Jun 03 2009

Organized Religion and Sex/Birth Control

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Organized religion has been involved in sex for as long as men desired to impregnate women.

Most pronouncements about sex and birth control is made using one or two sentences from a bible book that has been written thousands of years after the facts that they are covering, and has been translated and massaged by hundreds of scholars before it ended up in your bible. These verses are also taken out of context – it is claimed that this specific verse is good but all those surrounding or following it has been replaced by the New Testament’s laws. In effect they claim that God gave them insight into the Holy Bible and made known to them that this one verse and only this one verse is good and should be preserved.

Birth Control

The passage used by the Roman Catholic Church to prohibit the use of contraceptives is Genisis 38:9:

Genesis 38
Judah and Tamar

38:1 At that time Judah left his brothers and stayed with an Adullamite man named Hirah.

38:2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. Judah acquired her as a wife and had marital relations with her. 38:3 She became pregnant and had a son. Judah named him Er. 38:4 She became pregnant again and had another son, whom she named Onan. 38:5 Then she had yet another son, whom she named Shelah. She gave birth to him in Kezib.

38:6 Judah acquired a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 38:7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord killed him.

38:8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Have sexual relations with your brother’s wife and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her so that you may raise up a descendant for your brother.” 38:9 But Onan knew that the child would not be considered his. So whenever he had sexual relations with his brother’s wife, he withdrew prematurely so as not to give his brother a descendant. 38:10 What he did was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord killed him too.

38:11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until Shelah my son grows up.” For he thought, “I don’t want him to die like his brothers.” So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.

38:12 After some time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah was consoled, he left for Timnah to visit his sheepshearers, along with his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 38:13 Tamar was told, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 38:14 So she removed her widow’s clothes and covered herself with a veil. She wrapped herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the way to Timnah. (She did this because she saw that she had not been given to Shelah as a wife, even though he had now grown up.)

38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face. 38:16 He turned aside to her along the road and said, “Come on! I want to have sex with you.” (He did not realize it was his daughter-in-law.) She asked, “What will you give me in exchange for having sex with you?” 38:17 He replied, “I’ll send you a young goat from the flock.” She asked, “Will you give me a pledge until you send it?” 38:18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?” She replied, “Your seal, your cord, and the staff that’s in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had sex with her. She became pregnant by him. 38:19 She left immediately, removed her veil, and put on her widow’s clothes.

38:20 Then Judah had his friend Hirah the Adullamite take a young goat to get back from the woman the items he had given in pledge, but Hirah could not find her. 38:21 He asked the men who were there, “Where is the cult prostitute who was at Enaim by the road?” But they replied, “There has been no cult prostitute here.” 38:22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. Moreover, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’” 38:23 Judah said, “Let her keep the things for herself. Otherwise we will appear to be dishonest. I did indeed send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”

38:24 After three months Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has turned to prostitution, and as a result she has become pregnant.” Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” 38:25 While they were bringing her out, she sent word to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these belong.” Then she said, “Identify the one to whom the seal, cord, and staff belong.” 38:26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more upright than I am, because I wouldn’t give her to Shelah my son.” He did not have sexual relations with her again.

38:27 When it was time for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 38:28 While she was giving birth, one child put out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 38:29 But then he drew back his hand, and his brother came out before him. She said, “How you have broken out of the womb!” So he was named Perez. 38:30 Afterward his brother came out – the one who had the scarlet thread on his hand – and he was named Zerah.

This is a horrific story. If this happened today, the FBI will throw you in jail quicker than you can say “no”. Here is a guy Er that married whose father Judah got him a wife called Tamar. This was an arranged marriage. For whatever reason God found Er to be evil and killed him. So Judah that really wanted grand children from his first born told Onan to sleep with his dead brother’s widow. But Onan was not stupid. He did not want to raise a child that would not be considered his by law. He probably also did not really care for supporting Tamar.

So Onan had sex with Tamar but deviously pulled out before ejaculation. So God decided that what Onan did was evil and killed him to. There is no description what was considered to be evil with Onan. Here is a few thoughts I have about what could have been evil in Onan’s deeds:

  • He slept with a woman without marrying her
  • He screwed his brother’s widow
  • He lied to her and his father about trying to get her pregnant
  • He pulled out before ejaculation
  • He did not want to care for Tamar or any possible children from her

Somehow my bet is not on him pulling out as a method of birth control as the reason for his demise.

The story however gets juicier:

Considerably later Judah passed Tamar sitting at the main entrance to the city. She had a veil on so he did not recognize her. He wanted to have sex with her so he negotiated credit with her and had sex with her. She became pregnant by her father in law. She went back into mourning about her ex husband.

Judah wanted his IOUs returned so he sent payment to Tamar. They could however not find her to pay her as she was not really a prostitute. So they decided to leave her with the IOUs.

Three months later Judah was told that his daughter-in-law became a prostitute and got pregnant. She sent his IOU to him so that he could realize that he was the father of her child and what he thinks is his grand-child is really his child. He thought that all this was his fault because he did not ask his youngest son to have sex with her. Judah stopped having sex with his daughter-in-law Tamar. She gave birth to twins.

I know that is difficult not to condem the family as an incestreous bunch involved in prostitution and incest. According to the laws in Exodus, they would all have been stoned. But over 4,000 years ago this behavior was considered good and it kept the blood line going. Women were considered property and their sole purpose was to pass on the blood line.

The astute reader might mention that this modern translation of the bible does not reflect the meaning ot he old King James translation:

38:8 And Iudah said vnto Onan, Goe in vnto thy brothers wife, and marrie her, and raise vp seed to thy brother. 38:9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to passe when hee went in vnto his brothers wife, that hee spilled it on the ground, least that hee should giue seed to his brother. 38:10 And the thing which he did, displeased the LORD: wherefore hee slew him also.

Here it is mentioned that when Onan pulled out, he spilled his semen on the ground. I do not think that this makes any difference to the story as it is still the same act: Coitus Interruptus (or pulling out) to prevent his sister-in-law from getting pregnant and him having to raise a child that will be in his brother’s blood line. This does not prevent the organized religions from quoting this verse as the justification of the crusade against male masturbation (“spilling your seed on the ground”).

The whole interpretation of this is just plain wrong. If this is truly the story (and there can be some doubt as it has been written thousands of years later for the first time), then you have to assume that God punished Onan for lying and deceiving his father and endangering the blood line. You would also think that if God was so against masturbation or birth control, he would have made mention of it somewhere else in the Bible, especially since he sent his only Son to earth later. But there is nothing, not even a hint of it.

Menstruation

Leviticus 15

Female Bodily Discharges

15:19 “‘When a woman has a discharge and her discharge is blood from her body, she is to be in her menstruation seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean until evening. 15:20 Anything she lies on during her menstruation will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 15:21 Anyone who touches her bed must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:22 Anyone who touches any furniture she sits on must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 15:23 If there is something on the bed or on the furniture she sits on, when he touches it he will be unclean until evening, 15:24 and if a man actually has sexual intercourse with her so that her menstrual impurity touches him, then he will be unclean seven days and any bed he lies on will be unclean.

15:25 “‘When a woman’s discharge of blood flows many days not at the time of her menstruation, or if it flows beyond the time of her menstruation, all the days of her discharge of impurity will be like the days of her menstruation – she is unclean. 15:26 Any bed she lies on all the days of her discharge will be to her like the bed of her menstruation, any furniture she sits on will be unclean like the impurity of her menstruation, 15:27 and anyone who touches them will be unclean, and he must wash his clothes, bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.

Purity Regulations from Female Bodily Discharges

15:28 “‘If she becomes clean from her discharge, then she is to count off for herself seven days, and afterward she will be clean. 15:29 Then on the eighth day she must take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons and she must bring them to the priest at the entrance of the Meeting Tent, 15:30 and the priest is to make one a sin offering and the other a burnt offering. So the priest is to make atonement for her before the Lord from her discharge of impurity.

Here a menstruating women is described as impure and unclean. She is so unclean that anybody that touches her or any of the furniture she touched will also be unclean and impure. After seven days she should take an offering to the priest that will make a sin offering. Menstruation is thus additionally described as a sin.

Woo the man having some period nookie with her. The impurity will stick with him for 7 days!

This impurity can also not just be washed off. It sticks around until the evening, after being washed. This must have been a terrible burden on the Jews. They were a nomadic nation in the middle of the desert.  Water and bathing could not have been freely accessible in these circumstances.

 

Forbidden Sexual Partners and Menstruation

Leviticus 18
Laws of Sexual Relations

18:6 “‘No man is to approach any close relative to have sexual intercourse with her. I am the Lord. 18:7 You must not expose your father’s nakedness by having sexual intercourse with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have intercourse with her. 18:8 You must not have sexual intercourse with your father’s wife; she is your father’s nakedness. 18:9 You must not have sexual intercourse with your sister, whether she is your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she is born in the same household or born outside it; you must not have sexual intercourse with either of them. 18:10 You must not expose the nakedness of your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter by having sexual intercourse with them, because they are your own nakedness. 18:11 You must not have sexual intercourse with the daughter of your father’s wife born of your father; she is your sister. You must not have intercourse with her. 18:12 You must not have sexual intercourse with your father’s sister; she is your father’s flesh. 18:13 You must not have sexual intercourse with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s flesh. 18:14 You must not expose the nakedness of your father’s brother; you must not approach his wife to have sexual intercourse with her. She is your aunt. 18:15 You must not have sexual intercourse with your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife. You must not have intercourse with her. 18:16 You must not have sexual intercourse with your brother’s wife; she is your brother’s nakedness. 18:17 You must not have sexual intercourse with both a woman and her daughter; you must not take as wife either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to have intercourse with them. They are closely related to her – it is lewdness. 18:18 You must not take a woman in marriage and then marry her sister as a rival wife while she is still alive, to have sexual intercourse with her.

18:19 “‘You must not approach a woman in her menstrual impurity to have sexual intercourse with her. 18:20 You must not have sexual intercourse with the wife of your fellow citizen to become unclean with her. 18:21 You must not give any of your children as an offering to Molech, so that you do not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord! 18:22 You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is a detestable act. 18:23 You must not have sexual intercourse with any animal to become defiled with it, and a woman must not stand before an animal to have sexual intercourse with it; it is a perversion.

Warning against the Abominations of the Nations

18:24 “‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things, for the nations which I am about to drive out before you have been defiled with all these things. 18:25 Therefore the land has become unclean and I have brought the punishment for its iniquity upon it, so that the land has vomited out its inhabitants. 18:26 You yourselves must obey my statutes and my regulations and must not do any of these abominations, both the native citizen and the resident foreigner in your midst, 18:27 for the people who were in the land before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become unclean. 18:28 So do not make the land vomit you out because you defile it just as it has vomited out the nations that were before you. 18:29 For if anyone does any of these abominations, the persons who do them will be cut off from the midst of their people. 18:30 You must obey my charge to not practice any of the abominable statutes that have been done before you, so that you do not defile yourselves by them. I am the Lord your God.’”

Here is a whole list of forbidden sexual conquests for a man. It is the normal list of close relatives and their wives and daughters. The list also includes a woman and her daughter. You are also not allowed to marry two sisters.

There is also the “You must not approach a woman in her menstrual impurity to have sexual intercourse with her.”. She is impure for seven days from her first bleeding or until it ends if it continues after the seven days.

 

Homosexual Relations, Forbidden Sexual Relations and Menstruation

Leviticus 18

Family Life and Sexual Prohibitions

20:9 “‘If anyone curses his father and mother he must be put to death. He has cursed his father and mother; his blood guilt is on himself. 20:10 If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. 20:11 If a man has sexual intercourse with his father’s wife, he has exposed his father’s nakedness. Both of them must be put to death; their blood guilt is on themselves. 20:12 If a man has sexual intercourse with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to death. They have committed perversion; their blood guilt is on themselves. 20:13 If a man has sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman, the two of them have committed an abomination. They must be put to death; their blood guilt is on themselves. 20:14 If a man has sexual intercourse with both a woman and her mother, it is lewdness. Both he and they must be burned to death, so there is no lewdness in your midst. 20:15 If a man has sexual intercourse with any animal, he must be put to death, and you must kill the animal. 20:16 If a woman approaches any animal to have sexual intercourse with it, you must kill the woman, and the animal must be put to death; their blood guilt is on themselves.

20:17 “‘If a man has sexual intercourse with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or his mother, so that he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace. They must be cut off in the sight of the children of their people. He has exposed his sister’s nakedness; he will bear his punishment for iniquity. 20:18 If a man has sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bare her fountain of blood and she has exposed the fountain of her blood, so both of them must be cut off from the midst of their people. 20:19 You must not expose the nakedness of your mother’s sister and your father’s sister, for such a person has laid bare his own close relative. They must bear their punishment for iniquity. 20:20 If a man has sexual intercourse with his aunt, he has exposed his uncle’s nakedness; they must bear responsibility for their sin, they will die childless. 20:21 If a man has sexual intercourse with his brother’s wife, it is indecency. He has exposed his brother’s nakedness; they will be childless.

This is fairly blood thirsty (except when it comes to her “fountain of blood”) If you curse your father or mother you should be put to death. Adultry with a married woman, sex with your mother or step-mother, sex with your daughter-in-law is enough to get both put to death. Having sex with a woman and her mother will cause all three to be burnt! Zoophilia can also cause death.

The next tier of punishment is not so servere: Sex with a sister or step-sister will get both chased away. sex with a menstruating woman will get you the silence treatment. Aunts, married or unmarried are also off limits as are sisters-in-laws.

Gay sex is punishable by death.

 

Gang Rape

Judges 19

Sodom and Gomorrah Revisited

19:1 In those days Israel had no king. There was a Levite living temporarily in the remote region of the Ephraimite hill country. He acquired a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. 19:2 However, she got angry at him and went home to her father’s house in Bethlehem in Judah. When she had been there four months, 19:3 her husband came after her, hoping he could convince her to return. He brought with him his servant and a pair of donkeys. When she brought him into her father’s house and the girl’s father saw him, he greeted him warmly. 19:4 His father-in-law, the girl’s father, persuaded him to stay with him for three days, and they ate and drank together, and spent the night there. 19:5 On the fourth day they woke up early and the Levite got ready to leave. But the girl’s father said to his son-in-law, “Have a bite to eat for some energy, then you can go.” 19:6 So the two of them sat down and had a meal together. Then the girl’s father said to the man, “Why not stay another night and have a good time!” 19:7 When the man got ready to leave, his father-in-law convinced him to stay another night. 19:8 He woke up early in the morning on the fifth day so he could leave, but the girl’s father said, “Get some energy. Wait until later in the day to leave!” So they ate a meal together. 19:9 When the man got ready to leave with his concubine and his servant, his father-in-law, the girl’s father, said to him, “Look! The day is almost over! Stay another night! Since the day is over, stay another night here and have a good time. You can get up early tomorrow and start your trip home.” 19:10 But the man did not want to stay another night. He left and traveled as far as Jebus (that is, Jerusalem). He had with him a pair of saddled donkeys and his concubine.

19:11 When they got near Jebus, it was getting quite late and the servant said to his master, “Come on, let’s stop at this Jebusite city and spend the night in it.” 19:12 But his master said to him, “We should not stop at a foreign city where non-Israelites live. We will travel on to Gibeah.” 19:13 He said to his servant, “Come on, we will go into one of the other towns and spend the night in Gibeah or Ramah.” 19:14 So they traveled on, and the sun went down when they were near Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin. 19:15 They stopped there and decided to spend the night in Gibeah. They came into the city and sat down in the town square, but no one invited them to spend the night.

19:16 But then an old man passed by, returning at the end of the day from his work in the field. The man was from the Ephraimite hill country; he was living temporarily in Gibeah. (The residents of the town were Benjaminites.) 19:17 When he looked up and saw the traveler in the town square, the old man said, “Where are you heading? Where do you come from?” 19:18 The Levite said to him, “We are traveling from Bethlehem in Judah to the remote region of the Ephraimite hill country. That’s where I’m from. I had business in Bethlehem in Judah, but now I’m heading home. But no one has invited me into their home. 19:19 We have enough straw and grain for our donkeys, and there is enough food and wine for me, your female servant, and the young man who is with your servants. We lack nothing.” 19:20 The old man said, “Everything is just fine! I will take care of all your needs. But don’t spend the night in the town square.” 19:21 So he brought him to his house and fed the donkeys. They washed their feet and had a meal.

19:22 They were having a good time, when suddenly some men of the city, some good-for-nothings, surrounded the house and kept beating on the door. They said to the old man who owned the house, “Send out the man who came to visit you so we can have sex with him.” 19:23 The man who owned the house went outside and said to them, “No, my brothers! Don’t do this wicked thing! After all, this man is a guest in my house. Don’t do such a disgraceful thing! 19:24 Here are my virgin daughter and my guest’s concubine. I will send them out and you can abuse them and do to them whatever you like. But don’t do such a disgraceful thing to this man!” 19:25 The men refused to listen to him, so the Levite grabbed his concubine and made her go outside. They raped her and abused her all night long until morning. They let her go at dawn. 19:26 The woman arrived back at daybreak and was sprawled out on the doorstep of the house where her master was staying until it became light. 19:27 When her master got up in the morning, opened the doors of the house, and went outside to start on his journey, there was the woman, his concubine, sprawled out on the doorstep of the house with her hands on the threshold. 19:28 He said to her, “Get up, let’s leave!” But there was no response. He put her on the donkey and went home. 19:29 When he got home, he took a knife, grabbed his concubine, and carved her up into twelve pieces. Then he sent the pieces throughout Israel. 19:30 Everyone who saw the sight said, “Nothing like this has happened or been witnessed during the entire time since the Israelites left the land of Egypt! Take careful note of it! Discuss it and speak!”

Interesting story of a man and his concubine. A concubine is a secondary wife. She was normally taken for sexual reasons with and had a lower status than any of the official wives. Here they are invited into a strangers home where they party it up. Some local ‘good-for-nothings’ see this and demand from the home owner that he send the man out for sex. Instead the man throws out his virgin daughter and the man’s concubine. They take these two women and gang rape them until day-break. This man put the life of a strange man that he found in the town square above that of his virgin daughter and a strange woman that he took in. This is a sure indication of the value of women in the biblical society. The story is shocking indeed.

Incest

Genesis 19

19:30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 19:31 Later the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man anywhere nearby to have sexual relations with us, according to the way of all the world. 19:32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine so we can have sexual relations with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

19:33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, and the older daughter came and had sexual relations with her father. But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 19:34 So in the morning the older daughter said to the younger, “Since I had sexual relations with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. Then you go and have sexual relations with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 19:35 So they made their father drunk that night as well, and the younger one came and had sexual relations with him. But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up.

19:36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 19:37 The older daughter gave birth to a son and named him Moab. He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 19:38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-Ammi. He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.

Here are two daughters that can not find any men to have sex with when they want children. They make their elderly father drunk with wine and have sex with him. He was actually so drunk that he could not remember what they did. Both become pregnant on consecutive nights and deliver healthy boys.

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