Religion and sex

I’ve been thinking about what to write about next. I had a list earlier about things to write about, and first were thinking about writing in them in the order that I had put them down, but I’ll just improvise in the future, picking the subjects I fell like talking about, whether or not on my list. This time I thought I’d give some thoughts about religion and sex.

We are all familiar with how religion has a great impact on the way people look at sex. Especially the Abrahamic religions have a generally negative, or let’s say distorted, view of sex. Sex is both dirty and beautiful. Having random sex affairs before marriage is frowned upon, but so is regular sex within a committed relationship. Once you have sex while married, it is beautiful. Personally I don’t really understand why sex outside of marriage is so frowned upon. What is it that makes sex in a marital bed any better than other types of sex? Marriage is of course a bond you have created with the help of priests and in front of God and all that, but still, nowadays marriage doesn’t really change much in your relationship. It can for some, of course, but generally when looking at my married friends they pretty much have the same relationship that they have had before.

One thing worth mentioning is that the fact that religions frown upon sex before marriage causes young people to get married at a young age, just so they can have sex. Religions frown sex outside marriage more than they do divorce, so once people get bored with each other, they can just divorce, remarry, and continue having sex with their new spouse. A Christian polling group has discovered that atheists have less divorces than Christians. This is since atheists can actually have sex outside of marriage, and marry when they find a person they know they can spend their life with. Christians just get married to have sex, and then after a couple of years they divorce out of boredom.

What is this obsession with sex really? Yes, it is obsession, and I’ll just leave it to Stephen Fry to put some perspective on this:

 It’s the strangest thing about this church – it is obsessed with sex, absolutely obsessed. Now they will say we, with our permissive society and rude jokes, are obsessed. No, we have a healthy attitude. We like it, it’s fun, it’s jolly; because it’s a primary impulse it can be dangerous and dark and difficult. It’s a bit like food in that respect, only even more exciting. The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese, and that in erotic terms is the Catholic church in a nutshell.

Let’s move over to biology. Sex is the most importantly vital thing for the continuous process of life. Sex is the reason life can go on existing through new generations. Why is it so special to religions? Why do they make it so dirty? I think that because of these negative views of sex God should have thought of a better way for us to procreate, which he certainly would have if he actually existed.

There is a lot of harm in teaching our children “abstinence only” when it comes to birth control. I don’t think people have any idea of how sick and harmful that actually is. When I lost my faith at the age of 17, for quite a while I still had very negative views of sex, and once I after a drunken night out lost my virginity, I felt really bad and disgusted about the whole thing. And this was when I had already concluded there was no god and that I was an atheist. The whole thing left me scarred pretty bad, and even today I behave in a very asexual way. I of course now know there is nothing wrong with sex, but 17 years of messed up thoughts about it has clung unto me like an infected appendix.

I am no expert on the roots of these views of sex (and sexuality for that matter). For anyone who is interested, I recommend you read Darrel Ray’s book Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality.

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