Tag Archive: Human Sexuality

Why Can’t the Clergy Keep Their Noses Out of Our Genitalia?

guest post

Guest post by Elliot George

Religious people often seem to be unhealthily fixated on sex and have a desire to interfere with how everybody else does it! This prompts lots of questions that need answering: Why is virginity so highly prized?

Why is celibacy considered to be ‘pure’?

Why is masturbation considered to be shameful?

Why is homosexuality abhorred?

Why are women treated like second-class citizens?

Why do we have marriage?

Why is infidelity (adultery) unacceptable?

Why is divorce considered to be unacceptable?

What has any of this got to do with ‘god’ and his Earthly agents?

This is going to take more than one article to analyze and there’s little real evidence available to help us answer these questions so, unusually for this blog, what follows will be mostly reasonable speculation. Let’s start with virginity…

There is a very good biological reason to prefer having sex with a virgin, it is this: minimal risk of infection by a sexually transmitted disease. The opposite of virginity, promiscuity, is great for spreading pathogens via the sexual fluids. Historically, the clients of prostitutes could be observed falling ill with the same symptoms, so this undeniable correspondence is likely to have given rise to, in the minds of those who knew nothing about microbial infection, the idea of ‘virginal purity’ or ‘cleanliness’. Similarly, celibacy also safeguards against venereal diseases and could be considered to be another way of achieving a ‘clean’ state, at the cost of not parenting. By corollary, sexual acts came to be thought of as ‘unclean’ and, because everyone was ignorant of the fact that these diseases have to be transmitted, that included masturbation; it became tarred with the ‘dirty’ brush even though you can’t catch a disease from yourself!

Sex coming to be regarded as shameful in this way was a gift for the assorted clergy because their modus operandi consists of first destroying the self-esteem of prospective followers and subsequently offering them forgiveness and salvation, in the form of an ‘afterlife’, in return for donations (payment). Of course, there is no evidence for the promised reward (or the threatened alternative of punishment in ‘hell’), but it was wonderful for preachers to have a ready-made guilt button to press any time they wanted to make their flock subservient! There’s a seemingly obvious connection from ‘clean’ sex to ‘godliness’ and virtue, and it gives a preacher a perennial topic to rant about.

One of the reasons for the decline of religiosity in Western countries over the last fifty years may be because the availability of condoms for preventing contagion and effective antibiotic cures for contracted STDs have taken this weapon away from the priests and pastors. With nothing to fear, the guilt goes away and the message of shame loses its teeth. One of the things that the clergy traditionally told us we needed saving from turned out to have been a paper tiger, so people came to reasonably wonder whether all the other pulpit monsters are fake too!

In the minds of dogmatic seekers of purity, homosexuality adds another level of disgust on top of heterosexual unions. Being a minority practice it’s an easy target for the self-righteous and we all love a scapegoat. Homosexuals have been held responsible for all the disasters of society including drought, war, plague, famine, hurricane, earthquake, volcanic eruption, tsunami and flood. How they are supposed to have caused those events is a question that is not even asked. Recently, a preacher in Phoenix, Arizona [IFB pastor Steven Anderson] laid the blame for AIDs at the feet of gay men and advocated that they should all be killed before Christmas! This is not fake news – there is video evidence, see here.

Yet, the most homophobic preachers are constantly being exposed in flagrante with young boys and the outbreak of priestly pedophilia has changed the face of, once fervently Catholic, Eire (S. Ireland) to such an extent they have elected an openly gay Prime Minister!

Is the sexual fixation of theists finally turning into their nemesis?

Tim Bunting Writes a Letter to Christian Women Blaming Them for Male Lust

how christian women dress

Tim Bunting is a Fundamentalist Bible teacher at the West Harlem Church of Christ in New York. Earlier this year, Bunting wrote a post for the Downtown Demure website titled, An Open Letter About Modesty From a Brother in Christ.  Here’s an excerpt from Bunting’s letter:

Okay, before I begin, I get it.  You’re tired of talking about modesty.  You’ve put forth some effort to conform to all these different standards being thrown at you, but no one ever seems to be satisfied.  I know what you must be thinking.  “Don’t they know modesty is a hassle?  I’m just trying to look fashionable and attractive.  People at church continue to stress the importance of modesty while the boys give more attention to the girls in more revealing clothing.  Not to mention the fact that no one seems to have any standards of modesty for them anyways.”  All this confusion, legalism, hypocrisy, and double standards is just about enough to make you stop caring about modesty all together.  What’s the point anymore?

Well let me tell you, I’m tired of talking about modesty as well.  I understand. However, we have to keep talking about it as long as it continues to be a challenge in this sexually saturated society.

Keep in mind that immodesty gets so much attention because it’s a visible sin.  As saints trying to please God, we can’t ignore sin (I Corinthians 5:2, 12).  As long as immodesty is around us, we will continue to have to deal with it.  “But aren’t there much deeper problems to worry about?  Isn’t immodesty just a physical external thing?”, you might ask.  Yes!  I concur completely.  However, even though immodesty is external, the way we choose to present ourselves is directly connected to our hearts and has great significance on our souls.  My hope in this letter is to get to the heart of the matter.  I want to thank you for all efforts you’ve already made to be modest.  I want to clarify some misconceptions about modesty, and I want to remind you of the real reason you should be concerned about modesty.

But why does God care about modesty?  God cares about modesty because He is a holy God who calls us to be holy as well (I Peter 1:16).  Sexual perversion is unholy, and it’s [sic] participants are unholy (I Cor 6:15-20).  Sexual perversion includes any sexual activity outside of a marriage relationship (Hebrews 13:4).  That includes lust (looking, thinking, desiring sexual things outside of a marriage) (Matthew 5:27-28).  We are also told that anyone who is a stumbling block to others is also held accountable (Matthew 18:6-7).  This principle is used to condemn the man for divorcing his wife and tempting her to commit adultery (Mathew 5:31-32).  So if there is someone lusting after a person who has presented herself in a sexually appealing way, both parties are guilty of sin, whatever side of the equation they may be.  Proverbs also illustrates that one who draws others into sexual sin is condemned along with the one drawn into sexual sin (Proverbs 2:16-19, 5:3-6, 6:24-29, 7:6-23).  God wants you to be modest, because God wants you to be holy, pure, and free from sin.  God wants you to be these things because this is how He can have a relationship with you, and if you want to have a relationship with Him, then you should care about modesty as well  (Psalm 15:1-2).

….

Still, I know what you might be thinking: “If a guy wants to lust, I can’t control that!  No matter what I wear, some creep can think sinful thoughts about me.  So why am I held responsible for that?”  Those are fair questions.  Allow me to clarify something.  Lust is a choice.  Lusting is the choice to indulge yourself with sexual thoughts.  God can demand a man to abstain from lust because, regardless of what any person might be wearing, we can choose to not indulge in sexual thoughts.  Sexual attraction, however, is not a choice.  A man will be attracted to sexual things because God made him that way (He made women that way too).  However, a man needs to be led by the Spirit, and not by his fleshly desires (Romans 8:13).  A man will be attracted to the many sexual images that surround him on a daily basis, but he must choose to not indulge in lusting over them.

Let me provide an analogy.  Imagine you see something cute.  A puppy or kitten.  A newborn baby.  Or perhaps newborn baby taking a nap with a puppy and a kitten.

What happens?  You swell up with warmth, and an involuntary “awwwwww” escapes your mouth.  Why?  Because that’s what happens when you see something cute.  You didn’t decide for that puppy or kitten or baby to be cute.  They inherently are.  You couldn’t stop thinking it’s cute even if you wanted to.  Imagine if that warm fuzzy feeling of cuteness is sin.  Imagine you are sinning every time you squeal in adoration over something adorable.  What could you do about that?  How could you stop?  You can’t help but think it’s cute.  That’s not even a conscious decision.  You’d have to look away.  You’d have to stop going to pet stores.  You’d have to avoid new couples at church with their newborn babies.  Cuteness is all around, but you have to make sure you don’t lust after it.

This is kind of what it’s like to be a guy.  We didn’t decide for you to be so appealing.  God did.  God made both sexes to be that way.  And it’s a blessing that he did!  However, it’s a blessing that can only be enjoyed in marriage.  So, a man’s responsibility is to not lust over the things he is sexually attracted to by keeping them from his eye sight.  Your concern is to make sure you aren’t one of those sexually appealing things his eyes have to avoid.  Here’s the conclusion: you aren’t in sin because someone is lusting over you.  You can’t control that.  You are in sin if you are presenting yourself in a sexually appealing way.  You can control that.

….

how should a woman dress

Let me summarize Bunting’s “loving” letter to Christian women:

  • No one seems to have any standards of modesty these days. What those standards should be, Bunting does not say. I will assume then, that Bunting’s standard of modesty is his personal opinions and that of his church. The Bible say little to nothing about modesty other than to say women should wear modest apparel. The Bible does not define what is modest/immodest, so Christians make up the rules as they go. What is considered modest or proper attire is culturally driven, often changing from generation to generation.
  • Immodesty is a visual sin. In other words, women who violate Bunting’s dress code are sinning against God. This means that no immodestly dressed woman is a Christian. That’s right…follow my logic here. Christians say that people who habitually sin against God and do not repent are not followers of Jesus. A woman who regularly dresses immodestly is habitually sinning against God and no habitual sinner will inherit the kingdom of God. Imagine a conversation in Hell one day between a man and a woman. The man asks the woman, why are you here? She replies, cleavage. The man responds, me too.
  • Immodestly dressed women are responsible for the lust of men. In other words, women are culpable for how men think.
  • Women dressing modestly leads to holiness, purity, and freedom from sin. Evidently, in churches that follow Bunting’s dress code, men don’t lust and they never fuck anyone they are not married to.
  • Sexual attraction is not a choice. Men are wired by God to want what they see, and to fuck their way indiscriminately through the fair maidens of the church. The only way to keep these horn dogs in their place is for women to dress in ways that don’t lead to lust or boners.
  • Women are like puppies. When people see cute puppies they say “AWWWWW.” And when men see immodestly dressed puppies, err I mean women, they do the sexual version of “AWWWWW“– whatever the hell THAT is.  Make sense? Didn’t make any sense to me either.
  • Women are sinning against God if they present themselves in sexually appealing ways.

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I know, nothing new here. Bunting is just one of a countless horde of Christian preachers who think God has given them the duty and responsibility to police how women dress. Bunting tries his best to not blame women for what he calls male lust, but he ends up talking out of both sides of his mouth. If how a woman dresses can cause a man to lust, then she is responsible for the man’s lust. This is a classic case of laying blame on someone else for one’s own actions.

Bunting says that he plans to keep preaching the gospel of modesty until women heed his words and put their breasts and legs under the cover of oversized feed sacks. And I plan to continue to preaching the gospel of freedom and personal responsibility. Both men and women are responsible for their sexual behavior. Men, in particular, need to learn how to responsibly handle sexual desire. It is normal and healthy to see an attractive woman and sexually desire her. In my gospel, such thoughts are normal. Not in Bunting’s. Desiring any woman sexually besides your wife is a big sin against God, the very God who supposedly wired men to sexually desire women (and for gays, men). Makes perfect sense, right? For weak, pathetic Christian men who are driven to Pornhub by seeing too much cleavage on Sister Sue, the answer is for women to dress modestly. However, wouldn’t it be better if men grew up and owned their sexuality? Wouldn’t it be better if Christian men learned that it is never right to leer at or sexually harass women, and it is most certainly not permissible to touch women without being invited to do so.

According to my gospel, personal responsibility and accountability are paramount. Both men and women are responsible for their own sexual behavior. Christian morality cripples people, making others or outside forces responsible for bad sexual behavior. If church women would just dress modestly, men would be able to sit through the sermon without engaging in lustful thinking. And if women outside of the church would dress as Muslim women do, why Christian men would be able to go through the day with their only stirring being the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful world, one without sexual want, need, and desire; a world where sexual intercourse only takes place within the bonds of marriage and only in the missionary position. Of course, such a world, thanks be to Eros, does not exist. Sexual attraction is here to stay, regardless of how women dress. Clothing, as past human history shows, is not a barrier that protects people from wanting or desiring others sexually. All any of us can do is act decently and respectfully towards others.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Presbyterian Pastor C. Ernest Williams Blames Baby Boomers for Sexual Harassment Culture

make love not war
Ernest Williams, a retired Presbyterian minister, blames the current spate of sexual harassment allegations on baby boomers. According to Williams, the free-love generation threw Christian morality to the wind, leading to all sorts of sexual perversion and misbehavior. Ironically, Williams is a Trump supporter. Evidently, helping to elect a pussy-grabbing, serial sexual predator to the highest office in the land is okay, but using coarse language, viewing pornography, and fucking contrary to the Intercourse Rulebook® — the Bible — is not.  Williams is the textbook example of a hypocrite. Williams, as many of his ilk do, pines for a return to the glory days of the 1950s; days when women knew their place, gays were deep in the closet, and Christianity and its moral prohibitions ruled the land.

Here’s what Williams had to say in an opinion piece for The Paris Post-Intelligencer (Paris, Tennessee) titled ‘Cultural shift’ in Public Attitude Toward Sexual Morality Took Place 50 Years Ago:

We’ve been battered for weeks now with allegations of sexual misconduct by U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama, and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan.

Add to those the smell of scandal surrounding a growing number of Hollywood personalities.

The media are talking about a “cultural shift” in the public’s attitude toward sexual morality.

Shock is being professed that leaders in the worlds of politics and entertainment are seeing the ends of their careers over the abuse of women in the workplace.

Of course, we recognize that such hanky-panky has been going on as far back as we can research.


The other reason is that the “cultural shift” which the media are just now discovering happened in the 1960s and ’70s.

It was in the ’60s that I became a seminary student, and saw some of the changes occurring on the campus of a top-rung Ivy League university (Princeton).

I was not naive. I had been in the army, and was familiar with the sexual immorality which was flaunted by my fellow barracks-mates, and by the underground pornographic material which they mysteriously found somewhere despite its illegality.

But something new was happening.

This kind of immorality had been confined to the businesses that had constantly to keep a low profile and to bribe the authorities in order to operate.

But now it became open, visible and eventually mainstream.

When the movie, “Deep Throat” created a stir about 1970, it did not appear in an XXX-rated shack in a back alley, but in a first-run theater on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.

From that point, Hollywood increasingly purveyed the world-view of a whole new generation of producers whose heroes were people like Helen Gurley Brown and Hugh Hefner with their zeal for unrestricted sex-play.

There was an openly declared purpose to change our society and create a cultural shift.

Walk into a college classroom, or even your local middle school, and listen carefully, and you’ll see how successful they were.

The old norms of what was naughty and what was nice are gone.

The cultural shift took place some 50 years ago, and it blew away the cultural expectations for decency in language and sexual behavior that had been considered normal, even though some had always flouted them.

What the big mainstream media, whose professionals are part of the changed culture, have not realized is that there has always been about half the population who did not make the shift back then, and have continued to stand for traditional American values.

They are outraged to see obscene words, if not printed, then clearly indicated with initials and asterisks, on their TV screens.

They are outraged to see their elected officials engaging in conduct that they do not want as examples for their children and grandchildren.

They are outraged to see a man refusing to stand for the national anthem, or to be urged to do their “holiday shopping.”

And they are tired of being regarded as uneducated hicks who are hopelessly out of the times and out of the culture which for the elite has become normal.

These elite just couldn’t believe it when Donald Trump was elected U.S. president on a platform that seemed to them to appeal only to a few remaining and aging survivors of the old order.

The “cultural shift” they see now is not a shift at all for the Trump voters.

It is just the ongoing American tradition and people are thankful to the God in whom they still believe that they finally have someone in the White House who understands and shares their love of America.

It is those reared by the culture of the ’60s who consider “making love instead of war” to be normal, who can’t understand what is going on.

They see the rotten fruit of their culture in these celebrities, and not knowing that it was produced by the rotten tree of the sexual revolution, wonder where it came from.

….

There ya have it, baby boomers. Yet another cultural malady is that is your fault.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Pastor Jeff Harris’ Doublespeak on Whether Women are to Blame for How Men Treat Them

modesty

Jeff Harris, pastor of Grace Point Church in San Antonio, Texas and founder of Missional Association, says that a man’s sin is never the fault of a woman, yet he turns right around and says scantily, “sinfully” clad women are indeed culpable when horn dog males act inappropriately towards females.  Here’s what Harris had to say on the subject:

Sexual harassment fills the headlines of our culture and the discussion is long overdue.  It is good that those who’ve been harassed now feel empowered to name those who have perpetrated unwanted advances, groping, and even rape.

Let me be clear—a man’s sin is never the fault of a woman. A provocatively-dressed woman doesn’t make a man sin. A sensuously-acting woman doesn’t cause a man to sin. The issue is that, in our culture, we don’t look at provocative dress or sensual acting as sin. This is not blame-shifting, because an individual’s sin is their own. But, it does take place in an environment we are all responsible for. I believe there is a facet of this complex, multi-faceted issue that needs to be part of the larger conversation.

We live in a culture where the Supreme Court deems porn as “the right to freedom of the press” Ha! We live in a culture where women wear yoga pants and bra tops as everyday fashion, seemingly unaware of the tenuous balance between dressing for style or comfort and dressing attractively (as in, “to attract”). Think about the word for a moment: “attractively.”  Attracting what?

In 1 Timothy 2:9 in the Bible, we read this instruction:  “Likewise I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness.”

Modesty is lost in our culture. The intersection of sexual objectification and sexual allure results in all kinds of distorted behavior. We have legalized the objectification of women and socialized provocation of men.

Sin is sin! Men who objectify women have distorted and diminished women as conquests for their own gratification. Women who dress immodestly turn themselves into an idol to be sought after and adored. When the two are left unabated in a culture, you get a combustion of sin.

I’m glad we are talking about harassment and the vile practice of using fame, power, or position as a platform to foist oneself upon a colleague. I also think if we called immodesty sin the discussion would be far more common and the culprits would be far more numerous.

Most women I know would be shocked by the way their dress is seen as sexual by the men around them. They are unaware because they have been desensitized by an immodest culture. Modesty is not old-fashioned; it is common sense. Men who sexually harass are called “Predators” but you don’t often hear of the sexually-provocative referred to as “Prey.” At some point, the sexual revolution gave women a free pass. They want the same rights as men but not all the responsibility.

A man should be responsible not to harass a woman just because he has power, position, or fame.  A woman should be responsible to present herself in a way that doesn’t scream “want me,” “watch me,” “be attracted to me.” Saying it’s a man’s problem if he glances at the yoga pant-wearing soccer mom at the dentist office is simply naïve as well as disproportionate responsibility shift. The man has the responsibility to guard his heart and eyes. The woman has the responsibility for modesty (to not draw idolatry-like attention to herself).

….

Now, as the accusation of harassment is enough to ruin one’s career, don’t be surprised if some guard rails are put into place. This is not to say harassment is caused by provocative dress; it’s not. A man has to own his own sin. They do coexist within the same environment and a woman must own hers. But first, our culture must acknowledge it.

Harris wants it both ways. He rightly wants to hold men accountable for their behavior, but he also wants to hold women accountable for men’s behavior too, while, somehow, someway, ignoring how men (and women) view and process women dressed in attractive ways. Harris chooses to parrot the Puritanical, anti-human Bible as justification for his pronouncements on the matter instead of demonstrating a basic understanding of human biology and nature.

Women wear what they do for many reasons, as do men. One reason even the good pastor should understand is that humans dress in manners that make them attractive to the opposite sex (or the same sex). When women dress in ways that call attention to their beauty and physicality, they are playing their part in a dance that has been going on for thousands of years. I don’t know of a man who married his wife for her ugliness. Why, out of the all the young women at Midwestern Baptist College, did I set my affection and desire on a dark-haired, shy pastor’s daughter? Her sewing skills? Her typing skills? Her cooking skills? No, I knew nothing of those things when I first met Polly Anne Shope some forty years ago. What I “saw” was a beautiful, attractive woman, a lady who quickly became the love of my life, and remains so to this day.modesty 2

I am not a woman so I can’t speak to the motivations of women when it comes to their wardrobes. Women are free to dress as they please, and men such as Harris have no business shaming them into dressing in ways that make men feel “comfortable.” If a man finds himself sexually attracted to a woman, it is one hundred percent his responsibility to act appropriately. Honest men will admit that they find other women besides their wives, partners, or girlfriends sexually attractive. Duh, right? Looking (not leering) is a healthy, normal male response to women whom men find attractive. What is not appropriate is sexually harassing women, physically assaulting them, or taking advantage of them. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, and all-around creepy behavior is never appropriate even if a woman is standing stark naked in front of a man.

Men are expected to own their sexuality and behave appropriately. There’s nothing wrong with a man expressing interest to a woman, but when she says, no thanks, that’s the end of the discussion. Continuing to pursue a woman who has said “no” is harassment. And it goes without saying that using one’s position of authority and power to take advantage of a woman is morally reprehensible and culturally frowned upon.

Evangelical pastors have been blaming women for male ill-behavior for as long as I can remember. Using the Bible as justification for their pronouncements, pastors teach women that they are gatekeepers given the responsibility to ensure that men don’t “sin” with their eyes (ignoring the fact that women can be and often are just as visually driven as men). How about we go all Biblical on weak, helpless, lustful Christian men and pluck their eyes out. Jesus said in Matthew 18:9:

 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

It’s time for men, Christian or not, to own their sexuality. Men are totally responsible for how they act and respond to women, regardless of how they may be dressing or behaving. No man is so helpless that he cannot control his behavior. Offenders choose to blame women because doing so allows them to continue treating women as objects, and not fellow human beings worthy of respect.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Women Assault Men When They Dress “Provocatively” says Mike Shoesmith

jennifer aniston

Shoesmith uses this photograph — calling it soft porn — as an example of a woman sexually assaulting men

Earlier today I posted the following observation to Facebook:

“If a woman wears sexually suggestive clothing around a man is that not also sexual assault? Men are visually stimulated and unwanted stimulation should meet the basic definition of assault. I am not condoning bad behavior by men but women need to understand that by walking around in their little sister’s skirt they are guilty of indecent visual assault on a man’s imagination which does cause mental anguish and torment especially on men who really are trying to live in harmony and respect toward women; something made more difficult when every ripple and curve are exposed to the men around you. Something to think about.”

Needless to say this caused a flurry of comments both in agreement and disdain. Many – too many – concluded I was fabricating an excuse for sexual assault against women by men. But those people, men and women, willing to wade into the deep end of the pool got it, thankfully

Many married women also feel assaulted and infuriated by the provocative dress of other women in part because they know what it’s doing to their husbands. And what, exactly, does it “do” to their husbands?

When a man sees a naked or partially dressed woman a chemical reaction happens in his brain. Neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are released, giving him an involuntary surge of pleasure… involuntary!

It does also appear that women know this affect they have on men. This is likely due to cultural conditioning over several decades. From the sexual revolution of the sixties to Hollywood’s push for more and more sexual imagery in movies girls have been conditioned to accept the normalization of using their bodies as tools to gain acceptance in society. The “look at me” addiction has led to smaller and smaller bathing suits on beaches with modesty having all but disappeared. The porn scenes made in private studios have gone public. Men are in a state of constant sexual assault by women who either don’t understand the severity of what they are doing because it’s cute and they like the attention, or worse – they do know the feelings it stirs and like the control they have over men.

There are literally millions – nay – billions of pictures we could post here but again, soft porn. Do the women know what they are doing? Yes, of course. But are they aware that it fits the definition of “sexual assault?”

….

Finally let me say, for your own sake and ours, please put some clothes on. Stop the sexual assault against men. Yes, you have the power. Yes, you are pretty. But also yes, you are assaulting us.

— Michael Shoesmith, PNN News and Media Network, The Woman-on-Man Sexual Assault Epidemic! More Serious Than You Might Think! October 19, 2017

Another Example of Evangelical Fear of Women’s Breasts

annie pegueroAnnie Peguero and her nineteen-month-old daughter attended church last Sunday at Summit Church in Springfield, Virginia. During the service, Peguero’s baby became hungry, so she breast-fed her. Little did she know that she was surrounded by horny, weak, pathetic men who can’t control their sexuality when ‘forced” to view a breastfeeding mom’s partially exposed breast.

The Washington Post reports:

Annie Peguero was trying to soothe her agitated 19-month-old baby in church on Sunday when she did what she often does — she nursed her. But her efforts to calm her daughter caused a stir in the sanctuary of Summit Church in Springfield.

A woman promptly asked the Dumfries mother to decamp to a private room, she said. Peguero declined and was later told that the church does not allow breast-feeding without a cover because it could make men, teenagers or new churchgoers “uncomfortable,” she said. One woman told her the sermon was being live-streamed and that she would not want Peguero to be seen breast-feeding.

The mother of two left her seat in the back of the church and fled, embarrassed and in shock. The next day, she posted her own livestream video on Facebook — with her baby, Autumn, at her breast — telling viewers what happened and urging women to stand up for breast-feeding.

“I want you to know that breast-feeding is normal,” she said.

It is also a legally protected right in Virginia, where the legislature passed a 2015 law that says women have a right to breast-feed anywhere they have a legal right to be.

….

Peguero, a 42-year-old personal trainer and fitness and nutrition specialist, often posts live videos online with tips and advice about managing life with two young children. She talks about getting through the day when a spouse is deployed, drawing on her own experience as the wife of a Marine serving overseas.

The self-described “hippie mama” said she looked forward to breast-feeding long before she had children.

“I knew it was the very best thing for my baby,” she said. “I wanted to give them that gift for as long as I could, and that’s what I did.”

She nursed her older daughter — now 4 years old — until she was 8½ months pregnant with Autumn. In all that time, she never had a problem nursing in public, she said.

“I have breast-fed in a few different countries. I have breast-fed all over the place,” she said. “No one has ever said anything to me.”

Virginia was one of the last states to pass a law protecting a woman’s right to breast-feed in public.

Before passage, women in Virginia had the right to nurse their babies on state-owned property, but restaurants and other privately owned businesses that were open to the public could prohibit it.

Under identical bills brought by Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax) and Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton (D-Loudoun), mothers are permitted to breast-feed anywhere they are “lawfully present.” The measures cleared the Republican-controlled House and Senate without opposition and were signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

Albo and Wexton were not familiar with the details of Peguero’s case but said the law clearly gives women the right to breast-feed anywhere they are otherwise allowed to be.

“Women don’t really have a choice,” Albo said. “If you have a kid, and the kid’s hungry, you have to feed ’em.”

Wexton said she brought her bill after hearing from a woman who had been told she could not nurse her baby in a hallway outside the children’s room at her gym. Employees said she could only breast-feed in the bathroom, Wexton said.

“The fact is, women just want to feed their babies. Women are very discreet about their breast-feeding. . . . It’s not in any way an indecent exposure situation,” she said.

Leave it to Evangelicals to have a big problem with a human natural process — breastfeeding. What’s more natural than a mother feeding her child using the mammary glands the good Lord gave her? The problem is that Evangelical men are deeply immersed in a culture where women’s breasts have been sexualized. And as with anything having to do with sex while the lights are on, Evangelical churches and pastors — at least as far as the keepers of male mental virginity at Summit Church are concerned — overreact and enact stupid policies and rules.

Sadly, a century of Evangelical obsession with sex has resulted in multiple generations of men being taught that they are not in control of their sexuality, and that women are seductresses out to bed them. Women are forced to cover up their bodies and mute their comeliness lest some horn-dog of a man cast a glance their way and feel some sort of sexual stirring. Evidently, the Holy Spirit living inside Evangelical men is not enough to keep them from lusting during their pastors’ sermons.

Non-Evangelicals read posts such as this one and snicker while shaking their heads. There is nothing sexual about women breastfeeding their children. Babies need to eat, end of discussion. As long as women are discreetly feeding their babies, I can’t think of one reason why their doing so should be a problem. My wife breastfed all six of our children. Rarely did she leave a church service to do so, and if she it did it was because the child was being fussy and she didn’t want to disrupt the service.

I pastored scores of breastfeeding women during the twenty-five years I spent in the ministry. I can think of only one time where a woman breastfeeding a child proved to be a distraction. One Sunday, as I was preaching away on the unsearchable riches of Christ, a church member sitting about three rows back unbuttoned her dress, pulled up her bra, and fully exposed her breast. She did this so her four-year old child could have a snack.  Most church members had no idea what was going on in the third row, but unfortunately for me, I had a boobs’-eye view.

In many Evangelical churches, men are viewed as metaphorical infants, unable to control their desires. Women are repeatedly told that they must be the adults in the room, and for the sake of infantilized men, cover their bodies. What’s even more astounding, as in the story mentioned above, is that it is left to church women to police their ranks. Taught that they must be gatekeepers, church women make sure that no Jezebel tempts their men. Perhaps the real solution to the breastfeeding problem is for men to own their sexuality. Stop with all the silly rules that only serve to embarrass and demean women. To Evangelical women, I say, it’s time to rebel against thinking that reduces women to sex objects. Of course, such rebellion requires Evangelical women (and men) to stand against the patriarchal, anti-women bullshit that their pastors preach Sunday after Sunday.  Sadly, I am not hopeful that church women will do so. The pressure to conform is so great, that only by leaving Fundamentalist churches can women truly be free.

Immodestly Dressed Women Need to Stop Spreading Their Sin to Weak, Hapless, Pathetic Men

tim and kara barnette

Warning! Slightly risque language ahead. You have been warned.

Another day, any yet another Evangelical explaining the importance of women covering up their bodies lest they cause men to “sin.” Today’s member of the clothing police is Kara Barnette, wife of Tim, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Faith, North Carolina. In a post titled Modesty Matters, Barnette had this to say about modesty and the dangers of women spreading their “sin” to men:

It’s that beautiful yet dreadful time of year when summer clothes come-out.  And it seems that every summer shorts get shorter, necklines plunge lower, styles get tighter, and fabrics are so thin that one could read a newspaper through them.  Yet issues over modest clothing aren’t just significant to the Amish and crotchety old people who complain about “those ‘dang teenagers.”

When a glutton eats too much, no one else gets fat.  And when a thief steals from a convenience store, only the thief goes to jail.  But when a young lady dresses inappropriately, the effects of her sin are expansive.

Her sin spreads.

As she strolls down the beach in her immodest bathing suit or worships on a Sunday wearing a revealing dress, everyone who sees her is handed temptation.   The men and boys around her must battle the sin of lust, while the women and girls around her must battle the sins of bitterness and jealousy and the temptation to show-off their bodies, too.   Everyone is distracted by the young lady’s clothing and everyone struggles to think pure thoughts.

Sadly, today there is often little difference in the immodest clothing choices between girls who’ve never heard the name of Christ and those who come from Christian homes.  Satan is winning the war of indiscrete clothing, and these are the weapons he’s using on parents:

….

My daughter must dress in short/tight athletic-wear to play her sport.  Newton’s Lesser-Known Fourth Law of Motion: A volley ball will travel at the same velocity and direction whether it’s served by a player dressed appropriately or by a player dressed inappropriately.   (The law likewise holds true for golf, tennis, and soccer balls, as well as for the dynamics of jogging, cheerleading, and dance…)  Joking aside, if a team uniform doesn’t meet God’s standards and an alternative is not allowed, then God doesn’t want my daughter playing that sport or participating in that activity.  Her personal testimony is worth even more than an athletic scholarship to college.

I can’t find modest clothing for my daughter.  Principals often hear this complaint from moms about school dress codes, and youth pastors similarly struggle to enforce clothing standards for youth groups and camps.  God has plenty to say about ladies dressing modestly (1 Timothy 2:9, 1 Timothy 2:8-10, 2 Peter 3:1-4), and He doesn’t give commands that our daughters cannot follow.  Shop a different store.  Order on-line.  Buy a sewing machine and make clothes yourself.  Or have your daughter wear the same modest clothing over and over if that’s all she has.  Parents must go to whatever lengths necessary to help our daughters protect their purity.

My daughter will hate me if I make her dress conservatively.  Following the Lord’s commands should not be a chore, but a joy!  Teaching a daughter to present her body as… ‘a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to the God, which is her spiritual service of worship’ (Romans 12:1) ought not be a knock-down fight in the dressing room at the mall; it should be a pleasant experience as she learns to embrace colors, fabrics, and styles that please God and accentuate her beauty.  All rules given by the Lord are for our good and His glory, so helping girls learn to dress modestly can be a fun and creative challenge.

Modesty isn’t an important Scriptural issue.  Tell that to the wife humiliated by her husband’s pornography addiction.  To the congregation who lost their pastor because he had an affair.  To the teenager who has to inform her parents she’s pregnant.

….

My daughter needs to show some skin if she’s going to get a guy.  Allow your daughter to dress provocatively so she can catch the attention of boys, and you’ll get your wish.  But it won’t end well for her.

While you would never throw chum into the ocean water where your little girl was swimming, you’re doing something far more dangerous when you allow her to capture boys with her body.  It’s a deadly proposition.

Just ask Bathsheba.

2 Samuel 11:2 simply states… and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance.  David’s sinful lust of Bathsheba was provoked because of her revealing appearance.  David didn’t fall for Bathsheba because she was a great conversationalist, or because he felt an emotional connection to her, or because she could cook a delicious rack of lamb.

He fell for her skin.

And while we will never fully understand Bathsheba’s culpability in the affair, we know that it sure caused her a lot of grief.  Literally.  Bathsheba would eventually grieve both the death of her faithful husband Uriah and the baby she conceived with David.

When we allow our daughter to show too much skin, we lead her into temptation.  We deliver her into evil.  And that evil is contagious: it not only harms her but will infect every person she contacts.

Modesty matters.

Once again, we have an Evangelical blaming “immodestly” dressed women for the inability of men to keep themselves from “lustful” thoughts. Pathetic men, they are, who can’t control their thoughts once their eyes focus on women showing too much of their bodies. In Barnette’s mind, dressing “immodestly” causes women to spread their sin and we all know that women spreading their sin leads to them spreading their legs.

Yes, we live in a culture when women publicly expose more skin than previous generations.  My God, my wife wore a dress to a wedding last weekend that showed a bit of cleavage! What’s the world coming to? Doesn’t Polly know that she is spreading her sin by wearing a 38DDD push-up bra? (Her first push-up bra, by the way — a sure sign of her atheistic depravity.

bruce and polly gerencser 2017

Polly and Bruce Gerencser, March 2017. Several firsts….cleavage and a black fedora. (my cleavage is covered up)

Barnette’s problem is that she is immersed in a Fundamentalist religious culture that treats human sexuality as something that must tamped down and, at times — because the Bible commands it — denied. Women are viewed as Jezebels, temptresses out to bed every man who casts a gaze their way. These weak, pathetic, horn-dog men have little or no power to keep themselves from lusting (evidently God living inside of you is not even enough), so it is up to women to keep men from lusting by covering up their bodies and avoiding behaviors that might lead men to think they are “available” — Greek for “easy.”

Most Evangelicals are Republicans who supposedly believe in personal responsibility. One need only listen to Evangelical congressmen pontificate about welfare and the importance of holding assistance recipients accountable for their behavior to see this thinking at work. Yet, these haters of the poor attend churches that preach, when it comes to sexual matters, that heterosexual men are not totally accountable for what are deemed immoral behaviors; that women who tempt men to lust are also culpable for their “stiff prick having no conscience” (a line told to Midwestern Baptist College ministerial students by crusty IFB preacher Paul Vanaman).

Lust is a religious construct meant to elicit fear and guilt. Two thousand years of preachers lustily preaching about the dangers women present to unsuspecting men have led to the female sex being blamed for the inability of the males of the species to keep from wanting to bed women they find attractive. And therein lies the problem. Evangelicals live in denial of their biology — that men and women being physically attracted to one another is necessary for the propagation of the human race. Some Evangelicals will grudgingly admit the biological aspect of human existence, but will then say that our biology has been corrupted by the fall — Adam’s and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden.

Remember the story? God created Adam and Eve naked, put a mystical fruit tree in the middle of their subdivision, and told them he would kill them if they ate fruit from the tree. Adam and Eve ignored God’s threat and once they ate kumquats off the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they became knowledgeable of good and evil. Since that day, all humans are cursed, born with a “sin” nature. According to Evangelicals, we don’t become sinners, we are by nature sinners — haters of God. This is why we need the salvation that was made possible through the sacrificial death of the God-man Jesus on the cross.

The first thing God did after confronting Adam and Eve over their poor choice of a snack was to kill several animals and make the sinning couple one-of-a-kind fur outfits — covering up their nakedness. Implicit in this story is that nakedness is sinful.  Christians, Muslims, and Jews have spent several millennia drilling this idea into the minds of primarily the fairer species. Why? Because it was Eve who first ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was Eve who gave a kumquat — I love that word —  to Adam. Get the gist of the story? Adam may have been the head of earth’s first family, but Eve is the one that plunged the entire human race into sin. A woman was to blame then, and women are to blame now.

Let me conclude this post with my view of human sexuality and personal accountability. I am an atheist, so Barnette’s Puritanical, anti-human views on sexuality play no part in my sexual ethic. I recognize that I am sexually attracted to some women.  How women dress can get my attention sexually. As Polly will attest, my eyes have on more than a few occasions been drawn to the comely shape of women who are not my wife. (And Polly will admit to the same. Last weekend she told me over dinner, why are some gay men so damn attractive? I laughed, thinking of how, not so many years ago, such a discussion would have been impossible.) I subscribe to the look but don’t touch school of thought. Everywhere I look I see attractive women. I saw them as a fifteen-year-old Baptist virgin and I see them forty-five years later as a well-used atheist. What I have learned as a grown-ass man is that I am TOTALLY responsible for my sexual behavior. I am TOTALLY responsible for how I deal with my sexual desires. It is up to me, not women, to control my sexuality. If I behave inappropriately, the only person responsible for my behavior is yours truly. I am mature enough to be around women I might find attractive, and if I feel some sort of sexual stirring — down boy, down boy — it is up to me to control my physical response.

My wife and I are in a committed monogamous relationship forty years in the making. Now that we have been liberated from the sexual bondage of Christianity, we are free to embrace our sexuality, while, at the same time, living according to the commitment we made to each other thirty-nine years ago on a hot July day in Newark, Ohio. Both of us are TOTALLY responsible for how we behave sexually. Knowing that marriage is far more than sex, neither of us worries about the other being tempted to sin by a nice ass or an attention-seeking babe or hunk of a man. (And yes, both of us are comfortable enough in our sexual skins to admit that there are times we have found someone of the same sex attractive, all without flying a rainbow flag on our porch.)

Humanism and Buddhism teach me to treat others with respect, and while I may not be able to control what happens to or around me, I am responsible for how I respond to these outside influences. When a nurse puts an IV in my arm I know it is going to hurt, and that it might take her several attempts to get the job done (thick skin, deep veins, genetic curse). I also know that it is up to me to decide how I respond to the nurse. After making sure the nurse has sufficient experience to do the job (I am considered a difficult stick, so only the experienced need apply), I turn to humor to control the pain that is coming. I tell the nurse about my best and worst phlebotomist list, sharing stories about who is at the top of the list. Once the IV is in, I let the nurse know where she placed on my list. By doing this, I am choosing to be accountable for how I respond. I have heard more than one patient go into a profanity-laced tirade at a nurse who couldn’t magically make an IV insertion pain-free. It is not the nurse’s fault, and blaming her is misplaced. So it is with people who wrongly want to blame women for the moral failures of the human race. Barnette’s blaming of women for unapproved chubbies is misplaced. Men are, from start to finish, responsible for how they respond when sexually attracted to women. Instead of long lists of rules that have proved to not work, why not teach not only men, but women too, how to behave sexually. Surely Evangelical churches can teach men that the Billy Graham rule — never allow yourself to be alone with a woman who is not your wife, a rule even Jesus didn’t practice — is fear-mongering bullshit; that the Vice President of the United States should be able to have a private lunch with a woman without fearing that he will succumb to lust and try to fuck her.  Surely the people who gave us purity rings made in China can instead teach men and women that it is not what you wear that matters — no ring has ever successfully kept young adults who want to have sex from doing do; that the choice of how to respond to sexual attraction rests solely with us, not others; that inappropriate sexual behavior by me is not anyone’s fault but mine.

Is it a Sin to Kiss Your Boyfriend?

kissing

Every day, without fail, women somewhere in the world search for “is it a sin to kiss my boyfriend?” Thanks to the post, Hey Girlfriend: Is it a Sin to Kiss Your Boyfriend?, this blog is the number one Google search result. I can’t remember the last time I looked at search logs and didn’t see a handful of female visitors coming to this site to find out whether it is okay to swap spit with their boyfriends. I say female visitors, because I’ve never seen someone come to my site as a result of a “is it a sin to kiss my girlfriend” web search. It seems that women have a lot more angst about kissing their boyfriend than boyfriends do kissing them. I’ve often wondered what it is that drives women to seek out anonymous Internet advice about boyfriend kissing. Are these women being pressured by their boyfriends to be physically intimate? Probably. Kissing is very much a part of the human experience. Sadly, as with most things that are pleasurable, Evangelicals have deemed kissing between unmarried men and women to be a sin. Let me explain how Evangelicals come to this “Biblical” position.

First, Evangelicals believe that, thanks to Adam and Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden 6,017 years ago, the human race is, by nature, sinful. Born into sin, every human being is at variance with God. The Bible says that infants come forth from the womb speaking lies. We don’t become sinners, we are sinners. The Bible says human hearts are deceitful and wicked, so much so that none of us can truly know our heart. Because of our fallen nature, we desire to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. At the top of the Evangelical lust list are a variety of sexual sins: fornication, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, masturbation, petting, spooning, and looking at a woman with lust in your heart. Believing that inappropriate physical contact with the opposite sex (there are no gays in the Evangelical church) is a gateway to serious sexual sins such as fornication and adultery, many Evangelical sects, churches, pastors, and families adopt strict rules governing physical intimacy between unmarrieds. For those not raised in Evangelical churches, they will likely find the remainder of this post beyond belief, but rest assured that what I share next can be found in countless Evangelical churches and homes.

I attended Midwestern Baptist College in the 1970s — the era of free love. While hippies were smoking marijuana, listening to rock music, and exploring their sexuality, the unmarried students at Midwestern were expected to maintain a six-inch distance from each other at all times. If you have not read the post, Thou Shalt Not Touch: The Six-Inch Rule, I encourage you to do so. It goes into great detail explaining how the puritanical leadership at Midwestern made sure students kept their distance from each other. Most of the students at Midwestern came from Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) churches that also had some sort of prohibition against physical contact. During my teenage years, I was a member of Trinity Baptist Church, Findlay, Ohio and First Baptist Church, Bryan, Ohio. Both churches frowned on teenagers and young adults touching one another. Violating the no touch policy resulted in scoldings and separation during church services from your boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes, the pastors would spend time during their sermons rebuking sexually aware unmarrieds for their inappropriate touching. Time was also spent during youth group meetings drilling it into the heads of teenagers that God did not approve of them intimately touching each other. It should come as no surprise then that when unmarrieds were unable to abstain from acting on their sexual desires, they were often filled with guilt and fear. And I’m not talking about having sexual intercourse. More than a few teenagers found themselves ridden with guilt over holding hands with their girlfriend during church services or putting their arm around their boyfriend when no one was looking. Of course, there was certainly plenty of rounding-third and sliding-into-home sexual activity going on. In recent years, I’ve had the privilege of becoming reacquainted with several friends from my high school days. The stories they tell about their own sexual experiences during our youth group years are certainly different from mine. I’ve concluded that pretty much everybody in youth group was sexually active except me. I was a good Baptist boy who played by the rules. While I certainly held hands with girls, put my arms around them, and kissed them, I (barely) maintained my virginity until my wedding day.

There are several verses in the Bible that Evangelical preachers use to justify their hands-off rules. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 states:

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

It is good for an unmarried man to NOT touch a woman, God says. Didn’t Jesus himself warn that just an inappropriate look at a woman can cause men to commit adultery in their hearts? From these verses Evangelical preachers justified their no-touch rules; rules, by the way that most of them didn’t keep when they were young unmarrieds.

Preachers also used what I call the kitchen-sink verses to prop up their preaching against sexual sin:

Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:15,16)

Neither give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27)

Those raised in Evangelicals churches know that these verses (and others) were often used by preachers to label virtually anything and everything sin. (Please read The Official Independent Baptist Rulebook and An Independent Baptist Hate List.)

Young women in particular were psychologically abused by Evangelical preachers who felt it was their duty to make sure that the women were virgins on their wedding day. Preachers shared horror stories about women who engaged in premarital sex. Virtually all the preaching was directed towards women. After all, they were the gatekeepers. It was up to them to keep their legs closed when horn dog young men came sniffing around. Men are weak, the thinking goes, so it is up to Susie to make sure that both Johnny and Susie are virgins on their wedding day. And the best way to do this is to not have physical contact with each other before marriage. Just remember, the preacher says. No girl has ever gotten pregnant without holding hands or kissing a boy first! I kid you not, handholding was viewed as some sort of gateway, a gate which, once unmarrieds walked through it, would lead directly to them being given over to fornication. I know this sounds crazy, but this line of thinking is still quite prominent today. This is why so many unmarried women do Google searches for “is it a sin to kiss my boyfriend?” They likely attend churches that prohibit physical contact between unmarrieds. Yet, when they are away from the prying eyes of their pastors and parents, these sexually aware young adults engage in various forms of sexual intimacy. Fear and guilt follow, so they seek out “help” for dealing with their “lustful” desires.

Here’s my advice to those who are psychologically and spiritually troubled over holding hands with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Your feelings and desires are normal. Sexually aware people naturally desire physical intimacy. The key is to embrace your sexuality and act responsibly. This means you will have to ignore what your windbag preacher is telling you. It’s highly unlikely that any of the adults who are telling you that physical contact is a sin practiced what they preach. These hypocrites should spend their time teaching unmarrieds sexual responsibility. Most young adults will have sex intercourse before they are married. While your church may consider this a sin, those outside of the Evangelical church view sexual intimacy as a normal part of the human experience. Educate yourself about sex and make sure you always use birth control. I realize your preacher likely has said that using birth control is you preparing to sin, but I think we would all agree that unwanted pregnancies are a bad idea, and the only way to avoid them is to use birth control. Don’t allow the puritanical sexual standards of others to dictate what you will do. It’s your body, your life. And as far as kissing your boyfriend is concerned? Kiss away. A kiss is just a kiss. It can lead to more intimate behavior, but it also can be just that — a kiss. Remember, you, not your church, parents, or preacher, are in control of what you do sexually. Those who demand that you maintain your distance from the opposite sex are stunting your development.

Part of growing up is the exploration of our sexuality. This includes masturbation. Anyone who tells you that masturbation is a sin is someone you need to stop listening to. Like the desire for physical interaction with the opposite sex, masturbation is a normal, healthy behavior. I guarantee you that most of the married adults in your church masturbated before they were married. And I think I would be safe in saying that some of them still do. Masturbation is a great way to release sexual tension, especially when one is not ready to have sexual intercourse.

What I’m saying here is that it is all good. Sexual want, need, and desire are very much a part of the human experience. I encourage you to embrace your sexuality and enjoy all the pleasure that comes from doing so.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: It’s All About Marriage by Sam Allberry

sam-allberry

When it comes to God’s sexual ethic, there’s a clear rationale for what’s commanded. His Word doesn’t so much show us a theology of sexuality or sexual ethics as it does a theology of marriage. Human marriage, we see repeatedly, is to point us to the ultimate marriage between Jesus and his bride, the church. It’s a signpost to the big thing God is doing in the universe—drawing together a people to belong to his Son. That vision explains the contours and boundaries we see in Scripture’s teaching about marriage. Once we unpack it we see why God insists that sex is for marriage (since only in a covenantal relationship with him do we have the ability to be vulnerable and intimate); that marriage is between one man and one woman (since God brings together two unlike yet complementary beings in a union); and why Christians are to marry only those in the faith (since our union with Christ means we cannot painlessly unite with someone who doesn’t also belong to him).

Sam Allberry, The Gospel Coalition, Do You Have to Like God’s Commands?, November 14, 2016

Charisma Denounces Incest, Ignoring God-Approved Incestuous Relationships in the Bible

biblical marriage

Biblical Marriage, God’s Unchanging Moral Standard

According to Jessilyn Justice, a writer for Charisma News, the United States is facing a perversion tsunami. Several weeks ago, the Daily Mail reported that a man who was given up for adoption now wants to have a sexual relationship with his birth mother. Monica Mares, 36, gave Caleb Peterson, 19, up for adoption at birth. She was sixteen at the time. Nineteen years later, mother and son reconnected, fell in love, and are now facing criminal charges due to their incestuous relationship. Here’s what the Daily Mail had to say about their relationship:

GSA [genetic sexual attraction] is defined as sexual attraction between close relatives, such as siblings or half-siblings, a parent and offspring, or first and second cousins, who first meet as adults. Mares said: ‘He is the love of my life and I don’t want to lose him.My kids love him, my whole family does. Nothing can come between us not courts, or jail, nothing. ‘I have to be with him. When I get out of prison I will move out of Clovis to a state that allows us to be together.’

Incest is a crime in all 50 states, but the specifics of the laws and punishment vary greatly from state to state. Mother-of-nine Mares said she would even give up the right to see her other children if she was asked to choose between them and her lover. The couple who currently live separately in Clovis, New Mexico – and are banned from having any contact with each other by the courts – first embarked on their love affair towards the end of last year.
….
The couple was charged with incest – a fourth-degree felony in New Mexico – following the February 25th incident. They were arraigned and appeared jointly in court in April – but were held in custody for breaching their no-contact order. They were released on $5,000 bond and now face a trial by jury in September.

Currently Mares is not allowed to see any of her children or have any contact at all with Peterson.Yet she maintains that is has all been worth it. ‘It is every bit worth it,’ she said. ‘If they lock me up for love then they lock me up. There is no way anybody could pull us apart, and I really do love him. ‘It hurts he is far away. It hurts really bad. I wish I could see him, talk to him, but I can’t risk it.’

Peterson said he started falling love with his mom about a week after meeting her – but claims as he grew up with an adopted parents he never really saw Mares as his mother. ‘I never had anyone cook me meals or give me anything,’ he said. ‘I never got anything my entire life and she went out of her way to make me happy and after about a week or so I started having feelings for her and I guess I fell in love. ‘It went beyond a mother-son relationship I never really viewed her as my mom. In certain aspects I do but mostly I don’t. ‘I never thought I was crazy for having these feelings because I didn’t see her as my mom, it was more like going to a club and meeting a random person. It didn’t feel wrong, it felt normal.’

Peterson claims it was him who made the first move not his mom. He recalls: ‘We were hanging out just talking and I looked at her and she looked at me and I kissed her. ‘It was a real kiss it had feelings behind it, there was a spark that ever since then it just stayed. ‘Honestly I never thought we would get into trouble for our relationship. We were both consenting adults – when it comes down to it.

‘She’s adult I’m adult I can make my own decisions. I never thought it would blow up into something like this.’
….
Despite the immense opposition to the couple’s relationship, Mares and Peterson do have supporters in the community – including Dayton Chavez, Mares’ ex and father to two of her sons Moses, nine, and Joseph, 12.

He said: ‘I’ve told them I still love you guys either way. I support them. ‘I would like to see the government get out of their business and let them live a normal life – let them live how they want to live. ‘It would be different if it was a domestic violence situation but it’s not. ‘My point of view is they need to be allowed to live just how they are that’s what America is built on.’
….
The couple – who both have roots with Native American Apache tribes – is also being supported by Cristina Shy who runs www.lilysgardener.com, a support and advocacy website for related couples, also known as consanguinamorous people.

Cristina, who is involved in an illegal relationship with her half brother in Minnesota, said: ‘Our whole community is watching this case and looking for updates. ‘It needs to be brought to the attention of everybody in the country and people need to start thinking differently. ‘It was the same with gay people just a few years ago and now they can get married they are accepted. ‘Well why not consanguinamorous people like us? We are all adults. We are not pedophiles, there’s no domestic issue we are in love, we want to be together but we are related. That shouldn’t be a deciding factor.’

Most readers of this blog likely think — at the very least — that this is a bizarre story. I have mixed feelings about the mother/son sexual relationship, but I suspect my discomfort is the result of my Fundamentalist Christian upbringing. If I believe that consenting adults should be free to have sex with whomever, wherever, and however, then, despite my conflicted feelings, I really should have no legitimate objection to Mares’ and Peterson’s relationship.

As soon as this story hit the news wire, Christians such as Jessilyn Justice were screaming, SEE! This is what happens when we let same-sex couples marry, legitimize homosexuality, and allow Transgenders use the bathroom of their choice! Unable to comprehend any other sexual relationships beside what they “think” is decreed in a bronze age religious text — the Protestant Bible — people such as Justice warn others about the dangers of the slippery slope that ultimately leads to every sexual perversion imaginable. Why, what’s to stop people from marrying their dogs, right?

Justice focused on the incest component of this story:

Paul specifically warned about the evils of sexual immorality throughout his letters to the Corinthians and Romans.

Now, perversion rises as a mother wants an incestuous relationship with the son she gave up for adoption, according to The Daily Mail.

“If they lock me up for love then they lock me up. There is no way anybody could pull us apart, and I really do love him,” 36-year-old Monica Mares tells the online paper of her son, Caleb Peterson.

The couple faces a charge of incest, according to the Clovis News Journal. If convicted, they face hefty fines and years behind bars.

“I never had anyone cook me meals or give me anything,” Peterson tells the Daily Mail.

He continued: “I never got anything my entire life and she went out of her way to make me happy and after about a week or so I started having feelings for her and I guess I fell in love. It went beyond a mother-son relationship. I never really viewed her as my mom. In certain aspects I do but mostly I don’t. I never thought I was crazy for having these feelings because I didn’t see her as my mom, it was more like going to a club and meeting a random person. It didn’t feel wrong, it felt normal.”

Perhaps the book of Romans is at play here, as Paul warned in chapter 1 that God would give people over to the lust of their hearts.

I find it laughable and quite entertaining that Justice opposes incest, yet she worships a God that used incest to advance his divine agenda on earth.

The Bible — the original Kinsey Report — certainly condemns incest. God, the arbiter of all things sexual, had this to say in his inspired, inerrant, infallible word:

None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord.The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness.The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or of thy daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness. The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister: she is thy father’s near kinswoman.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister: for she is thy mother’s near kinswoman. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness.Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time. Leviticus 18:6-18

See! God says incest is a sin! Right there in the B-i-b-l-e. End of story. Later in Leviticus 18, God also condemns homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, and having sex with a woman when she is menstruating. In Leviticus 20, God says certain incestuous relationships — along with adultery, homosexuality, and bestiality — are capital crimes punishable by death. Strangely, if a man has sex with his uncle’s wife or has sex with his brother’s wife, their immorality is not punishable by death. (See Wikipedia article on Incest in the Bible.)

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul rebukes the Church at Corinth for having in its membership a man who was having sex with his mother. 1 Corinthians 5:1 states:

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

Paul commanded the church to excommunicate the man, delivering him to Satan for the destruction of his flesh. Surprisingly,  Paul considered the incestuous man to still be a Christian (To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus).

The Apostle Paul, along with Jessilyn Justice, seems to ignorant of the fact that the Big Man Upstairs approves of incest — at least in certain circumstances. Here are six of the numerous incestuous stories recorded in God’s perfect Word:

  • Genesis 4-Where did Cain’s wife come from? Either Cain had sex with an unnamed sister or he had sex with his mother Eve.
  • Genesis 9-Ham has sex with his father, Noah.
  • Genesis 19-Two daughters have sex with their father, Lot, a man the Bible says was a righteous man.
  • Genesis 20-Abraham has sex with his half-sister Sara.
  • Genesis 38-Judah has sex with his daughter-in-law Tamar (the daughter of adulterous, murderous David, a man after God’s own heart).
  • Exodus 6-Amram has sex with his father’s sister Jochebed. She bore him two very famous sons, Aaron and Moses.
answers in genesis incest

How Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis “Answer” the Incest Question

Christians are certainly free to object to incestuous relationships such as the one mentioned in this post. However, they don’t get to claim the high moral ground, saying that God says incest is a sin punishable by death. As I have clearly shown, God, at certain times and in certain circumstances, approves of or ignores incest. So much for God’s law being the perfect moral standard for all peoples, at all times. Evangelicals box themselves in when they demand that the Bible be recognized as the sole arbiter of morality. They are forced to come up with all sorts of creative ways to “explain” away the contradictions and absurdities found in the Bible. Christianity would be better served if Christians just admitted that there is some crazy shit in the Bible — especially in the Old Testament; and that the morality code of ancient sheepherders and fishermen has little relevance today.

If you have read this far, please allow me to reward your diligence with a video that I think you will find quite funny.

Video Link

Should Monica Mares and Caleb Peterson be legally allowed to have sex and/or get married? Please share your opinion/sermon/rant/exegesis in the comment section.

The Sounds of Fundamentalism: OMG! This Man is Looking at Porn by Dawn Hawkins

dawn hawkins

This is the fifty-first installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section.  Let’s have some fun!

Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is an anti-porn rant by Dawn Hawkins, the senior vice president and executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE). Hawkins is a Mormon.

Most people would agree that watching porn in plain view of strangers — especially on an airplane — is inappropriate. However, in the process of listing every minute detail of what the man was watching, Hawkins forgets that she too was watching porn. If watching porn is a sin, why was Hawkins watching it?  Hawkins intently viewing what was on the man’s screen and then complaining about it is akin to someone getting drunk and then preaching against alcohol use. I highly doubt the man was watching child pornography. Hawkins knows this, but suggesting that the man “might” have been watching child pornography gives the story a salacious appeal and likely promotes increased giving to NCSE by outraged Christians. Hawkins reported the man to the police. I found no public record of anyone being arrested for watching child porn on an airplane.

Text of the video:

Hi everyone!  My name is Dawn Hawkins, I’m the Executive Director of Morality in Media. I direct a number of anti-pornography campaigns, and I just wanted to share with you my experience from the weekend.  I’m kind of emotional about it still, so bear with me.

So, I was heading to Texas from DC.  I was asked to speak at a conference about the links between pornography and sex trafficking. And I boarded my flight in Baltimore, at 6 AM on Friday.  Only to find that the man sitting in front of me was looking at pornography on his iPad.  Of all people to be sitting in front of, he was right in front of me. I was speechless, I was stunned, I didn’t know what to say.  I could not believe he was looking at pornography right there on the airplane, at six am in the morning.

So, I sat back, for enough time for him to for him to flip through about eight images.  They were all of very-very young girls.  I couldn’t tell if they were 14 or 18.  They were definitely young.  They were all Asian. And a couple of the photographs were very violent in nature.  One of them even had one girl whipping the other girl.  With a whip.

As soon as I gathered myself, I couldn’t help it, I definitely said something.  Somewhat loudly, I asked him if he was really looking at pornography at that time.  I said, you know, “is that really pornography?!  Are you looking at pornography right now, on this airplane?” “Are those girls even 18?  Is that child-pornography?!”  I was making a fairly big deal about it.  And everyone seemed to be look at us. “Are those girls even 18?  Is that child-pornography?!”  I was making a fairly big deal about it.  And everyone seemed to be look at us.

And I turned around, and there was a flight attendant right behind me.  A male flight attendant.  And I said to him, “Sir, this man is looking at pornography.  Will you please do something about it?” The flight attendant just stood there.  He did nothing.  He said there was nothing he could do. That he refused to do anything, especially because it was making me and other passengers so uncomfortable.  And I am so sure it was making the other passengers uncomfortable as well.

Anyway, the guy put it away.  I was sitting there, shaking.  I was so upset.

A few minutes later, I leaned forward and in a much quiet voice, directed just at the man, I said to him, “Sir, I’m head right now to speak at a conference about pornography and sex trafficking.  You are contributing to the problem.  You’re exploiting millions of women.  And children.  You’re creating the demand.  You’re the one contributing to all this harm.” And right then, a woman who was two rows up from us, she stood up and interrupted me.  And she faced me and she said, she was probably in her 50’s, she said, “be quiet!  No one cares!”

I couldn’t, I could not believe that a woman, of all people, would stand up and tell me to be quiet. She didn’t tell the man to stop looking at pornography!  She didn’t say anything about that!  She just said, no one cared, that he was looking at pornography.  What was likely child pornography.

We know that pornography is so addictive, and that man was likely very addicted to whatever, that’s why he was looking at porn right there.  And that early.  He couldn’t help it! I feel really bad for him.  Part of me does.  Just because I understand that he was struggling with these urges, and I’m sure that he doesn’t.  He’s not happy and he doesn’t want that.

I just wanted to share this experience with you all.  Have you experienced pornography on your plane?  Is this the common danger to us? I mean, I’m involved, every day, in the fight against pornography.  And I did not realize that there is a danger to us on airplanes in the United States.  I got off the airplane and I reported it to a police officer, who promised to investigate.  He went to man’s next gate, especially because the likelihood that it was child pornography is very high.

Needless to say, airlines need to have a policy.  It needs to be spelled out.  That obscenity and pornography is not allowed on an airplane, especially since it’s a danger to all passengers, and flight attendants.  It would be a very unhealthy working place.

I work for Morality in Media, we direct the war on illegal pornography at pornharms.com.  I hope to hear from you soon!

Video Link

Note

Morality in Media changed its name in 2015 to National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

Letter to the Editor: Evangelical Hysteria Over Transgender Bathroom Use

evangelicals transgender

This cartoon correctly shows how many Evangelicals perceive the Transgender/bathroom issue. Their perceptions, however, are categorically wrong.

Letter to the Editor submitted to The Bryan Times on April 22, 2016 (never printed) Resubmitted to the Defiance Crescent-News on May 19, 2016

Dear Editor,

Recent news stories have highlighted Evangelical outrage and hysteria over Transgenders using public restrooms. I suspect most Americans at one time or another have taken care of business while in proximity to someone whose sexual identity or orientation is different from theirs. Why all the outrage now over such a banal issue as who and where someone pees?

At the heart of this issue lies Evangelical hatred and disgust, not only for Transgenders, but also for anyone who dares to be different from the God-approved, heterosexual-only, virginal, monogamous-sex-only-within-the-bonds-of-marriage Evangelical belief concerning sexuality. As a Baptist teenager, I vividly remember sermons and admonitions warning teens of the dire consequences of fornication and masturbation. All the scare-tactic preaching did was make us feel guilty when we acted upon normal, healthy human sexual desire.

Evangelicalism is now widely considered a hateful religion by many Americans. Why is this? In the 1970s, Jerry Falwell and Paul Weyrich birthed The Moral Majority — an Evangelical group dedicated to reclaiming America for the Christian God. Along the way new groups such as Focus on the Family and the American Family Association joined with the Moral Majority to fight the war against what they perceived to be the takeover of America by Godless liberals, Satanic secularists, atheists, and humanists. In the 1980s these culture warriors sold their souls to the Republican Party, joining church and state and producing the ugly monster now on display for all to see.

During this same time frame, secularists, their numbers increasing thanks to a growing number of Americans who no longer are interested in organized religion, began to push back at Evangelicalism’s message of hate and bigotry. Atheist groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists began challenging governmental preferential treatment given to Evangelicals. Now, thanks to a rising swell of secularism, Evangelicals feel threatened. No longer are they given special treatment. No longer are their blatant assaults on the First Amendment ignored. The more Evangelicals are marginalized, the greater their outrage.

Evangelicals must accept the fact that progress has brought us to place of inclusion and acceptance of those who are different from us. Evangelical preachers are certainly free to keep preaching against what they believe are sinful behaviors. But they might want to notice that many Americans — particularly millennials — are no longer listening.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio