Friday, April 21, 2006
That's interesting because if you can't tell the difference between porn and the Bible, or the fact that Jesus didn't go around being obscene, vulgar, and putrid regarding women and sexuality means that what you think of "religiosity" isn't very Christian.
He then tried justifying mixing sexuality with degradation and offense by nothing less than the Bible!
Actually, the ancient Middle Eastern version of porn is in the Bible. You might be interested in a study of the Song of Solomon sometime, which is an example of the erotic literature of its time that extols the wonders of a concubine. It is, nevertheless, another divinely inspired message from God to us, and another revelation of His love for us. The cultural context changes; today we recoil in horror at the institution of concubinage, which is a polite way of referring to female sex slaves. But God's message to us never changes.
Here is a bit of the Song of Solomon (read it all)-
My beloved is all radiant and ruddy,
distinguished among ten thousand.
His head is the finest gold;
his locks are wavy,
black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves
beside springs of water,
bathed in milk,
His cheeks are like beds of spices
His lips are lilies,
distilling liquid myrrh.
His arms are rounded gold,
set with jewels.
His body is ivory work,
encrusted with sapphires.
His legs are alabaster columns,
set upon bases of gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
choice as the cedars.
His speech is most sweet,
and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem. (Song 5:10-16 RSV)
Sordid, depraved, and sleazy, isn't it? Just like porn, isn't it?
And read this review in case you are not familiar with it:
The book of Proverbs is the expression of the will in man, summed up in the most quoted of the proverbs, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him [that is the choice of the will], and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) The mind and the heart together must apply knowledge to the direction of the will to choose the right way. All through Proverbs you will find the emphasis is on the appeal to the will.
Now if the book of Job is the cry of the spirit, and Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes the cry of the soul, the Song of Solomon is preeminently the cry of the body in its essential yearning. And what is the essential yearning of the body? For love. Therefore, the theme of this book is love. It is an eastern love song, an oriental love poem, and there is no use denying that. It is frankly and fully that. It is a revelation of all that was intended in the divinely given function that we call sex. It is sex as God intended sex to be, involving not just a physical activity, but the whole nature of man.
For sex permeates our lives; Freud was right about that. But sexual response and impulse touches us more than physically. It also touches us emotionally, and even spiritually; God made us that way. There is nothing wrong with this. But this is where Victorianism went astray. It was pushed to extremism by the enemy. (This is always the devil's activity -- to push attitudes toward sex into extreme positions.) So sex went into prudishness, as though it were some unmentionable subject, as though it were something that should be kept locked up in drawers and hidden away behind curtains.
But that is not the way you find it in the Bible. In the Bible, sex, like every other subject, is handled frankly and dealt with forthrightly. It is set forth as God intended it to be. So first and foremost, the Song of Solomon is a love song describing with frankness and yet with purity the delight of a man and his wife in one another's bodies. There is nothing pornographic or obscene about it, nothing licentious. As you read though it, you can see how beautifully and chastely it approaches this subject.
The book comes to us in what we would call musical play form. The characters in this play are Solomon, the young king of Israel -- this was written in the beginning of his reign, in all the beauty and manliness of his youth -- and the Shulammite. She was a simple country lass of unusual loveliness who fell in love with the king when he was disguised as a shepherd lad working in one of his own vineyards in the north of Israel.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon tells us that he undertook expeditions to discover what life was like on various levels. Once he disguised himself as a simple country shepherd lad, and in that state he had met this young lady. They fell in love, and after they had promised themselves to each other, he went away and was gone for some time. The Shulammite girl cries out for him in her loneliness.
Then comes the announcement that the king in all his glory is coming to visit the valley. While the girl is interested in this, she is not really concerned because her heart longs for her lover. But suddenly she receives word that the king wants to see her. She doesn't know why until she goes to see him, and discovers that he is her shepherd lad. He takes her away and they are married in the palace.
The play is set in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and a chorus of singers, referred to as the daughters of Jerusalem, asks certain leading questions from time to time during the account of the events leading up to the courtship, betrothal and marriage. The Shulammite girl addresses them on three occasions. It is interesting to note that the word "Shulammite" is the feminine form of Solomon. Therefore we would call this lady Mrs. Solomon. She is the bride, and we read of her encounter with this young man their courtship and the strength and the methods and the delights of love.
My reply to his snide justification:
Given that there was a lot of sexual violence and degradation in ancient times as there is now, and I would imagine coupled by even more serious cultural denial than at the current moment, I find it puzzling that you equate what is mostly a love poem between a bridegroom and a bride to "ancient porn," either by modern or ancient standards. However, even if this is the most erotic/explicit material ever produced in ancient times, it only means that ancient society curtailed the mass production of the equivalent diseased, destructive sexuality materials that today's pigsty is obsessed with.
It is intriguing that you are completely unaware of the differences that exist between Hustler magazine, between sexually torturing people for a diseased pleasure, between sexual degradation of all kinds that are bandied about as "entertainment" and what the Song of Solomon talks about. It is also quite sad that you choose the Song of Solomon to justify being vulgar and demeaning with women.
But perhaps that is because we go to different churches. For example, if your pastor's sermons center on how to excrement on people, how to commit adultery with interns, how to rape women "because they like it," how to degrade women with all kinds of animals, how to be a pimp and a 'ho, and the benefits of a homo sauna - how could it ever dawn on you that those are not exactly God's messages?
If the pastors of your Church preach that a healthy and respectful relationship is one between a man and a woman, donkeys, homo saunas, prostitutes, and kids, how could you know that there is a bit of a difference between porn and the Bible ? Yes, it must all be very obscure for you, because you are simply naive, and not something else.
"which is a polite way of referring to female sex slaves. But God's message to us never changes."
On the other hand, if the Inquisition used the Bible to justify murdering and torturing people, including small children, I guess there is no end to what the Bible ends up being used to justify, even when it couldn't be farther away from Jesus' teachings.