|Lakshmana Temple, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India.|
And yet the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam teach that sex is sinful unless in very precisely detailed and controlled conditions, otherwise it is a source of guilt and shame and feelings of self-loathing and hate.
As I say in my book, Ten Reasons To Lose Faith: And Why You Are Better Off Without It:
Sexual morality has been a changing thing in the West for the last fifty years or more, not so much in the privacy of our bedrooms as in the public acceptance of it. In my grandparents’ and parents’ generation, pre-marital sex was normal but surreptitious and riddled with guilt. That it was normal can be seen from any casual perusal of parish baptismal records where single-mother baptisms were commonplace before contraception became available. First pregnancies were often ‘short’ with a baby being born within a few months of marriage. But the girl who was abandoned by her lover bore the shame and stigma of an ‘illegitimate’ child which often tarnished her (and her child) for life, condemned as immoral by the sanctimonious hypocrites who had almost certainly managed to get away with it themselves.
Where was the objective morality in a creed that condemns a girl for making love and her child for being born? Or worse still condemns an abused girl for having to suffer the consequence of abuse? This is a hypocritical ‘morality’ from which we have liberated ourselves. Recreational sex and the act of making love are now enjoyable, shared experiences, free from the guilt and shame that they always should have been, had not sanctimonious religious hypocrites tried to take control of them and impose their unhealthy sexually dysfunctional views on the rest of us.
The Abrahamic faiths, especially Catholic Christianity, often resemble unhealthy sex cults where sex and sexuality are all-consuming obsessions. Instead of sex being the loving, bonding and recreational activity it has clearly evolved to be in humans, it is loaded with shame, guilt and embarrassment. This obsession leads many devout Christians to avoid sex with the same unhealthy obsession that an anorexic avoids food.
Simply recognising that women are potentially sexually receptive at most times in their monthly cycle and that post-menopausal women not only retain a sexual appetite but often find it enhanced, should tell anyone that sex is not just for reproduction. In humans, as with some other sentient species, sex is not even mostly for procreation but serves other important social functions.
How does a belief in a creator god lead people to conclude that something it supposedly created and gave humans the equipment and psychological drives for, is a sinful thing which should be avoided? The answer to this may well lie in the way the idea of gods evolved from the alpha male of pre-human ancestors who had the right to mate with the females and so took a close interest in the sexual activity of others.
In matters of sex and sexuality, the delusion of faith has often been a source of a great deal of anxiety and mental turmoil. People have struggled to reconcile their own natural urges with the demands of the faith they subscribe to and the unnatural sexual rules it tries to impose. Even worse is the struggle to live with the burden of guilt and the fear of Hellfire that giving in to those natural desires and actually physically loving another human being to the full has imposed on them.
Imagine the terror of a devout elderly man or woman facing the prospect of death, knowing that as a sixteen year-old he or she enjoyed the ‘sin’ of masturbating, or once allowed someone of the opposite sex, or even the same sex, to touch his or her genitalia, or even ‘worse’ had sexual intercourse with them. Horror of horrors, they might even have enjoyed it, thought about it a great deal and wanted to do it again! What obscene creed condemns people to a lifetime of fear, anguish and guilt over something so pleasurable, primary and loving as consensual sex?
Rubicondior, Rosa. Ten Reasons To Lose Faith: And Why You Are Better Off Without It (Kindle Locations 3945-3973). Rosa Rubicondior. Kindle Edition.
It's probably one of the greatest crimes of religions that they have introduced guilt and fear into what should be one of the most pleasurable and rewarding human activities. The act of making love to another human being has been turned into a sin, compounded by the enjoyment of it. An act so natural because of desires and impulses creationists believe their god gave them, and which can do no possible harm to anyone else is instead a source of anxiety, worry and maybe ultimately terror, even at the end of an otherwise blameless life.
There has to be something wrong with religions that can cause that much psychological pain and which can turn the source of such great pleasure into the source of so much anguish.