Christianity Americana: It’s The Sex Stupid

The observation that religiosity and sexual repression go ‘hand-in-hand’ is certainly not a ground-breaking discovery, any more than it would be considered a revelation that religious fundamentalists try to force the limitations of their repression on others. What’s disconcerting is that despite all the education available in ‘the information age,’ the religious community not only persists, but increases its efforts, to impose sanctions on others, based on their own perverted understanding of human sexuality.

The vicious assault by Christian organizations against the rights of homosexuals and women, and the amount of time and resources dedicated to these campaigns of oppression, and for universal repression, make their priorities clear. When the homeless are dismissed as the ‘poor that will always be among us,’ and the downtrodden and inflicted are excused for their presumed personal liability, the loudest Christian voices choose not to impugn greed and exploitation, but rather busy themselves with who is doing what to whom behind closed doors, and what women are choosing to do with their own bodies.

The rhetoric presents the issues as focusing on family values yet the measures prescribed are simply the implementation of rules and restrictions based on their common bias and hatred. There is nothing proactive being suggested for the benefit of families in these campaigns, just actions against those who are different, or choose differently. The apparent danger to male dominated hierarchical families is never quite defined. If there is a homosexual campaign to force purportedly monogamous heterosexuals to divorce against their will, or by women who fight for the right to choose to deny that right to others, I’m unaware of it and offer sincere apologies for my ignorance.

This incessant verbiage is nothing more than an excuse to openly target others who’ve reconciled that which remains a conflict for the religiously indoctrinated. Within the religious community there is an overwhelming preponderance of attention, and dedication of financial and human resources, invested in issues related to sex, sexuality, and gender.

Perhaps it stems from an abusive childhood experience during which an innocent mind was tortured with the threat that self-stimulation would result in an eternity of unimaginable pain and suffering. Perhaps it was caused by an adolescence during which every hormonal instinct was portrayed as a violation of rules that convinced them that their bodies were not their own to control. Perhaps it’s the result of the repressed rage of adults unable to express their individuality without the consent of the majority. Regardless of the cause, sexual issues seem to be a serious sticking point based on apparently shared insecurities for this control oriented confederacy.

Christians, and other fundamentalist religious sects, claim that what individuals do in the privacy of their bedrooms, their intimacies and personal choices, actually have an effect on them. Even though they are not present or involved, and nothing actually effects them, the mere knowledge of it is too much for them to deal with. Someone is doing something that they are not allowed to do. Someone is doing something that they have been conditioned to believe is wrong. Someone is doing something and they were not invited. Someone is doing something that they enjoy so much they call it ‘gay’… it can’t possibly be good, it must be stopped. It must be forbidden. If they can’t have it, nobody can.

In lieu of a ‘strength of character’, able to claim responsibility for their own principles and values, God is used as a surrogate for a ‘sense of self.’ The God they’ve created in their own image becomes their ethereal persona. This God provides them with an authoritative embodiment of all they’ve chosen, and been conditioned, to believe, from whom they can project their learned biases. They don’t truly understand why they think these things are wrong, they are simply responding to their conditioning. This provides them with the ability to deny their personal issues, disguise the displacement of their rage, and allow themselves to define their animosity as obedience, and their discrimination of others as divine ordinance. In reality, they simply wish to impose their own sexual repression and abdication of personal choice on others, rather than take personal accountability for their own deep-seated issues.

This past week a story was featured in the national media regarding a graduate student who wants her degree in counseling despite the fact that her instructors observed her propensity to discriminate against those that may seek her aid. Jennifer Keeton, a student at Augusta State University in Georgia, wants to be an accredited counselor. She also wants to maintain her personal bias, that she attributes to Biblical doctrine, against homosexuals, and have the right to impose her dogmatic views on her unsuspecting future clients. The fact that professional counselling does not equate to proselytizing seems to completely escape both Jennifer and her lawyers who were provided courtesy of the well-funded, politically active, conservative Christian group, the Alliance Defense fund.

Who could possibly be harmed by helping an individual who has been raised in an intolerant, heterosexually dominant society, to understand and accept their homosexuality? In contrast; Who could possibly be benefited by convincing an individual that their sexuality makes them wrong and perverse? This is counselor-centered counseling. The counselor has issues and, rather than deal with them, selfishly and erroneously burdens the client with them. This is nothing more than a microcosm showing both the method and the motivation of religious fundamentalists for the displacement of their own sexual insecurities and issues.

What real effect does a sexual act between two men, two women, or the creative co-mingling of any odd numbers of consenting adults, have on anyone who chooses not to participate? Nothing. Not a thing, other than the fact that these other individuals are engaged in activities that the religious, the repressed, are either curious about, desirous of, or secretly engaged in, yet conflicted over because of dogmatic conditioning.

Every time we hear of one of the innumerable sex scandals involving a religious personality or authority, the focus is always on what sexual acts they were involved in. The conversation always seems to develop around the subject of the acts and what could possibly have made someone engage in them. The acts are inevitably the center of the juicy gossip. Usually the credit is given to the devil, one of his minions, or some other imaginary third party. These invisible agents of evil are always guilty of provoking the terrible sin while simultaneously lessening the burden of personal accountability on the hapless individual who has been apparently victimized by their own actions. But, the primary focus, the fascination, is with the acts. The tempting, juicy, mouth-watering forbidden fruit itself.

The fact that those involved in the consensual sex were certainly not feeling victimized at the time doesn’t seem to be a concern. The fact that the sex was not the conflict, and that the sex within the context of their religious dogma, or the machinations employed in order to indulge in the sexual acts was, seems to elude their reasoning skills entirely. Rather than challenge the archaic, sexist, homophobic teachings that originated from bronze age desert tribes, the only thing challenged as inappropriate or wrong is the sexual intimacy between two consenting adults. This is a true perversion.

Interestingly, the discussion of these issues often glances over the real offenses that do effect others. The religious get so caught up in who was touching, kissing, or sucking what, and where, that they forget about the deception, fraud and hypocrisy perpetrated in order to perform these otherwise victimless acts. They’re so caught up in the physical acts of sex, and controlling the sex of others, that they almost completely ignore that fact that some real principles of respect, honesty, and interpersonal integrity, have been violated.

For the religious, this is not a principle based issue, but a response based on an immature and emotionally conflicted understanding of their own sexuality. They’ve allowed uneducated men from two thousand years ago to package their sexuality in a box based on the dogma of an inconsistent yet consistently intolerant collection of archaic writings, and, due to the psychological stress this causes them, wish to impose it on the rest of society. If only sexually healthy people were oppressed and repressed as they are, they would not have the temptations that inevitably have them performing tearful acts of public atonement.

Rather than just Ms. Keeton, who is herself simply another product of a sexually repressed tradition of fundamental intolerance, the entire community of religious fundamentalists need to volunteer themselves for an enlightening experience of remediation. Embrace the principles of sexual responsibility and self-determination. Wrap your arms around your right to the honest freedom of individual sexual expression. Indulge your mind with the possibilities of sexual integrity by being true to yourself and those you care about. Sex and the control over ones own body isn’t what’s perverse. The deception and hypocritical duplicity that it’s treated with, the way fundamentalists have been made to feel about it, and the way they try to make others feel about it, is.

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74 Responses to Christianity Americana: It’s The Sex Stupid

  1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Ole Ole Olson
    August 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Slightly off topic, but That Jennifer Keeton just *looks* like a fundamentalist.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1stoney
      August 4, 2010 at 12:44 am

      Zombie. The lights aren’t on and nobody’s home. [shudder] What a horror story.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1awesome
    August 2, 2010 at 4:18 am

    She does look kinda crazy… but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t f**k her face.

    HAY OH!!

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
    August 2, 2010 at 6:27 am

    You accurately point out many of the problems of Christianity, but you do not really understand the source of the problems. As long as Christians accept the bible as the ultimate source of unquestionable truth, we’ll have to deal with their nonsense. It doesn’t matter what arguments you present, they think the bible is God’s absolute truth. They believe God will hold them personally responsible if they do not try to convert others to their faith. Almost all Christians I’ve known are really good people who are really badly misguided. If you destroy their faith in the Bible, all the other problems will fix themselves. Otherwise, you are simply wasting your time.

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Liam Fox
      August 2, 2010 at 8:06 am

      In a 1K word article I try to make ‘A’ point, not ‘ALL’ points. To suggest that addressing any other topic, other than a full and thorough debunking the bible, is meaningless, seems to be a simultaneously narrow and overwhelming strategy. You never know what nugget might reach an individual on a personal level and provide the catalyst for them to initiate that broader investigation on their own.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
        August 2, 2010 at 8:28 am

        Fair enough. I guess if one starts questioning the morality of the bible, one might start questioning the bible all together. It’s just that the concept of christians as mainly angry, hateful, self-rightoues people is not very balanced, though they can certainly seem that way, and there are some that are absolutely all those things. I know many christians who sincerely believe that they should “hate the sin and not the sinner”. I know many who evangelize because they honestly believe they are helping to save people from an eternity in hell. These are things I struggled with before I abandoned that nonsense. With a better general understanding of christians, you might reach even more.

        • Vote -1 Vote +1ballin
          August 2, 2010 at 10:55 am

          magickmonkey:

          It sounds to me as though you might’ve missed one of the central points Liam was making about the actual locus of Christian hate and resentment. Correct me if I’m wrong, Liam, but I believe you were arguing that God, and even the words of the Bible (ever malleable as they are), have been used by Christians to sanctify prejudices that actually originate from their own sexual and moral repression. In other words, it’s not that Christians read something in the Bible and then decide they hate it, but rather quite the opposite. Christians decide they hate something, and then they go and find the words in the Bible to justify and vindicate their outrage.

          • Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
            August 2, 2010 at 11:08 am

            I think that was his point, and I think for 99% of christians, that premise is false. I think he has his cause and effect backwards. I also do not think christians are predominately hateful, but simply sincerely wrong. I think by painting a picture of christianity that christians know to be unrealistic destroys any chance to establish any credibility and prevents us from communicating with those christians who might otherwise make a rational analysis of what we have to say.

            Think about what you think or feel when a christian makes the assertion that those who deny the bible do so in an attempt to “assuage their guilt”. You know that is silly, and you are then less likely to hear anything else they have to say.

            • Vote -1 Vote +1ballin
              August 2, 2010 at 11:44 am

              On the contrary, I think that you’re underestimating the power of the subconscious. Christians, like any rational people, invent “reasons” to explain the way that they feel. If you believe that the bible truly is the genesis of their animus, then you would have to explain why Christians don’t vigorously adhere to EVERY passage and then lean on the bible to defend their adherence.

              To illustrate my point, think of your least favorite color. If someone were to ask you why you hate it, odds are you’d probably just say “I just don’t like it.. it’s a color and I don’t need a reason to dislike it. It’s just something I feel.” Now replace that with “What’s your least favorite minority group?” In reality, the response to this question is going to be a primarily emotional response with EXTREMELY little rational thought behind it. But human beings as a whole are masters at convincing themselves what they feel is right and what they believe is true, so like a sort of mental spackle, Christians cover the holes in the wall by offering up various reasons that they have even convinced THEMSELVES to be true.

              It’s like asking an atheist how they can be so CERTAIN there is no god (as opposed to an agonstic). As an actual matter of fact, they cannot be certain at all. So the response they give you, whatever the response, is an emotional response covered in a facade of intellectual rationality. Sadly, the veneer of reason of their argument is as thin as the lame Christian argument “I hate fags because the bible tells me to.”

              Christian hate is an emotion that is enabled by the bible as justification, not caused by the bible.

              • Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
                August 2, 2010 at 11:54 am

                I kinda get your point. I certainly agree there can be a positive feedback effect. I know from my own personal experience as a one-time christian and from knowing christians that the source of their problems with homosexuality and other “sexual perversions” is the bible. Of course, once they’re raised believing this way, they are more than happy to use the bible to point out how gays are going to hell.

                As far as being an atheist, I know that I see no rational reason to believe that there is a god. I certainly don’t care if someone believes there is probably a god. Unlike many atheists, I actually wish I could live forever in some paradise. That part of the christian myth was vary appealing for me. There was just no rational reason to believe it to be true.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1ilikemyrealname
      August 2, 2010 at 8:21 am

      you couldn’t be any more RIGHT! that’s so true, there really is nothing you can say cause Christians hold the bible as the absolute. so even if they don’t understand something, they’ll just take it for face value. that book is packed full of things that don’t add up but Christians will excuse it saying you can’t fully understand the mind of God. the whole concept is just one paradox after another.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
        August 2, 2010 at 8:36 am

        There is some hope. I grew up as a strong christian. I remember reading about evolution in magazines and at school and thinking, “I know this can’t be true, but it sure makes a lot of sense”. Eventually, I got tired of doing mental gymnastics to explain the validity of the bible to myself. Then bingo, my faith just fell apart. If you keep making rational appeals to others to question the absolute beliefs of their religions, it might just do some good.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1kevin
      August 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm

      I’m not too sure about that. Hundreds of millions of faithful people running around with their faith lost is not a recipe for a better world. It’s the same reason that Robert Langdon in the DaVinci Code chose at the end to keep the secret. These people need to be swayed and converted away, not have their faith destroyed.

  4. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Jo Dern
    August 2, 2010 at 6:37 am

    OH wow, OK that makesa lot of sense dude. WOw.

    Lou
    http://www.real-privacy.at.tc

  5. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Miles Amblish
    August 2, 2010 at 6:42 am

    You have lumped Ms. Keeton together with politicians and other public figures who have practiced differently from their views on sex. In response you suggest that we embrace the “principles of sexual responsibility and self-determination”. But what happens when those the religious are determined to follow higher stands of responsibility? What happens when they oppose teens having children? Abortion on demand? People having sex in public? Where is public decorum when people are running without clothing pursuing “sexual integrity by being true to yourself and those you care about”?
    What you are purposing is that we drop all our responsibilities to each other to become hedonists because only personal gratification is worth pursuing. Have you considered what such an agenda would cost in human, societal and personal terms?

    • +5 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
      August 2, 2010 at 7:00 am

      Just because the author doesn’t sit with you at one extreme doesn’t mean he is at the exact opposite extreme. One can tolerate homosexuality and sexual freedom in general without advocating masses of people having sex in the streets. There are obviously practical dangers to having a lack of self control over one’s own sexual behaviour (std’s, unintended offspring, etc.) But one should determine for his or her self what is appropriate based on practical considerations and not some archaic book of nonsense.

      • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Paul
        August 2, 2010 at 7:31 am

        Agreed. The rejection of twisted Christian “moral” indoctrination is not a rejection of all morality. Rational people work out a functional morality by themselves. That’s why we don’t stone people to death in this country. If you want to see where this cycle of repression and projection leads, look at Afghanistan or Pakistan. The similarities between fundamentalist Christians and the Taliban are disturbing.

        Christians believe their morality comes from an objective source, god, whom the author points out is made conveniently to fit their learned prejudice and repression. They can’t conceive of being able to decide what is right or wrong for themselves, because they can’t accept the personal responsibility that entails. That’s why they need a sacrificial lamb to take the responsibility away from them.

        • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
          August 2, 2010 at 8:01 am

          Having been raised as a christian myself, I don’t think learned prejudice and repression is the source of their concept of god, but rather the other way around. However, the learned p & r that is based on their concept of god can certainly behave as a positive feedback mechanism re-enforcing their view of god. And almost all Christians I’ve known have the ability to decide for themselves what is right or wrong, but their god based morality augments their sense of right and wrong, and rather than defer to their own judgement, they consider the bible to be the moral authority.

          Before I accepted the fact that christianity was bs, my only reason for thinking homosexuality was wrong was that the bible said so. It was simply rebellion against god. Once I removed christianity as an impediment to my ability to think rationally, there was no reason to think homosexuality was wrong. My prejudice simply faded away.

          We must deal with the root of the problem. I’m not one of these atheists who think we must absolutely abolish belief in god (though I do think those who do think more rationally). If someone thinks there is a god and uses their belief in god to guide the way they live their own lives, but at the same time do not believe they have absolute knowledge of right and wrong, that’s not so horrible. If someone believes that the bible is more accurate than a math textbook, then there is a big problem. The teachings of the bible are the source of all the prejudice and the idea that christians must convert others. It’s simply darwinism of meme’s. A religion that convinces its believers to spread that religion to others is more likely to survive than religions that do not. Tolerant religions fade away while intolerant ones remain.

      • -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
        August 2, 2010 at 7:53 am

        Christianity that is not practical is not Christianity, it’s bull s*!* tradition & religiosity that forms around core Christian beliefs. One of those beliefs is in God’s sovereignty. God created std’s for a reason, a reason that points to a higher truth about His will. Promiscuous sex has physical consequences that parallel the spiritual consequences.

        • Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
          August 2, 2010 at 8:11 am

          No god created std’s. Control over procreation aside, without std’s there would be no objective reason not to have unprotected group sex on a regular basis. Sex simply is an easy way to pass germs. In the past, when people observed promiscuous people catching diseases more often than those who were not, they simply reasoned that some god was punishing them. They had no understanding of epidemiology, and the idea of a vengeful god provided an excuse to not look for further explanation.

          • -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
            August 2, 2010 at 8:57 am

            God created all that is and ever will be. Even things invented by people are only able to be made through the talents and abilities provided by our creator.

            You can’t set “procreation aside” when talking about sex, but I agree that procreation itself is not the only purpose of sex. It is much more than “and easy way to pass germs” it’s one of the ultimate reflections of how the beauty, pleasure and glory of God is meant to penetrate our lives as we willingly submit ourselves to God’s grace.

            The problem Christians ultimately have with the sexual sins discussed in the article is that they do not reflect this beautiful picture of what sex is meant to be. And yes, it’s inherently hypocritical because even the best Christian is not perfect, only striving towards it.

            • Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
              August 2, 2010 at 9:38 am

              This proves my point. The root of the disagreement is weather or not god exists. Of course, if one ever establishes that god (or gods) exists, then you have to establish who he/she, they are and what their rules for our lives if any are. But the root of the disagreement is weather or not there is a god. As long people believe they have absolute knowlege of god and his will, they will see the world through bs colored glasses. Why does the bible or any other religious writing have any credibility?

              • Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
                August 2, 2010 at 10:18 am

                You are absolutely right, believing in God/not believing in God is fundamental to a person’s world view and colors how they see everything.

                That being said I don’t know of any Christian who claims to have absolute knowledge of God. There are definitely more things that we don’t know about God than we do know.

                The Bible has credibility because it continues to be relevant to our lives. It’s primarily through the Bible that people are forced to examine their own lives and compare it to God’s standard of perfection.

                When we see how short we fall of that standard, a choice is inherently presented to us; Do we refuse to change or do we allow God’s word to “tint our glasses” a bit more. By choosing to allow the Bible to shape how we see things, our lives are transformed in incredible ways in the process. That transformational power of the Bible is what gives it relevance, but it’s also what keeps people who refuse to let it have an impact in their lives from understanding that transformational process.

              • Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
                August 2, 2010 at 11:16 am

                I guess the number of levels of replies is limited. So in response to Adam discussing the bible’s credibility, I ask this. What makes the bible god’s standard? The bible only forces us to do anything if we accept it as having some validity. What objective reason is there for us to consider it god’s standard of anything? What objective reason do we even have to believe there is a god at all?

              • Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
                August 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm

                Magicmonkey:
                If you’re looking for absolute “proof” of the existence of God you will never find it. No one will ever be able to write an equation out or make an argument that absolutely proves beyond a doubt the existence of God, because without doubt faith would mean nothing. Faith is believing in the face of doubt like courage is bravery in the face of fear. You can’t really have one without the other.

                But you ask for an objective reason, and as intelligent as you are, I’m sure you’re aware of the argument that the existence of God is required to even have objectivity, because otherwise belief is reality. That argument is one of the most compelling one I know of. That if there is no God, then there is no true objectivity, there is no meaning to life, no purpose, no real passion, just chemicals in our brains which are piles of proteins evolved from slop by chance.

                You put that view up against the view of reality that the Bible presents – a reality where there is objective truth that’s as eternal as God himself – a reality where that eternal God loves you and created you for a purpose – a reality full of meaning and passion and potential. You compare those two visions and I ask you; is there really a choice which to believe?

            • Vote -1 Vote +1vor
              August 2, 2010 at 10:35 am

              You fool. Your argument lends itself to the following hilarious paradox:

              1. God made STDs as a negative reinforcement mechanism designed to discourage promiscuity

              2. Everything humans are able to invent is through God’s talents and abilities that we, as hit spitting image, tap into.

              So it follows that:

              3. We use God’s own abilities to create condoms that stop the transmission of almost all STDs that were originally of his creation to mitigate the same sexual promiscuity that condoms enable.

              Therefore:

              4. God provided humans a mechanism whereby his own abilities can be used by humans to nullify his epidemiological constraint on the very same humans’ sexualities.

              If it’s that easy to outsmart your intelligent designer and game his system, then that’s just another reason I am proud to say I rose above the ashes of my childhood religion. Kindergarten-level games of logic like this led to my vaunted debunking of Santa Claus and my world-famous trouncing of the myth of the Odyssey.

              Next time you read the Bible, try doing it with your eyes open. You’ll realize that the sand raiders who wrote it are the very same people whose rational faculties led them to believe in dragons, some sort of global flood (how does this even make sense with the fixed volume of water on Earth?), and people who lived to be hundreds of years old (or lived twice!). These buffoons are the image of God. God even says so himself, you guys, right in Genesis where it all began!!

              • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
                August 2, 2010 at 11:05 am

                I’m sorry you choose to feel that way about the Bible, but I don’t see a disagreement in our assessment of my argument.

                God does give us talents, abilities, creativeness and the freedom to choose how we use those talents. We can choose to use condoms in a way that would be pleasing to God, as a contraceptive, but not as an excuse to whore it up.

            • Vote -1 Vote +1stoney
              August 4, 2010 at 2:16 am

              Adam says:
              August 2, 2010 at 8:57 am

              “God created all that is and ever will be. ”

              I expect you to back this statement up via objective evidence.

              Please note the following sentences have the same validity yours did.

              God created all that is and ever will be.

              Santa Claus created all that is and ever will be.

              Tooth Faerie created all that is and ever will be.

              Frost Giants created all that is and ever will be.

              Odin All Father created all that is and ever will be.

              Tiamat the Dragon created all that is and ever will be.

              Baba Yaga created all that is and ever will be.

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jared F
      August 2, 2010 at 7:59 am

      Miles, I appreciate your thoughtful response. I too have mulled these issues over in my head. I believe in your final question that you are implying that “human, societal and personal terms” would suffer as a result of the public acceptance of teen sex, abortion, public sex and I assume as well homosexuality. Though these are loosely related issues, they are all complex and each would need to be argued in great detail. Small comments like this are not very good for hashing out such complex issues but I would say this. Everything you listed is already taking place now in great numbers. Barring modern abortion, these issues have permeated all of human history. I believe sex among consenting, mature individuals can be a beautiful thing and that prohibitive steps only drive the perception of sex as being perverted and immoral. What you see as “high stands of responsibility” others view as baseless standards of responsibility. Look we’re humans, we have sex. I think we are far better off building a society on respect and acceptance rather than fear and intolerance.

      • -9 Vote -1 Vote +1Drotsky
        August 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

        Look it is very simple…Homosexuality has been around for centuries..let the homosexuals be homos and the lesbians lesbos just keep it in the closet where it belongs behind closed doors.
        These people want to flaunt it in the publics face, gay parades on TV, for the innocent children to see…talk about Christians wanting to convert…whose trying to convert who here?
        History repeats it’s self, anytime a nation gives into moral decay, whether it’s sacrificing children to Baal in the olden times or abortion today, sexual perversion, etc. that nation will fall, ie Roman Empire, Babylonian empire, etc that is where this world is headed.
        Liam, you don’t have to attack christians and make them sound like freaks…surely there are plenty of other things you can write about.
        It does not matter who you are christian, politician, joe blow, we are not perfect, nor do we live in a perfect world, sin is sin and we all fall victim to it!

        • +4 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
          August 2, 2010 at 9:06 am

          Why should “homos and lesbos” have to live like what they do is a dirty evil secret. To whatever extent they flaunt it, they’re rebelling against segments of society telling them what they are doing is wrong. Why is it ok if a man kisses his girlfriend in public, but it is “flaunting” if two men or two women kiss in public? I guess it’s because some imaginary super alpha male says so.

          • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1vor
            August 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

            Agreed.

            And to draw another analogy:

            Wouldn’t it be considered flaunting one’s religion to proselytize and evangelize (as God commands again and again)? Shouldn’t the religmos and the gaybos and the lesbos stay behind closed door where they belong?

            …So wouldn’t it be hypocritical of a religmo to tell a homo to stop flaunting his or her way of life given that God himself demands that the religmo be a flaunter of his or her own way of life? That is unless the religmo wants to inform God of this hypocrisy, but that would require growing a “rational pair” so to speak, and for some reason those are hard to come by.

  6. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1thomas
    August 2, 2010 at 8:30 am

    The “god” of the Christians is the Devil.

  7. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Haley
    August 2, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I’m not sure where Mr. Fox gets off on accusing Christians of being hateful and bigoted, when his article here is much more so than any Christian writing I’ve seen. His information is quite biased. Yes, Christians are imperfect people, and yes, some people who call themselves by the name of Christian are not really so, however, that’s no reason to deny the reality of God and his love for all people.
    I don’t want to ‘convert’ people in order to ruin their lives and not make them have any fun. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you sit around chanting meaningless prayers all day. It’s about having a relationship with the creator of the universe and being welcomed into heaven one day. Anyone who accepts that invitation through Jesus is able to do that.
    And, in regards to the sex issue…? Hey, I plan on having amazing sex with my husband when we get married… it’ll be much better and more healthy than any other situation! I won’t have to worry about getting a disease, because we’ve never messed around with other people. I won’t have to worry about him leaving me for someone ‘better,’ because we have a strong commitment. We will learn together, and it will be a beautiful thing.

    • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
      August 2, 2010 at 8:54 am

      “And, in regards to the sex issue…? Hey, I plan on having amazing sex with my husband when we get married… it’ll be much better and more healthy than any other situation!”

      You have no basis for comparison.

      “I won’t have to worry about him leaving me for someone ‘better,’ because we have a strong commitment.”

      Not true at all. Sometimes, the curiosity of what it is like to have sex with others is motivation enough for infidelity.

      As far as the rest of your comments on sex, those are practical reasons for controlling one’s own sexual behavior. They need no book of fairy tales to support them.

      btw, when you do get married, I hope the sex is every bit as amazing as you hope it will be. Sex rocks!!!!

      • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Haley
        August 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm

        “Sometimes, the curiosity of what it is like to have sex with others is motivation enough for infidelity.”

        I can see how some people might feel that way, if they’ve had multiple partners and are dissatisfied with their current spouse or partner.

        However, having “no basis for comparison” can indeed be a very good thing. I have absolutely no way of knowing if my husband isn’t the best love-maker in the whole world, because to me, he always will be.

        • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
          August 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm

          I can see how for some, that might be an appealing reason to remain celibate until marriage. I also think that for most of us, having sex with multiple partners before beginning a permanent monogamous relationship has no real drawbacks and might have considerable benefits. I also do not think monogamy in general is right for everyone. Whatever the case, there is no justification to mandate celibacy till marriage.

    • -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
      August 2, 2010 at 9:08 am

      Way to go Haley! Trust God’s plan for you life, and don’t believe what the world would tell you about “needing comparisons”. When you have a husband who has the faith to believe in God’s plan any “curiosity” he may have will pale in comparison the the joy of your marriage, and marriage bed! Don’t listen to the people who are only trying to assuage their own guilt.

      • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
        August 2, 2010 at 9:09 am

        Why do you think we feel guilty?

        • -9 Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
          August 2, 2010 at 9:12 am

          Just guessing!

          • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
            August 2, 2010 at 9:15 am

            Fair enough.

  8. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Qev
    August 2, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Puritanism: the nagging fear that someone, somewhere, might be happy.

  9. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jim
    August 2, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I’ve been to Catholic schools my whole life, and we were always taught that the Bible was good to learn how to act from, but is an ancient book, and you have to put it in context of the times it was written in. Yes, parts (such as the gospels) are the “Word of God” but (1) it’s the Word of God 2000 years ago, and he supposedly speaks through the Church/Pope now (so we were taught), and (2) the OT is oral tradition so could very well be wrong and inconsistent, and both the OT and NT are translations to English, and so the translations may not convey the correct meanings. In other words, we were always taught not to take the Bible at absolute face value. Maybe that’s why southern christians don’t like Catholics very much… lol

    • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
      August 2, 2010 at 10:06 am

      That reminds me of a story that a friend of mine told me. He was a seminary drop out. (details of this story might be inaccurate and are subject to the deficiencies of my imperfect memory). He said when he first began studying to be a priest, he and his fellow students read a story on a chalk board. The story was erased, and they were told to write down the story in their own words. Then, each of there stories were read aloud. There was a lot of variations in the different versions of the story. The point of the exercise was to explain why there were four gospels. The idea being that each version was obviously colored by the writter’s perspective, and by having four different gospels written by four different individuals, one may get a more balanced idea about jesus’s life. The bible is meaningless to me, but I can appreciate this somewhat more rational perspective of the bible.

  10. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1NJGuy54
    August 2, 2010 at 10:11 am

    When I was a teenager, I had a good friend who had become a born-again Christian. He gave me lots of books and tapes (yes, cassette tapes in those days) on Christianity in an effort to convert me, and it wasn’t long before a pattern emerged. They were all — disturbingly, in my eyes — totally preoccupied with sex, to the exclusion of virtually everything else about Christianity. You know, like loving one’s neighbor, turning the other cheek, etc. The message, of course, was that sex was evil, and if you so much as thought about it, you’d burn in hell (but then, once you got married, sex was great, and having sex was your godly *duty*). Much of this information was aimed specifically at teenagers by middle-aged guys, which made it seem even creepier.

    The result is that all this propaganda turned me off to that brand of evangelism. This was during the height of the Moral Majority era, so an entire generation equated Christianity with sexual suppression. Instead of embracing religion, I became a skeptic.

    Evangelical Christians of this ilk have been among some of the nastiest, most obnoxious people I have ever met. Most of them have some kind of emotional issues (often involving sex, not surprisingly) and are using religion as a type of psychotherapy. By contrast, I have known many other Christians who are not of this vein who are truly loving and caring people. My friend who tried to evangelize me way back was insufferable during his born-again period, but eventually got over it (some would say he backslid) and became a decent person again.

    • -5 Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
      August 2, 2010 at 10:33 am

      Were you preoccupied with sex at the time? Maybe your friend was giving you those tapes specifically because he thought you could use help in that area?

  11. -6 Vote -1 Vote +1revDJkev
    August 2, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Seriously the writer of this article is pathetic. The part I found funniest (actually hilarious) was about Keetan:

    Who could possibly be harmed by helping an individual who has been raised in an intolerant, heterosexually dominant society, to understand and accept their homosexuality?

    And then that SHE was the one with issues and was imposing them on the counsel-ee. . .If you don’t want to be told things from a Christian point of view, it’s simple. . .DON’T GO TO A CHRISTIAN COUNSELOR!! You are not forced to do so. If you don’t want to hear things from a biblical prospective CHOOSE A SECULAR COUNSELOR!!

    The arguments here are moronic and laughable. If you are standing up for choice, Christians have choices too.

    • -3 Vote -1 Vote +1vor
      August 2, 2010 at 10:47 am

      And those moral choices are limited precisely and entirely to those God made for you and not an iota further.

    • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
      August 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

      It is alright to disagree with the author. I do to, though for different reasons. I simply think he has his cause and effect backwards. However, it is silly to characterize him as pathetic simply because you disagree. By prefacing your argument in such a manner, it becomes obvious that your objections are emotional rather than rational. It rightly warns us that what follows likely has no credibility. However, being the libertarian that I am, I agree that Keetan should be allowed to give the advice that she believes to be true, just as the rest of us have the right to recognize that she might not be the best person to go to for advice.

    • -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Haley
      August 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      I agree there are huge problems with Mr. Fox’s attack on Ms. Keetan. If a person doesn’t want Christian advice, they shouldn’t choose to go to a Christian counselor. Personally, if I were having issues that required counseling, I would feel much more comfortable talking to someone who shared a moral basis with me.

  12. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Stephen
    August 2, 2010 at 11:04 am

    This article would be good if it weren’t for your inflammatory tone and the way you dismiss people’s views instead of engaging with them. Saying that the opposition is emotionally immature and sexually conflicted doesn’t resolve anything, it just makes you sound kind of like good old Sigmund. I agree with your overall thesis that the Religious Right is driven by outdated sexual prohibitions that they have no right to force on others, but your rhetoric and reasoning are both extreme and offensive.

  13. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Mack
    August 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    This is not the first time I have seen this coquettish ploy. Ms. Keeton appears to be repressing some of her feelings; especially sexual ones. Just looking at her gorgeous face, flowing blonde hair, and impish expression makes me want to like her, love her, lick her from top to toe. This repressed young woman is aching for someone to teach her the most depraved, the most taboo, the most wild forms of human sex possible. She is using her created persona as a tool, flaunting her understated, but obviously raging sexuality, daring someone to help her achieve an orgasm strong and powerful enough to induce rapture. Amen.

  14. Vote -1 Vote +1Camilla
    August 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Aren’t you so caught up in your own contempt that you conveniently forget that, just as there are dangerous fundamentalists in most religious currents, (and of course, being aggressive, they are the loudest voices), there are peaceful believers who strive to absorb and follow their messiah’s *tolerant* teachings and example? Or, incidentally, that there are GLBT people with a need for spirituality and even organized religion, mind-boggling though it may seem to you? Or are these minorities to be dismissed and trampled?

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
      August 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      As far as I’m concerned, they can have their religion as long as they don’t try to force it on us. They can believe what they want so long as they’re not as certain about their religion as they are that 2 + 2 = 4. I really don’t much give a crap what people believe as long as their beliefs do not have the potential to do harm. It is absolute faith that leads terrorists to fly planes into buildings. It is absolute faith that allows otherwise good people to join crusades to conquer lands in the name of god. It is absolute faith that leads some to bomb abortion clinics.

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1stoney
      August 4, 2010 at 2:27 am

      I didn’t get the read you did. Mr. Fox is well aware of Christians with the mindset you indicate and the possible religious needs of others.

      I saw him focus on the Christian Taliban. Such was not an all inclusive brush.

      Kind Regards

  15. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
    August 2, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    repost from anove
    @Magicmonkey:
    If you’re looking for absolute “proof” of the existence of God you will never find it. No one will ever be able to write an equation out or make an argument that absolutely proves beyond a doubt the existence of God, because without doubt faith would mean nothing. Faith is believing in the face of doubt like courage is bravery in the face of fear. You can’t really have one without the other.

    But you ask for an objective reason, and as intelligent as you are, I’m sure you’re aware of the argument that the existence of God is required to even have objectivity, because otherwise belief is reality. That argument is one of the most compelling one I know of. That if there is no God, then there is no true objectivity, there is no meaning to life, no purpose, no real passion, just chemicals in our brains which are piles of proteins evolved from slop by chance.

    You put that view up against the view of reality that the Bible presents – a reality where there is objective truth that’s as eternal as God himself – a reality where that eternal God loves you and created you for a purpose – a reality full of meaning and passion and potential. You compare those two visions and I ask you; is there really a choice which to believe?

  16. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
    August 2, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    But belief is not reality. Reality exists regardless of weather or not we even perceive its existence. 2 + 2 would still = 4, even if there were no people to understand that fact. Objective facts do not need any god or people to exist. And maybe there is no meaning to life. I see plenty of reasons to wish there were a god. I know for myself, having been raised believing that I would spend an eternity with loved ones in paradise, knowing that I’ll no long exist as a concious being when I die is pretty damned depressing. However, I will not allow myself to be deluded for the sake of being comforted by false hope. Just because the truth might suck doesn’t mean it’s not true.

    As far as life having no meaning or purpose without god, I think life has whatever purpose you decide to give it. I wish I could live for eternity in paradise, but I know I have a very limited opportunity to experience happiness while I’m alive and to help provide happiness for those I care about. But even if I could find no purpose or happiness, that would not rationally excuse my acceptance of any belief system offering false hope.

    A belief in god or a lack thereof is the foundation for this whole conflict. Suppose christian extremists succeeded in convincing a majority of people to model their sexual behavior after the teachings of the bible, yet still did not believe in god. According to you, they would still go to hell, so what would be the point. If you focus on getting people first to believe there is a god, then afterwards convince those who believe in god that your god is the real god, and then get them to believe that the bible is his message, and then convince them that your interpretation of the bible is accurate, then you will convince them to behave accordingly without resorting to bs legislation or abortion clinic bombings (not that you personally agree with such extremes). You only need to be concerned about weather or not they’re “saved”, not with whom they’re screwing. Keep the matter of chastity to yourselves. If you feel you must help people find salvation, focus on making your beliefs freely available to them without coersion, but do not waist your time forcing your morality on them if they do not believe. If christians can do that, then I have no problem.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Adam
      August 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      You know, not many people agree that the existence of God is even the root of our disagreement and it’s one that is affecting our whole country in a ton of areas not just sex. I applaud you for having the courage to see that for what it is instead of resorting to flame throwing like the author of this piece, or abortion clinic bombers for that matter.

      I wonder though what you mean being deluded. When we talk about beliefs we are not talking about things that can be proven like mathematical equations. I would be deluded if I didn’t believe 2+2=4, not because I choose, with eyes wide open, to believe in God. What I find deluded is thinking that we create objective meaning for our life on our own? Isn’t that inherently subjective?

      I’m not a scientist, but I know that a scientific principle stands until a better theory or understanding displaces it – a.k.a. the world was flat until proven spherical. If we as a society have operated on the principle that there is a God, what scientific evidence has been sufficient to prove that there is not?

      String theory, the latest in explaining the origins of the universe, says we occupy only one potential universe out of an infinite number of them, each with different scientific laws – things like the strength of gravity and electromagnetic forces, etc. The question I have a hard time with is if that’s true, are we not infinitely lucky (or blessed) to be in a universe that’s hasn’t popped out of existence, or didn’t have sufficient gravity to form planets, or any infinite number of possibilities that would make life impossible? And then a universe that exists long enough for intelligent life to evolve through another string of infinite possibilities. Does that not make it infinitely improbable that we are even having this conversation?

      If it’s a choice between believing in the infinitely improbable and and a God who sustains the universe, that’s another easy one!

      • Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
        August 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm

        >>”I wonder though what you mean being deluded. When we talk about beliefs we are not talking about things that can be proven like mathematical equations. ”

        I am.

        >>”I would be deluded if I didn’t believe 2+2=4, not because I choose, with eyes wide open, to believe in God. What I find deluded is thinking that we create objective meaning for our life on our own? Isn’t that inherently subjective?”

        Well, the term “meaning of life” is really kind of meaningless anyway. Purpose of life is not, I guess. If there is no god, then you either give your live whatever purpose you decide to give it, or accept that your life has no purpose. Weather or not a purposeless or meaningless life sucks had no bearing on weather or not there is a god to give it meaning. It simply provides emotional motivation to believe there is a god to provide “meaning” for life.

        >>”I’m not a scientist, but I know that a scientific principle stands until a better theory or understanding displaces it – a.k.a. the world was flat until proven spherical. ”

        Not necessarily. A good theory stands as a likely explanation of truth until a better one displaces it. It is not necessarily regarded as absolute truth until there is a better theory.

        >>”If we as a society have operated on the principle that there is a God, what scientific evidence has been sufficient to prove that there is not?”

        There just simply not any evidence that there is a god. I am not absolutely sure there is no god the same way that I am certain that 2+2=4. I just see no rational reason to believe there is one.

        >>”String theory, the latest in explaining the origins of the universe, says we occupy only one potential universe out of an infinite number of them, each with different scientific laws – things like the strength of gravity and electromagnetic forces, etc. The question I have a hard time with is if that’s true, are we not infinitely lucky (or blessed) to be in a universe that’s hasn’t popped out of existence, or didn’t have sufficient gravity to form planets, or any infinite number of possibilities that would make life impossible? And then a universe that exists long enough for intelligent life to evolve through another string of infinite possibilities. Does that not make it infinitely improbable that we are even having this conversation?”

        Not infinitely.

        >>”If it’s a choice between believing in the infinitely improbable and and a God who sustains the universe, that’s another easy one!”

        The problem is that god really doesn’t provide any kind of explanation. Yes, it is mind boggling that we are here. However, when you use god as an explanation, you’re simply transferring questions about the existence of the universe to questions about the existence of god. To me, it’s kinda like a kid asking how a TV works and then telling the kid it works by magic. Maybe to some, it makes more sense that there must be a god to explain all this, and I guess that’s ok. But to me, it explains nothing.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Ken
      August 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm

      “You only need to be concerned about whether or not they’re “saved”, not with whom they’re screwing. Keep the matter of chastity to yourselves. If you feel you must help people find salvation, focus on making your beliefs freely available to them without coercion, but do not waste your time forcing your morality on them if they do not believe. If Christians can do that, then I have no problem.”

      I can see your point, and for the most part I agree with it. Christian’s ultimate responsibility is to go and spread the good news; not to judge or condemn; to be involved in the work of redemption of fallen creation through love. We are clearly taught that in condemning others we condemn ourselves.

      There are numerous opinions on how our commission is played out in government policies–the translation of moral conduct into societal law. Some moral law is cut and dry for societal implementation: i.e. murder, stealing and to an extent, lying. Some are less cut and dry, i.e. abortion (to what point does life begin and termination becomes murder?) and slander; to even a lesser extent, the laws that don’t seem to usually harm other people (until it does); sexual freedom, drunkenness and other substance abuse, and/or euthanasia.

      At what point does the ruling body allow choice? At which point should the ruling body step in and stand against what Christians believe to be against the natural order of creation? I think religious and non religious will struggle for where the line is drawn till the end of time. The struggle will continue until the value of life is boiled down and debased to nothingness. Laws that help protect society will be diminished to the point of irrelevancy, where they will be replaced with the rule of man’s own judgment or sense of right and wrong. In a world without absolutes and as fleeting and inconsistent as we are (in our judgments), how can we ever expect society to “work” for lack of better words?

      You ask for tolerance. Christians can only provide tolerance without acceptance or judgment—this should be the same response we have to the other multitude of societal “sins” NOT excluding our own contributions. How is this possible? With a whole lot of love that we are shown—and a whole lot of humility we still have yet to master. Somehow Jesus did this for everyone. We should all be striving to do the same.

  17. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Funky Gramma
    August 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    In every Gallup poll taken regarding sexual satisfaction of couples, married or not, by the person’s own ratings of their satisfaction levels, ANONYMOUSLY, hands-down the category that rated their own satisfaction levels the highest were heterosexual, married Christians. The reason for this is that the Creator created us to be most happy and satisfied united to the opposite sex in a life-long, legal commitment HE created called marriage. If the manufacturer creates a car to run best on gas, you don’t put water in the gas tank. God created men and women to find a true match with the opposite sex, to marry, to raise a family and to enjoy bunches of great sex behind the bedroom door. Any other form of sexual gratification winds up being less gratifying – in the short or the long run. Sin is fun only for awhile, but it has not depth. Doesn’t matter if it’s sex outside your gender or outside of marriage within your gender, the Creator gets to decide what is good for you and what isn’t, and those, according to Him, aren’t. It’s not about enforcing standards, it’s about inviting people to what they were created for. Some don’t do this very well – sadly – but it doesn’t change that God is love and God invites to the Truth BY and WITH His love. He loves me, He loves you, and like a good parent only wants what is best. A good parent warns his little kids not to play in the street. It really doesn’t matter if the kids think it’s okay and they can take their chances….love warns. And the truth that the street is not a safe place for little kids to play, doesn’t change if the kids don’t believe it.

    • +4 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
      August 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

      Unless you’re speaking to fellow christians, you’re wasting your time. First, convince us there is a god (for those of us who are unconvinced). Then convince us that he is the god of the bible. Then convince us that the bible is his word. Then, you can start talking about the guidelines for our sexual conduct.

  18. Vote -1 Vote +1Edward
    August 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Well said, too bad that these reasoned and intelligent arguments will fall upon the deaf ears of those fundamentalists who really need to hear this message.

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1magickmonkey
      August 2, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      Well, I used to be a fundie till my early twenties. I even wrote a paper in high school discussing how those who had abortions deserved death, and I preached one sermon when I was 15 (wow, I hate remembering this.) If only 1 or 2 percent of the fundies who read these arguments will at least stop acting like they have to force their views on others, that would be great.

  19. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Adam @home
    August 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Uh oh magicmonkey, you’re wandering!

    My main point on delusion was that it’s delusional to think you can create your own objective meaning. It wasn’t about the phrase “meaning of life”

    “If there is no god, then you either give your live whatever purpose you decide to give it, or accept that your life has no purpose. . It simply provides emotional motivation to believe there is a god to provide “meaning” for life.”

    Yes there is an emotional component to the choice. Being a believer means you believe with all of yourself, emotions included. I can just as easily argue that choosing to believe that there is no God is emotionally motivated too – out of fear of being asked to live a lifestyle that reduces pleasure perhaps? Sexual pleasure as the topic may be? This still doesn’t address the fact that “meaning” in an agnostic worldview is subjective.

    ” A good theory stands as a likely explanation of truth until a better one displaces it. It is not necessarily regarded as absolute truth until there is a better theory. ”

    So the better theory is that there is no God, no meaning, no love?

    “There just simply not any evidence that there is a god.”

    And there is simply not any evidence that there isn’t a God. I’ve already made the point that there will never be a logic equation to prove the existence of God. That simply goes against His requirement for us to have faith. The responsibility is not God’s to make himself known to you to your satisfaction. He does not serve you.

    “Not infinitely. ”

    Yes, infinitely.

    “it makes more sense that there must be a god to explain all this, and I guess that’s ok. But to me, it explains nothing.”

    Well, that’s just a contradiction of terms. Has the conversation been about what you accept, or about the objective existence of God?

    That being said, it’s truly been a pleasure conversing with you. Your intelligence and honesty is a rare find online, let alone in the world at large. I’ve already been praying that God blesses your journey wherever it leads you (and whatever that means to you) & I’ll leave you with your own words “it makes more sense that there must be a god”

    Cheers!

    • Vote -1 Vote +1magicmonkey
      August 3, 2010 at 6:32 am

      I spent a long time writing a reply that would never post for some reason, so I’m gonna try this again….

      >>”Uh oh magicmonkey, you’re wandering!”

      I am? Uh Oh. I’m guessing there was some miscommunication.

      >>”My main point on delusion was that it’s delusional to think you can create your own objective meaning. It wasn’t about the phrase “meaning of life””

      Ok, maybe I’m lost on the phrase “create your own objective meaning”. We can observe facts. We can infer meaning from them. We create semantics and systems of abstractions to describe reality. As we are imperfect, so to are our semantics and abstractions, but that does not mean there is no objective reality. Perhaps this has nothing to do with what you are talking about.

      >>”Yes there is an emotional component to the choice. Being a believer means you believe with all of yourself, emotions included.”

      While emotions provide motivation for many choices, they play no valid part in making rational determinations of truth.

      >>” I can just as easily argue that choosing to believe that there is no God is emotionally motivated too – out of fear of being asked to live a lifestyle that reduces pleasure perhaps? Sexual pleasure as the topic may be? This still doesn’t address the fact that “meaning” in an agnostic worldview is subjective.”

      Yes there are those who deny god’s existence for emotional reasons. While I think their conclusion is correct, their reasoning is far from sound. When I hear an atheist say crap like “I can’t believe there is a god when the world is so full of evil..blah, blah, blah….” it’s like saying “2 + 2 = 4 and not five, because I don’t like odd numbers”. While I see no rational reason to believe there is a god, if there were one, there is no logical reason why he couldn’t be a cruel god.

      I can honestly say that my disbelief is not based on emotional motives. If anything, emotions would lead me towards belief, because I really enjoyed thinking I would live forever with loved ones in paradise. I simply can’t wish god into existence.

      >>”So the better theory is that there is no God, no meaning, no love?”

      We (and probably several other mammals) love, so there is love. However, the existence of love or lack thereof have nothing to do with determining weather or not god exists.

      >>”And there is simply not any evidence that there isn’t a God.”
      There’s no evidence that there are no leprechauns either.

      >>”I’ve already made the point that there will never be a logic equation to prove the existence of God. That simply goes against His requirement for us to have faith. The responsibility is not God’s to make himself known to you to your satisfaction. He does not serve you.”

      If a god exists and wants me to know that he exists, then no, he is under no obligation to reveal himself to me. But, he cannot logically hold me responsible for not knowing his existence either. Faith is a concept invented to excuse a lack of evidence. If a god exists and demands belief in his existence, but wilfully withholds irrefutable proof of his existence simply because he regards blind faith as a virtue, then he is cruel indeed.

      “Yes, infinitely.”

      I really do not believe there is an infinite possible number of ways that the universe could have formed. I also do not believe only one combination could lead to life. And I do not think life exists solely on this planet, though I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure.

      >>“it makes more sense that there must be a god to explain all this, and I guess that’s ok. But to me, it explains nothing.” Well, that’s just a contradiction of terms. Has the conversation been about what you accept, or about the objective existence of God?

      You left out an important phrase at the beginning of my sentence. I said “MAYBE TO SOME, it makes more sense that there must be a god to explain all this, and I guess that’s ok.” I don’t believe it makes objective sense at all. However, I understand that others doing their best to make objective sense of the universe might come to different conclusions. This is my way of not being a conceited jerk and implying that everyone believing in god is a moron.

      >>”That being said, it’s truly been a pleasure conversing with you. Your intelligence and honesty is a rare find online, let alone in the world at large. I’ve already been praying that God blesses your journey wherever it leads you (and whatever that means to you) & I’ll leave you with your own words “it makes more sense that there must be a god”

      Thanks, I’ve enjoyed the debate. And while I do not believe in god, I appreciate your good will.

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1stoney
      August 4, 2010 at 2:41 am

      “I can just as easily argue that choosing to believe that there is no God is emotionally motivated too”

      No choice involved. I can no more believe in ‘God’ than I can flap my arms and physically fly.

      “So the better theory is that there is no God, no meaning, no love?”

      ‘God’ isn’t a theory. Even the elder creator deity like the 5,500 year old Tiamat the Dragon isn’t a theory. It isn’t even a hypothesis. Its just something some people believe in.

      A creator deity is nonsense and explains nothing.

      You’re a pleasant chap and I wish you well.

  20. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Ken
    August 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I’m consistently amazed at how authors are permitted with great liberty accuse an alternate viewpoint of rhetoric while infusing their accusations with their own misdirecting spew. Get to the point. The author in one flail swoop states that Christians dismiss the homeless and the summation of the Christian message is sexual oppression. You fail to note that some of the biggest organizations that care for the homeless were instituted by Christians (Salvation Army to name one of many). What are YOU doing about the homeless, and how is this relevant to the discussion at hand? Seriously? Christians are ALL too busy being concerned about what’s going on behind closed doors? Really? It’s merely misdirecting spew…a cheap shot with nothing to back it up. You would dismiss any Christian’s attempt to tend to the homeless if that help included a message of hope. Could we do more for the poor? Yes. Would people like you want us to? Probably not. In your eyes, it would only amount to more “indoctrination”. Keep the sidetracked bias out of your discussion. It’ll bleed through and weaken your argument.

    Have you ever thought to yourself, “that’s just not right? That’s not the way it ought to be?” Everyone has. If you look around at the world, you cannot help but conclude that there is a common Designer. Let’s just take away the thought of Creation occurring in 7 days. Seriously? All a chance? One big cosmic accident (or the summation of trillions of accidents named evolution throughout millions of individual unique life forms that worked out in relative harmony, concluding with this great canvas of creation? Bull.

    We all get pissed at the way things ought to be; the way people ought to behave; the way life ought to work out. But it doesn’t. Things don’t go according to the original design. We all know it. Deep down we all sense it. People don’t love the way they ought to love. We are selfish, self involved, and more often malicious than benevolent. No matter how hard we all try to be better and try to make things right, we all end up less than 100% of our good intentions.

    This is the source of all the problems. We want everything to change the way it ought to be, but we can’t even change ourselves for 100% reliability. So we conclude that this is the way we are and this is the way we ought to be and we endeavor to justify everything on this basis. Then you crucify everyone who attempts to affect change towards the way we all know it ought to be.

    With regard to Jennifer Keeton, this issue is complete bull. You would have every counselor on this planet subscribing to your viewpoint? Should everyone be “proselytized” with the Freudian crap that everything in life boils down to sexual oppression? Stop wasting your time trying to convince everyone conform to your ideology and allow people to have the choice to be counseled in the manner they choose. If someone does not like the counsel, they should merely find another counselor that spouts what they want to hear. It’s as simple as that.

    Finally, when people feel guilty for having sex outside of marriage it’s mainly because they broke the promise that they gave when they were married–not because of their “religious dogma”. Everyone appreciates people that hold to their word. Why give vows if it didn’t matter if they were kept? Honestly? Does anyone else see the gaping hole in this argument? I don’t care if you’re not big on marriage. If it’s not your thing, don’t do it. It’s not easy. If you are considering it, but have no intention of being faithful, then reword your vows or don’t make them. Then there would be no reason for any media frenzy. And if you made them and broke them…you certainly understand clearly why everyone is making a big deal of it. People love to see people fail, especially people that are in high places with a great deal to lose. It makes them feel better about themselves for whatever reason. Why is it so surprising that the media loves to see people fail? But don’t blame religious dogma. It’s not the dogma that forced them to make a vow.

  21. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1????????
    August 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Christianity is not a fundamentalist sect. A sect is a subset of a religion. So if you want to call Christianity a fundamentalist religion, that’s fine but that would be a false statement. Your idea of Christianity being radical and hateful comes from the heretics posing as Christians that you see on TV or read about on the internet. It seems that offensive things make the news more than anything else. Remember that woman on Fox News with her own “church” saying kill the soldiers, kill the fags, you will all pay, blablabla? People like her upset me with their confusion and hatred.

    I understand where you’re going however: the hatred, deceit, and wickedness of the people you mention and how it can be attributed to the Bible. That seems to be what the majority of humanity has done for the past two thousand years. It’s a formula almost, carry out inhumane acts, mass murders, claim it was God’s plan, rinse lather & repeat. The Christians that you speak of do not represent Christianity as a whole and honestly you’re right they’re confused, sad, and show signs of self-hatred. I don’t know if they secretly want to be nymphos, or gay, or gay nymphos though, I think that’s just wishful thinking on your behalf Liam.

    Here’s the qualities I think make up a true Christian. True Christians will seize the opportunity to help someone regardless of difference in appearance, orientation, beliefs, etc. True Christians do not judge others, they leave that to God. True Christians educate themselves in the ways of the world: its science, its people, its love, and its hate. True Christians do not let anger defeat self control or respect for life. True Christians do not lie to others or themselves, or project a false image, that is what the corrupt do. True Christians seek humility, rather than arrogance. True Christians put their trust in the Lord, and true Christians will die before they are forced to bow to a false God. That being said, you won’t find too many “true” Christians. I’m still working on it, I will be forever. And come to think of it, a lot of those qualities would make a true person in general.

    I have friends that are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist(don’t know why that’s considered a religion), Agnostic, white, yellow, brown, black, bisexual, gay, lesbian. I’m not lying. While I don’t agree that a dick and a dick or a pussy and a pussy make any logical sense, if you’re good peoples, you’re good peoples. The problem with the whole staying a virgin till marriage thing is that it’s nearly impossible and possibly bad for the health anyways. No one is perfect, that’s why we ask for forgiveness.

    Here’s a question though. Why do gays and lesbians want to get married? If marriage is a holy ceremony, and there is no religion that acknowledges man and man, or woman and woman marriages, why would you wanna get married? Is it the loan opportunities and tax cuts or something else? That seems to be the only people anyone gets married these days. But honestly, gays and lesbians don’t got it too bad in America, try showing public signs of affection in Iran or Pakistan.

    For all of the Agnostics and Atheists out there, I have questions. Do you think its just luck that humankind is just here? Do you think human life started as some prokaryote in a primordial soup? if you don’t believe in the after life or that a higher power exists, what do you believe happens to you when your brain and your heart shut down? Nothing? If you don’t have to answer for your sins when you die… because you go nowhere, why aren’t you out there robbing banks, selling mountains of drugs, raping people, and going on killing sprees? That’s what I would be doing if I wasn’t a Christian. Is that a bad thing to say?

    With all that said you’re article did in fact bring up an issue I had never thought of before and for that I enjoyed reading it, even with its tone of arrogance. I wouldn’t mind reading more of your work.

  22. Vote -1 Vote +1ballin
    August 3, 2010 at 1:08 am

    I want you to check out the link I’m posting that shows by state how likely a person is to be interested in rape fantasies:

    http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/rape-fantasies-and-hygiene-by-state/

    By no mere coincidence it seems that the more religious a given state is the more prevalent these fantasies seems to be.

    Sure, as with any data, you can interpret this any number of ways. But this is about as close to irrefutable proof you can get to show that religious repression has strange effects on people’s sexuality.

    No surprise that so many fundamentalist Christian republicans are caught trying to get off with other dudes in airport stalls, i guess…

  23. Vote -1 Vote +1Eagle Driver
    August 3, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Good news, we live in a free country. However, that freedom comes with a price – that being responsibility. I am not simply responsible for my actions, but am responsible for the impact of my actions upon the generations that follow – any parent and grandparent will understand this. Sometimes the old sayings are so true, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Power is an intoxicating drug as we have seen with all leaders: religious, business, politics, etc. The difficulty with this discussion is that there are passionate lines drawn in the sand. Each of us believe and have faith in something or someone.

    When our group is the only group (my religion your non-religion) in our universe (see Ken Wilber’s book A Brief History of Everything), we are simply the Hatfields vs. the McCoys. The overarching principles of the New Testament are good for a society – most people would agree (don’t steal, don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t hate, be kind, care for the underprivileged, love your wife, etc. these are common principles for a civilized society). Hate from the Left to the Right or the Right to the Left accomplishes only more hate. I disagree with your lifestyle and you disagree with my lifestyle – great, so how do we live under the same Flag of Freedom? Condemning can only bring about another Civil War and so once again “Might makes Right”.

    Be careful or we will live out the tragic consequences of the famous Shakespeare play of Romeo and Juliet. What is the consequence of our hate?

    Food for Thought if You are Hungry
    http://joepilot-theeagleisthinking.blogspot.com/

  24. Vote -1 Vote +1gogoustour
    August 4, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Be careful or we will live out the tragic consequences of the famous Shakespeare play of Romeo and Juliet. What is the consequence of our hate?

  25. Vote -1 Vote +1James
    August 9, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    This is what happens when a couple of centuries of an insular Calvinist worldview dominates the Christian religion: these small-minded, closed-hearted folks are foolish regressives, by any measure of civil society. Sex is not talked about, it is specifically for heterosexual procreation, and deviants and perverts are those who the heterosexual majority deems “less-than” as people: gays, lesbians, transpeople, gender questioning, assertive women, etc. Unfortunately, a plethora of Christian indoctrination schools are producing these sheltered and misguided 20-somethings. Thinking they have a college-education (nope, not even close in some cases), these fundies/evangies are shocked when they discover that they must conform to the rule of law in matters of equality and non-discrimination, in the real America. My message to them: wake up and smell the cannabis smoke, kids: it is truly becoming a new – and better – world.

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