Sin

I’ve been told that in polite conversation you should avoid discussion of religion and politics. Well, we’ve already breached the religion thing (and besides, how polite can this conversation be since I’ve shown you maybe a hundred pictures of my privates and told you about the things that’ve ended up my butthole).

A reader calling themselves Purple left a lengthy riposte to my entry from the other day where I went off on Amy the bigoted homophobe. Purple, it seems, is using me and this blog to research a bisexual alien character in some fiction they’re writing. Yes.

Their comment starts out well…

I’m a Christian, though I’m starting to prefer follower of Christ because I don’t want to be lumped in with idiots like Amy. People like her piss me off to no end. She may claim Christianity, but she does NOT behave as we’re instructed to behave. She is an embarrassment to my faith. People like her have done so much harm to the LGBT community, and to many other people groups, and heaped more pain and hurt on a group of people who are already going through more pain and hurt than any person should have to deal with.

Yes, fantastic. Go on…

It’s easier to hate someone because they’re different than show Christ’s love to them.

Um, OK. I get that. Good on you for sticking to your teachings. The best Christians are those who take the “Christ’s love” angel rather than those who get so much attention nowadays. You were saying…?

Do I believe homosexuality is a sin? Yes, I do. But it’s between you and God. Not you and me.

Oh. It was going so well, too.

To be fair, they said a lot more and you are free to read it all yourself. In fact, please do. I’m in no hurry.

Indeed, Purple was saying many things that seemed more in keeping with the Christian ideals I admire than Amy was by a long shot (as far as I can tell not being one), but I have to stop and say something about sin. Because it makes my brain boil.

Homosexuality is supposedly a sin. Supposedly. The Ten Commandments don’t mention it, but the Bible is full of stuff we’re not supposed to do. So let’s pretend it calls homosexuality a sin, too (even though there’s ample room for debate on that). It seems to me that most of the things the Bible calls out as sins are choices. Adultery, stealing, getting tattoos, eating pork and shellfish, wearing clothes with tears in them or made of cotton-poly blends, trimming your beard, being uncircumcised, working on the sabbath, and — my personal favorite — being raped if you’re a virgin. There are lots of these things. All choices (like that being raped thing). All bad. Apparently.

Two points I’d make.

First of all, as I said in the post to which Purple was commenting and pretty much every person on Earth knows about the the Bible if they know anything at all, good Christians do things all the fucking time that are disallowed by the Bible (like eating cheeseburgers). They have made choices to ignore those rules. Ever had a part-time job on a Sunday? Making cheeseburgers? At a place that disallowed facial hair? Triple whammy. And why not? Because they’re stupid, right? I mean, what creator of the known and unknown universe worth his/her/its salt would give a flying fuck if I decided not to look like a guy from Duck Dynasty? He/Her/It has nothing better to do? So, if it’s the case that we already pick and choose the things we want to follow from the Bible (and the biggest one we’ve chucked overboard is the whole remarrying after adultery and divorce thing), why not homosexuality? Why not? I want an answer to that.

Second thing is, of course, homosexuality is not a fucking choice. If it is, and you’re a straight dude, go suck a dick. Show me what a choice it is by spreading your legs and getting to know the joys of anal sex. We do not have choices in what we find sexually appealing. Zero. We can choose to bury those feelings and let them build and fester and gnaw away at ourselves and our wellbeing, but that’s not the same thing at all. No matter how hard he tries, Marcus Bachmann will always be a giant queen. Nothing he can do about it.

Personally, I think the “homosexulality is a choice” thing is rooted in the experience of bisexuality. If you’re a bisexual, you actually do sometimes have a choice. Not the kind I am, of course. I could only be happy married to Belle (or, to be technical, some other woman, but Belle’s my favorite). But they’re not all like me. And even if they were, they might easily confuse their sexual attraction to men (if they’re men) to be akin to what a true homosexual feels toward other men. As if sex acts and who we have them with are the only axis to the sexuality spectrum. A good boy growing up in a good Christian house goes out for the football team and enthusiastically dates a cheerleader (oral and anal only so they can stay virginal) but, when he’s alone in his bed and jacking off, suddenly finds himself thinking about his coach or the team captain or how the wide receiver’s ass looks in his uniform or all those guys in the shower and all of a sudden BAM! homosexuallity is a choice. Bullshit.

What kind of god creates people to be a way that is sinful? By default? So they they can never know happiness in their lives unless they “choose” to be sinful? What kind of bullshit is that? This isn’t the same as cutting your beard or eating bacon. This is deep, soul-filling stuff. Not just fucking. Emotional fulfillment of the highest order. I want an answer to that, too. How can living as you were created be, in itself, sinful in the eyes of a just and worthy god? You may as well call left-handed redheads sinful. It’d make as much sense.

The real problem with the line “homosexuality is a sin but between you and god” is that it’s a slippery slope to other kinds of evil. Gay parent? Teacher? Doctor? Child? What’s off limits in how those people are treated by good Christians? Thankfully, we’re moving past the point where simply being gay was enough to deny someone custody or visitation rights to their children or the right to work, but it’s not like that everywhere in this country. Not yet. Not by a long shot. And if you’re the good Christian parent of a gay or trans child, there’s nearly nothing you can’t do to “fix” them. All because homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of a god. That’s where it starts. It is the root of all that evil. All that pain and misery.

We are not ignorant people. We have science that tells us things that were previously heresy. The earth is not the center of the universe. It is not 6,000 years old. Humans are not the only “people” who have lived upon it. Homosexuality is not a choice. The genitles we are both with do not define the gender we are.

We have outgrown the need for sin.

The only thing we should take from the Bible is the best part of what Purple talked about in their comment. Love. Mutual respect. You know, the Golden Rule. If we just followed that and let consenting adults doing no harm to others live as they need and want to, then the world would be a much better place.

26 thoughts on “Sin

  1. Gosh – yours was a long Post ! I usually fall asleep during discussions on “religion” , mostly because “religion” is based on faith and the interpretation of my particular set of beliefs compared to yours
    Not FACTS not EVIDENCE but faith. I say potato and you say potayto. A rose by any other name etc.

    But I do so agree with your last paragraph

    And I do so agree with JC when he said “I give you a new commandment. To love one another as I have loved you” Doesn’t that wrap it all up. Simple really.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to write this beautifully argued piece. It seems we live in a puritanical, judgmental, sexual pleasure-avoidant culture.

    We do all have our kinks. I wonder if jealousy arises when one of us is fortunate enough to find someone who dovetails with our sexual and relationship wants and needs.

  3. Great post. Now, one of my blogging buddies is a minister and he ensures me that in the Old Testament, homosexuality was a sin… but got “revoked” in Leviticus – we’ve had some interesting discussions about this in the time I’ve known him and more so since I’m bisexual… and I’m not beyond fucking with him about sexuality and religion.

    To the question of “What kind of God…?” the religious faithful almost always answers that question by pointing out that God gave us free will… or He gave us enough rope to hang ourselves if we wanted to, hence all the penalties for going off the reservation.

    Ha… the choice argument. I’ve held the position that while you may not be able to choose to be bisexual or homosexual based on your feelings, thoughts, whatever, you can choose what you do about it – and people just automatically assume that if a guy says he’s gay or bisexual, he’s just going to behave like that. I know a lot of bi guys who admit to being bi… but have chosen not to do anything other than accept that they are. Going out and scrumping like they’re expected to isn’t an option for them and that’s fine. But the “It’s Not a Choice!” crowd seems to insist that there is absolutely no choice of any kind taking place here and it just makes me say, “Hmm…” a lot and we tend to agree to disagree (but they usually go away mad because I dare to challenge their perceptions on this).

    Like your straight dude challenge – and I’m not poking the hornet’s nest but, um, if a straight guy went and sucked that dick or got screwed in the ass, didn’t he choose to do so – he could tell you to go do something that is anatomically impossible. The real question is why would he choose to accept the challenge. Having had quite a few “straight” guys happily suck my cock or give me their ass to fuck, I know that some of them will go there for a few reasons, from being latently homo- or bisexual to being horny enough to do anything they can to make it go away.

    But you still have to choose to do… or to do not. Yeah, I love this “no choice” discussion because it’s just so damned interesting.

    Great blog – really enjoyed it so thanks for sharing!

  4. “…God gave us free will… or He gave us enough rope to hang ourselves if we wanted to, hence all the penalties for going off the reservation.”

    I can’t buy the notion that there is a “reservation” (interesting choice of words) and that there are penalties for going off it. The whole thing is just too limited. Where are the meets and bounds?

    Here’s one for you. A male friend of mine found himself in a multiple and mixed gender sexual situation and had the chance to suck a cock. He loved it and wants more! Why? Does that make him not “straight?” Does it put him in a different box? What are all the boxes? What if it just plain feels fucking good? As a female I was able to tell him, “See? What’s not to like about having a luscious cock in your mouth?”

    Can’t we just do what feels good without worrying about the rules of the “reservation” and a punishing god? I don’t believe there are punishments from god, if there is a god. There are only the moral choices we make. Thumper and Drew have gone out of their way to act morally vis a vis Belle and Axel and they’ve done a hell of a lot to explain their process to us too.

    We’re damn lucky to be able to follow them on their journey.

  5. Very provocative piece. Organized religion has always needed to find ways to differentiate between “believers” and everyone else. One of the key selling points of Christianity has been that Christians go to heaven. Oh boy! So, apparently there is an afterlife that is only available to the people that Christianity defines as “good”. Now you have the basis for sin.

    The problem still remains, who decides what a sin is? Ah hah! The people who God talks to. So if you hear a voice and it says it is God, then write down what it tells you and preach it to the world. I’m being a little facetious, but not a lot.

    Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism. Christ, after all, died as a Jew. He never converted. Judaism is an offshoot of pagan religions. The pagan belief is to do as you will as long as you don’t hurt others. The Jews tightened that up with the old testament and, of course, the Christians added their own brand of intolerance.

    Post-pagan religions seem to have focused on social control more than anything else. It escapes me how men fucking each other is in any way a social threat. Will babies cease to be conceived once men are allowed to use each other’s butt holes? Are they that magical?

    Am I homosexual if I love another man and I don’t have sex with him? Am I straight if I only let other men suck my cock, but I don’t do them? There are men I have loved. I just didn’t want to have sex with them, or for that matter, they with me.

    Homosexuality isn’t men loving other men, apparently. it’s men who have sex with other men. Last time I checked, we can’t get each other pregnant, so what is the social damage? How is the Christian church hurt by where its male members put their cocks?

  6. “Now, one of my blogging buddies is a minister and he ensures me that in the Old Testament, homosexuality was a sin… but got “revoked”… ”

    This is actually the crux of the whole thing. The Bible is split into the Old and New Testaments – Old being before Jesus, new being after Jesus – and it is stated in the New Testament that all the Old Testament rules can basically be disregarded from here on out as long as one has faith and acts with love. Kinda the whole point of Jesus was that his sacrifice on the cross ended forever the need for animal sacrifices and other aspects of the ceremonial law and gave people encouragement to have a personal relationship with God. At least that was my understanding from my university New Testament Studies class (which I took during a time when I was a born-again Christian).

    It continuously boggles my mind that anyone can call themselves a Christian when they act so hatefully and are so intolerant – loving each other was the primary objective of all of Jesus’ teachings. It makes me wonder if people have actually read the book they’re pulling all those pronouncements out of.

    The other thing is that homosexuality is NOT actually ever called a sin in the Bible… depending on what translation you read. When you go back to the original texts, historical context suggests other interpretations or that rare or unusual words in the passages may not be referring to homosexuality. For some reason people want to take modern translations of the Bible as God’s literal Word, when the truth is that it’s all been translated from old texts in old languages and many modern versions are liberally edited to be easier for the average person to understand.

    Basically, the people who use the Bible to condemn the actions of others are folks who haven’t truly studied their own holy texts with an unbiased mind, because I guess it’s more satisfying to just take things in the context that confirms what you already believe than it is to be openminded enough to be the kind of people Jesus said we should.

  7. To hell with RELIGION, let’s talk about SCIENCE….With respect to the topic at hand; Is homosexual sex a choice or a natural act of humans? Sin is merely an accounting term that accrues bad choices made by free will. But I would argue that the game is rigged and the scoring is judged by ignorant players…but I digress.

    Biologist have long argued that we homo sapiens are born (that is to say genetically predisposed) to accept sex from either gender. The Limbic System chemically conditions us to enjoy sexual pleasure and hence reinforce behaviors, in much the same way as eating chocolate creates a craving to “like” eating more chocolate. We humans are a curious creature, one that explores and classifies every piece of data that crosses our mind. The survival of our species is hard wired in our bodies and mind. Do we make a choice to have sex or not to have sex? Yes, unless it’s rape. Do we choose our sexual partners based on the expected pleasure we may have with them? Yes, when we both consent to the sexual act. Does the chemistry deployed by the Limbic System discriminate between having sex with the same gender? NO! As far as being hard wired to be gay or straight, sexual pleasure is sexual pleasure. What triggers the selection process is where science and religion cross paths. Bottom line is that Science (nor Religion) can explain why two men or two women prefer pairing and mating strictly based on attraction, but once the sexual act is completed, science does in fact try to reinforce the selection process. There are other more complex factors deployed by us humans as to what we find attractive about a sexual partner but they don’t discriminate by gender necessarily. We humans do in fact find both genders attractive. What man doesn’t think George Clooney or Brad Pitt is attractive? What women doesn’t find Jennifer Anison or Angelina Jolie attractive. I for one would have sex with any one of them (two would be too greedy). It is only social norms or religious morals that but up barriers that shape our choices, not biology. Biology is not a bigot.

  8. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. But whenever someone wants to throw their Christian values at me because I am a cuckold with a cornucopia of kinks, all I can really do is laugh. Not because a rebuttal is unwarranted. Rather, a rebuttal is like talking to a brick wall.

    Think about it, you just made some outstanding, logical points that would make any rational person think and perhaps attempt to find some common ground. But one thing I have learned about debating (especially on the internet) hot button issues (religion being one of the hottest) is that you argue with someone who will never change their mind. It doesn’t matter what you say, their minds are already made up.

    Furthermore, in my experience, the ones who will always be there to debate are looking for the angry rebuttal. They are there to argue and get down, dirty, and nasty to anyone who wants to argue. For over a decade I’ve been around sports blogs, political blogs, you name it, and I can count on one hand the times that somebody has conceded even the most minute detail of a point trying to be made by the other side. Half of them forget what point they are even trying to make, as long as they are arguing and they get the last word.

    I just can’t get mad at somebody who shows this much ignorance to a lifestyle they know nothing about. You may disagree with me, and maybe I’m wrong. But it seems like rant posts do nothing more than rally the troops and help people like Amy dig in their heels as well. Unfortunately, the only remedy for intolerance in my opinion is the slow phasing out of the old fashioned values that are methodically losing ground already.

  9. Thumper, thank you for your wonderful blog and great words. I lead a church study group and we have spent the last three days reading yours and Drew’s blog. Don’t worry, zero judgment from this Christian group. Our question to you is more about semantics but we’ve noticed you two say boyfriend versus fuck buddy or friends with benefits. I know it sounds stupid, but may we ask what the criteria is and/or how that came to be? And, is that easier on the spouses versus the other names?

    Thanks again. We will pray for you but in the good way. 🙂

    JC

    1. I will accept your good wishes in the spirit they were given. I bet your conversations have been very interesting!

      The difference between fuck buddy, FWB, or boyfriend is largely semantics, I suppose. The “boyfriend” label, at least to me, signifies that Drew is my friend and he’s a boy and that whatever it is doesn’t rise to the level of a romantic thing that can be built upon but is somewhat bigger than a simple friendship. It’s a byproduct of my particular brand of bisexuality. I can feel somewhat deeper emotions for these guys I have sex with, but I still can’t stand being around them after either of us orgasms (sorry, Drew) and it’ll never be the kind of emotional thing I have with Belle. Neither of the other labels seems to capture the spirit of the relationship.

      1. Thank you for the great prompt response. I had wondered if that meant an exclusivity with him, but now I get it. The reason behind the question was more about if there is a middle level positioned above other friends as “special” and much below the spouse as that middle is deeper friendship love versus romantic affection. I’ve wrestled with that myself because I am also married but with a dick buddy who has really become a platonic best friend too. I’m not sure my wife would like Boyfriend though (she’s friends with him to), but I don’t have multiples (jealous), but there is deep vanilla affection which I think I am afraid to admit but might do so now thanks to you two.
        GB, JC

      2. We aren’t exclusive, though neither of us is actively looking. I think you nailed the idea, though. I just don’t think I could have sex with someone I didn’t feel something for, but that’s me. Honestly, Belle might not like “boyfriend” either. We’ve never discussed it (though I bet we will now).

      3. Well, Thumper, one can’t say you are not consistent with the denial thing all the way around, huh?

        This question was not to me, but here I am anyway. It is semantics and I think Thumper stated it well. Fuck buddy seems dirty and anonymous and if you knew us, doesn’t fit our personalities at all. FWB always implies, in my mind, that I should be providing him with dental and a 401k, so BF just fits for us as a reference to differentiate a minute level of special and until Facebook provides another dropdown for open marriage sexual partners, it will really only be used in contexts like this.

        Now, have to ask, how did a church group find us? I’m struggling with my perceptions here.

  10. Me again. So, I just asked my husband the therapist about me using this term. His response was:

    “that’s what I call him in my head, why should you not? I don’t want you spending that type time with someone who would not care about you enough to at least give you a nickname of some sort.” which was then followed by a “you’ve got to relax about this, you’d know if I had an issue here and I don’t. For fuck’s sake, you two have about 9,000 things in common including a steel penis at home, so ‘buddy’ or a generic ‘friend’, certainly doesn’t apply, now does it?”

    So, JC, I think that says it all when you think about it, at least on my end.

  11. I guess I hit send too fast. I meant sorry Thimper for hijacking your post, but I found this very helpful and just showed my wife Drew’s husband’s comment (Alan?)

    I googled bisexual and sin and found you. My church group is exploring how real Christians deal with human sexuality and you two are great. I hope belle doesn’t make you stop saying it now 🙂

  12. Wanted to give you an update just because. Wife and I went to breakfast this morning after she read a lot of your blog last night (and I read Drew’s). She loved everything, told me to call Noah boyfriend because she said “every woman has girlfriends why can you not have the same thing” and then told me to be prepared to be measured for a device. Damn. That will be a fun conversation with the boyfriend.
    Thank you both again. You have sonething great all the way around.

    JC
    PS church tomorrow will be very interesting

  13. Could not help adding the views of a deeply committed atheist. Religions (all of them, no exceptions) are a terrible affliction on humanity. If people can simply respect each other there is no need for religion at all. Every time you put god first, you are putting people second. Belief can be defined as certainty in the absence of evidence. That is also one of the forms of insanity. There is no moral difference between those who drive children to suicide through intolerance and those who send children into a Nigerian market with a bomb. Putin banning drivers because they are transgender, the Saudis banning drivers because they are women and ‘people of north african heritage’ shooting cartoonists because they ridicule Mohammed are all an offence against humanity. Incidentally, I weep that 60% (?) of americans accept creation rather than physics.

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