Category Archives: Islam

The Eternal Fire

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I was raised contrary to many children raised within religion in that my parents would discuss sex openly.  We would discuss how good sex felt, in fact, a comparison that stands out from the discussion was to a much better feeling of releasing a sneeze.

We would talk about contraception.  We would talk about vaginas and penises.  We would talk about physical attraction, including no preconceived notion that we would be attracted to the opposite sex.

They weren’t gross or damaging to us.  They wouldn’t discuss their particular sex life, and perform acts in front of us, other than kissing, which let’s face it folks, isn’t a vulgar sex act.

Because of this normalization of sex in my thoughts, I also don’t get grossed out at the thought of parents having sex.

We were also taught that masturbation was great.  It was necessary.  It provided a healthy ‘out’ for our urges.

Along with all of that, we were also taught that the best prevention of disease or pregnancy was abstinence.  Now, this is important though… it was simply taught as the best not the only.

All that said, I did not wait until I was married.  My first intercourse experience was at 17 years of age.  Sure enough, it felt really good.  I guess you could say it was a hell of a thing.

So, to the meat and potatoes of this post, sorry for the long intro…

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. – Jude 1:7

If you desire to wait for marriage before having intercourse, that’s fine.  When you decide to judge others for premarital sex, that’s when it’s an issue.

Let me ask all the married religious people a question.  Was it really worth the wait?  Or perhaps it was painful, uncomfortable, and messy (as first time sex is for many)?

Let me ask the religious people that have been married more than once another question.  Was sex with the second partner worse?  Better?  Same?  Honestly, I would likely guess it was better, but I’m sure that’s up for debate and not the point of this dissertation.  I’d bet that just because you’d had sex before, it wasn’t worse.

My point is that the sex drive is necessary for the survival of a species and, with small percentage of exception (asexuals), we all experience it.  It’s really interesting that it sets in at its most powerful level during puberty.  A time when most of the religious would push the hardest to prevent an individual from having sex.  Don’t take my point as I support underage sex, I really don’t.  I have 2 children, both below the age of consent, and in the full throws of puberty, and we teach similarly to my parents.  Abstinence is best, but condoms and other protections if the urge is too great.

Why, if we are created by a deity, would we have such a powerful drive to create new life before we were married?  I know some will say “mysterious ways”, and others will say “we are being tested”.  I just don’t buy those answers.  Perhaps, just perhaps, we evolved to procreate at the most likely to be successful point in our short lives.  It fits.  Evolution has no real care for ’emotional maturity’.

Perhaps it’s time for people to view sex with a healthier attitude.  The bible certainly doesn’t provide a healthy attitude, as seen in the quote above, or the following:

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. – Ephesians 5:5

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – Matthew 5:27-28

And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. – Exodus 22:16-17

These seem pretty dire.  No heaven, mental adultery, buying your way out of premarital sex?  This is an unhealthy look at sex.  This creates paranoia.  Teaching these things to children is abuse.

Let’s get past this.  Let’s start a healthy dialog about sex.  Let’s help prevent disease and teen pregnancy.  Hammering your children with abstinence only sexual education has demonstrably the opposite result.

But my God says….

Now that the SCOTUS has decided that marriage, no matter genders involved, is protected nation wide, I’ve been watching the mayhem from those that disagree.

There are many gems, but this one in particular has stood out: Texas clerk won’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

In the name of truth and honesty in disclosure I’ve followed it through, and apparently her office will now issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but that’s not the point, this discussion is about ‘religious freedom’.

The first amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It seems pretty clear from the text that the government can’t establish religion (you know, like “In God we Trust”, er wait….), or prohibit the free exercise of a persons religious beliefs (of course, there are limits, if your religion teaches that say women who are raped should be married to their rapists, the government really doesn’t allow someone to force that).

The issue at hand here is that a governmental employee, while functioning as a representative of the government really can’t establish religious reasons for providing government services.  In the case of Hood County Clerk Katie Lang (referenced in the link above), she isn’t issuing the license, the government is.  She’s simply the individual that handles the paperwork, as it were.

In the Quran it states “Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them…” This is often used as the basis for Islamic women covering themselves.  What if someone working in the drivers license division stopped giving drivers licenses to women because they weren’t covered from head to toe?  Would that be exercising freedom of religion?

In the bible it states “A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.”  What if the same clerk that is refusing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples required that women provide irrefutable proof of virginity before marriage in a mixed gender marriage?  Would that be exercising religious freedom?

Freedom requires that the government, not individuals, protect rights, that way everyone has a greater chance at being treated equally.

If you’re a representative of the government, then you must leave your personal views at the door, and pick them back up on the way out.

Religion, the blind taste test.

Pascal’s wager, which, in its simplified form is essentially, why not be a believer, to hedge your bets that non-belief can lead to consequences in the afterlife.  The biggest argument against this dilemma is, “what if you choose the wrong belief?”

There are many reasons people believe in a specific religion, among them are those in the lack of choice category (raised in it, state sanctioned religion, etc.), and those that are have/had a choice (study, through proselytizing, etc.).  For those in the first category, it is especially difficult for them to see any other belief as a valid religion, and for those in the second category, either it’s a situation of ‘right place at the right time’, or they have studied a set of choices and decided that one fits their position better than others.

This brings me to the point, or “the blind taste test.”  There is a similarity to blind taste tests done by companies like coke or pepsi.  In the case of being raised in a religion, you more often than not, don’t know better, nothing else has been tried.  In the case of choice, you’ve at least decided between more than one choice.  It’s still a blind taste test though, since, if for the sake of argument there is a god who is judging based on you being the right kind of believer, you might have chosen incorrectly.  And in this case, you have to wait all the way until the end to find out if your choice was the better choice.

I hear all sorts of reasons from believers as to why their choice is the correct one.  Nearly 100% of the reasons go back to doctrine (Bible, Koran, Torah, Book of Mormon, etc.) as their proof, yet those using the same texts, get a different taste test result, as an example Catholics and Baptists.  In fact, current estimates of different Christian religions are estimated in the range of 43,000.  In the case of Christian religious exclusivism, these are poor odds, even for Vegas.

Even if we just separate it down into the major players (Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam), you’re looking at 5 choices, which isn’t bad odds in Vegas, but when betting your afterlife, do you really want to get stuck with a 1 in 5 chance of consequences?  Based on current numbers, if the correct choice isn’t Christianity, then at least 31.5% of people are destined for afterlife consequences.

Are you sure your choice is correct?  Sure enough to bet your afterlife?

Oh well, at least the coke vs. pepsi taste test isn’t eternal.