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Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality by Darrel Ray
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“Religion has the capacity to silence critical thinking and create blindness in entire groups of people. It can infect the minds of followers so completely as to allow the most egregious sexual acts against children and others to go unchallenged for centuries.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“We acquire both the language and religious concepts from our immediate culture – at the same time. A child cannot discriminate between useful survival information and the emotional and psychological manipulations of religion. Once infected, these ideas are deeply embedded and almost impossible to change.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“All religions have something to say about sex, and it rarely coincides with scientific knowledge of sex and sexuality.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Theology has not advanced an inch in the last 1,000 years. How much respect does a profession deserve if it cannot add to the knowledge and understanding of man?”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“The church may update its techniques and methods, but it is always in service of the institutional organism. This is one of the reasons why the pedophile priest issue is and will remain an endemic disease in the Catholic Church.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“It is not very romantic, but reality is a better basis for building a relationship than fantasizing about a soul mate or counting on a god to find you a partner.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Humans love sex. Both men and women are wired to be sexually responsive. Sex is the social glue of the human species. It takes heavy-handed training or trauma to kill a human's sex drive.
Religion has that power. Sexual training in guilt, shame, and fear begins virtually at birth by sexualizing nudity. The religious signal is that nudity is always sexual and the body must be covered for modesty. The Adam and Eve story is taught to young children even though they have no way to know what it means.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Religion is evolving to survive but is losing the battle in many regions, largely because of the Internet. Sexual information is far more available now, which interferes with religion’s ability to use sexual guilt to perpetuate.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“The abstinence-only programs and reclaimed-virginity movement make men and women ashamed of being sexual creatures before or outside of marriage.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“The more risk averse a person is, the higher his or her religiosity [...]. In other words, risk-averse people don't want to take a chance on getting on the wrong side of god.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Religious guilt causes people to deny their behavior even as they engage in it. Guilt short-circuits rational examination of behavior in favor of supernatural notions like "evil" and "the temptation of Satan.”
Darrel Ray, ED.D., Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Si otras culturas han sobrevivido 10,000 años sin las reglas religiosas del islam, mormonismo, hinduismo o cristianismo, ¿cuál es el propósito de las restricciones y la culpa religiosas?”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Treating depression often requires that a patient identifies and changes self-defeating thinking. Identifying religion as the problem is especially difficult, since people often retreat to religion to deal with their depression. In reality, however, while religion promises peace and fulfillment, it often creates more of what caused the depression in the first place.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“People develop a conscience with or without religion. Our culture teaches murder and cheating are wrong; we don't need religion to know this.
Guilt comes from a different place in our mental experience, a place that is independent of general cultural training and directly related to religious indoctrination. That is why two people may feel guilt about different things while being equally convinced that cheating and murder are wrong.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“the more educated and financially successful, the less religious a person is likely to be.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Growing up in a religious environment, children learn what not to do sexually. They learn that some practices or ideas, such as homosexuality, lust, masturbation, and pornography are sinful. These ideas are embedded in the minds of children years before they are ready for marriage, so it's no surprise that many religious people have little or no experience with sex and know little about their sexuality.
The guilt cycle that results from this training creates a form of self-censorship. Because so many sex acts and ideas are liable to lead to eternal damnation, people have a strong incentive to avoid expressing or discussing secretly held ideas and interests. Fear leads to hidden thoughts and activities and prevents normal, appropriately channeled sexual expression.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“In the Christian view, sex was an unclean act. Ask Christians, "Did Jesus have sex?" and watch their nonverbal response. Or ask, "Did Peter enjoy sex with his wife?" or "Did Mary and Martha, 'whom Jesus loved,' ever enjoy a good orgasm?" Such questions do not compute in the Christian mind. The Christian founders are seen as asexual.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Human brains have three layers of programming. Each layer adds a twist or turn to sexual preferences and tendencies. The first layer is genetic progamming from the inherited genes. The second involves environmental influences that impact genes and their expression. The third level deals with the way we "fill in the blanks" as social and cultural beings. This level can become a feedback loop that influences the inherited genes by influencing with whom we choose to have sex.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“While [female genital mutilation] may have not originated with Islam, it has become an integral part of the religious practice in many regions tied to notions of male dominance and control of female sexuality.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Regardless the options you have, the most important thing is to choose consciously. Don't let ancient religious programming dictate your emotional and intellectual responses. You are a biological and social creature living in a biological and social world. Recognizing this gives you the power to make more rational decisions about how you want to enjoy the only life you have.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Living a religious sexual lifestyle is tantamount to living a lie.
Religion distorts our sexuality when the majority of religious people live one life for the public and another in private. It can be as simple as living as a "happily married" couple when you are both miserable with your sex life.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“The more a religion makes a person feel guilty and insecure, the harder the person works for the religion.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Throughout adolescence, Muslim men receive strong messages about male dominance in Marriage. The Koran is highly male-focused, with women being of little importance. Mohammed married as many women as he wanted, even a nine-year-old girl. Polygamy was acceptable and women were given in marriage with little consideration. Rules and punishments for women are far harsher than for men. [...] Women are told that their purpose is to please the man and have children. Men are taught that sex with an in infidel woman, especially in another country, is not a sin against Allah. For a Muslim woman, sex with any man except her husband is a crime.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Sexual preferences develop, evolve and change over a lifetime. [...] Without opportunities for sexual exploration and discovery, how is a 19 to 20-year-old to learn what he or she likes and how his or her body reacts?”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Wherever sexually restrictive religions invade, they bring the tools of repression with them - fear of punishment, shame if caught, guilt that the deity watches and terror of punishment. Islam, Christianity and Judaism, with their patriarchal, asexual god, have systemically overcome local sexual ideas throughout the world and infected cultures with sex-negative practices.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“The best you can do as a parent is to expose your children to a wide range of religions. Rather than trying to "program them" to dislike religion, give them the tools to analyze it themselves. With the conceptual tools of critical thinking and skepticism, and adequate exposure to many religions, children are very likely eventually to conclude that all religion is crazy.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“Eliminating guilt about sex allows a person to talk about needs and desires more honestly and negotiate with possible partners. If a person feels shame about his desires, he is unlikely to talk about it with anyone.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“The need to lock in sexual monogamy for life is simply unrealistic for many people and may not even be emotionally or physically healthy. Recognition of this fact would go a long way toward making long-term relationships possible. If people communicated honestly on these issues, other relationship approaches might work for a wide range of people. Of the 50% in our culture who divorce, how many might remain married if other relationship options were seen as viable?169 How many who stay in miserable marriages would find renewed happiness and commitment to one another?”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“There are many afterlife ideas and little agreement on what it may be.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“[U]sing religion to treat depression often makes the problem worse. It's like treating the disease with more of the disease. It is effective in getting people to give time and money to the church, but it does not help the victim.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality

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