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Source: (consider it) Thread: T&T: Sex, lies and church
CorgiGreta
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# 443

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Erin,

Since your rant was about planking, you deserve the plank (whichever definition you prefer).

Greta


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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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A couple of you have argued that sex isn't a basic need. For you, perhaps, that is true. But for others of us, it is. For me, I need it physically, and to be honest sometimes I can't help it (yes, I am one of the people who responded; and no, I am not telling you which one). Besides, if I weren't having regular, frequent orgasms I pretty much guarantee that my inbox would be flooded with e-mails along the lines of "you know, we thought you were a bitch before, but please, Erin, GET LAID".

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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The Mid

Officer and a gentleman
# 1559

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Whilst nothing would give me greater pleasure to see Erin teetering on the end of a plank (only kidding - ), I vote tot of rum. And perhaps another.

This is a discussion raised often by my friends and I. All my life I have heard at Church that sex is wrong, sex outside of marriage is wrong, sex is for procreation only. Then they use guilt to attack anyone who has had pre-marital sex. This is what I have the biggest issue with - the guilt they try to make you feel. I agree that sex is a basic human need, obviously it is not vital for survival, but it can be very hard to suppress those feelings. These two things cause many problems (yes, I'm getting to a point).

In my experience, I have known a LOT of young couples (ie. younger than 20) who have got married almost as soon as they could legally purely so they could have sex. Sorry, I'll clarify, sex wasn't why they got married, it's why theyt got married so early. Because the church would make them feel guilty if they did anything outside marriage, then they get married to avoid the guilt. Or break up. OUt of all those marriages I have seen, only a handful are still happy. I maintain that had they had sex when they wanted it, they all would ahve been better off.

I'm not arguing for promiscuity, I disagree with that. I'm all for monogamy, but it doesn't have to be within marriage. If two people love each other (any two people) then they should be able to express that love. BEcause that is what sex is - an expression of one's love for another. I used to want to be celibate until marriage, but when I met my girlfriend that changed. We make love now, and I am fine with it. I dont'intend to do it with anyone else, and I intend to be doing it with her forever (if all goes well!!). It's not dirty when we do it, it's because we love each other. And isn't that why God created sex?

The church needs to change its tack on sex. If nothing else, stop trying to make people feel guilty for expressing their love to another person!

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For God so loved the world She got involved


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Louise
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# 30

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Came across this rather apposite quote

quote:
"Life in Lubbock, Texas taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth. And you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock

Rum for Erin, by the way.

Louise

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Now you need never click a Daily Mail link again! Kittenblock replaces Mail links with calming pics of tea and kittens! http://www.teaandkittens.co.uk/ Click under 'other stuff' to find it.


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Reepicheep
BANNED
# 60

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Hmm.

the problem is that the church has all the ideas, but isn't good at helping us get to being the sort of people who can live up to them.

And we're not good at recognising how we can be helped to get there.

Instead they tell us things that are right, but don't tell us why they're right, and how they can be right for us, or whether they're right for us.

Like I didn't realise why living with someone could be so bad, and the sort of spiritual damage it could do. I was just told 'it's wrong'. And it was only a long time after that I realised.

The church shouldn't stop pronouncing, it should simply change the manner in which it pronounces.

Love
Angel


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The Mid

Officer and a gentleman
# 1559

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Not everyone will find it spiritually damaging by living with someone. Things like this are personal, and up to each individual to sort out. Living with somone can be no more spiritually damaging than goign dancing every Saturday night and being too hungover for Church the next day. If your behaviour is spiritually damaging, then change it as an individual, but this doesn't mean the church should be saying this is wrong, this is damaging, etc, when it may not be the case.

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For God so loved the world She got involved

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Louise
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# 30

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Angel dear,
I don't want to live up to them, I'm happy.

L

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Now you need never click a Daily Mail link again! Kittenblock replaces Mail links with calming pics of tea and kittens! http://www.teaandkittens.co.uk/ Click under 'other stuff' to find it.


Posts: 6918 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
J. J. Ramsey
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# 1174

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I voted for Erin to walk the plank. There are a couple big problems with this rant:

  • Failure to distinguish between the message (the Bible) and the messenger (the Church). Biblically, about the only indication that sex might be considered "dirty" was the idea of nakedness as a symbol of shame. Yet the Bible has a rather erotic love poem--the Song of Solomon--smack in the middle of it, and even the Israelite priests had sex, since the priesthood was hereditary. Overall, scripturally, sex itself was not frowned upon, but rather sex outside of certain moral boundaries. Now if the Church as a messenger has oversimplified the message to "Sex is dirty," that is a problem with the messenger not understanding the nuances and details of the message.

  • Treating the Church as a monolithic entity. Maybe the church where you went gave the bad, mangled old "Sex is dirty" message. Not all local churches are that foolish. Now the church I go to definitely holds to the idea of sex only being for within marriage. However, the overall message it gave me way back in youth group wasn't so much that sex is dirty so much as that it was not to be trifled with. If anything, marriage was treated as something sexy. Now maybe my local church is the only enlightened one in Christendom, but somehow I doubt it.


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I am a rationalist. Unfortunately, this doesn't actually make me rational.

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Marama
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# 330

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Rum with reservations.
It seems to me that one of the saddest things about the ministry of the current Pope (I speak as a non-Catholic) is that his pronouncements on work practices, social justice and pleas for a less materialistic mode of living - which we should all hear - are drowned out by his pronouncements on sex. This is partly media focus, true - but only partly. If he shut up on the sex, perhaps his (to my mind more important)strictures on other aspects of the modern world might actually get heard. I can't see it happening.

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Reepicheep
BANNED
# 60

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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Angel dear,
I don't want to live up to them, I'm happy.

L


Lucky you.

Unfortunately some of us don't manage that. I think i said in my post that part of it is discerning whether those things are right for us.


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Edward Green
Review Editor
# 46

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quote:
Originally posted by the Angel of the North:
Hmm.

the problem is that the church has all the ideas, but isn't good at helping us get to being the sort of people who can live up to them.


The problem is the Church keeps coming up with different ideas. For most of the History of the Church Sex has been considered sinful unless for procreation or prevention of fornication - and that's within marraige. Even in "Liberal" Anglicanism as recently as 1908 contraception was condemned, and sex for the sake of pleasure has only been accepted in the last 20 years or so.

All a sudden sex is great as long as you happen to do it with the right people in the right way. If sex is for pleasure and emotional commitment then it needs to be accepted in a far broader context. The church can't have its cake and eat it.

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sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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Erin said:
quote:
The church has an unhealthy obsession with sex

Actually, I think a lot of people in our society these days have an unhealthy obsession with sex (how much of this board is currently about sex?).

God gave us bodies. These bodies have ceratin parts. He gave us guidelines on how to use (or not use) certain of our parts. For example:

Hands:

1. Thou shalt not kill
2. Thou shalt not steal

Tongues:

3. Honour thy father and thy mother
4. Thou shalt not bear false witness

Brains/minds:

5. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
6. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's [anything]

etc. etc.

Why is it so hard to understand that there should be guidelines for the use of our genitals?

Why does the church seem to not be obsessed with the parts of the Bible that prescribe the proper use (proscribe the improper use) of other body parts? Because, generally, we still subscribe to them.

I would like to suggest that if we still subscribed to the biblical teachings on sex, the church would not need to talk about it any more than it has to talk about murder.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]


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Ariel
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# 58

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Whatever happened to the serpents in this rosy Garden of Eden in which we have an idealized view of sex as a truly wonderful experience that only happens betwen loving couples who value each other?

Let's not forget that out there, there are also prostitutes, people in abusive relationships, rape victims, those whose marriages have gone stale, those who are not physically compatible, the frigid, the impotent; young people pressurized into it before they are ready, people who use sex as a means of control, an expression of contempt, part of a power struggle; those who regard it as a tiresome job to fulfil part of a bargain, others who for whatever reason feel they can't say no; those who talk about "meaningful relationships" but in practice regard sex as little more than a sandwich when you're hungry, and some who genuinely enjoy the element of physical violence and intimidation that can go with it, even maybe to the extent of murder. Let's not pretend it's all roses. It isn't.

I'm not going to claim that having a clear set of moral/ethical/religious guidelines works 100%. It's never worked 100% even in more religious ages. But it is a help none the less and sometimes it's a defence for the vulnerable. A country's laws are generally drawn from a code of ethics inspired by religious teaching, no matter what the state of the country today.


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Timothy L
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# 2170

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If sex is a basic human need like food, water, shelter, I died awhile back. Must be why people turn up their noses, start sniffing and look disgusted when they meet me. I don't know what to say about the comments on masturbation...I'm blind on that subject.

As for feeding the poor...I challenge every crewmember & apprentice to find their local food bank. Every time you shop, get something for the bank (grab some staple that's on sale). When convenient, drop it all off. You might find it feels better than sex.

--------------------
Timothy


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The Mid

Officer and a gentleman
# 1559

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The vibe I'm getting is that the people who are for sex are the ones who perhaps understand what they mean a bit more. The impression I'm getting is that those who disagree or think it is bad assume that sex means promiscuity, not simply an expression of love in a monogamous relationship. I apologise if I offend anyone by this, but this is just the impression that I get.

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For God so loved the world She got involved

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Timothy L
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# 2170

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If sex is a basic human need like food, water, shelter, I died awhile back. Must be why people turn up their noses, start sniffing and look disgusted when they meet me. I don't know what to say about the comments on masturbation...I'm blind on that subject.

As for feeding the poor...I challenge every crewmember & apprentice to find their local food bank. Every time you shop, get something for the bank (grab some staple that's on sale). When convenient, drop it all off. You might find it feels better than sex.

--------------------
Timothy


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the famous rachel
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# 1258

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Hi Everyone,

OK. I am now going to confuse you all. I voted for a tot of rum for Erin.

If you're new, this may not have confused you. So, let me give you some background. I am, what is known on the ship, as a "Good Little Evangelical" or GLE. In fact, I am quite frequently described as The GLE. This is partly because I coined the phrase - which I'll freely admit is self parodying.

Now, being a GLE, I try my best to stick to straight evangelical teaching on sex and sexuality. Essentially, I believe that God knows what's best for us, and our most likely way of finding out His will is through the Bible. I'm not married yet, and so I'm not having sex. I struggle with this - quite publicly - but it's what I believe is right. If I were gay (I'm not, although I have in the past had sexual feelings towards other women, so I guess I might be bi) I would probably make very similar choices to the ones chastmastr makes - which pretty much come down to No Sex. These are my personal moral choices. I suspect they're very different to Erin's. However, I'm still voting her a tot of rum. Why?

Quite simply because I agree with her on the main point of her rant. The church is doing a very bad job of teaching about sex. In my personal experience, it has done more harm than good. In my knowledge of history it has done more harm than good. But still it continues to stress these issues.

The evangelical church has reached the point where it is using sex as the differentiator which marks out Christians from non-Christians. I'm sorry, but I can't find in the Bible the place where it says "And they will know that you are Christians by your self-righteous attitudes to sex". Wasn't there something somewhere about it being our love for others which marked us out?

I fail my Lord in so many ways. I tell lies, I gossip maliciously, I ignore homeless people on the streets, I hold grudges, I purposefully wind up my Mother, I blaspheme. All of these are things which I need the church to challenge me about on a regular basis - and it hardly ever does. However, I have lost count of the times I have been made to feel guilty and dirty about sex, even though I'm not having any.

So, as far as I can see, the church's way of dealing with sex means that it fails to to deal appropriately with other, more important issues - both on a personal level, and on a national level.

So there you go. I am the famous Rachel - "brightest and best of the GLEs", and I'm with Erin on this one. The church should shut up about sex until it has something useful to say, and get on with helping us all become more like Jesus, and with making the world a better place.

All the best,

Rachel.

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A shrivelled appendix to the body of Christ.


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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Timothy L:
If sex is a basic human need like food, water, shelter, I died awhile back. Must be why people turn up their noses, start sniffing and look disgusted when they meet me. I don't know what to say about the comments on masturbation...I'm blind on that subject.

I'm not sure you could be more patronizing if you tried. This is part of the problem here: what works for you does not necessarily work for everyone else. Just because it's not a need for you, it does not follow that it's not a need for anyone else. You can be totally celibate? Yippee for you. You think you can extrapolate from your experience how everyone else's lives are? Get over yourself. Your life and experiences are not the standard against which the rest of us stand or fall.

quote:
As for feeding the poor...I challenge every crewmember & apprentice to find their local food bank. Every time you shop, get something for the bank (grab some staple that's on sale). When convenient, drop it all off. You might find it feels better than sex.

I do this quite regularly. And no, it does not feel better than sex.

(PS: Thanks, Rachel!)

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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What rachel said.

(And I shall be substituting tequila for rum.)

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"He was wrong in the long run, but then, who isn't?" - Tony Judt


Posts: 6917 | From: pob dydd Iau, am hanner dydd | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Carys

Ship's Celticist
# 78

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Erin in response to Timothy L wrote
quote:
. This is part of the problem here: what works for you does not necessarily work for everyone else. Just because it's not a need for you, it does not follow that it's not a need for anyone else. You can be totally celibate? Yippee for you. You think you can extrapolate from your experience how everyone else's lives are? Get over yourself. Your life and experiences are not the standard against which the rest of us stand or fall.

The point people are trying to make, I believe, is if not all humans beings feel that sex is a basic human need like food, water etc, then how can it be, because food, water etc are basic to everyone and people can't choose that they'll do with out - or not for a long period of time - without dying. Sex is not in that category, it is perfectly possible to live to 100 never having had sex and been a balanced and rounded person. I'm not saying that sex isn't important to some people though it isn't too me at all. But you don't die if you don't have sex.

I also find it ironic that we have a rant complaining about the amount of time the Church spends talking about sex, when all but 2 of the main articles on the front page of this magazine are about sex!

It's not (only) the Church which is obsessed by sex, but the media and society as a whole. Just because society has the idea that you have to be having sex to be a full human being doesn't mean that the Church has to go along with this, or change its teaching to suit. Yes, so the Church hasn't always got it right or lived up to its own teaching, but I don't think shutting up entirely is the solution, though there are groups I'd like to see shutting up. But should the fact I disagree with them mean they shouldn't express their views?

So I voted plank (which I've not done before, generally I don't feel strongly enough to vote either way).

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise


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Tim V
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# 830

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quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
I also find it ironic that we have a rant complaining about the amount of time the Church spends talking about sex, when all but 2 of the main articles on the front page of this magazine are about sex!

Well, this is the 'sex edition'. It would be a bit weird if it didn't have anything about sex in it.

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Scots steel tempered wi' Irish fire.
Is the weapon that I desire.


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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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But where would that leave someone who "needs" sex but cannot find willing members of the opposite sex?

I don't know. I do find it difficult to see sex as a "need", but it depends upon your definition of need, I suppose.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.


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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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If you didn't do so already, click on the link in my first message on this page. My body, for whatever reason, has decided that this HAS to happen, regardless of whether or not I'm engaged in anything that should make it happen, so I can't really help it.

Not that I'm complaining, you understand.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ariel
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# 58

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Forget the tots of rum, anyone who drives a car while having spontaneous multiple orgasms clearly needs a tot of bromide.

Huge embarrassment potential factor here. I'm thinking church, job interviews, being on trains, and so on.


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Manx Taffy
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# 301

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quote:
Originally posted by Canucklehead:
Perhaps the reason that the church seems to harbour such an "unhealthy obsession with sex" is because so many of its adherants hold to such unhealthily liberal anything goes views of sex. So it becomes a question of cleaning up your own back yard so that you can reach out to the rest of the world more effectively.

I don't necessarily agree that the church does expend too much energy on confronting sexual issues. But even if they did, I would prefer that than to see them sitting back and winking at error rather than opposing it head on.


I don't think many of us "liberals" on this board are advocating an "anything goes" view. However, we don't think that a few one line answers snatced from the Bible are the basis of debate on what to many people is a complex and pesonal issue.

Simply telling people the one way they can behave and then banging them on the head until they do is the basis of much psycological and hence spiritual damage.

Much better to view this issue (as all others) in the light of the 2 commandments Alan C. quite rightly brings us back to above. Unfortunately in many situations this doesn't lead to easy answers. Tough, life certainly isn't easy.

Until the church gets better at engaging people realistically and lovingly on this topic it should pipe down a bit - gallon of Rum to the forthright lady across the pond therefore.


Posts: 397 | From: Isle of Man | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
chukovsky

Ship's toddler
# 116

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
A couple of you have argued that sex isn't a basic need. For you, perhaps, that is true. But for others of us, it is. For me, I need it physically.

But unlike food, water and shelter, you are not going to DIE without it. That is the difference.

I realise that's pretty much a repeat of what several other people just said!

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This space left intentionally blank. Do not write on both sides of the paper at once.


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Atticus
Shipmate
# 2212

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Earlier I said sex is not a human need. But I've rethought my position. If the object of life(not just human) is survival, sex is part of that goal. Procreation is a form of survival, so, yes, Timothy L, you are dead, or at least dying. Your genes will not be passed on, your values will not be passed on. So the drive for sex is as powerful and basic as the drive for food and water, and (to the monkey-minded part of us that controls the genitals) VERY necessary for survival.

However, I still believe sex should only come within the confines of a trusting, loving, committed(to some degree) relationship. If all you want is an orgasm, buy a blow-up doll and wait for Britney to come on MTV. (Ladies, maybe Cuba Gooding Jr. will be on Access Hollywood tonight). I mean it. If that's what it takes to relieve yourself, so be it.

In conclusion, I don't remember reading anything in the Bible that forbids premarital sex. But I will say that I have never met a couple that has regretted waiting(I'm sure they're out there, but they are a minority). A close friend is currently struggling to keep his relationship "pure"(don't ask me how lack of penetration does that) and I must say, I admire him greatly. I see his struggles and I believe it is making them stronger as a couple to know that they are not just "in it for the sex"(though they have addressed the issues and made sure they were both... ornery enough to be compatible).

Another tot of rum for Erin.(If we get her drunk maybe she'll sing a bawdy song)

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This time it's for real, I'm really gone until August. For real. Gone. Bye.

"My life would be a lot simpler if I were gay."


Posts: 321 | From: off the deep end | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ultraspike

Incensemeister
# 268

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I just have to say this thread is abit risky to be reading at work. I clicked on Erin's link to the Orgasm article and had to quickly minimize before anyone saw the huge title! I also had to suppress my laughter for fear someone would ask what I was laughing about.

But what I want to ask is how are you supposed to know if you're sexually compatible with someone if you wait until you're married? Who in their right mind would buy a car without a test drive first? It would take alot of compatibility for me to walk down the aisle with anyone in the first place, but to wait to find out something that basic is to my mind just ridiculous and terribly risky.

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A cowgirl's work is never done.


Posts: 2732 | From: NYC | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
chukovsky

Ship's toddler
# 116

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quote:
I clicked on Erin's link to the Orgasm article and had to quickly minimize before anyone saw the huge title! I also had to suppress my laughter for fear someone would ask what I was laughing about.

wasn't there supposed to be an intermediate link???

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This space left intentionally blank. Do not write on both sides of the paper at once.


Posts: 6842 | From: somewhere else | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Oriel
Shipmate
# 748

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So in other words, Erin doesn`t actually even need to get laid (within or without marriage) to have an orgasm. So what`s the problem?

*I`ve* certainly never heard the Church condemn spontaneous orgasms.

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Unlike the link previously in my sig, I actually update my Livejournal from time to time.


Posts: 796 | From: Scotland | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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The link itself wasn't explicit, chukovsky, it just said "orgasm" in big letters.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reepicheep
BANNED
# 60

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quote:
Originally posted by The Mid:
The vibe I'm getting is that the people who are for sex are the ones who perhaps understand what they mean a bit more. The impression I'm getting is that those who disagree or think it is bad assume that sex means promiscuity, not simply an expression of love in a monogamous relationship. I apologise if I offend anyone by this, but this is just the impression that I get.

Not offended at all. But I would say that the opposite is the case for me. I have never been promiscuous, always been in a monogamous relationship, that was loving, or that was how I saw it at the time.

Yet I still see how it harmed me.

Ultraspike - sexual compatibility isn't something that is a 'yes/no' answer. you can't divorce the sexual from the rest of you. nor can you expect a 'taster' session to reveal the full depths of something so completely intimate.
If you go in with the 'taster' attitude, then
you're holding something back, and you won't touch that deeper intimacy.
Sex, you can do with out, as has been noted. But love, companionship, trust, understanding. Now those really are basic human needs.


Posts: 2199 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Canucklehead
Shipmate
# 1595

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quote:
Originally posted by Manx Taffy:
[QB]I don't think many of us "liberals" on this board are advocating an "anything goes" view. However, we don't think that a few one line answers snatced from the Bible are the basis of debate on what to many people is a complex and pesonal issue.

Simply telling people the one way they can behave and then banging them on the head until they do is the basis of much psycological and hence spiritual damage.
QB]


Manx, you quoted my entire post but are you sure you read it?

I didn't do any bible verse snatching - one liner or otherwise. Nor did I tell anyone how to behave. I don't personally care who or what you have sex with.

This thread invited people to vote a tot of rum or a walk the plank based on the rant of the month, and that is all I have done. I don't think I have said anything any more controversial than any other people on this thread, but if I have somehow hurt your feelings here then I appologize.


Posts: 135 | From: Victoria, BC | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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Rum/Plank? Plank/Rum?

The more I think about Erin's Rant, the less able I am to decide ... and reading this thread hasn't helped much either!

The problem is, as others have noted, that actually it is two rants:-

1. Leaders and members of the Church have, down the centuries, abused their power. In some (many) cases this has involved sexual abuse on those unable to protest effectively.

2. That same Church has taught that sexual relationships are only acceptable within a formal, publicly acknowledged, relationship.

While both aspects involve sexual relationships, there is no other real connection between the two - except for Erin's lament that church leaders are preaching one thing while doing the other!

In answer to 1. Yes, many church leaders have abused their positions of authority. But are they in the majority - I think not. We hear of a few who abuse children; there may be a few more we do not hear about; but I suspect that the vast majority of church leaders are not abusing children or adults, have never done so and never will. As always, the good done by the majority is ignored, while the crimes of the minority are used to vilify the majority.

So to 2. This actually is a much thornier problem - since it hits each of us at a very deep level. For Christians it is difficult - does what Paul, for example, said 1900 odd years ago in a totally different age really apply to us today? Reading related threads, it is not even clear what he did say - are we sure that we have translated what he wrote accurately?

Let's concentrate on sexual relations - by which I mean to exclude masturbation. When I was a boy in the 50s, I was warned of the 'dangers' of the 'solitary vice of Onanism' (honestly!) but the dangers never materialised! What we do by ourselves with our bodies is, IMHO, up to us - I see no reason why the Church, or anybody else, should presume to comment on the subject - except if we let it rule our lives, as would apply to any sort of addiction. Even then I could be moved to argue that it is still up to the individual.

Sexual relations between two consenting adults is surely governed by the rule Our Lord gave when asked which was the greatest commandment. 'Love God... and love your neighbour as yourself'. I have always understood this to mean that we should not do anything to another person which showed anything but love (agape, not eros!!) to that person. This rules out anything abusive, destructive or just plain nasty.

Too long already - I may pick up some points and expand later if anybody wishes to pursue them.

In the meantime - sorry, Erin, but it's the plank - though you may have a tot of rum to fortify you on your short walk!

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Yours aye ... TonyK


Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
tomb
Shipmate
# 174

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As someone raised in the western part of the US, I have had inculcated in me since childhood the dictum that individuals are free to do anything they please as long as they don't scare the horses.

Moreover, in the matter of sex, I have been so busy during my life struggling to keep my own nose clean (so to speak)--with mixed success--that I have had precious little time or energy to be bothered about the escapades of others.

The plain truth is, I just don't give a damn about other people's sex lives.

But I do give a damn about people, and I do give a damn about the Church.

It seems to me that there is a glaring red herring in the thesis of the rant. Erin argues that the Church is to blame for sexual abuses among the clergy because of its teachings. She writes:

quote:
[The church has] taken a miracle of God – a beautiful, amazing experience – and turned it into something dirty, shameful and completely away from its original purpose. In the church's hands, sex is no longer an expression of love. It is a means of control.

Well, yes and no. Clearly, abuses through the ages have impeached the Church's authority to speak unhypocritically about such matters. Nevertheless, for every wounded soul harmed by such abuse, I daresay there is at least one person untouched by such trouble.

And I hardly need point out that, through the ages, human institutions do not necessarily rise or fall on the behavior of their members. If that should be the case, then God help the United States Congress or Presidency. It's easy to be a donatist when talking politics. Harder when it's the church.

Moreover, I suspect that, through the ages, countless people have been able to live holy and sanctified lives as a direct result of the Church's teachings. The sword of control cuts both ways, after all. The Church has curbed a lot of depravity over the years and made saints of many men and women.

I count myself as one person whose life has been made better and more holy because of the teachings of the Church.

But back to my argument. Simply put, I do not believe the the Church is in the business of social control though, God help us all, religion has been used as such as long as there have been people who disapprove of the behavior of their neighbors.

The Church is in the business of helping people love God. Period.

Note that I make an implicit distinction here between the church as a human institution with all the foibles that entails and the Church as the visible presence of Jesus Christ on the earth. And before anybody hop on the logical disjuncture here, I hasten to add that, yes, I realize the two are hopelessly intertwined and thus inseparable.

On to other things. Erin, in a startlingly candid comment, reveals that, for her, sex is just as necessary as food, water, air, etc. And she uses this argument to bolster her thesis that the church shouldn't be in the business of prescribing/proscribing human behavior.

Dangerous ground here! How many times have I read posts by her in which she advises a person to "get over yourself."

Erin's needs are really not persuasive to this argument. I freely admit that, similar to her language on this thread that I, too, have thought that several women's behavior would be vastly improved if they "got laid." But really, now!

Laying aside, for a moment, all the Christian "trappings," most of us have at one time or another found ourselves in a relationship based on "meeting the needs" of either or both partners. And, I daresay, most of us have scars from the experience.

To quote St. Paul, "Ye did not so learn Christ."

The issue is not how I or Erin or anybody else can get our needs met--whether that need be sexual, or monetary, or--whatever.

I don't see in Jesus a pattern of trying to get His needs met. Au contraire! And since the object of the Church is to enjoin Her members to imitate Christ, then I'm not surprised that there's not much evidence that God gives a rat's ass if Erin or me or anybody else has an orgasm--even if doing so would make her or me behave in a more Christian fashion. (As a teenager, I even believed that such behavior would clear up my complexion, but that's tangential.)

I've maundered on too long, probably. Back to my original statement. Working, as I do, on the thesis that social matters are driven or controlled, not by the Church or the church, but by the society at large, I expect that, in a generation or two, people are going to be doing things among themselves that would make the most liberal among us blush.

And there will be some soreheads out there railing against it.

Ultimately, though, the Church and her people will be well advised to use the Gospel yardstick in evaluating/judging them: are the things you are doing agencies/sacraments that encourage or aid you in your quest to love God with all your heart and mind and body?

If the answer is "yes," then who cares if it scares the horses? Damn beasts. They've been extinct for ages.

Sorry, Erin. To the plank with you.

tomb


Posts: 5039 | From: Denver, Colorado | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timothy L
Shipmate
# 2170

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Erin, I sincerely appologize! I did not mean to be patronizing. I hoped the self-denigration in my post would lighten any comments I made, help make a point. At least with you, I guess it made the wrong one. But then you probably feel more strongly about this than all of us, or you wouldn't have written the rant that you did, so any ill-guided attempts at humour (even in a good cause) in the midst of a serious discussion wouldn't go down well. Celibate? Yes... Like it? Well, I'm getting old, fat and ugly: about the only way I'm going to get any now is to pay for it.

As for my remarks on the food bank...you're probably right about sex feeling better, it's just that this is an experiment I've just started so "the high" is still there. I just wanted to highlight the "outward" things I think we Christians should be doing opposed to the "inward." Again, not appropriate to this this discussion, and I apologize.

Actually, I give you the tot of rum just for bringing up the subject...again, sorry!

Sex is good, maybe in some sense a need. I wrote "I don't know what to say on the comments on masturbation...I'm blind on that subject." I hate explaining humour, but if any of you don't "get it" find some fella of my generation to explain the link between "masturbation" and "blindness."

We certainly need sex to continue the species! Atticus said I was dead because my genes will not be passed on...given what Atticus knows about me this could be a very valid point. As it happens, I have an 11 year old daughter and a 10 year old son, so God willing, me and all my obnoxious forebears will live on in them.

--------------------
Timothy


Posts: 757 | From: Kalamazoo | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Mid

Officer and a gentleman
# 1559

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quote:
Originally posted by the Angel of the North:
Sex, you can do with out, as has been noted. But love, companionship, trust, understanding. Now those really are basic human needs.

For me, sex is simply taking these things to a higher level, an expression of love, trust, companionship, etc.

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For God so loved the world She got involved


Posts: 3022 | From: The Wardroom | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nunc Dimittis
Seamstress of Sound
# 848

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Oriel said:

quote:
I`ve* certainly never heard the Church condemn spontaneous orgasms.

Hmm. No. I've never heard it discussed. But the impression I got is that orgasm is as bad as having sex, whether or not it is spontaneous or manufactured. The church has been infected since its inception with a Hellenistic attitude, a dualism of body and soul. This is at the root of the sex issue: the body is gross, decaying, defiled, bad, evil etc; the soul/spirit is eternal, transcendent etc, and becoming spiritual people oblivious of our bodies and their needs is what life and the Christian walk are all about (subduing the body).

Not that I agree of course. Sometimes the only way to be rid of tension in the body is masturbation to orgasm... Has nothing whatever to do with Lust (where its sinfulness presumably comes in).


Posts: 9515 | From: Delta Quadrant | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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Actually, Tom, I'm not quite sure where we disagree. Using my experiences as the standard is no more valid than using someone else's (though I will say that the other standard is THE standard in the church). My only beef is that I want the church to just shut the f**k up about it.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Manx Taffy
Shipmate
# 301

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quote:
Originally posted by Canucklehead:
Manx, you quoted my entire post but are you sure you read it?

I didn't do any bible verse snatching - one liner or otherwise. Nor did I tell anyone how to behave. I don't personally care who or what you have sex with.

This thread invited people to vote a tot of rum or a walk the plank based on the rant of the month, and that is all I have done. I don't think I have said anything any more controversial than any other people on this thread, but if I have somehow hurt your feelings here then I appologize.


Canucklehead - you didn't hurt my feelings its just that 2 points in your post express views which I strongly oppose. Namely that holding a more liberal view of not believing that the only valuable relations possible in all circumstances are within a hetrosexual marraige does not mean that we believe anything goes. I do not believe that, but nor do I believe there is a fixed set of rules that can be applied to all people in all circumstances and therefore did not agree that we can correct "error" by taking a purely legalistic approach. Your "error" might be someone elses loving strengthening relationship.

As a married man for 19 years who has manged to stay faithful (just) these issues do not affect my habits personally - though as I have daughters approaching their teens it may soon! But I do think it is an important issue that so alienates the church from huge numbers of ordinary people who view the church as holding a puritanical and judgemental view on this topic. This prevents them from even exploring the value of Christianity any further - hence my concern.

I do however apologise for associating your view with a bible verse quoting, simplistic condemnation of more tolerent views expressed by other people elsewhere. Sorry for making that unfair connection.


Posts: 397 | From: Isle of Man | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Newman's Own
Shipmate
# 420

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As I used to try to tell the blasted bores who practised "safe and effective Natural Family Planning," hardly anyone gives a damn about what is going on in anyone else's bed. The Church is not obsessed with sex - it is far more a matter of how anything related to sex makes headlines. (I must add, as well, though I do not know the reason: for some reason, the exaggerrated emphasis on sexual sins in particular is mainly a characteristic of Anglo-Saxon countries. One would rarely hear it mentioned in the Mediterranean.)

One could just as well use church writings regarding social justice (which are far more numerous, though less publicised) to say that the Church hates anyone's having any wealth.

I found the rant to be very poorly written - no logical progression, the connection of unrelated issues with various dimensions, no development of a thesis argument in any reasoned fashion. The entire effect was "I am angry, and therefore shall use whatever illogical and distored connections I can." It was neither thought provoking nor humorous - the Ship can do far better than this.

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Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn


Posts: 6740 | From: Library or pub | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by J. J. Ramsey:

  • Failure to distinguish between the message (the Bible) and the messenger (the Church).

But, the New Testament was written by the Church (albeit in embryonic form)! And the Old Testament arose out of God's People. Church and Bible go together, and whilst I would want to (ultimately) take a cautiously progressive line on sexuality, it is not as simple as "evil Church has distorted pure biblical message".
In any case, I was under the impression that the message was Jesus rather than the Bible. The Incarnate Word rather than the written word...

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insert amusing sig. here


Posts: 8705 | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
J.Paul
Apprentice
# 2477

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This all has been fascinating reading...Perhaps a tot of rum while you walk the plank.
Posts: 1 | From: Colorado Springs, CO | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Esmeralda

Ship's token UK Mennonite
# 582

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Sorry Erin, you asked for it, you got it: straight to Davy Jones' locker. It's not your actions that worry me, it's your attitude. First, you say in your rant that what we do sexually is 'surely not anyone else's concern'. In my church, and I hope in others, we see our behaviour, development and decisions as not only God's concern but definitely each other's (and no, we're not into heavy shepherding, we're Mennonites, we're into community). Second (and this is related) you refer to the church as 'they'. Surely it's 'us'? Including SoF posters..
Thirdly, it's stuff like this:
quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
Besides, if I weren't having regular, frequent orgasms I pretty much guarantee that my inbox would be flooded with e-mails along the lines of "you know, we thought you were a bitch before, but please, Erin, GET LAID".

Excuse me? What's this 'poor little me, I can't be half-civil unless I get my orgasms'? What happened to the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control (especially the last two)? Are we now saying the exercise of these is entirely dependent on how often we get laid? Puh-lease!
Get down that gangplank and feed the fishes, sister.

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I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.

http://reversedstandard.wordpress.com/

Posts: 17415 | From: A small island nobody pays any attention to | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Basket Case
Shipmate
# 1812

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orig. posted by Steve:
quote:
...I think the church, in it's teachings, has has much less an obsession with sex as with many other things - to the detriment of all. It has not, in general, been able or prepared to provide teaching on sexual matters, because we have been scared of them.

Excellent point; and as you say, issues of power seem to be of immensely more interest to the church than human relationships.

Posts: 1157 | From: Pomo (basket) country | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Basket Case
Shipmate
# 1812

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I forgot to vote - plank.
The church should most very definitely NOT be quiet about sex. The church should do what it takes to gain credibility on the topic,& instruct us all on the moral aspects of this fundamental part of some of our most important relationships.

Posts: 1157 | From: Pomo (basket) country | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Excuse me? What's this 'poor little me, I can't be half-civil unless I get my orgasms'? What happened to the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control (especially the last two)? Are we now saying the exercise of these is entirely dependent on how often we get laid?

Had you bothered to read my other posts in the thread, you would have known that I sometimes don't have a choice in the matter. If I don't make something happen, my body makes it happen anyway, and yes, my attitude is inherently different if I do not have that physical release. Just the same way I am not able to be patient, kind, blah blah frickin' blah if I have a migraine.

I really don't know why you people have such a hard time grasping this.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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firstly, tot of rum.

however, a serious disagreement:

sex and orgasim are not mutually exchangable words.

plenty of people, usually women, but men to, have sex without orgasims.

plenty of people have orgasims without sex. either by masturbation, or by the spontanious physiological response mentioned above.

its much nicer when the orgasim comes (pardon the pun) with the sex. sex without orgasim is pretty blah, and masturbation gets lonely.

but its not required.

so, just because you need an orgasim frequently, just because you orgasim easily and spontaniously, does not mean you need sex. in fact, it sort of proves the oposite.

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!


Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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Couple of things...

1. The church has never, in my experience, differentiated between sexual activity and orgasm.

2. My rant isn't about sex, it's about the church shutting up about sex. Given point one, they clearly do not have a clue.

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
chukovsky

Ship's toddler
# 116

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
The link itself wasn't explicit, chukovsky, it just said "orgasm" in big letters.

Possibly then the bit about "another link before something explicit" could be clarified. For many people's work-places, ORGASM in large letters would be too explicit. You may mean explicit pictures only need to be double-linked - fine, but people may need warning that explicit wording may not be double-linked.

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This space left intentionally blank. Do not write on both sides of the paper at once.


Posts: 6842 | From: somewhere else | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged



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