J.G. Keely's Reviews > Every Young Man's Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation

Every Young Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn
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Oct 29, 2007

did not like it
bookshelves: non-fiction, religion, reviewed

When I was a kid I used to sleep over at my best friend's house, and since he and his family were practicing Christians, I ended up going to a lot of Sunday services with them. We'd sit and listen to the pastor and sing some songs, and often, we'd go back to his house and talk about what we'd heard.

I remember going with him and his brother to Bible study a few times, where I was always shocked to find that I knew more about the Bible than the kids who were there, who could quote a hundred verses off the top of their heads, which was especially surprising to me, because I really didn't know much about the Bible.

I remember one instance where they were talking about the devil being in their heads, butting doubts and thoughts in there, making them think things they didn't want to think. I interrupted and asked if they remembered last week, when the Pastor had pointed out that nowhere in the Bible does the devil tempt anyone, let alone control their thoughts, except in the story of Job, where Lucifer had to ask God's permission first, and God did the lion's share of the tormenting.

"Am I the only one who actually listens to the pastor?" I asked, confused--they didn't have an answer for me.

It was around this point that my best friend's brother, who was also at the bible study, began to have problems with girls in school. Like most of us, he felt awkward about the new feelings he was having, and was more afraid of women than interested in them. He was a tall, blond, blue-eyed football player and girls liked to hang around him, even asking him out, which made him nervous and confused.

He was a few years younger than us and we'd been there, we knew how he felt. His parents decided to try to help him, and at their pastor's suggestion, they bought him this book.

After getting and reading it, his fear and anxiety around women seemed to increase, so me and my friend grabbed it from the coffee table, sat down in his room, and read it. We were still high school kids ourselves and hadn't had sex, but even then, we felt like this book was written by people who knew less about sex and human relationships than we did.

It's a book full of guilt and paranoia: people can't control themselves, especially women, who can't help but try to seduce you, and it's your duty to avoid them, not to look about them or think about them in sexual ways, not to have those thoughts. The fact that these relationships are expressed in terms of combat shows the level of conflict the authors feel appropriate.

But, of course, almost everyone has those thoughts. They are a natural component of how human beings work--attraction, infatuation, love, sex--these things are real, vital parts of life, secular or Christian. He tried to control his thoughts, to make them go away, but it isn't that easy.

When a person spends hours at school surrounded by other teen boys and girls who have bodies and sexual thoughts, then goes home and reads books about sexual thoughts, it's no wonder that those thoughts will consume them. If someone wandered behind you whispering "don't think about sex" over and over again throughout the day, how would you be able to think about anything else?

And perhaps the biggest problem about this book is that it encourages teens who are confused and uninformed to feel guilty, to feel like it's their job to control their thoughts and if they can't, they are failing not only themselves, but the people they are attracted to. Those sorts of negative obsessions can be very powerful, and it's easy for them to take hold, as they did for my friend's brother.

Now, every time he had a thought about the opposite sex, he was suddenly full of guilt, suddenly telling himself over and over "don't think about sex", and getting even more upset when those thoughts didn't go away--which did not make it easier for him to learn to interact with women. The obsession he had with not thinking about sex just gave those thoughts more power and heightened his emotional response.

My friend and I, on the other hand, even though we were going through the same problem, found that as time went on, things got easier. We learned how to communicate with people, the anxiety lessened as we learned that all the stuff we were confused about, all the stuff we didn't know about sex wasn't that big of a deal. We didn't give into those thoughts--we didn't have sex--but we learned to ignore them, to live with them, and we learned that they didn't have to define us or how we interacted with other people. Sure, it was a struggle sometimes, but we never let that struggle define who we are.

The bottom line is, whether you have a positive obsession with sex or a negative obsession with sex, you're still obsessed, and that isn't healthy. Trying to banish your own thoughts is never going to work, because the when you say "I have to get rid of my sexual thoughts", that is you thinking about your sexual thoughts.

It's a problem my friend's brother deals with to this day. He's a sweet guy, an intelligent guy, and he's not crazy, it's just that the anxiety of this has built up so much in his head for so long from books like this that he never had a chance to learn how to interact with people he's attracted to. He even enrolled in a group that helps people with sex addiction, despite the fact that he is still a virgin and in college, because these thoughts and this guilt still keeps him up at night, and prevent him from meeting or befriending women.

It's fine if people want to be abstinent, or if they want to live as Christians and marry as virgins, but this book is not the path to making peace with yourself and your feelings, it's a book that fosters repression and anxiety. Reading through it, I was struck with how the authors talk about sexual thoughts--it became immediately clear that people who repress their sexuality think about sex far more often than I ever have, even as an atheistic teenage boy, I never thought about sex as much as the examples in this book.

This book is not a representation of real life, or of normal human relationships. It is not a tool to help people come to terms with unwanted thoughts, nor will it help anyone to develop a healthy outlook on life and sexuality, Christian or otherwise. This book is full of nonsense and misinformation, and if you are a young man who already feels anxious about sex and women, this book will help to turn that anxiety into constant, life-long fear.
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02/22/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-42 of 42) (42 new)

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message 1: by Skylar (new)

Skylar Burris Why do I suspect you haven't actually read this book but only came to express your point of view on the subject? There are those who desire, for whatever reason, to remain abstinent at a certain point in their lives, and it is no bad thing to give them encouragement in obtaining their goals. (Yes, I'm reading all your reviews now and poking back, but I assure you I am not a stalker by nature.)


J.G. Keely It's not the abstinance I disagree with, but the repressive and self-victimizing politicization this author creates in order to deal with it. Reading this book showed me that being obsessed with not having sex can be as psychologically harmful as being obsessed with having it.


message 3: by Skylar (new)

Skylar Burris Fair enough.


message 4: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Also, if I may, because I think that this kind of philosophy teaches needless self-hatrred and flagellation and guilt, especially to kids who don't get another perspective on it. (Who I feel like are the people who would read this in the first place.) I am Catholic. I know whereof I speak on that species.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey, to be fair, the Irish, the Catholics, and the Jews (I'm the former, the latter, and a former of the middle) make great fun of flagellatin' and guiltin' ourselves and others. Now don't be takin' the fun from us, Kelly.


message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Amen!


message 7: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Amen the second!

Dude, even the Victorians wrote porn in secret. Get over your city on the hill crap.


message 8: by Charissa (new)

Charissa ::::tries not to imagine Donald whipping himself in real life and having dirty thoughts about it:::

I'm a pagan, should I feel guilty now? I'm so bad at that.


message 9: by Charissa (new)

Charissa heh. :::does the dance of sexual perversion:::


J.G. Keely I believe this is also the book that begins with a dystopian short story about how Christians will soon have to do all their praying in secret and will be arrested and shot by SWAT teams if discovered.

I did find it funny when the 'secular government' stated it was doing this because people who believe that invisible men telling you what to do are crazy.I'm always amazed how an overwhelming majority so easily convinces itself that it is a victimized minority who must fight for its very way of life.

I suppose it's a bit depressing to find that the people one is attacking are not interested in attacking you back. Breaks certain church traditions; though the current semi-religious government is doing a great job of keeping that crusading tradition alive and well.


message 11: by Charissa (new)

Charissa Good point Keely, perhaps it's a form of cellular PTSD. The Christians were fed to the lions in Rome once upon a time and they've never really gotten over it. So they roamed the earth for years, in a paranoid delusion, practicing pre-emptive strikes right and left, protecting themselves from the next potential Galdiator at every turn. I think that explains a lot.


message 12: by Edward (new)

Edward "Dude, even the Victorians wrote porn in secret."

Strictly speaking, it wasn't written in secret, it just wasn't openly discussed; judging by My Secret Life, they had a penchant for penning exceptionally BAD pornography.

Actually, allow me for a moment to make a sort of hedgehoggy squeak of indignation at this whole "repressed Victorian" stereotype. They were passionate, lusty people, in many cases. They had mistresses, and torrid affairs---and I'm sure you know as much or more about all that than I---and frankly discussed sex all the time. Kipling wrote openly of the need for brothels to reduce the incidence of venereal disease in the Indian Army, and Oscar Wilde of course touched upon infidelity and all sorts of other naughtiness in his plays. Someone whose name of course now escapes me produced a number of sexually explicit cartoons that I actually have zero desire to dredge up in google, and of course photographic pornography and/or erotica was well-established as early as the 1850s and 1860s.

Whooo. Carried away.


message 13: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Edward... yes. I'm very aware. But I don't think that I will reveal the depth of my knowledge and go on with a discussion of Victorian porn here. :)

And the whole victimized Christian thing is ridiculous. Christians won... ike 2000 years ago! Just because people aren't interested in your religion anymore does not mean that they're oppressing you because you like it. That's your own inner doubt and self esteem problems that you're blaming outwardly. Gaaahh, that drives me nuts.


message 14: by Skylar (new)

Skylar Burris Re: Victorians and porno. The fact that people do things has little whatsoever to do with the question of whether or not it is right or proper to do those things.

Re: Evangelicals and sexual sins. Yes, evangelicals (and I speak as an evangelical critical of the problems within evangelicalism, though I recognize the virtues too) have a tendency to place far too much emphasis on sexual sins while shying away from focusing on the more significant sins—the ones Christ himself focused on—the spiritual sins. Christ had little to say to the woman taken in adultrery other than go and sin no more (and he protected her form those hypocrites who would stone her). He had little to say to the woman with five husbands other than—this is who I am and this is who you are. But for the religious hypocrites who were committing spiritual sins, he reserved all of his "Woe unto yous…"

Re: ignoring the poor – evangelical Christians give more money to the poor and do more service for the poor than any other identifiable segment of the population, so I wouldn't be so quick to lay that sin at their door. Bad literature and bad pop music, I will gladly give you.

I love to debate, but I'm going to have to stop with all this before it sucks up too much of my time I should be spending on more profitable uses. Adieu all.


message 15: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I would also like to comment and compliment you, Skylar, on your restraint. I definitely can get a little heated in my frustrations, and I apologize also. I just had a personally bad experience with a very crazy, intolerant evangelical church who absolutely ruined a lovely young friend of mine's self esteem and healthy outlook on the world, so. Anyway.

However, I do think your point about Christian charities is well taken. I know definitely in some areas were it not for these faith based organizations, a lot of people would be worse off. When I was in my teens, I know my church did a lot for neighboring towns. We always took the ornaments from the Christmas tree, etc. And it that was a very warm community. So anyway. That's all I wanted to say.


message 16: by Charissa (new)

Charissa Personally I don't look at the sexualization of our culture as something to be "corralled" but instead I would like to see the sacredness of sexuality be brought forward. Sex for sex sake is the issue, in my opinion, not sex in general. Christianity went and made sex a "naughty" "dirty" "wrong" act... unless it was for procreation and under the sanction of the state and church. It's the worst kind of perversion in my view. To divorce oneself from the sacredness of sex is to be cut off from the well-spring of life itself. Better to channel the energy in ways that are in keeping with the positive forces of the universe. My dream for our world is a return to this deep and neccessary imperitive for our species.


message 17: by Edward (new)

Edward Perhaps parts of Christianity made sex naughty and dirty, but I think it's a bit much to ascribe that process to Christianity as if it were a monolithic whole, instead of literally thousands of differing sects, all with their own curious notions. Certainly the increasing influence of the monastic traditions way back when lead to more extreme views of what constituted original sin and what sorts of self-abnegation were necessary to redeem one's self, but I don't think those views are held by anything more than a vocal minority, and the "dirtiness" or what-have-you of sex is certainly not a view confined to Christians, or even religions in general.


message 18: by Charissa (new)

Charissa Edward, the Bible is quite explicit about how sex outside of marriage is viewed. It is a sin, for which you go to hell. How is that a "minority" of Christian view? "Fornication" is how sex outside of marriage is referred to.

I think you are living in denial if you think that Christianity is not responsible for how sex is viewed throughout Western culture. Go back and review your history. It's rather obvious.


message 19: by Charissa (new)

Charissa also... Paul (who was Saul) was the one who brought Christianity with him to Rome. He is the mind from which the entire religion stems. He was completely opposed to sex unless it was for procreation. He kept referring to the Roman pagans being demonic because of their "Dionysian" ways.

St. Augustine hated women and thought that all sex was something to be risen above. These beliefs and traditions are what the Christian church is founded on!

And for hundreds of years Christainity *WAS* a monolithic whole called the Catholic church. The "sects" didn't arise until later. All of Europe, and much of the rest of the world, was crushed under the bootheel of the Catholic church and made to conform to their twisted version of morality. People were burned at the stake and set on the rack for "witchcraft" and "immoral speech".

And yes, "dirtiness" of sex is definitely a concept that comes out of Judeo-Christian tradition. Pagan traditions think that sex is sacred. Sex was a part of an offering to the gods and goddesses.

Go read. Educate yourself.


message 20: by Xysea (new)

Xysea Hey I am a former evangelical who still whips himself(figure of speech?)with the self-hatred. And mostly due to the lust issue.

Why is it to most right wing Christians the only sins are sexual?

What about the sins of ignoring the poor? Screwing the environment? Making shitty pop records and writing bad books?


As a former evangelical myself, the sex thing is a trip. There's a lot of suppression there - of homosexuality, of masturbation, of feeling comfortable with your body.

I begrudge no one abstinence, if it is because they come to the conclusion that it is right for them and not a mandate, or something forced on the individual by 'authority figures'. A lot of those 'authority figures' were not abstinent themselves, and there is growing evidence that sexual repression/suppression gives way to sexual deviation, fetishism and a whole host of psychiatric problems.

I've been celibate for periods in my life, deliberately. It isn't for everyone. However, I think that if you can do it (heh, pun intended) then you might gain a different perspective.

Personally, I couldn't care less about sexual sin. I think that people should look to their own homes first, before checking their neighbor's, if you get what I mean.

:)




message 21: by Edward (new)

Edward "Go read. Educate yourself."

Hey, thanks! I've actually read both St. Augustine (who certainly didn't hate women, even if he suffered from colossal guilt about having had a mistress and a child out of wedlock) and Paul. Additionally, St. Augustine represented only one facet of the Catholic Church during a time of huge doctrinal struggle within that organization. His was not the only view.

"And for hundreds of years Christainity *WAS* a monolithic whole called the Catholic church."

For about three hundred, until the rise of the Eastern Orthodox Church, sure. Of course, there were literally hundred of different factions and heretical sects existing at that time. There wasn't just one opinion; fr'instance, the Dominicans, Franciscans, and Benedictine monks waged bitter battles for primacy within the church hierarchy.

"All of Europe, and much of the rest of the world, was crushed under the bootheel of the Catholic church and made to conform to their twisted version of morality. People were burned at the stake and set on the rack for "witchcraft" and "immoral speech"."

Much of Europe was not under the control of the Catholic Church, or Christians at all, thanks to the incredible success of Moorish arms until the Renaissance period.

Unfortunately, part of the problem of history is that, by our standards, nobody was very nice, especially not circa AD 1-oh, sayyyy...the present day. Torture and brutality is never something that should be excused, but it's absurd to pretend that "only" the Catholics or Christians were doing it. Confucian China wasn't exactly a paradise on earth, and I wouldn't have wanted to be a peasant in Japan, either. Everyone is equally morally culpable. That era gives us very few good guys of any stripe.

"And yes, "dirtiness" of sex is definitely a concept that comes out of Judeo-Christian tradition. Pagan traditions think that sex is sacred. Sex was a part of an offering to the gods and goddesses."

I certainly accept that a lot of modern uptightness came from Christianity---certainly the monastics bear a lot of the blame, since they had all that free time to write---but you're kidding yourself if you think that every pagan tradition claims sex is sacred and all Christians don't. "Pagan" is kind of an all-encompassing category to be making such bold statements about. The Ik, fr'instance, don't hold sex or much of anything else sacred.

"Edward, the Bible is quite explicit about how sex outside of marriage is viewed. It is a sin, for which you go to hell. How is that a "minority" of Christian view? "Fornication" is how sex outside of marriage is referred to."

King David was an adulterer and conspired to have his mistress's husband murdered. But Jesus is ostensibly his descendent, and David was pretty tight with God even at the end. He apparently didn't go to hell.

But are we talking about sex---which most Christians I've known, practicing or not, regard as a sacred act---or extramarital sex? If it's the latter, I know plenty of Christians who happily had it, and plenty of non-Christians who consider it a horrid thing to do.

"I think you are living in denial if you think that Christianity is not responsible for how sex is viewed throughout Western culture."

Obviously I disagree; while I think Christianity is certainly one of the principal influences, I think it's not the sole influence.


message 22: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Edward, I would be curious to know (and I'm not sneering with this comment, I'm honestly curious) what you believe the other influences on society's view of sex are? I think whatever else may have rolled out- our parents' attitudes, our attitudes about experiences we've had with sex, all of that.. I think it ultimately comes from a Judeo-Christian perspective that we cannot escape. It is certainly the foundation of our thought on sex. I'm of the opinion that any other opinion first starts with that, particularly in the modern era. Even if you are not a practionier, the way of thinking is embedded in our culture. Anyway, if you could tell me, I would just be curious to hear what othe sources you believe it came from.


message 23: by Xio (new)

Xio (clears her throat) I think this culture hystericizes (yeah that's right, I made that up) sexuality as a default by product of its adolescent maturity level it requires everyone to maintain in our trancey-zombie consumer state, having no impulse control and a binding controlling see saw of guilt/want to keep us all unstable

ahem, And the religious only serve to get us further from the sacred bond of interpersonal interaction with all the darn guilt/shame loads.
I'm no pagan but once you dis-locate or outsource the source of the good the true and the beautiful from the human you are incapable of seeing the human for the divinity potential it contains and then how are you supposed to properly devote yourself in the act?


yE-ha!
(maybe if the whole world hadn't decided to stop ordering porn for the day I might keep my opinions to myself but Noooo)



message 24: by Edward (new)

Edward I don't dispute that Judeo-Christianity has had a majpr influence on Western thought, but it's interesting to note, for example, that Tacitus, amongst others, notes a strong undercurrent of puritanism amongst the Germanic tribes; adultery was punished by burial alive. I think the fusion of christianity with the prechristian traditions of central and western Europe probably had a huge effect upon the subsequent development of western thought, such as it is, just as Spanish contact with the Moors and the Balkan exposure to the Ottomans immensely effected those areas.

It also seems worth noting that countries like Italy and France, which are far closer to the physical seat of the Catholic Church, are also far more anti-clerical (France in the 1890s is a fascinating study on this, BTW) and less puritanical than Germany, which is in turn less so than the two "major" English-speaking nations. Just an observation of possible interest.


message 25: by Xysea (new)

Xysea lol xio,

Well, here's an area where we agree!

I do think its a by-product of our culture, one that wants to sell us stuff. Heck, they even tell us what model we want, tell us what sex we should have and then spend a load of time making us feel titillated and ashamed all at the same time.

******

Edward,

Do you think Eastern thought, or Middle Eastern thought, is also equally responsible for our thoughts about sexuality here in the West?


message 26: by Charissa (new)

Charissa ahem... Edward... I apologize for my tone with you. This is obviously an issue which easily puts my knickers in a twist. I shall attempt to take some deep breaths and re-read your posts. Perhaps I can find another state of mind from which to have this conversation.


message 27: by Kelly (last edited Jan 11, 2008 10:49AM) (new)

Kelly Edward, I'm afraid you still haven't convinced me that Judeo-Christian thought isn't the foundation for all modern Western thought on the subject of sex (Middle Eastern being even more repressive, if we're talking about Islam, and Eastern, well... while it may influence here in the West, people start with Jud/Christ). While I do agree that many pre-Christian traditions fused with Christian ones at the time of the formation of the Catholic Church (And I am Catholic and sat through Sunday services every week for 20 years, so I should know, just as an fyi), I think that they were very careful to crush all the ones having to do with sex. For example, the joyous Spring Equinox, when the mother goddess mated and gave birth, became Easter, which celebrates the spirit's release from the body to heaven ultimately, and a man's total suffering along the way. In effect, it celebrates a total disconnect from the body, which is what a lot of Christian thought has yearned towards since.
Yule became a virgin birth... on and on. I'm sure you know this already. I think my point here is that pre-Christian religious traditions may have survived in the form and pageantry and the calendar of the church, but not the thoughts on sex.

Secondly: I think your point about Italy and France is well taken. France is, after all, "the first daughter of the Church." My comment would be that they are the countries that most felt the effects of religous wars and the power of the papacy for centuries, and the abuses of a powerful and wealthy clergy were most likely to occur here, where they had the leverage to do so. In wilder flung places like Germany and Britain, life was a bit harder for the clergy to be that abusive. at least at first. They got over that later.


message 28: by Edward (new)

Edward "Do you think Eastern thought, or Middle Eastern thought, is also equally responsible for our thoughts about sexuality here in the West?"

Certainly not so much, if at all, since western exposure to these cultures was usually filtered through the lense of colonialism and imperialism. For some time prior to the Indian Mutiny in 1857, though, it was quite common for British officers in the East India Company to go almost entirely native, even holding dual religious ceremonies, and a similar fascination on the part of many European officers w/r/t the natives seems to have been common in most colonial possessions.

"Edward, I'm afraid you still haven't convinced me that Judeo-Christian thought isn't the foundation for all modern Western thought on the subject of sex..."

In the sense that other viewpoints are often portrayed as a reaction to Christianity, sure. I can accept that. But my gut feeling is that Christianity qua Christianity is pretty schizophrenic, capable of generating ten widely different positions on a single subject.

" ahem... Edward... I apologize for my tone with you. This is obviously an issue which easily puts my knickers in a twist. I shall attempt to take some deep breaths and re-read your posts. Perhaps I can find another state of mind from which to have this conversation."

Apology wholly unnecessary, but please accept mine if I've offended in return.



J.G. Keely During a religious discussion, I once expressed that most of the Buddhists I had met had been respectable and joyous people, whereas the majority of Christians I had met were unhappy and emotionally unstable. I don't think that their religion of necessity causes this instability, but that it certainly doesn't help it.

There are always wondrous and caring people amongst any faith or lack of it, and always self-centered and troubled people, as well. I suppose I tend to be less upset at atheists or agnostics who are cruel and selfish because they have never claimed to aspire to something else in the first place. I prefer and honest jerk to a hypocritical one.

That being said, I think that morality is only vaguely a religious issue, since it can usually be rather quickly shown that religious people definitively do not base their morals on their faith, eventhose who think they do. Morality is something deeper than mere historical tradition, it is the philosophy of human interaction.

I do not find a man honorable who is good and kind merely because he fears reprisal. I am proud to be a non-believer and a good person because the only reasons I can have for my actions are their own rewards. Anyone who imagines that a society would descend to sex and murder without religion is really telling you that religion is the only thing keeping them from being hedonistic and cruel.

I, for one, respect a man for his actions, and those who radiate that aura of calm, joy, and altruism are a gift to the world and occur in every faith and even without any faith at all.

Also, Charissa, I would warn you against any over-romanticization of an imagined and ideal 'pre-Christian' state, especially as any modern Pagan belief is constructed from Christian accounts. I always find it funny that people will call themselves druids and use the divination methods of 15th century Italian Catholics (Tarot cards).

I wouldn't accuse you of such a thing, but your idealism reminded me of it. Then again, I think there is something more than admirable in idealism. The greatest journey is the one which may never end.

Christianity cannot take the sole or even bulk fault for the 'naughtification' of sex. This was merely a social process for the transferral of sexual energies into other social spheres. The fact that the Christian church was the heirarchy for such changes is merely a reflection of the fact that the church happened to be the source of social power and the justification of morality. Do not confuse the tool with the men who weild it, for they will always find another to replace what vox populi derides. One might look now to the churches of Fifth avenue and Wall street.


message 30: by Xio (new)

Xio Donald, you are like the basso profundo of all our chats and I could simply not do without you

Xysea, whether you like me or not, I like you and you are the Mozart-ian high soprano flittering capricious overhead testing everyone's patience while always managing to gain our attention

Charissa, darling, the mezzo-soprano, so sexy, curious, such range

and Brendan, Bill, but they're not here! where is the Greek chorus?!


message 31: by Paul (new)

Paul Bryant :::does the dance of sexual perversion:::

Charissa - what is this dance? Is it like The Loco-motion or The Frug?

And are people changing their icons to confuse me?


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 11, 2008 02:54PM) (new)

Lust is part of the Yetzer-ha-Ra, our Bad Drive, as opposed to the Yetzer-ha-Tov, our Good Drive. But that doesn't mean lust and sex is BAD. It means it needs to be HARNESSED, like our desire for fast cars, big houses, pretty jewelry, and cold, hard cash. In that, the Puritans and me are in agreement. But masturbation, loving relationships, and marriages are all fine by me. And if you're into other stuff, that's OK, too. Not EXALTED or ENCOURAGED by me, but PERFECTLY LEGAL for CONSENTING ADULTS.

There's your Greek chorus.

Oh, Clytemnestra, thou hast murdered thy husband, and we are old men not for war! You wound us!


message 33: by Xio (new)

Xio I know this particular lesson, Brendan, actually, perhaps incongruously, though maybe it just silverlines every tassel of restraint I exercise...

Thanks ever so much, by the way. I'm in the mood for a slaughter. Or is it a feast? Ah it's always a feast. But you know that, secretly, that's why you're so superstitious, I suspect?
(Xio ducks and dashes off into her forest)


message 34: by Lacey (new)

Lacey Kudos to everyone who managed to restrain emotions and stick to facts. Also, Brendan I just had to comment--great job. I like this the best. After all, aren't most rules at heart given for protection?


message 35: by Lacey (new)

Lacey Let's not call each other names now, children. Debate's strength is in the ability to report facts and compare notes, not denigrate each other.


message 36: by Xio (new)

Xio (blushing) but, I've never (looks at her toes) *heard* your real voice, Donald (looks up slowly, blinking to effect)






message 37: by Xio (new)

Xio Hell ya! From you that's a compliment.
As oh some guy somewhere wrote, 'The play's the thing'

No?


message 38: by Charissa (new)

Charissa Paul... I don't think I can accurately describe the Dance of Sexual Perversion for you with words. I may have to You Tube it for you. But first, I'll have to do something sexually perverted to get into the mood. Now where did I put those midgets?


message 39: by Paul (new)

Paul Bryant I bet the Martians did the Dance of Sexual Perversion at the Martian Hop. The narrator of this slab of cosmic doowop states in wonder that he couldn't name a single dance the Martians couldn't do

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_faVt...


message 40: by Charissa (new)

Charissa Ha ha ha ha ha ha.... yes. I love to watch them spin. Brings back the memories. But I think the dance looks something like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMH0bH...


message 41: by Michaela (last edited Jan 12, 2008 01:10PM) (new)

Michaela Wood As for Christians and sexuality, I think the widespread rape and sexual abuse of children by priests may be an indicator that Catholic (at least, I don't speak to evans) ideas about sex are misconceived at the root. Christian Marriage consoling has been less effective than traditional psychotherapy consoling (evangelicals more so than Catholics, Atheists fared the best...), and this is according to a Christian Research Organization: Barna Research Group. Teens that take a vows of abstinence and break their vow are more likely to get STD's because they don't use condoms regularly. (American Journal of Sociology, 2001. ("Recent Findings from the 'Add Health' Survey: Teens and Sexual Activity," TGR, August 2001). I've seen differences in sects concerning the rigidity of their codes around sex and marriage but not so much the basic Christian messages. I don't know if these messages about abstinence, roles in marriage and trust in the church are particluarly effective at teaching young men what is important in their marriages, their bedrooms, or for their children. It's certainly not effective for their health or the health of their family.


message 42: by Lacey (new)

Lacey We hear about these problems specifically BECAUSE they go against the faith. Like hearing about murderers because they broke faith with the law. It's not Christianity's responsibility when people break faith with their beliefs. In fact, Christianity exists to give them hope beyond broken faith, the hope to regain lost honour. There's never going to be any sort of law against that for a very good reason: it's just good.


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