Saturday, June 28, 2014

on being Christian and loving sex

     I've had a lot of things stewing in my mind this month, especially with the publication of Fisher of Men, which is about a Christian girl who gets caught up in the swinger lifestyle, and my family's discovery of my alternative lifestyle and erotica writing. I'm not going to say "recent discovery" - even though it's just become news to me - because it has come to light that many of my family members have known for well over a year but chose to talk about it behind my back instead of just asking me about it, but that's a whole other rant and we only have time for one rant today.

     So, let's get this out of the way up front. I like sex, a lot, and I like to write about it. Sometimes that sex is with more than one person. That's basically my family's beef with me, and what caused my mother to write me a letter condemning my sexual immorality yet reminding me that Jesus can forgive my sin if only I repent and turn from my evil ways.

     You know, it kinda sucks to be a Christian right now. Many times when I tell someone I am Christian, they give me this dismissive "Oh boy, one of those wackos" looks. I'm not ashamed to be a Christian, but my so-called fellow Christians have alienated so many people with their intolerance that I know I'm being painted with the same brush. But I'm not giving up on my faith because I really do believe in loving people. And hopefully I can do my part to change a few people's perceptions about Christians through my words and actions.

     And speaking of that alienation and intolerance, I have been thinking a lot about how Jesus' whole platform was inclusiveness and love. There are so many things going on in churches across the country, being talked about on Fox News and amongst what some people would term the “religious right” that I just don't get. I don't understand how someone can read the Bible I read and come to the same conclusions about some of this stuff. Would you like to hear some examples?

Capitalism and Greed
     I am pretty certain Jesus said: "...go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me" (Matthew 19:21 NIV). Does that sound like "make as much money as you can and figure out all the tax loopholes so that you're paying the same percentage in taxes as someone who makes a tiny fraction of your salary?” Does it say to support huge corporations who flood the government with money so that politicians make decisions that benefit the huge corporations instead of common folks? Does it say to keep voting against raising minimum wage so that people working in retail and the service industry are forced to subsidize their income with government assistance while the presidents of their companies are raking in millions or billions of dollars?

     Folks, I hate to be the one to shout here, but Jesus was WAY closer to being a socialist than He was a capitalist. I challenge you to find me Bible verses where Jesus encourages greed, government corruption and constantly shitting on the poor.

Let's all have guns! More guns for everyone! Don't take away our guns!
     What would Jesus say about guns? Well, I seem to remember Him saying, " not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also." (Matthew 5:39 NIV) which obviously means "If anyone gives you trouble, just shoot them." Since these gun-toting "Christians" are so into literal Biblical translations about other things, and they didn't have guns in Jesus' time, why don't we abandon guns for more a more biblical standard of violence and punishment such as stoning and crucifixion? Don't try to take away their stones and crosses either, liberals!

Purity Rings and Daughters Belonging to Their Fathers Until Marriage
     There is so, so much wrong in this concept, I don't even know where to start. So, back in the Old Testament, men were pretty much allowed to bang any woman they bought, be it a wife or a concubine or their wife's servant or whoever. As long as she belonged to him, it was kosher. Women were property, first belonging to their fathers and then belonging to their husbands.

     This whole concept of giving a teenage girl a purity ring and telling her she belongs to her daddy until she is given away to another man is like stepping back millennia for women. Why stop at the ring? Why not include some cattle and maybe throw in a donkey or two when you ask for a woman's hand in marriage? I mean, we want to be biblically accurate, right?

     And for even more biblical accuracy, why don't we go ahead and start getting married at 12 again?

Gay Marriage and Pretty Much Any other Form of Sex That is Not Reproductive
     Another thing I fail to understand about the religious right is why they care so much about what is going on in other people's bedrooms. I seem to remember another verse saying something along the lines of “Do not judge, or you too will be judged" (Matthew 7:1 NIV).

     Oh, I know, you are going to argue that the Bible says homosexuality (and many other forms of so-called sexual immorality) is wrong! You know what else the Bible says?

     "When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. Everything also on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean.…" (Leviticus 15:19-20). So if you want to be all biblical about it, at any given time, 1/4 of menstruating women are unclean and so is everything they touch. So let's just round up all the menstruating women into a tent across town during that time. Seriously, imagine trying to get anything done in our world with that law being observed. We'll be even less productive than the U.S. Congress.

     And speaking of the government, moving over a branch to the Supreme Court, what the hell? This whole not having to cover birth control through insurance business is so freaking ridiculous. The religious right-led corporations that don't want to cover birth control are the same ones who don't want to give government assistance to poor mothers or have legalized abortion. Hasn't anyone done the math? Birth control is CHEAP! You're paying these women such low wages anyway, if you really want to save money, keep them from having kids and having to subsidize your lousy wages with welfare. Better yet, don't put them in a position where they need to get an abortion by preventing unwanted pregnancy in the first place. Oh, right, what you really want is just for poor people not to have sex, that's it, isn't it?

     In struggling to understand why you are so up everyone's asses when it comes to sex, I'm beginning to wonder: is your problem with other people's sex lives due to the fact that YOU are not getting laid? I know I tend to get pretty uptight when I'm not getting any. Let me recommend that you concentrate on what is going on in your own bedroom and don't worry about what's happening in others'. I have a feeling that everyone will be a lot happier that way.

     Now, I'm going to blow your mind for a second.

     I love sex and I love to write about sex, yet I still consider myself a Christian. I believe that Jesus cares a heck of a lot more about how I treat other people than the details of my sex life.

     God created me. He created me with a thirst for knowledge, for connection and yes, for intimacy and sex. I'm healthy, happy, and I am my own person. I belong to no one, least of all a husband or father. I am a woman, and I'm cool with that. I brought three precious lives into this world and I am doing everything in my power to ensure that they are healthy and happy individuals. I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Who are you to question God's Creation?

     We've all picked and chosen Bible verses we want to follow, and dropped others we feel no longer apply. Let's recognize our culture is much different today than in Bible times. The Bible speaks to a lot of things we don't do anymore (like marry the wives of our deceased brothers) and it doesn't speak to a lot of issues we do have now (like the internet and atomic bombs). So why don't we just go back to the basics? It really doesn't get any more basic than this in the Christian faith:

     "‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:36-40).

     Let's just try to get *that* much right before worrying about anything else, okay?


  1. Well said, Phoebe, well said!!! And I am really sorry your family has to be so hypocritical & close-minded!!! What you, I, or anyone else does in the bedroom (or living room or back yard, etc.) is no one else's business!!!

  2. Wow. Just wow. Thank you for having the guts - and bigger balls than most of the men in those corporations and government offices - to speak up.
    The topic of purity rings comes up in my circle as a homeschooling parent a lot. And I resist the eye-rolling that I really want to do, and try to change the topic. It is such an archiac practice, in my mind, that I can not for the life of me understand why any woman today would encourage her child to wear one.
    I think perhaps you're correct - maybe all the nutbars just need to get laid.

  3. Wonderfully written! I agree with all your points. You are brilliant!