Sex & Religion

Florida Now Safe For Goats & Jesus

Honestly, I’m not making this up. On the one hand, the Florida Senate has voted 38-0 to criminalize sex with animals. At the very same time, it’s about to issue license plates depicting the crucified head of Jesus. Each of these is a nutty idea—supported by large numbers of voters. I’m not sure which would be more offensive: seeing my neighbor making love with his goat, or seeing my neighbor’s car sporting a government-issued “I believe” license plate. Wait, of course I know: it’s the license plate. Florida lawmakers have their priorities upside down. Floridians don’t need to be protected…

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Belgium Declares Pope Public Enemy

You’ve probably heard about Pope Benedict’s announcement three weeks ago that AIDS “cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem.” The comment was especially brutal and uncivilized given the timing—on a trip to Africa, which has 137 million Catholics and 60% of the world’s HIV population. In response, the Belgian parliament passed a law ordering the government to “react strongly against any state or organization that in the future brings into doubt the benefit of using condoms to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus.” The government then lodged a formal, diplomatic protest with…

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The Problem With Rev. Rick Warren—It Isn’t the Rick, It’s the Rev.

Rick Warren is the conservative mega-preacher from Southern California who’s giving the invocation at Barack Obama’s swearing-in on January 20. Lots of people have been criticizing Obama’s choice. They accurately note that Warren is rabidly anti-gay, anti-condom, anti-sex education, anti-reproductive choice. He brags about his supposedly great work battling AIDS in Africa, but it turns out that Warren’s ideological commitments to abstinence and against condoms have actively undermined public health in Africa. He’s a dangerous, deluded, man full of hate and fear. Obama could have chosen a different religious figure, someone whose beliefs more closely match those who elected him.…

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The “Moral Majority” Still Doesn’t Exist

Paul Weyrich died last week at age 66. Weyrich created the still-influential Heritage Foundation, the think tank that helped social conservatives take over the Republican party. At a 1979 meeting of religious leaders, Weyrich referred to a “moral majority” in the U.S.. The name stuck, and through the ‘80s, Jerry Falwell energized the conservative movement using this theme as a political focus. Christianity in general and America in particular have traditionally equated “morality” with limiting one’s sexual choices and experiences. And so one of the things that made the Moral Majority movement possible was Americans’ need to deny the breadth…

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Pope: Homosexuality As Environmental Disaster

Pope Benedict XVI took another step in articulating his fantasies about human beings this week. In criticizing relationships he doesn’t accept, he fretted: That which has come to be expressed and understood with the term ‘gender’ effectively results in man’s self-emancipation from nature and from the Creator. It is necessary to have something like an ecology of man. It is not outdated metaphysics when the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and asks that this natural order be respected. The Church should defend not just the earth, water and air as gifts of…

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Seven Consecutive Days of Sex? Surely, God’s Ambivalent

Sexless marriages and intimate relationships in which sex has declined in frequency and quality are big business these days. A discouraged couple has an unlimited choice of seminars, pills, books, retreats, addictionologists, Bible study, chiropractic, yoga, and therapy. As a bonus, every week or two there’s advice from Oprah. She gags on the word vagina, but she’s still the country’s most powerful sex educator. The latest non-expert to give sex advice is Reverend Ed Young of the evangelical Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas. He recently called for a week of “congregational copulation” among married couples—sex with one’s spouse seven days…

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