Monday, November 08, 2004

Purity In A Sex Mad World

You might wonder what on earth someone as soulless, shallow and materialistic as me was doing at a church seminar on Sunday. My girlfriend Dani and her friend Abi were intrigued by a quiet evening debate, and invited me. In the spirit of attempting everything once, therefore, I acquiesced. I'm very far from being Christian, but in a pretentious attempt to not be completely ignorant I'm willing to listen to views that might contradict my own. I expected a reasonably exhilarating debate but was instead confronted by the most horrifyingly radical conservatism ever:

PRUDISH DANE: When I came to England, people kissed me on the cheek and I was like 'Woah! You're invading my personal space!'. I mean, in Denmark everyone hugs, and I don't know whether that's different in your culture. Can people hug here?'

'Is any sexual activity okay outside marriage?'

PRUDISH DANE: Er. No. Kissing provides a constant temptation.

Right. I'm not a complete libertarian. I don't believe in sex outside a loving, stable, long-term relationship, and would assume that most loving, stable, long-term relationships result in marriage. I appreciate and understand that Christians do not believe in sex outside marriage, it really isn't a belief far away from my own thoughts on the matter. But I've never heard anyone so astonishingly prudish and repressive as to virtually express the sentiment: 'no kissing outside marriage'. This assumes that all humans are impossibly weak creatures for whom the most inoffensive of affectionate gestures acts as some kind of ecstatically irresistible aphrodisiac, a highly offensive and condescending view. Although apparently oysters are also an aphrodisiac (yep, what you thought was indigestion, stomach cramp and projectile vomiting was in fact overpowering lust!). We also watched a video vaguely related to the subject which oddly appeared to be accompanied by a cheap Dutch porn soundtrack: 'I want you! I need you! I want you! I need you! I want you! I need you!' as if abstaining from sex is some kind of continuous desperate battle against a tuneless nymphomaniac singer with writer's block. It worries me slightly when people are this scared of a simple (and natural) biological desire and take valid religious beliefs to such a ridiculous extreme that ordinary Christians are turned off. I went expecting to have my dodgy agnostic view challenged, not supplemented. I didn't expect to be greeted by what turned out to be an ignorant atheist's dream parody of insanely radical Christians. My Christian friends were horrified, which says it all. Sheesh.

Ed's Mood: Disillusioned
Ed's Incessant Auto Repeat Musical Tip: Radiohead - Street Spirit (Live Acoustic)


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