Atheism 101: Christianity and the demonization of sexuality and nudity

Source: Examiner

Emphasis Mine


While American society today is in some ways overly obsessed with sex, in other ways we are a very prudish and sexually repressed society. The porn industry is always a growth industry even during a declining economy but it is still often looked down upon and frequently viewed in secret. Millions of Americans don’t talk about sex openly even with their own partners and sex education in many cases is often very poor and insufficient. In other cases, sex education is simply non-existent. Americans tend to be more offended by a brief two-second celebrity nipple slips than they are about the violence in the world today as viewed on the 24/7 news channels.

Much of the American stigma concerning sex,sexuality, and nudity has to do with “traditional Christian values” as defined by fundamentalist religious believers. America has a lot of those old Puritan and Victorian influences as well as the biblical view from Genesis 3 that people should be ashamed of their own bodies. It is no surprise that usually the more religious a person is, the more they are sexually repressed. As an atheist, I see nothing wrong with nudity or sexuality and it bothers me that so many people are so freaked out about these subjects.

“What if a child saw that nude photo?” I give up, what if? What would happen? Would their eyes pop out of their sockets? The fact is that if you took your average six-year-old to see an R-rated film, which might have two seconds of partial nudity in it, they wouldn’t even notice and if you took that same average six-year-old to a long loving sex scene in an unrated film, they would be bored out of their mind. Of course if they knew that they weren’t supposed to see nudity because of some quaint religious stigma, they would want to see it just because it is forbidden. But if they weren’t raised to believe that sexuality and nudity were bad, they wouldn’t care less about either until they were old enough to take pleasure from them.

The reason America is so prudish is of course in no small part due to the Bible. Aside from the before mentioned Genesis 3, there are lots of examples where fornication or premarital sex is demonized. For example, the Bible throws unmarried sex in with murders and… dare I say it…atheism — even claiming that these things are “worthy of death.”

Romans 1: 29-32: “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

The Bible also claims that if you have unmarried sex, you can’t get the magical Heavenly reward:

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

There are many other “Biblical Correct” passages that deal with the evils of premarital sex. Some will argue that promiscuous sex is bad and that the Bible is correct in threatening Hell and Damnation for such a thing, but there are two issues with this. The first of course is the Bible didn’t say “promiscuous sex” it said pre-marital sex or fornication. Maybe you just had sex with one or two people. That is not promiscuous, but if you were not married at the time, that is a one way trip to eternal torture. Second, there really isn’t anything wrong with promiscuous sex as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult who knows what they are in for and everyone has taken the necessary precautions (i.e. birth control if desired). Sex can be an emotional experience for most people, but it is not always that way. Some people just enjoy sex without it being emotional. This is more common today in a world of one-night-stands and internet hookups. I don’t have a problem with that either. People can have very emotional “love making” one day and then have crazy, wild, f@*king the next day.

But even when sex gets highly emotional, most people can be mature and can handle those emotions like the adults they are. It is not uncommon for the average American to have between 6 to 20 sexual partners throughout their lives. Interestingly enough, the Bible doesn’t just talk about the evils of unmarried sex, Paul didn’t think all to highly of sex in general. Paul claimed that sex… any sex was bad but if you had to have sex, than married sex is better than unmarried sex:

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”

The character of Jesus as portrayed in the Bible of course took things much further. While Paul just didn’t like sex, Jesus didn’t even want people to be sexually aroused or to have sexual thoughts at all:

Matthew 5:27-29 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

That’s right, Jesus thinks you should poke out your eye because you might see an attractive person and get aroused.

So that means no Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, no pornography, no movies, and no leaving your house. No wonder so many Christians get all bent out of shape with the slightest glimpse of nudity or sexuality. Just an accidental look or peek could land them in eternal torture with no possibility for parole or reprieve. This is one of the main reasons why there are so many restrictions and censors concerning nudity and sexuality. This is why society is as sexually repressed and frustrated as it is. I’m surprised that Christians haven’t followed the lead of many Muslim cultures and adopted the Burqa.