Let’s Talk About Sex

Green&Daley

Oh, go on let’s…

The average person has sex about 2,500 times in their lives and produces an average of 2 children. In other words, a mere 0.08% of the sex they have leads to procreation. This means that the remaining 99.92% is entirely recreational. People have sex together because it feels good or helps them be close to someone they love or because they enjoy it, or all three, plus a multitude of other reasons. Even if we were to increase tenfold the number of occasions when sex is intended to produce babies but doesn’t, that still leaves 99.2% of the time when sex is just sex.

So why is it, holy readers of this unholy blog, do you insist that sex is only for procreation (like you do here, here and here)? If that’s all it’s for, shouldn’t you produce more offspring every time you and your partner have sex? Yet you don’t. Even those extremists among you who have 8 or 12 children still have sex a hell of lot of times when it doesn’t result in another kid and isn’t meant to. Most of you use contraception to actively prevent procreation and have all the fun sex you want, whenever you want, without risking another pregnancy. Surely your God can’t possibly approve when he made sex exclusively for reproduction.

Catholics – you don’t get off the hook either; you have lot of sex that doesn’t lead to babies too (or you’d be clocking up kids by the dozen by now). How’d you manage that, I wonder? Same way everybody else does, I’d guess. And what about all the jerking off to porn that macho Christian men enjoy? That for procreative purposes too?

So, why is it you keep telling the rest of us that sex is only for procreation? Let me tell you – because it’s part of your anti-gay agenda. ‘Filthy gays,’ you’re saying, ‘having all that sex that can’t possibly lead to procreation, sex that’s just for fun, that might be with more partners than I’ll ever manage’ (though multiple partners and sex outside those ‘one man/one woman’ marriages you care so much about are pretty common among Christians – but you don’t want that mentioned either). While it may come as a surprise, most gay people are not infertile; they are quite capable of ‘procreating’; given the problems of overpopulation, shouldn’t you be grateful many don’t? Or maybe, like spiteful nutjob Stephen Green in his recent rant about Tom Daley, you like to make the bleedin’ obvious point that gay men need ‘a girl’ in order to reproduce… just like straight men do.

‘But,’ you say, ‘gay sex is between two men – maybe more – or two women (maybe more) and that’s so downright distasteful and disgusting. The Bible says so and I believe it.’ Of course, you’d believe it even if the Bible didn’t say so. So what if it does? Do you honestly think the rest of us care what a bunch of ancient tribesmen and other sex-obsessed fanatics thought?

For men and women who are gay, sex with each other is far from disgusting or distasteful. It’s every bit as exciting, loving and fulfilling as all the fun sex you have. Unless of course, yours isn’t.

Your ranting about recreational sex, gay or otherwise, is just so much hypocrisy. You like it yourself, or else you wouldn’t do it (and you do do it) yet you don’t want the rest of us doing it with the consenting adults we find attractive. Until you’re prepared to give up sex so Jesus will let you in his Magic Kingdom (like he says you should in Matthew 19.10-15 and Luke 20.34-35) then do us all a favour and shut the fuck up about all the great sex the rest of us are having.

 

 

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Idiotic Stuff Jesus Said 12: My words will never pass away

AndersonThe premise of my first ‘Jesus’ book* is that while Christians profess to believe in Jesus, they choose to ignore most of what he taught while he was alive. While they claim a vapid super-hero Christ as personal saviour, they replace what the human Jesus had to say with words of their own choosing. In reality, they have about as much time for Jesus’ ‘eternal words’ as the average non-believer or atheist. You don’t have to look very far to see how much his words have already ‘passed away’:

Jesus said, ‘Don’t judge so that you won’t be judged’ (Matthew 7.1). Our representative Christian says, ‘LGBT people are filthy and wrong.’

Jesus said ‘Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you’ (Matthew 5.44). Our representative Christian says, ‘I’m gonna pray a transgender person dies and goes to Hell.’

Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12.31). The Christian says, ‘The way to show love is to tell other people they’re going to Hell.’

Jesus said, ‘sell all you have and give to the poor’ (Mark 10.21). The Christian is concerned about where to buy jewellery: ‘…somewhere other than Tiffany’s, because Tiffany’s is gay friendly.’

Jesus said, ‘Forgive those who sin against you so you can be forgiven yourself’ (Matthew 6.14). Our believer rants, ‘LGBT people should be executed.’

Jesus said, ‘Don’t commit adultery and don’t get divorced’ (Matthew 5.27-28 and 19.9). Significant numbers of Christians , including our own Stephen Green, say, ‘that doesn’t apply to me.’

See what I mean? Christians regard the words of their saviour, not as having everlasting value, but as if they’re nothing more than worthless bits of fluff. Even if God were real, every word of the Bible true, every aspect of the Great Salvation Plan genuine, it wouldn’t change the fact that believers treat as optional almost everything Jesus commanded and live as if he never had.

 

* Why Christians Don’t Do What Jesus Tells Them To …And What They Believe Instead is available from Amazon worldwide (UK here, US here) but not, alas, from Tiffany’s.

The picture shows the deplorable Pastor Steven Anderson (linked above). He knows better than Jesus ever did.

 

 

 

A new creation? Or same old same old?

Preaches3Over at Answers In Genesis, John C. P. Smith (who?) argues that Christianity must be true because of ‘the testimony of countless Christians to the efficacy and potency of the gospel to radically change people’s lives for the better.’ Supposedly, this change is the result of a radical take-over of the individual by the Holy Spirit. As Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 5.17:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Even as we speak, Christian Voice’s Stephen Green is proposing, in one of his more spiteful and petty blog posts, that this is only way a young activist can be saved from a selfish, insensitive and deluded – talk about the pot impugning the kettle! – ‘gay lifestyle’, whatever that is. But do such changes really happen and are they ‘for the better’?

Speaking from personal experience and observation, I’d have to say they do. Sometimes they entail an apparent overhaul of the convert’s view of life, mindset and values. It’s as if the possibility of a spiritual aspect to life takes them by surprise and everything in their psychology shifts to accommodate new ideas. For others, the change is superficial and merely accentuates characteristics they already possess.

Having said that, many people have life-changing experiences without a religious catalyst; when they survive a bad accident or a potentially fatal illness, for example, or win lots of money; when they come to a full realisation of who they are or ‘come out’; when they first have sex or a baby; when they lose a loved one or experience an out-of-body experience or start a new job or move to a new area… and on and on.

None of these transformations involves Jesus, his Holy Spirit or ‘the gospel’. Humans are capable of the most drastic and radical of psychological change all on their own. How many times have you heard it said that someone isn’t themselves? Or that no-one knows what’s got into them? Or they’re acting out of character? Some even transform themselves without any external event playing a part. You may have done so yourself.

I would suggest that religious conversion is like that. The change can be real, but it has nothing to do with an external, supernatural agent. The human personality or psyche, whatever you want to call it, is much more fluid and pliable than we care to admit. Your self, values and thought patterns are in fact undergoing constant change, sometimes radically and rapidly so. The consistency you feel you maintain, the unchanging ‘you’, is an illusion. You are regularly updated, like the operating system on your computer. You’re not the same ‘you’ that you were last year and are certainly not the same as a decade ago or when you were a child. What you regard as ‘you’ is constructed from constant change.

The change that comes from religious conversion is no different. More, it doesn’t necessarily change you for the better; it can harden attitudes and make you less sympathetic towards others by transplanting values that are not conducive to empathy and generosity. You become one of ‘us’ and no longer one of ‘them’ as your chosen place of worship and the collective influence of fellow believers make a significant contribution to the process. This is why evangelists and those who are driven to convert others always insist you become part of a church (mosque or synagogue) afterwards – provided, of course, it’s one with the right sort of teaching (theirs). Your new attitudes and values are then reinforced by those who already have them, entrenching them further and convincing you that they, and now you, are ‘right’. This is how the ‘new creation’ you’re becoming is constructed and moulded.

As I’ve argued before, conversion can often reinforce behaviours that have already become habitual for individuals. Every church and Christian movement has adherents who are petty and spiteful, as well as those who are generous and considerate. But what becoming a new creation never entails, is making converts more intelligent, rational or stable. Why not? If it’s a miracle we’re talking about – and undoubtedly we are if God’s spirit suddenly or gradually takes up residence within a person – then surely it would result in a little cognitive rewiring so that the new Christian reaches their full intellectual potential. The fact it doesn’t bring about the ‘renewal of the mind’ (Romans 12.2) in anything like this sort of substantive way is the equivalent of the missing limb that no amount of prayer and laying on of hands can regenerate.

All of which suggests – no, more than suggests; demonstrates – that neither God nor his ‘Holy Spirit’ nor a dead Jewish preacher, nor ‘the gospel’, has anything to do with it. And perhaps that’s because an increase in intelligence, rationality or stability would run counter to the process which depends on blind faith and a submission to the very social forces that reshape the self.

The Reverend Green in the conservatory with a rope

Stephen3The ever-green, ever gay ‘National Director’ of Christian Voice Stephen ‘Act-the-man’ Green is at it again. In a video on YouTube that drips with the most un-Christ like sarcasm and vitriol, the Blessed Stephen takes on Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch’s petition to have gay men with historic convictions for ‘gross indecency’ pardoned (that’s consenting adult sex at a time when homosexuality was illegal.) Here’s the gist of Green’s ‘argument’:

There can be no doubt that ours is the most intelligent, compassionate, sophisticated and clever generation that has ever walked this earth. Clearly, if something is not against the law now, it never should have been.

Of course he intends this ironically, but for once he has stumbled on a truth of sorts. This is the cleverest generation that ever lived. We know more today than we ever did; it is estimated, for example, that the average person alive today knows far more than the cleverest Greek who lived in, say, Jesus’ time. That ancient Greek, in turn, knew far more than an illiterate Galilean preacher. So yes, we are cleverer – though not more intelligent – than people of the past; we have the benefit of two thousand years of learning behind us. Of course, our cleverness is marred by our continual reversion to tribalism, territorialism, greed and concomitant stupidity. This is the result of our being evolved primates – another fact Green disputes in his video with an attack on both Darwin and Dawkins – but nonetheless it remains the case that we humans have never known as much as we do today.

As for Green’s second sarcastic point, ‘if something is not against the law now, it never should have been’, well, that’s not what anyone is saying. Neither Fry nor Cumberbatch nor anyone else is trying to re-write history. What they are saying is that the injustice of the situation in the past should be acknowledged and rectified. Laws change as morals evolve. Green, however, thinks we should reclaim the values of a (non-existent) golden age when gay men were persecuted and prosecuted. According to this reasoning we should also reclaim other barbaric ‘standards’ of long ago; Green’s ‘logic’ dictates it. In fact, he advocates that we should be obedient to Biblical law, which would involve a return to things that are now illegal in all civilised societies; keeping slaves, beating others, rape, regarding women as property, suppressing women and executing non-conformists. These weren’t against the law once and weren’t even regarded as wrong, even though, when judged by any objective standard, they most emphatically were. Significantly, all were actively endorsed by Green’s God in his Magic Book*. We know they are inherently wrong, however, not just because we are clever and compassionate, but because we are repulsed by them when we see them practised by ISIS and other extremists today.

Christianity was once itself illegal, as was reading the Bible in English instead of Latin. This meant that in the past, Christians were sometimes executed simply for being Christians, heretics burnt at the stake. Green’s ironic principle can be applied here too: ‘if something is not against the law now, it never should have been’. With the benefit of hindsight and, yes, a bit of cleverness, we can see that being a Christian and reading the Bible in English should never have been crimes. Equally, those men convicted of victimless offences in the past shouldn’t have been. It is, however, and as I’ve already suggested, impossible to change the past. But we can try to rectify some of its mistakes.

However, the Rev. Green would prefer it that anything that was once illegal remains so. Christianity included, Stephen?

 
God (or those writing in his name) supports slavery in Leviticus 25:44-46, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-2 and many other places; beating children in Proverbs 10:12-14 & 23.14; rape in Deuteronomy 22:28, Exodus 21:7-8 and Judges 19:16-30; women as property in Genesis 19.8, Exodus 21:7 and Deuteronomy 22.28-29; suppressing women in 1 Corinthians 14:35 and encourages the execution of non-conformists in Genesis 38.24, 2 Chronicles 15.13-15, Deuteronomy 13:9, 2 Peter 2:1-22 etc etc

 

God’s Blunt Instruments

CultI get so tired of how Christians think they should show ‘love’ to others. They’ve got clear instructions in their holy book about how to do this but as with so many of their beliefs, they by-pass the commands of their saviour, to come up with their own, less costly ways of ‘loving’ their neighbour.

The righteous will (say), ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25.38-40)

Christians, however, have decided that the best way to show love is not to do what Jesus says but instead to call out others’ ‘sin’, to rant about how lost they are and how they’d be so much better if they adopted the same beliefs as Christians themselves.

I’ve experience of this in my own life. ‘While you’re a sinner of the worst kind,’ I’ve been told, ‘I love you enough to tell you about Jesus’ –

As if I’ve never heard about Jesus before;

As if there’s any credence to the entirely religious concept of ‘sin’;

As if this kind of emotional blackmail equates in any way with love.

In case you’ve been lucky enough to avoid it yourself, there’s plenty of this kind of stuff online too: try here or here or here or here for starters. As Matt Barber, who modestly describes himself as ‘an instrument of God’s truth’, puts it, ‘all we, all you, as faithful Christians can do is to speak truth in love and pray that those truths plant a seed that bears fruit in the hardened hearts of lost souls.’

Oh yes, it’s all done in the name of ‘love’ – and the cherry-picked bits of ‘God’s truth’ that appeal to the self-righteous.

Of course, gay people get more than their fair share of this brand of Christian love™. There’s no sign of the unconditional love of which Jesus speaks for the ‘sodomites’ regularly trashed by Christian Voice (Stephen Green’s choice of phrase, not mine) and those ‘mired’ in ‘the homosexual lifestyle’ (no, I don’t know what it is either) invented by the likes of Matt Barber and others who mistake their prejudices for truth and their bigotry for love.

Christians just don’t seem to get it that their ‘witness’ doesn’t consist of judging and condemning the rest of us for our ‘sin’, accosting us with ‘God’s truth’ and telling us how they love us really, even though they don’t show it.

It is – or should be – about action; doing and showing love unconditionally and sacrificially. How do we know this? Because their saviour says so. And until we see this, Christians, you’ll forgive us, won’t you, for not taking very seriously your claims to be instruments of God’s truth nor your empty rhetoric about ‘love’.

 

The words in the speech bubble above are Bill Muehlenberg’s, another of God’s self-appointed tools. Even Jesus, who was not averse to unpleasantness, didn’t spout the vitriol that some of today’s Men of God™ delight in. In any case, doesn’t Muehlenberg’s claim describe Christianity so much more accurately than it does ‘homosexualism’, whatever that is? Just try replacing the term with ‘Christianity’ and you’ll see. Bill doesn’t know a cult when he’s in one. (Well, he wouldn’t, would he.) And don’t you just love his mismatched pronouns?

Christian Love in Action

CrossI’ve been banned from a ‘Christian’ web-site. From Barbwire, in fact, the extreme mouthpiece of extreme mouthpiece Matt Barber and his chums; Scott Lively, self-confessed ‘father’ of Uganda’s anti-gay movement; Bryan Fischer, bigoted evangelical shock-jock; Laurie Higgins, gay-sex obsessed ‘marriage defender’ and Bradlee Dean, third-rate rockstar-cum-provocatuer, amongst others.

My ban is not because I was abusive. Actually, I’m not sure what prompted it though I’m not alone in having my comments deleted and my name blocked. Others who’ve challenged the bigotry and distortions regularly paraded on Barbwire have been too. Dissent will not be countenanced by ‘Christian’ bullies whose faith is weak and arguments even weaker.

I hope my comments were reasoned and reasonable, even if sometimes flippant; above all, I hope they were challenging. I tried to challenge both those ‘names’ who write for the blog as well as those who comment there, to react and respond as their Saviour commands them to; to treat others as they would want to be treated; to attend to the log in their own eyes before the speck in their neighbours’; not to judge lest they be judged and to show compassion for those with different views.

Have I as a non-believer any right to expect Christians to behave like this? I think so – I think we all have. After all, they’re the ones who’ve bought into Jesus’ demands; the ones who proclaim him as messiah and potential saviour of the world; the ones who feel compelled to tell us about him at every turn. They’re the ones who believe they’re born again as new creatures, filled with the Holy Spirit, who now live transformed lives as Christ-like beings. It’s not unreasonable to expect to see them reflect all of this in how they deal with other people; loving their neighbour, not casting the first stone… and all the rest of it.

So how do they deal with dissenters on Barbwire? They call them ‘morons’, and ‘fools’ and ‘pervs’ and ‘sodomites’ and ‘idiots’. Now, it could well be that I’m all of these things and the good Lord has chosen to reveal it to his gentle people on the site, if not to me. But when you call out these supposed Christians on this less than loving behaviour – pointing out that Jesus says in Matthew 5.22 not to call others fool, let alone all those other things – what happens? You get more abuse, and lots of edging around Jesus’ words (he only meant not to call other Christians fools) and claiming his commands don’t apply to them because he was really only speaking metaphorically – as he always is when they don’t want to do what he says.

And then you, the one on the receiving end of their Christian Love™, are blocked, banned and deleted, while those with the slurs and insults remain, because it’s what Jesus would want, leaving them free to move on to new targets.

ScreenDoes it matter? Not really; as long as for a brief period there are others opposing the bigotry and hatred that spills, in Jesus’ name, from Barbwire and sites like it. Christians such as Matt Barber and, here in the UK, Stephen Green, are relatively powerless individuals, after all. They’re loud bullies who justify their extremism by claiming it is the standard demanded by a mythical being. But all the same, they and their cronies are influential. Witness the sycophantic commenters who commend every scurrilous word these bullies say about non-believers, fellow Christians, gay people, politicians, immigrants and those they imagine ‘persecute’ Christians here and in the States. The articles on Barbwire encourage and reinforce the prejudices, bigotry and small-mindedness of ‘Christians’ like these, helping shape the way they treat people in the real world.

I’d encourage you to take look at Barbwire and to become a commenter yourself, opposing the hatred and bigotry, not to mention the irrationality and stone-throwing, that you’ll find there. If you do, you won’t have to do it for long because, sooner rather than later, you’ll be banned, as the voices of reason and compassion invariably are there.

Then again, there are worse reasons for being thrown out of a sewage plant.

 

The Most Important Words In The Bible

EternalLife1Some parts of the Bible are more important than others. A few verses have a prominence far greater than all the other parts of God’s Word™ and are far more authoritative. To obey these few verses alone guarantees one’s status as a true, born-again Christian.

I can announce that today I will be revealing which the verses are that matter more than all the rest.

There are only about three of them, one in the Old Testament, and two in the New. It’s possible there are a couple of others hidden away somewhere but they’re a little more obscure and don’t, as a result, give us the clarity we’ve come to expect from God’s Word™.

More ink has been spilt, or in recent times, more keyboards bashed, to pound out the implications of these verses than almost any others in the Good Book. Check out any Christian blog, any church web-site and the chances are you will find multiple postings and even entire sections dedicated to these three special verses. You could start looking here or here or here or here… There are sermons about them too and even protests and counter-protests, so important are they.

So, you might be wondering, are these the verses that tell us to love our neighbour as ourselves? Are they the ones that say we should turn the other cheek? To attend to the log in our own eye before pointing out the speck in someone else’s?

No, it’s none of these. In fact, The Most Important Words In The Bible are not ones uttered by Jesus who failed, inexplicably, to recognise their importance. Maybe they’re the words of St Paul then, about love being the most important thing or how to gain eternal life? No, it’s not those either. Only modern Christians have been able to recognise fully the significance of The Most Important Words.

And they are – fanfare from the Heavenly Host, please –

Leviticus 18.22 (duplicated in Leviticus 20.13):
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Romans 1.26-27
…God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

1 Corinthians 6.9-10 (plagiarised in 1 Timothy 1.9-10)
Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers – none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

So now you know. The Most Important Words In The Bible are these, the verses condemning gay people. These are what Christians prioritise, write about and rant about more than any others. Not ‘forgive others if you want to be forgiven’, not ‘don’t judge’, not ‘give to all who ask’… but the ‘sin’ of homosexuality.

It’s irrelevant, apparently, that Jesus himself has nothing to say about same-sex relationships; irrelevant that, even in the verses where he touches on homosexuality, Paul lists a whole load of other ‘sins’ that Christians themselves are known to indulge in from time to time. No. The Bible is not, you see, about salvation, not about witnessing to non-believers – it’s about homosexuality and what a dreadful thing it is. Today’s Christians, having isolated these few verses, know this and so have their priorities straight.

Never mind that the Bible isn’t really God’s Word (see my previous two posts); never mind it has other things to say besides a few mentions of homosexuality; never mind that it demands a great deal of Christians themselves, which, naturally, they ignore – today’s believers know what Christianity is really about.EternalLife2