Religion attempts to control human behaviour, supposedly for the greater social good. I reject the idea that people should be controlled. I do not want to be controlled. I don’t think you do, either. I have independent thought. I have personal responsibility. I have free will.

Now you may say, we are, in fact, controlled by the state through our judicial system. If we break a law, we are punished, or face specific consequences. However, the state must balance the interests of the public with the interests of the individual. It’s one thing to protect members of society from the criminal behaviour of others. It’s altogether something else to dictate how human beings should enjoy sex in the privacy of their own homes.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau once said, “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” He understood that how we conduct our personal lives is no business of the government or of society in general. This line must never be crossed.

Similarly, religion has no business dictating sexual behaviour. If a woman wants to cheat on her husband, that’s her prerogative. She must assume personal responsibility. No one should presume to control her behaviour in this regard.

We accept a moderate degree of social control by the judicial system. When the degree of control becomes excessive, we call it totalitarianism. And we rebel.

We should accept no control of our private lives (to the extent that we comply with known laws). We should not be told whom to marry. We should not be told how to express our sexuality. We should not be told how to raise our children (again, child abuse laws may apply). We should not be told to abstain from sexual congress with people outside of marriage.

Religious control has inflicted far more harm to society by instilling guilt and shame over sex in millions of individuals. The compensatory benefits have not been apparent. No social problem has been eliminated, or even ameliorated, as a consequence. People still cheat. Families still fall apart. Teenagers still get pregnant. Men still visit whorehouses.

And society still remains intact.

Religious constraints on sex do not come from God. They come from people’s fear. And these same people seek to assert their authority over us, to control us. If we do not understand this, we will be forever under the yoke of clerics and sanctimonious do-gooders.

I urge you all to rebel. Now is the time…

– Richard of Arc

(This opinion belongs solely to the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Good Sex Network.)

1 thought on “Revolt”

  1. The following is a letter that I wrote to a Christian friend. We had been debating this issue for some time. It may help to further the discussion…

    I’m going to take a moment to defend the Church. You say the Church should not be a coercive force; they should lead by example. I agree wholeheartedly.

    But you are apparently alone in your view, because the Church (esp. the Roman Catholic Church) is largely autocratic. If you are a Church follower, you will be punished for breaking from religious teachings concerning sex. I don’t necessarily mean punished in the sense of going to Hell, but also in many other ways — berated by other members of your congregation or society, ostracized from your family, developing deep-rooted feelings of shame and guilt over sex, etc.

    In effect, the Church practices psychological warfare against their parishioners. Even your church does this, though in a much more subtle way than a Catholic church may do it.

    The Church’s intolerant and inflexible views on sexuality are incompatible with our enlightened modern society. They’re downright archaic! I spoke of a need for a more balanced viewpoint, one that respects the rights of the individual to have a sexually and mentally healthful life, as well as the needs of society to have stability and order.

    If the Church cannot, or will not, pursue this balance, they will become less relevant and less respected over time. They will lose followers. People will seek alternative forms of spirituality that are less autocratic, that have a less draconian stance.

    The Church has to evolve and modernize. They’ve already lost me. How many more do they want to lose?

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