Posted: May 24th, 2013 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: Cicumcision debate, How Weird is our Culture, Personal issues, sexuality, Uncategorized | No Comments »
May is Masturbation Month, and I almost missed it. But that’s okay. I celebrate masturbation every month.
I’ve been saying for years that masturbation should be taught in schools.
And not just in sex education classes. Masturbation should be celebrated. Masturbation should be encouraged. Especially for teenagers. It’s our one and only truly safe sex. As Woody Allen put it, it’s “sex with someone I love.” Or it should be.
Mutual masturbation is a good, safe, alternative to full on PIV sex. No risk of pregnancy. No risk of disease. Shared intimacy. A nice way for a couple to get to know each other.
There is simply no downside to solitary masturbation. Not even the risk of emotional entanglement. You don’t need to ask for consent from anybody. You don’t need anything more than a few minutes of reliable privacy and possibly some Kleenex for the ejaculate. In my case, no Kleenex is needed and I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to why.
In my early teens I felt terribly guilty about masturbating. I worried that it could do me some harm. After about fifty-five years of turning masturbation into my own personal art form, I’ve come to realize that there is no harm in the practice. None.
And now, thanks to Mano Singham, I learn that there’s a whole month dedicated to the joys of the wank - the Merry Masturbatory Month of May. I shall never feel the same about this month again.
Mano also provides a link to an article by Hugo Schwyzer. If you don’t have time to follow the link, here’s a taste of what you’re missing.
The view of masturbation as benign and beneficial is a new one. The Judeo-Christian tradition has long been hostile towards self-pleasure, at least for men. The Talmud compares spilling seed to spilling blood; the Zohar (the central work of Kabbalah) calls it the most evil act a man can commit. The traditional Christian view was no more tolerant; Catholic and Protestant authorities framed masturbation as a deeply sinful (though forgivable) waste of precious semen. Women were left out of these prohibitions for the obvious reason that most male religious authorities didn’t consider the possibility that women were capable of or interested in giving themselves orgasms.
The article gives a fascinating look at the history and rationale behind attempts to curb masturbation. I have a particular bone to pick, so to speak, with the forces of sexual repression, those who tried to prevent what a pocket dictionary I once owned defined simply as “bodily self pollution”.
The campaign against masturbation became medicalized in the middle of the 19th century. Health reformers like Sylvester Graham (of the cracker) and John Harvey Kellogg (of the cereal) warned against the feminizing and enervating effects of male masturbation, describing it not as a sin but as a habit that could rob boys of their vital life force. At the same time, doctors began to warn of something theologians either hadn’t considered or dared to mention: the dangers of female self-pleasure. Beginning in 1858, Dr. Isaac Baker-Brown—the president of the Medical Society of London—began to encourage surgical clitoridectomies to prevent hysteria, epilepsy, mania and even death that would surely follow as a consequence of the stimulation of the clitoris.
The medical hysteria over the totally speculative and imaginary harm done by masturbation is one of the main reasons I’m missing a part of my body, my foreskin. Circumcision was promoted as a “cure” for the practice. I don’t think this worked for anybody. As a cure it was a total failure in my case, and for any circumcised man I’ve ever met. Certainly, circumcision reduces the pleasure of a wank. But it’s only a reduction, and once lubrication is discovered, it’s hardly a “cure”, hardly an impediment at all. And wanking off is one revenge against the assholes who called for a generation of mutilated dicks.’
Now, of course, comes the big question. What is the most appropriate way to celebrate Masturbation Month, more than I usually celebrate I mean? Hmmmm…. Let me think about it. Maybe my wife would like to get involved. A mutual hand job could be a nice variation, and she tells me that she gets off better with manual stimulation than with straight PIV.
Posted: April 11th, 2013 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: Cicumcision debate, How Weird is our Culture, Personal issues, sexuality, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
I’ve often heard the argument from defenders of infant male circumcision, more correctly known as infant male genital mutilation, that it’s really best to do it while the child is an infant because he will never remember the pain (not that there is any pain of course, they claim) and it’s really terrible if a man needs to have his foreskin removed later in life. Which often happens. Very often. Often enough to justify removing a potentially troubling part of a boy’s body in a preemptive strike.
One man, who said he is a former military medic, cited the case of a shipmate under his care who required circumcision, causing him great discomfort. He stated as fact that ten percent of men who are intact will require an “emergency circumcision” at some point in their life. Ten percent? Really? Ten percent?
Needless to say, this is a claim that should be backed up with some evidence. Ten percent of intact men will require “emergency circumcision”? What on earth could this emergency possibly be? The foreskin is just that, skin. Okay, skin and a few other anatomical parts most people don’t even know about, like the frenulum and the ridged band, important parts not to be lightly discarded, but mostly skin. Skin is amazingly flexible and adaptive. I can imagine an infection causing a problem, but not a problem that requires surgery. We don’t usually perform surgeries for infection. And perhaps a sudden case of phimosis could leave a man in discomfort, but again it’s hard to imagine a surgical solution being necessary, at least not a surgical solution calling for the complete removal of the foreskin.
Yesterday I found myself in a meeting with several Chinese doctors, one of whom is a fertility expert at a maternity hospital in mainland China. I asked him if circumcision was a usual practice in China. He said no, it is very unusual, and only done in cases of a congenital defect or other serious problem. He told me that the Chinese believe that their body is a gift from their ancestors, and it would dishonour the ancestors to remove or reject a part of their body. Then I asked if he was aware of older men requiring circumcision later in life. He seemed surprised at the question. No, he said, if there is a problem we advise cleaning under the foreskin and might give medicine to cure an infection, but I’m not aware of any circumcisions being done because of a problem.
So there you have it. One more argument of the pro-circumcision lobby shot down in flames. In a country with a huge population of uncircumcised men, we are not seeing lineups at the clinic of men demanding circumcision. Nobody in China seems to see any problem with possessing a foreskin. The excuse that the operation should be done to an infant because it will be necessary, and much more painful, later simply isn’t true.
As if we didn’t know it.
By the way, I also asked what the Chinese doctors thought of the campaign in Africa to circumcise men as a measure to prevent transmission of HIV. They thought that idea is as crazy as the idea that all infants should be circumcised.
Posted: February 23rd, 2013 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: Opposing bigotry, religion I can accept, sexuality | No Comments »
It’s an understatement to say that I have little use for Christianity. I think it is misogynist and anti-sexual at its core, not to mention stupid and based on transparently idiotic dogma. But I must recognize that there are Christians of good heart who see the more egregious failings of their organization, and speak out to try to correct them.
All of this to say that Neil has a new post up at Lutheran Church of Australia – In My Opinion, It’s a precise and civil (there you go Dan Finke) slapdown of LCA President Rev. Mike Semmler’s reference to “disgusting copulations” in his lead off to a recent speech.
This is what the LCA president thought fitting to begin his talk to the clergy under his leadership:
Homosexuality: (Romans 1:26-28) The Scriptures do not provide psychological reasons for this state. Same sex people are not created to copulate with each other. It should not surprise us as Christians that something has gone wrong with creation.
The practice did no favours for Greek civilisation around Paul’s time. But the Romans to whom he wrote, could take no consolation that they viewed the practice with disgust. Society always suffers and is undermined not just by homosexuality, but by ‘envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness’
Now trip on down to Australia and see what Neil had to say in response. It’s well worth a read, and perhaps even worth a supportive comment. This guy is fighting a lonely battle down under.
It’s easy to be critical of Christianity and churches in general. When somebody in that deluded and confused crowd is making sense, we should say something nice to them.
Posted: February 23rd, 2013 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: Opposing bigotry, sexuality, The Conviction That God is a Fiction, Uncategorized | No Comments »
I don’t usually comment on stupid blogs, because I don’t want to give the author any additional traffic, but every once in a while the stupid is hard to ignore. Such is the case with this post by Laneen Hania, who describes her self as a “prophetess” and self proclaimed expert on human relationships, specifically on human intimacy. In her own words:
Prophetess Laneen Hania is a prolific author and lecturer better known as “Dr. Intimacy”. Using her extensive personal experiences, the insights gained from her encounters with many clients and followers, along with 15 years of research – Prophetess Haniah gives an enlightening look into the naked truth about sex, intimacy and worship from a holistic perspective, spirit, soul and body. She often refers to her teachings as “Christian Sexology.
Scary, isn’t it? There should be some law against people calling themselves Dr. anything unless they actually are a doctor, and I’d extend that to people with a PhD in theology, not that this twit seems to have even that.
No doubt she thinks of herself as brave for tackling a subject like masturbation, which people in her crowd generally want to pretend never happens and doesn’t exist. She might be courageous if she took a courageous stand on the subject, but she doesn’t. The question she poses – “is masturbation a sin in scripture” – has an easy answer. Who cares? What difference does it make to our understanding of human sexuality? And since masturbation isn’t explicitly mentioned in her book of fables, one might assume that the answer is no. But of course the words in the book must be interpretted, and when the prophetess does so, surprise surprise. Masturbation is indeed sinful. Wouldn’t you just know it.
A lot of people debate over whether or not masturbation is actually a sin. Many people want to confine the Word of God to our limited English language and vocabulary. Because in their hearts they desire to indulge in sin, they feign ignorance due to the fact that every evil act is not noted in black and white in the Bible. However, the Bible tells us in Romans 1:18-19, “18But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. 19For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts.”
Admittedly, there is no scripture in the Bible that says, “Thou shall not masturbate”. So hey, if you want to chance standing before God on judgment day with your hand in your pants, you can try this omission of specific language out as your defense! However, for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, you are getting ready to get your fill: the Bible Truth concerning masturbation. Since there is no scripture that uses the word “masturbation” (simply because there is no word-for-word translation between the languages used) let’s examine some scriptures where it can clearly be read between the lines.
This amazes me. She doesn’t come up with one real, tangible harm done by masturbation. She doesn’t claim that it hurts anybody, or causes any pain, or results in suffering. She has nothing bad to say about masturbation at all, other than that it is sinful according to her interpretation of ancient text. Masturbation is sex, and that’s enough. She fails to mention any of the benefits of masturbation, such as providing a relief valve on one of the strongest of human drives, releasing health giving and vitalizing hormones, or giving pleasure to a person who lacks a partner. None of that matters. All that matters is what some perverted early iron age idiots had to say about it, by implication because they didn’t actually say anything.
If you don’t mind losing IQ points by reading this nonsense, you owe it to yourself to check out the comments, universally praising this self appointed authority for her insight and wisdom and agreeing that masturbation is shameful. Proof yet again that Christianity results from and causes sick minds.
I’d like to end this with two of my favourite quotes from that real expert on sin and masturbation, Woody Allen.
“Don’t start on my hobbies.”
“Masturbation is sex with somebody I love.”
There’s nothing wrong with loving yourself. In fact, that’s a great place to start.
Posted: January 18th, 2013 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: How Weird is our Culture, Opposing bigotry, sexuality, Uncategorized | No Comments »
There’s not much to say except so long and thanks for all the good words. Dear Abby, known in real life as Pauline Phillips, mentioned in the gateway to this site because she was one of the first public figures to admit the obvious and say that masturbation is not only harmless, it’s actually good for you, died today. She was 94 and I suppose she didn’t have much left to give this world since she suffered from Alzheimer’s. But I want to mark her passing at least. Down to earth, sensible wisdom and endless patience for those of limited intelligence and vision.
When she and her sister columnist, Ann Landers, came out with the news that we can all stop fretting about jerking off, it was a revolutionary statement. I was a young teenager at the time. I was grateful. I’ll never forget her.
Posted: January 13th, 2013 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: freedom of speech and rule of law, How Weird is our Culture, If you read nothing else on this site, read this., justice delayed or denied, Personal issues, sexuality, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Meet Kayla Bourque. This lovely young woman is a fan of serial killers, slasher movies, and sadistic sex. You can check out her self-portrait on this website where she goes by the name of MurderErotica.
Ms. Bourque hit the news recently after she tortured and eviscerated the family dog while videotaping the event and providing live narration. She had previously disemboweled and dismembered her cat back in Prince George where she spent her childhood, and she revealed this, one imagines gleefully, to a classmate at Simon Fraser University where she was a criminology student. The classmate, not as enthusiastic about cruelty to animals as was Kayla, went to the police and the subsequent police investigation uncovered the video of Kayla’s fun with the family dog. That lead to her arrest and incarceration for six months.
I imagine the investigating authorities, and those who examined Kayla’s brain box and the evidence on video, were horrified. The problem is, there is no legal reason to hold her in custody. She was not, technically speaking, crazy. So they reluctantly released her, with as many restrictions as they could find excuses to impose, 46 conditions in total, including that she is to keep a strict curfew and have no contact with birds, animals, children, the elderly, knives, colleges, universities or (most dangerous at risk of all) the Internet. They also put out a warning to the general public, featuring her picture and a description of her crimes, with the information that she is dangerous and “a high risk to re-offend”.
When that picture and warning hit FaceBook, it went viral. Much swooning and hand wringing ensued, not to mention violent fantasies of giving Kayla Bourque the same treatment she had given the family pets. Many were the calls for her continued incarceration.
A very few of the FaceBook comments were calmly rational and simply questioned how such a person could come to be the way she is. But many were threatening violence, or fantasizing violence enacted on Kayla, while at the same time calling for Kayla to be incarcerated because she has violent fantasies. Irony is wasted on some people.
Anyway, Kayla Bourque is out on the street, at least during daylight hours. Monsters walk among us, and they can be very hard to recognize as monsters.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, a man who has never hurt any living creature as far as we know is also facing criminal charges and legal sanctions.
Remy Couture is a special effects and makeup artist. But Remy Couture’s work is simply too realistic. So realistic, in fact, that pathologists were supposedly unable to be certain that no actual homicide had taken place. He’s been charged with corrupting morals. Corrupting morals? Do you ever get the feeling that the authorities have a lot of nerve charging an artist with that “crime” in today’s world, a world in which the president of the United States kills civilians in far away countries with drones flown by video game pilots in Arizona?
The very term, “corrupting morals”, harkens back to the days when everybody seemed to be so very sure about what was moral and what wasn’t, and most of the time got it wrong. It brings to mind the burning of witches.
The article I linked to doesn’t say what punishment Couture faces if found guilty. But the mere fact that he’s gone to trial should be enough to freak out any fan of realism in cinema or art.
I can understand the need for a public warning on the release into society of somebody like Kayla Bourque. The fact that she has acted on her fantasies in the past must surely indicate that she would like to take her fantasy life out into the real world. It would be irresponsible of the authorities to refrain from warning the general public, no matter what the social consequences for Ms. Bourque. The violent fantasies she inspires in the FaceBook commenters are less excusable. Perhaps, like Remy’s art, that is her real crime.
I wish we had a legal excuse to keep Kayla Bourque institutionalized for the rest of her life, and I detest the kind of movies, pseudo-snuff films, that Remy Couture is involved in making. You couldn’t pay me to watch them, much less be involved in their production. But the argument that he is influencing others to commit crimes doesn’t work for me. He’s not telling anybody to commit any crime. If you are going to censor him, then we should also censor any reporting of violent crimes, because it’s a known fact that copycats, possibly serial killer fans like Kayla Bourgue, will imitate.
“And if my thought dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine.”
If we are going to punish people for their fantasies, or for expressing their fantasies, do we start with Stephen King? I’m sure there are many who would like to do that.
Complicated questions. Your thoughts on this would be most welcome.
Posted: January 7th, 2013 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: freedom of speech and rule of law, Opposing bigotry, separation of church and state, sexuality, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
This woman has shown up on my FaceBook page a couple of times now. I don’t think it’s a co-incidence. The Republican propaganda machine is gearing up for 2014. They missed last time, but they will get another crack at that black guy who doesn’t deserve to be in the White House. And their tactics are all too familiar and haven’t changed a bit. Spread fear and misinformation. Get everybody worried.
This is Kitty Werthmann She speaks with great authority and impeccable logic. “I am a witness to history.” she tells her audiences. And this no doubt is true. It’s the interpretation, as always, that causes the problem.
This happened in Austria. It’s now happening in America. Therefore isn’t it obvious that America is heading for Fascism. Superficially it makes sense, until you stop to examine her logic. Then things fall apart. Unfortunately, far too few people seem to be examining her logic. I think it’s time to deconstruct her account.
Kitty starts by telling us that the Germans didn’t come into Austria with tanks and machine guns. The Austrians voted them in with a huge majority.
Austrians voted in Hitler. Americans just voted in Obama. Therefore Obama will give you Fascism. It’s an inescapable conclusion.
Uh, no. There is no causal relationship between winning a popular vote and leading the country into fascism. That’s the implication that Kitty plants, right at the top of her spiel, and it’s only the first of many misleading implications. I find the timing suspicious. It’s like Kitty has been waiting in the wings, just waiting and ready to spin our relief if and when Obama got popular support. Sorry. My relief is not reduced. I don’t think Obama is perfect, but compared to the alternatives the Republicans offered up, America made a damn good choice. But let’s go on. What did those nasty Nazis do when they got into power?
“After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.”
Again, yikes. Isn’t Obama all for getting people back to work with public works projects and the like? You know, like all those projects that built highways under Ike or facilities in national parks under the New Deal. Those somehow didn’t lead to fascism, but what is happening now sure as hell will. Because… Because Obama.
What next? You might be able to guess by simply thinking about something the Republicans are dead against. That’s it. Equality for women.
“Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.”
Ah hah. Wouldn’t you know it? Get those women out of the kitchen and into the work force and you are only one short step from the jack boot and the concentration camp. I’d like to point out that having a baby for Hitler is not exactly a part of humanist philosophy. Hitler didn’t offer women equality. He exploited women for their labour. But something is still missing here. What on earth could it be?
“Then we lost religious education for kids. Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school.. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang ‘Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,’ and had physical education.”
Oh my Gawd. That was it? Get rid of prayers in school and state sponsored religious education and you are on the slippery slope to fascism. I should have been able to guess. I mean, we all know that the Catholic church was a major force against Hitler. Why they even infiltrated the Hitler Youth so that they could undermine his godless teachings. And the Pope of the day did everything in his power to mitigate the horrors of the Holocaust. Uh… wait. That’s not exactly how it happened, no matter what our “witness to history” might tell you. Remember Gott Mit Ens on the belt buckles? Remember the Catholic church explicitly endorsing Hitler. I’m sorry but you can’t rewrite history to claim that atheists caused the Holocaust and the Catholic church was a fearless opponent of Hitler and staunch defender of freedom. That’s just not true. The problem wasn’t in taking down the crucifix, it was in putting up the portrait of Hitler and the Nazi flags.
She goes on to talk about the horrors that the Nazis perpetrated. The militarizing of the youth. Euthanasia. But one other statement she makes jumps out at me: ““When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.” Ah yes, you see. Men are much tougher than woman. Men can handle seeing their buddy’s head blown off in front of their eyes. Men can deal with the horrors of war without any emotional crippling effects, because… well, men. But women are much more delicate. Women do not belong in the armed services, much less in actually combat. Oh the horrors.
Another thing that those nasty Nazis did: They set up twenty-four hour child care. That’s right. Can you imagine being able to work the night shift even if you are a woman? “You could take your children ages four weeks old to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, seven days a week, under the total care of the government.” That’s just not right.
By now you should be ready for this one. The Nazis set up universal health care. Free. For anybody who needed it. But that was not a good thing. Far from it. “The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.” Wow. That sounds just like Canada,eh. Who’da thought that universal health care, which is currently available in just about every developed country except America, would be a harbinger of fascism?
And then there was government interference in everyday life. “Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, and then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.” I don’t know much about government farm programs, but it seems to me they have been set up to help farmers, or what passes for farmers these days, mega-farm conglomerates. Let’s ask the senators from the corn belt whether they want to eliminate farm subsidies, shall we?
And finally, once the state was in control of everything from the shape of your restaurant tables to the products you wanted to buy, once free enterprise was completely dead, the final blow to freedom came down. You guessed it. “Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily. No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.”
Whew. Well, we’ve all been warned. What is it that we have to watch for if we are to guard against fascism and preserve our freedoms? What are the warning signs? Let’s review the list.
- giving a huge majority to a popular government. (Too late for this one, America)
- Kicking God out of our schools. (Check. Uh… no. There are still religious schools. We just don’t like the state giving preferential treatment to any one religion.)
- Public works programs that put people to work.
- Letting women into the military, especially in combat roles.
- Women in the work force.
- Government subsidized day care
- Universal health care
- Giving people the right to die with dignity. Talk of euthanasia. (It’s a slippery slope for grandma, you know.)
- Government interference in farming and other production.
- Gun control.
Quite the list. My problem is that there are many countries in this world that do all these things already, have a healthier population than America, a better educated population than America, a population where people don’t live in fear for their lives, yet they don’t seem to be in any other way reminiscent of Hitler’s Austria.
There is no causal relationship between the things on Kitty’s list of warning signs and fascism.
It’s taken me a while to say it, but Kitty’s warning is total bullshit. Once you think about it.
Okay, maybe there are things to worry about. Corporations being declared people. Corporations having undue control of the government. Drones killing civilians in countries where there is no war. An out of control military and the military-industrial-congressional complex. Concentration of media in corporate hands. Wire tapping and invasion of privacy with the Internet. The whole war on drugs and homeland security. Privatization of prisons so that corporations have a vested interest in the amount of crime. But Public works programs? Universal health care? Affordable day care? Women in industry or the military? Gun control for fuck sake? Give your head a shake, Kitty.
Posted: November 20th, 2012 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: sexuality, The Conviction That God is a Fiction, Uncategorized | No Comments »
This is the second guest post by P.D. and Tanya. The first was on the subject of Christianity and masturbation. It’s also very much worth reading, and this is a follow up to the theme of the anti-sexuality that permeates the Christian dogma and does so much damage to people.
Following the positive response we received for our previous paper, The Final Frontier of Tyranny, we decided that one particular area of the topic of Christianity and masturbation demanded a more thorough examination – the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter 5, verse 28. Although we touched upon this briefly in our previous article, there are a rather complex series of particulars that require exploration in order to fully comprehend what this passage means, and how it is being blatantly abused in the exploitation of the youthful.
Matthew 5:28 remains the primary endorsement among Christians for criminalizing sexual thoughts, with never a mention of its origins or historical context. Whilst we don’t wish to venture any farther into the subject of masturbation, a brief mention of it will be necessary. Nevertheless, the primary agenda here is to expose the truth about this passage in a contributory attempt to diffuse any further Christian abuse.
The Genocide Position
Matthew 5: 28 is a damning verse incorporated within a statement allegedly made during the Sermon on the Mount, beginning with verse 27 and continuing through to verse 30. The entire passage with verse 28 underlined is:
“You have heard it said that it is a sin to commit adultery. But verily I say unto you, any man who looks upon a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, gauge it out and through it away, for it is better to lose one part of your body than to be thrown whole into Hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, hack it off and throw it away, for it is better to enter life maimed than be cast whole into Hell.”
This is arguably the most traumatizing and harmful quote in the history of literature, and one which has destroyed the peace of mind of so very many. Throughout Christian web forums, the most asked question by young believers is: “Is masturbation a sin?” In every instance, they are referred to this quote. Even the more liberal Christian advisors, who offer the view that masturbation, in itself, is not sinful, continue to condemn sexual lust. What they fail to acknowledge is that the same hormones that drive one towards masturbation are the same hormones that guide the mind towards sexual thoughts, imagery and erotic literature. For example, without testosterone, a male would not even know the desire to view pornography.
At face value, Matthew 5:27-30 is a statement that if any male has feelings of sexual desire towards a female, he should either commit self-mutilation, or be cast into eternal fire. Christians say that this is justified because sexual desire is for marriage only; a rather ludicrous position, for how might one be drawn to a future spouse without first feeling the fires of the passion within? For one to deny one’s own involuntary sexual instinct instigated by healthy hormones is not only a genocidal suggestion, but one which also presents an extreme danger in the immediacy. The Catholic Church demands that certain members of its clergy embrace a life of complete sexual abstinence, the torment of which drives them into a state of virtual insanity. This is shown by its position as the record holder for the highest number of incidents of child sexual abuse on earth.
But why should anybody take Matthew 5:28 seriously?
As with all of the New Testament gospels, the Gospel of Matthew begins with a blatant lie – its title. Nobody knows who wrote any of the gospels other than that they were written decades after the events they claim to be describing. The earliest gospel, the Gospel of Mark, comes to us once again anonymously, only with an additional question. Not only did nobody named ‘Mark’ actually write it, but neither does anybody know who this ‘Mark’ was supposed to have been. He wasn’t named as one of the twelve disciples and wasn’t mentioned as character anywhere else in the New Testament.
‘Matthew’ clearly plagiarized ‘Mark’ in many places, and the majority of scholarly opinion places its (Matthew’s) origins between 80 and 85 C.E. (Duling, pp.298, 302.)Ergo, if Christians wish to assert that the Gospel of Matthew was written by Matthew the tax collector, they must also explain why an eyewitness to the events would need to plagiarize the words of one who was not.
Another vital question to ask before examining the validity of Matthew 5:28 is – could the Sermon on the Mount have even taken place? It’s three chapters long, and is said to have occurred in a location where nobody beyond those on the front row would have been able to hear the sermon. Jesus would certainly have had no access to a P.A. system. The audience would have been largely illiterate and therefore even those who could hear him would have required photographic memories in order to relate it to others. Those others would, in turn, also have needed photographic memories in order to regurgitate three chapters worth, and continue to pass it down for fifty years until it reached our anonymous, falsely-ascribed author.
However, while 5:28 appears to demand that all people must despise their own natural sexual instinct and, subsequently, promote global genocide; does it actually call for anything of the kind?
The Bible does, indeed, promote complete sexual denial and genocidal doctrine. Matthew 19:12 states:
“There are those who were born eunuchs. There are those who became eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it let him receive it.”
Christian apologists argue that this is merely an invitation to embrace celibacy. However, given that there is nothing whatsoever to indicate celibacy in the quote (everybody knows what a eunuch is) it seems reasonable to assume that they are merely seeking to keep their own options open.
The other is Colossians 3:5 – “Deaden your bodily members to their passions.”
From an objective point of view, that would be considered self-explanatory.
However, these are very rarely used in the criminalization of sexual thoughts, fantasies, erotic novels, pornography or masturbation. Matthew 5:28 remains the favourite for instilling guilt and terror into the libidinous, the world over. Nevertheless, even from a biblical perspective, this translation is a mistake!
The Slavery Position
“If a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Why not “If a woman looks at a man lustfully?” Or “…a man looks at a man lustfully?” Or “…a woman looks at a woman lustfully?” Notice also the use of the word ‘adultery’ and not fornication. A pre-existing marriage had to be a factor in order for this to apply. The word rendered ‘lustfully’ is taken from the Greek epithumia, meaning “desire to possess.”
With those particulars taken into account, the answer to the meaning of Matthew 5:28 can be found in Exodus 20:17 – the tenth Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s property; neither his land, nor his oxen, ass, slave, maidservant, wife, or any other chattel.
It is rather ironic that the Ten Commandments are considered to be the ultimate guidelines for morality when they conclude with an endorsement of slavery and the insistence that a man’s wife is his lawfully-owned chattel. It also introduces the world to the most totalitarian concept possible – thought crime. However, it clearly explains why there was no such concept as any other sexually-desiring concept other than a ‘man looking at a woman lustfully.’ This also elucidates why ‘adultery’ was the stated offence and not fornication. It is concerned purely with ancient Jewish ownership rights and the objectification of women – “Don’t desire your neighbour’s property.” It bears no relation to the prohibition of masturbation, pornography, or any other form of contemporary erotica.
Christians argue that the issue with lust is one of “betrayal and the heartbreak caused by marital infidelity.” This reasoning is what will happen when people attempt to superimpose contemporary western values upon writings from the middle-eastern Bronze Age. As with modern day Iraq, there was no such cultural concept as ‘romance’ during the time of Jesus. How we view love today in the West originated during the twelfth century. ‘Romantic love’ was literally an invention of the Troubadours. Marriage in first century Judea was an arrangement of owner and property; a man and his chattel-wife. Such unions usually resulted from a business arrangement between the father of the groom and the father of the bride, and where virginity was considered to have commercial value. Women were sold into marriage with no say in the matter. The most nauseating example of this can be found in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 where, under the Law of God, it states that a rapist must pay his victim’s father 50 silver shekels for the loss of the father’s ‘property.’ He was then compelled to marry his victim.
When questioned about the morality of forcing a rape victim to marry her own rapist, Christians we have interviewed usually defer to the argument that: “It was a different time, and nobody else would have wanted to marry her following the rape. It then became the rapist’s responsibility to care for her.” This is a blanket statement that the women of the Bronze Age did not feel pain as the women of today do, neither did they feel violated, nor did they value their lives as we do today. This is despite the fact that their natural life-spans were far shorter than ours. It is also a blind assumption that a Bronze Age rapist would make a fine ‘carer.’ The majority of secular people in our civilization today would have no hesitation in declaring that there can be no context whatsoever that could ever possibly justify forcing a rape victim to marry her own rapist.
How ironic it is that Christians use Matthew 5:28 to assert their position that pornography objectifies women. Porn stars are paid well for their work, and they can leave the studio and return home whenever they choose. A first century Judean wife would never have been afforded such privileges.
More than 90% of Christians, including Christian counsellors, have never fully read the Bible, or have any understanding of its cultural origins. This demonstrates yet another ironic example of the blind leading the blind – into a ditch of utter misery.
Final thoughts and Conclusion
The modern use of Matthew 5:28 is to regard human beings as robots who are presumed to be able switch off certain aspects of their bodies and minds at will, and reactivate them at the moment they utter the words “I do.” Arguments that ‘lust’ objectifies women and treats them as sex objects abound in their condemnation of the most essential of all human instincts, leaving an endless trail of trauma, guilt and hadephobia in their wake.
In reality, they are using a passage which endorses the worst forms of female objectification, misogyny and loveless slavery; their erroneous arguments enabled through religion’s ultimate foundations: the lust for power and control – and the blatant refusal to think.
Posted: November 19th, 2012 | Author: Darwin Harmless | Filed under: How Weird is our Culture, justice delayed or denied, Opposing bigotry, separation of church and state, sexuality | No Comments »
Here’s an issue that really puts me on the edge of turning a lot of people off. Bestiality. A young man is in jail in Georgia because he was caught on camera having sex with a female pit bull. Now that’s obviously disgusting. That’s obviously something we must not allow. Right? And that’s when the questions start for me.
I’m pretty sure that nobody can have sex with a female pit bull without the consent of that dog. In this case, the man and the dog “had a relationship”. He’d been hired to clean out the dog’s kennel. Obviously he liked the dog. I can only assume that the dog liked him too. We can probably rule out rape.
So, applying my standard rubric for the righteousness of any law, who was harmed? The dog does not seem to have been damaged. The young man managed to withdraw without having his dick locked in that horrible spasmodic vice that female dogs are known to generate, trapping the male dog’s penis for a considerable length of time. The owner of the dog had no idea a crime had been committed until the police knocked on her door. The police were alerted by a neighbour who taped the dog-man encounter.
Now, I have absolutely no tolerance for cruelty to animals. It’s one of the very few issues that can turn me violent. Even cruelty to something as non-sentient as a starfish or an oyster makes me see red. But maybe this wasn’t cruelty to an animal. What if the dog liked it? That’s a possibility. The dog may have been in heat, and just desperate to get some…ahem…penetration. What if it was a mercy fuck, and the young man was doing the dog a big favor.
I’m sure there are people who will claim that damage was done by this act. Some kind of terrible destructive moral damage. Perhaps the neighbour across the street who taped the encounter will be scarred for life by the images they recorded. Perhaps the police, having seen those images, will go home and do terrible brutal things to the family pet. This all seems like a stretch of the imagination to me. Before we make a law that puts a young man in jail, I want to see some real manifest harm having been done.
Now, I want you all to know that I don’t think animals are appropriate sex partners. I would never fuck a dog myself, though I will admit that back in my excessively horny teens when I’d been celibate for far too long, I did ask a black lab if she was interested. She wasn’t, and I had to resort to the more mundane and manual techniques to relieve my sexual tension. But if she had been interested, would any harm have been done.
Bernard Archer is now in jail, charged with two counts of bestiality, and the reports are calling it rape. One really has to ask, was it “legitimate rape”?
Just so you know:
2010 Georgia Code Title 16 – Crimes and Offenses Chapter 6
O.C.G.A. 16-6-6 (2010)
(a) A person commits the offense of bestiality when he performs or submits to any sexual act with an animal involving the sex organs of the one and the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina of the other.
(b) A person convicted of the offense of bestiality shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
Yikes? One to five for a “crime” that has no victim and causes no harm to anybody.