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Pete

Why Does Fundamentalism Get So Hung Up On Sex

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I often wonder how it is that sex often seems a far worse a sin than even murder. I have been speaking to a person who I regard as very fundamentalist and he was justifying the stoning of women for not being virgins on their wedding nights (Deuteronomy 22:20-21). He saw this as God;s will to make his people holy. He says God made this rule because God was just and righteous and he want his people to be.

I just cringe at the very thought, but how is that some can justify this?

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Pete,

 

I am gobsmacked at how responsible adults can hold such views too, but having been in that very camp from birth to 18 years of age (i.e. a believer who accepted without question that whatever was attributed to God's doing was right, simply because it had to be right as it was God's doing), I can say that there is no sense to thinking like this other than it is part of the conditioning and cultural requirements that go hand in hand with some versions of Christianity and religious belief.

 

Such comments make me cringe too, as does fundamental bigotry against homosexuals. I have trouble respecting such beliefs and letting people hold them without challenging them.

 

Paul

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All I can say about the gentleman you spoke to who condoned stoning is he needs to do is read the words of Christ. That legalism was done away with by Jesus. If you buy into that.

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I read Pete's point Matt as saying it's incredulous that many modern Christians still think that such pre-Jesus actions were justified and were indeed ordained by God.

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With a 2011 Gallup survey reporting that 30% of Americans interpret the bible literally, I don't think a number approximating 95 million as miniscule. And that's just 30% of the entire population - the percentage when only counting Christians would increase dramatically. Certainly my experience in Australia is that the majority of Christians take this line of thought, and see nothing wrong with the thought process, unfortunately.

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With a Gallup poll in 2012 indicating that 46% of the US believe in Creationism, added to the previously mentioned poll that reports over 30% of the population there believing in biblical literalism, I'd say you have the pretty good makings for that 30% of the population being Fundamentalists.

 

As I understand, most Fundamentalists take the bible literally. I guess you could have a person who believes the bible literally but is not a fundamentalist, but I don't imagine there'd be too many.

 

So it would be fairly safe to say that 30% of the US population are fundies or close to it, and that an even higher proportion of Christians are fundies.

 

Whichever way you cut it, I would respectfully suggest there is a distinctly high number of Christians in the world who believe that the atrocities committed in the OT are God's work, and that for whatever reason God must have a good reason for behaving so badly because after all, he is God.

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It is that arguement that God is justified in commanding such things that is what I am being presented with. I understand the Jews saw it as a hypothetical extreme but did their best not to carry it out. but because the fundamentalists pay little attention to jewish culture instead of admitting it is a barbaric thing to do they justify it as part of God's plan to make his people holy for when Jesus would arrive. Even Jesus is said to have said that those without sin should carry it out which from a literalist perspective appears to me to contradicts God ever saying such things. In that in their perspective Jesus who was also God did not want it carried out by anyone because no one is without fault.

It seems a person could be stoned for the following:-

Mishna[edit]

The Mishna gives the following list of persons who should be stoned.[3][4]

"To the following sinners stoning applies – אלו הן הנסקלין

  • one who has had relations with his mother – הבא על האם
  • with his father's wife – ועל אשת האב
  • with his daughter-in-law – ועל הכלה
  • a human male with a human male – ועל הזכור
  • or with cattle – ועל הבהמה
  • and the same is the case with a woman who uncovers herself before cattle – והאשה המביאה את הבהמה
  • with a blasphemer – והמגדף
  • an idolater – והעובד עבודת כוכבים
  • he who sacrifices one of his children to Molech – והנותן מזרעו למולך
  • one that occupies himself with familiar spirits – ובעל אוב
  • a wizard – וידעוני
  • one who violates Sabbath – והמחלל את השבת
  • one who curses his father or mother – והמקלל אביו ואמו
  • one who has assaulted a betrothed damsel – והבא על נערה המאורסה
  • a seducer who has seduced men to worship idols – והמסית
  • and the one who misleads a whole town – והמדיח
  • a witch (male or female) – והמכשף
  • a stubborn and rebellious son – ובן סורר ומורה"

 

from:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoning

 

I also understand it stands for someone who changed their religion too.

 

Also if a daughter of a priest who becomes a prostitute then they are to be burned.

 

The sickening idea of stoning someone to death or setting fire to them does not seem to make the person who I talked to think about it. He still says that this is somehow righteous and part of God's justice. All I can see is stoning someone at all let alone for not being a virgin on their wedding night is for me barbaric but try to justify it they do. I mean what so special about virginity if there is real love in a relationship and where does stoning a person come into that. I just cringe and cannot figure it.

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What the belief about virginity being so special is a massive subject with respect to holiness to the idea of ownership of another human being which is deeply inbedded in tribalism. I think there is an element of fear of the feminine. There is the notion that the flesh in someway distracts one from the things of the spirit. Within the Judeo-Christian context I think it has more to do with patriarchal control of the woman and moved to a Gnostic perversion that the flesh or material is just corrupt beyond redemption.

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Pete,

 

I think part of the issue which your friend probably doesn't even realise, is that he needs to defend this practice because that is what he has been told is part of the whole 'belief' package. To condemn this practice, to him is like condemning God. So I'd suggest he won't even allow himself to genuinely reflect on the issue because of fear he is questioning/challenging his faith.

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Pete,

 

I think part of the issue which your friend probably doesn't even realise, is that he needs to defend this practice because that is what he has been told is part of the whole 'belief' package. To condemn this practice, to him is like condemning God. So I'd suggest he won't even allow himself to genuinely reflect on the issue because of fear he is questioning/challenging his faith.

I am sure your right and he has done this for many years now and I know I will not change anything. It just feels weird to me to be faced with such a horror as stoning and burning someone and his ability to reconcile this with God. He talks about justifying it on the ground that the women has committed deceit and therefore being as God is so just and so righteous the women deserves her fate. I just think for pity sake how does even deceit equate with stoning someone and yet he says he believes it does. I think Matteoam also has a point that it dwells in the tribal concept of owning women. Again another ugly concept (IMO). No one should own anyone.

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I don't think there is much logic to it, Pete.

 

Similarly, when I once challenged my sister about going to Hell if one doesn't realise they 'need' Jesus, and using the example of a woman abducted into sexual slavery and abused for 20 years possibly not getting the 'picture' that Jesus loves her & died for her etc, her only response was "well, the wonderful thing is that Jesus will even save her tormenter"! It's a mindset that I think protects the individual from questioning the beliefs they have found security in.

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I don't think there is much logic to it, Pete.

 

Similarly, when I once challenged my sister about going to Hell if one doesn't realise they 'need' Jesus, and using the example of a woman abducted into sexual slavery and abused for 20 years possibly not getting the 'picture' that Jesus loves her & died for her etc, her only response was "well, the wonderful thing is that Jesus will even save her tormenter"! It's a mindset that I think protects the individual from questioning the beliefs they have found security in.

 

I am sure your right. I also think the church has used it as a control device for centuries. It came as a shock to me when I found out that followers of Judaism do not believe in hell and it seems it started with the church.

I also think some people have suffered hell already such as the women you spoke of and childhood soldiers and suffers of war and famine and some of the horrible conditions in health that exist. It is sometimes for some people hard to know if love really exists. That and the idea of condemning anyone for ever in hell with no reprieve seems to say something about the condemner too. I mean I am no friend of Adolf Hitler and believe he needs punishing for what he did but forever torture is a long time and for someone to do this and be aware of the suffering taking place for eternity takes something I cannot do. I personally do not believe in hell.

 

Sorry about this Matteoam but Bishop Spong again. I think Bishop spong puts this so well (IMO) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF6I5VSZVqc

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Religion or religious practices means the people attracted are very passionate. I think these passions can get distorted in the religion. We are the only creatures that have the power to control our instincts by our will, but we also have the power to suppress, distort and injure the instinctive animals in us. An animal is never so wild and dangerous as when it is cornered or wounded so beware because suppressed instincts can gain control of the mind and even destroy the little progress we have made on the spiritual path. As modern men and women we are threatened not only by our uninhibited drives, but also by our repressed instincts, which can do harm to our natural instincts. Therefore, some of the wild horses will have to be tamed while others will have to be healed. I think some religious leaders are haunted by their instincts and try to surpress them causing pressure that is released in many distorted ways.

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I believe it was Bob Dylan who said that everyone must get stoned.

 

But, I think he had something entirely different in mind.

 

Seriously, I think the reason some types of religious folk obsess about sex is that they simply aren't getting any.

 

NORM

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How sad and tragic that religion has shamed sexuality. Sex is something nearly all people have participated in and most people enjoy. The Christian Church is in my opinion guilty of shaming us at the very core of who we are, sexual people. As a Family Therapist for the past 27 years I have seen thousands of people who have been shamed sexually. Having been in an Open Marriage for 38 years (love my wife to bits) we have both enjoyed intimacy with many people over the years. One reason is because are all capable of loving more than one person and 2 because sex is something we both enjoy.

 

I asked one of my female clients several months ago, "do you enjoy sex" to which she replied "Yes" so I asked her so why are you so hung up about having sex with people you like? Why because of social programming that shames people, binds them up and makes them feel guilty. 6 months later she told me a story about her moving house. A good male friend of her's from work came round to help her move out, they had know each other for several years, played golf together and hiked together, just friends nothing else. After the packing was over she told me she felt horny and ask her helper, would you like to go to bed and make love to which he said yes. I love that story.

 

The other tragedy is that the average perception is that sex is something that men want and women have. What a HUGE lie that is, in my experience when people rid themselves of the cultural shamming imposed on us by the worlds religions they being to enjoy sex at a level they've never experienced. My experience is that women who have come out from under the shame not only enjoy sex but are looking to have sex.

Edited by apexcone

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