Saturday, March 15, 2014

Today's Sexy Lenten Bible Reflection

Today's Sexy Lenten Bible Reflection
by Durrell Watkins

"There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses." Ezekiel 23.20

People who use the bible to justify their own prudery don't realize how earthy, human, lusty, and scandalous the scriptures are (which is precisely why I love them):
from oral sex,masturbation, the admiration of male and female body parts, and outdoor love making in the Song of Songs/Song of Solomon,
to God's "womb" being mentioned in the book of Job,
to Mary's (then) scandalous out of wedlock pregnancy (no matter how divine the sperm donor is said to have been, Mary never became Mrs God),
to Jonathan and David's obvious same-gender love affair,
to King David dancing naked in the street,
to Onan's coitus interruptus,
to Levirate marriage (where a man is compelled to have sex with his widowed sister-in-law! - see Onan),
to Jesus being with a naked man in the dark in Mark 14,
to penises (male circumcision) being discussed openly and in great detail with some frequency,
to the Apostle Paul in Acts visiting LESBOS (Mytelene),
to Solomon having 1000 spouses (and several people having multiple spouses, but Solomon totally wins)!

And those are just some of the examples where bodies and sexuality are celebrated or at least discussed openly without condemnation; there are also reprehensible sex-acts (in my judgment) that are, nevertheless, stated as matters of fact without a lot of commentary or condemnation in the bible, such as:

Samson accusing his enemies of plowing with his heifer (an insulting way of accusing them of being in bed, either figuratively or literally, with his wife),
Abraham pimping out his wife Sarah,
and Lot having incest with his daughters (in a story often used to condemn homosexuality even though consensual same-gender sex is NOT part of the story, but those who refer to Sodom and Gomorrah never seem to be blasting Lot for sleeping with his daughters...of course, the off-spring of those unholy unions just happened to be the enemies of the writer of the story, so its more of an ethnic slur against neighboring peoples than a story about sexual morals anyway).

There are times when sex is condemned, but it always when the sex is non-consensual, in violation of a covenantal relationship, or exploitive, an example being when ex-Temple prostitutes convert to Pauline Christianity and St Paul tells them to cover their hair until it grows out so they will no longer be mistaken with their former profession.

In addition to those incomplete lists, there are also the times that sexuality is implied:
What was Jesus' relationship to his "beloved" disciple; what was his relationship to Lazarus; and what was his relationship to Mary of Magdala?
What is the significance of Ruth making a vow to Naomi that is often repeated in heterosexual wedding ceremonies today?
What was Paul's thorn that prayer could not remove?

And let's add just a touch of irony to the whole thing by recalling the preferred translation used as a weapon against sex-positive people in general (and same-gender loving people in particular) is the King James Version, named for homosexual Queen James himself!

I mean, be as puritanical as you want to be, but find some reason other than the bible for it, and at very least, please stop using the bible as your excuse for denying same-gender loving people dignity and equal rights.

In Metropolitan Community Churches we see sexuality as a gift to be cherished and celebrated. Loving, consensual, adult relationships, sexual or not, regardless of the gender identities of the people in the relationships, are not condemned by scripture, by sound reasoning, or by Metropolitan Community Churches. Isn't it time to stop blaming sexual misgivings on the bible?

We don't need to look up the "rules" for sexual relationships in an ancient book where the most righteous often had sex lives seldom seen today outside the porn industry! We can sort out what is fair, just, loving, and good for ourselves and then hold ourselves and one another accountable, insisting only that our sexual relationships be (as one community puts it) "safe, sane, and consensual."

We can be moral, responsible, loving, kind, generous, faithful, bound by promises that we freely make, and live in joyous, sensual relationships. Spirituality and sexuality do not pose a dichotomy. I am proud to be part of the MCC tradition that has affirmed that boldly and consistently since its founding on Oct 6, 1968!

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