Sex and the Bible
Sex and the Bible
Sex and the Bible? You summarize your views of Christianity’s attitudes toward sex with the following statement:
Your [the Christian’s] principal concern appears to be that the creator of the universe will take offense at something people do while naked. This prudery of yours contributes daily to the surplus of human misery.36
You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. - Matthew 5:27-28
Sex and the Bible - Pornography
Pornography is a billion dollar industry that depends solely on profit gained from the promotion of lust. You can see why the Christian Right emerges as the most vocal opponent of pornography. Yet why is that the case? Among pornography’s most vocal advocates, the Liberal Left fights for its artistic value and proclaims first amendment rights violations toward those seeking to limit its availability. Jesus recognized the degree to which lust denigrates the dignity of human persons.
Yet are humans really worthy of being treated with dignity? If we evolved solely as another mammalian species, like other animals, then should we really expect to be treated with dignity? That presumption reflects an aura of blatant speciesism, an unwarranted preference for our own species. Yet who among us would choose a lifestyle devoid of dignity? We all have an intrinsic sense of dignity as a direct result of what theologians call the imago dei (the image of God). We reflect many of the qualities attributed to God in the Bible, such as love, mercy, compassion, and even anger, although Paul warns us not to sin in our anger.37 Pornography tramples the inherent dignity of humanity by converting individuals into objects. Men who become addicted to pornography often fail in their marital obligations or commit adultery, resulting in human suffering. Many women become involved in pornography for financial reasons or due to boredom. Though this may superficially appear harmless, those women often regret their actions later in life. Further, pornography doesn’t just affect adults, it also affects children.
Tragically, the world's oldest profession has one of the world's youngest workforces today. Dawn Herzog Jewell, who wrote this month's cover story [in Christianity Today], "Red-Light Rescue," found that millions of preteen and teenage girls are trapped in prostitution, typically earning money for their families or brothel owners.38
President Bush's National Security Strategy reaffirmed our belief that promoting democracy and human rights is the most effective long-term strategy for ensuring stability. Included in the Strategy's goals for ending tyranny, spreading freedom, and championing human dignity is our commitment to ending human trafficking: "Trafficking in persons is a form of modern-day slavery, and we strive for its total abolition. Future generations will not excuse those who turn a blind eye to it."39
We now have a vaccine for HPV that appears to be both safe and effective. The vaccine produced 100 percent immunity in the six thousand women who received it as part of a clinical trial. And yet, Christian conservatives in our government have resisted a vaccination program on the grounds that HPV is a valuable impediment to premarital sex. These pious men and women want to preserve cervical cancer as an incentive toward abstinence, even if it sacrifices the lives of thousands of women each year.40
After extensive study, we and other pro-family groups have concluded that the clear benefits of developing an HPV vaccine outweigh any potential costs. The groups welcoming it include leading conservative pro-family organizations such as the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America and the Medical Institute for Sexual Health. . . .Pro-family groups are united in believing that parents should decide what is best for their children. We oppose any effort by states to make Gardasil mandatory (for example, making it a requirement for school attendance). If use of the vaccine becomes part of the recommended standard of care, and if the federal Vaccines for Children program pays for vaccination of those children whose families cannot afford it, then vaccination should become widespread without school mandates.41
Read Page 1 of Letter To A Christian Nation: A Response.
36 Sam Harris, p. 26.
37 See Ephesians 4:26.
39 Condoleeza Rice, Trafficking in Persons Report
(U.S. State Department, June 5, 2006). (http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65982.htm).
40 Sam Harris, p. 26-27.
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