Religion And Sexuality

Debating issues regarding sexuality

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connermt
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Religion And Sexuality

Post #1

Post by connermt »

I've not yet come to understand (perhaps someone can explain it) the modern fascination between some relgions and one's sexuality and sexual activities... :confused2:
In regards to the god/devil/heaven/hell religions, their mainfocus seems to be the eternity of the soul and whom is worshipped. Sex and all that comes with it doesn't seem to have anything to do with that any more than ice cream does (past the 'because god says' mantra).
Surely everyone will have an opinion as to why it's important, but most everyone has an opinion about most everything.
So other than 'because god says so', what's religion's reasoning getting involved in what people to in the privacy of their own lives?

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Ooberman
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Re: Religion And Sexuality

Post #2

Post by Ooberman »

connermt wrote: I've not yet come to understand (perhaps someone can explain it) the modern fascination between some relgions and one's sexuality and sexual activities... :confused2:
In regards to the god/devil/heaven/hell religions, their mainfocus seems to be the eternity of the soul and whom is worshipped. Sex and all that comes with it doesn't seem to have anything to do with that any more than ice cream does (past the 'because god says' mantra).
Surely everyone will have an opinion as to why it's important, but most everyone has an opinion about most everything.
So other than 'because god says so', what's religion's reasoning getting involved in what people to in the privacy of their own lives?

If I could, i'd like to piggy-back a question onto this.


If the Mind is separate from the body, as many theists assert, and there are people who are born believing they are women (or men) "trapped" in the opposite gendered body, how does the religionist address this?

Has sin corrupted the supernatural mind, or has the body been corrupted, or has the body corrupted the mind? Or are they corrupted at all? Are they as God intended?

There are simple naturalistic answers to gender issues, but it appears many religionists claim to have more detailed explanations of gender issues.

As the OP suggests, there are many issues involving sex in most religions, yet I'm not up on how religious texts address genetics with respect to sexualtiy.

Since I'm under the impression no religionist can answer my question, I am going to further suggest that religion has no answer. That gender issues were always meant to be black and white, particularly the desert religions of the ancient Palestinian/Babylonian region, and those religions are incapable of dealing with such matters.
Thinking about God's opinions and thinking about your own opinions uses an identical thought process. - Tomas Rees

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Re: Religion And Sexuality

Post #3

Post by KCKID »

connermt wrote: I've not yet come to understand (perhaps someone can explain it) the modern fascination between some relgions and one's sexuality and sexual activities... :confused2:
In regards to the god/devil/heaven/hell religions, their mainfocus seems to be the eternity of the soul and whom is worshipped. Sex and all that comes with it doesn't seem to have anything to do with that any more than ice cream does (past the 'because god says' mantra).
Surely everyone will have an opinion as to why it's important, but most everyone has an opinion about most everything.
So other than 'because god says so', what's religion's reasoning getting involved in what people to in the privacy of their own lives?
I doubt that sexual practices among individuals would have too much impact on "God" unless, as you alluded to, such sexual activity is used within the context of the worship of other gods. Throughout scripture worship and obedience to the "One True God" is emphasized over and over. God says in Exodus 20:4-5, "You shall have no other gods but me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God." Here "God" has planted his 'superiority' stake from the get-go. And, you'd better not forget it!

Civilizations were destroyed by God because of their wickedness. Sure, the inhabitants of these civilizations may have been into murder, rape and other moral no-nos but, let's face it, God Himself commanded such things of those who followed His commands. So, evidently these things alone, while perhaps reprehensible to us, were not the 'wickedness' spoken of. So, why were these folks considered 'wicked'? It was because they did not worship the ONE TRUE GOD! Even Leviticus 18:21 states "'Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD." You will note that it's not the sacrificing of the children that is the 'sin' or the issue. The 'sin' or the issue IS that these children are being sacrificed to the false god, Molech! One might reasonably place an addendum that reads, "If you're going to sacrifice your children to anyone then sacrifice them to ME, not Molech!"

Jesus appears to play the commands of the OT God down somewhat but even He says in Matthew 4:10, "You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve." There are Christians who, obviously influenced by every word of the Bible, would say that sex itself can become 'an idol' and they therefore condemn - at the behest of "God", of course - every sexual practice outside of marriage. In the past, more so than today, society itself has frowned on sex 'outside marriage', calling it 'promiscuous' and therefore 'wrong'. I don't know that anyone has ever given a satisfactory explanation as to WHY it's wrong, only that it IS wrong because it's wrong.

Anyway, back to "God" ...it cannot be emphasized enough that, according to the Bible, "God" is an absolute stickler for commanding one's obedience to Him alone, no ifs, ands or buts. So, if you (whoever) choose to take up the practice of setting up idols in your Church (a-hem, no offense to the Catholics) and worshiping them in weird and wonderful sexual ways as did the ancient pagans as spoken of in scripture, then you are guilty of the grave sin of 'idolatry' and not so much what you choose to do sexually with your body. The Bible doesn't appear to overly concern itself with what people might do sexually when in private. Reasonably speaking, why would it? What it does concern itself with are public displays of sexual activity associated with the worshiping of and the serving of man-made images. "Idolatry" is THE sin!
Last edited by KCKID on Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #4

Post by bluethread »

No man is an island. What people do in private effects what they do in public. Though some like to isolate religion to merely following the dictates of a deity. It is really the actions one takes based on one's belief, even if those beliefs do not include a deity. So, asking someone to not act in accordance with there beliefs is to ask them to not practice their religion.

Now, let's presume that one can truly live a double life without the one effecting the other. In today's society, the clarion call is for people to do in public what they do in private. The argument that what I do in my own home is no bodies business is no longer the argument. The argument is simply, if I can do it in private, why can't I do it in public? The fact is that there are many things that people do in private and get away with it. If we make those thing acceptable in public, just because people get away with it in private, there is no end to the things people will be permitted to do.

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Re: Religion And Sexuality

Post #5

Post by KCKID »

Ooberman wrote:
connermt wrote: I've not yet come to understand (perhaps someone can explain it) the modern fascination between some relgions and one's sexuality and sexual activities... :confused2:
In regards to the god/devil/heaven/hell religions, their mainfocus seems to be the eternity of the soul and whom is worshipped. Sex and all that comes with it doesn't seem to have anything to do with that any more than ice cream does (past the 'because god says' mantra).
Surely everyone will have an opinion as to why it's important, but most everyone has an opinion about most everything.
So other than 'because god says so', what's religion's reasoning getting involved in what people to in the privacy of their own lives?

If I could, i'd like to piggy-back a question onto this.


If the Mind is separate from the body, as many theists assert, and there are people who are born believing they are women (or men) "trapped" in the opposite gendered body, how does the religionist address this?

Has sin corrupted the supernatural mind, or has the body been corrupted, or has the body corrupted the mind? Or are they corrupted at all? Are they as God intended?

There are simple naturalistic answers to gender issues, but it appears many religionists claim to have more detailed explanations of gender issues.

As the OP suggests, there are many issues involving sex in most religions, yet I'm not up on how religious texts address genetics with respect to sexualtiy.

Since I'm under the impression no religionist can answer my question, I am going to further suggest that religion has no answer. That gender issues were always meant to be black and white, particularly the desert religions of the ancient Palestinian/Babylonian region, and those religions are incapable of dealing with such matters.
The 'questioner' may no longer be with us but the 'question' is. I doubt that genetics per se have anything to do with "God". "God" did not make us ...we're all the result of a sexual union between our parents. God may (or may not) have created the first human beings but that was as far as His involvement goes. I really do have to wonder why so many Christians refer to we millions of diverse human beings who populate this planet as "God's Creations" ...as though we all come from the same divine 'cookie mold' and are therefore expected to conform to one specific Christian model. And, that 'one specific Christian model' is, of course, the model that looks, sounds and believes exactly the same as me!

connermt
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Post #6

Post by connermt »

[Replying to post 4 by bluethread]
What people do in private effects what they do in public.
Some people, some of the times, yes. But not for most people.
So, asking someone to not act in accordance with there beliefs is to ask them to not practice their religion.
Who is asking this? :confused2:
...the clarion call is for people to do in public what they do in private.
Says who? When? Can you expound on this statement?
The argument that what I do in my own home is no bodies business is no longer the argument.
But it is an argument - and a valid one.
The argument is simply, if I can do it in private, why can't I do it in public?
I've never heard anyone make that claim
Your entire post seems contradictory with itself #-o

ten10ths
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Re: Religion And Sexuality

Post #7

Post by ten10ths »

connermt wrote: I've not yet come to understand (perhaps someone can explain it) the modern fascination between some relgions and one's sexuality and sexual activities... :confused2:
In regards to the god/devil/heaven/hell religions, their mainfocus seems to be the eternity of the soul and whom is worshipped. Sex and all that comes with it doesn't seem to have anything to do with that any more than ice cream does (past the 'because god says' mantra).
Surely everyone will have an opinion as to why it's important, but most everyone has an opinion about most everything.
So other than 'because god says so', what's religion's reasoning getting involved in what people to in the privacy of their own lives?
Maybe it has something to do with an aspect of their lives that the religious right wants to control? I mean, they control a lot of our daily lives - laws, policies, TV - why not try to control one's sexuality also? Seems the logical step for them

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Re: Religion And Sexuality

Post #8

Post by 99percentatheism »

ten10ths wrote:
connermt wrote: I've not yet come to understand (perhaps someone can explain it) the modern fascination between some relgions and one's sexuality and sexual activities... :confused2:
In regards to the god/devil/heaven/hell religions, their mainfocus seems to be the eternity of the soul and whom is worshipped. Sex and all that comes with it doesn't seem to have anything to do with that any more than ice cream does (past the 'because god says' mantra).
Surely everyone will have an opinion as to why it's important, but most everyone has an opinion about most everything.
So other than 'because god says so', what's religion's reasoning getting involved in what people to in the privacy of their own lives?
Maybe it has something to do with an aspect of their lives that the religious right wants to control? I mean, they control a lot of our daily lives - laws, policies, TV - why not try to control one's sexuality also? Seems the logical step for them
Banned in 77-posts? Wow bummer. You seemed feisty.

Be that as it may, there is little doubt that sexuality has been controlled by "Christendom" throughout its history. With debauchery and hypocrisy usually not far behind the facades of power.

But as for religion and sexuality homosexuality has been part of "pagan" religions throughout time:

(Historical data concerning the history of homosexuality

The two most principal areas of historical inquiry which have been studied by historians in relation to ancient occurrences of homosexuality are Greek homosexuality and Roman homosexuality (see also Romans 1) but to which other societies, ancient to modern, are included.
It should be noted here that most of the research for the information referenced here comes through pro-homosexual writers, who sometimes interpret obscure or indefinite data as positively denoting homosexuality, while tending to render negative comments on homosexuality as being due to homophobia. And or as Boswell)

[18] they may seek to contrive a history more usable to them,[19] (which they are not alone in doing). Some assert that in some cases, pro-homosexual authors have extrapolated prevalent homosexuality out of little real evidence.[20] The inclusion of these sources is for reference purposes, and not as recommended reading. However, much clear data is provided which testifies to some degree of acceptance of homoeroticism (mostly pederastic), concomitant with idolatry. Biblically, this also included Israel at times when they forsook worship of "the living and true God" (1Thes. 1:9) of the Bible, who uniquely forbade such. A primary source on the subject of history and homosexuality, pro homosexual author Dr. David E. Greenberg, noted that, other than the Jews, "none of the archaic civilizations prohibited homosexuality per se",[21] (though he himself forced homosexuality into the story of David and Jonathan).
Dynes and Donaldson also note that the literary and archaeological records of Mediterranean societies have overall revealed that the ancient patterns of same-gender sexual behavior
did not, for the most part, conform to the androphile model of modern industrial societies — a model that involves pairs of adults, both considered to be of the same gender, of roughly equal social status, and reciprocal and their behavior. Instead they generally adhered to gender-and-age differentiated patterns, Egypt being a partial exception. The best known types are the male temple prostitution of the near east and the institutionalized pederasty of Greece. [22]
Homosexuality in Greece
The largest amount of material pertinent to the history of homosexuality is from Greece, from notable philosophers and writers such as Plato, Xenophon, Plutarch, and pseudo-Lucian, to plays by Aristophanes, to Greek artwork and vases. James B. De Young notes that homosexuality seems to have existed more widely among the ancient Greeks more than among any other ancient culture. The main form of this was pederasty, a custom that seems to have been practiced mostly among the upper classes, in which an older man (the erastest) would make a young free boy (the eromenos) his sex partner, and become his mentor. This was regulated by the State as an institution. However, this practice was usually a supplement to marriage,[23] and thus is seen as being done by bisexuals. The practice of pederasty is mentioned in Homer's Illiad, and is evidenced to have existed at least 4500 years ago in ancient Egypt.[24]
For a more detailed treatment, see Greek Homosexuality.
Homosexuality in Rome
After Greece, Rome is the next most significant entity in the history of homosexuality, and this cultural practice in both is understood by scholars as being what the apostle Paul is immediately referring to in condemning homosexuality in Romans 1.[25] Romans emperors were sometimes the most notorious examples of homosexuality. Edward Gibbon, in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, wrote that "of the first fifteen emperors Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct (not homo-sexual].[26]
Juvenal (60-140 A.D.) and Martial (c. 40-102 A.D.) wrote of formal marriage unions between homosexuals. Some moral philosophers around the time of the apostle Paul questioned the merits of homosexual behaviors. Seneca (4 B.C-65 A.D.), a statesmen and tutor to the homosexual emperor Nero, reproved homosexual exploitation, such which which forced a slave to shave his beard, and dress and behave as a women,[27] though Nero himself castrated a boy, and dressed him as female and married him, after killing his wife.[28] Dio Chrysostom (A.D. 40) likewise condemned such exploitation, and commended natural intercourse" and union of the male and female.[29] Later, in 226 B.C., the Lex Scantinia (149 B.C.) is understood to have penalized homosexual practice.
According to psychiatrist and sexual historian Norman Sussman, "In contrast to the self-conscious and elaborate efforts of the Greeks to glorify and idealize homosexuality, the Romans simply accepted it as a matter of fact and as an inevitable part of human sexual life. Pederasty was just another sexual activity. Many of the most prominent men in Roman society were bisexual if not homosexual. Julius Caesar was called by his contemporaries every woman's man and every man's woman."[30]
Many see Rome realizing a deleterious change in aspects of social morality beginning in the second century B.C, due to the influence and adaptation of "Asiatic luxury and Greek manners", including homosexuality, resulting in a "moral crises from which she never recovered (historian D. Earl)[31]
Edward Gibbon, stated in his “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire� that marital faithfulness in the Roman Empire was virtually unknown, and that “The dignity of marriage was restored by the Christians.�[32]
Homosexuality in China
Art, poetry, historical and legal documents infer or attest to the practice of homosexuality in China (the type or degree of which is often somewhat dependent on the bias of the researcher, with most major works today being by by pro homosexual writers). The earliest references to such are from the period of the Han Dynasty (Western: 202 B.C. to 9 A.D; Eastern: 25 to 22 A.D.) The Da-le-fu by Bo Xingjian (775-826) in an official ancient medical text History of the Former Hans Dynasty is seen by some to speak of homoeroticism, especially among emperors, in highly euphemistic language.
Heissig states that in the fourteenth century, the Chinese found homosexual Tibetan religious rites practiced at the court of a Mongol emperor.[33]
Sex historian Arno Karlen reports that "two Arab travelers trekked through India and China m the ninth century, and in tneir chronicle said the Chinese were addicted to sodomy and even performed it in their shrines."[34]
During the Song dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) Tao Gu noted in his Records of the Extraordinary
Everywhere people single out Nanhai for its 'Misty Moon Worships, a term referring the custom of esteeming lewdness. Nowadays those in the capital those who sell themselves number more than ten thousand . As to the men who offer their bodies for sale, then enter and leave place shamelessly. A law later enacted during Xhenghe reign (1111-1118) which punished male prostitutes with "one hundred strokes of a bamboo rod and a fine of fifty thousand in cash." However, it seems to have fallen into disuse over time.
Male prostitutes were known to have their own god, Tcheou--Wang.[35]
During the latter part of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), Xie Zhaozhe, (1567-1624) - a contemporary of Shakespeare - recorded in his encyclopedia, the Wu za zu (Fivehold Miscellany),
In today's Peking, there are young boys singers who go to all the gentry's wine parties, and no matter how many official prohibitions there are, everybody uses them.
A fuller description of homosexual relations, and one that may be likened to same-sex marriage, is found in the writings of Ming commentator Shen Defu (1578-1642), which tells of homosexual relationships which sometimes were part of the family order in the southern province of Fujian. He states that among all social ranks and physical attractiveness, Fujianese men found a same sex partner of their status, with the older becoming a "brother" to the younger (a custom termed nanfeng) and paying for his later marriage to a female. "And that at the age of thirty they are still sleeping in the same bed like husband and wife." However, this is not known to have lasted more than twenty years, as they were to later marry a female.
In the latter part of the 16th century Roman Catholic missionaries commented on the perverse homosexual practices they saw in China. In a book published in 1569, Dominican Gaspar da Cruz attributed the earthquakes which had recently shaken China (its most fatal earthquake in history was in 1556[4]) to being due to their indifference to sodomy. Shortly after his arrival in 1583, noted Jesuit astronomer Matteo Ricci found that male prostitution was lawful and practiced openly:
there are public streets full of boys dressed up like prostitutes. And there are people who buy these boys and teach them to play music, sing and dance. And than, gallantly dressed up and made up with rouge like women, these miserable men are initiated into this terrible vice.[36]
He also wrote to his superior lamenting "the horrible sin to which everyone here is much given, and about which there seems to be no shame or impediment." No long before his death in 1610, he grieved that such was "neither forbidden by law nor thought to be illicit, nor even a cause of shame. It is spoken of in public, practiced everywhere, without there being anyone to prevent it."
An official Chinese historian named Mao Qiling (1623- 1716) wrote in a supplementary historical account regarding Emperor Wuzong (1491-1521), that had a passion of military uniforms and maneuvers, and broke precedent by sleeping at his new Leopard House, which accommodated his generals. He had so close friendship with one general in particular,that is recorded that they sleep and rose with together (tong wo-qi).
Open sexual expression was expanded under the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), but increasing moral disorder, and invasion by warriors who captured Peking in 1644, establishing the Qing Dynasty, worked to somewhat morally awaken China, and resulted in laws for moral reform. Chinese conservatives labored to restore the more chaste values of orthodox Confucianism, while the Manchu conquerors sought to discourage fornication, including sexual offenses between males. The second Qing Emperor, Kang Xi, was an esteemed ruler who was hostile to pederasty and child prostitution, and declared that he himself was not waited on by "pretty boys."
In 1679 extensive legislation was written and confirmed in the Qing code of 1740, which made the abduction and rape of boys under twelve a capital crime, and penalized consensual sodomy with one hundred strokes of the heavy bamboo, and the wearing of the cangue (a flat wooden board) for one month. As in Biblical law, it appears that actually being caught in the act was required, and enforcement seems to have been rather selective. However, Kang Xi's own son and heir to the throne was found to be sexually involved with palace officials, and was executed. [37]
Despite these reforms, later some Qing rulers are said to have engaged in homosexual relationships, and China saw a resurgence of homosexuality. Even during the reign of Kang Xi a contemporary writer wrote that "it is considered bad taste not to have singing boys around when inviting guests for dinner." Art began to abandoned its discrete nature in relation to sexual expression, and began to make the sexual act explicit.[38]
Englishman John Barrow, secretary to the Macartney Embassy of 1793, and later the founder of the Royal Geographical Society, stated in Travels in China (1806),
Many of the first officers of state seemed to make no hesitation in publicly avowing [homosexuality]!"<ref<Sir John Barrow. Travels in China. T. Cadell & W. Davics (London), 1804 Cited In Karlen, op. cit . p. 229</ref>
Barrows also wrote that the exclusion of women had the effect of
"promoting that sort of connexion which, being one of the greatest violations of nature, ought to be considered among the first of moral crimes - a connexion that sinks a man many degrees below the brute. The commission of this detestable and unnatural act is attended to with so little sense of shame, or feeling of delicacy, that many first officers of state seemed to make no hesitation in publicly avowing it. Each of these officer is attended to by his pipe-bearer, who is generally a handsome boy, from fourteen to eighteen years of age, and is always well dressed.[39]
In Judaism's Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality, Dennis Prager also notes that the low state of women has been linked to widespread homosexuality, and writes that a French physician reported from China in the nineteenth century that, "Chinese women were such docile, homebound dullards that the men, like those of ancient Greece, sought courtesans and boys."
In contrast, a commentator of Napoleonic France provided commendation for such.[40]
Sir Richard Burton summed up the Chinese in these words: "their systematic bestiality with ducks, goats and other animals is equaled only by their pederasty."[41]
Eberhardt understands that "Chinese Buddhism considered homosexuality to be a minor transgression." [42]
A western visitor to the port city of Tianjin estimated that there were approximately eight hundred boys in its thirty-five brothels, trained for pederastic prostitution.[43]
However, homoeroticism apparently was not a religious part of Chinese folk religion, as "the Chinese were shocked and indignant at the homoerotic Tibetan rites practiced at the court of Shun-Ti Heissig, the last Mongul emperor in the fourteenth century."[44]
During the Chinese cultural revolution (1966 - 76), government considered homosexuality to be a social offense or a form of mental illness, and homosexuality is said to been punished more than in all previous times.
In 1989 the "Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Mental Disorders", released by the Chinese Psychiatric Association, defined homosexuality as a "psychiatric disorder of sexuality", providing more tolerance toward this class of sin.[45]
Homosexuality in Japan
Greenberg understands that during the feudal age in Japan, homosexuality flourished among military aristocracy, "with samurai sometimes fighting duels on behalf of their lovers",[46] and that Japanese Buddhism appears to have disregarded homosexuality.[47]
Buddhist monks are said to not have allowed intercourse with women, though "male partners were not explicitly prohibited, and that many monks took youthful male lovers, a practice that was considered quite acceptable..." "Legal codes of the period do not even mention homosexuality." [48]
Homosexuality among the Celts
Aristotle stated that the Celts esteemed homosexuality."[49] In addition, Diodorus Siculus wrote in the first century B.C., "The men are much keener on their own sex; they lie around on animal skins and enjoy themselves, with a lover on each side. Furthermore, this isn't looked down on, or regarded in any way disgraceful."[50]
Homosexuality among the America Indians
Pre-Columbian Americas: In North America, the Spanish and French explorers and missionaries who visited the New World quickly became aware of widespread Indian transvestism (men dressing as women) and homosexuality. Writing in 1776, Father Charlevoix, a Jesuit priest, found the Iroquois to have “an excess of effeminacy and lewdness. There are men unashamed to wear women’s clothing and to practice all the occupations of women, from which follows corruption that I cannot express. They pretend that its usage comes from their religion. These effeminates never marry and abandon themselves to the most infamous passions.�
Greenberg reports that there was widespread male homosexuality among the Mayans in Central America: “A strong homosexual component pervades close friendships of young married Mayan men as well as bachelors in southern Mexico and among Guatemalan Indians.�
Among the Aztecs, “Sodomy was virtually universal, involving even children as young as six. Cortez also found sodomy to be widespread among the Aztecs, and admonished them to give it up – along with human sacrifice and cannibalism. One of the Aztec gods, Xochipili, was the patron of male homosexuality and male prostitution.�[51]
Homosexuality in ancient Mesopotamia
Certain other ancient societies provide some evidence in regards to the history of homosexuality. Gordon J Wenham in "The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality" refers to Homosexualität Reallexicon der Assyriologie (4. 559-68) as a prime source, and states,
From iconographic evidence dating from 3000 BC to the Christian era it is clear that homosexual practice was an accepted part of the Mesopotamian scene. This conclusion is confirmed by many literary and legal texts in which homosexual activity is mentioned.[52]
Within the Middle Assyrian Laws (c. 1450-1250 B.C.) does seem to provide one or two relevant laws. MAL 19 provides a penalty for false accusation of passive homosexuality, requiring the false witness to be beaten, fined and suffer a mark of shame on him.[53]
MAL 20 is more specific, "If a man has lain with his male friend and a charge is brought and proved against him, the same thing shall be done to him and he shall be made a eunuch."[54]
Wenham comments,
This is what Cardascia, Les lois assyriennes, 134-35 suggests. Bottero and Petschow in Reallexicon der Assyriologie 4, 462 are more dogmatic. 'The verb niku/ náku ... implies a certain constraint on the part of the protagonist. Its literal translation would be "to do violence to" and almost "violate". It is precisely because the victim submits to violence that obliges its author to submit in his turn to violence himself.[55] Unlike in the Bible where both parties are guilty and are to be punished, (Lv. 18:22; 20:13) here only the active male partner is punished.
He further states,
Nor were homosexuals shut away in Mesopotamia. There were homosexual cult prostitutes, who took part in public processions, singing, dancing, wearing costumes, sometimes wearing women's clothes and carrying female symbols, even at times pretending to give birth...Sometimes they are called 'dogs'. 'It therefore appears that these types of person, as in other places and periods including our own, formed a shady sub-culture where all sorts of ambiguities, mixtures and transformations were possible.[56]
Greenberg states that in Mesopotamiam Hammurabi, the author of the famous legal code bearing his name, had male lovers (Greenberg, p. 126)
In addition, it is understood that Assyrian men prayed for divine blessing on homosexual love.[57] This is seen to stand in contrast to the Bible, which nowhere offers sanction for homoeroticism, in contrast to its explicit Divine blessing on heterosexual relations in marriage. The Bible is also seen to separately forbid homosexual activity near the Temple, (Dt. 23:17,18) this likely being homosexual prostitutes, called dogs.
The Reallexicon der Assyriologie concludes:
Homosexuality in itself is thus nowhere condemned as licentiousness, as immorality, as social disorder, or as transgressing any human or divine law. Anyone could practise it freely, just as anyone could visit a prostitute, provided it was done without violence and without compulsion, and preferably as far as taking the passive role was concerned, with specialists. [58]
The Bible states that because of such immorality the Lord drove out the people whose land Israel possessed. (Dt. 9:3-5; 18:12)
Among the Hittites, Law 189 states, If a man violates his daughter it is a capital crime. If a man violates his son, it is a capital crime. However, the violation here may be more due to its incestuous nature, than the homosexual aspect.[59]
Homosexuality among the Jews
As Leviticus 18 and other texts evidence, homosexuality was forbidden among the Jews, with violation being a capital offense. In providing Israel with a superior moral standard, as well in other areas, God invoked the example of immoral nations, fitted for destruction, as manifesting the behavior which Israel was not to follow. This means of contrast, which does not limit the forbidden behavior to only that culture, is seen in the New Testament as well. (Rm. 1:19-32; Eph. 5:1-7) 1Pt. 4:2-4)
Israel was established as an overall victorious nation as they overall followed God, as He promised. (Dt. 28) However, when Israel backslid into idolatry then homosexuality was seen among them, though it is not evidenced to have degenerated past the stage of idolatrous ceremony, (Dt. 23:17,18) into pederasty and household homoeroticism. What was sanctioned by the temple set the moral example for the rest of the nation, and when Israel responded to the chastening of God under good kings, then cultic prostitutes were driven out of the land. (1Kg. 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2Kg. 23:7)
The terrible chastisements Israel suffered, after being warned by God for hundreds of years to return to obedient faith, appears to have cured them from outward idolatry, and homosexuality in any form. The author of the Syballine Oracles, thought to be an Egyptian Jew (approx. 163 - 45 B.C.), compared Jews to the other nations, stating,
The Jews "are mindful of holy wedlock, and they do not engage in impious intercourse with male children, as do Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Romans, specious Greece and many nations of others, Persians and Galatians and all Asia."[60]
In contemporary times, according to sex researcher sex historian Arno Karlen Alfred Kinsey stated that "homosexuality was phenomenally rare among Orthodox Jews" (even though his flawed research otherwise exaggerated the number of homosexuals).
60. ↑ Greenberg, p. 200, footnote 88

↑ A Further Look at Pro-Homosexual Theology, by Derrick K. Olliff and Dewey H. Hodges
↑ Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe
↑ Gay Marriage: Reimagining Church History Robin Darling Young
↑ http://homosexualityinancientgreece.wordpress.com/
↑ Greenberg, "The Construction of Homosexuality" p. 124
↑ Wayne R. Dynes, Stephen Donaldson Homosexuality in the ancient world, p. 7
↑ Dover, K.J., Greek Homosexuality (Harvard University Press, 1989, as summarized in "Homosexuality," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, August 2002)
↑ Homosexuality, By James B. DeYoung p. 322
↑ Homosexuality by James B. DeYoung, pp. 152-192ff
↑ Edward Gibbon. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Vol. 1, London. 1898, p. 313. note 40
↑ Moral epistles 47.7-8
↑ Suetonius "Nero," XVIII-XVIX De Vita Caeasarum; Dio Cassius, LXII, xvii
↑ Discourse, 7.133, 135; 151-52; 21:6-10; 77/78.36
↑ Sussman p. 19
↑ Young, Homosexuality, p. 153
↑ The history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire. p. 478, by Edward Gibbon, John Bagnell Bury
↑ Walther Heissig, A Lost Civilization
↑ Arno Kjrlen. Sexuality and Homosexuality. 1971, Norton, p. 229
↑ The Construction of Homosexuality, by David F. Greenberg, pp. 161-62
↑ Spence (1984: p. 220)
↑ Homosexuality & Civilization, pp. 224-228,237-239, by Louis Crompton (pro homosexual)
↑ Passions of the Cut Sleeve, p. 146, by Bret Hinsch
↑ Hinsch, p. 141
↑ Crompton, pp. 239-240
↑ Sir Richard Burton, The Erotic Traveler, 1967. Norton. Cited in Karlen p. 230
↑ Wolfram Eberhardt, Guilt and Sin in Traditional China. 1967. University of California, pp. 29-32. Cited in Greenberg, p. 26l. note 101
↑ Hinsch, p. 141
↑ 1996; pp. 52-54, referenced by Greenberg, p. 161
↑ Shanghai Star October 4, 2002
↑ Greenberg, p 260
↑ Greenberg, p. 261, note 101
↑ Greenberg, p. 261
↑ Politics 2 9 7 Cited in Greenberg, p 111
↑ Cited in Gerhard Herm. The Celts. St Martin's. 1977. p 58.
↑ Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality -- Part 2, referencing Greenberg
↑ Wenham, The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality, p. 360
↑ So G. Cardascia, Les lois assyriennes (du Cerf [1969]), p. 130.
↑ H.W.F Saggs, The Greatest That was Babylon, (New York: Hawthorn, 1962), p. 212
↑ Wenham, footnote #8
↑ ibid. Wenham
↑ [Reallexicon der Assyriologie p. 465
↑ Reallexicon der Assyriologie pp. 4, 467, 68
↑ H. A. Hoffner, 'Incest, Sodomy, and Bestiality in the Ancient Near East' in (Orient and Occident: Essays in Honor of C. H. Gordon, Neukirchen, Neukirchener Verlag [1973]), 83

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Re: Religion And Sexuality

Post #9

Post by UFO »

connermt wrote: I've not yet come to understand (perhaps someone can explain it) the modern fascination between some relgions and one's sexuality and sexual activities... :confused2:
In regards to the god/devil/heaven/hell religions, their mainfocus seems to be the eternity of the soul and whom is worshipped. Sex and all that comes with it doesn't seem to have anything to do with that any more than ice cream does (past the 'because god says' mantra).
Surely everyone will have an opinion as to why it's important, but most everyone has an opinion about most everything.
So other than 'because god says so', what's religion's reasoning getting involved in what people to in the privacy of their own lives?
I think there's a few reasons:
1. people live their desires through others
2. some people just like to control others
3. it probably has a lot to do with population control and recruitment among the ranks as well.

Surely though, it shouldn't be any one's business other than those participating in it.

Eternity

Re: Religion And Sexuality

Post #10

Post by Eternity »

[Replying to post 1 by connermt]

Surely everyone will have an opinion as to why it's important, but most everyone has an opinion about most everything.
So other than 'because god says so', what's religion's reasoning getting involved in what people to in the privacy of their own lives?
The question is, "What are the facts that lend to why religion reasons gets involved in people's sex life?
"Ammianus clarified his understanding of the manliness of Julian's sexual abstinence by describing the emperor as virtually assuming the philosopher's mantale (pallium). Linking the renunciation of sex to the pursuit of philosophy helped to assimilate it to the Stoic apatheia and the mind's mastery over the body and its feelings. (Not surprisingly, Stoic writers were among the first to call for men's sexual restraint, long before the ideal was generally promoted in the later Roman Empire.) This image also helped to associate Julian with the Platonic ideal of the philosopher-king: The man who pursues virtue both privately and publicly, exercising the same authority over himself as over his subjects. Self-domination as a legitimation for the domination of others was a sentiment common to writers of late antiquity. The same thought can be seen in the poet Claudian's advice to the emperor Honorius: "When you can be king over yourself, then you will rule rightfully over all.""
The Manly Eunuch, Masculinity, Gender Ambiguity, and Christian Ideology in Late Antiquity, Mathew Kuefler, p. 78. The mention of Ammianus Marcellinus, a historian, places this philosophy before 390 AD. The philosophy is stoic. Stoicism is 3rd century philosophy and is Hellenistic.

I will not go into Far East Mystical Religions but to take the question back to antiquity where the seat of Christianity began and deal with the mindset of the Church (Church represents here, Catholicism as opposed to church which does not represent anything but a place to gather.) and the Roman Empire.

The above quote from The Manly Eunuch really states that this mind frame of, "religion's reasoning getting involved in what people do in the privacy of their own lives," existed before Christianity had anything to say regarding sexuality (note that Christianity then is not what the Bible says but what the doctrine of Christianity spoke of), being rather Stoic and not religious, although, Rome had pagan religions. Looking back into Roman history will show you that Roman laws governing marriage, is what the Church followed as it developed. One needs only follow the Early Church writings to begin to see how Church laws began. The biggest and most decisive influence of medieval moral theology came out of the book, Moral Readings of Job by Gregory the Great (pope 590-604.)
". . . [Jumping] forward Latin Scripture to Gregory the Great's Moral Readings of Job. That text will fix for medieval moral theology a certain view of luxuria and its place among the principal and most lethal sins. Gregory's schemes of classification are fairly straightforward. Seven chief sins spring from the malignant root of pride: vainglory, envy, wrath, sadness, avarice, gluttony of the stomach, and luxurai. Luxuria comes last, not because it is least important, but because Gregory means to emphasize it. With malice and pride, it forms a trio of sins that particularly attack the human race. It leads to idolatry and to one or another of its siblings sins along various causal chains. The "daughters" or consequences of luxuria are identified by Gregory as mental blindness, inconsiderateness, inconstancy, haste, self-love, hatred of God, passionate attachment to the present, and horror or despair over the future."
The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology, Mark D. Jordan, p. 38.

Luxuria is Latin and it meant extravagant luxury but has come to mean, "self-indulgent sexual desire." This, "self-indulgent sexual desire," comes from Gregory the Great's Moralia in Job. Here then is Gregory's reason to place sex forward of all other sin:
Gregory's teaching on luxuria doubles the sin. On the one hand, it is a sin subject to indefinite modulation through the chambers of the body and the soul. It appears in one guise, then another. Beaten down in the flesh, it returns through images projected from memory. If the memory of one kind of pleasure is successfully controlled, control itself may become an occasion for luxuria. On the other hand, the sin is housed in the genitals as in a part of the body that has been given over to demonic control. It flames out of those organs through specific channels of desire. I teaches out to fornication, adultery, to every perverse ordering of the flesh."
Ibid., p. 39.

Given the mention of Gregory's Moralia in Job, one must also consider Augustine's notion of disordered love. Ordered love being a virtue and disordered love being a vice.
"For Augustine, the depravity created by disordered love was so deep that no one could extricate or heal him or herself from it. Rather, the human subject must be renewed by the gracious initiative of God."
St. Augustine's Concept of Disordered Love and its Contemporary Application, David K. Naugle, Th.D., Ph.D., Southwest Commission on Religious Studies, Theology and Philosophy of Religion Group, March 12, 1993, Introduction, p. 13.

[url]file:///home/tom/Downloads/disordered_love.pdf[/url]
"The Bible would call this disordered love in the extreme "idolatry," and the disordered lives that result from idolatry would, in the biblical idiom, be labeled unrighteousness. Today's psychotherapist would call disordered love, the repeated, desperate attempt to achieve happiness by satisfying all desires in objects that cannot satisfy them, addiction, and the lifestyle that results would be termed dysfunctional. In other words, it is possible to make the case that the Augustinian notion of disordered love and the psychotherapeutic notion of addiction are virtually are one and the same. Through this teaching on disordered love, Augustine has put his finger on the very pulse of our times."
Ibid., p. 18.

Seven deadly sins
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadly_sins

Originally, the question supposes "reason" and reason presupposes philosophy which is indeed what Augustine's theology incorporated. Gregory's theology also incorporates philosophy, reason. For that matter, all Christianity incorporates philosophy. Once you begin to see that philosophy brings all of Christianity together then you can begin to see how human sexuality became the focus of doctrine.

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