Sex & Religion

Church Offers Everyone (Mostly Useless) Marriage Advice

America’s Catholic bishops have launched a media campaign aimed at promoting and strengthening marriage. This is like an arsonist discussing fire safety while watching your house burn. Despite their obsessive campaigns to deprive men and women of condoms, despite hundreds of priests molesting thousands of kids, despite their evil work to limit sexual expression to less than half of Americans, the Church has launched the National Pastoral Initiative on Marriage. You’ll soon be seeing the Campaign’s TV ads, featuring ordinary people talking about what they do to enrich their marriages—extra hugs, carrying a wife’s purse, leaving lovenotes. There’s also a…

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Vitter’s Political Hypocrisy Far Worse Than A “Sin”

Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has been caught frequenting prostitutes. His behavior stands in stark contrast to the conservative “family values” and harsh sex-negative positions he relentlessly championed in the Senate and state legislature. Vitter says he has “received forgiveness from God” for his “sins.” Thus conveniently cleansed, he now accuses “political enemies” of undermining his future work. Yesterday his wife criticized the news media for “following us every day last week,” as if Vitter had merely been caught with an overdue library book. That’s the problem with conceptualizing one’s free choices as “sin”—you can simply admit you’re not perfect,…

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A Hate-Filled Man Dies

One doesn’t want to take cheap shots at someone who can’t defend himself. Being dead, Jerry Falwell can’t. But his work, unfortunately, will live on, so it’s fair game for criticism. What exactly was Jerry Falwell’s work? Frightening people about the threat of rampaging sexuality in their communities. Making people feel guilty about the sexual impulses in their hearts. Lying—yes, lying—about what others said, did, felt, desired. A man of the world, conversant with kings and princes, Falwell knew better. But his power was exactly as large as the fear and anger of those he inspired, and so he did…

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South Carolina Dishonors the God of Mercy

Top lawmakers in South Carolina are supporting a proposal that would require women seeking abortions there to view an ultrasound image of their fetus before they could have the procedure. The governor, a congressman, and various state legislators say they hope it will discourage women from getting abortions—a public policy goal that violates the sanctity of our secular nation. Some hypocritical legislators say a woman deserves complete information before making such an important choice; their concern doesn’t include requiring women to look at videos of open-heart surgery or hysterectomy before those far-more dangerous procedures. This kind of thing underlines the…

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Fight the Anti-sex Religious Right, Not Capitalism

OK, let’s agree that the major drug companies are in it for the money. Or, if you prefer, that they’re blood-sucking capitalists. Exactly like the makers of cars, gameboys, and everything else we wear, drive, eat, and use. That agreed, the sudden vicious attack on Merck, maker of the HPV vaccine Gardisil, is a classic example of progressive people shooting, er, vaccine-ing themselves in the foot. As we wrote last year, here’s a vaccine that could wipe out the majority of cervical cancer in our lifetime; all we’d have to do is vaccinate girls before they become sexually active. Sex-phobic…

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