interesting. I get and respect that perspective.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I was hoping you’d open comments on this one!

    Have you ever seen this meme?

    I think there are two reasons for sexual repression. And neither have anything to do with a human’s relationship to the divine.

    First is simply control. Want to keep a population in check? Keep them sexually repressed. If any one of them step out of line, call them a pervert, or a deviant, or anything else that impugns their sexual expression. It will both humiliate them and deny them access to any potential partners.

    The second is to enforce the patriarchy. The absolute last thing a patriarchy can tolerate is the witch/goddess. It struck me, watching the last episode of Dr. Stone. Or look at Grancrest Senki (I’m on an anime kick — sorry!) and the character Edokia Kalaha. Her people would do anything for her.

    So of course a patriarchy would want to suppress the source of her power: her sexuality.

    What’s hilarious to me (and I should be more charitable, but I’m tired and it’s been a long week) is that the main character in the Gospels doesn’t talk much about sexuality. Yet, it’s one of the major topics in the earthly expression of religious power.

    The reason’s obvious, and you’ve felt the impact on yourself. Never, ever, ever underestimate a human’s drive to exert power over another. When you see a religion emphasize aspects that its divine founder did not emphasize, well, you know something’s up.

    And it’s not for your betterment, that’s for danged sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I don’t know if it’s a glitch or that at first I disabled them and didn’t realise. At any rate, happy to see your comment!

      That is a brilliant meme, and could probably replace most of this post for what I’m actually trying to say!

      Yes, definitely correct about the first point. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that most religions restrict sexuality. I wonder if it’s that the ones that don’t, don’t survive or that religions in general are dicks.

      I don’t really know the anime, but I get what your saying. By extension in non-sexist organisations it’s done to preserve the organisation, as restricting sexuality restricts the power of the people. But of course that’s obvious.

      Yeah it is strange. And definitely agreed there.

      I don’t necessarily like the Jesus excuse really, but I do like the Christians that follow it far more than those that don’t. It’s questionable that they chose to enforce this aspect of the perfect word of god interpretation first.

      I’m really not trying to make you sound like a bad person. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to laugh about at all.

      It’s just thinking about the huge amounts of people that over time that were made to feel like perverts, killed, made to hide their sexuality or just had to wait before marriage when they didn’t want too just makes me sad.

      I think it is a fit subject for humour, as is most things, but I find it difficult to laugh at.

      The don’t masturbate meme is brilliant. Just looking at it shows how ridiculous the whole thing is. Thank you so much for showing me that, it’s actually amazing hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A couple details:

    Not sure exactly why how much life there is in the universe relates, but, my particular religion believes in extraterrestrial life. No details have been revealed, but we know that there are more people out there, and they, too, are children of our Heavenly Father. One quote from our scriptures reads:

    “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
    For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
    That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”

    Also, once again, we disagree on how many people can be saved. The plan involves the possible salvation and exaltation of everyone. Not some mere 30%. Not everyone *will* be so saved, but they *can* be. Everyone absolutely does have a fair chance at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wouldn’t say its fair to equate pre-maritial sex to danger. Of all the things you mentioned, and that were mentioned in the video, not one of them would have been more or less dangerous for a married couple than a non-married couple.

      I agree that the dangers are there, but non-married couples can be just as aware and good at stopping them as married couples.

      Danger means treat it with care and respect, not never do it at all.

      I would say I’m pro choice in this aspect. People should be able to choose without judgement what they do without being looked down upon by a large group of people or an authority figure. Thats a kind of stress that can cause horrible consequences whether they go through with the act or not.

      Also do you really think that the bible only specifies no sex before marriage? It seems pretty explicit about no masturbation to me. But it could just have been my church.

      I think it can cause problems, but overall fine. What would the mormom perspective be?

      I would say that any restriction on sexuality is the opposite of enabling, enabling is giving the people the freedom to choose. Controlling sexuality is a huge marker on the BITE model for destructive control within large organised groups

      I know that your bringing up the aliens thing because of the one minor part of space thing. I agree there are likely aliens as well. The message I’m trying to say still stands though because whether there are aliens or not, life still makes up a negligable percentage of the universe.

      Um I don’t see how that verse is relevent to telestrial life at all, sounds like just another guy to me. As well as that you cannot possibly say “we know that tgere are more people out there” – the very book it comes from has not met its burden of proof, nevermind that verse. It is belief.

      Yeah my post talked about the christian plan, and not the mormon plan.

      There is not a fair chance to be saved. Indoctronation is so powerful, and 11/12 people stick to the same religion as their parents meaning there isn’t really a fair chance. Not in cultures where you killed for changing religions, not in places where you can never hear of the religion and not in places with consequences for being religious. The chance for those people are far from fair. Assuming the system was made so that everyone had an equal chance, its still not right to infinitely punish someone just because of what they believed. Punishing beliefs is thought crime.

      The fact that people need saving in the first place is also a problem. God designed the system and did not need to make it that way.

      Jesus apparently wants to come in to your life and save you, but only from what he’ll do to you if you don’t let him come into your life. The whole idea is just ridiculous.

      This has gone off topic, but you get what I mean. Thise criticisms are massively more of a problem with the christan plan than the mormon plan, so I get if you don’t want to talk about that in particular.

      Once again, an interesting conversation.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I believe what he said was in regards to the dangers of sex itself, not pre-marital sex. However, all of those dangers increase many times over with the act of any non-marital sex. For instance, if no one had ever been unfaithful, we would never have had to worry about STDs. And that’s only a physical danger, which is not the only kind of danger.

        You are somewhat correct in defining danger. However, not only are there dangers to simply avoid, but as far as the danger of sex goes… we don’t say, “don’t do it.” We say, quite exactly, to treat it with care and respect.

        To clarify about masturbation: sex with only one’s spouse means not having it with anyone else… including yourself. Reason being, again, self-control, controlling our appetites, that sort of thing. That would be my church’s perspective, which I share.

        I’m still not sure how the percentage of life vs not-life relates. Besides which, I’ve heard that there may have been bacterial life on Mars long ago, and maybe even under the ice of Europa, though that’s just a possibility. Still, if true, that would make three occurrences of life within one star system, one of which became a thriving, intricate hub of life, including sentient life. Why should life be all that uncommon in the universe, then? I mean, it’s not like we’ve managed to get out there and see it as of yet.

        There is every fair chance to be saved. The confusion comes from how most people see our eternal existence a bit like a single book, starting with our birth, and ending with when we die and go to our eternal resting place. In my religion, I would say there are at least four books, only the second of which involves our life here. Our spirits existed before we were born and there was a lot that happened there, there is actually a great deal that happens between when we die and when we meet our eternal fate (for which, there is a great deal of providence), and there is yet more we will do even after that.

        As for what is punished, it’s not simply what one believes, but what one does with that belief. It’s about everything we do, and why.

        And yes, it did need to be made exactly this way. This life is doing exactly what is was designed to do: teach us and test us. We are taught through our experiences and we are tested through our choices.

        Jesus does not come to save us from what “he’ll do to you,” but from what we do to ourselves and to each other.

        Liked by 1 person

        • So we seem to be on the same page with it’s dangers, and treating it with care and respect. Our disagreement then must be, who gets to say what level of care and respect you should take with it.

          It seems obvious to me that nothing should have the right to dictate what couples do besides the couple themselves. I don’t see a way against that. The dangers should be considered by the individuals.

          I don’t think masturbation is sex. At most it’s either giving yourself a hand job or fingering. But I get what you mean. I still don’t see how anyone else has the right to dictate your masturbation habits.

          Don’t get me wrong, I think you should be allowed to do what you want, so if you want to not masturbate in order to enforce your self-control, that’s fine by me. The important thing to me is that it’s your choice, and not anyone else’s.

          Does this mean an atheist could get into heaven despite not believing, just for not being a bad person?

          Here is a meme for you, it’s funny to me but also highlights the point I’m trying to say really, actually insanely well: https://twitter.com/AtheistWorld/status/382329419622125568

          The way you described the LDS view of the afterlife made me think it wasn’t so bad. All of these are really to do with the Christian view. It was my impression that basically everyone in the LDS afterlife was saved, unless they knew god very personally, and still chose to go against him. If that’s not true then my criticisms likely still applies.

          In the case of what you said about Jesus here. Do you think over 70% of people are going to willingly choose to be tortured? Or that people in the afterlife will willingly torture other people? If not then it is absolutely what Jesus will do to you if you don’t obey him, that’s what hell is. (Christian view, not LDS view)

          I don’t really see the point of the alien thing either, I just talked about it because you did. Whether or not there is a lot of life still doesn’t mean a God has the right to dictate your sex life.

          This is all really interesting to get your perspective on. Thank you for sharing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Technically, *everything* is our own choice. However, some choices are more ill-advised than others. One can choose to jump out of an airplane (a thrilling experience, or so I’ve heard), but one generally ought to be very sure of their parachute first, ya know?

            You mention atheists going to Heaven. There are more levels than just Heaven and Hell in my religion, but, either way, I recall something from the Bible, Book of Matthew, Chapter 25. There are three parables given about preparing ourselves for the Second Coming, the Kingdom of Heaven, etc. One is about the necessity of preparing in advance, the next is about preparing by serving God in good faith, and the third is about what that service really is. The ultimate distinction seems to come down to who served their fellow man unselfishly, and those who did not. So, I would say that an honest, unselfish atheist would have an infinitely better chance than any posturing, so-called Christian who had no charity in their heart.

            Yep, in LDS doctrine, basically everyone is saved from eternal suffering. That said, there’s more to it than just avoiding a punishment. Heh, I remember this Monty Python clip where all these Christians are singing to God, “Please don’t burn us!” For us, that’s a bit less of a concern, but we still want to do our best, and be our best, and become everything we can become in eternity, all of which starts here and now.

            I’m not sure where the 70% thing comes from, but it’s a bit more like this, as I understand it:

            You’re standing on a beach. You want to go swimming. So you go. You are told by the lifeguard that you need to stay in a certain area, and there’s a partition in the water, a fence, that you should not go beyond. Now, it’s your choice whether to go beyond it or not, but the life guard warns you that there are sharks and dangerous jellyfish on the other side. But you don’t see them, so, do you listen to the life guard or not? If you do, you’re safe from harm. But some people cross to the other side, and then they find themselves in serious trouble, injured, in pain, drowning, etc. But then the life guard comes to save them… from what they have done to themselves.

            That’s what I mean. The life guard did not put them on the wrong side and condemn them to suffer. They did that themselves. But he comes to save them anyway. The distinction is that we have to *let* Jesus save us from our mistakes, which, sometimes we don’t.

            Does that make sense?

            Liked by 1 person

            • It’s interesting that atheists can get into heaven in your world view. That’s good to know.

              The 70% of people thing comes from the percentage of people who aren’t Christians.

              So essentially your argument has changed. It’s no longer do not cross that line, it’s your free to cross that line if you want, but you will definitely be damaged for it.

              In the case for our example, the later isn’t even often true.

              Can LDS members really cross this line without being shamed by other LDS members who know about it? Somehow I doubt it, and following this logic there shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed about.

              If it’s really the Christian view that all of these rules are just guidelines, and your free to break them, I’m less concerned about that. My concern then goes towards to the social consequences against people who don’t follow these guidelines and also back to the original criticism, who has rights to set guidelines for your sex life? I would still say no one. However just advice without any following obligations or judgement seems ok.

              My attention also would go towards the biblical(/ or for you book of Morman) scripture justifying this and whether it’s really there. Because if it’s not your just trying to make LDS look good, kind of like lying. Not to accuse you of lying, I just know we have had many different interpretations of bible/book of Mormon passages in the past. You know it’s not easy to imagine a passage saying, yeah I don’t have any rights over your sex life, but here are some guidelines, you know what I mean?

              I get what your saying. Just not fully on board for the reasons above. More on board with it than the Christian view that I grew up with, but still not massively on board with this one.

              Liked by 1 person

              • OK, let’s try this again.

                Every choice that you make, or I make, or anyone else makes, that choice belongs to them and them alone. A person can be taught, advised, etc. and sometimes even threatened or coerced, but the choice, and why they do it, remains theirs. The one thing people most accuse God of doing, of forcing us to things and depriving us of our choices, is the one thing that He does *not* do. He does not, ever, take our choices away from us.

                However, the freedom to choose for ourselves means that we are also responsible for the consequences which follow from our choices. This person wants to swim in unsafe waters? This person wants to jump out of a plane with an unreliable parachute? This person wants to have whatever sex they want? That is all their own choice, but the consequences can be most painful and devastating. It’s dangerous.

                That is the actual reason behind all of God’s commandments. He doesn’t say, “This is a sin, so you’ll suffer this pain for it.” He says, “This is a sin *because* you’ll suffer this pain for it.” He has the higher perspective and warns us away from terrible dangers… but He does not force us away from them.

                So, the commandments are not “guidelines.” I know guidelines, we have plenty of them, and there is a lot of wiggle room to be found in guidelines, which is why they are guidelines. The commandments, however, are commandments, and we break them at peril to ourselves and those around us.

                So, to answer your question, who has the right to set the guidelines/commandments regarding our sex life? That would be God, because He knows what He’s talking about. Of course, I realize you won’t put much stock in that yourself, but that’s my perspective. If you want other opinions, you have the science of STDs, which are rather directly spread through immoral behavior, and the expertise of psychology and sociology who can elaborate far better than I on the damage that is done by rampant sexuality, and so on and so forth. The evidence would rather strongly suggest that chastity and fidelity are, in fact, the wiser practices.

                Now, I do not hold with publicly shaming those around us. But it happens. We are not perfect, and we are as prone to all the sins of man as anyone else, especially pride. Still, we try, and I cannot count the times that those who have committed serious sins have been treated as gently and kindly as anyone could ever have a right to ask for. As for when that doesn’t happen… well, all we can do, when we find ourselves in the wrong, is beg forgiveness and do better.

                And that is the thing. We need to be ashamed of ourselves (whether or not we are shamed by the public) when we do wrong, or how else are we ever motivated to change and do better at all? Which, of course, involves there being a right and a wrong to do in the first place, or what would we have to be ashamed of or strive towards? And if there is a right and a wrong… well, we need help figuring it out, don’t we? Thus, the necessity for God (if, as I believe and you do not, He is there) to speak to us with the commandments that He gives to His prophets.

                Liked by 1 person

                • That’s the problem with Christianity. You’re not a good person, your a sinner, a liar and have an impossible standard of goodness nobody can ever hope to reach. You do not need to be ashamed of yourself. Being ashamed of yourself can lead to disastrous consequences for your mental health. It is not a good life to live in shame.

                  I of course object to your answer. What gives any God the right to control people? Nothing. Everyone has their own life and own choices and they should be free to make them.

                  You say you can choose your own choices. But when facing social shame and eternal suffering after death there is not really a choice. It’s completely unfair, horrible, and disgusting.

                  Your also forgetting that science has developed to the point where sex can be entirely safe for everyone. But whether that was the case or not, it would still be up to people to decide whether they wanted to do it.

                  Where is this evidence anyway? There is a term called safe sex which if you do it there is no reason to think that it’s any less wise than sex only after marriage.

                  You’re also forgetting re-marriage. If you marry many many times you have just as likely chance of illness than if you had sex with the same number of sexual partners as you had wives.

                  Sex after marriage also assumes that you both have kept to it. If one person hasn’t then the dangers can be just as big as well.

                  There also isn’t any extra danger for people who don’t get married at all and stick to one partner, having their child outside of marriage.

                  There also isn’t any extra risk of damage to people who just have one sexual partner and never have one again.

                  So this rule doesn’t even make sense. It’s completely arbitrary, and not specific, and not always even valid.

                  It would avoid much concern if God were to say only practice safe sex. However I don’t see anything sinful with two consensual couples who like each other to have unsafe sex if they both want too. Sure getting an STD, or having an increased chances of it is not a good side effect, but how can it be called a sin to get an illness? It’s not a sin to be ill.

                  Just because it can be dangerous isn’t a good enough reason to force people not to do it.

                  However these are commandments, not guidelines, not free to disobey them without punishment.

                  The fact that people would choose to repress their own sexuality over historically dubious scripture written thousands years ago, when theirs no real basis for it and when it should have no real rights over their life is tragic to me, and it makes me sad.

                  So I guess I’m going to stop now.

                  Hope you have the best Christmas tomorrow and a great day! Or if you read it after Christmas, hope that it was great!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Indeed, Merry Christmas! 🙂

                    You talk about this “impossible standard,” but that’s exactly why we need Christ in the first place. We do our best, live he best we know how, and he makes it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins, so long as we are genuine about wanting forgiveness. Thus, we do not walk around in clouds of self-destructive guilt. We pass through the abyss of our shame, and he helps us come out the other side, all the stronger and kinder for it.

                    What exactly is not specific about, “Do not have sex outside of marriage?” That’s about as specific as it gets.

                    And it is true, we are not free to disobey commandments without suffering the consequences of it. But “consequence” is not the same as “punishment.”

                    Much like “repression” is not the same as “self-control.”

                    And “self-control” is not the same as “being controlled by God.”

                    God does not control us at all. He teaches us, as much as we will listen to Him, and then we make our own choice. What happens after that choice, good or bad, is not something you can blame on Him.

                    As for the evidence I mentioned, I think, as an objective, scientific, well-informed person, you are entirely capable of doing your own research on that score.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Well that’s what I mean. Found nothing against safe sex before marriage. Sure STDs and pregnancy but danger doesn’t mean don’t do it, and whether it’s dangerous or not I still fully respect peoples choices to have unsafe sex provided both parties fully know about the consequences. Actually maybe unless one has aids or something, then it’s kind of like manslaughter, but I wouldn’t know. I’m not entirely sure if its my business.

                      This is wrong. If it was indeed self control then that would be no God telling you to control yourself at all. Considering that’s not the case, it is control, and therefore repression. If you just chose on your own to do self-control then that’s ok. My problem is other organisations like religions commanding you to self-control. That’s what sexual repression is.

                      Of course you are not controlled by god to the extent that he’s using you in the same way he might control a remote control car. But your entire life is dictated to following what God says and doing what your Church says. To that extent, you are controlled.

                      Consequence is not the same as punishment. But when the consequence is sin, and the consequence of sin is punishment, it is punishment.

                      The funny thing is that in the Christian view Hitler could be in heaven if he repented before he died yet I could be in hell for just trying to live an ordinary good life without God. In that same way, it’s like anything you could do wrong doesn’t even really matter as you can just ask for forgiveness. So it’s not like you need to follow anything he says in terms of your eternal soul.

                      “Do not have sex outside of marriage” is insanely specific. What I was referring too there, is all of the examples that you couldn’t provide a counter argument for. When there are many things that can be equivalent to sex within marriage, outside of marriage, it just seems arbitrary unspecific. As there are so many factors and circumstances that the rule really isn’t that great.

                      And theirs the difference in attitude. You seemed to agree that there was an impossible standard in Christianity. The difference is our view of self worth.

                      I can be a good person without a God, and only being good because I feel I have to do what he says and want eternal life after death. In fact if I do a good act that doesn’t benefit me, then it’s purely selfless, as I don’t believe theirs a god watching me I need to impress nor is there a reward after I die for doing the selfless act.

                      I also do my best, and live how best I know how. And due to that I consider myself a good person, and not a sinner, which is far from a positive label to have for anyone.

                      I would say it’s better to be a good person because you are, and not because all of your mistakes are now attributed to this other guy who died 2000 years ago.

                      In fact, the whole idea of someone being punished for you is sort of immoral, it’s taking away your responsibility for the bad thing that you’ve done. It’s why we don’t allow it in our own respective justice systems and why Hitler could get into heaven while ordinary people who don’t believe couldn’t.

                      Not a fan of that system in any way at all for those reasons. It leads to problems.

                      Anyway hope that clarified things.

                      Like

  4. You touch on a number of things, of course, many of which I disagree on. However, I do agree that people both and out of any given Christian denomination can become confused, with tragic consequences, about the role and importance of sex in one’s religious life. Some take it too far, some go the other direction entirely, and some, however well-meaning, try to be circumspect or delicate about the subject, partially because they, themselves, are not entirely comfortable talking about it, which just makes it more complicated and confusing. Even more so as every culture has its own set of customs when it comes to attraction, courtship, matrimony, and having children.
    The simplest way to put it is this: chastity before marriage, and fidelity within marriage. That’s it.
    Everything else can vary, but that is the sum total of what we are to practice. The purpose being not to dismiss our natural urges, but to control them, to harness them, bridle them, and use them to carry us all forward. The exact nuances of that can vary from person to person, and couple to couple, and culture to culture, but the principle is one of self-control, which enables us to make sacrifices for those we love, most especially our spouse, our children, and, yes, our god. He does not give us commandments to cripple us, but to enable us. But I suppose that goes into a side-conversation.
    Bottom line, sex is a good thing, a powerful thing, and a most important act. Thus, we need to be careful how we use it, and we have direction on how to use it.
    But the world doesn’t think we need to be careful with it, that there is no danger to misusing it, because, hey, it feels good. Which, if I might share a YouTube video responding to that: https://youtu.be/qvdHIowgLRs

    Liked by 1 person

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